authoritative, wise, and highly influential pronouncements

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

iPad users still trying to work out what the hell it does

In Technology on April 7, 2010 at 07:22

Early adopters who have purchased the newly-released and eagerly awaited Apple iPad are still trying to work out what the hell it actually does, according to reports.

The iPad sold to more than 300,000 US customers on Saturday after a blaze of publicity, although some initial reviews have lead some to question the exact point of the product.

“It looks a bit like a giant iPhone,” said Dwight Steiner, 36, from Minnesota. “Ordinarily, that would be cool, except for the fact that I can’t make calls on it. I also can’t seem to do half the things on it that I would be able to do on a normal tablet. In short, what the hell am I supposed to do with this thing?”

Steve Jobs, preparing to use his brand new frisbee

Technology journalist Stephen Meyer was one of the first to review the product and was scathing in his appraisal.

“As far as I can tell, it just sits there, looking all pretty, refusing to open any flash-based applications, all the while gently mocking customers for blowing huge, fat wads of cash on something which has all the functionality of a chocolate teapot,”  he said.

“I spent 3 hours trying to work out what the damn thing was for. Is it a secret? Perhaps there’s an app I have to download which will suddenly make it clear what it is supposed to do?  It sure as hell isn’t explained in the instruction manual.”

“So far I’ve used it as a doorstop, a makeshift umbrella, a fly swat and even as a sort of rectangular frisbee,” said Jane Marshall, 42, from Ohio.  “I wouldn’t mind, but in each case, the iPad does a better job than it has done at trying to be a makeshift tablet computer. That’s not saying much though.”

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs addressed consumer concerns in a statement to the press last night. “The Apple iPad is designed to be the embodiment of next generation portable media players.

“It has a range of functionality and has been specified to ensure that users fully maximise the value of all media they consume, from e-books to feature-length movies.

“And if they don’t buy that, then customers have just bought themselves a very expensive, if not particularly durable trampoline. Enjoy!”

Advertisements

Government to explain plans for digital radio switchover as though British public were retarded or something

In Technology on March 29, 2010 at 10:35

The government has announced that it will offer a full and detailed explanation of its plans to switch over all analogue radio stations to digital by speaking to the British public in the same manner as it would to a serially retarded three year-old.

The announcement, designed to finally make the penny drop amongst  dim-witted Britons everywhere, follows the news that the Communications Committee of the House of Lords have found that there was considerable  “public confusion and industry uncertainty” over the switchover, causing people to buy analogue radios which will be out of date in a few years’ time.

"I can't seem to pick up 6Music...."

A government spokesperson said: “Between 50 and 100 million analogue radios will become largely redundant after 2015 and around 20 million car radios will need converters to fall in line with the change.

“Unfortunately, the British public are so fundamentally unable to grasp the simple concept of not buying a piece of technology that will be effectively be rendered completely obsolete within five years, that we’re going to have to sit down with each and every one of them and explain what’s going on as if they were a infant with severe learning difficulties. It’s going to take ages.”

Alan Ford, 42, from Sutton Coalfield, said: “I heard on the news that there was something I had to do with my wireless, but I wasn’t sure what it was.  To be sure, I went out and got another three of the things as back-ups to my existing one.  One of them doesn’t even have a Gramophone in it.  Can you believe it?  A wireless with no Gramophone!  Whatever next?”

Minister for Digital Britain Stephen Timms confirmed that he will be looking to announce new measures to help educate the British public.

“Let’s face it, everyone in Britain is very, very stupid,” said Timms at a press conference this morning, “and so to get through to them, we will be coming round to everyone’s house with some crayons and colouring books, and perhaps a clown too, to keep them entertained.

“After all, they’ll need something to stop them from crying after we hold them up against a wall and threaten them with extreme physical pain if we find out that they’ve bought another sodding non-digital radio. I fully expect that this approach will clear up any ‘confusion’.”

Google announces new ‘Google Wheel’ as part of plans to re-invent everything ever made

In Technology on February 12, 2010 at 07:47

Technology giant Google has unveiled its new ‘Google Wheel’ as part of a radical new plan to re-invent everything that has ever been made since the dawn of time.  The news follows the announcement of its brand new social media platform, nearly two years after the idea was relevant or interesting to anyone involved.

