Article: Panel on the Future of Programming Languages

Interesting discussion. 

Communication Skills of the Next Generation

When I first entered the workforce back in 1991, all you really needed to know was how to read and write English. Email wasn’t even in yet.  Memos were still printed and distributed by management as the primary means of communication.  We had voicemail, but it was rarely checked, but it slowly permeated into our working ethics. Microsoft Office is just beginning its world domination, but was still competing with Word Perfect and other office productivity suites.

Today, with the prominence of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instant Messaging, and other forms of social media, it is becoming more important for workers to understand and use these technologies within the workplace.  For example, support personnel can leverage the use of Twitter to gain a tighter relationship with the clients that they are supporting.  They can also use YouTube to provide instructional video on how the product or service can be used. The use of Facebook and Twitter is also being used more and more for marketing and corporate communication, either building and enhancing an internal workgroup, or creating a working community, such as a user group for a particular product.

As our social behavior expands from our physical environment into the virtual world, communicating using modern social network mechanisms is more essential than ever.  I think members of the workforce who entered the same time frame that I did, need to embrace these technologies. Otherwise, they will be left behind when the onslaught of the texting generation gains a firm foothold in the workplace. Perhaps they already have!

iPhone 4 Cases Update

I have now used the three dollar case from eBay for more than a couple of weeks as well as traveled with it. As mentioned previously,  I purchased an iPhone 4 bumper case, and found that many of the third party chargers from my iPhone 3GS days did not fit the case.  This was discouraging to say the least.  Since my wife also has an iPhone 4 and has purchased 3 different silicone cases from eBay ranging from one to three dollars, I tried one out and found it to be infinitely more useful than the bumper case.  Although the bumper case is more aesthetically pleasing, it had other faults as well.  I noticed that HSUPA speed was significantly hampered when the case is on.  I have no signal issues with the three dollar silicone case.  In the case of cases, the price is certainly not a good representation of the value of the case. No puns intended!

In conclusion, if you have previous iPhone 3GS accessories, then I would steer clear away from Apple’s iPhone 4 bumper case.  As for the silicone cases, just make sure it doesn’t cover the flash, so that glares from the cover does not ruin the photos that you take when you have the case on.

Great Internet Resource

Here is an online resource that contains many basic Internet concepts but depicted in a book that is fit for the children’s section of any book store. If you are afraid of the Internet or would like to learn more about it, then this site can help you demystify many of the magic behind the Internet. Have fun reading it here: http://www.20thingsilearned.com/

Learning to drive a stick

I never got around to this when I first learned how to drive. Recently I had to plan a trip to the UK and thought I may end up with a manual car from the car rental place, so I thought I better learn how to drive one. I found this place called shifters from Toronto ( http://www.shifters.ca/introlevel.htm ). They provide an introductory program to the stick.

My first thought was how hard can it be. Change gears based on speed and RPM, what’s the catch? After an hour session, I should be a pro. Well I’m a bit off base. It took 5 sessions for me to be comfortable with everything, the traffic, the hills, the highway, the downshifting, etc. In the end I was able to shift smoothly without the typical jerky feeling when I get in a manual with someone else.

Unfortunately, it does feel like it is more work than I care for. Luckily, Hertz had an automatic available in the UK. I think driving on the right side of the car and on the left side of the road will be distracting enough, so fingers crossed! Europe here we come!

iPhone 4 Cases

Since I got my iPhone 4, I’ve been on a search for a suitable case. Got the bumper case from Apple and found out many of the third party connectors don’t fit. On top of that it also has problem with interfere with HSUPA connectivity. Opt’ed for a plastic case instead that costs $3 including shipping from eBay! The new case is working great.