Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’

The new iPhone?

The new iPhone?

 

Regular readers will know that we are somewhat in love with our iPhone, which we consider far and away the most amazing and liberating piece of technology yet to fall into humankind’s hands.

We’re always a bit interested, then, when new stuff from Apple is coming along.

Fellow addicts can jump to the link below to checkout some informed speculation on the new Apple iPhone, rumoured to look like as above with its 4.7″ screen – although the OS is also rumoured to have five apps across the screen not four as shown here – and which is estimated will be out (at least in America) in September.

http://news.yahoo.com/completely-redesigned-iphone-6-fully-detailed-huge-leak-140038639.html

Which is good, because we have just about worked our poor iPhone 4 into the ground, with a smashed case and now it won’t play sound either. It is dying manfully. Let’s just hope it makes it to September, or whenever Apple deign to release the new device in Australia, too.

Meanwhile we note that Apples new “phablet” – a larger phone with a 5.5″ screen that doubles as a mini tablet – might not be here till 2015, due to supply constraints. In layman’s language, that means “we cant make enough of our products fast enough”. Nice problem to have, so long as customers don’t get pissed off, or drift to Android kit.

More news as it comes to hand.

Meanwhile, we really rather like the current joke doing the rounds on the Apple iBra. Apparently this will play music, video and deliver news broadcasts, so at least there is some point to men looking obsessively at women’s chests.

Everyone-Has-a-Phone-Now-1

 

We wish we could say, Dear Reader, that we never use our ubiquitous iPhone at inappropriate moments. But we can’t. It’s just too damn useful. It’s a great little camera … and not a bad little video camera … but in the Wellthisiswhatithink household we do find ourselves at times moving seamlessly from snapping a cute flower to checking emails, dancing around Facebook for a while, checking the weather, playing with the latest application, or even – gasp – making a phone call or two.

Before you know it, serious time can have passed, and Lord knows what else.

We well remember being in Malaysia on business. Our local tech-savvy younger Malaysian contacts spent at least as much time photographing their meals as eating them. That was a few years back. Now the phenomenon is as common everywhere in the world.

To be frank, we rather like the instant connectedness that the world now offers us all, but it’s smart, surely, to ponder what we might be losing at the same time. This little video makes the point very cleverly, and is well worth pondering …

 

 

Sometimes, maybe, we should just … be.

Moreover, today’s smart phones obviously offer all of us increased opportunities for activities traditionally defined as sedentary behaviors, such as surfing the internet, emailing and playing video games. But despite their mobile nature, researchers Jacob Barkley and Andrew Lepp, faculty members in the College of Education, Health and Human Services at Kent State University, have linked high cell phone use to poor fitness in college students.

Barkley and Lepp were interested in the relationship between smart phones and fitness levels because, unlike the television, phones are small and portable, therefore making it possible to use them while doing physical activity. But what the researchers found was that despite the phone’s mobility, high use contributed to a sedentary lifestyle for some subjects.

More than 300 college students from the Midwest were surveyed on their cell phone usage and activity level. Of those students, 49 had their fitness level and body composition tested. The researchers’ results showed that high cell phone use was associated with low cardiorespiratory fitness. In the study, the students who were the least fit were those who spent large amounts of time on their cell phones – as much as 14 hours per day. The most fit students were those who used the cell phone the least – around 90 minutes per day.

One subject said in the interview data: “Now that I have switched to the iPhone I would say it definitely decreases my physical activity because before I just had a Blackberry, so I didn’t have much stuff on it. But now, if I’m bored, I can just download whatever I want.”

The study is believed to the first to assess the relationship between cell phone use and fitness level among any population. Barkley and Lepp conclude that their findings suggest that cell phone use may be able to gauge a person’s risk for a multitude of health issues related to an inactive lifestyle.

So. What does your iPhone say about you?

In our neck of the woods, the Wellthisiswhatithink collective is off for a walk. And leaving our phones behind. And we intend smelling the roses, not photographing them.

Hackers seek revenge for unprosecuted rape

The other day, I watched an excellent movie about the young julian Assange, called “Underground”.

It was fascinating, and contained some excellent performances: from Rachel Griffiths, especially, as his campaigning, “alternative” mother, fleeing from the cult known as The Family, and Laura Wheelwright as his girlfriend and young mother of Assange’s child.

It essentially covered what motivated Assange to take the life course he did, and I believe most people viewing it would be much less antagonistic to him today than they otherwise might be. The genesis of what later became Wikileaks is clear to see.

Anyway, that’s by the by. What the movie does show clearly is that hackers are not only motivated by a sense of mischief – which is undoubtedly true – but also, often, by holding strong moral positions.

Now, a group of vigilante hackers has promised retribution after the alleged rape of a high school cheerleader went unprosecuted in a rural American town.

Anonymous activists often appear in public wearing Guy Fawkes masks

Anonymous activists often appear in public wearing Guy Fawkes masks

Time US reports that Anonymous, an international band of internet activists, is targeting the Missouri town of Maryville after the Kansas City Star published a story about a possible rape case that went un-prosecuted by local authorities.

Known for successful hacks of powerful organisations such as the Church of Scientology, PayPal and even the government of Brazil, an Anonymous synthesized voice recording warned Maryville Mayor Jim Fall and other officials to “expect us”.

“If Maryville won’t defend these young girls, if the police are too cowardly or corrupt to do their jobs, if justice system has abandoned them, then we will have to stand for them,” the statement says.

The Kansas City Star reports that in the early hours of January 8, 14-year-old Daisy Coleman and a 13-year-old friend climbed from a bedroom window to join their 17-year-old “friend” at his house.

At the time, the 17-year-old was a Maryville High School football star and Daisy was a freshman cheerleader.

