Literal Videos Removed


It seems that most of the Literal Videos have been removed from Youtube due to Copyright claims, which is a real shame. It seems that only Tears for Fears are cool enough to leave theirs up…

I don’t really see what the issue is as the videos are affectionate and playful and I think they’ve caused an increase in people listening to those songs and bands as a whole…I know I’ve been rocking out to them a lot more than before.

Hopefully they’ll come back…

ViaPost-A New Way to Mail


ViaPost allows you to send physical post via your PC, saving money and carbon emissions.

It’s as easy as installing a driveron your Windows machine and printing it using the “Send to ViaPost” option. They’ll print it nearer it’s final location and then stamp it for the final past of it’s journey, apparently reducing overall emissions by 80%…and for a starting price of 27p!

If you can’t install the driver, you can use the ViaPost WebPortal to manually upload documents and mailing lists and there’s also an API for you developers out there 🙂 

This sounds like quite an ingenious idea and I’ll be interested to see how it catches on as it is effectively another type of outsourcing for businesses. This service can save business the time and cost of folding, stuffing and mailing their own invoices, direct mailers etc (something Viapost estimate to cost 50p per letter); however I think a lot of people will be wary of sending anything personal/financial through this channel due to worries around data security-at least initially. The FAQ states:

Security information:
“As soon as you press “Send it ViaPost™” within the ViaPost print driver your letter will be securely encrypted by the software. This means that your letter cannot be read by others whilst in transit and will be printed automatically and securely at the ViaPost print facility closest to the destination address. If you have any questions please email security@viapost.com.”

Perhaps the biggest downside at the minute is that it takes 3 days for a letter to be delivered-which in many cases could be too long. Again from the FAQs:

Why does it take three days?
At the moment, we operate to the following print cycle: Day 0: You send your letter. Day 1: We print your letter. Day 2: We deliver to Royal Mail local office. Day 3: Royal Mail deliver to the door. Our aim will be to print your letter and deliver it to Royal Mail the same day you send it, so it will be delivered by the postman the next day. We hope to soon offer this service for addresses in London, later rolling out to the rest of the country.

Once they can get the letters received, printed and with Royal Mail within a day-that will make it an even more viable alternative to how we do things now.

I saw this over on Steve Clayton’s blog and would like to say I wish his friends all the best in this venture as it could make a real difference!

It’s all based on .NET and is another great example of how Microsoft software can help make new, fresh ideas a reality so Go change the World ViaPost 🙂

No reasonable person should trust Apple’s marketing


I’m a Microsoft fan and don’t have much, if any, love for (M)Apple-but now it seems neither do Apple.

In a 9 page response to a customers complaint re: the “twice as fast for half the price” claim, Apple state, and I quote (the bold is mine):

“Plaintiff’s claims, and those of the purported class, are barred by the fact that the alleged deceptive statements were such that no reasonable person in Plaintiff’s position could have reasonably relied on or misunderstood Apple’s statements as claims of fact.”

So either we’re all reasonable people and all know that Apple’s marketing is a tissue of lies, deceipt and $8 pee covered phones or we believe that they don’t outright lie and are therefore “unreasonable” 🙂

Gizmodo have got the hook up on this here

Windows Mobile 6.1 HTC Diamond


Windows Mobile 6.1 and the HTC Diamond is a great combination. This post has a dual purpose, to discuss WinMo 6.1 and also the HTC Diamond..my favourite ever phone and I really believe it’s the best phone available (even including the iPhone!!!).

I went to the WPC (Worldwide Partner Conference) 2008 in Houston with an HTC WinMo 5 PPC (Pocket PC) that I was pretty happy with. I was thinking about an upgrade (but just because I wanted a new gadget..not for any specific usability reasons) and so decided there was no real point.

Then I went to one of the Breakout sessions hosted by Andy Lees, Senior Vice President of Mobile Communications Business at Microsoft, saw his demo of WinMo 6.1 and was blown away! The new home screen is much cooler/slicker and certain things I’d been wishing for (such as the ability to select multiple messages then mass move/delete) had been implemented…(maybe Bill can hear the thoughts of Gold Partners?!)

I did pop into the T-Mobile shop in Houston to see what WinMo 6.1 phones they had..that’s how excited I was 🙂

Some of the other features from a personal view that I like are the threaded SMS (so they’re like emails-makes things so much easier!) and IE full page zooming. From a corporate view, the big addition was “Domain Enroll” which allows WinMo devices to be managed via System Center Mobile Device Manager (MSM) 2008.

*Update* It’s been confirmed by Steve Ballmer (after a leak from Motorola) that we’re going to see Windows Mobile 6.5 first..as to which features will be in that and which will be saved for WinMo 7, I’ve not seen anything yet…

Windows Mobile 7-is expected in the 2nd half of 2009 and should feature a new, revamped UI, multi-touch and motion sensing features. There should also be a new version of IE, a new version of Office Mobile and a new version of Media Player-this could well be the Zune software (see here).

The HTC Diamond is awesome…and I mean that in it’s original sense, in that it did fill me with awe! That might seem a bit overboard but the Touch-Flo 3D UI makes using the phone a joy. The menu layout is easy to navigate, it’s quick and easy to get to the majority of things you need whether they’re apps, settings, downloads etc and the UI is very responsive. Another element I love which pits it against the iPhone, is the fact that you don’t really need to use the stylus. I can navigate menus, turn features on/off and even compose emails and text messages, all without the stylus 🙂

The HTC music player is full of features and easy to use…a good quick alternative to Media Player (although Media Player is far superior for connecting to Bluetooth Headphone devices) if you just need audio. The camera is 3 Mega Pixels so quite mid-range spec but the quality of picture is much higher than you’d expect…we’ve got a number of pictures framed on the wall that came from my Diamond…often replacing pictures taken with a “proper” digital camera.

Another feature of the Diamond that I’ve seen via a video over at Engadget is that the HTC Diamond has Multi Touch capabilities! The video only shows it bwing used for a de-bugging app but it could be the start of something prettty awesome..maybe some homebrew coders can get something great going there?! Even if nothing comes of it at the moment it certainly looks positive for when Windows Mobile 7 arrives!

If you’v got any questions about WinMo and/or the HTC Diamond, drop a comment and let me know!

Cheers

Rich

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