26 June 2008

iPhone Europe: O2 accidentally shows its Pay/Go Hand

Well, the cat would seem to be out of the bag. Multiple sites are reporting that O2 posted handset prices, rates and offer details for the iPhone 3G on the Pay/Go tariff to their site, apparently late last night.

The details have since been withdrawn from the site, but are still available to us through various rumour sites and blogs which caught them.

So, how much is the handset gonna set us back? 8GB will be priced at £299.99 and 16GB at £359.99 (MacWorld UK erroneously states £400,
however even their cited source disagrees). These represent modest £30.99 price hikes on the elder models.

However, O2 has seen fit to sweeten the deal. Primarily through those "top up £X each month and receive" offers, but more importantly by bundling 6 months of unlimited (3G) data. Naturally, a fair use policy is in place and the offer only applies to phones activated before...December 31st. Some time away at least.

After the bundled data period is over, unlimited data can be added for £10 a month, a neatly non-committed solution, much better than the £30 tariff.

Incidentally, the 6 Months of data is therefore worth £60. I would have been buying it each month anyway, so I like to think of it as a £300 phone (16GB model) with unlimited data at £10 a month, £60 of which is paid upfront.

At these prices, with these deals, I'm definitely going to go ahead and get a 16GB iPhone 3G with a white back. I pretty much have to now. My touch is nearing the limits because I've bought three movies, and I plan to buy at least 2, maybe 3 more.

So, all in all, I'm pretty happy.

Jens Out

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Jens

I got some great news about 10 hours ago. Giant Bomb is opening up signups for the Beta version of the site. All we have to do is send an e-mail to beta (at) giantbomb (dot) com with Sign Me Up in the subjet line.

They'll be sending us registration info, including the link to access the beta, within a couple of weeks. That means I'll probably be getting my first play with the site before my Prom.

All very exciting, cos Giant Bomb has already become my favourite games site even though it's just a blog at the moment. Imagine how much I'll like it once full functionality is enabled. Win, much?

So, what else have I got to tell you? Well, we've got Metal Gear Solid 4 and we're part-way through Act 2. I have to say, given all this hype about a warzone, I was apprehensive. I love Metal Gear and I was definitely interested in seeing the story conclude, but I was one person who adored the existing gameplay. Particularly in its MGS3 guise.

Luckily, there's plenty of good old-fashioned Metal Gear gameplay in there. Some of it's wrapped in new clothing, but it's there. That being said, some of the controls are distinctly weird to me as a Metal Gear vet. I know they're more like other action games, but that's sort of the problem. Metal Gear is very different from most action games.

Damn how I wish I could play Metal Gear Solid 3...It's a long story (Which I've told before) but I really can't play it as it stands. Sucks, cos it's one of my favourite ever games. I would love for them to re-release it on Wii, or make a Raiden game on Wii using its engine.

Yeah, I like Raiden. In fact, I liked Raiden all along, way before it was cool to (Dude's a fucking Cyborg Ninja now so everyone freaking loves him all of a sudden). In his MGS4 guise, he's now my wallpaper.

Oh, before we move on...Sunny, Olga's daughter...She's adorable! That is like the sweetest kid ever.

I've bought 3 movies from iTunes. I find it to be a painless and very efficient process. I got Zoolander (Love that film), Dodgeball (That one too, in fact it's a contender for best film ever) and I Am Legend (Which I ahd't seen before. It's fucking great).

Right now, I'm killing time. My brother's friends are here and he's hanging out with them in the living room. Where the PS3 is. So not only am I unable to watch him continue the story, I can't myself play any MGS4 for myself.

Oh well, Demi Lovato's on the radio, so that's cool.

Jens Out

25 June 2008

Latter Day Lies and Other Cults

As you may know, I am not religious. For me, something has to be demostrable and also feasible for me to believe it absolute fact. Religion is conjecture and assumption as far as I'm concerned, but for the most part it doesn't bother me. People can belive what they want to believe as long as they don't force it down my or anyone else's throat.

That said, I am damning towards those who try and treat religious concepts as sciences, not just because they are not, but also because it's offensive to anyone with a religion for which that concept is not true.

In theory, religion is fine. However, my disapproval of it is massive. One reason for this is the creation of intolerance. As if people don't find enough reasons to hate and murder eachother. Religion creates another despite members of many religions claiming to be against hatred and violence.

But mainly, it's as simple as religion being an expression of a very dangerous to operate your life and mind. Absolute, unquestioning faith. Absolute, unquestioning faith can and will put you in danger, it can and will put others in danger and frankly humans are better than it. We are capable of incredibly complex thought. Religion convinces us we are a lesser version of something else whilst simultaneously making us so by inhibiting our natural inquisition.

