Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Movie Clip: Mission Impossible 4

No longer a Tom Cruise fan?  I don't know one way or another.  I just like a good movie with actions, explosions, and any attempt to develop a story.

MI4 seems to have all of them.

What do you think?  In the poster, TC actually looked like Lestat again with the longish hair.

Source:  Digg.

Apps for Google TV - Could Be Interesting If Done Right

Google TV now supports apps.  And they're already showing up in the Android Marketplace.  Will this be how Google moves into the living room and stay there for good?  On top of that Google TV now support Honeycomb.

However, I like to see just how Google plans on bring an Airplay-like feature to the whole experience.  With compatible smartphones and tablets, we can see a whole new experience in gaming - especially if you consider the accelerometer and the compass.

On top of that, Google is like at bring more entertainment values to the whole experience.  This is especially critical if you take into account that many mobile warriors multi-task with their tablet or smartphones while watching TV.  Google is aiming to bring an integrated experience and expand on that.

Imagine watching a show and using the tablet to get information about the actors or the story behind it.  It could open up a whole interactive experience that goes beyond what we already have with DVD and Blu-Ray.

And to make the whole experience more seamless, Google streamlined its interface and integrate search with multiple video sources to make it easier for users to find the video they want to watch.

All in all, it's a great improvement.  This is what Google TV should have been like from day one.  And I'm still curious just how apps for the TV will be different from those on other devices.  Can't wait to see.

Source: Google TV.

Siri: Week Two, Any Change In Your Mobile Routine?

It's been two weeks since the iPhone 4S went on sale.  By now, I'm guess about 6 to 8 million iPhone 4S's have been moved off the shelves and into user hands all over the world.  I reckon we'll see 10 million by the weekend as the 4S goes on sale in more than half a dozen countries.

So, I think I'm in good company when I ask you.  Has Siri changed how you do things with your mobile device?  Now, if you're new to the whole smartphone scene and the 4S is your first mobile device, I can safely say that you're blown away.

For the rest of us, Siri could be the reason why we upgraded.  And I can tell you this.  I'm blown away just by what it can do as well and it's only in beta.

What can it do?  Well, it cuts down on a whole lot of tapping away on the screen.  You speak to Siri, make a request. Task done.  Making calls, sending messages or e-mails, or schedule an alarm or appt.  But that's the easy part, isn't it.

It's the search for answers.  And if your questions are directed, you can get most answers from Siri directly.  No more opening the browser and typing in your search.  No more opening up Google app or going to search. It really bypasses the whole routine.

Maybe this is why I've been reading more than a few posts about the threat that Siri is to Google and search as we know it in general.  Imagine what happens in a few years.  Never mind that.  Just think what'll happen once Apple brings Siri to OS X on the Mac! This alone could change the whole PC dynamics even further.

As you can from above, there is still a few things that Siri cannot do by command.  I don't know if this is a beta thing or not.  I am pretty certain that most tasks like this will come to us soon.

You'll be be getting a couple more posts on what I think Siri can potentially do once its out of beta and when migrates over to the desktop.  

Thursday, October 27, 2011

600 Miles Per Charge EV? Toyota Is Working A Battery To Do Just That

How would you like to be able to drive from San Francisco to San Diego on just one charge?  Boston to DC with plenty of room to space.  Or round trip from NY to DC, also with room to spare?  Los Angeles to Vegas and back, again, with room to spare?

You get the idea.  Well, Toyota is working on a battery for tomorrow’s EV that will have a range of 600 miles per charge.  Toyota is close to completing this “solid state” battery, giving consumers exactly just what they want.

More at Ugreen (Greenjava).

Today, It’s Android Versus iPhone But Could Tomorrow Be Galaxy Versus Nexus?

In most people’s mind, there is a three way battle between Apple, Google, and Microsoft. These three tech giants are fight on multiple fronts, mobile, search, and the future of computing quickly comes to mind. And it does seem like they’ll soon take their epic war into new fronts. The living room could be next. Or could it be the automotive industry?

But could another rivalry be in the making?  Once Google finishes digesting Motorola, it's conceivable that Google could favor it over its current Android partners.

Will we see a Galaxy versus Nexus war a couple of years from now?

More at Greenjava.

Mobile: Taiwan Concerned About Apple's "Slide To Unlock" Patents; Directs Gov Agencies To Deal With Potential Suits From Apple

You may know by now that Apple has been awarded Patent Office the "Slide To Unlock" patent.  It's a very blatant copying by Android OS.  I'm find with it.  Companies copy each other all the time.  However, the Chinese provincial government of Taiwan is worried that its local firms, HTC, will come under additional lawsuits from Apple.

This is where innovation comes into play.  Why not just find a way around the patent?  You know, innovate?

See?  WebOS has its own way of doing it.  I don't see why others like Google can implement their own unlocking mechanism.  Android 4 has facial recognition, right?

Here's the thing.  Why a lock screen at all?

Source:  Focus Taiwan.

Note:  I know that Taiwan is still recognized by some island nations as an independent country and that China considers Taiwan as a breakaway province.  Still, the willingness of Taipei to capitulate to Beijing's wishes shows that its only a matter of time before Taipei begins to take orders from its archenemy.

Motorola Mobility Only Shipped 100K Tablets - I'm Scared To Know How Many Were Actually Sold

This is horrible.  As far as tablets went, Motorola Mobility, Google's new hardware division, only shipped 100K tablets.  It means of that amount, there are probably quite a bit sitting on the shelf.

Perhaps, it's deal with Best Buy to ship a family edition of the tablet will help.  But I'm not optimistic.  It's got Amazon cutting into Xoom on the low-end and the iPad 2 continues to hit it from the top.

Right now, it may not matter all that much.  Android 4 just came out and we should see Google show us some tablet magic with the new Ice Cream Sandwich update.

I really would want Google to stop screwing around and really take Motorola under its wing and produce its first Nexus tablet with Motorola.  It only makes sense to do that after all.  Why else would Google spend 12 billion dollars?

of course, MM has a couple of things going for it that I think will make it a leader.  One, it is Google, or it will be as soon as the merger goes through.  Second, I really like the Lapdock concept.  It's very post-PC and Motorola seems to be the only Android device maker going this route.

We'll see if Google is smart enough to play off that.

Android Devices Web Hogs?! Sprint CEO Said So

According to Sprint's CEO, Dan Hesse, the iPhones are less of a Web hog than Androids.  Does that make sense?  I always thought it was the other way around.  In fact, he said the iPhone is 50% more efficient than the Androids.

I am a bit surprised by this but Hess did give some reasons for this.  He attributed this to Apple's stricter app development policies - like accessing the network less frequent where as Android apps have a wider and freer playing field for developers.

Furthermore, he attributed the iPhone's better ability to offload data to WiFi hotspots better than its Android competitors.

What is interesting is that this could end up being a big deal when companies negotiate with carriers over cost of acquiring a smartphone.

At the same time, we have to wonder if this is a ploy being used by Sprint to bring to the negotiation tables in future smartphone talks with device makers.

Siri? Whatev...As Google Posted Videos Showing Off Voice Search

Siri this.  Siri That.  Siri is quirky, sarcastic, and has a personality.  Well, not to be outdone, Google has had voice actions on Android for years.  It was only a year or so ago that Apple had some basic voice control for the iPhone.

But this year, Siri really take the top prize as far as generating buzz goes.

