September 2006

Google Mars

by Andy Polaine on September 26, 2006

in General

Google Mars - The MER Spirit Rover

As most regular readers (yes, you there) will know, I have a fascination with Google’s mapping activities. So it’s such a pleasure to see Google starting to take over the Universe with Google Mars. It’s a wonderful world universe out there.


Mobile and Home phone convergence

by Andy Polaine on September 26, 2006

So, Orange just announced their new Orange Unique service, a convergence of home phone, mobile phone and broadband. The question is, will their customer service match the product?

It’s not that radically different from BT’s Fusion service, though I think you get more. Here’s the Orange Unique low-down:

  • Inclusive calls from home, over your broadband connection
  • Up to six Unique phones per home, and up to three people can make calls at once, even when you’re surfing the Internet
  • Dedicated customer helpline for registration and support
  • Fast broadband connection up to 8 meg. Top speeds vary due to your distance from your local exchange
  • From £50 a month including broadband package and free phone

It’s still not quite a Wi-Fi phone and mobile and landline all in one, but it’s close. I’d like a phone like the Vonage Wi-Fi ones (that can hook into almost any Wi-Fi network) as well as it hooking into my home network and mobile. But it’s pretty close and the multiple phone connections are great news. I wish they had it here in Germany though.

So, a dedicated customer helpline for Unique? Hope it works better than their normal customer helpline and why not just get this stuff right across the board?

Related Posts
Why People Hate Mobile Phone Companies
BT Fusion Fixed Line and Mobile Convergence
3G phones go Wi-Fi


Why people hate mobile phone companies

September 26, 2006

It really can’t be that hard, smart customer service from mobile telcos. Have these people learned nothing, have they read Cluetrain?

Here was my experience of Vodafone and Carphone Warehouse’s Mobile World in the UK.

Warning, there is a rant coming…

Read the full article →

The Brain Behind

September 26, 2006

I’m not sure how old this interview with Joshua Schachter, inventor of, is but it’s a fascinating insight into the Wisdom of Crowds. It therefore comes as no surprise that the interview is by Wisdom of Crowds author, James Surowiecki.

Having spent time working on building up several communities, often in an educational context there is such a valuable lesson to be learned by making people’s essentially selfish natures to work for the common good. Says Schachter…

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Google and UNEP Map Environmental Change

September 19, 2006

Google and the United Nations Environmental Programme last week launched an addition to Google Earth called the Atlas of Our Changing Environment, which allows people to view images of environmental change and information overlaid onto the satellite images.

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Be A Good Friend

September 16, 2006

What a joy to discover Steven Blyth’s My Social Fabric project (thanks to Mike Coulter at Digital Agency). Essentially the My Social Fabric project gives all your friends an avatar that gives you visible feedback to the state of your relationship with them. Haven’t been in touch for a while? Maybe they’re giving you a moody look. Forgot their birthday? They turn their back on you.

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Insights into Jonathan Ive

September 16, 2006

Businessweek have a great selection of in-depth articles about Apple’s Senior Vice-President for Industrial Design, Jonathan Ive and they give a real insight into his famously secretive design process.

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MTV vs YouTube

September 14, 2006

I’ve been catching up with my blog reading and thought Todd Dominey’s point about MTV trailing YouTube was worth a re-blog as it hooks into what I wrote previously about Apple’s iTV news. Todd’s full post has this to say… (ooh, what a cliff hanger for you e-mail subscribers…)

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Steal This Film

September 14, 2006

I finally got around to discovering, downloading and watching the documentary, Steal This Film, about the MPAA’s attempts to shut down the Swedish BitTorrent tracker site, The Pirate Bay. Of course it’s available for free download at and the Pirate Bay and its method of distribution is, naturally, BitTorrent.

The interesting thing for me is that I decided to not watch TV tonight and watch this on my laptop instead. I unwittingly (well, maybe wittingly) did exactly what I said Apple’s iTV media centre would mean people would do in my previous post…

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Hidden Gems in Apple’s Announcements

September 13, 2006

Of course there is the usual commentary on Steve Jobs’ new Apple announcements and no doubt this will add to the slush pile, but I think there are a few hidden gems in there too.

Of course new iPods with fancier screens and better battery lives are all great, etc. Yes, of course the new iTV announcement of an Apple-styled media centre is big news too as is downloading full movies from the new iTunes store. But we all knew it was coming and if you had a MacMini you could already do a lot of it.

What suddenly struck as a flash of the obvious was the Podcasting part of that…

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