Welcome! I'm a quality assurance guy in the tech support/customer service industry, former e-business/politics student, and closet Man United fan. Here you'll find links to all my social network pages, blogs etc. Feel free to contact me using the link at the bottom of the page. Thanks for visiting!
The background image is owned by Oliver Hunter and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.
I’ve been playing Max Payne 3 on and off for the past week and one of the things that really sticks out is the amazing soundtrack. Here’s a song called Tears that’s recognizable from the launch trailer.
This is based on The Power of Habit by Charles Dugigg. It’s a cool video. I tend to like things with kinetic typography but it’s got some interesting ideas as well. I’m looking forward to reading the first chapter on my Kindle.
- Actively managed, lead, motivated and developed a team of IT phone and email support specialists. - Led, planned, coached, managed performance, allocated work and motivated the team to achieve SLA’s and KPI’s. - Involved in developing systems, processes and team members to achieve superior levels of service enhancing the client relationship.
Quality Trainer / Voxpro
- Was responsible for new hire customer service training and quality assurance training. - Delivered training via group sessions and daily one-to-one feedback sessions.
Quality Lead / Voxpro
- Investigated and reviewed customer service cases and drove customer satisfaction scores in line with company and client targets. - Provided support, coaching, and feedback to agents via one-to one quality reviews and group sessions.
Specialist/Backup Trainer / Voxpro
- Advised agents in relation customer technical issues. - Delivered product training to new starts and refresher training to tenured agents. - Also built the department’s internal knowledge base and training website.
Technical Support Agent / Voxpro
- Provided technical support to SMEs and other organisations. - Helped customers to troubleshoot complex technical issues via phone and email. - Gained experience with Salesforce.com, trained to use WebEx remote administration software.
Temporary Graduate Intern / Public Appointments Service
- Provided key support to the Senior Management Recruitment team through the delivery of three projects. - All projects met objectives and were delivered on time. - Used initiative to carry out additional work that was of benefit to the organisation. - Involved in a variety of other tasks that arose in the course of the team’s management of recruitment campaigns.
Apologies for the lack of content over the last month. I'm in the final month of lectures in college and I'm up the walls with assignments.
This is a nice video from IBM talking about how data can be used to improve our daily lives by using the internet as a kind of central nervous system for the planet. It's worth a watch. If you want to see more stuff like this visit IBM's A Smarter Planet blog.
The next phase of the project will involve using PHP to give the site more functionality with server-side scripting.
I came across a ZDNet blog post a couple of days ago that featured a nice video on Web 3.0. It's an interesting and concise explanation of how the agents might work and, at just under 4 minutes long, it's well worth a look.
I was looking over some material for an assignment for one of my masters modules, EE6162 Telecommunications Technologies and Applications, and I remembered a video I saw on Google's data centres. It's an interesting video featuring a tour of a one of these data centres and an explanation how some of the technology works.
I came across an article through Digg claiming that e-books outsold hard copy books on Amazon on Christmas day.
I bought a Sony Reader recently so I've been keeping an eye on developments with e-books. Also, as I mentioned in a previous post, I've been reading The Long Tail, and there's a lot of material in the book on the advantages of digital distribution for retailers. It'll be interesting to see whether this was just an anomaly or the beginning of a move towards consumers buying e-books more than hard copies.
I've been doing some research for a report I have to do on the semantic web and I came across this ZDNet blog post on how Oracle will be offering support for Thomson Reuter's Calais service. Calais is a service that generates semantic metadata. It looks interesting and the site is worth a visit.
I posted earlier in the week on Amazon's plan to open bricks-and-mortar stores. Silicon Republic carried a story on Tuesday reporting that Amazon have made an offical denial in response to the Sunday Times article.
It's too bad that this doesn't seem to be going ahead - it would have been interesting to see how opening bricks-and-mortar stores would have impacted on their business model.
Today FM's Sunday Business Show had a short piece yesterday on Rupert Murdoch's conflict with Google.
The whole show is nearly an hour long so you may want to skip forward to the relevant bit at around 54 minutes in. (The first few minutes might be worth a listen too, because Amazon gets a mention in the show's investment advice section.)
They refer to a Wall Street Journal article that Google CEO Eric Schmidt wrote during the week outlining his take on the future of media (interestingly, the WSJ is owned by Murdoch).
The Sunday Times has an interesting article on Amazon's secret search for property. The article says that Amazon plan to begin opening bricks-and-mortar stores, operating these as collection points for customers who don't want their goods delivered to their homes. It will be interesting to see how they design and locate the physical stores. They could end up locating them in retail parks and maybe having a superficially similar layout to Argos stores.
