Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category

6
May

Why You Shouldn’t Have Voted No

   Posted by: Scott Lovegrove Tags: ,

A number of things to point out before I get going on this post:

  • This isn’t a “this is why you should have voted yes” post;
  • It’s not a “this No campaign claim is a lie” post;
  • Disclosure: I vote YES! I would do so again.
  • I thought about writing this post a couple of days ago, I wish I had.

The results are in, all the data is being collated so you can see exactly how your constituency voted in the AV (Alternative Vote) Referendum. Both sides campaigned hard to secure your vote, with both sides effectively lying to the public to get them on board, but for that, there are plenty of websites that discuss those. There were valid reasons on both sides (I’m told…) but equally, there were lots of stupid, idiotic, crazy reasons that people were giving for voting no. And that is what this post is about. Those reasons and why you shouldn’t have voted no if you used one of them.

“Nick Clegg is for AV therefore I’m voting No” (or any variation)

There are so many tweets flying around with people saying “good, I’m glad AV lost because Nick Clegg let us all down.” Hell, I even saw one person say that they were for AV, but because Nick Clegg wanted it, they were glad it lost. This is madness. This decision was never about one person. This wasn’t even about one party. This was about changing the way the voting and the politics are done in this country. Anyone who voted No for this reason is an ass because whether they realise it or not, this referendum was a once in a generation thing.

“I’m not a ‘second place’ person”

This was one by someone on my facebook feed who put: “to be honest, I am not a second place person. When I applied for uni, I made 1 choice- no backup. When I apply for jobs, I apply for 1, and assume I’ll get it. I don’t like the way things are, but if I want to vote- I want my first choice to be the one that counts.”

So many things wrong with that status. For a start, if you only wanted to vote for one candidate, and didn’t want your vote going to any other candidate (in the event of your first choice losing) then you didn’t have to put anyone else. This would have worked no differently from the current system. It’s just a basic lack of understanding about what AV is and how it works. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean this person should have voted Yes, but it’s a bit of a dumb reason to vote No.

“I don’t really understand AV”

If you don’t understand it, either don’t vote, or vote and spoil your ballot card. If you don’t understand what the referendum is about, then you should either take the time to read both sides to see which way you actually stand on it and make an informed decision. Voting No (or even Yes) when you don’t understand it helps no-one. Ignorance is no excuse!

“It’s not good for my party” (whoever their party is)

As mentioned in the Nick Clegg reason, this referendum wasn’t about party policies or individual parties themselves. This was about having a chance to change an old, outdated voting system in this country.

“I don’t really care, just thought I’d vote No”

Like the not understanding reason, this is just stupid. If you don’t care then why did you choose No? Just to make a selection? If you really didn’t care, why did you just not vote?

“AV isn’t good for the big businesses”

Whether this is true or not is irrelevant, again, this is about changing the politics. Any knock on affects (if there even would be any) would be adapted to by the companies, this shouldn’t have affected your choice on which way to vote.

These are the main bullshit reasons I’ve heard. What others have you heard? Bearing in mind I’m not talking about reasons to have voted either way.

SL

8
Jun

Some thoughts on the new 7650 (I mean iPhone 4)

   Posted by: Scott Lovegrove Tags: , , , ,

nokia7650[1]So yesterday, the first phone to ever have video calling was re-released to huge fanfare. For me, it was a great decision by Nokia to rebrand the Nokia 7650 and allow a 3rd party company to handle the presentation and advertising. The new 7650, or iPhone 4 as it’s now known, offers a multitude of new features, or rather a serious upgrade of the existing features it had when it first came out, so things like video calling and multitasking have been improved upon from what was in the original model when it came out in 2003.

Before I go too far into this, I would like to say, I think, and always have thought, the iPhone was a nice device, they always have been. My problem has always been the ecosystem, the constant fawning and all the bullshit that comes out of Apple’s marketing system. Plus, the one thing that would tempt me to get an iPhone, well, there’s actually not an app for that, go figure.

In this post, I really want to concentrate on one particular area of bullshit from the Apple marketing department that people are already lapping up more greedily than a porn star at the end of her scene. FaceTime. Video calling. Skype. Whatever you want to really call this new feature, it’s still something that has been around for years and is nothing new or innovative, and yet everyone is treating this as a game changer.

So video calling can’t really be applied to this feature, since it can only be done over wifi at the moment, so this tends to lend itself more towards Skype than to actual video calling. This seems a little strange as Skype already has an iPhone/iTouch app, so it would be interesting to see what they think about this new feature. But here’s the major difference between Skype and FaceTime: Skype can be done to any device running Skype, whether that’s another mobile device or a PC of some description; FaceTime is iPhone4 to iPhone4 only. So they’ve taken quite a good idea (Skype) and poorly implemented it.

The other thing to take note of regarding the Skype/FaceTime thing, Skype is here now. You don’t even need some funky new iPhone on which to use it. It works. And, if you were feeling really peverse, would probably work on your 3G too, unlike FaceTime.

But this is where the Apple marketing bullshit comes in, and even (and I’m bracing myself for a world of comment abuse here) the Jobs bullshit comes in. At yesterday’s keynote, he said that “After growing up with TV shows like The Jetsons and Star Trek I have been dreaming about video calling, and it’s real now.” No, Steve, it’s been real for a while, perhaps you should have been awake a little more than you were dreaming and you would have seen that. It’s all bullshit.

iPhone 4 Design video. ©Apple

Further marketing bullshit can be seen in the above video, coming from, aptly enough, their Vice President of iPhone Product Marketing, Greg Joswiack (who sounds like the cheap imitation Wozniak). In the video, he says that with the iPhone 3Gs they “brought you such features as video recording” and that the iPhone4 is going to “change the world forever, again.” So with the first quote they’re basically saying “yeah, it took us to the third version of our phone to deliver a feature which pretty much every camera enabled phone could do” and with the second quote, fuck off. It’s not going to change the world again. For the most part, the big changes for the iPhone, as demoed yesterday, is the handset itself, there’s nothing that new on the platform to use for developers, unless you’re a mono or flash developer, in which case there’s nothing at all for you.

The iPhone4 is a nice new device, but let’s be honest and realistic here, it’s nothing revolutionary. It’s mostly just catching up with the current devices already on the market.

As an irritating side note, I was having a discussion about this with @jas and was saying about how FaceTime is just the same as Skype, only worse, and went to demonstrate it by installing Skype on my own phone (HTC HD2) with the intention of Skyping him with a video call, just to show that it’s already here without iPhone4. I was very frustrated, and quite angered to discover that Skype have pulled the Windows Phone version of their client for reasons that could have come straight out of Cupertino.

SL