Owened

by Owen Williams

Perpetually in search of what’s next. Marketing + Code at Hoist Apps and Weekend Editor at The Next Web

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Microsoft should be scared

PC sales for 2013 are out and it’s an interesting picture for Microsoft who has recently started going on the offensive against Chromebooks.

Chromebooks accounted for 21 percent of all notebook sales, up from negligible share in the prior year

Now, this number is only commercial sales and doesn’t include direct to consumers. To get an idea of just how that’s going, the easiest place to look is Amazon where 4 of the 5 top selling laptops are Chromebooks.

Recent advertising attempts to tell consumers that Chromebooks are terrible have gone down the route of ridiculous facts like the lack of Microsoft Office (ha!) and the fact that they can’t do anything offline (which also isn’t true).

2014 will be an interesting year, if Chromebooks continue to eat up market share. Most consumers seem to just want a machine to access the internet that just works, after...

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Samsung tries to silence user whose S4 caught fire

What Samsung has done, foolishly, is sent the user a document saying that they will exchange his defective device only after he pulls his initial video from YouTube

Another classic mistake from a company that doesn’t understand the internet. Once it’s there, it doesn’t go away. They could’ve turned this around by just replacing the device and the user likely would have updated his video anyway.

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It’s official: New Zealand to get iPhone 5s/5c on October 25

Apple sent out press this morning that the iPhone 5s/5c will be available in New Zealand in the next wave of iPhone releases come October 25.

The official press release this morning says that the handsets will be priced as below and it seems that instead of offering a pre-order program as they have before the handsets will instead be made available for sale on October 25:

iPhone 5s comes in gold, silver or space grey for a recommended retail price of NZD$1,049 inc. GST for the 16GB model, NZD$1,199 inc. GST for the 32GB model and NZD$1,349 inc. GST for the 64GB model. iPhone 5c comes in blue, green, pink, yellow and white for a recommended retail price of NZD$899 inc. GST for the 16GB model and NZD$1,049 inc. GST for the 32GB model.

It’s a bit disappointing the 5c isn’t priced a little lower at $799 as I had earlier heard since that would have been quite a good price...

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Smashing through the media hype: iPhone 5s fingerprint reader not really “less secure” or “hacked”

This morning the media fear machine is swirling with the news that the iPhone 5s fingerprint reader has been “hacked” by taking a high resolution image of the user’s prints. Before we go any further, watch the video above.

The group simply called “CCC” describes the process as being simple enough to do with household material, then goes on to say in the next sentence that “the fingerprint of the enrolled user [needs to be] photographed with 2400 dpi resolution.”

For those of you following at home, taking a 2400DPI image of a fingerprint is not exactly a simple task and will require quite a bit of digital cleanup before it can be used, as per the how-to walk though. If you read through the process, it’s a long, slow process that your average thief would not likely have the time or motivation to undergo.

I’ll agree that no...

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The web isn’t as easy as it used to be for new developers

I’ve always been interested in technology and lately things have taken a new turn. More and more I’ve become interested in how the web is built and began to learn about what it takes to become a front-end web developer. The thing is, it’s not actually as straightforward as I thought it would be.

Less than ten years ago if you wanted to build your own website it was as simple as signing up for a Geocities account, hacking together a little HTML and then putting it up there for the world to see.

Today, not so much. Especially if you want to start building things for other people. With the advent of the modern web, mobile devices and responsive web design everything changed. There are now highly complex web applications that have to work on every screen size and type of device. It’s exciting, but daunting if you have no idea where to start.

There are too many...

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iPhone 5S/5C release dates for New Zealand

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Update: 10/10: The iPhone 5s/5c have now been announced for New Zealand. Well, the moral of the story on this is any source can’t be trusted and you shouldn’t believe rumors.

Original Story:

For some strange reason, Apple has been completely silent about the iPhone 5S and 5C dates for New Zealand. Previously, they’ve announced us alongside Australia, but not this year.

Here’s what I’ve heard: iPhone 5S and 5C won’t be released with the initial wave of devices next week here in NZ, but we’ll get them in a second wave on October 10.

As for pricing, I’ve heard that the 5S will start at $1020 for the 16GB model and the 5C will start at $799.

I’ll update this post when I hear more but it looks like the carriers are the roadblock here, not Apple.

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Smoke and mirrors: The iPhone 5C was never the ‘cheap’ version

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The rumor mill has been swirling for weeks on end with talk of the iPhone 5C. If you believed the rumors and the noise the press was making, the iPhone 5C is the cheap phone that Apple was going to release to compete in the mid-range smartphone market.

Unfortunately, all of these leaks and rumors have confused a lot of people and many are in uproar on Twitter today at how Apple could charge so much for a “cheap” version of the iPhone and how they ever believe they’re going to compete with that.

The problem here is, among all the media speculation and hype people began to believe Apple was going to introduce the iPhone 5C to compete at the low-priced end of the smartphone market. It never was. The ‘C’ does not stand for cheap.

If you look at the iPhone 5C now that it’s announced and the simple fact that Apple has suddenly chosen to discontinue the...

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Samsung announces watch but misses the point entirely

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It’s obvious this was rushed out the door to “win” the smartwatch race. Samsung didn’t actually create something that adds value here, they just released a watch that does everything your smartphone does, except it’s strapped to your wrist. It even comes with Android’s abysmal battery life, only lasting 10 hours between charges.

I don’t know if they’re ignorant or just idiotic, but they’re at odds with at least a century of watch manufacture and design here. They’ve released something that isn’t visually appealing at all, doesn’t add value to the smartphone experience (by the way, it requires a system update for your smartphone to actually work too) and is so over complicated that it’s pointless.

For a smartwatch to be successful it would be something that’s visually appealing (the fashion part of...

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Microsoft’s Nokia buy makes no sense but could just work

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Wow. What a whirlwind twelve hours. Late yesterday, Microsoft and Nokia started a PR assault with the headline: “Microsoft to acquire Nokia‚Äôs devices & services business.”

I’ve got to admit, I was a little in shock. I had been saying last week that I believed Microsoft would need to purchase Nokia in the near future, but I didn’t expect it to happen so soon.

Well, here we are. Nokia, the once-great phone giant has succumb to Microsoft. An essential full-buyout of Nokia’s supply chain, distribution, manufacture, hardware design and patents. It’s hard to believe that Nokia, a company that made 12.7 Billion Euro a year just seven years ago is now lost to time.

I’ve spent the last twelve hours wondering why such a move is necessary. Microsoft and Nokia have long been in a strategic partnership, with Nokia dedicated to Windows Phone and...

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Twitter design tweak alienates existing user base but is preparing the company for IPO

Today, Twitter made an interesting tweak to the way that the website presents conversations amongst users. The company added a new indicator and way to surface conversations across their site. Behold.

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The new view always shows the original tweet that started the conversation at the start, then it lists the replies below. The problem is, if you follow a lot of people that talk to each other frequently, you start seeing the same tweet repeating throughout your timeline. Over and over.

Every time someone you follow replies to the tweet, it’ll pop up again. At time of writing, a tweet by a friend is showing up five times on one page because everyone is engaging with him. It ultimately clutters the experience and ruins it for long time active users. Tweets are jumping all over the place through the feed and it jumbles the view very quickly when you follow just a few hundred people....

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