Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Windows Phone 7: Have you ever tiled a window?

There is a pretty good review of the new WP7 interface:

I particularly like how they show you the expanded view when you slide over on the different hubs.

The icons you are used to seeing on the iPhone and Android are called "Live Tiles" in WP7. The "live" part of course is because they update in real time and do more than just show a number.

My question here is who does the naming conventions for components over at Microsoft?

I understand using the "live" moniker as that's what they are pushing across many of their products... but if you have a WINDOWS product... why not use something that's more related to a "window" than TILES? Like uh... maybe... PANES? Or even PANELS? But maybe because "pane" sounds like "pain", they didn't want to make that association. I do like the sound of "Live Panes" or "Live Panels" better though.

And I know in the Windows desktop OS, you can "tile" windows, but that's stacking them on top of each other, not next to each other. Maybe instead of Windows Phone 7, they should have called it Floor Phone... then "tiles" would make much more sense.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Overhyped products of 2010?

ZDNet had an interesting article:

5. iPad
4. Kinect
3. Galaxy Tab
2. Google TV
1. 3DTV

I can sort of agree about the iPad... there is a lot of hype... but it does what it says it does and most people are happy with it.

I don't understand the Kinect entry. It does what it says and in fact, I think it's the best motion system out right now. It's sort of what Wii did to console gaming... Kinect is doing to motion gaming... making it easier for anyone to play. Since I have 2 PS3s and a Wii... the last thing I wanted to do was buy an Xbox.... but the Kinect made it hard not to... and now we have 2 TVs in our family room.... one is dedicated to the Kinect.

I don't really think the Galaxy Tab is overhyped... just overpriced. It's running an open source OS, is only a 7" screen and it cost MORE than an Apple product? Since when does Apple become the more economical buy?

Considering GoogleTV just came out recently... how can it be overhyped.

3DTV definitely belongs at the top of the list. I don't think I'll ever get one until they can do it without the glasses.

Some of the comments argue that Windows Phone 7 should be on that list... and that might be true. But after playing with it this past weekend, it's actually a slick mobile OS. But like RIM, playing catchup with iOS and Android is going to be tough.

The Droid Pro is almost like my dream phone, they just need to add the optical pad on there and put it on Sprint. I really want to get an Android phone, I just don't like the ones out right now... I'll take an Incredible if it was on Sprint.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Time flies...

... when you don't update your blog.

Like I've said previously... it's hard to keep updating when you're lazy. And now with the holidays coming up (does Christmas start BEFORE Halloween now?)... it's going to be harder.

1. UFC 123 was decent. I don't know why people keep thinking the Rampage/Machida match decision was controversial. It wasn't close. For a bad decision, go watch the first Machida/Rua fight... or even worse the Forrest/Rampage fight. Even though Penn knocked Hughes out quickly... I don't think he's big enough for 170. I do think Hughes should consider retiring, like Lidell... he's getting knocked out way too easily.

2. The Ultimate Fighter is interesting this season but where I used to have some respect for Koscheck... I've lost it all during this season. He's just a bully and based on his trash talking... I can see why Paul Daley reacted the way he did after their fight. I don't condone it... one should never fight after the bell... but I sort of understand it. I think it's going to be Brookins or Michael Johnson to win this season. But I can't wait to see GSP own Koscheck... looking forward to that.

1. The MacBook Airs came out and they are really nice. They have to be seen in person to be fully appreciated but it's amazing what Apple can do with Intel parts yet other PC makers can't. It's just too bad they removed the keyboard backlighting as I would have probably picked up either the 11 or 13 inch.

2. Still haven't found Biggie or Smalls. I thought the Envy-14 would work but they don't have the 1600x900 screen option anymore. The Toshiba 7xx Portege is okay... but I've added backlit keyboards to my list of must haves. I tried an old Latitude since it's the only one that supports 1920x1200 but it was too big. I really hate the new 1920x1080 (Full HD or 1080p) resolution but that's what all the notebooks with high res display have moved to. Maybe Dell will make a new Adamo with that resolution.

3. Dell is coming out with a convertible, called the Inspiron Duo. It's an 11" netbook form factor (10" screen) that flips and becomes a tablet. You can pre-order at the Microsoft online store or Dell within a few weeks.

1. Still resisting the iPad. I really do wish they made a 7" version, but Jobs has said no to that form factor. We'll see what the iPad 2 looks like next year.

2. The Android pads are slowly leaking out with the Samsung Galaxy Tab getting the most press. It's a 7 incher but it's way too expensive if you ask me, more than the iPad. There are other lower brand name pads like the Huewei, Velocity Cruz, Pandigital, Archos and others... but are all older Android versions and may not have Market capability.

3. RIM (Blackberry) is coming out with the PlayBook... but with them losing market share in the smartphone market... it's going to be a hard sell.

4. HP release the Slate running Win7 for corporate and is backordered... but everyone still wants them to come out with a WebOS pad.

1. Tons of Android phones still hitting the market with more on the way in the next few months. Nothing really has impressed me. It would nice to see an Incredible-like phone hit more carriers... but that's why Verizon gets the exlusives.

2. Windows Phone 7 came out. Did anyone notice? I haven't even played with one yet... it just hasn't been compelling enough for me to take the time to do so. I wonder if most people feel like that too?

3. Seems like Verizon will be getting their iPhone. I wonder if it will have a redesigned antennae and if it will be LTE only (so they can do the simultaneous voice/data like AT&T)?

4. If you haven't downloaded VLC Player for the iPhone/iPad, you should. Makes loading/playing videos on the iDevices so much easier... no conversions and it plays almost all formats.

1. Stargate Universe is one of the best sci-fi shows out right now.

2. I'm still giving The Event a chance but it's losing steam... good thing Fringe has sort of filled my Lost void.

3. Started watching Nikita, having watched Salt recently... I actually like this show. It doesn't hurt that Maggie Q is the lead.