The boy, also the grandson of a former state Republican, later admitted to police that he knew the girl was drinking at his house and that he had sex with her while she was drunk, according to the Kansas City Star. The encounter was allegedly recorded on a friend’s iPhone.

Other witnesses told police the 17-year-old loaded the girl, in tears, into his car and shockingly left her unconscious on her front porch in freezing temperatures. When Daisy’s mother found her the following morning her hair was frozen.

Nodaway County Sheriff Darren White told the Star that he “absolutely” expected the case to end up in court.

“Within four hours, we had obtained a search warrant for the house and executed that. We had all of the suspects in custody and had audio/video confessions.”

Instead – and surely the public should know why – the charges were dropped, and much of the town turned on the Coleman family.

Daisy’s mother Melinda was fired from her job, and – after the Colemans left town – their house burned down under suspicious circumstances.

We haven’t heard the last of this story. Nor should we.

The young girl at the centre of the case has been the subject of a cruel whispering and insults campaign online, and has apparently attempted suicide twice. Further background to this appalling story can be read here:

If you wish to Tweet your feelings about this case, the hashtag to use is #justicefordaisy.

(Daisy’s mother gave the Kansas City Star permission to name her daughter. From The West Australian and others.)

UPDATE

A Special Prosecutor has now been appointed to consider the case. Stay tuned for further information as it comes to hand. And a rally has taken place in the town to stress support for Daisy. Over 200 people, dressed in local indentifying clothing and carrying daisies, came together to change the nature of the local debate.

Support for Daisy swells

Support for Daisy swells locally

#justicefordaisy

#justicefordaisy

The role of Anonymous in bringing this case to light is entirely noble and to be applauded.

The role of Anonymous in bringing this case to light is entirely noble and to be applauded.

 

Meanwhile, you can read Daisy’s own harrowing version of events here. http://www.xojane.com/it-happened-to-me/daisy-coleman-maryville-rape

I think I need a pork and Nazi curry for dinner tonight.

I think I need a pork and Nazi curry for dinner tonight.

1. There’s just no point telling someone with whose political beliefs you disagree in a bunch of places in Southern Africa that they’re a Nazi.

In Swahili, it means “coconut”.

2. Never get in the water without checking for vending machines first.

You are four times as likely to be killed in the US by a vending machine than a shark. Vending machines kill 2.18 people compared to .6 of a person, per annum.

So the movie should have been called “Drawers” not “Jaws”, we guess.

3. A “tittle” isn’t a rude word, much as we like the word “tit” on this blog. (Use the search box and see why.) A tittle is the little dot above an “i”. Hence the term “every jot and tittle” meaning “every little thing”.

In case you’ve always dreamed of knowing what all the other bits of type are called, here you go. of such happy little facts is a creative person’s life made up. Pretty sad? Yup.

4. Human sperm travel about 7-10 inches an hour. Giddyup boys!

5. The sun is “20 years old”. Since it’s inception, it has traveled round the centre of our galaxy 20 times.

6. You are about 40% more likely to survive a plain crash in the back row of a plane than in the front row, according to a study in Popular Mechanics that investigate all plane smashes in the period 1971-2007. Wellthisiswhatithink could have predicted this: not many planes reverse into mountains in our experience.

Then again, you’ll have to sit for hours while an entire plane load of people empty their bladders just behind your head after they’ve enjoyed their breakfast, so we still think we prefer the big seats at the pointy end, thank you very much. We’ll take our chances.

Insert very impressive chart stolen from the interweb here. Pretend you know what it means.

Insert very impressive chart stolen from the interweb here. Pretend you know what it means.

7. OK, this is very cool. Worried about cell phone emissions? By the time you’ve read this paragraph, hundreds if not thousands of billions of neutrinos pouring out of the sun will have passed through you. Specifically 65 billion neutrinos pass through every square centimetre of you that is currently perpendicular to the Sun. Zap. Kapow. And stuff.

8. “Mother in Law” is a perfect anagram of “Hitler woman”. Cute, huh?

Horrid then. Horrid now. Trust us, boil your head in acid first, you'll have more fun.

Horrid then. Horrid now. Trust us, boil your head in acid first, you’ll have more fun.

Which leads me also (constantly mindful of the need to add value to our discourse, Dear Reader) to remind you that Fratton Park, home of the hated Portsmouth Football Club, is also an anagram of “Krap? Nottarf.”

Oh, how we laughed in those lazy hazy days of summer when they were relegated. Again.

And did you know “Here come dots” is an anagram of “The Morse Code”? Well, dash it, you do now.

9. Your average beef cow (about 200 kilos worth of usable meat) makes up about 4,500 McDonalds burgers. Doesn’t seem enough, really, does it? Poor thing.

The average iPhone in a case sold by the Chinese ladies on the stall at my local shopping centre weights 3.2 kilos.

The average iPhone in a case sold by the Chinese ladies on the stall at my local shopping centre weighs 3.2 kilos.

10. A 32Gb iPhone weighs about 0.000000000000000008 grams more when it’s hard drive is full as opposed to being empty. I mean, who needs to know that?

11. During his lifetime, an average male human will produce about 1,500 sperm a second. That’s enough to repopulate the earth more than 400 times at the current population level of about 7 billion. A woman, however, will produce only about 450 eggs to be fertilised in their lifetime.

Lift your game, girls. No wonder men spend so much time trying to work their way into the gene pool. The wastage figures are horrendous!

(This column is getting very sperm-y. Ed.)

12. OK, this has to be the best trivia contest question ever.

Which American was both Vice-President and President, but wasn’t elected to either position? Answer: Gerald Ford.

Surely the most remarkable thing Gerard Ford did in his lifetime was actually to lose to Jimmy Carter.

