Recent posts in my Apple Category

December 18, 2012

“Three approaches to making money from selling digital newspapers and magazines” - Eric Villemin at ‘Les Victoires de la Presse’

At yesterday’s “Les Victoires de la Presse” awards, digital media consultant Eric Villemin outlined three very different approaches to making money selling content on Apple devices.

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November 21, 2012

“Platform wars” - Charles Arthur at Online Information

At Online Information this year Charles Arthur was talking about the platform wars that he has recently written a book about, inspired by a call from a publisher’s agent who observed that Apple, Microsoft and Google “always seem to be fighting each other.” Here are my notes from the session.

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November 6, 2012

“Brazil’s newspapers close ranks against Google and Apple” - Caio Túlio Costa at #TAS12

Two talks at the Tablet and App summit in Frankfurt addressed the issue of national newspaper groups coming together to challenge the established digital distribution channels of Apple, Amazon, Google and the like. The first of these case studies came from Brazil - Caio Túlio Costa explaining how the newspaper industry had challenged Google and Apple.

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November 4, 2012

“Taking Stern magazine to the iPad” - David Heimburger at #TAS12

David Heimburger was speaking at the WAN-IFRA Tablet & App summit about how Stern magazine has become a digital property, in a talk entitled “850 000 print copies per week, 7 million readers, and the challenge of reproducing print miracle for tablet readers.”

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February 9, 2012

“Great for users. Great for publishers. And great for Apple” - Alex Watson on Newsstand at news:rewired

One of the panel sessions I attended at news:rewired was devoted to the notion of paid content. It featured some interesting insights from Alex Watson of Dennis Publishing and Tom Standage from The Economist, as well as some scrutiny of the Guardian’s business model, which, for those of us who work there, made for some uncomfortable listening. Here are my notes from Alex’s talk about Apple’s Newsstand.

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December 14, 2011

UXmas at the Guardian

Last night we threw open the Guardian’s door for “UXmas” - a chance to meet people from the UX and design teams, hear a couple of talks, and eat some mince pies before retiring to the pub.

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December 1, 2011

“From Print to Pixel” - John-Henry Barac at UX People

John-Henry Barac is someone I have worked closely with at the Guardian on projects like our iPhone and other mobile apps, and he has written several thoughtful essays about the app and touchscreen user experience on his blog, so I was really looking forward to hearing him talk at UX People. He was discussing his personal journey from print design to “literally pushing pixels” through the touch-screen interface. Here are my notes from the session.

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October 17, 2011

How the Guardian’s iPad app changed the way that I consumed news

We’ve had a lot of products launch over the last few weeks at the Guardian, including Android and Windows phone apps and our Facebook app, but none have been as high profile as our iPad launch. With a design team of Mark Porter, Andy Brockie, Barry Ainslie and John-Henry Barac, you wouldn’t expect it to be anything other than beautiful, and using it has changed the way that I consume news.

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July 26, 2011

“Tweet a vulgar picture” - differing reactions to Microsoft, Apple and the Huffington Post ‘cashing in’ on Amy Winehouse’s death

The Huffington Post, Microsoft and Apple have faced differing levels of criticsim for attempts to cash in on the sad death of Amy Winehouse.

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May 24, 2011

Is the New York Public Library’s “Biblion” app actually the paleofuture of iPad magazines?

Alexis Madrigal asked in The Atlantic if it was “the magazine app of the future”, and I’ve been playing around with Biblion, the app produced by the New York Public Library. Although it has generated some rave reviews, I thought there were some flaws and missed opportunities in the app.

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March 31, 2011

"Protect the public sphere": Paul Bradshaw on the importance of net neutrality for journalism

This is the last of three blog posts inspired by attending Paul Bradshaw’s inaugural lecture at City University. So far I’ve published my notes about what he said on news organisations and online communities, and on the problem of ego in journalism. Today I wanted to look at what I think was the most interesting aspect of Paul’s talk. It was the most passionately I’ve seen someone frame the arguments around net neutrality and issues of ISP regulation directly with regard to the tools and practice of journalism.

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March 29, 2011

A peek behind the scenes at the design process of The Times' Eureka app at Hacks/Hackers London

At Hacks/Hackers London last week Design Editor Matt Curtis and Picture Editor Madeleine Penny from Eureka, the science magazine app from The Times, gave a brilliant presentation about how they had gone about developing it for the iPad.