But for the most part, those who follow religion have found a balance. Many freely accept the flaws in their religions and even seek to replace the parts which are bad. These people are to be commended.

Problems really start with people who are followers through and through. This is never less true than with cults. Which leads me to my point.

Let this post stand as absolute declaration of the following:

I am at war with any and all religious cults. You are a cancer on society and I will not stand for it.

Of particular note are the two cults which I have the most against. First up, "The Church of" Scientology. I don't think I have to tell you how utterly - and insanely - dangerous this organisation is.

We know this because the scum who run it see fit to defend themselves against the slightest criticism with legal action. No religion should be doing that. Religion should stand on its own feet, total bullshit naturally fails and so it should be.

But it's worse than that. This is an organisation claiming to be a spiritual lead for people to follow. And yet, it requires its members to pay for its various texts and the insane practices it encourages them to partake in.

How many religions do you know of which restrict access to their texts? What kind of religion tells you you're not allowed to find out what it's about until you pay them? No kind. Cults do that.

It's another reason we know they're liars. What are they afraid of if it's not the revealtion of the absolute and utter bullshit they push on people?

Well, here is that bullshit:

And with that out of the way, we shall move onto my second major target, Mormons.

Yes, the Church of Latter Day Saints, or Latter Day Lies as I usually prefer to call it, is also a pile of complete and utter bullshit, Like Scientology, its presence on this earth is an abomination and it must be stopped. Fortunately, for somewhat different reasons.

My problem with The Church of Latter Day Saints stems from its inception. The story rings false in every possible way. Some guy just happens to discover texts of huge significance near his home which he never allows anyone else to see. When someone tries to force proof of the existence of the texts, he provides a flimsy excuse and gets away with it.

Blind faith. Dangerous.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the actual Latter Day Lies are completely insane. The third coming of Jesus...To America? What for? The native Americans were "cursed" to have red skin? What manner of sorcery is this? Native Americans share anscestry with the people of Asia and the Arctic. That is why they're not white like the people of Europe.

This all probably seems slightly random and out of place, but it really bothers me. These cults cause real harm to people and all the while they spread lies and encourage blind faith. I know I keep repeating it, but I can't emphasise it enough:

Blind faith is a danger to the individual, people the individual loves and who love them and anyone who ever has to rely on that individual.

Cults must be stopped.

Jens Out.

20 June 2008

Guitar Hero: World Tour

This time, I can't not get Guitar Hero. The fourth home console installment follows Rock Band into the whole band emulation category, alongside other newcomers Ultimate Band (From Disney Interactive, a potential buy for me) and a Konami game which souns so bad I've forgotten the name.

But World Tour sets itself apart with an awesome drum set featuring cymbals and some other neat as you like innovations. The guitar too has new and cool features like a touch sensitive strip for those unique riffs.

Vocals have been added too, but since there's not much room for innovation there, the scope of awesomeness is limited to it being there. I fully intend to make use of it though.

Also being added is music creation and this is way awesome. Now a band simulation game can actually let you make music. This is bigger than you may give i credit for. Whilst in this initial version I imagine even in-depth creation will be limited compared to making music the old-fashioned way, it opens the door to a future where making rock music is much simpler.

I'm all for that, I love disruptive media. I mean, heck, I'm harnessing the disruptive media that is the internet to create a crowd-sourced magazine.

I telly what, I can see someone, maybe even me, playing guitar and singing at the same time. Even drumming and singing. This is possible in the current Rock Band, but I don't see it happening much. All you need is a mic stand.

I can't wait to form a band with friends, but I also see some solo fun, both singing and playing both distinct instruments (Guitar and drums. There are bass an rhythm variants of the guitar, but they work largely the same) to be had.

All that remains for me to do is choose a platform, Wii or Xbox 360. I'm inclined to say likely the latter, but I'll base my decision on what my friends decide - gotta make sure we can play together online.

Jens Out

19 June 2008

Record Breaking

Before we get to the main stuff, I have to regretfully cancel the Mac mini video unboxing.

Unfortunately, my camera recorded the video in a weird format which I'm having trouble locating support for. Because the video is so short (And I've listened to the audio, fairly quiet because of the sub-par mic on the camera I think), I've been forced to conclude it's not worth hunting the entire internet to find support.

On the upside, I'm refining my vision for a web show and my research has led me to a couple of pieces of software which I believe will be very handy.

On a related note, I'm getting close to deciding on a camcorder to replace my DV one (Which will be installed as a webcam/permanent video camera for The 1K Studio (The tongue in cheek name for my bedroom which will be the studio for the web show). I'll use it primarily to record the web show.

Speaking of which, I need to buy a DV to FireWire 400 cable.

