Google latitude blip – I’m not in Liberia.

I was sat in Frankfurt airport late on Friday evening when I fired up Google’s latitude to see where folks were. When I fired the app up, i tend to use the network location feature as opposed to GPS to preserve battery, but I had a bit of a shock when it located me in Liberia, West Africa.

Apologies for the rather fuzzy pic, but I didn’t have a screenshot app installed so use the N95 to snap the E71.

London, Frankfurt and Geneva

The next 10 days or so are going to be pretty full on travelling, Tomorrow is down to Slough, then into London for a trip to a restaurant with the CFO of a major UK telco, then back home on Tuesday.  Thursday it’s the 7am flight out of Manchester to Frankfurt for two days coming back 10pm Friday night. Monday it’s off to Geneva for two days, this time with that hassle free airline easyjet. My Ticket to Geneva and this is return cost £39; in comparison a ticket to London on the train if you just rock up is £186, just nuts.

So the Patagonia MLC is getting more use with the one-bag travel system so much less hassle and worry and my other Christmas present the Fuji travel adaptor with USB charging will also get an outing too. I’ve debating whether to take the Asus as well as the work laptop, but I don’t think I’ll bother, one laptop will do, who do I think I am Jonathan Greene 😉

Truphone will also be coming along too as it always does, I’ve got a new gold number from them which is cool, but it’s not been enabled yet, so looking forward to getting that setup.

Where all this might go wrong is the weather, when I checked the BBC weather it said between 2-5cm’s of snow. Any amount seems to cause the UK to grind to a halt, so we’ll see what happens. Posts on twitter and indicating it’s started to snow in some parts already.


59 trips to 17 cities

I had a nice email from Dopplr today, indicating that I’ve made 59 trips to 17 cities and emitted way too much CO2 in 2008. My last trip was one of the more eventful ones, plane out to Nice struck by lightening and both flights back delayed in think fog. My OneBag solution worked like a dream tough, being delayed into Schiphol meant I could swap flights easily without any checked-in luggage. I’m sure 2009 will involve as many if not more trips, with a couple of new cities being planned too, Warsaw in Poland being one.

Once again Truphone helped with calls home over wi-fi from Valbonne being cristal clear on my E71, Joikuspot on my E61i saving the day when none of the wireless networks would let me on at Nice Airport and Email via Nokia’s Intellisync meant I was constantly manage the 150 daily work emails I recieve.The right tools make being a digital nomad a painless experience and makes any space your office.

One Bag – Traveling light

My bag obsession continues a pace and I’ve picked up a Patagonia MLC. There’s a review of the MLC in action at Patagonia’s own blog, the cleanest lines here

I’ve been using the two bags of late and have been forced to check my luggage in more and more frequently. Having an understanding of six sigma and knowing that 99% success rate of bag delivery still means millions will go missing, has prompted me to change my travel solution.

I’ve been reading up on and getting some tips and I’m sure it’ll be a success. The MLC doesn’t get a great review on onebag but does get a mention which is good.

I’ve so far never lost or had a bag delayed while travelling, even when doing multi-hop trips, but I’m convinced it’s going to happen sooner rather than later. The other benefit is getting to the front of those taxi queues, Dublin and Copenhagen are both particularly bad, so a jump on the rest of the business travels can make a difference.

One day I’ll write up all the travel tips I’ve picked up..maybe I should start now…a tip I learnt in Dublin is if you are in a real rush, don’t go to the taxi queue at arrivals, drop down a level to departures and grab a cab off someone who’s just been dropped off. Frequently a driver will be happy to take the fare as it means they haven’t got to join a long queue back up at arrivals. Another tip, get the RER out to CDG, Paris taxi’s hate going out to CDG especially at rush hour, the RER costs 12 Euro’s, the Taxi can cost 70 Euro’s and be slower.

If you follow me on Dopplr, you’ll know my next trip is two nights down in Nice in the south of France, so I’ll be taking one bag and seeing how things go.

PS. my MLC is a more discreet and business-like black, but that green is nice.

Security Concerns for traveling employees.

I listened to some of Leo’s TWiT today, the show with Kevin Mitnick when he talked about his recent experiences at the US boarder.