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March 22, 2011

"Neither TV station nor repurposed website" - Sky News app for the iPad

My first impressions of the Sky News app on iPad have been very positive. They’ve promised that it gives “new ways to deliver news to our users”, and it is a very different visual approach.

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February 25, 2011

The iPad, iA Writer, and prolific blogging

A few people recently have asked me “the secret” of my prolific blogging output, and a recent factor has been using the iA Writer app on my iPad which is enabling me to blog through my commute.

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November 23, 2010

Erm, so The Beatles didn't storm the charts then? I told you so. 3 years ago.

It isn't very often I get to write "Here is something I blogged three years ago, and it has been proved right"...but..."Here is something I blogged three years ago, and it has been proved right".

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November 16, 2010

The Beatles on iTunes? (slight return)

As everyone is speculating again about The Beatles and iTunes, I thought it might be worth pointing people to three blog posts from the currybetdotnet archives...

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July 26, 2010

Should the BBC have entered the iTunes store without a full Public Value Test?

Last week the BBC Trust gave permission for the BBC to launch applications into the iTunes store. As someone who has worked on The Guardian's competing iPhone app, and given the fragile state of the news industry business model, I couldn't help but be disappointed that the BBC Trust did not put the proposal through a full Public Value Test.

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July 21, 2010

Flipboard: Great app, but is it yet another way for publishers not to get paid?

Personalised social magazine Flipboard for the iPad is a compelling proposition for the consumer - assembling a collection of content based on what has been discussed and shared in your social network. However, due to the way it re-packages content, is it just yet another opportunity for content producers not to get paid for their work?

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May 31, 2010

Future of Web Design conference iPhone app review

I recently spent a couple of days at Future of Web Design in London. Beforehand I downloaded the iPhone app, which put the conference programme straight into my pocket, and allowed me to share which sessions I was planning to attend. It was, though, missing one key feature.

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May 28, 2010

Future of web design: Tips on iPhone design and wireframing with Sarah Parmenter and Brad Haynes

At 'Future of web design' in London, Brad Haynes gave a session on tips for wireframing, and Sarah Parmenter delivered an excellent set of 10 tips for iPhone application design. Here are my notes from the sessions.

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April 30, 2010

The mobile digital general election - official party iPhone app review

As part of their election campaign, the Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Green parties have all launched official iPhone applications. I've reviewed and compared them.

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April 23, 2010

News apps on the iPad - my first impressions

I had my first real grapple with an iPad this week, checking out applications from the New York Times, BBC and USA Today. Whilst I found some things about the device impressive, I also had some concerns about the rush to 'replicate the print experience'.

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March 30, 2010

Why the BBC Trust simply had to examine the BBC's iPhone plans

The decision of the BBC Trust to examine whether the BBC's iPhone application plans need further regulatory oversight is the right one, and the only that could have been made.

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December 15, 2009

Real-time web provides real-time feedback on The Guardian's iPhone application

Real-time web gives real-time feedback on Guardian iPhone app
Twitter is transforming the way that digital products are launched.

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July 19, 2009

D45's from Apple's iTunes? I'd give it a 'D'

The music industry has been going 'back to the future' for format inspiration again, with the launch this week in the US of the D45 via iTunes. These digital downloads feature an 'A' and a 'B' side, and the thumbnail image embedded in each digital file looks a bit like an old 7" single sleeve or a jukebox promo version of an old hit. The range includes a 'D45' from Michael Jackson (of course), and 'Use Somebody' by Kings Of...
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July 8, 2009

Activate 09 at The Guardian: Notes and take-away quotes - Part 4

This time last week I was gearing up to attend The Guardian's first Activate summit at Kings Place. I've blogged about Gerry Jackson's heart-breaking mission to get independent news into Zimbabwe, Nick Bostrom's presentation about 'the end of the world', a politics panel featuring Tom Watson and Adam Afriyie, and the thread of data release and story-telling that ran through the day. I wanted to conclude with a final set of observations about what had caught my eye, made...
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March 17, 2009

The mobile web's penalty shoot-out - Nokia N95 vs iPhone

Last Wednesday Arsenal's Champions League tie against Roma went to penalties - but the real shoot-out for me was in the Crown & Sceptre pub on Foley Street, between @solle's iPhone and my Nokia N95. It was 'London IA in the Pub' night, but Matthew and I were a little distracted by the game. Once it went to extra-time we nearly ducked out to a nearby pub that had Sky, but instead we ended up watching the penalty shoot-out in...
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February 22, 2009

