It would seem as though the blogosphere is getting itself into a frenzy all over again as Apple announced its much anticipated 3G iPhone. Of the 180 items in my RSS aggregator this morning, I would guess about 50% were about the iPhone. However, whilst the US-centric blogosphere spanks its collective monkey about the 3G iPhone, I will take the opportunity to put it in perspective.
Despite all the rhetoric, the original iPhone was for the fashionistas, whilst the more seriously technologically minded looked to the N95. Now the iPhone has caught up technologically with the inclusion of 3G and GPS, its glossy bits seem to give it a bit of an edge over the current competitors. However the competitors have not been standing still, and the forthcoming N96 looks likely be an extremely impressive beast (with the launch hopefully coinciding with the contract on my N95 coming to an end).
The problem with the iPhone is that it is difficult to distinguish between the reality and the hype. Will this “help usher in the mobile media revolution in a major way“? Only in as much as it is one of a group of major players whose competition is pushing a mobile media revolution, on its own it is not making half as much impact as noise.
It turns out that on the same day I was having my new Virgin Media services installed (last Friday), it was being reported in the Telegraph that Virgin Media has agreed to send out warning letters to the thousands of users downloading and sharing music illegally online in a 10-week trial. This can be seen as the first step in the British Phonographic Industry’s desired three strikes process. Whilst I am not bothered by the move, it will be interesting to see how other customers react.
The Telegraph’s story places teenagers at the centre of their story:
Teenagers building vast music collections by downloading songs illegally from the internet should beware. Their access to free music faces being cut off by irate parents.
But the illegal downloading of music is obviously not restricted to teenagers, the broadband bill payers are just as likely to be stealing music, and it seems unlikely that they will welcome Virgin’s helpful reminders about the illegal nature of their activities. How many annoying letters will make the average broadband customer jump ship? Virgin is obviously in a stronger position than some other broadband providers, as the broadband is just one part of a larger package of services which will tempt customers to stay, however, it may encourage people to start keeping an eye open for alternative suppliers.
The only definite outcome of Virgin Media’s move is that it has tempted me to download some music illegally, just so I can see exactly what the letter says. Luckily, however, I know some rather unsavoury Virgin Media customers who seem likely to be in the first bundle of warnings, so I will continue to polish my halo instead.
After finally having enough of my old broadband provider, I got Virgin Media installed yesterday. However, the free Virgin TV has quickly become very expensive. Whilst you can theoretically get the medium package installed for free, it was only a matter of hours before I had convinced myself to upgrade to the XL package!
Whilst I have previously managed to resist the temptation of subscription TV, when it was made so easily accessible I quickly succumbed, especially with all the added bits and pieces:
-TV Choice On Demand- a lot of TV series that you can watch as and when you want.
-Music On Demand- the important leverage in persuading my girlfriend that she needed the XL package too.
Access to the BBC’s iPlayer makes Virgin TV a great service, but unless you have better self control than me, you’re better-off accessing it online.
As photos are increasingly tagged with the times and places that they were taken, it would be interesting to see how much of a photo album you could create from other people’s photos. How many photos of you are there online where the uploader isn’t even aware of who you are?
Personally I have managed to find four. One of me with Prince Charles:
And three from when I did a Wolverhampton half marathon (you should be thankful I didn’t include the one of me running):
It seems likely, however, that there are many many more…and I don’t even go out that often.
Whilst I had no problem ordering my Eee PC all those months ago, my girlfriend’s ordering of one of the newer versions has been nothing but trouble. The trouble has been a combination of my girlfriend’s indecisiveness, ASUS’s quickly rolling out of newer models, and RM’s appalling stock control.
When I want something, and if I can afford it, I tend to order it. If my girlfriend wants something, and if she can afford it, she ums-and-ahhs about it until she drives me mad and I am forced to threaten her with being pushed off a cliff. Although she has always liked my Eee PC, she was always concerned about the screen being a little bit too small, and that it ran Linux. The Eee PC 900 with Windows XP seemed the perfect solution. So, back in April, I told her when it was launching (May 12th) and she agreed that she would get one. However she didn’t get around to ordering one until last Wednesday (May 28th), at which point stock was beginning to be a problem.
Although there was already news in mid May of the imminent launch of ASUS Eee PC 901′s (with a better chip), it was still worth getting the 900. Even towards the end of May it was worth getting the 900. But when RM.com informed my girlfriend (a day before delivery was to expected) that the Eee PC 900 wouldn’t be arriving until 13th June, I am no longer sure what she should order. The spec of the Eee PC 901 is much better, but the price and a UK launch date are not yet known.
For now the Eee PC 900 order has been cancelled, and RM has a big black mark against their name for future orders. The only good thing is that my girlfriend has realised that it is best to order things when I first suggest it, rather than when she manages to get around to it.