Opinion: Genuine Apple fan seeks exciting Apple Keynote

I was hoping to write a glowing report of Steve Jobs’ Macworld 2008 keynote presentation yesterday, but (even as an ardent Apple fan) I have found myself disappointed.

Granted, it was always going to be difficult for Apple to eclipse last year’s iPhone announcement, but I felt myself wanting more.

Maybe I’m getting too old, but I find myself desiring function much more than form. Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that the product announcement I was most impressed with was the Time Capsule. That’s pretty sad in itself, because it amounts to not much more than an upgraded Airport Extreme with a large hard drive in it, and existing software built in to OS X Leopard.

Opinion: 2007: The year your data went AWOL

gareth_keenan_office.jpgWe’ve been talking about data security, phishing, and online scams for years, but it feels like 2007 was the year that everything went completely pear-shaped.

With visions of Nicky Campbell rummaging through the litter bins of major high street banks fresh in the mind, it seems that every Government agency, and even a few private companies, have had a go at losing our personal data this year.

The Inland Revenue (sorry, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs), the Driver and Vehicle Agency, Fasthosts, the Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Service, Leeds Building Society, the Citizens Advice Bureau… I could go on, but it’s too depressing.

Yes, despite all the warnings about how vigilant we, the innocent members of the public, should be — shredding bank statements, having decent security on our PCs, securing our home wireless networks, and so on — it seems the “big boys” still aren’t getting it right.

Rubbish user generated content is killing the internet – and the rest of the media world

gary%20and%20sonic%20200.JPGI’m bored of simpletons videoing their mates on mobile phones, uploading it somewhere, and expecting me to somehow be impressed by this.

It’s just rubbish. The whole web – and print and TV and every other kind of media – is falling over itself to involve the audience and get them submitting stuff to pad out their sites, publications and shows for free…

Opinion: Elton, how much digital music will you sell before you try to "shut down the whole Internet"?

andy-merrett.jpgAndy Merrett writes…

Despite his rants and raves, I’ve got a fair amount of time for Elton John, but his latest idea is just plain crazy.

According to an interview in The Sun, he’d “shut down the entire Internet for five years” in order to “see what sort of art is produced over that span”. He’s concerned that too many people are sitting at home using the Internet to blog rather than getting stuck in to good old-fashioned face-to-face communication.

That, apparently, has led to the death of long-term artistic vision.

Yours, perhaps, Elton, but c’mon – are you serious?

Opinion: I Facebook therefore I am… but when did it get so complicated?

andy-merrett.jpgAndy Merrett writes…

Oh no, not another opinion piece about Facebook?

Yes, Facebook is now almost as ubiquitously talked about in non-geek circles as the iPhone or the iPod, or Potter’s latest escapades.

Irritating isn’t it?

Oh sure, Facebook is now the fastest growing social network for over-25s in the UK (much to the disgust of their kids, I imagine), but when did it start getting complicated?

No, the system’s not technically difficult to use – that’s the whole point and is why you shouldn’t really be taken aback when your gran adds you as a friend, however wrong that might feel socially.

What’s more complicated is managing all these pesky applications.

Opinion: Should Apple extend their new family with touchscreen, Intel-based, OS X laden iPods?

andy-merrett.jpgAndy Merrett writes…

With all the furore surrounding the iPhone, rumours about the next (sixth) generation of iPod have been a little quiet.

Now that the iPhone is safely launched, in the US at least, we can once again discuss what Apple might do to keep on top of the portable music player market.

ipod_touchscreen.jpgPMPToday is just one site circulating the rumour of a touchscreen iPod – coming as early as August.

DigiTimes says that the next-generation 6G iPod video will feature touch-screen panels similar to the iPhone. The reported supplier of the capacitive touch-screen panels is Taiwan-based manufacturer WinTek. WinTek has yet to make an official statement due to customer confidentiality, but sources from upstairs have confirmed the news. The estimated shipping date of the panels is late 2007.

Yes, it seems that the touchscreen device is the new, erm, non-touchscreen device. Now that Apple have pushed large touchscreens into the public gaze with their shiny iPhone, it’s not surprising that some think they should roll that out to future iPods, too.

The hardware is just one aspect of Apple’s future success. It’s rumoured that future iPods could run OS X, which might also imply they’d use Intel chips.

As far as I’m concerned, Apple’s “killer app” is becoming even clearer.

How likely is a Monday announcement of a European iPhone 3G?

andy-merrett.jpgAndy Merrett writes…

Now that the deal with the first US version of the iPhone is virtually tied up, the rumourmongers have turned their attentions squarely to Europe.

Yes, I’ll come out straight away and call it a rumour, because I’m not convinced that Monday will see an announcement from Apple about the European iPhone.

If I’m proved wrong next week, so be it.

Guy Kewney at Newswireless.net has published a story claiming that Apple has struck a rather complicated deal between Vodafone, T-Mobile, and the Carphone Warehouse.