Although treated with scepticism from those outside the industry, Google have assured the public that the Google Wheel will be better than any existing wheel, and urged anyone currently using a wheel to change to Google’s version immediately.

“Go on,” Google said in a persistent, nagging tone of voice.  “Try it.  Go oooooooooooooooon.  Go ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooon.”

The new Google Wheel: better than an ordinary wheel

Trevor Schofield, 36, from Sidcup has been testing the Google Wheel for two months and was enthusiastic about its many uses.  “I used to have ordinary, boring wheels on my car, which didn’t really do much else other than supporting the weight of the vehicle and allowing it to move in the direction I steered it,” he said.

“But that all changed when I got hold of the new Google Wheel from Google.  Now I can use my wheels for checking my Gmail account, searching for things on the web and Instant Messaging – all whilst hanging my head dangerously out of the car door while I’m driving.”

Google Buzz, which was unveiled earlier this week, and greeted with about as much enthusiasm as a wet fart in a small, crowded space, is Google’s answer to Twitter and Facebook – two more existing services that Google have re-invented in their own image.

Experts have claimed that the announcement has already broken records for the number of people failing to show any interest whatsoever, citing the popularity of existing platforms and the fact that the whole idea is ‘a bit stupid, really.’

However, Google’s Marketing director Adam Stringer defended Google Buzz, arguing: “What these people don’t understand is that everyone is sick and tired of using Twitter and Facebook to connect with people they know and to interact.

“Sure, they’ve spent years painstakingly adding contacts to these existing plalforms, getting to grips with the interface and interacting on a daily basis.  But we feel confident that, like with Google Wheel, everyone will just decide that our version is better, stop using Twitter and Facebook and go with that instead.  After all, you can connect to Gmail through it!”

The Google Wheel will be made available for purchase to people with learning difficulties and the chronically stupid in all leading retail outlets from Monday.

Facebook to keep everyone confused with bi-weekly design change

In Technology on February 9, 2010 at 09:11

This will all be written in Chinese next week

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has unveiled new plans to rotate the look and feel of his social networking site “on a bi-weekly basis”.

Speaking to the media last night, Zuckerberg explained that recent changes to Facebook’s design had not been “confusing enough” and emphasised that he wanted to do everything in his power to ensure that users didn’t have the first clue what belonged where when logging on.

“I’m very conscious of the fact that this announcement comes in the same week that we changed Facebook’s design for what feels like the seventh time in two years,” said Zuckerberg, “although let’s be honest, it’s probably been more than that, hasn’t it?”

“However, upon reviewing user feedback, it seems that this time there has been a sharp drop in the number of people asking how they upload pictures or change their status. It appears that people have started to get used to navigating their way around a newly redesigned Facebook landing page, and we simply can’t have that.  I’m just trying to keep everyone on their toes.”

In line with Zuckerberg’s wishes, Facebook will begin rotating the design of everyone’s profiles from next week in order to maximise confusion.  “I’ve got a number of extremely good ideas as to how we can make Facebook as inconvenient as possible for everyone,” said lead designer Jerry Stanton.

“They include making your status appear in bright red flashing letters which cover your screen and are impossible to get rid of, and posing a series of sophisticated mathematical problems to replace your login password. Watch this space, it’s very exciting.”

Facebook user Karen Jones, 26, agreed to comment on the issue, but could barely be understood above the anguished noise of her own tears.

“Why can’t those b*stards just leave Facebook alone?” she cried.  “All I wanted was a social networking site where I could interact with people I know, post up photographs and – if I feel like it – waste my money on ridiculous farm-based applications. MARK ZUCKERBERG, WHY ARE YOU MESSING WITH MY HEAD?”

Apple proud to unveil new iThingummywhatsit

In Technology on January 26, 2010 at 22:28

"Ha ha ha...this seems puny and insignificant to me now. Bow before the iThingummywhatsit!"

After countless months of speculation, intrigue and rumour, Apple will finally unveil their latest product, the iThingummywhatsit, on Wednesday, laying to rest once and for all the conjecture around whatever it is they reckon it is supposed to do.

