Insider, uhhh. . . Mr. Insider
Insider was gone for a few days. Miss me? If you haven’t noticed this blog was vacant for most of last week, then screw you! (If you genuinely haven’t noticed, I can say that with impunity because you’re probably not reading this post either. If you have missed Insider, then welcome back. Insider loves you.)
Where was I? Oh yes. Bond gadgets. Nothing gets my little heart pumping as fast as toys that can take pictures, give you a pedicure and kill a man at 15 paces (I call it the Pho-toe gun). Popular Science has compiled a list of 15 such gadgets. Not exactly an original list, but it does include a piece from the latest Bond film. There are a few egregious omissions (where’s the gondola car from Moonraker????) but you can’t get it right all the time.
How to not put someone to sleep with a slidedeck
Finally, someone has crystallized what it means to give annoying PowerPoint presentations and, more to the point, what can be done about it. In this month’s Wired, a story by Daniel Pink features the leaders of a movement called Pecha Kucha. The rules are simple: keep your PowerPoint presentations to 20 slides and they may only be on screen for a maximum of 20 seconds each. No more 100 slide presentations, no more diagrams that have to be explained over the course of 15 minutes, no more squinting at paragraphs worth of explanations.
Pecha Kucha (which is actually pronounced something like pet chatchka) is something we should all strive for. Want to actually give a presentation where people actually leave their Blackberries alone? This is for you. Embrace Pecha Kucha. Next, I’m hoping someone will tackle Excel spreadsheets. Insider is not an accountant. Insider is a journalist. Insider does not want to look across 37 columns worth of data to find something relevant. For the love of Microsoft, please help.
Please tell me how nuts you are, then push the pound sign
If you want to catalogue all the anal retentive crazies in a city, then give them a number to call to complain about stuff. Guaranteed, you’ll know about every last pothole, wad of gum on the sidewalk and street sign that isn’t perfectly perpendicular to the pavement. That number, my friends, is 311 and it’s rolling out all over North America. In San Francisco, for example, there’s a Samaritan who goes by the name “Grafitti Wolf.” He’s dialled in countless times to enumerate the number of aerosol masterpieces he’s come across, allegedly filing 35 complaints in one call. More amusing among the reports from San Franciscans are complaints about the amount of cocaine they spilled on themselves and an even more diverting report of “pig balls” on the street. Read on for more details.