Philippe Back Interviews Bernd Lohmeyer on User Centered Approaches and Usability

I had the good fortune to interview Bernd Lohmeyer. Bernd is big on usability and specifiying winning solutions that customers love to use. For the record, he was somewhat running the show when it comes to the StarOffice productivity suite. He was program manager.   Listen to the podcast episode:  

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QSOS, a FOSS qualification method

As you know, I am using a lot of Open Source software. Be it Tiki Wiki CMS Groupware, Mantis, ProjectPier, Ubuntu, Squeak, Tcl, Perl, LAMP, WordPress, OpenX, R, Octace, Maxima, Gimp, Scribus, Inkscape, OpenOffice.... there are lots of areas where Open Source provides tremendous leverage and ability to customize that is unmatched by commercial offerings once you've been through the learning curve and strategic decision. (Check my Oloh badge in the sidebar for more). I've nothing against commercial software. On the contrary, some is really superb and beats the pants of FOSS (in this area, I do use Explorer2, Nusphere PHPEd, GotoMeeting, GotoMyPC, FinalCut Express on Mac, Diskeeper, Sparx Enterprise Architect to name a few). I may run above EUR 10K of proprietary software licences on my laptop - All dutifully paid for). But FOSS quality varies. And now, there is QSOS.
QSOS is a method, designed to qualify, select and compare free and open source software in an objective, traceable and argued way. It publicly available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.
  Here is an overview:   The assessment goes on like this:

  The funny bit is that Atos Origin is involved in this. Atos Origin being one of my customers makes this even more interesting. The world is a small place! Too bad, Tiki Wiki CMS Groupware isn't listed. Well, soon enough it will be!

Tiki Suite – La Voix du Libre

Tiki Suite: Tiki Wiki CMS Groupware + lots of other things in an appliance. You have seen the future: Et une vidéo:

United States Monetary Base Going Through The Roof (Really!)

I was having a look at some videos on the real estate bubble (this one went bust in the western countries and will do the same in Asia soon enough) and moved into the monetary base expansion of the US. Well, quite impressive, to say the least. Printing paper is cheap and moves debt burden down for government. But at the same time, it reduces the value of one's savings to nil and gets your work for about free. Talk about being competitive by lowering your population worth. That's what QE and QE2 did to US people and in Europe we see more or less the same, but somewhat more hidden with the actions of the BCE and the credit given to Greece, Ireland, and soon enough, Portugal. Keep my end of April target date for Spain in mind. June will really be the fireworks time. It will really be time to enjoy the summer then and not worry too much about the future. In the video: we see Mike and our dear Mogambo Guru (he's too funny even if he overdoes everything [FEIHOE!]) telling us about his views and ... well, I've got to say that he is very, very right. What's the point of this post when it comes to improving your way of working? Well, three things. Yep, three things:
  1. Do not trust our government to save the day, they are clueless and the sheer scale of the problem eludes them. Take action to safeguard your assets
  2. Take preemptive action when it comes to commodities. If you have money to invest, do it now, do it there. It will soon be too late. Being late to the party is just that: you are left with the leftovers. And more often than not, they taste bad.
  3. Grow your skillbase so that you can provide efficient delivery. Noboby will pass on talent. And talent is not falling down the sky. Talent is hard work, talent is focus. And talent turns into money. Talent is a store of value. And you can take your brain and knowledge wherever you want to. There is always a place in the world that will be willing to invest in dealing with you, given the incredible ROI that you'll get them.
We are going to live very interesting times indeed!    

Radiation Dose Chart

The fine guys at have put together an interesting chart (Source URL):   This puts things in perspective when it comes to Sieverts. Well micro and millisieverts of course. Things been told, I'd rather take a plane and fly away from there and the plume fall off than to stay around Fukushima.

The future of in-car entertainment is showing up

Too bad all this is in a crappy Mini and not a more capable car... Anyway, it is cool stuff. Especially the custom radio show.