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Market Carnage in the PC Industry

There was pretty grim news for the PC industry yesterday as research firm IDC reported the worst quarter for the industry on record. It was pretty much carnage for the desktop and laptop PC sector. Even Apple, which had been bucking the trend, is expected to feel the effects. What is particularly interesting is that the research is specifically blaming Windows 8 for contributing to the drop in sales, the complaint being that it is confusing consumers. It will be interesting to see if Microsoft does anything to respond to these figures other than its usual expression of denial that anything is actually wrong.

What I also find fascinating is that many people who criticised the lat Steve Jobs for his comments that we are living in a “post-pc world”, are now begrudgingly coming around to the realisation that he may have been right. It should be noted that these figures are just for the United States too. I suspect the situation in Europe is even worse. The retail market has been undergoing a catastrophic downturn here, with many high profile casualties, and I expect PC resellers aren’t immune either. It’s a difficult time to be in the PC business right now, and I suspect those who make PCs and are feeling the pain are especially furious with Microsoft over Windows 8.

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Intel announces next-gen Thunderbolt with 20 Gbps throughput, 4K support

And you thought 10 Gbps was fast enough!

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Hidden Camera films Journey through the Mail

Great video from industrial designer Ruben van der Vleuten who decided that he wanted to see what happened to a package as it was sent through the mail. He created a special parcel with a hidden camera and built a timer circuit to shoot a 3 second video every minute. It also detected if the box was moving and shot for longer. A very clever little project an fascinating video (especially when you see the sorting machinery in the sorting office).

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BlackBerry surprises with quarterly profit, sales of 1M Z10 phones

Blackberry finally back in the black. Good for them. Now, just stop your CEO’s from making stupid comments about other companies and you’re set.

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Apple and The 4K Television

Most of the mac web ran stories yesterday based on the rumour coming out of Digitimes that Apple was planning on releasing a 4K UHD TV set either later this year or early next year. Needless to say this set the rumour mill into a tizzy. I don’t know whether this will be true or not, Apple may well release a 4K TV set, although I doubt it. Why? Apple generally doesn’t adopt technologies that aren’t mature, and 4K tv is far from mature. I know you’re probably thinking, but what about the iPad, iPhone etc? The innovations in the products might have been new, and the combination of technology might have been new, but they were all based on technologies Apple could mass market. You can’t mass market 4K. Not yet. So the way I see it, 4K tv will be like blu-ray as far as Apple is concerned. There just isn’t a big enough market for 4K yet Apple to go down that route. Sure I could be wrong, but based on Apple’s moves in the past, it really seems unlikely. 

The one thing I am sure of though is that people really should stop giving so much weight to Digitimes rumours. They’re constantly throwing Apple related tid-bits against the wall in the hope that some of them stick. I’m sure someone will be happy to point out the few occasions when they’ve been right, but you know the old phrase, a stopped clock is right twice a day.

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US search engine giant Google has successfully put pressure on the Swedish Language Council to remove an entry from its recently released list of new Swedish words....

You know….”Open”

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The Lifespan of Google Products

In the wake of the Google Reader kerfuffle, Charles Arthur from the Guardian talks about Google’s tendency to kill it’s software offerings after a short period of time.

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Cube Sensors

Amazing idea and cool looking piece of technology. Basically a little cube containing sensors that monitor your indoor environment, measuring everything from humidity to air quality and sending the resulting data to your smartphone or tablet. As someone who has a lot of problems with indoor air quality where I work and live, this could be a great little tool to help analyse the problems.

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For Just 2 Million Dollars You Can Have Your Own Underwater Plane

Bond villains of the world rejoice!

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Samsung’s Disingenuous Bullshit

I’ll be perfectly honest: I don’t like Samsung, and I never have. It’s not just because of the recent spat with Apple either. I’ve not liked them for a lot longer than that, but it’s their marketing and pr department that has really got my goat up recently. They have zero scruples. Zero.

First there was their anti apple ads which made fun of Apple fans. Apart from being derogatory to the very customers they were trying to woo, Samsung’s stated goal is to become the next Apple, and here they are deriding the very thing they are trying to become. It would be fine if it was done as tongue in cheek, but it wasn’t, it was deliberately trying to create a distasteful stereotype of the loathsome hipster apple fan, which as I said earlier, is exactly the customer they are also trying to win over.

