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* Posts by Peter Johnston 1

25 posts • joined 2 Sep 2009

Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE

Peter Johnston 1

Alexander Graham Bell was Scottish. American's love to take credit for all inventions, and will change people's nationalities to fit. But don't be taken in.

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This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup

Peter Johnston 1

Good for you, Damon. If you live in (or can get to) the Thames Valley I'd love you to come and tell us the story at Thames Valley Startups in Reading. Our Internet of Things Group would be interested too.

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Has Google gone too far? Indie labels say it's crunch time for The New Economy

Peter Johnston 1

Someone is being ironic here.

Malcolm Gladwell says "Amazon is being the Goliath here".

When he has just published a book which explains that Goliath was actually the underdog against David, who had agility and superior weapons on his side.

What is he really saying?

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Brain surgery? Would sir care for a CHOC-ICE with that?

Peter Johnston 1

When IT was new it was hard. People didn't understand it.

That led to lots of so-called experts. To training companies. Consultants. All of whom knew less than they pretended to. And to software vendors who wrapped it all in smoke, mirrors and complexity. It made them look good and justified the ridiculous prices.

Now IT is easy. Like filling in a form. Connecting data sources is as easy as linking in an IP address. You can go outside your company to create end to end networks. Replace sales with ecommerce. Access from anywhere, even see your company's performance on your fridge.

BigIT is dead, rapidly displaced by a matrix of interconnected apps. Flexible, agile and inexpensive.

But nobody told the IT bods. They are still trying to build empires. Hence the moans.

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How Britain could have invented the iPhone: And how the Quangocracy cocked it up

Peter Johnston 1

Unfortunately the Technology Strategy Board makes NESTA look efficient and organised. Appallingly bureaucratic, inconsistent and disorganised.

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Assange flick The Fifth Estate branded 'WORST FILM OF THE YEAR'

Peter Johnston 1

The figures given don't seem to include the amount the NSA or some other arm of the government spent to get this made. Shome mistake, surely?

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Microsoft haters: You gotta lop off a lot of legs to slay Ballmer's monster

Peter Johnston 1

Community Engagement will never happen while Ballmer's in Charge

I remember the OS wars with Apple. Apple updated the OS every year or so and charged for the update, dressing it up as a major move forward. Microsoft gave it away for free and took the flak for "another bleeding bug fix". Game to Apple - and a healthy revenue boost too.

The problem at Microsoft is in the negative customer connection.

They've never addressed the "We hate Microsoft". Or counteracted the "Think Different" image of boring.

People don't show off their Microsoft product to their friends. People have no good feelings towards Microsoft. If something goes wrong they assume it is Microsoft's fault. And that they won't help fix it.

This is reinforced by Ballmer's mindset. He is old fashioned Command and Control personified.

Microsoft tells us what to do and we don't like that.

This is important. It turns successes into failures.

This is the fatal wound. It is bleeding Microsoft to death in the B2C space and increasingly in B2B too.

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Google menaces Apple's 3-year-old toddler with its cheap stream tech

Peter Johnston 1

We are hard wired to think of a new TV product as a set-top box, complete with yet another remote.

But Google has distilled it down to what we really need - just a connection.

I see this as a Trojan Horse.

Companies will set up their TV service to work with this device.

The next generation of TV will have it built in.

Google will launch an app which allows you to use your tablet or phone as the remote.

Soon no-one will watch traditional TV - it will all go through their Chromecast and stream from the net.

Roll on the day.

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Google Chromecast: Here's why it's the most important smart TV tech ever

Peter Johnston 1

My Smart TV is severely hampered by one thing - the laborious need to scroll to a letter, then click, scroll to another then click to achieve search on iPlayer, YouTube or pretty much anything else.

While TVs have got better, remotes have just added buttons - they need the same cut-through the crap vision that Apple achieved with the iPhone.

This seems to achieve that. It could turn a small tablet or a big phone into the TV remote. And along the way, it makes stuff which goes through Chromecast the default - why bother with stuff where life is hard when you can set up your whole evening on your Nexus TV app and simply hit play.

