Google and Apple: Match made in heaven?

Wow, the must have gadget for christmas 2007 in the UK has already been accounted for.  I’m sure you all know already that Apple has released details of the much touted iPhone.

Now we know one of the reasons why Eric Schmidt gets a seat on the Apple board.   Schmidt and Jobs demonstrated Google applications (google maps were shown) on the phone along with many other featrues, obviously itunes integration but the input mechanism seems to be unique as well.  We’ll have to wait until the hype dies down a little before we get the full picture I guess.

I think I’ve read that is isn’t 3G enabled but is wifi, I imagine the lack of 3G coverage in the US has driven the decision not to go with 3G capability straight away.

Although aimed at the consumer will the iphone turn into the must have business phone?  Clearly Datacom need to get one for ‘R+D’ asap!


January 9, 2007 at 10:18 pm Leave a comment

Google and Sony: Match made in heaven?

A little off topic but given Bill Gates’ CES speech today we thought we’d discuss the impending xbox360/PS 3 duel for the home entertainment crown.

Gates today confirmed what most people already knew. The Xbox brand is more than just a games console for teenagers but a Trojan horse designed to be the centre piece of home entertainment – streaming TV, movies, music, gaming, voip, file sharing all in one box.

Sony while traditionally being way ahead in PS2 install base has struggled to compete against Microsoft’s XBOX live service. Sony doesn’t seem to be able to cope with the infrastructure demands of providing such a service. They also seem to lack a business model to actually drive revenue from the online facilities (unlike Microsoft) which is bewildering especially given they own content from Music and Pictures.

This is where Google could really help Sony in three distinct areas:

1 – Google understand network infrastructure, they are building data centres around the world that could be used to house a central cohesive PS3 online service removing a massive headache for Sony and a competitive advantage for Microsoft.

2 – Google could deliver ad-sense to the PS3 service, providing revenue to Google/Sony/Content provider and free movies/music/TV shows to PS3 users trumping the paid for Microsoft service.

3 – How about viewing Youtube and other Google content on a PS3? Given that the PS3 comes with a Linux distro it must be possible to deliver Youtube and all other Google services such as Docs and Spreadsheets/Gmail etc etc over an online service for PS3.

Sony get an online service to match or surpass Microsoft, as well as becoming the de facto hub of home entertainment in the living room with an ad generated business model for content.

Google get access to 75 million users (the PS3 account could be a Google account) and sell ad-sense to deliver new content.

But best of all, wouldn’t it be good to see a good fight between Microsoft and two of its biggest competitors?

(disclaimer: we own all available consoles on the market today and love them all, there are no fan boys here!)

January 8, 2007 at 6:50 pm 1 comment

Amberjack Tour button

Amberjack is a great open source tool that allows you to provide a hosted tour of your website.

We’ve used it here to provide a tour of our Prisoner database and we plan to use it again to explain how to deliver great interactive maps to a website with the help of our Google Map template.

For now here’s the button for the Prisoner Database tour.

Click to start tour!

January 7, 2007 at 7:55 pm 5 comments

Heres the online Prison database example

Dabbledb provides a nice overview here of the prisoner information:

Base Overview

And now the simple count that the DG requires:


Of course some more detail is required, so here’s a breakdown per prison:

Per Prison Breakdown 

Finally, to update information Dabbledb provides a simple online form to collate changes:

Change Form 

Now I’m wishing I’d looked into Snap a little earlier and maybe i’ll produce an Amberjack tour as well.

January 7, 2007 at 12:41 am 2 comments

Dabbledb…One hour later

Well we took the challenge and here are the results a fully fledged example of an online flexible database for Phil Wheatley the Director of the HM prison service.

Using Dabbledb we created a quick database with prisoner, prison, id number, date absonded, date captured and finally a field to see if they have been captured.

The director general would be able to view how many total prisoners have absconded, from what prison and at what dates. He could manipluate the data to his hearts content.

And the data could be updated or added to with the simple online form that Dabbledb creates automatically from the data. The DG could also be kept abreast of changes with the RSS ability, as soon an entry is changed he’d know about it.

I’ll make all the exports available over the next day or so. But there we are web2.0 generates a database in an hour, lets see how long the traditional IT industry takes to deliver something and at what cost.

January 6, 2007 at 8:29 pm Leave a comment

HM Prisons need a new database please help!

The head of the UK prison service came out in the media today to suggest the Prison service require a new national database of prisoners in open prisoners.

As soon as he said it I saw around £10 million of UK taxpayers money drain away, helping to pay for a system that will be delivered probably by 2010 that wouldn’t even be fit for purpose.

Here’s a suggestion for the guys at Zoho or DabbleDB. Licence your technology (as it would have to be behind the firewall due to security requirements) to HM Prisons and I bet we could have a database up and running by the end of the week.

It would be a great publicity stunt for the guys, it would get the HM prisons the app it needed quick sharp and would save the UK taxpayer lots of money – everyone could be a winner.

January 6, 2007 at 6:59 pm 2 comments

Google Reader, RSS Feeds and WordPress

Google Reader has turned into an essential office tool for Datacom. I’d now say it’s our primary collection source of information from the internet, so much so that visiting a website from a bookmark seems old hat.

Being a web2.0 application Reader has sharing built into the product and you can see the results of the sharing efforts on this blog. Along the sidebar I’ve inserted three RSS feeds relevant to this blog. These feeds are taken directly from my Reader account and shared via RSS in WordPress.

At the moment only the heading is displayed, ideally I’d like to get a preview in the pane or the author of the item.

I have over 80 subcriptions managed by Reader but the tagging feature allows me to share only relevant posts in this blog. Afterall I’m not sure how many people would be interested in keeping up with the Patriots Injury report through Mike Reiss’ excellent Boston Globe blog…….

Good luck to the Patriots this weekend by the way…..keep those superbowl hopes alive!

January 5, 2007 at 6:14 pm Leave a comment

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