Posts by Category: opinion piece

It’s my party and I’ll talk if I wanna!

opinion piece February 19, 2008 posted by

The problem with Yahoo! – or how have the mighty fallen…

If ever you want proof of why Yahoo! is a shadow of its former self, you only have to look at Mybloglog.com, which Yahoo! bought a while back. I used to really like mybloglog, I liked Eric who founded the company too, and we spent a good time emailing back and forth about new features and bugs and stuff. The service was great back then, it worked and offered real value and the tech support was ace. Then Yahoo! bought…


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opinion piece January 21, 2008 posted by

14 Stupid Things That Drive me Nuts About Online Sign up Forms

I’m really getting tired of badly designed sign up forms. I spend a lot of time subscribing to various services, applications and stuff, and it’s amazing how many subscription forms are still really really rancid. Please web developers, take a course in form design UI or something, and stop wasting our time and brainpower. Specifically I cannot stand – Forms that display indecipherable captchas that you can’t read, contain both zero and the letter O, and thereby trap you in an endless refresh-fail hell! Forms…


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opinion piece January 19, 2008 posted by

The Red Ferret Journal Product of the Year 2007: Imaging – Sony Alpha A700

The Red Ferret Journal Product of the Year 2007: Imaging – Sony Alpha A700. The Sony marketing blurb cheekily asserts, ‘What you once called a photo album you can now call a portfolio’, and that’s a remarkably accurate assessment of the market positioning of this excellent 12.4 megapixel digital SLR camera. On the face of it, this is just another entrant into the increasingly crowded digital SLR market, as manufacturers desperately retreat from the advancing quality of cell phone cameras…


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opinion piece January 18, 2008 posted by

The Red Ferret Journal Product of the Year 2007: Computing – Drobo

The Red Ferret Journal Product of the Year 2007: Computing – Drobo. It’s hard to explain to techie types the appeal of this box, primarily because it looks expensive compared to supposed alternatives. But to those who have a real need for fail-safe, super super reliable data storage without any hassle whatsoever, this is the product to beat. The geeks can keep their complex RAID boxes, or their infinitely configurable but arcane NAS solutions, the rest of us will happily…


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Bookmark This! January 18, 2008 posted by

The $99, 4 hour search engine – or why zero barriers to entry mean your web app will probably fail faster than you can blink

Groupzz. The meta music search engine. OK, so here’s the thing. There’s too much stuff out there, and it’s getting worse. More web apps, social networking, community drivel, tagging, blah… So it gets me thinking. How hard is it to make a simple web application today? Really? Step 1 – Spend half an hour searching, locate a $99.00 script on Sitepoint (there’s probably free around, but I’m in a hurry see?) Step 2 –  Spend a couple of hours creating and tweaking a simple logo…


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opinion piece January 17, 2008 posted by

The Red Ferret Journal Product of the Year 2007: Mobile – Nokia 6110 Navigator

The Red Ferret Journal Product of the Year 2007: Mobile – Nokia 6110 Navigator. It may not have the glamour, marketing spend and sheer all out glitz of other contenders in this sector, but this fairly plain-Jane product marks a significant turning point in the future direction of the mobile phone. For the first time ever, a conventional mainstream mobile phone handset exceeds the functionality of a personal computer out of the box. Not only can you download, install and…


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opinion piece January 16, 2008 posted by

The Red Ferret Journal Product of the Year 2007: Software – Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

The Red Ferret Journal Product of the Year 2007: Software – Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Although pitched at professional photographers, Lightroom has got so many things right that it really deserves to be on everyone’s shopping list if they have any kind of interest in digital photography. The $299.00 program costs many times more than most alternative products, but comes with the Adobe heritage, and what’s more comes with a user interface that is literally a breath of fresh air in…


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opinion piece January 15, 2008 posted by

The Red Ferret Journal Product of the Year 2007: Web – CoveritLive

The Red Ferret Journal Product of the Year 2007: Web – CoveritLive. This was one heck of a hard decision because the field was crammed with potential winners. This was, after all, the year in which Web 2.0 found its wings at last and started to soar. Joost for its potential to massively disrupt the television status quo, the BBC iPlayer for moving so graciously and quickly to the more open Flash format, FotoFlexer for an absolutely superb free feature…


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opinion piece January 14, 2008 posted by

The Red Ferret Journal Product of the Year 2007: Green/Ethical – Kiva

The Red Ferret Journal Product of the Year 2007: Green/Ethical – Kiva. Yep, it’s our award time again, and this year we’ve split them up into segments to make it easier to award to different types of products and services. These are obviously personal choices, so if you have any of your own recommendations to offer for a kind of Reader’s Choice in each category, please feel free to do so in the comments below each. I’ll be posting one…


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Bookmark This! January 14, 2008 posted by

Gizmodo tells it straight – CES sucks, so there…

Adam Frucci’s excellent Gizmodo commentary on the recent CES show is spot on for a good number of reasons. It is, perhaps, faux gonzo journalism writ modern, but it also pinpoints a big thing that blog readers should remember – blogs are not mainstream media! It may seem obvious, despite the increasingly ‘establishment’ voice of sites like Engadget, but we are not and should not try to play by the old rules. Our voice has to be significantly different otherwise…


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opinion piece December 6, 2007 posted by

Hmm…which way prosperity? – a question

Hmm…just watched the Story of Stuff, which, while clearly a little simplistic, is really quite interesting. As is the Money As Debt movie, which again tries to explain hugely complex issues in an accessible way. And it’s made me start to think (“danger, Will Robinson”). I’ve started to wonder just how long we can keep this pace of consumption going? I’m also wondering whether we should start to think about turning this juggernaut super-tanker of an economic system around and slowly…


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Bookmark This! October 12, 2007 posted by

Are we witnessing the death throes of the music industry? – artists start to vote with their feet

As each day passes it’s becoming increasingly hard to avoid thinking the unthinkable, is this really the end of the traditional music business as we know it? People have been trying for years to tell them to change or risk obliteration, all of which has fallen on deaf ears, but now finally it looks as though the artists themselves are taking things into their own hands and voting with their feet. Which is a whole new ball game altogether. If…


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opinion piece August 28, 2007 posted by

iPhone unlocking goes ballistic – what price Apple’s business strategy now?

Whoa, it’s an iPhone unlock fest out there. There are now apparently six ways to free the handset for any service provider already, plus one group offering $100K to anyone releasing an unlock via Open Source. Expect many more to pop up over the next few weeks. We’re not going to add huge amounts to the general wibble, except to say that this makes a mockery of any exclusive arrangements that Apple may have made with O2, T-Mobile  and the rest…


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Bookmark This! June 28, 2007 posted by

The Record Industry’s Decline – industry admits stupidity, at last?

This Rolling Stone article looks at the many record industry mistakes which have resulted in the current dire straights (ahem) of all the major players. It’s not rocket science, after all their greed, lack of vision and short term stupidity were pretty obvious to most right thinking people five years ago (hint: any business strategy which relies on suing your customers is destined to fail spectacularly) but it’s interesting to hear them actually come out and admit that they should have done…


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