Nexus One: The iPhone Killer

2 01 2010

With its thin design and large touch screen, The Google Nexus One is definitely a physical iPhone killer. The Nexus One is fast and responsive and…Forget it; I’m tired of all this “iPhone Killer” crap. The Nexus One is a great phone from what’s been released about it. My problem here is everyone is jumping in saying “oh this is the phone to finally dethrone the iPhone” No its not. It wasn’t designed to be. While the phone is a great alternative to the iPhone, I doubt it was ever intended to put its competitor into the dark ages. 2 things made the iPhone what it is today. The first is the innovation with the apps. Even though Google does it better with their market, Apple did it first and most people feel if what I have now is working right, why try something else I’m not so sure of? The second is Fanboy/Brand Loyalty/”The Thing”. Because this phone has an apple on the back of it, people flock to it for one of 3 reasons. 1) They’re a “Fan Boy” that person who you’re sure that if you used the bathroom in their house you would find Apple branded toilet paper. 2) Those who find loyalty to a brand. They have an iMac or a Mac Book and are really happy with the product they have there and expect that Apple will do the same with their phone. 3) The people who need to be socially accepted. Right now the iPhone is the socially accepted phone. Those people who are really concerned about what everyone else thinks about them definitely have an iPhone (and I’m Willing to bet money that they left a better service plan to get it).

To make a true iPhone killer, Google would have to follow in the way of Apple. When apple started off with the iPhone, they had no ties what so ever to the phone industry. If this product failed it wasn’t really a big deal, just lost some money off of our Mac enterprise.  Google would have to take a chunk out of its search pockets (and we all know how deep those pockets are) and develop a phone similar to the Nexus one (from what I’ve seen of this phone, its powerful and capable of just about anything any other phone on the market can do) but implement every feature on the iPhone (at least all the ones it could offer without violating copyrights, then finding ways to offer something similar) On top of that it would have to be unlocked so as it could work on any companies network. Google would also have to offer a CDMA version for those who are on Sprint and Verizon. The problem with this is it would alienate Google’s Android partners. Because of these ties, I say, at least for now, stop looking to Google for an iPhone killer.

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PC vs Consoles

12 12 2009

Ok, hold on tight for this post. This is going to be a Foxx Thoughts first… a rebuttal multi-author post between Foxx and me. I will start with my opinion on the topic, we will have a slight separation and then Foxx will comment… So… here we go… drink your Kool-Aid and follow me…

My stance on this topic is P C… I am a PC Gamer… I have no shame in this… I’m a FPS and RPG junky… everything from Quake to Eve Online… AA to WoW… I had consoles in my early gaming years… and I enjoyed them, but nothing works like a Gaming PC. I hear arguments all the time about how costly PC Gaming is… but I look at it like this:

Decent Gaming PC: $600

New game for said PC: $30 – $60

New game comes out, requires better graphics card: $80

Console: $200 – $500

New game: $45+

Upgradable: Not usually (and in some cases, punishable if you try)

New game released that requires better console: $300+

The console turns into a never ending cycle of buying a new console every few years just to keep up with the times… However, I can pretty much get any game released on anyone of the console platforms (mainstream games, I’m not talkin about franchise games, and honestly, I could care less about Mario or Sonic…lol) and load it on the PC… My control options in game are far superior to any hand held control for a console as are my options for communication while in game. I can also mod my PC in anyway I see fit without fear of having my gaming connection turned off because a company did not agree with me having Linux or a better hard drive…

Foxx’s turn. I’ll use Sony’s Playstation system for this. On average, your looking at about 4-6 years before the new console is out and affordable. so that’s 4-6 years of guarantee that your game is gonna work. where as about 6 months on a computer you find yourself needing more RAM, then a better video card and before you know it, your looking at the fact that your processor speed doesn’t match up to the new game you wanna play and your computer is only 2 years old. You’re looking at about $150 there and it’s only been 2 years (that’s half the current price of the Playstation 3 for those of you unaware). So by the time you have spent 4 years worth of upgrades, you’re at the cost of buying a Playstation 3. Now for games, I give that pc games tend to be cheaper. Playstation 3 games sit at about $60 for the good titles, but for $60 I’m guaranteed that I’m going to go home and pop this disc into my ps3 and I’m gonna play.. lets say GTA4. Now this guy may go and buy GTA4 for the PC for about $40 just to take it home and realize that even though his specs match the requirements, there’s an issue where the game doesn’t work so well with the hardware he has. Next example I’m going to use is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. This game has a PC version, but its missing everything that makes as PC version worth buying (meaning a direct port from the console version). So now your sitting at Wal-Mart and you see COD:MW2 for $50 on the PC shelf and the same game on the Xbox 360 Shelf (this statement being made assuming you have a pc that will run this cutting edge game and a 360) for $60 I’ll take the 360 each time because I know for sure that the game is going to work like its supposed to each and every time. Finally upgrading the system. Not necessarily needed. Games are still being made for the Playstation 2 and that was what… 9 years ago. This offers the exact same game play with just a hindered graphics card. If graphics are not your thing, your really saving this way, ps2 costs $100 new and games for it run about $40 new. Match that up to a $600 PC needing constant upgrades and its no contest.

