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Showing posts from 2008

No More Stevenote.

Apple announced this week that the keynote at this years Macworld Expo will not be delivered by Steve Jobs. There’s no doubting that this is a disappointment and has killed a lot of interest in the conference but to be honest it is probably one of the most intelligent moves Apple have made in a while.The media is full of talk of Steve being too ill to deliver the address this year but I don’t believe this for a second. I think there are probably four reasons why Apple are toning down their participation Macworld 2009, their final Macworld. The first reason is pride. You have to remember that large companies such as Adobe have already pulled out of the event. Steve Jobs does not take part in second rate shows and I’m afraid after watching others withdraw that’s probably how it was beginning to look. This years show will probably be pure sales figures and some marketing but not much else.The second reason is Bill Gates, or more accurately no more Bill Gates. The Jobs keynote always com…

The new bebo

I logged into bebo today and was confronted with a new home page. After playing with the new windows live home page and thinking it was the most complete hub available I have to say bebo surprised me. You see the new bebo allows you to integrate flickr, twitter and a number of mail services including gmail, yahoo mail and aol into one hub. Add to that the news from your friends and the option to add other feeds and you've got a relatively comprehensive system. It does lack windows live integration which is unfortunate.

What I think they need to add however may surprise some people. They need feeds from facebook and my space. You see bebo is really now looking for for switchers and they are going to want as easy a transition as possible. To provide this these people should be able to view their old profile news so they can keep up with their friends who won't move. Add this and bebo has the kind of winner on it's hames that could turn it into a legitimate facebook compeditor…

BlackBerry Storm Improvements

There are certainly improvements that need to go into this phone to make it an iPhone killer. There are two that come to mind for me. The first is the OS. There is no doubt that the OS is slow and buggy. I had to remove the battery today to fix a scrolling issue. This needs to be fixed with an update ASAP. It’s easy to do though and I expect to see an update within the next few weeks.The second is an addition that BlackBerry need to consider. The user should be able to type without having to press the button down. Pressing the button/screen should be for selection only. The ability to type by just touching the screen would sort out the typing speed issues and I would be confident in saying would bring users from other touch screen smartphones over to the Storm. I’s guessing it would also be an easy addition considering the menu navigation is done by light touch. Even putting this as a keyboard option would be great, for each of the keyboards of course. So please RIM implement these tw…

Windows 8 Is A Failure!

I understand the desire to get headlines in media land and beating on Microsoft seems to be regarded as easy headlines at the moment but I couldn’t believe that I was seeing reviews of Windows 7 appearing across the net. We’re talking about an Operating System that isn’t even in beta yet. This is the same as reviewing Android based on the first simulator and not the phone itself. To hear negative reviews of Windows 7 at this stage borders on a joke.In the interest of getting a good headline therefore I’m going to review Windows 8 now. I’m thinking it’s going to be based on the Windows Vista architecture and therefore it’s going to be a total disaster. In fact based on this one thought alone the whole Windows line is probably doomed, Apple will capture the desktop market and Microsoft will be out of business within the next ten years. Well that should have the anti-Microsoft crowd happy. For everyone else I would tell you to look forward to the upcoming Windows 7 release. The Vista arc…

UTV TV Ads Are Misleading At Best

I was watching TV tonight and the Advert for UTV Broadband came on. Now this is advertising a broadband service. Except it wasn’t. In fact not even close. You see each person in the ad was getting a BSOD, blue screen of death, and one of the promises was for a better computer experience. How can the broadband service possibly offer this? The BSOD is usually caused by something like a badly written driver doing something it isn’t meant to do and therefore crashing the OS. Unless of course every crash is caused by other broadband providers, which is highly unlikely since any BSOD I’ve had comes from nVidia drivers and I don’t have UTV.It seems to me that the UTV ads are about as believable as the Apple ads and that’s saying something.

Should Microsoft Be Worried About The Linux Netbooks?

After reading an article in PC Pro about Microsoft’s upcoming doom I had an interesting thought. You see the article talked about Linux being installed on netbooks from Asus and how this would leave Microsoft having to retreat to the corporate world as Linux becomes the major consumer OS. I don’t think that’s going to happen. Microsoft will, most likely, produce a version of Windows 7 that is trimmed down and perfectly suited to the netbook world. There is one company however that should be concerned with the tiny tiny tiny rise of Linux. Apple have no competitor to the Asus netbooks. They have nothing to offer to Asus in the way Microsoft can offer up Windows XP and their cheapest notebook is $999. In the current economy are people going to choose to buy the Apple laptop that still has the difficulties of switching associated with it in the public consciousness or will they go the the cheaper notebooks offering old reliable, Windows XP. You see Vista may be perceived as unpopular bu…

