Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

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.

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.

Now leave it alone ... leave it alone ...

Now leave it alone … leave it alone …

There is a total pleasure, unalloyed, simple and honourable, in making something oneself. Devoid of the ability to carve a Taj Mahal out of whalebone or paint a dashing watercolour by the dying light of the day, I get my kicks from matters culinary. In this case, alcoholic or “hard” cider.

Cider is in my blood. (Literally, as well as figuratively, as the act of bottling this year’s brew has, I admit, required a little subtle sampling of a pint or two.)

It is the drink of choice in the South and West of England where I come from, and also in many parts of Europe, where for centuries it has been the “peasants’ drink”.

It's a well-known fact that scrumpy drinkers in the west of England live to be over 200 years old regularly: well, not so much live, but their bodies miraculously do not decay. They're pickled before death.

It’s a well-known fact that scrumpy drinkers in the west of England live to be over 200 years old regularly: well, not so much live, but their bodies miraculously do not decay. They’re pickled before death.

The reason is easy to divine – apples were plentiful, grew wild, or were inexpensive, and do not keep awfully long when ripe, after a long growing season.

Rather than lose the accumulated goodness of an entire summer’s growth the medieval peasants did the only sensible thing – turned it into alcohol to keep their Vitamin C stores up and keep the winter woes away.

They didn’t know that’s what they were doing, but whatever it was they did think they were doing, it sure felt good.

Country-style cider (by which I mean, fascinatingly cloudy, dry as a dog’s water bowl on a hot summer’s day, and always non carbonated, served at room temperature not chilled) is ridiculously easy to make.

Essentially it is the result of mixing crushed apple pulp and apple juice, water, and yeast and leaving it alone for a goodly lump of time. Tens of thousands of farmhouses in Europe still have an “apple crush” where apples are squashed between bales of hay, the juice collected in vats, and allowed to ferment. Paired with a cob loaf, crisp salt-free butter, some spicy home-made tomato chutney*, a bitingly severe mature Cheddar cheese and a sunny summer’s day sat at a wooden table somewhere picturesque, “scrumpy” (home-made cider) is the core of one of the great meals (a “Ploughman’s Lunch”) that one could ever enjoy, anywhere in the world.

Stories of rats falling in the barrel and drowning – all good for enhancing the taste – are not merely apocryphal, I knew one farmer in my youth who hunted them specifically to chuck a couple in the vat. What the Occupational Health and Safety Standards and Food Standards people don’t know will never harm them.

Not a complicated concept, really.

Not a complicated concept, really.

The Wellthisiswhatithink brew is a tad easier. I will keep this simple:

Get a big “thingy” to brew in. You know: made of plastic, (easy to clean), bobbly-bubbly valve thing on top so the lid doesn’t blow off, spout at the bottom.

To a tin of apple concentrate (any home brew store has them) add a mixture of 22 litres of warm water and supermarket-sourced apple juice (or crush your own apples as we did last year, but it’s too early for that currently in the Southern Hemisphere) with the proportions of water and juice being entirely up to you. Using more juice may add some natural yeasts to the brew if the juice hasn’t been heated to within an inch of its life, and also adds sweetness.

Now chuck in a load of sugar of some sort or other (un-refined gives a deeper flavour, refined becomes more alcoholic), and your yeast of choice. Part of the fun is trying different yeasts – “cider yeast” should theoretically produce a predictable result, but “champagne yeast” is good too. Or mix and match yeasts and hope they don’t go troppo – or even chuck in some unpeeled apples and apple peel and let the natural yeasts on their skins do their thing. The result, however, is less reliable, as a lot of natural yeasts floating round on the breeze aren’t, um, very tasty.

Leave in a warm-ish room for two to three weeks and wait till its stops going “plop”. (That means there’s no more fermentation happening.) Leave 1 day to be sure, and then drain off the cider and leave it as long as you can before drinking it – the taste and quality deepens and expands – but not more than six months or risk it going bad.

Oh, be still my beating heart.

Oh, be still my beating heart.

Six months?


Our batch is ripe for drinking immediately, just as the peasants would have.

It might get left alone for a couple of weeks.

