Member Avatar

iPhones, including the short-supplied iPhone 4, can now be jailbroken according to a new ruling by the [URL="http://www.copyright.gov/"]Library of Congress Copyright Office[/URL]. In other words never mind what Apple says you may and may not install on your phone, you help yourself. On the surface this makes absolute sense. If I've paid for an iPhone - if indeed you could get them round these parts - it would be my property. It is absurd for Apple or any other manufacturer to tell me what I may and may not do with something which I own. They can, however, make it …

Member Avatar
+0 forum 1
Member Avatar

We've just had a public holiday in the UK. On the last Monday of August nobody works, including the postal delivery men. Which is probably why it wasn't until this morning that I received my copies of Snow Leopard - one for the laptop and one for the desktop - for the Mac. An [URL="http://www.apple.com"]Apple OS[/URL] upgrade. This has always been exciting, with major stuff added, easier and better displays and so on. Not this time. I have it on good authority that if you're working with Microsoft Exchange then it's an excellent thing and will make your system integrate …

+0 forum 0
Member Avatar

Kazaa has decided to join Pirate Bay in becoming a legal peer to peer service. This raises interesting questions for moralistic pedants like me. The full details of the story are [URL="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8159560.stm"]here[/URL] but that's not what I want to discuss. I'm more interested in what sort of message it sends out when people start off a business that's completely illegal by any amount of reckoning and are then effectively rewarded. Actually 'rewarded' might be putting it a bit strongly. The companies are wound up, declared bankrupt and the owners held up to public ridicule. It's just that so many of …

-1 forum 0
Member Avatar

A couple of months ago I put a note out on [URL="http://twitter.com"]Twitter[/URL] about how my car had been written off. I also put a note on this very forum to the same extent. I had a predictable response - nobody said anything except one wit on this blog, who added the epithet 'no-one cares about your car'. Indeed, it could have looked like something of an indulgent blog post. Why indeed should anyone care what's happened to my motor? You can tell this is going somewhere. I was in fact testing out a theory for my social networking book, due …

+0 forum 0
Member Avatar

Yet another report suggests that marriages are splitting up and people are blaming the Internet or Cyberspace for their real-life troubles. There's an account on British newspaper the Guardian's website [URL="http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2009/may/27/divorce-cyber-affairs"]here[/URL], at the end of which there is a reasonably comprehensive listing of actual incidents reported in the press of this stuff happening. Personally I'd love to see it go away. No, I don't mean marital split-up; of course I'd love to see that go away too, but it's not a realistic aim. No, I'd like to see an end to people drawing this illusory line between 'Cyberspace' and 'real …

+0 forum 0
Member Avatar

I've been reading about VNUNet's choice of the top ten most disappointing technologies - stuff that really didn't deliver. I'm sitting here typing with a wireless keyboard and mouse talking to my Mac by Bluetooth stunned that they chose Bluetooth as one of them, and enough Linux addicts have Tweeted about Ubuntu to suggest they're wrong about that one too. We'll all have different perspectives but here are my top ten (there is some overlap) - you can compare with [URL="http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2242379/top-disappointing-technologies?page=1"]theirs[/URL] or just argue about your own. 1. Voice control: It just doesn't work. It doesn't like accents, it doesn't …

Member Avatar
+0 forum 1
Member Avatar

It must be about 15 years since I was standing on a boat in Los Angeles at a press party, talking to a computer executive from the States. I don't remember his name; he'd had a couple of drinks by that time and there were a few people from the European press around. "We operate in Europe," he said. "Including England, Wales...oh, whatever you think is a country over there." Many of us were, I think, understandably offended. I mean, we get it: America is big, you have lakes bigger than London, we really, really understand the point. I can't …

