Friday, 21 October 2011

Overclocking your TouchPad (Plus Patches)


Before Overclocking, go to http://www.webkit.org/perf/sunspider/sunspider.html on your TouchPad to see your current Benchmark score and then test it again after following this guide. Depending on your Wi-Fi connection and where you have your TouchPad in relation to distance from your router when you run the Benchmark test will make a difference in your score.  However, the before using this guide and after you should see a significant result.  Post the result before and after in the comments!

For those of you who read my TouchPad review, found here, you will see the video I made highlighting the difference in browser speeds between the TouchPad and the iPad 2.  There simply is no comparison as the iPad 2 is faster in almost every regard.  However, at the time I made the video, I had not yet immersed myself in all things TouchPad and got to know the world of 'rooting' and patches afterwards.  Essentially it is like Jailbreaking, but only not, I could explain this, but in the end the goal remains just the same, to get the TouchPad up to speed.  So, a great resource to get started is installing TouchPlayer for the TouchPad, my guide is found here, by doing that, you will have everything required to install the patches to increase the speed of your TouchPad significantly, keep in mind, this is not overclocking, (that's the second part below) these patches are designed to increase the speed and improve the 'touch' and 'feel' of the TouchPad.  I would recommend going through all the links and sources before getting into it, not because it is difficult to do, but rather, so you have a understanding of what each one does and the risk involved as somethings (such as overclocking) will void your warranty, so as always, proceed at your own risk.  However, if you are willing to accept that risk, begin by installing TouchPlayer, using my guide linked above, once completed, we'll go into the next step.

Now that you have WebOS Quick Install open, ensure that you have a program called, 'Preware' installed, if you have done this successfully, go to the up arrow on your TouchPad and go to the downloads section and click on Preware then 'Availible Packages' then 'Patch' and then 'All.'   Now the recommended patches that the 'Patch' community recommends are as follows,

* Make It So (of course, you need this patch)
* Muffle System Logging
* Remove Dropped Packet Logging
* Unset CFQ IO Scheduler
* Unthrottle Download Manager
* Quiet powerd Messages
* Faster Card Animations HYPER Version
* Increase Touch Sensitivity And Smoothness 10 (this is the 10px version)

I only installed these ones and yes, after each one I did the requested Luna restart.  (It will prompt you after you have installed each one)  I've noticed a great increase in speed when loading the browser 'card' and the 'jitteryness' that comes when scrolling up and down has almost disappeared. So I am very happy with all these patches and recommend them.

Source here and here

Now to get into 'overclocking' everything is pretty much a few more touches away.  Go back into 'Preware' then 'Available Packages' and then 'Kernel' from there, click and install 'UberKernel (TouchPad)' and reboot.  Next download 'Govnah' by going into 'Preware' and clicking on the 'List of Everything' its just a few scrolls down.  After everything is installed, open 'Govnah' and select the 'OnDemandTcl 1512' profile.  Congratulations, you have now 'overclocked' your Touchpad to 1.5Ghz.

End Result from Just Overclocking



Source hereherehere, and of course here!

It really is that simple once you have WebOS Quick Install and Preware installed.

And yes, that was my pathetic attempt at merging two graphics together using paint for the featured image.  It's okay, have a good laugh at my expense.

Apple vs Samsung, Samsung vs Apple.


Its spy vs spy all over again.  Apple sues Samsung, Samsung sues Apple.  Where will it stop?  To make matters worse, Samsung actually supplied Apple with components for the iPad and the iPhone.

Now that I think about it, Samsung is exactly where Apple was in 2004.  Not in terms of product or pricing, but rather in brand recognition.  Everyone holds Apple to the Gold standard and it takes time to get there.  Most companies start off with a lump of coal and after a lot of hard work and criticism maybe get to the bronze level. (if you follow my analogy) By then, the next generation of gadgets are out and those companies are left with an inferior product with little or no user base.  Apple starts at the bronze level and with some work has a product that a few weeks after launch (give or take) is the envy of all and then just takes that knowledge to the next product. (or generation)  What I did not recognize is that Samsung is doing the same, the Samsung Galaxy 2 was a great improvement over the 1 and I am looking forward to the improvements the Nexus HD will have coming this October/November.  Samsung is starting at the bronze level with each new product, which puts them ahead of everyone except Apple at this point. (See HP's TouchPad to understand where I am coming from)

I will admit that I haven't had an opportunity to try out the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and I feel that it is a critical omission from my arsenal of tablet reviews.  I can say as an iPhone user that when I went over to the Nexus S, I was pleasantly surprised at how far along Android has come on Samsung's platforms and found the switch easier then I thought it would be.  Being able to use flash even with a battery that drains 30% faster is fine by me, especially since there are a few things (not porn, okay maybe just a little) that can't be done without flash.  Having flash support is nice and the fact that Samsung is supporting everything (file formats, drag and drop) may just be what will take Samsung to the next level!  Could you imagine if they started to tie in all their products (T.V, Phone, Tablet) via a Samsung T.V (like the Apple T.V) or integrated with their own next generation Smart T.V's?!?

Before I get too far off topic, my whole point is that with both Apple and Samsung suing each other over patents and whatever else, it will only be consumers who lose, and to be fair, it looks like Apple is worried, we all know Apple has a '6th sense'  when it comes to identifying new trends or technology, could they have possibly realized that Samsung is their one and true competitor?  Normally I wouldn't put too much faith or stock in conspiracy theories, especially my own, but this is one time I think I may be on to something.  The great thing is, time will tell.

TouchPad Knowledge!


PreCentral is a great place to get some knowledge on your TouchPad, however, for the non super technically savvy, it can be a bit of a challenge to understand what's what.  (So that's why I have this blog, Yes I know, shameless plug)  I was searching for a great resource in order to assist people with HP Touchpad's on what is out there, but also, just because it is out there, doesn't mean go out and get it as there are implications that you must be aware of.  (Losing kernals, disabling of certain features, not being able to overclock)  So, without creating a new blog for every minor thing that comes out, but being able to link to a resource that gives full disclosure is an important thing to have and I can't believe while searching for this I kept missing a place I was visiting on a regular basis.  Reddit!

