Dec 31 2008

Hulu

Category: InternetTeknovis @ 4:43 pm

I read a very interesting article earlier this week about a company called Hulu. (I read the article in a magazine, and I cannot find an online version of it.) I had never heard of Hulu before!

In summary, Hulu offers Internet viewers video content from some of the largest studios in the US. Its novelty is that it obtains revenues by including advertising.

The unfortunate thing about Hulu from my point-of-view is that its video content can only be accessed from US based IP addresses :( So I will just have to wait until I am there to try it :(

Hulu are also trying to get more mainstream coverage by streaming New Year’s Eve celebrations from Times Square. Details about this are in Hulu will live-stream New Year’s Eve in Times Square so you don’t have to freeze.

I am going to embed the live stream here, just to see if it works.

Either way, I hope that everybody enjoys their celebrations tonight!

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Dec 29 2008

Microsoft Seadragon

Category: iPhoneTeknovis @ 7:04 pm

A friend recently sent me an article describing the first application that Microsoft has developed for the iPhone. This application, Seadragon Mobile, is an imagine viewing application that allows users to view large image collections using touch-screens. It was released initially for the iPhone due to its advanced graphics hardware. The full article is Microsoft releases its first iPhone app.

The main Seadragon application is described and demonstrated in Microsoft Live Labs Seadragon. I think that it would be cool to see this in use on large touch-screens! For example, it would be a great way to explore the Sistine Chapel ceiling!

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Dec 28 2008

Amazon has Record Christmas Sales

Category: eShoppingTeknovis @ 8:11 pm

I hope that everybody has a good Christmas :)

It certainly seems that Amazon did! It has announced that it had record Christmas sales this year! I am sure that there will be many people who are delighted with this ;)

For more details about this see Amazon.com up 4.9% after best-ever holiday sales.

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Dec 19 2008

EU Emergency Phone Number

Category: Location Based Services,Standards,TelecomsTeknovis @ 7:02 pm

All member states within the EU must implement the number 112 for emergency calls. The idea behind this is to standardise emergency calls. Furthermore, there is an enhanced version of this known as E112 that enables the emergency services to automatically obtain the caller’s location. For more details about this see 1-1-2.

I actually had a cause to use this service once when I witnessed an incident on a motorway. It seemed to work very well, because the emergency services dispatcher told me quite accuratly where I was, although she needed me to tell her which direction I was travelling.

Anyway, I read today that Bulgaria is now E112 compliant in Europe-wide emergency number is go.

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Dec 18 2008

Emoticon Trademark

Category: Business,HumourTeknovis @ 6:30 pm

I have a friend who is very sceptical of trademarks and patents, particularly in the context of the Internet. So I immediately thought about this friend when I read an article describing how a Russian businessman has successfully trademarked an emoticon in Russia :o

Luckily European users of emoticons do not need to panic (or start writing cheques) because this trademark will not be recognised here :D

More details about this can be read in Russian’s emoticon trade mark won’t wash with EU.

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Dec 17 2008

Virgin Broadband

Category: Networks,TelecomsTeknovis @ 10:34 pm

I read an interesting article earlier in the week describing how Virgin Media has launched its new broadband service. This service will be available throughout the UK in the next six months, and it providers users with a maximum download speed of 50Mbps. This will make Virgin Media the fastest ISP in the UK.

More details about this can be read in Virgin unveils next-gen broadband.

The same article describes how BT is beginning a fibre to the cabinet trial that will provide users with speeds up to 40Mbps.

This is very interesting, because in the middle of 2007 I attended an event hosted by T-Com in Berlin. One of the topics at this event was broadband, and T-Com told us that it would have fibre to the cabinet deployed in the 50 largest cities in Germany in 2008. This would be capable of supplying 17 million homes. At that time T-Com had already installed fibre to the cabinet in the 26 largest cities in Germany, and we were shown some of the new cabinets on the streets in Berlin. It was then easy to spot these new cabinets ourselves, because they are slightly larger than the standard cabinets, and if you listen carefully you can hear the cooling equipment running inside them! T-Com were offering a triple play service of phone, television, and Internet to customers using this infrastructure. There were some BT representatives at the meeting also, and I recall them being impressed :o

Independently, it appears that Virgin Media will start traffic shaping P2P traffic next year according to Virgin Media to dump neutrality and target BitTorrent users. I wonder if the Net Neutrality war is being lost in Europe :|

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Dec 16 2008

Internet Explorer Security Issue

Category: Security,SoftwareTeknovis @ 10:52 pm

News about the latest security issue in Microsoft‘s Internet Explorer has made it into mainstream media, such as Security alert over Internet Explorer and Serious security flaw found in IE. More details about the security issue can be read in MS issues brown alert over unpatched IE 7 flaw and Microsoft issues emergency patch warning for IE.

