* Posts by towerhil

3 posts • joined 12 Oct 2010

Phone 7: Another Vista or another XP?


Well, we all seem to agree.

@Matthew Barker- brilliant analogy! Are Microsoft the only people who don't realise Microsoft is dissembling, dissolving and imploding? I think it's fascinating that we've been around to watch the rise and fall of this company. I mean, this is the beginning of end isn't it. It's surely the end of their customers tether. I feel like the mother of a 30 yr old heroin addict who's promising me yet again that he'll quit.

Microsoft actually want me to spend my data package downloading random facebook pictures and disregard the minor matter that I can't read my email? And they want me to plug my phone into the computer rather than use a memory card? I'd love to, but for reasons best known to itself, my Vista PC disconnects its wifi card if you plug a windows phone into it, and only sometimes updates the phone via activesync.

And what frickin use is a smooth-flowing touchscreen if it's not taking me to the programmes I want to run? I would have to be out of my mind to buy this phone. And so would you!

Maybe the only people who buy this will be people who've not had a windows phone before and get talked into it by a man called Lee at the Carphone Warehouse one Saturday afternoon. How could they show it off to their mates though? "Yeah, it's got all the latest restrictions" or "Man you gotta hear my new song. Do you have Zune? OK, you'll need download Zune." "The clever thing about the camera feature is its constantly taking pictures of the inside of my trouser pocket".


Climate change apocalypse NOW

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Basic grasp of marketing needed

I work in PR and I can tell you that several agencies are actively employed in trying to debunk climate change using the same techniques we used with the tobacco industry to debunk the cancer risk. This is largely to blame for the backlash against the human component of climate change, which is significant. It's made possible by things like commentard columnists' willingness to repeat untruths verbatim without verifying their context or accuracy, the reluctance of human beings to be scared of anything that isn't a tiger or a Darth Vader and a general tendency to abdicate responsibility for personal culpability.

Although the arguments about sustainability also include economic sustainability (decentalised, green energy is going to have to happen for economic reasons too) humans need simpler messages before they take action. What they don't do is 1. Research possible problems themselves 2. Bother to understand complex or qualified arguments that are outside their current scope of interests 3. Change their behaviour unless the evidence in unequivocal. Carbon's a handy hook to hang the issue on, just like the decline of the otter 30 years ago (now reversed, by taking action) actually indicated the breakdown of a longer food chain in which they occupied the top spot.

The sustainable level of carbon emissions is about 5 tonnes per person. The average schmo in the UK produces about 10 tonnes and could become sustainable if they made different choices, like what they buy, if/how they holiday. Sailors used to shoot dolphins that came up to their boats for sport and Bernard Manning had a television career, so look at an issue only on the basis of whether it's fun or currently legal to do rather misses that class of important distinction. A carbon scare is no bad thing if it refocuses our choices so they include responsibility for their consequences and can lead us to sensible energy policy. The flat-earthers who dismiss man's impact on climate won't be the first people to blame the crop failures on an angry sun-god and they won't be the first to be wrong either, but it'll be an expensive dogma once fossil fuels prices start hitting a painfully crunchy price bracket.


Hands on with Windows Phone 7


Not impressed

This is leaving me cold- I look at my current home setup of a Vista machine that disconnects from the internet if you plug an external hard drive in (including a windows phone), an activesync that successfully synchs roughly half the time, a wrongheaded MS "my phone" account which claims to back up your contacts, photos, docs etc but is limited to 200mb (how big's my memory card?!) which wants me to manually delete 60 pages of photographs if I wish to use it, several years of lazy failure to innovate, an entirely useless customer service/help function in which I do not believe I have ever found a solution to my computing problem, a loss of the auto-type function on the handwriting recognition in 6.1, an XP machine that I moved out then back into a room and now can't see my router, a new HP printer that Vista can't see but XP can, pretending Windows 7 was more than just an SP that MS owed to their customers, limited ability to customise Winphone 7 and I have to conclude that I simply don't believe they're capable of delivering a working, integrated system.

After seven years of buying a new PDA every year, I'm off to Android which, to judge by my girlfriend's phone, is stable,innovative and you can write your own apps with a sort of WYSIWYG application. I don't irrationally hate MS and quietly fix my computing problems, but can't pretend I trust them to deliver.

Perhaps after all that it's things like the fact they've placed Twitter and Facebook at the heart of the phone that fills me with trepidation. Bearing in mind how quickly they caught on it just shows that MS have learnt nothing about adapting for the future, so much as being late to the party when it comes to embracing (or badly aping) the innovations of others.