Fogey Friday 2 March

Mar 02, 2012 No Comments by

This the first Fogey Friday round-up.  Hopefully TF can get off its fat arse and post one at the same time every week.  We have nothing better to do, after all.

New iPad?


Apple is unveiling a new version of the iPad on 7thMarch.  Or at least that’s what the tech-nobs suspect, since they have been summoned by ethereal Jobsian decree to attend some flea pit in San Francisco on that date. Smaller?  Faster? Thinner? Lighter?  Better screen?  Doesn’t it make you all anxious and quivery?  And who knew there was so much goo on the ends of your fingers?  How long before someone stitches screen-wipe cuffs to a shirt?  You know it will happen.

Sony PS Vita

Sony PS Vita

Sony has launched a handheld thingy called the PS Vita (PS is short for PlayStation, old beans).  Give one to your shiftless spawn and you’ll never hear or see them again.  We don’t mean they’ll be kidnapped (although the effect will be the same) just that they’ll be playing those gamey whatsits rather than reading Bleak House or talking to you, you senile old fart.  You can’t eat a quad-core chip (tasty though it sounds) but the PS Vita has one inside and a big, shiny screen on the outside.  There are buttons too, for pressing.  Two versions: Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + 3G at £197 and £259 respectively, from Amazon.

Tom Tom Bomb Bomb

Tom Tom is in doo-doo.  Profits warning, shares swallow diving from the high board, too much competition from sat-nav enabled smartphones, not enough people buying new devices, too few car manufacturers signing with Tom Tom for their built-in sat-nav systems, stiff competition from Garmin (who are based in the Cayman Islands, it seems.  Can’t think why) and too many users decomposing in slurry pits at the end of farm tracks thanks to those infallible directions.  Turn around when possible.

Yahoo Sue.  Who Knew?

Instead of doing something new and interesting and useful Yahoo Inc (remember them?) is suing Facebook for copyright infringement.  Is copyright different from intellectual property?  Does being an employee of a company mean your every sentient thought is their ‘property’?  Maybe it does.  Either way, it sounds like a sour grapes spoiling tactic as Facebook heads towards an initial public offering (IPO), the value of which now seems to be sailing past $100 billion.  In the US a billion is a thousand million.  So 100 billion is a hundred thousand million, which is about the same as the GDP of Morocco.  But not the same as the GDP of Yahoo.  Boo hoo.

Vodafone Roam Moan

Vittoria 'Mr Cross' Colao

Mobile phone carriers such as Vodafone, France Télécom and Deutsche Telekom are getting their SIM-cards in a twist over EU regulations that limit roaming charges.  They pay huge wads of cash to regulatory bodies for telecoms licenses and are then hamstrung in terms of how much they can claw back from the customer.  Vittorio Colao, chief exec of Vodafone, had a podium groan about his company’s growth being so-stunted during his keynote at the unfeasibly pompous-sounding World Mobile Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.  The poor love.  How about if we all left our phones at home when we went abroad and sent postcards?  How did the world function before mobile phones?  Talk to your customers, Vittorio.  Make us want to help you by spending more of an ever-shrinking pot of personal worth on downloading Angry Birds and sending idiotic holiday snaps to cousin Brenda in New Zealand.  The functionality of today’s mobile phones is miraculous but we all have the choice to use them or not and if we don’t you and all your grumbling chums will be out of a job.  Here’s a link to a proper article about this that uses facts and figures as a substitute for sneering sarcasm.

Angry Birds, Happy Tom


One person in the consumer electronics industry who isn’t belly-aching is Tom Dudderidge of Gear4.  They make iPod/iPhone accessories including Angry Birds speaker docks and protective cases. There’s a profile of Tom and his company by Lucy Tobin from the Evening Standard here.

LG Prada phones for Ed

Actor Edward Norton is all over the broadsheets caressing his LG Prada smartphone.  We know Ed has been in many other movies but as far as ‘career defining’ goes it’s tricky for a thesp to distance himself from playing Derek Vinyard in American History X and Tyler Durden/not Tyler Durden in Fight Club.  TF is always curious (we have no life…) as to why companies use/choose certain celebs to tout their products.  Safe to say the LG Prada smartphone is not a psychotic thug.  But maybe if pushed, taunted, provoked.  Where are we going with this?  You can have this phone or an iPhone 4S for about the same money.  The spec for the LG Prada device is here.  It looks quite nice, quite stylish, quite cultured.  Like Edward?

Cloud and Cable

The Times online sits, smugly, behind a pay-wall, so unless you subscribe you won’t be able to read the articles in their Eureka technology supplement on 1st March.  The gist(s) of the two main features are:

  • The Cloud is no such thing but rather a huge daisy chain of gigantic servers nestled in remote parts of the world where they can be safe from naughty people and kept nice and cool (all those megabits whizzing back and forth gets things rather warm).  The scary part is confirmation of TF’s long-held suspicion that everything you do online lives on in cyber-eternity no matter whether you deleted it or not.  Once it’s out there, it’s out there.  For ever.  And any government agency (read ‘the Americans’) can burrow into your business as deeply and for as long as they like. Still keen to store all your worldly Internet goodies in The Cloud?
  • When it comes to speedy communication you can’t beat a cable – specifically a fibre-optic cable.  There are now so many satellites in geo-stationary orbit (ie they stay in the same place relative to the chunk of earth being covered) that the sky is sort-of full.  Satellites are expensive, temperamental, challenging to maintain and have a limited life-span.  Much better to lay thousands of miles of undersea cable.  Want an investment tip?  Find out who makes fibre-optic cable and who lays it for them.  They’re going to be busy.


The New Nokia Pureview 808Poor old Nokia.  They launch six new phones at the MWC and the assembled congressional throng are so underwhelmed the Nokia share price falls by six per cent.  There’s not that much wrong with the handsets, apparently.  But with one exception they all run Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system.  The predominant operating systems are Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android and have been for some time.  BlackBerry is finding out how difficult it is to play catch-up in a race you didn’t even know you’d entered and since the two front-runners are now over the horizon it’s going to take some spectacular alchemy for the Nokia/Microsoft offering to haul them in.  But here’s a thought – do something new.  Easy.  And by ‘new’ we don’t mean a phone such as the Pureview 808 (above) with its 41 megapixel camera.  Sounds impressive, no?  But what will you do with all those megapixels; print 48-sheet posters?