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Monthly archives for September, 2011

Windows 8 Developer Preview is here!

Many geeks have been getting rather excited now that the //build/ conference is in full swing and the first official developer release of the Windows 8 OS is available!

You can grab your copy of Windows 8 developer preview at http://dev.windows.com it is worth noting that if you have a MSDN subscription the download is much faster via MSDN.

As the developer preview is the very first release – there will still be a Beta, RC, RTM releases before the general release! – it is very buggy.

Currently I’m trying desperately to get it installed and am running into some of the issues with issues with trying to install it, and once have the install running there will be many more posts showing off some of the cool features you can look forward to!

I’m hoping to also document when I start developing some of my own Metro style apps, so watch this space!

Subscribe on Facebook

Facebook appears to have just added a new feature, the ability to subscribe to someones public statuses without the need to be friends.

The new Twitter-style feature comes after the recent change in privacy settings, which made the alteration in the terms of privacy to use the phrase public, and as suspected they have now made it possible to subscribe to these public statuses.

This is an interesting change for Facebook and is possibly trying to be a little more like Twitter in enabling people to effectively “follow” people without the need to have a reciprocal relationship.

Before others can subscribe to your public status updates you first need to enable this on your account. You can do this by visiting

facebook.com/about/subscriptions just hit the big green button and you can now select a few settings to manage who can comment on your public updates, and if you want to receive notifications about comments from randoms.

iPhone 5 Coming In October Say Leaked BestBuy Documents

Report: Leaked Best Buy Docs Show iPhone Could Arrive in October

The fine people over at Boy Genius Report have stumbled upon documents by American electronics retailer, BestBuy. The documents suggest the iPhone 5 will be released in early October, suggesting that the current iOS5 beta is drawing to a close.

We all expected it, but this puts it into the horses mouth that we’ll be seeing Apple’s next iteration very soon.

Watch this space for upcoming info as we try to get a response from BestBuy.

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Tom’s Weekly Rant: How The iPod and iTunes Changed The World

Apple-logoApple are without doubt one of the most ingenious companies ever to grace the Earth. The iPod, launched back in 2001 is a tribute to this, and the ever changing technological environment. 10 years later, Apple sit atop of the tree of evolution, and are only seemingly getting higher.

Founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs and others, Apple Inc has climbed to the top of not just the technology tree, but also the profit tree; being the most profitable company in the world.

Whilst others would argue that they gathered a mass audience from the Apple 1 onwards, I’d disagree. It is without doubt that the iPod is the single most influential factor in the corporations path to success. As of 2010, over 297,000,000 iPods have been sold and to put that into perspective, that would mean the everyone in the United Kingdom would own 4 each!

But the question has to be asked; why is it so successful? The iPod came about in a period of time where CD’s were still popular and HDDs weren’t cheap for the sizes they came in. Apple however saw the future of storage, and realised it just wasn’t sustainable to only use CD’s as a form of mobile storage for music, thus giving rise to the tiny little white oblong with headphones. The iPod was the only device on the market that gave users the ability to store far more songs than a conventional disc, and it was portable.

Now you might be thinking, why hasn’t he mentioned iTunes? I’m about to. It’s all good and well to have hardware that looks nice, and revolutionises the way we do something, but without a GUI, it’s hard to get anywhere (Ever tried using a Zune on a Mac?). iTunes was launched in 2003, as a way for users to download music legally from a only music store. Which when you think about it, is fantastic. You have the option to download music legally, straight onto your hardware, and be listening to the song in under 5 minutes. It’s always a common belief that Apple are always 10 years or so ahead of everyone in the grand scheme of things. The introduction of the iTunes store was the first step in the move to not only online shopping, but also Cloud Computing. Jump back to 2011, and you will soon be able to stream directly from the iCloud to any iDevice, an idea first kick-started through the notion of downloading.

But what are the repercussions on the physical market? In 1991, the US had over 9,500 independent record outlets, yet by 2006, a mere 2,000 remained. Clearly not just a coincidence. However, whilst this may seem a staggering statistic, it was inevitable. Why spend quadruple (if not more) on a CD, when you only want one song? This was where iTunes saw a gap in the market, and milked it until the cows came home.

Okay, so we have a cheaper option to get music, but why not make it free? The introduction of downloading music online of course gave chase to downloading it illegally. Why spend $1 on a song, when you can download it for free, some would say. As of November 2009, the average American teenager had over 800 illegally downloaded songs on their iDevice, a massive +56% jump from 2004. The likes of Napster originally launched before iTunes became evidently more popular, being superseded by Pirate Bay and Limewire, with the ability to share MP3 files, quickly, easily and with massive breach of copyright.

Clearly, the introduction of iTunes and the iPod have had seemingly dire effects on the physical market, on the violation of copyright, and on the overall world in which we live in. But let’s not steer to far away from the benefits and the successes that the small oblong and program have brought into our lives. Without it, you’d still be going down to HMV to buy CD’s. You would be carrying around a CD player. And you most certainly wouldn’t be looking as cool as Apple would like you to.

Check out this to see what I mean: iPod 1st Generation Commerical

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What Happens When Two Chat-Bots Talk?

Anyone seen Rise of the Planet of the Apes? Same thing.

Researchers at Cornell University have rigged together two chat-bots in a bid to see how one would respond to the other, with interesting outcomes.
In essence, a chat-bot is a computer program which is designed to simulate intelligent conversation with it’s user. The general aim to mimic that of human communication, to an extent where the user can’t tell the difference. Terminator anyone?

The outcome of two talking together is incredibly interesting and makes you realise how close we are to artificial communication, and almost intelligence. In fact, when you contact the likes of Lloyds TSB or The Royal Bank of Scotland, you’ll be put through to a chatbot to identify your query.

Have a look.

The Rise of Skynet