Tech dis, tech dat

Is it still and iWorld after all?

Apple call it "Forward thinking", CNet calls it "Striking it gold" , I call it "Big iWhoop"

Foreword: this is meant to be funny ... in my typical crude way. don't read if you take things too seriously .. or you work for Apple.

I know, I know, i write mostly about hockey and training camp has just started and I was supposed to be at SharksIce this morning for the first official full practice, but duty called me to my office. Duty and a curiosity, that is.
See, I have an iApple ifanatic ifriend, who works for a publication I shall not mention, but he offered me the chance to play a little bit with the fruity toy-maker's new creations. Now, my friends and a few of those random readers of this crappy blog of mine, already know I am not an iFan of the Jobs iCult. I used to love them when they were not big greedy vanity creating destroyers of the young generations, as in I loved pre-iPod Apple. But never-mind that.
So my iFriend showed up with the gold 5S and some "neon-y" colored plastic iAbomination that calls itself 5C.
Obviously the iOS**t has changed, but to the regular user, other than some eye candy stuff blatantly copied ... or "iInspired" from others, there really isn't that much to report.  The big changes in iOS will not matter on the day to day use of the most of the millions of iSheep who will get the phone. For the more advanced ones: yes there are some new toys to play with, majority of which are just efforts to keep up with what the rest of the world is doing. But everybody will say it is a revolution .. because it looks different.  Which it actually is a revolution, considering it has been looking the same for  ... weeeeeeell ever.

Now onto the specific devices

5S : It is an iBeautiful iDevice. iApple has always made beautiful stuff. It has to since they cater to the vain dark side in all of us. Well built, they did change a bit the metal process it seems, and obviously the colors, again to be more hip but I suspect it also had to do with the "iScratch-gate" problems they had with the 5.
The screen is beautiful but still too small in today's world. In terms of colors , viewing angles etc, is what you would expect, still one of the very best although I do not know how it reacts in sunlight since I only got to play with it inside. iApple says they have better this and that when it comes to the screen but , again, to the regular user none of that marketing speak will mean much : the screen is pretty much what you had before.
The big improvements : battery life and camera. I don't know how much it has to do with the "new" screen" or the motion "co-processor" (aka another marketing BS mostly) but the battery life has improved, according to my iFanatic iFriend. I will take his word for it, because, other than being a complete iMoron when it comes to technology, he is a pretty fair guy. 
The thing that really I liked was the new camera. I am not going to get into details , there are a lot of bloggers out there who already dissected this, but it does take nice pictures, very good stuff indoors and low-light and finally it has some features it did not have before and others did . Not the best cam hardware/software "suite" in the phone world at the moment ( am am still blown by Nokia's stuff and I am going to get that phone just for that cam .. whenever I can find it at a decent discount), but it is really up there and it is really good. Kudos iApple for offering some actual palpable improvements over the "last gen". Because the whole "64 bit processor" and all the "go fast" spiel you served about the new A7 processor, really doesn't mean much to most people. I am sure there will be apps where the new processor will shine over the old one but, again for the majority of the millions of iSheep: it won't matter : the 5 was fast and smooth enough and 95% of the time, while checking Facebook, you won't notice how much faster, if at all, this new phone is ( I loaded my own page on the 5s and the 5 at the same time, over WiFi, did not notice anything really).
And now, the biggie ... the "game changer" as some idiotic iSheep proclaimed over the air in an interview on ABC last night: the fingerprint thingy:
1) I had a laptop, 6 yrs ago, that did the same thing,, albeit a little differently but no, iSheep of the world: apple did not invent the technology ( actually they bought this from someone else but who cares really) 
2) at least in my case, it was a bitch to set up because of a scratch I had on my thumb .. since I was not fully awake I didn't realize I could use any other finger :) , but that brings the point: what if you cut the tip of the finger you used to set this up?  I mean yes you can store up to 5 fingerprints on the phone but where is the security in that then? Even my iFanatic iFriend admitted, after we discussed a little bit, that there are several scenarios where fingerprint security is not as good as a trusty old ( well defined) password.
But I am nothing if not forward looking so I am not writing this feature off completely, maybe iApple's implementation is better than what others have tried, we shall see ... But I did laugh a bit at how insistent iApple were in trying to convince everybody that nobody will ever have access to the fingerprints stored on the phone. Really? just like nobody was supposed to have access at ANY private information stored on any devices .. how well did that work out?
Anyway, overall: iPhab 5S is a good looking beast, very well made with a better camera than before. Other than that, since you can get iOS**t 7 on the old 5 in a few days: I really don't see the point on upgrading now if you have the 5. If you have the 4 or 4S and your contract is up : sure.. why not, upgrade if you don't want to move the the dark side of the iGoogle.

Now onto the real turd : the 5C(heap) supposedly.

