Fogey Friday 20th July

Jul 20, 2012 No Comments by

Fogey Friday is a round up of mildy diverting tech flotsam that TF has sieved from the heaving swill of bilge out there on the Internet.

No dead ducks here.  Just there…




Watch Smart

Pics of TVs – smart or stupid – are dull, so here’s a farty shot of some Vegas fruit machines.

Parks Associates is a huge US research company that regularly comes up with statistics to show what all you proles out there (well, your American equivalents) are doing with technology and sundry gizmos.  Their latest concerns Smart TVs and suggests that:

  • Half of all HDTVs shipped in 2012 will have Internet connectivity built-in.
  • More than 20 per cent of US households (that’s 27 million shacks) already have their TV connected to the Internet either by virtue of owning a Smart TV, connected Blu-ray player, games console or PVR/set-top box.

Reading between the lines, though, also shows that two-thirds of Smart TV owners don’t connect their sets to the Internet and of the third that do 75 per cent watch movies and TV via their broadband connection.  That might sound like a lot but it also begs the question, ‘why did 25 per cent of Smart TV owners go to the trouble of buying a Smart TV, connecting it to the Internet and then not using that connectivity?’ Maybe they saw what sort of content was available, what it was going to cost and then decided not to bother.

Read more here


Shop Smart

Samsung ‘store’ at the Time Warner Center. Photo by Chris Brady.

There’s a post here from the US that tells us 55 per cent of smartphone owners use their mobiles to check prices while out shopping and that 27 per cent also consult online reviews in-store before deciding what to buy.  While this is sort-of interesting, what’s most curious is that those surveyed actually go to the shops.  It’s not mentioned how many of the research sample were male/female.  Women like to wander around shops; men don’t.  Having said that, it can’t be long before retailers are just shop windows for online alternatives that are usually cheaper and don’t involve driving anywhere or lugging heavy bags around.  And if you need to send a product back it’s often as easy as picking up the phone.  In New York, Samsung has a showcase ‘store’ in the Time Warner Building on Columbus Circle.  You can’t buy anything there but all their current products are on display and a battalion of blue-shirted munchkins is on hand to show you how everything works and make you feel like an intellectual amoeba. You could argue that the experience of an Apple store is similar and there you can walk out clutching and armful of goodies but unless you pay for a one-on-one ‘genius’ session the Apple-istas are so swamped the clock is always ticking.  At the Samsung showcase you can hang around and pick those youthful brains all day.  And you must believe us when we say we hadn’t read this article before making the predictions above.


Big It Up

Department store, John Lewis is reporting that 46-inch TVs and bigger are proving to be the most in demand. Sales are up 103 per cent since the beginning of February as customers look forward to the celebrations and events of 2012, including a summer of sport (it says here…)

Feed me!! Help clear up my doggy logs!!

John Kempner, buyer for vision at John Lewis says, “There is definitely a trend for larger screen TVs. Originally, these were cost prohibitive – the first 42-inch flat panel TV we sold in 2000 was £12,500 but you can now buy a 60-inch LED for just £999. Customers buy the biggest TV they can afford that fits in their living space with as many features as possible, such as 3D and Internet capabilities.”

All TVs at John Lewis come with a five-year guarantee at no extra cost.  And if you go online to the John Lewis website via this link and buy anything at all, TF makes a weeny bit of money to help pay for puppy food and pooh bags.  Your indulgence is much appreciated.



Ebooks are becoming more popular as printed books decline.  Interestingly, the relative rise and fall aren’t commensurate – net revenue from ebooks in 2011 was $2.07 billion, up from $869 million in 2010, while print sales dropped to $11.1 billion in 2011 from $12.1 billion in 2010.  Which suggests that more people are reading, which can only be a good thing.  Unless they’re reading ‘mommie porn’.  Electrical specialist Comet has seen a dramatic increase in sales of Kindle e-readers over the past month following the recent hype around literary phenomenon Fifty Shades of Waay Hey! The trilogy by first-time author E.L. James is thought to be responsible for a 71 per cent increase in sales in Comet stores in the North vs. a 29 per cent increase in the South.  So now it’s even grimmer oop North.  More here


Squeeze Here

And here’s an article from the US that confirms what TF often bangs on about – the impending bandwidth squeeze.  No point building a Ferrari if all you have to drive it on is a one-lane cart track.