Now for those of you who don't know Reddit, I warn you, this place can be very addicting, so I take no responsibility if you become addicted to other things while learning about your Touchpad.  So without further delay, I give you the link!

iPhone 4s Lineup MADNESS!!!!! Live blog from Mississauga Square One. Now completed!


Even though I'm not completely sold on the iPhone 4s, and if there was only one thing I was allowed to love about Apple, it would be Launch day lineups!  I've been lucky enough to be at the very top of a few lineups (for the iPad and other things silly) and I love the comments and reactions that I get.  (WHAT YOU'VE BEEN HERE FOR 48 HOURS?!?)

So much so, that I have decided to line up for the iPhone 4s and bring the experience to those who aren't lucky enough to go out and line up for themselves.  Along with having a child, buying your first home, car, and getting married, standing in line and forking over your hard earned money for the newest Apple device are all experiences you should have in your life time! (really, no sarcasm here and I don't judge, you can do it in whatever order you like!)

So follow my blog here starting tomorrow at 3pm EST and I will have pictures and video's up all the way to 8am on Friday!

For those of you who will be out there, here are some tips;

1. Find a great location such as a mall with other people who will be lining up and to watch your back, the earlier you line up the better your chances of scoring the prize!

2. Don't carry your cash overnight, if you are using your credit card, you are fine, but if you are using cash, wait until the mall or store opens when security, people, and media are abundant, because at night many things can happen.

3. If you have to wait over night dress accordingly based on the weather reports in your area and if you don't have a car, bring extra warmth if you will be spending the night, even 10 degrees with a little rain will have you feeling unwell in no time.  Also, malls close between 2am and 6am (most) so expect to spend at least that much time outside!

4. Food and drinks are your choice, but I always leave a cooler in my car and of course someone will always do a coffee run!

5. Lawn Chairs, I don't need to say more.

Good luck! Let me know how it goes!

If you get a chance, throw some of your tips in the comments and lets help each other out!
Its Thursday!

10am: Getting ready for a fun and exciting day!  Contacted all my friends who are going with me and we are excited!  Just going to have a nice breakfast and then get all my supplies together!  Should be in line about

1:30pm today!  Wish me luck!

11am: Just showered and shaved, it's going to be a long day (and night) might as well be as clean as I can before I go!  I'll have my first pictures up by 2pm too I think!  So far so good, all my friends are on board and we have gathered all our supplies! (drinks, chips, etc)  Almost ready to go, will call the apple store once before leaving, so I don't be the first kid in line! LOL!

Format Change!

20 Hours till Launch: I'm about to leave for the store, I don't know if anyone is line yet, but the the queue to call the Apple store is currently at 8!

15 Hours till launch: still no one here with me. Thinking of buying a volleyball, naming it Wilson and telling it all my stories...

Side: Its kind of ominous to start off, but with the tribute to Steve Jobs and no one here, it is kind of somber, I know the mood will change, but it gives me a chance to reflect on those I love and lost, not the best thought to be thinking, but it does strike you when you see how they have arranged it.


13 hours to go! There are about 14 of us here. We are all excited and looking forward to a wet night

12 hours to go: Our line up is growing exponentially! We are up to about 30 people and just heard that Eaton center is up to about 50. Head of the Apple store and Mall security came out and shook my hand to congratulate me, never felt so special! Originally I was planning to post pictures and videos as I blogged but I don't think that will be feasible right now due to bandwidth and battery concerns. (long way to go still) It's totally awesome how many Apple employees are coming out after their shifts and hanging out with us. Looking for some dinner right now before the mall closes. Will check back in about an hour.

10 hours to go: We're up to about 90 and it's gotten kind of chilly, but there is a warm feeling inside (just kidding)I am not that sappy) everyone is laughing and sharing stories, there is the hater here and there, driving by in his rice mobile shouting profanities, but whatever, water off our backs. Funniest things so far,

Random guy walking by: Blackberry!
Me: When it works maybe!
50 people: lol @ him
Random guy walking by: puts head down and leaves...

Totally awesome!

Side: Just some random pics from the time frame



Side: A guy from photoscanning.ca came by and hooked us up with some pizza and coffee, some great viral marketing at work there, I didn't get a good picture of him, but I did get a picture of the bounty! Thanks for the snack! Many people enjoyed it!


6 hours to go: Just spent 1 hour reorganizing the line. Still raining on us intermittently and people crowding under the shelter. The 3 rain drops terrified this crowd! Everyone ran for cover and the line is all a mess!


3 hours to go: Realized that the crowd is increasing exponentially and we won't be able to keep up the list, made a judgement call and told everyone to get back in their spots in line, and the list would be stopped all newcomers to the back of the line.

2 hours to go: OH NO! People don't know how to count, things are about to get horrible! Because we all gathered under the shelter for rain, people are claiming they were there at random times!  Fortunately, we have a list and I actually walk and count 250 people into their line spots. Took me an hour and the Apple employees are impressed by my skills! My faith in humanity is restored, some people ceded their spots to others who were complaining, it meant a difference of 1 spot or two spots but they understood the bind that I was in, and did this on their own.  To those unspoken hero's, THANK YOU!


30 mins to go. Its been a great night. Being at the front of the line has presented challenges I never knew I was responsible for. I will elaborate more when I get home with my bounty. Just really excited that in under an hour I will have my hands on one.
Side: The Apple Team gets their first look at the iPhone 4s


SCORE! I have my iPhone 4GS! First in and first out, what an amazing day and fantastic experience. Apple and Square One Mississauga are always a class act!

As always, there are those who wonder why so many line up with the ability to order online or waiting just a few days and being able to walk in and just picking it up.  My answer is, I don't always line up, but when I do, I have a great time.  The people I meet, the friendships I forge, and the fact that I have the time to do so are all part of the reason why.  When someone asks, where are all the good people in the world, all you have to do is come visit an Apple Line up and realize that they still do exist. Of course there are always exceptions, but on this night there weren't any, and for that alone, it was worth going down and spending 20 hours in line.  Oh, and for the phone too of course!  For those in line with me, thanks for the great experience and I hope you all the best and hopefully we'll run into each other again, even if its in the iPhone 5 or iPad 3 line up!