4. Not watching Survivor or Amazing Race anymore... not enough time and it makes me sad because I still like to watch those reality-type shows but it's hard to just drop in the middle not knowing their background.

5. Tried to start No Ordinary Family... but haven't got past the pilot. Maybe The Cape will fare better (which reminds me... I don't even watch Smallville anymore).

Monday, September 20, 2010

Netflix lives up to its name and then some...

Initially... when Netflix debuted over 10 years ago... I was a bit confused. With a name like Netflix, you would think that you could watch movies over the Internet... but instead, Netflix was just an online DVD rental service.

They were the first to do so (I think) and eventually Blockbuster and some others got into the game. Several years ago, when I was deciding on a DVD service to use, I went with Blockbuster because of the ability to return the DVDs to their physical store which also allowed me to double on my rentals because you could trade the returned DVD for an in-store rental, which basically doubled the number of DVDs you could rent. It went well for a while but driving to-and-fro Blockbuster was becoming more of a hassle and waiting several days for the mailed DVDs was inconvenient because I had to remember to queue them a few days prior to the weekend to ensure I would get them by then. And when Blockbuster changed their policy so that the in-store exchanges also counted as your mailed rentals, I started using the service less and less and either doing Redbox ($1 DVD rentals) or just renting at Blockbuster for that instant gratification.

Cue Netflix Instant Streaming.

While they had started doing it in 2007, it wasn't until lately they have expanded their Instant Streaming library and just signed a deal last August with EPIX which adds even more content. There are ton of movies and TV series I would like to watch and this seemed like a good way to do it, especially because they could stream to multiple devices like our iPhones, our PS3s and even our Wii (and even more devices are offering Netflix functionality like TVs and BluRay players).. Since I have been looking for an HD Media Player I have been looking into streaming services like VuDu but the great thing about Netflix Streaming is it's unlimited and included with the DVD rental service. I just wondered what type of quality was it going to be.

Well... I signed up for the free month of service and while I was waiting for our DVDs to show up (to stream on the PS3 and Wii requires a physical CD/DVD), I decided to try the iPhone app. At first it was dicey but that's because I wasn't in an area with good 3G reception. Once I was... I was amazed at how fast it started, the quality and even the ability to stop it and resume it a later time/day. And then when I got the discs for the Wii and PS3, it was even better because anything I was watching on one device, I could resume on another. I was doubtful about the speed and quality because all of my game machines are wireless but it was basically like watching a DVD (480p) which was good enough for us. And depending on the interface, it could suggest other titles, allows you to search and you can put movies on your Instant Queue to access them quicker on your different devices. I like the PS3 interface the best mainly because the Wii doesn't seem to provide search functionality but it's easy enough to hop over to your computer... use their search (which is the best way since you have a real keyboard), add it to your Instant Queue and then go watch it on the Wii (or any other device). And having the iPhone app makes it so portable as long as you are in a good service area. Being able to start watching something while at the park or a restaurant, resume watching it downstairs in the den or living room and then going upstairs to finish it is just ridiculous.

I'm not sure how Netflix is making money on this because just over this last week we've probably watched over 20 hours of streaming content while we've only rented 1 DVD. But I'm convinced, I'm going to end my Blockbuster account, continue my Netflix 1-DVD only account (currently $8.99, $10.99 if you want BluRay) and watch as much flix over the Net as I can.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The iEvent (the Apple one... not the NBC TV series)

You can catch the liveblog over at Engadget:

Everything was pretty much predicted:

1. iOS 4.1 (with a preview of iOS 4.2)
2. New Shuffle (the buttons are back)
3. New Nano (no more clickwheel, small square form factor, touchscreen, no more video camera)
4. New Touch (Retina Display, front and rear cameras to support FaceTime video chat)
5. New iTunes 10
6. New Apple TV (not iTV... yet) and for only $99!

I think their big misstep was the new Nano. Now it's TOO small. They should get Robin Williams to do an ad for it and call it the "NanoNano". If they really wanted to add a touchscreen, keep it the same screen size as the prev Nano (keeping it rectangular) and add the touchscreen functions, instead of 2x2 you could do 3x2 giving you more options per page. I can understand removing the camera due to the form factor but removing video playback (rumored) basically makes this a Shuffle with a screen... boo.

I like the new Apple TV... they are trying to compete with the expanding category of TV streaming devices like the WD HD TV, Asus O|Air and other HD content media players (as well as built-in streaming in TVs and of course Google TV).

No mention of Verizon iPhone or the rumored antenna design fix (other than a bumper/case of course).

UFC 118... yawn.

Wow... I thought some of the other ones this year were boring.... this one was the most.

If you thought Toney had a chance at Couture... you must have never watched MMA before. Randy took him down by touching his ankle... bleh.

I had though BJ Penn would have changed his game plan. He looked better than the previous fight but he still tried to fight the quicker man's game in stand up and do nothing on the ground. Props to Edgar for proving his title win wasn't a fluke but I doubt Gray Maynard is going to let him get "bullied" by Edgar.

Why does Gabe Ruediger still get to fight in the UFC? Didn't he demonstrate on The Ultimate Fighter he doesn't have the will? And in one of his previous matches he looked like he gave up. I'm glad Luazon beat him up... it was one-sided but it demonstrated that some fighters don't deserve 3rd or 4th chances.

I don't really like the Diaz brothers all that much... but they stand behind their smack. The Irish Hand Grenade looked bad and Nate proved why he won TUF.

I wonder if the next UFC Fight Night will be better than this last PPV?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Strikeforce: Houston - We Have a Problem...

While I like to watch non-UFC MMA promotions, Strikeforce is going to have a hard time keeping fans because it can't seem to keep champions very long... and it can't seem to build "name" fighters too well either.