Or then again, it might not.


*I will make my Aunty Sylv’s chutney recipe the subject of another posting.


Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Yup, it”s true. Everything you’ve ever asked Siri is on file at Starbase MegaApplica. Read all about it here.

So, exactly how many times did you tell Siri to f*** off because it keeps opening unexpectedly? Or just to see what she replies? Be warned. Big Brother Apple knows.

(I must admit, I keep waiting for it to answer “And how shall I f*** off, Master?” as in the immortal Life of Brian line.)

Not to mention “Siri, do you think I am attractive?” “Siri, how do I get to sleep with Keira Knightley?” “Siri, how do I kill my boss?” and any others of which you’ve been you’ve been guilty.

Meanwhile, this is very funny, in a rather infantile but adult way. You’ll see what I mean.

D' oh!

Oh dear. A rather, er, prominent mistake.

Well, OK, technically the first one is packaging, not advertising. But, you know – same diff.

Always a good idea for the creative department designing the label to know the ink density and absorbency of the paper being used.

Once you know that, it’s all about kerning, people.

But then again, does anyone in today’s ad industry actually know what kerning is?


Doesn’t the Apple just do that for me?


Meanwhile, Dear Reader, a quick lesson in not necessarily using every space available in this lovely world of ours for advertising, or if we do, let’s make sure the creatives actually see the site before they’re asked to beaver away at their keyboards, eh?

Take their coffee and cocaine away from them, pop some sunglasses on their precious little noses, and send them out into the real world.

Coz, see, I am reasonably sure this is not the sub-conscious image that Turkish Airlines wish to leave in the minds of their potential customers.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.


(BTW, I really can’t be arsed to post links to all the F*** Ups of 2012 – just type advertising in the search box top left and you’ll soon find them all.)

 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 Maps Navigation iOS 6 vs iOS

iO6 on the left, iO5 on the right

(From Yahoo and others)

Apple today released iOS 6 through an over-the-air update and Australian users everywhere are getting ready to upgrade their devices.

Apple has updated iOS like clockwork each year, adding marquee new features like iCloud and multitasking. This year, iOS 6 is a relatively modest update. Apple has instead focused on refining the experience, there are a multitude of nips and tucks and the operating system feels faster than ever.

However there are still some key new features, and interestingly a few big ones that have been removed from prior versions. iOS 6 adds Facebook integration, smarter Siri commands and Passbook, a much-touted (and potentially very significant) digital wallet to store your tickets and coupons.

Critically, Apple has removed Google Maps from the operating system and replaced it with their own Apple-built maps application.

They’ve also left out the previously built-in Youtube app.

Let’s take a closer look at how the new features stack up.

Goodbye Google, hello Apple maps.

The most visible change in iOS 6 is unquestionably the banishing of Google maps to make way for Apple’s own revamped mapping service. Apple has now taken control of the location and map experience on their devices, removing their biggest competitor from the platform. But what does that mean for users?

The new maps application adds some great features that were previously missing, the biggest being turn-by-turn navigation coming in an October update for Australian users. It works very similarly to devices from TomTom and Garmin, enter your destination and the app will present different routes for both driving and walking.

Navigation mode displays in a rich 3D view giving a bird’s eye perspective of the road you’re driving on, in typical Apple style the experience is smooth.

You can even enter destinations through Siri, try it by telling Siri “take me home”.

‘Flyover’ is another key feature of the new maps application.

As the name suggests, it literally allows you to fly over cities such as Sydney and Melbourne. It’s an astonishing presentation of satellite imagery, a 3D view of the city allowing you to pan in and around the skyline. It’s currently limited to bigger Australian cities and other cities around the world, expect Apple to keep adding and enhancing this with more satellite data over time.

Not all good news

It’s not (yet) all good news for maps, however.

As this excellent review (including screen caps) discusses, public transport information is one of the casualties, as Apple hasn’t added this data to their application. Instead you’ll need to download third party apps to get this functionality, at least until Apple is ready with their own transit data. Google’s extensive business listings and points-of-interest are also missing, and while Apple has used Yelp and Yellow Pages to add some of this data it’s not as comprehensive as it was in the prior maps application. Presumably Apple will add functionality as they catch up. The new maps certainly look nice, but will that compensate for loss of function, even temporary?


