Wednesday, January 04, 2017
Monday, October 03, 2016
The stagnant pool of smart phone development
Let's face it the whole smart phone development in both software and hardware has reached a plateau where not much is happening. I bought my phone 2 years ago and it still runs the latest version of android and does everything I need it to. There is at least for me no need to upgrade.
If I were to upgrade I would be looking at a faster processor, more memory, more storage, better camera and not a lot else. Will it radically change my life beyond all recognition? Almost certainly not.
The smart phone industry is ripe for the next technology disruption. Which is where Apple usually comes in, but unfortunately all they did this time round was remove the headphone jack.
From Apple's point of view it is a solid business move, the phone becomes more desirable and if you want headphones you can buy yourself further into the Apple eco- sphere. First headphones, tomorrow the world.
So to be the next big bang you have to kill the iphone, you will need to blow it out the water, you need to be the Ipod equivalent sounding the death knell for the Walkman.
The killer blow
Apple were onto something when they binned the headphone jack but they didn't go far enough. So find yourself a large development team, a virtually unlimited budget, a nuclear bunker and plan to take over the world by working out how to get rid of one or all of these parts of a phone.
1. The battery
As space hoggers go the battery is a big item, generally taking up a 1/4 to 1/2 the space and even then the battery only lasts a day before screaming for sweet nectar of energy.
a) Reduce it to a tenth its current size - Ok you now have a battery one tenth the size but it only lasts for two hours.
Problem solving time -
- Find the biggest energy drain item and redesign it
- Kinetic charging - can you harvest energy from the human body?
- solar panel case - every watt counts
- energy from wifi signals?
- redesign the battery - new technology like micro fuel cells.
Are we back at one day, if not how do we get there? back to the drawing board.
b) Set a target - the battery (full size) has to last a week. Think of that a phone that went a week between charges.
This would be an Apollo 13 design meeting, every single component would have be looked at. Find the most energy efficient chip and screen. Strip the phone down to bare essentials, keep pushing that energy consumption down. Find the most energy dense battery and push it to its limits. Redesign the software. Be relentless in your pursuit of the micro-watt and your goal.
Get rid of them all - every last one. Wireless charging is already here, everything else can be done with blue tooth or Wifi. Think of the sleek phone without any external connectors, great for waterproofing too.
3. The Screen
Get rid of it - what about a mini projector that is strapped onto your wrist which can project onto any surface including your other screen. The phone the size of a watch, a simple shiny black circle with just one LED light.
Every command every needed can be voice or gesture controlled, anything you need to see can be projected. Re-imagine the phone and be the envy of all your friends.
4. Go dumb
Lets create a phone, it can phone people and text but that's it, all from a key ring on your keys. OK you cant do anything else but on the upside it costs £1. Leave the smart phone at home and get on with living your life.
So there are a few ideas and if you threw enough money at it maybe you could be the Iphone slayer.
My money, for the next disruption, is on the battery, make a world class battery and every phone manufacture on the plant would have to buy your battery. If they didn't they would go out of business in a matter of weeks. If you had a choice between a phone that went a week between charges and one that didn't which one would you buy?
Saturday, July 16, 2016
Following the 2015 election campaign and the more recent EU referendum campaign it is clear that across the entire political spectrum we as ordinary members of the public can no longer trust, at face value, whatever a politician or prospective candidate says.
“Complaints about political advertising should be made directly to the party responsible for that advertising.”
“In general, political campaign material in the UK is not regulated, and it is a matter for voters to decide on the basis of such material whether they consider it accurate or not.”
From the advertising standards agency:
Posted by zephyrist at 3:37 pm
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Maybe this has been done before but not by me.
The big experiment is that I am going to buy one lucky dip Euromillions ticket each week for a year. So that is 52 tickets costing a total of £104.
Will I win more than I spend? Will I win big? Is it a good investment strategy. Who knows?
As an experiment statistically it is a bit limited as I am only playing one line per week. The odds of winning any prize are 1 in 13 on the main draw. So taking the lowest average win which is £2.70 I should earn £10.80 and spend £104 making a grand loss of £93.20.
Of course I could win a lot less or I could win a lot more. It will interesting finding out.
I will post updates whenever the mood takes me or when I have a win to talk about.
So far after week 1 I have spent £2 and received £0 makes an early loss of £2.
Things can only get better!