More like 'pop your clogs' than 'get on your boots' for the U2 iPod

My wife has had one of Apple's limited edition U2 iPods since 2004, which she got not because of a desperate love of the band, but because it was the first time one was available in black. Sadly last week it died, and she was faced with the dreaded 'unhappy iPod' icon. The thing is, I can't help feeling that it might not have been a total coincidence that the machine chose to give up the ghost on the very...
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November 30, 2008

The iTunes deauthorisation conundrum

I wrote the yesterday about using a Linux live CD to recover data from the hard-drive of my spyware-riddled Windows laptop. One thing I couldn't do via Linux was deauthorise the machine for my iTunes account. Apple's iTunes has a limit of five machines on which you can play your DRM infected protected music. Now, of course, I'd already burnt to CD any purchases from the Apple store I'd made using that laptop, and re-imported them to remove the DRM,...
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September 21, 2008

Will ever ask for the last time?

I love You love Everybody loves It is a cool poster child for the Web 2.0 generation, and the fact that they built their business model on avoiding paying streaming royalties in the UK as much as possible is neither here nor there to most people. But... ...installing the application on your Windows XP PC can be really sucky. The problem is that the application seems to pay no attention to the account settings on the...
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August 31, 2008

Trying out Silverlight - FAIL

I try and be platform neutral and agnostic as much as possible. This blog runs on a Debian Linux server from Bytemark, I work on a MacBook, my main PC is a Dell running Windows XP, and I get to play with the Linux-based Eee PC that my wife takes everywhere. My star sign is Libra and I like a balance in my OS experience. So I was fairly open-minded about trying out Microsoft's Silverlight. There has been some (inevitable...
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March 21, 2008

'Spyware!' or 'How I ditched Windows and learned to love the Mac'

I'm one of those people who have been happily running Windows on PCs since the early nineties, and have never had any problems with virus infections, adware, spyware, or other malicious programs. In fact, I'd quite got myself into the self-righteous position of thinking that anybody who did have problems clearly didn't know what they were doing with computers. So, it was somewhat dispiriting last month to discover that my laptop was riddled with a horrible infection. I know exactly...
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January 19, 2008

Never mind the MacBook Air hype - it's happy 25th birthday to the Apple Lisa

Over the last few days I've steadfastly avoided writing about the blogging and twittering hype around Macworld. This is not especially because I'm an Apple naysayer, but I'm certainly not a fanatic. I think Apple make some very good products with some gorgeous packaging, but I also think they enjoy an incredible 'brand halo' which allows them to get away relatively uncriticised for quite major flaws like battery life and replacement issues, and over-charging UK customers on iTunes. [1] One...
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September 17, 2007

Apple iPhone hits Greece ahead of the O2 deal in the UK

Everyone might be waiting for tomorrow with baited breath as Apple finally announce that the iPhone will be available in the UK, but Greece has got there first. Yep, apparently mum is already no longer the word in Heraklion (just a couple of hours down the road from where I live) and in Volos Sugarenia has blogged a Greek advert for the iPhone from their local store - at an eye-watering €749. Meanwhile, jimeh has a picture uploaded to Flickr...
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July 31, 2007

iTunes Miniatures playlist

Back in 1980, Morgan Fisher curated an album called "Miniatures". It consisted of fifty-one tiny tracks by various artists including people like Kevin Coyne, Michael Nyman, Ivor Cutler and Robert Fripp. Everything on the album was under a minute long I've recently hit upon the modern digital DIY equivalent - making a microtunes "Miniatures" playlist on iTunes - although I did have to extend the time limit slightly. I sorted my music library by track duration, shortest first, and the...
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July 13, 2007

'Cancel' just doesn't seem to mean 'Cancel' for iTunes 7.2 on Windows

I've mentioned before that I haven't exactly been seeing eye-to-eye with iTunes 7.2 on my PC. It keeps getting upset and sparking Windows error dialogue messages if I run it without my iPod attached first, and won't quit without warning me every single time that iSproggler is using the iTunes scripting interface, am I sure I want to quit? More seriously though, I don't like the way that Apple do not follow the standard Windows OS conventions with some of...
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June 20, 2007

Musical social networking (slight return)