So today, Google posted a video of a couple of its engineers using Voice Search from Australia.

More at Greenjava.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mobile: Nintendo To Report More Over $1 Billion In Loss For First Half of Year

Nintendo is in a pretty dark place right now.  Sales are not going well and its products are no longer competitive.  It all started a few years ago when mobile gaming changed.  And certainly, I did not expect this.  Neither did the powers-that-be at Nintendo Japan.

And this was lead off by the iPod touch and now the weight whole iOS ecosystem is crashing down on Mario, Pikachu, and company's heads.

More at Greenjava.

Windows Phone: Though Not Impressive, There Is Plenty To Be Excited About Nokia's First Windows Phone - Lumia 800

There is plenty to be excited about with Nokia's first Windows Phone device.  Now, we have to be careful about this because it's not necessarily a winner in terms of sales because it's not on sale yet.  And when it does go on sale, it's limited to a few European markets.

Hover Board - That's Right! Vids Too (Popular Science)

Okay, I lifted this off Popular Science's post on quantum-based gravity defying hoverboard! Talk about awesome. Obviously, we're not going to see these any time soon at Toys 'R Us or Brookstones any time soon.  But a prototype like this is just one step closer to reality.

Yeah, I can sure use one of these to glide around town.

Here's another video using a method called "quantum trapping" by which a magnetic field is trapped in place on a superconductor.

There is hope that they can try to make this work in a larger scale - much larger, like for trains.  As you can see, they've got quite a bit of work to do.  Lots of research into the quantum dynamics of scaling this and engineering it so that it'll work more economically.

But I'm pretty confident that it can be done. You never want to say something is impossible especially in life, specifically in science.  So, don't be surprised if someone in a lab somewhere will figure this out and maybe go a step further and find a way to defy gravity in a scale that really lets us skateboard around without the wheels someday.

Source:  Popular Science.

Google To Original Nexus One Users: Thanks For Buying But No Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4) For You

I don’t know about you but I find what Google is telling Nexus One users totally unacceptable.  If you’re using Nexus One, you’re stuck on Android 2.x.  You’re done.  Finished.  Enjoy it as it is because your device will not be getting Ice Cream Sandwich.

If you want it, fork over some more money for the Galaxy Nexus. Ordinarily, I would agree except for a couple of things.  One, the Nexus One is still being sold on the market.  So, basically, people who bought into it will never be able to enjoy the latest and greatest features.

Second, why won’t it work with Android 4?  Is this some sort of a revenue grab by Google?  It totally doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Just to put some of this into perspective, the Nexus One came out on January 5, 2010 and it was rolled out months after that over the world.  You’re got a device that is less than two years old.  Less than a year old for some users.  And you’re telling me it’s specs are so bad that it cannot run Android 4?

The Nexus One did not go on sale in Europe until April of 2010 and around July of 2010 in Asia.

Now, the iPhone 3GS is upgradeable and running plenty fine with Apple’s latest OS update, iOS 5.  It was released back in June of 2009.  Now, people will argue that the 3GS and even the iPhone 4 are not benefiting from features like Siri that the iPhone 4S has.  Granted.  Absolutely.  But other improvements like faster browsing and notifications are still available to iPhone 3GS users.  Wouldn’t surprise me if iOS 6 will still work with the 3GS since Apple is still selling this legacy mobile device.

I don’t know if you guys agree with me on this but like the 3GS, the Nexus has plenty of mileage left with the hardware that it has.  I know the CM guys will step and make sure the Nexus One is taken care of.  Nevertheless, Google just screwed over millions of Nexus users royally.

I think mobile platform providers should provide upgrades for up to two years at the minimum.

More at TmoNews.

RIM Falls Further As Playbook Update Delay Into 2012; And Won't Ship With All Important Messaging App

I don't know what to say about RIM this Holiday Seasons except that its a gift that keep on giving for Apple, Google, and, possibly Microsoft as it blows past self-imposed deadlines and failed to live up to expectations.

Now, we find that the OS update for the Playbook, crucial for RIM to make a comeback in the tablet market will be further pushed out into February of 2012.  And to make it worse, the important Blackberry messaging won't be available even then.  

Having said that, the punishment investors are current dishing out at RIM's stock is less about the delay and more about the built-up frustration with the company.  

Yesterday, we learned that Blackberry trade-ins have hit a record high amidst a wave of hardware refresh from its competitors.  I wonder if its investors know about that part.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What Does Record Blackberry Trade-Ins Mean?

According to Gazelle (Electronista), buyer of used gadgets and electronics, reported a record number of Blackberries were traded in last week.  And this was a record that broke another record number of Blackberry trade-in a month ago.

Good To Know: Latest Finding Puts Oxygen Breathing Life At 2.5 Billion Years Ago

Did you know that oxygen, the air that we breathe today, is essentially pooh.  It’s the waste, if you will, of photosynthesis of plant life and organisms in the ocean.  And there is now evidence that organisms began to breath oxygen 2.5 billion years ago.  Now, we’re not talking about a lizard or anything like that.  It’s likely a single cell organism.

To sum it up, chromium is bound up in rocks called pyrites.  Then 2.5 billion years ago, chromium began to be released into the ocean.  In order for that to have happened, some powerful acid had to have been present.

So, what is the acid and how do they get in the ocean?  Well, there are sulfur in the pyrites as well.  So, these bacteria “breathe” in oxygen and help create the reactions that resulted in the release of this acid: sulfuric acid.

Then the sulfuric acid helps dissolve the chromium and release it into the water.

Now, this is not to say that this is it.  Because these researchers could make this connection of oxygen breathing organisms at 2.5 billion years ago does not mean there isn’t other evidence that could conceivable take us even further back to find other oxygen breathing microbes.

Source: Live Science.

Note:  Also good to know, pryrite is also known as "fool's gold".

Amazon Had A Bad Quarter; Could Get Worse Long Term Once Apple Gets Into Payments

You know what's interesting about Apple's 30% cut from apps to movies to books?  It's 30% of someone else's money that it is taking for itself.  Now, Apple has said that the 30% take it's enforcing allows it only to operate its stores at around break-even point.  Still, as more people go digital, all that money is going to add up.

And this is even before Apple, with access to around two hundred million credit cards, begins to get into the mobile and online payment business.  I get the feeling that Apple isn't looking at credit card like transaction fees.  I think Apple wants a piece of the profit as well. Apple could leverage its considerable knowledge of its customers and move into deals with retailers in ways unlike anything we've seen before.

And Amazon, which has just reported its own Netflix-like earnings and missing expectations, expectations that were not unreasonable like those imposed on Apple, needs to be aware of that.

Apple will be working out deals with retailers not unlike one like its got for its app developers and the app store where it'll take a percentage of the transaction.  Probably not 30% but it'll want something in return.

Thus, it's unlikely that Amazon could come to some sort of a deal with Apple because of its already thin margins.  And with Apple and Amazon competing in the tablet and digital sales, Apple could possibly steal customers away from Amazon in areas where it will hurt Amazon the most.

How?  Essentially now, Amazon is uses profits from other areas to subsidize its digital content expansions and efforts.  Amazon is losing money on each of the Kindle Fire it sells, hoping to make it back through digital sales. At the same time, sales from other departments are allowing Amazon to make content deals like TV and movies for streaming or sale.

Once Apple gets into the payment business, one of two things or both will happen.  Apple will steal sales from Amazon because Apple will shepherd its iTunes users to its partners or Amazon will play ball and give Apple money.  And either way or both, Apple will wants its pound of fresh from Amazon.

