Showing posts from July, 2009

Apple Kills Google Voice Apps, Opens Some Eyes

Well Apple may have had good business reasons for blocking access to the various Google Voice applications (and even pulling one previously approved app) the effect has been to push the app store and approval process right into the spotlight.

Apple has absolute control of what gets into the app store and that affects company's ability to compete. For example Mozilla have been barred from deploying Fennec and now anything Google Voice is barred too. Conversely Apple has allowed both Skype and Fring to sell through the app store, affecting the overall balance of power in the consumer telephony market.

In the same way that the iTunes sync lockdown would raise questions in the EU this issue is bound to prompt calls for further investigation into the app store and its approval process.

F1: Renault Appeal To Be Based On Telemetry Evidence

Renault (or more specifically Pat Symonds) will be spending the summer break preparing their evidence for the court of appeal in a bid to overturn their European Grand Prix ban. The team aren't hopeful, given the poor success rate of appeals, but that won't stop them giving it their best shot.

The appeal is going to be based on telemetry which I believe will show that none of the feeds the team was getting indicated that there was a problem and the first the pitwall knew of the issue was Fernando Alonso's radio call to tell the team he thought he had a puncture. There's a degree of indignation in the team at the suggestion that it would knowingly allow one of its drivers to leave the pits with the car in a dangerous condition, rightly so in my view. Its only necessary to watch Rob Smedley's interview with the BBC on Sunday after his driver Felipe Massa had been injured to see the close bond that exists between any team and its drivers, I can't imagine any team i…

F1: Schumacher In Shock Ferrari Return

Despite having denied being interested, Michael Schumacher has agreed to replace the injured Felipe Massa for the European Grand Prix. Its a massive announcement - after all he has nothing left to prove and its two full years since he last drove competitively. All the same its a great fillip for the Ferrari team and the sport in general at a time when its lurching from one crisis to the next.

Now those four weeks are going to be interminable...

F1: Who Will Replace Massa?

With Felipe Massa apparently taking the first steps along the road to a full recovery thoughts must turn to a replacement, possibly for the rest of the season.

Michael Schumacher's name has been mentioned by several commentators, but I don't think that's a sensible choice for either team or driver, its almost two years since the Red Baron sat in a F1 car and rule changes have been so significant that its unlikely to be a positive experience for team or driver.

Ferrari has two test drivers, Badoer and Gene, however neither has much recent racing experience although the thought of Gene in a Ferrari at Valencia would certainly boost crowd numbers for what would be his home race. Especially as it looks like Alonso's going to be kicking his heels along with the rest of the Renault team that weekend.

Of course there have been numerous rumours that Alonso is Ferrari-bound in 2010 so there may be an option to secure his services a bit earlier. If those rumours are true then its l…

Football: First Blood To City In Phoney War

This has got to be one of the classic football wind-ups and bizarrely its the king of mind games Alex Ferguson who has lost it in an almost Keegan-like rant. Carlos Tevez's move across the Salford/Manchester border to Man City has hurt Ferguson badly, this poster which glorifies City's status as the only football club in Manchester just rubbed salt into his wounds. Fergie's response (calling City a small club, maligning Tevez and trying to drive a wedge between Adebayour and his new club) was so out of proportion and character that its clear Mark Hughes' buying spree has the old warhorse running scared.

The addition of grit and quality to the squad (Barry, Tevez, Adebayour, Santa Cruz, Toure and probably Lescott too) looks to be developing a City team that can challenge for honours, even if its likely to take some time to integrate so many new signings. So Ferguson has every reason to be scared.

Unlocked iPhone Arrives - At A Price

Stuck in a contract you can't get out of and desperate for an iPhone 3GS? Expansys may have the answer you're looking for - if your question included the words 'money no object'.