Apple has added a new built-in app to digitally store all those tickets, coupons and gift cards you have in your wallet or purse. Instead of fumbling in your email trying to find that movie ticket or digging through app folders to find a coupon code, Passbook aims to simplify the process by storing all these items in one location.

It also utilises the device’s GPS abilities in a convenient way. If you have a coffee card stored in Passbook, when you walk into the associated coffee shop it will send a push notification and pull up the card right on your phone. It’s a futuristic feature however at launch it seems anemic, with few supporting services. Virgin Australia and Event Cinemas have stated they will be supporting it, but we’ll have to patiently wait for more businesses to offer Passbook integration to make it useful. In due course, it may replace all manner of paper and plastic items.

Siri knows more

Apple hailed Siri as the stand-out feature in the iPhone 4S, today Siri has been added to the iPad and has also received some major improvements.

The virtual assistant with attitude can now look up sports scores, local business listings, give directions, post to social networks and open apps. Li’l ol Australia hasn’t received all of Siri’s new features though, for example missing is the ability to book restaurant reservations and pull up movie listings. Grrr.

Still, it’s a solid update and the inclusion of the once missing business and location listings in Australia is a welcome improvement. It’s not quite the virtual assistant as demonstrated in Apple’s ads, but it’s slowly getting there with each iteration. Apple still lists Siri as being in beta, in an apparent attempt to lower expectations.

I ‘like’ this

For all fellow Facebook addicts, Facebook is now baked-in like Twitter was in iOS 5. This means you can sign in to Facebook directly through the settings app, giving users the ability to share photos and other items directly from the device without using another application.

They have also added a convenient Facebook post button directly in the notification panel, allowing to you post and also tweet from any screen.

Apple has added the ability to ‘like’ apps directly in the App Store. When you like an app, it will be shared with your friends and you can also see when your friends have liked an app right in the store.

There are numerous other features and enhancements that make using iOS 6 an improved experience.

Do Not Disturb

‘Do Not Disturb’ is one such feature;  it’s essentially a switch that allows you to stop all incoming notifications such as messages, phone calls or alerts. This is really useful before bed or in a cinema. You can even set exemptions, so if you still want all calls from your partner or colleague/boss to come through you can set that in the settings. Very helpful and practical.

‘Photo streams’ are now shareable, so you can take a few photos and directly share with them a friend or group of friends. This will be useful at parties or for times you don’t necessarily want every photo up on Facebook.

Apple have also added the ability to comment and like photos, a surprising move adding more social networking style features to the Photos app.

The Bottom Line?

Overall it’s a solid update to an already strong mobile operating system loved by many.

Apple have decided to take a more cautious approach with this release, looking to add refinements and improve the overall experience without rocking the boat too much.

It’s significant that Apple have removed key Google features like maps and Youtube, which is a signal that Apple doesn’t want to rely on competitors to provide core features for their platform. It will also be a challenge for Apple to provide a comprehensive mapping service like Google does.

If you already enjoy the iOS experience, then updating to iOS 6 is a no-brainer. If you prefer Android or Windows Phone, this update will not do much to change your view. As a whole, it’s an update that doesn’t rely on one big feature to sell it like in past updates, but iOS 6 still provides an overall more pleasant and useful experience. Seems Apple pretty much can’t miss a trick right now.



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.


– 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


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.

In case you don’t recognise her t-shirt, it’s a famous resistance statement from the Spanish civil war – No Pasarin, “they shall not pass”. I am moved and amazed by these young womens’ courage. So what can the rest of us do to help?


I have a simple question for Apple and iTunes.

When will I be able to buy Pussy Riot’s latest single? Putin Lights the Fires it’s called.

It strikes me as by far the simplest and most direct way I – anyone – can show my support for their right to free expression. No one should be jailed for a peaceful three minute protest in a church.

