Category: Technology


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So WWDC has come and passed and as I mentioned in my last blog I’m a bit behind. So here is what I took from the recent reveal of the new iOS 7.

First off I have to say that I am not an apple lover, well at least not a mobile device apple lover anyway. I would kill for a Macbook for sure but I avoid the iOS devices like the plague. I used to be a proud iPhone owner but once I discovered the freedom and options of android I quickly became aware of how locked down iOS was and still is.

That being said after watching the iOS 7 keynote I mist say one thing above all else is true for Apple, its fucking beautiful. The way that the UI looks in general from screen to screen and the different native apps are amazingly detailed and just great to look at. Unfortunately that’s where, in my view, most of the originality ends.

The new iTunes radio while really cool and rumored to be released for a while now is not much more than any other streaming radio service except that it also works with your own purchased and iTunes match collection. The new version of Siri is pretty slick but to me seems nothing more than a slight upgrade of what people could already do on their android devices. And when did the iCloud service become a social network (Google + much?), plus they made a huge deal of auto updates from the app store which again android has been doing for a few years now, except we also have the option to not auto update if we want, however I am not sure if iOS will offer that as an option too ( they really should and hopefully will).
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Like I said not a whole lot of originality but they did tweak things enough to not only make them their own in a way but as I stated at the beginning of this blog very, very pretty.

The few things that they did do that seem very original are the calendar and photo organization. The calendar looks really cool and has some good short cuts but I’m sure third party calendar apps have done most of this before, apple just seems to have a way of taking other ideas and making them look awesome.

The photo organization was one of the things that really looked cool to me though. It will automatically organized my “moment” which is pretty cool, in theory. The fact that it will not only take the date but also location into account when organizing is pretty cool but my big question is what happens when I don’t have my GPS or data on, will it still work via cell tower triangulation?

Another cool idea that actually I would love to see on Android is being able to filter the app store by age. That is a brilliant idea and as a father I would love this on my android tablet for my son so he could choose his own apps and games.

The last thing that was pretty neat was the activation lock theft deterrent. Basically when someone steal your phone and tries to wipe it it won’t activate again or do anything really until you type in the Apple ID and password originally associated with the phone. This is really a great idea but I hope they have a way to get around this if someone wants to sell their device otherwise they are stuck with it for life, which I’m sure Apple would be okay with anyway.

So really this update to me is more cosmetic and full of tweaking other peoples ideas than the innovation we have come to know from Apple. I guess what will make this new iOS shine though is the new Apple mobile devices that will most likely debut this fall ad pet their usual schedule. Until then I say way to rip everyone else off, make it prettier and say its yours Apple.
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Richard
@riche613

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Well E3 has come and gone and with it we are all left with the massive desire to play all those amazing games and get our hands on the new hardware as soon as we can.

I know that by the time I post this almost a month will have passed since E3 but I thought that I would give you my thoughts on both the major press conferences.

I ended up watching both Sony and MS conferences in full so yes, that’s almost 4 hours of video. I watched the Xbox one(no pun intended) first since I’ve been more of an Xbox person before and after their reveal that’s the one I was most excited about.

After the full hour and a half long video I have to say while the graphics looks good, I wasn’t completely sold on the One. I honestly expected more. The games looked good but there wasn’t a major wow factor for me. Sure they showed a 30 second clip for a new Halo game, ya we didn’t see that coming. But it just didn’t woe me like I expected. Though I was kinda happy that Killer Instinct is back.

For the Xbox I have to be honest after the reveal and the E3 press conference I’m more inclined yo buy it as a media center. And until they show more of what the kinect does I’m not shelling out five hundred dollars for it. And I know that they have now retracted their policy on always being connected and not being able to resell used games without a fee, but I think saying that in the first place will hurt its sales no matter what they have said or done now.

As for the PlayStation 4, I have to say for me, its the console I will most likely be buying. not only did the games get me more excited but the graphics, to me, looked more polished than the Xbox One. And the fact that its a hundred dollars cheaper and has basically all the same system specs is definitely a plus for the console.
I think for both these consoles, as with any it will come down to the games available at launch as well as the price. So Sony may have the upper hand on price but is Microsoft can get more exclusives out the door at launch, or even have more games that at least look better they may just come out on top at launch. Though I mist say that that one hundred dollar price hike for the Xbox one will make a difference no matter how many or how good the games are so I’m hoping Microsoft can find a way to drop the price to be inline with the PS4.

Richard
@riche_613

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A few days ago rumors started coming out that Verizon Wireless, the largest wireless carrier in the US, wants to buy Wind Mobile for upwards of $700 million. On top of this there are also talks of Verizon being in the early stages of talking to Mobilicity, another stand alone Canadian mobile carrier, as well about a buy out.

Canadians have three main mobile carriers, Rogers, Telus and Bell. Unfortunately they have monopolized the mobile industry and basically killed all possibility of competition. Sure we have a lot of smaller carriers, but most if them are subsidiaries owned by “the big three” anyway so again, no competition.

However if Verizon was to enter the Canadian mobile space it could and would be a game changer for the Canadian mobile space. They could, in theory, come to the Canadian market and, with their mass amount of money and influence, buy more spectrum and increase the size and area of the Wind infrastructure to the point where it could be a national network. Even just the rumor of this shook the Canadian mobile market with stocks of “the big three” falling upwards of nine percent.

If they were able to do something like that and maintain the prices and plans Wind has now, they could take a vast percentage of customers from other companies and essentially cripple them until they lowered their prices or increased the value you get for said dollars. I know in the states there are a few truly unlimited plans and beyond that the value for your dollar is a lot better from what I hear from friends there.

