Category Archives: We is geeks

The Long Goodbye …

This morning I awoke to the news that Steve Jobs has accepted that his health is such that he cannot continue his $1 dollar per year post as Apple CEO. For those, like me, who follow tech news this is a biggie, and although I think that he will have mapped out Apple’s next few moves in typically minute detail, the world of tech will be decidedly worse off without him.

For the time being at least, he remains a master of the simple cutting phrase, some of my favourites are below:

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” 2005

“If today was the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about do today” 2005

“Things don’t have to change the world to be important” 1996

“When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back” 1985

“For something this complicated, it’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” 1998

“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains” 1998

“When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there. But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can often times arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions. Most people just don’t put in the time or energy to get there” 2006

“We’re just enthusiastic about what we do.” 1985

“We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them.” 2000

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.” 1993

“The cure for Apple is not cost-cutting. The cure for Apple is to innovate its way out of its current predicament.” 1999

“(Innovation)… comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We’re always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.” 2000

“I’ll always stay connected with Apple. I hope that throughout my life I’ll sort of have the thread of my life and the thread of Apple weave in and out of each other, like a tapestry. There may be a few years when I’m not there, but I’ll always come back.” 1985

“The most compelling reason for most people to buy a computer for the home will be to link it to a nationwide communications network. We’re just in the beginning stages of what will be a truly remarkable breakthrough for most people––as remarkable as the telephone.” 1985

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” 2005

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” 2005

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.” 2005

“You know, I’ve got a plan that could rescue Apple. I can’t say any more than that it’s the perfect product and the perfect strategy for Apple. But nobody there will listen to me.” 1995

Geeky double team action …

Today’s geeky double team action comes from the lakeside at my local fishing pond a few weeks ago, at the beginning of my latest holiday break.

The picture shows me fishing for the 19ib monster carp and watching webwurld’s favourite show Tight Lines on my iPad while waiting for a bite.

Our thanks go to O2 for their improving 3G network speeds, Sky TV for their streaming technology, and apple for making tethering possible in the now not so recent iOS software update.

I also managed to watch the boxing, Tyson Fury and Derek Chisora were fighting on channel 5, which i watched live … Technology still didn’t allow me to order and watch the Khan v Judah pay per view fight on primetime, but soon after the fight, it was available on you tube. I watched this one with my breakfast sausage sandwich.

Fishing and boxing heaven together at last … now that’s what we call the advancement of technology. I hooked, but didn’t land, the monster carp a while later. Altogether a most satisfactory weekend.

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The question of blackberry messenger …

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For anyone who is unaware, blackberry messenger is an instant messenging system available on blackberry mobile phones, allowing blackberry phone users to create chat rooms easily. When you get a blackberry phone you are given a PIN number, by exchanging this with other people you can effectively create a chat room of hundreds of people who you can message directly and instantly. It is the main reason young people I know have blackberry phones, it is the blackberry company’s USP.

The difference between this service and social networks such as Facebook and twitter is that messages are exchanged in a closed network, which cannot be traced or tracked in the same way (blackberry confirm as much on their consumer forum). I maintain that because of blackberry phones popularity amongst the young, and their relatively cheap prices, that using BBM is the main method they are currently using to communicate and organise the madness which is tarnishing our country’s image, damaging our democracy and eroding respect for the law.

Our problem is that technology has moved ahead of our ability to police it. A BBC radio 5 live ‘expert’ this evening confirmed that the only way to obtain records of communication on the BBM service is to obtain a court order and do it retrospectively. This does not allow police to be proactive in dealing with disorder, unless they can infiltrate the networks of young people and therefore intercept messages sent.

I remember a year or so ago, when blackberry phones with this service were being introduced, some countries predicted this problem. India and Saudi Arabia initially refused permission for the BBM system and blackberry phones to be used in their country for precisely this reason, they feared an upswell in terrorist violence due to the ability to communicate in private. It strikes me at this time that we need to ask very similar questions.

India found a solution, and required blackberry to alter their business model to allow consumer use of BBM to be monitored by central intelligence sources.

The government here have to demand the same powers, or this madness will continue, and be difficult or impossible to police effectively, as we will be constantly reacting to issues rather than being able to identify people and problems proactively.

If we do not take control of this situation, the standing of the police amongst the young will be further damaged, and our country will become a dramatically more dangerous place to live, work and bring up our families. This is a technological battle we simply have to win, the longer we wait to take decisive action, the greater the chance we give the rioters to cause irreparable damage to our society.

UPDATE … it appears action is now being taken

Reflections …

I am having fun reading all my websites reflecting on the last decade, as we prepare to enter another one in a few days time.

There’s the gaming awards on so many different sites and the enjoyable fan boy banter that goes along with it. I have covered both bases this year and am determined to play uncharted 2 on ps3 – it looks amazing (although do I have to beat the first game first?!) as well as Halo3 ODST on a new 360, currently being made for me by lots of little mice in the amazon factory.

There is usually quite a bit of end of year/start of year political rumbustifications, magnified by entering a general election year this could be and important and interesting few weeks. (Cleopuss reckons Gordon hasn’t got a hope … and that this is the year for the liberal democrats to become the second party. Don’t laugh she’s been right before ..)

I found an article on the usually sensible guardian website picking 6 of the best footballers of the last 10 years. I agree with much of what was written, although the omission of a certain Liverpool captain in place of fun time frankie is staggering. Even my most dirty of red friends would have him in a united shirt in a heartbeat, how many times has he changed a critical game by himself? ..  I have huge respect for Frank Lampard, but he isn’t in the same class.

Our geek fix this morning came from Gizmodo’s tech buyers guide to the year 2000, my perception of the passage of time has sped up as i’ve gotten older (americanism included for no extra charge). I think the oldest bit of tech I still use is the 40GB sony mp3 player I bought in 2004.

Arse

Backpack heaven comes at a price ..

anteater back pack

At last, a back pack inspired by an ant eater that shoots acid from its arse ..

This fairtrade Pangolin backpack caught our eye on the excellent if slightly geeky gizmodo site today.

What a cool design (it would go so well with my bike) and I hear its made from recycled truck tyre inner tubes.  Its modelled on the Pangolin, an animal persecuted in parts of Africa and Aisa by people who either want to eat it, or make medicine from it.

All of which makes it geektastic enough for us here at webwurld, unfortunately at 195 euros it’s a tad pricey too.

The iphone

The evolutionary iphone

The evolutionary iphone

People are declaring the iphone innovative and revolutionary, and it is in some ways, multi touch and the GPS maps applications have added new features to the list required to compete when selling a smart phone.  The quality of the user experience is also extremely difficult to communicate, you have to live with it to appreciate what a joy they are to use.

But the features most lauded to be revolutionary, like the app store and easy access to the real internet have been refined from a 2004 product I still have available as a back up piece should my iphone die on me. The Sony P900 has a customisable desktop of icons I could arrange myself, an opera browser that was fast by 2004 internet landline standards, and a plethera of downloadable software from the nice people at handango.

Apple are good at looking at a product or user experience and refining and improving it, but contrary to the upstart opinion of the average oike this is often evolution rather than revolution. It doesn’t make the end result any less amazing though. I found out today that when on a WIFI network, I can access the entire range of BBC iPlayer content on my iphone.

Recommended viewing this week is Micro men, the story of Clive Sinclair and the computer boom and bust of the early 1980s of which I have such fond memories.