As to the records, I've broken my own this month. June 2008 is already, by some margin, the biggest month in All Your Time posting ever, buoyed by the lack of school and relatively high numbers of things to talk about. I'm very pleased.

Another record I contributed to was the Firefox 3 Download Day record. Yes, Mozilla's kickass browser did beat the previous record for downloads in 24 hours. And I helped by downloading it twice, once for Windows and once for OS X.

I'm getting ever closer to not needing the PC. I may have mentioned this before, but Maplin are selling a 750GB (Triple the PC's capacity) for £90 and since moving my iTunes library to the Mac, I haven't turned the PC on. I likely won't do so again until Sunday to record the F1 race.

I've already decided that with that HDD, I'll probably move my TV recording to the Mac mini using Elgato eyeTV Diversity (For Record and Watch, Record Two and Picture in Picture). After that, my PC's only purpose will be watching Blu-Rays, and I can do that on the PS3 if need be.

I'll have to talk to the parents. Might be that they take it off me straight or reimburse me for the upgrades I've given it (If they intend to use them)...The latter would afford me greater scope in my coming purchases.

I'm going to buy an iTunes Movie, maybe two, on Saturday. There are four I want, but two are still at New Release prices and I'll probably wait. Also this weekend, probably Sunday though, I'll be nabbing the URL and hosting for Multiplayer.

Hmm...I should probably write myself a shopping list for the next couple of months so I know what kind of funds I'll need...

Jens Out

Oh now that is cool

I mentioned that I loved how I could use the Apple Remote to put the Mac mini to sleep. Well, I just woke it up with it too. It's great, the last remote I used with a computer could turn off, but not on.

And it's simple too, I just point it at the mini and press Play. Not even hold it, just press it. You hold it to put it to sleep, because obviously you want more of a safeguard from accidental presses for that.

And so I pressed play and within seconds, there's my desktop. Fastest time from pressing an activation button to seeing the desktop I've ever experienced.

This computer, this OS, this remote...All wicked awesome.

Jens Out

Edit: And another thing, I'll tell you why Spaces is awesome. Spaces means iTunes, Firefox, Pages and Adium can all be running, sitting in their own 1680 by 1050 work areas, making as much use of that space as needed and I can hop between them by location, a click of an icon in the dock shoots me off to that app's space.

To some extent it's kind of similar to minimising and restoring applications. But it's better, the apps are still there and still as you left them. You can hop between them seamlessly and/or focus entirely on one when you need to.

Leopard is the best OS I have ver used. And I've used a damn lot.

Multiplayer Status Report 1

Well folks, this is the first in a series of Blog posts leading up to the launch of Multiplayer. The idea is to keep you up to date on how work is progressing, what's getting done, things I'm thinking about and so on.

Over the past half hour, I mocked up the Beta 0.1 cover of Multiplayer Magazine (Issue 1) in Pages '08. Worked like a charm I might add. Overall, I'm very pleased with how it looks, especially given how quickly I threw it together.

As part of this, I spent some time deliberating the Multiplayer fonts. GizzedUp used Arial, Verdana and variants thereof. I myself became infatuated with Bitstream Vera Sans at some point. But none of these wound up being used except Verdana - and that is for a tiny piece of text which isn't meant to be the same as the Multiplayer stuff.

As it stands, I've picked out a modern and fairly rare font for the majority of text (Including the word "Magazine"). As for the all-important "Multiplayer" part of the name, I settled on a placeholder font which looks very unique. And as it stands, I'm wondering if it should just be the final one as well, it looks great - especially contrasted with the "Magazine" font.

You know, Multiplayer Magazine Alpha 0.01 (Code Name: Let's Play) featured Halo on the cover, promising a (Fabricated) story about the future of the series. What adorns the cover of this updated effort?

Gears of War 2

18 June 2008

Mac mini and Converse Pictures

Here's the pictures, as promised.

Conquer Time and Spaces

Awww yeah...

Aw. Yeah.

Here I am. On my Mac mini. The only sounds other than the ambient is the GiantBombCast...The mini itself, virtually silent. You know, it's very cute. Sweet little thing, happily glowing it's teeny light to indicate that it's on.

So, Leopard. I have to say, this OS is fantastic. Everything's so seamless, so slick. Spaces for instance is a great way to manage tasks. I have iTunes is alone in Space 1, utilising as much screen space as possible. After all, whenever I'm interacting with it, I'm focused entirely on it. Adium & Mail (I'll be putting Address Book and iCal there too) are in Space 2, since they're all fairly related. Space 3 is my browsing space, Safari and FF3 are there. Space 4 has the Finder and System Preferences at the moment, I'll be adding any games and apps related to getting things done.

Dashboard is cool, I can call it up and dismiss it from F4 and I have Web Clips set up for the latest PvP and Penny Arcades. I'll probably add Dilbert at some point.

