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technology

That syncing feeling

Last week I managed to finally get me a Blackberry. They're much harder to get hold of then one might think… Anyway eBay came through for me and I settled down to learn the ins and outs of this extraordinary device. The interface is not of iPod simplicity but it is very good when put next to my last experiences of Palm and Symbian interfaces. There really is no good need for a touchscreen in simple PIM applications.

Unfortunately Research in Motion (creators of all things Blackberry) do not support the Mac. So I had to buy some 3rd party software, PocketMac to get synchronisation working. It works great but it felt like going back 10 years when I realised I had to use a docking station and a Windows PC to update any software on the device. Why is syncing still such a fragmented higgledy-piggledy affair? I thought SyncML would sort this mess out but no, we still need to use the software equivalents of duct tape and string to get data in and out of these devices. We should should demand much more from the suppliers.

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technology

Link Tidy-Up

Here's a bunch of links I've been meaning to post for ages…

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technology

I’m lost… send gadgets

I got horribly lost in London today. I was accompanying a client to a pitch and admittedly our target was absurdly tucked away but… if I'd had a GPS enabled phone we wouldn't have walked in a huge circle!

I'm also sorely tempted by one of those 3G cards for my PowerBook (well the Vodafone one as they're the only ones to support Macs). GPRS via Bluetooth is ok, but rather slow. 3G data would make those delayed trains a bit more bearable but I'm not sure the Brighton area coverage is any good…

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technology

Tracking your printouts…

Like the election result this is totally unbelievable… Colour laser printers add microscopic traceable numbers to each print they deliver. This 'feature' is aimed at preventing counterfeiting. I just wonder what other kinds of printers, scanners, photocopiers have such undisclosed tracking systems?

Article on IT World via EDRI-gram

In other news an independent audit of the Irish e-voting system will be undertaken. It's not clear what will happen with the results or what kind of tests will actually be done. Still it shows how far the pressure has made the Irish government go to try and shore up confidence in e-voting.

Article in The Times via EDRI-gram

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technology

Get image sizes with a click…

Now that's useful check out Dimensionizer a free plugin for MacOS X. It provides a contextual menu in the finder with an images dimensions… perfect!

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technology

Links 9-10-2004

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technology

Incredible Quicktime VR shot

BoingBoing points to an incredible Quicktime VR panorama of 2002's 'Tribute in Light' to the victims of 9/11. Rotate upwards from people blurring by to see the shafts of light disappearing into the clouds.

The site [panoramas.dk][pdk] is truly packed with similar Virtual Reality wonders… I've just had a great time there viewing all sorts of incredible interactive imagery. It's like living in the future.

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technology

Postcard from Paris

ipod in Paris

All of Paris is absolutely covered with these primary colour Apple posters promoting the iPod and the Apple Expo next week. It's fun but what do they hope to achieve by covering the whole city in these posters? Half as many and we'd all still notice them. Is Mr Jobs perhaps going to make a surprise visit…?

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technology

Ouch! Sony iPod killer slammed in WSJ

Sony has always had a bit of a weird ability to create technically strong hardware that sports arcane interfaces. Their products have usually revelled in names only a geek could love whilst being shrouded in attractive casings.

Enter the 'Network Walkman NW-HD1' Sony's proposed iPod killer. Problem is that the Network Walkman is looking like a big flop before it's even available in stores. Sony have over-hyped the device's capabilities, botched the interface, made poor technical decisions (forcing users to convert music to ATRAC3) and been slow to market. In the meantime Apple have been able to release a new version of the iPod with a higher battery life, even slicker interface and introduce a price cut. This leaves Sony as an expensive late-comer to the digital music player.

Poor old Sony can't even agree who should be making digital music devices, the Walkman group or the Vaio group so we will be treated to an even more expensive Vaio player from Sony later in the year.

Apple probably can't believe their luck. Read the whole WSJ review on Sony's sorry little music player here.

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technology

iTunes Music Store UK – I cracked

First 5 iTunes buys

I cracked… I couldn't resist any longer and I dove into the iTunes Music Store UK. I can't deny that my first five purchases are an odd selection. But that's part of the fun with the store, you end up in musical places you wouldn't suspect.

Overall it's a remarkably smooth experience. I've had a few glitches in terms of trying to access pages on the store probably because it's so busy. Yes there's lots of stuff I'd like to see online, but I'm sure they'll get there.

What I really miss is user reviews though… I found myself with a Safari window open to Amazon UK so that I could read reviews of albums as I browsed. I'm not sure why Apple chose not to include user reviews in the store… maybe it's coming or maybe they just don't want negative views to be put online next to their wares.

Let's face it though… Apple have made the music industry's massive vaporware (easy digital music) come true. We can probably thank WebObjects and the savvy realisation that iTunes was a better interface than the web browser for music buying for this new way of spending our money!