[UK] Fancy winning some uber swag? Become a Speaker Idol!

Ready Steady Speak!

Microsoft are looking for candidates to take part in a Speaker Idol competition at the upcoming Launch event of Visual Studio 2008, SQL 2008 and Server 2008.

“Ready Steady Speak!” is a mini Speaker Idol in which the contestants have been given predefined subjects to speak on for 5 mins in front of a panel of judges. There will be 3 categories: VS2008, SQL2008 and Windows Server 2008. We want to give your members an opportunity to speak at a major event rather than have recognised community speakers. So spread the word that there is an opportunity to a learn about the new products by giving a short Community talk at the Launch, with a chance to win a great prize too! Hosts and Judges will be in conflict over who is the best, so watch out for some banter and controversy!

In terms of numbers, we need about 4 Dev volunteers and 4 IT Pro volunteers to ensure we have a full competition. So far we’ve 2 volunteers for Dev presentations and one probable for IT Pro, so we spread the word out there to your members, particularly those active ones who may have dabbled in speaking and want an opportunity to have a crack at a large event. Excellent prizes up for grabs as well as accolades !!

If you are interested please contact Dave McMahon (of NxtGenUG fame) – Dave’s e-mail address is Mr McMahon’s first name at-sign nxtgenug.net

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Walking whilst using a mobile ‘phone…

Last night, I missed a train because of an old coot who was on his mobile ‘phone – here’s the tweet. Walking whilst using a mobile ‘phone (texting or calling) can be a dangerous thing. The old coot in question happened to be going down stairs at the time, staggering left to right, making direction changes at exactly the same time I was, just as if he had eyes in the back of his head. His meandering cost me 15 minutes. Yes, a whole 15 minutes, doesn’t sound like a lot, but these things add up. Get a couple of those close proximity butterfly effects and it’s easy to see 10-20% of your working day being affected by the actions of other people.

I was, therefore, pleased to read Lucy Mangan’s Shortcut in today’s edition of The Guardian. It should come as no surprise to learn that mobile ‘phone users walk into things whilst trying to keep themselves on the cyber-pavement – so it’s no wonder that they are banned from use whilst driving. However, it gets worse. Seemingly Brick Lane in east London has padding surrounding its lampposts – to prevent mobile ‘phone users from inflicting too much personal damage when they walk into them.

On the subject of self-inflicted injuries, Lucy’s choice of words made me chuckle::

…these are injuries caused by people who do not understand the importance of peripheral vision. Until, that is, they compromise it by texting as they walk along the street and into lampposts, signs, bollards and other pedestrians.

In future, dear mobile ‘phone user who happens to be in front of me, if you are using your mobile ‘phone whilst walking in public, do be considerate of others: slowing down may impact those behind you, as does aimless meandering.

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