Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

The Nexus is a Lexus

Hear me out on this one.

When Google finally released ‘their’ very own phone, the Nexus One, today, the internet was awash with talk of how Google have finally rose up to Apple and are ready to take the iPhone head-on. It’s all very impressive, but why do I feel like anybody who’s rushed ahead and bought one has been taken for a bit of a mug?

courtesy of engadget.com

Ever since the first shaky leaked photo hit the internet, the main focus has always been on the software itself. I defy anybody to say that the Nexus One (pictured above, courtesy of engadget) is the best-looking device they’ve ever seen. It looks very plastic and, to be honest, prototype-ish. It gives me the same impression as the Nokia N82 in terms of its design, it just looks unfinished. It has to also be said that Google haven’t actually made the hardware: it has been built to specification by HTC, already the leading manufacturer of Android handsets.

I get the feeling that the device is being pushed as an engineering statement. They want to show the world what they can do with the next stages of the Android platform, and they also want to introduce a new way of buying devices – Google Checkout. The phone comes SIM-Free for the time being, with subsidies via network carriers coming in Spring 2010. They have also set up target shipping to the UK, Singapore and Hong Kong. At $529 (roughly £330 excluding shipping costs) it can be a pretty big gamble to those interested in buying it.

This is where my slightly strange link with a Japanese car manufacturer comes in. Recently, Lexus – well known for making bland, albeit exquisite luxury cars – surprised a lot of people by bringing out a supercar. No, really.

The Lexus LFA

It’s called the Lexus LFA. With around 550 bhp and a top speed of 202 mph, it’s clearly very impressive. Also impressive is the way they’ve made a V10 engine take up the same size of a V8, with the weight of a V6. Every part of the car is tweaked to make it as aerodynamic as possible. But at £340,000 not a lot of people are going to be driving it, and Lexus still aren’t going to make any money on it. So what is the point in its existance?

Well, much like the Nexus One, the Lexus LFA, I feel, has been created to show the world what their respective teams can come up with. Google with its software, and Lexus with its engineering. We’ll surely be seeing their USPs in other things in the near future. Especially so with Android, as the Nexus is only running 2.1 of the OS, meaning sooner or later it will be available to every Android handset out there. At this moment in time the Nexus One is a simple showcase of what is to come.

If you buy one now, you’ll kick yourself when the Nexus Two comes along. You heard it here first…

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Probably the best day of my life so far

A level results day. D-day. A day I have been dreading all summer finally dawned on me today, and from the header you can see where this is going!

I applied for an MPharm (Pharmacy Masters) course at Manchester University, which they would give to me on proviso that I achieved grades ABB in Chemistry, Biology and Maths (in any order).

I went into college to get my results today and this is what I got:

  • Chemistry – A
  • Biology – A
  • Maths – B

As you can probably tell, I’m extremely happy with this – once I start my course I’ll begin to write more about the Pharmacy world, as well as the usual stuff.

I’d also like to say well done to everyone who got the grades they needed today – I wish a successful future for you all!

I’ll be back with a new post very soon.

So THAT’S where old dashboards go…

Sony today announced (well, confirmed what everyone knew already) its new iteration of the Sony PS3. It’s supposedly slimmer than the original black monolith, so they went with the name ‘PS3 Slim’. Original.

A Side-by-Side comparison. Courtesy of Engadget

A Side-by-Side comparison. Courtesy of Engadget

My thoughts? Well to put it into a single word: Fugly. I don’t like the matt plastic, there’s no longer any chrome trim, and the touch-sensitive buttons on the front look like stickers. It all looks really childish.

It also reminds me of the plastic you find on the dashboards of old cars – are Sony stripping our old cars of all their plastic trim before they get scrapped? It would appear so!

The price drop is equally uninteresting – The Sony PS3 now has a whopping price reduction of… £50! Yes, it’s no longer £300, RRP has been cut to £250 (presumably because the Slim costs them no money to make, because they’re recycling old car dashboards). If you actually looked around, you could have already gotten an 80GB PS3 for £250, which is why I was wondering why news coverage was talking about long-awaited price cuts…

What annoys me the most about this development is that it will be extremely difficult for me to get a good price for my 80GB PS3 (which I bought, brand new, for £220 last October), so I’ll just have to set it up in the living room as a Media Centre before I leave home in Autumn.

Feel free to leave your comments, do you like the new styling of the PS3 or do you prefer the “Fat” version, like me? Do you even care?

The night I became a pirate

Tonight it became known to me that a certain controversial political party had extended its arm to this country.

piratepartyOriginating in Sweden earlier this year, the Pirate Party are actively campaigning for changes in Copyright structure, Patent Laws and Freedom of Speech. The main goal is to allow the non-commercial sharing of digital content without crippling restrictions, otherwise known as DRM. Whilst doing this they want to make sure that the creators of the content get the fair payment they deserve, instead of it all feeding down the greedy rights holders, otherwise known as the record and film companies.

They also want to remove some of the unecessary patents on potentially life-saving drugs. As I wish to pursue a career in Pharmacy, I am strongly interested in this. I feel that it is our right as healthcare professionals to ensure that such drugs are accessible to those who need them – we shouldn’t control the distribution of drugs just based on the depth of the recepient’s wallet.

You can get more information, or sign up and become a member at the Pirate Party UK’s official website.

Before I go, I’ll just leave you with a quote from the bottom of their page:

“Outdated laws must change, and will change. The only question is when will we change them. Join our cause, and help make this change happen now!”

Chasing the online dragon

A thought occured to me this very evening (well, morning) as I was sat at home after coming back from work, with iTunes catching all the latest Podcasts, RSS feeds letting me know of anything new and (obviously, since you subscribe to feeds yourself) interesting happenings, and TweetDeck letting me know that I had at least 104 unread tweets — although I don’t use TweetDeck all the time, so it doesn’t know if I’ve already read them or not.

There’s something very exasperating about having so much information to catch up on, that at times I just can’t be bothered to work my way through it all and I let it all pile up until one day I’m forced to just to get it out of the way (hmm… a bit like tidying my room then!). But at the same time, because all of this information that’s flooding itself over me like an avalanche is content that I actively subscribed to, and thus relevent to my interests, it can be enjoyable to do – I quite like waiting around until the end of the day to catch up on all the news — obviously this only applies when I’m not around to catch it as it occurs.

But then when I’ve caught up, the number of new podcasts/feeds/emails reads ‘0’ and all the news has slowed down because it’s the evening, it’s quite possibly the most bored I can ever get (apart from General Studies back in College) – I’ve ran out of things to catch up on, and wouldn’t my time have been better spent doing something more productive, or even making some of this news for myself? As the internet reaches out into the future, we’re just going to be catching up on past events more and more.

Does anybody else experience this, or does it mean that I’m turning into an internet addict?