Dawkins Wastes Money on Obsession

I've had little doubt for a long time now that Richard Dawkins hatred of religion is an obsession and after the announcement today that he is spending money on an atheist ad campaign I'm now sure of it. Dawkins is supporting an ad campaign that will display messages on the side of buses stating, "There's probably no God. Stop worrying and enjoy your life". In fact at this time he will be matching the £11, 000 the campaign has risen. What an absolute waste of £22, 000. I'm not in favour of religious advertising either and feel that the money would be much better spent on helping those that are worse off and perhaps help them to enjoy their lives. You see major religious organisations try to spread their message through their actions not through advertising.

What annoys me most about this campaign is that it's basically trying to brain wash the population into thinking that believing in God, any God by the way because this is an attack on all religions not j…

Apple Close To Gates Vision

I've been thinking recently about Apple's position in the consumer market and I realized just how close Apple are to creating Bill Gate's vision of a digital home. They are 2/3 products short of a viable claim to the home.
Firstly lets look at what they have in place at this time. The iMac is an aesthetically pleasing piece of technology that will look well in any office or bedroom. I'm going to ignore the functionality of the software installed on the device because OSX certainly has some shortcomings but lets assume for a moment that the software is at a level to compete with Microsoft Office etc. On the iMac you can have your music, pictures, video and documents all managed by the ilife and iWorks suites.

That's all good on one machine but no internet isn't much use so we turn to the AirPort Extreme Base Station. This will give you wired and wireless network access along with the ability to share a USB printer or USB hard drive which can be plugged into the un…

Reaction To New Macbook's

Today Apple announced the newest models in their Macbook, Macbook Pro and Macbook Air lines and to be quite honest I'm not going to talk about them very much because it's a pretty boring announcement. The new machines are designed to compliment the iMacs and the ridiculously over priced new display, more on that later. They have the glass touch pads as expected and they have more power also as expected. In fact there was nothing in the announcement that we didn't expect. We got the prie cut but instead of the competitive $800 we got $999. That's a price snip not a cut! And lets not forget that price reduction is on the older white macbooks not the new shiney ones.

The big surpsise of the announcement was probably the new 24 inch display. The display wasn't really the surprise though. The surprise was that Apple are charging a ridculous $899 for a big screen display. Add to that the fact that this new display only works with the new Mini DisplayPorts that are on the …

Sega Vision Due In 2009?

Sega are due to release a new mobile gaming unit called Sega Vision in early 2009 according to The Register. This is a story I can't help but treat carefully but I haven't read any arguments against this so far so here it is. The device is shown on the left and is supposed to support music, games, videos and books among others

This would be a direct competitor of the Sony e-Book reader and the PSP. This almost seems to be too good to be true and I fear that it is. You have to wonder how they managed to keep this so quiet for so long but here's hoping.

Nokia's First Touch Phone Launched

As I said they would Nokia have launched their first touch screen phone today. It's called the Nokia 5800 ExpressMusic and it's a stunner. Engadget has a review here. This phone is being pushed as a media device more than a smartphone but it appears to hit this bar easily. The beautiful screen should be fantastic for watching video. Coming hot on the heals of the powerful N96 the 5800 has much to do but if this is basically the entry level Nokia touch phone I can't wait to see what's still to come.

Will I buy it though? Well I'll be able to answer that by the end of the month. As far as I'm concerned there's currently 4 phones I'm interested in, iPhone, N96, 5800 and Blackberry Storm. Of them all the Storm is the most interesting and if it manages to be as good as I think it will then this will be my new phone. While there's no release date at the moment my guess is a release on the 1st November on Vodafone in the UK. It's a great time to be look…

The Market Crashes!

The Nasdaq has suffered it's biggest drop since April 2000, declining by 9.1%. Getting crushed in this decline was Apple who suffered a massive 17.92% drop in share price today. This is caused by a mixture of a market losing confidence in Apple themselves and a total loss of confidence in tech stocks. In fact today has been a disaster for a number of tech stock with Yahoo dropping to $16.88 per share. When you compare this to the $33+ per share they wanted from Microsoft a few months ago you can see just how far things have dropped. Microsoft themselves have taken a 8% hit today.

This has been a disasterous day for the markets and the Nasdaq has been showing the markets the way down. I can't see this improving anytime soon. Tomorrow is going to be important. The markets cannot be allowed to collapse for a second day or the crash by the end of the week will be felt for months to come.

