Archive for the ‘ Technology ’ Category

My next smart phone, the Samsung Galaxy S4…

..is in transit to the lovely state of New Hampshire as we speak and, barring any exceptions, I should have the device in my hands tomorrow afternoon.

I’m debating to record a proper unboxing video, but that would need me to wait until I arrived home to open the box and I’m not sure if I have the willpower to do that, or that I want to at all!

The Galaxy S4 is the talk of the web at the moment along with the HTC One, so do you lot really need yet another person reviewing a device that’s not too far removed from its predecessor?

If you’re reading this, let me know if you think I should, and I possibly shall.¬† ūüôā

like a cat with catnip

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Using “tags” to filter TV shows, like ratings!

Imagine as parent you don’t want your young child watching any television programming that is tagged with let’s say “realistic violence”. ¬†You power on the web-enabled TV, cable provider set box or ISP modem and enter “Tagging” mode with a password. ¬†Once into the system, we browse the selection of tags and choose just realistic violence. ¬†Other options could include animated violence, sex, nudity, partial nudity, frontal nudity, swear words, drugs, to name a few. ¬†You accept and walk away, knowing that your child will now not be able to view ANY video on-line or ANY specific television show through cable that has this specific tag.

We live in a world where this is possible, yet why isn’t it being done? ¬†We have this “ratings” system that gets plastered everyone, is usually with most television shows, but doesn’t really get used by the end user with tangible results. ¬†It’s more about being a visible but yet invisible safety net, giving comfort to the masses. ¬†I strongly dislike things done for pretense and appearances. ¬†If effort and time is spent on ratings, they should be used and not taken for granted.

If television series were asked to take it a step further and if we made a more detailed set of tags to be used, I think something like this could have practical and positive results, almost immediately. ¬†We already have data that is piped down the cable line with TV shows and videos online. ¬†I can’t say for certain if say, Comcast or an ISP would need more involvement to make this work transmission wise, but obviously on the set top boxes there would need to be a more configurable system for parents. ¬†Same with ISP modems or operating systems and any TV’s that have tuners. ¬†Modems, for online content, may be a bit more tricky to achieve, so actual television broadcasts would be a better first step. ¬†It shouldn’t take much overhead, not even though warrant any fee increase or the like I’d say, but I’m sure all interested parties would find a way to see that happens.

I however feel strongly this wouldn’t be all that hard to implement. ¬†Once a detailed set of tags has been created, and agreed upon like the current ratings, it would be easy to tag shows properly. ¬†There could be self-moderation as long as there was no outcry, and heck, we could even use SMS technology to better improve the system through customer feedback and engagement. ¬†Feel a tag is wrong or missing? ¬†Send a text to ” “!!

I should really patent these ideas I have. ¬†Though, if you get rich off it, a little hush money would be appreciated. ¬†Or…I’d be more than happy to help make it a reality and would just need board and meals paid for! ¬†What can I say, I’m cheap. ¬†ūüôā

Are Apps the mobile version of Video Games DLC?

I mean really, do I need to even pen this article?¬† To an apt person the subject will get your brain mojo flowing, heck you have probably already answered the question and even if you continue reading my article here, nothing I say is going to change your mind, irregardless of the points, suggestions or arguments I make.¬† Which would actually make you a person that is NOT apt, as any smart person is going to want to know the truth, defend what they feel is the truth and actually hold an intelligent discussion to do such, not just ignore everything.¬† That’s what we call arrogant people, but you aren’t one of them, right?¬† ūüôā

So, let me make a sharp 90¬ļ turn right here:¬† If you think of your favorite mobile cell phone as a video game and all those wonderful little applications you buy for it as down-loadable content …are you happy having to make other purchases to get full enjoyment from the original product?

This is a very deep subject, of course, so I am just focusing on skimming the top of this beast.  We could dive right into how games on mobile add to the enjoyment and are not necessary to get full enjoyment, and you would be right.  Which is why I want you to focus on those purchases that are made that replicate functionality you would find on any other mobile cell phone or you so you can experience what you have become accustomed to on the desktop.

You can nitpick effectiveness, it’s a better experience with the application, or however you prove your purchase – It doesn’t matter to the point I am trying to make here.

When I buy a product, ANY product, I expect a certain amount of enjoyment from it.¬† I expect a certain amount of productivity from it without having to relay on more secondary purchases to get rid of that feeling that my original purchase was a half-finished product or they “held something back” to make more money.

So how do you feel about your mobile cell phone?¬† I know how I feel about mine.¬† I paid $379.00 for it in November of 2009.¬† Since then, I have spent $0 on secondary purchases that increase functionality or productivity.¬† My original purchase has been able to efficiently, effectively and enjoyably handle all the ways I have wanted to use it without having to buy anything extra.¬† You can cite “open source” all you want or that since I have had to download even free applications it makes my point moot.

But honestly, if you do….you are sorely missing the point I am trying to bring up with you.¬† So go back to playing your half done game while waiting for the next paid installment to be released and leave those of us who are fiscally responsible alone as we try to decide what to do with all this extra money!¬† ūüôā

It’s TIME to FACE the “Apple Facts”

So I was shaking my head and laughing (Thanks @HilzFuld) at how the top four posts over at TechCrunch were Apple related, when one of the titles caught my interest. “FaceTime and Why Apple‚Äôs Massive Integration Advantage is Just¬†Beginning“.

