Showing posts from May, 2010

Palm Repeating Pre Errors

Went past my local O2 emporium today and noticed that the Palm concession stand was sporting a Pixi Plus and what I have to assume was a Pre Plus too.

I say assume because I wasn't even tempted to nip in and have a play with one. I know that I like the Pre and WebOS, just as I know that the prices being asked for the new models are no more realistic than that of the original.

I wonder whether the arrival of HP's management will introduce Palm to the concepts of cost/benefit and perceived value. Then we might see pricing models which get people buying...

DoJ Widens Apple Investigation

Recent news that the DoJ is investigating Apple's iTunes Music Store, its business practices and dealings with content providers won't have surprised many in the industry.

Now that the investigation is being widened to include other as yet unspecified areas of Apple's iPad and iPhone business I suspect that the game is up for Mr. Jobs.

I can see that the handling of the Adobe conflict and the un-necessarily brutal attacks on Palm will put the company in an indefensible position once the full investigation has been completed.

Net result? Third party software stores on Apple's devices, iTunes sync with third party hardware and developers free to develop and cross port however they like...

I have no doubts that Apple will drag this out as long as possible but it will only succeed in delaying the inevitable. If you feel this is harsh then consider the similar case of Microsoft and Internet Explorer, a much less serious instance of malpractice damaging a competitor's busin…

Why Queue For An iPad?

I'm told two thousand people queued for hours outside the Apple Store in Regent Street to be one of the first to get an iPad. Strange thing to do when just around the corner Curry Digital had stocks and no queue...

Was there an added 'Apple-ness' to buying from the mothership or have DSG upset so many customers that they can't even shift the hottest product of all time? I think we should be told...

F1: Red Bull Gives You... Oh b@ll@cks

Well I guess there are worse ways to blow a race, but running into a team mate is guaranteed to leave all involved looking like lemons.

I'm not going to apportion blame, at least as far as the drivers are concerned, but the team has to shoulder the lion's share of responsibility for the collision which handed the Turkish Grand Prix to Mclaren.

On the pit wall the team knew that Vettel was quicker than Webber and had to get past with Hamilton and Button steaming up behind him. They should have warned the Aussie to give his team mate plenty of room on the way through.

Mclaren will be delighted to be gifted a one-two finish, more so that they were close enough to pressure Red Bull into yet another mistake.

F1: Coming To America

So F1 is going back to America - again! In fact F1 has been in and out of the States more times than a very rude analogy!
This time its Austin in Texas that will be the host as F1 attempts to rise from the ashes once more - returning to the state which hosted the disastrous Dallas GP 25 years ago, although I'm expecting a much more professional effort this time around.
F1 needs the US, one race is not sufficient for the purposes of most sponsors and in my view there should be negotiations to ensure that Indianapolis and at least one other US race are returned to the calendar too. Apart from anything else F1 fans in North America get to see two races a season despite being spread much further apart than continental Europe which gets much greater exposure.

Its Okay To Charge For Content

The announcement that The Times is about to start charging for content on its website has been poorly received across the tubes this week. Which seems strange for a publication which is entirely not free in physical form. I suspect that most of the vitriol is a result of the owner of the paper rather than the decision to charge.

New iPad owners are complaining about the cost of Sky's app - another Murdoch enterprise coincidentally - and again I can't see the problem, if you've signed up for the Apple experience then you've identified yourself as a premium friendly purchaser so its hardly fair to criticise content owners for marketing at that demographic.

Content needs creative talent and at some point content providers have to make some money from their efforts and if that can't be funded through advertising or donations then its going to be up to the end user to top things up.

Ultimately its a non-essential purchase, so if it doesn't meet your criteria for value …

Apple To Move iPhone To The Top Of The Screen Resolution Charts

A lot of people that I speak to and work with are iPhone ownership, however that's becoming less true with every passing day as another Android phone supplants the iPhone.

Apple clearly isn't going to roll over and let Google take over the smartphone market, so the launch of the iPhone HD, just over a week away, should be something of a landmark moment in smartphone history...

The arrival of multi-tasking has already been confirmed and there's a good chance that Bing will replace Google as the default search engine. Technically we know that the iPad's GHz A4 processor will make the jump too. Its in screen resolution that Apple is going to really jump the competition, with a microscopic investigation of an escaped iPhone's screen (in the Czech Republic) revealing a resolution of 960x640 - quadrupling the pixel count of existing iPhones and surpassing the X10's 854x480 to become the highway resolution screen on any smartphone shipping. It will give developers some …

If You're Getting An iPad... have to team it with velcro - as this video proves the two were just made for each other!
iPad + Velcro from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.

