Mobile Weekend in Waterloo

You can read about the event in more detail at the Mobile Weekend website, but in short, it is a weekend for developers, business types, HR, bloggers, and legal to get together, decide on an idea for a mobile service or product, develop the idea, and end up with a working prototype at the end of the two-and-a-half day event. This is an innovation and entrepreneurial event for people all around the Waterloo region. If you’re interested, tickets to the event (which will get you access to the event itself, food and drink for the weekend, and swag) can be had here. There are also some resources to help any developers prepare for potential projects on the Windows Mobile, RIM BlackBerry, or Google Android platforms over here.

Mobile Weekend

I heard about the event through a co-worker yesterday and was immediately interested in the idea. I visited the site, looked through some of the Innovation Toronto and Startup Weekend events that it’s based on and decided it would be a fun and exciting event to contribute to, if as nothing more than a web developer/blogger/idea generator. The first Mobile Weekend event will be held in Waterloo on the weekend of April 25-27th. A subsequent Mobile Weekend will be held in Toronto, with the date to be determined at a later time.

You may not be from Waterloo, or even the southern Ontario region, but perhaps you know someone who is and would be interested in this sort of event. Let them know! This will only be a success if lots of bright minds get together to work on all aspects of the product or service, not just the geeky, techy side of it.

Novembre

I feel like I should be keeping up my French so there, that’s my quota for the month.

So maybe you had it where you are as well, but at Bell Mobility, it was Bring Your Kid(s) to Work Day today. Now maybe I did or maybe I didn’t write about this in the past, but a co-worker made the joke that when they first saw me at the office, they thought it was Bring Your Kid(s) to Work Day. It obviously wasn’t back then, but today, I feel like perhaps many people thought the same thing again, except this time seriously.

Allow me to put this in perspective.

In the land of lots of people (Ontario), they mostly become unfriendly; that means no saying hello or chatting with (almost) strangers. Working on the Bell campus with multiple thousands of people pretty much guarantees that I won’t get to know more than a handful of the employees. It also means that I rarely say hello to people. Well not today. As I was standing around waiting for a few friends to go out for lunch, I had a couple employees smile and say hi to me in that ‘oh you’re much younger and very innocent’ sort of way. Clearly they thought I was some person’s son, there at Bell Mobility for the day. I even got quite a few looks from the kids, no doubt wondering who I was, and why I had a full employee pass and not the visitor pass they were wearing. Keep in mind, these kids are in Grade 9. Oh how sad.

So aside from that, and playing foosball with some of the kids, I had a pretty uneventful day. Towards the end of it, I got ridiculously tired for some reason. It just sort of hit me all of a sudden. I was feeling fine during the morning, but around 3-4pm, I couldn’t function. My brain couldn’t comprehend any of the inputs it was receiving. I was reading a research paper on mobile messaging and I don’t think I processed one word from all the stuff I ‘read’. I’ve been sleeping pretty well so the only explanation is someone put something in my water.

What else could it be?…

Headache

I arrived this morning at the office to be greeted by a flurry of emails, press releases and articles about what had just happened. The company had annouced that it would be converting to an income trust. Yes, BCE Inc. Canada’s largest telecommunications company would be reorganized into an income trust to increase shareholder value and stay competitive with Telus, which has also recently announced that it would convert to an income trust. It hardly (actually that should read does not) affects me since I hold no options or shares of BCE, but for most of the full timers there, this has a big influence on their holdings. Hopefully it’ll be for the best.

I’ve been getting the recommended 8 or so hours of sleep each night this past week and I feel great. No more drooping eyelids during the afternoon at the office. I feel totally awake just about all the time now. It’s great not to have to fight off yawn after yawn. If you’re feeling tired all the time, seriously, just catch a little more shut eye. I bet you do have the time if you just plan your day a little better. An hour or two is really not that hard to waste at all, but an hour or two can really make a difference when it comes to sleep.