The unlocked 3GS is now available from Expansys at the bargain price of... £919! Given that you can buy the iPhone with a contract from O2 - and remember that includes 18 months of calling and messages - for around £800 in nice easy monthly payments, what kind of person is so committed to their network (and the iPhone) to blow that kind of money on one?Can I suggest that blowing out your current contract, paying the disconnection fee and resigning with O2 will be a awful lot cheaper way of getting your hands on a 3GS if absolutely must have one.

Expansys are showing 36 in stock, it will be interesting to see how long it takes for that initial batch to sell...

Spotify For iPhone Presents Apple With Dilemna

Sweden's Spotify, which has become the most talked about music streaming service in a very short time since its January release, has submitted a mobile version of its application to Apple for inclusion in the App Store.

This presents Apple something of a problem. It has a hugely successful iTunes Music Store to consider when it ponders this application. Spotify Mobile is free but requires a Premium Subscription at £10 per month to use. If its subscription is taken up by large numbers of users that's going to hit the iTMS's profitability. After all its only worth subscribing to Spotify Premium if you spend more than a tenner a month on music downloads on a regular basis.

For every 100,000 users that Spotify Mobile signs up that's a minimum of £1million of revenue lost to Apple each calendar month. You can see why they might balk at approving it. However if Apple were to reject the App the same anti-competitive concerns which dogged its blocking of Pre synchronisation woul…

F1: Felipe Massa Awake, Talking, Out Of Immediate Danger

Its something of a relief to be able to say that reports from the Budapest hospital where Felipe Massa is being treated are starting to look positive. Initial reports were confusing, with most early reports suggesting that the hospital visit was routine. However pictures of the Brazilian being lifted from his car showed significant damage to his helmet and injury to the left side of his face around the eye socket. The contrast between the staring, shock of the right eye and completely closed left eye was particularly worrying, suggesting major head trauma and so it transpired when the hospital reported that his injuries were life-threatening.

Most telling of all was Rob Smedley's emotion-filled interview with the BBC on Sunday night where he spoke of "some hope" where none had existed the previous day. The close bond between the pair was clearly evident as was Smedley's distress.

Reports from AEK Hospital this evening suggest that whilst not out of the woods by any str…

F1: Renault Face One Race Ban For Pitstop Error

Given the recent incidents at Brands Hatch and the Hungaroring there couldn't have been a worse time to send bits of car flying across the racetrack, so its no surprise that the Renault team has been hit with a punitive penalty after this afternoon's pitstop chaos.

If you didn't see the incident the details are that Alonso's car was released from the pits before the right front wheel had been properly attached leading to first the aerodynamic finisher and then the wheel itself parting company with the car and bouncing down th track.

After investigating the stewards found that the Renault team had knowingly endangered their own driver and other entrants by failing to warn Alonso and making no attempt to stop the car leaving the pits or stop it out on the track. As a result the team has been banned from the European Grand Prix in Valencia, which will go down well with Fernando Alonso's home fans. Or possibly not.

Renault will launch an appeal, however I hope its unsucce…

Palm v Apple: Two Sides To Every Story

Palm's update to WebOS which allows the Pre to sync with iTunes has raised the ire of some iPhone sites considerably, its even got some normally quite independent commentators frothing at the mouth, quite an achievement really.

The crux of the argument is pretty much 'how very dare you!' which is so badly wrong-headed that it does require some response.

Here's why. Apple have established themselves as the pre-eminent online music store, a service accessible on the desktop only through iTunes. This gives Apple all sorts of anti-competition issues to deal with and I suspect that its actions in blocking access to the Pre may just have been a massive mistake.

Monopolies rules demand that a dominant position in one market area must not be used to restrict competition in another. Which is exactly what Apple is trying to do here. Imagine for a moment if Microsoft had jimmied Windows USB implementation to ignore iPod's and only allow synchronisation of Windows Mobile and Wind…

TG01 Hands On

Had some hands on time with the Toshiba TG01 today and its interesting to see how it compares to the reviews thus far published.

