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Smaller, cheaper iPhone Mini to be released this year?
Date: 5th January 2013
Could 2013 be the year that Apple relents and realises that not everyone has 500 to throw down on a smartphone if they don't want or can't get a contract?  Maybe.  Some analysts are saying it will be this year, some say it will be next year, but the general feeling is that soon, Apple will be forced to release a cut price version of the iPhone to compete with Samsung, who have released the Samsung Galaxy 3 Mini.

The thing is, I have a problem with this rumour.  It's one thing for Apple to do a U turn on less than 10" tablets.  With Chinese 7" tablets not being as terrible as they once were, then Samsung, Amazon and Google releasing 7" tablets, with the last two being cheap and very good tablets, Apple were forced to reply or be left out of the tablet game.  And the iPad Mini wasn't really a budget iPad either.  The price scaled along with the screen size.

The problem for Apple is this - their unofficial motto has been "Good things cost good money".  If you can't afford an Apple, you can't have an Apple.  This has always been a core belief for them.  Just because the economy sucks right now, that doesn't mean they're going to give up on that.  They have their core fans who will always be there to get the latest and greatest iWhatever.  They don't just know that, they rely on it.

For Apple to release something just to appeal to those who can't afford an iPhone would send one signal to Samsung - we're desperate.

Spotify stopping it's download service in Europe.  They had a download service?
Date: 4th January 2013
This is really interesting to me.  I knew that Spotify had a download service, but why would I use it when I can use the offline mode?  I use Spotify listen to music online, or at least I used to until I discovered Grooveshark which in my mind has a far better UI, and is cheaper.

But it strikes me as strange that they are stopping the service?  I mean surely they're going to make some, maybe just a little, but some money from it.  And surely it can't cost them more to deploy it than they're making from it. 

Although, really, meh, this isn't an option I use, and I don't know many people who do use Spotify anymore.  I have a horrible feeling that this is the beginning of a decline for a company which started so brightly, but may now be fading away.

Microsoft do a new deal with Department of Defense to bring Windows 8 to 75% of employees
Date: 4th January 2013
This is a bad thing in my mind.  The US Department of Defense has signed a new licensing deal with Microsoft to bring Windows 8, Office 2013 and Sharepoint 2013 to 75% of their employees.  And you know what?  This isn't even part of my "Linux is awesome!" rant or mindset. 

It's a security thing.  We know Microsoft products suffer from security issues.  Hell, there was even an Internet Explorer 8 zero day exploit discovered recently.  This after all the trouble with IE6.  It's made all the more ridiculous considering the NSA release a hardened version of Linux specifically designed with security in mind.  Why the US Government, especially defense and security sectors, would choose Windows over a security hardened version of Linux is just beyond me.

But hey, I am sure when there are security breaches directly resulting from this deal, the DoD will remember that the NSA actually kinda know what they're doing when it comes to security...

Court rejects claim that Amazon App Store and Apple App Store could be confused
Date: 2nd January 2013
I love this.  Finally, a victory for common sense.  A court has said that there is no way a user would expect the Amazon App Store to be able to be confused with the Apple App Store - namely because the Amazon App Store runs on Android devices and Kindles, and the Apple App Store runs on iPhones, iPads, iPod Touch etc. 

The bigger question for me is, how the hell did this get to court?  I mean seriously, how did this not get thrown out immediately?  You would have to be a moron to believe that the Apple and Amazon App Stores could in any way be similar!  What next?  Are Apple going to sue Opera for having an App Store which detects the OS and allows you to install apps based on that?  Because that could be confusing for the morons Apple believe buy their stuff...

But that is the interesting facet of this entire case.  Apple try really hard to tell everyone that their customers are smart, slick, rich and intelligent.  Although apparently they can't tell the difference between these?

Smart, slick, rich intelligent people can't tell the difference between a blue icon and an orange icon?  Especially when one says Amazon on it?  Where I come from, that doesn't make someone smart or intelligent.  It makes them an idiot.  Make up your mind Apple, which demographic are you selling to?

Ubuntu for mobile launches today.  Yawn.
Date: 2nd January 2013
Those who know me well know that I am a massive advocate of Open Source technology and Linux.  But you know what?  I really cannot get excited about Ubuntu Mobile.  For those who might get excited, the 60 second trailer is here:

To me, it looks like they took the best ideas from Android (no surprise there, it's based on the latest Android Kernel) but with all the horror that is Unity.  Now, I really do not care what Canonical and Shuttleworth say - the plain fact is that Unity has always been developed for touchscreens.  It makes sense for touchscreens, just not for a desktop.  But what is the point of Ubuntu Mobile?  To have Linux in my pocket/on my phone?  I have that!  It's called Android!  We do not need a Linux phone like Tizen or Ubuntu Mobile - we've got Android which uses the Linux Kernel.

Also, without carrier deals or hardware deals, this is just another software release.  A software company releasing an OS image, whatever hardware it is designed for, isn't groundbreaking news.  It's not even a "new product" as Canonical keeps insisting.  It's what you do.  A phone, an actual, physical device I could buy today - that would be groundbreaking and a new product.  This isn't. 

Oh, and as for Canonical's staff - you might want to learn how to make social media posts sound less corporate and more personal.  It's one of the things I really detest about Canonical.  They get their staff to promote their stuff, but there are quite clearly guidelines which they're told to follow, because you never really feel they're the person's personal opinions.  More like a sanitised version of their opinions.

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