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Showing posts from June 21, 2009

Thriller - Best Selling Album Of All Time

Michael Jackson's death has brought his music back to the fore, I can't claim to be a big fan but it was part of the soundtrack of my teenage years and its good to hear some of those songs again. Of particular note and possibly Jackson's most notable legacy is the Thriller album - the biggest selling album ever (and likely to remain so given the changes in music buying habits); seven hit singles and this, the Thriller video, which changed the face of music video and music video television for ever. This is the full fourteen minute version (in reasonable quality) that probably sent shivers down your spine when it had its exclusive airing on Channel 4 all those years ago.

Sprint/Palm Go After iPhone Owners

Here's an ad currently running for Sprint in the US, targetting those original iPhone owners who didn't upgrade to a 3G and are currently coming to the end of their two year contracts.

Its an interesting strategy because those users who didn't upgrade will now be looking at the mightily expensive 3GS or the now out-dated 3G. Against those choices the Pre looks a bargain (as the ad points out) and also pretty competitive feature-wise.

Some of the digs at the iPhone aren't strictly correct (the iPhone can multi-task, but only a subset of Apple's own applications) but on the whole its a well-directed campaign - almost a mobile version of Microsoft's 'you find it you keep it' laptop hunter adverts.

Be interesting to see how Pre sales look by the end of July when the buyers Sprint are targetting start to replace their iPhones...

Jackson Death Impacts On The Web

The internet may have been designed to withstand a nuclear attack but in the early hours of this morning as Americans went searching for news on Michael Jackson's death the internet suffered massive slowdowns and in some cases failures.

First casualty was the TMZ site, which failed under the weight of people chasing information from the site which first broke the news. Next to go was Twitter which failed as unheard of numbers of tweets pushed Jackson into all 10 of the trending topic positions. Google saw 'volcanic' activity with searches for Jackson, especially news searches, outstripping all other search activity combined by several magnitudes. The BBC reported that its news site saw an 87% increase in traffic in the period after his death.

A positive for Amazon was that very soon after the news broke Jackson's albums became hot items, with the first 15 chart positions occupied by his various albums.

In the meantime AEG - the promoter of the 50 date UK tour which is jus…

F1: Moseley Threatens To Go Back On His Word

It seems the future of F1 isn't secured yet, with Max Moseley threatening to go back on his decision to leave F1 and not seek re-election to his post at the FIA in October.

Turns out Max didn't like the loss of face which accompanied his backdown and was miffed by a FOTA releasing what appear to be a number gloatful statements. Claiming that he now considers his options open, Moseley made thinly-veiled threats of re-assuming control of the sport over the summer, with potentially calamitous consequences.

Which is, of course, the exact sort of behaviour which prompted the teams to rebel against him in the first place.

Its time to go Max and its far to late to worry about losing face.

Football: Samp's Finest Hour Retold By The Guardian

Well its more than an hour, but for Sampdoria this was THE season, as retold by the brilliant Rob Smythe in the Guardian. Classy football, played with a verve and style that, even for an incredibly impressive Serie A, was beyond their opponents. I particularly remember Mikhailichenko's debut in a friendly against his native Russia, in which he played for both sides and scored from fully forty yards with a strike that would have killed the Russian keeper if he'd got in the way.

That the team never won the European Cup the following year was a travesty, Vialli's uncharecteristic profligacy in front of goal allowing Barcelona to steal the trophy in extra-time at Wembley.

Xperia X1 Review

Sony-Ericsson launched its first Windows Mobile handset late last year, killing development on its previous smartphone platform, UIQ, at the same time. Having been an early entry to the smartphone arena (with the P800) SE failed to deliver a compelling UIQ device despite turning out some interesting hardware. SE were able to concieve some remarkable designs but without fail managed to deliver a substandard experience. With the switch to Windows Mobile its a chance to see whether the company was held back by the OS or was incapable of delivering a true smartphone.

I'm not going to go through a full review here - there are plenty of excellent examples out there, so I'll pick up on the things that stand out from this device.

Taking the Xperia out of the box is an experience in itself, the phone is smaller and lighter than reviews and pictures would have you believe. Its also a beautiful thing to hold and look at, putting me in mind of a classic Swiss watch, elegant yet functional…

WebOS Downloads Hit One Million

Palm's Pre may only be available from one carrier in one country but that hasn't stopped WebOS becoming a serious hitter in the application download leagues - one million in the first three weeks since launch - an estimated six apps per user.

Now many people have been comparing this to Apple's multi-billion numbers in the iTunes App Store and calling it a fail. That's a whole different game isn't it?

Well I'm not so sure, remember that by the time the App Store launched the original iPhone had been on sale for a year so there were significantly more users already out there. I wouldn't be surprised if the per user downloads were around the same levels when the iTunes App Store launched last year.

The tough task ahead for Palm is to persuade more developers to support the platform and keep the device sales rising - a launch in Europe is key now - the two are so fundamentally linked that failure to achieve either would jeopardise all of Palm's good work in…

F1: Peace Breaks Out, Moseley Goes

Well that was the shortest, most decisive battle in F1 history. The FIA have pretty much acquiesced to all the demands of the breakaway FOTA group and saved the sport in the process.

Ultimately the writing was on the wall for Max Moseley when little mate Bernie cut him loose on Sunday (something of a coup for Martin Brundle there I think) and so it has transpired. Max has been relieved of all F1 related duties and will not seek re-election next year. The budget cap has gone and with it (hopefully) will come a new Concorde agreement to stabilise the governence of the sport.

Max was putting a positive spin on it when the decision was announced but its a complete victory for the teams and feels like a positve move for the sport.

I'll miss the prospect of a breakaway series visiting the tracks that Bernie's abandoned though...