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Thursday, March 18, 2010

To Infinity.... and beyond!!

Uhuru: Incoming message from Starfleet captain. If you fly a starship this is for you. Commanders, do w, Lieutenants do x, Chiefs do y and Crewmen do z. Get all that done in the next 8 days! Good luck. Message Ends.

Well - I fly a starship and I'm the captain. It appears there's nothing for me to do. Clearly Starfleet don't understand the process. In fact captains don't get a single mention in the message, so anything we captains have outstanding is irrelevant ?? Buffoonery of the highest order.

Been trawling through my 50-odd emails (not bad for two days out, I'm obviously becoming far less important, or communicating my absence better) and actually there are 6 that need attention, 15 plus are notifications of other crew members holidays, another 10 or so are general newsletter type messages, 6 regarding a training course, another 3 or so regarding closure of the academy and the rest just copied on for my information. Is this a productive use of my time ?? Don't worry, it's an open ended question, don't expect an answer.

I was also fully expecting to visit one of the outposts today - but my Commander hasn't confirmed he'll be there, and there's nothing in my diary for it. It's reasonably local, so if it transpires, I can shoot up there later in the day, but it's looking like another day tied to my desk at home. This is not a whinge, moan, gripe or complaint, I know I am very lucky to be able to work from home, but I predict that more and more and more of the the remnants of the working population of the UK will be doing this very soon. Perhaps I should write a book on the subject. I've been doing it for so long now (over 10 years with a short office based break of 3 years in the middle) that I must actually know how to do it.

So with no hangover yesterday, it was really nice to just potter about the house with Mrs G and do almost nothing. We had walk into town and I bought some new glasses - "they'll be ready next tuesday because we're really busy" - said the sales assistant in the empty shop. I might come in and pick them up then - although I'm really busy too.

Weather forecast has improved for those attending Ladies day today. I had a little flutter yesterday as well - all off-course but on-line and that boosted Tuesdays winning pot just a little. My tips were pretty off target though. On that subject, and if your fed up of having money in your pocket these are the tips I've got today:

1.30. 13. Dave's Dream
2.05. 5. Alfie Sherrin
2.40. 8. Poquelin
3.20. 1. Big Buck's
4.00. 19. I'm So Lucky
4.40. 1. Ballabriggs

But the big news is all tomorrow, it being Gold Cup day and the 3.20 which will all be about Kauto Star and Denman. But we'll look at that tomorrow.

I should also draw your attention to my favourite subject, which has been a bit dry on the ground of late - that being technology and what's going on in and around it. Most definitely the "next big thing" is mobile applications. This has been a strong market for some time due to apple and the iPhone, but it's just getting bigger and better all the time. Another boost in the shape of the Google Apps Store and I see Mickeysoft are doing the same thing for the Windows 7 Phones. OK, so having a load of apps in a store that are easy to download and install is one thing - making them any use is far more important IMHO. It's easy to write an app that goes ping or ding. charge 60p for it and sit back and rake it in while the kids download it. But then what ? Make an app that goes bing and bang ?? Come on! You can do better than that.

The augmented reality apps seem like a useful idea, but I'm still not wholly convinced by their promise. For those that don't know, this basically makes use of a mobile phone's built in camera and satellite receiver and compass. It displays an image straight throughout the camera (as if you were taking a photo) and then overlays data about objects that are in the picture. Well actually, it uses it's location data to approximate things that are in the picture. Interesting and almost useful.

The iPhone has clearly captured the hearts (and minds) of a lot of people and is considered by many to be the "jesus phone" of smart phones. Previously it was probably the blackberry's and interestingly blackberry's still have the largest number of subscriber's. Mikeysoft's attempts are interesting but just not cutting the mustard. The Android software (The Google Phone) though seems to be a different kettle of worms all together. This really could be a contender to knock the J-Phone off the top spot.

But did you notice, I referred to it as the Android software ?? and there I think is the key. It's going to become less and less about the hardware and all about the software. Expect to see Android in a living room near you soon. The hardware is just a means to an end and if it looks good then that's a bonus. Of course with the Apple products this will always be the case because they pride themselves on their simple, sleek designs. But they need to keep on top of the software if they want to hold onto the mantel.

Recently, rumours of v.40 of the iPhone software are suggesting multithreading enabling the use of multiple apps at the same time - something which in the PC world is taken for granted but in the phone world Apple have missed. Android/Google haven't.

Let the war begin.

PS: Today's gem of knowledge: Never trust a tipster!
 

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