Posts Tagged ‘tech’

Sony: Still doing rather badly, bafflingly

September 17th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

6 sony logo w Sony: Still doing rather badly, bafflinglySony are not doing well. They’re not doing well at all. They’ve not been doing well for ages.

In ’99, they had the infamous ‘Shokku’ profits warning, then in 2005 Sony had the first batch of major restructuring initiatives before downgrading their net income forecasts four times in 2011. This year, they announced that they planned to sell the Vaio wing of their business and continued to warn on profits.

 

So where are we now? Well, they’ve warned that their expected annual net loss will be nearly five times as big as initially predicted.

It seems constant restructuring hasn’t helped the ailing firm at all, with annual net losses exceeding a whopping $2bn. While Sony have the successful PlayStation 4 in their armoury, it seems everything else is just a massive balls-up.

 

Sony are blaming the “competitive environment” of the mobile business (how dare people compete) and as a result, are looking at a strategy where they aim to reduce “risk and volatility”. They’ve got to do something, seeing as they’ve doled out three warnings in the six months to May, and this loss for the current year will be Sony’s sixth in seven years.

Seems no-one is arsed about the Xperia phones, which will need to challenge Samsung et al, if they’re going to get back in the saddle. The PS4 will sell big units for a while, but they can’t rely on that once the January sales have died down.

Apple make tool to delete U2′s album

September 16th, 2014 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Deleting music from your iTunes should be pretty easy, but the hoo-hah as been so loud about U2 appearing on people’s devices without being asked, Apple have had to make a token gesture.

Some of the more hysterical sorts have been screaming their lungs through their noses with things like “IF THEY CAN PUT A U2 ALBUM IN EVERYONE’S PHONE, IMAGINE WHAT ELSE THEY CAN PUT IN THERE?!?!?! AAAAARGH!!!!” while other people have shrugged and thought ‘nice idea, but I don’t like U2.’

Well, Apple have released a new tool which allows people to remove U2′s new album from their iTunes library with greater ease.

u2 albumn Apple make tool to delete U2s album

While it was always possible to remove the album yourself, this new thing is a one-click job, which means that should appease a few lunatics out there.

Apple have also set up a support website to guide people through this difficult time.

At last! The selfie hat!

September 15th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

selfie hat 207x300 At last! The selfie hat!It’s London Fashion Week! And you know what, where better a place than to showcase this marvellous selfie sombrero. Say that again to yourself, out loud.

“Selfie sombrero.”

The ‘brainchild’ (used very loosely in this case) of designer Christian Cowan-Sanluis and Acer, the Selfie Hat is a snip at £599.

Yes, for just £599, you could model the hat, which is able to spin and take pictures of you from all angles and is dubbed the ‘Christian Cowan-Sanluis x Acer Selfie-Hat’, it really is quite the thing.

Cowan-Sanluis has designed for that Lady Gaga in the past, so ‘reasonably normal’ is probably not a brief he adheres to.

The camera will assess which is your best side, as well as documenting these and posting them to social networks on your behalf. It’s probably at this point when concerned friends will wonder if you’re having some form of mental breakdown.

Acer, possibly pissing on a bucket of cash, claim: “We wanted to work with someone young and fresh, that not only understands the selfie culture, but both currently is part of it and works with people in it”.

Cowan-Sanluis explains: “With the hat, we wanted to take an element from my last collection, but correspondingly integrate the most popular zeitgeist there is in technology at the moment, the selfie. We also wanted to give it a fun and playful approach, but that in the end helps the user to better understand their face when taking a self-portrait.”

“There has been a lot of articles over the last year looking at how the selfie has gotten so big and being monetised on, celebrities such as Kim Kardashian making a selfie book and the term becoming part of mainstream society.”

“But on the other side, a lot of people taking selfies struggle to find the full potential of their front-facing camera when they use their hand. The hat helps to perfect the shot, either if it’s a cute, sexy or silly selfie.”

It is literally the worst thing ever.

Deathwatch: iPod Classic

September 11th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

While everyone was ooohing and aaahing over the new iPhone and Apple Watch news while complaining about Bono invading their privacy, the noble giant that begun the Apple revolution was, basically, taken out the back and killed.

