Virtual secretary

2010-07-04 01:35:21 +0200

Most of my friends are in there are twenty/thirty something and have quite a busy (social live). Making appointsments can be quite cumbersome, especially when multiple people are involved. Fortunately, there's electronic help, there are websites were you can schedule appointments. I've used the Dutch sites and the fairly new startup Pleft. Although there both quite easy to start using, I'm far from satisfied. Datumprikker and pleft both have quite limited functionality. The only thing you can enter are available dates and a list of contacts/emailaddresses with whom you want to make an appointment.

What would like is integration with my electronic calendar of Google Calender (personal) and MS Exchange (work). That way, almost automatically available dates could be picked. Both Google Calendar as the latest version of Exchange can make there calender available via ical - so integration should be quite easy. When all people you want to make an appointment with have there calenders integrated as well with the appointment tool, an appointment could be created automatically - just like a secretary would do by calling other people's secretaries.

Furthermore, besides entering emailaddresses, picking contacts from my address book from either google or MS Exchange would be more convenient.

I was thinking, such an application shouldn't be hard to make. I wasn't the only one with that idea. Recently someone suggested another website: Doodle. From what I can see, that website seems a whole lot better than there Dutch counterparts. Integration with Google Calendar and Contacts. Integration with Exchange and possibility to add ical calenders. Looks good, saves me from creating a startup ;-).

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Springsource and electric cars

2010-06-23 16:18:56 +0200

Just read an article on electric cars in of the Saturday's edition of the NRC - a Dutch newspaper, which can be found online at the authors blog (in Dutch). Some entrepreneur in electric cars is mentioned by the name of Alef Arendsen. The name did not immediately rang a bell, but when it was mentioned got his wealth after the sale of a opensource software company he co-founded I recalled. Alef Arendsen was part of SpringSource, early on and made Spring big in the Netherlands (hm, I think I've read about the framework in about 2004 on javaworld, found it pretty cool - too bad I didn't do anything anything with it by then). He quit SpringSource about a year ago because he wanted to do something else.
He has now started a company in electric cars: The New Motion, which he mentions in his blog: Challenges when introducing new technologies to the market. Quite a surprising move, but then again, you could say Electric cars are to traditional Petrol cars as Spring is to EJB2/J2EE.

[caption id="attachment_417" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="German electric car, 1904, with the chauffeur on top"][/caption]

(Above picture from Wikipedia - of course electric cars aren't actually new, just as the idea dependency injection or reversion of control existed long before spring)

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