Ok, first off…. Using GTA4 is a bad example… I don’t know what RockStar was thinking, but they screwed up with the PC mod for that game… just not a big enough market to require Shader3. And in all reality COD: MW2 isn’t greatly system intensive. Base Suggestions for this game are 2.4gb Dual Core Processor, 1gb ram and Geforce 7800 or better (and the bastard requires shader3 which is standard on most Geforce Cards). We also need to keep in mind that we are talking about gamers; we cannot compare the average person’s computer to that of some one that has the PC for the soul purpose of GAMING (solitaire is not gaming). Yes, games are still being made for the PS2, but honestly what true, current to times modern gamer is going to pick up those games over the modern games such as COD: MW2 and the like…  (From everything I have heard cod: mw2 sucks no matter what system you play it on). Let’s say I’m at the local Electronics Shop… I see a game that I really like… the console its on, I don’t happen to have… but I have my PS3 and a PC… Would it be logical for me to buy that new console instead of buying the game for the PC? No, it wouldn’t, what’s the point in having 4 consoles and a PC when most everything you can play on those consoles can be played on the PC?

Anyway, so back on topic, I’m gonna finalize out my opinion with this list of attributes that seal the deal for me.

Cost Effective

Unlimited Modification

Unsurpassable Control System

Extreme Multitask System

In some cases, portability

In most cases the actual game can be mod’ed for single person play and even multi person play. And by modding I mean editing levels, maps, vehicles, player skins… etc…

The ONLY downfall I think is the fact that once you install a PC game in most cases, that game belongs to you indefinitely, and you cannot remove the license… damn pirating laws.

I’ll start off with your modding of the game and roll back to COD:MW2. In this game, there’s no modding, you can’t edit maps, you can change player skins, hell, you cant even host a server. Game makers are moving away from PC versions of games and resorting to simply porting a console version instead of making a version for the PC. Your cost affective argument flies out the window when you talk about making a real gaming machine. You’re not going to find one that’s a true gamer machine for $600. The MW2 base suggestions, that’s a $600 computer, but that’s just to run the game, not for optimal performance. Not much I can say on controls except, hook a USB mouse and keyboard up to your PS3/360. Notebooks aside, a PS3 or 360 are more portable then a PC. As for games itself, every big game that hasn’t been a FPS or system exclusive, has been released for the PS2. all the games with years (Madden, NCAA Sports Games, Fifa, NBA, so on, so on) come out on the PS2, Band Hero, DJ Hero, TMNT: Smash Up, and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 just to name a few. If you really want to multitask on the PS3, install Linux on it; it’s natively supported (Yeah I was reaching with this one). The big winner… USED GAMES. You can pick up games at used prices and trade games in for credit towards other game purchases. Not an easy option for PC games.

GG Dred. I Enjoyed this. In the end I myself think that Consoles offer more reliability while PC’s offer more versatility.





Possible 4G iPhone

30 11 2009

Normally I would not make a post speculating the existence of a phone and normally I wouldn’t write an article about the iPhone, but this is the exception. When you browse a site, your browser tends to tell the server what type of browser you’re using. This way, if the server has multiple versions of the page you want to view it can display the one that is most compatible with your browser (the best example of this is the difference between desktop browsing and mobile browsing). Apparently some apps used by the iPhone check the version of the phone to make sure you have the best version of the app based on your phone version. Lately in the San Francisco area the version 3,1 has been popping up. In history, the 1,1 version of the iPhone turned out to be the 2G version of the iPhone. the 2,1 version showed up about a  year later turning out to be the 3G version. This speculation matches with the supposed leak of the 4G midboard from China.  The fact that the testing is taking place in San Fran also helps out because San Fran is where Verizon is testing their 4G LTE service.





