Home » News » Marketing » Up Periscope! previous nextProducts & ServicesUp Periscope!Thomas Morris hosts the first ‘Virtual Open House’PROPERTYdrum1st June 20150574 ViewsHOT TOPIC This story is being discussed in the forum nowThe Negotiator says:hkkjhkjlhljkhljkh Thomas Morris Sales & Lettings are claiming to have held the world’s first ‘Virtual Open House’ on the recently launched social media platform – Periscope.The event was broadcast live from St Neots in Cambridgeshire and attracted 54 viewers at the time – a further 10 people watched a replay.“We held the Virtual Open House just before the traditional Open House,” explained Thomas Morris Director, Simon Bradbury.“We had 5 people turn up for the traditional version and over 10 times as many viewed live on line via the Periscope app! We were genuinely surprised not only by the number of virtual viewers, but the level of interaction and questions about the property.”Earlier in the day, Thomas Morris had conducted a live broadcast from a local food and drink festival which attracted over 60 live viewers, “I really do think that this Periscope app has a massive future in our business,” continued Simon. “Not just to promote property, but by showing support for our local communities, giving them a voice and an opportunity to publicise their services, products or good causes, all at no charge, we are able to demonstrate real integration with the local area. This is where the future of estate agency is – the very latest technology allowing us to connect directly with local people.”Periscope is one of the fastest growing social media platforms in the world and was recently acquired by Twitter for a reported $100 million. It allows users to broadcast a live stream around the world. Followers can interact with the broadcaster by typing in questions and can show their approval by sending a ‘heart’ – the equivalent of a ‘like’ or ‘favourite’ on Facebook or Twitter.Thomas Morris plans to hold further Virtual Open Houses as well as broadcasting local events and providing behind the scenes information with live feeds directly to their followers and beyond.HOT TOPIC This story is being discussed in the forum nowThe Negotiator says:hkkjhkjlhljkhljkhmobile technology Periscope app Virtual Open House June 1, 2015The NegotiatorRelated articles 40% of tenants planning a move now that Covid has eased says Nationwide3rd May 2021 Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicensed rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021
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Fans of Papadosio will be counting down the days until May 6th, as the band has just announced Re:Creation Red Rocks at the famed Morrison, CO venue. The show will feature Papadosio’s entrancing music, and visual displays designed by Jonathan Singer. In addition, Papadosio will welcome artists Alex Grey and Allyson Grey for the occasion, and they’ve brought on a number of talented artists for this exciting showcase on the Rocks.The show will feature direct support from SunSquabi, as well as sets from Desert Dwellers and Supersillyus to kick off the night. For more on SunSquabi, be sure to check out this review from their recent Colorado performance. This also marks Papadosio’s second ever headlining effort at Red Rocks, as they played the historic venue around the same time in 2016 as well.Fan club tickets will be released on Wednesday, January 25th at 10 AM MST, with the full on sale beginning via AXS on Friday, January 27th at 10 AM MST. See the show’s beautiful artwork and announcement video, below.