Surely the most remarkable thing Gerard Ford did in his lifetime was actually to lose to Jimmy Carter.

He replaced Spiro T Agnew as VP when he resigned for corruption, and then the ever-lovable Richard “Tricky Dicky” Nixon when he resigned for, well, for doing just about everything illegal a President could do really.

If you fancy another rider to the main question, you might care to note that Ford also lived longer than any other U.S. president, living 93 years and 165 days, while his 895-day presidency remains the shortest of all presidents who did not die in office.

13. If you search the word “askew” in Google, the browser results will actually tilt and be askew. Go on, try it, you know you want to. The same happens with “tilt”.

14. Oh, those crazy wacky student types. Have a look: standfordrejects.com cheerfully redirects you to … Berkeley.

15. So, that’s enough for today. Except: “Am I as bored you are?” (Now try reading it backwards. Clever, huh?)

(Yes, that was fifteen. Roll on the weekend.)

 Uotsuri Island


Uotsuri Island, one of disputed Senkaku islands in the East China Sea Photo credit: AP

(From AFP)

Apple’s new iPhone 5 may have been criticised for its glitch-ridden new maps program, but it may have inadvertently provided a diplomatic solution to China and Japan’s ongoing row over disputed islands.

The new smartphone, which has dumped Google Maps in favour of its own version, has been ridiculed for misplacing major landmarks, shifting towns and even creating a new airport.

But amid a row over an outcrop of islands claimed by both Tokyo and Beijing, Apple’s new iO6 software has provided a resolution of sorts.

Two sets of islands

“Islands for everybody! You want an island? Have an island.”

When a user searches for the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku islands in the East China Sea, claimed by Beijing under the name Diaoyu, two sets of the islands appear alongside each other.

“The map has one set of islands for each country. Is this a message from Apple that we civilians must not get engaged in a pointless dispute?” one Japanese blogger wrote.

The new mapping program was released this week as part of Apple’s updated mobile operating system software, which powers the new iPhone 5, released Friday, and can be installed as an upgrade on other Apple devices.

To the chagrin of many, the new operating system replaces Google Maps, which had been the default mapping system in Apple devices until now.

As of yet there is no stand-alone Google Maps app available for the iPhone, although some reports say this is coming.

iPhone 5

We come in peace to help you, earthlings …

The East China Sea islands, strategically coveted outcrops, have been the focus of a territorial dispute between Tokyo and Beijing,with tensions escalating dramatically after the Japanese government bought three of them from their private owners.

Tens of thousands of anti-Japanese demonstrators rallied across China, with some vandalising Japanese shops and factories, forcing firms to shut or scale back production.

Next, Apple develop the interstellar warp drive, beta release, and make it available for $2.99 from the App Store.

 

 

Apple iPhone 5

Faster, thinner, larger screen, but it’s not all good news?

Hot off the press, given the launch today of the new phone. Having trawled around, I think this is everything you could want to know, at least the basics. Thanks to Yahoo, Fairfax and others.

Apple has unveiled the iPhone 5, saying it is thinner and lighter than the previous model, even though it has a bigger screen. Australians will be able to buy one next Friday.

The iPhone 5 comes in either white and silver or black and slate and will be sold in Australia for $799 for the 16GB model, $899 for the 32GB model and $999 for the 64GB model. Apple said customers could pre-order from this Friday.

Meanwhile, the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 have been reduced in Australia to $679 and $449, respectively. The iPhone 5′s new operating system, iOS 6, will be available to download on older models on September 19.

Apple confirmed the new phone will work on 4G networks in Australia including those of Telstra, Optus and Virgin Mobile. Given the very expensive hoohah over the iPhone 4S, we presume that’s true.

Most annoyingly for some, with the new model, Apple is ditching the connection port it has used for iPods, iPhones and iPads for nearly a decade in favour of a smaller, narrower one. That means Apple is still the holdout in an industry in which other manufacturers have settled on a standard connector for charging and computer backups.

A separate $35 adapter will be available so that the new phone will be able to connect to sound docks and other accessories designed for the old phones.

The front-facing camera is getting an upgrade to high-definition, letting users take advantage of the faster data networks for videoconferencing.

Apple is also updating its iTunes software for the Mac and PC, with what is says is a “dramatically simpler and cleaner interface”. It will be available as a free download in October.

SNAPSHOT OF FEATURES

- Made of glass and aluminium
- 18% thinner and 20% lighter
- 4 inch display- screen is now longer, width is the same
- 44% more colour saturation
- Touch screen sensor integrated into new display
- LTE compatability allowing downloads of 100 megabits per second
- higher performing WiFi
- Two times faster processing speed
- Two times faster graphics
- New camera – 8 megapixel sensor, backside illumination, f/24 aperture
- Camera is 25% smaller
- 1080p HD video capability
- New mode for taking photos in low light
- Sapphire crystal lens cover to better protect the lens
- New panorama photo feature
- three microphones instead of two
- 20% smaller speakers
- New iPhone cord connector – called ‘Lightning’ – more durable
- Siri enhancements
- Available in black, silver and white
- Battery life is 8 hours via LTE or 3G, 10 hours over WiFi
- Redesigned headphones called EarPods

 

Sometimes, the weather just cries out “let yourself off the lead, come and play”. Today was just one of those days. And a Sunday, too, when one doesn’t have to work. How lovely.

Yum Cha

Yum Cha: that’s Chinese for “Diet? Pfffft.”