Google Phone Hype

18 11 2009

Normally I dont play with topics that have to do with basically pure speculation (the guy claims he has a reliable source but you know how those tend to work out). The claim (which can be found in this article on the Apple Insider Website (Odd since this is going to be another iPhone Killer) Link to Apple Insider page) is that Google is going to put out a cell phone to compliment their Android operating system some time in 2010. Now since this has pretty much been the rumor since the Android concept came about, I’m not surprised that it came up again. The speculation in this article is a little more believable to me though. The guy quoted claims that Google will be using another company, most likely LG or Samsung, to actually manufacture the phone, but Google will be dictating all of the actual features. They also continue to claim that Google with be heavily advertising this phone at the beginning of next year, even though they have no idea what so ever about any of the features that the phone will offer. I gotta say, even though this report is more believable then the rest, I’m still having doubts about this happening. Google has made deals with Samsung, HTC, and Motorola distributing its operating system to all these handheld devices. It would not be smart to step in to competition with your only allies in the field. Here is where I jump to the other side of the fence. Apple has been so big with their iPhone because they control so many aspects of the phone. They know it inside and out and have control of both hardware and software, allowing them to be sure of problems that may arise. This would be a good move to hit the iPhone hard, but you would be hurting yourself in the process. I can buy a phone down the road by Google showing the world what Google really thinks cell phones should be (just like they did with e-mail and Google Wave) but I just dont see it happening this soon.





AT&T Video Share

17 11 2009

I hate leaving a time based article at the top of the page, so I’ve been pushing for the past few days for something to write about that was worth the time and interesting enough to me that I wouldn’t start drooling on the keyboard trying to put the article together. So today I bring you a feature advertised on my Samsung Solstice, the Video Share feature. This feature (which costs $0.35 a minute to use) is designed to allow me to do a live video stream from my video share capable phone to any other video share capable phone in the AT&T 3G network (you can also stream pre-recorded video). Being that me and my cousin (for lack of a better name at the moment we will call him Dred) have the same cell phone and happen to work at the same place which happens to be in a 3G area, I decided to give this feature a run calling him and sacrificing 35 cents so my loyal followers (or you reading this article) could know a little more about this hardly advertised feature. Quickly I found out why this feature is hardly advertised. After about half an hours work of adjusting phone settings, moving around the office and adjusting billing options, I came to the conclusion that its easier to get the Playboy® Centerfold (not sure if this even exists just know it would be hard to do) through the Apple® approval process. After many adjustments to my bill, I finally got it to attempt to connect a call with Dred so we could do this service so I could write my review on it. Finally it calls Dred and I get the response that Dred’s phone does not support Video Share. Here is where I have to throw up a big Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!? Dred is sporting the exact same phone as I am, so as far as device ability goes, its there. As for service, I was sure to change his when I changed mine just in case that was what was holding me back, so once again exact replica. Finishing off with the last variable, 3G/signal strength, Dred’s phone was literally all of 2 feet from mine, don’t think there’s that much difference in strength and 3G zone in that little of distance. While this feature sounds freaking sweet, I got to say it’s pretty hard to get going. Maybe if we’re outside it’ll work better. I guess I’ll be doing a follow up on this later. So far, not worth letting it be a decision maker.





X-Box Live 1 million served

11 11 2009

xbox-live-og-contentMicrosoft recently announced that it will be cutting access to their online servers to up to 1,000,000 x-box live subscribers. These subscribers have been chosen to lose their service based on the fact that they modified their x-box 360 in some manner. Most of these modifications were to the DVD-ROM drive to allow “backed up” (at least that’s what the modifier will tell you, majority of the time its pirated games) to be played on the 360 console. The other modifications were mainly modifications to the hard drives because people either wanted/needed more storage space then Microsoft currently supplies, or, They were not willing to pay what Microsoft is attempting to charge (on average $1.00/Gb compared to $.10/Gb for standard hard drives).