Huge Upcoming Month For Tech

I'm looking at the upcoming week and into October and I can't help but feel that this is going to be an extremely important month for some huge names in the industry. Lets start at the beginning of the month. According to reports Nokia could be releasing two big phones on the 1st and 2nd of October. The N96 due on October 1st is the phone i had been waiting on. So far I haven't bought an iPhone because I'm willing to wait to see what Nokia are going to do.
On October 2nd Nokia have a conference during which it is expected that they will launch their new music service. During the same conference I expect them to announce the new Nokia 5800. Now this is going to be an extremely important phone for Nok because it's their first touch screen phone. It looks excellent but with Sony producing their new Xperia running Windows Mobile, the HTC G1 running Android and obviously the Apple iPhone there is a lot of expectation hanging over this unit. I expect to see it released by…

XBox Live Dashboard Update Tomorrow!

I just logged into XBox Live for the first time in a while today and I've mail informing me that XBox live is going to be offline tomorrow for about 24 hours. This must be the big update that was announced at E3. The blades will soon be gone and we'll have the more modern interface. I liked the blades but I'm very excited about new interface. I'll post about the new look once i get a look at it hopefully on Tuesday.

A Little Zune EU Support Please?

Firstly, apologies for the shortage of posts recently but I’ve been out of the country for the last three weeks. I spent the last week or so in Florida and loved every minute of it. While I was there I was taking a look in Best Buy at the MP3 players and considered replacing my old Zune with the new blue one. I was then reminded of problems I had a few months ago trying to get my current Zune repaired.I bought the Zune 30Gb while I was in New York last summer and had no problems with it for the first few months. Then one morning I plugged it into charge and nothing happened. I tried resets and everything with no luck so I eventually decided to give Microsoft a ring. Now bare in mind that I live outside the US and the Zune isn’t supported here but also remember that you’re talking about an MP3 player with a 3% market share and a company with a base in Ireland. So I gave them a ring and after a few minutes of describing and re-describing the issue to a support rep he told me that the Z…

02 are making a mistake! (Updated)

Technorati Tags: ,,,,, N96, Samsung Tocco and Samsung Omnia. Does anyone know what these three phones have in common? Well I'll tell you, 02 have dropped them all. My contract with 02 is about to expire and I've been checking with them about availability. Now I got the Tocco from Vodafone and as you can see from my review I have had issues with it and I could believe the reason 02 gave for not carrying it, the phone had too many issues. However 02 have said they won't carry the N96 because they are worried about how it will effect iPhone sales. I suspect this is the reason they are not carrying the Samsung Omnia either and I wonder if it influenced the decision to drop Tocco. It's this mistake that will mean that I'll probably be leaving 02 within the next month.If 02 can't offer me a full range of quality handsets at this time because of iPhone why should I think that this is going to change any time soon. What about when Nokia rele…

September 9th? What's on the way?

Well Apple have confirmed that they are holding an event in San Francisco this Tuesday, September 9th. So what are we in store for at this event? Well I'm going to outline my predictions now and I'd be interested to know what you guys think.1. New Generation of iPods. This one is pretty much a given. Since the new terms have started and the laptops for schools and universities have been bought by now this show is most likely going to introduce products for Christmas. New iPods are the most obvious new product for Christmas. Cult of Mac are even carrying the image to the left that claims to be the new Nano.2. iPod Touch Improvements. With the iPhone getting it's improvements I have to believe that the Touch is about to get some improvements. I wouldTechnorati Tags: ,,,, love to see the ability to tether the Touch to a phone added but that's just hopeful thinking. The best case scenario would be a new Touch that acts like an In…

Stop Avoiding Coding For Internet Explorer

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Apple are the latest participant in a very limiting trend that I've seen on the Internet and that's developers making the choice to simply not support Internet Explorer for some functionality. I pick Apple because of it's high profile warning when you access MobileMe using Microsoft's browser. Instead of taking the time necessary to code for the most popular browser in the world they just stick up this warning and think that that is the way web development works. Well I'm afraid it isn't. In the end it would be much easier to be able throw up a message stating that the service doesn't work with Safari, an unsafe and unstable browser with a tiny share of the browser market, or Firefox, competent but again a browser without a majority share. I'm fed up with seeing web pages telling me that the developers couldn't be bothered programming for the majority of their viewers and if they don't ca…

Hands Up Who Wants To Be Sued?

