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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Using Google Maps to prepare my bike tours

I use Google Maps to prepare my biking tours.

You start by adding your starting-point than you plan your itineray by clicking on "Add destination".

See an example here of the bike tour I just did tonight.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I like the Yahoo! Widgets

You have different Widgets systems that you can use on your desktop : Vista Gadgets, Google Deskbar... My preferred one is the Yahoo! Widgets.

Have a look here (or click on the image):



The widgets I use are ImageView, Yahoo! Weather, Yahoo! Mail Checker, Gmail Monitor, Digital Clock and Calendar.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Monday, June 16, 2008

Euro 2008 : What is your favorite team ?

As for the last World Cup, Mireille and I make our best guesses for the Euro 2008.

We both selected 3 teams that we think can win :

  • Mireille : Italy, Spain, Portugal
  • J-F : France, Germany, Turkey

Sunday, June 15, 2008

List of all mountain bike routes in Belgium

Maybe it can sound weird to you but it has been a long time I have been searching for that information and now I eventually find it : a good list of existing mountain bike routes in Belgium.

You can find it here :
http://www.mountainbike.be/algemeen/routes.php

Friday, June 13, 2008

StumbleUpon : Sorry to all my contacts

Yesterday I sent an invitation to join StumbleUpon to all my Yahoo! contacts. It was not my intention, it was a mistake from me.

I want to apologize for having spammed you !

Nevertheless some of you (about 10) have joined StumbleUpon, I'm very grateful for the trust.

StumbleUpon is really a cool system and if you actually use it we can exchange what we find cool or interestig on the web.

So, once again sorry for the spam...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Why are we here ? What matters in life ?

On the right colomn of my "In JF mind today" blog, You'll find a question I want you to respond in a poll :

What matters in life ?

Why are we here ?

Take 20 seconds to answer. Closing of the poll at the end of the year...

Will I buy one ePaper reader or not yet ?

What do you think if you have a look at this video of the ePaper version of Les Echos ?

I think it's just great. If you add that you can use the Iliad as a Notepad (you can write also!), that you can upload PDF documents like reports, Presentations... It makes of it a great business tool.

I'm really hesitating : Should I buy it ? There is an interesting package with l'Equipe for this summer.

SOA stays a top business priority in 2008

According to an IBM survey SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) is still in the radar of the majority of customers:

  • 73 percent of customers indicated their CEO understands the business value of SOA; more than half say their IT staff is meeting once per month or more with business managers they support.
  • 45 percent of customers indicated they spent between 10 percent and 29 percent of their 2007 IT budgets on SOA.
Read the complete article on CNN Money's website

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Vibstars - le Web2.0 Belge

Hier je suis tombé sur le blog de Christophe Lefevre. Il s'y trouve un article sur le métier de blogueur. Mon regard s'est porté sur la colonne de droite (toujours la colonne de droite) et j'y ai trouvé un badge qui m'était inconnu. C'est un badge de vibstars.

Vibstars

Vibstars se définit comme une plateforme de SocialBuzzing. Ma perception est que Vibstars prend le meilleur du social bookmarking, du buzz à la Digg ou Scoopeo et du micro-blogging à la Twitter. Intéressant même si je ne vois pas encore comment l'utiliser concrètement. Je pense qu'il me faudrait plus d'amis dans mon réseau. C'est plus intéressant que Twitter car on peut lancer des conversations autours de sujets qui pointent clairement sur un URL. On peut aussi voter, cela fait émerger les dicussions les plus populaires.

Mon profil est ici : http://vibstars.com/wall/316-jean-francois-declercq. Vous avez tout de suite une idée du nombre de membres...

Blogasty

Continuant ma découverte des développements de Bleebot, j'ai également découvert Blogasty. Blogasty est un digg-like dédié aux blogs. Cela permet de re-poster un article de votre blog vers la communeauté Blogasty. Les autres membres peuvent voter pour votre billet et si celui-ci est populaire il arrive en Home Page. Voir A propos de Blogasty.

Du Web2.0 belge

Blogasty et Vibstars sont deux plateformes Web2.0 dans le plus pur style et par ce billet je voudrais féliciter leurs createurs. Et en plus, c'est du Belge...

Google doesn't find himself

There is something I find weird on Google's site.

I often use Google Maps. If I type http://www.google.be/maps/, than Google returns a 404 error page because the page doesn't exist. The correct page is http://www.google.be/maps without the '/'.

But wait a minute, if I search for anything in Google, it seems to know what I mean : "Did you mean ?" But apparently not in the case of an hazardeous Google Maps URL on their own site...

They could maybe reroute the 404 page to "I'm feeling lucky" with the url as parameter ?

N'essayes pas de faire le bien

Hemingway a écrit à Dos Passos :

Au nom du ciel, n'essayes pas de faire le bien. Continue à montrer les choses telles qu'elles sont. Si tu réussis à les montrer telles qu'elles sont réellement, tu feras le bien. Si tu essayes de faire du bien, tu ne feras pas le moindre bien, pas plus que tu ne montreras ce qui est bien.

Extrait de Odeur du temps - Jean d'Ormesson.


A méditer pour les experts comme moi... Ou se trouve notre valeur ajoutée en terme de conseils aux clients ?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Bravo to the Netherlands

I have been involved in several activities with professionals from the Netherlands those last 3 months.
  1. I was recently working with a great IBM colleague - a IBM Websphere Portlet Factory specialist- in a POC. And I have worked with other excellent Dutch during my carreer. Dutch colleagues tend to ask a lot of annoying questions but if you are honnest, you know they are the right questions.
  2. The majority of my IT Architect Master Programme courses (Operational Modeling, Philips Design, Personal Improvement, Business Architecture, Creative Thinking...) were given by Ducth professors and thanks to them I have gained a lot of respect for their country. I can feel there is some leadership and vision on business questions.
  3. One of the technologies I'm watching is ePaper. The best eReader is Ducth : the Iliad has been developed by a spin-off of Philips : iRex Technologies.
I also know that the Ducth Economy is a very strong one : At this moment the Netherlands is the 16th largest economy of the world (See Wikipedia).