After a brisk, cheery Yum Cha lunch at Wealth Garden – almost the only Westerners in a huge restaurant full of Chinese, which is always a good sign – She Who Must Be Obeyed suggested a ramble along the Yarra River at lovely nearby Warrandyte. Stuffed to the gunwales with prawn and pork dim sum, noodles and some things that it would probably be better not to know what they were – stuck it in your mouth, chow down, yummy, that’s all you need to know, gwai lo – all sloshing about in what seemed like an ocean of delicious tea,  it seemed like a very sensible idea.

What a joyous decision. Apart from running into not one but two good friends with similar ideas, it was simply the most glorious day imaginable. Clear, sunny, gentle breeze, the land green with winter rains, the river swollen and rushing and actually looking like a real river for once.

(The Yarra, whilst iconic for all Melburnians, is notorious for being something of a trickle, and very brown and muddy from silt washed down from up country.)

Out came the iPhone, and as we walked I snapped luscious scene after scene. They’re quite high resolution, so if you like them, please feel free to steal them. And I hope you enjoy sharing our day. Lots of love, Wellthisiswhatithink.

Yarra River

Blossom by Yarra

Wild garlic by Yarra

Blossom and Light

Green bank and light

Pretty riverside path

Soaring fir tree against blue sky

River and light and path

Exquisite view and light

Magnificent stand of gums

Wild garlic close up

Wave

Flower

Yolly

Contented author and photographer. No, I don’t expect anyone to download this one.

Er … oops. “Shome mishtake, shurely?” as Private Eye would have had it.

Yahoo and others

Regular readers of the blog will know that I am a big fan of my iPhone. Frankly, I love it to bits. I have a relationship with my iPhone. It is the single most brilliant and useful piece of equipment I have ever owned.

So I was interested to read and pass along that Apple have won more than $1 billion in a massive victory Friday over South Korean giant Samsung, in one of the biggest patent cases in decades – a verdict that could have huge market repercussions.

A BILLION dollars. That’s serious money, even by global finance standards.

Unsurprisingly, Samsung Electronics said it would contest the verdict.

“We will move immediately to file post-verdict motions to overturn this decision in this court and if we are not successful, we will appeal this decision to the Court of Appeals,” it said in a statement.

A jury in San Jose, California rejected Samsung’s counterclaims against Apple, according to media reports – a big win for the Silicon Valley giant, which had claimed its iconic iPhone and iPad had been illegally copied.

The jury, which had examined infringement claims and counter-claims by Apple and Samsung, ruled the South Korean electronics giant had infringed on a number of patents, the tech websites Cnet and The Verge said in live courtroom blogs.

The verdict affects patents on a range of Samsung products including some of its popular Galaxy smartphones and its Galaxy 10 tablet — devices alleged to have been copied from the iPhone and iPad.

“This is a huge, crushing win for Apple,” said Brian Love, a professor of patent law at Santa Clara University.

“All of its patents were held valid, and all but one were held to be infringed by most or all accused Samsung products. Even better for the company, five of the seven patents were held to be willfully infringed by Samsung.”

Love said this means that Judge Lucy Koh “now has the discretion to triple Apple’s damages award, which is already a monstrous and unprecedented $1.051 billion.”

Technology analyst Jeff Kagan said of the verdict: “This is a great day for Apple. And it will turn into a very expensive day for Samsung.”

Kagan said it was not immediately clear if Samsung would be able to continue to use the technology and pay Apple for the right to do so, or if they must pull their devices and re-design them.

In any case, the verdict in the case – one of several pending in global courts – is likely to have massive repercussions in the hottest part of the technology sector, smartphones and tablets.

Even a delay in sales could endanger Samsung’s position in the US market, where it is currently the top seller of smartphones.

A survey by research firm IDC showed Samsung shipped 50.2 million smartphones globally in the April-June period, while Apple sold 26 million iPhones. IDC said Samsung held 32.6 percent of the market to 16.9 percent for Apple.

The jury reached its verdict after deliberating for less than three days, examining claims of infringement by both sides. The trial heard evidence during 10 days over a three-week period.

Samsung had steadfastly denied the charges by Apple, claiming it developed its devices independently, and countersued in the case, seeking more than $400 million for infringement on its wireless patents.

The verdict came the same day a South Korean court ruled Apple and Samsung infringed on each other’s patents on mobile devices, awarding damages to both technology giants and imposing a partial ban on product sales in South Korea.

The court banned sales in South Korea of Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPad 2, as well as Samsung’s Galaxy S and Galaxy SII among other products.

iPhone cufflinks

Where can we get these, WHERE? We has to have them, precioussss. Bagginsses has them, we bet. We hate Bagginsses …

Regular readers will know that wellthisiswhatithink is just a teensie-weensie bit obsessed with iPhones. I am neither technically geegy-in-love nor tech-terrified, but I do enjoy the iPhone’s ever-expanding usefulness, its neatness, and the way everything pretty much just works, provided, of course, you’re prepared to work the way Apple want you to. The endless security requirements of iTunes get up my nose a bit, but when a friend reports that he lost thousands of dollars thru fake purchases of music he never made on his iPhone, well, I guess the cyber-security people know what’s best.

And I love the way it takes photos. I am currently enduring a one week self-imposed ban on posting iPhone-taken wallpaper to this blog.

So anyhow, reliable news of forthcoming developments always gets a run in here. These reports are circulating the web right now, and on Yahoo in particular.

Looks like more of a re-design than a re-functionality. Then again, a young fellow in my local Apple store told me I should literally be salivating about the upcoming release of a new operating system, so who knows?

Of course, everyone is waiting for the ultimate iPhone app. The one that perceives when you’re going to text or phone your ex/current/possible future lover while stonkingly drunk, and locks you out of the system until  you’re sober.

There’s an interesting discussion on what Apple might add to the device here http://au.news.yahoo.com/technology/galleries/g/-/9694325/3/iphone-5-most-wanted-features/

What function would you like on your iPhone that isn’t on it yet, eh?