I can't really blame them for the last part... everyone knew Lashley needs more experience before he can become a top MMA fighter but he got paired against a rumored easy win and lost... bad. He looked so tired at the end of the 1st round... I was suprised he made it to the second.

But Strikeforce needs to find a way to market their promotion with recognizable faces. They had Fedor but we know how his last fight went. King Mo has the charisma... but no longer has the belt. Gina Carino was one of their biggest draws and although Cyborg has defended her belt successfully... let's face it... she's not as marketable as the former American Gladiator.

KJ Noons looks like he can be that "face" for Strikeforce, especially with his feud against the bad boy Diaz... but he seemed to be a bit bad himself last night. They have Dan Henderson, but he's getting old and by losing to Jake Shields who is now in the UFC... can he carry Strikeforce? I like Robbie Lawler... and while Scott Smith seems to be a nice guy... he loses quite a bit yet still seems to be on every other PPV.

That's where the UFC succeeded, they were able to build recognizable brands out of their fighters (Chuck AKA Iceman, Matt Hughes, BJ Penn, GSP and now their new breed with the Spider Silva and Brock). Until they can develop some consistent champions/name fighters... they are always going to be the WNBA to UFC's NBA.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Death of the stylus/PDA?

Seems like everyone is going capacitive touch nowadays.

And Windows Phone 7 is completely different from Windows Mobile 6.x.

So how do we do things that require more granularity? Is Nintendo's DS series going to be the last things on earth that use resistive touch and support "pen input"?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My perfect cell/wireless/mobile phone...

For about 6 years I've had 2 cell (I know that's an old name but that's what it was when I first got one in the 90s) phones, one for business and one for personal use. While it's a pain to carry 2 phones... it does give me some flexibility in my mobile devices, carriers, data plans and usage. My primary personal phone is on Sprint and I've gone from a regular dumbphone to a feature phone to a WinMo HTC Touch Pro and now a Palm Treo Pro. I've always liked Windows Mobile, the platform is fairly open, I don't require lots of customization, I like resistive touch screens and it does what I need to do. Why I went from an HTC Touch Pro to a Palm Treo Pro is a long story involving 4 hardware replacements (the TP's screen just kept going out) and finally realizing I prefer the portrait keyboard ala Blackberry style.

And since I'm mentioning them, RIM just announced their new OS, Blackberry 6, which catches them up with the iOS/Android features and a new form factor, a sliding portrait keyboard touchscreen phone like the Palm Pre called the Blackberry Torch:

My second phone was on AT&T (Cingular before that) and also went the dumbphone to smartphone route and until recently was stuck at the HTC Tilt for 3 years. Again, it was WinMobile, had a slide out qwerty, touchscreen and for the most part was very reliable. The last 6 months or so, the battery went weird, it would not hold a charge for more than 5-10 minutes so I always had to have it plugged in and almost replaced it with an iPhone 3GS last year. I wanted to either get an Android phone (AT&T's choices were limited or none) or the HP Glisten... which is another WinMo phone with a portrait keyboard. But I wanted to see what the new iPhone 4 was going to be and if AT&T would come out with some other Android or WinMo offering. Once I saw the features of the new iPhone, I couldn't resist the pixel density of the IPS LCD, or what Jobs calls the Retina Display. And knowing I could jailbreak if needed, I made the move. At the same time, I had hoped that the rumors of an HD Mini would come out for AT&T... running WinMo but having that smaller form factor. But with MS announcing Windows Phone 7 (which I'm not a fan of), that chance was slim, and instead, the same hardware came out from HTC but it was an Android phone called the Aria.

Which brings me to my perfect phone. I really like the portrait keyboards and having my Palm Treo Pro, I've come to like their layout and how they've changed it to match the needs of the times. Their current layout on the Pre and Pixi is great and while some people don't like the rubberized key feel, I find it works for me. And while I wish HP would get their act together with the more superior webOS, Android is gaining too much marketshare and momentum to ignore. So the OS of choice right now would be Android. I also like that they have the option of a separate navigation device in the trackpad so you don't always have to rely on touch and it's also much more precise.

This brings me to this shoddily put together phone I would like to see:

Yes... it's a Palm Pixi body with an Android OS. I lowered the keyboard to make room for the bigger screen and the Android buttons/optical trackpad. If Sprint can come out with something like this, I'll pay full price.

Why is RIM the only one doing portrait keyboard phones? There is a market for this... at least for me.

Friday, July 30, 2010

We've got another App Store for that...

Remember how I said that one of the big reasons why Apple doesn't want to allow Flash to work on the iPhone is because people could deliver app-type content by bypassing Apple's App Store.

Well... it looks like somebody did it anyways, with OpenAppMkt:

It's basically a collection of web-based apps using HTML5... a technology that Jobs and Co. support... but also something that app-style content can be made of.

I tried it out and it's interesting, 1st off when you browse the URL through your iPhone, it asks you to "install" the app which basically adds a bookmark to the website on your homepage. Then for every app (I should say "webapp") you install, it adds an appropriate bookmark to your homepage. So they act just like your other apps (you can even move them into your folders).

The big difference is because they are web-based, you need to have either a cell or WiFi connection but most of the times you do. And of course, depending on your data plan, it will eat bandwidth.

So far I've installed PieGuy (a Pacman clone) and the YouTube webapp (it's exactly like the one except it hides the URL so it looks more "app" like). In comparison to the native one, the one thing I like is it doesn't force you into landscape mode at the beginning.

Not sure if they will successfully be able to get people to pay for apps that they can find on the web... but the point here is that this is an alternative to Apple's App Store, meaning less restrictions... which could also mean other things.

We'll see how this plays out and if Apple breaks down any doors.

Friday, July 16, 2010


I haven't blogged lately due to many things... the one main thing being laziness. I understand this is something many bloggers go through and was hoping not to succumb to it.

