asides tech

PSP gets features

PSP to get GPS outside of Japan (ok not Oz yet, but promising!), and Skype (fully featured!): as a brand-new PSP owner, this pleases me.


Playing with the iPhone

  • Smaller than I expected
  • But slicker than I expected – the sheer speed/responsiveness of the interface beats the crap out of practically any phone, smart or otherwise, I’ve played with.
  • Initial layout a little confusing. I expected the “main tasks” (Phone, Web, Mail, Music) at the top, instinctively. You would get used to it, yeah, but for at least 10 seconds I was searching the main block of icons for the “Music” section.
  • Mobile Safari – could do better, though it’s a far better implementation than nearly any mobile browser I’ve seen yet.
  • The keypad: ugh. ugh ugh ugh. A struggle, pure and simple, especially with my bigger fingers, and the lack of tactile feedback is an issue for speed too. “Autocorrect” saves going back and typing again though, and is pretty easy to use.  “Go” button in browser keyboard stupidest idea evar because it’s so damn easy to accidentally brush.
  • Music – wow, this has got to be the coolest part. The iPod is more intuitive, however, and in my (brief) experience the iPhone is less responsive. Text based search would be cool.
  • Overall, as everyone has pretty much already said, a slick little device from Apple; it’s got its place though, and I think it’s pretty unlikely that I’d get (or have much use for) this first round effort.
opinion tech

Facebook’s Ad Network

Facebook came out this week with their real business plan – to leverage the network of people and the information they have on them to create an advertising behemoth. Using the ideas of viral marketing, combined with targeted advertising based on the interests and activities that many users list in their profiles, Facebook hopes to deliver an effective advertising platform that surpasses others simply because of the social power behind it.

It’s a great business move – with that much data on interests, and people piling in to add more, along with the value of the links between people, it’s an almost foolproof business case. Advertising targeted at user interests means they are more likely to react to it, allowing advertisers to tailor their messages and get the maximum payoff for their investment, which means advertising distribution agencies will lap it up.

Add in the viral marketing angle, where advertising effectively comes with a personal endorsement of someone you (vaguely) trust or at the very least have some shared experience with means you’re more likely to take a look at the message and consider it – for however many hundredths of a second – to be a real message, again making it more likely that you will follow through on it. Personal recommendations have always carried the greatest weight, and only recently have marketers tried to leverage it.

Great move, Facebook. I’m buying none of it.


New iPods

Apple unleashed the new range of iPods overnight, including the iPhone-esque iPod touch.

  • My take on the new range, especially the naming of the “classic”: over on karan on everything.
  • It looks like they got the headphone jack on the Touch right.
  • No games on the Touch; probably pending update for touch & phone?
  • Wifi iTunes store. Meh.
  • US$200 price drop on the phone! Whoa. Brings it closer to a reasonable price here in Oz =)
  • The price of phone functionality? US$99. That means phone, mobile internet, and bluetooth basically.
  • Apple’s stock dropped 5% from the announcement – clearly, the markets aren’t enamoured of the new range.

Has the iPod jumped the shark? Maybe, just maybe.

asides tech


Keeping you abreast of the very latest on the net: Pibb is a new AJAXy browser-based IM/IRCesque messaging service. Sign in with an Open ID (e.g. Livejournal username or address) and message away. Get it while it’s hot.

asides tech

Google Maps officially Best Road Trip App Ever

Saw this on Friday, but wasn’t sure if it was new – Google Maps has just added a feature I’ve always wanted – the ability to drag and drop in waypoints, diverting the route. This rocks with a capital R. See demo vid here. Can you say “Road Trip Mapping“? =D


That sound? A million geeks crying out in satisfaction

Blizzard has dropped StarCraft II, after years and years of speculation.

Much like Warcraft III, they went down the 3D path. I’m still not convinced 3D is necessary for RTS, but if it’s Blizzard, then it’s the way of the future right? They’ve set the trend for years. It’s definitely going to be interesting to see what the reaction is, given how attached people are to the original now (something that was never so deep for the Warcraft series).

And how long until World of Starcraft? It can only be so long…


Spam: (n.) former problem of the internet

Akismet says: 15,309 spam comments blocked since I first installed it, about 9 months ago. 2 false positives that I’ve had to deal with.

GMail says: well not a lot cumulatively, but it’s been around 50 a day lately. Over two years, averaging at 25 spam/day, that’s 13,250 emails I haven’t had to deal with. Only one false positive that I can recall.

Assuming 10 seconds to deal with something like that, that’s about 80 cumulative hours I’ve saved. So if you don’t have Akismet or an effective mail filtering service…

… yeah, just thought I’d say that.

asides tech

Google Maps now has directions for Australia

Google Maps now has directions for Australia – e.g., check out the directions from my (ex-)place in Melbourne to my place in Sydney!


Apple announces iPhone

That pop you just heard was bits of the internet exploding with iPhone related posts. Engadget has pics, Jack’s got his own take/summary of it.

I’ll reserve judgement until I actually get my hands on it, but I do think it addresses some of my disappointments with the W850. I just hope it’s got decent standby time, what with 5 hours talk/”multiuse” and 16 hours iPoddery.

Update: The iPhone is not a smart phone. No external apps – that’s not good.

Ok ok I’ll shut up. This is 6 months too early for any real speculation.