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You are here:   Home | Blogs

Posted by Stefan

18 Apr 2012 10:36 PM

Last year I blogged about catching the year’s first big music festival courtesy of YouTube - who broadcast live form the 5 stages over the 3 days. I raved about the really clever interface - how they included hashtags into their live updates - and how slickly the whole thing worked, including the uninterrupted streaming broadcast itself.


This year the layout of the interface was even better - with the current and upcoming bands listed in the centre, and the updates off to the right. It was interesting to see the addition of the ’Login with Google+’ option - although I never saw a Google+ originated post - they were about 70% Twitter Updates, with 30% Facebook - I even logged on myself to post updates during the Azealia Banks and Miike Snow sets.


I did not really start watching properly until the Saturday - and thus caught a mix of highlights and full live gigs by the following artists:

  • AWOLNation
  • Azealia Banks
  • The Big Pink
  • Buzzcocks
  • Childish Gambino
  • Datsik
  • Dr Dre & Snoop Dogg + Eminem, Fiddy, Warren G, Wiz Khalifa et al.
  • Florence & The Machine
  • Kaiser Chiefs
  • Kasabian
  • Miike Snow
  • Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
  • Radiohead
  • Santigold
  • Swedish House Mafia

I would have loved to have seen, but missed these:

  • Amon Tobin
  • araabMUZIK
  • Borgore
  • Dada Life
  • DJ Shadow
  • Feed Me
  • Flying Lotus
  • Frank Ocean
  • Girl Talk
  • Justice
  • Kaskade
  • M83
  • Noisia
  • SebastiAn
  • The Weeknd

I always compare YouTube’s coverage of this with the BBC’s coverage of its main music festivals. I think the actual live streaming and the social experience is better by YouTube, but overall the BBC still leads - as they provide so much better supporting materials - and actually post up much more of the video highlights - only 76 Videos are listed on YouTube’s Coachella Page - and these are individual tracks, whilst for the BBC there is normally an extended highlights (circa 30 mins.) plus a couple of individual great moments from nearly all the featured performers - a number of the videos on Coachella Live are not even the best moments from those sets.


On my somewhat dodgy Talk Talk connection, I was astounded to get a totally seamless experience over the whole event - did not drop out once - and switching between the 3 live feed options was butter smooth!


As I’ve said before, I&

... YouTube's Coachella Live is even better second time around
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Posted by Stefan

04 Nov 2011 1:32 AM

The latest Ars Technica browser usage figures show that Internet Explorer has dropped below 50% market share for the first time - for combined browsing platforms (Desktop + Mobile)


Combined Browser Market Share October 2011


Internet Explorer 49.59%
Firefox 21.20%
Chrome 16.60%
Safari 8.72%
Opera 2.55%
Android Browser 0.76%



Worldwide Desktop Browser Market Share October 2011


Internet Explorer 52.63%
Firefox 22.51%
Chrome 17.62%
Safari 5.43%
Opera 1.56%
Other 0.25%



Worldwide Mobile Browser Market Share October 2011


Safari Mobile 62.17%
Opera Mini 18.56%
Android Browser 13.12%
Symbian 2.55%
Blackberry 2.04%
Opera Mobile 0.49%
Internet Explorer 0.16%
Other 0.82%



Here at Comrz we are an even split between Chrome and Firefox, with development preferring to work on Firefox because of its still superior developer toolset, whilst we others prefer the speed and elegance of Chrome.

We all know why IE figures have remained so high - thousand of poorly run institutions and archaic public services still tend to be running very old versions of IE - it’s quite surprising just how many of these PCs are on IE6.

I’m not sure the mobile figures entirely stack up here either - there are currently nearly as many Android handsets in global circulation as iPhones, of course several Android users favour Dolphin and Skyfire, but the Android browser figure does seem unusually low.

By now I am of course an iPhone user of many years, and as you may have read on my other blogs, don’t see myself switching to Android or Windows Mobile any time soon. As far as desktop browsing goes though, I can’t see anything better out there than Chrome - Google Chrome revolutionised the web browser in a very subtle way when it was first introduced back in September of 2008, and all the major browsers have since been busy copying Chrome’s

... Internet Explorer Browser Usage drops below 50% market share for the first time
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Posted by Stefan

13 May 2011 11:50 PM

The key idea behind the very first Google Chromium Operating System was essentially a thin-client based Web Browser model. That is to say that the Google Operating System would simply be an enhanced browser type platform which would have a ridiculously fast start-up time and would ’fetch’ all its content off the Internet and the Cloud - i.e. no local files at all.

There were significant operational advantages in running such a slim operating system architecture, including greatly improved security, stability and of course speed. As expected though, Google have realised that running absolutely everything off the web does not make for the perfect user experience. Announced at the recent I/O conference were a number of enhancements to enable ’offline’ browsing of a range of materials; the following features were introduced:

  • File Manager for file browsing
  • Offline Support for - Google Docs, Google Calendar and Gmail
  • Support for USB storage devices
  • 4-in-1 memory card slot

At the same I/O Conference, Google announced the launch of 2 new Chromebook laptops, a 12.1" Samsung version with Wi-Fi and 3G options (1280x800 resolution) - as pictured in the above montage, the Wi-Fi version will retail at $429, while the 3G will fetch $499. Acer’s Chromebook is just marginally more compact with a 11’6" screen (1366 x 768 resolution) and this retails at a more competitive $349.