My biggest complaint with the TG01 was that the Stripes user interface was pretty rubbish. There's no real feel for where you should be going or what you should be doing to access various programs or settings and, as delivered, its a waste of space. The Orange Homescreen interface works much better, however for pure simplicity you can't beat the Today screen/Start Menu combination. If you aren't a fan of the vanilla Windows Mobile option can I suggest that you abandon Stripes and the Orange Homescreen and budget for a copy of SPB's Mobile Shell if you're in the market for the TG01.

Interestingly other problems that have been identified in other reviews weren't exhibited by the example I had. The screen was as responsive as any other resistive screen I've used and I was able to fly through the device with the lightest of touches. Per…

F1: Massa Injuries 'Life-Threatening'

The AEK Hospital at Budapest has described Felipe Massa's injuries from this afternoon's calamitous qualifying accident as 'life-threatning'. The injuries listed are a fracture to the skull above the eye and a fracture at the base of the skull. The associated brain injury is listed as a concussion. Whilst this is terribly dis-heartening news, the statement of Felipe's condition post operation as 'serious but stable' sounds a little more promising.

Tonight promises to be a challenge for Felipe and here's hoping he has the strength and fortune to pull through.

For a long term view of what this means to the sport we'll have to wait for a response from both the FIA and GPDA. However its unlikely that this incident will be able to be so simple dismissed as a freak occurence given its proximity and similarity to Henry Surtees fatal incident last Sunday.

F1: Massa To Undergo Surgery After Debris Impact

After what at first appeared to have been a miraculous escape, Felipe Massa will be undergoing surgery tonight for what sounds like a severe head trauma which resulted from this afternoon's Hungaroring incident.

The Ferrari driver was hit by a piece of the rear suspension of Rubens Barrichello's Brawn whilst travelling at over 200kph. The impact appears to have been to the upper left side of the head area and around the eye socket in particular. The parallels between this incident and the freak incident that killed Henry Surtees last week are frightening.

Lets hope that Felipe's injuries are a lot less severe than first thought and he makes a speedy recovery.

Palm v Apple: Game On!

Well that didn't take long did it? Just a week after Apple updated iTunes to block the Pre from synchronising in release 8.2.1, Palm have come back swinging with an update to the Pre that restores the functionality.

I think its as much about tweeking Apple's collective nose as it is about providing functionality on the Pre, but nonetheless its a clear statement of intent from Palm and they don't look like they're ready to lie down and let Apple walk all over them.

Apple's next move will be an interesting marker. If they break the link to the Pre again it will show that Palm has them worried. If they decide to live with it and accept that Palm are able to respond too quickly to any lockdown then that's probably suggestive of Apple's disdain for Palm. If they sue, well I guess all bets are off...

The Pre update does have a number of other useful features, one of which engadget noted as a speed increase. Sounds like the Exchange link has been fixed too. All good…

Verdicts Are In: Toshiba Blew It With The TG01

TG01 reviews are starting to appear out on the web and its not looking so good for Toshiba. Both Tech Radar and T3 have been less than impressed - the latter branding it a 'terrible mobile phone' and both finding the 1GHz Snapdragon powered device awfully sluggish and its interface un-intuitive.

Given its recent history of failures with some quite promising sounding devices I wonder if its time for Toshiba to cut its losses and pursue a different business sector, as its quite apparent that turning a clever design concept into a working Windows Mobile device is quite beyond them.

Its not like there's anything difficult about it - take one Windows Mobile reference design, maybe add a customised version of Mobile Shell or PointUI and sell by the bucketload. Everyone else seems to be able to manage it, even the Palm Treo Pro which packs a (comparitively) puny 400MHz processor is acceptably snappy. The only possible saving grace for Toshiba would be if the WM6.5 upgrade promised…

O2 Data Fail Looks Like APN Downtime

O2's loss of data services on its 3G network won't have made them many friends - businesses in particular who rely on the presence of the data network for email, VPN and support services will have been especially displeased, this sort of failure can cost them sales, reputation and a great deal of inconvenience.

