Monthly Archives: June 2012

Drobo Mini

via Drobo.

It’s a Drobo, so by definition it’s easy-to-use. Now it’s also the fastest portable storage array—with cutting-edge Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 connectivity and innovative use of solid state drives (SSDs). Along with the power of BeyondRAID, it delivers all the power and flexibility of its larger sibling, Drobo 5D, in a miniaturized package.

This is my next local backup solution…

Introducing the new Photos App in Yahoo! Mail

via Yahoo Blog.

When you’re ready to share, you can either send your photos as an attachment in Yahoo! Mail, or you can post your photos to Flickr and share from there.  Not a Flickr user?  No problem, we let you create an account seamlessly from within Yahoo! Mail.  If you’re an existing Flickr user, your Flickr account can easily be connected to your Yahoo! Mail inbox.  Now you can see your entire Flickr photostream in Yahoo! Mail.  Remember that photo you uploaded to Flickr from your iPhone yesterday?  There it is, in your Yahoo! Mail.

Is this Yahoo’s attempt to integrate Yahoo and Flickr? There are a lot of words trying to explain what this app does but it fails and I don’t have any hope that it will do what I want it to do. Can I upload and edit my photos from my iPhone/iPad? Can I view other people’s photos? This is potentially another sign in which Flickr is dying a slow and painful death. Even if it does, then I wouldn’t know becuase they don’t explain it to me clearly. We all love the idea that a photo service is required to showcase our work, but nobody does it well.  Someone please come up with a better service dedicated to pushing the boundaries regularly. Seriously Flickr (Yahoo), not much has changed in the last 5 years. What are your next steps?

The Frame Game

via Guy English | kickingbear

And that’s how the Frame Game works. When your company thinks, “we’ve got to get in front of this” and you’re not sure you’ve got a better product, well, the best thing you can aim for is to be part of the conversation.

And that’s why I won’t take this product seriously until they tell the public all the facts.

Review: Three Years with the iPhone 3GS

via Adam Mills | gottabemobile.com

I’ve owned my iPhone 3GS for around three years and I am still getting the latest software, even if it’s a stripped down version. Folks who just bought the Lumia 900 Windows Phone, which came out earlier this year, won’t be getting the  Windows Phone 8 update this fall. Instead, they will be getting stripped down version version called Windows Phone 7.8. And don’t even get me started on Android.

A good summary on what’s good and bad about the iPhone 3GS. There are various reasons why I have stuck with it for almost 3 years but the main one is that I am able to feel included with current iPhone users (also non iPhone users too) and do almost everything they can do. And sometimes more when you know how. By including legacy iPhones as part of iOS’s upgrade path, Apple has probably rretained a higher percentage of existing users to it’s platform and let them choose when to buy a new phone. Ideally this is when an iPhone is released every time but from a consumer perspective this can’t be possible to the majority. Apple have broken the mould and allowed me to keep a phone for almost 3 years which is a first when the rest of the industry is expecting me to replace it every 12 -24 months.

The New iPhone “Mini” Connector

via Techcrunch

Apple’s 30-pin ports have been the standard since Apple released the third generation iPod. The connectors offered structural stability when connecting to most accessories but it’s clear – especially with the introduction of the MagSafe 2 port – Apple is more concerned with space savings inside each device.

All the stories are singing from the same hymn sheet regarding Apple’s connector for the New iPhone. If this is actually confirmed by Apple then a lot of accessories bought in the past will be obsolete. Structural stability could be a concern especially on some like the Limb.al. I’m now wondering if I have made an error in judgement investing in this Kickstarter project.

WordPress 3.4 Update

So the next WordPress update (3.4) was release this week with a few notable enhancements:

  1. Enhanced theme control
  2. Custom Headers
  3. Media improvements

One that caught my eye that didn’t just out until I upgraded (and apparently has been there since v2.9!) was embedding Tweets and other media content from a URL directly onto the page. This now means that I don’t have to use the <iframe> tag and also embed a lot more richer media on to my blog quicker and more easily.

An example of this is shown below by just copying and pasting the YouTube URL: “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDuxWGHA-Z4” on to the blog post straight as is.

Or for a Tweet such as “https://twitter.com/silmonli/status/216318504079605760”, it’s all styled beatifully…

Having read the “Embeds Section” in WordPress, I can now do this easily with the following sites:

  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • DailyMotion
  • blip.tv
  • Flickr (both videos and images)
  • Viddler
  • Hulu
  • Qik
  • Revision3
  • Scribd
  • Photobucket
  • PollDaddy
  • WordPress.tv
  • SmugMug
  • FunnyOrDie.com
  • Twitter

This is the problem nowadays, I don’t read the capabilities and features that products have and miss out!  Note to self: RTFM!

Surface vs. OEMs (not iPad)

via Read Write Web.

I know Apple have screwed up on stage a few times. I remember when Steve Jobs asked if the audience could help out by switching off their wireless connections during a speed test on Mobile Safari.  But Microsoft, you’ve had almost 3 years to make a a successful tablet let alone a glitch free keynote.

