The big news in tech this week was always going to be the release of Apple’s next-generation iPad, signalled six days previously after months of speculation starting immediately after (or maybe even before) the release of the iPhone 4S.
Yes, it has a retina display. Yes, it has LTE. No, they haven’t gotten rid of the home button. Will it sell? Yes. Yes it will.
Even so, as with their previous big device launch, the public responses seem to have included a little bit of love, a little bit of hate, but mostly a whole lot of, ‘is that it?’
In this regard, Apple has become a victim of its own success, having established a benchmark it could never hope to maintain in the medium-to-long-term.
That’s maybe why they’ve dropped the iconic ‘one more thing’ from their addresses, and probably why they’ve dropped the numeric naming standard for the iPad, opting to call the new device simply, ‘iPad’. At any rate, the device goes on sale here on March 23.
The other big news this week was Orcon’s announcement of pricing plans for internet via the government’s Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) network.
At a media event in Auckland, Orcon CEO Scott Bartlett revealed that the ISP’s entry-level UFB packages will be priced to match its existing internet services, a bold move that will garner some attention but also has the potential to go sour, given that a lot of kiwi consumers and businesses still have a very long wait before the network reaches their street.
In other telecommunications news, the Nokia Lumia 800 arrived in New Zealand stores this week, with Nokia announcing that 2degrees is to join Telecom and Vodafone in stocking the device. Telecom for its part announced a new data cap tracking service to cut down on out-of-control roaming bills, while business telco CallPlus announced it will start buying back unused minutes and data from its customers in an effort to make its billing more fair.
Finally, a new viral video has swept the world’s social networks this week, surging to over 40 million views in just a few days. It’s a political video attempting to raise awareness of Joseph Kony, leader of the Ugandan guerrilla group Lord’s Resistance Army. Of course, with any kind of attention comes scrutiny, and plenty of critics are raising their voices to question the group behind the video, named Invisible Children. Even beyond those questions is the interesting debate over whether social networking should be used for activism at all, or whether it encourages ‘slacktivism’ – a tendency to think you’ve done your bit to solve a problem if you’ve shared a video, or ‘liked’ a group on Facebook.
One more thing (sorry, couldn’t resist) – highly anticipated pick-a-path game Mass Effect 3 comes out today, so we’ve compiled a list of the five most agonising decisions we’ve had to make in gaming. If you’re waiting to pick up your copy – or worse, waiting for it to download – have a read and see if you agree with our rankings.
See you Monday!