* Posts by Alastair

6 posts • joined 1 Mar 2007

Are iPhone users just tight?


Needs a better shareware model

First, I'm pretty surprised at Handango's claim of $25 average price per app. I've owned a hand-held for about ten years, I've bought games, email clients, office apps, media players, tons of stuff, and I'm pretty sure I've _never_ spent $25 on an app.

But it seems to me the reason no-one pays higher prices for iphone apps is that there's no try-and-buy model. You have Free, or Paid. I'm just not going to buy an expensive app without trying it out. So far I've tried literally dozens of free apps, and several 59p ones. I've bought two £3+ apps based on reviews, and was disappointed with them both. And I've bought one £6 app I'm happy with - because it was a port of a palm shareware app I'd already tried out and trusted.

If developers want us to hand over the cash, we need a way to try stuff out and upgrade. Time-limited software, leased software models (the user is online all the time, why not charge them for use?).

If apple need to help with that, then fine - but believe me, the problem isn't that I can't see your app on iTunes. It's that I just ain't gonna buy it on your say-so :-)


Microsoft dumps hilarious comedy duo

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Um... I liked them.

I kind of thought they were funny. I know, I'm a social outcast. (I mean, I'm a social outcast even amongst geeks). I'll get my anorak.

Google's comic capers: what they really meant to say



Guys/girls, go out and have a little more fun, eh? It's just sad to think that you spent your whole evening doing this.

I mean, I'm all for a critical, objective assessment of the tech industry, but you're starting to get a little obsessive. And it would have been frankly funnier if you'd just written "boobies" all over the cartoons.

Google in mass 404 land grab

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Bit of a stretch...

El Reg does like to have a bit of a google-bash, and typically I'm all for it, but this seems like a bit of a reach to me. A piece of software that you have installed on your own machine, behaves in a particular way when 404 pages haven't been defined by the target...

...seems reasonable to me. Switch it off, or don't install the client software. Sounds like they've thought about the case where a 404 page _was_ defined and made best efforts. It's far less intrusive, and much easier to avoid, than your ISP intercept. It's a big stretch to say they're even the same thing.

...Really, calm down a bit.

Two year old's IQ on a par with Hawking


Mensa's Special Extra Test

A while back, I thought I'd have a crack at that thar Mensa thingy, because let's face it we could all do with an ego stroke now and then and I am, after all, frightfully clever. So I filled in one of the forms (this was pre-internet, but post-stone-age) and lo! I was a potential. Just send fifteen quid to blah blah for the proper quiz. Okaaaay.... off went the cheque, back came a larger form. More filling in, sent it away and lo! I've passed the next stage and am on to the Supervised Test stage, woohoo! Just send thirty pounds to-

- wait a minute, I thought, excited. This is actually another test! They weed out the stupid vain ones by getting them to send increasing amounts of money, but the _smart_ ones don't! So I duly didn't send them any money and sat confidently by the phone ready for their call.

Of course that was several years ago now and I feel they may have lost my number. I'm racked with doubt - should I have kept paying the money? If I don't, who will assign me an impressive number with which to feel smug? Also, I understand that if I send them _enough_ money and pass the Initiation Rite of Passage I get to find out the Big Secret About Who The Thetans Are. Unless I'm getting confused with something else.

Sky goes dark for Virgin Media


Lost, Battlestar and um... oh, that's it

After the first moment of "oh-my-god-sky-is-going" we realised that we watch Sky One for exactly two hours of tv every week - Lost and Battlestar Gallactica. I like the Simpsons, but since Sky plays at least three hours of them every flippin' day I think I've really seen enough. Ditto Malcolm In The Middle. Ditto "Worlds Funniest Operating Room Mistakes" or whatever else they're showing that evening.

It's a pain to lose the stuff we actually watch, but I've spent most of my life waiting for US shows to appear on terrestial and somehow I think I'll survive. I agree that Virgin's price should drop - the package I have was specifically to get Sky, so I'm off to have a look at dropping down. But I won't be leaving.


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