After this presentation, there are many unanswered questions…

  • Is this a Tablet or PC?
  • I like the look of the keyboard but can I use it on my lap?
  • What’s the name of each of the products and which one should I buy? ARM, Intel, RT, Win 8 Pro?
  • Most importantly where can I buy one, when is it coming out and how much will it cost?

Unfortunately with so many things to clarify AND a poorly executed show you would have thought that someone in Microsoft would be standing up and saying “Are we confident that these will work during the show?” or “Are we telling a compelling story?” or even “Will this product actually ship?”.

Microsoft have some significant challenges ahead. Branding is key and they decided to name it “Surface” which was once used on it’s own TV Touchscreen Table now renamed PixelSense (like thats going make it any clearer…).  Was that really the best thing to do? For me I think it’s slightly weird to reuse an old product name and potentially bring up potentially “failing” connotations for it’s latest hardware.   The Xbox brand has succeed because they have completed divorced the notion that Microsoft builds this successful games platform.  If you ask a kid who makes the Xbox they wouldn’t know… Also explaining to the everyday consumer the different types of “Surface” they could purchase against the other “Windows” Tablets will be a lot of fun for the sales assistants…

This leads to their next big challenge. Are Microsoft trying to shoot themselves in the foot? They are now looking to compete with their OEM Partners in the core business in which they have made the majority of their earnings over the last 30 years.  Are the OEMs stuck with their hands tied behind their backs or will they persist?  Could they look for an alternative OS such as Ubuntu or Chrome OS? Or even Android for Tablets. But what about SMEs and large corporations dependent on Office applications? At the moment the OEMs are stuck as they depend highly on an OS that is used by the masses (which is Windows currently). But things can change and you can just imagine that there are already talks between OEMs and Google on increasing the adoption of Chrome OS over the next 10 years. A shift in OS dominance would exist where Apple and Google would fight it out instead of Microsoft. It wouldn’t be one to dismiss considering the number of Google Services people use on a daily basis today…

Anyway, I digress. This week’s announcement didn’t say much around release date and cost so until this actually happens I won’t be considering this as a serious contender against other Windows tablets let alone the Apple iPad.

Taken 2 – Trailer

via YouTube

At the moment I’m in two minds regarding to a sequel to Taken. I wouldn’t say it’s in the all time great films I’ve seen but it is a solid performance. A good one to sit down to when you just feel like watching a film. So a second film based on the original baddies taking revenge and kidnapping Brian’s (aka Liam Neeson) wife seems for me a predictable plot line. I think that I’ll skip this sequel at the movies and like I said… just sit down and watch it when I feel like watching a film in the comfort of my own home.

But I couldn’t resist thinking and reminiscing about the original film and replying “that” scene when Brian confronts the baddies over the phone. I’d be quaking in my boots if I heard that…

I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.

Apple WWDC 2012

via Apple.

First of all, apologies for the lack of posting for the last 7 -10 days. I’ve recently flown back to the UK for a wedding which I am best man to. So in preparation for that the Stage do/Bachelor Party had to take place.

Anyway, I’m sure most of you have already seen all the news and probably watched the WWDC Keynote, but I wanted to share my thoughts… For those of you that don’t know, I have the following Apple products and intend on replacing by the end 2012:

  1. iMac 27″ (2.8 GHx Core 2 Due) – Not replacing but will upgrade to Mac OS Mountain Lion
  2. iPad 2 – Not replacing
  3. iPhone 3GS – Replacing (hopefully)

 

Hardware

  • All Macbooks updated with expected updates but prices have reduced on some models which makes for an attractive proposition
  • Macbook Pro Retina provides a glimpse at what Apple is moving towards within the next few years for it’s laptop and computer lineup
  • No update for iMacs and minor updates for Mac Pro highlighting that something is probably in the works – main reason I think is that Retina screens at the size which are used on computers are not economically viable yet
  • No new announcements for iPhone or iPad which is understandable and probably expected in H2.  iPhone that is.

 

Mac OS X – Mountain Lion

  • Probably what Lion should have been
  • Fixes iMessage sync and alignment to iOS Apps such as Reminders and Notes
  • Notification Center introduced
  • Sharing is high on the agenda with Facebook integration
  • Airplay Mac to Apple TV enabled
  • Game Center available and now can play with iOS users
  • Enticing  upgrade price ($19.99) to maintain and increase conversion rate to latest OS

 

iOS 6

  • Apple are now in the Mapping business kicking out Google as the default map app
  • Siri now available on the New iPad (3) and gains new capabilities with sport, restaurant reservations, movie listings and launching apps
  • Facebook integration as with Mountain Lion
  • Passbook app making a better experience with consolidating payment cards and electronic tickets
  • iOS 6 will be supported from iPhone 3GS and iPad 2 with only all the features and  capabilities available on the latest mobile devices.

 

Summary

The momentum just keeps on going… A three pronged approach focusing on the hardware, Mac OS and iOS means that Apple are in strong and coherent position with it’s developers and customers.  It’s obvious that Apple will make more announcements later this year with the new iPhone expected to be released before the holiday season. I also expect that developers will have had some further insight into iOS 6 with the possibility of them knowing about a larger iPhone screen so that they can take advantage of the real estate. But they will be under a NDA…

So now at least I have a little bit of time to save for the new iPhone.  Would anyone like to help me out?