I wonder if they'll open one in Cork at any stage (Mahon Point or Blackpool please!).
Their product, PlinkArt, is is a "visual search engine", a sort of a visual equivalent of Shazam or Midomi. It allows you to photograph a piece of art and get information on that piece returned to your smartphone.
It looks pretty cool, and it's nice to hear of an Irish firm doing well.
I got through chapter one of The Long Tail Last night and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The book seems very readable and I'm looking forward to getting properly stuck into the rest of the chapters.
He discusses some really interesting ideas, like how "Many of our assumptions about popular taste are actually artifacts of poor supply and demand matching" (Anderson, 2006:16). He goes on to describe how the online retailers like Amazon and Rhapsody are making big money by selling to niche markets, and outlines the long tail concept itself.
It's thought-provoking stuff and really makes sense once you get into it. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of direction he takes for the next few chapters. Sorry for the shortness of this one but I'm wrecked from being in late doing assignments. I'll try and be more elaborate and insightful with the next few posts!
Reference Anderson, C. (2006) The Long Tail, London: Random House
I've been snowed under with assignments lately so I haven't gotten a chance to put up a new post in a few weeks.
Now that I've got a bit of breathing room I thought I might take a look at some of the books that were mentioned in the lectures. I bought a copy of Wired editor Chris Anderson's book, The Long Tail at the weekend. I'll be reading it over the next few weeks and I'll try and put up a post on my thoughts about each chapter as I go along. If it all goes well I'll be doing the same for Don Tapscott's book on mass collaboration, Wikinomics.
I came across some of Anderson's stuff while doing some research for an assignment. He's got some interesting thoughts on the new business models that are emerging on the web. Here's a good video featuring his take on "freemium", which he calls "the first business model of the 21st century":
In the video Anderson references Alan Murray, executive editor of The Wall Street Journal Online. Here's a link to another interesting video where Murray gives his opinion on what content should be charged for, and what should be free.
In today's lecture, Simon mentioned that he uses a program called CCleaner to free up space on his laptop. I've been using this myself for a few months now and I find it works quite well. It's a free download too, so you can't really go wrong with it.
If you're anything like me then you probably felt a bit lost in the NetBeans tutorials during the week. My main problem was that I didn't understand the terminology or the grammar/vocab/syntax of Java. Also, the results of what we were doing weren't immediately apparent, unlike our HTML tutorials, so what we were doing felt out of context to me and I didn't know what it was leading to. I came across a few bits and pieces that might be helpful and I've listed them below.
Wikipedia has an article on the "Hello World" program. This explains what the program does and why it's used.
Sun Microsystems, the company behind Java, have their own set of tutorials, including a handy section that explains the basic concepts of object-oriented programming.
Here are a few introductory video tutorials on NetBeans.
This video shows how to download and set up NetBeans on your home computer or laptop. You don't really need to watch all of this one.
This second video is short and is similar to the material we covered in the IS6115 tutorials during the week and shows how to create the "Hello World" program.
In this third video, Tim Layton also demonstrates the "Hello World" program. It's worth watching the whole thing because he looks at some small applications that he made with NetBeans.
I hope all of this makes the whole thing seem a little less daunting.
Bill Emerson mentioned the SETI at home project in today's lecture. I participate in a similar project called World Community Grid. Both projects are a form of distributed computing. World Community Grid uses the world's largest computing grid to conduct scientific research projects for the benefit of humanity, such as fighting childhood cancer. It is funded and operated by IBM. I use it on my laptop at home and it runs whenever the laptop is idle. I recommend getting involved as it's an easy way to do some good without any financial or time commitment.
This video features Larry Ellison, the co-founder and CEO of Oracle, giving his take on the cloud computing phenomenon. Ellison is of the opinion that cloud computing is merely a buzzword to re-brand existing technologies. While I can't say I agree with him fully, there might be a kernel of truth in what he's saying. So is cloud computing the future of e-business or just a buzzword? Have a look at the clip and decide.
This is a blog I've set up as part of my masters, the MBS e-business in UCC. I'm not sure what direction it's going to go in terms of content but I'll try to stay focused on e-business topics and avoid going on tangents. Mainly, I'll be putting up links to interesting e-business-related articles or videos I come across on the web and also commenting on some of the readings for the various modules.
I think the blog will be useful to me during the year for keeping track of my own reading and I'd be very happy if it helps anyone else on the course during the year.