Apple to Use Reservation System


I decided to take a stroll over to my nearest Apple store only to find everyone vacating the premises, short of a fire I knew that this could only mean, RESERVATION SYSTEM!

Basically you have to go log on to the Apple Website by 9pm (will confirm) reserve your color and size, the location you wish to pick up at and then stroll in the next day and pick up your phone.  Without the reservation you will not be able to get one for that day.

Here you go for the Canadian Reservation system.

As of right now, all Apple Stores are still sold out of iPhone 4s's.  If you want a locked one to your carrier, just visit your local store, they still may have a few of those.  (Just ask for Kryptonite, because for whatever reason, locked phones are being treated as such)

Updated October 17th 11:29pm: As quickly as the reservation system went up, it went down twice as fast.  Its being reported that a very small stock trickled in and it was gone in seconds.  Take that for what its worth, but for a Day 1 restock, it left much to be desired...

Apple T.V 2 Upgraded to version 4.4


I know everyone who runs the Jail Break on Apple T.V 2 is wondering how to get the wonderful features that are included in version 4.4 and have it Jail broken.  Right now, as of this writing,you can't have your cake and eat it too!  So if you want to use 4.4 you will lose all the current goodies that you have installed.   Never fear, the team that works on Jail breaking the Apple T.V 2 are hard at work and it will be out sooner then later I am sure!
So the question is, what is more important?  A Jail broken ATV2 or the new features in the firmware update?  I know I won't ever update until the new Jail break is out!
Here's a great place to keep up to date on what's going on!  I'll have a guide up once everything is up and running!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

IPAD 2 JAILBREAK… IT’S GETTING CLOSER TO SHOWTIME! (OR NOT)

I’ve seen a few sources (namely Comex) http://twitter.com/#!/comex and it seems someone has leaked an older bugged version of his JailBreakme 3.0.  It was available for awhile before it was taken down, but as you can see on his twitter account, he wasn’t too happy about someone doing that and putting him on a timeline.  With all things involving JailBreaks, its best not to agitate the developers and let them work on their own schedule, unless of course if you think you can do it yourself.
According to those who did use it, it successfully JailBroke their iPad 2′s.  But aside from that, there is nothing you can do with it.  As Comex is not supporting this version, the best thing to do is just wait until an official version is out.  Everyone got excited, but relax take a deep breathe and give it a little more time!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

ICE FILMS BACK UP!

So you went to your favorite T.V show this morning clicked on the letter, then the T.V show, then the episode, and then nothing…  Oops.  Long story short an update that is mandatory (1.0.9) is out so go to XBMC then System / Add-ons / Available updates / Video Add-ons and choose IceFilms Update!
You should be up and running!
Thanks to the community for working around the clock to get this fix out, I know it was a challenge and it isn’t said enough but we appreciate your efforts!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

iMESSAGE: JUST ANOTHER REASON TO LEAVE YOUR BLACKBERRY BEHIND…

As I watched my brother co-ordinate an outing with some friends a few months ago it dawned on me how important a native messenger app really is.  I ask him why he went from his N92 over to a Blackberry and he tells me simple, “Because all my friends and co-workers have it.”  As that trend changed and more and more people are on iPhone and Android devices, multiplatform messenger devices sprung up, but none had the success and outreach as BBM.  Simple things such as knowing that the other party has read your message kept a Blackberry in the hands of many people in the corporate and cultural world.  In fact I know a few people who have a Blackberry and an iPhone and all they use their Blackberry for is BBM.
So how important does something like iMessage become to Apple?  Many are pointing to it as the Blackberry killer.  If people in your circle have already flocked to Apple and those left on your BBM list also begin to leave, why would you stay behind?  I have owned a Blackberry as recently as 6 months ago, to my dismay I was still unable to properly surf the web or even watch a YouTube video regularly (and yes this was due to the Blackberry).  I admit I liked the idea behind BBM and had added plenty of friends and was getting used to the BBM culture but my need for mobile distraction away from home was paramount over ‘instant messaging’.  Now Apple is giving me that missing link and I have to wonder, how long before we start talking about BBM as a fad from yesterday? Sadly, and I say this as a proud Canadian who believes in supporting Canadian Businesses, I think it will be sooner rather then later.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

HOW TO JAILBREAK, INSTALL NITOTV, XMBC AND ICEFILMS TO YOUR APPLE T.V 2

(skip to 4th paragraph to start JB)

I was completely underwhelmed with my purchase of an Apple T.V 2.  Shortly after picking up my iPad 2, I thought that I would be able to use AirPlay on a bunch of apps and view them on my HDTV.  Aside from a few select apps this is not possible! In fact all you need to do is purchase the $45 HDMI adaptor for mirroring (everything you do is put up on the big screen) that they sell, it is wired and you don’t need the Apple T.V for that.  I realize that in future updates to the iOS they may enable it so that every app can use AirPlay but until then my Apple TV 2 is useless.  I have a PS3, Xbox 360, and a WDTV, at $119.99 Canadian and $99.99 U.S for the ATV2 it is not what I consider to be a good buy especially with those other media devices!  That is until I discovered something known as JailBreak. I have Jail Broken my original iPhone, and almost everyone with an iPhone has at least heard of something called Cydia, but for those who Jail Broke the first iPhone know that it was a much more involved process that was risky.  I’m not saying that Jail Breaking the ATV2 is risky, but it’s not risk free either.  I’m not a computer programmer, but do consider my self tech savvy and thought I could add my take on how to go about Jail Breaking the ATV2. I decided to do some research on it and here’s what I found on the ATV2 and JB.

     The ATV2 has an HDMI output only, granted this means only newer generation TV’s can support it, this shouldn’t be a huge factor as many people have this technology now, but something to know just in case. It supports 720P playback but trying to play that file wirelessly from your media server is next to impossible.  Playing YouTube videos and viewing your pictures is essentially all it does.   Here’s where JailBreaking comes in.  By JailBreaking you can begin installing third party apps that allow you to do many more things with your ATV2.  For my purposes I’m going to outline how to get from Jailbreak, to installing Nito, XBMC and then IceFilms.  After that you can search for some other cool third party apps to install, but at least with this you can have literally thousands of hours of T.V and movies to watch.