Most galling will have been the pattern of the failure, with Blackberry users and pre-pay customers relatively unscathed whilst iPhone and other pay monthly customers were more or less wiped off the network for periods of up to 48 hours. This pattern suggests a probable failure of the O2 UK APN/gateway, effectively the proxy which links the cellular and fixed networks together and allows O2 to charge for the privilege of shipping data from your handset to the internet at large.

In this case you have to question O2's disaster recovery and change management processes. Whether the outage was caused by a failed update or a service impacting event O2 should have robust pro…

Surtees Death Calls F2 Safety Into Question

The tragic death of Henry Surtees at Brands Hatch yesterday must raise serious questions around the application of safety in some of the sports junior formulae.

The accident itself was something of a freak, Surtees suffering fatal injuries after being struck on the head by a wheel from another car which had crashed in a seperate incident. Surtees' car then continued unsteered and unabated straight into a tyre wall, the driver's foot apparently hard down on the throttle pedal.

Freak accident or not it, its highly unlikely that this kind of incident would have had such tragic consequences in F1 thanks to measures in place to improve safety. Wheel tethers are mandated at the highest level and, whilst wheels still detach in some of the higher speed accidents, the F2 car that Jack Clark was driving was travelling at a relatively sedate speed by the time it hit the tyre wall. I would have expected the tether to keep the errant wheel attached to the car. Its also of note that the F2 …

F1: Haug Abandons Decency And Taste In Lauda Row

Niki Lauda can be a bit of an outspoken character at times, even out of touch with modern F1. That doesn't excuse the disgraceful depths that Mercedes boos Norbert Haug has descended to in an unseemly row over Lewis Hamilton's 'park' request at the German Grand Prix.

Lauda called the request as an indication of Hamilton's lack of commitment and pointed out that driver's of his era just got on with it. Haug retorted that Lauda should 'remember when he pulled into the pits and out of a race'.

The race in question was the Japanese GP of 1976, held in torrential rain just a few months after Lauda had been grieviously injured in an accident at the old Nurburgring in similar conditions, returning to the cockpit just six weeks after being given the last rites in hospital.

At Suzuka Lauda decided that conditions were too dangerous and he wasn't prepared to risk his life any further than the end of the first lap, pitting and climbing out of the car, handing his…

Amazon, Orwell And Delicious Irony

Kindle owners take heed: here's a story which should have you seething with outrage.

Kindle owners who purchased the seminal George Orwell novel 1984 found their books missing from their readers today. Had they all accidentally deleted their copies by mistake? Or perhaps a hardware problem had done it for them? Nope its worse than that.

Apparently the book's publisher 'changed its mind' about the release of the book in electronic form and revoked its license. In response Amazon deleted the book from its store and removed all copies that had already been sold from its customer's devices. That's one good reason for never going down the Kindle route.

Apple's Sanctimonious Advertising

I'm sure it can't just be me can it? Apple's previous iPhone advert 'There's an app for that, only on iPhone' was particularly annoying given that every application in the advert had an equivalent on Windows Mobile and Symbian (probably other platforms too).

The newest advert is criminally insulting: Copy and Paste? Copy and F*cking Paste, you've denied users access to copy and paste for a year and now its a virtue? Copy and paste isn't even listed as a feature on any other platform because its taken for granted that no-one would be so bloody stupid to launch a smartphone without it.

Worryingly the iSheep generation are lapping it up. I had an iPhone user tell me all about copy and paste today like it was the greatest thing ever invented, "I bet your fancy phone can't do that" he said to me indicating the Touch Pro 2 I was using to fire off an email.

I think I should despair, but I really can't be bothered.

F1: Piquet Pushed Out, Bourdais Booted.

