Archive for February, 2010

The worst thing about British pubs is…

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Worst thing about British pubs is not the prices – though I have to say, they are pretty shocking! It’s the rubbish standard of service, the queuing forever at the bar, dirty glasses, surly staff who make out they are doing you a tremendous favour serving you in the first place. And unless you choose one of the few independent pubs, the beer is pretty poor too. And does anywhere in the South of England know how to keep Guinness properly?

CF. continental Europe, where you sit down with your friends and a few minutes later, someone (often an unbelievably pretty waitress) takes your order. You can choose from a list of beers – and there are generally quite a few good ones, in amongst the dross. Most of the time, if you are a stranger in town, you can enquire which is the best brew to try first. This is an altogether much more pleasant and relaxed way to enjoy your beer.

If you are with someone who doesn’t drink alcohol, e.g. Mrs Goose, then the establishment will offer you coffee, hot chocolate or at least something that she likes. Whilst prices tend to be very close to UK ones these days, due to the plummeting value of Sterling against the Euro, the quality of service makes the price worth while.

No wonder UK pubs are closing at such a rapid rate. They seem stuck in a post-WW2 time-warp or something and seem to think that having an ear-splittingly loud jukebox and a few plastic oak beams will provide the “atmosphere” needed to get the punters through the door, and compensate for the grunting bar-staff. And don’t get me started on the horror they call “quiz-nites“. UK pubs simply have not caught up with what customers really want, i.e. a bit of service, please! Frankly “yer average boozer” here in Sunny Southampton is simply dreadful and they would have to pay me to set-foot through the door.

Now where’s that crate of McEwan’s Champion? Honk! Honk!

Apple stole our iPad idea says Chinese manufacturer

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

A Chinese company is claiming that Apple actually ripped the idea off from one of its existing Chinese-made products, called a “P88“. The P88 has been on sale for six months according to the company’s president, Mr Xiaolong Wu. The P88 easy to recognise because it “looks just like a big iPhone“.

Seems Shenzhen Great Loong Brother Industrial Co., Ltd. is threatening to sue Apple for “Plagiarism“. Presumably by this it means some sort of intellectual property theft? Despite its similar looks, the P88 is actually quite different under the bonnet from the iPad. It has a 250 Gigabyte hard disk, an ethernet port and three USB ports. It also runs Windows or Linux. The touch screen is only a single touch resistive type. But the processor is, in theory at least, faster than the iPad.

Personally I wouldn’t touch the P88 if it came bundled with Windows – I refuse to pay Windows Tax! And I wouldn’t have an iPAD under any circumstances while it was so riddled with DRM. However, I think the P88 pad, at the right price, running Linux and 100% FOSS could actually be quite an attractive product – if you like that sort of thing.

Whichever way this goes, it certainly rains on the proverbial parade for Apple Computer Inc., which is never a bad thing, in my view. It also makes it very difficult for Apple to sue any of its competitors in this context. So, If I were a gambling goose, then I’d place my bets on seeing a large range affordable clone tablets pretty soon. I would expect some of these to be far superior to the iPad – particularly for those who despise DRM and who care about their privacy – and a heck of a lot cheaper too!

Pics & story as told by Wired:-
http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/02/chinese-ipad-maker-threatens-to-sue-apple-for-plagiarism/

Full P88 specifications:-
http://hkjulong.en.alibaba.com/product/284530927-209723234/tablet_pc_p88.html

More about the company and its products:-
http://hkjulong.en.alibaba.com/

Story as told by the China Post in Taiwan (in English):-
http://www.chinapost.com.tw/china/business/2010/01/30/242970/Chinese-company.htm

Story from El Mundo (in Spanish):-
http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2010/01/29/navegante/1264759894.html

Funny old world, huh! Honk! Honk!