I also think not having many shows to watch blows my one weekly blog post I used to do. Warehouse 13 started up again and I really like that show but I don't watch much else. I've also been on vacation for a few weeks so while I still surfed the web, I kept most of my communication to a minimum. So just a few observances while I was gone:

1. iPhone 4 came out and sold billions. I visited 3 Apple stores and no one has it. I got mine finally from Best Buy but it was 3 weeks after the release and I had pre-ordered it a week before... I was quite the Hulk.

2. Samsung Galaxy S phones are coming out under different names, Vibrant on T-Mobile, Captivate on AT&T and I forget on Verizon and Sprint. I saw the Vibrant at a T-Mobile store and it's impressive. The one for Sprint is going to be 4G and have the slide-out keyboard.

3. Is it just me or is HTC+Sprint/Verizon dumb for not keeping the EVO and Incredible in stock? These are the few phones they could have sold more of before the iPhone 4 came out and they didn't capitalize on it. Now that i4 is out, they will probably be getting more inventory but now they are going to face competition from within their own Android offerings (Droid X, Galaxy S etc etc). Boo.

4. Speaking of, Droid X is supposed to be out in a few days. But why get that when you can get an EVO on 4G?

5. My search for Smalls (my mini notebook) may be coming to an end. Toshiba (one of the companies I despised because their keyboard layouts were lame) has released the Portege 700 series and it's very nice and affordable for all the features it has. It's not exactly a real Smalls since it has a screen bigger than 12" and an optical drive but it's close.

6. Looks like WUXGA (1920x1200) is going the way of the dodo bird. Dell's newest Latitude line only goes up to 1080p or FHD (1920x1080). Why did notebooks adopt TV's 16:9 aspect ratio? I'm getting less screen real estate for no reason.

7. Is it just me or is 3D TV overhyped? I don't even watch the 3D movies (it seems like every family film is in 3D nowadays) in the theatres. If I wanted to pay a premium to wear expensive glasses, I would not have got contact lenses... bleh.

8. UFC 116 was awesome and one of the best shows this year. All matches were good and who would have thought Brock would use a submission to win? I'm looking forward to the Silva/Shonnen match but I think The Spider will still win.

9. Warehouse 13 is even better this season... although the characters have changed a bit. Myka is softer, Pete is dorkier, Leena is damaged... and Claudia is funnier... she said "Boom goes the dynamite!"... hehe.

10. Tell all those Android phone makers to stop getting rid of the optical trackpad button. It's the one thing that helps differentiate it from iPhone and also gives Blackberry users something familiar. I'm still waiting for an Android phone with the physical keyboard in a form factor like the Blackberry, Palm Pixi or my Palm Treo Pro. Just make the keyboard really small and the screen really big (and of course include the optical trackpad).

Oh... and why "Ghost?" for my title. We have this thing where when people disappear at work, we say they turned into ghosts... that's what happened to me on this blog.

iPhone 4: There is no Antennagate!

So Apple held a press conference today to address the "issues" of the iPhone 4. Basically, they've said that all smartphones have the same problem and that they are not getting large reports from customers about it. But in order to help appease people they can 1. Return it within 30 days without a restocking fee or 2. Get a free case from Apple (if you previously bought a Bumper from them, they will refund it). Here is a link to the Engadget LiveBlog:

Now, they did say they would not be able to produce enough iBumpers to mean demand so they our sourcing other cases and will give you a choice. You will be able to apply on their website next week.

In addition, 4.0.1 is out to address the software formula "bug" that calculates the strength signal and they will be releasing another update to fix the proximity sensor problem.

Although I can understand the uproar, I really do think this was a bit blown out of proportion. Every phone has areas you can touch on it that will degrade signal strength. Ever since phones went with an internal antenna design, that has always been an issue yet people have short memories. I remember on my Samsung A420, there was even a picture in the manual that showed me where to not touch the phone on the top because that's where the internal antenna was.

I think Apple is making the right move by offering free cases but I also think they may not have tested the whole "finger on the black line kills reception" problem that much considering that the prototype was in a case... we can assume all their field testing units were also in a case so there was no "real-world" type usage to account for it. Jobs theorized that since the 3GS had the same design as the 3G, 80% of the users probably had a case for it so the signal issue went undetected.

Anyways... this hasn't stopped over 3 million people from buying the iPhone 4 and that number would probably be closer to 4 million if Apple could supply as many phones as people wanted. I had to wait a few weeks to get mine because I pre-ordered through Best Buy and they didn't get very many phones (Apple saved them all for themselves... heh.). I do notice the issue but since I don't really use that phone as my primary voice phone, it's not a problem for me... it acts more like my iPad nano.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nintendo goes 3D... S, PS3 starts to Move and iPhone pre-orders are killing server farms.

At the 2nd day of E3, Nintendo's keynote introduced us to the new 3DS, with glasses-free 3D, an analog control pad and the ability to play videos:

More details at:

Sony shows us their new motion-based controller... the Move: It's kind of like an ice cream on a Wii-mote:

I wonder how this will compete with Xbox360's no-controller motion system? More info at:

And... today is iPreOrder day... but you'll have a hard time getting it online from Apple and AT&T as there have been many reports of delays, no responses etc etc. And trying to go to a local store is just as bad as AT&T has made an official announcement that they have sold out of their launch day pre-order inventory and a visit to my local Best Buy shows pre-order numbers higher than what they are rumored to get.

Must be nice to be able to print money like Steve Jobs can.

I think Verizon and Sprint should really get on HTC about not making enough EVOs and Incredibles. They have this huge demand before the next iPhone release because when it does... demand for their best phones will wane (well... the Droid X is supposed to hit before then on VZW).