Adium is a great IM client. Very minimalist, very pretty.

My iDisk is monted, my .Mac Mail all set up. It was so easy. It's just awesome. I love this OS to bits. Incidentally, a lot of people don't enable Magnification on the Dock...First thing I did. I love me some eye candy.

Front Row is also awesome with my dinky little Apple Remote. It's a great way to access video from across the room, very pretty. Plus, I was able to stream the trailer for The Dark Knight right in it (Looks cool by the way).

I'll be back with the photos later. The video will probably be tomorrow. It's not very long, I just wnat to edit it to perfection in iMovie before I upload it for your viewing pleasure.

Right, I'm off to download the iWork Trial.

Jens Out

17 June 2008

Well, that's over

Awesome. My last exam is over and done. Freedom folks. Seriously, I can't describe how liberating it is to have all that over and done with. I've now got a couple of months largely focused on chilling. I still have work, but apart from Saturday's I pick and choose when to do that and besides which it pays for my stuffs.

On that note, I'm getting a raise from the 29th and possibly a 10% discount. Admittedly, I'll probably only see benefit for like a month, but I intend to make full use of them.

Of course, not all my leisure time will be dedicated to that task which, many of you are aware, I attach huge importance to (Namely, doing nothing). Nope, I'll also be kicking Multiplayer into 1st gear. Starting tomorrow with the Mac.

Oh gods how I'm excited about my gosh darn Mac mini. Seriously, I've marked out its home with my (Now) signature green felt tip. I'm not sure how that became my signature non-extended prose pen...I took ownership of it to sign people's shirts on the "last day" and ever since then I've used it for, for example, writing labels, marking positions (As mentioned) and circling things.

But I digress. The DVI cable, the keyboard extension cord and the iPod Shuffle dock are all in position for easy plugging in. I believe I've mentioned but I'll repeat the keyboard extension cord is hanging down with the bundle of wires heading onto the bookcase so all I have to do to hook it up is unplug the keyboard cable from the USB hub and plug it into that. The mouse is plugged into the keyboard as well, so that lowers the ammount of cables going in.

I'm still debating with myself about plugging the Mac mini into the monitor's audio...Okay, decision time...Yes. I will. The PC can be a headphones thing from now on. The mini will be my media box anyway (Front Row FTW).

Speaking of Front Row, I'm totally excited about the Apple Remote. For some reason, the prospect of putting the little mini to sleep from across the room by holding the play button appeals.

I'll be taking pics of the mini in it's home and the monitor showing off the Leopard goodness as well as recording the promised unboxing video. Unlike most of these unboxings, mine will be done with fore-knowledge and preparation. I'll unbox it and plug it right into it's new home. The very model of efficiency.

Anyway, in other news, I've got soem new Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Hi-Tops. These new ones are a gorgeous navy blue. They also came with a nifty "POW" tote bag. No, not John McCain, a giant explosion...Hey, Giant Bomb! Damn I love that site. Sounds like it's blowing up July 7th or 8th.

I might show you these schmexy new shoes tomorrow with the pics of the mini.

Jens Out

For now.

13 June 2008

Erm...Well, it's 16:10 at least

Slight snag...I suspect because of the switcher. Anyway, my PC is now running at 1440 by 900. It's enough to show 720p video fullscreen, but everything's huge...And of course because it's analogue VGA it hardly looks pristine under the best of circumstances.

I really want to force it up to 1680 by 1050. I really can't see why the Switcher wouldn't be able to feed it, so I'm forced to conclude it's the computer being silly because it can't see the monitor directly.

If anyone has any ideas how to do hat, let me know. It's an ATi Card so yes, it is infected with Catalyst Control Centre...I did tell it that the monitor's native resolution (1680 by 1050) was it's maximum, but it seemed not to help. The option's still not there.

Maybe if I tell it the maximum is bigger than that...Nope, still doesn't give 1680 by 1050, though it did give one higher than that, 1600 by 1200.

Seriously...If you can help please do.

Jens Out.

Edit: On the bright side, Chicken Little is now playing the trailers and hot damn, the playback of the Blu-Ray at least looks gorgeous. And once I get my mini, that's all that will matter anyway.

HDCP is teh suck

Jeez. All I want is to watch Chicken Little on Blu-Ray. I have all the necessary hardware and software, so it should be simple, shouldn't it? Well it's not, they all refuse to play nice with eachother and the HDCP keeps failing to initialise.

And so, the PC is having it's DVI privileges revoked. With any luck, moving it to VGA will finally allow me to watch. It should, because that's what the helper suggests, but since my graphics card only has DVI, I'll have to use an adapter, so who knows.