Xperia X10 - Full Review

Sony-Ericsson hasn't had a great record in the past with smartphones, its UIQ devices were late to market and didn't work that well when they did arrive and the its first attempt at a Windows Mobile phone was so bad that its second iteration hasn't been picked up by a single UK operator. Its Symbian efforts were marked by a recall of the Satio because of its astonishing return rates which only leaves its new Android devices to save the company's reputation in the smartphone market.

The first of that line is the X10, announced late last year with a stunning specification and unsurprisingly not actually on the shelves until several months later, by which time the world and his dog had caught up to some degree.

Looking at those specs we have a 1GHz Snapdragon processor teamed with 384MB RAM and 1GB storage; a micro-SD slot which supports 32GB cards, a 4" 854x480 LCD screen and an 8Mpixel camera. Still sounds pretty impressive today and all packed into a body only margi…

Shocking Failure Of Track Safety

Those of us who remember the tragic events that led to the death of Roger Williamson will view this video in complete horror. That a circuit could host an FIA sanctioned event with such shockingly poor fire fighting equipment and apparently untrained fire fighters in the modern age is outrageous and scenes like this should have disappeared with the Seventies.
Brno, in the Czech Republic, should have its circuit license revoked until such time as they can prove that the safety of the circuit matches the standards of the 21st Century. The driver, Giorgio Bartocci, survived despite suffering 40% second degree burns, broken ribs and a broken leg; no thanks to the safety crew who stood around and watched as his team mates extracted him from the burning car.
The integrity of the Lamborghini Gallardo which forms the basis of the Super Trofeo racer has to be questioned as well, this was a heavy impact but sufficient to result in the complete structural failure of the car, its seat belt mountin…

Android Phones Being Activated At 100,000 A Day

Android's continued assault on the Smartphone mainstream seems to be gathering strength every day, with more and more little pieces of information that suggest the Google got things very right when it launched its mobile OS.
Following on from earlier news that Android had overtaken iPhone in US sales Q1 2010, comes the news that 100,000 Android phones are being activated globally every day... continued performance at that level will not only carry Android past the iPhone but also RIM when shipments are tallied at the end of the year.
Next we hear that there are now 50,000 applications in the Android market - and 180,000 developers signed up. I suspect that more than a few of these have jumped ship from Apple because of the draconian restrictions placed upon them by the iTunes App Store.
Lastly we hear that Samsung has commmited to shipping 50% of its handsets (not just smartphones) on Android - as one of the three biggest handset manufacturers thats a huge commitment and one which wi…

Google Logo Is Pacman!

And not just an image either, there's a fully playable 256 level version of the game, to celebrate 30 years since its launch... Funny, it seems much more than thirty years since Pacman arrived on the scene, maybe I'm not as old as I thought I was!!!

Boris Pushed For Wireless London, Apparently Never Heard Of 4G

So London is going to become the world's largest municipal Wifi hotspot? I'm not so sure, especially if completion by 2012 and the Olympics is the goal. More than likely the definition of London is going to become very restricted and the definition of hotspot stretched.

I'm surprised that Boris didn't take the easier option and announce that London will be the first UK city to embrace 4G and support the networks in delivering that ambition.

Would have been a damn sight cheaper too, especially as Londoners are already lumbered with paying for the Olympic folly for generations to come...

Mckinnon Extradition Appeal To New Government

Gary Mckinnon, accused of hacking by the US and facing the prospect of trial in the states, has appealed to the leaders of the new Government to revoke his extradition order.

Be interesting to see if they do, as both Cameron and Clegg were vociferous in his defence when in opposition. Seems like a good measure of their collective reliability in power and a good yardstick for what's to come over the next term of parliament.

Let's hope they manage to do the right thing...

Steve Jobs Thinks The iPad Cleans All Porn Off The Internet

That's right, he really does. How do I know? Because in an email conversation with Gawker Media's Ryan Tate he makes that very claim in black and white. (Well, 1s and 0s if you want to be pedantic).
I quote from Steve's iPad related email: "Freedom from porn".
Now last time I checked the iPad has a web browser, therefore to make good on that claim Apple's supremo must have ensured that the iPad cannot, under any circumstances, access porn on the internet. Which could only be possible if the whole web has been cleansed of the stuff. He then suggests that if you have kids Apple is the only company that provides a safe environment for them to browse the web. What absolute garbage. If you have kids let me tell you that the only way to provide a safe environment for browsing is to supervise their browsing time. Delegating that responsibility to any computer company is downright stupid.
To be honest I don't have any problems with people buying iPads, so long as th…

Times They Are A Changing

Not so long ago when you were sat in a business meeting you could guarantee what communications devices were being packed by the attendees: Blackberry in the main, with a few Nokia Symbian devices and a smaller proportion of Windows Mobile.

