Wednesday, 25 November 2009
Friday, 20 November 2009
At the start of the week I told you that I would spend 48 hours abroad on business with only my iPhone for all communications and internet connectivity. I award the experience a surprisingly good 4 out of 5.
The need for this experiment came as a result of wanting only to carry hand luggage onto the EasyJet flight, and finding that no amount of compression would get all my clothes, bathroom stuff and laptop into the 55 x 45 x 20 cm flight case. Here's how I got on:
- Taking off from London Luton airport, the iPhone plays the gritty drama Brit movie London To Brighton which was worked very well on the small screen although I did have to zoom in once or twice to see the looks on the characters' faces to check if they were frightened or not! Great sound even if the surround element is reduced to stereo. I rate this experience 4/5
- When I land at Berlin Schoenefeld airport I receive the first of several solemn text message warnings from O2 not to override the automatic data-roaming bar the iPhone has turned on, otherwise it was going to cost £3 per MB. To have downloaded the 700MB London to Brighton movie file directly from iTunes store over the 3G network in Germany would have cost me £2,100. Zooming in on my face looking at such a bill would have been London To Brighton -worthy indeed. Nice to be told up front. 5/5.
- Arriving in my room at the InterContinental hotel causes my first shock - they only have wired internet. The 19.99 euro proposed daily bill is my second shock. No internet in the bedroom, then. 1/5
- Reading the hotel guide reveals that Wifi is available in the lobby and Marlene's Bar lounge. Arrive to discover that the first hour is free! Email is quickly brought up to date. 5/5
- In Marlene's Bar I use Skype to call home, first to the landline and then we quickly switch over to Brin's computer for a free Skype-to-Skype call. Very high quality audio but I have to remember to keep still and not wander round as the Wifi signal varies in strength greatly. I forget and the call drops. However it beats the 35p/minute cost of calling over the cellular network, and I use the saving to drink beer whilst on the Skype call. 4/5
- I like to spend an hour most nights grazing over my favourite news and blog sites. This works well for a while but the small screen begins to strain my eyes. The constant tapping, pinching and finger-scrolling to zoom the pages around gives me hand-ache and I uncover a new form of potential repetitive strain injury. Give up for a while. 3/5
- I find an app called 'Berlin City' that is a complete guide to using the U-Bahn and S-line rail stations. It can find my nearest station based on location and animatedly travels along the lines to a destination station I enter, so I can familairise myself with the route. It even has a whole list of tourist attractions to navigate me to. Best of all, it is a self-contained application and doesn't need any network connection. And it's free. Fantastic! 5/5
- If my phone changes cellular provider, I get a fresh text warning from O2 about the costs of roaming. OK you've told me already! 3/5
So overall I rate the experience as 4 out of 5. If I was staying for much longer I would have started to miss the bigger laptop screen. However if I was staying for much longer I would take hold luggage so the problem would not there anyway - there's only so many clothes you can compress into a flight case even if you do sit on it to zip it up.
So if you're on a 45 hour business excursion, try leaving the laptop at home and eek your communications out of your smartphone. Worth it for the experience!
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
- Britain (and USA) is quite some way ahead of central Europe when it comes to e-commerce service on the web, and
- We are way behind on the actual mechanisms of delivery. That is, of getting the products to the customer at the time most convenient to them.
Sunday, 15 November 2009
Friday, 13 November 2009
Monday, 9 November 2009
"I thought you would like to know that RedLaser, as an algorithm, has nothing to do with unpublished APIs, but that video processing in general is currently impossible without unpublished API use. We have some confidence that Apple will course-correct on this issue with their next OS update.In the meantime, we do have a version of RedLaser that avoids this problem which became publicly available as of yesterday. It uses what we call "Photo-Burst" instead of the unpublished API, which means it takes a couple of snapshots very rapidly and then processes those momentarily. At the core it still uses RedLaser's state of the art barcode recognition, and it still works on all iPhone models. (http://redlaser.com/SDK.aspx)."
Friday, 6 November 2009
- Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (which has a larger storage capacity than my work email!)
- Call our new Tesco.com R&D Ideas In Confidence phone/fax line which is (UK) 07092 192022, (World) +44 7092 192022.
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
- It might be easier to recreate without our permission (the grocery service is part of Tesco.com's intellectual property).
- It would be more difficult to use - or rather, easier to use incorrectly.
- It might be easier to attack through uncovering any unknown flaws in the system due to its complexity.
- List product categories
- List products in a given category
- Search for products by text search / barcode
- List Basket
- Change Basket (a single command for adding / deleting / changing quantity)
- List Delivery Slots
- Select a delivery slot
- List pending orders
- Amend Order
Opening up a site's API is not simply a cheap option for brands to get free coding; there are costs involved in monitoring use, refreshing the technology and supporting developers. It is also a dud option for brands that are unexciting to developers.
- These disk drives had become amazingly cheap in terms of Gigabytes per £Pound
- I'd rather buy an additional drive rather than delete anything to free up my existing disk capacity.
- Google Mail (which runs my Lansley.com email account) often tells me that it has increased the available storage capacity - and that’s despite the fact that I sometimes get 200+ emails a day (excluding spam).
- I don't remove the 400+ digital photos I took of one event of which 30 are of reasonable use. Why bother? The fact that I take several shots at any one time in the hope that one will be great does not mean that I delete the rest. They’re 9MB images in RAW format and I have a total of 54GB of them in my iPhoto library. Should I spend an afternoon deleting them, or £49 adding 320GB more new space thanks to a Tesco-purchased external drive? Here's my payment card...
Forgetting is part of what makes us human, but in the age of online digital information it is under threat. In Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger argues that our lives and reputations can be harmed by the internet’s infinite capacity to remember. Digital information and capacious online storage mean that a mistake from the distant past can come back to haunt us with one click of the mouse. Viktor discusses the importance of forgetting and suggests some solutions - how can memory loss be artificially created in a digital world?