Tag Archives: gadget

Verizon Galaxy Nexus RANT

Saw this on reddit, felt it was appropriate.

Verizon Really Grinds My Gears

I have to admit, I cycled through a lot of titles for this post that were far more… colorful, but in the end I decided to try and keep it classy.

What am I pissed about this time? Two words: Galaxy Nexus. More to the point, where the hell is it?! There have been more than a few rumors flying around, enough to the point where lot’s of the fanboys I know waiting for this blasted phone (myself included), are getting burned out. The newest batch, pointing to December 8th or 9th, promptly got debunked right after they managed to rekindle my hope I would actually get this phone before 2011 was out.

fffuuu

Curse you Verizon, curse you and your torments

I have always been one for gadgets, I understand the hype machine that all of the companies subscribe to. Though as I am sure most who have been following this phone’s development would agree, this instance has seemingly “jumped the shark.” The worst part being the phone has actually been released, it is tangible, and has been in the hands of Android fans in Europe for months. Yet we still wait, with no word as to why, goodness knows Verizon isn’t saying anything. All we know is that there have been mysterious “delays” halting Verizon from getting this damned phone into my/our patiently awaiting hands.

galaxy-nexus-aliens

Who is *really* to blame for the Galaxy Nexus delays?!

Conveniently enough, these mysterious delays have been followed up by some unsettling rumors about the phone, and more importantly, how Verizon is screwing with it.

That’s why it’s so sad to see Verizon block people from using Google Wallet (Verizon Galaxy Nexus users won’t see the Google Wallet app in the Android Market). Especially on a reference phone like the Galaxy Nexus that should represent the purest Android experience. Plus it’s a dick move, presumably because Verizon will eventually be pimping its own phone payment service, ISIS (which Verizon is working on with AT&T and T-Mobile), over Google’s. ISIS sounds promising but it hasn’t launched yet and, well, when was the last time carriers did something good for you?

To me this stinks as one of the reasons for the delay, Big Red hard-balling Google into letting them disable the ability to use Google Wallet, then having to figure out how to do it while still allowing for ISIS to work in the who-the-hell-knows-when future. The Nexus line of phones is supposed to represent pure, untampered Android: Google’s vision for the OS and cutting edge hardware to show off how it’s meant to be experienced. But that’s not what we seem to be getting here.

…the Verizon version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus will indeed have two bloatware apps. Both My Verizon Mobile and Backup Assistant will come preloaded…

Sure these are only two apps, and fairly utilitarian ones at that, but that doesn’t matter to me. I just want a clean slate! This leads me to my next theory that I have been toying with during this maelstrom of rumors: further delays are being caused by Verizon having a tough time with the new app disabling feature in Ice Cream Sandwich. Sure this phone will only have 2 Verizon apps on it, but will I be allowed to remove them? Will I even be allowed to disable them? If not on both accounts, then where does that leave us on future ICS handsets? Right back where we started, stuck with either having a bunch of apps we don’t want cluttering our devices or having to root the phone and go with a custom ROM. All just to make your phone actually yours!

Really I just hope above all else that this post was all for naught, Verizon finally pulls their collective heads out of their collective asses, and I can finally get a new phone!

Just release the damn phone!

Downfall of Society: Sitting

After working so hard to try and achieve the “American dream,” seems that it’s killing us. This is some bullshit and really grinds my gears, since it means once you hit grade school you are completely boned.

Unless I am some sort of crazy abnormality (which in this specific case I highly doubt I am), the game plan that is driven into you is that you: study hard in grade school, go to college, study hard in college, find a comfy “middle-class” office job, work hard, then retire. Want a non-office job that allows for a more active, hands on day-to-day routine? Don’t want to go to college? What’s wrong with you, are you an idiot!?

Anyway, the end result of this life you are indoctrinated into wanting, is that you do a serious amount of sitting; mix in being a gamer, a programmer, awesomeness that is Netflix streaming, and that is a recipe for disaster. I mean just look at this spiffy infographic, obviously we are all going to die:

Sitting is Killing You
Via: Medical Billing And Coding

Okay so now that the drama is out of the way, what is the game plan here? As far as I have found, the only real solution for us office grunts is switching to a sweet gadget alternative: a sit-stand desk. An obvious problem arises if you take a gander at the link there, the price. Don’t think that you can really cheap out here either; all of those desks have some sort of mechanism with a weight limit that keeps everything at the right height, one that if it fails will take out some expensive computer equipment.

Who knows, if I am feeling generous, maybe I will share my plans for making my own economical and badass sit/stand desk. For some ideas now, check Lifehacker for what some other people have resorted to so they can live a little longer.

Fundamental Failure of The nook

I finally took some time out of my busy schedule to check out the B&N nook app for Android, and all it seems to have done is further infuriate me about how the nook handles your markup for your books.

Across devices and platforms the data for your eBooks; bookmarks, highlights, and notes are not saved to your account, only locally. This makes no sense to me whatsoever! What idiot thought up the use case for this?! We are in a time where everything should be seamless, if a device has internet access and a service requires an account, then your data should sync across devices and platforms.

One of the audiences eBook readers seem to be targeting heavily is students; especially college students. Who, as I know all too well, are required to buy hundreds of dollars worth of text books every year, then carry them around just in case the professor references something from them. So far my experience with my nook, the convince of it compared especially to a large text book, would make it less of a hassle to actually read for class, instead of frantically skimming when I absolutely need to (don’t judge me, you know you did it too!) Of course the reduced cost, the more eco-friendly format and the search features of reading an eBook all come into play as well. But the simple lack of syncing user added book information, in my mind, renders this audience alienated. Some may think I am an idiot being dramatic, but I believe that the most common scenarios in which the nook would be used as a study guide require cross device syncing.

For example; while working on a homework assignment you view the textbook on your laptop, using the search functionality to quickly find the relevant sections. You then highlight the important text and make whatever notes you like. When reviewing for an exam later you can review these highlights/notes as a study guide.

Ehhhh I don’t feel like actually thinking up a bunch of hypothetical examples. I just want to put out into the inter-ether that it is idiotic for me to have the ability to read my eBooks on 2 devices, but only if I remember the exact page I was on (probably sentence too considering the difference in amount of text that can be rendered.) In addition to this; if I highlight some text, whether it be in a book for class, or just because I find a passage particularly amusing, I should be able to reference it wherever I can access the book.

I would put money that this feature is nonexistent because of ridiculously strict DRM policies put in place by content owners. Further proving the infuriating nature of DRM to paying consumers…

Of Firmware and eReaders

I don’t think I can say enough about how my nook has become my favorite gadget. With it, I have been powering through the Wheel of Time series faster than I ever thought possible. My more cynical friends like to call shenanigans on me for saying this, believing that nothing can beat a real book, but the convenience of an eReader over regular books cannot be denied. Although I am rambling again…what I really wanted to discuss was the new update:

The video pretty well sums up the changes, especially with visuals of the user interface changes, but it doesn’t seem to emphasize the noticeable improvement to the eInk page refresh. When I first got the nook it took some getting used to to not be bothered by the fairly slow and distracting page refresh when changing pages. After this update I feel that the page refresh has improved significantly, which goes a long way to improving the user experience, not only to seasoned users, but also to those just getting a nook who will not have to deal with the distractions of the previous software versions.

As a side note, my previous concerns about “burn in” on the eInk screen seem to have been for naught. During the update process the nook did a complete restart and when it shut down the screen was once again completely blank and pristine as though it just came out of the box.

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