Apple’s next iPhone to feature ‘slimmer screen’

HONG KONG (AFP) – Apple is expected to unveil a new iPhone later this year with a slimmer screen thanks to updated touch-screen technology, a report said Tuesday.

The next generation iPhone, referred to by fans as the “iPhone 5″, is being manufactured by Asian component makers, Dow Jones Newswires quoted unnamed sources as saying.

Its panels will use “in-cell technology” integrating touch sensors into the LCD, it said.

That makes a separate touch-screen layer unnecessary and reduces the screen thickness by about half a millimetre, Dow Jones quoted DisplaySearch analyst Hiroshi Hayase as saying.

(I quite like the slightly thicker iPhone 4 over my iPhone 3 – all about personal taste, I guess. Ed.)

The new technology will also boost displayed image quality, and help Apple cut costs as it would no longer have to buy touch panels and LCDs from separate suppliers, the report added.

It said Japanese liquid crystal display makers Sharp and Japan Display Inc as well as South Korea’s LG Display Co were currently mass producing panels for the next iPhone.

Apple is widely expected to launch the device in the third quarter of this year, around 12 months after the release of its hugely popular iPhone 4S — the firm’s first new product following the death of co-founder Steve Jobs.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the report or the next iPhone’s release date when contacted by AFP.

The report came amid heated competition from rivals such as Samsung, whose flagship smartphone the Galaxy S III uses a 4.8-inch (12.2 centimetre) screen that is thinner than the current iPhone.

Apple posted a $11.6 billion profit in the first three months this year, led by record sales of iPad tablet computers and iPhones — the latter surging 88 percent year-on-year.

Well, sometimes things just make me laugh, frankly. So as I have stared at a blank screen for long enough to actually get cold and realise I am hungry, I hope they make you laugh, too.

Firstly, why doesn’t the iPhone have this function. Hmmm, Steve Jobs? Hmmmm?

Why does this remind me of so many people?

And this made me laugh out loud. All you can eat diners just attract the best class of patron, don’t they? One Chinese owner clearly had enough …

“Solly, Wonton soup all finished for today. Goodbye, now.”

That’s it for today. Unless I get inspired. Don’t hold your breath, though, OK?

Mind you, apparently anything’s possible with the upcoming iPhone operating system upgrade. There, I was useful to your day after all, wasn’t I?

So, there I was, having glugged the best part of a bottle of shiraz and now enjoying a second pint of cider, toying with the remnants of a good steak. (The potato rosti had too much thyme in it, and the weirdly modern take on Brussel sprouts was laced with too much chilli – yeah, I know, right? – but the steak was very passable.)

Anyhow, I suddenly felt the need to write overwhelm me. I have blogged about this before: when it happens, it is simply a compulsion that cannot be ignored.

I don’t know if it was the creative environment of being at an open mic, the stimulation of having other artistes around, or simply one too many ciders. But before you know it, I was tapping away on the absurdly small keyboard of my iPhone, running the results past my fellow diners, then showing the hostess for the night, and before you know it, lo and behold, she was laughing and I was on the stage.

Anyway, here’s the result, video-ed on my dear wife’s phone, but the sound quality isn’t great, so I provide a transcript below as well. I actually think it’s not a half bad poem, although it’s only short. Sometimes, the best thing a writer can do is simply capture a moment, so it then lives for other people.

So, enjoy!

“Liam, I apologise for gate crashing your party tonight … but sometimes every writer in the room knows, that when you have to write something, you just have to write it … so this came out about half an hour ago, so I thought, well, “Bugger it”,  I shall just ask Phoebe if she’ll like me to read it. And she was kind enough to say “Yes!”

I will come back and read some other poetry another time.

(Scattered applause.)

Shit! Thank you! I haven’t done anything yet! Apart from look embarrassed. Er … this is a poem called “Snapshot”.”

SNAPSHOT (Open Mic, Melbourne, 4th June 2012)

The girl with the nervous eyes

applauds wildly as he works the frets.

He has announced before the coupling “This is hard.”

She knows what he means.

She glances at his girlfriend

here on a working holiday

from the land of the rising blues.

She prays she doesn’t notice

her sudden blouse-lifting intake of breath,

the shy embarrassment.

She’s cute, too, the girlfriend.

patiently working the Nikon.

How confusing life can be.

And in the wings,

another little angel waits -

hugging her guitar like a life buoy,

hugging it like a friend in a cold world.

That’s what the world needs,

On a wet Monday night.

More hugs: even if they are made of plywood.

Even the hugs of strangers.

White House hopeful Mitt Romney has meticulously spelled out his vision for a better America while on the campaign trail this year. But in his new mobile app? Not so much.  The "With Mitt" application for the iPhone allows users to express support for the recently anointed Republican flagbearer by personalising a photo with an overlaid Romney slogan. Trouble is, one of the slogans had a howler of a spelling mistake: "A Better Amercia."  Members of the proofreading public recently made the discovery and it went viral on Twitter late on Tuesday in the US, with people mockingly tweeting photos showing the "Amercia" message.  "Some poor app designer is getting strapped in a cage on the top of a car and driven across country tonight. #amercia," one user tweeted, in a reference to Romney's hard-to-live-down decision years ago to strap the family dog in its carrier on the roof of the car during a vacation.  More below Skip to top | bottom  Early on Wednesday, the app, promoted by official campaign website mittromney.com, had yet to be corrected, and new downloads contained the spelling error.  "Mistakes happen," Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said on MSNBC.  "I don't think any voter cares about a typo at the end of the day," she said, adding that an update had been sent to Apple.  Hours later, the company's app store was offering an updated version with the embarrassing mistake corrected.  More below Skip to top | bottom  The "With Mitt" download page offered version 1.0.1 which it said makes "bug fixes" to the app, but the change of note was the removal of the offending phrase.  The 2012 campaign has had its share of spelling gaffes.  Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman's presidential bid got off to a rocky start when his team handed out press passes at the inaugural campaign event for "John Huntsman", unnecessarily inserting an H into his first name.  And in March, red-faced aides to former senator Rick Santorum were forced to resend a corrected public schedule to reporters after they inadvertently mailed out "Santorum's Pubic Schedule".