The driver line-up in Hungary may be a little different than we've become used too, if reports of driver changes are to be believed anyway. It looks like two of F1's underperformers will lose their race seats as the teams head into the second half of the season.

Sebastian Bourdais has been under pressure almost from the minute he re-signed with Toro Rosso, with Nurburgring rumours suggesting that he wouldn't be seen in the car again. Given the Frenchman's record its not hard to understand why Tost and Berger would look to put Alguesuari into the car in preparation for next season - making the Spaniard F1's youngest ever driver, finally eclipsing Mike Thackwell's nearly thirty year old record. Paired with Buemi, Toro Rosso would have an exciting line-up although somewhat lacking in experience - a not insubstantial problem given the testing ban and the need to extract the maximum from Friday and Saturday running on race weekend.

For Nelsinho the problem is going t…

iTunes Update Kills Pre Sync

Well there's a surprise, or perhaps not. Apple has released an update to iTunes which blocks the Pre from syncing music by verifying that a valid Apple device has been connected.

I can't say that Apple has done anything particularly wrong here, at least no more than Palm has in piggy-backing on the iTunes connection itself.

Will Palm patch the Pre to re-enable synchronisation? I suspect not. But if they chose to do so it would probably make some sense to mimic a real iPod rather than a generic device making it so much harder for Apple to break it next time around.

Toshiba's Windows Mobile Jinx Strikes Again

Well I said that Toshiba couldn't buy a break when it came to smartphones and so it has transpired with its latest, the TG01. O2 in Germany has had to halt shipments of the device after it turned out that the micro SD card shipped with the phone packs a virus. I'm not sure that Toshiba can be particularly blamed for the problem, as the virus has probably been introduced at the OEM's factory and if not there then more than likely came from O2's master copy. However it is going to hit Toshiba's reputation once again, which makes the job of selling the TG01 against the iPhone (which has been pretty bulletproof thus far) even harder then it already was.

Microsoft Marketplace Adds Windows Mobile 6, 6.1 Compatibility

A third piece of Microsoft related news today, this time exclusively for Windows Mobile users. The Microsoft interpretation of the Apple App Store will start accepting developer submissions on the 27th of July and will, contrary to previous advice from Redmond, support all flavours of Windows Mobile 6.

That's less important than for other platforms as Windows Mobile has always allowed you to install cab files from any source directly onto your device (and a Google search produces 27 million results for WM programs) but its an admission from Microsoft that its previous policy was unnecessarily restrictive. And it would have had a major impact on sales number too, I'm sure that was a pretty big driver too.

Microsoft Aims For The Stars, Well Clouds Anyway

Microsoft delivered one piece of news today and hinted at another, both related to continued trend for computing in the cloud. Firstly we got our sight of the technical preview of the next version of Microsoft Office, which for the first time offers access to the core applications in the cloud. Then we heard about a Microsoft branded streaming music service to compete with Spotify.

In themselves they're pretty important announcement but they're rather more important when seen in the context of Microsoft's "to the death" battle with Google. Google very much reigns in the clouds (sorry, couldn't resist) and Microsoft have made several abortive attempts to catch-up. Putting its core application suite out there is a massive change of strategy from Microsoft. The streaming music service is a pretty quick reaction to Spotify's success - the service only came out of beta in January...

For mobile devices this probably has significant impact for third party Office s…

TG01 Exclusive To Orange For Three Months Only

Orange's exclusivity on the TG01 isn't going to be a long-term thing apparently, with other networks free to launch their own versions by the autumn. Take-up is likely to be based on whether Toshiba have managed to deliver on a smartphone at long last. I suspect that the other networks will examine Orange's sales figures closely before deciding to launch their own versions. Presumably unlocked versions will be available after that three month period ends and Expanasys already has a placeholder on its website for the sim-free version - no price yet though.

Get Out Of Jail Free

Spent some time jail breaking my iPhone this weekend. What sounds like a daunting process is actually pretty straightforward and improves the device significantly. I now have my iPhone running on a Vodafone SIM, with a completely changed look and feel and, best of all, the ability to run apps in the background.

