Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sixhills Engineering: Testing Some UVC Germicidal Lamps, So You Don’t Have To…

Recently we had a look at some UVC germicidal lamps being sold on Amazon. No surprise, there were some fakes!

You can read about it on our sister site, Sixhills Engineering

Dilbert panic over…

Thought I was suddenly in an alternative universe when looking at today’s Dilbert cartoon…

Different look Dilbert (7 Mar 16 cartoon)

…but now all is revealed; Scott Adams has gone on holiday and there are guest artists drawing the pictures for six weeks.

Google patents smart ‘toys’ that could spy on children and control home | Daily Mail Online

This sort of patent concerns me about the overall principle of patenting stuff: 1. Have Google actually made these toys they are patenting or jut an paper idea?, 2. Is this actually a concept worth a patent at all as it does not seem particularly novel and more like an obvious piece of engineering?

Did removing lead from petrol spark a decline in crime?

Did removing lead from petrol spark a decline in crime?

Posted from WordPress for Android

This suggests that by the law of averages, marketing automation generates no benefit

Uh-oh: One-third of companies adopting marketing automation are not hitting ROI goals

Posted from WordPress for Android

Perils of technology investment

Two interesting themes underlying this article: 1. Clever technology doesn’t always make a great business, 2. The Innovators Dilemma at work in big corporates strangling the babies , “The smarter news apps are, the dumber they get…” at

Posted from WordPress for Android

Valley of the Blahs: How Justin Bieber’s Troubles Exposed Twitter’s Achilles’ Heel –

There is a tipping point when the cost of monitoring the volume of status updates exceeds the benefit derived.  For me the limit is about 50 items, anything beyond is just noise or unnoticed ripples in the life stream.  Same reason I signed off Usenet 30 years ago.

Posted from WordPress for Android

3D food printers debut at CES

Yup, that might start to fill the bill for “mass customisation” envisaged by Alvin Toffler

3D food printers debut at CES

Posted from WordPress for Android

The Bluetooth Boy is now powered by WordPress!


After some thought and consideration, the Bluetooth Boy and the 6log blog have now moved to a new blogging platform.

6log used to run on the Simple PHP Blog, which was, well, simple, indeed, one of its best points.  But alas, some of the fancier features of the blogging world have passed it by, like mobile access, social network sharing and such sorts of goodies.  And with pressure of life and stuff I have been finding that the hand-cranked way I was loading HTML formatted blog posts, was just too time-consuming, so that my blog-rate had reduced to a crawl.


So, Single Retail Banana, Unhappy Voucher and the Crunchy Octopus have now found a home on an upgraded service based on WordPress 3.5.1.  The migration was aided by various bits that other people have left lying around the Web after their own efforts, mainly a migration script by Miguel Herrero (with significant mods to cope with the new WP term tag/category structure), and an SPHP permalink plug-in from Florian Klien.

So we shall see now, if I can fight my way through the comment spam…

comment spam seems to be endemic to WordPress linked blogs, compared to good old SPHPBlog – the first arrived as I was writing this post!

…and post a bit more frequently


Up like a Rocket, Down Like a Stick

The collapse of 2e2 – a classic case of up like a rocket and done like a stick – was one of those occasional industry news-quakes that will no doubt make an interesting MBA case study, and to be sure, be the subject of a thesis and dissertation or two.

One of the big things that was reported was that 2e2 had “breached its banking covenants”.

Covenant . n. a mutual agreement…an engagement entered between God and a person or people…Chambers 20th Century dictionary

“Breaching convenants” is a phrase that tickles me as a somewhat odd mix of ordinary commerce with a flavour of the biblical,  and a slight smell of pretension. Makes me think of some others …What about:

  • Did you hear Gwynnie’s canticles at the Oscars…
  • You must heed the the Digital Security commandments…
  • I am looking forward to hearing the epistles from Corporate Communications…
  • Health and Safety officials took down witness testaments after the accident…

I think these are probably all examples of  “paradoxical heterologisms”, but don’t quote me on that!

So we shall see if time brings any more useful diagnoses of the underlying issues around the “borrow-to-buy” model.  Difficult enough to do when you make scads of profit, but even harder to execute in the low margin sectors of the IT Services market.

Anyway, having been silent on my blog for quite some months, the event triggered me to dig out a couple of pictures that have been lurking in my capacious back pocket for some time (well since about 2008, in fact).

The diagram below is one of those hardy perennial consulting charts depicting the “Extended Enterprise” network organisation model  which underlies most outsourcing:


There are undoubtedly many good reasons to outsource various activities in a business, and structurally, it creates something looking like this, across a number of clients for an outsourcing company:


The outsourced component for the clients is provided here, I posit, by a chunk of critical infrastructure belonging to the Service Provider.

As in the case of 2e2 with its Patni helpdesk relationship, some service providers deliver chunks of their service offering by outsourced from another.

As also with CSC in times past, where the man that turned up to service your PCs arrived in an SCC van – no, not a spelling mistake, just a supply chain decision, and a bit of margin on margin…

So you end up with a variant thus for a sub-contracted helpdesk, for example:


And of course, it gets much more complicated than that..


So it can create quite some tidal waves when one of the jigsaw parts falls out of bed (or otherwise mixes its metaphors).

Alas poor 2e2, we knew you well !  Gone but not forgotten…