     You need to have a micro USB cable for this to work.  If you have either a BlackBerry, Nokia, or most Android phones then you already have this cable.  The USB power cord that comes with most models it is the wire you require, just take it apart.  You’ll know instantly if it is the correct one.  (The other ones don’t come apart, lol) There are different types of Jail Break’s available, but only one that is capable of JB the newest version of 4.2.1, its called “Seas0nPass.”

I was going to create my own video, but there are enough video’s out there that I just decided to use them along with some of my own.  I will try to help you to fill in the blanks as I believe there are some important instructions left out.

Do not plug in your ATV2 until instructed!

JailBreaking

Download “SeasOnPass” here

AT Step 4 in the Youtube video below when it will ask you to put your ATV2 in DFU mode, without the power cord, plug the ATV2 to your PC with the Micro USB, now holding both PLAY/PAUSE buttons for approx. 7 seconds and then let go.  You should be in DFU mode.  I have JB a few ATV2’s, one time I was unable to get my ATV2 into DFU mode, searching the internet, a trick I learned was to plug in the power cord and power the unit with the micro USB plugged in to the PC and the ATV2, then unplug the power cord only and hold the Play/Pause buttons and it will enter DFU mode.  Remember this is only required if the standard method is not working for you.

AT Step 5 when iTunes opens you have to hold the Shift key and then click restore, then click on the file that was created by SeasonPass, it should be called something like this, "AppleTV2,1_SP_restore" or something similar.


Once completed your ATV2 is now JailBroken and you are now 1/4 of the way done.

Installing NitoTV

Connect your ATV2 to your T.V and turn it on now.

Download "Putty" here

To find your I.P address, connect your ATV2 to your T.V and turn it on, go to Settings, then General, and then About, your I.P address should be listed there.

Start Putty!


In case you are having trouble following here is the commands he is typing out for you, you can copy and paste them one by one, but say yes to any prompts that come up!

Important Information:  Login: Root / Password: alpine


echo "deb http: //atp.awkwardtv.org ./"> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/awkwardtv.list
apt-get update
apt-get install com.nito.nitoTV
killall Lowtide

Congrats, you are 2/4 of the way done!

Installing XBMC


You have to wait until it is completed of course, I just skipped the final step because I already had it done!

Congrats, you are 3/4 of the way done!

Installing IceFilms

Now go here and complete Step 1, you have already done step 2 and most of Step 3.

Download WinSCP here.

Start WinSCP and put in your I.P address with the Username: root and Password: alpine

Click on Login and then Yes and a window like this will open. The left screen is your P.C and the right is the directory folder of your ATV2
You have to place the file you downloaded called repository.googlecode.anarchintosh-projects from your P.C (keep it zipped) into a folder called the " /private/var/mobile/Media"  on your ATV2.

Now, start XBMC, and follow my video,


     From there you should go to Add-ons, then click Get Add ON then click Anarchintosh Addons then click Video Add Ons then click Ice Films.  This should begin the install.  Once completed, go all the way out to where 'system' was and instead scroll up to go to Videos then click on Video Add-ons then click on IceFilms.
     You will have to download 'the pictures' folder (automatically prompts you) and you should be good to go, feel free to rate and if you need assistance comment and I'll try my best to help you!

Updated for corrections June 19th, 2011:  Sorry for some confusion, there were a few errors I made in the install process that I discovered while JB an APTV2 with a friend.  This new version is tested and proven.

Friday, 17 June 2011

RIM TO ANNOUNCE LAYOFFS, STOCK TAKING A BEATING!

Was there a need for Blackberry to make a Tablet?  Lets be honest here, the BlackBerry Playbook is a competent device, to avoid an argument from the ‘fanboi’s’ I’m going to say there are things the Playbook can do that the iPad 2 can’t and vice versa.  So let’s compare Apples to Apples and Oranges to Oranges.  Up against the Xoom and the Honeycomb O.S the Playbook doesn’t really have anything extra to offer.  I won’t even mention Apps, both the Xoom and the iPad 2 were out before the Playbook so it couldn’t even boast being first in the market which in turn would have boosted its sales.  What should we expect next, a Blackberry Mp3 player or a Blackberry T.V?  Research In Motion wants to believe their customers have bought into their culture the same way Apple users have but we know that simply isn’t the case. It takes more then just BBM to have a culture, just ask Google, they know the market is fickle and you’re only as good as the perception of your last product…

     Which is why RIM is announcing layoffs, of course when your CEO’s vision fails to meet even basic expectations, it’s the working man (and woman) who faces the consequences.  As of this writing RIM shares are taking a beating, ($28.13), it’s probably time for those who know how to trade to buy shares or to start making a move on their positions, but at what point does and how long can a company like Google or Apple stay away from buying out RIM not just for its mobile users but for its corporate enterprise software and for the highly touted QNX O.S that we keep hearing about?  I don’t want to say it is the beginning of the end for RIM because realistically iMessage was that beginning and this is the most likely the ‘middle of the end.’ 
  
     Not all of RIM’s issues are due to its tablet, in fact, its more likely due to the acceptance that they will not meet their revenues from the previous year and that going forward stiff competition from Google and Apple (Galaxy Tab 10.1, iPhone 5 etc.) will only further degrade revenue streams for RIM, whether or not layoffs and any potential restructuring will save shareholder value will be the concern going forward.  What RIM should have learned from Samsung is that it’s okay to copy and get sued, as ‘plagiarism is the sincerest form of imitation’ especially when the product you can copy is an outright success.  So why bother creating something that is untested and unproven in a smaller form factor when those before you have failed to obtain any significant market share (see other 7” tablets) and when the winning formula is there for you to copy.  Oh, I know many of you won’t like that argument, but I say welcome to the real world, where you can’t reinvent the wheel and when you try to innovate something that someone else created 3 months ago and it takes you a year to get it to market and then they release a better version of it before you, this happens.  Funny how real life works.


