A friend of mine recently bought a CD made by David Alan Stern - a guy who works as a full-time accent trainer. The goal of the CD is to teach you how to speak English in various accents, such as Scottish, Boston, German, etc, presumably to make you a more versatile actor. Problem is, the guy who teaches it doesn't sound very convincing. In fact, his attempt at a Scottish accent is almost unparalleled in its awfulness - has this chap even met a Scottish person before, or seen one on TV? By the sound of it, I think not.
If you thought my job was all about inserting typos, commissioning features and playing Unreal Tournament, well, then you thought pretty much the same as me! But today I'm in Marlow attending a conference for all the editors at Future. Now, admittedly not many people go through their local magazine shop counting Future logos, so you may not realise quite how many magazines we make - suffice to say there are well over a hundred people here, all learning the latest theory about brand vs product.
Thanks to everyone who read about our informal reader survey in LXF 104 - vote are still coming in, and we won't really be taking any action for a few months yet just so that everyone worldwide has the chance to vote too.
Today has made Brainshare worthwhile for me, partly because I got to meet Miguel de Icaza again (he's always fun to talk to), but partly also because I got the chance to chat to Gerald Pfeifer. His job title is "Director, Inbound Product Management", which is Novell terminology for "the guy that handles SUSE Linux Enterprise Server".
(apologies for the picture quality; these are the RAW dumps from my camera)
We all went to see the Utah Jazz play the Toronto Raptors last night. I'm not a big basketball fan, but it was fun to watch the crowd go wild when the Jazz did anything remotely interesting.
Fun fact of the day: only ladies works as missionary tour guides in the Mormon Temple Square, because young men "were too rambunctious".
I just canvassed some views from the IT hacks huddled away in the Brainshare press room. Asked the question, "what is Fossa?", here are the responses I got:
"Fossa is a noble attempt to demonstrate coherence in the Novell software portfolio." - Tom Sanders, Webwereld
"I know what Fossa is, but if I told you I'd have to kill you" - Emmet Ryan, ENN
"Fossa is a marketing ploy; more style than substance, at least at this point." - Peter Galli, eWeek
Dr Jeff Jaffe has just announced The Fossa Project. He pronounces it "Foss-a", and described the fossa as being a very agile animal from Madagascar. People were staring blankly until that description, because of course the non-Jeff-Jaffe part of the world pronounces it "foo-sa", as in the cute little beasties personified by Sascha Baron Cohen and friends in the cartoon movie Madagascar.