Google PSO Event

Google PSO Event in London was held yesterday at their Victoria offices. It was a great opportunity to learn more about the Partners Solutions division and to meet people interested in joining them. The event was oriented to both PS possible candidates and partners, though I only met people looking for more information or interested in applying for a job in this division.

The event was divided into three parts: 1 hour networking with food and drinks, 1 hour presentation and panel, and another 1 hour of networking with more food and drinks!

The presentation by Dora Hsu, director of PSO, was very clear and gave us a good idea of the work and goals of the Partners Solutions area. But what I liked most, was the panel that took place afterwards. We had 4 panellists including Dora and an engineer. To introduce themselves, they told us their names, original country, role and their favourite food at Google!! (see? food comes out in every Google presentation πŸ˜‰ ). They answered questions in a very informal way, giving an idea of the environment lived in Google offices. I really liked it πŸ™‚

And, finally, after the panel… Sushi!!! Yes, I had the pleasure to meet very interesting people (from business managers, to entrepreneurs and graphics designers) while eating sushi! One of the best networking events I’ve ever seen πŸ™‚ And not because of the food, but because of the great enviroment they managed to create. Everyone was very nice and it was easy to just start talking to anyone. Thanks Google!

And for the ones that could not be there, I leave some photos for you πŸ˜‰

Google PSO Event

Google PSO Event

Google PSO Event

Google PSO Event

Google PSO Event

Google PSO Event

Google PSO Event

Google PSO Event

Google PSO Event

Google PSO Event

Snowfall

Yesterday morning, we had an impressive snowfall in London. All the roofts, streets, cars, etc, ended up covered in snow. It was really cold and the snow didn’t start to melt until the afternoon.

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Even when the snow started to melt, you could take very beautiful pictures such as the ones below

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But not everything was so great… Some hours after the snowfall ended, the floor was really slippery and you had to watch every single step!

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Santa Crawl – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

In London you can see many strange things, specially in Christmas. If you’re not careful, you can be trapped by hundreds of Santas!!

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We invaded the Tube…

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We invaded the streets…

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Even the theme park could not escape…

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Have you ever seen so many Santas?

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And we all wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

London: Chinatown

If you are fond of Chinese food, there is one place in London you must visit: Chinatown!! This area is close to Soho and the main street is Gerrard Street. As soon as you enter this area, you’ll find a complete different environment. All posters, announces and even the street name plates are translated into Chinese!

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There are plenty of chinese restaurants and stores all over the place. And they are all full at dinner time, specially fridays and saturdays. But be careful, because there is a wide range in prices and quality. You can find restaurants with the delicious pekin duck and noodles as well as all-you-can-eat-for-9-pounds buffets!

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And some interesting links:

Looking right, looking left

One of the first things you should care about when coming to London, is which side to look at when crossing a road. As you probably know, English people drive on the left. But this is not as uncommon as one may think, since this is the way people drive in India, Japan, Australia and many other countries. If you want to know a bit of history, you can have a look at this article: Why do some countries drive on the right and others in the left?

In London, it seems there have been too many accidents concerning the driving direction, and they have decided to tell the pedestrians which way to look πŸ˜€

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If you get confused each time you read this message, here is a little trick: Don’t look at the letters! Just focus on the arrow!

Firewall slowing Windows

Kakashi was running very slowly, but I assumed it was due to all the installing and unistalling of different video capture programs. But after a couple of Windows restarts (which seems to work most times) nothing improved, and within some hours the computer was running reeeeeally slow.

So I decided to have a look at all the active processes and to stop every process I don’t really need. Finally, I turned down the Mcaffee Firewall and Kakashi went back to its normal speed. I never thougth it would be the firewall, but I’ve never had a firewall installed before. All the Mcaffee software came by default with the computer, with the registration for one year. But since I haven´t been able to register and it is slowing down the computer, I’ve decided to change the antivirus. I may try Avast, since it is free and some friends have recommended it for Windows systems.

.. Yes, I’ll definitelly give it a try!

VirtualDub: capture video

I’ve been playing with our xbox thanks to VirtualDub. This program runs on Windows platforms and it is very light. It needs only around 1Mb of hard drive and doesn’t add that nasty lag. Moreover, it was very easy to configure, although having sound took a bit more time.

VirtualDub is specially designed for fast linear operations over video and includes a lot of different filters. I haven’t tried it much to take captures, but I managed to capture a short video very easily, though it occupies a lot of space. Now I want to learn more about, filtering, compressing and general video processing πŸ™‚

Kakashi has arrived!

Last friday, we finally received our new Dell! It’s name is Kakashi (although I’m pretty sure Andrés will call it Kikashi).

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The technical features are:

  • Dimension E521 AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3200
  • 1GB RAM
  • NVidia GeForce 6150

I know it doesn’t sound very impressive but it serves our purposes: surfing the Internet, access to different SVN repositories, common desktop and web applications and…. playing the XBOX!!!

Our fantastic Kakashi comes with an analog TV Tuner specially for this goal. Unfortunately, Windows Media Center introduces a 2-3 seconds delay between the button pressing and the character moving. This delay can be ok for watching video, but it is unacceptable for playing! I’ll have to look for another capture video program πŸ™‚

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