What this means in regards to my setup is that the shortest VGA cable is now running the shortest gap, the longest by far is running the longest gap and the beautifully long DVI cable is running from the monitor to where the mini will sit.

So the Mac mini gets the best hookup. Only fair I guess, it is going to be my primary system.

Jens Out

12 June 2008

The new Setup in Pictures

What's under the white on the screen? It's a secret.

09 June 2008

WWDC: iPhones, MobileMe and a Big Cat in a Cold Country

Wow, that OS X iPhone SDK stuff sure was one helluva Dog and Pony show. Nothing much new there except those cool little notifications apps can send you. That sounds cool my friends. Very cool.

Oh, and I want the AP app. It's free and will enable me to do skunk works reporting, which you can no doubt guess I would love to do.

From that, you have no doubt inferred I intend on using a device running Apple's OS X iPhone 2.0. And you'd be correct. Which neatly leads us to the big news from Steve's Keynote yesterday: iPhone 3G.

Well, it's damned pretty. The new plastic back looks nothing like those ugly mockups, it's a thing of beauty.

It's got 3G (As implied) for high-speed data access over-the-air, GPS for precise positional data, allowing breakthrough location-based apps like Loopt to give us a truly awesome experience. The battery offers 10 (Up from 8) hours of 2G talk and 5 hours of 3G talk, beating competing 3G devices by some 1.5-2 hours.

Aside from that, it's the same great phone it's always been. Same gorgeous front with the awesome 3.5" Multi-Touch display,
same Home button and (upgraded) iPhone OS software.

And O2 have made my (And WizzKid's) day. The iPhone 3G will be available Pay/Go here in the UK. This means there is no reason I can't get one. As such, assuming O2 are nice and allow the Pay/Go-ers to buy on launch day (Oh yeah, July 11) along with the contract signers and the price for the 16GB is less than or equal to £329, I will be at my local Carphone Warehouse store (Just 10 minutes away) on launch day to pick mine up.

As for contract signers, O2 has dramatically improved the deal for you:

Very good deals there, I think you'll agree. The £30 tariff is weird. Yes, it's good the monthly cost now has a new bottom end, but the difference between the £30 and the £35 is so great the extra £5 is more than justified. Still, good if you're on a budget and mostly just want data.

Now, onto the next big thing from Steve's talk. MobileMe. Yes, the rumours were true. And MobileMe does indeed look like a huge improvement, Exchange for the rest of us. With MobileMe, I'll be able to keep my desktop (The Mac mini I mean. I can of course do it on a PC too, but I'm transitioning to an Apple oriented environment) and my phone (iPhone 3G 16GB in Special White Version) in constant sync, all over the air.

That's e-mail, contacts, calendar, photos, bookmarks, the whole deal. Nice.

Furthermore, it will enable me to share my photos from iPhoto and to some extent my videos from iMovie. And all of this...With my jensonb(at)mac(dot)com e-mail address.

I knew it was a good idea to get in on that early. Best part is, my .Mac trial will be automagically upgraded to a MobileMe trial in early July, so I'll run out the trial period in MobileMe. Then, I'll be buying the 1 year 20GB (Yes, they doubled the storage) for the new prie of £59 - down £10. Awesome.

And you know. It was kind of important I move to an all-new e-mail account anyway. My Hotmail was set up for me some time ago. Probably over a decade and I've used it ever since. And I've never used folders. It's a mess. Windows Live Mail (The desktop app) allows me to easily search all the e-mails, but seriously...Change was needed.

So now I'm in my ultra-tidy new @mac.com e-mail account and I love it. Much better UI as well.

I recommend all my friends reading this now begin to use my @mac.com address for all personal communication with me.

And finally, Steve has revealed there is indeed a 10.6 being previewed, it's called Snow Leopard. I for one like that name, it's befitting of this release which is said to focus on giving OS X a smaller footprint and optimisig it, for example making it work better with multiple cores.

All very exciting stuff.

Jens Out

06 June 2008

Fast times at Moscone Centre Junior High

I've extensively updated my WWDC '08 Speculation post. You can review all my predictions for the keynote, the event and the period around it by visiting the link, or review the newest information below:

Rumoured pricing (UK) has the iPhone selling subsidised on contracts from as little as free, up through £100. Macworld UK is suggesting the phone will sell unsubsidised on a Pay/Go tariff at the current £269/£329 price points (16GB/32GB or 8GB/16GB)."

"the 3G iPhone will match the existing model in general design and material choice, though it's size may have marginally decreased."

"From there, Steve will move on to the software powering iPhone 2nd Gen and iPhone black/white - as well as existing iPhones and iPod touches. That OS is now called OS X iPhone. Expect this section to give details on the AppStore as well as new software features. Highly unlikely Steve will go back over the SDK itself, more on that will follow in the sessions.

