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Sad Red Herring email is sad but if you want to buy entry to an Awards programme, here is the information you need

Sad Red Herring email is sad but if you want to buy entry to an Awards programme, here is the information you need

A long time ago (before the last bubble burst), Red Herring was an interesting magazine about technology. That was a long time ago.

Red Herring and Industry Standard competed to put on amazing conference/parties and I will never forget going to Barcelona, the week before NASDAQ peaked  for a Red Herring or Industry Standard Conference (was definitely one or the other but can’t remember which). A little while before, there was a conference by the other one held in Disneyland Paris. The whole theme park was opened to the guests in the evening. Great fun. We were chauffeured around Barcelona from Gaudi Museum to private party to sponsored reception for a few days. I think I remember seeing the CEO of LetsBuyIt, just a week or so out from his much anticipated IPO, holding court in a room, surrounded by acolytes and entrepreneurs listening to an anecdote or two, huge cigar in one hand, a couple of girls poised strategically one, on his knee, the other on the arm of his chair.

It didn’t feel like a comfortable sort of place to be for me.

Less than a week later the crash started. The bubble burst and lots of those companies and people went away.

networking

It is nice to be reminded of the past and Red Herring still hangs on, I am not sure why.

Every year, it runs a money making event to supposedly celebrate the ‘best’ of European and North American technology companies. It is widely regarded as being bullshit and there are very good reasons for that.

In a nutshell, the awards are given a veneer of objectivity by claiming to be judged on an opaque combination of important sounding criteria – ‘number of customers and users’, ‘execution index’, ‘growth rate’, ‘regional contribution’. Companies are shortlisted for the Top 100 and then have to pay “2,900” – presumably $, £ or €, they don’t care as long as it’s money – to, in the words of Red Herring, “Avoid conflicts of interest”

Today, I was invited to apply(!). Just to be clear, we run the best events for technology businesses in the world, not the best technology business.

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Microbusinesses in Cambridge, come meet your MP, Julian Huppert, to discuss #VATMESS #VATMOSS

Microbusinesses in Cambridge, come meet your MP, Julian Huppert, to discuss #VATMESS #VATMOSS

Microbusinesses in Cambridge, come meet your MP, Julian Huppert, to discuss.

If there are any microbusinesses in the Cambridge area that want to discuss this with their MP, Julian Huppert, please contact me via email.

He is one of the best MPs I know – personally, I never vote for political parties, I vote for the person that I believe will represent the interests of their constituents and the country as a whole rather than toe the party line about X for the sake of not screwing up their chances of losing power in the next election so, Julian’s my man. Smart, hardworking, technical – he tweets XKCD.

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Selfishly, I want this #VATMOSS #VATMESS sorted even though it doesn’t effect me directly. Here’s why

Selfishly, I want this #VATMOSS #VATMESS sorted even though it doesn’t effect me directly. Here’s why

#VATMOSS #VATMESS

If you don’t know about VATMOSS but you want to support an entrepreneurial economy. You should read and sign this petition if you agree.

If you don’t know about VATMOSS and want to get a sense of why entrepreneurs, particularly small software businesses and side project/home businesses, think this is a very, very dumb idea, in a very measured way. Read this by Rachel Andrew, pretty much a perfect example of a smart, savvy, thoughtful, ‘side-business’ entrepreneur.

Sign this petition if you agree.

If you don’t know about VATMOSS and you are a little bit uncomfortable with the notion that huge companies like Amazon with an army of accountants at their beck and call will probably end up benefiting the money movers and the offshore company structures they create. It is the platforms like Amazon that ironically will end up benefiting from this as they will be the only way that a micro business can possibly navigate the complexities and vagaries of VAT law in different EU Countries and stay within the law, thus forcing microbusinesses to share their revenue with Amazon who seem to make lots of money without making a profit so they don’t need to pay taxes.

Sign this petition if you agree.

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Matt Taylor the ESA scientist with tattoos and bright shirts.

Matt Taylor the ESA scientist with tattoos and bright shirts.

That could have been me if I was a lot more clever. I feel for the guy. Matt Taylor is the English guy with the tattoos and bright shirts who is one of the key people behind the comet landing programme. He is a pretty amazing guy and I would put money on him being sensitive, thoughtful, respectful of all people, men or women, in real life.

So after landing a fridge on a comet and getting on the TV, his choice of shirt, one showing ‘naked ladies’ is putting women off science. He is clearly gutted and makes a tearful apology on TV before going on to answer some science questions.

  • He is clearly an phenomenally intelligent guy who has been instrumental in coordinating an incredible feat of engineering, technology and science.
  • He is clearly a ‘character’ and also obviously into an ‘alternative’ scene’.
  • He is also obviously a bit scatty (I mean that in a good way).
  • I saw his shirt and thought it was brilliant – all I saw were bright colours, I didn’t see naked ladies, (this might be because of resolution, might just be because I saw the colours, not the shapes. I like bright shirts, I buy them because they are bright, I sometimes don’t realise they have a picture/pattern).
  • It turns out the shirt was a gift from a friend who had made it for him.
  • I can totally understand that he wanted to wear something that had significant sentimental value to him on such an amazing day.
  • I would bet that if anyone had even suggested that his choice of shirt might offend people he would have spent the rest of the day bare chested if there wasn’t an alternative.
  • Some people, then the social media lynch mob, decided his shirt embodies all the reasons that science is an unwelcoming place for women.

My daughter, active feminist, currently shouting at One Direction’s stupid song on the TV because they are squawking ‘She *belongs* to me’, thought the shirt was cool.

I hope that when Matt gets back to Blighty, he might consider coming and talking about his work with my daughter’s school, they would welcome him with open arms. They really would.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-30053204

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Wiring up the Internet of Things for 2015

Probably the most requested video from IoT14: Andy Stanford Clark doing a superb job of demonstrating Node-Red. For a few minutes I think everyone in the audience, even the marketeers, felt they could (and should) create their own IoT app. Some of them went on to do just that.

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