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V3 seeks talented reporter to join London team

25 Apr 2014

V3 is seeking a reporter to work on its fast-paced, industry leading website. V3 is a UK site covering business technology news, analysis, video and reviews for IT professionals, so a passion for IT and the tech scene are crucial for this role.

The role is full-time and based in our central London office, where you will get plenty of opportunity to gain experience and hone your skills across all areas of digital journalism.

The role will see you writing news, features and blogs, attending events in London, the UK and across the world, and interviewing senior executives at world-leading companies ranging from the likes of Google and Microsoft to hot startups. You’ll also be encouraged to break stories, take unique angles on industry topics and source off-diary stories.

An ability to write clean, accurate, crisp copy under pressure is a must, as well as a can-do attitude, a willingness to adapt and alter working practices at a moment’s notice, and understanding the job may require working, and socialising, after office hours.

There will be the opportunity to film and edit video, so video production skills, while not a pre-requisite for the role, will be a bonus. You will also help manage the V3 brand on numerous social media sites, so we’re looking for someone with an affinity for Twitter, Google+ and the next big thing in social.

This is a great opportunity for someone looking to take on their first full-time role in journalism or making their next step on the career ladder onto an online, well-established tech brand, with plenty of scope for growth, development, training and fun too. Ideally you will already have some practical experience of working as a technology journalist, either through your current role, work experience or freelance.

Salary: DOE.

Deadline: 23 May 2014

To apply, please email a covering letter and CV to news editor Dan Worth.

Apple taunts Samsung with green boasts in newspaper ads

22 Apr 2014

Apple ad mocking Samsung as its touts its green credentialsAs Apple and Samsung continue to fight it out in courtrooms around the world, the iPhone maker has shown it is willing to use whatever tactics it can to score a cheap point over its rival.

In printed newspaper adverts, such as the one on the back of The Times on Tuesday (pictured left), the iPhone maker has touted its green credentials through its efforts to use renewable energy sources and reduce the use of harmful materials under the pointed statement of: “There are some ideas we want every company to copy”.

The ad continues: “There’s one area where we actually encourage others to imitate us. Because when everyone makes the environment a priority, we all benefit.”

No doubt Samsung executives and their legal counsels spluttered into their coffee when they saw the ad, which will only add another level of frisson to the proceedings currently taking place in a California courtroom.

The ad forms part of Apple’s marketing push for its green efforts to coincide with Earth Day, celebrated on Tuesday, with the company promoting a new ‘Better’ mantra, as vice president of environmental initiatives Lisa Jackson explained.

“We aim to create not just the best products in the world, but the best products for the world. We have a long way to go, but we are proud of our progress. For example, every one of our data centres is powered entirely by clean sources such as solar, wind and geothermal energy,” she said.

“So whenever you download a song, update an app or ask Siri a question, the energy Apple uses is provided by nature.”

Even head honcho Tim Cook lent his time to the push, with his dulcet tones providing the vocals for a new video that promotes all these efforts in Apple's typically stylistic manner. Hopefully the chaps at the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) don't see it, or else one more screen could be headed for the landfill.

Apple claims Samsung owes it $40 per Galaxy device sale

13 Mar 2014

Rich man with moneyApple has always prided itself on its uniqueness. Usually this has related to its products' design and software features, but this week the company's unique nature was shown by its legal department, which mounted fresh legal action claiming that Samsung owes it $40 for every Galaxy handset it sells.

The iPhone maker made the claim during a hearing at the US District Court, Northern District of California. The case claims recent Samsung smartphones, such as the Galaxy S3, infringe on five critical patents owned by Apple and is due to be heard on 31 March.

The patents relate to Samsung phones' data tapping, unified search, asynchronous data synchronisation, slide-to-unlock feature and auto-complete technologies. As a side note, during a previous case with Motorola, Apple claimed one of the same patents involved in its new Samsung offensive was worth just 60 cents per phone.

The move is atypical to most technology companies, which are currently moving to diffuse the ongoing, never-ending cycle of patent claims raging between them.

Samsung has already signed licensing deals with Google, Cisco and IBM, promising to play nice with them when it comes to patents. Even HTC and Nokia have joined the game, signing a cross-patent licence agreement in February.

V3 welcomed the deals, viewing them as a sign that smartphone makers were finally going to stop quibbling about who copied who, and re-focus on creating better phones.

