15/12/2011

Apple's iTunes Match comes to UK (sort of)

It's now possible to purchase Apple's iTunes Match in the UK (in iTunes, go to Store, then Account - which appears at the top right corner under 'Quick Links' - then there should be a setting for Match and then purchase the service for £21.99pa, then 'add this computer').

Unfortunately it seems very random as to whether all or any of it works (except for the actual purchase). Adding this computer sometimes is there and if clicked may re-appear after. If the actual Match tab appears in the left, it doesn't seem to do much (last night it just went to a Genius page and then disappeared again). There's obviously a few teething problems or it was just launched early (or even by mistake).

This is very untypical of Apple, usually when things are officially launched they're pretty polished, if services are made available early it's usually to the developer community who are much more forgiving of bugs and errors.

If this is the shape of things to come now that Steve Jobs has gone, it's a slippery slope.

Duedil raises second angel round

Duedil, the company that offers free information about UK and Ireland companies and company directors has raised a second angel round from Jonty Hurwitz, the founding CTO of Wonga followed by Passion Capital and Federico Pirzio-Biroli.

Duedil is different from most other sites in that they link the information from the 7m original data points on companies and directors (so they have over 30bn data connections) so if you look at a company and list the directors, then you can click on any of the directors and see what other companies they are (or have been) associated with.

They also link to other data sources for information about County Court Injunctions, any legal actions etc, with more data sources being added all the time.

Hurwitz sees the vast potential for business growth in big data analytics and will bring his technical and strategic expertese to Duedil, which he hopes will develop into the premiere source of business information in the world.

Though currently all of Duedil's information is free, they must be developing paid for models or the company will haemorrhage cash as licensing the business information costs a lot of money. They must also be at risk from existing companies such as Credit Expert (Experian) who could build similar services on top of their existing data, though Duedil has developed an extremely nice UI which would take time to duplicate.

Maggies Hope Page is Million Dollar Homepage v2

Alex Tew famous for the Million Dollar Homepage site, has now set-up another site Maggies Hope Page in order to raise funds to support his cousin Maggie and her family as she has cancer and they are faced with mounting medical bills.

People can buy 10 x 10 pixels for £5 which is suitable for a small icon/image, though of course larger blocks can be purchased for larger images.

Maggie was diagnosed in January 2009 with breast cancer which has now spread and she now has 25 tumors on her lungs, liver, spine, hips, ribs and brain. She has divested her life savings and remortgaged her house to pay for alternative remedies, but though knowing her husband David will have to raise Liam, Danny and Anne, David, Cian and Fintan by himself and under huge debt.

Anyone going to the site buying blocks of pixels will be helping the family.

13/12/2011

New look GMail has chat and calls

It seems that the new version of Google's GMail has re-instated free calling into the web based email service.

It has been available to US users since launch as part of Google Voice and appeared briefly in other markets, but now it's come back (at least in the UK version).

Your Google Talk contacts appear (if they're on-line) but there's now also a call icon when clicked brings up a popup with the ability to dial numbers.

If this stays, then there's a good chance their going to introduce Google Voice outside the US and can compete with Skype.