EIA: Coal’s share of U.S. electricity market to fall to 22% by 2020 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):The U.S. Energy Information Administration trimmed expectations for domestic coal production in 2019 by about 2.0% compared to an outlook released in August.Total coal production for 2019 is expected to total 673.9 million tons in 2019, down from the 687.9 million tons of production forecasted in the August edition of its “Short Term Energy Outlook.” Coal production is expected to fall even further in 2020 to 617.3 million tons, a decrease of 18.3% compared to production levels reported in 2018.The EIA expects the share of U.S. generation from coal will average just 25% in 2019 and 22% in 2020, down from 28% in 2018. As coal generation drops, natural gas and renewable energy resources are expected to gain a larger share of total generation.Coal consumption in the U.S. is expected to total 593.4 million tons in 2019 and 548.4 million tons in 2020, a decline from 687.3 million tons in 2018. Meanwhile, the export markets for coal is expected to weaken going forward as higher freight costs and uncertainty in metallurgical coal markets dampen international demand for coal.The EIA projects Central Appalachia coal production will fall from 200.1 million tons of in 2018 to 183.0 million tons in 2019 before falling even further to 151.1 million tons in 2020. Western coal production is expected to drop off from 418.3 million tons in 2018 to 363.6 million tons in 2019 before falling to 338.6 million tons in 2020. Coal from the Interior of the U.S. is expected to decline from 137.1 million tons to 127.4 million tons between last year and 2019, but then remains roughly level at 127.7 million tons of production in 2020, according to the EIA forecast.The outlook also suggests a significant decline in total exports, dropping 18.5% to 94.2 million tons for 2019 before falling another 9.0% to 85.7 million tons in 2020. Both metallurgical and steam coal exports are expected to decline year-over-year in 2019 and 2020.More ($): EIA trims 2019 coal production outlook in new report
Sunlight is free – if we could just learn how to use it better. For decades, engineers have been trying to improve the efficiency of solar cells. Why not look at nature? Science Daily reported on work going on in China and Japan: “The discovery that butterfly wings have scales that act as tiny solar collectors has led scientists in China and Japan to design a more efficient solar cell that could be used for powering homes, businesses, and other applications in the future.” Artificial solar cells struggle to attain 10% efficiency. The scientists are finding that butterfly wings not only collect light more efficiently, they are easier to work with. The fabrication process is simpler and faster than other methods, and could be used to manufacture other commercially valuable devices, the researchers say.Don’t let Charlie take credit for these kinds of stories. Biomimetics has intelligent-design science written all over it. For a feast of biomimetic wonders, see “The 15 Coolest Cases of Biomimicry” at BrainZ.org. Many of these examples have been reported in our pages.(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
MIH Internet, a wholly owned subsidiary of South African media group Naspers, has made a £946-million (about R13.1-billion) offer to acquire London-listed Tradus, which operates online trading platforms and other related internet service websites in 12 mainly Eastern European countries.The acquisition will be the largest so far by Africa’s largest media company, which has to date been buying minority stakes in media and internet related companies in emerging markets.Tradus, established as QXL Ricardo plc in 1997, operates auction websites in Eastern Europe under various brand names, and in Poland they operate automotive and real estate classified sites, a price comparison site and payment services system.“In its own strategy, Naspers has prioritised the internet sector for expansion. Success has been achieved in the sub-segments offering users communications, social networking and community platforms,” the company said in a statement issued on Tuesday.“In pursuit of this strategy, Naspers today has various internet investments on the African continent, in China, Russia and India. With these investments, the Naspers Group has established a strong presence in the major emerging markets.”Naspers has identified Central and Eastern Europe as attractive emerging markets to invest in, and the acquisition of Tradus will consolidate the group’s position in Poland, where it is currently finalising the acquisition of a controlling stake in Gadu-Gadu, a company that operates an instant messaging service.“We are delighted that the Tradus Board intends unanimously to recommend our offer to its shareholders,” Naspers chief executive Cobus Stofberg said. “The operations of the Naspers Group and Tradus complement each other perfectly and significant advantages can be obtained by aligning Tradus’ businesses with Naspers’ other internet investments in Central and Eastern Europe.”Investing in emerging marketsNaspers’ other investments in emerging countries include a roughly one-third interest Tencent, a leading internet services portal in China that operates an instant messaging client called QQ, and a similar stake in Mail.ru, which is developing into a leading email portal in Russia.In India meanwhile, the company is organically developing an internet business that focuses on the youth community and feature a search engine customised to cater for local users and content.In South Africa, Naspers’ investments include Multichoice, which runs the DSTV satellite subscription service, the Mnet and Supersport television channels, internet service provider Mweb, newspaper and magazine publisher Media24, general consumer portal 24.com, e-retailer Kalahari.net and a 30% stake in local instant messaging service, Mxit Lifestyle, amongst others.