19 Sep 2014
Sneak wants you to imagine the situation: you've waited 12 long months, poured over the rumours, sweated through Tim Cook's glitchy keynote, and queued for hours before you finally get your hands on the new iPhone 6.
You leave the Apple shop in a daze, blue T-shirted ‘geniuses' applaud as you walk among them – the first person in the nation to get your hands on the latest iPhone.
Then comes the moment you waited so long for.
You steady your quivering hands, and grasp the top of the Apple branded box. Your fingers clasp and lift its top.
Maybe you blinked for a second, but when you look down there is no shiny new smartphone. Perhaps it's a clever engineering ploy by the Cupertino brand to create a phone that is almost invisible, you think.
Then you hear the cries of shock and anguish, mixed with barks of amusement. You look down at your boutique custom trainers, and there lies your iPhone 6 – nearly £600 worth of fresh technology – face down on tarmac.
Now Sneak wants you to imagine that situation was caught on live TV.
That's exactly what happened to Jack Cooksey as he was presenting his new smartphone to Australia's Channel 9 news.
Sneak thinks you might enjoy the video below, which is currently percolating through the internet.
Sneak wishes to point out that, traditionally, it is meant to be Jack who hits the road and not anything else.
While the crowds may have found the Aussie's accident amusing, Sneak doubts other Apple fanatics at the end of the queue would share their sentiments. After all to Apple cultists dropping a new iPhone is akin to chipping the Holy Grail, blunting Excalibur, and handing the One Ring back to Sauron.
Luckily for Cooksey the iPhone 6 weathered its tarmac baptism, and emerged unscathed.
Sneak was startled to hear that elsewhere in Perth, Australia, eccentric Antipodeans are deliberately dropping their iPhones to test the toughness of Apple tech.
Unsurprisingly, such scientific testing revealed that the new iPhones will crack if dropped onto pavements. Sneak wonders what the University of Stating the Bleeding Obvious will reveal next.
As a charitable chap, Sneak would offer his iPhone 6 to any Apple enthusiasts who might have dropped their precious phones; however the Plus model simply works too well as a cheese board for Sneak to part with it.
Sneak enjoys the musical stylings of most popular beat combos made up of earnest men gurning at microphones over the sounds of meaningful music, but only on his own terms.
So if he feels like a bit of Journey to get him in the mood for some coding, he’ll happily load it up on his phone and listen away. Or if he’s in the car and the soothing, soulful lyrics of Mike and the Mechanics are called for, he’ll Bluetooth those beats through his stereo and rock away.
However, one thing Sneak has never enjoyed is when other people force their music upon you, whether that’s a sodcaster on the train blaring out their music, or when Graham – the health and safety man – insists on putting Dexys Midnight Runners' Greatest Hits on the office stereo.
So, when Tim Cook forced Sneak to have the warblings of an Irish band by the name of U2 on his iPhone, Sneak was outraged. Who was this Cook fellow to tell Sneak what to listen to, and who – or what – were U2 when they were at home anyway?
Sneak assumed it was some favour by Apple’s chief to help promote a mate’s band or some such nepotisim but it turns out they're multi-million selling megastars. Sneak has never heard of them. He gave it a listen, but it wasn’t his cup of tea.
It turns out many more Apple users have been a bit perturbed to find their iPhones infiltrated by this motley crew (ah, now there’s a great band) of Irish crooners, so the company has provided instructions on how to remove the offending album from their collections.
It’s a four stage process, detailed below:
If you have already downloaded the album you'll have to manually delete the tracks from your iTunes account.
Rock on dudes!
Sneak loves a good old-fashioned smartphone launch but he'll never understand the crowds of fevered fans who camp outside Apple stores days in advance of the next iPhone. Do these people not have families, jobs, lives to lead?
The Telegraph reported that as of 6pm on Monday, two tents were erected outside Apple's Regent Street store. The iPhone Air/6/min/XL/selfie+, or whatever Apple will call it, is not expected to launch until 19 September.
Sneak can't help but wonder what these people do for food or hygiene, or what Apple thinks about having grotty-looking tents pitched outside its trendy flagship store. Perhaps Apple soaked the storefront with a scent that its fans/cultists find irresistible.
Personally Sneak avoids camping like he avoids Windows Vista. Ever since "the incident" with Mrs Sneak in the Lake District, he feels a little uneasy around fibreglass poles and polyester.
