18 October 2008


A farmer is out in the middle of a barren hillside, tending to his sheep, when suddenly a black Range Rover comes hurtling towards him. It stops, and a man dressed impeccably in an Italian suit and wearing designer sunglasses gets out.

“If I can tell you how many sheep you have here,” he asks, “can I have one of them?”

The farmer replies “I suppose so.”

The man reaches into his car and pulls out a GPS receiver and laptop, connects it to a satellite phone, and logs onto the internet. He immediately goes to the NASA website, logs into the satellite page, uploads his current latitude and longitude and requests a high resolution thermal satellite image with 20cm resolution. He then runs the image through image processing software which counts all the heat sources. Subtracting two, for himself and the farmer, he proudly announces that there were 483 animals on the hillside.

“That’s correct” replies the farmer, to which the man lifts the nearest animal and places it in the back of his Range Rover.

The farmer then asks “If I can tell you what you do for a living, can I have it back?” The man agrees, and the farmer announces with confidence that he’s an IT Consultant.

“How did you know that?” he asked.

“Simple really,” replies the farmer. “You arrive here without being asked, try to impress me with the latest must-have technology, only to give me the answer to a question which I already knew. More importantly you know absolutely nothing about my business. Now….can I please have my dog back?”

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