Long story short: it is plastic, it is "unibody" as in the plastic encases everything so no you cannot change battery as you can in the majority of the budget Android plastic phones, it is, essentially an iPhone 5. 
Which begs the question: why? 
Is it really a "budget" phone? They say it's $99 with 2 yrs contract. So are a lot of Android phones that are actually newer and , IMHO, better. but that is not the kicker. The kicker is: in US at least, for a while, I am sure you will be able to find some stores that will offer the "old" 5 for peanuts. Not iApple stores, ofcourse but ATT, Verizon and some other brick and online stores will have it ... cause the existing stock is not just going to disappear everywhere at once, is it? And, I am sorry, but if I want an iPhone  I don't want a plastic malarkey. So why would I, Joe Schmo, want to pay $100 on a two year contract with a half baked iPhone? The colors? They make cases for that and most iPhones are going to be in a case anyway. Right now, you can find a bevy of more than decent phones at that price point with contract and many of them are far more appealing than a crippled plastic iPhone.
But the real issue is if you want to buy this phone out of contract and unlocked. you'd think that, because it is supposed to be a budget phone, it will compete in price range with, sayyyyy ... the Nexus 4 maybe?  MMMMnoooo. iApple wants to charge you for this plastic abomination  ... the same price they charge you now for a regular iPhone5 ( or more than you would get a Galaxy S4). No kidding! For a year old phone they deem "budget". You'd have to be a "real fan" of such a contraption, (or a total imbecile, if you ask me) to pass all the other great phones in the same price range out there, or even the existing iPhone 5, and say ... NO .. I want this plastic piece of crap! I mean I would rather pony up the extra $100  and get the 5s if I am an iApple iAddict and I must have their iToys.
But of course, because of the world is the way it is, there will be sufficient ... individuals, shall we say, out there who think : "oooo puuuurdy colors" and it's made by iApple so it must be worth it, and the phone will sell in millions, just because I said it's crap :)

There you have it, in a nutshell : the 5s is beautiful but if you already have the 5, the fingerprint thing is not worth the price you'd have to pay (unless you really have nothing better to do with the money)  while the 5c is catered to dumb teens, Las Vegas escorts and those of us with very little sense at all. 

And the answer to the original question :Is it still an iWorld after all? IApple is losing touch with their own iWorld.
But that is just me.

Until later, toddles.

P.S. .. if you are an Apple fan and you found my blog offensive: why are you here in the first place?

Battle of the tablets

The NHL and NHLPA keep playing their stupid game of running around their own tails on this CBA thing so there's no NHL hockey to "blog" about. I could talk about the Euro leagues and how the NHL guys are doing there but I only saw a handful of them in some KHL games so there isn't much to say about that. I could try to talk about the Bulls but with only two games and some highlights watched, there really isn't much to say other than hockey is great no matter at what level it's played.

So here I am itching to type some junk for .. somebody... to read and since I am a techie of sorts... tech it is. More precisely: tablets. The touch screen kind not the Moses kind. I find those quite restrictive
and extremely hypocritical.

When you say tablet most people hear iPad .. cause they have been conditioned to do so by peer imbecility and media ignorance. To most non-techie types, the iPad was the first ever tablet, invented by none other than Messiah himself, Steve Jobs. And of course, they are all wrong. About everything. not only the concept of a tablet long predates Jobs , the actual tablet as a computing device with touch screen and the whole shebang predates the iPad. And it's all documented on the web but, apparently, most of Apple cult followers are not allowed, by an unspoken rule in the cult, to question anything coming out of 1 Infinite Loop, therefore they are banned from looking up "tablet" on, or or But I digress. People, in general , are not particularly intelligent and are content to follow their deity to whatever end it may be thrown at them. It is thanks to those who question everything and abide by no rule , kinda like me, but much much smarter, and probably better looking, to evolve this wretched human race, prone to stupidity , ignorance and ... well you get the idea.