The points I’ll discuss below, become pretty serious in terms of crossing any board and especially entering the US post 9/11, for employee’s with company issue laptops who frequently travel on business.

There were two points raised in the conversation on TWiT 163 that struck a chord with me, the first was that you can encrypt data on your PC an refuse to provide the password. This was in the context of material protected by NDA’s.

The second point was of material stored on your PC and the question you get asked "is this your machine?" and the ownership or responsibility of the material on the machine.

So in terms of NDA’s,  I have material protected by non-disclosure agreements on my machine and as discussed in the TWiT show, is that if I had to hand over my machine to a customs agent without protecting the data, I could be sued for not protecting the information under the NDA. I don’t think that the NDA’s I’ve signed have an out that I can disclose the information without the threat of legal action if asked by a customs or any other agent of the state.

So I think I need to check out what the NDA’s I’ve signed say and what the companies policy is in crossing boarders with that information on the hard drive.

With the second point, my concern here is that with a work laptop, you can’t 100% guarantee what is on your machine, you just can’t. Your machine sit’s on a corporate LAN, that could have files dropped onto your machine if your firewall isn’t on. Files could also be pushed to your machine from the IT department, not that they would of course, but what if someone wanted to do something malicious. There’s also the sync that some machines do with network drives for backups,  someone could have accidentally synced files to a network drive that you sync too and subsequently get transferred across to your machine without your knowledge.

All this means that you can’t be 100% sure what’s on your work laptop, you don’t own it and you can’t control it, so should you say, when asked that questions "is this machine yours?"  -  "no it’s a machine supplied to me by my employer and I do not have control over the all of the files on it due to my employers IT policy".

I think these are two questions that I need to check my my employer before I cross another boarder, what’s our position on disclosing NDA information to law enforcement agencies and the IT policy for protecting data and recommended response to the question of device ownership, the moral of the story is know your companies policy before traveling and after, having your machine confiscated for 90 days could hamper your productivity.

What’s your position, do you encrypt all the data, remove it from your hard drive and then put a copy in the cloud, how do you deal with crossing the boarder?


Nokia Open Labs

I’ve just finished packing for tomorrows trip to Finland and Nokia’s Open Labs event. We’re all staying in the same Hotel in Helsinki, which looks very nice indeed.

I’ve also finished packing my kit too, I’m taking my Asus Eeepc 900 as my blogging machine to keep the weight down, the N800 is coming too, as is my N95, E61i and the WoM E71 as well, I think that should cover all blogging needs.

I’ll be using my truphone number whilst out there, so I can witch between phones and still receive calls on the right handset.

I’ll be microblogging on Jaiku too and the odd twitter too I’m sure, so keep reading as I spend the next couple of days in Helsinki, Finland. First up is a 7.30am flight from Manchester to Helsinki..

Leaving on a jet plane…….back soon.


Finland for a 3 day Nokia Workshop.

Just like whatleydude, I too got the email from WOM World asking if I’d like to attend a brand new event for Nokia in Helsinki.

Here’s some of the email WOM sent me giving me an idea of what this brand new event involves;

It aims to involve everyone from creative’s, designers, video producers to open source software bloggers and mobile tech pioneers in a thorough discussion. Including, what the future holds for everything from mobile tech to media creation. There will be a number of workshops that’ll see discussion with participants and with Nokia guys about the future of different online arenas and mobile technology. Workshops that we hope you’d like to join in with and make yourself heard.

You’ll also be provided with a ‘trial pack’ that will include a Nokia device and other things for trial prior to and during the event.

I’ve only just noticed that we’re getting a new trial device which is great news, as I’ve been so looking forward to going and massively busy at work to spend too much blogging, I hadn’t read all of the email!

I’m hoping Truphone will let me have a beta product of theirs to use as well. So I’ll be taking some time to think of what kit to take so I can capture as much of the experience as possible, I do know I’ll be packing at least 3  Nokia devices and now that I’ve just noticed we’re getting a trial device, that’ll make it 4 Nokia devices.

I’m also really looking forward to meeting a bunch of the jaiku crowd too, as I’ve managed to miss all the MGoL’s, so really keen to actual put a real face to some of these manga faces for once.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to post on the working anywhere experience of Finland too, I’ve worked in Sweden,  Denmark,  France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Switzerland, Ireland and the US but never Finland.