So I must say that this news makes me very excited for the possible future of Canadian cellular companies.

Richard
@riche_613

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So a few weeks ago I was listening to The Atomic Geeks Podcast and they were talking about a new Heineken beer bottle that had LED lights in it that would light up when you “clink” or “cheers” another bottle or glass and could also be set to respond to music by flashing with the beat. While I commend Heineken for trying something new , albeit dumb, to roster up some attention, I think that their product will only be popular in clubs and bars and even then I don’t think people who don’t like or drink their beer will buy it just because the bottle lights up.

Enter the “Buddy Cup” by Budweiser.

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The buddy cup is a new social media device to help you make new friends on Facebook. The cup has a chip in it that, once you “clink” or “cheers” cups with another persons buddy cup, will automatically make you and your new pal friends on Facebook. I actually think this is interesting and can make meeting new people, or rather making sure you are able to remember who they are or keep in contact with them, easier.

The cup works by scanning a QR code on the bottom of the cup with an accompanying app and pairing the cup with your phone and Facebook account. Then when you knock buddy cups, a confirmation LED lights up and viola! New Facebook friend.

Definitely an interesting concept. Don’t know when or if it will come to North America as the article I read said it was developed by Budweiser Brazil, but one can hope I guess.

Richard
@riche_613

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For the lovers of webOS the above statement which was a dream has finally come to fruition. Early last year there was talk of bringing Open Mobile’s ACL software to the TouchPad. For those of you who need a refresher course, this is essentially where android apps run on the webOS ecosystem.

For all of this to happen took a lot of pestering, multitudes of email and conference calls for all of this come full circle; and my friends it has come back around to you. The Open Mobile ACL software is up and running on a TouchPad and now our friends at PIC (Phoenix International Communications) are ready to bring it to the masses. The team at PIC has put its talons into the TouchPad and has pulled it from the ashes.
The history of the TouchPad as you know has been through many trials and tribulations after a certain CEO killed the hardware and almost webOS. Then HP hired Meg Whitman as its new CEO and there were plans to keep it going. Perhaps to give us a tablet with the hardware and apps we all had been crying for. As it turns out they would not or could not make it happen. Then they started the tedious task of breaking up the webOS division through various layoffs and moving them around, they creating a new division: Gram.
Gram is comprised of a group of whip smart developers and engineers that had the job of carrying the torch of webOS and Enyo. Alas, webOS became a lonely tumbleweed rolling through a deserted western town. Although the folks at Gram were still using its inner workings and marketing it with Enyo, it was a way to build apps on any platform. Forward many months later and that idea of something new belongs to LG. So look for your webOS toaster or washer and dryer soon.
You’d think we’d lose hope after this. Balderdash! Not if you are a true webOS fan. Because out in the distance among the twisted wires and cracked gorilla screens, there were still people who believed it could happen.  Miraculously it has emerged from all that from the digital clutter in the universe into the hands of the Phoenix (PIC).
A few hard webOS fans who felt the big corporations could not give us what we wanted and they thought hey, we’ll do it ourselves. Phoenix International Communications was started up by a small group of determined webOS fans, who were then joined by developers, engineers, marketers, designers, and others from practically any occupation you can think to make this unfold before your eyes. PIC in the beginning was thought of a joke, a lot of people thought they could never produce this, but who’s laughing now?

Click the link below to their Kickstarter Campaign for exclusive video. That is a HP TouchPad running the Open Mobile ACL software; and it’s real. The ACL software on the TouchPad is in its alpha stage and from what I have seen it’s a pretty good alpha, but they want to go further and that’s where you come in.
Starting today PIC has a Kickstarter campaign that requires donations to develop products and services further with Open Mobile. Their goal is to have this have this running on every TouchPad; and this is just the beginning my friends. Head on over to the PIC campaign page and look at what they are offering and developing. You’re welcome 🙂

TeckieGirl 🙂

Over the past few years as smart phones and tablets have taken over our lives and connected us even more to social media we have seen more and more gadgets that not only help us with our daily activities but also post about these activities to sites like Facebook.

One great example of this are devices like the Nike armbands and the fit bit bands. Sure they track how many steps you take and when you sleep and give you all sorts of stats and graphs and that’s all well and good. My question is why we need to post our stats to our social media sites. And now we have all manner of gadgets that will post stats for you. But what takes it too far? Is it the fridge that posts when you bought milk, or the washer and dryer that tell people how often you do laundry and how much water you use, or even the WiFi enabled scale that tells people how much weight you lost last week.

For my money its this.

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I ran across this device on Popsci.com today. Its called the Bactrack Mobile. Its basically a hand held breathalyzer that has Bluetooth to connect to your smart device of choice to show your blood alcohol level and then can post it to Facebook or twitter. This definitely goes too far. Why do I care if my friend “John Doe” on Facebook has a blood alcohol level of 1.9? I don’t, so what’s the point in adding this functionality? I’ll admit that some of the feature might be cool to use and some of the data could be fun to see while drinking with your friends. But it doesn’t need to be posted to a social media site. NO ONE CARES!

I might be alone in this so please if you have a different point of view on this or similar product please let me know in the comments below. And if you want to read more about this device here is the link to the article I read on Popsci.com

http://www.popsci.com/gadgets/article/2013-04/broadcast-your-drunken-data-all-over-world-smartphone-breathalyzer

Richard
@riche_613