Tag Archives: news

Wearing it on your sleeve

Android Watches

Google have recently a new version of Android for “wearables” specifically watches, Android Wear.

“That’s why we’re so excited about wearables—they understand the context of the world around you, and you can interact with them simply and efficiently, with just a glance or a spoken word.”

Wearables have been on the horizon for a while now. Rumours have abounded for a while about Apple’s iWatch and we have seen devices such as the Pebble which interact with your phone. Google have been “playing” with Google Glass in the US.

It’s interesting that Google see the next step is a watch.

Back in the 1980s the digital watch was incredibly popular, everyone I knew had or wanted a Casio watch, a watch that did so much more than just tell the time.

Today the watch hasn’t evolved, most people I know either don’t wear a watch or have retrograded to a “traditional” watch. In most respects, people see a digital watch as cheap and tacky!

If you though take a moment, though we are anticipating Android watches and Apple’s iWatch, there have been a few wearable technologies over the years already. The iPod nano was for many people a wearable, either attached to the arm when jogging or as a watch. Nike have their Fuelband and then there is the Fitbit.

The main difference with those devices compared to the anticipated smart watches, was they had limited functionality. The iPod nano was in the main, a music player, whilst the Nike Fuelband is about recording physical activity. You also have devices like the Pebble that aren’t isolated devices, but work in conjunction with your smartphone.

The newer anticipated devices, look like to be powerful multi-functional devices. You can see some of the concepts in devices such as Google Glass.

Mobile phones in the 1990s were in the main for making phone calls and sending SMS, some had a calculator, but generally they were limited single function devices. When you look at the Android phones and iPhones that we have today, these are cameras, gaming consoles, internet communication devices, video devices, as well as a device for making phone calls and sending SMS.

Generally when a device becomes more functional and flexible, the more useful it is for a wider range of uses and contexts.

So are you going to get a “wearable”?

Snow problem…

Tardis

Much of the UK is covered in snow and unlike virtually everywhere else in the road, the snow plays havoc with our transport infrastructure. As a result lots of people are forced to work from home, or find their schools and colleges are closed. This increases the demand for the internet and places additional strain on the internet infrastructure in the UK. Snow can also cause problems with moisture creeping into wiring and cable boxes.

So is your internet speed slowing down?

Still expensive to use 3G abroad…

BBC reports on Which that reminds consumers that the cap for downloading data doesn’t come into effect until the 1st July.

The consumers’ association Which? is warning that people going abroad with smartphones can still face huge bills if they connect to the internet.

By 1 July, new rules will come into force in the European Union which will cap bills for downloading data.

But, until then, people travelling in Europe could face unlimited bills.

Read more.

and there’s more…

The Guardian’s Charles Arthur has added his thoughts to the ad blocking debate.

News websites’ relationship with readers could be portrayed as an activity akin to herding sheep: that you get a lot of people to come to your site, they read (or listen to, or watch) the content, and they also see adverts that advertisers pay to place.

But when the readers use “ad-blocking” software to filter out adverts – meaning the ads are never served to the page, thus pushing down the money that the site receives from advertisers – the game becomes more like cat-and-mouse. Faced with a small but significant number of people who are happy to have your content but not happy to have the adverts that fund it, what is the site to do?

Read more.

So do you block Ads?

So do you block Ads?

Yes there are some very annoying adverts out there and I can understand why people want to block them.

Likewise with the plethora of Flash based adverts out there that can kill a browser, likewise another reason why I can understand why people want to block them.

However…

It must be remembered that many sites depend on advertising and blocking the  can “hurt them”.

Ars Technica in a recent post said:

My argument is simple: blocking ads can be devastating to the sites you love. I am not making an argument that blocking ads is a form of stealing, or is immoral, or unethical, or makes someone the son of the devil. It can result in people losing their jobs, it can result in less content on any given site, and it definitely can affect the quality of content. It can also put sites into a real advertising death spin. As ad revenues go down, many sites are lured into running advertising of a truly questionable nature.

I have to agree.

Despite all the issues with annoyance, I know I would be more annoyed if I couldn’t access sites like Ars.