Ooops. Photo: Reuters

Lest we misunderestimate him, using the marvellous Bushism, Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney has meticulously spelled out his vision for a better America while on the campaign trail this year. But in his new mobile app? Not so much.

The “With Mitt” application for the iPhone allows users to express support for the recently anointed Republican flag bearer by personalising a photo with an overlaid Romney slogan. Trouble is, one of the slogans had a howler of a spelling mistake: “A Better Amercia.”

Amercia? Really?

Members of the proofreading public recently made the discovery and it went viral on Twitter late on Tuesday in the US, with people mockingly tweeting photos showing the “Amercia” message.

“Some poor app designer is getting strapped in a cage on the top of a car and driven across country tonight. #amercia,” one user tweeted, in a reference to Romney’s hard-to-live-down decision years ago to strap the family dog in its carrier on the roof of the car during a vacation.

Early on Wednesday, the app, promoted by official campaign website mittromney.com, had yet to be corrected, and new downloads contained the spelling error.

“Mistakes happen,” Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said on MSNBC.

“I don’t think any voter cares about a typo at the end of the day,” she said, adding that an update had been sent to Apple. Hours later, the company’s app store was offering an updated version with the embarrassing mistake corrected.

The “With Mitt” download page offered version 1.0.1 which it said makes “bug fixes” to the app, but the change of note was the removal of the offending phrase.

The GOP’s 2012 campaign has had its share of embarrassing spelling gaffes.

Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman’s presidential bid got off to a rocky start when his team handed out press passes at the inaugural campaign event for “John Huntsman”, unnecessarily inserting an H into his first name. But much more embarrassingly, in March, red-faced aides to former senator Rick Santorum were forced to resend a corrected public schedule to reporters after they inadvertently mailed out “Santorum’s Pubic Schedule”.

As someone who has worked in communications for more than 25 years, I simply cannot understand how such mistakes happen. On the other hand, I did once run a double page spread for a client with the 70 point headline Oustanding Value. Interestingly it was a week before anyone noticed. So perhaps those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Luckily, the internet didn’t really exist back then.

So from here on in, Democrats can presumably be relied upon to gleefully murmur behind their hands that the problem with Romney isn’t that he’s a Mormon, more that he’s a moron … well, spelling wise, at least.

(Thanks to the Sydney Morning Herald and others)

New Apple iPad

The much-awaited new iPad is here. Apple CEO Tim Cook launching the latest killer product from surging Apple this morning.

Apple gave the new iPad a bunch of new features but no new name.

When it goes on sale next week in the U.S. and several other countries, it will be “the iPad” or perhaps “the new iPad” but not “iPad 3″ or “iPad HD,” as some had speculated.

The lack of a new name could cause confusion for buyers, particularly since the older model, the “iPad 2,” will still be sold. But the naming practice is consistent with Apple’s practices for the iPod. New models were simply called “iPod,” and consumers were left to figure out which generation of the product they were looking for.

The new iPad revealed Wednesday has, as expected, a sharper screen, driven by a faster processing chip that acts as the brains of the device.

What was more surprising was that the new features mean the tablet computer will be slightly thicker and heavier than the iPad 2, because it needs a larger battery to power the high-resolution screen, although the difference is minimal. Text is reported as being “crystal clear”.

The battery life remains the same: about 10 hours of use.

In Australia prices are tipped to start at about $6-700, which will be about 50% more expensive than in the States. Given the strength of the Australian dollar, consumers could reasonably ask “Why”?

Top of the range models will reportedly be just over the thousand dollar mark.

Apple said the new display will be sharper than the average living room’s high-definition television set and show more vibrant colors than previous models.

“We are taking it to a whole new level and are redefining the category that Apple created with the original iPad,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the launch event in San Francisco.

Earlier, Cook spoke of a “post-PC” era dominated by the iPad and other Apple products.

The new iPad will go on sale March 16 in the U.S., Canada and 10 other countries. A week later, it will go on sale in 25 more countries.

Compared with the iPad 2, the new model features a higher-resolution camera on the back, similar to the one in the iPhone 4S but only offering some 5 megapixels, making it, by phone standards, a moderately low end camera.

The new iPad will be 9.4 millimeters thick, or 0.37 inches. That compares with 8.8 millimeters, or 0.34 inches, for the iPad 2. The weight is going up from 1.33 pounds to 1.44 pounds for the Wi-Fi-only model. The original iPad weighed 1.5 pounds.

It is expected that the new model will come in a version that can access Telstra’s faster 4G network, but exactly how successfully is yet to be revealed.

Apple is updating some of the software on the tablet to take advantage of the new features. For example, it’s introducing a version of the Mac’s iPhoto photo organization program for the iPad. The manufacturer also said it would start letting users store movies in its iCloud remote storage service, so they can be accessed through the Internet by PCs and Apple devices. It already lets users store photos, music and documents in the service.

Apple is also upgrading its Apple TV set-top box so it can play movies in 1080p, the highest-resolution commonly used video standard.

More Details: New iPad’s storage and Wi-Fi access vary

There are many flavors of the new iPad, with different access capabilities and storage amounts: which models will be available in Australia is yet to be confirmed.

