4 videos from DLD14 you should watch

I was putting together a list, for a friend,  of what talks from DLD (Digital-Life-Design) that I loved. DLD was on in Munich in mid-January and proceeds the World Economic Forum in Davos for many of the speakers. The caliber of the speakers is very high and the videos are well work checking out. These are four talks that I particularly enjoyed.

  • What’s Up WhatsApp? (Jan Koum, David Rowan) Jan Koum talks about how big WhatsApp has gotten. Jan doesn’t do many interviews, so this one was particularly interesting for me.
  • Common Themes Among Successful Data-Driven Startups (Max Levchin) Max, the former CTO of PayPal talks about data and how companies in the future will be doing things. A high paced talk with lots of interesting take aways. This was the first time I had seen Max talk and I wasn’t disappointed.
  • Domesticating Apps (James Whittaker, David Kirkpatrick) His title at Microsoft is “Distinguished Technical Evangelist”, he has worked for Google in the past and wrote “How Google tests Software“. James talks about the future of apps and what is Microsoft’s vision for the future.
  • More Is More: Mindset of Abundance (Claudia Gonzalez, Naveen Jain) Naveen is going for  a moonshot literally. His talk is comes with a very interesting view on how we should treat the worlds resources.
Max Levchin at DLD14

The full listing of talks can be seen on the 2014 DLD video page. Let me know your favorites !

Can’t get through to Lufthansa Miles & More credit card service ?

Are having an issue trying to contact the German team at Lufthansa Miles and more credit card on the following number
069 – 667 888 700
Basically what happens is at busy times (read all the time) and you are told to call back later when they are not so busy. The issue here is that they just disconnect you, and you are left high and dry. So if it’s an emergency, or you don’t mind being on hold, there isn’t anything you can do. After doing a bit of poking around and checking I saw that you can try this alternative number
069 – 667 888 500 


I think this is for the Miles and More Gold members, but it’s not advertised as much.

+6745599382 Urgent SMS

I got this message today on my Irish Vodafone number

Call me back please urgent now 006745599382

What’s quite interesting about this message is that it comes from a small country called Nauru which has an estimated population of 10,000. You’ve probably never heard of it before, so it’s unlikley that this is a genuine call for help. There isn’t any +67 country code, but there are a few that are 3 digits and like +674 for Nauru or +672 for Antarctica ! It’s safe to say that this is a scam, it will probably cost you a lot of money to call Nauru.

Looking back at 2013

On the Eve of 2014, I thought I’d put down a few thoughts. It’s really more for myself, to consciously think about where I am, what I’m doing, and where I’d like to go in 2014. 2013 was the 5th year of working entirely for myself, and I feel now that I’m getting into the groove a little better with planning my work load. It’s been a steep learning curve, but it’s certainly been more rewarding than the previous 5 years working for a salary. This could be due to many factors, but I think the main one is that I’m working in an area that I’m really passionate about.

Work wise

2013 has been a rather full year. I’ve been doing a lot of consulting on e-learning projects, web development, travel and getting married. Keeping a balance when you work for yourself is tough. Beside cash flow, time management / work load is one of the main things that I’ve heard from other self-employed people that they struggle with. I’ve found myself saying ‘no’ more often in 2013, and I’m getting better at saying it. I find myself doing things that I really want to do rather than things that other people wanted me to do. I don’t know what it is with me, but I feel so bad saying no to people. It’s a bit of an ego boost when people say that they want to hire you, or have you join their startup, but it’s important not to let your big head get in the way of your decision. An important skill is also being able to quickly identify clients who will start to be a drain on your time.
I’m also working on more of my own projects, which will hopefully generate income on an ongoing basis rather than just getting paid once for a delivered project.

Is it better to work 8 hours on a project that will generate €1/day for the rest of the year or to get paid €365 for your day’s work ?

I started to quote how much I charge, which frightens away most tire kickers and also aims to be a bit transparent on how I work. I plan to stop offering SEO services (perhaps a topic for another post), in an effort to focus even more.

