Friday 20 February 2009

Custom Gmail Themes

For a little while now you’ve been able to choose from a selection of various themes, but now you can choose your own colours. There isn’t a huge amount of customisation, no background image options as far as I can see, but it’s certainly a start! I’d rather like the option to edit the existing themes, so hopefully they’ll add that eventually.

And this news is pretty awesome too:

Companies that use Google Apps won’t see the options for themes yet, but we’re working on getting themes to you too.

I’ve wanted to use my GApps account instead of Gmail for a while now, but the lack of themes really has held me back. I love the themes in Gmail, the standard one is so boring, and corporate. 😉

UPDATE: Themes are live on GAFYD accounts at last!

Thursday 29 January 2009

iTunes Plus – A La Carte

No more “all or nothing”!

Until today, if you wanted to upgrade your iTunes library to iTunes Plus format songs, you either had to upgrade them all, or go without. For me that’d cost around £95, in one go.

Today, however, Apple have apparently listened to its customers and will now let you pick and choose which songs you want to upgrade to Plus.



Wednesday 07 January 2009

Don’t Eat yellowsn0w

As I posted yesterday, I hadn’t been able to get yellowsn0w working on my iPhone 3G. Late last night I received an update from @iphone_dev on Twitter stating that they’d released 0.9.6.

I updated yellowsn0w to 0.9.6 from 0.9.5 and rebooted with a T-Mobile PAYG SIM inserted. It worked almost immediately!

Now I have to admit I had already turned off 3G, Wi-Fi, EDGE and SSH with BossPrefs as I was just about to try 0.9.5 again when I got notified of the new version, but I will be trying a reboot with them all enabled. Just to confirm it works without any user intervention.

I currently have the O2 SIM back in the phone as I have some credit left and also internets. Now that I’m able to use other SIMs in the iPhone, I might have to make a tough decision about swapping it for my N95.

One of the only things holding me back is the lack of push on gmail. I’m desperate for that feature. Come on Apple! Why is it only Exchange and Yahoo! that have push?

Tuesday 06 January 2009

iTunes Goes DRM-Free & iPhone Music Store Allows 3G Downloads

The news pretty much everywhere is that iTunes has finally dropped DRM from almost all of its tracks, and will be totally DRM-free* by the end of March. So that’s 8 million songs sold without DRM now, and the remaining 2 million by April. As Apple says, iTunes Plus (256Kbit AAC) is now the new standard.

Also, there will be variable price points introduced in April, as part of the agreement reached between Apple and the Big Four record labels. I’m not sure what this translates to in British Pounds, but in USD you’ll be able to buy songs at 69c, 99c and $1.29. Hopefully not too many songs will be sold at the higher price, but I’m sure the labels will be pushing for it on as many as possible!

The other great news is that the iTunes Music Store on the iPhone will now allow downloads over 3G, so you don’t have to find a Wi-Fi hotspot to buy new songs.

All we need now is a simpler way to unlock the iPhone! I’ve tried to get yellowsn0w working, but every attempt I’ve made to get it onto T-Mobile UK PAYG has failed thus far. Maybe I need a bit more patience.

* Videos will keep DRM.

Wednesday 19 November 2008

iTunes 8.0.1

Now that Requiem 1.8.2 is out, I can finally upgrade to iTunes 8.0.1!

Upgrading my iPhone should be fun. I have a few Cydia apps, and I understand there is a special way to deal with those in upgrades.

Tuesday 30 September 2008

Damn You Apple!

Right now I’m in a situation that I really hate.

I have an iPhone (locked to O2 [boo] and running OS 2.0.2) and I have iTunes 7.7, but I hate DRM*.

I still buy music from the iTunes Music Store in spite of the DRM, but thanks to Requiem I can strip the DRM off and then I can play the music on anything I want to.

Now there’s iPhone OS 2.1 and iTunes 8.

You can’t install OS 2.1 without iTunes 8 being installed, and Requiem is not updated for 8 yet (if it ever will be), and there are applications in the App Store that require you to have OS 2.1 installed – including 3 apps I already have installed and now cannot update them!

I am really hoping that Brahms can update Requiem to cope with iTunes 8, or else I’m stuck not being able to buy music from the Music Store any more – and I like the simplicity of the store, in spite of the majority of tracks still having DRM added to them.

* DRM (in any form) penalises PAYING customers. It NEVER stops people downloading illegally.

UPDATE: Requiem 1.8.2 is now out for Windows users!

Tuesday 19 August 2008

Plurk Syntax

I couldn’t find this information on Plurk‘s website, so I’ve put it here for future reference.

Use double asterisks before and after a word: **word**

Use an asterisk before and after a word: *word*

Use double underscores before and after a word: __word__

Type the URL and put the title you want in brackets: url (title)

Videos & Images:
Paste the direct URL into the text box

Link User Names:
Use the @ symbol before the user name to link to their profile: @Username

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