Since the Apple site was updated to show off the new products, the iPod Classic was nowhere to be seen, indicating once and for all that that’s it.

ipod classic Deathwatch: iPod Classic

This means no more hard drive and wheel control for the iPod line-up, and more importantly, no more 80 or 160GB of storage.

Literally a design classic that put the whole i-thing into the vernacular, there have been no new iPods produced since 2012, however there are still places where you can snap one up before they’re a thing of the past.

Poor the iPod Classic. You were brilliant.

(But Christ. Jet. What were people thinking?)

O2 to stock new Sony Wearables and the rest

September 3rd, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Sony have announced that they’re going to gracing the world with new things, such as their first Android Wear Smartwatch and new phones and tablets. And you’re going to be able to buy them from O2.

From October, you’ll be able to weigh-up whether or not you can be arsed buying a SmartBand Talk and Sony SmartWatch 3, as well as the new Xperia range.

sony smartwatch 3 500x500 O2 to stock new Sony Wearables and the rest

As a follow-up to the Smartband, the Smartband Talk is a watch that will log everything you do, regarding health, sleep and your whereabouts (because tech companies love knowing where you are at all times). It’ll have a curved e-ink display and will be fully waterproof, which basically means you can go swimming in it and, should you drown in the sea, the coastguard should be able to use the GPS to find your water-bloated body.

It’ll have sound recording technology and the usual weather apps and all that, which you’ll be able to link with your phone.

The Sony Xperia E3, Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact are also going to be doing the rounds, with the E3 a basic affair, while the Xperia Z3 will have a 20 mega pixel camera with 25mm wide angle lens with improved sensor for better low light pictures. The Xperia Z3 Compact camera junk, but with added background defocus capabilities and 50mb of storage.

There’ll also be the Sony Xperia Z3 compact tablet which Sony think is the “most powerful and lightest tablet ever offered by Sony”.

O2 will have exclusive models and colours and all that and, if you want, you can recycle your old handset with them in return for a cash payment when you upgrade. If you’re waiting for the iPhone, why did you waste your time reading this far?

swatch Swatch to release smartwatch as well as team up with tech companiesPeople of a certain age will remember Swatch as the company who adorned the wrists of posh teenagers who wore NafNaf jackets and had enough mousse in their hair to turn their semi-perms into rock-solid lethal weapons.

Well, you may or may not know that Swatch are still knocking about and they’re planning on making a smartwatch.

On top of that, they’re also going to be working with a number of tech companies, possibly with Apple.

Swatch CEO  Nick Hayek- who calls Starburst ‘Opal Fruits’ and watches The Mary Whitehouse Experience on repeat in his office – said: “All the big technology firms want to work with us and I don’t rule out that we are or could be collaborating in some areas.”

“[Technology companies] that want to strike partnerships with us also want access to brands. They want [their products] to be more than a commodity. Our first message for customers is the watch. If they like it, they might also be interested in the extra functions,” Hayek added. “It is a problem if you only define a product by its technology. Technology alone doesn’t sell, not in watches.”

Swatch is prepping to launch its own smartwatch, called the Swatch Touch, next year and it apparently has some new smart features enabled in it, all enabled through Bluetooth.

Worth getting in on the smartwatch action too. If the analysts are right, the market is worth $93million. Seeing as Swatch have lost 15% of their value over the last year, they’re going to have to do something – and what better than to jump on a fad that, by and large, the public seems to be completely ambivalent about?

How to keep your nudes safe from being hacked

September 1st, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

naked selfie How to keep your nudes safe from being hackedAs you’re no doubt aware, Jennifer Lawrence has had some naked selfies stolen from her, and according to the very reputable 4chan, they were swiped by someone hacking her iCloud account. If you haven’t seen the photos, then chances are we’ve lost you and you’re burrowing into a search engine now, looking for boobs.

How can you keep your cloud accounts safe? If you have an account with iCloud, Dropbox or Google+, you might find that they automatically upload and save your images.

First thing to do is to make sure your password doesn’t get stolen or is difficult to guess. That’s blindingly obvious, but worth mentioning. Change your passwords regularly and make sure they’re not words, but rather, a collection of letters, numbers and symbols.

It doesn’t matter how safe cloud accounts are made if your password is 123456 or ‘password’.