So the meeting I attended yesterday, made up of representatives of private and public organizations was interesting for two reasons. Firstly as an indication that RIM is losing market share hand over fist - less than 50% of the attendees had one, compared to around 85% historically. Secondly as an indication that Microsoft and Nokia have failed, not one attendee had a Windows Mobile or Symbian phone. In what was an exclusively corporate environment that makes bad reading for all three companies, especially if (as I suspect) this is happening in meeting rooms up and down the country.

No surprise as to who has taken up that slack: iPhones and Android made up the other 50% of devices in equal proportions, although notably all the Android phones were eit…

Space Flight Going cheap

Virgin Galactic haven't even got a flight off the ground yet and they're bring undercut by a newcomer to the space race.

That's right the entry level for sub orbital space travel has dropped to just £60k (give or take) with US firm Space Adventures - or about half what Virgin are planning on charging.

Now I admit that isn't especially cheap, but weighed up against the price of a first class flight to the Antipodes that is starting to sound like good value.

Of course Virgin have a pretty big headstart in this consumer space race so you may have to wait a bit longer for your bargain Space Adventure, all the same I can see plenty of well heeled (and let's be honest, single) geeks looking at those prices and thinking I can do that... with a bit of careful money management and hard work. Getting on an early flight might prove rather more difficult than you would imagine....

Android Passes iPhone In US, Apple Not Impressed

NPD, a US sales reporting company has announced numbers that indicate Android powered phones outsold the iPhone in Q1 across the US.

Its probably not a huge surprise but is it earth-shattering news? Apple appears to think so, putting out a press release which questioned the data and also tried to play up the volume of iPhone and iPod Touch units sold in the last three years. Not really hugely relevant to the NPD report and only interesting in that it shows further evidence of Apple's management's increasing concern about the success of Google's OS...

Of course its also true to say that one swalllow doesn't make a summer and with the fourth generation iPhone just around tthe corner it will be interesting to see how Android and iPhone perform in the next couple of quarters and when numbers from Europe start coming in.

Apple Under Anti-Trust Investigation

Reports are starting to trickle through that suggest that Apple's behaviour with regards to its iPhone platform is bring investigated for breach of anti- trust regulations. In fact if some reports are to be believed agencies of the US government are queuing up to prosecute the case.

Leading the clamor for an investigation has been Adobe, no surprise there then. At some point the arbitrary changes to the app store terms and conditions was going to end up in a legal problem for Apple. Now that day has come and organizations like the EFF will be looking to the regulators to curb Apple's control.

Personally I'd like to see the iTunes app and music stores split off from the main company and forced to operate independently. Somehow I don't think this is a very likely outcome though...

Microsoft Kills Courier, HP Downs Slate

The future of that beautiful Courier concept that Microsoft has teased us with for the last few months looks none too rosy after the company officially put the kybosh on its best looking product ever. I'm not sure why, as its pretty much an update of OneNote running on dedicated hardware with browser and a few media viewers thrown into the mix...
In a similar vein there are strong rumours that HP is not going to release the Slate after all. The much anticipated Windows 7 tablet device, which runs pretty standard netbook hardware, looks like it could be a casualty of HP's purchase of Palm - perhaps a WebOS version will eventually appear. Again I'm not sure what the motivation behind this is, there's a clear demand for the Slate and unless HP is expecting to ship these out at a loss there seems no reason not to get them into the hands of a waiting public...

One In Five UK Smartphones Android Powered

No wonder Steve Jobs is getting his underwear in a twist over Android. Hot on the heels of the news that Google powered phones have overtaken the iPhone for mobile web traffic in the US comes further evidence that the smartphone market is changing remarkably quickly. Android powered phones tripled their market share in the UK between March and April and now account for twenty per cent of the smartphone market here.

I can think of two reasons for that remarkable sales boost: the arrival of the brilliant Desire and the broadening of the Android range to encompass an entry level at a far lower price than before.

Of course there's no breakdown of where the additional sales come from so no picture of whether this is a result of Android buyers picking high end phones (and there are now a few to choose from) over alternatives from Apple, Microsoft and RIM; or just a growth in the market driven by more low end phones being sold with Android... I suspect its mostly the former myself.