Friday, 10 June 2011

REAL RACING 2 HD: WIRELESS FULL SCREEN GAMING OVER AIRPLAY!

Gentleman, start your engines!  I’m sure we all know what that relates to, but in the future, it could have a new meaning if you have an Apple T.V 2.  A company called Firemint has developed the first game that you can play from your iPad 2 then using Airplay connect with your ATV2.  Oh, but it gets better, the content is not a mirror, what you see on T.V and what displays on your iPad 2 will be different.  In the case of this game, Real Racing 2 HD real-time racing telemetry is displayed on the iPad 2 and true 1080p content is displayed on your T.V.  Simply put, that’s awesome.
You can pick this game up right now and play it for $9.99 and it works with the T.V-out feature, but I would wait for a sale as iOS 5 isn’t slated to be out until later in the year.  I’ll have a post or two up about some of the other updates, additions, and changes of note in iOS 5, but realistically this is going to be a hard one to top.  I can’t wait for other App developers to get in on this, imagine playing Angry Birds via Airplay on  your big screen, all your friends will be jealous!

Friday, 3 June 2011

THE DEATH OF FLASH…OR IS IT?

What happens when you put someone who is technically savvy but not media savvy at the helm of a company… This. 
Now if you listen to the Apple camp, it’s the death march for Flash.  I have a different take on it.  Apple has basically designed their devices so that everyone who accesses it through their devices has a great and easy to use experience.  They may isolate some parts of the internet, but to the average user they will never notice. Google and its fans want everyone to have access to everything.  This sometimes causes compatibility issues and crashes.  Now it is easy to sit back and argue that within the confines of the mobile apparatus that it would be more efficient to have a device that works on demand and loads pages quickly and uses battery power efficiently but, and I’ll highlight that ‘but’ for emphasis, the onus should be on battery makers to develop more slim and powerful batteries and website developers to develop great content that loads quickly and easily.  I’m not talking mobile versions of browsers either, that in my opinion was like putting duck tape on a bullet wound.  I think the public wants smart phones that live up to their moniker and will give them access to the internet in whole.
If you’ve read my other blogs, I think I don’t have to defend my position on Apple.  I love their products and so do the people in my household.  What will come as a surprise is that I will defend Google today too.  Mark it on your calendar, 03/06/11!
Steve Jobs talks about his position on html as an ascending technology while Flash (he implies) is a descending technology.  In reality it’s about control, anyone who has ever read an Email from Jobs or heard about his legendary arrogance will know what I am talking about.  Its served Apple and its shareholders well to this point, so how do you argue with a man that 99/100 of his ideas are fantastic and that he is wrong about that 1.  The answer is you can’t!
Here’s where I think he’s wrong, according to Apple, the future is in Apps.  What happens if someone creates live T.V on the internet and it uses flash?  It makes sense that if I have a device like an iPad that if live T.V were available and I was somewhere where I didn’t have access to a T.V that I should be able to watch in on my iPad.  That’s the true direction of live T.V and mobile devices.  Here’s where this came to me.  I was stuck, well that’s not fair, we’ll say attending a wedding last Monday.  I have been known to put a buck or two on sporting events.  Having my Google phone, I quickly searched, “Watch NBA live”, I clicked on the first link and bam I was watching the Mavericks and Thunder playing live instantly.  I had a few people around me and they were all amazed that I could do this.  Someone with an iPhone tried and failed, and at that instant, I had made an Apple user feel inadequate.  I hope I didn’t distort his perception of reality and that he will be fine, but I think the writing was on the wall for the poor guy. (Just kidding, I’m sure he will be fine, it was an open bar after all.)  I’m sure you have all heard the jokes out there, that if Apple made Cars…if not, then here you go…
I’ve heard the technical reasons why Apple doesn’t use Flash I’ve heard the practical reasons why Apple doesn’t use flash but while I was doing a Wiki search on Shantanu Narayen it lists him starting his career at Apple and then moving on to pioneer the concept of digital photography with Pictra Inc. until he becomes CEO at Adobe. I think him being an former employee of Apple has more to do with Flash not being on iDevices then anything else, if you catch my drift.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

STOLEN MACBOOK “THIS GUY HAS MY MACBOOK”

Another one bites the dust!  A thief (allegedly) stole some poor guys MacBook!  What the thief didn’t know is this guy installed a security software for Mac’s that allows him to see what someone is doing on his computer and take pictures via the webcam!  You can see/read the hilarity here.
I love that they apprehended the culprit and the feel good story of getting ones device back.  It is better then beating an innocent man up or the thief getting away.  What is interesting to note in every case such as this is that the police initially don’t seem to care.  I know they have other more serious crimes to solve but it seems like that doesn’t bother them when handing out a speeding, jaywalking, or loitering ticket. Having a picture and the company of where the suspect works isn’t good enough for them.  In fact they have to wait until something goes viral and millions of people get involved before they go out and arrest the thief.  Now I am sure this thief is not a criminal mastermind and in fact looks like a hard working cabbie (oxymoron?) but if that was your MacBook or property I am sure you would want it back.  The thief will most likely lose his job and be faced with a criminal record and I know there will be some bleeding hearts out there for him.  Truth is he stole the MacBook from the guy’s apartment and deserves everything he gets!
My only concern is that with so much publicity that the average thief will begin reformatting or restricting access to internet connections and removing the software.  But to those below average ones we have great stories like this to share with the rest of our friends and families and have a good laugh.  Because in the end, that’s what this was all about!  (and getting a MacBook back…)

Friday, 27 May 2011

My Top 10 Free App List

Everyone has an Apps list, so I thought why not make my own.  Realistically, you should be checking the App store daily for freebies that exist only for a couple days.  It is a great way to save money and potentially get an app that will help you kill hours of time when you need it the most!  For the purposes of my list, I will only be recommending free apps right now, so without further delay, here’s my list!

