Monthly Archives: December 2009
My familly and I wish you all all the best for 2010.
If you can dream it in 2010, you can do it !
The coming week (last week before 2010) is always a good week to take some resolution for 2010.
I’ve discovered an interesting site with Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for 2010, which is a good food for though for this last week before 2010.
- Ever wonder what the top new years resolutions are?
- Look no further - You will find on the link here-below the top ten new years resolutions for 2010 and although some may be predictable, others could surprise you!
- Read on and enjoy,
- Just click HERE to know more.
Happy new year and read you or see you next year …
Gartner analysts Neil MacDonald and David Smith interviewed Ray Ozzie (Chief Technical Officer Microsoft) earlier this year to discuss how Microsoft and the industry have progressed in cloud computing during the past year, and to look ahead at what’s next for cloud computing.
The resulting report is now available to Gartner clients and is you can read it by clicking on the link here-below :
Here-below, the Key Findings
- Ozzie’s (and thus, Microsoft’s) vision of cloud computing emphasizes hybrid enterprise/cloud computing, where organizations choose when and where computing takes place locally versus in cloud-based infrastructure, and emphasizes that the on premises and cloud-based solutions work seamlessly together.
- As with early encryption issues, Ozzie believes that security and privacy issues will be addressed as the industry matures in a combination of legislative advances, as well as industry cooperation.
- Ozzie’s vision for cloud computing includes system infrastructure, an application platform and finished applications being delivered as a service.
- Microsoft is investing in its own data centers because it must in order to provide its consumer-based services. It believes it is helping to lead the industry in providing innovations in data center architectures.
- Ozzie believes the future of cloud computing is in the experience delivered via a browser across multiple devices — mobile, PC and TV-type screens — which is a vision he refers to as “three screens and a cloud. (see below).
I attend 3 weeks ago a great training on “leadership from the core”. We’ve learned to manage our energy (and not our time) thru 4 levels of enegry : physical, emotional, mental and emotional.
This is a very interesting approach that you can easily practive in your daily life both at work or in your private live.
I find back a very interesting article in the harvard business review that explains this approach. You will find here-below a summary of this approach and if you want to read more, just click on the the link here-below.
The Idea in Brief
Organizations are demanding ever-higher performance from their workforces. People are trying to comply, but the usual method–putting in longer hours–has backfired. They’re getting exhausted, disengaged, and sick. And they’re defecting to healthier job environments. Longer days at the office don’t work because time is a limited resource. But personal energy is renewable, say Schwartz and McCarthy. By fostering deceptively simple rituals that help employees regularly replenish their energy, organizations build workers’ physical, emotional, and mental resilience.
These rituals include taking brief breaks at specific intervals, expressing appreciation to others, reducing interruptions, and spending more time on activities people do best and enjoy most. Help your employees systematically rejuvenate their personal energy, and the benefits go straight to your bottom line. Take Wachovia Bank: Participants in an energy renewal program produced 13 percentage points greater year-to-year in revenues from loans than a control group did. And they exceeded the control group’s gains in revenues from deposits by 20percentage points.
The Idea in Practice
Schwartz and McCarthy recommend these practices for renewing four dimensions of personal energy:
- Enhance your sleep by setting an earlier bedtime and reducing alcohol use.
- Reduce stress by engaging in cardiovascular activity at least three times a week and strength training at least once.
- Eat small meals and light snacks every three hours. Learn to notice signs of imminent energy flagging, including restlessness, yawning, hunger, and difficulty concentrating.
- Take brief but regular breaks, away from your desk, at 90- to 120-minute intervals throughout the day.
- Defuse negative emotions–irritability, impatience, anxiety, insecurity–through deep abdominal breathing.
- Fuel positive emotions in yourself and others by regularly expressing appreciation to others in detailed, specific terms through notes, e-mails, calls, or conversations.
- Look at upsetting situations through new lenses. Adopt a “reverse lens” to ask, “What would the other person in this conflict say, and how might he be right?” Use a “long lens” to ask, “How will I likely view this situation in six months?” Employ a “wide lens” to ask, “How can I grow and learn from this situation?”
- Reduce interruptions by performing high-concentration tasks away from phones and e-mail.