Monday, June 14, 2010

Xbox 360 gets Wii-ggy with it... and PS3-slimmer too.

At the E3 Microsoft keynote, MS announced their new hardware motion control add-on, the Kinect. It's basically full-body motion (and voice) control without the need of any other controllers. Check out Engadget's liveblog (plus a video feed) because the stuff they are doing with it are beyond what the Wii has done:

Also announced, a new Xbox 360 Slim with built-in WiFi N and a 250GB hard drive:

 (photo from Engadget)

Wouldn't it be great if they put a Blu-Ray player in there?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

TV: Weekly Musings

So it's the end of the Fall season and I'll start adding some summer series (thank goodness for Cable):

Flash Forward: So predictable... of course there will another blackout right afterward. And why are the guys who planted the explosives not trying to leave (or did they not plant them?)? FF is canceled but at least this ended better than Journeyman, The Bionic Woman, Sarah Connor and My Own Worst Enemy.

Stargate Universe: Ahh... so LaBamba is a dick because he was brainwashed. And now he's going to help Young and friends? And when did McGyver get so serious? He's comic fodder one episode and then Mr. Collateral Damage the next... boo. LaBamba might die in the season finale... along with maybe a Destiny passenger. This is a very good show and I hope to see more seasons of it.

The Ultimate Fighter: Tito is out, Franklin is in. Who is the assistant coach? I'm not sure Red team's lone survivor, McCray, has what it takes. I'm not particularly impressed by any of the fighters this season... Yager was interesting but last week showed he can't take as much as he can dish. I think I'll pick Bryant over McCray and Tavares over McGee. The Tavares/McGee fight is close but I think experience will win here.

EDIT: Whoah... 0 for 2... I suck at picking winners. Bryant was too tentative and it looks like Court really wants it more. I'll pick Court for the win next Saturday... and Franklin over Lidell this Saturday.

I'm watching Burn Notice this week, maybe someone out there has some recommendations on what else to watch.


I'm a big fan of Google.

I use Google so much I would probably be out of a job and bored out of my head if they didn't exist. Google, in fact, allows me to forget everything I've ever learned because as long as I have an Internet connection, I can always find it again. I can't tell you how many times I tried to remember something (like an old TV show or some event) from many years ago and all I did was Google a few terms I could remember and BOOM... there it is.

So I've been looking into applying for a job at a local Google office because I think it would be fun to work at a place that is such a part of my life. A friend points me to a website ( that details the interview process and even provides some of the interview questions they ask. The position I'm looking for is more of a non-technical one (Mobile Product Manager) so I was surprised by one of the questions they asked:

"Describe the operation of Layer 2 (Data Link Layer) of the 7-layer ISO stack in as much detail as possible."

What?!? So we go into how we would answer such a question because obviously neither of us knows this off the top of our heads and while my friend goes into some diatribe about how this is relevant to the position he is interviewing for, my answer is simple:

I would bust out my phone and Google it.

If you were Google, would you hire me?

Monday, June 7, 2010

WWDC 2010 AKA iPhone Next!

So Apple's World Wide Developer Conference keynote is happening right now and while there will probably be some things about many of Apple's products... let's not kid ourselves here... we all want to know if the iPhone we've seen is the iPhone we will be seeing.

And it is. For live updates, check out Engadget's Live Blog:

I like the new iPhone (now known as the iPhone 4). More later.


The Apple page is up with all the info:

(Image from iSlobber)

Friday, June 4, 2010

EVO-lution... 4G has arrived.

So today is the day the EVO goes on sale. For those who don't know, it's the 1st 4G phone being sold in the US and is running on WiMAX on the Sprint network.

4G is supposed to be rolled out in my area by the end of the year but even that will be limited. I am tempted to get one (one of my phones is Sprint... my oh so favorite Palm Treo Pro) but after playing with the dummy model at Best Buy the last two weeks... the phone is just way too big.

But you never know... it's funny how phones used to be getting smaller... and now are getting bigger again.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

iPhone... can you hear me now?

There's always been rumors of Verizon carrying an iPhone. There are reports floating around on the web via comments by Ashok Kumar (an analyst for Rodman & Renshaw) that the manufacturer for the iPhone (Pegatron a division of Asustek... AKA ASUS) is ramping up production and is supposedly working on a CDMA version timed for a November release.

Maybe we'll find out at Apple's WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference) on June 7. We'll also find out if the prototype that everyone's mom has their hands on is the real deal. I think it is because when I was at the Apple store last weekend playing around with the iPad... the form is almost the same with that squared out bevel edge instead of the tapered one.... we'll see.

One thing about iPhone on Verizon is how will they handle voice/data at the same time (which is part of the AT&T counter on VZW's "better 3G network" campaign). Rumor is the iPhone will work on LTE, the 4G option that VZW is going... but that's also a stretch (but with the EVO coming out on Sprint's 4G network... Apple has to start looking to keeping up with Android).

Friday, May 28, 2010

UFC 114: Rampage pities the fool... err... Rashad

I do hope Rampage wins. I like Rashad too but he needs some humbling.

Bisping... bleh.

Diego should just move up to heavyweight... he can't seem to win in any weight class.

Hopefully little Nogs can do better than his brother.

This is going to be a good one.

UPDATE (results):

- Gah.... Rashad wins when Rampage could have had it in round 3.
- Bisping bores me
- Little Nogs should have lost.
- Duffey surprisingly KO's Ivan Drago when he was a hitting his fist with his face most of the fight.
- Diego needs to change weight classes again? Heh.

TV: Weekly Musings

I missed my Tuesday update but most of the shows have ended, the big one being Lost.

Lost: The Tuesday show was looking good but I could tell they were running out of time to answer some of the major questions. I have two other posts about the finale and while it was emotionally satisfying, I wasn't really too happy with how they ended it. I've seen some people post alternate endings which were way better and explained the mythology a bit more.