If the song went to the top of every chart in the Western world – not to mention in Russia – what a statement that would make to the Russian authorities. And might help pay for their legal case, and support their families, too, I guess. (Two of those jailed are mothers, I believe.) Pussy Riot have been in jail already for months. Now they are sentenced they will get one phone call a quarter, and be able to see their families once every six months. This is barbarism, writ large, in defiance of world opinion.

So how about it, Apple? Anyone?

Meanwhile, the Guardian in the UK have got the single which they have put to a montage of Pussy Riot coverage, and coverage of their supporters.

It’s horrible. It’s un-listenable to. See, I hate punk music, and I don’t speak Russian.

But I really want to buy it. How can I do that?

Please spread this blog, ask the question, ask Apple and other music retailers yourselves, post about it yourselves, Facebook and Twitter about it. Quick. Let’s get these women released – fast.

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

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?

We have been following this story on Wellthisiswhatithink. As it is still in front of the courts, we make no further comment, but simply reproduce the wider news coverage today of this fascinating case below …


The Australian competition watchdog is seeking a $2.25 million fine against Apple for selling its new iPad as “wifi + 4G” when the device did not work on any existing Australian 4G networks.

The case was adjourned until next Wednesday to allow Justice Mordecai Bromberg of the Federal Court in Victoria to receive some confidential information about Apple’s operations in Australia.

Apple and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission have asked Justice Bromberg to approve the proposed fine for misleading and deceptive conduct.

However, Justice Bromberg told the parties he was unhappy with the lack of information provided to the court about Apple’s financial position, the number of iPads that had been sold using the “Wifi + 4G” name and how many had been returned, and the difference between how the iPads would work on a 3G or 4G network.

“Surely the parties can at least put before the court some meaningful facts that identify a disparity between the products,” he said.

Alan Archibald, QC, acting for Apple, told the court it was irrelevant how many iPads had been sold or returned because Apple had offered to provide full refunds, so there was no loss to customers.

“What conceiveable damage might there be?” he said.

“This is a case of absence of loss – whatever the level of sales, there cannot be loss because anybody concerned about it could reverse the acquisition.”

Smaller bite

Mr Archibald argued that the $2.25 million fine should be reduced because of the absence of any loss to consumers. However, he did assure the Judge that there was “no question at all about [Apple’s] financial capacity to meet the penalty”.

Apple agreed to provide Justice Bromberg with confidential information about its financial position and the number of devices sold to allow him to judge whether the proposed penalty was appropriate.

“The parties face the risk that I might come to a view that I do not have sufficient agreed facts before me to be able to properly assess,” Justice Bromberg warned. He said he would reach a conclusion soon after receiving the new information.

Apple advertised its new iPad as “Wifi + 4G” from 8 March until the ACCC took it to court on March 28. Apple agreed to place notices at the point of sale explaining the devices did not work on any 4G or Wimax networks in Australia. On May 12 it changed the name to “Wifi + Cellular”.

This proposed fine is half of a potential $4.4 million fine which could be imposed on Apple for four contraventions of Australian Consumer Law.

The ACCC and Apple have agreed there were four contraventions when it advertised the product online, in signage, in the promotional material provided to resellers, and in the promotional material provided on Apple’s website.

(With thanks to The Age, and BusinessDay, and others)

As previously flagged in this blog, the new Apple iPad does NOT – currently – hook up with Telstra’s 4G in Australia (or Europe, or Asia) – although it hooks up to 4G standards in the USA and Canada. This Age article and video interview does an excellent job of explaining the issue and why the ACCC have now got very upset with Apple.

Apple’s defence, as I understand it, is that Australia simply doesn’t have what it considers a 4G network – which is an interesting charge for Telstra to rebut –  but it also hard not to think that Apple’s behaviour in promoting the product in the first place as 4G compatible in Australia was disingenuous at best, especially as the problem of hooking into Telstra was known about in advance.

Anyway, now Apple and the ACCC will both have to deal with the fallout. And costs, as they ended up in court. Silly billies.

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.

The new Apple iPhone 4-s

The new Apple iPhone 4s

If this was released as the first in a line of products people would be raving with enthusiasm. As it is, it seems a significant improvement. But not the revolution that people expected. Thanks to Yahoo and CNET for the review.

... 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.


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.