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Showing posts from July 19, 2013

Standards? Apparently We Don't Need Know Stinking Standards

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That seems to be the motto for Google and Apple right now. Chromecast and Airplay are two examples of a step in the wrong direction for the collective good. At least Google's announcement of Chromecast yesterday suggested that it would be mostly platform agnostic.

However when a perfectly good standard already exists its disappointing that it doesn't get used. DLNA was put together for exactly this reason, allowing devices from different manufacturers to talk wirelessly for the streaming of content.

Look at how well Bluetooth has worked by implementing a standards based communications protocol and then expanding this with new versions to accomodate new technologies and functionality. Perhaps the difference is that Bluetooth got big enough before Apple did and didn't have to deal with a competing, non-proprietry Aple product.

Companies have recognised that the route to success is through locking customers into their technology. Unfortunately it appears that customers eithe…

What Will Apple's Figures Tell Us About Tomorrow, Today?

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Apple's quarterly financial call is due today and I believe the numbers will tell us much about how Apple is reshaping its business for the future. Analysts have been giving grim warnings about Apple's numbers for the quarter but aside from the actual numbers themselves there are some indicators that are much more important.

The iPhone is Apple's biggest profit maker. This time last year Apple shipped 25 million of them, along with 17 million iPads. Profits were $9bn against $35bn revenue.

I suspect that Apple will deliver equal or better volumes than 2012 but similar, or possibly even lower profit.

Why?

Firstly the iPad Mini, which is likely to generate less profit than the previous entry-level iPad 2. And secondly because a larger proportion of iPhones shipped were entry-level 4 or 4S models.

I think we can be pretty sure that Apple will restructure the iPhone line with a cheaper (to make anyway) entry-level model. Potentially the current 5 would become the mid-range m…

Linux: Is It Going To Eat Itself?

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Open source is a great example of the human condition at its best. People with skills and knowledge building tools for the betterment of all - pro bono for software development if you like.

On the other hand some of the individuals involved in the development of the Linux Kernel come off as being at the 'locked in a dark room' end of the social scale. Which can make for some pretty hostile environments for collaboration.

Evidence would suggest that this hostile environment propagates from the top of the tree, with Linus Torvalds promoting the atmosphere of antagonism and berating even his closest generals in choice language.

Now, given how far Linux has come in the last two decades, its hard to argue that Torvalds doesn't know what he's doing. However, even in the strange clique that makes up the Kernel group I doubt that such an atmosphere is conducive to getting the best results.

Certainly this article from Ars Technica would suggest that some, at least, are struggl…

Microsoft Needs A Nokia For Windows 8

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Windows Phone is starting to show signs of vitality in the smartphone market, with sales up from 5 million a year ago to 8.4 million in the most recent reported results.

The difference has been Nokia, which now accounts for 85% of Windows Phone sales by volume.

That's been the result of innovative design, focused marketing and clever differentiation around smartphone camera capability. Nokia's efforts have made Windows Phone relevant and the perfect solution for buyers wary of Android and bored with Apple.

Microsoft need a Nokia for the desktop.

Normally the cutting edge of desktop class machines would be coming from Sony or Dell. Perhaps with a side helping of some off the wall HP design. Windows 8 demanded that OEMs went into their design centres and came back out with innovative products that showcased the new interface and made Windows 8 the cool kid on the block.

And whilst we've seem some nice convertible and all-in-one designs, the majority of Windows 8 laptops ar…

Lumia 520 For Less Than £80 at CPW

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Been thinking of trying out Windows Phone? Now might be the time to pick up a handset to get some Live Tile action, as Carphone Warehouse have the Nokia Lumia 520 at an impressively low price of £80.

The deal is on a Pay as you go handset, however CPW phones are generally free of any sim-lock, so you could leverage that old PAYG SIM to get some cheap Windows Phone action.

There are some compromises to make to get the phone down to a price though. The screen is a Truecolour LCD rather than the ClearBlack  one on the Lumia 620. You'll also lose out on the front facing camera, so video calling with Skype will be out of the question. NFC is gone too.

Still at half the price of the 620 that's not a great deal to give up, especially when you consider that you'll be getting a 4" screen, a full 8GB of storage and an SD card slot. And the class-leading smoothness and slick operation that Windows Phone has to offer.

At this price it really is a steal.


Pandora: Impressed With Radio Service

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Like many of you out there, music is a major use case for my smartphone. As a minimum, its gets daily usage in the car on my daily commute and in the office to drown out the background distractions of an open plan office when I need to concentrate on getting things done..

I hate radio stations. With a passion. The drivel that some of the feckless idiots who call themselves DJs spout should be enough to put anybody off.

So how do I discover new music? After all life would be pretty boring if your music collection was a static object fixed at a point in time. In the past I've used Last.fm, Spotify and Deezer. With varying degrees of success.

This week I've been making use of Pandora and I've been more than a little impressed.

Fire up the app, enter an artist name and sit back and listen to a radio station showcasing similar artists. So far, so standard. The difference comes from the quality of the match between the selected artist and those on the playlist. Pandora just see…