One of the camera’s Canon announced yesterday, the S90, looks like a contender for my next compact photo shooter. It’s due out sometime in September based on early information, with a UK price of £449 for pre-order from Amazon.co.uk as shown below.
Not cheap but the spec is good and I would expect this to quickly drop below £400. Since I’m off the Florida at the end of October I took a look at early US prices to see if it would be worth waiting and buying out there (dependant on reviews and a hands on of course). The Amazon.com price is shown below.
I know UK citizens often get a poor deal when it comes to prices, but this is ridiculous. At the current exchange rate (as I type on 20th August 2009) of $1.65 to the pound that makes the US Amazon price the equivalent of £260. The other way round, the UK price is $740. However you look at it this is an obscene markup, and as this article questions, didn’t the British PM promise an end to this?
I had hoped O2 would be replacing the 8/16Gb iPhone 3G with the new 16/32Gb 3GS, but the AT&T pricing of $199/$299 made that look unlikely. O2 now have an iPhone 3GS pricing page and they’re not coming cheap.
The last generation iPhone 3G stays at £96.89/free, but the new 16Gb 3GS rises to £184.98 on cheap/shorter contracts, compared to £155.61 for the replaced 16Gb 3G. The 32Gb 3GS comes in at a wallet busting £274.23, or £175.19 if you are willing to sign up for a 24 month contract. That’s a TCO of £890.91 for a 16Gb model on the £35 tariff for 18 months, or £926.91 for 32Gb. The new 3GS is also available on pay as you go:
- iPhone 3G 8GB – £342.50
- iPhone 3G S 16GB – £440.40
- iPhone 3G S 32GB – £538.30
That’s an eye watering price for the 3GS, but since it includes 12 months of unlimited data it works out cheaper for anyone with light call and text usage.
The real issue here is the use of 18 and 24 month contracts, especially when Apple seem dedicated to a 12 month release cycle for its iPhone hardware. Macworld has some details for users looking to terminate their contracts to get the new model, and the bad news is that it looks like O2 will want the remainder of the contract paid in full. That means an iPhone 3G owner 12 months into their contract would have to pay £205.56 plus cost of new 3GS model, with the prospect of doing the same in 12 months when the next version is released.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that the UK and Sweden have little in common when it comes to the right to privacy. While the UK government continues to push for greater logging of its citizens every action and move, some Swedish ISP’s are deleting traffic data to ensure customers safety.
An article at Cnet makes the point that filesharing is driving the demand for higher bandwidth internet access, and while short term revenues increase due to less bandwidth consumed for the same flat monthly fee it is unclear what effect a large reduction in filesharing would have. I’m betting that my ISP’s pushing of 50Mbit broadband would fail if filesharing stopped today. Maybe that’s why Virgin Media still operates Usenet servers that contain large amounts of pirated content. Isn’t it great when ISP’s say one thing and do the opposite?
Paidcontent:UK is reporting that a major UK ISP is planning to monitor it’s customers illegal music downloads and reimburse record companies. The article suggests Virgin Media will be using ‘deep packet inspection’ technology from Playlouder to monitor what songs are downloaded, and customers who pay an additional fee will be allowed to download as much as they want from P2P sources.
The story raises a lot more questions than it answers, but that may be the point. I will certainly be interested to hear how this will work, as it would be an interesting alternative to criminalisation of a large slice of the UK’s internet users.
Much is said about how much money Film Studios are losing to piracy. You can’t see a film at the cinema now without the piracy warnings. Do the studios ever stop to wonder if that’s the real reason their profits are not where they thinks they should be?
A recent article on Torrentfreak got me thinking about what’s really going on at the cinema. The story concerns a study by the US Pirate Party, a group that claims the real reason for the rise and fall in annual profits is the quality of the films released, not piracy. If so, the ‘piracy’ claims are just hot air from greedy studios that want more money for releasing crap. It’s the old argument, people will pay a fair price for a quality product. The most amazing thing is that these piracy claims and measures are increasing at a time when US cinema takings have hit a record high.
I think there’s a more basic reason for the often claimed drop in cinema attendance. It’s crap. Read more…
While the obscene behaviour of the US copyright enforcement agencies hasn’t yet reached the UK, it appears one group who really should know better have been caught. The Lancashire Police force has been accused of copyright infringement by the Performing Rights Society. It appears the bobbies have been playing music in their police stations and to telephone callers on hold, without the necessary licenses.
Perhaps the most shocking part is that Lancashire police are one of eleven county forces that have refused to pay licensing fees to the PRS. Does this mean British police are refusing to obey the law?
Apple has today updated the spec of it’s iMac range of all in one computers. As usual, UK buyers are not getting as good a deal as our US neighbours. Here’s the updated specifications with US prices, US Prices in pounds using the current exchange rate and UK prices.
- 20 inch screen, 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1GB memory, 250GB hard drive, 8x double-layer SuperDrive, ATI Radeon HD2400XT 128MB $1199 £602.53 £799
- 20 inch screen, 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB memory, 320GB hard drive, 8x double-layer SuperDrive, ATI Radeon HD2600PRO 256MB $1499 £753.29 £949
- 24 inch screen, 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB memory, 320GB hard drive, 8x double-layer SuperDrive, ATI Radeon HD2600PRO 256MB $1799 £904.05 £1149
- 4 inch screen, 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB memory, 500GB hard drive, 8x double-layer SuperDrive, NVIDIA GeForce 8800GS 512MB $2199 £1,105.06 £1389
As you can see from the price comparison, the difference in US and UK pricing ranges from just under £200 at the bottom of the range to £280 at the top. Even in these days of economic uncertainty that seems like a lot, especially on the lowest model. Since Apple give a worldwide warranty with all their products, the best advice for anyone visiting the States is to buy your Apple products there, or get a travelling friend to buy for you. As long as the voltage difference isn’t a problem (I know it isn’t on the laptops, you just need a UK plug adapter) you’re saving a nice wedge.
Not a surprise, but Privacy International (UK) now list the UK as one of the five worst countries for electronic surveillance, along with the USA, Russia, China, and Malaysia. It’s nice to know our government loves us so much it wants to watch everything we do. Just a shame it’s not doing us any good. 2007 was a pretty poor year for uk citizens. The police take DNA swabs from anyone involved in an incident whether guilty or not (irrespective of age) to fill their DNA database. We can’t report credit card fraud to the police any more, as they can’t deal with it. 27 Teenagers in London were killed in 2007 in gun and knife crimes. Illegal immigrants have critical security jobs. Doesn’t look like all the surveillance is doing much good, does it?