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Showing posts from November 19, 2017

Nokia First To Go Global With Oreo Update

HMD Global have made good on their promise to keep Android fresh and current on their new Nokia phones. The Nokia 8 starts receiving the Android Oreo update from today. 

Despite being beaten to the punch by Sony and HTC, the Nokia 8 still claims something of a first by being the first to go global with the update. Sony and HTC have released their's only in a restricted number of territories. 

Signs of improvement in the flagship Android arena as far as updates are concerned. But until Samsung and Huawei start delivering updates to the more popular handsets, it remains an update with very limited penetration.

Smells Like Teen Spirit - But Different

It's my son's thirteenth birthday today, so this rendition of Nirvana's breakthrough by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain seem appropriate. I can't believe this recording is almost as old as he is though...

iPhone X Supply Problems Easing

Today I walked into two different electronics stores here in Auckland to find the iPhone X available for purchase. Not order or pre-order, but actual devices, in stock to walk away with, if you were prepared to lay down the NZ$1800 entry fee.
That comes on top of reports that in other countries lead times are down to around one week.
Apple has boosted production and all is well in the world. Well, maybe. If you visit any of the carrier stores in NZ you find that there are still lengthy delays to getting your iPhone X. So what gives?
My guess is that the sky high price of the iPhone X has meant that more and more buyers are having to pay by installments. Even if they could afford the upfront purchase, the interest-free purchasing options being offered by carriers make sense.
Those retailers who only offer the iPhone for an upfront purchase - or with more onerous payment plans - are finding that demand is soft for the  most expensive iPhone ever.

Macau GP Carnage Raises Questions Of Track Safety

The Macau GP is as old as the hills, a race run through the streets of the former Portuguese colony. This weekend saw one of the most bizarre incidents in the race's more than fifty year history.

On the opening lap of the GT race almost the whole field was wiped out, in an incident which blocked the track and delayed racing by more than two hours.

GT cars are big beasts, and the Macau circuit is incredible narrow in places, meaning that when an incident occurs in the wrong place, carnage ensues.

Fortunately this time around the damage was just mechanical. Next time the event and drivers might not be so lucky.

Nelson Piquet used to say that driving an F1 car around Monaco was like flying a model helicopter in your bedroom. A GT car around Macau is like landing a jumbo jet in your garden.

Several drivers have asked for advanced warning systems in cars to combat this kind of multi vehicle pile up. Others have scoffed at the idea.

The truth is that the speed at which an incident of this typ…

Apple's Vrvana Purchase Spells The End For Hololens

TechCrunch is reporting that Apple has bought Canadian AR headset manufacturer Vrvana for $30m, adding further weight to rumours that the company intends to back its next iPhone release with an AR headset to further strengthen its position in what many believe to be the next big growth space.
Of course Microsoft have been here for a while and the Hololens wowed the crowds when it was first announced. It's still far and away the best solution available on the market today. It's also incredibly niche, with Microsoft targeting industrial and enterprise buyers.
Apple will almost certainly be targeting consumers when (not if) its AR headset launches. At the same time Apple has done little to actively market the iPad to enterprises but the growth of its usage in the workspace continues to surge.
It seems likely that wherever there's an application for AR, Apple will outgun Microsoft for customers.
Then there is Google. Its Glass was first to market and crippled by the way Googl…

F1: Kubica Deal With Williams Not Done Despite Rumours

It's being reported that Williams has signed Robert Kubica to a two-year contract as a replacement for Felipe Massa, much to the disdain of former drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Jacques Villeneuve.
The story is very much being denied by Williams and common sense would more than back up the veracity of the denial. Kubica will drive a Williams for the first time in the post Abu Dhabi Grand Prix tyre tests. This will be his opportunity to demonstrate both pace and resilience in a  bid to seal the deal for a race seat.
That being the case - and it being generally acknowledged that no other team is interested in Kubica's services at the moment - it would be crazy for Williams to commit anything to paper without being able to assess the Pole's capabilities.
At the moment it looks to me like Kubica is Williams' first choice, but that Kubica is going to have to be incredibly impressive in next week's tests to edge Daniil Kvyat out of the seat.

Microsoft Begins Surface Hub Offensive

The Surface Hub is probably the Surface product you're least likely to come across in everyday life, because it's extremely niche. But within that niche it's an incredibly big noise.

Now Microsoft has decided to put some marketing muscle behind it with a set of videos demonstrating the power of the big screen Windows 10 PC. Some work, some look a little contrived.

There's no denying that there's a place for these devices though. More than a decade ago I moved two large hospitals onto Digital Radiology solutions replacing light boxes with large wall mounted touch screen PCs running Windows XP Tablet Edition. It was a workable solution - but barely. Now the Surface Hub would make that kind of project trivial to achieve.

Progress is a damn fine thing, and so is the Surface Hub.

Huawei Mate 10 Quick Review

Huawei's Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro arrived in New Zealand this week and I had an opportunity to get some hands on time with both phones.

The standard Mate 10 is the phone which is more interesting because Huawei have kept the 16:9 screen aspect ratio and shrunk the bezels around it. As a result the Mate 10 is closer in size to a 5.5" phone than its predecessor. 

The all glass design is a step away from the Mate 9's metal unibody, and the Mate 10 feels much nicer by comparison. There's a new arrangement of cameras on the back of the phone, with a matt / glossy effect highlighting the sensor pack. The effect is visually pleasing, if not in the same league as HTC's seriously shiny backs.

Even now the Mate 9 is one of the better performing handsets you can buy, so the jump from the Kirin 950 to the Kirin 970 CPU adds a further boost which smooths out any lumps resulting from Android 8.0 and EMUI 8 which come installed on the Mate 10.

The EMUI skin has come a long way recent…