Apple has built a large platform and with it a very lucrative ecosystem unlike anything we've ever seen before.  Even with Microsoft's desktop dominance, it is not able to extract the kind of money that Apple has been able to or will be able to.

The only way Amazon can escape this fate is if there is a wholesale departure of iOS and Mac users over to its Kindle platform.  Right now, Jeff Bezos and company, will need to convince investors that sacrificing  hundreds of millions, possibly billions today as it invests and builds out its digital future will bring in a lot of profits later on.

Of course, Bezos did it once just after the bubble in early 2000.  This time, Amazon will need to do it again against a vastly complicated and competitive Apple with $86 billion in the bank.

PCs Not Going Away But Tablets Is Where Future of Mobile Computing Is At; Change Over Has Started

For those who still doesn’t get what’s going on, consider this.  The iPads alone have pretty much vanquished the netbooks and really put a hurt on companies likes Acer that had relied on netbook shipments to pad their PC sales numbers.

According to ABI Research, 7.3 million netbooks “shipped”, not sold.  On the other hand, 13.6 million tablets were “shipped”.  Again, not all of it sold.  As you can see, the volume of tablets shipped doubted that of the netbooks.  And while many research firms refused to face this facts, this started in Q2 of 2010 when the original iPad went on sale.  It’s only now that these firms realized what’s going on.

Even as Acer, which had relied on netbook figures to pad their PC shipments, was going through financial pains, research guys and analysts refused to face the facts.

Now, let’s be clear about something here – iPads alone accounted for a vast majority of that tablet figure.  Of the 13.6 million tablets, about 75% of that were iPads.  This is higher than the 68% figure ABI came up with. Close you might say, right?  Wrong.

Here’s why iPad figures should be high if you want to go with what’s shipped, not just sold.

In Q2, Apple sold 9.25 million iPads.  Sold. Not just shipped.  Now, Apple also ended up with about a couple of weeks of inventory because supplies were so tight.  So, let’s add another million to what Apple has in inventory.  That means Apple both sold and shipped closer to 10.25 million iPads.

Based on this figure, Apple accounted for more than 75% of all tablets shipped in Q2.  And no one really knows what the actual netbook sell-through rate is.  The 9.25 iPads sold could alone have doubled those of actual netbooks sold.

Source:  Boy Genius Report.

Tablet: Some Were Disappointed By iPad Sales, But Could The iPhone 4S Have Been The Culprit?

The general move to tablets is well under way now.  It doesn’t matter if you’re an iPad user which constitute a vast majority of sales (not just shipped) and near totality in Web traffic from tablets or an Android tablet, Playbook, or Touchpad user, we are a special breed of pioneers who are blazing a trail towards new means of mobile computing and entertainment.

One of the most interest things is that while Apple has sold millions upon millions of iPads, there does not seem to be a general acceptance that tablets are here to stay.  Moreover, the sales of iPads is something that is watch so closely over that any slip up is cause to disparage the tablet market in general, and specifically, something for analysts and pundits to find fault in Apple.

Apple sold more iPads than its internal numbers reported and above Wall Street concensus.  No, it did not sell thirteen, fourteen, or even fifteen iPads.  But it sold enough.  Eleven point one million iPads to be exact.  That’s a 166% increase from a year ago.

Still, if you want to find fault with this figure, I’ll give you one.  iPhone 4S rumors and the persisting rumors that went all the way back to even before the iPad 2 was introduced by Steve Jobs on March 2, 2011.  A hint, rumor, or whatever you want to call it from John Gruber of Daring Fireball hinted that even though Steve called 2011 the year of the iPad 2, we might see an iPad 3 this fall.

For the next few months, iPhone and iPad rumors worked in tandem to provide eyeballs for blogs and, worse, mainstream media – putting kids through college and food on tables through the ads displayed. Worse, sales of the iPad, like the iPhones, were put off as consumers anticipate an iPad upgrade.

So, if folks want to find a culprit to their wild iPad sales predictions, they need to lay the fingers squarely where it belongs.  The iPad sales could have also been affected by other tablet rumors like Amazon’s tablet plans which we now know is the Kindle Fire.

We’ll have to see just where the iPad sales for the Holidays quarter take us.  Keep in mind that iPad 3 are rumored to be going into production right about now so I would not be surprised if that rumor snowballs into something much much bigger.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Potentially Big Win For Android: ITC Staff Ban of Android Devices Exclude 4G Capable Phones For Six Months

In a big win for Android, ITC staff recommends that Android devices capable of 4G speed be exempted from any import ban.  And though it’s only a recommendation, not an official one, it is certainly something of a win for HTC who would otherwise face a potential out-right ban.

And certainly, other Android device makers are rooting for HTC.

And given that no one knows for sure how long Apple’s fight against Android devices will last and more and more devices coming to the market will be 4G capable, any win by Apple, should this recommendation be taken up by the final ITC ruling, will be migitated greatly.

However, I have to wonder what ITC’s definition of 4G is.  I consider LTE to be 4G.  I’m willing to put WiMax in this category.  But I definitely don’t think AT&T and T-Mobile’s 4G label to be valid.

If I'm an Android device maker, I'm just gonna call everything that I sell "4G Capable".

Source: FOSS Patents.

If I Were Super Rich, I'd Design A Luxury Airship; Screw the Yacht

I know what I’ll do if I’m rich.  I won’t be buying a super awesome turbo-charged sports car.  Nor will I bought a nine-figure yacht. I’m not even going to buy a jet to travel in.  I’m gonna be different.  I think I’ll go for an airship.  Think about it.  How many super rich guys you know have an airship?

These things are like flying cities.  Not quite but you can build one big enough that you can have a small screw and a few family and friends on board.  You can fly it over a stadium and watch football right from the top just like those Good-Year blimps.

Obviously, I’ll punch out anyone who’ll call my ship a “blimp”.  Now, take this new airship-plane hybrid with solar panels to power its onboard systems and engine.  Now, this is what I’m talking about.  It’s from a Canadian company called Solar Ship.  They’re build these vessels to be cargo haulers but there is no reason why it cannot be converted into a luxury liner for any folk.

With a lift of over 30 tons for the biggest version, I’ll tell you this.  It’ll still cost less than a $100,000,000 private ship that can only go on the sea.  You take a ship like this out out far enough, all see you is the ocean all around.  With an luxury airship, you can see much further.  You can go over the sea or on land.

And back to the poundage that it can ferry.  We’re talking about 60,000 pounds.  You can have tables, beds, electronics, food, water, and other supplies you need to get from one place to another without much worries.

Also consider this.The Hindenburg ships had a capacity to carry up to 72 passengers and recorded a transatlantic voyage time of less than six days.

Capacity would not be an issue.  How about cost?

Well, as a super rich guy that I hope to become, I don’t think my dream luxury airship is going to cost me anywhere close to the $350 million yacht called “A”.    I’m pretty sure my luxury air liner will cost much less than Larry Ellison’s  $200 million “Rising Sun”.

I think I’m looking at something in the $25-$30 million range.  The actual cost of the ship is probably $20 million or so.  With a few million more to outfit it as a flying home-away-from-home.  A flying office if you will.  And these days, people can telecommute from their home office or coffee shop.  So, why not an airship as well?