Then there’s the ads for the Galaxy note. They are toting the stylus equipped note as “the New Way”. Presumably the message that they are trying to get across is that using a stylus with a smart phone is a newer and hipper invention than any of it’s competitors have come up with. Which of course is utter bullshit. It’s not a new way at all, its an old way. A way that every other company has moved beyond. But, I guess in emerging markets where the note is successful, people have never heard of Palm, and so they buy Samsung’s nonsense. But again it’s another attempt to use what another company has done to death and claim it as a Samsung “innovation”.

But the biggest insult to people’s intelligence has to be the current pre-launch campaign to drum up hype for the Galaxy IV. Samsung has been running teaser ads and have decided to have a big launch event and broadcast it live in Time Square. You know, the kind of thing their anti Apple ads seem to deride so much. So, here is Samsung now hyping it’s products the very same way that Apple does, the same way that they previously suggested was so distasteful and pathetic. And the media is lapping it up. I haven’t seen a single blog or news post calling Samsung on their hypocrisy.

In my opinion, this company has no soul. They will do and say anything to get to their goal, and don’t seem to give a damn about their customers, or their partners or any kind of ethical standards. A while ago one of their executives made a statement that they wanted to become the next Apple, and it seems they meant that literally. Forget about suing Samsung over patent abuse, Apple should sue them for attempted identity theft.

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Apple TV Updated with Bluetooth Keyboard Support and More…

Dropping along side the iOS 6.1 update, Apple has also released an update to the Apple TV, adding among other things, bluetooth keyboard support:

Here’s the list of what’s new from the software update information:

  • iTunes in the Cloud: Browse and play your purchased iTunes music directly from iCloud.
  • Bluetooth keyboard: Use your Apple Wireless Keyboard to control your Apple TV. See this article for more information.
  • AirPlay audio for videos: Send stereo audio from movies, TV shows, and other videos on Apple TV to AirPlay-enabled speakers and devices (including AirPort Express and other Apple TVs).
  • Stability and performance: Includes performance and stability improvements with the iTunes Store, AirPlay, Netflix, iTunes Match, and wired Ethernet connections.

I’m hopeful that this update might finally resolve the ethernet issues that have been plaguing my Apple TV for the last few versions.

9 to 5 Mac has an interesting list of recommendations for bluetooth keyboards to use with the Apple TV

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Samsung being investigated for ‘coverup’ in overnight fatality at semiconductor plant

I’m sure this will generate the same level of indignation and outrage that any of the accusations levelled at Apple have in the past. Yep, absolutely sure.

( The Verge)

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Why the moon landings weren’t faked

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The Failure of the Daily Was Not a Failure of the Format but of the Content

With the high-profile failure of Rupert Murdoch’s grand experiment in iPad publishing, “the Daily”, people have been quick to jump on the “why it failed” band wagon. Needless to say some are laying he blame for the newspaper’s failure at the feet of the format. The fact that it was a digital only iPad publication is what doomed it is a common refrain. I don’t think that’s the case though. It think it’s much simpler than that. It failed because it wasn’t very good.

I subscribed to it for a while and I really wanted to like it. I wanted it to succeed, but in the end I cancelled my subscription. It wasn’t the technical problems with the app that annoyed me it was the content. It was really bad. The newspaper, if you could call it that didn’t really know what it was. On the one hand it wanted to be a hard edge newspaper, but then it was filled with tabloid like gossip columns and other such nonsense that would be more at home in an issue of hello than anywhere. But even that wasn’t the problem. It was the underlying tone of right-wing propaganda that finished it for me.

Now, I’m not trying to make this about politics or partisanship but if you look at it objectively, trying to shoehorn a subtle fox news like overtone in a newspaper for the traditionally left leaning minds of the typical iPad owner was never going to work. It’s not about politics, it’s about demographics, and the Daily was simply preaching to the wrong choir. Sure, it wasn’t as in your face as Fox, but it was there, and it was at times obvious and obnoxious.

Had Murdoch hired a staff of writers and editors who understood who they were writing for rather than try to shove its views down the throats of people who are particularly allergic to being told what to think, it might have had a chance. Selling thinly veiled disdain for the iPad generation to the iPad generation was never going to work.

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Free WiFi at Dublin Airport

From Silicon Republic…

Eircom and Dublin Airport Authority are to begin offering free unlimited Wi-Fi at Dublin Airport for all users without registration.

More than 1m passengers passing through the airport have made use of the Eircom WiFiHub service which was launched in December last year.

To access the free service, passengers just need to log onto the Dublin Airport Free WiFi network or the Eircom WiFiHub and click the ‘Continue to Surf’ button on the homepage.

It had previously only been free for 10 minutes. 

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