Archive for ‘technology’

November 26, 2010

>Albarn’s iPad album could be out ‘before Christmas’

>Having taking an animated band mainstream, Gorrilaz  frontman Damon Albarn has refused to be left behind in the tech stakes, and has recorded the next album on his iPad while on tour. He told the NME that using his new favourite toy had prompted him to record ‘a completely different type of record’, which could be out by Christmas. As far as VN knows, no tracks have escaped the precious portable device yet.  

iPad music seems to be the 21st Centuries version of lo-fi, with a growing scene emerging around making music with portable devices. VN doubts whether the iPad will become a standard part of the studio set up, but it will be interesting to see if an album produced on one is listenable.

November 9, 2010

>Cameron’s speech on Silicon Roundabout

>VN loves a good bit of technology and entrepreneurship, so when PM David Cameron set out his vision to make Old Street and Shoreditch in East London a technological hub VN was all for it. The area, increasingly known as Silicon Roundabout, has been inhabited by hipsters for a while now, and perhaps it is time the geeks strike back! Geeks with good hair cuts though…obviously. 

It is though a seriously good idea to try and put London, and Britain, at right in the middle of the technological map. VN though would have liked to see if the Government good have done more to support the video games industry,  as the industry provides lots of tech jobs outside London.

The lovely people at Wired magazine have published his whole speech online, it is worth a read.

September 4, 2010

>Kanye West loses it on twitter

>King of the inappropriate tweet/stage invasion, Kanye West, has outdone himself this time. The rapper, who famously ruined singer Taylor Swifts acceptance speech at the MTV awards, has gone on a twitter rant about…no one is really sure. While if you look on his twitter feed online the rant is no longer there, however here are some shots via tweetdeck of Kanye in full flow:


The rant appears refer to the infamous incident at the MTV awards. Perhaps Kanye, it’s time to move on, just a thought? 

After cricketer Kevin Pietersen’s expletive ridden revelation that he had been dropped from the England T20 team for the summer via twitter, someone really needs to take the keyboards away from celebrities.

August 10, 2010

>Does Rupert Murdoch own the sky too?

>In a display of  staggering arrogance, Rupert Murdoch has today claimed that his BSkyB empire owns the ‘Sky’ in ‘Skype’. This emerged as Skype announced it is to float on the Nasdaq stock market. Skype points out that it has won the right to use its name in Switzerland, Turkey, and Brazil, but needs to fight Murdoch’s claims in the EU.

Now VN claims no legal expertise, but this seems entirely mad. Skype have a company name that also includes another word, which happens to be a another company’s name. And? There are plenty of other companies where this could be the case. To pretend that Skype’s name has any bearing on BSkyB is frankly ridiculous, and seems to be Murdoch throwing his weight around just because he can. 

Is he going to start suing the makers of ‘The Sky at Night’?  Does Rupert Murdoch now actually own the sky? Something worth thinking about for anyone wearing ‘sky blue’ clothing today, i’m sure you’ll agree…

August 4, 2010

>New Blackberry Torch set to challenge iPhone

>Research in motion have released their new attempt to challenge the iPhone, the Blackberry Torch. It has a slide down keyboard, keeping the emphasis on email, but apparently better web browsing than before. The main upgrade is a single stream that brings together all you social media networks, as well as email and text messages.

Will it remove Apple’s increasing dominance though? Well probably not, but RIM and Apple have always aimed for different markets. The Blackberry is a far more efficient, professional device, while the iPhone is much more ‘fun’.  RIM’s best bet is to hold firm, and stick to what they do best, and not try and replicate their rivals.

July 30, 2010

>The internet election…again…

>The Hansard Society have launched a paper on the Internet Election, or lack there of, and hosted a debate on the issue last night in Portcullis House. The debate was wide raging and interesting. The main point that struck VN was what does ‘the internet election’ actually mean? Does it mean organising people, winning votes by high quality web based  media, or something different entirely?

Politics has always been quite elitist, and the internet in theory should reverse this. Parties have allowed online politics to become more decentralised, but there is still a sense of politicos talking to themselves, particularly on Twitter. This was summed up by a stat one of the panellists put forward: 9.4 million watched the Leaders Debates on television, only 37,000 tweeted about it.

VN’s particular 2010 Election web highlights were The Liberal Democrat’s ‘Labservative’ campaign, and the outrage when Labour MP Kerry McCarthy tweeted the results of postal ballots being counted. MyDavidCameron and the reversing of the #nickcleggsfault hash tag were also great fun, but did any of these things win (or lose,) any votes?

Part of the reason is that British political parties simply do not provide enough resources for online media to make a real difference. Another stat for you: by the end of his Presidential campaign, Barack Obama’s online team contained 140 members,by the end of the 2010 General Election campaign the Conservative Party’s contained 12. 

It was rightly pointed out last night that there was very little evidence from 2001 or 2005 to justify the 2010 election being hyped as ‘the internet election’. The  AV referendum, Labour Leadership, and local/Mayoral elections give online activists another chance to hone their skills and fully utilise this new medium. Before that, political parties need to decide what they want new media to do, and be willing to pay for it.

July 23, 2010

>BBC launch iPad app

>The BBC will today launch a brand new app for its iPad. 

The BBC Trust ruled that it did not need to come under any further scrutiny, as it did not “represent a significant change to the BBC’s existing public services”. This goes against the fears of other content producers who fear that the BBC will gain even greater dominance in the market. Excitingly, iplayer and BBC sports apps are said to be ready for release soon.

VN would love to give you a detailed review of this new app, but sadly a  complimentary iPad (uhum) has not arrived in headquarters yet…

July 16, 2010

>iFlop 4

>Disclaimer: I am a massive Apple fan, and swear by most of their products!

In just over two hours Apple will hold a large press conference to deal with issues that their new iPhone 4 has caused. The problems are well documented, and essentially boil down to the fact that the single declines when you hold the phone. Not very useful.

This is quite unprecedented for Apple. World renowned for high level design,  and easy to use products, this is the first time an Apple product has actually failed. The arrogant response of ‘you’re holding the phone wrong’ didn’t go down too well with Apple devotees either, who have always considered themselves part of a cool and elite gang.

It seems that Apple will not issue a recall on the iPhone4, and I don’t imagine for one second that this blip will  stop the magnificent Apple juggernaut rolling on forward, but it may cause them to pause for a second.

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