“Apart from the investment in Tencent and Kalahari, other Naspers platforms have not yet generated transaction income,” the company states. “Our existing internet services rely on the generation of revenue mainly through advertising and value added communication services.”“The intention is that an investment in the Tradus transaction platform will allow the group to diversify its internet revenue streams to include transaction income.”The deal is subject to several conditions, including obtaining relevant regulatory approvals and approval by the companies’ shareholders.Useful linksNaspersTradusMultichoiceDStvMNetMWebMedia2424.comKalahari.net
12 June 2012 South Africa and Saudi Arabia have set up a joint holding company to enhance business opportunities and investment between the two countries, officials announced in Cape Town on Monday. Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said the establishment of the holding company – Saudi Arabian South Africa Holding (Sasah) – had the potential to create R20-billion worth of business opportunities in the two countries. Sasah comprises different business sectors, including real estate, health services, agriculture, trading, technical services, automotive industries, mining and minerals, construction, power construction, petro-chemicals downstream and engineering. It falls in line with South Africa’s strategy of “seeking out new sources of investment and trade with dynamic economies”, Davies said, noting that both countries had the biggest economies in their respective regions. He said Saudi Arabia was a “dynamic economy”, but that South Africa also had plenty to offer. “The African continent is the new great frontier, and SA has a pivotal role to play.” The idea for a holding company was first proposed by Saudi Arabia South Africa Business Council co-chairs Iqbal Surve and Said Al Qahtani. Sasah was formally endorsed by Saudi rince Faizal bin Saud Arabia in April, and has already secured R20-million to carry out feasibility studies for investments, particularly in agriculture, mining, mineral processing and petrochemicals. Davies said many of the Gulf nations were looking to make investments in agriculture in Africa to ensure food security for their own population. Saudi Arabia was also looking for South African expertise and technology in mining and other sectors, as a mining boom was expected in the northwest of Saudi Arabia. Earlier this year, at the fourth session of the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Joint Economic Commission, the two countries agreed to increase their total trade to a targeted R60-billion within the next five years. Davies said the current total trade between the two countries stood at R34-billion in 2011. This represented an annual growth rate of about 32.6% in just one year. Surve said that “very large Saudi Arabian companies have indicated their willingness to participate. We’re expecting significant investment running into tens of billions of rands over the next few years.” The Sasah and Saudi Arabia South Africa Business Council consortium will be open to all legally registered and financially sound business entities in both countries. SAinfo reporter
The Dosenfischer have been an integral part of the German geocaching community for 10 years, with fans all over Europe. Over the years their podcast and geocaching-themed songs have been the delight of many geocachers. But all good things must come to an end. On August 26 2017 aba, sandmann, Stotco, DimiB, and Seasack played their last gig at the MEGA Switzerland – Meeting Friends 2017.Geocaching HQ had the opportunity to talk with the band after the concert.HQ: Rumor has it that there are still a few cachers out there that have never heard of you. Could you introduce yourselves and tell us why you decided to form the Dosenfischer?aba:We are the Dosenfischer, five guys hailing from Hamburg and Schwerin who made music for the fun of it, and who wrote songs about geocaching.The question about how the band came to be is quite specific, and also telling for who we are. It just happened, there was no plan or strategy. It started when sandmann and I discovered geocaching as a hobby. At some point there was a microphone at hand after we finished a day of caching, and we just started to talk about what was on our mind. That was the birth of our podcast.After quite a few episodes I was not able to attend an episode podcast. Since sandmann did not want to skip an episode, so he just recorded a song. The was the beginning of us singing about geocaching.After we lost a bet about how many Will Attend logs the first project-event “Project Game” would get, we went on stage with Herr stotco for the first time. “Project GeoGames” in Leipzig was the first time the band played with their full line up, including DimiB and Seasack.sandmann:Music with German lyrics was always part of my life, and after the first few caches we found and the first few hours we