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Showing posts from June, 2017

FAQ: Pocket Casts on my iPhone or Android device shows duplicate episodes of Phones Show Chat (or similar)

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This seems to be an issue that keeps cropping up and I wanted to get some thoughts down somewhere as to what's going on.

For starters, there's nothing wrong with the RSS file for each podcast - this is the plain text file that tells podcatchers which episodes are available and where to grab them from. There's nothing to go wrong here, other than the occasional typo, which I'd typically pick up very quickly.

Every other podcatcher on every platform (I've tried over a dozen on Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Blackberry) reads this RSS file fine and podcasts appear as they should.

But then there's Pocket Casts, probably the most popular third party podcatcher in the phone world. This goes one step further than the podcatcher itself grabbing the RSS (or XML) file for each of your favourite podcasts. Instead, it grabs them all onto a custom server, the idea being that each client round the world doesn't have to grab the same old RSS files time and time again - i…

Twitter is a true public utility and SOMEONE needs to fund it properly

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I'm sure I'm not the first person to suggest this, but here goes anyway:

Twitter is ubiquitous these days. News, tech, sports, celebrities, music events - Twitter and hashtags (etc.) are where EVERYONE finds out what's happening and what other people think about what's happening. Quickly and succinctly (140 chars etc) in real time.

From TV stations to radio to Internet hubs to the man in the street, Twitter is THE place to go - and yet we keep hearing that Twitter is struggling to make ends meet in terms of making a profit and so we have to put up with ads and sponsored tweets.

WHY DOES EVERYTHING IN THIS WORLD HAVE TO BE ABOUT MAKING A PROFIT? When something's genuinely and universally useful, why couldn't someone/something rich (think Apple, Google, or even the USA government) step in and fund Twitter out of their small change - the amounts concerned are relatively tiny.

Say 500 million dollars a year to staff and run. It sounds a lot to you or I but it's …

Case review: Noreve Tradition E for Blackberry KEYone

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You have to hand it to the guys at Noreve. Eschewing 'same day shipping', plastic and 'faux' everything, they go all out when they make phone cases:
real, high quality leathermetal inner/framedeluxe packagingeach case made to order (they don't even have sample cases to send out for review!) Put it all together and you get a sumptuous experience, here exemplified in the fabulous Tradition E for the new Blackberry KEYone. Noreve do a big line in folio (wrap around) cases, but in the KEYone's case I think an in-situ wrap-around design works best.
The finish of the leather is stunning and, unusually, there's no sign of stitching - the leather panelling is moulded neatly around the metal inner so that the seams are hidden behind the glued-in folds of material.
The phone is gripped very securely, with the metal angles of the case doing their job. The KEYone already includes some material, some texture, but only on the back - this gives an all-leather, all-the-time…

Alert! New! Update! Notification overload!

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What is it with notifications? Every phone, every application, every smartwatch, tablet, every web site, every desktop OS... THEY ALL WANT TO KEEP BOMBARDING ME WITH NOTIFICATIONS!

Noisy, intrusive things. Beeping, flashing, distracting. Even in the middle of the night, waking me up.

I spend most of my days turning them off in every app, every OS, for every site, on every device. It's a game of whack-a-mole, trying to find the relevant Settings pane, switching notifications off for everything and hoping that an app update doesn't reset things to 'on' again.

But why should this be the case? Why not, for once, have an application default to not popping up notifications? Shouldn't this be something that the user turns on? By all means show me a tooltip or similar when I first start the app, reminding me that the notification system exists, but thereafter it should be up to me to turn on something noisy and distracting, surely?

24 hours a day, the only thing I want me…