Just looking out on the smartphone market post iOS beta 3 release and to be honest it is a sad state of affairs for all concerned – Windows Phone devices from Nokia are still shipping their ‘flag ship’ Nokia 1020 in NZ for $999 with a CPU that is over 2 years old. Honestly, if you’re going to see phones of that specification then you should at least price them relative to the cost of the competition – preferably at the $499 mark. As for the successors – where are they? the lack of any sort of motivation to release updated Lumia devices makes me wonder whether Nokia’s long term plan is to kill off Windows Phone in favour of scaling up their own Android to high end devices. Latest rumours from the usual rumour mills pant the possibility of scaling the Nokia custom Android further up the product line to the more premium segment – is this the slow death that is being played out? realising that in the case of the battle between Android, Windows Phone and iOS that Microsoft is better off selling a customised version of Android which points end users to Microsoft services and can take advantage of the large ecosystem of Android applications available?
iOS 8.0 beta 3 and OS X 10.10 beta 3 were both released – further refinement in the case of OS X with the addition of the ‘dark theme’ along with new icons for ‘Font Book’ and ‘QuickTime’ so it’ll be interesting to see when it is released in Autumn which is September/October/November. I have a feeling that they’ll probably push it as far back as they possibly can especially when one considers that they’ve yet to complete the features shown in WWDC let alone fit the public preview in as part of the whole development and PR efforts to excite people about OS X and the Mac platform going forward (particularly with how iOS and OS X are better integrated together). Personally for me I’d sooner they spend the time to making sure they get those fundamentals fixed than branching out to try to be everything to everyone but in the end leaving no one satisfied – SMB being the best example, hopefully with the inclusion of SMB3 support will result in them fixing up bugs that have annoyed many end users.
In terms of politics I’ve been listening to the following interview ( link ) and it is kind of sad that although the reforms in New Zealand of the 1980’s led to things such as the homosexual law reform, human rights legislation, civil unions then eventually same sex marriage along with the decriminalisation of prostitution but we’re now a stage where there aren’t two real two competing ideologies. We have two major parties, Labour and National, and the centre swung to the right so now what used to be social democratic is now the extreme far left and what the Labour Party advocates these days are nothing less than pandering to the bourgeois middle class with its ‘working for families’ and the belief that everyone can magically acquire more skills and get a higher income (but never explaining who will do those jobs that need to be done – trash pick up, cleaning etc.). The lack of a real viable alternative in the political system results in the half-assed discussions and lack of any sort of coherent vision being put forward by either party – reminds me of Tony Benn and what he said about ‘Sign Posts’ and ‘Weathercock’ where the former will lay out an alternative vision whilst the later is nothing less than populists who pander rather than offer an alternative then win the public over to that idea; one has an idea and one is devoid of idea in favour of reacting rather than going out and transforming society proactively.
Looking at the politics in New Zealand it is depressing to see that Labour is trying to pander to the right within the party – the xenophobic NZ First leaning bunch that blame immigrants for problems in Auckland such as high house prices whilst ignoring the crappy land release programme, the lack of any sort of dense housing, the lack of a viable public transportation vision that has deliverables today rather than 25 years time as in the case of the imagined trained network – that doesn’t even touch the idiocy of an economic development policy that is pushing all economic activity up to Auckland resulting in the mess that exists up there now. Honestly, for a party that is supposed to be socially progressive they sure has heck have dived to the bottom of the barrel when they feel the need to pander to the base level of human prejudices.