heh - after my 4th trip across the pacific for biz this year my bags started coming out first tagged with magic orange tags - a few weeks later a United gold card arrived in the mail - now I can attend the Koru Club for free on my way overseas ......
this morning after coming in from SFO - hot, sweaty, bearded/ponytailed, unslept and unkempt dressed in a leather jacked, tshirt, jeans and birkenstocks I bowled on in to the one in the Auckland domestic terminal - boy was I out of place - people in impeccable suits gave me wary looks as I stood in line for coffee, no one said "hi"
I too have been promoted to somewhere wierd
too late to patent - the idea has already been published (actually I went and published it as soon as I had the idea I wanted it in the public domain and unencumbered by patents - I'm not quite the first person to have it either - there are variants out there already - finding the right 'UI' in the context of a phone is hard).
Jeremy - yes you can move some numbers (not all) but the idea that "I have to pay extra if I call an 02x number" is pretty ingrained these days and means that people will think twice about calling you - I do like the (US) idea of telling telemarketers that they can't call cell phones - but then later making the numbers portable so they can't tell which numbers are cell phones (sometimes unintended consequences are good)
NANP was killed by the cell phones, fax machines and modems - the need for numbers got big too fast - and the idea of 'long distance' is really an artifact of the pre-internet days (BTW local calling typically used to only be to some 3 digit prefixes of those 7 digit numbers). Really there's no need for area codes these days other than as a way to hit up the customer for more money.
IMHO we are screwed in NZ - one thing the US did right was to allocate their cell phone numbers within their local calling numbers - that's now meant that the FCC can force the various phone companies to make numbers portable - I can take my cell phone number and move to a different cell company, or move my fixed home number onto my cell phone or (in my case) take my US home phone number and move it to a VOIP provider so it rings in NZ.
In NZ because cell numbers are tied to corporate area codes we consumers can't just move them around when we decide that we're being screwed by telecom/vodaphone/clear/etc - good lock-in for the phone companies, bad for the consumer
(the downside is that in the US you pay for all of your cell phone - there's no cost differential when calling a cell phone as the owner is paying for the service)
so I have a phone exchange at home (based of the open source "Asterisk") - I kind of expect everyone to have some form of an exchange within 10 years (even if it's just their voicemail) as we all switch over to VOIP (Telecom's plan at least).
There's a number of cool things about having an exchange - one of the best is that we get NO telemarketers - getting a message telling you who you have to dial to get the various family members when you call in confuses their auto-dialers and they move on to bother other people.
Best thing though is that it's open source - I can hack in anything I want - my plan is to add an 'on-hold' feature - basically it comes down to: "why should I be on hold, I have better things to do than to listen to inane music, why aren't they on hold" - my plan is to set it up so when I get put on hold drop the connection into a mode where I can hang up, the exchange plays "I really want to talk to you press '*'" over and over again and when they do my phone rings again .... honestly we all need this
sigh - I wasn't dissing Ransome or the later books (which I didn't reread with my kids but remember from my childhood) - it was my kids who found them 'hard going' - we didn't make it thru the 3rd book - too much derring-do and not enough action .... personally I blame Harry Potter, the early books at least make just the most perfect bed time story fodder, each chapter is just the right length, and there's usually a little bit of a cliff hanger at each one - in the later books the chapters get just way too long (as do the books)
Craig - I think that's a fair point - if the book had been what I'd remembered it being as a kid there wouldn't have been an issue - silly me for not reading it again before I started - I started reading it to them and a few bedtimes into it I discovered what a load of crud was in there and just had to keep on going ....
I forgot one other wonderfull read that does live up to my memories - The Wind in the Willows - however it's worth reading Grahame's notes to parents (in the back so you can't miss them ....) which suggest reading roughly every other chapter to the little ones .... this is because those are the good parts with toad etc in them, the other chapters are insanely boring allegories and meanderings on the wonders of an idealised english countryside
I read S&A to my kids (it was really hard to find in the US), got through the next one but we didn't make it much further - it became hard going - the first one had all that mystery that kind of got lost later - and in some sense it's a period piece, I couldn't help but compare Susan-as-mother to Peter Pan's Wendy-as-mother - not nearly so bad though - I found myself transliterating whole swards of Peter Pan as I read it trying to edit out the sexism and racism (which to be fair I didn't remember from my childhood)
I wonder if any of the people caught up in this farce will ever be able to travel overseas again ....
yup, no one size fits all, just strategies that others have tried and worked for them that you can try too - the sleep one seems to be a must for everyone to try because it works for so many - and you probably have to listen to them cry and be able to walk away - the kids do need to be old enough though - 3+ months seems to be about when they can learn to self-soothe. I knew parents with 9 yr olds who still wouldn't go to sleep unless the parents would lie down with them
Russell - I definitely remember the sore back from the colicky daughter - I used to wander the streets of Berkeley for hours in the evenings - haunt book stores where I could look at the shelves but never stop long enough to actually read, do drive by espresso purchases - make an order go around the block, pick it up and pay for it
you know I sort of get what John's getting at but as some of the other have said 'entrepreneur' means different things to different people - it's a bit of a rorschach test in its own right.
I think what John wants is for our kids to grow up with their morals such that they wont exploit their fellow kiwis - a good thing I think - mind you one person's 'exploitation' is someone else's profit, and in some sense it's a word that works sort of the opposite of 'entrepreneur' and this issue of what's 'right' or 'wrong' economically is at the centre of lots of political arguments - bright people can differ and draw the line at different places - a lot of what political argument comes down to is 'where will we draw the line this week/month/year/decade' - that stuff moves around with our national political concensus.
My politics are decidedly to the left, but I spent 2 decades living in Silicon Valley - I know we need to be able to left bright kiwis shine, tall poppies need watering not cutting down, but at the same time we need to make a good society to live in, one where everyone has a stake and can have a good life - I don't want our kids growing up to exploit their classmates (in NZ or China) but I don't want them unable to create good jobs for them either