Friday, April 11, 2008

Getting things Done

This has been a topic of interest for me over the past week or so and unsurprisingly it's also popular with a lot of other bloggers.  Before I start though, I am approaching this from a Windows point-of-view as that's all I have to work with.  (If anyone would like to volunteer to send me a mac, or an iPhone for that matter do get in touch).

My Diagnosis for this is that as many bloggers work alone they have to work hard to concentrate, (it's very easy to wander on the internet) and having a system helps keep focus on the task in hand.

I have come across 2 solutions for to-do lists so far.

Firstly is Tudumo.  A small download which comprises a miniscule program which keeps to-do lists.

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The program is basic, but has all the main functionality, having said that you wouldn't want to over-complicate your tasks before you've even started.

The program comes with a free 60-day trial, after which you after which you are required to pay £15.

However, as is often the case with me I have decided that Microsoft can serve me best.  I have instead opted for Microsoft Outlook's 'tasks' because I feel I do need a better way to organise my tasks and the coloured categories system has served me well in the past.

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The system is similar to that of Mail and Calendar and being part of Outlook you can swap appointments and mail messages right across.

I think I am a sucker for anything that feels 'official' and at the moment Outlook is the only thing to fulfil that criterion.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I love Twitter!

I first heard about Twitter about 6 months ago and the concept was pretty foreign to me.  Since then my opinion has completely changed and I can't get enough.

The idea is that users post microblogs, or tweets of 140 characters or less on a more regular basis than you would blog normally, thus allowing people a better idea of what you are up to.

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I am getting on particularly well with it at the moment because I have no time to write longer blog posts.  I did however find the time to write my praises for Twitter.

This is very similar to the Facebook updates but unlike that you can select whose updates you want by choosing who to "follow".  This is essential to me because I get fed up of the crap that gets posted on Facebook, today I read "...is bored",  how original.

I would definitely recommend you join Twitter because not only can you post your own tweets but you can also keep up by following all you friends and you also have the option of exporting the RSS feed.

Go to twitter.com now, it's great!

Possible twitters of interest:

BBC Click

Downing Street

Leo Laporte

Enjoy!

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Does Blu-Ray need Copy Protection?

Last week, SlySoft announced that they had cracked the extra DRM that had made Blu-ray more popular with the studios than HD DVD. The company announced that the new version of AnyDVD HD (6.4.0.0) will allow users to make “backup security copies” of Blu-ray discs that use BD+ copy protection.  It begs the question, why did they bother putting copy protection on the discs anyway.

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Surely it’s obvious that if someone can’t rip a Blu-Ray disc then they probably wouldn’t mind going to The Pirate Bay to pick up a copy for their hard drive that way since the only people who would bother ripping movies are not too bothered about the law.

I can understand that it was important in winning over the studios but now that they have them and HD-DVD is out of the way, why can’t they agree not to put this copy protection on there so that people canback up their movies to Hard Drive.

The way that the music industry is going is surely a wake up call for movie moguls that consumers want to be able to do this and that it would be benificial to people if they started making the headway now.

Another possible threat to the Blu-Ray camp is that downloads are gaining an ever-increasing market share thanks to XBOX 360 and Apple TV with PS3 rumoured to be moving that way too, the faster they react the longer they will be able to hold them off although downloads will ultimately be King.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

iTunes: Click here to Subscribe

Apple may be set to announce a music subscription service through the iTunes store for customers who buy so-called 'Premium iPods' for a slightly higher price.

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It is expected that as with the majority of other services customers will in essence be renting the music for as long as they keep the subscription up, making this seem a raw deal to many and will undoubtedly fail to persuade many from downloading music illegally.

Furthermore, the songs are almost certainly going to be protected by DRM restricting the freedom of customers to transfer the songs to their chosen devices.

What I would prefer, and I'm sure many would agree, is to pay a larger fee at the start and then to have all the access we want to songs, without our music being tied into contracts we can't afford to keep. You see the fundamental difference between music and movies is that people want feel as though they own their music. Whereas you would watch a movie once, maybe twice, a song can be played repeatedly and if users don't have that freedom they feel cheated.

I hope Apple can realise this and push through a deal with the labels because it would encourage many more people to use iTunes on a regular basis, if you feel like you're getting music for free of course you are!

One problem they may have (a problem they are having with Apple TV,) is that music companies might hold back their best content from the scheme. Apple are struggling to get 1000 movies on Apple TV and with most labels seeking other means of distribution such as Amazon, this may be a tricky deal for them to push through. Good Luck Apple!

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