10. At number 10 I’m going to clump a bunch of random game apps that you can spend only about 10 minutes or less playing before you have had enough, they are good, but not great and for free they are totally worth it. They are in no particular order,

CanKnockdown
NinJumpHD
Overkill
TrafficRush
GF All-Stars
Bowmaster HD
GemsSwapHD
Warship
GoGoGadget
NBA Jam Lite
Frisbee
Falling Fred
FlickFootball
Little Ninja
Lanesplitter
TaxiGoneCrazy

9. At number 9 ‘Simply Find It’ may be another game you won’t spend more then 10 minutes playing, but for some reason finding yourself coming back to more often then the rest.  Everyone one knows this game, you have 2 pictures and they have subtlety changed 3 things and it is your job to find it in 45 seconds!  It is an awesome game to play with a spouse or the kids.

8. ‘Vevo HD’ is a great resource to watch your favourite music videos. I especially like the ability to choose genre’s and be exposed to music I might not otherwise have given a chance. Unfortunately, you can’t multitask with this app, if you hit the home button the music will not continue playing, but the whole point is the watch the music video.

7.  ‘HD Wallpapers’ allows you to select from hundreds of high quality backgrounds for your home and lock screens.  I like to change my backgrounds often and this way I don’t have to spend hours looking for one. Instead I’ll spend hours looking through them.

6.  ‘GarageIncHD’ is an awesome game where you are a mechanic and you have to hire other mechanics to perform specialized tasks.  It will put your ability to multitask to the test and there is a nice story line here that involves a cousin and the mob.  This game was free when I picked it up, and hopefully it still is or one day will be again.

5.   ‘Tap The Frog’ is another one of those great game apps that you will spend plenty of time playing and then just as about the same amount of time wondering how you spend so much time on such a simple app.  The object in this game is to complete the task in front of you in record time.  I found it quite addicting and so did everyone I showed the game too.  Great game to play with the kids or some super competitive friends!

4.  ‘Flipboard’ is an app that I appreciate because I don’t like to spend too much time on Social Media.  It basically creates a magazine format for you to view your Facebook and Twitter along with some other great topics which you can setup.  What it used to take me 10-15 minutes to do, I can do in 5 minutes with Flipboard.  It’s one of those apps that once you have you don’t understand how you lived without before!

3.  ‘theScore’ is a great app for sports fans that want to keep up to date on all the games on any given night.  As someone who likes to take a bit of action on the NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB this is a great app to see what’s going on with play by plays and up to the second (almost) updates.  A worthy mention also goes to the ‘TSN’ app as well for this spot.

2.  ‘Crackle’ is for those people that have a lot of free time and an open mind!  If you can watch a bad movie from start to finish and have a good laugh about it, then Crackle is for you.  It is a collection of B and C movies, (and some A list as well) that you may never have heard of.  It features full movies without ads (from what I remember) it won’t work with AirPlay but still a great app nonetheless.

1.  FaceTime.  Okay just kidding, lol.  I haven’t used that but to test it out with a friend.  In all honesty the best free app is Global Video.  With great shows like House, NCIS, Rookie Blue, and most importantly Spring Wipeout!  They also have The Office, Shattered, and did I mention House?  There are other shows that I’ll leave you to discover for yourselves but this is hands down the app I spend most of my time on.  I don’t follow many of these shows but it is great to be able to just watch a show when I feel like.  An honourable mention also goes out to the CitytvVideo app.  Between the two apps, there are some descent shows to watch.

As always, what I watch and which Apps I play with change as time goes along.  I hope the list above gives you some insight into a few of those apps and you’ll try them out, in the end they are free and you’ll have a great time discovering your own favourites! 




Tuesday, 24 May 2011

IPHONE 4S (5) TO SUPPORT T-MOBILE (WIND AND MOBILICITY FOR US CANADIANS!)

And the rumour mill keeps churning!  According to a few sources the next iPhone, whatever it will be called (4s, 5) will have 1700 MHz capability.  What that means is that it will be able to work on T-Mobile, which in turn means that we Canadians will have an iPhone that works on Wind / Mobilicity!  Of course we have heard many crazy things before and this is just the latest in the rumour mill.  But it would be great to have an iPhone to go along with that unlimited text, data, and chat plan you are holding.   Or at least you should be!

DOT: 360° VIDEO CAPTURE FOR THE IPHONE 4

Here’s something interesting I came across on the internets!  It is called Dot: 360° video capture for the iPhone 4.  You snap on a lens attachment to the iPhone 4 and of course with the corresponding app you literally get a panoramic video.  This would be great to have at a small party or for taking minutes in meetings.  Check out the video and website here.
They are expecting to release the technology this summer and are trying to raise some capital taking pledge amounts with promises of the product and launch party invites to those who pledge certain amounts.  It’s a great and innovative idea but I don’t see this being used in wide spread application but it’s something that is really cool and would impress your friends and family.  Apparently the videos will be uploaded to a separate web server the company will create as the videos are not compatible with YouTube and you can link to them through your favorite social media sites, whether hosting these videos will cost extra remains to be seen.  I won’t be too happy if that’s the case, as paid ‘cloud’ services don’t interest me. You can read here to find out why!  With all things, we will have to wait and see.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

