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Showing posts from September 20, 2009

And Off Again

Okay, I gave it my best shot, I really did. But in the end I only lasted a week before abandoning the iPhone and returning back to Windows Mobile.

Why? A collection of reasons starting with speed: the iPhone is just sluggish against a modern day WinMo device and whilst some of that may been down to jailbreaking I couldn't go back to running one app at a time which the fix is requires.

The only area where the iPhone still excels is the onscreen keyboard which works well. Better in fact than the physical keyboards on some devices I could mention. However as a seriously expert user of WM's built-in handwriting recognition software (Transcriber) I can tell you that the pen is mightier than the sword, most physical keyboards and the on screen keyboard too.

For data entry purposes anyway...

Apple Cleared Of USB Wrongdoing

In the current battle to ensure that the Palm Pre can sync with iTunes Apple is currently ahead, with the most recent update disabling iTunes sync for the WebOS device.

Looks like Apple is also ahead with the legal side of things too, after the USB-IF group, responsible for USB issues rejected Palm's claim of standard misuse by Apple and suggested that the same could not necessarily be said about Palm. If they were to make a ruling against Palm the limits of their powers would be to force Palm to stop using the USB logo on it's products. The adverse publicity would probably be more of a problem for the company though.

The ruling only relates to hardware and doesn't cover any of the software issues raised by Palm.

The bigger picture around Apple's monopolistic use of the iTunes Music Store to promote the sales of the iPod is still to be investigated, however I think when it is Apple may regret it's actions in slapping down Palm.

Back With The iPhone

Since jailbreaking my iPhone I've found that I'm using it so much more than before.

Even so I was somewhat surprised by the events of last weekend. Only able to carry one device and needing an absolute guarantee of performance (GPS, email, web access and the like) with no leeway for problems or fussiness I abandoned Windows Mobile and grabbed my iPhone.

And, no surprises, it did the job without a single hiccup.

Interesting that post-jailbreak I find the iPhone a touch slower and more prone to the occasional stall, yet the freedom afforded by jailbreaking is well worth that small price.

With the end of my current contract in sight I'm going to be facing an interesting dilemma - go for the 3GS despite my dislike for some of Apple's business practices; jump ship to Android or Palm; or go for one of the new WM6.5 devices due to land next month.

Decisions, decisions...

F1: Witness X Downs Briatore, Implicates Piquet

Seems like even now with bans in place and information out in the open we still haven't had the full story of the events surrounding the 2008 Singapore GP.

It appears that a mystery witness submitted evidence which implicated Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds directly leading to the pair recieving lengthy bans.

However if the evidence is to be believed it looks like the original idea for the crash came from Nelsinho himself, which should be enough to bury his career and would probably have resulted in a similar lifetime ban had he not been granted immunity by the FIA.

And if Nelson did propose the fix I don't believe the idea can have been his own - the Machiavellian nature of his father seems a much more likely source of this twisted plot.

I suspect we will never know the truth.

Palm Pre Finally Gets UK Ship Date

October 16th is the day that Palm users can finally get their hands on the Pre, after what seems like an interminably long wait.

O2's announcement also lists pricing details and there are some interesting comparisons to draw with the iPhone 3GS - it's natural competiton.

On a like for like tariff the 16GB iPhone costs £90 more than the Pre, not a huge chunk of a difference given the iPhone's larger capacity and greater maturity.

I think Palm have been a little ambitious here with their pricing model. Unless the Pre is demonstrably superior to the 3GS AND it gets heavy backing with the sales staff in O2's stores I can't see it gaining Market traction. And that's without considering the impact of Android and Windows Mobile 6.5.

Mercedes Announce Production Hydrogen Fuel Cell B-Class

Mercedes used the IAA to make a number of new car announcements, but by far the most important was the B-Class F-Cell, which becomes the first Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicle on sale in Europe later this year when Mercedes begins its limited (200 unit) production run. Hand in hand will come Hydrogen filling stations, primarily in Germany, marking, I believe the beginning of the end for the Petrol engine.

Hydrogen powered cars emit only water and if Mercedes and its partners have cracked the problem of manipulating this highly combustible gas (you might recall the infamous Hindenburg disaster) then we could a matter of a decade or so from widespread adoption.

There are many test fuel cell vehicles in use - mostly buses it has to be said - but Mercedes is the first to productionise and retail cars based on the technology.

F1: WMSC Decides Against Renault Ban

The WMSC met today to hear evidence of race-fixing in the Singapore GP 2008. Renault accepted all the charges laid against them and in their defence claimed that the incident had been the result of collusion between three men and having parted company with those involved asked for leniency for the company and the 700 employees who would be affected by a ban.

The FIA's investigation reached the same conclusion as Renault's and as a result the company recieved a two year suspended ban. Which seems a fair result.

For Briatore and Symonds things haven't gone as well. The Italian has been banned from all FIA sanctioned events for life whilst Symonds will be banned for the next five years. Piquet was given immunity for his part in exposing the scam.