Idol: As predicted (well... not very hard), Casey went... and even though Crystal did much better on the performance night, Lee Dewyze is the American Idol. Fox is going to have to change up the formula, with Simon gone and ratings taking a hit... how much longer can AI last?

Flash Forward: Is Benford dumb or smart? I can't tell sometimes. And he's given up on Olivia in like a few weeks? Boo... but she already gave up on him (although last week's episode looked hopeful... the previews shows she's back in the arms of Lloyd). Maybe they are all in purgatory... they should do it since they are cancelled anyways. Or make Campos and Olivia "wake up" with flashbacks of Lost (that would be awesome).

Fringe: Isn't this like the 2nd time Fringe used the "shell game" on us? I like Fauxlivia better and since she thinks her and Peter are couple... it's going to be interesting. But how long can it last? So Walter is his "own worst enemy" now (I wish they gave that show a proper ending).

Stargate Universe: Gah! LaBamba is back... and he's a traitor too. I never liked that character and so his heel turn really doesn't surprise me. I find it interesting they use McGuyver as comedic relief.

The Ultimate Fighter: Nick Ring is done. Noke should not have lost to McCray. At least Tavares makes it in and I think Tito has some apologizing to do once he reviews the replays of the headkick.

I watched an episode of Burn Notice and I might add that to my list once the season starts next month. Warehouse 13 is also starting and any other summer shows I think are interesting I'll add here too. But nothing can fill the void that Lost left... wah.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lost Finale: Redemption?

So the side-verse was something like a "purgatory" or a place to resolve any regrets after you died and before you moved on (to the light or wherever). So what exactly was each character's redemption (in no particular order)?

1. Jack:
- Being able to save Locke. Because he didn't believe before and Locke died.
- Being able to have a replacement father/son relationship to make up for the one he had with his father?
- To have an amicable marriage despite a divorce with someone he had a relationship with prior (Juliet).

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lost Finale Predictions: Jack's sac... rifice.

Before it gets underway, I want to get it on record that I think Jack will either have to be on the island alone or sacrifice his life to make sure everyone else gets to live theirs.


- Richard is not dead and will have a hand in stopping Smocke.
- Ben Linus will help, probably sacrificing himself too.
- Miles will have some pivotal role.

Will we see Walt, Aaron or Juliet in the finale?

I'll be back to recap but not until 6 straight hours of Lost (Red Carpet, Series Summary, Series Finale, Jimmy Kimmel Wrap-up).

Friday, May 21, 2010

Pacman is old (which means I am too)!

Pacman turns 30 and Google celebrates that with their front page and fully playable game (

This may be dating me but Pacman was a big obsession for me. I played it all the time in the arcades, bought the first Atari 2600 version of it (which was AWFUL), a stand-alone mini arcade version of it (also bad) and even my parents got Pacman fever when I got the Atari 1200XL version (which was exactly like the arcade). They would even be up late at night playing it while I was trying to get some sleep.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fake iD/iPhone

I love FoxTrot. I think Bill Amend is a ninja nerd. Only a few more weeks until we find out if the leaks were real or not.

 (FoxTrot 05/16/2010 Sunday Comic)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

TV: Weekly Musings

Lost: Historical mythology episode! Great... more answers... but more questions too. The one thing that I'm wondering about is the true identity of Smokey. We always knew he was the Man in Black... but now... is the Man in Black really Jacob's brother or just using his identity like he now uses Locke's. I'm not sure he is actually the MIB... but just accesses his memories like he did with Locke. Jacob doesn't seem to treat him like his brother in all the other flashbacks and his brother never wanted to kill him.

Idol: Big Mike goes... which is a shame because he seems like a more current Ruben Studdard. He's got more range at least. This week... probably Casey... Dewyze and Crystal have to be top 2.

Flash Forward: The double-agent gig is over. Is it just me or did they catch the "Big Guy" way to easily? We just get introduced to him and *bam* Benford is throwing on the cuffs. Bah... sometimes this show goes too fast... sometimes too slow. And Demitri... Janice is not into guys... give it up already.

Fringe: Great episode... although cheesy Deus Ex Machina with the Children of the Corn-err-Cortexiphan. Seems like Walternate really doesn't care about Peter... he just wants to make the Big Boom Boom machine work. They should have used Mark Valley as the BF for Altlivia... would have been more impactful.

Stargate Universe: Psychological dysfunction episode. So now we know what some of the characters phobias are. Let's get back to new worlds and alien chasing!

The Ultimate Fighter: Leonidus loses but at least he's not a pushover like they thought. So this week Nick Ring is probably going to be out due to that knee problem... they should have another wildcard fight for his spot.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Apple vs. Adobe: FIGHT!

So as most people know, the iPhone and the iPad will not support Flash. Steve Jobs has gone on record saying that Apple will not support Flash due to issues such as battery drain, bugs, etc:

Adobe, of course, doesn't agree. They've even launched their own campaign which I found in our local newspaper as a full page ad starting with "We [heart] Apple". You can see that ad at C|Net:

But can you really blame Apple? Flash is not just a video streaming player, it allows you to play games or run apps on the web. Now, what is tagline for the iPhone? "We have an app for that." If you can get applications without having to go through the Apple App Store... you disrupt a major revenue (and ad) stream for Apple. It really has nothing to do with technology or performance... it just comes down to controlling what apps run where. So yes, it has something to do with "open". And mark my words, Jobs says they will be supporting HTML5 but if HTML5 gets to the point where it can run apps like Flash... I'm sure he'll issue his thoughts on that too.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Another day, another iPhone leak

As reported by Engadget, it looks like TaoViet (is that Vietnamese for 'Gizmodo'?) found an iPhone prototype at a pho bar (I'm kidding about the last part):

It looks very similar to the Gizmodo prototype so this may be the actual phone that will be coming out in June/July.

