it-sneak

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Contract clause clinches children in WiFi want woes

30 Sep 2014

Sneak owes his livelihood to the internet, so much so that every day he walks through the sliding doors of FaceLess Corp, he tips his hat to a picture of Sir Tim Berners-Lee that sits on the reception desk.

But would he give away his first-born child for access to WiFi? Well the question is moot, as Sneak doesn't have children due to their propensity to pull out Ethernet cables and crash carefully constructed chipsets.

However, a highly scientific study found six wireless-hungry families were happy to do exactly that to get access to free WiFi in London. By signing up to the terms and conditions of a WiFi hotspot, the families had agreed to sacrifice their eldest child.

The report explained that the families were so keen to sign up to free WiFi that they simply agreed to "render up their eldest child for the duration of eternity" in a section of the T&Cs, which had been put there by researchers carrying out the snappily titled Tainted Love: How Wi-Fi Betrays Us report by security company F-Secure.

Most reports on this story assume the families failed to read the clandestine clause, but Sneak wonders if they simply decided that giving up their first-born was an acceptable cost. Maybe three of the families simply had a problem child they wanted to get rid of.

While Sneak comes out in a rash when his smartphone loses wireless connectivity, he has yet to resort to desperate measure in order to post snaps of his lunch on Instagram.

Luckily, or unluckily, for the families, the researchers declared they would not be enforcing the clause in the T&Cs.

Sneak idly wonders what F-Secure would actually do with six children, as he hears that eBay is quite strict on what can be sold through its marketplace.

Apple fan fumbling sends iPhone 6 tumbling

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.

iPhone 6 superfans set up camp outside Apple stores

09 Sep 2014

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.

Goophone S5 offers half-price version of Samsung Galaxy S5

28 Feb 2014

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.

goophone-s5The 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.

iPhone users in hot (and cold) water after iOS 7 "waterproof" prank

24 Sep 2013

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."

iOS7 ad claiming the iPhone to be water proof landed some users in trouble

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. 

Apple’s Jony Ive given gold Blue Peter badge

15 Feb 2013

Apple's Jonny Ive has been rewarded a gold Blue Peter badge

Sneak never liked Blue Peter when he was a child - all those fresh-faced eager-beaver up-and-at-em presenters gurning at the camera enthusing kids to "give it a try" just struck him as annoying.

His hardline stance has softened over the years - time does that to a man - but he can't say he ever finds himself watching the show now, obviously.

However, he may well take time out of his oh-so-busy schedule on Saturday morning to see Apple's head design honcho Sir Jony Ive on the show.

This is because Ive is to receive a very special golden Blue Peter badge, for his efforts in designing products like the iPhone and iPad, joining a very special list of people to have received this accolade, including David Beckham, JK Rowling, The Queen and Sneak himself. Ok, not Sneak, that's a lie.

"Sir Jonathan Ive is an inspiration to children around the world and we were ecstatic to hear his comments and design advice to our viewers who will remember such feedback for a lifetime," gushed Ewan Vinnicombe, acting editor of Blue Peter.

Ive, in return, gave the team an aluminium Blue Peter badge crafted by this team - perhaps it's a new iPeter product. Or should that be iBadge?

We think Vinnicombe and the rest of the staff must really have been hoping for iPads for all, and maybe a few iPhones thrown in as well.

 

French thieves smash and grab Paris Apple store

02 Jan 2013

paris-web-2012

Zut alors! Le Sneak was shocked to zee zat thieves in ze French capital of Paris (That's enough faux French accents now - Parisian Ed) have stolen around £1m of Apple goods in a New Year's Eve heist.

The Gallic assassins used the cover of fireworks and drunken revellers to mask their thieving ways and cries of, "Quick, grab the Pomme iPads and iPhones!" (see those French lessons stuck!), to make off with some serious loot.

"They were well prepared," said the brilliantly-named Christophe Crepin from the police union UNSA, according to numerous reports.

"As the majority of police were busy watching the Champs Elysees the robbers took advantage of this opportunity."

The heist is estimated to be worth around £813,000 which given the pricing of Apple goods means they probably got three iPads, four iPhones and five new iMacs in total.

According to the French newspaper Le Parisien (no idea what that means) the thieves were able to first gain access by threatening a security guard at a back entrance.

Typical, a back-door exploit; see those closed ecosystems aren't as secure as you think.

Apple cosies up with Harley Davidson for Lightning rights

27 Nov 2012

Apple has made an unlikely ally in its push for next-generation interconnects.

According to filings uncovered by Patently Apple, the company recently inked a deal with the Harley Davidson motorcycle company gain control of the trademark for the term "lightning."

The news site reported that Apple on 24 November finalised an EU deal which gave the company control over the "Lightning" name as a trademark.

The deal is an important legal manoeuvre for Apple, as the company uses "Lightning" as the name for the new interconnect on the iPhone 5. The system is paired up with the "Thunderbolt" interconnect platform on desktops to give Apple its "Thunder" and "Lightning" connection platform for next-generation desktop and notebook systems.

While Harley fans may have lost a trademark, the biker crowd will be pleased to learn that Apple has brought the complete catalog of heavy metal icons AC/DC to the iTunes store.

This is not the first time Apple has had to cut a trademark deal with an unlikely partner. In the 1980s when the company was developing its Macintosh operating system, The Beatles and their Apple Corps recording label took notice. Eventually the two firms settled on a 1991 deal.

The two firms engaged in a back and forth, and it was not until 2010 that Apple was finally able to bring the Beatles to iTunes.

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V3.co.uk's undercover reporter offers odds and ends from the odd end of technology.

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