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Showing posts from July 5, 2009

F1: Melbourne "No Ferrari, No Grand Prix"

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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

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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

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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

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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…