 

As far as I feel about it, I paid for this system (I don’t own a 360, but if I did) so I should be able to modify it to be able to do what I want. If the storage is insufficient, or I want to run a different operating system on the said hardware, I should be able to do that. I understand the pirating issue and hate that they feel this is the only way they can really crack down on pirating, but I do feel that at $60 a game, I should be able to take measurements to preserve my disc. If Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo would replace my disc when it becomes unreadable, I would be more then happy to have every system banned (maybe even remotely deactivated) that modified the ROM drive.  What’s killing me are the comments of people to these reports. Majority of them are saying that this is just a ploy by Microsoft to get people out shopping again to replace their banned X-box during holiday season sales or that if the games didn’t cost so much, they wouldn’t have to pirate. My favorite one of all was this one person (he used a guest account so I cant directly credit him, and I do not recall which site I was reading this on so I cant point you their either, but) claimed that he pirated games because he wanted to test them to make sure he didn’t buy a game he didn’t like. I believe that’s why there’s this whole rental system out there. You pay way less then you would for the game yet you still have a chance to play it all the way through. These claims are outrageous at best, this is just simply (and I can’t believe I’m siding with Microsoft but…) Microsoft doing their job by enforcing their rules.

 

The main point brought about with the modification of the consoles is that they do not want anyone to have an unfair advantage. I never quite understood this from Microsoft’s perspective because they are also in the PC world, where in, lets say World of Warcraft, the person running a pc with 4 gigabytes of RAM and a 3 gigabyte dual core processor with a 10 Mbps connection is always going to win the fight against an equally talented opponent with 2 gigabytes of RAM and a 2 gigabyte single core processor with a 6Mbps connection. The second person can be just as talented with his character or, even better, but because he did not spend as much money as his opponent on hardware for his “console” that person is at a disadvantage. Until I hear Microsoft complain on this side of the field, I just simply can not accept their argument on fair play.





Triple Article Wednesday

4 11 2009

I wanted to be sure to get an article in today about something, especially since I was really urging to post yesterday but nothing really crossed my desk that I felt was worthy of sharing with all my loyal readers. Today, when I first checked my sources, I found two topics that just popped right off that I had to write about. The third came not too long ago while re-checking my sources and what have you. So without further ado, I give you, Triple Article Wednesday.

 

            RIAA and the Performance “tax”

This story actually was brought to me by a radio ad telling me I need to know more about the “performance tax”. After some light research on the subject (yeah like I’m really gonna research hard core. Just the facts Ma’am) I found that this bill? (I’m not sure what to call it, its up for discussion on capital hill so in honor of the song… I’ll call it a bill) is to get radio stations to pay a tax, or royalty, or fee for playing copyrighted music. (Writers note: I just spent hours looking deeper into this and ended up writing my rep and senators so pace may change here). This idea is Ludicrous (haha like that, how I used a recording artists name to get my point across). The only thing that this would do aside bring even more money to the RIAA is reduce either the amount of music we hear on the radio (i.e. some radio stations may stop playing music all together) or reduce the amount of other things we hear about (i.e. traffic, sports) to get the most for their money. I myself like to know that I’m about to roll up on the biggest wreck ever known to man so I can make that attempt to avoid that nightmare. Its worked so long for 80 years, why change it now?

 

Artist’s side/argument: http://musicfirstcoalition.org/

Radio’s side/argument: http://www.noperformancetax.org/

 

            ATT Sues Verizon

My next story is about the lawsuit that ATT has on Verizon. The “There’s a map for that” commercial seems to have burnt ATT so hard that they felt they need to take it to court to get the ad pulled from the airwaves. ATT argues that this commercial leads to the false impression that outside of the blue area on ATT’s map, there is no coverage what so ever.

  theresamapforthat 

 

 

Based on what I see.. and the fact that it states 3G coverage.. and they are using the brands color to blot the map.. I would assume that the white areas are non 3G coverage. I mean come on, I’m not going to go on an ad frenzy to show off a map that shows I got areas that don’t have coverage regardless of if its less then the other map or not. Be the judge for yourself though.

 

            Verizon Early Termination Fees

In my final story, we turn right back to Verizon, who, for contracts beginning or after November 15th 2009, will be charging up to $350 per line for early contract termination fees on “advanced devices”. Verizon does pro rate the ETF by $10 per month, but if you stay on your contract for 23 months that’s still $120 left to pay (that’s only $55 difference from the previous full charge). All I can say is I’m glad I stopped doing business with this company, even though I’m sure that everyone else is going to follow suit until the FCC steps in.