But our hopes were short lived, as Apple's move against Samsung shows that even though it risks painting itself as the villain, it has no intention of making peace with its competitors.

This is particularly true when you consider Apple's past successes in the courtroom. Before its latest claim, the court ruled that Samsung owes $930m in damages to Apple, which isn't small change by any means.

By V3's Alastair Stevenson

Steve Jobs time capsule unearthed with Lisa mouse after 30 years underground

14 Feb 2014

treasure-chest-with-gold-coins


A time capsule that included a computer mouse owned by the late Steve Jobs has been unearthed in California.

The capsule was buried in 1983 at the International Design Conference. It was filled with numerous items from the era, such as a Vogue magazine and a Rubik’s Cube. However, it was always known as the Steve Jobs’ Capsule because of the inclusion of his mouse that was used on his first Lisa computer.

The appearance by Jobs at the conference is regarded as a key moment in Apple's, and that of the wider industry's history, as he made several predictions there that came true.

“We will find a way to put (a computer) in a shoebox and sell it for $2,500, and finally, we’ll find a way to put it in a book," he said.

The capsule was supposed to have been dug up in 2000, but the coordinates of its location were lost when the conference went out of business. There it stayed until a TV show called Diggers got in on the act.

In a blog post promoting the find, the show explains that co-leads KG and Ringy had tracked down members of the capsule committee to discover the item's whereabouts.

As luck would have it the work proved successful and like modern-day pirates they uncovered the buried treasure. Like any good American should, the team whoop and holler with great excitement when they find the item, which you can see on 25 February, if you live in the US.

By V3's Dan Worth, who always has his head in the ground

Apple Mac turns 30 as device’s allure remains strong as ever

24 Jan 2014

macintosh-128k-transparency

Thirty years ago the world watched with wonder as an athletic woman ran into a dusty room of dull and suited men before hurling a hammer through the screen they were all dutifully watching. It marked the arrival of the first Apple Macintosh computer and things were never the same again.

Since then Apple's personal computer line has been one of the most successful and desirable product lines to have existed in the computer era. Even now with sleek ultrabooks and all manner of tablets, not least Apple's own iPad range, on the market, the devices command respect and bank account-draining prices to boot.

While Microsoft may have built its dominance on the Windows platform by letting any manufacturer use its operating system, Apple, under the vision of Steve Jobs, put everything together itself to keep the harmony of hardware and software in one place.

Ever since 1984 this has remained Apple's hallmark of success as users knew they were getting high-quality performance and beautiful design in one package.

The Macintosh – later the Mac, which is a lot snappier – was not just a thing of beauty, it was a trendsetter. It's easy to take the modern user interface we use for granted, but it was Apple that brought such a control method to the masses.

While user interface controls may not have changed much, the design of the Apple Mac has gone through several variations. From its original boxy, basic design, to colourful side panels, and the swivelling 'sunflower', Apple's design teams have never shied away from trying to do something different with Macs.

This has recently been taken to extremes with the latest Mac Pro about as far removed from the original concept of the Macintosh as possible.

Apple itself has put together a little historical retrospective on the Macintosh, with a few musicians, teachers and other arty types giving glowing endorsements to the devices. While those less fond of Apple may find it all a bit self-indulgent, few would deny the impact the device has had on the world.

By V3's Dan Worth, who owns three macs, all raincoats

Nelson Mandela tops Google searches for 2013, iPhone 5S and Galaxy S4 not far behind

17 Dec 2013

As we approach the end of the year Google has once against listed its annual zeitgeist list of the most searched terms over the past 12 months to show what most people around the world wanted to know during the year.

Despite only passing on a few weeks ago, the topic that has dominated the list is the death of Nelson Mandela, as those around the world searched for more information on the great leader. This was just ahead of the death of Paul Walker, the star of the Fast and Furious franchise of movies.

Elsewhere, though, technology was well represented on the list, with searches for the iPhone 5S and the Samsung Galaxy S4 both appearing, with Apple scoring more hits than Samsung, as it chalks up another, admittedly minor, victory over its nemesis.

The PlayStation 4 (PS4) also featured, unlike the Xbox One, as Microsoft’s console fails to quite match Sony for hype and interest in the games market.

