Skype & customer service

Just found this post on CNet about the lack(?) of customer service from Skype.

Having not used Skype a huge amount I cannot comment. However now we are in Melbourne and the rest of the family and friends are in Sydney I have been working to get them all set up and was considering a SkypeOut account. But this makes we think about it a little further.

Podcasting the answer?

Just catching up on my feeds and found this item from Des Paroz on podcasting and the mainstream radio in Australia.

I already subscribe to the Triple J podcasts (they now have 3), and so far it has had some fantastic snippets of content. Following the launch of The Podcast Networkk from Mick and Cam and their interview in The Bulletin things seem to be picking up in the mainstream arena for podcasting.

I am currently looking into purchasing a cassette to MP3 deck for our home PC (or I might just go low if) so that Jayne can convert her uni tapes and take them on the road with her. It is this sort of activity that really needs to power of “timeshifting” that podcasting provides.

Organisations can start to use podcasting as a method to connect with their customers, for example annual general meetings, investor briefings, quarterly results etc.

I feel these thoughts are still “half baked” so I will need to get back to them later.

Newsgator online vs Jager BlogMatrix OPML

I have been trying to find a new RSS tool so that I can receive feeds (work based) while in the office. Being in a large company our laptops are locked down to stop everyone installing anything they want, therefore I am looking to web based tools. I have been trying to get NewsGator Online up and running, which has not been the most successful of exercises.

I have an OPML file of feeds (about 50) that I read that are work based and thought it would be good to import them so I did not need to manually re-subscribe. The OPML file is from BlogMatrix Jager however Newsgator Online will not accept it it keeps claiming that it is not an OPML file.

I have tried removing the category sections in the file that Jager uses, still no luck. So I decided to compare the Jager file with a OPML file created by NewGator Online. Not surprising they are different.


I created a small test file where I changed the tags in the Jager file to match those in the NewsGator. These were url to be xmlUrl and rssUrl to be htmlUrl and the file imported. Someone does not seem to be playing by the rules. Checking out Dave Winer’s OPML Specs I found that there does not seem to be a specification for the different attributes within the file which I suspected was the case. But I am now way out of my depth and and a few minutes searching on Google did not turn up the anwsers. I am now up to a find and replace of the Jager file so that it will import into NewGator Online.

Laws of identity and workplace tools

Kim Cameron has recently published his 7th law of identity management they are:-

  1. The Law of Control
  2. The Law of Minimal Disclosure
  3. The Law of Fewest Parties
  4. The Law of Directed Identity
  5. The Law of Pluralism
  6. The Law of Human Integration
  7. The Law of Contexts

Kim provides a good summary page if you want to get started on understanding the laws in more detail.

Now reflecting on the 7 laws and where they place us for identity management for workplace technologies.

HRIS systems should be the master source/trigger of an identity for an employee, logically they are the first system to hold information about an new employee, from the recruitment process. From hear we need to build a framework to enable the rest of the organisation and the employee to understand and use this “professional identity”. By the very nature of things the HRIS should now hand off the control of the identity to an LDAP environment. However the HRIS still retains control of the people data associated with that employee, not the LDAP environment.

Why is this so? If the employee moves positions in the organisation this should be facilitated by an online self service solution in which the HRIS is the first system to know about the change and as such the information can now be transferred to LDAP. However this now begins to move out of the identity management area and into data management.

Personally the laws make sense to me and I will be interested to see how/if the laws impact the market and how long it takes for solutions to appear.

The podcast network is live

Mick and Cam have launched their newest venture, The Podcast Network! So far they have 3 shows online, GDay World, The Gadget Show and The Mobiles Show. Good luck to them.

I will be very interested to watch how this progresses as such a network of shows could be also used as a foundation for eLearning podcasts. I will have to find out from Mick what technologies they have running, if anything other than standard multiple RSS feeds.

Busy times in our house

Just completed my second week in my new job and I am very busy, not just with all of the things associated with starting a job, but the job itself and moving everyone to Melbourne. In the interests of not getting fired in my third week like Mark Jen, I will not be blogging about the induction process, the benefits or anything else about the workplace. But I will give you a run down of the last few weeks.

Three weeks ago, we were packing up our house, having a garage sale and catching up with friends and family before I left. On the Friday at 4pm I called the removalists to confirm the arrival date of our goods, it was to be 3 – 4 days from pick up on the 7th Feb, overnight I was told. This provided us with a slight problem as we were not going to leave Sydney until the 8th and Melbourne is a 9-10 hour drive (with a child and a cat in the car). A new plan was now needed. Jayne, child and cat had to now fly down and I would drive separately.

Sunday 30th Jan was Jayne’s birthday, it was also the day I flew to Melbourne to spend a week in our new house sleeping on an air bed as no furniture was in the house and start my new job. Starting a new job and basically sleeping on the floor is not recommended! While I was in Melbourne Jayne still had to work, finish packing oh and prepare for her sister’s wedding the day before the furniture left for Melbourne. I flew back to Sydney on Saturday the 5th, spent 2 hours at home getting a run down on where the packing was up to, then all three of us went to the wedding rehearsal, then Jayne spent the night in town with the rest of the girls from the wedding party and I went home to finish packing, clean etc.

Sunday 6th Feb, wedding day. The morning was spent finishing all the packing as this was the last time we were in the house before the removalists arrived. About midday we (Ben & I) left to go to the wedding, on the way we picked up a family friend, went to the hotel were the girls were getting ready collected all of the bags from the bridesmaids and arrived at the church about 1 hour early. Ben was the usher and did a fantastic job at handing out the order of service. Both groom and bride made it to the church on time and were married. Then Ben home with my mother and we all went off to the reception. Jayne & I eventually got home at about 1am on Monday 7th, moving day!

6:30am moving day, the alarm goes off and we struggle out of bed, 7am removal guys arrive (6 hours after the we got home). The moving went without issue, my mother took Jayne, Ben and the cat to the airport at about 11:30am to fly down. Once everything was in the truck I then began the drive down, at about 2pm Monday. Jayne, Ben and the cat arrived in Melbourne without an issue.

I slept in a motel on the way and arrived in Melbourne about 2 hours after the truck, as with Melbourne it was raining! The truck left our house at about 4pm, we now had a house full of boxes and real work started. By about 6pm we were all exhausted and went out for pizza.

Wednesday, I went back to work in a very tired state, Ben off to school for his first day and Jayne was left to unpack :-).

Well it is now Sunday and the house is basically unpacked. Last night I got the ADSL back up and we have our network going and things can start to get back to normal.

One downside, given I work for a large company my laptop is locked down and as such I am yet to be able to get an RSS reader installed. This is a fairly large issue as how can I keep up with the feeds, one thought might be to use my phone, but I really do not want to pay for large amounts of data traffic. More investigation is needed. In the meantime I am going to take over the home PC as see what happens.