- Respond to voice mails and e-mails at designated times during the day.
- Every night, identify the most important challenge for the next day. Then make it your first priority when you arrive at work in the morning.
- Identify your “sweet spot” activities–those that give you feelings of effectiveness, effortless absorption, and fulfillment.
- Find ways to do more of these. One executive who hated doing sales reports delegated them to someone who loved that activity.
- Allocate time and energy to what you consider most important. For example, spend the last 20 minutes of your evening commute relaxing, so you can connect with your family once you’re home.
- Live your core values. For instance, if consideration is important to you but you’re perpetually late for meetings, practice intentionally showing up five minutes early for meetings.
Take a look at this very intesting article “MANAGING YOURSELF - Pull the Plug on Stress” from harvard business review.
Having worked with more than 50,000 workers and managers in more than 100 organizations, including Boeing, BP, Cisco, Unilever, Bank of Montreal, and Shell, this study show that learning to manage
stress is easier than most people think. And stress reversal can do a lot of good for your organization.
The brain’s mood-management center contains two limbic systems: first, the open-loop system that depends on connections to other people, and second, the closed-loop, self-regulating system that transmits neurological, hormonal, blood pressure, and electromagnetic messages among organs within the body.
Constant can hijack your closed-loop limbic system. This keep the emotional center of the brain, the amygdala—the locus of emotional memory—stuck in a perpetual state of fight or flight so that he never had a chance to fully
recover. The amygdala’s primary job is to eavesdrop on incoming sensory information, looking for a match between the memory of a previous experience and an event in the here and now.
So, you will learn in this article how to take distance from stressful situations.
When a scene becomes stressful, the technique allows you to freeze that perceptual frame and isolate it in time so you can observe it from a more detached and objective viewpoint—similar to pausing the VCR for a moment. Here are the five steps of the freeze-frame technique.
Once you master these 5 steps, you are able to block the immediate stress response and, as a result, to get your mind, heart, and body systems to work in sync again.
You will read in this article that, by applying this 5 steps process, the number of people reporting high stress at these companies dropped 69%; the number of people reporting any stress symptoms fell by 56%.
1. Recognize and disengage.
Take a time-out so that you can temporarily disengage from your thoughts and feelings—especially stressful ones.
The research on stress response has shown that this simple process of recognizing and disengaging interrupts the amygdala’s ability to match patterns and helps us gain objectivity.
2. Breathe through your heart.
Shift your focus to the area around your heart. Now feel your breath coming in through that area and out your solar plexus.
After freezing the stressful moment, you should consciously focus your attention on your heart. At the same time, you inhal deeply for about five seconds, imagining the breath flowing in through his heart; you then exhal for about
five seconds, visualizing the breath flowing out through his solar plexus. In the process, you begin letting go of the negative emotion.
In research, we’ve observed that the mere act of focusing one’s attention on one’s heart actually produces a specific, physiologically calming effect. That’s because the heart—the most powerful organ in the body, whose rhythms
affect the functioning of all others—sends far more information to the brain than vice versa. Breathing techniques work because they modulate the heart rhythm pattern. The more stable the frequency and shape of the waveform, the more coherent the system becomes. In physiological terms, coherence describes the degree to which respiration and heart rate oscillate at the same frequency. When physiological coherence occurs, the brain associates it with
feelings of security and well-being.
Take a look at following video for breathening technique.
3. Invoke a positive feeling.
Make a sincere effort to activate a positive feeling.
To help you on this, you should focus on one of two images that made you feel good. For me it could be making a KATA (Karate), Skiing with friends in the Alps or simply walking with my familly (Jo, Sacha and Noa) in the wood on Sunday afternoon.Once you have this positive image, you should try to relive these experiences by recalling as much as details as possible (each movement of my KATA, the coolness of the wood, the breeze and the alps and the great discussions with my friends…) . The longer you recall the feelings these experiences evoke, the better you feel. Positive feelings have a powerful physiological effect, pushing us to perform better.
Because your amygdala will become conditioned to the new emotional response, you will feel better physically—over time and with practice. After six weeks, your blood pressure return to normal (if you feeled stressed). Your sleep will also gradually become deeper and more refreshing, your energy levels rebounded, You will also discover that by learning to modulate your heart rhythms, you increase your ability to think clearly. The cortical regions of the brain will be more responsible for decision making, strategic thinking, creativity, and innovation because this region will not more been blocked by the negative stress response.