So it baffles Sneak how people could endure the crowds, pollution, noise and social stigma of camping outside a shop, no matter how shiny the devices are.
However, The Telegraph went on to describe how some people will sell their coveted spot in the queue to the highest bidder – also known as the people who've been out in the sun too long. Though Sneak can appreciate the bare-faced tenacity of such guerrilla entrepreneurialism.
Some spots net up to £1,500 for the cheeky campers. Sneak thinks that if you pay that much for a phone that costs around £500, then you have been staring at a picture of Steve Jobs for too long, and need shock therapy.
Other money-spinning moves that exploit Apple's cult-like following are the people who get paid to queue on the behalf of yet more people who lack the sense to accompany their money.
Sneak has to admit, though, he finds the idea of subcontracting the boring aspects of life very appealing – especially since his server-room assistant disappeared a few weeks ago. Sneak rarely thinks about Quentin these days, but he can't help notice an odd smell coming from that mass of Cat5 cables behind Server101.
Fancy lunch with Apple CEO Tim Cook to find out about the iPhone 6, the firm's plans for the long-rumoured iWatch or just what on earth he is doing considering paying $3bn for Beats? Well a spare £200,000 should be enough.
A recent auction for lunch with Cook held by charity site CharityBuzz has closed with the winning bidder stumping up $300,001 for the honour. Clearly small change to that Apple fan, who's not been named.
Cook is clearly a charity soul as he added the chance to be a guest of honour at the next major Apple event – perhaps the iPhone 6 unveiling - to help boost the bids, which is for his charity of choice, the RFK Center for Justice & Human Rights.
Sneak is sure that such an amount is worth it. After all, Cook has been at Apple for years, learned from the master Steve Jobs, and has kept Apple ticking since taking over, so no doubt he can pass on a thing or two.
Really, though, for that much money Tim Cook should actually cook the meal as well, and provide transport costs for getting to the firm's headquarters, as this is not included in the lot, although the anonymous winning bidder can no doubt afford it.
While one Tim is basking in the clear demand that he enjoys from the public, Sneak couldn't help feeling a little sorry for another Tim - AOL chief Tim Armstrong.
So far the chance for lunch with him, and a tour of the HuffingtonPost Live studios and a taped interview, has had just one bid of $3,500, against an estimate of $25,000 from the organisers.
Don't worry, Tim, Sneak will stump up a bit to get the bids moving – you accept Bitcoin, right?
The Galaxy S5 was finally unveiled to the world this week at Mobile World Congress. Being a lover of all things mobile, Sneak was very excited about the new features, such as the fingerprint scanner and a fast downloads tool, but was less enthralled with its premium price tag.
So for those of you who, like Sneak, don't fancy paying the price of £600 for a Galaxy S5, luckily there's now another option: the Goophone S5.
Less than two days after Samsung had its big unveiling for the Galaxy S5, copycat smartphone maker Goophone introduced its own strikingly similar model.
The Goophone S5 has the same perforated casing and design as Samsung's latest model, and features a 5in full HD 1920x1080 resolution screen, an octa-core 2GHz processor and 32GB of internal storage that's expandable.
Yes, you'll be making some compromises with the Goophone S5. It offers only 3G network support compared with the Galaxy S5's 4G capability; it has only a 13MP rear camera, rather than a 16MP camera with a fast autofocus speed of 0.3 seconds; and it's a bit behind with its Android 4.2 Jelly Bean mobile operating system rather than the latest Android 4.4 KitKat release.
But then again, you will be saving 50 percent off the price of the Samsung Galaxy S5, with the Goophone S5 available for only $299.99. A bargain, even by Sneak's cheapskate standards.
Sadly the Goophone S5 is out of stock at present, but we'll be sure to check regularly and update you on availability. And in the meantime, why not treat yourself to the Goophone i5S for a mere $160, which bears an uncanny resemblance to the iPhone 5S and also comes in grey, black or gold.
Sneak has to admit to not being fully immersed in the Goophone ethos and wonders how it's flown under the radar of Apple, Samsung and others for so long. But we certainly like its marketing style, which has a distinct difference to the normal cloying language employed by rival smartphone vendors.