Apple’s latest announcement had been rumoured to have been monikered the ‘iSlate’ or ‘iTablet’ although Apple CEO Steve Jobs let the cat out of the bag when he confirmed that the controversial new name was, in fact, the iThingummywhatsit.

“We all thought long and hard about an appropriate name and wanted something instantly memorable, that would roll off the tongue,” said Jobs. “Let’s face it, iThingummywhatsit ticks all the boxes – and then some.”

The iThingummywhatsit will be officially launched by Jobs to a baying crowd of bespectacled nerdy types, many of whom are expected to still live with their mothers, despite being well into their mid forties.

The launch will take place shortly after 10am local time in San Francisco in what experts and people with too much time on their hands are already calling: ‘the technology launch of the year.’

Jobs would not however, be pressed on what the iThingummywhatsit’s primary functions were, leading to speculation from some quarters that nobody at Apple has any clue either, although he did add:

“I can confirm that it will not be able to act as a microwave, a riot shield or a combine-harvester. Not convincingly, anyway.  Maybe we’ll add these features into the iThingummywhatsit 2.”

Kevin Siegel, 46, from Florida said: “I travelled all the way up from my mom’s house to San Francisco to see the launch of the iThingummywhatsit. Is this the greatest day ever or what?!? My mom made me sandwiches, but I lost my lunch box. Have you seen it?”

Industry analysts forecast that the iThingummywhatsit will fly off the shelves, singlehandedly leading us all out of the Global financial crisis in which we have all become so deeply entrenched.

Either that, or people will think it’s just a ridiculous, over-sized and overpriced iPhone and stick to what they’ve got until they are practically giving them away.

One of the two.

Man lives entire existence through Twitter, gets divorced

In Lifestyle, Technology on January 11, 2010 at 09:24

A London man who spends every waking moment of his day updating his Twitter status with the banal trivialities of his daily existence has been divorced by his wife of 12 years, it has been reported.

Ben Stringer, a 46 year-old IT technician from Battersea has been using Twitter, the social media networking site, for a little over 14 months now, and his newly-divorced ex-wife Gladys admits it was a major factor in the breakdown of their relationship:

Warning: could cause serious damage to your relationship

“Ben’s obssession with Twitter had got way out of control,” Gladys said. “He was updating his status three times a minute after he did anything at all. I understand that he lost a lot of loyal followers after he had chronic diahorrea earlier this year and updated on the experience in graphic detail every thirty seconds.”

When pressed further as to how Stringer’s Twitter fixation had compromised the marriage, Gladys gave further examples:

“I can remember the times when Ben was first getting into Twitter and we were trying to be – you know, intimate. We would be in bed, and he would have his mobile in one hand writing updates and posting images up using Twitpic. It was very distressing.  You should have seen some of the responses we got.”

The final straw for the couple came when Gladys revealed to her husband that she had been seeing somebody else, prompting Ben to update immediately with: ‘Wife having an affair : – (‘.”

Mutual friend of the ex-couple, Charlie Baxter from Turnham Green said: “I know, it’s incredibly sad.  But I think we also have to accept that, in this day and age, sometimes it’s inevitable that sooner rather than later, one man’s love for a social networking platform, and his desire to impress thousands of people he has never even met by telling them about everything single thing he’s doing in mind-numbing detail, will overwhelm the sacred bond held between man and wife.”

Although Mr. Stringer was too busy on Twitter to offer any comment himself, a cursory glance at his Twitter feed over the last few months offers some insight into the issues he faces:

‘Woo!  Twitter is great!  Gladys can go f*ck herself!  Woooo!!’ 11:37PM Sep 23rd from web    

‘Cooking some chicken in the microwave.  Just set it to three minutes.’ 5:32 PM Oct 14th from Tweetie

‘Still waiting for the chicken to cook.  Thirty seconds gone.’ 5:33 PM Oct 14th from Tweetie

‘Jesus, when is this chicken going to finish cooking?  It’s been forty seven seconds.’ 5:33PM Oct 14th from Tweetie

‘Fifty-five seconds.’ 5:33PM Oct 14th from Tweetie

Nobody really sure what Google Wave actually does

In Technology on December 16, 2009 at 09:25

Is THIS a Google Wave?

