The Weekly Round-Up: 05.02.10

Written by The Round-Up, Contributor on


Burp! The Round-Up has a serious case of indigestion. It knew it was a bad idea to consume so much - but it all looked so good.

Yes, like the rest of the tech world the Round-Up has been on a week-long eat-as-much-as-you-like binge of Apple iPad stories.

It all started quite innocently with a nibble on a tasty little photo story of the tablet in all its glory. But then the Round-Up got greedy and couldn't help but tuck into an article on what CIOs think of the iPad (if you want to know too you can find out here). And for dessert there was what analysts reckon about the iPad (you can read that here).

And if, after all that, you're in the mood for a wafer-thin mint of 'when can I buy one of these devices in the UK?' Why, you can get the latest launch date info here.

Of course, if your address is Number 1 Under a Rock, Cluelessville, you're probably wondering what all this iPad nonsense is. Nope, it's not the latest piece of pirate eyeware - for the full lowdown, check out the Apple iPad cheat sheet here.

After months of build up and the tablet feeding frenzy of the last week, it's all going to go a bit quiet on the Apple hype front now - at least until the fanboys regroup. Just wait for the over-excited hoardes waving their iPads like sporting trophies when they actually get to buy one in a couple of months. To these people the Round-Up says in advance: just remember - you didn't invent it, you just bought one.

All this iPad discussion has been like chomping through a whole box of chocolates - full of deliciousness but a bit tough on the old constitution. No wonder after all that the Round-Up is sorely in need of a tablet.

The indigestion type, that is.

Those of you planning to go out and buy a massive telly in time for the Olympics (the Round-Up has its eye on one the size of the obelisk in 2001: A Space Odyssey) may be disappointed. Not in the quality of the telly or its size, but more to do with what's going to appear on it.

Scientists have warned that a peak in solar activity is due in 2012, risking the disruption of television and internet during the London Olympic Games, according to a story in The Times this week. Sun spots, solar winds and other violent eruptions from the Sun's atmosphere can disable satellites, cause power grid failures and disrupt communications, the scientists have said.

The Round-Up can see this playing out in one of two ways, depending on how our athletes are doing.

If Team GB is doing badly in the Olympics medal chase, then it might be a blessing that we won't be able to see the horror unfolding.

Then again, if it's a glorious summer and we're winning everything going, then 'sun spots have knocked out the corporate network' might become the excuse of choice for techies that want to clock off early and catch up with our sporting heroes. Get practising your excuses now.

And on the subject of practising your excuses, where were you on Monday? Working hard in the office, finishing off that memo about your great idea for synergising the sales team offsite? Or slumped in front of the box watching Jeremy Kyle, drinking tea and feeling simultaneously naughty and a bit guilty?

The first Monday in February is apparently the most common day of the year to pull a sickie, with an estimated 350,000 workers putting one toe outside of the duvet and then thinking better of it. Blame the cold, dark weather and the lack of any Apple-related hype in the atmosphere to lighten the mornings.

One of the key ingredients of a sickie (the Round-Up has heard) is psyching yourself up to call the boss, practicing the little sick voice and the pitiful tale of woe that means you can't come in. Just think - all that stands between you and a whole extra day off is just a little bit of method acting.

Tips for pulling it off include making the call very early in the morning, because then everyone sounds like they are about to be sick anyway. Of course, there is a very thin line between sounding ill enough to need to take the day off and sounding so sick you could be auditioning for 'Bubonic Plague: The Musical'.

But it seems that bosses are now too soft on their staff, accepting emails or texts rather than the phone call. The horror - the art of the sickie will be reduced to "Am sick will go 2 C DR L8R".

Next thing you know there'll be an app to do the whole thing for you. And where's the fun in that?

So what's happening in the rest of the world? Glad you asked:

Fancy 100Mbps broadband but don't want to pay the 50p broadband tax? The Tories reckon they've figured out a way to make you happy.

How the cloud is like the credit crunch.

Why super-sized IT contracts need to be put on a diet.

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