ASUS have produced an excellent new controller that has motion sensing technology. It's an excellent idea and I think it could catch on in a huge way. In fact any console with this technology would be a massive hit.....and the Wii is. I'm not saying there will be a lawsuit from Nintendo but you've got to admit there's a pretty good chance. By the way for those interested the ASUS controller is called the Eee Stick and works with a new range PC games that will be packaged along with the Stick and Eee PC or Eee Box.If they want to keep tempting fate I hear loading Apple Operating Systems onto PC's and then selling them is a good way to get attention.You can find the story and above image here.Technorati Tags: ,,,,

Apple Admits It Made Mistakes With MobileMe

Steve Jobs has admitted in an email to the company that Apple made mistakes with the launch of MobileMe. The email makes a few very fair points and shows the Apple is willing to at least admit their mistakes. We'll see soon if they're learning from them too. The email was published in it's entirety on Ars Technica and I've copied it below:Team,
The launch of MobileMe was not our finest hour.  There are several things we could have done better:
– MobileMe was simply not up to Apple's standards – it clearly needed more time and testing.
– Rather than launch MobileMe as a monolithic service, we could have launched over-the-air syncing with iPhone to begin with, followed by the web applications one by one – Mail first, followed 30 days later (if things went well with Mail) by Calendar, then 30 days later by Contacts.
– It was a mistake to launch MobileMe at the same time as iPhone 3G, iPhone 2.0 software and the App Store.  We all had more t…

Unnecessary Complexity

I just read David Pogue's latest post, which can be found here, about the complexity of software and I could not agree with him more. In fact at one stage I worked on installation applications and constantly pushed for the process to be streamlined and made easier. I thought that about 3 screens could do it for the average user and maybe 5 for the more adventurous. This was not the way it was built however because of the terrible idea in software design: the user is stupid and doesn't know what they're doing so we must take them through it step-by-step by the hand. That did include showing them options on 10 different screen just incase seeing one screen with multiple options might make their head explode.Anyway fair play to you David I'd love to see software made simpler and here's a cartoon from flickr showing how the software process basically works:

Mojave Experiment

Mojave experiment is now available to watch at http://www.mojaveexperiment.com/. It makes for pretty good viewing, for example it's interesting to note that one of the more popular features appears to be Instant Search. It does highlight an important point about Vista and to an extent a weakness in all upcoming Microsoft OS's, lack of education. These people in the videos do not seem to know what features are actually available in Vista or how to use them.

Microsoft should consider releasing a Power Pack for XP that introduces some of the vista functionality. The people need to feel like Vista is familiar because they've seen some of what it can do already on their XP machine. They have a fantastic marketing tool as long as it's used correctly. People will not embrace Windows 7 if they do not understand it in the same way as they haven't embraced Vista because they don't understand it.

Can Apple Be Trusted?

I've been thinking about the MobileMe mess, the iPhone launch and the restrictions imposed on iPhone application developers and I have to wonder if Apple can be trusted. Before I continue I'm not saying Apple would do anything illegal or quesionable. That's not the type of trust I'm talking about. I'm talking about the kind of trust Enterprise customers need before they are willing to purchase your hardware.

The first point to get out of the way is the overly discussed issue of secrecy. It's been talked about so often that I'm not gonna spend too much time on it. Basically Enterprise customers do not like secrecy. They do not like surprise. They like to know months in advance what the upcoming hardware and software can do. They want to know which of their products are going to work and which ones are going to cause issues and they like to test them repeatidly before their customers get anywhere near the new product. That doesn't fit with the Apple "…

Read Dan Lyons

Just a quick post to bring more people's attention to Dan Lyons blog which you can find here. In case you're not sure who Dan Lyons is he was Fake Steve Jobs. His own blog is a fantastic read.

"Mojave" The Sequel To Windows XP...Wait Isn't That Vista

Microsoft presented computer users in San Francisco with a sneak peak at what it called "Mojave", supposidly the next OS from Redmond. After these people got a chance to use it they were asked for their opinions and over 90% were impressed. It was only then that they were told that they were in fact using Windows Vista.

It isn't a surprise that Windows Vista would invoke this kind of response but what is interesting is that these people didn't recognise it. I would like to think that I would have been able to identify the current OS but if these XP users couldn't identify Vista how were they able to decide that they didn't like it?

Microsoft have to battle bad press and Apple marketing but with Apple getting badly hammered by the whole MobileMe and iPhone debacle at the moment and even the press having to admit that Apple can do wrong, this has got to be Microsoft's best opportunity to gain the upper hand. It's obvious though that it's not Vista its…

XBox 360: The WOW Is Coming!

