13 September, 2010
It’s been too long since I’ve contributed to this blog and a lot has happened not least of which an iPhone 4 acquisition which, from what I can see, is a faster, grown-up, very nicely engineered iPhone. But it’s not really all that different from what went before.
I’m still finding new features and figuring out if they are actually useful, I’m not sure voice control has a lot of merit but new apps like Layar are really pointing out what lies ahead with a combination of freely available data superimposed on a digitised view of the world shown on your little screen in real time.
What's over there, behind that idiot with the iPhone?
if I’d seen that suggested even 5 years ago I’d have not believed it would be possible, but seeing the world though a window which drops on information in real time dragged off the internet – on my phone for free – works today and I can see it catching-on fast.
On a more practical level I’d hate to take one apart but I bet it’s easier than the curved back models. I spent a fascinating evening repairing one of those this week and I’m not planning to do that again for a very long time.
I’m normally pretty capable with a box of tools but the sheer scale of an iPhone assembly made me realise that my eyesight and dexterity are both starting to show their combined age. Fortunately age and experience (stubbornness) finally triumphed over fiendish Californian ingenuity and the device lives again.
If you get an iPhone or iPod it is possible to fix a screen for the price of a decent pizza but trust one of these nice services who offer to do it for you, trust me it’s so worth it.
2 August, 2010
So IBM researchers are working on developing ‘Minority Report’ style advertising. This is all well and good, I suppose you’ve got have something to do (although if people are going to base their work on technology they’ve seen in sci-fi movies I’d still rather they focused their efforts on making some hoverboards already).
However, what really grates about this announcement is that this is being heralded as another breakthrough in the seemingly incessant push for more ‘targeted’ advertising. To quote from the story: “IBM claims that its technology will help prevent consumers from being subjected to a barrage of irritating advertising because they will only be shown adverts for products that are relevant to them.”
Now, I realise advertising is pretty much a fact of life, however, when is everyone going to realise that no matter how targeted they are, adverts are always going to be annoying? As much as advertising agencies, and the clients they represent, try to persuade us otherwise, no one wants to be stomped in the face over and over again by an advert – even if it is for their fizzy drink of choice or the maker of that jumper they saw the other day that looked quite nice.
As I say, I’d like to think there are other technologies that are worth prioritising before ‘new advertising platform’. And the sooner the ad people stop pretending that everyone would love adverts “if only they were more personal” the better. Tell us what it is and how much it is. Those that want it will buy it. Those that don’t, won’t. And leave the boffins to make me a hoverboard – which, incidentally, I would buy without needing an advert to persuade me it was a good idea.
26 July, 2010
I saw something in a pub that really upset me over the weekend. This is what it was.
Wine on a tap? Wine. On. A tap. Draught wine.
This is, apparently, old news. My announcement of draught wine didn’t afford the cacophony of protest I had expected; no ‘clunk’ of jaws hitting floors; no smashing of dropped pint glasses; no anguished screams followed by back-of-the-hand-to-the-forehead sitcom-style fainting. Nothing.
Amongst the plethora of other high-quality packaging options, (bottles, boxes, plastic tubs, barrels, old milk bottles, bathtubs), wine, apparently, occasionally comes on draught now. And this is deemed as acceptable.
Am I alone in finding this to be a bridge too far? This is now the world we live in. This is the result of roughly 10,000 years of evolution. First Dan Brown, now this. Truly The End Times have come…
On the other hand they *did* have an excellent website.
There. Technology blog, Not a rant. No sir. Not a rant.