October 2012

Google Gmail’s new ‘compose’ mail window

Google have just upgraded Gmail’s web client to allow you to compose an email far quicker and direct from your inbox view.

If you haven’t already tried it when you login to Gmail you should see a pop-up help window like this one:

You can opt to ‘try it now’ and use the new view or click ‘not now’ to stick to how Gmail currently works.

If you ‘try it now’ you’re taken through a quick help walkthrough and then can compose an email from the new pop-up overlay panel that looks like this:

A far quicker way to quickly compose an email, and I like the fact you can still see and click on mails in your inbox underneath without losing the email you were writing. Handy if you need to refer to another mail half-way through writing a new one.

Apple iPad Mini Announcement – LIVE BLOG

Welcome to the Fly Digital live blog of the Apple announcement on October 24th (October 23rd US) 2012. All times are Aus EDST.

4.01am: Tim Cook has just made his way onto the stage.

4.02am: We’re told the iPhone 5 was the fastest selling phone in history. Apple have made a video to back this up with lots of happy customers queueing at the Apple store in New York.

4.07am: There were 200million downloads of iOS6 in the first month (wow).

4.08am: 300 Billion messages have been sent via iMessage. That’s 28,000 per second. People don’t like calling each other any more.

4.10pm: 35 Billion apps have been downloaded from the App store representing a payout of 6.5 Billion dollars to developers.

4.15am: Welcome Phil Schiller to the stage to talk about some new hardware.

4.17am: The MacBook Pro is the best selling Mac machine (never knew that), and a new 13″ version is being released today.

4.21am: 7 hour battery life, retina display, lightning connector, power nap. The 2.5GHz dual-core i5 8GB RAM, 128GB flash version starts from $1699 (US).

4.26am: The first mention of “mini” … but it’s the new Mac Mini. Phil cracks a joke “you knew there’d be mention of something ‘mini’ in this presentation right?”.

4.29am: There’s a new iMac, the 8th generation of the flagship computer for Apple. Edge to edge glass, far thinner casing (5mm thick). Now that’s one thin desktop computer. Looks very sexy.

4.34am: The new iMac is 8lb lighter than the previous version, up to 768GB flash drive, up to 3TB HDD, Intel Quad Core i5 or i7, 21.5″ and 27″ versions.

4.36am: The iMac’s new Fusion Drive is a hybrid drive to enable faster access of data. Mountain Lion and base OSX apps are preloaded onto Fusion Drive if you choose that option. Claims to open files over 3x faster than standard HDD.

4.39am: 21.5″ iMac, 2.7GHz quad-core i5 starts at $1299. 27″, 2.9GHz starts at $1799, ships in December. Fly Digital will be getting a new present for Christmas methinks…

4.40am: And Tim Cook is back on stage, “and next I’d like to talk about iPad”.

4.40am: 100 Millionth iPad was sold last month (that’s over 2.5 years).

4.41am: iPad accounts for 91% of web traffic from Tablets. “There’s a simple reason for this”, says Tim Cook: “people love their iPads”. That got a chuckle from the audience.

4.45am: iBooks based textbooks are being used in over 2,500 schools in the US.

4.47am: And Phil Schiller is back on stage to talk more about iPad.

4.48am: The new 4th gen iPad has: A6X processor, 10-hour battery life, FaceTime HD camera, Expanded LTE (Telstra & Optus logos appeared on screen there), 2x faster Wi-Fi, lightning connector (with lightning to USB and SD connector options), black/white, 16GB Wi-Fi from $499, 16GB Wi-Fi and 4G from $629.

4.51am: The first mention of iPad Mini. The audience claps.

4.53am: The new iPad Mini is 7.2mm thick with a (7.9-inch diagonal) display. All software created for 3rd gen iPad works on iPad Mini.

4.59am: A comparison between the iPad and a “popular Android tablet” (Nexus 7) shows the iPad with a larger screen and larger area for content when browsing web pages.

5.01am: “Every inch an iPad” seems to be the new marketing line.

5.04am: We’re now watching a video on how the iPad Mini was conceived. Apple are doing a good job of reminding us this is a “condensed” iPad and a whole new device, and not just a “smaller” iPad.

5.07am: 16GB Wi-Fi version start at $329 (US) $369 (AUS). Pre-order October 26th. Wi-Fi ships November 2nd for Australia (available at 8:00 a.m in store).

5.09am: The new iPad Mini ad is pretty cute – two people playing “chopsticks” on a piano app side by side, iPad 3 on the left, iPad Mini on the right. Clever. That’s Phil’s spot finished, and Tim Cook is back.

5.12am: “This has been a truly prolific year of innovation for Apple”. Tim Cook thanks his teams for their work this year.

5.13am: And we’re done. Tim Cook thanks everyone for attending and the presentation finishes.

5.14am: www.apple.com is updated with the new iPad Mini

iPad Mini – Apple have got “a little more to show you”

Barely weeks since the iOS6 and iPhone5 announcements Apple are once again causing ripples across the Internet with more rumours of new products.

This time it’s the much anticipated iPad Mini – rumoured to be a 7.5-inch device to go head to head with Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The current iPad has a 9.7-inch screen size.

Apple are hosting an event next week (23rd in the US, 24th early morning here in Australia) and the iPad Mini is widely expected to feature. The invitation read: “We’ve got a little more to show you”.

It could have a price point around the $250-$300 mark.

Whatever gets announced we’ll let you know about it here.

Is the media making Trolling worse? How to stop the Trollstrollin

By Stefan Drury, Owner, Fly Digital Pty Ltd

The media’s current obsession with “Trolls” is doing more to encourage copycat behaviour rather than highlighting what was already a well known but relatively small issue within digital media.

This morning I read “Confessions of a Troll: Trolling is an art” on the Sydney Morning Herald website. The article is one of many recent reports in the media hyping up the subject of trolling even suggesting there are those people that believe trolling is “a threat to civilisation”.

As someone who’s been online since the days of Netscape Navigator I’ve seen my fair share of trolling. Back then we just used to call it “people being idiots”. It existed back in the days of bulletin boards and forums. It existed before Facebook or Twitter had been invented.

How did people deal with it back then? We ignored it. Marked it as “spam” or simply moved on and didn’t give that user our attention. That usually stopped it. Sure, today it has a fancy name but don’t be fooled, the practise is not new, it’s never been cool, and it does not deserve this much attention.

I’m not suggesting that the act of sending abusive, hurtful or aggresive messages to others via Social Media is acceptable. Nor am I saying bullying in any form (on or offline) should simply be accepted. What I am saying, however, is the way the media are hyping up the practise by latching on to the term “Trolling” is making the situation worse in my opinion, sensationalising something that should be dealt with subtly and strongly but not in front of a watching world.

Now every Australian with a Twitter account has been educated to the whats, whys and hows of making offensive and often hurtful remarks online and thanks to the Australian media they now have a fancy name to call themselves too.