August, 2010

  • Steve Clayton

    Microsoft sticker fest



    It’s been a good few weeks for my sticker collecting habit here on MS Campus, Redmond. This afternoon’s project? Land myself a FUSE Labs t-shirt.

  • Steve Clayton

    Visualising the Apple App Store



    The amount of data we are subjected to every day is phenomenal. I’ve blogged about it before but have spent more time thinking about it following a recent conversation with Gary Flake. He pointed out to me the now fairly obvious fact that every time we do something, anything on the web or with technology it creates more data. You surf websites looking for data – that creates data, your virtual footfall. You send email, that creates data (who you sent it to, when, how many people etc). You post a tweet – that creates data such as where you posted it from, to whom, at what time and with what sentiment.

    Sites like have done a beautiful job of showing what you can do with data in aggregate and there is so much more potential when you think about the amount of data around us. The canonical example for me is GPS in cars. Why can’t that data about your speed, your routes etc be used to build better navigation systems that are time based and take in to account real-time input from other vehicles on the road?

    What the hell does this all have to do with navigating the App Store? Visualisation is the link….with so much data to handle we’re going to need far richer tools to navigate. Zoom Appy is a great example of this – you can navigate through the Apple App Store using a lot of different criteria such as price, connectivity type, what features of the phone the app takes advantage of etc etc. Your result are delivered back in a stunning visual layout which you can then further sort.

    This is another one of those show vs. tell moment where it’s much easier for you to play with it to get the idea.

    Oh and I’m pleased to see a version for Windows Marketplace is in the works too Smile Nice work by who are part of the Microsoft BizSpark program.

  • Steve Clayton

    A shocking presentation on social media


    A shockingly good presentation that is…

  • Steve Clayton

    Mini speaker



    As gadgets go, this is about one of the best I have – a present from a good friend of mine who knows I like music and that I travel a fair bit. Whilst plenty of hotel rooms have iPod docks in them these days, not all do and my weapon of music choice is a Zune for reasons I’ll go in to in another post (I do own a few iPod’s but Zune is my travel companion).

    I own the X-mini II which is truly does deliver what the manufactures claim – sound beyond size. You twist the unit open, plug the mini jack in to your device of choice and crank up the volume. The 40mm driver delivers impressive bass for something around the size of a golf ball. Charging is via a mini USB cable which I tend to have with me for phones I use. A new feature on this model is the ability to daisy chain a bunch of X-Mini’s together but that’s just a little too geek for me. Playback time is about 11 hours which is more than enough for my needs.

    For under $30, you can’t go wrong. (well you can, just don’t buy the red or white one!)

  • Steve Clayton

    The only computer speakers you’ll ever need



    To call these things computer speakers is really rather underselling them – work’s or art may be more appropriate. Of course for $500 or £400 you’d expect a little bit more. What you get with the Bowers and Wilkins MM-1’s is hifi quality speakers hooked up to your PC.

    When mine arrived, I whipped them out of the packaging in a flash and hooked them up to my PC – they sounded terrific. Then I spoke with a chap at B&W and he reminded me to set them up as a soundcard rather than just PC speakers. Wow…boom! These things really kicked in to life and offered a wonderfully rich sound with impressive bass given the lack of subwoofer. As you’d expect from B&W, they look stunning, are beautifully engineered, even down to the pebble sized remote which can control Windows Media Player or iTunes remotely.

    If What HiFi gives them 5 stars you know you’re on to a winner. Their verdict


    • For
      Fantastic sound for a PC speaker system; impressive bass for a subwoofer-less design; classy build; easy to install
    • Against
      If price isn’t an issue, nothing

    That pretty much sums it up. They cost the price of a decent laptop/netbook but if you can, you must. My JBL’s are now looking for a new owner…

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