Member Avatar
+0 forum 3
Member Avatar

Jonathan Ive (there, I bet you thought the headline was a typo) is not as famous as perhaps he ought to be. Next to Steve Jobs he has been responsible for turning the Apple brand around, making it desirable again, chiefly by designing the iPod, the first eMacs and substantial amounts of iMacs so that they not only work but they look stunning in your hand or your home. A couple of brands, Apple being among them, have turned technology into a desirable object as well as something useful. So it's probably a bit depressing for him that someone has …

+0 forum 0
Member Avatar

The UK Government's communications agency GCHQ has issued a rare statement saying it has no plans to monitor every individual's emails. Instead, the Home Secretary says we should all be ready to have our ISPs record [URL="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8032367.stm"]all our Internet contacts[/URL]. I've met a few ISPs. They're going to be delighted, nay, ecstatic with this new management overhead they're now being asked to shoulder. As with the previous suggestion, which was to hire a private company to watch everyone's emails, this isn't going to work. The companies who'll need to offer up the information simply won't wear it. On the other …

+0 forum 0
Member Avatar

This is going to be a high-risk blog entry, I know. But I'm in the UK, it's 1 April at eight minutes past ten in the morning and so far we've had no reports of mass outbreaks of the Conficker virus. The BBC was suggesting it was all overblown in a report [URL="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7973131.stm"]yesterday[/URL]. This is actually quite brilliant, if it doesn't turn into a 'UK got off lightly' story (which it still could, or it could break out midday or something). Someone has not written a virus, not propogated it and then managed to disrupt and hijack a load of …

Member Avatar
+0 forum 1
Member Avatar

Here we go again. It seems like only last month I mentioned the legal efforts to restrain Google's Street View system in the UK (probably because it was). Now we're starting to see active resistance to it. Residence of Milton Keynes have made it clear that [URL="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/beds/bucks/herts/7980737.stm"]a handful of them don't want their houses as part of the display[/URL]. I maintain it's a shame and visitors to this country will arrive expecting their street view clients to work, then will assume we're somehow backward when they don't. It's going to be fascinating to see how this pans out in the …

+0 forum 0
Member Avatar

This is excellent. A map of Britain in which the forthcoming extra-fast Internet is highlighted. It's [URL="http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/interactive/2009/mar/23/broadband-fibre-cabinet-bt-map"]here[/URL] on the Guardian website. A number of things become clear from this. First, unsurprisingly, there's a lot of concentration around London and Manchester, with Edinburgh getting a respectable look-in. This is pretty inevitable I suppose; major conurbations are going to get the major advances sooner than anyone else. Except... Does it really make sense that the places with the best communications already will get the best advances the most quickly? If I were living in a small village or something I don't suppose …

+0 forum 0
Member Avatar

The debate goes on and on about whether social networking and in particular Twitter are any use for the business community. One of the better debates I've seen about this is [URL="http://www.greenrow.co.uk/blog/2009/03/comment-can-twittering-bring-tweet.htm"]here[/URL] on the Green Row blog. The woman who's written it is in PR so she may have vested interests in quoting the people she quotes, but the points raised are nevertheless salient ones.

+0 forum 0
Member Avatar

Many UK participants in Daniweb will be aware of the various social media that carry music. They will have been delighted by the free stuff that you can listen to on [URL="http://www.lastfm.com"]Last.FM[/URL], [URL="http://www.spotify.com"]Spotify[/URL] and [URL="http://www.youtube.com"]YouTube[/URL] - you can even get the Beatles on YouTube, which is pretty much unique among online providers. Except that cracks are starting to appear. Yesterday the holders of the rights to music in the UK had a [URL="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7933565.stm"]falling-out with YouTube[/URL] so we can expect some of the music to be taken down. Last month Spotify had to start restricting its music along regional lines. I'm …

Member Avatar
+0 forum 2
Member Avatar

Here's a worrying trend - people are pretending to be other people on the Internet and social networks. So far, so incredibly well-known, predictable and not at all surprising. What is perhaps more of a surprise is that when a fake is uncovered they tend to [URL="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7929360.stm"]stick around[/URL]. They don't go away, no matter how much we might want them to. This has implications for Web marketeers - specifically that imitators are less easy to get rid of than you might have thought. This is bad news because it means the only way to be certain is through prevention. So …

