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A letter from the Cuprohastes-in-Chief

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9:33AM

Conversations with my 8 year old self

2012: Hey! Hey! Over here!

1984: WHO ARE YOU

2012: I’m you from the year 2012!

1984: WOW

2012: … OK, Take the caps lock off. Look, I haven’t got long but I thought I’d tell you, you get this far at least.

1984 how is future. do yuo hav an lasir

2012: Well it’s pretty good. I mean there’s a recession but there’s plenty food and stuff. Yes, we have LASERs.

1984: wow i want a lasir wen i grow up an ill bbe all like pew pew die alein

2012: Yeah… no. We use them to annoy cats.

1984: i dont unnerstannd are you an famuos astrount in the futre

2012: No… sorry, turns out that it was cheaper to send a robot. We ditched the space program, junked all the space shuttles and went back to annoying cats with Lasers.

1984: oh i ht the futer it sucks

2012: On the upside there’s so much porn.

1984: i dont understaned

2012: Give it four years. OK, time’s up, I’m going to eat icecream.

1984: astranot icecream

2012: No.

3:03AM

Markdown

Markdown is a formatting system that removes the need to dick around with HTML or text editors that have rich text functions. Therefore you can quickly and simply type your stuff up and be done.

Needless to say it has problems – You need a Markdown interpreter to translate it to HTML, and the format is not bloody good for tablet users who then need to tap through two screens of virtual keyboard to find the correct symbols...

So you need an app with special keyboard or character inserting code, in which case you might as well just use rich text or HTML...

1:05AM

Is piracy that bad?

Hollywood claims it'll destroy an entire multi-billion dollar industry - But Hollywood got started in California because they were hiding out from Edison because they were pirating his camera technology. And Edison was making money selling pirate copies of 'The first men in the moon'.

America, a young country, was also infamous for never paying royalties on the inventions that they stole from older countries!

And now the USA is arguably the largest media producer in the world - If not quite the economic powerhouse they were ten years ago.

China is doing what the US did 150 years ago, and selling us cheap goods, bootstrapping their economy into the 21st century.

Authors and musicians who's efforts are regularly pirated paradoxically see increases in sales - Which the RIAA laments, even as they take 99% of the profits generated.

The Music industry has balked at every innovation in music - From music halls, to sheet music, to records and radio, through to tapes, CD burners and the internet, promising that at every step, this would definitively destroy not only the industry but actual music itself. And they have never failed to make a profit every time.

Adobe Photoshop is massively pirated - But the result is that now almost everyone who does graphics has experience in Photoshop and so it's the de-facto leader for image creation and manipulation, to the point where it's an officially recognised verb. Adobe has not declared bankruptcy.

And when all's said and done and the actual numbers are examined, the losses through piracy per year add up, in total, to roughly the profit of the Alvin & The Chipmunks movie - Less than $460,000,000.

Or to put it another way, approximately 1/800th of the advertising budget for the USA alone, which is roughly four hundred billion dollars. Roll that around your palate for a moment. Four hundred billion dollars. That’s a round trip to Mars with enough money left over to give every person in the US $330 to play with. And they’re worried because for every thousand dollars they spend on an advert, they lose one dollar of profit to piracy.

What's shocking is not that the figure is so low, but that the Chipmunks movie made so much!

6:57AM

iOS

Apple decided to have a verification server OK every install os iOS 5, but under estimated demand, dropping users with error 3200 'unknown error' which is a code not listed on Apples knowledge base. Actually, of you know where to look its one of the poorly documented 'cannot contact server, codes.

This does not bode well for iCloud.

Beyond that, it's the usual iOS update story – A set of great features which would have been basic included features on any other system but have been withheld for half a decade by Apple, and a set of features that have been removed from some devices purely to make the newer models seem more attractive. In other words, the Apple 'you are being rewarded with less beatings' business model.

3:28AM

Apple hates iPad

Considering the iPad is slightly over a quarter of all of Apple’s Profits, Apple likes to really punish iPad users for not having bought an iPhone.

 

The new OS update is out and while the iPad 2 and the iPhone have similar specifications (Though the iPad 2 is slightly faster), Siri, the voice activated personal assistant is not on iPad 2.

Apple claims it’s because only the iPhone 4s has the power to run it smoothly – though as pointed out, it’s slower and less powerful than the iPad 2.

When the iPad came out, it didn’t have a Stocks app – neither did it have a calculator, voice memo recorder or weather app – Even the iPod touch 1st generation model which didn’t have a microphone had a voice recorder.

This is a point because Apple, upon demonstrating iOS 5 made much of the way they’d copied Android’s notifications bar, and added stock and weather widgets to it But they’re only available on small devices like the iPod Touch and iPhone – Again, despite being a showcase feature they’re not part of the iPad experience…

… and if you have a first generation iPad, neither are the app switching multi-touch gestures, which bizarrely are enabled on iPad 2.

This makes no sense as anyone who’s hacked their iPad to enable them will tell you – They work fine and they’re very very useful.  By not enabling them, Apple is basically indicating that by not upgrading their 18 month old iPads to the new, 6 moth old model, users have branded themselves unworthy of receiving the full experience.

It’s the same with iPhone apps that would be virtually full screen if Retina resolution graphics were enabled, but again, the iPad’s been locked down to force iPhone apps to run effectively at half the size they can run, purely so they provide an inferior experience.

The old-style voice control – Good enough for the iPhone 4 -  is missing from iPad, text to speech, while built into the iPad, is not enabled in any useful way – For the first time you can have it read some selected text on some apps, but there’s no way to e.g. turn it on and have an e-book read to you, or have it read text or e-mail messages.

The list of half-hearted changes goes on – But the summary is:

Apple hates the fact you didn’t buy an iPhone and is going to punish you for it.