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Tech

Digital TV on your iPhone (and computer)

I recently discovered TVcatchup.com, which allows you to watch all the free digital channels online. I don’t know when I would really need to use it as I’m either going to be at home where I have an actual TV, or at work where I will be working and have no need for it. Unless I have a real urge to watch Loose Woman or Cash in the Attic.

Still it’s a really good website with all the channels you would expect to find on freeview and also has a guide.

I did actually find something else that may be more handy for anyone who wouldn’t really use it like me. Due to all of the snow and the poor train service SouthEastern trains offered during this time I got the bus home from work and found that; if you put in the address iphone.tvcatchup.com then you can watch all of the channels on the iPhone and stream them live . Unlike the Sky Sports that O2 offered a free trial of for the iPhone you don’t need to be connected to wifi, this means you can watch TV anywhere while connected to 3G, and it works really well. I was watching for about 15 minutes and it didn’t stop to buffer once. Maybe I was in a really good 3G area but still I was really impressed.

I took a quick screen shot on my phone here. Yes, I was watching the Simpsons.

Oh and if you add it as a bookmark it adds with it’s own little icon which is… nice.

So if I forget my book, have nothing I want to listen and a good 3G connection I might give TVcatchup another

http://www.davidgarlick.co.uk


Google’s First TV Advert: Google Chrome

So Google have now released their first TV advert. The advert is for web browser Google Chrome as a way to catch up to Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHZFsJKlsuA]

I don’t believe that this will help them catch up as it isn’t clear enough as to what it actually is. 

Also the music is similar to the iPhone/iPod Touch ads, which I have noticed cropping up in a number of different ads now. I find that a bit irritating, I really didn’t like the iPhone ads. Although I guess it worked on my eventually!

I use Google Chrome, and I really like it. It gives you more screen size and is just nice to use. I think that Google should have focused on the good parts and made it more clear as to what it is, instead of making it seem like a game of blocks.

Let me know what you think of the ad.

http://www.davidgarlick.co.uk


Google Street View on iPhone maps

On my way home from Portsmouth I was using the maps on my iPhone when all of a student I pressed something by mistake then from no where whatever street I clicked on.

I managed to find out how to do it on purpose, and not just by mistake. If you drop a pin to pick a precise spot on the map then it comes up with the name of where that spot it. To the left of that name is an icon of a yellow faceless man. Once you click that you are now in street view!

If you are like me you will have saved some places in your contacts or bookmarks, which is handy as you can just have a look at you’re old house or school from the  front on your phone and not just see if the roof still has your old ball on top.

With the touch screen on the iPhone, I really think that the 360 images work really well. It flows a lot better and the images on the phone make it look a lot better as well. So if you like and are not against the streey view then have a look. I believe it works a whole lot better than the Google Eart app.

http://www.davidgarlick.co.uk


New MSN / Windows Live Messenger have removed the ability to view contact

I have just upgraded to the latest MSN / Windows Live messenger and usually when I do it changes and I can see slight differences but nothing too major that has affected me. But the new one has removed a feature I have been using for years and has annoyed me. Instead of viewing someone’s user name that they choose like MC Big Foot 4 Life or some rubbish like that, I choose to view my contacts by their email address. This  because they can’t change that on their email on MSN, and so I know who they actually are.

But someone at Microsoft has decided to remove the feature, so I now have the choice of viewing my contacts as either MC Big Foot 4 Life or, if they have actually added their name then I can view it as their first name. I have chosen to go the name route, but most people haven’t decided to add their name. This means I still get whatever they’ve chosen to call themselves. You know the people I mean, they are usually the people that change their name twice daily, so I don’t know how I will know who everyone is now!

So yeah other than that it’s pretty much the same. Well I have removed as much of the features to get it to the normal MSN as possible. I will let you look around for any other new features yourself.

http://www.davidgarlick.co.uk


PhotoSwap app for iPhone

One app I have for my iPhone that is strangely addictive is PhotoSwap.

How does it work?

Well basically, you take a picture of something with your iPhone, and then you send it. Once sent it sends to a random person anywhere around the world that is also using Photoswap at the time. Then you recieve a picture for a stranger who has also taken a picture. You can choose to reply to a message with another image or you can just send another image to another random person.

There is no ability to chat or have a voice conversation, it really is as simple as the name of the app says. PhotoSwap. It’s free and is strangely addictive once you have a go.