"The Next Big Thing Is Almost Here," the firm states on its Goophone S5 page. "Goophone has always been forward best smartphone. With new design, this new generation Goophone S5 you have never seen it. Goophone S5 is world's first smartphone powered 2GHz Mediatek MT6592 true octa-core processor, along with 2GB DDR3 RAM, bring better operating experience to us."
Take that, Apple marketing department.
Sneak had to smirk today after reading the news that a whole load of iPhone owners had been duped into believing that Apple's iOS 7 mobile operating system made their phones waterproof.
The ad, posted in a very convincing Apple style said: "Update to iOS 7 and become waterproof.
"In an emergency, a smart switch will shut off the phone's power supply and corresponding components to prevent any damage to your iPhone's delicate circuitry."
Having seen it go viral on Facebook, most readers would have shrugged it off, but some Apple fans with grape-sized brains decided to put the claims to the test. You can guess what happened next. "OK whoever said iOS 7 was waterproof go **** yourself", said one particularly unimpressed lad. Another foolhardy gentleman went one step further: "wtf #ios7 isnt waterproof!! now my phones at the bottom of the river."
Sneak does have some sympathy for these poor souls, having dropped his own smartphones into various watery places including the toilet, the bath, the sink and Apple's own factories (what with all the leaks). Sneak has heard of going in depth with a new device, but this is ridiculous.
A BBC newsreader has won Sneak's affections by grasping a ream of copier paper and truly making it look like he believed it was an Apple iPad.
iPads are the modern day newsreader's prop. A comfort blanket of technological proportions. They can include scripts, photos and games of Angry Birds – any of which may prove useful to a newsreading anchorman.
Simon McCoy of the BBC proved yesterday that it is possible to hold a ream of paper with the same gravitas that you would a tablet computer during a segment about binge drinking – an article that had caught Sneak's bleary attention.
You can see it below. He is carrying an item the size of a swimming float and, Sneak has assumed, is presumably wondering what all the fuss is about tablet computers.
Fortunately a spokeswoman for BBC News said it was just a mistake and added that McCoy simply "went with" his error.
"This morning as Simon McCoy was preparing to introduce this story, instead of picking up his tablet to hold as he went to air, he mistakenly picked up a ream of paper that was sitting next to it," she said. "In the rush of live news, he didn't have an opportunity to swap the items, so simply went with it."
Sneak has access to both a ream of paper and an iPad. He estimates that the iPad is smaller than a ream of paper and weighs a lot less. He hasn't done the precise calculations, but does wonder whether the mere talk of binge drinkers is intoxicating enough to cause confusion.
In the meantime Sneak has some words of advice that he has heard many times before. That is, if in doubt, get an eye test.
As one who never ventures far from the safety of his living room Sneak can count himself lucky he’s not one of the many Londoners who have experienced street crime, especially not of his beloved mobile phone.
However, it’s a worrying trend and Sneak was pleased to see Mayor of London Boris Johnson tackle the issue head on with a letter to the top mobile phone makers, including Apple, Samsung and Google, asking them to help tackle phone theft.
Scanning the letter, it’s clear some hasty rewriting took place in City Hall to tone down some of Johnson’s more colourful prose. However, a source in the capital passed Sneak a copy of the first draft, which is presented below in all its glory.
Dear chaps or chapesses (yes I know women can be high-ranking business officials these days, the modern world eh, marvelous!)
What spiffing weather we’re having! Anyhoo, look, there’s this dash awful phone-gizmo theft problem in London that I need your help with. It seems some of the awful scallywags and ne’er-do-wells who don’t live in Kensington and Chelsea are appropriating – through foul means – the portable telecommunication devices of upstanding citizens.
The rozzers at Scots Yard tell me they’re powerless to stop anyone and that I should ask you geek and nerds – and I mean that affectionately you brilliant brainy boffins – for some help stopping these ruffians.
No, I don’t mean some sort of weedy geek squads patrolling the streets, Lord no!
What I want is some sort of whizzo tech solution. Surely you can rustle up some nifty gizmo to stop this happening? Some sort of Heath Robinson contraption that stops someone being able to use a stolen phone would be great – you could call it the Boris-a-tron! You can have that free of charge! Marvelous!
Anyway, send me some drawings of what you think could work and I’ll personally look over them before giving them the sign off.
Sent from my blasted tablet device (haha!)
Thieves of London, you have been warned...