Personally, I like the bevel form factor and this may actually get me on the iPhone bandwagon. While I prefer WebOS, there are only 2 phones to choose from (at least until HP can start cranking out more) and I eventually want to get an Android (although I wish the upcoming Sprint EVO 4G had an optical trackpad)... the iPhone is just too widespread to ignore. I just wish they would enable data tethering in the US (which would probably cripple AT&T even more). In just over 2 weeks... we'll see what's going to happen.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

UFC 113: Shogun > Karate, Daley is a punk, Kimbo sliced.

Is the 205lb title the hardest to keep? Since Chuck had it in 2007, no other fighter has been able to defend it more than once and we've had 5 different champs since then.

Maybe the Spider should move up if he's so bored with the Middleweight field.

Good fight and a definitive winner... Shogun has proven that he's finally adjusted to the UFC after his rocky start.

Paul Daley? Like Ref Miragliotta said... "You've got to be kidding me". What the heck was he thinking? "Oh... I'll just pop him one and have some tea later?" (use a British accent). He may find himself back in the UFC despite Dana's comments... there is no such thing as never... and you have to admit... a Koscheck/Daley II would be a big card (if Koscheck can beat GSP... which is doubtful).

Looks like Kimbo will have to go back to YouTube. Or probably Strikeforce. I still think he's a good draw for MMA but if Meathead can handle him like he did last Saturday... he still has a way to go. He had nice takedowns but his ground defense is horrible. I don't know how many times I've seen him just sit there and get hit... Big Country knew what he was doing.

Can't wait to see Rampage/Evans... maybe they should have moved the fight back a week or two so it can coincide with the release of 'The A-Team'.. heh. Rampage should sport the mohawk for this fight. I hope he wins because although I like Evans... I like Rampage more.

TV: Weekly Musings

Lost: Didn't we all know that Smocke wanted to kill them all along? That's what he told Jacob. Not liking how the Jin/Sun death ended without a mention of their daughter. There has to be some long con going on with Smocke and Widmore (how did he know he would need the watch?). This week we will be getting some background mythology!

Idol: Sorry... not really a fan of the Sinatra week. Aaron goes and this week it's gotta be Casey or Mike... the top two has to be Dewyze and Bowersox.

Flash Forward: Not much movement this week other than Sophia is a cheating... uh... woman. And Mark doesn't seem to notice or mind. Shouldn't there have been some security to disallow the ring from leaving the building?

Fringe: So we finally find out what we've all been thinking... the Secretary is Walternate. And it seems like he's been setting up his own task force on the other side primarily to get back Peter and to get revenge on our side of the alterverse.

Stargate Universe: Seriously? The Oceanic 3 come back because of the FTL sabotage? That's it? It would have been better for them to get captured by the Fish and then a standoff using them as hostages. Another "stone" storyline... I just hope we don't see the LaBamba/Young triangle again.

The Ultimate Fighter: Boo... that fight should have gone a 3rd round. McGee got robbed and Nick Ring doesn't look much like a number 1 pick. I've got a UFC 113 recap here too.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Kin it work? Windows Phone 6.9?

As most of you know, Microsoft is overhauling their Windows Mobile (nay Windows 7 Phone) this fall with a brand new OS and break from what WinMo used to be. Instead of a mini-computer like interface, they are going to a Zune-like feel with slices of pages.

But we are getting a preview of that with their new "social networking" phones, the Kin One and Kin Two. Not really running Windows Phone 7 and not really a dumbphone, these phones are in between, a full featured phone that's not quite a smartphone (arguably what the iPhone is).

Engadget has a review:

While interesting, I'm just wondering if partnering up with Verizon Wireless is the best decision. Since VZW has expensive plans (especially with text and data), it makes you wonder if the targeted texter/Facebooker/Tweeter will want to (or can afford to) use their service. They will be available from Verizon Wireless on May 13.

Finally... a notebook to Envy.

I've been looking at notebooks a long time... and something that has amazed me in the last few years is that no matter how innovative PC manufacturers get, they can't seem to get it right (at least the stuff that I like). From form factor to screen resolution to keyboard layouts... there is always something missing.

One big thing is why can't anyone make a Windows notebook with the same form factor as the Apple MacBookPros? That sleek unibody aluminum design, thin profile and yes... internal optical drive.

Last year, HP came close with their Envy line of notebooks, and it looks like their 2010 iX refresh finally gets it right. Engadget has a great article with hands-on pics and the HP press release regarding the new Envy 14 and the refreshed Envy 17:

Short list of pros: backlit keyboard, internal slot-load optical drive and ports galore. The 17 is too big for me but I like the 14 (or should I say 14.5) quite a bit. They didn't use the 15 keyboard that had that strange left row of keys but still included the right row for the Home/End/PgUp/PgDn keys.

Hopefully, it has the true 1080p (1920x1080) resolution like the 15, I'm just not a fan of what I feel is a backwards resolution 720p (1366x768). Remember when the standard was WSXGA (1440x900)? They actually took away screen real estate and I'm surprised no one cares. Personally, I miss my WUXGA (1920x1200), even Dell is starting to replace those on their new Latitude line with the 1080p resolution... ugh.

Will the Envy 14 be the answer to my search for the perfect notebook?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

TV: Weekly Musings

Lost: Richard Alpert story repeat. Really? Bah.

Idol: Sioban Magnus goes. Just proof that the voting audience is dominated by girls voting for guys. When was the last time we had a girl winner? Jordin Sparks? Next on the chopping block, Aaron or Big Mike. Maybe Casey.

Flash Forward: The first half was so uncharacteristic of Janice's strong character so I'm glad the second half... or actually the ending straightened it out. And why is Mark being so stupid? "They called me to say they lost the blueprints." "He showed up because he can't find the blueprints." 2+2=??