• Wi-Fi only, 16 gigabytes of storage

• Wi-Fi only, 32GB

• Wi-Fi only, 64GB

• Wi-Fi and 4G cellular connection, 16GB

• Wi-Fi and 4G cellular connection, 32GB

• Wi-Fi and 4G cellular connection, 64GB

iPad2 prices are expected to fall to accommodate the new machine. The new iPad will go on sale on March 16 in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Dead battery

The iPhone's commonest problem ... and some helpful tips to avoid it

No matter what smartphone you have, it can serve as your MP3 player, digital camera, gaming system, and even your TV while you’re out and about — as long as you have battery power!

If it seems like smarter phones are getting less life out of their batteries – and it is the commonest complaint about the ubiquitous iPhones – then you’re probably right.

If you’re doing a lot on your smartphone in a day, your screen can go dark on you long before the sun goes down.

Watching out for a few small things during your day, however, can help extend battery life on your trusty device and make sure you’ve got enough juice to make it all day and well into the night.

Mixed signals

It takes extra juice for your smartphone to search for a data connection. If you’re somewhere where you won’t get a signal, like an airplane or subway, putting your phone in airplane mode or turning it off altogether will prevent it from draining your battery. Turning your phone on does require a bit of extra power, so it’s best to save shutting it off for times when you plan to leave it off for a while, rather than something like a 20-minute subway ride to work in the morning. Thinking of it as car mode or subway mode instead of airplane mode might just be the mental trick you need!

Likewise, turn off wi-fiwhen you don’t need it. When it’s active, your phone scans for available wifi connections constantly, which kills battery life. If you’re using the wifi in a coffee shop or bookstore, remember to disable that connection when you’re done to avoid draining your battery while you’re on the road.

And your battery bleeds faster when you’re inattentive. So focus, people, focus. Sure, you can have your email open, search for directions to a local restaurant, watch a video on YouTube, and play Angry Birds at the same time — but chances are you’re really only focused on one of those tasks. Everything you have open on your phone is using some amount of battery power. Do just one thing at a time on your phone, and close unnecessary applications to keep them from draining your battery. Click on the link and checkout that really helpful little video.

And things like your GPS and the bluetooth connection you use to connect to your hands-free device in the car gobble up a ton of battery power and are of no use to you unless you’re doing a few specific tasks.

Bright screens look great but are a huge drain on your phone’s battery. To stretch your phone’s life, go into the controls or settings and dim the backlight or brightness of your screen. While the dimmest setting might be difficult to read (especially if you’re somewhere brightly lit), something toward the middle will extend your battery life without putting too much strain on your eyes. If your phone has an auto-brightness option, using that can be a one-step solution to balancing battery life and ease of reading.

Along those same lines, try to avoid using animated backgrounds on your phone. Remember, the less you ask of your phone, the less it draws on your battery.

Bad vibrations

It takes more battery power for your phone to vibrate than it does to ring. While you absolutely want to have your phone on vibrate (or turned off) when you’re at a movie or in a meeting, keeping your ringer on at other times can help extend battery life.

Mandatory nap time

The easiest way to make sure your smartphone’s battery lasts all night is to give it a nap at some point during the day. If you’re headed into a meeting for a few hours, turn off your phone and leave it in your desk. Likewise, if you’re out to dinner with close friends or on a date, turn off your phone and focus on your companions. Not only will you look like a better employee and friend for focusing on the people around you in real life, you’ll also save that much more juice for later.

This article was written by and originally appeared on Tecca and was reproduced by Yahoo.

PS If this article was of interest, you might like to checkout this one about the Hidden iPhone Panoramic Camera:

http://wellthisiswhatithink.wordpress.com/2011/11/10/hidden-iphone-panoramic-camera/

*Makes spooky Outer Limits noises*

Online shopping explodes

Online shopping explodes; thankfully the retailers say they're ready, so the worldwidewait might not be as bad as it used to be ... here's hoping.

Stick “Going Mobile” by The Who on (Who’s Next was the album, if I recall correctly) and read this very helpful and interesting review of the efforts major search engines and online shopping providers are making for the continuing explosion in online retailing.

http://techcrunch.com/2011/11/13/how-google-ebay-and-paypal-are-gearing-up-for-a-very-mobile-holiday-shopping-season/

Now if I could just read what’s on my iPhone screen, I’d be right.

I feel an iPad2 coming on. Stop me, mother.

Of course if anyone wanted to give me one so I could blog about using it all the time … no, no, journalistic integrity would prevent such an arrangement.

*Fit of violent coughing*

http://au.news.yahoo.com/tech-news/a/-/technology/11544864/hacker-finds-iphones-secret-camera-mode

I don’t understand all this stuff, but if you have the right iPhone, this will be of interest.

I have enough trouble turning the damn thing on and off. As for getting past Level 17 of Angry Birds, forget it.

Hey, what’s your favourite app?

Angry Birds

Angry Birds: download the whole company for a few billion dollars, give or take

All those of us who have stumped up a few bucks so they can while away their time in boring meetings playing games on their iPhone (“Sorry, boss, just have to reply to this urgent email …”) will be interested to note that rich person’s magazine Forbes estimated the value of Rovio, the company behind the top-selling iPhone game “Angry Birds”, at somewhere between $700 million and $1 billion. That was back in June.

By August, with bored executives everywhere cheerfully firing little birds at pigs for all they’re worth, Rovio begged to differ. Speaking with Finnish magazine Kauppalehti Optio Rovio chief marketing officer Peter Vesterbacka said the assigned worth was vastly underestimated and that real value of Rovio is in the multi-billion-dollar range.

Vesterbacka used Facebook gaming company Zynga (the company responsible for “FarmVille”) as a fitting reference, noting its estimated value is somewhere between $20 billion and $25 billion.