I've just been watching the trailer for the new XBox 360 Dashboard and it's looking good, it's looking very very good. This is one of the first time's I've seen Microsoft really get the concept of style nailed. The new dashboard seems to use a coverflow style to show different TV shows, films and games that can be viewed/downloaded. An example of the new style can now be seen on the http:\\www.xbox.com home page. I wonder will the new media centre look anything like this?Another change is going to be the creation of Avatars. These are the little characters that you create on the Nintendo Wii who are then included in some games and online and basically it's a digital version of yourself. The 360 versions seem to be exactly the same and could be quite and interesting new feature depending on whether or not games actually bother to support them.The third change will be the ability to rip a game to your 360 hard drive. This will turn off the DVD-Drive and allow th…

Apple Mystery Product Transition, Is It Steve?

Just to clarify this is a piece of pure guesswork which I sincerely hope isn't true. I've read the reports today on the Apple Q2 results and to start with congratulations Apple on a fantastic quarter. During the call however reference was made to a "Future product transition" that was going to have a detremental effect on Q3 results. Now this could be anything from an iTablet to what I beleve is most likely, an iPhone with the built in keypad. Actually I'm going on the record as saying that that's what I think it is but I want to consider one other possibility.

Reading some of the other reports that have been going around recently regarding the health of Steve Jobs and the way Apple dodged the question in the press conference by stating that his health is a private matter, I have to wonder if the product transition is Jobs himself. I really hope he is in full health and I hope he will remain at the helm of Apple for many years but he was worryingly thin at WWD…

iTunes Really Is A Pain

Just a quick note to back up Paul Thurrott when he posted a couple of days ago regarding iTunes dragging down his Windows Vista reliability score, posted here. I checked mine today and it's sitting at 5.9! That's dreadful! Strangely there are only two applications that appear on the list and here's another interesting point the reliability was at 9.1 on the day before I installed iTunes. All the red X's are linked to Outlook Sync Client failures or to iTunes failures. Every single one! For those wondering the Outlook failures only occurred when I was trying to sync MobileMe with my Outlook contact list. I'm not anti-Apple, not by any means, but this recent launch has not been good to Apple's Windows customers and as a user I'm just voicing my displeasure over it all.

MobileMe Realisation

I've been using MobileMe since it became available and on the Apple side I've had no issues with it. It syncs easily with iPod Touch and OSX. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the Windows side of things. I've been trying to sync contacts and calendar with Outlook with mixed success. I have my Windows Live account hooked up to Outlook using Outlook Connector. I was under the impression, rather stupidly, that the contacts and the calendar would sync out of the box. There's been none of it. Not even close in fact.
Syncing contacts is the first major issue. If I sync with Windows Contacts then everything works perfectly and the contacts appear. If I use Outlook however OutlookSyncDevice crashes every single time. I'm going to hook in and debug it but I suspect it's linked to Outlook Connector and MobileMe not playing nice. I've no intention of turning off Outlook Connector so that could mean bye bye MobileMe.
Before I jump however lets look at the calend…

Apple Aren't Patching?

An article in Arstechnica highlights how slow Apple can be when patching security flaws.Although Apple didn't make a big deal about it, one of the security fixes included in the recent iPhone/iPod touch 2.0 firmware is a fix for a fairly high-profile WebKit bug that was used to hack a MacBook Air back in March. People immediately began asking why the bug took so long to fix on the iPhone. Now, the researcher who discovered it, Charlie Miller, has called Apple out over its iPhone patching practices in a recent Computerworld piece, saying that the company "messed up." When the bug was originally disclosed to Apple, the company asked Miller if Mobile Safari was also affected, and he suggested that it probably was. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to confirm his assertion at the time, and left it up to Apple (which had all of the details) to test the exploit on the iPhone itself. It turned out that the exploit code needed to be tweaked slightly to do anything malicious on a…

IE8 Adds Browser Navigation To Ajax

The IE8 team have put up a post confirming that the Back/Forward buttons can be used in IE8 with an AJAX application. No more hitting back and watching the app get reset to the start. It's great to see this feature added. I've used IE8 beta for a while now and I must say I do like it. Looking forward to getting my hands on beta 2.
One of the AJAX improvements we adopted in IE8 from HTML5 is AJAX page navigations. In IE8 mode, we provide support for script to update the travel log components (for e.g. back/forward buttons, address bar) to reflect client-side updates to documents. This allows a better user experience where users can navigate back and forth without messing the AJAX application state.

There's Only So Much You Can Blame Microsoft For.

Gary Krakow claims Microsoft Exchange Server is the reason for the woeful iPhone battery life when using push email. Total rubbish obviously and Paul Thurrott quotes the following piece that makes it clear just how bad the claim is. Lets face it Apple don't get it right every time. Check out Paul's posts here.
On the note of Apple getting it wrong I actually intended the quote the article here but I'm using Safari on the Macbook and I'm getting some totally messed up printing results. Safari just can't get it right with Blogger at the moment. Suppose that's why I've downloaded Firefox, I miss Internet Explorer.

