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17

Jun 2011

Five ways to tell you’re Apple-addicted.

Posted in Technology | 2 Comments »

It would appear that the Apple iPhone 5 is well on-course for a September release date, and it looks very shiny indeed. I own a Macbook Pro, and I absolutely love the thing, but I stop short at iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches simply because I know that they’re a lot more restrictive and overpriced than Apple would have me believe. I’m sure the latter is also the case for my computer, but it’s also got one of the best keyboards in the world and an incredible OSX, so I find those two features help somewhat, although OSX could be out the window soon if Jobs and co. have their way.

So are you Apple-addicted? I thought I’d offer five ways in which you can tell. Feel free to use this list to identify addicts when you’re out and about – believe me, some of them are that easy to spot.

1) You will pay literally any price. Some iProducts are priced at a level that renders them inaccessible to most. People will sign phone contracts with gigantic monthly charges just to own an iPhone 4. The Macbook, I feel, is a justifiably expensive machine, but a smartphone that can’t multitask worth a damn or a tablet computer that can’t even run Flash? No, I don’t think so.

2) You will upgrade every time you can. There are people out there who own every generation of iPhone. I don’t mean the 3GS and the 4, I mean the three that came before those models, too. My Macbook is now one generation behind, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to replace it before the Olympics, if not later. If it works and it runs the latest OS, keep it.

3) Everything Steve Jobs says sounds like honey flowing down your ear canal. Jobs is a lovely bloke, and I feel no ill-will towards him whatsoever. But sometimes he’s a little arrogant, and those that can’t stop talking about how great his presentations are are blind to the self-important commentary he provides every time a comparison-bearing slide mentions Microsoft. He’s a brilliant technological innovator, but it’s not just him there are many others working with him. People forget this about Gates, too, who isn’t even the CEO any more. Must irk Steve Balmer to no end.

4) You continue to use your barely-paid-for iPhone with a cracked screen. Look – just get it repaired! If you can’t afford an iPhone, that’s not your fault – that’s theirs. They overprice the iPhone to the degree where it’s hard to buy one on launch day, let alone repair it a week later once you drop it and crack the not-actually-shatter-proof glass screen. There’s a desperate quality to these people, attempting to play Angry Birds or write important business emails through the haze of spider-web fissures and shame.

5) You’re feeling uncomfortable right now. I’m a fan of Apple products, and I’m open about it – a lot of people tend to back-track fairly rapidly when confronted about their unabashed love for everything with a metallic casing and an Apple logo somewhere on it. Chill out. I’ll argue the benefits of Mac OSX and my Macbook Pro till the cows come home, because any writer knows that the keyboards they supply are the best on the market, and that combined with an efficient OSX and good hardware means I don’t have to justify the purchase.

Hopefully that should help, but in the meantime, enjoy The Oatmeal’s fantastic Apple comic; I feel it really captures the whole experience of being an Apple addict.

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12

Aug 2010

Good week for/ Bad week for in the online world

Posted in Social Media | 0 Comments

Good Week for…

1. Small businesses:

Expert Nicola Clark from Marketing Magazine reveals that small businesses do have the social media advantage over larger companies. She said: “Small brands are at a massive advantage because they are not at risk of being a faceless brand.

“What I think a lot of big brands are trying to achieve through social media is to create a community where it doesn’t actually exist, whereas with smaller brands you genuinely do have that community – you do have that touch point.”

2. Doing the Rubik’s Cube:

After thirty years of trying to find the minimum number of moves needed to solve the Rubik’s Cube, it appears a solution may have been found.

A team used a bank of computers at Google to discover that the magic number is 20. The research found that 100,00 starting positions out of a staggering 43 billion billion can be solved in 20 moves or less. Hmmm, pretty sure we still won’t be able to do it.

3. Using Blackberry’s in Saudi Arabia:

It had been reported that the country was going to ban Blackberrys from 6 August, as they were unhappy that the handsets automatically scramble messages, which get sent to servers in Canada.

However Saudi Arabia’s telecommunications regulator has said it will continue to allow service for the time being, while they try and work out if they can put a Blackberry server in the UK.

4. Social media movies:

First The Social Network is directed by David Fincher starring Jessie Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake.

Now there’s Catfish, a low budget thriller with Facebook as a key plot element. It tells the story of two film-makers who document a film about one of their brothers who falls for a girl he meets over the internet. Catfish was an instant hit at Sundance and has had excellent reviews. Check out the trailer, it looks amazing, no?

5. Social Media itself:
Simply Zesty in Ireland shows that 85% of the UK is connected to the UK, and 25% write blogs, 65% read blogs and social networks are the largest activity on the web.

Bad Week for…

1. The boy who let his girlfriend be hit by a baseball:

In some ways this is good as he has become an internet sensation, but bad because it shows him clearly moving out of the way as the ball comes towards his girlfriend. The shame.