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Congrats architects, PR bods, toolmakers - you're the new digital tycoons!

Peter Johnston 1

Basically the only non-digital organisation left is Government.

Last as usual.

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Are driverless cars the death knell of the motor biz?

Peter Johnston 1

There is another factor.

People have an emotional attachment to their car - it is a status symbol, an extension to their personality, a proof of their ability.

Sitting in the back won't have nearly the same emotional attachment. Cars will become like white goods - just a functional "thing".

Car manufacturers rely on that emotional attachment to trade you up, to keep your loyalty and to sell you options. This will end all of those and commoditise the car industry - leading to closure of probably half the plants and 2/3 of the companies.

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Galaxy S4 way faster than iPhone 5: Which?

Peter Johnston 1
FAIL

You got that wrong.

The Nexus 4 is much cheaper - not dearer - than the Sony - £239 for the 8Gb and £279 for the 16Gb.

Makes me wonder about the rest of the article.

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MacBook Air now uses PCIe flash... but who'd Apple buy it from?

Peter Johnston 1
Thumb Down

It reminds me of something else

The deskinned picture reminds me of those public loos where the door opens half way through.

Perhaps where they had the idea.

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Tech giants' offshore cash-stashing is only ever a delaying tactic

Peter Johnston 1
Mushroom

Two ways to benefit shareholders

Shareholders have two ways to benefit from their investment in a company.

Dividends is the lesser of the two.

The other is from the rise in value of those shares.

This makes them worth more when it comes to sell.

So you can keep all your profits offshore for as long as you like - shareholders will still be happy as long as the stock goes up.

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Elon Musk pledges transcontinental car juicers by end of year

Peter Johnston 1
FAIL

Fossil fuel isn't taxed?????

Fossil fuels aren't punitively taxed, says Elon Musk.

In the UK we pay 58p/litre in fuel tax every time we fill up and 22p VAT on top of that - over half the total cost of the fuel. But we don't travel significantly less than Americans, even though we have a smaller country.

He also sets up a false construct - electricity v fossil fuels.

Electricity is made from fossil fuels - oil or coal fired power stations.

And because of inefficiencies in the grid and production, only 1/4 of the power produced reaches the socket.

Thus electric cars use almost four times the fossil fuel which petrol or diesel ones do.

That's not even counting the fact that electric cars last, on average, half as long as petrol/diesel ones as the batteries die and aren't economic to replace after 8-10 years. Since 80% of the environmental damage a car does is in making it, not using it, that's another big hit for the environment.

Yet Americans seem to believe all his stuff. Frightening.

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Apple: ebook price fixing? Nooo, nothing to do with us, no siree

Peter Johnston 1
WTF?

Just what is "Cost" for an e-book?

The cost of a printed book includes paper, printing etc. For an e-book - nothing.

Only the one-off costs of the author, illustrator and picture rights.

For a per-item basis, it depends on how many are sold.

How could Amazon sell below cost?

Surely by pricing it lower, they sold more and thus amortised the fixed costs even quicker?

Reducing the cost for everyone else.

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Android is a mess and needs sprucing up, admits chief

Peter Johnston 1
Go

Android 4 works - it is bad overlays which cause the problem

I have a Nexus 4 and switched from iPhone.

The Nexus 4 is Miles better - much more intuitive, faster, easier to find stuff and easier to customise.

Now is awesome too.

I did have a short experience with a Droid Razr on 3.2, however, and that was awful.

Android took a massive step with the 4 upgrade.

Once the old ones work their way through the system (Motorola was terribly slow with updates) Android will provide the best user interface.

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Adobe price hike: Your money or your files, frappuccino sippers

Peter Johnston 1
Go

What about the benefits

I've been on Creative Cloud for almost a year.

But I never see one of the greatest benefits discussed.

I used to buy InDesign, Dreamweaver and Photoshop.