spent reading forums and log entries, we quickly realized that we were looking at a whole new universe — a universe of human interaction, lots of rules (written and unwritten ones), and full of amazing human beings whose stories we wanted to tell. Not in a literal way, like in a log, but in a humorous, rhyming, and exaggerated way, and most important: having fun doing so.HQ: What were your most memorable moments, both as a cacher and as a band?aba:I still remember finding my first caches using a Palm handheld with an external bluetooth GPS module. Of course I fondly remember many spectacular and (in my opinion) legendary caches like the Chain-Reaction-Trilogie, Betonschiff Redentin, Limestone, [email protected] and the Beelitz-Heilstätten. But the most enjoyable thing for me was always meeting other cachers – either in smaller groups while geocaching, at events, and, of course, at concerts. Many people became really close and are very dear to us. In some cases it goes way beyond being acquaintances or fans.Almost every concert was memorable for me as a member of the band. As a father of course the ones where my oldest daughter joined us on stage. (laughs)sandmann:As a cacher I did things that I never thought I was brave enough to try. Searching for caches out in the woods for eight hours straight — pushing the envelope. The trip to a stranded ship made out of concrete was, like aba mentioned, a memorable experience. I even climbed ropes, and I am a very unathletic person, and I discovered my limits. Many extraordinary experiences, and most of the time shared with awesome people. That is my definition of geocaching.Like aba, I also have a family related special moment that I will always associate with our concerts: me and my daughter side by side on stage, singing in front of 3,000 people at the Projekt Eck in Koblenz. And let’s be honest: being on a tour with the band, playing concerts, is something every amateur musician is dreaming of. And thanks to the many promoters all over Germany we were able to realize that dream.HQ: Your songs cover a variety of geocaching related topics. Do you have a favorite?aba:I think it varies and is a matter of taste. I really like the more ballardesque songs, especially “Pickup-Truck” and “Tage wie ein Schneemann”. But I also really like the harder songs like “Bobbahn” or “Nightcacher”. I always get goosebumps when the audience sings along with us when we play “Wir nennen es Dosenfischen”.sandmann:Not much to add. Every song is a little treasure for the person who writes it; sometimes it is only good for a period of time, others you carry in your heart your whole life. “FTF” tells a great story in my opinion, but I also like the more minimalistic songs like “Kleine Wanze” or “Wenn ich reich bin”.HQ: Do you have a favorite geocache, and if so, what makes it special for you?aba:Calling a cache a favorite would not be fair to all the other owners and the work and thought they put into their caches. There were many caches that we will remember, almost every cache was a small adventure, a special moment; that’s the way we mostly celebrated caches. If an owner is able to make a find a special moment — because of the location, the circumstances, or how the cache was created — that is what makes a cache special for us.sandmann:There are caches that were dedicated to us. I was very touched by that. The fact that a cache owner puts in all the work to create a cache that has tiny singing Dosenfischer in it (sometimes even with lights and moving parts), or Multi-Caches, that reference our songs — that is an amazing feeling. Apart from that I agree with aba: a cache is well done and memorable if an owner was thoughtful about his cache and provided us with a good day, a few good hours, or a surprising moment.HQ: How did it feel to leave the stage for the last time?aba:Empty.I already felt emotional during the encores. And when it was almost over I really wanted to sing “Wir nennen es Dosenfischen” together with the audience one last time. When we played that song I not only got goosebumps like I normally do, but also the sudden realization, “That’s it.” So there were a lot of emotions when we left the stage, and the Swiss organizing team and our families embraced and hugged us..sandmann:I did not really realize it. I was just happy that we were able to play a good concert even though we had little time for rehearsals. I was happy and thankful for how we performed as a band on this night and how the audience embraced us — it was like being in trance. I simply forgot that the Dosenfischer stopped existing after we played the last song.HQ: Is there another band or artist that you wished you could have shared the stage with?aba:Well, we kinda made a small dream come true when we had stotco as well as DimiB and Seasack, who we love to perform with, play with us on stage. It might sound strange, but as a band we achieved more than we could ever imagine. I mean, which other hobby gives birth to bands who produce CDs and play concerts? Which other community is celebrating these bands as much as the geocaching community? If you really think about it, that is unique and extraordinary, and we will be eternally thankful for that.sandmann:That. Perfect description. Of course I have my personal heroes, be it music or geocaching, people we admire and would like to meet in person. But in general I was perfectly happy playing concerts with the Dosenfischer.HQ: What are your plans now that