At source restrictions on mobile adverts

EE, Britain’s biggest mobile operator, is considering introducing technology that will hand smartphone users the power to control the advertising they see online, in a clampdown that would cause major upheaval in the £2bn mobile advertising market.
Olaf Swantee, EE’s chief executive, has launched a strategic review that will decide whether the operator should help its 27 million customers to restrict the quantity and type of advertising that reaches their devices, amid concern over increasingly intrusive practices.

This is a whole new ball game. More at The Telegraph.

Phone freedom

Without a screen or a keypad, the design of this phone aims to strip away all the excess functions of a modern mobile phone and only keep its most fundamental parts. As such, the device can also serve as a wallet or a business card case, allowing one to carry less in the pockets.

Interesting idea. More at Yanko Design.

on the facebook

Lately I’ve been thinking about how good Facebook is at what it does, and how it has become a unique cultural venue for people to write and be read and to stay in touch with casual acquaintances across gaps in time and space.

There have always been ways of staying in touch with people you were close to: e-mail and various instant message programs online, regular mail and phone, but those all had terrible “discoverability” (you had to get the address or number though some other channel) and were almost exclusively one-to-one communication…

Well worth a read. More here.

4GEE Capture Cam

If you like sharing all the fun moments in life with friends and family, the light and wearable 4GEE Capture Cam will take that sharing to a whole new level – by letting you share them as they happen.

It’s so small and light you can clip it onto your bag or jacket and you’ll hardly notice it’s there.

And it’s easy to use too. No complex settings or fiddly controls – just one quick click and you’re streaming life’s best bits straight to the simple new video sharing app skeegle, where you can invite all your friends and family to watch at the same time.

Why?

Disney apps, songs, movies and books for £9.99/month

I’m not so much interested in this particular service, but the fact that someone has finally seen the potential of bundling various media into one subscription. Will we at some point see a subscription service from the likes of Apple or Google that covers films, TV shows, books and music? It sounds incredibly difficult to achieve at this time given the way licenses are handled, but it could happen. More about DisneyLife here.

Unlimited streaming in the UK (if via 3G/4G, data charges may apply).
Enjoy your favourites on the move (Streaming within the UK or download in the UK before travelling).
Create up to six profiles so each member of the family can personalise their experience.
Add up to 10 compatible devices.
Manage your kids’ time with built-in parental controls.
Watch movies, TV shows and read books in up to five different languages – English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
No in-app purchase costs once you have subscribed.

Two men bought the same watch on the same day. One paid $950,000 more than the other

Say you’re on the hunt for one of Rolex’s greatest watches – arguably the pinnacle of the Crown’s 20th century design – the reference 6062 triple calendar moon-phase. And say you’ve got your heart set on a pink gold example with a star dial, the so-called “Stelline.” Well, you’d be in luck because this past month, we saw two of them for sale in the Geneva auctions. On paper, they were identical, and in fact they were just 17 watches apart from each other based on serial number. But one of them sold for 1,265,000 SFr, while the other brought in 315,750 SFr. The price difference there? 949,250 Swiss Franc, or about a million bucks. Why? Well, this is just one example of the disparity we are seeing in pricing these days – and here I’ll try to explain a little bit in hopes that you, learn a little something from it. Which buyer got the better deal? To be honest, it could be either one of them, based on how the future of collecting goes.

Welcome to the weirdly wonderful world of watch collecting. More here.

A £99 Moto G. Why would you buy anything else?

I recently purchased a Moto G (3rd generation) from Vodafone for £99. It required unlocking, which was completed on eBay in 3 minutes, for £3 and I then had a phone that ticks almost all of the boxes for almost all of the users.

The camera isn’t great at all, but for everything else the performance is great. The battery is better than most other Android phones I have tried recently, the screen is good and the performance is easily smooth enough to never create a feeling that this is a budget phone. Decent build quality, a sparse interface and some subtle software touches by Motorola round off what is a brilliant smartphone for anyone who does not want to spend a fortune. And you can even change the battery cover to add some extra personality to the look.

It highlights why choice is so beneficial in the Android market and why choice is causing it so many problems. Why would I spend £500 on a Samsung Galaxy Edge when I could buy one of these which ticks 95% of the boxes a phone needs to tick?

Over the past 12 months I have read review after review of the latest Android phones and sat bewildered at what people are trying to do here. I understand geeks always wanted the latest and greatest thing, but it has become quite hit and miss in the Android world. The newest Samsung offerings are nothing special, the latest HTC phone is crazily priced and LG can’t seem to catch a break despite some innovative hardware. The Nexus devices are pretty good, but each and every one has a drawback that puts some off.

Choosing what to buy in the Android world has moved from “Which one of these amazing phones shall I buy?” to “Which one doesn’t have a big problem that will annoy me?” Seriously, with so much differentiation and so many problems it does not feel like Android is moving forward at all, and this may explain why the iPhone is selling better than ever.

It is brilliant that Apple offers little choice when it comes to buying an iPhone, brilliant for Apple. We are left paying a lot for a phone, but at least it is a phone that genuinely does tick every box for the majority of people and it will still be worth some money in a few years.

When I use the Moto G, I realise that I am extremely unlikely to buy a high-end Android device in the forseeable future. And if I did want to spend that much money, I would buy an iPhone. This the big problem Android manufacturers face at this time.

Selling Feelings

I’ve been a longstanding critic of Apple’s approach to the App Store, most recently in From Products to Platforms. Specifically, I think the App Store’s refusal to support trials makes it difficult for superior products to differentiate themselves and thus charge a higher price, and the absence of upgrade pricing and customer data makes it difficult to get more money from a developer’s existing user base.

Good article. Thanks to Paul.

Adele’s new album will not be available to stream

For weeks, the music industry has been awaiting the release of Adele’s new album, “25,” with a mixture of excitement and anxiety. The album is all but certain to be a gigantic hit, but Adele had not revealed whether she would release it on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.

The answer is no. With less than 24 hours before the album’s release on Friday, the major digital services have been told that “25” will not be made available for streaming, according to three people with direct knowledge of the plans for the release. The album is being released by Columbia Records in the United States, and by an independent, XL Recordings, in Europe and most of the rest of the world.

This feels really strange to me. I genuinely have no device that can play a CD, I subscribe to a subscription service so I don’t want to buy a digital album when it will hit that service at some point. I am confused. You can read the full article here.