Expect Steve to announce launch apps including some of those we've already seen."

Expect revamp of look and feel - the web interface I mean - in line with the recent .Mac Mail revamp, expect some more cross-platform uses, possibly a free version, possible capacity bumps and finally, expect integration with OS X iPhone. What form this final integration will take is debatable, likely it is syncing of and access to data - I'm sure you can imagine what forms this will take.

Unclear placement on this next stuff, but from what we see, it is worth mentioning. Mac OS X Leopard has been rechristened OS X Leopard, in line with the new name for iPhone OS, OS X iPhone. This probably means Apple will outline the differences and similarities going forward.

Rumours have suggested Apple may seed an OS X Snow Leopard (Technically, 10.6 under these rumours though I speculate even under that theory, Apple is dropping the 10.x.x numbering scheme in favour of OS X Name Version x.x, or even OS X Leopard Version x.x), an update in the same vein as OS X 10.1 back in the day - focusing on security, stability, general fixes and so on. Additionally, the release is said to drop PPC support and remove or de-emphasise Carbon.

I speculate these rumours are either correct and OS X Snow Leopard is the codename for the first update to OS X Leopard under a new naming
system and release schedule/system or they are referring to a third OS X.

OS X touch would be a hybrid of OS X Leopard and OS X iPhone, combining the mobile platform's touch control roots with more of the raw power of the flagship OS for what I am calling iNewton, but you might call Mac touch. Yes, the Mac Tablet. I speculate Apple will reveal the iNewton and its OS X touch OS here, preparing developers for it by talking about it in sessions & the keynote and also seeding a developers' preview ready for a full unveiling and release details/release this comign January. This version would remove Carbon entirely as speculated.

That said, if Snow Leopard is, as others believe, an OS X Mac (As I am now calling the flagship OS as a line in light of the new naming scheme for the OS X iPhone line - to that end Apple would be advised to give individual OS X iPhone releases small mammal names) release, named OS X Snow Leopard, Is till believe it will include pervasive Multi-Touch based on the OS X iPhone line and be destined to power an iNewton because of this. This version would include the Carbon tools, but Apple's own apps would all move to Cocoa/Cocoa touch."

As for the Mac mini's belated updated, the predictions I initially posted with regards to the update itself remain unchanged, but I now speculate it may occur at WWDC after all. Rumours suggest Apple wished to unveil new MacBooks at WWDC but has been forced to delay by Intel. I speculate Apple will move the MacBook updates to last year's consumer desktop update timeframe (August) in a straight swap with this year's due desktop updates (Mac mini and Mac Pro)

To put it simply, I think Apple was planning to update the MacBooks here and the Macs Pro and mini in August and may now be doing them the other way around.

It remains possible both lines will go without updates."

05 June 2008

Yes, it's that time again

Got some specific updates for you with regards to the 3G iPhone in the UK. First up, 9 to 5 Mac (The darling of the Apple Rumours Community) is reporting that Macworld UK believes new iPhone buyers, signing an 18 month contract, will pay as little as £100 for the handset. Even that those on that crazy top-tier tariff will get the phone for free.

Existing iPhone owners will be encouraged to update, signing extensions to their contracts (18 or 24 Months) in exchange for a free upgrade to the 3G model. Needless to say, all the UK iPhone users I've seen commenting are chuffed to bits.

More excitingly (For me at the very least), O2 is apparently preparing to sell the iPhone to Pay as You Go customers - like me. The price? Starting at £269. If that's a 16GB 3G iPhone, I'm buying one, no question.

If it's an 8GB 3G iPhone...Well, I dunno...I certainly will buy a 3G iPhone if I can get it on Pay/Go or unlocked, but if that's 8GB, I may or may not pay the extra for the 16GB. For one thing, I need it to be a better upgrade to the iPod touch. For another, I want some room for iTunes movies. Zoolander must be on that thing.

For those paying attention to my fledgling "Studio in a Bedroom for less than £1000" project, I've decided that rather than hunting out a high quality USB or FireWire (The latter preferred, I initially wanted iSight even though it's been discontinued but it proved hard to source at a reasonable price), I'm going to hook my miniDV camcorder up via FireWire and use that. It will probably work out better anyway, with advanced features like zoom and a screen I can use to monitor what it's looking at - I'll be doing the filming away from the desk.

I've even decided where I'll put it and where I'll position myself for filming. On that subject, if anyone's interested in creating a 30 Second looping abstract background, let me know.

The english exam today was a breeze by the way. And it gave me a chance to spend 45 minutes raving about Obama.

Finally, I'm announcing that Multiplayer Magazine's host has been chosen.

Jens Out

04 June 2008

It's done

Well folks, I've got it.