4. Ask yourself, “Is there a better alternative?”
Ask yourself what would be an efficient, effective attitude or action that would destress your system.
Each time you will complete the first three steps, you will feel more neutral, less worried, and even more creative. The reason: you closed-looplimbic system will be becoming coherent. So, you will be able to remain emotionally
and physically balanced, even in the face of significant stressors. That’s because your body will no longer focus on its own survival. From this stage, you will be able to take a more objective approach.
Personnaly, I practice boxing and I can guaratee you that being is a ring is a stressful experience. One of the key success factor is to keep a regular breath and to keep focus on the situation (keep eye-contact). This will help you to objectivate the situation and be relax. Easy to say but a real experience for your learning ! With a team, once you are more relax, In sympathizing with the rest of the team, you will engage your open-loop limbic system— the “interpersonal limbic regulation” that allows leaders to intuit and affect the moods of those around them.
5. Note the change in perspective.
Quietly sense any change in perception or feeling and sustain it as long as you can.
This final step in the process allowed you to see the larger results of what you hadlearned. In counteracting your stress, you will have brought your closed-loop system into coherence; by putting what he had learned into
practice with your team. Over the next six months, you will learn the techniques into your strategic-planning process.
With practice, the first three steps become automatic. As they do, and you expand to steps four and five, you may see surprising increases in your ability to not only deal with stress but also to achieve better personal and team performance.
To read the full article, just click on the link here-below.
Kerstmis werd net nog beter dankzij een nieuwe prijsdaling van Xbox 360 :
Xbox 360 Arcade met twee games nu verkrijgbaar vanaf 149,99 EUR *
Tijdelijke actie Benelux- geldig vanaf 18/12/2009 tem 31/01/2010
Trek je stoute schoenen aan, trotseer die vrieskoude en haast je naar de winkel, want het is zeker de moeite waard: vanaf vandaag is de Xbox 360 Arcade te verkrijgen voor 149,99 euro* inclusief 2 games (Disney’s Pure en Lego Batman). Dat is dus nog eens 20 euro bovenop de 30 euro prijsverlaging van eerder deze week. Vanavond vieren we Kerstmis en wie weet ligt er morgen wel een gloednieuwe Xbox 360 Arcade onder de kerstboom voor jou.
* 149,99 consument adviesprijs (ERP)
La Noël vient encore de s’améliorer avec une nouvelle baisse de prix de la Xbox 360:
Xbox 360 Arcade avec deux jeux désormais disponible à partir de €149.99 *
Offre spéciale Benelux à partir du 18/12/2009 jusqu’au 31/01/2010
Lâchez-vous, braver le froid glacial et dépêchez-vous au magasin, ça vaut vraiment la peine: à partir d’aujourd’hui, la Xbox 360 Arcade est vendue au prix de €149,99 * 2 jeux inclus (Disney’s Pure et Lego Batman). Une réduction de €20 en plus de celle de €30 de cette semaine. Ce soir, nous célébrons Noël et qui sait, demain vous aurez une toute nouvelle Xbox 360 Arcade sous le sapin.
* 149,99 prix d’avis pour consommateur (ERP)
Interesting reading about how playing video games in the workplace makes good business sense for training, recruiting and fostering innovation.
You will learn how
- Video games make an impact in the workplace.
- Companies use “in-game” and “around-game” advertising to promote their products.
- Simulation games have proven effective in helping doctors reduce medical mistakes.
- Many companies use video games to recruit potential employees.
- Video games teach employees the three fundamental skills required in an
“interconnected world”: teamwork, systematic thinking and virtual learning.
- Video games can address complex problems by linking many people together.
There is an interesting website giving interesting consuler insights / trends
Take a look at these ten consumer trends that will inspire you to introduce new products and services over the next 12 months.
Here-below, an overview of these TOP 10 trends for 2010.
To know more and download the PDF document, just click Here
To visit this website, just click HERE
On the 3rd of December 2009, Microsoft and with McKinsey & Company hold a presentation, in front of the Solvay Business School Alumni (Marketing & Sales Club), in the building of Microsoft.