+0 forum 0
Member Avatar

I'm excited today. I've had a meeting with a publisher and I've been commissioned - contract in the post - to write a book about using social media for business. There, I wasn't going to tell you but you forced it out of me. It will be out in October. Why am I telling you this? Well, because on the way back to the office I saw this news item in today's [URL="http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/news/article5850972.ece"]Times Online[/URL]. And I just couldn't believe it. In fact I kind of still don't, I'm really hoping that the idea of using a Twitter account to abuse …

Member Avatar
+0 forum 3
Member Avatar

It's official - the regulators are not going to stop British Telecom from going ahead with putting faster Internet in throughout the UK as long as it's financially viable. Some non-UK readers might wonder why the regulator had to get involved - it's because we have a strange and twisty history in terms of public and private ownership and is regulated up to the hilt as a start. It was in private hands until the late 1960s, by which time it had become part of the General Post Office (GPO) over here and became almost the only telephone company we …

+0 forum 0
Member Avatar

So the analysts are saying computers are going to decline in volume shipments this quarter, for the first time in ages. I'm not surprised. The circumstances are probably worse for the IT industry than they were last time this happened, in 2002. The people who make these things have made computers that work. That was, on reflection, a bad move. Think about it. In [URL="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7918621.stm"]this report[/URL] the BBC quotes people saying that replacement computers, if they slow down, aren't the same priority that they would be if the economy were doing better. Maybe. But I can't help noticing that the …

+0 forum 0
Member Avatar

It looks like common sense has broken out in New Zealand. There was a proposal to allow people to cut off customers completely when they were suspected of flouting copyright laws. Now that appears to be on [URL="http://www.out-law.com/default.aspx?page=9831"]hold[/URL]. I hope it won't come back. Let's be honest, I don't like people who flout copyright. They make my skin crawl - as a journalist and author I rely on retaining the rights to my work as part of my livelihood. So I'm biased and you might find it surprising that I'm so anti this measure. In fact I applaud the idea …

+0 forum 0
Member Avatar

A belated word about last week's [URL="http://www.facebook.com"]Facebook[/URL] fiasco, if I may. You might remember the company aroused all sorts of excitement when it changed its terms and conditions to allow itself rights in perpetuity to images on its servers. The BBC had a [URL="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7897824.stm"]social media expert[/URL] in to explain how the company was getting a little above itself. I should declare an interest, albeit an indirect one; I've just been asked to write a book on social media. I know a little about what I'm talking about. So, of course, does this guy. He doesn't mention, though, the obvious reason …

+0 forum 0
Member Avatar

Many people will have seen the report on Digital Britain and what our Government wants from it in the relatively near future. Everyone to have fast broadband (good idea but not necessarily affordable), more Government services to be available online, that sort of thing. There's a discussion and feedback forum open [URL="http://www.digitalbritainforum.org.uk/"]here[/URL] for any fellow Brits who want to take part. Except... Surely the people to whom this sort of forum needs to be talking are the ones who can't actually get at it yet? OK, there will be interest groups who can indeed log on through a decent web …

+0 forum 0
Member Avatar

Sometimes you see a story and it surprises you. Sometimes it seems like the obvious thing, for many people. And sometimes it concerns something you'd been talking about for months, and why on earth didn't they think of this before? The news about which I'm particularly pleased falls into the latter category. He won't remember as he has many followers, but I was exchanging notes with UK celebrity chat show host Jonathan Ross on this very subject via his [URL="http://twitter.com"]Twitter[/URL] feed. He'd mislaid the power lead for his e-book reader and was wondering which, if any, of the cables in …