WHY CLOUD COMPUTING WON’T FLY

If you are like me, some where out there on the internet you have heard about cloud computing.  From Wikipedia,
Cloud computing refers to the provision of computational resources on demand via a computer network, such as applications, databases, file services, email, etc. In the traditional model of computing, both data and software are fully contained on the user’s computer; in cloud computing, the user’s computer may contain almost no software or data (perhaps a minimal operating system and web browser only), serving as little more than a display terminal for processes occurring on a network of computers far away. A common shorthand for a provided cloud computing service (or even an aggregation of all existing cloud services) is “The Cloud”.
What this means is that you can store your movies, T.V shows, music, and documents online and have access to them regardless if you are on your phone, notebook, or another digital device in a different country or at work without having to carry the actual data around with you!  Of course you will need access to an internet connection or Wi-Fi network to do this.  If you do a quick web search you will see many large companies are putting billions of dollars into this and will be hoping that when it is ready we will all convert to ‘The Cloud’.  There are a few caveats that come with ‘cloud’ computing that should be noted however.
The first is data bandwidth limitations.  You should be currently aware that almost all Canadian providers have a cap limit with the exception of some premium price plans and some smaller ISP’s that I may not be aware of but you have to be lucky to have them available in your area. Most American companies are following suit with bandwidth caps as well. My Rogers cap is at 60GB, although it does sound like a lot, you have to realize that simply watching a 2 hour HD quality video from Netflix can cost you up to 4GB!  Even if you don’t subscribe to a movie service 60GB may seem like a lot but considering 1GB of bandwidth purportedly costs ISP’s approximately 1 to 3 cents, so realistically, capping bandwidth is an Internet Service Provider’s way of limiting our access to the net and maximizing profits. That’s especially bad if you happen to have everything on ‘The Cloud’.
The second is the cost.  We could not have expected this for free…  I am going out on a limb here and will assume that server space on a Cloud will be tiered by the amount of space you require.  Due to the size required I am going to make one further assumption and assume those tiers will go from 0-500GB, 501GB-1TB, and so on.  I don’t really think they would come in anything smaller then 250GB tiers and each tier will be priced around $120 per year to start.  I’m making that up, but I can tell you that I don’t want to spend an additional $120 per year on something or even $1 on something I should be able to setup on my home PC and have access to anywhere else there is an Internet connection for free.  Whether the two trends are directly related can’t be said for sure, but realistically, capping bandwidth and then charging for excess use along with the introduction of Cloud was no accident, I wouldn’t put it past ISP’s to suck us dry for every last dollar that could be had.
The third is copyrights.  You didn’t think you could put something on the cloud and share it with your friends and family did you?  I doubt that you would be able to use your Cloud server with your immediate family.  Already Music conglomerates are figuring out ways to make money with this technology. (Or protecting artists as they call it)  Imagine uploading your favourite song, now imagine your wife, son, daughter, and you all having access to it through the various gadgets that you happen to own.  To be able to do that is literally music to our ears, to an artist or record label, that’s infringement.   How can four people have access to the same file?  After the war of lawyers and lawsuits and copyrights, trust me they won’t be able to.  So like most things in life, the original concept behind Cloud will always be cutting edge and awesome, the end result will not.
I know I will get many people who will say that for them Cloud was amazing.  They travel a lot and love to have access to information that is like just when they are at home.  There are many programs that enable you to do that now all you have to do is look hard enough.  I really can’t believe all these companies are pouring billions of dollars into this unless they really thought it was viable.  Maybe ‘The Cloud’ will be a lead in to a new and better technology, because I honestly think they didn’t shoot high enough, instead of aiming for the clouds, they should have shot for the moon.  It should have been free and they could have named it ‘The Moon’.  Actually that’s not that bad… Or maybe it is.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

fring introduces Group Video Chat!

Now here is something that finally puts your Apple, Android, or Nokia device ahead of your P.C, Group Video chat!  That’s right fring has released video chat with up to three other people and it works across multiple platforms. (Someone with an iPhone 4 can call someone with a  Nexus S for example)  Last I checked the program was still free, so go out and find three friends and have a conversation.  I can see the potential for business use  but why not plan your next outing with friends through fring!   I haven’t had a chance to use it, but will report back when I do.
Find more information about it on their website,

Monday, 25 April 2011

iPhone Location data. Really not a big deal?!

Recently, there was some big hoopla about Apple collecting information on the places you visit by storing the locations that you visited on a file on your iPhone or iPad.  (the file name is consolidated.db)  I don’t like being tracked, but I don’t like the fact that people are being oversold on the importance of privacy in this instance.  Are we all just drones following whatever we are told to do, or even told to be aware of?  I do care as we all should that our privacy should remain private, and there are correct ways to do things, if Apple wanted geodata in order to help to improve location services then I don’t see the problem, all they had to do was ask.  Granted they made a mistake in forcefully taking this information from us, but certain media outlets on the internet went ballistic in making assumptions and putting up ‘what if’ scenarios. One of them I read brought up the hypothetical situation, what if someone suspected of a crime had his/her iPhone subpoenaed and the police were to verify or contradict the location of said person.  I would respond that ‘what if’ I stole your phone took it to a crime I committed and blamed you, and brought back your phone without you knowing. I would hope that the police would use more then one piece of circumstantial evidence to take away someone’s freedom, the ‘what if’s’ never stop when you open up that can of worms.  And criminals should get what is coming to them!

My question is, is it really that big of a deal for Apple to have our locations mapped?  What are they going to do, tell my wife I went to Burger King when I said I was at the gym!  Actually, now that I think of it, someone quickly fix this now!!! Okay, I’m just kidding, but I’m sure due to the big fuss we’ll see Apple asking for permission to obtain and collect this data in the future, but in my opinion it wasn’t really that big of a deal.  They were collecting data they didn’t have permission for, it will be fixed, lets move along.   In today’s society we are all trying to play the blame game and make a big corporation look bad.  And they did look bad, what I didn’t like was all the media outlets and some bloggers telling us we were in imminent danger because of this.  We all want to pretend that we are secret agents and people actually care what we are doing.  I’m sorry to tell you it’s just not the case, and nothing will come of it.  But I will turn off my phone the next time I go to Burger King instead of the gym, just in case…

T-MOBILE WHITE IPHONE 4

A photo and story regarding a white iPhone 4 has been posted hereWhat I found interesting is not the fact there is a white iPhone 4 out there, but the pictures show a T-Mobile white iPhone 4.
What this means is those of us Canadians on Wind’s or Mobilicity’s 1700 MHz networks are in for a treat if this is true.    I picked up a Nexus S for this purpose and although it has its own merits, the prospect of getting an iPhone 4 and perhaps an iPhone 5 will have many customers flocking from Rogers/Telus/Bell over to Wind/Mobilicity.  Good news for some, not so much for others.  Of course this just could be an elaborate hoax, but it does bring out some hope for people like me that are waiting for the iPhone 4/5 on an affordable network.  The dream just got a bit closer!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

PLAYBOOK VS. XOOM VS IPAD 2

I know there are many more tablets in the market then just the Motorola Xoom, Apple iPad 2, and the BlackBerry Playbook, but honestly, those other tablets are looking to find their niche as lower priced inferior segments that would be happy with 2% of the tablet industry.  Realistically, only the offerings presented by Motorola and RIM stand to gain any ground against the 85% market dominance held by the iPad in 2010.  I’m going to assume that the 16GB Wi-Fi models will be the ones each company sells the most, (32GB for the Xoom of course) I could be wrong, but for the basis of this review, I figure I’ll go with the one that’s most likely to end up in your hands.  It does the same things but pretend your WiFi network extends everywhere.