Obviously, it’s doubtful that I’ll never achieve that level of affluence.  It’s more likely that someone like Sir Richard Branson will create recreational air cruises – call it the “Virgin Air Cruises”.  And perhaps some day, I’ll be able to afford to go on such a cruise.

Just to put some things into perspective, a 747 costs about $200 million.  And a Gulfstream G550 costs $50 million.  On top of that, I’m also willing to bet that my luxury airship costs much less to operate and maintain than a yacht or a business jet.  And most definitely more environmentally friendly as well.

Apple’s “Think Different” Attitude Includes How It Perceives Talent

Would you make Tim Cook the CEO of one of the most profound, visionary companies in the world?  Would you leave in the hands of Cook, Ives, Schiller, and a few others without Ivy League education a vision that that time and time again created change in a civilization-wide scale?

Sure, today, you would.  But back in the late 1990s, if you were Steve Jobs, would you have hired them for the jobs to turn Apple around?  Chances are, you probably would not.

I wouldn’t.  And that lies in just how differently Steve Jobs, and now Apple, things about the world.  And I’m glad that this Forbes post highlighted just how differently Apple sees talent.

And the post goes on to say that there does not seem to be a formula about how Apple looks for people it finds talented.  Absolutely right.  If there was one, I don’t think Apple would be as successful as it is today.  However, I know this much.  B-schools, Ivy Leagues, and others have their values and as well as disadvantages.  Look at Washington today.  It’s run by a long of Harvard and Yale folks for the last couple of Administrations and look where its gotten us.

Please, understand that I am not disparaging these schools or the education its students pick up.  But it does create a group-think that maybe a company like Apple or any other organization that prides itself on pushing the limits of what is possible are not looking for.

Siri – It’s About Speed, A Serial Killer Convinced My Friend To Go With iPhone 4S

Last night I had dinner with a good doctor friend.  We got to talk about the state of the health system as he sees it from the trenches in the ER, his office, and, more importantly, his patients.  But he’s a tech guy too and now, he’s not sure he’s getting the Galaxy S II or the Galaxy Nexus, two of the top Android devices I recommended to him.

He had expressed a desire to leave Apple’s ecosystem.  I told him, yeah fine, he’ll love the Galaxy phones because he likes a more opened approach.

Then for some reason, we hit the topic about the Night Stalker.

He was a serial killer in the mid-80s.  Anyway, he asked if he was still alive.  I didn’t know.  The only thing I remembered about him was that he scared the crap out of him as a child.

Instinctively, we both when for our phones.  He has a 3GS and I’ve got my 4S.  I was able to get the answer from Siri via a Web search even before he opened Safari.

It was fast, accurate, and Siri blew him away.  Now, he’s leaning towards getting an iPhone again.

Chromebooks: Cost More Than Netbooks, For Ed And Biz Customers

Google is allowing users to purchase Chromebooks out right now.  Still, at the asking price, I'm not sure if there will be a lot of takers.  Don't get me wrong, I'm excited by the prospect of the greater competition but I wish Google could find a way to lower the prices further more.  At least on parity of netbooks.

The WiFi version will cost educational users $449 and business users $559 while the 3G version costs $519 and $639 for the educational and business users, respectively.  At those prices, it makes more sense to get a Windows machines, doesn't it?

Even Android tablets costs similar if not lower.

So, why is Google offering these laptops running Chrome OS at such a rate?

It makes very little sense since you can find them online for much cheaper.  To be clear, they're not that much cheaper online through Amazon or Best Buy but definitely cheaper than what Google is offering.  A quick look on the Amazon's list showed that netbooks can be had for $150-$200 less.

So far, Chromebooks have largely been forgotten.  I'm not sure if this project will last much longer if Google doesn't make a bigger push.  And a price cut would help as well.

I'll say this though, the Samsung Chromebook has some pretty nice battery life at 8.5 hours.

Source: The Inquisitr.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Apple Posted Celebrating Steve Special Event

Apple is kind enough to post their all-hands event to celebrate their iconic and visionary leader, the late Steve Jobs.  You can click through here to Apple's webpage.

Got it from Daring Fireball.

Steve Jobs Biographer on 60 Minutes Video Up On Web

CBS has put up transcripts and videos online from their 60-Minutes program of an interview with Walter Isaacson, the author of the Steve Jobs biography.

Personally, I'm waiting to read the book first before I watch the video.  Inevitably, there will be spoilers.  I have been trying to avoid reading posts that unveil interesting bits of information from the biography.  I've been success for the most part but avoiding headlines from my RSS reader was a bit more difficult.

The book should be available for download tomorrow, in a few hours to be exact.  You can get them through Nook, Kindle, or iBooks on your iOS device as Steve would want you to.

Or you can do it old-school style and order it online.

Paranormal Activity 3: Why Do We Scare Ourselves?

I'm gonna be going to watch PA3 tonight.  I don't know.  It was yesterday, midday to be exact, when I agreed to watching it with some friends.  I've already texted my friend back to tell him I'm no longer interested.

Live in a big house with lots of mirrors.  Doesn't make sense for someone like me to be watching something like that and coming home late at night...

Okay, I'm not a big believer in ghosts or the supernaturals but I keep an open mind.  Still, at times, I don't mind watching stuff like this, especially, with friends and it is at someone else's home.  I like being scared.  I think I like see other people scared when they watch these kinds of movies.

There are a lot of studies and articles about what makes us tick when it comes to scary movies.  I know the popular agreed upon reason about this is that it allows us to put ourselves in a heightened level of awareness, not the good kind but a simulated danger with our adrenaline running at full steam, but never really having to put ourselves in real harm.

Of course, the next question is why do some people do it more than others?  This debate is more open to a wider opinion.  Who knows why some like watching scary movies more than others.  And with the sun setting quicker each pass day in the northern hemisphere, well, darker.

Seriously, PA3 sounds like a good movie.  It's made $56 million this weekend and it promises a PA4.


Note:  My friends have a way of showing up even if I said no to them.  I guess all the lights will be on tonight.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

One Day, Screen Resolution So Dense, It'll Look Like Paper

This week, we learned about Toshiba's newest invention - a 6.1" screen capable of 2560x1600 resolution providing us with a 1.6:1 ratio and nearly 500 ppi (pixels per inch).

 Right now, the highest resolution on a commercial device is in the iPhone 4 series and the iPod touch with the Retina display with at 326 ppi.

Of course, at some point, the density on the displays will get so dense that it's not going to matter much.  It's why I don't think companies are using their screen resolution as a bragging right (except maybe Apple).

Within the next couple of upgrade cycles for screens on our mobile displays and even laptops, the ppi will be so dense that things will look like almost like it is now on paper.  Maybe even better.

Some think that this 6.1" screen won't find a home but I don't see why not.  We have tablets ranging from 7" to 10".  And the smartphones go from about 3" all the up to the Galaxy Note at 5".  It's interesting the sizes between 4.5" to 7" are so rare.

It's only a matter of time before some device makers decide to give those sizes a try.  I would not mind something around 6". It's always one of those sizes that I think would be perfect for reading, use as a scratchpad, writing notes, watching videos, or playing games.

First one to build this for me - 6" tablet with dual-core, 32 GB of RAM, frontal/rear cameras, 10-12 hours of battery life - and you get my money.  Oh, and in 3D.

Yup, Toshiba said future improvements will mean 3D display for this 6.1" screen.

