Über Geek to Über Chic

I’ve been a fan of Michael Cera films since I saw Superbad at the cinema. At that time, I was unaware of Arrested Development because it wasn’t played on heavy rotation on main stream channels in the UK.Superbad came straight out of left field and spawned a string of films making legends of Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader (@haderonline), Christopher Mintz-Platsse (@MintzPlasse) and of course, Michael Cera (@Michael_Cera).But, I always thought that the my love for the underdog style of comedy that Michael Cera seems to easily invoke was mine alone. Obviously, that comedy would strike a chord with the dissaffected youth but the range of diversity on show at the premier of his latest leading role begged to differ.I popped along to Leicester Square to catch a glimpse of the cast of Scott Pilgrim Vs the World, not only for the leading man but because I also admire Edgar Wright (@edgarwright).

Is Squiz Suite the answer?

Squiz Matrix

MySource Matrix has been slowly but steadily building up steam over the past few years and Squiz, the creators of the popular open source Content Management System recently announced a new era in it’s development.The Squiz Suite will launch in November 2010 and will contain a multitude of tools to offer a complete solution for enterprises.The new suite consists of:

  • Squiz Matrix
  • Squiz CMS
  • Squiz Analytics
  • Squiz Search

What? No Mysource Matrix? No MySource Mini? Surely these are hallmark features of any new system from the developers over at Squiz labs?Don’t worry people, they’ve been rebranded.

  • Squiz Matrix = MySource Matrix
  • Squiz CMS – MySource Mini

Wave goodbye to Google Wave

So, one of the most anticipated launches of 2009, Google Wave has come to an end less than a year later in 2010. At one point, Google Wave invites were passing hands on eBay for hundreds of dollars but now it’s getting brushed under the carpet. There were definitely some critics of the technology that set out to replace email.

On the one hand, it was a concept that was better than email. On the other hand, perhaps this was a step too far ahead of its users but you can’t blame Google for trying.I don’t think it has all been a waste though. A lot of that innovation won’t end up on the scrap heap, but surely must be reused in alternative projects.For example, we already have (in the US) embeddable maps within GMail. One of the hallmark features of creating a wave was being able to embed a map and collaborate on it. This feature will  live on and hopefully be released throughout the world soon.

BBC News iPhone App – Finally!

We finally received word that the BBC News App would be released on Friday 23 July after months of waiting in the wings at the behest of the BBC Trust and many angry competitors. These competitors claimed that the release of a BBC app would be anti-competitive. But, in a period where news corporations are starting to charge to read their stance on world news, is it really anti-competitive or is it anti-capitalist?

The real question is, what does our licence fee cover? Initially, it has covered TV and radio but now that we’ve moved into the 21st century and the BBC are leading the way in online development. If they are spending our licence money in the online arena, surely an iPhone app (other formats to follow) is a necessary right to those that choose to purchase an iPhone.But is the app actually that good? It’s been waiting in the App Store queue for a while now so it was obviously finished some time ago. Has it been surpassed while it’s been sitting in the sidelines?The initial splash screen oozes the quality that we are used to from any BBC production.

Chrome OS imminent?

It feels more and more likely that Google Chrome OS will be upon us very soon. There have been mutterings throughout the industry that the first Chrome inspired netbooks are being developed and they may be out just in time for Christmas.This must mean that the finishing touches are being applied to Google Chrome OS over at Mountain View and this is evident in many developments that are happening online.The most obvious addition to the Google homepage is that you can now customise it with any image you wish.

This obviously mimics the fact that we can customise our wallpapers on our desk and laptops. It also leads me to believe that any normal ‘desktop’ will be eradicated from Chrome OS. Obviously OSX rarely uses the desktop (due to the dock) and you should be encouraged to use it as a temporary storage space rather than a hub for shortcuts (as Microsoft would prefer).Also, new subtle upgrades and additions to Maps, Docs and Gmail make these pages look more like the web apps that they are and further away from web pages (what they are in essence).

Back again…WordPress iPhone App errors

It’s been a while since my last blog post, too long in fact.But I have an excuse! I do most of my blogging when I’m on the Tube. On those days when it’s so cramped, you can’t actually hold the Evening Standard infront of your face, what better way to fend off the stench of body odour than to use your iPhone as a shield and get lost in some pointless blogging.That was the case, until I upgraded to WordPress 3.0. I’d been eagerly awaiting this because I’d had some problems with my installation of 2.9.2.

Is it a mistake to upgrade to the iPhone 4 on launch day?

The iPhone 4 launched to a rapturous audience throughout the world this week with 75% of purchases coming as a result of an upgrade.But early indications show a fault with the iPhone reception and it’s not a far distant cry from the wireless issues that haunted the release of the iPad. Is it better to wait for 2nd generation releases or software updates that fix these issues?Personally, I’m waiting for the White iPhone 4 and that is the only thing that stopped me queuing up with the rest of the Apple fanatics on the first day of release. But now, I might wait for these issues to be addressed. The iPhone 4 reception issue is surely a hardware fault and nothing that a software patch can fix so I’m currently sitting pretty with my (old) 3GS. Although rumours are abound that a software fix will be issued in days.Another issue that affects us here in the UK is the end of unlimited data plans. If I want to upgrade to the latest iPhone, not only do I have to pay off the rest of my contract (albeit at a discounted rate), I have to buy the phone as well, start a new contract and then forfeit my unlimited data. I thought that opening the iPhone up to competition would make the contracts more cost effective. 

New Content Management System enhancements announced

It all appears to be happening in the open source CMS world right now with eagerly awaited updates coming very soon to some of the major players in the world of Content Management.Joomla! 1.6 Beta was released today with some huge upgrades that could cement their place in the enterprise content management market.Improved access permissions are one of the main improvements to the system that will build heavily on the competent but limited user model of Joomla! 1.5.

Social media integration – where do we draw the line?

As new projects arrive in the inbox of Coast Design, the protocol of creating new and redesigning existing websites is continually evolving.Of course, the pre-production process is still consistent with the mapping of the site, user journeys and wireframing.

The post-production process Coast follows includes important areas such as validation, accessibility, integration of analytics packages and testing.But the implementation of new sites can raise important questions when it comes to integrating social media. These methods are growing in importance and are vital for major brands but where do you draw the line? Will clients learn to adapt to social media? If they are willing to engage in social media and networking, what techniques do you push first?

The battle of the social music player

I may be a bit late to the fold but I downloaded mflow this week, my initial reaction was that this was the game changer that we’ve all been waiting for.I’d heard some buzz about it on the grapevine – mainly via Twitter but I had to check it out for myself. The concept is vastly different from it’s competitors, you ‘flow’ music to your friends and music is ‘flowed’ to you by people that you follow. It already has big name endorsement by DJs including Zane Lowe and record companies are also eager to flow their latest pet project.

This, I thought, would be my way back into a music scene that I had missed. I have spent the last few years listening to the same old music but I’m determined to keep fresh and not resort to telling younger kids that ‘music was better in my day’. Mflow could be my way back in! The interesting bit is that you earn money if a track that you flowed is purchased, this little additional incentive to spend hours and hours online may prove priceless in the long run. Having said that, the music is a little bit more expensive here, so what’s to stop people searching for the track on iTunes and getting it for cheaper?