The iPad 2, Motorola Xoom, and BlackBerry PlayBook really need no introductions, and I won’t bore you with their specifications.  You could have gone to their respective manufacturer’s websites to know what the specs are if that’s all you cared about.  I’ll put a chart at the end so you can compare them, but it won’t tell you what you really want to know.  What I care about and what you should care about is how all those components are put together, how they work and how they will work for you.
Starting off in no particular order, the Xoom!

What really strikes you when you open the box and turn on the Xoom is the size.  The first thing I did is went straight to YouTube and opened up a HD video so I could see it in action.  I did enjoy the video quality but the sound was really amazing.  I think that has to do with its two speakers and its stereo sound.   I went through the gauntlet of all my frequently visited websites and after a quick Flash 10.2 update it felt as though I was browsing with a normal PC.  I admit that I have had experience with Android 2.3 Gingerbread with the Nexus S so the Honeycomb 3.0 familiarity was quite high.  I really like the interface and its ease of use for Android users and am quite certain that almost anyone, even those who have never held anything but an iOS device will be able to pick up and use this Android tablet quickly.
Playing a game like Angry Birds on the Xoom, I did notice some slight colorization or pixilation that I have never noticed on my iPad 2.  It could be just isolated to this one App, but I will keep tabs on that as I continue to use it.   Overall, what really surprised me about the Xoom is that it’s not as bad as I was led to believe by all the reviews and through reading all the discussions (if you can call it that) out there on the internet.  I will admit it doesn’t feel as good as the iPad 2 or PlayBook in my hands, and that’s one of those things you will have to find out by yourself.  I also don’t like that fact that the sleep on/off button is on the back, having to pick it up to turn it on to use it.  Not a huge deal, but something I would like for them to fix in future versions.  (If they have any) I know I’ve read that the Xoom’s touch screen isn’t very accurate and being an iPad 2 user I did notice that to some degree, but to be fair, I think that is more perceived then actual fact.  Overall, I was happy with this purchase and look forward to using it on a daily basis.
Next up, the BlackBerry Playbook!
I know I just reviewed it, and you can read that here.  I know a lot of people including myself were bashing many factors of the PlayBook before it came out, but I will say this in its defence, go out and buy one!  Now in my second day, even my brother and my wife who have had a chance to use it agree that the smaller form factor is more comfortable in certain situations.  Sometimes my wife and I cuddle in our bed and watch the latest episode of Outsourced with the Global T.V app.  Could I see myself doing that with the PlayBook?  I don’t think so.  But where I really did like it was while watching the NBA and NHL playoffs on T.V and checking the out of town scores.  Sometimes I hold my tablet in one hand from the bottom corner, after a few moments, the iPad 2 can seem to weigh a lot more then its 1.3 pounds.  With the PlayBook, it feels more natural to have in your hand, trust me it’s a thing that you can’t know unless you have one.  I did take my PlayBook out with me, and unfortunately I don’t drink $7 Chai lattes at my local Starbucks so I didn’t whip it out anywhere (lol).  But I was able to carry it in my jacket pocket quite comfortably and barely noticed it was with me.  The Xoom and the iPad 2 are very popular devices but they are big and require a case or a bag.
The PlayBook also features stereo sound but what you will notice almost instantly is the amazing display.  Having 1024×600 resolution on a 7” display really packs in that pixel density!  I know that RIM is taking a lot of heat for not having many native apps and going through their selection I wasn’t impressed at all and thought most of what they did have was garbage.  I’ve heard they may integrate and have access to the Android marketplace, a very welcome addition and I can’t wait.  It may just come down to software in the tablet wars and RIM is really behind. Ironically however, I am also very happy with this purchase!
And lastly and certainly not least, the iPad 2!
I’ve written much on this tablet and you can read about it here and here.  I know that there are two very strong camps when talking about this device.  It’s very simple in that there are those that absolutely love it and those who absolutely hate it.  You can talk about thousands of apps, how easy iOS is to use, Apple’s Genius bar, or you can talk about lack of Flash support, a 0.3 and 0.7 megapixel front and rear camera.  Apple moves beyond those things, the touch screen feels so intuitive, you feel like you are in the movies (where they have the cool holographic projections that are completely gesture based without having to touch anything).  I really have to say that the iPad 2 is that device that is greater then the sum of its parts.    But I do wish they had thought some things through,  I am positive that in order to maintain their same price points as the iPad 1 (Even lower due to dollar) they put the lower resolution camera and simply talk about its video prowess.   It doesn’t have the micro HDMI built into the system like the PlayBook or the Xoom, but does offer a separate adaptor for those who wish to have that feature and I would be remiss in not mentioning AirPlay support through Apple T.V but these things do add on to the price!
As you can see all three devices have their pros and cons.  What it really comes down to is personal preference.  You have to ask yourself what is important to you in a tablet.  If you are like most people and want to surf the web, check emails, watch a few videos, and maybe play a few games all tablets will do that.  Things such as price, the size of the screen, ease of use, should be things you determine before deciding which tablet to go with.  If you don’t intend on using the camera on the device, having a 10MP camera or 100MP’s won’t matter.  If you don’t plan on doing presentations things such as AirPlay or micro HDMI won’t matter.  Apple came to the market first and coupled with a few other factors has a huge share of the tablet market, even with the introduction of so many tablets since that time, nothing really has made inroads on that market share.  I’m not sure if anything will, but Motorola and Research In Motion have nothing to be ashamed of, they have provided a great tablet experience and their users will be more then happy regardless of how many units they sell.
For comparison purposes here are some rear camera shots for each device.  All pictures were taken one after the other in the same environment.  I was surprised by the results. See for yourself!
Playbook
Xoom
iPad 2

And here's that chart I promised!