Start to charge (more)

Across the board I’ve started to increase my rates, and for 2014 I aim to make my sideline projects (like dogs.ie, which just had it’s 5,000th dog ad posted this week) more profitable. These sites generally start out with a little idea, and as they grow they can start to consume a lot of time, so at some stage there has to be some level of ROI.

Training goals

Another issue when working for yourself is that you should make sure you keep up to date with new technology and what’s going on in the industry. I’ve signed up for TeamTreehouse earlier this year, while I’ve not completed as much as I’d have liked, I think it’s a great way to keep on learning. [1]. I started one or two edX & Coursera courses, but sadly didn’t get to complete them. Some ideas I’ve had about increasing levels of user engagement in online courses will be rolled into EmailTrainer.com.

Attending conferences like the WebSummit or LeWeb was another great way to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening.

Getting fit

The other type of training… My on-going challenge of moving my ass off the computer chair is going well. I’ve done 4 x 10 kms this year, with personal best thrown in of 43:46. I’m not quite sure about doing longer distances, I’ve a 15km next weekend and a 20km in February. The problem with these longer runs is i) the time it takes to train for them and ii) they are just a bit boring after about an hour I find.


Overall I’m really excited with what direction 2014 will take me. The next steps are to launch a new version of jobsinireland.org and maybe kitten.ie tomorrow.

[1] – get 50% your first month at TeamTreehouse via http://referrals.trhou.se/paulsavage

Tracking & measuring

I’ve talked before about getting fit, getting healthy and measuring weight. As it’s been a while since I’ve updated, here’s a quick look at things. Thankfully everything is going nicely to plan, but I decided to put in a few tips one what I found worked for me.

After reading the 4-hour work week book, I was surprised that Tim Ferris had so much personal data about his workouts, and other body measurements. Perhaps it’s the Hawthorne effect in action here, that the very fact that you are measuring something leads to you somehow improving it. For Christmas Judy got me a Nike Fuel band, which tracks your daily activity, to encourage you to be more active, more consistently.
The fuel-band is a great conscious reminder of how lazy you can be, especially if you are like me and work on a computer for 8+ hours a day.

Eating & Training

Despite going to the gym a lot last year, 5-6 times a week most weeks, my weight & body wasn’t changing as fast I would have liked. I suspect that they issue was that I was still consuming too many calories per day, even with the exercise. Going to the gym to loose weight alone doesn’t seem to be the best method for shedding a few pounds. A smarter diet and regular training seems quite logical to me now, and once started doing it this year the stats seemed more dramatic (see charts below).

Now I don’t recommend going on a Soylent Diet, but measuring and controlling what you eat will certainly help weight loss. I’ve tweaked my breakfast plan a little, trying to get more into me in the morning, with the addition of breakfast burritos.

The fact that I was training often did lead me to be generally quite fit. This is when I started to get the idea of doing my first 10km.


Last year I had planned to do a race in June, but due to a silly accident 2 weeks before with a door saddle and flip-flops, I wasn’t able to partake. 10km is a great distance I find

  • it’s not too long, time wise, that my sports ADHD kicks in
  • you don’t have to do long training runs
  • recover time and it’s toll on the body
  • but still long enough that, with a bit of training, you can do a great time.

Running is also a a great way of doing some exercise when travelling, as you don’t need so much gear.

me-endLast weekend I finally did my first 10km, and came in with a time of 47:11. I’m planning on doing at least two more this year, so maybe I’ve been bitten by the bug.

Training wise I did a lot of 5 / 6km runs in the gym, and started to increase this to 7/8/9km runs about a month before the race. Then finally I did 1 x 10km the week before the race, and went back to 5/6km runs but at a faster pace. As these 5/6km runs were around 30 minutes on the treadmill it’s not too long to be bored I find.

Weight Stats

Looking at last year it seemed that in the summer I tend to get lazy about maintaining weight levels. This is probably due to the number of times I hit beer garden or on holidays :(. I have recorded a similar trend for 2011 as well. Once challenge will be to see if the same thing happens this year.
This year I had about 2kgs less at the start of the year than last year. And progress wise I didn’t go under 76kgs until the end of April 2011, compared with getting there mid March this year.

