How to deal with people who say “An iPad is just a big iPod Touch…”

“A swimming pool is a big bath, which is in turn a big sink. The functions vary with size.”

Originally stated


No Pay from Google Play

Android developers in Europe have finally started to be paid their expected income, which had been in arrears for several days (as much as two weeks for some).

Developers in Europe had been flooding the Google Checkout Merchant forums with comments, queries and complaints having not been paid their March 70% cut from February sales.

Chief amongst their concerns was (and for some still is) a complete lack of communication from Google aside from a few “we’re looking into it” posts on the forums with no human contact details available.

Has anyone suffered from this situation, and on a bigger scale, can Google afford to be alienating developers as they look to “double-down” on Tablets with Apps being a key concern to that success?

London Underground to get WiFi

The BBC is reporting that Virgin Media has won the contract to provide WiFi to London’s key transport infrastructure, the Tube (which serves roughly 4 million people daily, including yours truly).

Virgin intends to start out with 80 of 270 stations, working their way up to 120 by the end of the year. There are no plans to include the service in the tunnels at the present time but it will be available on the platforms, near ticket offices and escalators and will crucially allow for all those tweets about delays on the Northern Line (assuming you’re not stuck outside Bank).

From July 2012 through to the end of the Paralympics in September the service will be free, after which it will become pay-as-you-go.

The BBC announce Project Barcelona

The BBC Director General Mark Thompson has just announced proposals to bring archived shows to the general public which could be downloaded for a “relatively modest fee”.

Codenamed Project Barcelona the service is an extension of the wildly successful iPlayer which has recently been rolled out internationally for about £6 a month or £40 per year.

The fledgling project will have to jump through several regulatory hoops before coming to fruition however and is likely to face challenges from Sky (who have recently launched the Sky Store) and other domestic rivals.

Beware crazy fathers!

Daughter is disrespectful, so you shoot her laptop! Just sell it you moron.

Advertising and Twitter – An obvious and awkward combination

If you’ve seen David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin’s The Social Network you could well be familiar with the following fragment of conversation.


I imagine that a similar conversation has been going on at the San Francisco Head-Quarters of Twitter in recent months/years with Finance Departments trying to monetise a service which currently has over 300 million users, producing 300 million tweets and performing 1.6 billion searches each day.

Their first strategy was to offer “Promoted Tweets” that is Tweets that a company has paid to put at the top of a relevant search, for example “Music” could see a Promoted Tweet from an Artist or Record Company.

Following on from this they started Promoted Trends (where a company can insert itself into the Top Trends), Promoted Accounts (where the account will appear more regularly in “Who to follow” and most recently has offered “Enhanced Profile Pages“. These are profiles which are fully public, can be viewed without logging into Twitter, and can self promote tweets and use greater levels of integration for photos and videos.

Whilst all this expands the revenue base of Twitter I can’t see it putting the company of the same level of Facebook, which has developed more and more targeted adverts as it gathers more information about its users thus making them more effective and therefore cost more to companies. Twitter’s approach seems more incidental, and open to chance, yes a retweet from a celebrity can make or break a campaign but will companies pay hundreds of thousands (or millions) of dollars on that chance.

A simpler way for a company to use Twitter without having to pay for the “promoted” or “enhanced” options is for them to have popular members of the service do advertise for them. However this is its own minefield, as Snickers has found out in the UK this week. Several celebrities from Sport, Music and Television took part in a campaign where they would tweet about “unexpected” activities or knowledge (as shown below by Manchester United and England player Rio Ferdinand, who has 1.9M followers) .

The problem that Snickers and these high profile Tweeters (who included Katie Price, Amir Khan, Ian Botham and Cher Lloyd) is that under the rules of advertising laid down by the Office of Fair Trading in the UK advertising must be labelled as such and “deceptive advertising” is not permitted. Whether Ferdinand’s tweets contravene these rules is going to be the subject of an Advertising Standards Authority investigation and the outcome could be crucial to companies using Twitter, it’s no good having to say “the following is an opinion I have been paid to say” before you praise a product/service.

This has also been posted in The Verge forums

Apple to bid for 2013-16 Premier League Rights?


The Daily Mail (yes, I know…) is reporting that Apple are considering a bid for the English Premier League viewing rights. This would indicate a serious step into the UK television business (note this is only for the UK market, there isn’t any rumour about International rights, although it would be the next logical step).

Any bid would be for the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, and would be for the Live viewing rights, not the highlights or internet rights. This is a crucial point as at the moment the rights are held by Sky TV and ESPN and this would be the first foray by a non-TV company into the market (which until recently was 100% controlled by Sky).

Technologically speaking I still don’t think the UK is ready right now for TV over the Internet in this state and scale, bare in mind that football is phenomenally popular in the UK, people want to see it in HD (or even 3D) with a solid stream and without interruption and most importantly LIVE. If people’s internet isn’t of sufficient quality to watch the live games then they will object, vehemently, this includes thousands of pubs and gyms, not to mention the fact that whilst major cities have good broadband there are parts of major towns that are struggling at fractions of a Mb. Those speeds would be unacceptable for this sort of coverage.
However, saying this by 2013 we may have seen advancements (although I don’t think it will be nearly enough).

The positive for the public is that it breaks the Sky monopoly further and Apple could bring further innovations to the broadcasting of football and the portability of watching it, the disadvantage is that it is generally considered that Sky produce the best coverage of Football so do we really want to risk a potentially lesser service.

The main question about all this is why Apple would want to spend a chunk of change on TV rights in one country, it would be one hell of a benefit for their hardware in the UK, imagine watching Football over LTE on your iPad, iPhone, over WiFi on your Apple TV (or Apple made TV) and iPod not to mention via iTunes on your Mac or PC.

The arithmetic of it all escapes me at the moment (it is late after all) but baring in mind the competition at minimum would be Sky and ESPN as well as possibly Qatari owned Al Jazeera the figures would be towards the Billions of Pounds (Sky and ESPN paid £1.78Bn last time around for a 3 year deal). Whilst Apple certainly have the cash to make this gamble it would certainly not be a slam-dunk (to mix sports) and could leave them with a negative PR disaster if they mess with the nations favourite past-time too much. Although, it would be high-risk, it is also high reward and could see already high sales of iOS devices soar further.

Long story short, I don’t think this bid is likely to happen, but if it does it will cause shockwaves around Sky HQ.

Also posted at The Verge