Raft of New Products (Macworld 2009)

Apple ogo

Macworld this year was a good one, Steve Jobs may of been absent but Phil Shiller took to the stage with a great opening line.

“Good morning. I’m so excited to deliver the Macworld 09 keynote. I’m so glad you all showed up.”

iLife 09

They were talking all about Mac this Macword, their first new product to offer for iLife 09 which was to be expected. It has some new ‘events’ one such as faces which uses face detection to discover people in different photos which is kind of cool. As well as this a feature that allows you to tag by places, called ‘Places’ will be added to iPhoto – this uses geotagging in the latest raft of digital equipment of mobile phones to record the long/lat of where somewhere is. If you don’t have GPS, iPhoto has a selection of thousands of places to tag against – it has a built in map system like Google Maps. iPhoto now connects directly to both Facebook and Flickr which is a brilliant idea and it updates when people update the tags on these websites.

When you run a slideshow, it uses the face detection technology to cut out people an place them into different events. Such as Phil making pictures flap in and out of an iPod advert.

iMovie 09 sets to right the wrongs of the last version, Apple actually admitting they did something wrong for one reminds me of the grovel they did when AppleTV was un-successful.

Phil showed off some of the new features of iMovie09, such as dynamic themes and animated travel maps but also a nifty image stabilisation system with no loss of quality. An engineer Randy Ubillos showed off some of the advanced features such as a great drag and drop tool which immediately splices the video to fit it in, the same with sound on the video. The technology used for this is complex but it is what everyone wants, simple drag and drop slicing and choosing the best clip.

Sting

One feature of Garageband 09 was shown called ‘Learn to Play’ it allows you to learn how to play an instrument of choice – such as a guitar, keyboard etc etc. They use videos some are even done by people from the real music industry such as Sting for example which is a neat idea – however these have to be purchased from their online store which means it is probably likely to fail or sell slowly.

It will be shipping soon for the usual price, with all new macs blah blah.

iWork 09 (joy)

iWork

This is just going to be a summary because it is like explaining Office, it works well and you have to buy it because all of your friends will use Keynotes. Some good stuff such as the Keynote remote, which uses the iPhone/touch to control the pages as they go through.

iWork.com

Like Google Docs only by Apple, it is only in Beta mode for feedback reasons but it pretty much is the same thing. Apple do seem to be trying to eat into their business partners share of the online space that is only a bad thing with Google.

17″ Macbook Pro

Great news a new laptop is out the 17″, massive screen with Matte display now. Unibody like the rest of them, this i’m sure will be a hit with the designers out there who can afford one of these beasts. Has up to 8gb of ram onboard with the latest graphics systems – it’s looking good.

It has apparently the longest battery life ever, with over 8 hours usage this is pretty good considering the size of the screen and what it will be used for. It ofcourse like the rumours said it would be non-removable, it is pretty impressive tech and I am sure the video they showed will be appearing alongside the new product online. Along with their eco message saying that it will not hurt the earth in one little bit, because the battery lasts longer blah blah. I am sure the battery company working for apple is very pleased with this new component for the laptop it is pretty revolutionary.

iTunes

iTunes is going DRM free atlast :)

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Reasons to get a Knighthood

The new year Honours list shows who is going to be awarded the various titles that the UK gives to people from within the commonwealth such as an MBE or even a Knighthood. Usually it goes to scientists, charity fundraisers or war heroes and to all of those I have very little problem with. It is mainly the ones that are given to sports men and women and in particular footballers who are still in the prime of their career.

So when I read the list in the morning paper I saw some names which I thought very much needed recognition such as the author Terry Pratchett being knighted which I thought was very appropriate due to his work with alzheimer’s. Lewis Hamilton getting an MBE for his services to motorsport which again I think is very appropriate as he brought much higher viewing figures into the sport and more money into it. As well as a few other Olympic sports people getting MBE and CBE which all are deserving of this as they are not retired and still very much in the sport.

Then theres Chris Hoy the cyclist, now I am under no illusion at his grandure winning three gold medals in the summer Olypics and generally pulling ‘Team GB’ together. But when I read that he was to be knighted I was confused, he is currently in the middle of his career and has only just started to bring interest to the sport to the sport. He should of be graced with an MBE or CBE first before the knighthood which should come after active service.

Another disappointment was the fact that Bruce Forsyth has been awarded a CBE instead of the Knighthood which everyone I am sure wanted him to receive.

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BBC F1 Coverage Revealed

I will get to the people who are involved in next years programming a little bit lower down, but to start with I have been waiting a return to the BBC removing the very annoying adverts from the program. But there is one thing the BBC MUST do when they relaunch it next year, is to bring back the old theme of ‘The Chain’ by Fleetwood Mac, it is the natural theme tune for the great race.