Despite a blaze of publicity and a huge clamour to receive an ‘invite’ enabling users to make use of the application, it emerged last night that nobody is really sure what Google Wave is or what it does.

Google Wave was launched earlier this year, with Google insiders claiming that it was “what e-mail might look like if it were launched today.”

“What the hell does that mean?” said 28 year-old trainee accountant Colin Steeple – one of hundreds of people around the country attempting to fathom the intricacies of the service. “E-mail has already been launched, so if it’s a similar offering, then it’s probably a bit redundant, isn’t it?”

45 year-old computer programmer Dave Harper has been equally confused by the promise of great things from Google Wave.

“I read about it months ago and heard how it was going to revolutionise the way we communicate with each other by sending ‘waves’,” he explained. “But I’m still no clearer on what that actually means. “I had imagined a gigantic wave of binary information soaring high above my head as soon as I type something, but there seems to be no option for that – only lots of different panes and tabs. Perhaps mine is broken?”

Colin agrees: “I’m not really sure what the whole ‘wave’ thing means. Does it mean I have to wave at people more? I mean, sure, I could watch the three hour tutorial video and find out about it that way, but you know – I’ve got a life.”

When approached for some clarification as to what Google Wave did, Google issued the following statement: “Google Wave is a personal communication and collaboration tool.  It is a web-based service, computing platftorm and communications protocol designed to merge e-mail, instant messaging, wikis, and social networking.”

The statement continued: “Google Wave provides federation by using an extension of XMPP, the open Wave Federation Protocal. Being an open protocol, anyone can use it to build a custom Wave system and become a wave provider. The use of an open protocol is intended to parallel the openness and ease of adoption of the e-mail protocol and, like e-mail, allow communication regardless of provider. Google hopes that waves may replace e-mail as the dominant form of Internet communication.”

“What was the first bit?” said Dave Harper upon being informed of the statement.  “Look, I may not understand a word of what that statement says, or have the first idea about how Google Wave works, but if there’s one thing I do know it’s that if it’s produced by Google, then it must be amazing.  Woo!  Go Google Wave!”

Facebook to introduce ‘armed response’ button

In Technology on November 23, 2009 at 11:21

Following Bebo’s introduction of a “help” button, which puts users in touch with a police helpline, social networking site Facebook has today announced plans for a button which will summon a police Armed Response Unit to any user’s address.

The move, described by critics as “a bit much”, aims to curb the growing number of internet abuse cases.

You can never be too careful

A 24-hour trial run of the scheme in Alabama last week was hailed as an unmitigated success by Adamsville Chief of Police Robert Carter.

“I’m hailing this as an unmitigated success — and you can quote me on that,” Mr Carter told journalists who were quoting him outside the Adamsville Police Department Headquarters yesterday.

“Within the first 10 minutes of the system going online, we had over 400 armed response requests, and although approximately 98% of those were practical jokes, the genuine calls resulted in the arrest of five people who might have been about to be stalkers, someone’s uncle who had had too much to drink, and that funny-looking guy who lives across the street from the Hendersons’ place. There were almost no fatalities as a result of these arrests,” he added.

Facebook CEO Marc Zuckerberg voiced his satisfaction with the scheme earlier today, and reminded Facebook Mobile users that they will also be able to take advantage of the service.

“GPS data will be relayed to the nearest police station, and used to direct armed back-up to their location,” the billionaire entrepreneur said. “Then it’s just up to the user to point out whoever’s harrassing them, and the heavily-armed cops will handle the rest. This is going to make a huge difference to young, vulnerable people who feel unsafe on the streets.”

When asked about the potential dangers of the scheme, Mr Zuckerberg was quick to dismiss critics’ claims that the system would lead to widespread carnage, with bands of gun-toting policemen roaming the streets, gunning down anyone who looks a bit shifty at the behest of panicky teens.

“These concerns are utterly unfounded,” Mr Zuckerberg said. “Obviously we have protocols to prevent that kind of thing happening. Anyone placing an armed response call has to undergo a security check: they have to correctly identify a couple of words written in wobbly, blurry letters before the officers are allowed to open fire.”

At the time of writing, reports that MySpace plans to introduce a button that calls out the SAS to orchestrate an counter-terrorism raid have yet to be confirmed.