The video, at the time of writing, has racked up 83,120 views and there is even a Facebook page dedicated to him. The incident took place during a Major League Baseball game between the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves, Astros Third Baseman Chris Johnson drove a foul ball in the direction of a couple sitting in left-field. The boyfriend, who is called Bo, saw the ball coming, allowing his girlfriend, Sarah, to get hit. Not only was the incident caught on camera, but he was interviewed afterwards and given the nickname ” Bo the Bailer”.

2. Mark Papermaster, the guy from antennagate:

Apple’s senior executive has been let go after the recent scandal involving the iPhone.

What’s got everyone talking is that apparently the problem with the antenna was known for years, way before Papermaster even joined Apple. He had only been working their for 16 months. So who is too blame, if anyone, is it the PR team handling the situation, the designers or Papermaster?

3. Newport State of Mind:

The spoof video Newport State of Mind, which became an instant internet hit, getting hundreds of thousands of views, has been removed from YouTube due to a copyright claim.

EMI say that permission should have been granted to use the same basics as the Jay Z and Alicia Key’s original Empire State of Mind.

4. Craigslist:

The popular online classified advertising site is facing accusations that the ‘adult services’ section is in fact a breeding ground for under-age prostitution. Two young women placed an advertisement in the Washington Post saying they were repeatedly sold through the site to men who ‘paid to rape’ them.

Craigslists has come under fire before for charging $10 for adult services ads, whereas other sites do so for free.

5. iPad:

It looks like the Dell Streak, which is a 5 inch tablet device, is going to cost a lot less than the iPad.

Launching August 12, it will cost $299.99 with a two-year AT&T contract, and $549.99 for an unlocked edition, that is less than half the price of the iPad 3G.

It is however smaller than the iPad and is in some ways just a glorified smartphone. What do you think, should Apple be worried?

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2

Feb 2010

iPad: marketing genius or naming debacle?

Posted in Blogging | 1 Comment »

When Steve Jobs revealed the name of his highly anticipated tablet computer I think the whole world let out a collective “what the…?”.

For months all sorts of rumours flew fast and furiously around the web about the possible naming of Apple’s new baby. Would it be iTablet, iPad, iNewton or iSlate? Of the four, we were all certain it would be iSlate. Makes sense right? It sounds cool, describes the shape, blah blah blah. Apparently, Apple even sneakily registered iSlate.com a few years ago.

“We want to kick off 2010 by introducing a truly magical and evolutionary product today,” said Chief Executive Steve Jobs at the launch event in San Francisco last Wednesday, “And we call it…iPad”.

Honestly, my first reaction was along the lines of “they called it what? Cue the feminine hygiene jokes”.

Ipad? I mean, sure the name works on a few levels, but…at the same time it is like calling your son Richard Head and then sending him of to school expecting him not to be picked-on. Of course people were going to make the link.

Minutes after the Jobs announcement the jokes began to run thick and fast (no pun intended) on social media pages and blogs. In fact, the term “iTampon” quickly became the top trending topic on Twitter.

“The mocking goes along the lines of: Yes, the iPad is small, lightweight and slim. But can you swim with it?” wrote the Los Angeles Times’ tech blog.

Anyway, I could go on and on about the many jokes flowing out there, but that’s not really the point of this blog. My question is- surely Apple was aware of the connotations associated with the name, so is this all just a big marketing ploy to get the world talking?

I got thinking and came up with this conclusion. I’m of the opinion that Apple knew exactly what they were doing and simply thought the name was better suited to the product and the Apple brand than the others. Plus, what’s the harm in a bit of free publicity, anyway?

Ultimately, the jokes will get old, and the name will eventually be accepted (to be honest, even as I write this I’m starting to get past my immaturity and appreciate the name). In the meantime though, the iPad will continue to ride this huge wave of publicity that has been inflated, particularly by social media websites, because the name is a little funny. In the end, if the iPad is a good product, it won’t matter what the thing is called.

Anyway, what do you think? Did Apple get it right or wrong with the name?

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28

Jan 2010

A Move Towards the Future, Today.

Posted in Blogging, Social Media | 0 Comments

As a follow up to my post from Tuesday, we see the release of the IPad. Not for nothing, I don’t much care for the name and look forward to spoofs like the one done by Mad TV,  The I-rack.  However, the post yesterday on Mashable, “What the Web of Tomorrow Will Look Like: 4 Big Trends to Watch’, that I mentioned in my post How Far We’ve Come Since the ‘Busy Signal’ was just in time! It would appear the IPad is the first step in the direction towards our internet future. I have doubts that the first release will be worth the purchase – who wants to admit they wasted their money on the first IPod or the first IPhone – but I look forward to its potential in future (there’s that word again) releases.

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