Tag Archives: News

Litmus test

A friend asked me yesterday what I thought about Android phones. I explained that as far as I understood it there wasn’t actually an Android phone but it was an operating system for them made by Google. But in any event I hadn’t seen one. I’d seen Nokia SmartPhones, Blackberries and raspberries and even iPhones complete with beer mugs, but I’ve yet to see, hear or touch an Android in any shape or form. T-Mobile have them, but who has one??

Tomorrow sees O2 launching their Litmus site for mobile App developers. I can understand the need to ensure that any apps integrate securely into the o2 network, but the big Q for me is just how interoperable their APIs are. Could for example an app made for Litmus work on an iPhone or on me Nokia on Vodafone? That’s what I want and it doesn’t take a litmus test for that. Grumpiness aside, the Litmus site is fun and I like their ethos, at least on screen:

If you participate in O2 Litmus with an open mind and sense of community it will be a richly rewarding experience to see an app grow and improve through this process.

More guff on the project can be found on Venture Beat.

NY Times Widget

How lucky are the Americans, as Mashable’s Jennifer Van Grove explains that the NY Times now features a DIY widget for pulling their RSS feeds into Netvibes, iGoogle, or blogs such as this. A tad cool methinks so I wandered over to The Thunderer’s site and did a quick Google on what they have to offer in that line. Not a lot is the answer.

I guess I’ll have to see if the NY Times can show the weather for west London for me…

MySpaceID: Google 1, Microsoft 0

A great post from Rick Turoczy on readwriteweb on the ongoing format login scrap between Facebook and MySpace. Rick comes down firmly in favour of MySpace arguing that their way is more Open and favours interoperability. What’s more he says, MySpaceID:

fires a very real shot across Facebook’s bow. And continues to set the stage for the tag-team match between the more proprietary Facebook-Microsoft and the more open MySpace-Google. (source)
 

Over at cnet, Caroline McCarthy explains that MySpace are building on the open standards of ‘OpenSocial’ and ‘OpenID’ and says that MySpace are partnering with the giant European SP Vodafone and souped-up bespoke RSS factory Netvibes. I use both of these and like the service and reckon that this alliance might well be interesting.

Why so? Well Rick likens the MySpaceID move to the days of 1.0 when more adventurous ISPs opened the cracks in the walled gardens of AoL and Compuserve. This he says, led to the more open web we enjoy today. Thus the development from MySpace-Google also opens the way for a more open (and user-friendly) 2.0 web, which has to be a positive development. Add that to Vodafone’s reach and Netvibes’ personalised functional-funkiness and we’re also looking at some nicely synched up apps in future.

Update:

An intriguing quote from Charlene Li on the FT Tech Blog on this topic:

It’s not about one standard winning over the other, it’s not about Betamax versus VHS…At some point everything will connect, because the user will absolutely demand it.

We all will, but if one is closed and proprietary, hasn’t the battle been lost by then? As an alternative Richard Waters wonders if the primary sign-in app (i.e the winner) will define who/what we are online. And if Facebook is the winner, are we looking at 3.0 being a closed garden? I hope not…

Moon's Moon – MoonLITE 2014

Must confess the idea of a British led space mission excites and amuses in equal measures. In an age where Dan Dare has been eclipsed by Wallace and Grommit, British Space Expoloration seems to hark back to a golden age of Eagle comics and kick-start motor bikes.

That said, there’s one planned for 2014, well there might be if it seems a good idea and we can afford it, explains CNET. The idea itself is to give the Moon its very own moon so our lunar chaps can have a chat on their mobiles: “I can’t hear you I’m on the Moon…” comes to mind.

To book your 1st Class ticket, don’t delay: call Baron Drayson for full details and the best seats via the BNSC website.

What is 'International'? rww Top 10

Whilst laudable for thinking beyond the USofA, or even Silicon Valley, readwriteweb’s list of ‘international’ Top 10 Semantic Web Products of 2008 raises questions about the American geopsyche that are probably best not raise here? Why? Well it’s a good list and my MoT needs doing this morning…Also, I’m parochial and even I’m using 2 of the apps so it must be getting beyond at least one border.

 

Check it out by doing the click thang…

Lapland 'Shopped

An amusing seasonal debacle re the UK’s theme park Lapland. What originated as a minor trading standards story erupted into one of the Sun newspaper’s worst headlines in a long time – Lapland Was Bad For Our Elf

Yikes!

The Daily Mail was in an unusually self-righteous mood, dubbing the park ‘Blunderland

What entertained me most was the aspect that Adobe PhotoShop or similar might play in the fiasco. The photographs promoting the park are shall we say optimistic. Here’s what Lapland’s owner, Victor Mears says about them on his website:

All of the photographs were taken with an inexpensive digital camera – handheld/without a tripod – and the photographer who submitted them apologises for the poor sharpness, exposure and contrast quality whilst granting permission for any viewer of this web page to display the photographs without alteration under any circumstance on any public blog associated with the Lapland New Forest event or Lapland New Forest Ltd only.

Here’s some of the pics from their site:

Not that The Sun or their comrades would ever ‘Shop an image as B3ta.com’s regular contributor The Great Architect wryly observes in a sly poke at the Sun’s rival The Daily Mail:

I guess the question that remains is, who shopped whom?

IBM's virtual desktop, minus Microsoft: will it float?

Following on from my musings yesterday on Forrester’s report on 2.0, it’s noteworthy that today sees a Wall Street Journal article that IBM have announced a whole new virtual desktop, which being  Linux+Notes, means no Microsoft products. Using a Microsoft free, Virtual Linux (et al) Desktop CNET notes, means cost savings of 50% – up to $800 per user. Their only qualm is that data will be stored centrally online, which strikes me as a bit of a red herring as I can’t see any serious corporate storing data without central back-ups.

What struck me here was the fact that this system means the Techs in central can also deploy collaboration software to their users. This package is a mix of Red Hat and Notes Domino and acording to IBM this brings a big plus:

Using Red Hat to host the Notes Domino platform provides the stability of Red Hat using a very strong collaboration suite that should meet any company’s needs. The suite can provide email, team rooms, document storage and very much more. Starting with version 8 it comes with Symphony, a free office suite built by IBM using the OpenOffice core code. 

Will it float? I think this depends on the richnness of the delivery. Central IT and Finance may see benefits in terms of cash and robustness, but can it deliver the sort of 2.0 experience that an increasingly social-media savvy employee base expects? Going on the last time I played with Domino, the answer would seem ‘No’, but that was one hell of a long time ago…

Pownce pounced

News is that Six Apart have bought up Pownce in order to close it down. Chris Nuttall in the FT cites a Friendfeed commentator stating that Pownce CEO Kevin Rose was spending more time on Twitter than his own product:

“That’s like the CEO of Pepsi being seen drinking Coke, if you can’t stand behind your product, how do you expect us to?”

What’s going to be interesting is how many of these small 2.0 companies get Crunched up by their bigger rivals never to see the light of day again…