N95 v iPod Touch Apps

So far virtually all the apps I have for the iPod Touch are available for the N95 in some form which is just as good. The applications were one of the major reasons, if not the major reason, why I was considering the iPhone but with virtually every major newspaper having a mobile version, every major email provider having mobile access and most major blogging services having a mobile interface or an application that gives a mobile interface then what exactly sets iphone apart?
I'm looking at moving to the N96 and if the developers deliver to that platform in anything close to the way they've tried to deliver to the iPhone then Nokia could have a massive winner on it's hand. Better camera, better reception, ability to change the battery, Java platform and therefore more welcoming to developers along with.....get this....Multimedia Messaging! The N96 is the better phone and it's the one I'll have in a months time.

The Apple Tastes Sour Today!

I've been quite complimentary to Apple over the last few days and I was fully ready to accept that perhaps they had their game together. Today however has been an absolute nightmare for me in terms of Apple software. I signed up to Mobile Me when I got my first opportunity and got it setup on the Mac with virtually no problems. Everything seemed to sync and play ball. Then I discovered that the web apps were down. Well no big deal it's the first day and they're probably being pounded so I'm happy to wait and decided to get my PC setup. This is where the trouble started. Trying to sync Outlook 2007, a supported application, with Mobile Me was a horrible experience. The Outlook Sync Client kept crashing and therefore failing to sync correctly. After some investigation I discovered that this was down to an issue with my contacts. So I wiped my Outlook, and therefore Windows Live, contact list under the impression that I could sync again from Mobile Me. After all it did ha…

The coolade doesn't taste too bad.

I've been using my wee Macbook quite a bit lately and I'm really starting to like it...a lot. You see I'm generally regarded as a Microsoft fan and I suppose that's been fair. My Vista laptop has got mostly Microsoft only software at the moment with only a few things like Adobe and iTunes representing the rest of the world. However due to the size of the machine I prefer to carry around the Macbook and the more I use it the more I find useful features that I miss on Vista.

The best example at the moment is the syncing of contacts and calendar between my PC and my Nokia N95. I don't want to use the Nokia software to do anything more than install updates and move photo's so I tried to keep the contacts in sync with Sync Centre. It was having none of it! Couldn't even get the devices to talk to each other. Without too much hope I thought about iSync. Within two minutes my contacts and calendar were synced to the Mac and iTouch. Another couple of minutes and I c…

Mobile Me on the way

Macworld.com is reporting that .mac will be switched off at 2am on July 10th with Mobile Me coming online at 8am. The site reports Apple as saying:
Apple declares: "As part of the MobileMe launch, www.mac.com will be taken offline at 6pm PT on Wednesday, 9 July. Members will be unable to access www.mac.com or any .Mac services during this time with the exception of .Mac Mail accessed via a desktop application, iPhone, or iPod touch."
It'll be nice to see it live if for no other reason than it gives Microsoft a kick and gets them offering similar services to those of us who are still sticking by them.

Image from Apple.com

Review - Hancock

I went to see Hancock last night in the cinema and, while it's nothing to do with tech, I thought I might as well give it a quick review. So what's it all about? John Hancock, played by Will Smith, is a superhero who has completely forgotten the first rule of being a superhero, with great power comes great responsibility. While he does try to save the people of Los Angeles he goes about it in all the wrong way and ends up causing thousands/millions of dollars worth of damage. He even flies and lands with all the style of a 1990 Volvo, there's none of the smooth Superman stuff here. However it's during one of these acts of goodwill that Hancock meets a PR Executive Ray Embrey, who takes on the unenviable task of turning Hancock into a much loved man of the people.This film was never going to be a Hollywood masterpiece but as far as being an enjoyable and at times funny little action romp it could probably be held in the same regard as Men in Black and Independence Day.…

A few fun headlines from Paul Thurrott

Paul Thurrott took a fun look at some tech industry headlines and it's a fantastic read. Check it out here. Here's a couple of examples:
Apple's Snow Leopard. What's The Point?
It appears to be a tacit admission that Leopard is horribly broken.Thinking Like a Cocoa Programmer
Just think, "I'm going to sell 6 copies of this application!"Paul's blog is my favourite read online at the moment. Keep up the great work.

What Should Viacom Get?

A quick post on this before I head out to work. As I'm sure you know Google has been told to hand it's user logs over to Viacom. The reason is apparently to let Viacom see if the legal or illegal clips are getting higher viewing figures. That's fine if the logs didn't contain IP addresses, login names and other personally identifiable information.

So what do you guys think? Should Viacom be allowed this level of access to the logs? What will they do when they know that a user they can now identify has uploaded or viewed copyrighted material?