Member Avatar
+0 forum 3
Member Avatar

This is the sort of thing that annoys me intensely. Our Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Lord Davies of Abersoch, has been asking the good people at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona what they need to grow the mobile business, what it's all about, that sort of thing. All of which is good. I am in favour of it. Unfortunately, as we find out care of an item on [URL="http://uk.techcrunch.com/2009/02/18/no-minister-you-dont-listen-by-leaving-your-own-lunch/"]TechCrunch[/URL], he didn't stay to listen to the answers. Which is a pity. I'm reminded of an incident over a decade ago - 1992 or thereabouts. I was …

+0 forum 0
Member Avatar

This is absurd. Last week came the news that [URL="http://www.microsoft.com"]Microsoft[/URL] was going to launch a retail store - and now [URL="http://www.nokia.com"]Nokia[/URL] is going to do the same in the online world. The Microsoft idea is the most interesting as it's going to be imitating [URL="http://www.apple.com/store"]Apple's operation[/URL] much more directly, both online and offline. For me, though, the odd thing is that both companies think this is a good time to be launching a new business venture. I can't see it - or at least I couldn't. Only this morning the headlines on the radio in the UK were about a …

+0 forum 0
Member Avatar

President Obama - I still like saying that and I'm not even in his continent (OK, a little bias there, you may disagree) - is of course to be applauded for his decision to launch a root and branch investigation into American cyber-security. In fact I'd urge other countries, particularly my own (which apparently can't hold on to addresses on a disk for longer than five minutes without losing them) to sit up and pay attention. Or just sit up and bark. Get on with it. The BBC's account is [URL="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7880695.stm"]here[/URL]. But there's another angle to this story. One of …

Member Avatar
+0 forum 2
Member Avatar

I was initially pleased to see that Microsoft is going to start offering a Fix-it system which you can download from the Web. You have a computer problem, then assuming you can still get at the Internet you go onto Microsoft's pages, download this new fix-it thing and it will address whichever known problem you have. OK. Flaw number one, your problem may be that you can't get onto the Web. It may not be though, and we'll assume for the moment that it's not. Flaw number two is; hang on, if there are known issues shouldn't these be getting …

+0 forum 0
Member Avatar

I can't imagine the issue is of much interest outside the UK (although I see the New York Times is having a laugh at our expense, understandably) but it's been snowing a bit in London. This will become important in a minute, bear with me. I should explain that in London we don't get much snow. Half an inch of the white flaky stuff and we tend to panic. Our roads and rails were built primarily by Victorians who weren't expecting anything other than a variation on 'mild' in weather terms and now that we're getting more severe conditions we …

Member Avatar
+0 forum 3
Member Avatar

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin. Once upon a time, there was a newspaper in the UK. It had an editor, it had employees, it had stories, like any other newspaper. Then it grew a website. One day, presumably someone made someone on the web side very unhappy. We will never know what exactly made them unhappy, but they were very, very sad. And we know they were very, very sad because they sabotaged the URL of a story in the newspaper and made the publication a laughing stock. And even if the paper took the web page down …

+0 forum 0
Member Avatar

Over in the UK the Government has issued what it's calling the Digital Britain Report. There has been a lot of reaction. Essentially the idea is that everyone should have broadband in their house by 2012 (just in time for us to underfund the Olympics) and, er...and they all live Happily Ever After. There has been a lot of reaction (see [URL="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7858946.stm"]the BBC's round-up[/URL] for details and a PDF of the report itself). It's short on detail, there's no real strategy, the criticisms run. My concern is elsewhere. Everybody is taking it for granted over here and elsewhere in the …

+0 forum 0
Member Avatar

Just back from a briefing with the registration company behind the new .tel domain. Interesting stuff in that it's not really about websites as people who've gone in on the first wave of registrations, for commercial companies with trademarked names, will know. Given the spate of fake celebrities - in the UK at least - on Twitter (sadly nobody is pretending to be me, I'm [URL="http://twitter.com/guyclapperton"]here[/URL] if you want to follow) I asked a bit about people passing themselves off as someone else by registering the domain first. The answer was of course obvious - they're a registration company rather …

Member Avatar
+0 forum 1

The End.