Archive for February, 2010

Sleeve Blankets & the Pygmy Dinosaurs

Evolution is a wonderful thing. And as humans seem to be getting ever bigger, we find new and more bizarre ways to save ourselves from moving, including, for those of you sick of having cold arms whilst reading in bed, the sleeve blanket.

Complete with index finger hole for ease of page turning, here at Proporta we think this is actually a rather wonderful idea – even if it is going to make the thought of getting out of bed that little bit harder.

Elsewhere in random news of the last week, it caught our eye that the remains of an island of pygmy dinosaurs, or “Jurassic Parkette” has been discovered in Romania.  Apparently, after being marooned on this island 65m years ago, the dinosaurs no longer needed to put on body mass as there were no predators to feed on them, and instead they got smaller in a process rather charmingly called “island dwarfing”.  A relative of the Argentinosaurus – capable of growing up to 100 feet and weighing in at 80 tons – grew to only the size of a small horse, whilst other “titanosaurs” grew to only half their usual size.

So perhaps we should watch ourselves and our ever lazier tendencies.  Because as these dwarf dinosaurs show, changing your environment can change the whole course of your species.  But a little bit of bedtime luxury won’t make the difference, surely, so we say to hell with humanity – just don yourself a sleeve blanket and curl up with a good book.

World Mobile Congress 2010

The World Mobile Congress, the biggest gathering of all things wireless and cellular in the world, was held last week in Barcelona.  Trying to cover everything that happened or was announced would probably just give you a headache, but here’s a little summary of some of the biggest and most interesting news.  Well, we think it’s interesting anyway…

As a bit of background, there are now nine different operating systems (OS) for smartphones/mobile devices: Apple iPhone, Google Android (x3), Google Chrome, Windows Mobile 7, RIM Blackberry, Nokia Symbian, Palm WebOS, Samsung’s Baba, and Nokia/Intel’s MeeGo (Bada and MeeGo are both new to the market).

So, against this somewhat chaotic backdrop, it is unsurprising that a strong theme of the congress was a preview of the battle for supremacy in the mobile market, and the significance this will have for other sectors.  Samsung announced their new Bada OS and showcased the Wave phone that will use it, whilst Microsoft announced that devices using the new Windows Mobile 7 will be available from the end of this year – a good year after the software was expected to roll out.

Meanwhile, Google announced a new collaboration with Omnifone, that will see the Omnifone MusicStation being offered on Android powered devices, and Adobe revealed that their Photoshop app for the iPhone had now been downloaded over 6 million times.

The growing power of the Android part of the sector was consistently showcased, with a new army of Android tablets looking to take on the Apple iPad, Adobe positioning its Flash platform as the way for developers to avoid having to rewrite apps for each OS, and O2 and Orange announcing an attack on the iPhone supremacy through a new open platform.

Elsewhere, Sony Ericsson, Huawei, Motorola and Samsung all unveiled new devices, whilst LG offered a tantalisingly vague promise to launch a “new product” aimed at taking on the iPad and the Kindle.

All in all, it just goes to show how fast the landscape is changing in this burgeoning sector, and how fierce the competition will be to claim territory and market share.  At this relatively early stage of the app and smartphone “explosion” it’s impossible to tell which way it will go, but it sure will be interesting finding out.  What will you be using this time next year?  The chances are it will have featured somewhere in Barcelona, but who the biggest winners will be is too close to call.

A Brief History of Pretty Much Everything

And something else silly we found today:

Happy Pancake Day

In England, (and the rest of the UK) the Tuesday before Lent is known as Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday). On that day it is traditional to eat pancakes, toss pancakes and take part in pancake races.

The origins of eating pancakes arose from Christians who observe Lent and wanted to use up all the rich foods in their cupboards before Lent. During Lent eggs, sugar and butter were not allowed so these ingredients were used to make pancakes.

Today most people celebrate Pancake Day regardless of religion.

So, Proporta would like to wish you a lovely Pancake Day and if yours they look anything like the ones below, we’re sure you’ll enjoy them.

Happy Birthday Darwin

If he was alive today, it would have been Charles Darwin’s 201st birthday. Check out our limited edition wallet that we launched last year to celebrate his 200th birthday. With only a handful left in stock, the Darwin200 Leather Memory Wallet features an exclusive Charles Darwin signature print, and is beautifully handcrafted from the finest leather.

Adorama iPhone Photo Competition

Adorama, one of New York’s oldest and largest camera retailers have surprised even themselves with the popularity of their iPhone photo competition. Within 2 weeks of announcing the competition – for images captured on the iPhone and edited only with iPhone apps – they’ve had over 5,000 submissions, from as far away as Japan.

With 3 more weeks to go, it seems likely that the competition is only going to get more popular, with images like the one shown here flooding in from around the globe. Winners will be announced at the end of February, and prizes range from $1000 to $50 in gift vouchers and photographic equipment. Judges include the intriguingly named Boomer and Carton (below), so we doubt it will be the most ferocious of competitions, but nonetheless it’s a nice idea. With all the cameraphones out there in the world it’s no surprise that people will start to value it as a format in its own right, and the depth of response shows that there’s lots of amateur phone snappers out there. That this one only allows iPhone entries is perhaps another sign of Apple’s drive to take over the world, but if you’re already an iPhone convert we doubt that bothers you – so if you fancy entering, why not click here?