Its not all roses though, as most of the applications that would benefit from multitasking aren't designed to take advantage of it so there are no notifications when, for example, a friend posts a tweet or sends you an IM. The number of applications which can be run in the background is limited by the tiny amount of RAM, however these limitations are worth living with as the speed with which applications come to the foreground makes switching between apps a much more pleasant experience than on a non-jailbroken phone.

Its nice to break free of Apple's restrictions and actually make use of the phone in a way that suits me rather than having to do things the way that Mr Job…

F1: Rubens Loses The Plot

Rubens Barrichello has a daydream that he's the best driver in the world. In fact its only those nasty teams that have conspired against him to stop him being the most successful driver of all time. Of course he was really faster than Michael Schumacher at Ferrari, more successful than Herbert at Stewart and quicker than Irvine at Jordan. And now he's blowing the doors off Jensen Button at Brawn GP.

Oh no, that's not quite right, in fact they're the opposite of the truth. And now Rubens is blaming the team because they 'deliberately' lost him the German Grand Prix. This after throwing his toys out of the pram and warning that he'd 'scream and scream and scream' if he found out that Brawn were favouring Button (presumably until he was sick).

The rant at Brawn today was complete lunacy. Here's a team who, against the wishes of just about every fan in the world, retained him over Bruno Senna and then gave him the best car in the field, which he has p…

F1: Melbourne "No Ferrari, No Grand Prix"

Ron Walker, organiser of the Australian Grand Prix has put another marker in the sand for the FIA, as the battle with the teams continues to rage despite apparent agreement several weeks ago.

Walker has made it clear that without the top teams, in particular Ferrari, there will be no Australian Grand Prix next year. With a similar declaration from Monaco and the near-certainty that Monza would follow suit the FIA's world championship is rapidly running out of races. Given the events of the last week - combatative statements from Moseley and denial of voting rights to the FOTA teams in the technical group - it seems F1 is still some way from a solution.

Its also clear that the vast majority of fans have had enough of the FIA and now actively want the teams to break away and form their own championship. The recent collapse of the A1 organisation seems to suggest that they could go and buy a ready made package all ready to go for next season and cause CVC, Ecclestone and the FIA seriou…

TG01 At Orange Outlets From Tomorrow

Orange have officially confirmed the Toshiba TG01 Windows Mobile Superphone (smartphone doesn't do the specs of this monster justice) and should have stock at all locations from tomorrow (July 10th). Pricing is interesting, with the phone being free on the £39 tariff. That's pretty good when you consider the damage the iPhone 3GS will do to your wallet - and this looks like a phone that could compete with that device on a level playing field, never mind with a significant price advantage.

Of course Toshiba have a long history of promising the moon and delivering a scrunched up ball of tin foil (see the G910, G800, G710, and in fact pretty much every Windows Mobile phone the company has launched) so this time I'm hoping that the serious nature of the competition out there will have focused the development team's minds and the result will be a mobile masterpiece.

Chrome Becomes An OS, Microsoft In Its Targets

We knew it was coming eventually, but here is the final official announcement: Google is getting into operating systems and its tool of choice will be called Chrome OS. This news must be very worrying for Microsoft, whose OS is already under pressure from Linux and MacOS (both with very limited penetration). Google is a whole magnitude of a more worrying competitor and that's got to have Microsoft scrambling its top guns for an immediate response. Windows 7 has had a generally positive reception, but against a typically Google onslaught that may not be enough.