Google Chrome is my own browser of choice, and I can see the appeal of a purely Chrome ’desktop’ environment. This solution is obviously pitched at the ’Netbook’ crowd, which means that it is in indirect competition with tablets as well. For casual web browsing, I believe gesture-based sweep and touch navigation a la tablet is the ideal format. If you need to do more business or studies oriented work, then a laptop still has the edge.

I sincerely hope there is a market for Chrome OS / Chromebooks; it will be interesting to follow this platform’s evolution and see just who picks up on it, and from whom market share gets taken. Interesting thing is that ASUS alone seems to be still pinning aspirations and expectations around the Windows netbook format, most of the other hardware manufacturers are looking at tablets or other alternatives in super-slimline casual computing. The major ace that Chromebooks still have up their sleeve is

... Does the improved Google Chrome OS do enough to challenge Windows, Apple and Linux platforms?
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Posted by Stefan

10 Dec 2010 9:02 AM

Google unveiled its browser-based Web Store (App Store) earlier this week, taking a leaf out of Apple’s book and applying the App Store methodology to their own Chrome browser environment. As of today, there are nearly 1000 Apps and extensions available, the most popular of which are social utilities TweetDeck and HootSuite, alongside the usual avalanche of games, news and information services.

I was very happy to see one of my favourite games - ’Plants vs Zombies’ available, although marginally surprised that there is no Angry Birds? I have also downloaded Tube Service Updates, WeatherBug Weather Window - which is a little buggy, a couple of Amazon apps, Flixster, Google News, Google Books, Aviary Image Editor, Slide Rocket and some odds and sods - I have around 20 Apps currently - all Free.

For the paid Apps, the most popular are at the $1.99 rate, some are at $2.99 and a few are at $4.99 - I have yet to see anything higher, but for sure there are more expensive Apps available. For me the acid test of price points is the iPhone friendly $0.99 / £0.59 price point, which is the one I buy most of my iPhone games at; although in no way exclusively. I do wonder whether some of those paid-for Apps are worth their $4.99 or more premium. For me, the perfect online  / mobile pricing model is the Rovio - Angry Birds $0.99 / £0.59 price point.

A number of the applications I have downloaded are a little buggy, and some are a little clunky in use. They use a variety of HTML 5, Flash and JavaScript. This is very much a fledgling project, and much will improve quite quickly for sure. I’m not yet in a position to do a top 10 Apps list, or properly constructively review the Web Store’s output. What I can say is that the Google Chome Web Store experience itself is quite excellent - looking up / browsing for, selecting and installing Apps that is to say. There is still plenty of room for improvement, and the aesthetics can easily be improved, but as a starting point it’s pretty great actually.

I now need to update all my Twitter settings so that I can make use of the supposedly quite brilliant TweetDeck App - more feedback in a week or two! Google Chrome Web Store Up and Running

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Posted by Stefan

14 Nov 2010 9:50 PM

A big announcement is expected tomorrow from Facebook - Mark Zuckerberg has organised a press conference, presumably to announce the launch of Facebook’s Project Titan email client.

The current freemail landscape looks a little like this: Hotmail : 364 million users Yahoo : 303 million users Gmail : 170 million users

We all know that Facebook has 500+ million users, so it’s an obvious step forward for Facebook to take, and there is the promise of some clever Facebook business logic to help screen / prioritize and better organise / manage your emails. All those hundreds of millions of Facebook users access Facebook on all manner of different devices, so unifying email with Facebook simplifies their online experience and there might be some key advantage for many users here. Within the Facebook email client there may also be some additional clever integrations into core Social Networking functionlity - taking full advantage of the already considerable roster of key Facebook applications.

On the other hand, we have already vested enormous power in Facebook , which tracks so many of our interactions and transactions - do we want to give Facebook even more power? There have been issues in the past with Privacy, as well as 3rd party apps hijacking parts of your Facebook experience, and making use of profile information - especially geo-locational data.

For Students, Teenagers and non-professional persons looking for a private / personal account, I see no reason not to have their main email account as a Facebook one. For professional users though, I still see Gmail as the most viable solution for email. At Comrz we use Gmail for all our Comrz email accounts - recipients are none the wiser that we are making use of Gmail, as we all utilize the domain. Moreover, in my daily Internet use, my main browser of choice is Google Chrome - so there are further advantages for me in using Gmail for my email.

I have had several Hotmail and Yahoo accounts over the years - several of these email accounts are possibly still active, I just haven’t used them for a long time; in previous businesses we made use of Microsoft Exchange Server - which involved quite a considerable management overhead. Facebook is not a professional network, and will not really work as an email address for professional persons, for the key target audience of Face... Should you get a Facebook Email Account?

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