Fake reviews everywhere

Fake online reviews are being openly traded on the internet, a BBC investigation has found.
BBC 5 live Investigates was able to buy a false, five-star recommendation placed on one of the world’s leading review websites, Trustpilot.
It also uncovered online forums where Amazon shoppers are offered full refunds in exchange for product reviews.
Both companies said they do not tolerate false reviews… More here.

I see fake reviews in all sorts of places from Amazon to the iTunes App Store to literally everywhere else.

100M Prime users / 250M Apple subscribers

Apple now has a customer base of more than 250 million paid subscriptions across its Services offerings of Apple Music, iCloud and App Store continuing payments. Viewed against Amazon’s recent announcement of 100 million Prime members, that figure is substantial. But Apple is also adding around 30 million new subscriptions every quarter… More here.

As we start to feel more comfortable with the monthly outlay for online services it would appear that the market is only going to expand further. The potential here is unbelievably huge.

Phubbing is the new snubbing

The ugly truth is that we believe in connecting people so deeply that anything that allows us to connect more people more often …

Sadly, the way we’re going, in another generation or two, online sharing will be the norm, and those of us who don’t or who aren’t all out there, will be seen as weird luddites. There’s lots of science fiction about people being plugged in 24/7.

I just read an article about research done on phubbing, a combination of phone and snubbing. You get the idea. And the results are no surprise. It’s detrimental to relationships. But that won’t stop anyone from phubbing. It’s an addiction just like email, although that’s now old hat. How many articles have you seen about how to control email addiction. Now there are similar articles about smartphone addiction. We crave human contact. It’s built into our DNA. We’re a social species. And yet, we also crave attention from outside of our immediate circle to the detriment of that circle. Once again technology can be used for good and bad. Bob.

Excerpt from CBC newsletter article- you can sign up here.

Have you ever been phubbed?

Chances are, you have.

You know how it goes. You’re in the middle of what you think is a scintillating conversation with a friend, a neighbour, the plumber — and that’s when you notice it. You’re being ignored, in favour of a mobile phone.

In this age of technological gadgets and gizmos comes the annoying phenomenon called
“phubbing,” a combination of the words “phone” and “snubbing.”

“It’s almost become the norm,” says University of Kent psychologist Karen Douglas.

In her new research the U.K. professor shows that phubbing can have a negative impact on relationships. She compares phubbing to social exclusion that can threaten people’s human needs such as belonging, self-esteem, and meaningful existence.

Sat nav rip off…

An investigation by Auto Express magazine found that the cost of updating the in-built sat nav system varies by hundreds of pounds, depending on the make, model and age of your car, even though most get the mapping software from the same provider.

Owners of older Jaguar XFs pay up to £316 for sat nav updates, while those for Ford cars vary from £81.90 to £159, depending on model and age, the research found, with those driving earlier editions paying most… More at The Telegraph.

For a long time now I have struggled with the notion of built in car sat nav. Has never made financial or practical sense to me compared to phone apps.

The quest to save Stephen Hawking’s voice

Starting around 2009, Wood and several others at Cambridge began trying to separate Hawking’s voice from the failing CallText hardware. The group would include Peter Benie, a computer guru at the university; Paweł Wozniak, a local engineering student; and Mark Green, an experienced electrical engineer with Intel, which had a long relationship with Hawking… More at the San Francisco Chronicle.

Fascinating.

Tech news in 2018

Apple is changing up that single logo for a trio of new ones. The new design ditches the tiny iPod, iPhone, and iPad illustrations in favor of the Apple logo, and introduces three specific logos: one for the iPhone, one for the iPhone and iPad, and one for each of the three devices. Manufacturers have 90 days to update their product designs to include the new logo.

So, this is what we have come to. You can head on over to The Verge to read more about this ‘exciting’ development.

Wearable sales still slow

“Consumers have yet to find a reason to justify the cost of a smartwatch, which can sometimes cost as much as a smartphone,” said eMarketer forecasting analyst Cindy Liu. “Instead, for this holiday season, we expect smart speakers to be the gift of choice for many tech enthusiasts, because of their lower price points.”

Next year, eMarketer expects 50.1 million US adults will use some type of wearable device* at least once a month, representing 19.6% of the population. Wearable usage will continue to grow over the forecast period, but the rate will slow to single digits beginning in 2019… More here.

I’m not surprised by this to be honest. Think back to the early days of smartphones. It took years to gain real traction and then sales exploded. Not saying that will happen with smart watches, but it may do.

Neutrality

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Restrictions on US broadband providers’ ability to prioritise one service’s data over another are to be reduced after a vote by a regulator.

The Federal Communications Commission voted three to two to change the way “net neutrality” is governed.

Internet service providers (ISPs) will now be allowed to speed up or slow down different companies’ data, and charge consumers according to the services they access… More at the BBC.

I would say ‘discuss’, but I suspect we all agree this is ridiculous.

Gemini PDA: is it really a Psion?

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Hopefully it won’t be a straight dollar to pound conversion, and it could be nearer £549/£449 for buyers here. As soon as I know, I’ll update you here, and of course look out for a full review in the new year.

First impressions? Is it everything I hoped it would be, and something I’d want to carry with me for work? You bet your life it is! More at jmcomms.

The more I see of this, the more I believe it is folly to even consider this to be related to the classic Psion. My main concern was aired back in March which discusses the people behind the project, but Android is as far away from EPOC as you can get and it pains me to say that I don’t believe this form factor has a future in the days of phones that no longer need keyboards, and laptops that are super portable.