The top 10 list is below:

1.    Nelson Mandela
2.    Paul Walker
3.    iPhone 5S
4.    Cory Monteith
5.    Harlem Shake
6.    Boston Marathon
7.    Royal Baby
8.    Samsung Galaxy S4
9.    PS4
10.  North Korea

Google has also made an interactive globe that shows the most popular search terms from different locations around the word, with London showing a weird demand for sport with both BBC Sport and BBC Football both scoring highly. Other UK cities such as Manchester and Bristol also show an enjoyment for sports information.

By V3's Dan Worth, who searches high and low

Eric Schmidt pens guide for switching from iPhone to Android

25 Nov 2013

The executive chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, has penned a length post telling mobile users how they can switch from iPhone to Android devices.

Fresh from offering tips on using cloud computing, Schmidt has now turned his attention to the mobile market, using his page on Google+ to show users how easy it is to move to Android, and all it can offer.

“Like the people who moved from PCs to Macs and never switched back, you will switch from iPhone to Android and never switch back, as everything will be in the cloud, backed up, and there are so many choices for you,” he wrote.

"The latest high-end phones from Samsung (Galaxy S4), Motorola and the Nexus 5 have better screens, are faster, and have a much more intuitive interface."

What follows is a lengthy, complicated and caveat-heavy list of the steps you’ll need to take for this switch to Android, which runs to just over 600 words. This includes how to get Gmail on your phone, back up photos and move your music to your new device.

While Schmidt attempts to paint the transition as painless – as anyone who has ever moved phone, even within the same ecosystem, will know – such a task is never easy, and is always fraught with frustrations.

This isn't an issue with Android, or Apple, or anyone else, it just seems that anything that requires moving data is complex and time-consuming. Still, at least industry leaders such as Schmidt are willing to take time out of their busy schedules to try and help the average user, which is nice.

By V3's Dan Worth, who's happy with his iPhone

 

 

Apple iOS 7 and Windows 8 woes prove difficulty of operating system builds

18 Oct 2013

iOS 7 features redesigned applications include Music and Safari

Can anyone make a decent operating system? That’s the question tech lovers around the world appear to be asking as the biggest vendors appear unable to just make a decent platform that's easy to use and nice to look at.

Microsoft – the daddy of the operating system world – has been flailing for a while now to try and entice people to Windows 8. But so far it is failing. While Windows 8.1 is improving some areas, it is unlikely to prove a panacea for all its ills.

In fact, Microsoft could be said to have peaked as far back as 2001 when its beloved XP platform hit the market. Even now, 12 years later, there are those who see no reason to upgrade, even if support is set to end in six months.

Meanwhile Apple, the darling of the tech world, is facing unprecedented levels of criticism for numerous issues that users of its new iOS 7 operating system have found with the platform.

These range from functionality to design and many V3 readers have implored others not to move to the new platform if they haven't done so already. Such criticism of Apple, especially on a design and functionality level, would have been unthinkable a year or so ago.

So what is going on? In some ways it appears firms are trying to be too clever, to be too innovative. At the end of a day an operating system should be the base layer for everything else. It should be easy to use, simple to understand and allow you to run other applications over the top.

With too much focus now given to all-singing systems that can do everything and out-innovate rivals it almost seems as if the firms are forgetting to do any user feedback to find out if stuff just works.

One good example was raised by a V3 reader who noticed this bizarre iOS 7 issue. The phone automatically dims its display brightness when you open the new control panel menu. This means, though, if you’re trying to adjust screen brightness, you can’t accurately gauge the brightness of the screen. It’s almost comic in its failure to work at the most basic level.

Similarly, while one can understand Microsoft may have thought the bold and radical change of Windows 8 may have made them seem, well, bold and radical, someone really should have stepped in and said it was too much.

People never like change, even when it's good for them, so for Microsoft to develop Windows 8 was always going to prove an incredibly disruptive situation. And while the tech world loves the term disrupt for conjuring up the feeling they're changing the world, for most people disruption is a negative that can be done without.


The firm was probably so blinded by the need to innovate and impress that it overlooked the basic notion of KISS: Keep it simple, stupid. A motto that works well in a surprisingly large number of instances. Let's hope Apple has taken it on board for its Mac OS X Mavericks update, due to be unveiled next week.

By V3's Dan Worth, who loves a good operating system

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