Since I’ve started measuring my weight in 2011 I’ve lost over 8kgs or 18lbs. But still the elusive recommended weight for my height of around 74kgs is a bit off.

What next ?

The next steps are to see about getting my body fat under 12%. This seems like a little harder to do, as it’s not always so clear that doing X will result in Y% change in fat. I think I need to do a bit more reading on this. At the start of the year I was at over 20%, and currently it’s at 16.9% so there is still a bit to go.

Crew Ale – Munich Micro beer

A lot can be said about the quality of Munich beer, but sadly not a lot can be said about the local diversity. The main breweries :

  • Augustiner
  • Späten
  • Paulaner
  • Löwenbräu
  • Hacker-Pschorr
  • Hofbräu

all brew similar enough beer, especially when it comes to their Helles. Over time many of the smaller Munich establishments that had breweries, like the Drei Groschen Keller, ended up going out of business or being sold to the larger breweries.

Munich’s newest brewery

I’m always excited about new local businesses or startups, be they selling cupcakes, french food, proxies, mexican food or dropbox managers. I like to get to know something about these local small businesses, and I’ve made some great connections with some of them.

Today I wanted to write about a new brewery, by 2 guys Mario Hanel & Timm Schnigula, Crew AleWerkstatt (www.crewale.de). I first discovered them in one of my favourite local bars that serves a diverse selection of beer, namely Vivo (www.vivo-muenchen.de). Right now they sell two types of beer, a pale ale and an IPA. I hope in the future these guys will branch out to other sorts like seasonal beers, I guess only time will tell.

Munich Crew Ale

Crewale is different

One great thing I like about these guys is that they will deliver to your door, via the postal system for free if you order 20 bottles and are in Germany, check out their shop online. My only criticism is that you can’t order 10 pale alse and 10 IPAs (get on it lads !).

The price for beer is more expensive than that of the main-stream breweries, but that’s more than likely to do with economies of scale. A beer, delivered to your door will cost about €1.30 for 33cl, where as in a shop you can buy 50cl for about €0.85. In my mind it’s worth it, and I recommend that you check these lads out.

Check them out at www.crewale.de.

Looking for Karl Bauer / Karl Hunt

In 2007 – 2009 I worked with a Dr. Karl-Peter Bauer at the EPO (European Patent Office) in Munich, and I’d very much like to get back in touch with him. If you know anything about him perhaps you can get in contact via this form. Some other information leads me to think his name was origionaly Karl Hunt. He lived in Munich, Germany since 2005, and possibly worked in Frankfurt before that. He said he was married to a Carolin Bauer, and they had a child together in 2008. He used the name Karl Bauer after this. I last had contact with him in 2010, via email, these email accounts now seem to be cancelled. He said he had a Swiss father, served in The Marines and in Northern Ireland, and in 1996 he apparently broke his back in a ski accident. This all appears to be made up and a lie.

Karl was born on 3/10/1963.

About Karl Bauer

I don’t think he was actually a PhD. doctor, nor any other kind of doctor. He has a strong IT background, and has worked in the IT and finance areas. He said he was originally from Birmingham, with family connections in Switzerland as well. I can’t verify if any of this was 100% true. I’ve been able to track down some information from addresses he gave but they all turn up nothing concrete.

  • Mansfield, Nottinghamshire
  • Glascote Road, Tamworth, Staffordshire B77 2AE

He might also be in the Zurich area of Switzerland with a friend Barbara Simonet.

A picture of Karl Hunt

At the time we lost contact, end of 2009, he said he had MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and that he was going to Thailand for some treatment. Some people I know sent Western Union money to him there, so I can be pretty sure he was there, and then afterwards he went back to the UK. But after that he seems to have disappeared from the face of the planet. Now I don’t think he is a scam artist or anything like that, he was a genuine person when I knew him, but over time his stories didn’t match up.

Possible locations

2003 – 2004 England (London, Birmingham )
2005 – 2010 Germany (Frankfurt & Munich)
2013 – Switzerland (Zurich)
2014 ??

Connected people

Josephine Bauer
Carolyn / Carolin Bauer (born 1981)
Barbara Simonet

Information on Karl Bauer

If you have any info that you would like to share, you can contact me here.