After reading the article, I realized that every single word after the first four paragraphs is nothing subjective writing, business decisions and “fluff” which I believe is purposely designed to “encourage” readers to stop reading at that point and click away with just the first four paragraphs having been read. Oh yeah, everything after the first four were also entirely irrelevant to the title of the article with the exception of the last paragraph.¬† Rather annoyed, I focused on the words that irked me enough to click the link originally Apple’s “massive integration advantage”??

With FaceTime, Apple now has one integrated service with their device.¬† One.¬† Am I failing to see their “massive integration advantage” or is one the new trump in the numbers game?¬† Last I checked, the higher the better.¬† So how does one integrated service give Apple a massive advantage?¬† I’m not asking how well it works, I’m not asking how the experience is, nor am I saying it is a bad service or anything of the like.¬† I am asking a very straight and to the point question, which has the same kind of answer:¬† It doesn’t give Apple any advantage at all.

In fact, not only does FaceTime not give them any advantage in the integration discussion, I think it gives them a disadvantage.¬† With FaceTime, who can you chat with?¬† Other FaceTime users.¬† Who can’t you chat with?¬† Anyone on Verizon, Sprint, US Cellular, TracFone or any other CDMA carrier.¬† Oh yeah, also anyone without an iPhone 4, since that is the only device that supports FaceTime.¬† Apple has said FaceTime was built on open standards and they will release the code so other companies can build around it, but will that mean a basement application from some snot-nosed kid will allow you to talk with other FaceTime users?¬† Highly doubtful.

I can pick up my N900 and I have Skype, Facebook, Google Talk and VoIP services integrated into the device by default.¬† 1..2….3…4 services!¬† As far as the numbers game goes, 4 > 1.¬† Not only does this device have more than the Apple iPhone 4, but so do others!¬† To top it off, the best part of all?

I can start a video chat with anyone who has a capable device.  Verizon, Sprint?  Yup!

So, where is that advantage now?  Why is being limited to ONE device on ONE cell phone carrier called an advantage?  That is very confusing to me.  Not the why, I know the why because I am not blinded by shiny objects and a guy who can talk the talk.  The confusing part is people will read that story and accept it as fact, as truth and as if Apple has gone and wrote the book as having the first device capable of doing video chat!

Thank you @phonelover for the help choosing a title of this blog post!

Painting on the iPad and N900

Just a quick blurb and a poll, nothing to deep.

iPad Painting done by David Kassan using Brushes app:  

N900 Painting done by Luovatone using MyPaint:  

What you have here, are two pieces of technology that have come from vastly different circles of the design life.  Both however, were used to create exceptionally well drawn pieces of art!

The iPad clearly benefits from the larger screen size, however severely suffers in the accuracy department. ¬†The N900 has a tremendous amount of accuracy as seen in the video. ¬†I think the N900 is the better choice personally for its portability and accuracy. ¬†Sure, the iPad has a bigger screen but due to it’s touch screen type, you need to zoom in and out and move around just as much as the N900. ¬†It’s a trade off either way and is totally a preference thing on which to use. ¬†However, the N900 wins with accuracy, which when drawing is kinda important to most artists.

Which would you rather draw on?  Feel free to answer and explain why in the comments, interested in hearing your opinions!

Jobs didn’t know…

…about the iPhone 4 reception issues or was misinformed by his employees.

Let me get this out first.  I hope Apple goes down in flames, I hope open source terrorists blow up their buildings (after making sure everyone is out) and they are never able to recover.  I want them to burn baby, BURN! There, now that that is out of my system, let me continue to defend Mr. Jobs here!

There is one pedestal that I put Apple on myself, and that is the user experience one.  Jobs has basically made it a company mandate.  Heck it is probably part of their employee hand book that no employee is allowed to take action that could even possibly remotely maybe almost reduce by .0000001% the user experience for their consumers.  If there are few truths in the universe, this is one of them.

If Jobs knew the antenna issue was of strong enough complaint to produce a string of news story to a level far far below what they are at now, he would have made a decision to ensure those news stories never had a chance to be formed.¬† It doesn’t matter if he found out now with millions of units already produced and shipped, while they were still on the assembly line or during the testing process.¬† He would have made the right decision with the user experience in mind.

This sort of media exposure, also gives the appearance that Apple is like every other company out there.¬† They have long been regarded as the company with an impeccable quality assurance team that goes through rigorous testing procedures on all their products.¬† No matter how Apple handles this situation, it has allowed for some doubt to enter people’s mind.¬† And that, for Jobs, is almost as bad as hurting the user experience.

This leads me to believe that Jobs didn’t know, although there is another remote possibility that entered my mind.

What if, just what if the shell that had encased the iPhone 4, making it looks like an older model, was put on the first time the entire unit was assembled?¬† What if the importance of getting this shell around the newly designed money maker, was of such high priority, that common sense just went out the window and they simply never tested the device without the shell and there is just to much embarrassment circling that “mistake”?

I know little hiccups like that can happen if there is a lack of communication between departments.  Jobs could have mandated one department do the shell and gave them carte blanche to make it happen and through their zeal, normal testing on the device just simply forgot to test it without the shell?  Food for thought.