Finally at the weekend my personal weekly chart on was updated - for the first time since December 2005, when I was last a regular scrobbler. That rather eclectic mix, featuring such obscurities as TOT and iLiKETRAiNS was replaced by a chart which looks rather more like my staple musical fare. Having got enough cable to finally hook up my main PC to the internet via the phone socket for the first time in 18 months, I've also downloaded...
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March 14, 2007

Slacker equivalent already on the market in Europe - meet Sony and Vodafone's Radio DJ

There has been a bit of a buzz around the announcement of a service called Slacker in the USA, which will be a device which plays personalised radio stations to the user on the go. Matt Marshall at VentureBeat even touted it as a potential "iPod killer". As I read through the promised feature-set, I started to get a little nagging voice in my head, saying "Hang on, isn'" Because for the last few months I've been working on...
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March 6, 2007

The depressing DRM debates on the BBC's mailing list

Since the announcement that the BBC's iPlayer would contain elements of Microsoft's DRM, and that any forthcoming versions for the Apple or Linux OS would also need to incoporate some type of DRM, a debate has been raging on the mailing list. Opinion is broadly split into two camps. There are those who understand that in order to facilitate any kind of on demand service, the BBC needs to protect the interests of the rights-owners involved in making...
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February 16, 2007

Buy the so-called "Complete" Depeche Mode iTunes box set? No thanks, Apple

Just before Christmas one of my favourite bands, Depeche Mode, released a digital box-set via iTunes - "The Complete Depeche Mode". Even in an industry not known for always putting the customer first, the audacity of the release is breath-taking. Costing £139.99, the set features 644 downloads, of which 59 are exclusive to the box-set. And of course, the tracks that are 'exclusive' to the set are also exclusively available using Apple's proprietary DRM format. The exclusive content, which consists...
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February 15, 2007

Thoughts on being locked out of my iPod's content by Apple's DRM

With his open letter to the music industry, Steve Jobs has done an excellent job of shifting the attention away from Apple's iPod/iTunes DRM based lock-in, and onto the music industry that supplies the content driving the sales of Apple's hardware. I think my favourite quote amongst the responses I stumbled upon on the web was: "The greatest trick Apple pulled was to build a market where lock-in is mandated, but convince the world that this was something they did...
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February 13, 2007

Beatles digital downloads facing a ticking copyright time-bomb

The recent announcement that Apple (computers) and Apple (Beatles music) have settled their trademark differences has prompted a great deal of speculation that the Beatles catalogue will finally become legally available on digital music download stores. There has also been speculation that when (rather than if) this happens, thanks to the new chart rules, the Beatles could clog up the UK singles charts as people rush to download tracks from one of Britain's most successful musical exports. James Masterton has...
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February 8, 2007

BBC News in a copywriting fix over copyright

Following on from first Bill Gates and now Steve Jobs wading in with their views about the DRM status of online music purchases, the BBC News site has a "Have Your Say" discussion about the issue - "Is this the end of copy protection for online music?" One of the BBC's sub-editors has gone a bit rogue on the homepage though. At the moment the International edition of the BBC News site is promoting the thread with a tagline asking...
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January 17, 2007

Coverage of the Apple and Cisco iPhone trademark battle

Yesterday I wrote about the accessibility issue with Apple's newly announced "iPhone" product - and my concern that should many devices end up adopting their approach of a mobile phone without a tactile interface, usability for the large section of the population with some visual or motor impairment might be a problem. I also looked at the very vocal response of a section of the Apple fan community to the very suggestion that this might even be a question worth...
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January 16, 2007

iPhone and the blindness of the Apple fans

Well, it seemed churlish not to join in with virtually every other blog I read and not post something about the mobile phone / multimedia device you may have seen launched by Apple last week. I have to start by saying that I am intrigued by the user interface, and I'll be fascinated to hear about how people get on with it out in the wild. Rather than talk about the much-vaunted product itself, I wanted to look at a...
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January 15, 2007

Getting Sony's SonicStage for Christmas

Whilst it wasn't traditional link bait in the sense of trying to get something onto the front page of Digg, when my good friend Frankie recently wrote about his experience of using Sony's SonicStage software, he must have known that I wouldn't be able to resist responding. First off I must say I thought Frankie gave a very honest account of using and installing the software. He was using the CD supplied with the player to install it, so I...
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January 10, 2007

Sony loses DRM court case in France over the Sony Connect store

There has been a dribble of coverage recently that Sony has lost a court case in France over the inclusion of DRM restrictions with content downloaded from the Sony Connect store. The verdict was apparently delivered on December 15th, but only just seems to be making news following an announcement by the group taking the action, the Union Federale des Consommateurs - Que Choisir. Sony themselves have so far declined to comment as far as I can tell. The case...
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August 1, 2006