And finally if I add today's EURO2008's match against against Italy (3-0) ! I'm very close to dress in Orange. But not yet, don't worry.

Critical Thinking

I was doing my daily blog reading when I landed on Slideshare. On the right column there is a list on the most downloaded slide sets. I was attracted by a presentation on Critical Thinking. This is the conclusion :

Why bother with Critical Thinking ?
"We are currently preparing students for jobs that don't yet exist, using technologies that haven't yet been invented, in order to solve problems we don't even know are problems yet"

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Web Presence

The website of Carmelo Zaccone gave me the idea of making a list of all the sites I use on the web. I ordered them by preference in three categories : Social Networks, Blogs & sites and Instant Messaging.

My list counts more than 20 addresses. I use the top 10 on a very regular basis. You can see the result here : Social Neworks.

Technorati Quick Claim

Sorry for this entry. It's just a claim for this blog in Technorati :

Technorati Profile

Friday, June 6, 2008

EUROFERIA 2008

Yesterday night we had a drink at Euroferia 2008. A very pleasant Andalusian atmosphere that I recommend you if you don't know what to do this weekend.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Creating the best context for creativity

After a course I followed given by MoTiv (http://www.motiv.tudelft.nl/) by Ton Meijknecht and Hans van Drongelen for IBM, I would like to share some concepts and reflexions on Creativity.

The creative class
The work of Richard Florida and his book 'The rise of the creative class' (note I haven't read it yet) aimed at demonstrating that a new class has emerged in today's society. "The creative class is a group of people that social scientist Dr. Richard Florida, a professor and head of the Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, believes are a key driving force for economic development of post-industrial cities in the USA." (See Wikipedia)
The people of the creative class have special demands against their work environment : soft control, more independence, personal growth and development, freedom to shape the content of their own work, control of their schedules (flexibility), expression of their identities through work, able to trade job security for own autonomy.
The creative class is also looking for another kind of lifestyle : individuality, self-statement, acceptance of difference, desire for rich multi-dimensional experience, pack every second - at work or leisure- full of creative stimuli and a morphing conception of time - (mixture of work and play).
The creative class asks questions about what really matters in life.

The thesis of Mr Florida is that the creative class is the main driver of economic growth.

Do I belong to the creative class ?
I have the feeling I belong to the creative class : I think I have the above characteristics.
Another argument that makes me think I'm a member of the creative class is that I feel the tension that would exist between members of the creative class and the corporations. A tension starts to emerge between large corporation and the creative class. Their motivations are not compatible anymore. However the corporations need the creative class for their innovations. The result is a war for talent and a lot of talent retention programmes. But it doesn't prevent that creative people step out of the companies and create a new startup or even make management buy-outs.
In one of my previous posts (Allergic to Superficiality ), I was criticized by some anonymous comment and today I understand why. The person who criticized me is certainly not someone of the Creative class. It's someone who is a Coporation's soldier and who has a lot of respect for the traditional way large companies can sometimes operate. He is attracted by the dark side of the organization's power game and has respect for people who are able to climb the matrix to the top by stepping on the other's dead bodies.

Who is creative ?
Everybody can be creative. Being creative requires however some conditions : you need some talent and this talent needs to be put in the right context. Talent has three different levels : skills, mastering and tolerance. We are used to identify our skills and define how well we master them (beginner, advanced, expert, master...).

How to be even more creative ? By knowing why.
In addition to skills and mastering, tolerance is required for the most creative ones.
Firstly, If you are not able to make use of the diversity of our world by being more tolerant, you will be less creative.
Secondly, tolerance also means compassion and the possibility to solve problems for others.
This tolerance aspect also touches the deepest motivations of our creativity. Why do we want to be creative ? What drives us to create solutions ? Why did Einstein want to find out new rules like the relativity rule ?

Creativity and Spirituality
It seems that a fundamental drive (some beliefs, some spirituality) is a necessary condition for superior creativity and innovation, meaning that you will be most creative if you align your entrepreneurship with your own spirituality.
I can link this to one of my previous posts around Happiness defined by Axel Khan : All creatures on this earth will be happy if they can express their true nature. "Connais-toi toi même"... You can only be a superior creator in the fields that match your true nature.

Being creative, just as being happy requires freedom. Freedom allows to move in order to be the right man at the right place at the right moment. This is why creative people want to be independent and travel the world : they don't want to be blocked in their vision of how they can improve what matters to them. They don't want to miss the chance to maximize the impact of their creativity.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Cycling around the Veerse Meer (Netherlands)

This weekend (May 31st 2008) we did quiet some biking. On saturday we did 50 Km in the region of Terneuzen.

The Westerschelde between Terneuzen and Hoofdplaat





The nature around Terneuzen



On Sunday, we did the tour of the Veerse Meer, starting from Veere (70 Km).

The Veerse Meer


Veere




The windmill of Veere

MyBlogLog is exactly what I expect as website

I had been a while since I had visited my MyBlogLog account. I'm quiet impressed by the improvements : you can now link all your web accounts into MyBlogLog and it makes a kind of summary. Excellent.

It continues to be a question for me: why maintain a website while all of the programming that I do (php, mySQL, Wiki...) is now available for free (Yahoo! Pipes, Mashing up my content in Netvibes or MyBlogLog...) ?

Don't you think this MyBlogLog page ressembles my start page ?

I must really like mySQL and php to keep my own developments...