For now, it doesn't look like we'll see this in a tablet any time soon.  We have seen such displays of tech but doesn't come to the market fast enough.  There are only a few companies that with the capital and confidence in knowing that they can and will sell through a bunch of these tablets.

Via ToshibaNew LaunchesSlashgearTechradar.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Special Friday Video Clip: Angry Birds!!!

If you're new to the blog, I'll explain again.  When I was in college, we used to get time off on Fridays to go watch a movie in Westwood (that's right.  UCLA, BABY!!!).  It was awesome...we had the best professor ever.

Anyway, I'm continuing this tradition online whenever I could and find a video worth sharing on a Friday afternoon/evening.

Today, a 4 minute Angry Bird short!  Enjoy!

Come back this weekend for more updates!

So It Begins: Mobile War Bleeds Into The Console War - Collatoral Damage? The Consoles Of Course

Apple and Google as slugging each over like giants that they are and every blow that is thrown, each counter punch, is felt far and wide on all corners of this Earth.  And now, it looks like the mobile war is going to expand a bit.  This time, it's going into the living rooms.  Android 4 will enable users to gamepads while their devices are connected to a TV via the HDMI cable.

And perhaps, while Google TV has failed to capture the hearts and minds of the consumers, by enable Ice Cream Sandwich (that's the code-name for the latest Android OS) devices to hook up to the TV and enable users to do more with their devices, Google might have just found a way into the living room.

It is also likely that Apple has some tricks up their sleeves.  Apple's Airplay technology enables users to mirror what's on the screen of an iOS device like the iPhone 4S and iPad 2.  However, it requires that the user purchase an Apple TV as a bridge.  

So, both companies are looking to make this critical push into the living room this Holidays season.  This new front in their fight will continue into 2012 and likely for years to come.

Where does that leave the console makers?  Nintendo is already feeling the effects of increased competition from Microsoft and Sony.  I had hoped that the 3DS would give Mario and Friends 12 to 18 months of breathing room but dismal hardware and gaming sales have left Nintendo with very little maneuvering room.

Sony's play with Android should be able to help it somewhat but Playstation Suite, at times, feels like an afterthought.  It it as if it is there in case Vita, Sony's PSP heir, fails.  And while PS 3 is still chugging long, advances in CPU and 3D power on mobile devices has put mobile phones and tablets within striking distance of comparable graphics as the consoles.  

This is the same for Microsoft's Xbox 360.  

Both Microsoft and Sony have their own visions and plays for the living that also extends to mobile but, at times, they feel like defensive moves.  Over time, consumers are going to realize their mobile devices can do so much more than make calls, check Facebook updates, and watch Youtube videos.

Now, we're able to play HD games and videos.  Oh, let's not forget music as well.  You know, pretty much everything consoles can do, and probably more.  And as far as market size, mobile is so much bigger - we're talking in the billions of units versus tens of millions of consoles a year sold.

Source:  Droid Life.

Tablet: What I want From Quad-Core Tablets - Split Screens

Transformer 2 from Asus, when it comes out in November, will be the world's first quad-core device - by that, I mean a tablet that has double the core of the current crop of tablets including the iPad 2, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Xoom, and others.  So, I ask you this.  What exactly do you do with all that processing power that you cannot already do on the tablets today?

iOS 5: If Not Siri, Apple Should Give Other iOS Users Dictation

Siri is has the potential to give Apple and edge in the next computing evolution, revolution if done correctly, but Apple has to move quickly.  I mean it has to maintain the lead the the iPhone gave it in 2007 when the rest of the wireless industry was caught flat-footed.

And if what the wireless chiefs at Google and Microsoft said about smartphones not being good digital assistants, I've got a word or two for them:  the mobile revolution we're currently in started with personal digital assistants, you know, PDAs.

But back to voice.  Google has a healthy if not overtly static set of commands.  For the last few years, Apple was way behind in those efforts.  With Siri, Apple has shown just how serious it was about not only voice but creating a working and  helpful assistant that gives mobile warriors a new way to interact with their mobile devices.

Others in the industry will mistaken that with voice commands.  It's evident in the dismissive attitudes that Apple's competitors have demonstrated so far.

And yes, Siri is still in beta but if Apple really want Siri to take off, let the rest of the iOS devices at least gain the ability to speak at their devices - let people dictate messages.  Feel comfortable speak to their iPhones, iPod touches, or iPads and not just at them.

I personally do not see why Siri works only on the iPhone 4S and if its a ploy for Apple to get users to upgrade to it, I accept and respect. But it does need to know that it needs to move quickly and blow everyone else away.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Location-Based Services With Friends Could Be Fun - If You Avoid All A Sense of Creepiness From The Service Providers

I wish I had this when I was in high school.  Checking in, broadcasting my locations to my friends, find out where my friends are, and generally socializing with them over our mobile devices.  I think I was sociable enough when in high school and college that I could get a kick out of this.

I started thinking about this when I was using Find My Friends and Latitude with Dave the Mobile Sage, my brother, and a couple of other friends.  It was fun because I trust these folks.  And when my mom gets her updated iPad 2 next week, she'll be able to check up on her adult children to know that they are safe.  Mom are that way and always will be.

Obviously, there are times when you don't want people to know where you are at all times so you can hide from them if you like.  The settings for both of Apple and Google's services are easy enough.  What you kinda have to worry about is if you forget to play with the settings.

More at Greenjava.

Kill Dictator Moammar Gadhafi - Sounding Off

Libyan Dictator Moammar Gadhafi is dead. Good riddance. A part of me think that. Actually, a large part of me think that. But at the same time, maybe it's the more worldly me that also think how justified this was.

Don't get me wrong. I'm glad such an evil man is gone. And I've got a list of baddies that I like to see removed from power. The key word is "removed". Back in junior high and high school, probably in college too, I would not have think twice about the legality of such an issue.

We got rid of Saddam, Hussein, and now Moammar (I've seen like seven different ways to spell his names) and maybe we'll see real change in Libya. Both Iraq and Libya have oil money that could really make things better for their citizens if they want.

I guess what I'm saying is that these days, "remove" for me comes with an asterisk. On the case of Egypt and Libya, it was an internal struggle. The key difference was that Moammar was killing and torturing its people. Using its armed forces to decimate its own people.

Maybe we should get involved in Syria too?  I'm serious.  I don't see why we should not get involved there.  Plus, it's remove close ally and puppet to Tehran.  But before we do that, maybe we need to get the permission of the UN or the Arab League.

Then we'll unleash the Predators.

iCloud: Others Have Done Cloud But Apple's Ecosystem Is Going To Be Where Cloud Takes Off

We are starting to see some signs of life with iCloud integration.  I don’t mean just with Apple’s apps like Mail, music, or photostream.  Nor am I talking about Pages or Numbers.  It’s the third party apps that are starting to come out that is interesting and I figure Apple’s iCloud could be huge for the app market.

There is Remember the Milk and Goodreader, two apps, that I can think off right off the top of my head.  I’m sure there could be other docs related apps that will take advantage of the storage feature in iCloud.

Personally, I’m looking for a way to upload videos that I take.

And looking through my list of apps, I can see a few that I would like to have immediately.  I have a few art apps like Brushes and Sketches that I sometimes like to dabble on.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be be able start start something in the iPhone and move it over to the iPad or desktop version?

In some ways, I iCloud is an extension of what I already can do with Evernote and Springpad but I want it for more than just text syncing.

If want create something on Garageband on the iPad, I also want to be able to see it immediately on my Mac.

