Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Bluetooth headset no one makes.

 

I try to keep my every day carry bag as light as possible while maintaining the functionality I need on a regular basis.  Over the years I’ve managed to  find the tight tools to meet my needs except for one item, a Bluetooth headset I can use with all my devices to listen to music (stereo) as well as have a conversation with someone via phone/Internet.  Yes, Bluetooth stereo headsets that double as a phone headset exist but I’m a little fussy about how I want my headset to feel and act.

What it is that I really want;

  • Bluetooth – no wires, with controls for volume and mute, can be used with all of my devices without the need for a separate USB dongle
  • Stereo – I don’t want to carry separate headset for voice calls  and listening to stereo music. In addition having the audio from a call in both ears helps me focus when I’m in noisy environments. When driving or in another environment where its not legal or appropriate to cover both ears I need the earpiece to be small and light enough, and the band flexible enough, that I can leave one earphone behind or below my ear.
  • Adjustable boom microphone – I want my calls to be clear to both myself and the other party and the best way I have found to do this, even with noise cancelling microphones, is to have the microphone as close to my mouth as possible.
  • Behind the head headset band – I’d be much more likely to wear my ideal headset for long periods of time which means it need to be very comfortable and not interfere with activities I’m doing.  For me this means I need a headset where the band connecting the earpieces goes behind the head rather than over the top so that I can wear a baseball cap or other hat while using it.
  • Folding – the headset needs to have some pivot points that allow it to fold into a contact for for packing in my bag.

Despite my best efforts and those of friends tech savvy enough to know what I’m looking for, of those requirements the best I can seem to get is 4 out of 5.  I currently have a great wired stereo headset (a Logitech 555, pictured below) with adjustable boon microphone and behind the head band that folds flat for carrying in my bag  . Unfortunately no Bluetooth (yes I realize I could connect I to a standalone Bluetooth transceiver but that is another piece to have to carry and clip on.

Logitech_H555_Headset-b

I’ve also found Bluetooth headsets (not stereo) with an adjustable  boom but no behind the head band and recently I found a Bluetooth stereo behind the ear headset that is small enough it doesn’t need to be folded for packing but doesn’t have a boom microphone.

If you know of anything that meets my needs please leave a comment.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hallowe’en is off to a slow Start

Its drizzling and miserable out and the only kids who have braved the weather to make it to the front door have been a group of a dozen teenagers.  If things don’t pick up its going to be a major “sugar rush” day in the office tomorrow.

IMAG0409

Thursday, January 6, 2011

How Did I Do With Last Years Technology Predictions?

How Did I Do With Last Years Technology Predictions?Prior to CES 2011 I sat down and listened to my video from last year regarding 2010: Year of the UMPC… Finally!!! to see how well I had done with my prediction(s).  From a big picture point of view I think I hit it bang on, a lot of the technology news for 2010 was about the impact of tablets in the tech market, they just weren’t running a Microsoft operating system!  The biggest impact was made by Apple’s iPad but by late in the year the iPad was being given a run for its money by a number of Android devices most notable the Samsung Galaxy Tab although Marco Arment makes a very good point, its about the user experience/adoption not the technology itself.

I didn’t fare as well (to put it mildly) on my other predictions about technologies that would be included in tablet devices;

  • The creation of content without a keyboard- Even though voice input technology to assist with creation of content exists and works fairly well I suspect we still feel a little bit self conscious about dictating i.e. talking to ourselves.  With the decline of the use of secretaries in the workplace perhaps the art of dictation has ben lost.  Since the iPad did not include any cameras the creation of video content using tablets was also a non-starter, however this prediction may be salvaged during 2011 by users of Android tablets with cameras and the rumored inclusion of a camera in Apple’s next release of the iPad.
  • Wireless docking station – this hasn’t been necessary due to the “lighter” operating systems used in tablet devices which don’t support viewing on multiple monitors, external storage devices, and other peripherals typically associated with a PC.
  • Wireless charging – basically manufacturers really fell down here, this is available for phones, although primarily as a 3rd party add-on and hasn’t really been adopted by any manufacturers other than Palm. 
Blogger Labels: Technology,Predictions,UMPC,tablets,Microsoft,Apple,Android,Galaxy,Palm,iPad

    music note While writing this, I was listening to "Michael Tozzi’s ijazzglobal.com".

