British Flowers – Not to be Sniffed at

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Buying Flowers – British Flowers

If you’re thinking about ordering flowers online, you’ll find a wide range of bouquets and arrangements to choose from.  You can order British flowers from a number of online retailersincluding M&S, Debenhams and Flowers R Us.

It is easy to forget that many flowers are believed to represent lifestyle and fortune – see this blog about the true meaning of flowers. Note there is also a fantastic recipe and instruction how to make elderflower champagne from the same author

Many of the cut flowers that we find in florists and supermarkets are grown abroad, in countries such as Holland and Kenya, but there are also many flower farms in Britain. By buying British flowers, we can help to support our own commercial flower-growers, something that it is particularly important in the current financial climate and of course a help to climate change

Britain has an excellent flower-farming industry and some parts of the UK have gained great reputations for producing beautiful, sweet-smelling blooms. One of the primary regions for flower-growing in the UK is the Isles of Scilly.

The Isles of Scilly lie about 28 miles off of Land’s End in the South-West of England. They consist of five inhabited islands (Bryher, St. Agnes, St. Martins, St. Mary’s and Tresco) together with many uninhabited islands. The proximity of the Gulf Stream means that the Isles of Scilly benefit from warmer winters than the rest of the UK and rarely experience frost or snow, whilst also having slightly cooler summers than the rest of the country, making them the perfect location for flower farms.

Flower farming first began on the Isles of Scilly during the late nineteenth century and flowers quickly became one of the islands’ main exports. During World War II, the industry began to suffer, as it became much more difficult to transport the flowers to the mainland, but Winston Churchill is said to have intervened in order to ensure that the flower farmers had access to fuel and transport after having been sent a bouquet of flowers from a flower farmer in the Isles of Scilly whilst he was in hospital. Since then, the Isles of Scilly flower industry has grown and is vital to the local economy. Flower farms on the islands are still very much family businesses, with many of them having been handed down through the generations.

The flower farms on the Isles of Scilly are best-known for growing narcissi. More than 25 varieties of narcissi (a genus of flower that includes daffodils and jonquils) are grown on the islands. Narcissi are usually white, yellow, peach or pink and many varieties are scented.

British flower farms also produce many other types of flowers, including tulips and peonies. Tulips were originally found in the Middle East, but began to be grown commercially in Europe during the sixteenth century, particularly in Holland. Today, many tulips are grown on British flower farms. In Britain, tulips are usually harvested between January and April, so herald the start of warmer weather, and they are available in a wide range of varieties and colours.

Peonies are both beautiful and fragrant flowers, and you can find them in many shades, including white, pink and peach. Peonies traditionally symbolise luxury and indulgence, and are popular flowers to give as a gesture of romance. They are available from late May until early June.

Blackberry Bold: The iPhone Killer

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In the battle for the next Smartphone The Shelf takes a look at how the iPhone 3G has pushed the RIM Blackberry, as each tries to become the default handset for salesmen and business people around the world.

With the launch of the 3G iPhone it became clear that the RIM Blackberry needed something new to pervail in this highly lucrative sector. Now, dubbed the ‘iPhone killer’, the Blackberry Bold aims to target more that just a business user, it has been designed for ordinary people, and is Research In Motion’s most ambitious attempt yet.

This new device has all the trademarks of Blackberry devices that have preceded it, but as well as that RIM has gone a step further making the Blackberry Bold the best entertainment device they have ever made.

As with the iPhone the handset comes with a camera and GPS, email, good look and usability, and web browsing and multimedia capabilities.

“The Bold has been designed with this almost entirely in mind: loading music for instance, has been made really easy – it will pull songs straight from your existing iTunes library; surfing the web is more satisfying than on other BlackBerrys, because the Bold uses the 3G mobile phone network as well as Wi-Fi to get online; and the interface has been given a makeover.”

The BlackBerry Bold does look a lot better than any of its predecessors, and it does more than the iPhone, but the design of it is still suited to the business user and not the consumer.

