5th January 2016


timely. interesting. quick.


If this article from Fox Business is to be believed, it sure does look as though Amazon’s patience could pay off in the long run. I read it and considered my own usage of Amazon which includes it being one of my first stops to buy a huge variety of items, Prime video streaming, all of my eBook purchases, Prime music and even audiobooks. For so many people, Amazon ‘is’ the place to buy things online and the Prime offering feels like better value every single year, despite some of the negative stories about the way the company works remaining in the back of our minds.

2015: Apple’s year in beta is an excellent article by Nilay Patel over at The Vergeand in it he looks at how recent Apple releases have been merely ‘fine’. It could be that this correction is needed, but from where I sit iOS and El Capitan are extremely solid right now, Apple Music is cluttered and needs something else to stand above the competition and the Apple Watch and new Apple TV are not runaway successes. It will of course take time for the smart watch category to grow, but perhaps it is time for Apple to narrow down the releases and concentrate on greatness again.

Samsung has announced a fridge with an Android tablet stuck on the front of it. Yes really, take a look at the Korean Flickr feed and click on some of the fridge pics. Even the buttons are pure Android tablet, but maybe there are killer uses here that will make us all want tablet-ised fridges in the future? Sadly, I can’t see these features in this particular model.

Ars Technica has put some companies on deathwatch for 2016 and the selection does feel quite obvious. Yahoo!, HTC, BlackBerry (the OS, not the company itself), Groupon and a few others make the list and it’s difficult to argue here because all of them have been clinging on for some time now. It feels like a long time since HTC was flying high and even longer for BlackBerry.

The move to true optical zoom cameras feels like a logical step when it comes to smartphone evolution and Asus has duly announced the ZenFone Zoom which includes the world’s thinnest optical zoom camera. The rest of the specs are not too shabby either- “Under the hood, the ZenFone Zoom is rocking an Intel Atom Z3590 processor clocked at 2.5GHz, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage as standard, a microSD card slot, and a 3,000mAh battery. It also offers a 5.5-inch Full HD display protected by Gorilla Glass 4.”

everything else

We have all watched fireworks, but have you viewed them from the perspective of a drone that is flown through the centre of a display? The results in this video are simply stunning.

If you have some spare money, quite a lot of it, you can bid on some of Elvis Presley’s Jewels And Watches which will be auctioned on 7th January. When you click the link you will see that most of the items are seriously dated, but the 1973 Gold Omega TC1 Digital Watch still has a presence that would work on the wrist today. The estimate for the Omega is $4,000-$6,000, but I would expect it to achieve closer to $10,000.

Scott Kelly is currently posting photos on Twitter from the International Space Station and they really are worth a look. Everything from Africa to India to our very own planet has been captured in perfect detail so far.

Best of Luck is a highly thought provoking article which captured me from the first word to the last. The following snippet will give you an idea of what to expect- “At Mount Sinai, they attempted to slow my heart rate with an IV drip of a beta blocker. When that didn’t work, my heart began to race even more. There is a comedic cruelty in trying to steady your pulse as doctors and nurses swarm you, stabbing you with needles and asking if you smoke crack. After a couple hours, they told me they were going to try a cardioversion, a procedure in which they stop your heart momentarily and then shock it back into rhythm. “Turn it off and turn it back on?” I asked. “Like an old laptop?” “Kind of,” said the nurse, offering a weak smile. As she pulled shut the curtain to my bed she said, “Good luck.””

Work-life balance is often seen as a corporate nonsense phrase, but it is also something that is incredibly important if you find that work is starting to take over your life. In this article at The Guardian, a selection of people explain their experiences, but to me it always comes down to one thing- you have to have the confidence to take control. When you realise that no organisation has a right over all of your time, you can push back and attain a balance that works for you. It worked for me…

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