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January, 2010

Google Nexus One: first look review

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Google Nexus One in the handGoogle UK held an open evening for journalists last night, with the introduction of Chrome OS being its major theme. However, it also had four samples of the Google Nexus One for us attendees to play with – thus this first look review. (more…)

Dreading the move to ADSL

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Internet cablesIn a few months I’m buying a flat. It’s not quite finished yet, but I’ve been inside it and I’ve seen the specs, all of which look impressive, except for one tiny problem. The block will have a communal Sky dish and connection points in every property, but I was told this week that cable won’t be an option.

This is bad. Very bad.

I’ve been with Virgin broadband in various properties for nearly four years now, and I’m genuinely despondent at the thought of switching to ADSL. Some of you will probably bring up traffic shaping, customer service and other less appealing aspects of Virgin’s offering, but I’m not listening. The blinkers have gone up and my opinion is set in stone: cable broadband just works, and I can’t live with anything less.

(more…)

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Posted in: Random, Rant

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Why isn’t Apple UK talking about the iPad?

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Something odd’s occurring with Apple UK. Usually when there’s a major Apple announcement, the UK press is invited to a special beam-back of the keynote, but there was no such event for the iPad.

Now it seems the Apple UK website – which is normally quick to update on the latest product announcements – hasn’t heard of the iPad either.

Apple UK

(more…)

Posted in: Newsdesk

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Apple iPad: PC Pro’s first reactions

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

ipad_cropSo the wait is over, and the general reaction of the editorial team is undeniably one of very slight disappointment. The mock-ups floating around the web were generally of a device like a great big iPhone, and in the event we got… a great big iPhone.

Our slumped shoulders when it seemed there was no 3G are now square again – you will at least be able choose a 3G version. So essentially you can choose between a big iPod (no 3G) or a big iPhone (with 3G). And despite there being no mention of GPS capability during the launch event, we’re very much relieved to say the 3G versions will have it. (more…)

Posted in: Random

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It’s time to redefine “broadband”

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Speed cameraIf I had a pound for every time BT and Ofcom had proudly boasted that 99% of the country has access to broadband, I’d be paying for a nationwide fibre network out of my pocket change.

The problem is it’s not true. At least not true in the sense of what you and I would call “broadband” in 2010 – a connection fast and reliable enough to play even standard definition shows from the BBC iPlayer, for instance, or swiftly download a self-assessment tax form.

BT and Ofcom use the same definition for “broadband” today as they did a decade ago, when we were gawping in awe at 512Kbits/sec lines – “always-on services, offering data rates of 128Kbits/sec and above”.

(more…)

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Posted in: Newsdesk

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How to add week numbers in Microsoft Outlook 2010

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Microsoft Outlook 2010 Calendar with week numbers I didn’t realise until recently that week numbers are a bit of a European obsession, which is why US-created software such as Microsoft Office tends to ignore them.

You had to jump through three or four hoops in Office 2003 and Office 2007 to add them (clicking Tools | Options | Calendar Options and then tickboxing “Show week numbers in the Month View and Date Navigator”), but fortunately Outlook 2010 makes it much easier.

Or at least, easier to explain. So, here are the three steps you need to add week numbers in Outlook 2010.

(more…)

Browser Testing: Microsoft SuperPreview versus Adobe BrowserLab

Monday, January 25th, 2010

It’s not quite the nightmare that it used to be, but testing that your beautifully-crafted web design works across all browser versions on all operating systems is still a major pain largely because most browsers don’t let you run multiple versions on the same machine – IE6 alongside IE8 say – and also because most designers are limited to testing those browsers available on their own choice of platform.

Adobe browserlab browser testing

Now both Microsoft and Adobe have finally addressed this core problem and come up with their own solutions…

(more…)

A packing crate full of eBooks?

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Housemove-009I’m starting to come around to the idea of eBooks. I still appreciate the physicality and ruggedness of printed texts, and I’m wary of DRM, simply because I’m the sort of person who’d want to try out a new sort of reader every eighteen months.

But recent developments have persuaded me that electronic texts really are the future. And by “recent developments” I mean I’m moving house.

(more…)

Posted in: Random

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Steve Ballmer signs a Mac

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Never let it be said that Steve Ballmer doesn’t have a sense of humour. Nor that Nashville students don’t have cojones. Because it takes a brave man to ask the Microsoft boss to sign his computer, when said computer is blatantly a MacBook Pro.

The big question: is the MacBook worth more or less than it was before?

4 ways to boost your business with surveys

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

A SurveyMonkey Survey

More often than not, my experience of surveys (as a respondent) is when I receive an email saying “your views are valuable so please fill in this survey about your experience of buying from us”. At which point, I immediately look for any sight of a quid pro quo: if my views are “valuable” to you, what are you going to give me in exchange for my time in completing the survey? In the vast majority of cases, there’s nothing on offer and the email disappears instantly into my trash folder.

Used properly, however, surveys can provide critical market intelligence both for new and existing businesses. (more…)

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