(Status) – “And we’re off!”

So, The move is now complete. If your reading this blog, Its probably because you accessed it via its WordPress.com URL (donaldkelly.wordpress.com) – Or because you’ve access the link to me from the BBC. If this is the case then you should note that this blog is no longer updated. You can see the new-shiny-often updated version at its primary domain, DonaldKelly.co.uk.

This one will remain online just in case I need to return to WordPress.com for some reason.

iTunes App Store has Launched

Apple has (unoffically) launched the iTunes Application store in the UK. The store currently contains nearly 28 pages of various applications designed for both the iTouch and iPhone (EDGE and 3G Versions) the 2.0 software has yet to be released but the Applications can be purchased, downloaded but not actually run. You can’t “simulate” an application on your computer, as some has hoped.

Oddly enough, Quite a few of the items on the store are actually books. For example in the states Amazon has the portable-reading device known as the Kindle. Books on the iTouch and iPhone (via the screenshots) appear to be quite readable and the iPhone/iTouch could be quite a nice Book reading platform.

Updates are arriving every few minutes, Screenshots being uploaded now. (A few already posted below.)

Update One: Here‘s the link to all Free Applications (Works for the United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand shops.)

Initial Screenshots:

Update Two: Applications are locked down via Apple’s DRM Technology, FairPlay. I’m not sure of (if any) syncing restrictions or the license provided to you by default (for the number of authorised devices that allow you to sync applications on.) Quite a few major companies have applications / programmes on the AppStore already, Including (As pictured above.) BA (British Airways) which allow you for example to examine and check/lookup flights (and check timetables.) I’m also currently the only brit covering this story. WooHoo.

Update Three: Applications are priced between 79p and £20.00. The App Store will display *without* downloading the most recent version of iTunes (Version 7.7, Available at apple.com/uk/itunes/download) but Applications *will not sync* without this update! So I would suggest downloading the Disc Image now. Your still not able to download the iTouch/iPhone 2.0 Software update. I’m also wondering if iTouch users will be required to pay for this update. As some pages say

Update for iPod touch, sold separately.

Which indicates that iTouch users will most likely have to pay £10.00 – £20.00 for another software upgrade for our devices.

Update Four: Applications download as .ipa files, and are defined within the finder as “Apple Device Application Files” and must be opened in iTunes 7.7. Average file size on disc is between 15KB and 2.5MB per application. Which would make downloading directly from an iPhone or iTouch via WiFi, EDGE or o2’s 3G Network quite snappy. These applications are most likely *highly* compressed.

Update Five: Nothing more to report on as of this moment. But still watching and looking around. There are a few “cosmetic” faults with the store. As seen in the screenshot below. These appear on various pages within the store, And I’m guessing are just little bugs in the code (Going from local-development copies on apple devloper systems, To Online live copies on the actual UK Store.

Update Six: The live above also works on the iTunes New Zealand store, It actually may work on all locations which currently have a “hidden” App Store. I can confirm now it works on Both the United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand stores. Applications are localized depending on which store you purchase from. (And each store uses its local currency. For example the UK Store uses Pound Sterling, Ireland store uses the Euro and the New Zealand store uses the NZ Dollar (I’m guessing, NZ $ – See below.)

Update Seven: A few games have been added to the store, So the App Store is obviously being updates from Cupertino. The few games that are on the store range in price from £5.99 to £7.99 and also include Standards compliant raitings. Which work with the iTunes Parental Control Centre in iTunes on both Mac and PC or the System-wide Parental Control Centre on Mac OS X 10.4 and above. Below are a few screen captures from Moto Racer, One of many games currently on the App Store.

Update Eight: The update to the 2.0 software will be free for iPhone owners and will cost roughly 5 quid for iTouch users. (or 9 dollars US for any American subscribers / readers.)

Account Overload?

If you’ve been using the Internet for any longer than one week, You’ve probably been (or even have an account.) on a Social Networking site like MySpaceUK, Facebook or Bebo. And you might have been told or seen articles online about more “advanced” networking sites like del.icio.us or StumbleUpon. But we’re starting to see a problem many “web analysts” predicted a few years ago, account and networking overload. Some people have 30+ accounts on various networking sites. For example, I have accounts on Plurk, Twitter, del.icio.us (delicious), Facebook, Bebo, MSN(UK), Yahoo (UK and Ireland), Google (UK), last.fm, StumbleUpon, FriendFeed, Pownce, Plaxo, Jaiku and a tumblelog on Tumblr. 13 accounts in total, mind you this doesn’t include accounts on sites like PayPal, Amazon.co.uk or eBay.co.uk

The problem is that this soon becomes far too much to manage. When your getting 25+ Friend requests per day on Facebook, Replies on Twitter and messages about your listening history on last.fm you soon begin to simply run out of time. We’re starting to have so many accounts and we’re beginning to use so many services that they all loose meaning. They soon become more of a hassle and less of a “Social Connection” or a series of “Communication Tools”

So what we’re beginning to see is people actually closing accounts and leaving sites. To where they hold a total of four or five accounts total. One Social Networking site, A blog and maybe an account for “IMing” mates. The problem with this? Social networking sites obtain funding via the number of users they maintain or the number of users they obtain per quarter. And loosing users doesn’t bring in profits for these sites.

So could this be Bubble 2.0 (or 3.0 as some are saying now.) which brings us back to 2001 to when massive websites like eBay and Google were struggling to keep the servers connected to utilities and employees paid? We’ve simply reached the limit of the number of things (or sites) we can maintain without spending an entire day doing so. And quite a few of us are battling 15,000 spam messages in our inbox’s while trying to find the (far and few) important messages, that need a reply before 14:00 today (You’ve probably had one of those messages before.)