the Dosenfischer are no more?aba:We will definitely continue to make music, each in their own way. Maybe we will feel that itch occasionally and we will end up making music together.Currently we are anxiously waiting for the release of our “Wir nennen es Dosenfischen” album on all the digital music portals (iTunes, Spotify, Google Play etc). It sound odd, but so far you were not able to find our first album on any digital platform, it takes forever. But who knows, maybe we will release all the songs you will not find on any of our albums this way as well. But who knows, everything is up in the air, we do what we want. (laughs)sandmann:I am experimenting with a lot of different things at the moment: videos, written content, podcast, poetry slam, etc. We will see if any of that will make its way on stage. But if it will it will be much smaller, just performing in Schwerin and the surrounding area. You do not get something huge like the Dosenfischer gifted a second time. But I am really happy that I know aba, DimiB, Seasack and Herrn stotco, because I know that I know the right people if I come up with ideas that will require a band.HQ: You got any last words for all your fans?aba:“Last words” sounds harsh. Of course we hope (and are pretty confident it will be that way) that we don’t get out of touch. All these years have proven over and over again how much we like the people surrounding us. For that reason I would not call the people we met through caching, the podcast, or the music “all our fans”, but “all our friends”. And they are all dear to our hearts, and we miss them already two days after a concert.sandmann:Uh, last words — oof. After everything aba just said only one thing: Thank you!We at Geocaching HQ also say THANK YOU for all those precious moments and memories, and everything you have done for the geocaching community. And who knows, maybe our paths will cross again in the future.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedGeocaching.com Presents: DosenfischerAugust 11, 2011In “Deutsch”Die Dosenfischer – der letzte VorhangSeptember 28, 2017In “Deutsch”Phenomenal geocaching community stories from 2017December 26, 2017In “Community”
WebFeed technology is growing in popularity and has the potential to dramatically change that way that users interact with their Enterprise systems.What are WebFeeds? They are (usually) XML documents that describe frequently updated data. WebFeed readers can efficiently check many WebFeed data sources and alert users when content changes and identify what content has updated. Most blogs, like this one, provide WebFeeds available via subscription. WebFeed readers scan for and quickly find which of your subscribed feeds/blogs have changed so that you don’t need to manually visit each site and check for updated entries.Webfeeds are enabled by two popular protocols: Really Simple Syndication (RSS), Atom, and sometimes even by raw XML.How can WebFeeds be useful in an enterprise environment? WebFeeds deliver content-specific streams of data directly to subscribers. Once subscribed, the user is quickly notified to updates that occur on the WebFeed. WebFeed technology is attractive because it: – is very simple to set up – provides each feed as a targeted non-polluted channel of data, and – can be set to display and update at frequent intervals.Within the enterprise, WebFeeds can be used to provide very targeted sources for publishing information. WebFeeds can act as a substitute to emails, providing a stream of topic-specific clean non-spammed discussion and information.In the world of BPM/Workflow and ECM, WebFeeds have great potential as a method to disseminate workflow notifications and task assignments to users. Some users may not spend extended periods of time within the Workflow system, and when they do need to access the system, the user usually needs to bring up the Workflow system, log into it and then locate a particular task or work item, usually after having received an email notification.Either via a standard WebFeed Reader or else a specialized web-aware widget, workflow users can get frequent updates on workflow assignments. Yahoo! widgets or Google gadgets are perfect technology tool candidates for creating small desktop widgets that can act as nonobtrusive agents that are always within view and keep users up to date on workflow activities.As an example, this CIO Insight article describes how a legal office adopted RSS feed technology with great success. Using RSS in combination with their Document Management system, attorneys at Goldman and Carr were able to create targeted document feeds for the lawyers to scan. In the past when someone had found a pertinent document, they would send an email blast to everyone — using RSS eliminated that practice and helped them clean up their email inboxes.In the Goldman and Carr study, they found that items were often missed when people had been alerted via emails or when items were simply posted somewhere on their company portal. They also found that once they started using RSS that their lawyers could tie into RSS feeds coming directly from government agencies — a information source very relevant to their business.WebFeeds have great potential for use in the Enterprise. They’re not new, but their application within the business environment has been under-utilized. As a trend, I expect to see more and more business applications picking up on their use as important components of enterprise systems.
