Is praise for the Mac App Store misguided?

The Mac App Store launched this week and after a few hiccups in authorising accounts, has been a huge hit. There has been a lot of buzz about it since, but some of this seems to be misguided.

Yes, it makes sense that software should be available to download via an online marketplace like this but it isn’t exactly taking giant leaps forward. All the Mac App Store is really doing is freeing up space within Apple’s high street stores by ultimately reducing the offer of boxes of software that serve no purpose.

Somewhere: Review

Somewhere poster

The first film I saw of 2011 was ‘Somewhere’ by Sofia Coppolla.It’s about an actor called Johnny Marco, played by Stephen Dorff and offers a personal insight into the lives of actors of this stature.

Think Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis. Great actors in their own right but put them in a press conference and ask them clichéd questions like ‘Who is Johnny Marco?’ and you pay more attention to the monotonous aspects of their lives instead of all the glitz and the glamour. And who better to tell this side of Hollywood than Sofia Coppolla who is the daughter of The Godfather and Apocalypse Now Director, Francis Ford?

Opera 11 released

Opera 11 beta was released this week, this may not seem like much to some because their market share has been crippled in recent months by the growth of Chrome and the resurgence of IE with IE9.

But to those in the web design community, we still look toward Opera for innovation. They come up with a lot of these ideas first only to be duplicated by competitors and ultimately improved upon.

Seriously, how long had Opera displayed ‘speed dial’ as a home screen before Apple came along and produced their own version. Obviously Apple made this sexier with a curved effect and reflections but Opera were there first.

Has Facebook Places failed already?

Location based social networking is surely the breakthrough of 2010 with the likes of Foursquare and Gowalla competing for most of the previous year. Facebook Places arrived late onto the scene and, as a result, has not run entirely to plan.

First we had the statement on launch night from Mark Zuckerberg himself that the usefulness of ‘checking in’ at locations via Facebook would allow users to find their friends in the real world.

Come on, we all know the real reason is:

Google TV falters

The battle between Google TV and Apple TV took another turn this week and there are still no clear victors.

I recently opted for Apple TV because I wanted the original version but wasn’t prepared to pay the price. The re-release and price reduction to £99.99 may prove beneficial in the war as it snapped up early buyers.

Although not instantly blown away by Apple TV, I recognise the potential in what’s to come. Initially, the UK version does not give you access to TV programmes, just films and your own iTunes library. But, that will come in time in addition to apps or extensions similar to that on the iPhone.

Goldeneye

Goldeneye

Today will be remembered forever in the gaming community, what is sure to be one of the worlds most successful franchises released the latest iteration. Call Of Duty: Black Ops was released throughout the world and it is predicted to eclipse all previous records for sales.

I wasn’t at my local video game store for Call Of Duty, much the opposite, I was even trading in Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare in the hope that the Wii was still a major player in the console wars.

I’d recently purchased an Xbox just to play FIFA 11 because I was sick of Nintendo being handed childish efforts in terms of graphics and gameplay. There is a large adult Wii ownership as well!So, alot rested in Goldeneye. Could this put the Wii back on the map, could we finally forgive Nintendo for giving up their Rare exclusivity deal over 10 years ago to Microsoft?The first thing that strikes you as you insert the disc is that, as can be expected, the graphics are no where near as sharp as it’s rivals. Nintendo will surely have to build in HD support for it’s next machine.

AdSense Beta rolls out

Google AdSense logoGoogle rolled out the AdSense Beta this week to many of their partners.

This is a vast improvement on the old interface and it will improve the usability for the many users they have. It will bring Adsense into the same realm as it’s partners and distinctly brands them with the strong blue against Adwords Green and Analytics Orange. The colour palette has been vastly improved and uses bold colours instead of the bland colours of old.

New Coast website launched

Coast Design Ltd launched their new website in October 2010 to highlight the services on offer and how we can help SMEs and larger businesses to utilise digital mediums to promote their business.

The website aims to combine the range of services on offer, the opinions that Coast has in our blog and will also offer free guidance for people to follow to improve their knowledge of online marketing.

UCAS Social Media

Social networkingCoast Design attended the UCAS Social Media conference on Monday 18 October at the Russell Hotel. The whole day showed the importance of using these tools in the real world and the underlying message was “you just can’t afford to ignore social networks”.

This point is especially true within the education sector, the 16-25 age group is the key demographic for use of social networks so it bodes the question – why are Universities and HEIs so afraid of implementing a social media strategy as part of their communications?

Scott Pilgrim Vs the World

Last night I finally saw Scott Pilgrim Vs The World.Before I entered the cinema I had already decided that it was going to sit alongside Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz as one of my favourite films of all time (along with Back to the Future but that goes without saying). This is largely to do with Edgar Wright’s clinical direction and the comedy that was strewn throughout.

The comedy is delivered thick and fast and is similar to the style of Bill Lawrence. You really have to concentrate and there is so much repeat value that makes you want to watch it again and again. But not everyone will understand that type of comedy. Not everyone will laugh at the subtle references to the Leg3nd of Zelda or Final Fantasy.

To no avail, it also includes some slapstick and simple comedy to appease the masses.But don’t get me wrong, it’s not all about the laughs. This is essentially a love story that is delivered so tenderly that, if you’re in a different state of mind, you can totally ignore. Seriously, how many men can’t relate to the quandary faced by Scott Pilgrim?