I can’t use photoshop.

I’ll just come clean and admit it. I’m a total failure in Photoshop CS3. I can work through CS2, but attempting to place me in CS3 is a mistake. Even trying to design a basic design in CS3 resulted in nothing short of a disaster, and with a price tag pushing £900.00 for a Single User license of CS3 Extended for Mac, I think I’ll stick with CS2 for now. Even though I could actually put that 900 quid on something that (in time.) I would get use out of, Me being me I’ll go waste it on something totally useless! Or maybe a miracle will occur and I’ll spend it on Adobe Fireworks or some other programme for the Mac. Of which will sit Idle until I remember that I actually bought it.

(And knowing me, It’ll only be a short time before I find that useless something.)

Twitter and Up-time

If you use Twitter, or Twitters web-interface. Then you’ll have seen a lot of whales recently. Meaning the page which simply says “Twitter: Over Capacity”

Since December 2007 Twitter.com has had seventy-eight hours of downtime. Which for those that aren’t web-savvy. Is nothing short of unacceptable. Twitter had just short of twenty-four hours of downtime in May of this year alone. Twitter which asks the question “What Are you doing?” launched in 2006 and has over 800,000 users (See note four.) and is expected to have well over 1.4 – 1.5 million unique users by the end of 2008. The conversations of how to scale-twitter and provide sufficient resources to keep the site stable has been on-going since 2007, but we now seem to be seeing the results when nothing is done. Competing sites like Jaiku or Plurk (which is a rubbish name.) show no problems with up-time, Yet the overall unique users for these sites is lower than that of twitter. Just under 200,000 for Jaiku (see note two.)

(Feedback) – Do you use Twitter? Has the up-time (or lack of it.) effected you?

(Feedback) – Do you use Twitter? Has the lack of up-time effected you or your mates? Provide your feedback using the form below.

Two – Data as of 9 October 2007 and was calculated for the August quarter from VentureBeat.com, Jaiku was purchased by Google in 2007 for £5m (I’ll be honest, That number is a random-arse guess. 12m USD to GBP isn’t the easiest conversion to do, and the only source providing that number is ValleyWag, Which has proven to be “less-then-reliable” in past.)
Three – Data based on Pingdom report provided by Twitter/Obvious.
Four – Number based on unique “tweets” by users who choose to have tweets made public. Number of actual users is far higher.


A few weeks ago I published about OneEvents, A “Twitter bot” of sorts which takes advantage of the BBC Backstage Radio 1 RSS Feed (Called “OneEvents”) after reading a post on iBBC (The Blog about the BBC’s Interactive Services from the FM&T Group.) I’ve made another, OneRecent. Its another automated twitter bot which uses the BBC Radio 1 Last.fm page to tweet the latest tracks on Radio 1.

A few limitations though:

  • Radio 1 only sends last.fm updates from 7AM to 11:30PM, Anything played outside of these times won’t be included in a tweet message.
  • Only 5 Tracks are “tweeted” per 30 minutes. Due to some limitations of TwitterFeed (The service I used to parse the RSS Feed and then pass that data on to twitter.)
  • [Bug] Track data isn’t always (how do I explain this?) easily-read by humans. Meaning it on occasion will post something like “TN:000094” (aka, Alpha-numeric characters which are totally useless to humans. Which has no relation to the track that was played.)
  • [Bug] On occasions the flipping thing won’t post at all!

So Yes, It could be better designed. But I don’t currently have a programme that can better parse or process data sent out via the Last.fm RSS Feed. And you can always find complete track listings on the pages of Radio 1 online. (Plug!)

And the design for OneRecent is… The same as that for OneEvents. I’ve not had enough time to create a design for OneRecent. So it uses the very-basic-and-vanilla black and white Radio 1 Colour Scheme. If you follow OneRecent or OneEvents and things get “Out of hand” send me an email. donald.kelly-at-donaldkelly.co.uk


I said I wasn’t going to be writing any posts this weekend. I lied. But! I found something worth lying about. TweetDeck from Ian Dodsworth (who, If the mobile number is any indication is a fellow Brit. +50 Kudos points!). TweetDeck is another Adobe Air powered Twitter client (but its different in so many ways.) It takes the quality that Twitterific has of being a useful programme, but it lets twitterific keep its pain-in-the-arse quality’s.

Yes, I know. That image is rubbish. But I’m on my MacBook at the moment (I’m actually in bed with tea as I write this. Really!) Once I get on my Main Mac I’ll upload a better image as well as a few of the interface.

Within TweetDeck’s dark interface (It only has one colour, Black.) you’ll find a few buttons across the top of the window. One to create a new Tweet, One to add users to a Group, Another to search through your (and others) tweets and one to toggle the showing of replies. Across the bottom you’ll find a a slider bar which allows you to adjust the timeframe of tweets that are shown, anywhere between 1 and 168 hours. You’ll also find data about the next time TwitterDeck will request new tweets from twitter and the Twitter Status. Which (I love) the current status message

Twitter Status: Pretty much ok.

Each tweet shown in the “All Tweets” group show, The users photo and give you the option to Direct message the user (D Username Message) or Retweet the users tweet.

Overall, For a beta. TweetDeck is very slick. Very slick indeed. The interface does become slightly inconsistent at times (Doing one action will cause a fade in transition, But doing another will fail to cause that same transition.) and considering its only on Version 0.15b, Version 1.0 would be something all other Twitter Clients (Seesmic’s Twhirl and IconFactory’s Twitterific) should be on the lookout for.

(One wee size bug: Adjusting the timeframe slider to “1 Hours”, 1 “hours”, Shouldn’t it be 1 Hour?)