130 people attended to this event, at Microsoft, organised by Solvay Business School Alumni and McKinsey & Company.
During this presentation, we talked about the following subject:
Consumer technology gene: innovating in consumer products and services?
- Here-below, the speakers for this presentation :
- Philippe Mauchard (SBSA 1991), Partner, Mc Kinsey & Company.
- Michael Renous (SBSA 1992), McKinsey & Company.
- Luc Van de Velde, Director Developer & Platform Group, Microsoft.
- David Merzel (SBSA 1996), Country Manager Microsoft Entertainment & Devices.
- As the document is too heavy with the video’s we’ve shown, you will find the key video’s here-below :
For any information / feedback on this, feel free to contact me directly.
Country Manager – Microsoft BeLux
Entertainment & Devices Division
Mobile : +32 (0)477 45 14 90
Tel : +32 (2) 704 31 02
Mail : email@example.com
Visit my blog | http://davidmerzel.wordpress.com
Jack Welch is “classic” but always to the point.
Here-below, a summary of the 5 traits of leadership.
- From our experience, the first essential trait of leadership is positive energy – the capacity to go-go-go with healthy vigor and an upbeat attitude through good times and bad.
- The second is the ability to energize others, releasing their positive energy, to take any hill.
- The third trait is edge – the ability to make tough calls, to say yes or no, not maybe.
- The fourth trait is the talent to execute – very simply, get things done.
- Fifth and finally, leaders have passion. They care deeply. They sweat; they believe.
If you want more details on this, just go to the Jack Welsh’s Site by clicking here
Facebook and Twitter are Xbox Live
The new features are contributing to “turning Xbox and Live into this rich media portal that continuously surfaces the most engaging things to do in the living room.” he said.
This update brings social networking to the Xbox 360 with Twitter and Facebook support–in an interface that has been tailored for the console. Whitten said, “We look at things like Facebook and Twitter as amazing social experiences, but also entertainment. We didn’t want to copy and paste from the PC.”
Craig Davison, Director of Global Marketing for Xbox, pointed to Facebook as an important new feature, “People are going to gravitate to looking at photos on the TV.” Though over 300 million friend connections have happened on Live, that may just be the beginning–users will be able to convert Facebook friends to Xbox Live contacts. Whitten said, “It’s going to be great for current users, but it’s also great for new users who can see who is on Facebook and get their first 30 friends on Live.”
With the PS3 finally getting Netflix, Microsoft has stepped up its game with additional media. The Last.fm music streaming service has been added to Live and the service’s old video marketplace had been upgrade to a Zune marketplace with 1080p HD content that instantly streams. “If it takes longer to download a film, than to leave my house, rent a film, and watch it, then the promise of digital isn’t there,” Whitten said.
Each year there are new upgrades to the service, growing it from basic multi-player gaming to a media destination. Whitten said, “We run the business as three- and five-year plans mapped out, but we are constantly taking a look at what our users are doing or what is in the world to make it a more compelling experience.” And with each upgrade the service hits new milestones. Since the launch of the Avatars in last year’s update, members have switched their Avatar’s clothes nearly 150 million times, for more than 10 million hours in the Avatar editor. With the launch of 1 vs 100 this year, the live game show has had half a million contestants compete each week.
All in all, Xbox Live now has over 20 million active members, with 114% growth in the number of new members joining in 2009. Live users have made more than one billion downloads. “It’s about how we continue to push the definition of what living room entertainment is about,” Whitten said.
Bing market share continues to grow
Bing is just a hair shy of the 10 percent mark in comScore’s search-engine market-share report, released Tuesday to Wall Street.
Microsoft’s search engine captured 9.9 percent of the market in October, up half a percentage point from September. Meanwhile, Google’s share also increased – from 64.9 percent to 65.4 percent – and Yahoo’s dropped 0.8 points to 18 percent.
Microsoft continues to post impressive year-over-year numbers. In August, September and October, the number of searches Bing fielded was at least 30 percent more than the year before, according to comScore. Back then, the Redmond-based company’s search engine was Live Search; it was rebranded Bing in June.