Where does Windows Home Server fit in?

I have decided that the time has come to buy myself a new toy. My first inclination was to buy a Windows Home Server from HP. I did some research into the options available and regardless of the noise the product is reported to make I was still keen on it. You see I was using WHS a few months ago through the Microsoft Connect Program and I loved it. Great backup, easy to access from any location and very stable.

However I've changed my mind. Why? Well it's quite simple and it's nothing to do with HP or WHS itself. It's all to do with Microsoft's lack of an integrated future. You see I've got Office Live Workspace, Live Spaces, Live Mail, Skydrive, Live Mesh, Vista, XP and Windows Mobile 5 and I have absolutely no idea how it all connects together. Obviously I know that I can save to Skydrive or setup Mesh on Vista and XP but where does WHS fit into all this. Surely there are some obvious over laps between Mesh and WHS and with no ability to map Skydrive onto Mes…

Studio 60: Pure Class

A few months ago I watched an episode of Studio 60 on television in the UK and I wasn't won over by it. In fact it was the only episode I watched and after it I wasn't surprised that the show was canned. Then iTunes came along and I decided that after watching South Park and Flintstones I would give something different a try and downloaded the Studio 60 Pilot, afterall I didn't bother with the West Wing until Season 3 and now I own all the box sets. So I sat down and without much hope of being entertained I watched Studio 60 one more time......then I downloaded the entire season! It is, quite frankly, the best show on television since the West Wing. The quality of writing is exceptional, as you would expect from Sorkin, and the characters are one's you can easily connect with. The season finale is stretched over 4 episodes and had me hooked from beginning to end.

There are of course places where the show moves slowly but what 22 season show doesn't have the odd epis…

Reactions To A Few Things

Since I last posted a few things have happened in the world of tech that I think need to be covered. The most obvious is the Microhoogle. This deal turned into an absolute mess. Microsoft managed to get out of it with a few bumps and scrapes but they do now seem to be much more focused on what services will succeed and which ones they should simply drop, like book search. Book search has been done and done well. Microsoft is not going to benefit from trying to clone Google's version so there's really no point in wasting money on it.

What Microsoft do need to do online is actually quite simple. They need to bring the current services into a more logically connected structure. Microsoft's online offering, and part of Google's for that matter, feel like they're a bunch of independent services with the word Windows or Google in the title. They don't really work together particularly well and they certainly don't bring other devices together well. Now I'm usi…

I'm Back

OK it's been a few days, well a couple of weeks actually, since I last posted here and I'm sorry for the lack of activity over that time. I'm very happy to say though that I started a new job, that I'm loving, and now that I'm settled in I'm going to start blogging again. So please keep watching this space for more reactions and opinions on the stories hitting the tech world.

Windows 7 Multi-touch

Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer appeared on stage at the D: All Things Digital conference and introduced the world to Windows 7, or at least a major piece of Windows 7 functionality. The ability to manipulate Windows applications using touch is an excellent feature but is getting horrible press from people asking, "do we really want to touch our computers?" Now remember when rumours were circling about Apple releasing a touch phone and it was hailed as the greatest invention of all time, even though Microsoft had been using touch technology on it's mobile platforms long before Apple did. I am not arguing that Apple have used touch technology much more succesfully than Microsoft but MS did come up with it first. On the run up to the Macworld Keynote 2008 there was speculation that Jobs was going to announce a version of the iMac with touch technology built in. Once again the web was full of statements of the genius of Jobs and what a fantastic idea this was. Microsoft have a…

Apple Keynote Bloopers

With only 19 days to go until the Steve Jobs Keynote at WWDC I thought it would be fun to post video from YouTube covering some bloopers from past keynotes. Bill Gates, enjoy :)

Steven Sinofsky Interview and Windows 7

CNET is carrying an interview with Steven Sinofsky in which he talks about Windows 7 and the cone of silence that supposedly decended around Windows 7. For anyone interested in the full interview it can be found here. There is also a blog post from Steve to his team regarding the disclosure of information on Windows 7 which can be found here, it's an interesting read. Finally, there's a response from Paul Thurrott to the interview here and here. These posts are all worth a read espeically along with the reaction from Paul.
A few interesting points to take away from the interview are:
1) Windows 7 release is penciled in for 2010, baring that in mind we are in the very early stages of development and this may not actually be a cone of silence just the lack of a hard feature list.
2) The approach now appears to be, under-promise then over-deliver. A good strategy.
3) Windows 7 is a 'manor' release, i.e. not quite a major release but more than a minor release.Paul concludes by…