And that is the essence of iCloud after all.  And furthermore, some people might noticed that some of their mobile app versions are a bit dumbed down than their desktop apps.  It’s the developers fault.  And if they want iCloud syncing, they need to make sure parity of features is essential.  Otherwise, it makes no sense for an user to create a file and not be able to fully edit it on their iOS devices.

In looking at my list of apps that I’ve bought over the last two years, I can see other examples where developers can integrate iCloud with their apps.  And what’s cool is that Apple is givng developers an opportunity to push mobile use in a new direction.

I can’t wait to see what we’ll see in the coming months.  In fact, I've got a brilliant app idea where iCloud could play a crucial role. Of course, I need to learn to create an app first.

Note: If you're on iOS 5 or Mac OS X 7.2, you really need to register for an iCloud account.  It's free and you've got nothing to lose.  You'll begin to see what I'm talking about here.

Apple and Google’s Billions In The Bank – It’ll Stay There, Microsoft and Others Likely To Do the Same

One of the thing that Apple, under Steve Jobs’ guidance, is its uncanny ability to be so surgical in its where they put their innovative energy and what specific technologies to innovate and bring to the market.  At the same time, this uncanniness also extends to its ability to time it just right to bring the technology to market.  Which brings me to the $80+ billion that Apple has stashed away in various accounts and long/short-term investments.

While some companies have caved into pressures to buy back stocks to boost values or to give some of that money back for whatever reasons, Apple has resisted this call.  And as a mobile fan, you have that to continue.  No money for stock buybacks or dividends.  Some today but in today’s heated war in computers and mobile, you want companies to build up huge war chests to go after opportunities.

This goes for Google as well as Microsoft.  Google isn’t issuing dividends or giving money back to the shareholders in other ways.  I predict that Microsoft will probably stop doing it for a while.  They need their billions and here’s why.

For all those who are clamoring for Apple to open up its wallets, they simply don’t get it.  What Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others are doing is fighting for not only specific markets.  It’s not only about mobile dominance.  It isn’t trying to get ahead in the video or music market.  Nor is it about clouding around with new server farms or apps.

It’s about fighting to shape the future.  This is the vision thing that everyone says Steve Jobs is so good at.  This is about Larry Page’s vision for the future surrounding Google’s webapps.  It’s also whatever vision that Microsoft has.

I have had some personal experience in this matter.  Our businesses issued dividends to our partners from time to time but those are quite rare. We build up cash and when needed, we invested them in difficult times, to secure supplies and our positions in the market, and always knew that when opportunities presented themselves, we could always seize the moment.

This is the same for my personal finances.  So, I get why these tech giants are doing with their cash.  I just don’t get why the “always wrong” and overpaid Wall Street guys don’t.

As China Become A Bigger Mobile Computing Market, Look For Their Influence On The Rest Of The World's Mobility

Apple CEO Tim Cook said the obvious during Tuesday afternoon's financial call with analysts:  China is huge.  It is now the second biggest market for Apple outside of the United States.  For Apple, it means sustained growth and greater demand for its products.

For mobile warriors outside of China, look for this to influence how Apple and other companies design their porducts to cater to Chinese mobile warriors.  And I think that will end up trickling down to the rest of us.  For instance, the QWERTY keyboard has such an influence on the world that it is difficult to imagine using anything else.

Apple has a layout that allows user to write in the Chinese characters with their finger.  I think other companies like Microsoft could conceivably do the same or allow the use of a stylus.  And obviously, dictation with greater access in iOS 5 will move things along.  Google has done quite a bit with Translate, the mobile app that allows users to type in words for direct translations.

And more than that, app developers will increasingly take notice of who their users are and cater them accordingly.  Already, the app market in China is one of the biggest in the world.

On top of that, launch schedules can be greatly influenced by China's growing mobile market.  I fully expect Apple, Samsung, and, in particular, HTC to grant greater emphasis on China.  In the past, mobile devices would not make their ways into China until months to even a full year after they've been launched in the US and elsewhere.  You can bet on that to change.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tablet: Vox, Underpowered Tablet, Challenges Fire, Nook, And, Maybe, Everyone Else

Kobo has announced a new Android-based tablet (the smartphone flavor) that will cost $199, same as the Kindle Fire, but it will be severely under powered with only a 800 Mhz single core chip.  However, these days, specs are not enough to sway an user to one tablet or another.

What's interesting about this is an attempt of a social book club.  And here's the thing.  It has a 7" screen with the same 1024x600 resolution as most other 7" tablets.  What's different about its screen is that Kobo claims to use an "AFFS+ display with anti-glare" - same tech used in airplanes.  That was what caught my eyes.  Right now, as you know, tablets are not all that great for operations outdoor.

It doesn't stop there.  Free RDIO music stream, games and 15K apps.  Yeah, the Vox has will have more apps than the Touchpad and RIM's Playbook put together. Those are not the only freebies.  As I recall, neither the Kindle or Nook has this kind of material to start the users off.  Of course, we don't know if this is an app store that it is operating on its own or that its using someone else's.

So, why Vox?  Kobo has no choice but to join the tablet rush.  It's totally a defensive move.  It's an attempt to fight off Fire and Nook. And if it does succeed, the Vox will be a building platform for Kobo to expand its offerings.  The loss of Borders stores likely has hurt it greatly because Kobo e-readers were sold there.

At the end of the day, any kind of competition in the tablet market is everything we mobile warriors can ask for.  The Vox is not going to challenge the iPad and Galaxy Tabs of the world, but it could hasten the price drops in the sub-10" tablet market.

Amaon remains the strongest in this part of the market because of the strong Kindle brand.  It remains to be seen if these ereader companies turned tablet sellers have what it takes to traditional tablet makers.

And at Vox going for $200, the same price as the Kindle Fire, Kobo is sending a clear signal that it wants to fight for what rightfully belong to it.

More at Kobo.

Tablet: Transformer 2 - First Quad-Core Tablet?

For a while now, the hope is that the Transformer 2, from Asus, would be a quad-core tablet running Android.  And with Android 4 just out, can it be running Honeycomb or Android 4 when it goes on sale.

Here is a video from Android Community via Slashgear.  

What a quad-core tablet means goes beyond just speed.  Asus' Transformer 2 also has a docking station that allows the tablet to become a laptop like workstation.  So far, we've only see something similar with Motorola's Atrix and Bionic.  

I consider these docks to be important differentiators from Android competitors, specifically the iPad.  And with Android tablets moving to quad-core chips so quickly, it could be a hit with the mobile crowd that are interested in specs above all else.

After all, I've already declared Android to be PC-free.  And the success of Android tablets will only move that forward.

Siri - The New Search Engine?

For the moment, Siri, Apple’s new killer feature, is all the rage and has helped Apple sell over four million iPhone 4S this past weekend. The demo and the word of mouth from Apple, specifically iPhone fans, has permeated through the blog world and has entered the mind-share of the mainstream public.

More than that, Siri is still only in beta. For now, some might be able to argue that its abilities are limited. For the most part, I would have to agree. Siri has gained some features that are already available on Android via Voice Actions. And Google will surely double its effort to beef up its own voice feature. And beyond that, Siri can give snappy and sometimes sarcastic responses that has evoked amusement from users. But truly, that is all, isn’t it? If that is the case, why is Siri so popular? Will its use die down over time once the hype is over?