But now I have access to Illustrator, Premiere Pro, Muse, Edge Animate, After Effects etc. - programmes I'd wanted to own but couldn't justify the cost for occasional use.

That makes it well worthwhile for me.

But I will say Adobe has a lot to learn about Cloud products. Their Installer/updater has got to be one of the worst products ever. The initial download takes days. Upgrades aren't automatic, often crash the computer and cause things like the icons to disappear.

Also the licensing is for a desktop and a laptop, but you can't find out which machines are registered or change it in any sort of managed way. You just open it and suddenly find - "this programme is registered on more than two computers" and have to work out what's going on. You can't run Muse on your Tablet and Photoshop on your desktop, either.

Great idea - poor execution so far. Adobe.

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INSATIABLE black hole in Milky Way's heart crams hot gas into cavity

Peter Johnston 1
Facepalm

Time for an end to verbal skeumorphism

Perhaps it is because looking at data all day is so boring, or that geeks watch too much sci-fi, but "devouring"?!!

If there is a pressure drop, things move to fill the vacuum. That is physics, not rampaging and ravenous behaviour by a sentient being.

Perhaps it is time for a move away from verbal skeuomorphism.

(A skeuomorph is a physical ornament or design on an object made to resemble another material or technique - e.g. Apple virtual buttons made to look like domed, chrome edged physical buttons).

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'This lawsuit is not about patents or money, it's about values'

Peter Johnston 1
Thumb Down

News

Mind-numbingly inept behaviour by O2 is not news - its normal!

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Apple: I love to hate, and hate to love thee

Peter Johnston 1
Alert

Re: For years I've put up with crap service

The head of sales at Currys/PC World has now moved to head up Apple's Retail Division. Shows their commitment to customer service.

One reason I moved away from Apple was that intuitive things didn't work. I lost count of the number of times I just wanted to move a file but the box was greyed out. No help, no way round.

The idea that Apples are easier to use is just Apple hype.

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Peter Johnston 1
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Re: Apple service for Android

Only an idiot pays for dedicated phone insurance - it is covered by most home insurance policies and by travel insurance.

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Peter Johnston 1
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Re: An opposing viewpoint!

You mean Apple charges you for something you should het anyway and you see this as good service.

If a phone is on a two year contract it should last two years.

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Peter Johnston 1
FAIL

Good customer service - Hah!

I had three Apple products - a laptop, a desktop and an iPhone.

The laptop broke down at 13 months. Hard drive. Couldn't buy the part - had to be fixed by an Apple Service Centre. Service Centre told me I could pay £95 to jump the queue otherwise it would take 3 weeks.

The desktop broke down at 13 months. Very simple repair - power supply - a part I could have been down to Maplin and had fixed in an hour for £13. They wanted over £100 to repair.

During that time I also spent over a hundred on "upgrading" the operating system - basically bug fixes which elsewhere would be free but were packaged by Apple into a must have release for $99.

The iPhone 3 was lovely when new. Then they launched the G and "upgraded" the software - no choice whether to have it. Suddenly things which worked fine became so slow as to be unusable. It got worse with each new product released.

I also found that, although I deliberately bought it from a store where it was not locked to a particular carrier, Apple allowed that carrier to lock it to them as part of one of these upgrades.

I moved back to PC and on to Android. The Sting in the tale - Adobe insisted I pay all over again for their software - over £1000 - because I changed platform.

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Arms biz: Your taxes mainly go on our fat salaries! Ha ha!

Peter Johnston 1
Grenade

Soldier's Pay

Yet again the old lie that soldiers' pay is ridiculously low is trotted out. Two things make this utter rubbish.

1. This is the base rate. Only soldiers on initial training receive this rate. Beyond that there are a host of operational payments (6 flights home a year, living in a danger area etc.) which take the average pay up to around 50% more.

2. Comparing this with a person who has to pay for their accommodation and food is not a true comparison. £14k is a lot of money if you have no rent to pay, no utility bills, no food costs.

Stop this underpaid rubbish. It devalues the rest of your publication.

Peter

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