I think it is great that users are being encouraged to switch to other browsers! Internet Explorer has been far too dominant for too long. I think that this caused browser innovation to be stifled.

It is times like this that make me feel happy to use Firefox :) Of course, I am not naive enough to believe that it never suffers from security issues!

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Dec 15 2008

TerminalFour Wins Specsavers Deal

Category: BusinessTeknovis @ 11:15 am

Congratulations to TeminalFour for securing a deal to supply it CMS solution to Specsavers. This will be used to power the Specsavers websites in 10 counties around the world.

More details about this can be read in Should have gone to TerminalFour – Specsavers in pan-European CMS deal.

I am mentioning this here, because I know somebody who is very involved in TerminalFour. I am not going to make a habit of reposting every new deal secured :o

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Dec 14 2008

Firefly Mobile Phones

Category: Mobile ComputingTeknovis @ 10:43 am

Another Christmas shopping article…

I noticed these Firefly mobile phones for sale in many main-street shops while I was doing some off-line Christmas shopping yesterday.

Firefly Mobile Phones

Firefly Mobile Phones

These mobile phones are designed for young children. Typically, the user (a child) is allowed to call Mum (big button with woman) and Dad (big button with man). Additionally, the user is only allowed to receive calls from numbers that are in the address book.

In terms of technology there is nothing new in these mobile phones, because they are simply very restricted mobile phones. I think that the main novelty lies in the usage of the technology to satisfy a certain market. I think that it is a great idea!

I presume that there will soon be a GPS enabled Firefly that enables concerned parents to view their childrens’ locations!

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Dec 13 2008

Online Christmas Shopping 2008

Category: eShoppingTeknovis @ 6:06 pm

I did all my online Christmas shopping this week. It went very well, and I must admit that I love the comfort of shopping in my own time from my own home. I am the sort of person that researches every purchase online, thinks about it some more, and eventually purchases. Visiting real shops with a list of things to buy is an experience that I try to avoid! Now I hope that all my presents arrive soon!

I bought lots of presents on Expansys, PhotoBox, and Play (which has the bonus of being VAT free). I also bought some presents on Asos, which was my first time to buy clothes online! I really like all of these websites because they price in euro even though they are not based in the eurozone.

It really annoys me when online retailers expect Irish customers to use the UK versions of their websites. Yes – we speak the same language, but we use a different currency! I think it is just pure laziness on their behalf!

Amazon is a perfect example of such an online retailer. It has a French website in euro, a German website in euro, and an English wesite in pounds :(

Amazon Ireland

Amazon Ireland

Indeed, Amazon’s approach to the EU market is very limited.

Nevertheless, I decided to give it a try this year since the pound is so weak compared to the euro. I wanted to buy a small electronics device, and the price was really good. It was only when I went to buy the item that I realised that Amazon do not ship it outside of the UK :( I understand that this might be due to the fact that Amazon does not want to be responsible for collecting old electronic devices as required by the WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) directive. So I abandoned shopping with Amazon :(

There seems to be plenty of other people who are unhappy with Amazon also according to Amazon behaving badly and Amazon UK withdraws John Duignan’s Scientology exposé “The Complex” from sale “for legal reasons”.

Finally, it appears that I am not the only person shopping online this week! According to “Busiest day” for online shopping last Monday was the busiest day in the year for online sales in the UK. The busiest hour was predicted to occur between 13:00 and 14:00 when £28 million worth of goods were to be sold. Some online retailers are predicting that this year will be their busiest year ever as more shoppers buy online. There is also an interesting video showing the inside of Amazon’s distribution centre.

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