Chrome OS is a lightweight OS aimed at netbooks - I'm pretty sure its going to be little more than a shell for Chrome to run in, with all other applications running inside the browser. It will make its way onto laptops and desktops as well. Google have significant work to do to ensure that hardware support is up to scratch though, always a strong point in Windows' favour. You'd back Google to deliver though wouldn…

Techcrunch Puts Unfair Spin On Pre Sales

A lot of sites have picked up on a Techcrunch article which suggests that Palm's Pre sales aren't going well and reports from Sprint stores were bad because all had Pres available in stock. Which seems a strange thing to conclude from this research, after all we're talking about a device that's into its second month of sales, not a newly launched device. Really Sprint should be telling us the good news that everyone who wants a Pre should be able to get their hands on one quite easily.

The Techcrunch article references a piece of research by JNK which surveyed 50 stores. Given that this can be considered a representative sample how do the actual numbers stack up when transposed onto Sprints 1400 retail outlets?

The states that not all of the stores contacted were willing to discuss sales, however lets take these results and run with them for now. 40% reported fewer than 10 sales this week (560 stores if repeated across all Sprint's stores) 33% reported sales of 10-20…

O2 Germany To Have Pre In October

Telefonica's German subsidiary has already upped the ante on launch details of the Pre, with Engadget finding a banner on their site proclaiming availability in October. Now I'm sure that the UK will get the Pre at least as early as Germany, which means around a three month wait before it lands.

That's an improvement on the vague 'Christmas' availabilty announced this morning but still not as good as it could be...

Xperia Outguns Touch Pro 2, Just

Well I've had the Touch Pro 2 for a week or so now and, despite initial positive impressions, I'm going to have to say that HTC haven't managed to dethrone the Xperia as my favourite smartphone.

Yes it has a better keyboard and yes it does have a larger screen but for my taste there are too many compromises borne of a desire to compete with the iPhone that in the end impact on what Windows Mobile has to offer.

TouchFlo3D is a very nice interface to play with or to show off to your iPhone owning friends - and for people who are looking for an iPhone competitor it does make a good case. It just interferes with the Windows Mobile way of working a little too much for me and also makes the performance a little less snappy than the X1.

The X1's panels are much less intrusive and can either be used extensively or not at all. I have SPB's Mobile Shell panel set as my default but I'll occasionally use one of the other panels as my home screen when conditions dictate. Mobi…

O2 Confirms Pre By Christmas

As expected O2 have confirmed that they will have exclusive rights to sell the Palm Pre in the UK and it will be on the shelves by Christmas. With the majority of iPhone 3G early adopters being free of their iPhone contract around Christmas O2 will now have a complete range of smartphones to offer them at renewal time.

It'll be interesting to see how the different subsidy levels stack up, but I'd imagine it would suit Palm to sweeten the deal and incentivise O2's sales force to swap a potential iPhone 3GS purchase to a Pre.

I'm a little disappointed that the Pre is still so far away from landing in the UK, at least it will give Palm a chance to iron out some of its problems and deliver an even more competitive device come Christmas.

Why Apple Will Cave Over Multitasking

The arrival of push notifications on the iPhone has prompted all sorts of arguments and counter-arguments about which is better: multitasking or notification. Apple and its devotees are absolute in their belief that notifications services are the way to go because they use less battery and less processor time.

In fact the real reason why Apple have implemented push notifications on the iPhone is that they use less memory because the iPhone is horrendously underspecified in this regard and, until Apple can deploy a better specified iPhone, they can't afford to compromise the platform's stability by allowing third-party programs to attempt to run in the background.

Other manufacturers have solved this issue by deploying devices with a much beefier RAM specification to allow multiple applications to run. I have no doubts that Apple will follow suit.

Why? Because other than for messaging services push notifications don't really fill the gap of multitasking. Ask anybody who has tr…

'Wall' Of Dolphins Off Welsh Coast

How about this mile long 'superpod' of dolphins filmed by the Sea Trust off the coast of Pembrokeshire? That's one very impressive sight, even if no-one really knows why dolphin pods come together in this way.

