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Showing posts from July, 2008

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…