Windows Vista Shortcut Keys

Here is a list of Windows Vista Shortcut keys that are listed on the Windows Vista Blog. These are great time savers.
Display Help: F1
Copy the selected item: CTRL+C
Cut the selected item: CTRL+X
Paste the selected item: CTRL+V
Undo an action: CTRL+Z
Redo an action: CTRL+Y
Delete the selected item and move it to the Recycle Bin: DELETE
Delete the selected item without moving it to the Recycle Bin first: SHIFT+DELETE
Rename the selected item: F2
Move the cursor to the beginning of the next word:
CTRL+RIGHT ARROW
Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous word:
CTRL+LEFT ARROW
Move the cursor to the beginning of the next paragraph:
CTRL+DOWN ARROW
Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous paragraph:
CTRL+UP ARROW
Select a block of text: CTRL+SHIFT with an arrow key
Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text within a document: SHIFT with any arrow key
Select multiple individual items in a window or on the desktop: CTRL with any arrow key+SPACEBAR
Select all items in …

Are Apple Relying Too Heavily On PC Sales?

I read an article in the Wall Street Jounal outlining the importance of the iPhone to Apple. I found one paragraph in particular quite interesting:
Mace, a onetime Apple executive, parses the company’s most recent earnings report to point out that iPod unit growth has essentially ground to a halt–up only 1% from the same quarter the prior year. (Mac unit growth was 51%.) He adds that it’s risky for Apple to rely on the relatively mature PC market for such a big part of its growth. There has been a lot of talk about the move to Cloud Computing and the threat this poses to Microsoft's desktop business. I haven't heard anyone mention the dangers it poses to Apple. If future sales of Microsoft software and Operating Systems are going to be affected by Google and other online services then you have to think that the Apple environment is going to be hit just as hard if not harder and with such a reliance on Mac sales for growth Apple need another major market. With iPod sales levelli…

Does Google Not Like Microsoft?

The Wall Street Journal blogs summed up nicely why Google are looking at a search deal with Yahoo:
The enemy of my enemy is my friend: Google co-founder Larry Page thinks a Google-Yahoo deal is the best idea ever. In further news, he still hates Microsoft with an intensity hotter than a thousand burning suns.
And for those who are interested this earth shattering conclusion is drawn from this article in the Mercury News where he said:"If you put 90 percent of communications in one company, that's really a big risk, especially one (Microsoft) that has a history of doing bad stuff," ..."There are ways to structure a deal with Yahoo that are reasonable, for us and for Yahoo to remain independent," Page said. "We would support that."

Vista Hurt By User Feedback?

Well things are quite quiet on the tech news front which gives me the opportunity to look at the Windows 7 debate again. I read Ed Bott's artcle on Windows 7 here. He makes a two points regarding beta cycles and feedback that I don't agree with.[Update: After re-reading the post it appears that I misread it. I agree with what's being said in these points. Suppose that's what happens when I post after a late night]Long beta cycles make better products. Oh really? If you count the infamous “Longhorn reset,” Windows Vista had arguably the longest beta cycle in the history of software development, with tens of thousands of outside testers. And look how well that worked out. Getting advance access to new Windows releases might make some outsiders feel like insiders, but it doesn’t make for a better product........Users need time to give feedback about design decisions. Microsoft is getting plenty of feedback about the design decisions it made with Windows Vista. I don’t thi…

Manchester United Champions of Europe!

Congratulations to Manchester United on a fantastic win in the Champions League Final in Moscow. The match itself was a fantastic showpiece for English football. The absolute hell that I went through for the length of the second half and extra-time really was nothing compared to the penalty shoot out. I honestly do feel sorry for John Terry but lets face it Chelsea fans weren't going to have too much sympathy for Ronaldo if his miss had cost United the trophy. In the end the Premiership Champions are the best team in Europe and rightfully lifted the European Cup.

Microsoft Embraces ODF, PDF and XPS

Microsoft announced that it will introduce support for Open Document Format, Portable Document Format and XML Paper Specification in Office 2007 SP2, due for release in 2009. This is another step by Microsoft to support Open Source while at the same time hopefully keeping their critics quiet. As I've said before I now expect other Office vendors such as IBM and Sun will now embrace OOXML. While I don't care about ODF support it is a great addition for education where students can use Office 2007 in school and know that they can work on their coursework at home on their Open Source Office suite without formating difficulties. The ability to open and save PDF's is much more useful to me and lets remember that Microsoft had intended to support PDF in Office 2007 until Adobe forced them to pull support in 2006, not really thinking about users there Adobe were ya? I assume Office for Mac will also get support for these formats at some point in the near future also.
The 2007 Micr…