4th January 2016


timely. interesting. quick.


It would appear that Jawbone is now fully aware that the UP2 (Flat Strap), UP3 and UP4 bands do not secure themselves as well as they should. My experience of the UP3 is that it is a brilliant fitness tracker with by far the best software available, but the clasp does need some work. In light of this, you can now get a free Activity Clip from Jawbone which should lessen the chances of it coming loose. Just go to this link to claim yours.

Former security minister Baroness Neville-Jones says she is “alarmed” by people using mobile phones in public instead of being more alert to the risk of a potential terrorist attack. So, I guess this applies to eating food, drinking coffee, watching where we are walking and generally acting like human beings. Presumably we should all walk around constantly being alert and continually spin our heads around like owls just in case something happens? More at The BBC.

The Taylor Swift vs Apple debate was surely one of ‘the’ stories of 2015 and now you can read more about it in Taylor Swift Is the New Prince: The Artist Who Tamed the Corporate Giant over at The Daily Beast. I still can’t work out if this was the best publicity stunt ever or truly a case of one person getting one over a corporate giant. I like to believe it is the latter.

A bunch of iPhone 4S owners are in the process of suing Apple for $5 millionbecause a recent iOS 9 update slowed down their phones. It remains to be seen if Apple will start to limit its claims when it comes to using the latest version of iOS on older iPhones (maybe it is time to do that), but for most of us outside of the US, $5 million seems somewhat extreme. More at Apple Insider.

Ewan Spence over at Forbes has chosen the Wileyfox Swift as his phone of the year which will be a surprise to anyone who is aware of the Galaxy S6 or iPhone 6s. The thing is that this phone is a remarkable achievement for a device priced so low, but perhaps more so because it retains a sense of individuality in a world of very similar looking Android phones. It’s available for just £129 with a free case here which is impressive for a device packing a 5″ HD screen, 2GB RAM, microSD support and the extremely customisable Cyanogen OS. Tempted…

everything else

Would you like to know how the earth looked one billion years ago? Well, we are one step closer to that thanks to a group of scientists from the University of Sydney. More at Quartz. Here is a snippet from the article which is quite long, but worth your time- “The story of plate tectonics goes back to 1912, when a German atmospheric physicist, Alfred Wegener, looked at a map and noticed that the opposing coastlines of Africa and South America seemed oddly congruent, like matching pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Other geologists had remarked similarly, and in fact written that the two continents were once conjoined. But somehow these declarations had escaped both serious scrutiny and general notice.”

Cassette tapes are on their way back albeit in a minor way. This article explains how a cassette tape factory in the US has seen huge growth over the past year and despite this likely being a fad, it’s nice to see physical music media making a comeback just so that those of us who remember them can reminisce once more.

“The best calls are straightforward childbirths, where you get the joy of hearing a baby’s first cry. That’s magical. The worst calls are when a baby has stopped breathing. Any emergency medical dispatcher will tell you that those calls stop your own breath. I have seen colleagues in tears, explaining to parents how to do CPR on their six-month-old baby. The caller would never know they are crying.” The above comes from a Guardian article which looks at the emotions behind an emergency call. It’s a subject we rarely consider, but the piece is enlightening.

A collection of 120-year-old photos of space have been found in a basement.They were recorded on thin photographic plates and are extremely clear considering their age and the technology used. More detail on the discovery is here.

The Flying Scotsman is returning to the tracks following a £4.2 million revamp. I am no train buff, but even I recognise the importance of this iconic machine. Wonderful to look at and a joy to see running again. “This is Flying Scotsman, icon of the age of steam, star of the British Empire Exhibition of 1924 and 1925, and of countless childhood memories. This is the steam locomotive that, on 30 November 1934, on a downhill stretch between Little Bytham and Essendine in Lincolnshire, became the first to hit a properly authenticated speed of 100mph, passing into legend and making heroes of driver, Bill Sparshatt, and fireman, Bob Webster.” More at The Independent

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