Archive for May, 2011

New scientist’s seven disruptive technologies

May 18, 2011

The magazine New Scientist has combined the idea of disruptive technologies with futurology with predictions of some of the innovations that may be important in the next decade.  You need to register to read the full articles but should be able to do so for nothing

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Surfing surreptitiously

May 17, 2011

Last summer, on holiday with my family and without a laptop, I took advantage of two open-access PCs left in the public areas of the hotel to maintain contact with the Internet

Nothing that I was doing was particularly secretive, and there’s very little that I’d have objected to a casual passer-by watching so long as they didn’t try to shoulder-surf a password.  But I did want to ensure that the browser didn’t store my personal details, and I didn’t particularly want

Ovi and out

May 17, 2011

It’s ironic that Nokia chose to announce the end of its Ovi brand in a blog post with a Facebook sidebar reminding readers that 310,594 users ‘like’ Ovi by Nokia (that’s as of 11am BST today).  Since Ovi is a much less prominent brand than Nokia – irrespective of whether it’s a good tactical or strategic move to ditch it – maybe this suggests how little significance there is to a large number of likes.

My reading is that Nokia sees concentrating on its core brand as a complement to concentrating on ‘traditional’ mobile phone products and it will be interesting to see how this works out.

Incidentally it’s amusing to see one commenter suggesting that ‘Ovi’ sounds too egg-like for a mobile telecoms business, despite the name Ovum having been used by a very well-respected IT and telecoms consultancy for around 25 years.

Why 403?

May 17, 2011

WordPress provides blog owners, such as myself, with a neat ‘dashboard’ that includes a convenient bar chart showing how many views I’ve had over the last few days (partial screen dump to the right).  Just recently, I’ve found that if I try to view the dashboard from most places except my desk at work, the bar chart doesn’t appear, and instead I get a simple ‘403’ message implying that I’m not allowed to view the chart.

So far I haven’t been able to find much on the Internet about what could cause this, except that the dashboard might possibly object to the IP address that my computer is connected to.  But I get this with my laptop whether I’m at home, or at the university where I work, or in the British Library, and the computer will be assigned a different IP address in each of these cases – which is a bit of a mystery

Augmenting reality

May 3, 2011

Augmented reality is a term that’s frequently used when talking about possible IT applications for the future, so it’s interesting to see the BBC telling us about the use of augmented reality in advertising.

Of course this example raises some questions: how can the advertising agency be certain that the augmented reality stunt made a significant contribution to the success of the deodorant that they were promoting?  Come to that, why should an angel conveniently choose to fall to earth in a busy commuter spot during the peak hour?

Still, it’s nice to see an indication of what the technology can actually do