The iPhone 3G is however better for the consumer thanks to superb multimedia capabilities, but if future firmware updates give Apple’s iPhone the ability to edit documents on the go, it could become the business choice as well.

iPhone 3G Review

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Fans of the iPhone were queuing up this morning to get their hands on the latest version of the iPhone , the second generation 3G equipped handset from Apple.

Customers had been advised earlier this week to pre-order their handset resulting in mobile phone operator O2 selling out four days prior to launch. This request resulted in the online O2 shop crashing with the operator having to suspend service.

Even with the site crash the operator still managed to sell out of handset, meaning late visitors were greeted with the following message:

“Due to huge demand for iPhone 3G, we’re currently out of stock online. Come back on July 10 for more information”.

O2 had said that more phones would be available from today but with demand so high shoppers had been advised to get to stores early.

Announced last month by Apple the new iPhone aims to combine a mobile phone with an iPod and an internet browser. Operating on the high speed 3G network, users can surf the internet much faster that they could with the previous iPhone.

Additionally the new 3G equipped iPhone has GPS build in, as well as push email meaning near instantaneous email is a facility it can boast. As a result this phone can handle Microsoft Exchange Email client, and calendars and address books can synchronise instantly with the handset putting the new iPhone in direct competition with PDA’s such as Palm Treos, BlackBerries and Window Mobile devices. This alone suggests that the corporate market is a clear target for Apple.

The development of 3G in the iPhone alone required a complete overhaul of the software that powers the iPhone, and Apple have stated that it will also be available for free to all existing owners of the first-generation iPhone, and to owners of the iPod touch for a small, as yet unknown, fee.

It is hoped that with the speedy 3G upgrade the second generation handset will help the iPhone shake of its luxury gadget statue and instead move into the mainstream.

The handset is also released with a much lower price tag then its predecessor, available for free on some contracts and £100 with others. The first iPhone cost £269 at launch.

The phone was not made available from July 11th on a Pay-As-You-Go tariff, estimated to be released later this year.

Sony PSP Mobile Phone : 2009?

Gaming, Mobile, Technology No Comments »

News has resurfaced that Sony is planning to release a mobile phone that will incorporate elements of its popular Playstation Portable or PSP. With Sony already lending its name to the Cybershot and Walkman Sony Ericsson mobile it would seem a logical step.

In the mobile market Sony is part of a joint venture with telecommunications giant Ericsson to make mobile phones, and last week launched the motion sensing F305 gaming phone. Motion sensing technology used allows the user of the F305 to play games such as bowling and fishing, imitating the movements required if actually playing the sport.

Although a break through in gaming facilities seem in mobile handsets to date, it had been predicted that the F305 model would include some Playstation branding or a PSP style design. However, leaked information suggests that the Sony isn’t willing to give their converted Playstation branding to a joint venture.

With Sony Ericsson lying a lowly fifth place in the handset market it seems Sony are not wiling to risk their closely guarded PlayStation brand on a joint venture handset quiet yet.

It is rumoured that such decisions has lead to the break down of the Sony Eriksson relationship, and sources have said that relation between the two are frosty.

This further fuels rumours that Sony is in fact working on its own PSP style mobile phone handset which is being tipped for release around Christmas 2009, however contrary to this the joint Sony Ericsson venture has filed a joint patient for a portable mobile communication device that mimics the PSP.

As usual there are no confirmed comments regarding any of the rumours so I guess time will tell.

iPhone 2.0 to Utilise iControl

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A report today claimed that the software being developed for the iPhone 2.0 may introduce remote control and iTunes collection streaming.

The software that will be utilised by the second generation iPhone has been tipped by TUAW to allow the playback of various media from local iTunes sources. The technology could also be implemented in the iPod touch.

The reports also make mention to dialogue boxes that would allow users to choose their source library or media type.

The Apple TV-like feature would theoretically enable playback of the content within any iTunes collection over a local network, much the same way as Apple TV allows users to stream content from multiple libraries.

This streaming service could also take the form of a remote control that would then enable each device to control playback on an iTunes library collection, in essence using the handheld iPhone or iTouch as a fancy remote control.

At the current time the credibility of the reports is in question, and TUAW itself conceded that it is much founded on speculation. However it does ask some interesting question on what to expect from the software that is due for release in June.

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