    Saturday, January 1, 2011

    Welcome, 2011

    It is the start of a new year and as of tomorrow the start of a new for me personally which means it is time to think about starting some new practices and resetting/re-committing to some old ones.

    Things I Need To Focus On;

    I’ve never been very good at keeping track of tasks and staying on top of them so that is on of the things I want to work on this year.  As part of that I am trying to focus on priority management on a daily basis, putting things into a matrix that looks at importance and urgency.

      Urgent Not-Urgent
    Important

       
    Not-Important

       

    Part of my strategy this year is to make better use of gadgets to help me stay on top of things.  I’m using Tasks in MS Outlook and linking that that to Appigo’s ToDo application on the iPad.

    One of my key goals this year is a change in my work role.  For a while now, due to a re-alignment caused by a review of corporate Span & Control, I’ve been an individual contributor but I miss managing staff.  I’m a big fan of Manager Tools and spent a lot of time during the past year re-listening to the majority of the Manager Tools and Career Tools podcasts.  As always the more times I listen to these podcasts the the more I gain from them and I would like to put what I have learned into practice.  This may mean leaving my current employer if I cannot find a suitable role internally. 

    (Re-)Developing Some Key Skills;

    My role hasn’t required me to due much “writing to persuade” and for lack of practice I find I have lost that skill.  I spent part of last year reading The Minto Pyramid Principle: Logic in Writing, Thinking, & Problem Solving by Barbara Minto. I didn’t finish it but need to re-dedicate myself to finishing it and putting its principle’s into practice. I ordered my own copy via Amazon today so that I don’t have to keep the county library’s copy out for an extended period of time.

    The Minto Pyramid Principle: Logic in Writing, Thinking, & Problem Solving

    Education

    For the past couple of year’s I’ve also wanted to take an MBA, but with one daughter just graduated from college and a second one just starting there isn’t room in the budget for me to pursue that at the moment.  I’m also not entirely convinced of an MBA’s ability to pay for itself, particularly in my current role.  Just because I’m not able to pursue a degree at the moment doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t pursue the knowledge.  To that end I intend to ensure my reading includes books listed in the Personal MBA Reading List.

    Blogging

    For the past several years I’ve had a number of blogs including this one.  I have posted sporadically  but recognize that, even just as my own record, I should post on a regular basis.  This year I would hope to post regularly to this blog as well as another one I keep for Information Security Issues.

    The above list isn’t an exhaustive list of what I hope to do this year in terms of personal development but if, with everything else that is going on this year, I can accomplish 80% of the above I will have done well.

     

    music note While writing this, I was listening to "iPad Today 21: Holiday Shopping Apps, Spirits, Boutiques, Goodreader, 4.2 Goodness!" by Leo Laporte and Sarah Lane (I’m running my own personal iPad Today Marathon this weekend).

    Blogger Labels: Pyramid Principle,Manager Tools,goals,Career,Skills,Amazon,Education,degree

    Monday, July 12, 2010

    Test post from iPad

    I am using BlogWriter which is an iPhone app. This would be much better on the iPad if it supported screen rotation.

    Saturday, March 13, 2010

    Tools Don’t Make The (Project) Manager.

    It seems that a “twitterview” is creating quite a tempest in a teapot among some members of the project management community who regularly express themselves on the Internet.  For those of you who haven’t heard of it a twitterview is simply an interview, i.e. question, answer, question answer, done via twitter.  The interesting part is that the question and the answer are limited to 140 characters (well not really since a question can be asked or answered in multiple tweets by the same person).  Trying to ask or answer a question in 140 characters can however be quite challenging, it requires that the person tweeting, be it the questioner or the responder, has to be clear and concise.

    The twitterview between Geoff Crane (@PapercutPM) who I have mentioned here earlier and Jhaymee Wilson (@TheGreenPM) caused a stir with Glen Alleman which caused him to post an article on his blog Herding Cats.  Glen raised the question of whether twitter is an effective means of communication, and I’m going to jump in and express my opinion. 