Docking the iPod after a long gap

One of the things I was most looking forward to about arriving back in the UK was firstly setting my main computer back up again, and secondly, docking my iPod with iTunes for the first time in nearly nine months. I was worried that neither my or my wife's iPods would survive our trip with their data intact, and so before we left the UK I had copied onto the laptop we were taking with us around 15Gb of music...
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October 22, 2005

The software used to access the BBC homepage: Beta software, edge products and conclusions - part 6

This is page 6 of a 6 page article - 1 2 3 4 5 6   Download a print version of this article Beta Software and Edge Products I was surprised to see quite a small penetration of the current beta software. With both Vista and IE7 out in the wild I expected to see a reasonable amount of use. Perhaps they just don't just have the buzz around them that open source does? IE7 has 0.04% browser share...
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The software used to access the BBC homepage: Browser share - part 5

This is page 5 of a 6 page article - 1 2 3 4 5 6   Download a print version of this article Internet Explorer Requests To The BBC Homepage As with the Windows Operating System, Microsoft have done an excellent job of migrating all their users onto the latest version of the software. Over 90% of requests for the BBC homepage from an Internet Explorer browser came from the most recent stable release - Internet Explorer 6. Versions...
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The software used to access the BBC homepage: Browser share - part 4

This is page 4 of a 6 page article - 1 2 3 4 5 6   Download a print version of this article Browsers Visiting The BBC Homepage The browser market amongst those requesting the BBC homepage still shows a vice-like grip from Microsoft products, but both Firefox and Safari represent small but significant deviations from the Internet Explorer norm. All the versions of IE together make up just under 86% of requests to the BBC homepage, with Firefox...
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The software used to access the BBC homepage: Windows, Mac, Linux and legacy OS share - part 3

This is page 3 of a 6 page article - 1 2 3 4 5 6   Download a print version of this article Windows Operating System Share Concentrating on just Windows alone we can see that Microsoft have done a very thorough job of converting their user base to the most recent iteration of the software. Windows XP accounts for just under 70.5% of the Windows requests, and Windows 2000 a further 17.4%. That means in total around 88%...
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The software used to access the BBC homepage: Operating systems - part 2

This is page 2 of a 6 page article - 1 2 3 4 5 6   Download a print version of this article Operating systems visiting the BBC homepage The complete dominance of Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6 is no surprise. Just over 70% of requests to the BBC homepage come from machines running Windows XP, and IE6 took 78% of the browser market. In the operating system sphere the stranglehold of Windows is nearly complete - a...
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The software used to access the BBC homepage

This is page 1 of a 6 page article - 1 2 3 4 5 6   Download a print version of this article Studying the software that visits the BBC homepage It started with a casual enquiry from a colleague - "I wonder how many Firefox users visit the BBC homepage?" - and before I knew it I was involved in a lengthy statistical analysis of the browsers and operating systems that request the BBC homepage at Our...
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May 11, 2005

Listening to iPods can make you deaf

A wonderfully sensationalist front page splash from the Standard today to point out what man has known since the invention of the headphones, that listening to music loudly for a long time damages your hearing.    It wasn't quite clear from the article what was so product specific about this type of hearing damage to warrant billboards proclaiming "IPOD HEALTH ALERT". Maybe the Standard knows that the AAC compression recommended by Apple emits additional ear-destroying sonic frequencies which other mp3...
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April 27, 2005

A gallery, a monument, a museum and a spot of shopping - Day-tripping in London

With a month off on my hands I'm working through a lengthy list of things that I've always wanted to do around London, but have never found the time for. Today I ticked three things off the list. I started at the Estorick Collection at Canonbury Square in Islington, which until June 5th has a exhibition on Avant-Garde Graphics from 1918 to 1934. The gallery itself is quite small, consisting of six rooms, five of which are taken up with...
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November 21, 2003

"I hate Macs" says salesperson

I went to the Mac Expo at Islington Business Design Centre yesterday (open today and tomorrow, £10 to get in) I have to say I was slightly disappointed with the lack of branded freebies. The top gadget on offer was the slimp3 which looked awesome. I also realised that I am now certain my next large investment in technical kit is going to have an Apple logo on it. My favourite moment though was when I was receiving a...
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