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Showing posts from April 26, 2013

Facebook Home... Nope

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So Facebook's new Home arrived on select Android devices a few weeks ago. After a bit of delay I installed it onto the Galaxy Note 2 to see how it worked.

The answer is, it works really well - if you live your life exclusively in Facebook that is.

Otherwise it's a painfully intrusive barrier between you and the things that you bought your phone for.

Nice try Facebook, but its not for me - or countless others I suspect.

Android's strength is in its flexibility and specifically the home screens. Slapping great gobs of Facebook all over them really doesn't make much sense.

What Constitutes A Premium Smartphone?

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Since the launch of the Galaxy S4 Samsung have been taking a fair amount of flack for the build of its phones.

How can Samsung ask for the same money as the iPhone or HTC One, when those phones are manufactured from premium materials and the S4 is a plastic monolith?

Depends what you call premium materials and what's important to you.

Whilst I haven't had a chance to go hands on with the One, I can happily say that the iPhone feels no more premium to me than the Galaxy Note 2, which employs the same manufacturing process as the S4.

In the hand the two phones are as different as can be, size and materials from opposite ends of the spectrum.

Yet whilst the iPhone feels fragile and ready to leap to its death anytime is used out of its case, the Note 2 has a feeling of robustness that transcends is size. No case required here.

The iPhone, in the safety of the sort of case that most users employ actually occupies a greater volume than the naked Note 2. Weighs close to t…

F1: Bernie Screws The Minnows

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At the end of last season the battle for survival as one of F1's minnow teams proved too much for Spanish team HRT, leaving the sport with just eleven teams competing this season.

It looks like the sports supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, thinks even that is too many. Today he announced that Marussia - the eleventh placed team at the end of last season, will not receive a share of the sports prize fund.

Previously the distribution of the money was governed by a Concorde Agreement signed by all the teams. However when that expired at the end of last season Ecclestone negotiated individual deals with each of the top ten teams.

For Marussia then, this means a cut of $10m from its funds for next season. Already strapped for cash and forced to run pay drivers, it seems highly unlikely that Marussia will survive and make it onto the
grid in 2014 - even if, as seems likely, they beat Caterham to tenth place this season.


To Sell Phones, First You Must Have Phones

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HTC have something of a saviour device on their hands right now. A good thing too, as the company slid closer and closer to oblivion late last year we all asked ourselves "can they do something special to turn things around?"

The answer has been an emphatic yes.

The One, which launched earlier this year, has been a critical success, generating more positive column inches and social comment than the last ten HTC phones put together.

However there remain two serious obstacles to making this phone the success it should be: availability and marketing.

Right from the off HTC struggled to get the phone out to customers and even now, months after its announcement, it is only available in select countries. Contrast this with rival Samsung's GS4 - launched much later, but with worldwide availability yesterday and in serious numbers too.

Secondly marketing. Most people don't choose a phone based on what they see in the store. The decision has been made by the marketing th…

F1: Mclaren Blew It In Bahrain

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In-team battles are certainly the main point of interest so far this season.

First we had Sebastian Vettel ignoring team orders and passing Mark Webber to win the Malaysian Grand Prix - payback for his Red Bull team mate's deliberate attempts to cost him the World Championship in the showdown in Brazil last season.

Then we had Mercedes demanding the Nico Rosberg hold station behind Lewis Hamilton in the same race, even though the German was substantially faster.

And in Bahrain we had Mclaren's drivers banging wheels and forcing each other off the circuit.

The latter was an epic fail on the part of the Mclaren team, who clearly failed to grasp the complexities of racing in F1 this year.