Posted by Andrew Shephard on Sep 24, 2015
I’ve been reading round what VW did and why its CEO was bound to be keeping a watchful eye on the door this week.
In a nutshell it literally programmed its cars to meet the US emissions test.
Fair enough, the cars work really well and they pass the regulator’s tests. The fact that when you get in and drive the cars they maybe don’t meet the standards quite so well is where the problem lies – in the alleged deception.
Software has become so important in modern electronic systems, and this shows just how significant it has become.
From what I’ve read half a million VW’s know when they are sitting in an EPA test situation, with no feet on the pedals and nobody moving the steering wheel, and simply “breathe” a bit less deeply.
Speaking as a one-time coder, from a technology standpoint, that’s pretty cool.
Posted by Andrew Shephard on Sep 22, 2015
Last month someone fitted me with a cardboard headset running a proper virtual reality (VR) demo.
I was really very impressed with it, especially the way the sound location was so specific to the source of the noise on the video as you move your head. If you get a chance to strap an appropriately loaded smartphone to your face, I’d say take it.
Anyway this weekend, being a bit bored looking after my broken ankle (long story), I finally caught up with YouTube’s 360 video exploits and, although the initial content is a bit experimental, I really like that too.
Before you can post 360 video you need a specific type of 360 video camera (they’re all robust and idiot proof) and some processing software, but the whole concept is very much like the 360 still images that were all the rage a couple of years back. The camera records a fully spherical image and the viewer can change the point of view dynamically during playback.…
Posted by Ian McKee on Aug 12, 2015
A recent article by journalist Nancy Jo Sales in Vanity Fair entitled “Tinder and the Dawn of the Dating Apocalypse” has clearly upset the guys running the hugely popular dating app Tinder.
This led to a slew of critical public tweets from the company’s official Twitter account yesterday and today, making the case that statistics used in the article are factually incorrect. It also suggested that Tinder had not been contacted in the writing of the article, making the case that that is what journalists generally do.
Now, I don’t want to get too bogged down in the who’s right and who’s wrong of the argument here. I haven’t looked at either sets of research which seem to form the main crux of dispute. I’m not and never have been a Tinder user (I’m married, and not part of the 1.7% of users Tinder acknowledges are married) so can’t call myself a fan of the app, and equally can’t remember ever reading Vanity Fair.…
How Microsoft’s ‘mobile first, cloud first’ strategy is encroaching this Apple fan boy’s working life
Posted by Ian McKee on Jul 28, 2015
I am an unabashed Apple fan. But I’ll never try very hard to defend Apple software. Hardware, obviously. At the operating system level, Apple reigns supreme. At the individual application level? Not so much.
I have a folder on my iPhone titled ‘Apple Cr*p’. It’s where I put all the stock Apple apps that I don’t use but can’t delete, because there are better versions of each that have supplanted them. Occasionally I’ll scroll through it and think, “why doesn’t Apple acquire all the app developer companies that have built the better apps that have led me to do this?”
Before now, I’ve come up with a list that looks a bit like this:
- Reminders = Wunderlist
- Notes = Evernote
- Calendar = Sunrise
- Mail = Mailbox (or… Accompli)
- Weather = Dark Sky
It’s not as if Apple doesn’t have the cash to acquire a few relatively small development companies. And it would make sense as an extension of the kind of developer support Apple support prides itself on.…
Posted by Richard Parker on Jun 30, 2015
Last week Wildfire was at the Future of Wireless International Conference, the Cambridge Wireless annual get together that looks at the big trends for the wireless industry from chips through to mobile operators and the businesses who rely on mobile connectivity.
With an impressive mix of speakers across the two days, the event covered all the aspects you’d expect, but with two fairly consistent (if not always stated) themes.
Day One: Wireless is dead, long live wireless
The opening session of the conference focused on the increasingly rapid rate of change of technology and the discontinuities that would change the whole market place. Apparently the average time a company spends in the S&P 500 is now 15 years, down from 67 years in the 1920s – and it gets worse. In 8 years time “more than 3/4 of the S&P 500 will be companies that we have not heard of yet”.…