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Showing posts from December 28, 2008

iPhone 2.2 Upgrade: A Bit Of A Turkey

I've been pretty much impressed by the iPhone 3G since its launch in July and whilst it has its foibles, it remains the trendsetter for smartphone style, performance and interaction; where the iPhone leads others are sure to follow.

Except, there's a massive hole opened up in the iPhone's armour of invincibility which has had been longingly fondling my Windows Mobile device again, aided no doubt by the rose tinted glasses of nostalgia.

Since the 2.2 Upgrade my iPhone has gradually become less and less impressive. Reliability has disappeared out of the window and appears to have taken a large chunk of battery life with it. Little things about the OS work differently and mostly not for the better. I could probably forgive at least some of these problems if the upgrade had added some of the missing functionality, copy/paste or tethering for example.

Instead we've got a hugely unstable version of Safari and Streetview, whoopee...

I have to say that the reduced battery life see…

Apple Preparing Super-sized iPod Touch

A rumour which has appeared before is doing the rounds of tech sites again, presumably because MacWorld is now just a few days away. The story claims that Apple is readying a larger iPod Touch with a screen size being reported as anything between 5" and 9".

I'm really struggling to call this one - after all, Steve Jobs has ruled out an Apple entry into the 'netbook' market which would make an entry into the barren and dying UMPC market seem a less than likely path for Apple to follow. On the other hand, the MP3 market wasn't really going anywhere until the iPod arrived.

A 9" screen version of the iPod Touch seems a little too large to me - with a device that big you'd really want to be looking at full Mac OS X functionality, otherwise its a huge useless brick for most tasks - even if its wafer thin. Using the onscreen keyboard in landscape mode would prove something of a challenge too!

At 7" you're still looking at something that's only bar…

Belated Happy New Year

Another year older another year wiser? Not sure about that but for all my friends, colleagues and visitors here my best wishes for the New Year, thanks for your support and I'll try and keep digging out interesting stuff in the year to come.

Long Tail Under Attack

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The Long Tail has become a fundamental belief of a large core of the internet, mainly because of the way that it contrasts retail and online methods of selling media.
To sum up its most relevant message, as the cost of storing and distributing things like music and video on the internet approaches zero the more likely you are to make a profit from the 'long tail' of your distribution curve.This varies from the retail model because the cost of manufacturing the disks is constant whether it be a week after launch or five years later. Shelf space and storage also retain a value and when these are all tied together its easy to see that at some point in time the product's sales will no longer cover its distribution costs.
For a digital only store its fair to say that as costs of distribution approach zero the value of product in the long tail is as likely to be as great or greater than the head.
Seems straightforward and quite logical?
Well this article in the Times would suggest n…

Top Five iPhone Apps

Here's another list of what was good in 2008, this time looking at applications that made it into the iTunes App Store.1. Last.fm. I love the idea of music as a social tool, finding new music through the technical wizardry of matching music in your playlist to others and then making recommendations based on that info. Apple has added it to iTunes but Last.fm were there first. The iPhone app gives you access to your own music, as well as creating playlists that tie in to any artist you select. Integration with the desktop and web applications is excellent and it can also be used to tell you a lot about the sort of music you listen to. See the charts on the right of this page for an example.2.Shazam. Can't identify the tune you're listening to? Grab your iPhone, fire up Shazam and in less than a minute you'll know. How it achieves its near-perfect record of identifying tracks I don't know, but it does. 3. Evernote. The cloud based note-taking app arrives on the iPhon…

The Culture Secretary Is An Idiot

Not that many politicians seem to be playing to be playing with a full deck, but Culture Secretary Andy Burnham doesn't seem to have enough cards to manage a game of snap.In an interview with the Telegraph he suggested that his department is considering legislating websites to age rate their content.What?I mean seriously, what? Did these guys take a trip on Braindead Airways over the festive period? Here's a tip, make parents take responsibility for parenting their kids, rather than just giving them a computer and sending them to their bedrooms. Same goes for television. Then you won't need to try and set arbitary rules on a bunch of people who really don't care about our little island or its crazy lawmakers.There's some other stuff about Facebook and Youtube that's equally as crazy - as well as the suggestion that the government is now going to legislate what can and can’t be viewed on the internet. And we’re worrying about what's happening in China? Betwe…

Psion Asserts NetBook Trademark

Although the Netbook name has come to mean the class of low-power sub-notebook devices typified by Asus Eee PC range; the name is actually a trademark of Psion-Teklogic and in particular one device from the Psion Series 7 range. Although out of production for some yeas now, the Netbook did indeed predate the EeePC (and the Palm Folio) by a good few years. Its low power consumption, small-screen, reduced keyboard, flash memory-based design lacked only Wifi to be a bang up-to-date tool.Psion's lawyers (Origin) have been sending out cease and desist letters to websites using the term 'netbook' to describe what have come to be known as 'netbooks' . Which has had the effect of causing some uproar in the community - along the lines of "Why me? What about Intel and the big retailers?" Origin have now written to jkontherun – the blog that first broke the story - to explain exactly what's going on. You can read the letter here.The upshot is that Intel, retaile…