So far, I’ve been fairly happy with the moTweets Twitter application and The Weather Channel’s app, but others I’ve tried so far have been inconsistent at best. For example, after installing the recommended Twitter app Beezz specifically for the purpose of using its Live Tile, the app kept throwing errors every time I tried to switch on the Live Tile functionality. This continued for days. What’s more surprising is to find similar issues from developers I thought I could trust – like Weatherbug, whose Live Tile simply stopped functioning.I’ve also been disappointed in Flickr Manager (paid version), a Pixelpipe-like app which now displays a bunch of error codes after uploads complete. This occurs despite the photos having been successfully transferred to the online photo-sharing service. And I only installed Flickr Manager because Flickr’s own application was painfully slow. Initially, I liked the Flickr’s app interface – it loads your camera roll in what appears to be a Web application, allowing you to tap an item to upload it or double-tap for a quick upload. But working your way through a long set of photos is painful – as the upload begins, the user interface becomes unresponsive.Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac Surprisingly GoodOn the desktop side of things, I have to admit, I didn’t expect much from the Windows Phone Connector for Mac, the software that allows Mac users to sync the phone with the music, videos, photos and podcasts from iTunes and iPhoto. But not only has it worked well for me, it has done so nearly flawlessly. (Well, except once: when I first attempted to install the “NoDo” update, it didn’t take and I had to start over). There are also fairly decent RSS reader applications to be found in the Windows Phone Marketplace which sync with Google Reader. I’m currently testing Wonder Reader, gReadie and GReader. (I have no definite preference yet). But the need to turn to native apps over Web applications, while certainly doable, speaks to a larger problem with Windows Phone, and one I’m unsure will ever be addressed: the Google factor. If Google continues to build highly functional Web apps for its various services, will I ever be able to use them on a Windows Phone? At what point will Google ever think beyond the confines of iPhone, Android and BlackBerry when building these improved smartphone Web experiences?It’s not just Google Web applications, either, that have me concerned. Google is restricting Microsoft’s access with native apps, too, or so Microsoft claims. Microsoft recently added its name to the EU’s investigation into Google’s anti-competive behavior, citing how, for example, how Google won’t give Microsoft access to YouTube’s metadata. Says Microsoft:Google has refused to allow Microsofts new Windows Phones to access this YouTube metadata in the same way that Android phones and iPhones do. As a result, Microsofts YouTube app on Windows Phones is basically just a browser displaying YouTubes mobile Web site, without the rich functionality offered on competing phones. Microsoft is ready to release a high quality YouTube app for Windows Phone. We just need permission to access YouTube in the way that other phones already do, permission Google has refused to provide. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Leaving aside the irony of Microsoft filing an antitrust claim against Google (oh, how times have changed!), all I know is that for an end user, this stinks. The YouTube app on Windows Phone is not great. What’s even worse is that there’s no way at present to upload videos from the phone and post them on YouTube! Can you imagine? In this day and age? Considering the excessive amount of “momarazzi” videos I take of my child, this is downright unacceptable from an end user perspective.But Let’s Move On…Interface and AppsOutside of the Google issues, there’s a lot to like about the phone. The tiled homescreen design is innovative and useful. The major “hubs” (think messages, phone calls, photos, friends, games, etc.) keep you connected to what’s going on with tiles that update, indicating things like your new email count, or the new photos of your friends from social networking sites like Facebook. You can even pin individual friends to your homescreen for quick access to contact information and recent status updates.You can also pin your favorite apps to your homescreen, too. And some developers have begun to take advantage of this “Live Tile” functionality to deliver new content to their apps homescreen tile. This makes the tiles function more like the widgets on Android, in delivering live, informational updates. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of apps out there at present that do this, or that do it well. I expect we’ll see far more interesting and useful applications come out after Mango’s release. In the meantime, it feels like Windows Phone lacks those “killer,” cutting edge applications, like the app that analyzes the calorie count in your food from a photo of it, or the app that translates text it sees in the camera’s viewfinder. It also lacks the early adopter’s favorite new toys, like Instagram and Beluga, Yobongo and GroupMe. It even lacks what feel like staples to me on Android: Google Places, Latitude, Skype, Angry Birds and Pixelpipe. (Skype and Angry Birds are coming, though). That’s not to say the platform won’t have killer apps of its own one day – ones that do interesting things with the Live Tiles, for example. But is it there yet? No.The Testing Continues…Despite the negatives I’ve brought up in this article, the overall experience is not bad. What I’ve neglected to mention is the elegant, attractive Metro UI (the user interface), which may be my favorite smartphone design yet. I love having Netflix again, which I missed on Android. And the Live Tiles of select contacts pinned to my homescreen offer me a unique way of staying in touch with my closest friends and family members.More importantly, I think there’s a simplicity that comes with using this device – that’s not a slight, it’s a compliment. Ease-of-use is not an attribute I’d offer to Microsoft software typically, but Windows Phone is something different. I can easily recommend it as “mom’s first smartphone.” Maybe it’s the big, square buttons, or maybe it’s the software’s still-limited functionality that make the phone seem so simple to use. But after having gone from iPhone to Android, I can say there was a definite learning curve in switching to Android devices, especially in learning the menuing systems, when and where to press to launch the alt menus and how to tweak and edit the various customizations. Comparatively, Windows Phone has been like using a child’s toy. For Mac users accustomed to the iTunes universe, the Connector makes it less troubling to switch from an iPhone to Windows Phone. You can sync all your (unprotected) content over to the new device, while continuing to use iTunes to manage podcast subscriptions and iPhoto to manage photos. But by not being a PC user, you miss out on the Zune software’s access to movies and TV shows, not to mention the Wi-Fi sync feature provided to PC users only.I feel Microsoft should take a page from Apple’s book and instead of (or in addition to) offering a Connector tool for Mac users, it should offer a feature-complete Mac version of the Zune software. A little parity here would be nice. This shouldn’t be a make or break issue for potential Mac customers, though, because there are alternative subscription-based apps, including Bitbop and Rdio, for example, and Spotify is on its way.Mango Update Will Solve Many IssuesIt should be noted that this progress report on my transition to Windows Phone comes on the heels of this week’s news about the forthcoming “Mango” update for the mobile operating system, which is due out this fall. For end users, this is going to be the big one. Mango will bring multi-tasking, the ability for apps to run in the background (even streaming music apps), a new version of IE9, and much-needed improvements to Marketplace search. Until the most recent update, Marketplace search was awful – music and apps were all returned in a jumbled pile of search results. The first update to the phone, which I installed this week, has corrected that problem, along with others (including the delivery of copy-and-paste, which is working fine by the way). And Mango promises even more improvements like this.The forthcoming update will also allow developers to more deeply integrate their apps with the phone, providing access to the phone’s contacts and calendar, plus hardware features like the camera and accelerometer. And it will allow for more functional Live Tiles, so developers can offer multiple tiles, double-sided tiles, tiles that change color and more. You can see a great example of this with the Qantas application here. sarah perez What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … For me personally, the lack of TV shows and movies was a not a major issue, because I can use Netflix instead. Yes, there’s an app for that! (Sorry, Android.)For music, Zune Pass, Microsoft’s music subscription service, lets me stream music from the Web to my phone. This is similar to how competitive services like MOG, Rdio and Spotify work. However, where these services offer rich native mobile applications, all I seem to be able to do with Zune is play and pause songs, or move backwards and forwards through albums. I suppose if