But I guess I just can’t be left alone. I awoke Tuesday morning with a rippling headache on the left side of my head. Now this in itself is slightly worrying as I extremely rarely get headaches. When I do get that occasional dull pain, it usually goes away after an hour or two at most. This time would be different. It lingered with me the whole day, which already got me worried. I thought a good night’s sleep would make it all better, but to no avail; I awoke this morning with the same headache around the same area of my head. I have no idea what’s going on. It’s getting better I think, but it does pop up now and again. A two day long headache cannot be normal.

I wonder what could be wrong with me?

Blue Mountain

Okay, I know what you’re going to say; Blue Mountain at this time of year? Yeah, yeah, I didn’t go up there to ski or snowboard or any sort of winter activity, since there’s a severe lack of the white stuff, along with the fact that me + skis = nono… (apparently). My parents decided to whisk me out of the GTA up to Blue Mountain to have some nice time out in nature. Those office lights will get to you after a while. The plan was to do some hiking and sightseeing of the colored leaves.

It was quite a nice time up there. We did a lot of walking through the trails and some caves. The place we stayed at was quite nice, at the bottom othe mountain. It was created as a little village with all sorts of activities and little shops. It really gave off that cozy ‘home’ feeling. Collingwood, the town near Blue Mountain reminded me a lot of Charlottetown, with the nice downtown area and waterfront. It was a little overcommercialized though.

The vacation also meant three days without the internet (I know, me without internet?!). Well, that’s not entirely true. There was internet available there, but based on principle, I couldn’t bring myself to pay $13 for internet per day. How ridiculous is that? I decided it wouldn’t do me too much harm to go a while without being on the computer all the time. After all, I went up there to enjoy the outdoors, not sit around and surf the internet right? 🙂

I’ve got a bunch of pictures sitting around somewhere on the camera, but I’m a little too lazy/tired right now to transfer them to the computer and upload them to the server. I’ll do that a little later and post up a few pictures.

Now it’s PDEng time. 😡

WIC

Today was the 8th Annual Bell Wireless Innovation Conference in Toronto. I, lucky as I am, had the chance to attend the conference. At least in recent memory, this was the first tech conference I’ve ever attended, complete with keynote speakers, breakout sessions and partner booths. It also took me over an hour to get there and another hour to return. All in all, I got a bunch of free food and got to feel all important, speaking with customers and potential customers. I initially attended as a visitor, but I ended up helping out with the Bell Mobility booth, which was quite fancy. I also surprised myself in how much I know in some areas and how little I know in others. We may complain about the unknowledgeable service reps in some stores, but it is tough to know the answer to every question out there. Then again, knowing that stuff would be their jobs and is hardly mine so I think I did a pretty good job. Don’t worry, I didn’t scare any customers away; I made sure that anything I couldn’t answer myself, I got someone who could.

Talking shop with (at least decently) knowledgeable people in the field is great. I’m really getting interested in the wireless technology industry. As well, I was able to get a small sense of what customers are looking for in our products and services. And alas, that’s quite useful to me as a Strategy and Planning Analyst. (pulling job title’s always fun ain’t it?) Plus, looking around the vendor floor, I could tell there was a big focus on connectivity and location based services. This conference is aimed at business and enterprise users after all, so that makes sense. In addition, I’d suggest anyone who hasn’t tried using EV-DO to do so. I was absolutely amazed at the speeds it offers. For web browsing, it feels very near to DSL or cable speeds, although it is definitely slower for sustained downloads (for the most part). But for what most people do with cell phones, it is very impressive.

I also saw a girl attending the conference who looked like Jessica Alba with a little bit of Asian sprinkled in. That was… well… you know.

And speaking of tech conventions, I’m reminded of an article I read yesterday. An editor from a tech site I read lost a bet and had to dress up in a bunny suit for the Intel Developer Forum. Here are the results:

Inq editor in bunny suit

Credits: The Inquirer (tech site, not tabloid, although, almost a tech tabloid)