More at Greenjava.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Engadget With Pictures and Hands-On With the Galaxy Nexus

Here's Engadget's page on the Galaxy Nexus.  All I can is wow.  This thing I freaking impossible. 

It's thin but it is also kinda big because it has a 4.65" screen with a 720p resolution.  And unlike the iPhone and the Droid RAZR, it has a removable battery as well.

Oh, and it is the only device running Android 4 out the door.  

Anyway, you have to check this out.  Engraver has a lot of pics.

-- Sent from my HP TouchPad

Siri May Have All The Answers (Someday) And Be Our Friend But It Won’t Be Intelligent Or Sentient

Answers, Yes But Siri Is Still Closer To a Toaster Than A Fully Thinking and Sentient Intelligence

It's what I've suspected the whole time but is unwilling to face.  Siri may have the answers but it isn't smart.  I think you know it as well.  What Siri, really is, is an app that has the full force of a cloud-based computing network that is trying to "serve" you as it is.  

Siri doesn't understand you.  It might look like it does at times because that is the brilliance of Apple.  It's trying to be "just works" mentality to Siri. And in doing so, Apple is hoping that we'll forget that Siri is really lines of programs with brilliant algorithms and, instead, treat it like a digital friend.

Don't get me wrong.  Siri is revolutionary and there is a lot to get excited about.  However, it's closer to Tickle-Me-Elmo than it is to Commander Data on Star Trek.  In fact, the Enterprise computer isn't so smart either.  

Right now, a lot of people are having fun with Siri failed to remember it's still in beta.  So for all of you who are new to Apple and its products, this is only the beginning.  And as impressed as you already are, be prepared to be blow away.

Nexus Prime Caught On Video

Here's a video I lift from Phandroid that claims to be the Nexus Prime.  Looks like the real thing.

Anyway, we are hours from the official unveiling.  Nexus Prime, Android 4, and whatever else Google's got cooked up for us.

Would You Prefer an iPad Mini or iPod Touch XL?

There's talk this morning that Apple is looking at a sub-10" screen to add a new tablet to its line-up.  I've been asking for something like this since the original iPad.  No, I've been asking for this since the iPod touch.  Will we get it?

Social: First Contact (Microbes Count Too) In Twenty Years

“We are the Borg…”

Not exactly the kind of first contact I would like humanity to make.  Especially, it if will be our first and last find of alien life outside of Earth or our solar system.  However, life will not be denied, according to this Popular Science post quoting Andrei Finkelstein, Russian director at the Academy of Sciences’ Applied Astronomy Institute.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Patent War: Why Does Samsung Keep Doing This?

The patent war between Apple and Android device makers will last a while, giving folks on both sides a lot to talk about.  What's interesting in all this is that from time to time, Samsung will trip itself up.  Don't believe me?

Here, on Samsung Galaxy Player's webpage, an observant user saw this:

This is a screen shot that I captured myself.  So, yeah, it's still there.  According to Electronista via Daring Fireball, it's been since August.

And this isn't the first time.  A few months back when all the rage with the iPad 2 was the smartcover.  Well, just as things started heating up, Samsung started to sell their own smartcovers for the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

So, yeah, things don't look good for Samsung now.  Samsung needs to create a task force and go through all their marketing materials and projects they've outsourced and sent out a memos about all this.

RIM: First The Service Disruption, Then $100 For Apps? Talk About Kicking Customers While They're Down

RIM will compensate customers who were affected by the outage last week with a $100 and more apologies (via CS Monitors).  I don't know but I think the pain and trouble that customers went through was worth more than the $100.  I think RIM should have offered an additional month of service as well, to demonstrate that they are seriously apologetic.

They need to do more to show customers that they're serious about mobile and that they get it.  Right now, they're far from getting it.  And RIM making it too easy for Apple and Google to steal users away.

Way too easy.  More at Greenjava.

Siri And The Great Firewall of China

Siri rocks as far as its potential goes.  And while I'm not exactly sure of most of the details of how it works, I think we can safely say that it has a lot to do with servers in data centers that Apple maintains.  Query something and it gets to a gateway, gets crunched, and spits the answer back out to the user.

Okay, how would this work in parts of the world where the iPhone is very popular like China where there is a lot of censorship going on?  You know, the Great Firewall of China.

Most of our readers kind of take these things for granted.  Whether in China, Iran, any other place where free flow of information is frowned up, to put it mildly, how would Siri work?  To my mind, this could be the first time where Apple will have to decide if it has to clamp down on services or information to avoid getting on the bad side of Beijing.

One might say that Apple knows a thing or two about control information.  It does and it is quite good at it.  Walled ecosystem and corporate information lock-downs aside, Apple really has never not limited access to Facebook, Google, or Twitter.  Apple has been known to make things difficult for competitors but playing hard ball is something totally different from just shutting out information, which is what China does.

So, when the iPhone 4S launches in China, I get the feeling that Siri will not be available.  Not because Siri isn't available in most countries.  Rather, China will bar Siri from entering China altogether.

Privacy: No Need For Big Brother When There's Twitter And Other Social Media

Most of us with Twitter accounts, tweeting 20-30 tweets a week, or a day, offer up a lot of information, not only about ourselves but also about how we feel and think. The hashtags can be organized and pretty much give away a lot of information.

And I'm willing to bet that 99.99% of all tweets are public. This is why the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is trying to pick up as much information as it can from Twitter to TV to webcams so that it can gauge the mood of society and kinda predict the future.

Seriously, I'm surprised something like this has not already been done.  Maybe there is already something like that but we just don't know it yet.  I'm sure the intelligence community has a lot of resources to implement this long before.

According to this Nature post, which I recommend you read, not all of it is to predict riots and such.  There are also public interest uses for it - like trying to predict disease outbreaks.

It is scary?  Kinda.  We'll get back to this subject later.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fun Weekend Musing: Evaluating Mobile Needs For An Apocalypse

I have come up with one way to help mobile users decide if their current mobile needs are enough. We now live in a culture where mobile computing and experiences are very much a part of our lives.

It does not matter if you're rich or poor, use it for personal or work. Mobile needs are the same for just about everyone: student, a wide range or profession, fathers and mothers, just about anyone.

Everyone. So how do you know if what you have now is enough? Maybe you've got a low-end Android. Maybe you just upgraded to the iPhone 4S. Or perhaps, you are waiting for the Nexus Prime but the Galaxy S II is already for sale.

Then consider this: if the world ends tomorrow, is your device going to be enough to serve your mobile needs? And how will you make that evaluation?

Now we need to have a few allowances in such a scenario. We will assume power will be on as will wireless access. But everything else is literally falling apart. Perhaps, roaming gangs are in the streets. Maybe the undead have taken over. Or it could be Black Death II in the making.

Does your platform have the necessary apps to help you maneuver through the dangers of lawlessness? Is there an app to help you escape from a mob of zombies? Maybe those dozens of zombie games are a good place to start.

And then there is the thing about having a good camera. Suppose you're tapped by your neighbors to do some recon. You take your mobile with you. The GSII and the new 4S both have 8MP cameras. Which camera is better and has the best editing apps. And what about taking videos? And if you're not ready to upgrade, is the 3- or 5MP camera your mobile device have good enough for such a task?

One would assume that we all want the latest and the greatest. True in most situations but we also have developed emotional attachments to our mobile gears and sown times are not willing to give it up so readily because there is something shinier at the Apple stores, Best Buys, or on sale at Amazon.

