Here is a visual representation of the latest information regarding Android’s “traction” in the 18 months since it debuted.
The Creative Competition came to an end on Friday and, Saturday morning, 3 winners were picked at random. They were…
1st Prize – Jackie Ankrah from London
2nd Prize – Diane Roberts from Prestatyn
3rd Prize – Sid Holton from Rothwell1
Congratulations to them all!
- Lauren Farrar from Halifax was our original 3rd prize winner but failed to respond to emails and even a written letter, so the prize was re-drawn and won by Sid Holton [↩]
I’ve never run a competition before and, thanks to Creative, my first opportunity has just concluded.
And what did I learn?
Well, a lot. First of all, the questions I should be asking the prize providers. Instead I kept badgering them as I kept asking some pretty basic questions…
- When do you want the competition to start?
- How long do you want the competition to run for
- Are the prizes all for one person, all a “first” prize, or staged (first prize, second prize, etc)
- How long until delivery
- What will you provide if a product is no longer available?
Whilst running the competition I kept an eye on the entries to ensure that I wasn’t receiving multiple entries per person or household. And, after only 24 hours, I appeared to have found a problem – 3 people, each with an AOL email address, and the same IP address. Suspicious? It looked like it to me.
However, the fact that AOL is their ISP is the key here – they use a proxy-based system, meaning that many users may share the same IP address. Wikipedia has discussed such an issue before on their own site.
The database I created to hold winner details held a name, address, email, competition answer and IP address. Based on the AOL problems I now realise that I should also store a time stamp and user agent. I’ll be making these changes for next time.
I did a lot of work on the competition coding to ensure SQL injection problems. None-the-less I realised a few days ago that although the competition entry form disappears after the closing date, the code to submit the form details into the database still exists. This means that a third party script could inject entries (although not anything that would affect security) after this time. Again, this will now be fixed for future.
Lastly, I had so many entries that just trying to keep track of “rule breakers” became a lot, lot harder – more work on flagging such things at the point of competition entry will be useful, and I feel an automated email coming on!
Meanwhile, I have contacted the 3 winners and am just awaiting a confirmation of their postal addresses before details are announced.
Last week I became the proud owner of a set of Creative Aurvana In-Ear2 earphones which retail for £89.99. And these are the proverbial “bee’s knees” – oxygen-free copper cabling and gold plated connections. They are also really quite light and compact.
Now, I’m not the kind of person who gets excited about unboxing, but the packaging for these headphones is superb. Considering the contents the box is not overly large and a window on the front shows off the earpieces. Open up the box and slide out the plastic surround and you will come across a small, neatly folded black cardboard box – this contains an assortment of eartips (2 pair of small, 1 pair of medium and 2 pair of large – the other medium pair are already on the earphones), aircraft adapter, cleaning device and some tiny manuals. Back in the main box there is a handy case which the earphones can be wound into.
My usual headphones of choice are a relatively cheap (£20-£30) pair of foam-pad earphones. The Aurvana’s, in comparison, come with rubber eartips and fit snugly in your ear canal. As a result up to 95% of sound is blocked. Like sticking fingers in your ears, though, you end up hearing your own breathing a lot louder – none-the-less it does provide a much quieter listening experience without the background noise.
There is some sound leakage from them but it’s not excessive.
I’ve tried the earphones with a selection of music from Will Young to The Prodigy and all sounded clear and detailed. I love the soundtrack to the recent Star Trek movie, so that had an airing – the chimes in the opening number, for instance, I’d never heard before. Nor had I heard the musicians making various noises in the background. I also tried them with a BBC audio Podcast and it was immediately obvious the improvement in sound as I heard every rustle of script paper and could tell where all the edit points were.
Now, I’ll admit, I’m no audiophile. But, thankfully, a friend is so I asked him to try them. He stores all his recorded music uncompressed and uses earphones that cost many hundreds of pounds (and this isn’t including the £100+ it cost to have some custom eartips made). He thought the Aurvanas were excellent for the money and particularly liked their small size. He found them comparable to Shure SE210 earphones, which have a price of £125 (and they are a lot bulkier in size).
Summary of Creative Aurvana In-Ear2I think these really are excellent – they look and sound brilliant and are extremely well presented. It’s such a shame that, thanks to breaking my last MP3 player, I’m reduced to using them on my mobile phone!
Reviewed by David Artiss on 25th May 2010.