I had access to the Zune desktop software, I could build playlists, but I can’t seem to do that from the phone itself. (If this is user error, please let me know). But is it a toy I could recommend to early adopters today? Not yet. For anyone moving from Android or iPhone especially, the lack of multi-tasking will be a step backwards. However, after Mango is released, and when you can get this OS running on Nokia’s outstanding hardware (coming by Q1 2012 at the latest), that recommendation may change.In the meantime, I’ll continue using this device, and will check in again when I have some new information to share about my experience.Image credits: Qantas – iStartedSomething; Nokia phones – Engadget Related Posts Tags:#Microsoft#mobile#Op-Ed#web I have now been using Windows Phone 7, Microsoft’s new mobile operating system, for exactly a week, having temporarily set aside my beloved Android-based Nexus S in the process. To really test a smartphone, and determine what the end user experience is like, I don’t like to play around with a phone for a few days, I like to switch and make the new phone my primary device. To that end, my current device is an HTC HD7, now running the most recent version of the Windows Phone software.In the first week, I’ve discovered what it’s like to use a Windows Phone with a Mac, how to customize the device to my needs and how to enjoy (and curse at!) the Zune Marketplace. I’ve also installed an interesting smattering of useful apps and have pinned various items to my homescreen. But there’s one thing that Windows Phone can’t do well – it can’t deeply connect me to the Google experience. And this may be the one sticking point that sends me back to Android.Yes, I’ve Been De-GoogledI suppose becoming unbound from the Google experience on a Windows Phone 7 device makes sense – after all, the two companies are major competitors. But for someone like myself, who is heavily invested in many Google products from Gmail to YouTube, it’s disconcerting. Using the Gmail and Google Reader Web applications on the Windows Phone 7 device is like traveling back in time to the early days of the mobile Web. The attractive, better-than-a-native-app Web applications Google built for smartphone users are not available to those on Windows Phone 7. That means, instead of getting something that looks like this, you get this.Google Reader, similarly, is downright unusable in this ancient, dumbed-down format.Of course, for many users – particularly those who turn to native applications for things like checking email and news, this is of no matter. For example, if you’re on the iPhone and use Apple’s mail client, you’ll love the Windows Phone mail app. In fact, it even offers something the iPhone lacks – the ability to select multiple messages and mark them as read, or unread, or flag or unflag them for follow-up. On the iPhone, you can launch into an “edit” mode for mass editing, but you can only move or delete the emails once there. 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Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend NCAA Season 93 Preview: Stags hope to learn from last year’s woes Luxembourg’s Mandy Minella returns the ball to Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens during their tennis match at the Roland Garros 2017 French Open on May 29, 2017 in Paris. / AFP PHOTO / Thomas SAMSONLuxembourg’s Mandy Minella is playing at Wimbledon while four and a half months pregnant, it was reported Tuesday, as the 31-year-old prepares to join Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka as a tennis mum.Minella lost 6-1, 6-1 to Italian veteran Francesca Schiavone but she caught the eye with her loose-fitting dress covering a small bump.ADVERTISEMENT “Wimbledon is my last tournament this season,” Minella, whose baby is due at the of the year, told reporters.The world number 82 posted a picture on her Facebook account on Tuesday showing husband and coach Tim Sommer kneeling in front of her on a Wimbledon court, kissing her stomach.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsMinella is also due to play women’s doubles with Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova.Defending champion Serena Williams is expecting her first child in September and is sitting out the tournament this year. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Fellow former world number one Azarenka only returned to the tour in June after giving birth to son Leo in December and reached the second round of Wimbledon on Monday evening.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena LATEST STORIES View comments Nikki Valdez rushes self to ER due to respiratory tract infection China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