Apple: Don't Use Your iPhone For Too Long Or When Its Hot Outside

Apple have all but confirmed heat related problems with the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G when running iPhone OS3 by updating its advisory on the use of the iPhone in warm climates. In particular they advise that the acceptable temperature range for use is between 0 and 35 degrees and that use of intensive applications such as GPS or listening to music could cause the device temperature to spike and trigger the attached warning message.

None of this is new of course, all electronic devices have safe operating ranges. Nonetheless the adverse publicity around discolouration of white iPhones probably needs a rapid response from Apple to avoid the sort of negative publicity which would kill sales of any other company's products.

TG01 Coming To Orange, Unfortunately

Oh Toshiba, you don't seem to get a break with your Smartphones do you? The first phones in your Windows Mobile re-launch have been buggy, slow or just poorly designed and now the seriously hot TG01 goes exclusive with Orange in the UK. Yep, that's the network with the worst data plans, something that's going to be very restrictive for a device like the TG01.

Never mind, maybe next week's offical announcement will include some new unlimited data plans that Orange will launch for this potential flagship. Either that or we'll just have to hope that its not exclusive to Orange...

Jeff Goldblum Takes His Death Well

Last Thursday Twitter was alive with tweets about the death of Michael Jackson and... Jeff Goldblum! Jeff obviously took this news well - even making a brief 'return from the dead' to interrupt Stephen Colbert's report of his passing. Achingly funny and well worth five minutes of your time.

Moonfruit Games Twitter - Stylishly

Twitter users have probably noticed that #moonfruit is the number one trending topic on the site at the moment. Moonfruit is a British company providing developer tools to non-technical users allowing them to build their own websites. Never heard of them? That's not a surprise, even though this is their tenth birthday, but you will be hearing about them over the next ten days ay least.

How has the company reached this level of exposure? Well its been a relatively inexpensive exercise, just 10 MacBook Pro 13" notebooks, given away one per day to a random person who tweets with the tag #moonfruit. Its been a runaway success, with the company blowing through the trends top ten, pushing aside Canada Day (yep, a whole nation out-tweeted for the price of a MacBook Pro) and Michael Jackson to reach the top spot. The company has also picked up something over 12,000 followers, a not insignificant crowd, but the acid test will be whether the company can engage with those followers it bo…

Touch Pro 2 Update: Battery Life Astounds

Well continuing the probably less than helpful drip feed of information about the Touch Pro 2 its time to look at battery life.

Now if you'd have asked me what the battery life was like on the TP2 I'd have probably told you that it was okay, nothing spectacular. However as HTC have modified the standard battery control panel to include a tab with information about usage (shamefully lifted from the iPhone incidentally!) I can give you a much better idea of how the TP2 handles itself with regard to autonomous usage. Having spent a couple of days carefully monitoring both standby and usage times to ensure the information presented is accurate (cynical, me?) I can say that the control panel presents an accurate picture of real world usage.

So how does it look? Well the phone came off charge this morning and has been used as a music player (via bluetooth) in my car, made several calls on Skype, IM (Live Messenger) and Twitter (Pocketwit) as well as push email (around 100 incoming ema…

Palm Pre UK Launch Details Next Week

Engadget is speculating that details of who gets the Palm Pre, when it will be available and how much it will cost should be announced next week.

Smart money is on O2 to be the carrier, however the previous history between Palm and Vodafone could just throw a curve ball in there. Vodafone were exclusive carrier for both the 750 and 500 and I believe that their need for the Pre is greater than O2's who have the iPhone and an extensive XDA range to offer smartphone customers. By comparison Vodafone's Storm/Hero combination looks very weak. Of course Vodafone has its own range of Windows Mobile devices, but unlike O2's XDA range is off the shelf from HTC/Samsung with only Vodafone branding to distinguish them from SIM-free versions.

The Pre would be a valuable tool in Vodafone's consumer and enterprise armoury - especially if Palm sorts out its Exchange issues before a UK release. I would imagine that an announcement next week will mean availability by August at the latest …