Apple gets it so right..

As many of you reading my tweets or coming here from Fuelmyblog will know that we are currently on vacation on a small island called Aegina near Athens (Greece).  The view from our room is incredible and simply breathtaking:-

Apart from spending a few hours on the beach there, we have visited a few ancient Greek Temples like the one below:-

The island is surrounded with beauty and is of course very hot, everyone with any brain will retire to their rooms between 1pm and 5pm as the temperature can be as high as 50C which is 122F..This gives me the perfect opportunity to work using the Hotel’s wifi.

Anyhow, back to Apple..

The day before I left for Aegina, I picked up one of the new iPhone 3G’s, I suspect I was the only one to do so to save money, I am currently paying over €250 per month with roaming data charges and sms’s etc and felt that the iPhone with unlimited data, 500 SMS and phone calls free would save me a fortune.  What I didn’t take into account was just how cool this “phone” is.  The camera is great, takes fantastic shots (no zoom but who cares) and the app’s, ipod etc is fantastic.  What I didn’t realise was how many people were interested in the iPhone 3G that are not on Twitter or read Techcrunch…

I was sat in a bar in a tiny town last night, taking photos of the kids eating an ice-cream.  Nothing unusual at all, then a guy tapped me on the shoulder and in his best English (he was Greek) asked if it was the new iPhone 3G?  I nodded, turned around and there were 6 men sat behind me all smiling and pointing “have you tried the maps yet?” They asked to take a look and using the wifi from the port, tried the maps out and were all smiling like kids as it showed their little island..

Apple managed to somehow reach this tiny island..they are truly the masters of marketing..

Twitter lets us know the global fuel prices

One of my favourite sites is twitter, it allows me to instantly see what is going on, read blog posts as they happen, get news before it appears on major news sites such as the BBC and the Guardian, but more importantly, it lets me connect with the World instantly.

Twitter

A few days ago, I asked a simple question (you only have 140 characters to get any message across) “Global Fuel price check, how much is a gallon or litre of diesel/gas where you live? Please answer with Country/State and price, thanks!”…the results were interesting and I have published them below, it shows us instantly how much the different government’s tax us and also how prices vary from state to state in some cases.

smartiesplace @fuelmyblog currently at $1.55 a litre in Melbourne Australia

HellaSound @fuelmyblog $4.29 in San Francisco, CA

webduck @fuelmyblog $4.057 in Port Orchard, WA

supermom_in_ny @fuelmyblog On Memorial Day (Mon) I paid $4.11 a gallon for regular and I live in upstate NY…not NYC!

lezzles @fuelmyblog Re. fuel prices – it’s only $0.17 in Caracas.

AngelaChenShui @fuelmyblog approx US$1.20/litre for high octane gas; US$1/litre for regular, Jamaica

hawksdomain @fuelmyblog USA – Kansas $3.79/gal on the way to work this morning… news said it would be up to $3.90 by the end of the day tho

blm03 @fuelmyblog It was $4.29 over the weekend in Chicago, IL USA

Archit @fuelmyblog $5.77 per gallon for Petrol in West Bengal, India.

Cantalyssa @fuelmyblog USA/ South Carolina $3.78gas $4.55 diesel (per gallon)

John_C @fuelmyblog Jacksonville, Florida, USAGE current gas price: $3.938/US Gallon.

WritingJourney @fuelmyblog $4.18, Michigan, U.S

aragornsbeard @fuelmyblog About €1.50/litre here in the vendee, France.

And my Mother texted (SMS) me saying the price is £1.189  for petrol in Hertfordshire, England.

So, there are 4.55 Litres to a gallon so to compare averages where available:-

USA Average across answers was $4.05 per gallon which is $0.89 per litre or £0.45 per litre

In India is is $5.77 per gallon which is $1.26 per litre or £0.64 per litre

In Australia it is AUS$1.55 a litre which is £0.75 per litre or for the folks in the US $6.73 per gallon

In Caracas, Venezuela it is $0.17 per gallon! which is $0.037 per litre or £0.02 per litre (rounded up)

In the Vendee in France it is €1.50 per litre or £1.18 per litre which is $10.56 per gallon!

In La Rochelle in France it is €1.41 per litre or £1.10 per litre which is $9.91 per gallon

in Hertfordshire, England it is £1.189 per litre or $10.69 per gallon.

So now you can see why half of Europe is on strike due to the fuel prices right now..

This is what makes the internet such a great human resource.

Thanks to everyone that took part 🙂

If you haven’t yet added me as a friend on twitter I am known there, surprisingly(!), as fuelmyblog.

Trains with Wifi

This blog is not going to read like a diary of events from day one of founding Fuelmyblog, that would make a great book!

I want to write about other experiences and findings that I feel either help the community or all of us in day to day life. My post today was going to be all about the first coder I found for Fuelmyblog. I’ll put that off until next time.

Right now I am sitting on a train at 10pm UK time traveling down from Wakefield back into London. Wakefield is in the North of England, you can see on the map below, the journey back to Hertfordshire (near London).   It takes around 2 and a half hours, and it is now 10pm.

map of Uk

What is so incredible for me is that now, I find myself working at 10pm (in fact I find myself working at 3am lots too!). In previous “real jobs” when I finished work at 5.30pm, I would now be collapsed in front of the TV, trying to put to bed the fears and disruptions the next day would bring.

Not now, I am traveling on a National Express train and have to say, it is really great. I feel compelled to write about them and their service. The coaches are clean, comfortable and “silent”, people are asked to turn mobile/cell phones to silent and respect others when they answer the phone. It is pleasant and the only sounds are the gentle tapping of laptop keys.  Right now, I have a vicar sitting beside me reading what looks like a bible, and another guy sleeping in front of me. The overall ambience is of total relaxation and strangely calming.

From time to time, a buffet cart passes by with the server quietly and respectfully asking if you would like anything. I missed my first train this morning due to a total lack of parking, instead of paying over £100 for a new ticket, the guy on the service desk managed to play with things and found me a way of only charging me £30.  Expensive but in fairness a good saving and something they didn’t have to do.  When you are miles away from home (right now, over a thousand) it is nice to feel relaxed and in control, National Express Trains seem to have created this.

Oh and the Wifi is free of charge..Yes, I am writing this using good solid Wifi at over 100 miles per hour, my ears are popping from time to time but the web is constant! I would totally recommend anyone visiting the UK to take these trains, you will not find a more pleasant mode of transport in the UK, by booking online you can make huge savings, I paid £30 return today, this can be found for as little as £18 return, which from London to Scotland could be a great deal.  If you book your train tickets on the day of travel this could cost over £200 each way..be very careful!  The site can be found here

Technology has enabled us to connect with one and other in ways it would never have been possible just ten years ago. I am glad that services such as trains are embracing technology and helping us stay connected, without the wifi, I couldn’t have said goodnight to the kids via webcam on Skype, had a chat with a friend in LA on twitter and emailed a guy in Australia.

This is not a sponsored post!  I just write about great service and things that I feel everyone should know about, if a service is bad, should I write about it or forget about it and never use them again? So please help me here, should I write about the odd product or service that is bad? Do you/Would you?

Next up..Kanhai, the coder from India..