I thought I would take this time to share our new project that we have ben working on for past few months. Farelert will be a super easy way to track the price of flights and get notified as soon as the price changes.
When booking your summer flights people do not often realise that the prices of the flights change, I’m not talking about the fact that they may change once a month or something by a couple of £’s, flights will often change many times a week and the amount that they change can be anywhere between a couple of £’s to hundreds of £’s. Who would not want to save hundreds on there flights? At the end of the day the flight is not the fun part of the holiday, so why spend so much on it?!
Farelert aims to _save_ you money and take the hassle out of tracking the prices, all you have to do is select a flight and click track and that is it. Once the system has begun tracking the price you will be notified as soon as the price changes, this can be via email or via text.
We plan on launching before the end of the year fully but will be releasing a beta as soon as we can, if you want to help us out with the beta and would like to give the service a whirl before the world sees it then you can sign up at http://farelert.com.
With all the changes the government are making to education system recently it made me wonder, are the way we do exams broken? Now this is a controversial topic I know, but personally I believe that the way we do exams and the way that we are tested in school is very broken.
We are all told at an early age that ‘we are unique’ and that we are not all good at the same things, so why are we examined and graded in the same way? There is a quote that I have heard that is along the lines of “you would not take a snake, an elephant, a mouse, a crocodile, a zebra (the list goes on) and tell them to all climb that tree over there”, all of those animals are good at different things but not all at the same thing. This quote carries over to this post very well, if we substitute the animals for different people in the class and change climbing the tree to all doing the same exam, will everyone of them be able to climb the tree as well as some of the others? If we were in a different environment and the challenge was different, different people would excel.
We study night after night to remember these important equations that the teacher has told us will come up in our maths exam this Thursday, only for when the exam is over to forget them all together. If we forget one of those ‘important equations’ and we end up not getting a mark for that question, does that make the person any less intelligent? Well in the way we are graded today it does. That may have been the difference between a B grade and a C grade all because we forgot one equation. If you remembered that equation 10 mins after the exam does it mean that if you had remembered it 30 mins earlier you would be better qualified for a certain job?
Is that D or the A that we get on results day really a good measure of how intelligent we are? or is it just a good measure of how good we are at remembering something just before the exam?
School has always been about answering and solving problems better, a lot of the time we question the teacher ‘why are we learning this?’. Most of the time it’s not so that you can use it later in life but so you can answer and solve these kind of problems better. Life is nothing but ifs and buts and questions at every turn, we need to be taught how we can overcome these problems and answer the questions.
With that in mind that still does not explain why we are still stuck with this outdated and broken system. I have no solution to the problem, but I am sure there is someone out there who does.
Not everyone in school likes every subject, just the same way that not everyone is good at every subject.
Now there is no doubt that some of you may agree with what I have said here and there will be some who do not agree, let mw know in the comments below this post!
I have just been watching the interview from Tim Cook at the All Things D conference and the first question asked was ‘Has Apple lost its cool?’ (paraphrased). Walt compared Apple to someone like Samsung and said something along the lines of ‘has Apple lost their cool and someone like Samsung gained it?’.
In short Apple has not lost its cool and Samsung has definitely not gained it. When you think of the iPhone you think of sleek, well built and well designed, when you (or at least I) think of a Samsung phone those three things are not the ones that come to mind. Whilst I think that Samsung put up some great competition and that there phones are great, to me and many others they are just not quite there.
If you have been listening to The Two Techies over the past 6 months you will have heard me say many times that Apple has to do something and I am sure that I have said ‘iOS 6 is boring’. I’m not here to deny that, I do still believe that iOS 6 is boring to an extent. When you take a look at the iPhone from 2007 and the iPhone from 2013 the OS is not that dissimilar, there are still all the basic features and the basic layout is there, but year after year the iPhone has been built on top of and has gotten better it just has not changed all that much. When you take a look at Android it has changed drastically since launch with each new version, there are a lot of versions that were radically different to the version before. Some would make the argument that the Android platform needed these big changes because it was not as polished to begin with as the original iPhone software was and I think this is true.
So what needs to change? I’m looking to buy a new phone this year and have no real preference to either iOS, Android or Windows Phone. I currently have an iPhone 3Gs and iOS 6 runs OK but not great, there are many features that I believe are missing from the current version of iOS that would make me want to get another iPhone. I am not calling for a complete redesign of the OS, why would they need to do that? The current layout works great and is very easy to pickup and understand for anyone so that does not need to change.
It may sound silly but there are only a few small things that I would like to see changed or added in the new version of iOS. To start I would love to see a better use of the lock screen (especially on the iPad), I think there is so much more that can be done with that space. Another is a better app switcher/multitasking, from my understanding the current ‘multi tasking’ built into iOS is just a glorified app switcher which allows background tasks, I have heard (not sure if this is still true) that Android keeps the entire UI running in the background whereas the iPhone did not (this is a good thing). I just think that there are things that could be done better with the multi task system on iOS I mean why is there no ‘close all’ button? That would be much more useful then having to close every single app individually.
I cannot wait to see what the new iOS looks like, we keep hearing that Jonny Ive and his team have gone ‘flat’ with the look and feel.
