Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

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Official Tesco.com iPhone App Coming?

August 24, 2009

Nick Lansley’s Tech for Tesco.com blog is in my Google Reader subscriptions, it’s the sort of blog I like as Nick gives an insight into the technology goings on behind a company that probably everyone in the UK is familiar with. The interesting part is seeing new technology being considered and used as part of a highly successful business and knowing that it could provide improvements to the way we shop or interact with the company.

I had previously followed Nick’s blog after seeing him present the Tesco application created with Conchango at Microsoft’s PDC2008. Since then, the opening up of the Tesco.com API had been announced along with a prototype ‘Beauty Room’ Silverlight app amongst other things of interest. I hoped to get on the API bandwagon to create an app where items in the kitchen could have their barcode scanned, or if they come with RFID tags, could be detected and potential recipes be suggested for that evening or even suggest items to add to the shopping list to increase the number of recipe suggestions.

My app thoughts aside, there is another channel for those wishing to create applications linking into Tesco, how about an iPhone application? On Nick’s blog, the latest post talks about how Tesco.com are open to creating an iPhone app and have asked the developer community to continue and create their own apps which will also have access to the checkout as will the official Tesco.com app. Nick makes it clear that the official app won’t have any “…secret privileged access to our service so will not present an ‘unfair advantage’ over third party apps.” So all the more reason to continue working on your apps. The application the Tesco.com team will be working on aims to be a simple one which can do the basics of shopping well. This leaves the door open for others to create apps with funky features such as data visualisation, list suggestions, connecting with other online to-do apps and information sources to create unique and engaging apps.

Now, if anyone is reading this, how about a Tesco.com app which compares items in your shopping basket, with the deals listings on HotUKDeals.com and other offer sites to see if you could make a saving elsewhere or even suggest Tesco deals from Hot UK Deals that may be of interest depending on which section of the store you are browsing, eg. If I was in the Dairy section of the app/site/API, a search would be run on Hot UK Deals for items relating to Tesco’s dairy selection and then display this at the top or bottom of the page or a small star with a number superimposed, denoting the number of offers available which, upon tapping/clicking would display the offers.

Read the post on Nick Lansley’s blog.

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Play Him Off Keyboard Cat

May 27, 2009

I thought I’d make a contribution to the Keyboard Cat meme. It’s a clip from the excellent programme Kick Ass Miracles, presented by Chris Crudelli, which used to come on BBC Three and can sometimes be seen on Dave in the UK. I left the entire scene in, to add a bit of context.

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Formula 1 Back on the BBC – Murray Walker Also!

February 27, 2009

bbcsportlogo After the BBC obtained the rights to Formula 1 TV coverage in the UK last year there has been much speculation as to whether Murray Walker will return to commentate and who, if any, of the ITV F1 team will keep their roles at the BBC.

Earlier in the week the BBC made an announcement regarding who is doing what and the various coverage the BBC will be providing when the season starts next month on the 27th of March.

It looks like the BBC want to trump the excellent coverage ITV introduced when they obtained the rights, by showing all track sessions on TV via the Red Button interactive service, online and radio, backed up by iPlayer should you miss anything. There is mention of split-screen action, live leaderboard, in-car camera and choice of commentary, also to be offered via the Red button.

After the races there will be a one hour ‘interactive’ analysis programme, The interactive element probably being viewer participation in the form of a phone in or question/answer session and competition.

Who will host the new BBC coverage? Remember childrens’ TV presenter Jake Humphrey who now does some of the sports coverage? He will take over, accompanied by David Coulthard and Eddie Jordan, who replace the ITV staff of Mark Blundell and Steve Rider. Martin Brundle stays on and is joined by Jonathan Legard to commentate during the races. Ted Kravitz, no relation to Lenny, remains to provide reports from the pit. Louise Goodman is replaced by Lee McKenzie who used to report on A1 GP.

With Coulthard and Jordan (Eddie) in the studio and Martin Brundle commentating, the BBC has ensured there is a wealth of Formula 1 experience to draw on which will be good for providing insight into the events of the day. Ted Kravitz and Lee McKenzie, having served their time in pit lanes and rally cars, should be well placed to continue what ITV had evolved. Will James Allen be missed by F1 fans? In the style of James Allen himself: YES YES YESSS!!! Or ‘maybe’ is probably more appropriate.

What of the online coverage? Will greater bandwidth available to many be used to stream the race in adequate quality? ITV introduced a live online feed for Formula 1 sessions and now BBC has iPlayer which also shows live TV. The BBC says there will be multiple feeds to match what is available via the red button, so whether you are at a computer or TV you have access to the same options which extends to the choice of commentary also. In addition to this will be a high quality stream which will be of “near-televisual” quality.

The website will have a number of features such as, wait for it… MURRAY WALKER! OK, Murray Walker will not be feature himself but he will be doing a race review video after each race and also be part of a Q & A feature. Other features include: interactive circuit guides with commentated laps and telemetry, embedded video footage, images and data; driver and team guides with biographies and Q&As; F1 news; presenter and commentator blogs. Martin Brundle and Mark Webber, of Red Bull Racing will be providing video and written columns on the site.

It looks like this season will be great in terms of accessibility and coverage but will it be the same on track? We’ll have to wait for the start of the first on-track session on March 27. Check out the full F1 coverage schedule for the BBC here.

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Panasonic UK’s retail store is up and corrected

February 18, 2009

For a few days after the the Panasonic UK online store was swamped by people trying to get their hands on 1p LCD TVs and Blu-Ray players, it looks like the site is up and running and is ready to take on those with cookies still on their PC with items in the basket for a penny.

I went back today to see if the site had re-opened, which it had. To my surprise, the basket status showed that I had 1 item worth £0.01 in there. Clicking through took me to the shopping basket where red text at the top of the page told me that the price “…has changed from 0.01 to 244.99.”

panasonicpricechange

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Panasonic Offers Electricals for 1p, Site Goes Down

February 15, 2009

Yesterday, someone had spotted items on Panasonic UK’s online store listed for a whopping 1 pence! These weren’t small clearance items such as fuses, cables or ancillaries, the items listed for £0.01 included TVs and Blu-Ray players. The observant shopper then posted the offer on HotUKDeals where the deal didn’t get as good a reception as a genuine deal, probably due to the blatant mis-price and the tendency of such mis-priced orders being cancelled.

panasonic-page

According to one poster, the mis-price was publicised further, on the local news (unclear if this was radio or TV). By early evening, the 1p items began to show as out of stock and then later on the entire site was closed and replaced with a message saying the site was being upgraded.

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Someone at the retailers office might get a shouting at on Monday morning, being the web, maybe today. This could have been a genuine/foolish error, or a good way of bumping up the numbers for anyone enquiring about the visitor figures this month.