For those of you unable to grasp just how much money that is, it’s about half of what Warren Buffet’s worth after a lifetime of canny investing.

But any number seems arbitrary at the moment, because the “Angry Birds” are not on the market. “We are not selling,” Vesterbacka is quoted as saying, “unless somebody offers enough.”

So anyone with a lazy few billion to invest, I will gladly broker the deal for 10%. Meanwhile, I am contemplating creating”Angry Bloggers”, an amusing new little game, if a tad derivative, where those who feel compelled to trawl the Net at 5 in the morning for the latest news launch missiles called “posts” at lines of sleeping “friends” who don’t know they’re coming until it’s too late. So far, so good.

Credits, MSNBC and Pop2it

... before your iPhone drives you nuts one day

When I was an iddy biddy boy, I worked in the computer industry. I was actually around for the launch of the personal computer, incredible as that might seem to those admiring my Dorian Gray-like youthfulness.

The ever accelerating onrush of technology – the sheer clattering speed of change – is astonishing. Today’s PCs – one little desktop box or the ubiquitous laptop – contains more computer power than all the number crunching that the USA used to send men to the moon.

When I was selling computers, an IBM PC had 64k of RAM and 10Mb of storage. Luxury. Tell the young ones nowadays and they wouldn’t believe yer.

We knew a little bit about the computers we were selling at considerable expense to people – but in all honesty, only a very little. When people rang up with problems, apart from genuine sympathy (we usually couldn’t make our own boxes work, so how on earth a customer was meant to was a live issue) there was customarily a lot of well-meaning um-ing and ah-ing.

Sooner or later, we fell back on two staple responses. “Have you actually turned it on, Madam?” was our first reality check. (People often hadn’t.) And if the thing was actually on, then our second reliable fallback was: “Try turning it on and off again, Sir.”

In the best part of thirty years, I have never strayed far from that early wisdom. Ever since, whenever any recalictrant bundle of circuits, chips and wires steadfastly and stubbornly refuses to do as it is told, I turn the damn thing off, issue dire warnings about what I will do to it if it doesn’t come good tout de suite, (you will never convince me they don’t understand plain talking), and then I flick it back on again. Nine times out of ten, it duly hums along nicely thereafter. Well, until the next time, anyhow.

So when she who must be obeyed spoke to me on the home phone, and complained that I hadn’t responded to a text message despatched to me earlier on my iPhone, I hunted down said phone, and discovered it sitting on the bedroom dressing table, somehow frozen and unresponsive. Sweeping my fingers imperiously across its crystal surface produced no satisfying and obedient leap into life. My little app icons stayed hidden from sight. I spoke to the phone very severely, shook it a few times, pressed every button in sight, and still nothing. It just stared back at me.

Harumph, I said to myself, we’ll see about that, my lad.

Unlike other, simpler, nay – baser – objects, of course, the queenly iPhone doesn’t just have a battery one can whip off and then clumsily stick back in again, thereby neatly achieving what it apparently called a “hard reboot”. (Modern parlance for “turning it on and off again”.)

As all iPhone owners know, there is a small oblong button on the top of the casing which, when pressed and held down, allows one to bring up another little sweepy command thingy which lets one turn the phone off altogether. So I pressed it. And pressed it, and pressed it. I even went and got my glasses, made sure I was pressing it properly, and pressed it some more. I pressed it quick, I pressed it slow. I loved that little button long time, I can tell you, and with a growing sense of panic.

Nothing.

For some reason, I realised, I couldn’t even turn it off.

By then, it was time to drive into town and pick up the Memsahib (which is what the earlier message had apparently been about) so I popped into the trusty ironclad steed and drove off down the freeway, iPhone sitting on the passenger seat beside me, mutely and defiantly refusing to go off, or to do anything else at all. With faltering frequency, I kept dispiritedly pressing helplessly at the off switch from time to time, as if mere persistence and self belief could overcome its sudden mechanical stubborness.

Once having battled through the traffic, the better half’s own telephonic communications device was duly pressed into service to ring Apple to find out what to do when “turn it on and off again” was apparently beyond one’s fumbling abilities.

After waiting for what seemed like an age, a nice Indian lady with an American accent (or possibly an hospitable American lady with an Indian accent, who knows in this brave new world of remote call centres?) spent what seemed like an inordinate amount of time politely enquiring as to whether the phone was still under warranty. “When had we bought it?” (Who remembers such things?)  “Dunno, it was a replacement for a previous one that didn’t work.” “When had we brought the original phone?” “Does this really matter? Tell me how to turn it off when the off button doesn’t work!

And then, dear reader, we came to the revelation. And it was, in its way, every bit as portentious as Moses wandering back down the hill with a couple of industrial-size slabs of engraved marble to set the Israelites straight. Because having established I hadn’t just let the battery run down (the modern equivalent of “Have you turned it on, Madam?”) the nice lady cheerfully advised us to push the little oblong button on the top (I trust you are followjng closely now, fellow iPhone owners) and the little round button on the front of the casing at the bottom, (iPhone users know full well that these things have proper names, but no one knows what they are), but get this … at the same time. And to hold them pressed for, like, 20 seconds.

Zap. Kapow. Shazaam. Abracadabra. My beloved iPhone promptly re-booted itself, taking what seemed like next to no time to return to its normal courteous, trustworthy self.

So now you know. Tell everyone. Post messages on Facebook pages. Slip people you don’t know in bars little notes with the esoteric knowledge scribbled on them. This is the iPhone gnosis. The top button on the right, and the round button at the bottom, together. That’s how you do a hard re-boot on an Apple iPhone. That’s how you turn it off and turn it on again.

You’ll thank me one day.