Beware though as you can expect with anything their are always the odd pervert taking advantage of it (I am not one of them, I promise!)

Here are a few random pics that I recieved that I thought I’d show you.


I stopped using Google Friend Connect

After my blog before saying how I would have a weeks test of Google Friend Connect I felt I should let people know that I got rid of it in the end. This post is just to give a quick reason why.

The main reason for not using it any longer was due to it not looking that great on the page. As I meantioned in the last post about it, my site is for my design work and I would like it to look clean and presentable. The Google Friend Connect bar does not look clean and presentable and instead looks clunky and definately doesn’t blend in as I had hoped.

Another reason I stopped using it and I think the main reason is that; at the moment is that it is a new technology and no one is really using it. If it picks up and it looks more pleasing on the eye I may return to it. I guess by not using it probably doesn’t help the cause.

If I want people to talk about my site on the actual site I’ll make a guest book or link it to a facebook group. They don’t need to do it on the actual home page.

Perhaps if Google added it to their own home page, maybe it would pick up a bit. Until then I don’t see it catching on.

http://www.davidgarlick.co.uk


Google Friend Connect Review (So Far)

I have decided to give Google’s new toy out. I believe it is their attempt at quietly getting a share of the social marketing. What I have done is add the Google Friend connect bar to my website (HERE). It looks similar to the Facebook chat bar at the bottom of the page, but bigger and more obtrusive which is a negative already. As my site is to showcase my design work a quite big Google bar takes away from my site I believe. 

googlefriendconnect1

It is used so that people can become a member of a site and make comments on what you see and interactive with each other about the site, share your views and possiblty meet people with the same interests as you. At the moment as a new technology I don’t know anyone that is using it, and I am the only member of my site… that’s my excuse anyway. 

I have decided to use Google Chrome now as it’s nice and feels like you can see more of a page compared to IE and even Firefox, which I went off of. But comparing the Google Friend Connect on Chrome and on Firefox it seems more stable and solid on Firefox as on Chrome it interupts with Youtube videos and flickers a bit on occasions. I thought that was a bit strange.

As I joined up to use it to give it a go and test it on other sites too, I have been a bit disappointed in not finding it on of the sites that I use. This could be because 1) they don’t know about it, 2) I don’t go enough sites that could see a use for it, 3) sites have tried it and see no point in it as it just allows you’re site to recieve abuse that other users of the Friend Connect can see and maybe even join in on. 

I decided that I would try it for a week on my site. At the moment I think that after the week has ended I will remove it, because it just makes my site look messy, no one else uses it and I have no members to my site and that will hurt my pride!

If you want to see Google’s sneaky attempt at becoming a Social Networking player without having to make a site to draw us in then you can join up by seeing the bar like on my site or goto http://www.google.com/friendconnect/ to add it to your own page.

David


Jumping on bandwagons: iPhone and Twitter

I have decided to jump on two bandwagons recently. One being the iPhone bandwagon, which is a great phone and has had me saying amazing quite often. I think that I used the word amazing to describe the wunder radio, which basically allows me to pick up any radio station with an online stream (and there is a lot) from anywhere around the world over wifi or even 3G. Amazing.

I’m actually using this blog post as a way of testing another app, the WordPress app. So hopefully it does work and someone other than me reads this. If it does work perhaps I will blog more often as I am on this phone a bit too much so it’s just another excuse. (I wrote something similar to that last paragraph and a bit more but lost it after pressing save by mistakes so I’m hoping once I’m finished that doesn’t happen again!)

The next bandwagon I jumped on was the Twitter one. At first I couldn’t see the point of it. Coming from Facebook it just seems like status updates (what it basically is) but the difference is you can choose who to follow and don’t need to find out every little detail about them, only short little messages. I find it useful to add people with a common interest as you who will help to keep you updated on the things you care about. I have other designers, tech people, sports news and scores, news and music which is good at keeping me up to date on the things I care about, which is a lot different to facebook telling me who has split up with who.

So this was mainly a test but I will probably write more about stuff like this as my phone and twitter are my main interests at the moment. My twitter is www.twitter.com/davidgarlick if you would like to follow me. If you have one and have things I might want to hear about then let me know and I’ll probably follow you. Unless you just update me in what you’re eating or your relationship status.

Before I finish I have just seen I can add an image from my phone so I will try that now. (pirate ship from Brixham, Devon where I’m staying until I return to London Friday. The place not the ship!)

Have fun.