SAN JOSE – It’s entirely possible, and reasonable, that the controllerless Project Natal technology Microsoft is developing will replace a remote control on Xbox 360-powered TVs, Marc Whitten, the general manager responsible for Microsoft’s Xbox Live service, told attendees at the Streaming Media West show. Whitten highlighted four areas – content, community, curation, and control – governing the evolution of the television and video content. “I don’t believe we are currently in the golden age of the television or the golden age of the game console or the golden age of the Internet; frankly, five years from now I don’t know that you’ll be able to tell the difference between those worlds,” Whitten said. Not surprisingly, Whitten used his talk to highlight recent additions to the Xbox 360 platform.
With Netflix running on top of Xbox Live, consumers and gamers alike have access to hundreds of thousands of movies. Whitten called the shift between the Xbox 360 as a gaming platform and its evolution to a video platform as the “biggest surprise” of his job. Microsoft implemented the Sky Player on the Xbox 360 in the U.K. in late October, adding Sky TV’s video content and on-demand programming for a subscription fee. While Whitten said that the service is now available to all, he also added that it was a “mistake” to launch the service as a full-fledged option, rather than roll it out on a limited basis. The service crashed three days after launch under an unexpectedly heavy bandwidth load. It’s difficult to think of “community” as an addition to the service, Whitten said, since the Xbox originally launched as a matchmaking service allowing gamers to play and interact with each other over the Internet. In June, for example Microsoft signed deals to integrate Facebook, Twitter, and Last.fm, which the company recently rolled out. In the areas of curation and control, however, Whitten looked more to the future than the recent past. In the 1950s through the dawn of cable TV, Americans shared TV experiences, whether it be the network news or the annual viewing of The Wizard of Oz. Now, Whitten said, users have to think in terms of 2.1 million people watching a billion channels of experiences. “It’s hard for me to think of that even in terms of a programming or channel guide,” Whitten said. “It’s hard for me to think of a channel 1 billion. I imagine you’d need a really good ‘up’ button on the remote control.” In the future, content will be organized according to brand and/or user, Whitten said. When a user views a Nancy Grace or “The Daily Show” or a Bill O’Reilly, a user has a pretty good idea of what content will be associated with that particular name. But that direction will have to intersect with automated recommendations by Netflix and others. “The context is not 1 billion channels, but one,” Whitten said. “One channel, with what I want, when I want it.” And as Microsoft and its partners become more sophisticated about trying to determine what content users will be interested in, the methods of controlling or providing input to that content will become more sophisticated. “With the flick of my wrist I can change a channel,” Whitten said. “With the power of my voice I can start a movie.” Watching a movie is a passive input, but a TV should understand what you’re trying to do, Whitten added. “Laughter is an input,” he said. “Yelling at the TV when I know an answer on ‘Jeopardy’ is an input. Attention is an input. The number of people in the room at one time is an input.”
Microsoft’s goal is to make it easy and simple to find the content consumers want, and to share it with friends, Whitten said, and to enable experiences they care about. “It won’t be a remote control” that consumers use,” Whitten said. “A remote control is already too hard.” Instead, Whitten said he envisions a future where Natal recognizes the users in the room, and their voices as well. Knowing the identity of the users will coalesce the content they’re interested in, and allow one of multiple users to control the interface. (In one recorded demonstration, Natal picked up on a user’s voice to control a game.) “I believe that this will be the largest leap of TV experience since the remote control,” Whitten said of Natal.
Some 2 million Xbox Live users have logged into Facebook since it launched over the service on November 17, Microsoft says — which means about 10 percent of the total userbase has tried the new feature.
Discussing early indicators of strong performance for its social networking features with CNet, Microsoft also said that Xbox Live users have created half a million Last.fm accounts in the first 24 hours.
Spokesperson David Dennis did not provide specifics on Twitter usage over the service, except to note “tweets from nearly every market where we have Xbox Live.”
Facebook, Twitter and Last.fm are all available to Xbox Live Gold subscribers, as part of Microsoft’s stated goal to make its console “the largest social network connected to the TV.”
Hoping to entice Silver members to try out the new features, Microsoft has also announced free weekends in the month of November, during which Silver subscribers can access services normally only available to Gold users.