Friday, May 20, 2016
Amazon have recently started hiding the cheapest options for renting and streaming new movies. Take "The Martian" which is advertised as £3.45 to £9.99. When you click on the link to go to the buy page you can either rent HD at £4.45 or buy at £9.99.
Amazon are hoping that everyone will click on the £4.45 button but unless you are on a HD laptop or a large HD TV you can get away with SD. If you are on a slow connection or a tablet then SD is the better choice.
But how do you find the £3.45 option. Click on the "More purchase options" to reveal the hidden cheaper option.
Want to save another pound. If you are a amazon prime user you can select "no rush delivery" when you order something. Each time you do this amazon will give you a £1 promotion code to use on amazon video. The discounts are applied automatically but to check your balance you can click on "Redeem a gift card or promotion code".
Use both tricks to get your 50% off.
If you want to maximise your vouchers you can even split up your orders into single item orders and get a £1 voucher for each item.
Why pay more?
Posted by zephyrist at 7:59 pm
Sunday, February 28, 2016
For me there is a simple argument which can be easily understood by everyone. Larger groups of countries in this global economy are stronger than individual countries. Or alternatively to quote Aristotle "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts."
This is simply common sense and those in favour of brexit are simply deluding themselves that Britain will somehow be better off standing on the outside looking in. These are probably the same people that believe we still have a British Empire.
I would agree that Europe is not perfect but let us change it from within not leave in a hissy fit. We are stronger working together and we must work together for a better outcome for all. We must look outward beyond our island than inward and hope for the English channel to protect us.
Some 'pause for thought' comments from the first few days of campaigning:
"But in my view - for reasons of security, protection against crime and terrorism, trade with Europe, and access to markets around the world - it is in the national interest to remain a member of the European Union. " - Theresa May.
Although the brexit campaigners are arguing exactly the same about leaving. Again if you use a modicum of common sense team work would triumph over going it alone. After all terrorist groups are generally global operating in a number of countries so surely it makes sense to work together.
Evening Standard - Anthony Hilton article
"I once asked Rupert Murdoch why he was so opposed to the European Union. “That’s easy,” he replied. “When I go into Downing Street they do what I say; when I go to Brussels they take no notice.”"
If that doesn't convince you to vote to stay in the EU then nothing will...
Monday, August 10, 2015
I love my nexus 7, I wasn't sure I would like a tablet as I didn't know what I would use it for but since I bought it two years ago I have never looked back. Its the Google Nexus 7 (2013) if you want to know exactly which version.
Lately it doesn't charge as well, probably the abuse on the usb connector has finally taken its toll. To be fair it is not poor craftsmanship but simply my beloved nexus has been used daily and charged almost continuously to keep up with my relentless use. My final idea is to get a wireless charger to keep it going for a while yet so it is not over yet.
I have had to face the inevitable truth that perhaps it will soon be time to find a replacement tablet.
So having had such a wonderful experience I look to see what the latest version of the nexus 7 brings to the table. In reality, nothing, as google have callously binned it.
Google - a quite word - basically you have made a mistake. You had the equivalent of the first can of coke and then said lets add lemon to it. Result nobody likes the new drink. People like coke because its coke. People liked the nexus 7 because it was the 7. People did not sit there and think "I really wish I had an extra two inches."
Think of the paperback book. Its pocket sized, fits nicely in the palm and does the job. Nobody except maybe the google design team wants a bigger paperback.
Since the nexus 9 apparently google have been disappointed by sales, could it be that the 7 was the star and the 9 a poor relation.
For the Douglas Adam's fans in the world the best thing about the nexus 7 was that it fitted in my dressing gown. One dressing gown, one tablet, one towel and the world was my oyster. Or it least it would have been had the earth not been demolished.
Enid Blyton wrote the Secret Seven, she knew that nine wasn't going to work.
When the Nexus 7 finally dies do I put it in a frame and hang it on the wall with the label "Google's best and greatest tablet". Do I fall to my knees in Hollywood style and scream to the skies "No!!!!!". Or do I just find a 7 inch tablet from another reputable manufacturer and wonder what the nexus 7 might have become.
Please Google, I am begging you don't give up on the Nexus 7, I am never going to buy a Nexus 9. Google, we could have been great together, you and me against the world. We could have made it, if you had given us the chance.
Posted by zephyrist at 9:07 pm