The past few weeks have been super busy.
You’re looking good. How’s tricks?
I am sorry I am so rubbish.

It all sounds so outrageously facile, but the last couple of months have been a whirlwind. New job, TOTALLY new job at Lady Geek, which is fabulous and has somewhat distracted me from this blog. Hopefully I will be back a little more in the next few months. In the meantime, head over to Lady Geek TV to check out the App Show – it’s pretty great, if I do say so myself.


Cross-posted from Girly Geekdom

The ads for the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini could not have been more tempting. Elegant model fingers slickly trip-trip-tripping on the highly touch sensitive screen had me drooling from the get-go.  Cradled perfectly in the palm of my hand with a screen size smaller than an average credit card, the Xperia X10 mini is beautiful, responsive and sharp. Looking at the Xperia-exclusive Timescape social networking feature and a beautiful camera –

this tiny and probably highly lose-able phone was practically begging tocome with me to Glastonbury.

The phone helpfully came with a micro USB charger, 5 colourful snap-on backs and a 2 GB micro-SD card. Me, the X10 Mini and my untested sleeping bag were ready to go.

Superfast internet, a responsive touch screen, a powerful processor and the killer Google Android operating system powerthe social mind-meld that it is the Xperia-exclusive Timescape.Timescape mashes missed calls, texts, multimedia messages and Facebook and Twitter updates into a one-stop shop for social networking on a home screen. Responsive, reliable and beautiful, it was a pleasure to use and a great way to check in with Twitter, Facebook and messages quickly.

The sharp 5 megapixel camera took beautiful pictures during the day and night. Even when crushed by revellers at 10 pm and battling with strobe lighting and the surging excitement of an energetic crowd, the pictures of Muse performing on the Pyramid stage came out perfectly. So well, in fact, that other festival-goers commented on their sharpness as I took them. Each photo could be easily and instantly uploaded to YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, sent as an email or MMS, which had my friend in a fit of jealousy.

The fast processor and Android operating system does come with a drawback – the battery drained faster than a kitchen sink. This problem culminated in the X10 mini dying twice in one day leaving a very lost me frantically handing over the device to the lovely phone charging guys by the dance tents for an emergency 1 hour charge. Oops! I spent a lot of time in Orange Chill n Charge tent over the festival. On the plus side, I did get to see Ellie Goulding play an acoustic set in the tent. Unfortunately, I could not take a photo as… my phone was charging. A little investigation on return home revealed that the X10 Mini constantly scans for network so, if you are in a low network area or a particularly busy area (for example, Glastonbury!), the  X10 Mini’s battery will get sucked up just finding a network. Recommendation – switch the phone to airplane mode when confronted with this problem.

Overall, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini is a very impressive small smartphone, especially in comparison to the unresponsive HTC Tattoo. With the slick Timescape giving the phone a social networking edge, its £200 price tag, great processor and the Android operating system gives this impressive smartphone a great edge.

Glastonbury Flags

Pyramid Arena at Glastonbury - taken on the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini


Changes

22Jun10

…are afoot. Apologies for the sparse updates. I cannot really go into details for now, but suffice to say it is a long overdue change. In the meantime, BitchBuzz has a great piece on magazines (well, more! magazine) versus the twittersphere and the grand folks at b3ta have created some handy cribnotes for Wayne Rooney.


Recently, Lady Geek asked Britain, “What’s Your Favourite App?” Women are buying smartphones in greater and greater numbers and, likewise, picking up apps – but not everyone has caught on. Games and social networking applications are popular, but there are more than 100,000 apps in the Apple App store, not to mention the apps available in the Android market and Blackberry App World. Once you’ve downloaded Facebook, Bejeweled and a Twitter client, what do you go for? As a suggestion, here are a few of my favourite apps

Angry Birds Fling angry birds at stone, glass and wooden structures to kill piggies. Absolutely addictive and hilarious. Also fun – Spot the Angry Bird Fan. Helpful hint: look for furrowed brows and frantic fingers sliding across iPhone screens. http://www.rovio.com

Get Running – As a very sporadic runner, there is nothing more helpful and encouraging than a disembodied voice cheering you on. “You’re halfway there! Only 4 more runs to go.” “Congratulations! You finished your eight minutes of running today! Well done!” Perfect for getting off your butt and into a 5k. iPhone/iPod Touch http://splendid-things.co.uk/getrunning

My Tracks – Hooray for Google! This Android-only app not only maps your run, cycle ride, swim or hike, but also tracks pace, elevation and time spent moving. Use the export option to send your map to Google Maps and stats to Google Docs and share the details with your friends using Twidroid. Very helpful. Android only http://mytracks.appspot.com

ToDo Map – Goodbye, boring checklist. Hel-lo, pretty mapped to-do list. Plot your to-dos, prioritise and categorise by colour. Set up in map or review mode and bask in the gorgeous aesthetic. Maybe you can start ticking off the to-dos when you stop playing with this list. Go on, I dare you. iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad http://www.todomap.net

CardStar – I am a card-carrying loyalty card freak. See what I did there? If there was a loyalty card for using loyalty cards,

I would use it. Occasional sales or discounts would probably be more lucrative, but I cannot resist the possibility of, say, £2.50 of groceries after I spend £15,000 on contact lenses. CardStar is a very simple premise – store your loyalty card information. Flip your phone on its side and the app creates a scannable barcode. Genius. My purse is definitely lighter and my back is grateful. For iPhone/iPod Touch, Android and Blackberry http://www.mycardstar.com