Another thing you can do is make sure that you switch off the automatic backup services. In all Apple devices, you can disable Photostream. If you turn it off, it’ll delete any automatically stored images from iCloud. You’ll have to delete any manually shared Photostreams yourself.

With Dropbox, your Android device can be set-up to upload every photo and video you take into the cloud. If that’s not your thing, go to ‘settings’ and turn the option off. You’ll also need to delete them from Dropbox manually.

On Android, G+ and Picasa, you can disable automatic photo backup in the Photos app on your device. You’ll need to go to ‘settings’ then Auto-Backup and then untick ‘Back up local folders’.

Of course, you’re not a celebrity so the chances of someone wanting to hack your account and share your photos are slim. However, if you’re feeling jumpy or just want to disable these functions, now you know how.

You’re still not reading this are you. You’re still looking at boobs.

The robots are coming! To clean!

August 29th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

Robot Uprising update: It looks like Dyson are about to launch a robot hoover.

According to a new YouTube teaser, various Dyson types – or at least actors doing a splendid job – are seen looking at a mysterious unseen thing, which moves about a bit occasionally, but remains in the shadows.

Also, said thing appears to have Dyson’s location-analysis technology.

If you factor in Dyson’s investment in a new robotics vision lab at Imperial College in the London, it’s feasible that they collective mindset have come up with a dream clean machine.

They’ve teased the date September 4th as the big reveal, so that’s only a week’s worth of sleepless nights. Or it could be an elaborate trailer for the next Aphex Twin album.

You can never tell these days.

Apple make vague announcement for attention

August 29th, 2014 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Apple have been intentionally coy of late, leaving everyone else to fill column inches about what they might do next. Is it going to be their smartwatch?

Or will it be the new, larger iPad (which one reader brilliantly referred to as ‘the maxiPad, which we’re stealing and claiming as our own).

Whatever it is, Apple have gone from coy to downright flirty, sending out an invitation to all, with the date on it (9th September 2014) and a ‘wish we could say more’ on it. Of course, they could totally say more. They don’t want to. They’re like those awful people who put a status on a social network that says “Oh, something amazing has happened! Can’t say too much right now #excited”.

 

apple with they could say more 500x439 Apple make vague announcement for attention

 

So there it is. Apple have, at least, given a date for their devoted fans to excited about (they’re going to book the day off work so they can watch a speech on the internet and make plans to buy some sleeping bags and deck chairs so they can queue up for Whatever It Is for a whole week while being filmed by a tech blog).

Either way, we look forward to people arguing about Apple being overpriced against “Shut up! It’s a luxury purchase! You cheapskates wouldn’t understand!”

We’ll just remind the rest of you that a phone really doesn’t define you as a person (unless you’re making nuisance calls with it, because that absolutely defines you as a person).

So. Is it a phone, tablet or wearable technology?

Even bigger iPad a-coming

August 27th, 2014 2 Comments By Ian Wade

apple logo Even bigger iPad a comingApple are bringing out a bigger iPad!

According to reports, Apple are launching a new iPad in the first part of 2015 with a new 12.9 inch screen.

This iPad size follows the 7.9 inch and 9.7 inch.

But don’t leap off a cliff just yet, an updated version of the 9.7 inch iPad and the mini will be in the shops by Christmas, according to Bloomberg.

The iPhone is now expected to increase to 5.5 inch screens, which should be announced at an event on September 9th.

Obviously the company is on the skids and keen to do what it can to make up only selling 13.3 million iPads in the Apr-June period, down a colossal 9.% on the same period the year before.

And iPhones only scraped 35.2 million sales, short of the market predictions of 36 million.

Let’s all cross our fingers and hope things work out for them at this difficult time.

Apps: We’re just not as bothered as we were

August 19th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

apps 300x199 Apps: Were just not as bothered as we werePeople are not as arsed as they once were with smartphone apps, according to some new research.

A report by Deloitte shows that the average amount of apps downloaded per user per month is on the wane and declined a fair bit over the last year.

Almost a third of smartphoners in the UK do not download any apps in an average month, which is up from one-in-five last year.

Users tend to be more savvy and have a set amount a favourite apps sorted within the first few months of getting a new phone.

