Category Archives: Google

>Apple is not the only fruit

BUT BLACKBERRIES are not that much better either.

That’s as clever as I get. The other night I was in the pub with a mate, counting and reminding him of each occasion he saw fit to produce his new iPhone to make a point. I understand this, I would be the same with a new gadget.

I liked the iPhone, I liked how you could be a Jedi to use it, barely scraping the screen with one’s fingers to execute a command, the way the view tilted depending on which way up the screen was, and even the Wii-like motion control of a game he had.

Tucked in my pocket, and feeling a little inadequate was my work-suppplied Blackberry Curve 8310. It was my Anna Karen to his Penelope Cruz, let’s not be mistaken. The iPhone’s big screen was lovely, and the smooth and fast delivery of Google Maps looked especially good. My Blackberry has a smallish screen and chunky GPS (though it did navigate me home the other day when I got lost on my bike in Frederiksberg). Pete, the iPhone’s owner charitably entertained my Blackberry when I finally produced it for the purposes of comparison.

For all its delights, I found myself wondering if I would buy an iPhone. I’ve read quite a bit about how it’s a great personal device but lacking as, er, a mobile phone. I would be the same about a Blackberry, however. It is great as a work tool, and is already saving me time. But its usability leaves a lot, and I have found how to do most things I want to do on it by searching the web rather than getting any joy from the manual.

I’m not sure I’d buy it either.

I have such an on-off relationship with Apple. I started on Macs and switched to PCs because they could do the things I wanted to do. Recently, I found myself in need of a reliable podcast manager. I tried Juice (kept crashing), Creative’s whadjamacallit (not compatible with my Creative Zen Stone Plus! What?!), and Winamp (banned by my corporate IT). In frustration, I turned to iTunes and have found it by the far the best tool for my job. So much so, I am thinking of – shock, horror – buying an iPod.

But let me drag you back from Apple again. See, I think I rather like the slightly botched, Heath-Robinson extremes being a PC user sometimes sends me too. I unpacked my PC from storage a while back, from a time when wireless networks at home were just being thought of. With no wireless card in the desktop, I bought a Belkin wireless adaptor. Didn’t work, they said because it was not very compatible with my work-supplied wireless modem (it’s all about channels and what wireless signals are sent on them). I was about to give up the ghost when I remembered I had a Belkin wireless router. Long story short, I whacked it into the wireless modem and bingo! The wireless adaptor in my desktop locked on to it straight away. What nonsense. Would a Mac user ever put up with such cobbled together contraptions. Doubt it.

Question is, why do I?

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>Google car spotted in Denmark?

>Tabliczka E55.Image via WikipediaTHE MILD hysteria about Google photographing places at street level to enhance their mapping service might have spread to Denmark.

Well, it will if I have anything to do with it.

I was bumbling down the E55 towards Copenhagen yesterday afternoon when I spied a suspicious looking vehicle going far too slow. After spitting forth bile at the driver’s poor ability, I noted a strange looking device atop the car.

Could it be?

I resolved to find out. I flicked an indicator drifted into the outside line and whizzed past the snail of a car, getting a good look at the strange, rotating and yes, camera-like device on its roof. I then returned to the inside lane and waited for the roving camera car to catch up. My speed dropped, 110km, 90km, finally 60km – a dangerous speed to cruise at on any motorway, and let me tell you, my pulse was racing, sweat silvering on my forehead as I diced with death and investigated The Man, watching as he came ever closer behind me.

Eventually, Google car couldn’t stand my slow driving any longer and overtook.

Checkmate. My phone ready, as he passed and dropped in front of me, I started snapping. Difficult with a mobile phone and one eye on the road.

But here’s where it gets weird, and all a bit Three Days of the Condor, Men In Black, or The Parallax View, depending on your view on conspiracies. See, as soon as I’d grabbed a few photos, the Google car (if indeed it was that) took off. And I mean really took off. The guy floored it and shot ahead so quickly, I lost him in the traffic that thickens as you approach the Copenhagen outskirts.

Had he seen me taking pictures? And did he see my licence plate? And who are the big goons standing in my office right now erasing my Nokia’s contents?

Or maybe the car was nothing to do with Google, and it was doing
something entirely innocent. Here are the pictures. I’ll let you decide. Me? I’m reaching for my tin foil hat.