TechieTalk and the Independent Daily, Mauritius: Dead
This blog post was going to be a printed article for Monday’s TechieTalk column, in the Independent Daily, Mauritius. Unfortunately my newspaper folded, a statement that is sadly not only an awful, clichéd pun, but also a tragic fact. I received an e-mail from my editor last Thursday saying that the Independent Daily, Mauritius had ceased publishing. However…
iOS Irritations & Blackberry Buggerups
Hello TechieTalk readers and happy April Fools Day! When you get into work today, be sure to check that no one has left the perennially favourite whoopee cushion on your chair, or a human head or two floating in the staff water cooler. You never know who has been taking The Walking Dead just a tad too seriously.
The iOS “Update”: Appropriately enough for this time of tomfoolery, it has emerged that the latest update of iOS to version 6.1.3, released a couple of weeks ago, has created much amusement for users. Typical fun seems to randomly include decreased battery life and a cheeky little problem with security whereby the lock-screen can be easily bypassed. Needless-to-say, despite a message popping up on my iPhone 4S encouraging me to upgrade last week, I am afraid I demurred said instructions from the Almighty Apple.
Updates to “Free” iOS Apps: As far as I can see there are only three reasons iOS app developers encourage us to upgrade. Firstly, they genuinely want to fix bugs and add features. Secondly, the app works well enough that the developer now wants to cash in by adding annoying and intrusive advertising. Finally, and this seems to be the most common reason, they are bored and just wanted to fiddle needlessly with an app you like in order to annoy you. A prime example of this is the unbelievably stupid way in which the Almighty Apple itself has handled podcasts natively. First you could subscribe, then you couldn’t, then you could again, but the Podcast App still stank, then it sort of worked and also had that nice retro-tape deck view which they finally decided remove in this latest version. Arghhh! I’m always amazed when I learn that there are people working in IT even more stupid than myself, but this is the Almighty Apple. Or maybe it’s really the Great Pumpkin, eh Charlie Brown?
Walled Gardens AKA the Ecosystem Business Model: The less said about “ecosystems” the better. My only hope is that this trend started by the Almighty Apple will turn out to be a temporary anomaly and we will get back ownership of all our software and devices. Yeah right, and DRM’d media will disappear, global warming will stop, Bradley Manning will go free and US President Insert-Name-Here will personally visit every household in the world handing out free Cokes.
Ahhh, and now for some news outside the world of Apple. The Blackberry Q10* now has an approximate release date for the end of April. Unfortunately the price is not anywhere near as low as I predicted. I thought the smaller BB10 device with a physical keyboard would be considerably cheaper than it’s swank, touchie-feelie, flagship big brother, the Z10. How could I have been any more wrong? In fact, unlocked and without contract, it will cost an estimated… wait for it… GBP 530 (MUR 25,000)! Even with discounts and deals, if it dropped another hundred pounds, it would still be too expensive! This is an insanely high price for the lower-end smartphone. You would have thought that with Blackberry’s recent troubles, only pifflingly positive Z10 sales topping out around at around one million units and an overall slump in share value over the last two years, Blackberry would have priced this new phone much lower in order to encourage sales. Oh no, not Blackberry! You know, as some sort of one-third-buttocked Canadian myself, I was always quite pleased with the rise in fortunes of this little, upstart of a tech company. But after initial success, the rot set in quickly with security compromises, technical incompetence; just one dunderheaded decision after another over there in RIM/Blackberry’s “brain-trust” board-room. At this late stage I still hope that Blackberry do something amazing, otherwise this is going to an ignominious end. If I was in charge over at Blackberry, I would have only come out with the Q10 and priced it much lower. Why even bother trying to compete with the consumer-aimed, touchscreen big-boys when Blackberry have such a loyal fan-base of people who prefer physical keyboards and corporate customers? And even Mike “Blackberry” Lazaridis himself leaving? Come on Blackberry, pull your finger out!
While TechieTalk remains in quantum flux, both dead and undead like Bela Lugosi in that Bauhaus song, please continue to enjoy the .tek postings available in Boldly Voyaging the Multiverse and the TechieTalk archive. After-all, where else can you read about smartphones, Pat Jennings and the murse in a single artcle? Or a reference to tanks of severed heads in a story ostensibly about iOS and Blackberry smartphones?
Chek Sa Tek!