Hello to all,
As I wrote in one of my first blogs, doing nothing is fairly impossible for me. I am really not good at it, although there is progress :-).
While it is still Christmas over here in Belgium, I finished my travel blog, I continue to read my tramway and train books I received for Christmas, I need to clean my car, I want to read and write on IT in 2014, I just finished again a good book, and I want to listen to the Top 2000 on the Radio. A cool day, in fact.
First of all, I just finalized my last blog post on the preparation of my trip to Australia. Only 1 week left from my departure. Just done, check it out here.
I just read ‘Trams 2014‘, the yearly book on tramways. Europe is mostly described and sometimes also other parts of the world. The book is published since 1979, so 35 years of history on my bookshelf on tramways. I really appreciate the editor, Alk Uitgeverij in The Netherlands for their support. Fantastic books for a reasonable price. And tramways in Europe are still going strong; much better than 35 years ago, especially in France.
I also just started to read the ‘Spoorwegen 2014‘ book (is Dutch for Railways). Also edited by De Alk and especially for those people who wish to know everything that happens on railways in Europe. As in the above mentioned book on trams, also this book has many good photos. But a bit too much pages this year. Too heavy. But still very complete.
I also just finished two good books (in Dutch): “Geloof je ogen” written by Linwood Barclay (in English “Trust your Eyes; not yet published ‘en français’). A very well written thriller with suspense, humor, action, and very important, a final plot which you discover on the last page of the book. Back to “old-fashioned” suspense, as thrillers should be. You should read this one.
The second book I read last week is “Alles wat overblijft‘ written by Elisabeth Haynes (in English “Human Remains”; not yet published ‘en français’). Also a thriller, although here you know the responsible almost from the beginning. The interesting thing from this book is that although many people die in this book, there are no murders as such. It is a different kind of book than you may read normally, but I found it interesting to read.
Several of my previous colleagues know that I consider IT as an art: the art to make useful and reliable solutions for businesses and consumers for an acceptable price. The art itself is to bring hardware, software and people together at the right moment in a professional way. The year 2013 almost finished, I wish to “throw” some of these items forward for 2014.
For businesses we may expect many items popping up: big data, the internet of things (translated by for example google glass, iwatch, …), mobile apps and data, the cloud and 3D printing. Some of the solutions that will be brought forward by these techniques, and by the related startups, will again be a breakthrough and will bring changes to the way we act and live. For example, I expect the ibeacon solution pushed by Apple to become a valuable asset for businesses.
For consumers, let’s check if Snapshat will still be the big thing for the youngsters. The same for Tinder. Both apps allow for further and more intense social interaction. In Holland, the Hyves social site did not survive in 2013.
It will also be interesting to see what happens with Nokia and Microsoft. Or with Blackberry and Microsoft. Blackberry is ‘out’ for the youngsters, but many large companies still use Blackberry material and software solutions.
And finally, let’s see what the digital financial world will bring us. Will the Bitcoin be our new currency? I have some doubts. Will the banks make further steps towards digital banking ? They must.
All of this will bring IT again some steps further. Still a very fine art, but luckily for all of us more and more mature, and hugely interesting.
During the Christmas period, and during the writing of this blog, I listen to the radio, and especially to the famous Top 2000. I listen to the Dutch one, although I am convinced that every country has its own. In Holland, the top 2000 is on the air from December 25 to December 31. At the moment I write this text, they play number 1628 (“Koot en Bie: zoek jezelf“); a nice song from the seventies on “being yourselves”, only known in Holland :-).
On number 1 since years is the classical Queen song Bohemian Rhapsody. And a nice example of modern social media is that the full text was twittered a few days ago: check it here. A real interesting example. And I expect that the top 10 of 2013 will also be again in the top 10 of 2014.
Many new cars are expected in 2014. Next to the new Mini (partly build in Holland), we expect the new Mercedes C and GLA, the BMW X4, i8, 2 coupé and CAT, Volkswagens new Golf Sportsvan, etcetera. And several new Japanese, French and Korean cars are also expected. Just to indicate that the era of normal cars (hatchback, sedan and van) is definitely over. Now almost every carmaker has SUV’s, SAV’s, and these also in mini and maxi formats.
I expect also that cooperation modes will progress, such as the new Twingo from Renault and the new Smart from Mercedes, built on the same platform. And China will become more and more important for the European car manufacturers, as Europe in 2014 will still be in ‘regression mode’.
2014 will be again a wonderful year to come. Many expectations, challenges, cities, ideas, solutions and emotions. Thus doing nothing will therefore still be difficult for me. That’s for sure. By the way: my next blog on “doing nothing” will be published after returning from my trip to Australia, so towards begin of February.
Ensure that also in 2014 you have fun and that you stay cool with 2 feet on the ground. I wish you a happy new year in good health,