Back to tablets. Despite the early efforts made by various visionaries, including the efforts by , at the time, biggest tech giant of them all, M$oft, the tablet did not really catch. until the iPad came along. And since it did, it dominated the tablet space. Despite it's drawbacks ... and incredibly steep price. And it is easy to see why: competition. Or lack-thereof. Sure there were some Windows tablets out there ( bulky, heavy, power hungry and running an OS designed for desktops) and very quickly Android tablets popped up everywhere but they were not that great either. The OS wasn't appealing because it was geared towards smaller devices ( phones), the designs were shoddy and flimsy, some manufacturers shoved underwhelming hardware in their creations and then there was the price. 
For whatever reason most tablet makers decided to go head to head with Apple on price. That never made any sense whatsoever. Apple was the king of tablets. Their tablet was slick and sexy and people were already brainwashed and re-programmed to waste their money on anything with an Apple logo on it. You don't fight that with inferior products at similar prices.
This went on for a couple of years. Then ... the "Fire" happened, then the "Nook" ... suddenly manufacturers started paying attention ... you do not beat the monster by taking on his best cannon .. you start by eroding the ground he stands on . Small, cheap and cheerful was ALWAYS the way to go .. and they are doing it now. Google launched the Nexus 7 to great acclaim and impressive sales numbers. But the iPad stood alone in the "10-ish" inch segment . Galaxy tab 10.1 was a valiant effort by Samsung but it was still too pricey , not powerful enough to keep up with the new iPad and Android , while giving you a lot more power over your hardware than iOS ever will, still isn't as polished as it should be after all this time .. and then ..
then ...
within a few days Microsoft and Google delivered a double punch to the aluminum , pretentious, arrogant and incredibly annoying gut of the iPad. The Surface and the Nexus 10. Two very different devices, yet both share one common ground: they both make the iPad look like yesterday's thing.
I had the chance to play with both, albeit briefly, and I want them both. For different reasons.
I am not going to bore you with detailed technical "reviews" I am just going to tell you why I like each device and why I would pick either over the iPad. Even the "new" one.
Surface: beautiful , solid, smart. As in designed with the future in mind. Not just the tablet (beautifully crafted, feels strong and sturdy, that kickstand is just unbelievably useful and begs the question, how come the "inventors" of all things, Apple, never thought of it?) , but the OS... Windows RT is a weird beast. Initially everything seems weird , unnatural and straight out ridiculous at times. Until you get it. When you understand it's gesture logic, where to touch, swipe, pinch , etc, in order to do what you want, you'll start thinking .. "it's so obvious .. how come nobody thought about it before"? There are many things I liked about the Surface and Windows RT and some thing I really disliked but the idea is, throughout the whole surface experience I couldn't stop thinking "simplicity and effectiveness. Most things are simple, sometimes too .. featureless ( like the "Mail" app for example). But.. it works. It all works .. in a weird way. there were no quirks bad enough to get me frustrated, everything I wanted was there. Multitasking is pretty seamless, and FAR superior to iPad's iOS. But the biggest strength: productivity. First of all, you get a full fledged Office Home on the Surface. That combined with the excellent cover/keyboard means , you can do most of your emailing, documenting, power-pointing, twittering  and facebooking  almost as good as you can do it from a laptop/desktop but without the extra poundage and bulk. Most tablets ( including the iPad) are geared exclusively for content consumption .. the Surface is the first tablet ever to take a serious shot at giving us measurable productivity features. Now spec-wise is not the top device on the market right not and price-wise it is not as friendly as we'd like .. but given that it does pretty much everything the iPad or any other tablet does .. and then some.. it is worth your money ..if you are not the kind that prays to apples in the evening.

An there there was the 10 .. Nexus 10 that is. In the eyes of many, the game-changer we were waiting for. Not as pretty as the iPad, maybe the build quality is not as great either ( although Samsung devices, despite feeling and looking flimsy , usually turn out to be quite resilient to abuse) but , boy what a toy that is. I still disagree with Google's obsession to leave out microSD ports but I understand they want to sell their expensive larger storage devices , but other than that I really didn't find much fault in the short time I had with the "10".
Unlike the Surface, the "10"  is aimed mainly at content consumption but that doesn't mean it can't be productive, it's just not as good at it as the Surface. But boy, as a content swallower .. what a beast it is. Wonderful display with pretty much the highest resolution available on mobile devices (Retina Display.. go take a hike), Very powerful processor, plenty of RAM, it was always zipping along on any task I gave it and did not really stumble even with a few proc intensive tasks. Now sure if you open enough demanding apps you will kill it but I can do that to anything with a processor .. or a few. Android is still lacking in some areas regarding performance and polish BUT you have the power of customization  .. and that should mean a lot.
Almost everything on this device, despite the design of the shape ( clearly done so that Apple doesn't have much to cry about) is done to be better than the iPad. the screen certainly is, the processor is up to par on most tests, it does fall a little behind in single threaded stuff but when multi-threading is involved it blows anything out of the water, the OS does have feature still lacking from the iOS .. .. clearly the "10" is built with the future in mind. For the first time there is a tablet out there that will not be obsolete in 6 months.
And then .. there is the price.
A similar spec iPad is a good $100 more than what Nexus 10 goes for. To make matters worse, you'll pay only $70 more than the diminutive iPad mini ... and if 7 inch is your cup of tea then you're better off with the revamped Nexus 7 anyway.
$399 ... for a 10 inch "top of the line" tablet.
So there you have it ... if you are looking for a tablet that doesn't have an Apple on it.. or , in other words, you want something better, one of these two is what you should look at. If browsing, reading , movie watching is your thing .. most likely the "10" is what you want. If you'd like to get some work done WHILE you're facebooking .. then the Surface will not disappoint (but it will take you some time to get used to it).
Sure, there is the third option to ignore everything I blurted here and go sell your soul to the fruity guys .. and that is fine with me .. as long as you take me off your friend's list :)