05/08/2005

Zen Vision From Creative Squares Up To Apple's iPod - Digital-Lifestyles.info

Zen Vision From Creative Squares Up To Apple's iPod - Digital-Lifestyles.info

Zen have launched another attack on the iPod, though maybe due to its size it's really an attack on the PSP which has the same media functionality (though no hard disk).

Creative seem to have got it right in terms of looks and even price though it's size might let it down.

We'll just have to wait and see what Apple have up their sleeves and what device they come out with (vPod?) which knocks the spots of the competition for a while.

Ofcom cracks down on phone bandits - vnunet.com

Ofcom cracks down on phone bandits - vnunet.com

Until recently it was easy for anyone to go to a telecoms provider, buy a PRS (premium rate service) i.e. 09 number and then run a service whereby they could generate very large revenues very quickly (it's possible to earn £5 per minute, or have drop charges whereby they get a sum just for calling the number even if you hang up immediately). Many telecoms providers weren't too fussy and would just pay the service a cut of the revenue and they could just take the money and run and find another telco to run the service again (generally under a different name).

Now telcos have to hold payment for 30 days giving Ofcom and ICSTIS (the PRS industry body) the chance to investigate scams and irregular services while they're going on with a much greater chance of catching the culprits. If they cant get paid, it's not worth them trying to scam people.

AOL snaps up storage firm | The Register

AOL snaps up storage firm | The Register

Yahoo bought Flickr, now AOL buy Xdrive. The remote storage business seems to be the industry to be in.

With everything going digital (music, cameras etc) people want to be able to store and share their content and remote storage is a good way to do it. Google started the trend (though for Email) with their Google mail service allowing 1GB per customer.

Xdrive has been going for quite a while as a remote storage solution will it now change with AOL's influence to be more like the other services.

Apple of course have been doing this all along with their .Mac service, though catering for Mac users there is an XP set of drivers for it, unfortunately it's not free. It's probably one of the more integrated storage systems out there (for Mac users) and works with their iLife products supporting photo uploads, remote syncing, file storage, web space, Email etc.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Net providers loosen ties with BT

BBC NEWS | Technology | Net providers loosen ties with BT

Moving to LLU is still a double edged sword. There are still issues with migrating from BT to LLU operators and potential problems with faults (i.e. who is responsible for the fault, BT or the LLU operator).

There's also the problem that Ofcom have agreed with BT to keep wholesale prices fixed until there are 1.5m unbundled lines. At the moment LLU accounts for around 1% or all broadband, which means the majority of existing customers are on BT lines (via BT Wholesale) so BT resellers can cut pricing, but they're cutting into already very thin margins.

Wanadoo are trialling a service in Leeds, based on Alcatel and other vendors equipment and then plan to go into at least 200 exchanges (though they are rumoured to have plans to go into 1000). Even if they go into 1000 it's still less than 1/5 of the total number of exchanges in the UK, but that'll cover a reasonable amount of the UK population.

This still leaves the issues of the LLU operators going into the same exchanges (or at least some of them) while they could share infrastructure and go into a far greater number and compete with BT's 21CN.