So ask yourself this: is your mobile ready to help you get through the end times - help you, your family, and friends in the process.

Support of Local Coffee Shops Not Easy But Could Be Worth Effort

I've got relatively simple needs. I think we all do when it comes down to it. Finding good local coffee shops is simply a luxury that I am fortunate to be able to partake it.

Coffee, straight up black or specialty drinks, is now a main staple for a lot people. Good coffee is fine but do is the atmosphere that the cafe provides. So I have been trying to go sound local places that I hope will fill my needs.

I am at a local shop that was recommended to me by a friend. Ace Roule. It is a small mom-and-pop place. It has most of the decor that I would appreciate. Wireless Internet access, outlets thought I generally avoid using public outlets now when I can, and decent music. The people here are generally nice as well.

What it lacks, and I've noted that in other places like Starbucks and Coffee Beans is that they don't have any kind of plant life. Seriously, no small shrub or those indoor trees. I made an effort to go out and get my own and put them around house where I work.

In general, if you're used to Starbucks or other big named cafe, it can be hard to go venturing into a new place and try to become a regular.

Here at Cafe Roule, the drinks are fine though their pastries are lacking in selection. They have other food that are available. Sandwiches seem to be a hit here. This is certainly something that many coffee shops don't offer.

I suppose what I am doing here is to try to come up with a good way for myself as well as others to evaluate and find a good coffee place that you can come to relax, work, or just to hang out with friends.

One thing I do note is that it does take time to find a good place to call your own. I agree with the Starbucks idea of trying to be a home away from home. And it's also the same for these independent cafes. They don't necessarily try to do that. They Try to sell you the best coffee experience they can offer.

So it's up to us to see if they for our individual tastes. I know here at CR, they do have their regulars. I don't count myself as one.

So help me out here. What should our readers consider in finding the right coffee shop for them.

Really? Less Than 3.5 Million Honeycomb Tablets In The Wild? This Is Google's Fault

According to Slashgear, there is only 3.4 million tablets in use running with Google's current officially sanctioned Android OS, Honeycomb.  Can that be?

Friday Movie Clip: I Got Scared After Watching This, Now I Want You To Freak Out and Not Be Able To Sleep Tonight

I'm not being evil here but I made the mistake of watching watching the Paranormal 3 house is filled with mirrors...every fraking, if I'm scared and can' sleep, I want to make sure the rest of you are too...

So, here is this week's Friday clip. Get ready to be freaked out.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Reading About Sprint Users Getting iPhones Makes Me Sad For T-MobilePost title

I’ve been a T-Mobile subscriber nearly a decade. I’ve had a fantastic relationship with them. I was formerly with AT&T until they irked (I wanted to use a stronger language but I changed it because I really like Greenjava to be a family friendly site) off a lot of folks. I just could not stand them any longer.

I was so happy when they received the G1, the very first Android device which I continue to use and cherish to this day. And I thought maybe two or three years down the line, I could get an iPhone that runs on T-Mobile’s 3G network. Surely, Apple would not keep the exclusive with the hated AT&T network for years and years, right?

More At Greenjava.

Tablet: Low Prices And Bundling Could Make Way For Greater Adoption

When I said that we should be getting great pricing on Android tablets by Black Friday, never did I imagine that prices would be dropping by so much so fast.  Not that I am complaining.  I think it's fantastic and, you know what, keep it coming!

First, you obviously know by now that Amazon's Kindle Fire is priced at $200 (I know it's $199 but I don't go for these kinds of deceptive pricing practices as as the lowest priced iPad is $500, not $499).  And while it's not really a true Android tablet (that I can see because it uses a variant of the Android OS 2.2 and not sanctioned by Google), I still consider it to be part of the family.  A distant cousin.

Then there is the news of the Xoom Family Edition (Android Guys) - the same old Xoom bundled with family friendly apps and games (gimmicky but I think it could be effective).  For instance, it is packed with Zoodles, I think it's something my nephews spend a lot of time with.

More At Greenjava.

AT&T And Sprint Bragged About Their Numbers, Where Is Verizon's Brag?

No doubt Apple had a great week with the pre-sale figure of 1 million iPhone 4S sold and a fantastic Friday today with AT&T doubling the already iPhone 4 activations and Sprint recording best-ever day.  As an Apple fan, you are heartened by this.

Okay, good.  Ahem, Verizon, you go next.  Tell us how crazy your iPhone sales have been today.  Go ahead.  The stage is yours.

Hello?  Verizon?  Hey, there.  Come on.  Don't be shy.  

Not the best ever?  Second best?  Second best is okay.  I bought one, pre-ordered it.  That's one that I know of.  There were other folks I'm sure.  

What?  You're too good for us?  WTF!?

Seriously, I can wait to find out the final score between the three.  I'm sure Sprint with its fantastic sales won't be close to what AT&T has.  I just want to know how close VZW's iPhone activations come to AT&T's.

You have to keep in mind that AT&T has an advantage neither  Sprint or VZW has:  free iPhone 3GS.  It's a two year old iPhone but remember, it was the second best selling smartphone, bested only by its sibling, the iPhone 4.  

So I doubt Verizon will be able to match AT&T's iPhone sales figure.  It's likely that figures leased by Apple will be an inclusive figure and they will not break things down by types of iPhone.  They don't do that with the Macs or the iPods.

More than competitive reasons, I also like to see if the mobile users at Verizon buy a different mix of the 4S and 4 than from the AT&T and Sprint customers.  It can go a long way in helping Apple and developers know what customers need.

I don't know how long before we get word from Verizon.  I'm surprised they have not said a word about it.  

Friday, October 14, 2011

This blog is composed using dictation on iPhone 4S

Hello everyone. This blog is composed using the dictation feature on the iPhone five using iPhone 4S.

As you can see, it is pretty accurate. I try to compose message earlier using the iPhone 4S speaker. It was not as accurate as using the headset.

For those of us who have the iPhone 4S, I think we should all try to use the dictation feature more often. Why's that? The reason is because I think with Siri, Apple is going to Really revolutionize how we interact with computers. Using Siri, it is only the beginning. Using dictation to compose our messages and emails, it is only the beginning.

Obviously Apple has a long way to go before the AI in iOS 5 or future iOS can really become our digital assistant.

Earlier I try to see if Siri can launch applications. It was not able to. However, I know didn't ability for users to launch applications with the mat or on and iOS device is going to be a very important feature and I think it will come rather quickly.

Right now Siri is in beta testing. I am sure by the time Siri gets out of beta there will be a few additional features it can perform.

The most important feature that I like Siri to have is the ability to launch apps. More than that I like the dictation feature to also be built into other applications. I am talking more than just dictations. I want to be able to issue commands in other apps.

Example, after I launched the foursquare app, I like to be able to check in simply by speaking. Or if I am Facebook, I like to be able to say "update status" and then be able to dictate what my status is.

Those are just two examples that I quickly thought of while I was using Siri. I am sure the engineering team at Apple has already thought of these things. And no doubt we will some day get these features.

I am certain that as you use Siri you will think of other examples that Siri can make the mobile experience better.

Note: I have to make some corrections to this post by dictating. I am sure just like Siri, the dictation feature will be improved over time. However it beats having to tap out the whole post.

Sent from my iPhone

Apple Should Prepare to Leave China (There Is Still Time To Execute Such A Plan)

At first glance, you might think that the title of this article is a clickbait considering that China is the second biggest economy in the w...