But it’s not a full-on sign of the collapse of the app market, as Deloitte reckon that more smartphone users over the age of 50 aren’t that bothered in adding additional stuff.

Paul Lee, whose job title ‘Head of research for technology, media and telecommunications at Deloitte’ is a bit longwinded, said, “The new adopters of smartphones use them mostly for text messaging. When you look at who uses IM services like WhatsApp and WeChat, it tends to be younger age groups and it declines very steeply with age.”

“The ‘if in doubt download it’ attitude to consumer apps is clearly on the decline,” he points out.

What do you want from your mobile phone?

August 5th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

mobile What do you want from your mobile phone?When you get a new mobile, what are you really after?

A new survey asked, and the answer wasn’t anything to do with eyeball scrolling, indestructible glass or voice control. When it comes to having a phone you’re happy with, it seems all you want is something that won’t run out of battery anytime soon, is easy to use and can get a signal most of the time.

There are figures to look at as well. Despite all the whistles and bells of new smartphones, 29% of those asked said that an easy-to-use phone was most important, while a decent signal is the primary interest of 19%, with battery life hot on its heels.

A decent amount of memory/storage is something people should want, because there’s nothing as frustrating as when you download a couple of apps and your phone starts acting like it is having a massive seizure.

The most useful fancy-feature is fingerprint scanning technology, with 56% of people using it more than once a day. More than a fifth of those in the survey said they liked having and using a camera too.

“It’s becoming increasingly hard for smartphone makers to differentiate their handsets from those of their rivals. They hope that flash features like Fingerprint ID on the iPhone 5S, or Amazon’s Fire Phone and its ‘Dynamic Perspective’ display, will give their phones the edge,” said Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com (who conducted the survey).

“However, our research shows that many Brits can spot a gimmick from a mile away. It’s actually the basics that affect the every day user experience – like long battery life and a robust design – that people really care about.”

So Google Glass isn’t going to take off with the general public, is it?

fibres 300x225 The fastest broadband in the world   from Denmark The Danes invented Lurpak and The Killing, and now they’ve invented something that could be even better than slightly salted butter and lady detectives in jumpers.

Behold – superfast broadband which is so fast it’s practically instantaneous!

Yes, a team from The Technical University of Denmark have managed to transfer 43 terabits per second through a single optical fibre. That’s the fastest broadband speed in the world.

It’s so fast that it will download a movie in 0.2 milliseconds – before you can even get it together to BLINK. In fact, it can download a thousand movies in the blink of an eye.

Go on, blink and imagine it. That’s fast, innit?

Nobody quite knows how they managed it, but hopefully it means that soon we can kiss goodbye to buffering and loading and waiting and waiting.

And because they’ve used a single fibre to make their network, it’s commercially viable. Whoo-hoo!

Tak, Danmark!

Russia gets heavy with Apple

August 1st, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

apple logo Russia gets heavy with AppleIn a bid not to sound paranoid or a bit weird or anything, oh no, the Russian government wants access to Apple’s source codes.

The government wants to make sure Apple’s products don’t contain tools to spy on state institutions.

The Russian proposal was made during a meeting between communications minister Nikolai Nikiforov and Apple’s general manager in Russia, Peter Engrob Nielsen.

Russia reckon it’s all perfectly cool and this move is to ensure the right of consumers and for state security interests.

Apple, unsurprisingly, aren’t too keen on the idea.

While it’s not unusual for non-profit and charitable organisations to offer up their source codes, as it lets other people in to help improve them. The majority tend to keep their codes confidential.

In a statement, Mr Nikiforov said Russian-ly: ”Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013 and US intelligence services’ public statements about the strengthening of surveillance of Russia in 2014 have raised a serious question of trust in foreign software and hardware.”

“Obviously, companies which disclose the source code of their programmes are not hiding anything, but those who do not intend to establish cooperation with Russia on this issue may have undeclared capabilities in their products.”

That’s making Russia look all far out and liberal, eh readers? Especially with a “remains uncertain” when questioned about a company’s future if they failed to comply.

Mr Nikiforov has also asked for the source codes used by SAP, the world’s fourth-largest business software maker and Germany’s biggest tech company.

Oh, those Russians.