You can now reach me at jensonb (at) mac (dot) com.

I'm migrating my online identity over to the new address in the coming months. As of now, all my main memberships have moved to this address.

I'll be propagating it to friends and family next.

Jens Out

Now the Dust is Settling

First up, it's over. Barack Obama has clinched the Democratic Nomination for President of the United States. I'm elated. Obama has been my man throughout this election and in fact I think that right now, he's my favourite ever politician. Surpassing even Lincoln and JFK.

He stands for hope, for change. He's the most inspirational leader I've ever seen. When he talks, I can't help but feel reverence and, yes, hope. Now we just need Hillary in the Veep spot, John Edwards* for AG and we can go win this thing.

I've been listening to some of the rubbish McCain has been spouting lately...It amazes me how much I loathe that guy. From what I'd been told, he was a Republican like Arnold Schwarzenegger is a Republican. But every time McCain opens his mouth, all I hear is hate.

A man who wants to continue the Conflict in Iraq despite the fact that it's a self-creating conflict. The insurgents are pissed because we're still there McCain. If we leave, they'll be less of a problem, even stop. That's not going to happen with us there.

Which calls to mind another thing I hate about American media and Republicans. It seems they think that Supporting the Troops is the same as Agreeing with the War. It's not. It's like how they think supporting the President is the same as Patriotism. In fact, supporting the President when he's doing a bad job is the opposite. The US Constitution encourages us to do something about a failing President.

On a related note, it offends me when ex-army politicians criticise those who did not serve. Not everyone can or should join the Armed Forces, that doesn't mean they're not qualified to comment, or even command.

Anyway, now that's out of the way, it's Giant Bomb time. Exciting news from the last Bombcast, Brad Shoemaker and Vinny Caravella are now members of the Giant Bomb Editorial staff. Caravella gives the site an acomplished AV professional for producing video content. Shoemaker represents a valuable addition to the writing staff with lots of experience, talent and many fans.

Including me, Brad rocks. Vinny too.

I can't tell you how much I love Giant Bomb. Way awesome.

Apple has added movies to iTunes UK. Aww yeah. I can get my Enchanted and Zoolander on, yo. Only thing is, I now kind of want an AppleTV again, for to get in on the HD rentals. I might be able to seel my dad on putting one in the living room for that purpose.

Speaking of Apple, rumours abound that Apple is set to seed OS X 10.6 at WWDC, ready for a January (MacWorld) launch. This version is said to be Intel-only and I expect it to incorporate Multi-Touch (More than the trackpad stuff we have, I'm talking pervasive) in preparation for a Multi-Touch tablet launching at the same time.

Beating Microsoft to market by easily a year, probaly 2, with a Multi-Touch "Desktop" OS release.

Meanwhile, an August event is rumoured to be in the works by Apple. Most of those parroting the rumour suggest it will intro the aforementioned Tablet and update the MacBooks (I can't imagine they mean the Pros as well, that would be one crowded event...I guess they expect that on Monday?). I stand by my prediction of a Tablet in January alongside OS X 10.6.

Thing is, that event would be the timeframe for the Mac mini update. But with the MacBooks being the subject of the event, would Apple bump the mini at the same time as they did last year alongside the iMac or, as some have speculated, intro a MacBook mini?

If Apple is going to give August over to portables this year, it's possible they've swapped the portables with the desktops thanks to the Intel delay on Montevina. You know when the portables were expected to get their day in the sun?


Prediction: Mac Pro and Mac mini updates may come week of WWDC. Possible no Keynote mention. Reason: Lack of other available periods any time soon.

I hope so. I really want them updated before I buy.

But wait there's more. And you thought I was done.

All this coverage of .Mac becoming MobileMe has gotten me to take a look at the service. I have to say, much of it looks pretty cool. And since it will already have been updated when I get my mini, I intend to trial and maybe even buy the service if I like it.

Only thing that bugs me is I'll probably get the lame @me.com e-mail address, rather than the vanity @mac.com I really want.

Mind you...I could combat that by starting the trial early, surely? It is 60 days, so I have time.

I might have to think about that actually.

I tell you what appeals most to me: mounting the iDisk. I've been looking for net-based storage for some time and for me, capacity is secondary. I want it to work like an HDD. And with my Mac mini and MobileMe, it will be integrated right into the Finder.

I call win. I keep saying I call things, it's cos I'm following the election...And playing Sudoku on Brain Training where I "call" a square for a number once I think it can only be that number. On a similar note, I've taken to holding a biro, pointiing with it and tapping a lot. I picked that up from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

I don't even use biros. I write with a Parker fountain pen.

Lastamly, I promise, here's one from the my plans files. I'm currently looking into the prospects of launching a video show using a virtual backdrop. This would be powered by the Mac and may or may not be a part of Multiplayer. if not, it would integrate with this blog (Or my personal site, should I ever launch one).

