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A Different View

Apple replaces the tree as real measure of time

Dave O'Connell

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Stephen Mannion, Ava Leyden, David Mannion and Toby MacAdam from Kiltiernan NS, U11 Quiz Winners at the School's Quiz held in The Meadow Court, Loughrea.

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It used to be that geologists measured the passage of time by counting the rings on the bark of a tree – dendrochronology, they call it – but these days it’s easier to gauge it by the number that comes at the end of your iPhone.

Thus 2016 is defined for some by the iPhone 7, with subtle and seismic changes that will sufficiently excite them to see stay up all night just so they can get their hands on one of the first of the species.

They will revel in the changes from the iPhone 6 which they will feel fully justify the outlay of several hundred euro to replace a phone that works perfectly fine and was itself cutting edge as recently as Christmas.

But Apple needs more than its super-fans to keep turning over the billions – so over time it also fashions a plan that forces even the most reluctant of customers to make the change.

Never mind those who need a new phone because their old one fell out of the car or down the toilet – they will always provide a niche market.

This is about people who just want a device that can make calls, accept emails, play music, take a pic, bring you the news and sport, and entertain you in the quieter moments with a simple video game or two.

It’s a huge bonus if you can access free calls via Skype or Face Time and even better if the GPS or Google Maps allows you to find yourself when you get lost, without have to make an eejit of yourself by asking a stranger.

For them, the original iPhone – like Rocky, there was no iPhone 1, because back then there wasn’t necessarily a sequel – should be enough…in theory.

They don’t care about download speeds or the pixel quality of the camera, the screen quality for games or the width of their phone – because the first thing they did with it was put a bit heavy case on it to protect it when it falls.

So Apple has to force your hand by rendering your old phone obsolete – and it does this in a number of ways.

One is to limit its shelf life by cutting off updates for older models which means that some of the Apps you loved are now useless.

The other – and this is what they’re up to this time – is to change part of the phone’s hardware. Last time it was the charging socket and now they’re doing away with the headphone jack.

Officially it’s because the old headphone facility was three and a half millimetres in diameter – and because the new iPhone 7 is thinner, this will no longer fit.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Obituaries; the story of a life – told at the death

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Younger people think newspaper obituaries are just for older readers – a kind of version of the line about the elderly reading the death notices to check if they’re alive for another day.

How short-sighted they are, if that’s their take – because obits can be among the liveliest, most entertaining parts of the paper.

They take different tones of course; we tend to be more respectful; more of an appreciation than a critique, and normally written with the permission and oversight of at least a family member.

Those writing for a national or international audience tend to be less circumspect in their analysis of a celebrity’s lifetime – in part for the very reason of their fame.

In other words, the person must be well-known or at least at the head of their field, in order to justify an obituary in the first place – and therefore it’s in effect an evaluation of their life and legacy; the story of a life, told at the death.

That doesn’t mean it has to be reverential or funereal in tone; an injection of humour or context is important if it’s to properly reflect the life and contribution of the subject.

Take a few recent opening paragraphs, marking the passing of these people who ranged from household names to half well-known – like this socialite who was largely famous for being famous and for knowing other famous people.

“Marguerite Littman was beside the pool at the Hotel Cipriani in Venice with Tennessee Williams when a cadaverous girl came shambling past wearing a bikini.

“‘Look, anorexia nervosa,’ Littman said to her companion. ‘Oh, Marguerite, you know everyone,’ came Williams’s reply.”

And it may be apocryphal but it’s still funny – but more critically, you’re suddenly hooked to learn more about a woman you’d probably never heard of.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Don’t turn up your nose at those smells making Covid comeback

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There are few things in life that epitomise the joy of anticipation better than opening a brand-new book; the smell of the crisp pages, beautifully bound to reveal its story in your hands and your imagination.

Equally, when you think of a summer’s day, it’s the smell of fresh cut grass that most often springs to mind; the mere thought of it is enough to bring a smile to your face through your mind’s eye.

The association between summer and fresh cut grass is so strong that one band, the Hot House Flowers, built an entire career around it, releasing the same song over and over again.

There are other smells of nature that heighten the senses in summer of course – newly mown hay for a start – and at other times, you know you’re in farming country when the smell of freshly-spread silage wafts in through the car window.

Our eyes may be the most critical of our senses in that, without them, life is a whole lot more difficult to lead – but smell is the sense that can lift you to a higher place.

Think of the aroma that escapes from a bakery or a cake shop; it can have you salivating when you’re not even hungry.

And we all know why so many coffee shops have extractor units that diffuse the smell of roasting coffee beans out onto the street; the Pied Piper of Hamlin wouldn’t work any better in getting you to literally follow your nose.

There’s also the other side of smells – and it’s not just silage.

If you want to quit drinking, for example – or more precisely, to give up drinking nights out – just set yourself a mission of dropping into a pub first thing in the morning, before it’s spic and span and ready to open its doors to the public.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Steering clear of mirrors to deny the ageing process

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Only occasionally do you realise you’re actually getting older, because – unless you’re supremely vain – for the most part you’re looking out from yourself, not at yourself.

And then you walk past a mirror or a glass doorway and you think you’re being followed by a balder, fatter, older man – until the penny drops that you’re looking at yourself.

There’s another way to track the years as they fly by; just look at the writing on birthday cards, or more precisely the ones from your kids or young relations.

They start off with a stick man and graduate to a spidery scrawl before there’s a first stab at joined-up writing, evolving eventually to perfectly-formed adult sentences.

And yet you still think you’re not getting older.

I have nieces and nephews who send little video greetings for birthdays and Christmas – and that provides an ever starker reflection of the reality.

Again you go from shy little ones barely, mumbling a happy birthday, to teens with broken voices booming out a message to the big man!

As your age approaches your IQ, you often struggle to remember exactly how old you actually are – and the fall-back for many is to use their kids as a counter.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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