Facebook users forced to sell imaginary crops to support FarmVille habit

In Technology on November 17, 2009 at 09:20

Users of Facebook application FarmVille have been forced into selling their imaginary crops, often using poorly thought-out, barely plausible business ideas in order to support their spiralling online habits, it was claimed last night.

Digital guru Simon Fellows has been leading an awareness campaign against the application and said last night: “FarmVille is a supposed to be a social game, which is available on Facebook…but by asking people for real money it is damaging people’s lives.

"Give us your money"

“As a result, I’ve got people on my street corner trying to sell me ‘FarmVille Flakes’ cereal – essentially, they’ve printed out a load of screenshots of their ‘crops’, cut them up and stuffed them into a load of empty Corn Flakes boxes in the hope that nobody will notice.  All they’ve done is cross ‘Corn Flakes’ out and scrawled ‘FarmVille Flakes – £10’ in using red crayon – it’s pretty sad.”

FarmVille’s principle objective is to ask users to plant crops, and harvest them, while users are encourage to compete with one another through the size of each other’s farm, which they can expand by purchasing a virtual currency, using real life money.

“For about £30, you can purchase 70,000 ‘farm coins’ or 240 notes of ‘farm cash’,” an anonymous FarmVille user commented.  “For around £100, you can also purchase your own Combine Harvester, and if you are really willing to pay over the odds, you can have a passionate affair with one of the sheep in your field, then pay everyone hush money never to mention it.  It’s just so authentic to the whole farming experience.”

This authenticity may be one of the reasons why many users on the game’s Facebook page claim to find the process both satisfying and addictive.  Mr. Fellows tells the story of one user who spent an entire fortnight constantly logged onto Facebook just so that he could accessorise his farm.

“He kept phoning his friends at all hours in the morning, begging them to join so that his farm would expand in size,” Fellows recounts. “It was his one motivating goal in life until eventually he wasted away. As I recall, his last words were something to do with hoping that he finds a black cat on the big farm in the sky or something.”

In the meantime, the police have urged consumers not to purchase any product with FarmVille branding scrawled on in crayon, sold on a street corner.

“These people have an illness,” said a police spokesperson, “and the only way you can make them better is to ignore them.  Besides, I always preferred Mafia Wars anyway – it’s much better.”

Newcastle United to go completely online after St. James’ is renamed

In Sport, Technology on November 5, 2009 at 09:22

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has announced shock plans to rebrand the club which will see the Magpies changing their name and going completely online. The news comes in the same week as St. James’ Park was renamed ‘sportsdirect@St James’ Park’ and Ashley is in no doubt that the stadium name fits in with his long term vision for the club.

“The way I see it,” Ashley said last night from a secure London hideout, as thousands of Newcastle fans searched for him armed with blunt, pointy sticks, “is that the future of sport is online, so by making Newcastle the world’s first entirely online football club, we are really ahead of the curve.

Computer

Watch Newcastle here from next season

“I mean, let’s face it, football fans are only interested in one thing – gambling, so what better place is there to come and watch some online football, make a bit of money, and eat some high quality fast food, all while wearing a cheap knock-off replica shirt, that we will sell them for a massive profit?  These people really are mugs.”

To facilitate the change, the sportsdirect@St James’ Park stadium will be knocked down at the start of next season and replaced by a gigantic multiplex where fans can follow their team’s fortunes on arcade-style computer monitors.  “At least this way we stand a chance of winning something,” explained Ashley, “even if it is only an award from a technology trade magazine.”

As part of the rebranding exercise, Newcastle United confirmed that the club will be renamed – although manager Chris Hughton was quick to add that no final decision had been made as yet, he was able to reveal a shortlist of contenders.

“So far we’ve narrowed it down to about three names,” Hughton said. “They are: http://www.GeordiePoker.com United, Newcastle HawaytheFreeOnlineBlackjack.org FC and http://www.FreeOnlinePartyWomenWithPokerandGoalsandStuff.co.uk Rovers – I particularly like the last one – it’s really catchy.”

Asked if this was simply a way to cut wages by asset-stripping Newcastle United and essentially turning it into a gigantic online advertising and gambling behemoth in order to make a return on his investment Mike Ashley was coy. “Would that make me a bad person?”