Now onto the people, I have decided to put pictures above each name just to give those people who do not know who they are some insight:

Pundits

DC

David Coulthard

Eddie Jordan

Eddie Jordan (THE LEGEND)

Jake Humphrey

Jake Humphrey

Commentators

Legard

Johnathan Legard (From BBC 5live)

Martin Brundle

Martin Brundle

Website

Murray Walker

Murray Walker (another legend of F1)

Pit Lane

Ted Kravitz

Ted Kravitz

Lee McKenzie

Lee McKenzie

I hope it works out for the Beeb.

 

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On the Road to Architecture Part 2

Well it has been a few weeks since my UCAS has been sent off; progress of my education has been made beyond my hopes before it went off.

Initially Birmingham City University contacted me first and put an interview date and then so did De Montfort, and now Oxford Brookes which completes the set. I am really pleased that ‘Brookes university actually allowed me the privilege of having an interview/portfolio review, as apparently they have over a 1000 applications and must cut it down someone significantly at interview stage.

I did apply to Nottingham University, but was rejected for architecture. This was mainly because I did not meet the entry criteria (which I never checked) which was an astounding 3 A’s at A2. Nottingham did  not completely reject me, they offered me a place on a new course called Sustainable Built Environment which looks pretty good and I would be willing to go there.

So overall progress has been made and I am very pleased.

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On the Road to Architecture

Students Architecture

It seems to me that most of my fellow students are constantly doing subjects which give them a reduced workload and less responsibility – an easy run through university. It became apparent to me that I was probably one of the only sixth formers who were doing a subject which needs massive commitments and long hours in order to complete it.

I am of course talking about Architecture. That funny subject that takes over 7 years to finally finish and is protected by the government in the same likes as being a doctor for example. That means if you were to go outside and show you’re an architect and you weren’t on the register – the police could prosecute you.

My first port of call to get on an architecture course is to of course visit the schools in question and look at what they are about. It is important at this point to ignore anything league tables show because in a since they are just mathematical bollocks.

The first I visited was Birmingham City University; you might be thinking now why an A at A level achiever wants to go to a school with such stigma attached. Well the simple answer is I really do not care about its name; I wanted the quality of its teaching. I was pleasantly surprised, the work was top notch, the facilities were excellent and I had an overall feeling of eccentric warmth in the building. This school was going to be on my list, not just because of that, but because it was based on a complete and famous art campus. This campus has so much creativity going on it might as well explode with ideas of the future flowing through it.

On my magical road trip, we went north, left my home in the midlands and went to the glorious once industrial centre of the world Sheffield. The city was beautiful, the trams were delightful; they were clean and fast moving (well done to Sheffield for re-introducing probably the best form of public transport ever). However, when we went to the area were architecture was my overall optimistic opinion dropped. The supposed 2nd best university for architecture (as the AJ points out) was based in a monolithic 20 storey tower, 60’s gray façade. It did not look good at all for the future of this school in my opinion. The talk for the university was for some strange reason in an old decrepit chemistry building, and we thought well can we look at the actually place of study. So we went to the tower and were greeted with the un-usual system of lifts that did not work and that I have a fear of, walking up the escape stair shafts up 15 storeys in the sweltering head (my mom almost died from exhaustion.) But it would be worth it as it was a top 5 university, sadly it wasn’t, the work was for all intensive purposes rubbish. It lacked any imagination and was gray and drab much like the university. The talk was terrible when we got in it, the room was stuffy and the tutor was boring and un-charismatic. I left disappointed, the city was fantastic but the university was less than average. I still do not know how a Russell group university would be so lacking in any attractive substance. Saying that the university is being re-developed so in 5 years time it may be a different story but atm it is not right for me in a sense.

My last journey south was over an hour from my home in the fine sleepy city of Oxford; leafy and green with a general lovely atmosphere that greeted me. Our first challenge was to get on a special park and ride at Uni-Part; this was more of a challenge than first thought as the university was not allowed to put signs up as to where it is. When asking the locals we managed to find the gigantic building that was nestled behind a gigantic gas tower next to the BMW Mini factory.  If this was an improvement that would be it, more signs needed to point the way. We got on the free park and ride buses that took us to the campus that I wanted. Although the building was 60’s it had be modernised and was clean and tidy. I loved the overall aesthetic it was a comfortable place to study that I would see myself working it day to day with ease. The same with the architecture department it was on par with Birmingham and I would be happy to study there. The students were friendly to which is always nice to see that they are enjoying it. Upon leaving I knew it was right to go on my UCAS form for the right reasons.

What did this all show that you should always look at the university you want to go to, because if like Sheffield it would only let you down. I could of barrel rolled into that university and I would have left almost instantaneously. Now all I need to do is complete the portfolio and get a conditional it is going to be a hard 6 months but I am sure it will be worth it.

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