Rightmove –  The ONLY way to do proper property stalking. Did I say property stalking? *ahem* I mean, find your next flat. This genius property-finder application not only does the basic property search, but it can also pinpoint your location to show nearby properties for sale or rent. So when your neighbour’s house goes on the market… iPhone/iPod Touch only
http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-you/iphone-application


I am not particularly guarded about my online life. My 300 Facebook friends know that New Moon dragged but I COULD NOT STOP WATCHING.  Pictures of my niece, of friends, of nights out, links to silly websites. According to Facebook, I listen to Broken Bells, The XX, Florence + The Machine, Say Hi and Le Tigre.  Of course, I omitted all the embarrassing stuff.

Oops. In one swift ill-thought out move, all my Facebook friends with Spotify accounts could now see that my gym playlist includes Sir Mix-a-Lot. The XX is right next to Paramore. Not even my boyfriend knows that. Unpublishing some of the playlists hopefully neutralised some of the damage, but I suspect this is optimistic – especially now that I am writing this blog post. I will now be known as that person who listens to godawful dance music at the gym.

That was bad enough. Then comes Spokeo, the personal information aggregator from Hell. Spokeo (US only, as far as I can tell) started out life innocently enough by aggregating friends status updates from Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites, similar to FriendFeed. Then Spokeo abandoned that tried and replicated tactic in favour of mining the White Pages and other sites for data to amalgamate. Now, Spokeo will happily sell all of the information available about you on the web, whether accurate or not, to anyone for the princely sum of $2.95. This includes full address, telephone number, age and credit rating, to name a few things. Most of this is information that could be acquired by looking at the sources – but that’s generally more effort than most lazy people put into internet stalking. Is $2.95 a fair price for ALL of my personal information in one source? I’m leaning towards no.

The general reaction to Spokeo is revulsion, not least because of the accessibility of personal information. Spokeo proudly proclaims that it can provide data reports for a fraction of the cost of comparable services and, therefore, redefining the way people connect with each other. Is that a good thing? And for what purpose? Spokeo offers none, other than to index and sell to other companies, and it’s often wrong anyway. A cursory glance at the service shows family members still “married” to exes of several years, child-free friends who apparently have children. Most curiously, people younger than 30 are thin on the ground in Spokeo world, despite being the most markedly present on social networking sites.

Not only is this a very obvious leg-up for actual stalkers, but also raises questions about the value of our personal details and privacy. The site seems a prime target for stalkers and crazies as well as marketing firms. I think my personal information collected in one source is worth more than $2.95, but I doubt a marketing company thinks so. Whether it is successful or not depends on how successful old marketing, based on some concrete facts and a lot of assumptions, is compared to the new, smarter breed of targeted marketing used by Google and Facebook.

So what does this mean for this new monster breed of data aggregating sites? Do they continue down the garden path with misleading information? Spokeo likens this method of aggregating to Google Maps taking a snapshot of your house. Google Maps, however, doesn’t have a big label over my house with my name on it. It doesn’t estimate my income bracket and credit rating, proclaim I have one child (I’m don’t), a cat (I do), like to read (I do) and lift weights (I don’t). I’m not sure how valuable incorrect information is, or whether it just distorts the picture of a market. The only thing I can be sure of is that having my details compiled together but on as public a platform as, say, Speakers Corner is absolutely terrifying.

Spokeo

Spotify


A couple of months ago, I lamented the difficulty in tracking down good headphones and the dearth of headphones/technology targeted at women that WASN’T (a) pink AND (b) crap. You can understand my gasps of delight when I saw this?

Woohoo! Look at that! Look at that! Cool retro-design and they’re not pink! Brilliantly displayed on retro mannequins and sold at Fifi Wilson, a trendy London boutique, alongside Sonia Rykiel jackets, See by Chole jumpers and By Malene tops. If it wasn’t for the photographic evidence, I would have thought I’d imagined this. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Fifi Wilson – women do need and buy technology.

Spitfire Headphones, £29.95. At Fifi Wilson, 5a Abbeville Road, London SW4 9JX. Locations in Chelsea and Covent Garden.


Soooooo… um…. Let’s mow the lawn!

Wow. Um. So, it looks like Wilkinson Sword employed the talents of Tour Guide Barbie from Toy Story 2 to star in their innuendo-based re-enactment of Let’s Go to the Mall from How I Met Your Mother.

See? SEE? I am not sure whether to laugh at this or be creeped out by the Stepford-like identibot broken-down craziness of these women. In 1969, Pat Mainardi pointed out the absurdity of striving to be the television woman hysterical over her smudged floors. Forty-one years later the temperature of the ads hasn’t changed, just the subject of the legitimised craziness. We’ve moved on from craziness over dirty houses to… craziness over untidy front bottoms.

And maybe it’s tongue-in-cheek. Maybe I should grow a sense of humour. Or maybe (just maybe) we should all realise this ad is not pointing out how ridiculous it is that women are expected to be virtually hairless like a child (or artfully hairy), but that… what? That it’s a chore? Well, of COURSE it’s a chore. It’s as fun as having your wisdom teeth pulled. The Stepfords only make it kitschily creepy.

We’ve come a long way, baby. Or not.