    Is Twitter a “serious adult communication” tool?

    When I initially started using it I didn’t see the value of twitter, it seemed like a broadcast only medium, and for some that is all it will ever be.  Twitter is a tool and whether or not it is effective or not depends on the person using it   As management guru Peter Drucker said communication is what the listener does and twitter may actually be a more effective tool for ensuring communication than other tools such as e-mail or even the phone.  Unlike e-mail twitter lends itself much more to being a real-time conversation mechanism and by the very nature of its 140 character limit it allows (almost demands) interruption of the “talker” by the “listener”.  We’ve all been on conference calls where someone starts down a train of thought and talks, seemingly without taking a breathe, for many minutes before stopping to see if there are any comments or questions.  All of us listening on the phone have been painfully aware that for some time one or more members of the “audience” have been trying to interrupt to ask a question or express a view.  E-mail is the equivalent of the conversation that goes on without interruption, the speaker can ramble on for sentences, paragraphs or pages trying to express themselves with no feedback from their intended audience.   In twitter its very difficult for this to happen.  Twitter by its nature of limiting the speaker to 140 characters forces the speaker to look at the screen occasionally where any responses will show up, and the limitation of 140 characters requires that the user think about the choice of words that they use to express themselves.

    One of the problems with using twitter to have a conversation is that it’s like trying to have a conversation in a loud noisy bar.  There are multiple conversations about things that have nothing to do with your subject going on all around you and it can be difficult to separate your discussion from the others.  In order to ignore all the other chatter you have to put on a filter, usually in the form of a unique #hashtag, and you may want to even consider some specialized tools such as Bettween (http://www.bettween.com/) or Tweetchat (http://www.tweetchat.com/)  The limitation with specialized tools like Bettween is that if they thread the conversation based on username rather than hashtag and you can miss that someone else is trying to join the conversation.  Tweetchat solves this problem by following the hashtag rather than the username but if your hashtag isn’t unique or too many people join the conversation it can be hard to follow.

    My conclusion is that twitter is just a tool and like most tools it works best when used for the job it was intended for by its designer, in skilled hands it can be effectively and creatively used to do truly amazing things, and in a pinch it can be pressed into service by the unskilled to do things it was never intended for… it just won’t give the best results.  

    Project Management (PM) 2.0

    Mixed in with the topic of twitter as a serious communications tools was the issue of PM2.0, which the Wikipedia entry on the subject refers to as “social project management”, a concept in which project management moves away from a centralized control approach to a decentralized collaborative environment.  While Web 2.0 tools can play a part in this approach they won’t likely be a driving force in the leap from a traditional (PM1.0) environment to a PM2.0 methodology.  Although there is some overlap between Web 2.0 (collaborative) tools such as twitter and PM2.0 practices these 2 things should not be confused.  The driving force in changing project management will be the success of PM2.0 projects, which will only occur if project teams can adapt a changing management style, not the tools the project managers use.  Having worked in groups where corporate culture mandated trying to trying to adapt away an authoritarian management style to a collaborative style I can tell you that this is a huge change for all involved and I haven’t seen it be particularly effective.  In fact it often leads to a form of paralysis and weakness where decisions take significantly longer and are often based on the “lowest common denominator” solution.  If PM2.0 is to succeed it will require a significant change in standard project management behavior, moving away from High D (dominant) management behavior towards a style requiring High I (influential) behavior in order to move tasks and the overall project forward.

    Although I have been, and am currently actively involved as, a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in numerous projects, my work responsibilities don’t call for me to be project manager.  I can (and hope to this year) learn the necessary material to allow me to take and pass the PMP exam.  Even though I am High D passing the exam won’t necessarily make me a project manager, at least not a great one, but it will indicate that I know something about project management.  There are a lot of project managers (with and without PMP certification) out there, the best ones aren’t necessarily certified or authoritarian, but they are leader’s with an great mix if behaviors that include the ability to master High C (conscientious), High D (dominant) and High I (influential) behaviors in order to get the job done and whether a project is run using the PM1.0 or PM2.0 concept these managers will get the job done.

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    music note While writing this, I was listening to "Michael Tozzi’s ijazzglobal.com"