For that reason, I'm looking into high-quality webcams (Must be Mac compatible) and comign up with some rough ideas about the virtual set. Currently, I'm tnking abstract and animated as opposed to anything photographic or stupid like that.

In an oddly organic throwback...It seems Giant Bomb are doing something similar with their video stuff. though way more advanced. All green screen and shizz. They're reason: space. A green screen set uses way less space. My reason is similar in that I don't even have an pffce, just my room.

Jens (Finally - Ed) Out

*My second favourite living politician BTW and fourth of all time

Calling It

Okay, I'm prepared to call the Mac mini 2008 Update for August. Prediction: new CPUs, new motherboards, new graphics (Newer GMA), larger hard drives possible new design. May be modular.

Next, we're calling Barack Obama the Democratic Nominee for President of the United States, sitting as he does just 10 Delegates shy with 30 Pledged Delegates up for grabs total tonight in two Primaries he is believed to have bought and paid for.

With that out of the way, we can move on to the forthcoming Giant Bombcast in which Jeff Gerstmann and Ryan Davis are expected to reveal something major about Giant Bomb (dot) com I have a suspicion about what it is.

First, I'm half hoping, half expecting, the duo to announce registration and potentially the forums for the site are open, or opening this week. This would be great, the Giant Bomb fans are hugely devoted but currently the main communication medium for us in comments.

Forums would allow the community to blossom. And for once, I would be around at the incepton of a multiformat games website's forums meaning I wouldn't get lost amidst the kind of crap at GameSpot and IGN (I could never be bothered digging through that rubbish only to have the snobs snub me).

Secondly, with a probability of 65% or better, I expect the pair to announce a launch date for the Giant Bomb site - the day they're "blowing up".

Furthermore, I'd say this date will be at most 14 days ahead of E3 - which starts July 15. That is, I epect it to be launched no later than the start of July. I'm hoping for late June, but I'm realistic.

On an unrelated side note, Demi Lovato kicks ass.

Now then, I have an update on Multiplayer Magazine. My partner in crime WizzKid and I have made a decision about what will power the site and I have made a choice about hosting.

As time marches on, we'll be discussing it more and more. One of our current to dos is having our graphics team design a logo and setting a colour scheme for the site. Meanwhile, I'm going to be using some of my upcoming free time to begin getting the Multiplayer Content Specifications written up. I've written content philosophies before, but this one is entirely new - the previous one was based primarily on the first, itself fairly standard though with some unique twists.

The MCS will be pretty comprehensive, since it will be necessary to provide guidelines for all content types.

Anyway, I'm pretty tired. Night.

Jens Out

02 June 2008

Apple Rumour Sites say the darndest things

Mac Rumors are reporting that Kevin Rose has posted a video blog about a rumour he's heard. First, he mentions the 3G iPhone will likely cost the same as the current iPhone does now (We'll come back to that), then he goes on to a new rumour. Namely, he speculates there will be a $200 (I imagine listed as $199) low-end iPhone announced alongside it.

That would be my iPhone black/white rumour. Rose's price seems awfully damned low though. Like...Wow. That's half-freaking-price.

As to his specific comments about the 3G iPhone's price, I'm inclined to agree. Apple's not stupid, they know they need to bring in the new phone at the current price or risk putting people off. On some updated products, they drop the price (2nd Generation MacBook for example). I doubt that will happen here, but we can assume current prices.

I find it funny that Kevin Rose, the Digg guy, has apparently got more sources for leaked Apple news than a site called Mac Rumors. I mean, what the hell?

Meanwhile, what sources Mac Rumors do have are speculating that the 16GB 3G iPhone will be the base model...But it'll stay at its current price. That's $499! That means there will be no $399 iPhone any more - contradicting Rose's insinuations for one thing and also just seeming like bad damned idea.

Aple tried that iPhone starting at $499 thing before, you 'member? Didn't go well.

Meanwhile, they suggest a 32GB iPhone will be intro'd. At - wait for it - $699. No, that's not a typo. Six-hundred-and-ninety-nine dollars. As in, $100 more than they've ever charged. As in, $300 more than the current bse iPhone, $200 more than the top end.

And further, they're continuing to push this idea that it'll be in the leaked plastic shells I say are destined for the budget iPhone.
Am I the only one here who thinks the present iPhone design is brilliant? Why is everyone in such a hurry to believe Apple are changing it for such a clearly inferior one in the form of these plastic shells which are so obviously more suited to a cheaper device?

All of this seems totally ludicrous and it is for that reason we can only pray they're just being stupid, or their sources are anyway. None of this sounds good at all.

Jens Out