August 29th, 2010 by bigjim
Ever since the launch of the iPhone, Apple has found itself in an interesting position. On the one hand, the success of the platform is universally acknowledged and, when coupled with the iPod and iPhone, has propelled the company to a new level of success surpassing even the early heydays of the personal computer. On the other hand, every move they make is scrutinised, analysed, dissected and commented upon, with the final result often being anything but positive.
Probably the single biggest complaint from the more technologically-minded consumers and commentators is Apple’s ‘walled garden’ approach to the iDevices. Never has this been more noticed than in the Apple App Store. To run an application on an iPhone or iPad, the application must have first been approved by Apple, since the only way to get an application to run on the device (short of jailbreaking it) is to install through the App Store on iTunes.
This may sound very dictatorial, but that’s the way that Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, likes it. He is quite forward in his reasons too, and while many of us techies may disagree, from a moral perspective you have to respect one tenet at least: no pornography. As he wrote to one customer ‘We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone’. So even the recently launched Playboy application for the iPad doesn’t have any nudity in it.
While this may just be tokenism since there is a fully featured browser on the phone, at least they are making some effort to hold on to the fast-fading idea that some content is actually not appropriate regardless of who you are. It’s not good business to do this, so they deserve some respect for at least appearing to take a stand.
Posted in General musings, Technology overview | No Comments »
August 15th, 2010 by fastmikey
With the recent financial downturn, and the still fragile recovering economy, being fiscally prudent has never been more important. Of course, the internet’s a great place to turn to, to help drive your dollar further – as a communication tool it’s a great way to find and find out about bargains and deals available to the canny consumer!
To this end, here’s a list of some of the more useful bargain websites to check out:
· www.bargainbetty.co.nz – a blog set up by freelance personal finance journalist Diana Clement, Bargain Betty has a great set of tips on how to save money in our very own Godzone.
· www.bargainlover.co.nz – a great site to keep an eye on, Bargain Lover is a community driven site where the community can submit bargains they’ve found to get the word out.
· www.vouchermate.co.nz – Because it’s nationwide, Vouchermate is well worth a check when you’re going on holiday around the country – it can be a great source for something fun and cheap to do in your destination. On a similar vein, there’s often equivalent voucher sites for other countries, so before you go on vacation overseas, it’s worth a quick search to see what might be available in your port of call.
· www.grabone.co.nz – this is a new site set up very recently, that’s fantastic for getting out and experiencing some of the great stuff your local city has to offer. Currently deals are available for Auckland and Hamilton, with other cities coming on line shortly.
Obviously, we’ve only just scratched the surface. Do you have any online bargain tips? Help others find out about it – swing by www.catholic.geek.nz and share it with one and all!
Posted in Cool tools, Link commentary | No Comments »
August 1st, 2010 by bigjim
It’s interesting to see the new trends and fashions forming in a world with social media. A recent article in the NZ Herald (http://bit.ly/smnetwin) pointed to discussions by leading technology experts about the benefit of the Internet. The story title gives away the finding of the research: ‘Internet hailed as ‘net win’ for humanity.’
There has also been a lot of press lately surrounding Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and creator of Facebook, on privacy issues and concerns relating to his website. He has been quoted as saying that the more information we share, the better, and that this is the way in which the world is heading.
Zuckerberg’s view represents one extreme on the social sharing continuum – i.e. share everything with everyone. However, this does not mean that his view is the only valid one, nor is Facebook the only technology in this space.
Yammer is another social network but, in contrast to Facebook, it limits visibility of information posted on the site to members of a specific email domain. So, for example, if you wanted to partake in the NZ Catholic network, you would need to log in with an @nzcatholic.org.nz address.
This, in effect, represents the other end of the spectrum to Zuckerberg’s goals – one of ‘walled gardens’ where slightly more controlled sharing and conversations can take place. Even Facebook was originally built around restricting the audience (to college students), while Twitter, for example, has pretty much always been open.
The point here is that as we enter these online communities, it is important to remember that they are not all created equal, and our conversations and content should be tailored appropriately. However, all of them create opportunities to witness our Faith and spread the Good News…you might just have to look a bit closer to find them.
Posted in Cool tools, Technology overview | No Comments »