Apple still make some of the best products out there, these products work very well with each other although can be let down by some (*cough* iCloud *cough*). I’m not sure that companies like Samsung do that, they make a pretty good product or two but they just don’t seem to be able to replicate that across the board, yes the S3 is good and yes the S4 is good but would you call the great or perfect? no. Would you call the iPhone perfect? no, there is always improvements that can be made.
Do you think Apple has lost its ‘cool factor’? Let me know in the comments or send me a Tweet (@TheTechBox).
Google I/O 2013 kicks off tomorrow with what I believe is a 3 hour keynote, yes you heard that right, 3 hours. In previous years I think that these have been 3 keynotes over 3 days but this year they just wanted 1 single keynote.
So, what can we expect to see tomorrow? (Seeing as it is 3 hours long I would hope a lot). To start it’s obvious that they will talk the socks off of Glass, how ‘well’ it has done and the endless possibilities with Glass. I don’t think that we will see anything new about Glass tomorrow as we are unlikely to see Glass available to consumers until at least 2014 so they have plenty of time.
The Nexus 4 may well get a minor update, hopefully with LTE built in as that is a major setback for many people (especially those in the States). Other than that I don’t imagine there will be anything major with the Nexus 4 as it is not that old of a phone.
Something that is more likely to get an update is the Nexus 7, not sure what but I think we can guarantee there will be some kind of update to it tomorrow.
Something that I do hope that we see is Google ‘Babel’ (or whatever it will be called). Google Babel is rumoured to be Google’s answer to Apple’s (and as of this summer Blackerry’s) iMessage. For a lot of people who are looking to switch from iOS to Android may be put off by the fact that there is no iMessage equivalent built into the system. As a side note I would not be surprised if Babel will be available on both Android and iOS.
Will we see a Spotify competitor from Google tomorrow? This would be an interesting one.
Some other people have speculated that we may see Google re-attempt the Nexus Q but I would not hold your hopes at.
What do you think we will see? What do you want to see from Google this year? Leave a comment below or Tweet me @TheTechBox.
As most of you may know Zach Braff recently used Kickstarter to help fund his new film. Many of you will know him from the TV show Scrubs and some will know him from his previous films such as Garden State (he is also well know for a number of other things).
You can imagine that he made a pretty penny from starring in Scrubs, so why the need to go to Kickstarter and was it the right thing to do? To answer the latter, yes, I along with many others think that going to Kickstarter was a good thing, what you have to remember is that the people who are backing this are choosing to do so, they are not being forced to. Zach wanted to raise 2 million dollars for this project (note that he raised 1.5 of that on the first day alone) but do you really think that it will be enough to make the entire thing? no. He himself along with several other 3rd party funders will have to put in way more than that, so those of you who say ‘why can he not just use his own money?’ he is!
Kickstarter is a great way to show other people that people are really interested in this idea. What you have to remember is that investors will only invest in anything if they believe that they can get their money back (plus extra) in the end, and by being able to raise this money on Kickstarter it shows that the general public is interested in the idea.
I cannot wait to see what comes from this campaign, I loved seeing him in Scrubs and this has encouraged me to want to watch his previous film ‘Garden State’. See the video below for some of the things that Zach has to say on the matter of kickstarter, the video is fairly long but is well worth the watch.
It’s been some time since app.net have opened up and has been some time since I joined but I thought it was a good time to lay out my thoughts on the service. The dust has settled around this new and shiny thing and it’s time to consider what the real world use cases for app.net are.
I myself and along with many others are mainly or Twitter or Facebook users and when Google announced Google+ we collectively laughed it off. Google+ was always so similar to both Twitter and Facebook that it was hard to find a use case for it, you never kew what to post and where to post it. With Twitter and Facebook there is an easy way to distinguish what you post and where.
“Facebook is for the people you went to school with, Twitter is for the people you wish you went to school with”
So, where does App.net fall into all of this. People have been pissed off with Twitter after some of their more recent changes and App.net sprung up as the Twitter replacement. There is not shrouding the fact that ADN is indeed a Twitter ‘clone’, this for some makes it even harder to work out what to post where.
I joined ADN after they announced their free plan and have been on it ever since (notice I use the word on and not the word using), as far as I am aware with the free plan you are only allowed to follow a maximum of 40 people which means before you hit the follow button you really have to make sure that you want to follow them, on paper this may not seem like a good idea but in use I found this to be great, sometimes with Twitter I find myself following more and more people which means I often miss some peoples stuff whereas on ADN I rarely miss a thing (although this may be down to the fact that people do not post add frequently to ADN). So far I have made a fair number of posts to ADN but no where near my almost 14,500 Tweets, although I have been on Twitter for much longer. Many of the posts that I have made have been cross-posted to Twitter, why? Simply because most of the community I interact with are on Twitter and not on ADN.
I like App.net, I think it is an idea that may go somewhere but right now I look at it as a backup incase Twitter really screw up, actually, when Twitter screw up. ADN right now is full of people who are willing to try out new things, with an even smaller number of active users. Because of the paywall it is both a help and hinderance to the service, it’s much like the iRacing service in that it whittles it down to those who really do want to use the service but it may also hinder others joining.