# Monday, October 17, 2011

Bump that UK Radioplayer

Those really nice people over at MeadCo (yes, I am obviously biased) have just released Bump My Radioplayer to bump your UK Radioplayer onto your Windows Desktop. Now, I admit I am biased, but i love the graphics and being able to tuck the radio down into the tray for a while is super useful. Go fetch, try it, enjoy.

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# Tuesday, April 13, 2010

errr, hello, i am reading this in 2010 aren't I?

The rebuilt word processing editor also offers ... tab stops, a ruler for adjusting margins,  [via Google previews new Google Docs interface - Techworld.com]

Do what? The Google word processor only now does tabs stops and rulers for adjusting margins? I had the check the date and allegedly this isnt an April Fool article. wow.

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OMG, sense prevails

May be I shouldnt reproduce this in full .. but having not really read the net for a while its so good to come back to some sense ....

The Right Spirit.  

From Steve Jobs 1997 presentation when he announced his partnership with Microsoft:

Where we are right now is, we are shepherding some of the greatest assets in the computer industry.

If we want to move forward, seeing Apple helping an prospering again.

We have to let go of this notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose. We have to embrace the notion that for Apple to win, Apple has to do a really good job. And if others are going to help us, that's great. Because we need all the help we can get. And if we screw up and do not do a good job, it is not somebody else's fault, it is our fault.

So I think that is a very important discussion.

If we want Microsoft office on the Mac, we better treat the company that puts it out with a little bit of gratitude. We like their software.

So the era of setting this up as a competition between Apple and Microsoft is over as far as I am concerned. This is about getting Apple healthy and this is about Apple being able to make incredibly great contributions to the industry and get healthy and prosper again.

I feel exactly this way about open source. For open source to win, we do not need Microsoft, Apple or proprietary software to lose. The industry is not a zero-sum game, not only we enrich each other's platforms by exploring different ideas, but it is also incredibly healthy for the industry to have a blend of different approaches to computing.

Open source software leads in some areas in the industry and we as a community are very proud of its success. But when it comes to the areas where open source has not delivered a full solution like our proprietary competitors have, we resort to finger pointing and blaming others.

Some in the open source movement would like all the software in the industry to be open source/free software. Desktops, servers, games, embedded systems and everything that every human touches.

Although it is a noble goal, it has set people up for suffering by making the goal unachievable. It has been 15 years since the rise of the first large open source companies and by now we should know that our dream of a pure open source stack ruling the world is not going to happen any decade now.

Luckily, today, we have a much better understanding of where open source works and where it does not.

It would do us good to ponder Steve's 1997 message:

And if others are going to help us, that's great. Because we need all the help we can get. And if we screw up and do not do a good job, it is not somebody else's fault, it is our fault.

Once again, I want to recommend Ben Zander's The Art of Possibility book, a book with various recipes on how to look at the world through new eyes.

 [via Miguel de Icaza]

I was talking at Christmas time with someone who has influence on platform developments and directions, talking about being proprietory and being open and being encouraging and well all sorts of stuff which I failed to accurately summarise as "stop thinking only you should win will you". At this time, same goes for politics too -- this 2010 election campaign is so depressing already and its only a week old.

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The old folks bite back (aka Apple's 3.3.1 axe)

To which Jobs responded: "We've been there before, and intermediate layers between the platform and the developer ultimately produces sub-standard apps and hinders the progress of the platform." [via Betanews]

+1, lol.com (pretending to be young, hip etc etc.)

 

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# Monday, February 08, 2010

What is content, what is distribution

Boxee: We didn't steal anything from Hulu.  

By Scott M. Fulton, III, Betanews

.. Zucker responded: "What Boxee was doing was illegally taking the content that was on Hulu without any business deal. We have several distributors...of the Hulu content that we have legal distribution deals with, so we don't preclude distribution deals. What we preclude are those that illegally take that content."

That accusation before Congress that Boxee violated the law triggered a lengthy response late this afternoon from Boxee Founder and CEO Avner Ronen, on his company's blog: "Boxee uses a web browser to access Hulu's content -- just like Firefox or Internet Explorer. Boxee users click on a link to Hulu's Web site and the video within that page plays. We don't 'take' the video. We don't copy it. We don't put ads on top of it. The video and the ads play like they do on other browsers or on Hulu Desktop. And it certainly is legal to do so."

The question of whether enabling access to another Web site's video through one's software is effectively "redistribution," cuts to the heart of the major issue of contention surrounding the ... Copyright Betanews, Inc. 2010 [via Betanews]

Surrounding quite a lot in the media world. It seems to me that they are all absolutely desparate to control the 'frame', not just what is displayed in that frame (which is the bit they have the rights too).

This is what the row in the UK about project Canvas is about -- the BBC saying they are being open and wonderful and generally terrific (I know, I know) and Sky and Virgin (platform providers) being very suspicious about why the BBC of all organisations should want to build a platform.

My opinion? Everyone is terrified that in the future (or already) content is worthless, its only the frame (where the adverts sit) that is monetisable. Certainly in the UK we need to come to a better settlement or we are stuck in a world of almost zero viewer competion. Do you really want a world where you can only buy one TV set? 

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Cracking ...

... idea Grommit

The Turbine Light concept (which is going to be a part of the upcoming Greener Gadgets conference in New York City at the end of this month) harnesses the power of the wind from cars rushing past to light up the ever-darkening roadways. The turbines use the wind collected to generate energy for the lighting [via Engadget]

fab idea, brilliant. +1 (and no, that doesnt make me a all climate change is man-made gopher)

 

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Real talent

Microsoft Confessions: 'Killed over politics'.  

... The people that need to be cut at MS are the managers that don't support their teams and only support their own careers ..... [via Betanews]

In all my various incarnations being bossed by managers in Companies of any size at all, I've only ever met one who didnt fit this description - the utterly insprirational force that was behind Cellnet's early success (and its not the person who seems to paint themselves as such in the media). IMHO, its a size and longevity issue - there are more people who have only their own interests at heart than 'play for the team' - the bigger you are, the longer you have been reliant on a particular product the more you will hire them. Apple re-invents and re-cycles product to do more than just keep screwing the consumers, its keeps Apple on its toes pretending its young and vibrant and relevant.

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# Friday, January 29, 2010

Makes me weep

The best products sell them selves. .... Ultimately, if you spend time creating something that people want, they will do the job of marketing it for you [via Andy Budd::Blogography Articles]

two sage statements that have always struck me as obvious. But then why Twitter is so popular among a particular class of people is a mystery to me. Oh well, cheer up, its Friday. :-) BTW, my kids dont use twitter but use just about everything else (that includes those I probably dont know about).

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# Thursday, January 21, 2010

Spotify

Like many of you out there, we’ve been perfectly happy with the free version of the service. Over the last few months though, Spotify has added lots of new features to the Premium offering. Having tried it out for a few weeks, we can say that it’s well worth the monthly £9.99 if you’re a music fan.

 [via Spotify Premium - Techworld.com]

Exactly and the rumour is that companies are struggling with the ad-model, revenue is spread to thin .. Google is sucking up most of the air with very little left for anyone else (a bad variant on the long-tail theory?) so the only way these services are going to survive is subscription. If you want it, pay for it.

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# Wednesday, December 09, 2009

being an icebox

I'm perfectly fine being anti-cool if it enables me to keep my family covered and develop software that tons of people use. [via Nick Bradbury]

LOL, I like anti-cool, I'm probably anti-cool in the not being cool way - but hey I know some really cool people :-D

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