Fringe: Filler episode... nice singing by Broyles.

Stargate Universe: Now it's the Oceanic 3. So you think they are going to get alien snatched again and held hostage during the space fight?

The Ultimate Fighter: Yes... team Lidell. Although both fighters seemed to gas so easily. What is it with these guys... don't they train for 3 rounds of fighting?

Mosley vs. Mayweather: I am reminded why MMA is so much better. 12 rounds of punch and grab... bleh. Bring on Pacqiao already... although I'm suspicious why he won't submit to blood/urine tests.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


HP announced it was buying Palm today. Engadget has a live blog transcript for the conference call:

This is good news for me as I really liked the webOS and it keeps Palm competitive with Android, iPhone/iPad and the upcoming new Windows 7 Phone OS. There is speculation that HP will develop tablet products using webOS ala iPad but we'll see.

Maybe we'll see iPaq hardware running webOS in the very near future.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

TV: Weekly Musings

Lost: More of a go-nowhere episode for me. Seems like they have a lot of questions to answer in only 4 more episodes.

Idol: As predicted last week, Tim Urban finally exits. This week, probably the young kid but Casey and Mike are also vulnerable depending on their performance.

Flash Forward: Demitri lives and they kill off the guy with all the answers. I'm not sure if I'm liking this show anymore.

Fringe: Peter finally knows. But who is the Secretary? Walternate? Willternate? Or the best loop of all... Walternate's wife Elizabeth since she witnessed Peter's abduction.

Stargate Universe: Stranded and Rush becomes more likable. I'm sure they'll use a Stargate to get the Oceanic 4 back.

The Ultimate Fighter: Boo... Tito gets a win. Yaeger has an awesome strking game but we'll see if he can handle someone who can get him to the ground. I don't know what Lidell was thinking putting a short stocky fighter against him.

WEC 48: I'm actually surprised Dan Brown lost to Manny so quickly... weird. Ben Henderson pwns. It looks like Uriah Faber's days of dominance are over, two title shots and both losses. Weird to see WEC being called by Goldberg and Rogan.

Getting the scoop on the next iPhone may lead to requiring a jailbreak.

So if you live in a cave, you may not know that the Gizmodo editor who broke the news on the next iPhone had his house raided last Friday.

All the details (from a Gizmodo point of view) are here:

It will be interesting to see how this resolves as there are good points on both sides of the case but Giz is going to have a hard time explaining paying $5000 for property that was not the seller's. Appled should call it the iPhone 5G (heh).

And Scott Adams jumped into it a bit with a Dilbert comic that will never see newpaper print:

You can read more about this on his blog:

I'm a bit apathetic to both sides as they are both getting tons of free advertising from it and in the end, it's not going to stop anyone from buying the next generation iPhone in millions. Whether you like it or not, the iPhone has entrenched itself into technology culture... it's amazing that someone could come this late into the game and dominate like they have.

Monday, April 19, 2010

TV: Weekly Musings

Lost: Hurley taking charge! Ilana's death... what a waste but we saw it coming. Is Smocke afraid of Hume (bruthah)?

Idol: Bye-bye to YouTube sensation Garcia (he should have stuck to acoustic redux) and mature beyond her years Katie(?). I hope Tim Urban or the young kid gets the boot next.

Flash Forward: I hate how they are doing the whole relationship thing with Olivia and Simcoe. So stupid how they are now in love... dumb dumb dumb! Janice as the mole the previous week was a huge twist but what is her motivation and are the guys who shot her actually part of her alliance? Will Demitri make it past March 15? If he does, how will he explain his kid with a traitor to his fiance?

Fringe: Robocop does time travel! This show is way more awesome than X-Files. I still think that there is some connection between Walter Bishop and William Bell (both WB) that we don't know yet.

Stargate Universe: A sun and planet out of nowhere? So did anyone stay on the Genesis planet? That new scientist that just appeared this season? And are they done with the stones and the LaBamba storyline with Colonel Young's wife?

That's Incredible!

Anyone watch that show way back when?

Well... Verizon will soon release (April 29) their newest "Droid" phone, the HTC Incredible (which they are calling the Droid Incredible). If I were to get an Android phone, this would probably be the one. Very close in specs to Google's private labeled Nexus One but with an optical trackpad instead of the trackball (which I prefer).

It has been reviewed by both Engadget:

And BoyGeniusReport (the back of the phone is interesting):
I really wish Sprint was getting one of these but I guess they are going all-in on the EVO with 4G.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

iPhone 4G: Spy pics?

So the story on Endgadget is someone left their prototype iPhone at a NorCal bar and there are pictures from a prototype iPad at an Apple testbed which shows the same unit.

I'll let you decide but Engadget has the scoop (they rock):

Engadget's iPhone 4G?!? 

iPhone 4G Proof?

UPDATE: Gizmodo did a more complete inspection and this looks like the real deal:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Touchy Feely: Capacitive vs. Resistive Touchscreens

I don't really know what the big deal is about capacitive touchscreens on mobile phones. Whenever I read reviews of a new touchscreen phone, there is usually complaints about the display not being capacitive.

Is it just because the iPhone does it?

For those who don't understand the technology behind the two, the best way I can sum it up is resistive responds to pressure and capacitive responds to touch.

Here's my short list of pros and cons for both:

Monday, April 12, 2010

UFC 112 Not So Invincible

The non-title fights were better than the co-main events.

Palm: Five Finger Discount?

So the household name when it came to PDAs is in trouble. Although their future looked promising with the release of the Palm Pre (and Pixi) and their new WebOS... they aren't doing as well as they hoped. According to Bloomberg, they are taking bids and are being looked at by hardware makers HTC and Lenovo.

I really like WebOS and I think Palm messed up by trying to do the Apple route of controlling both the OS and the hardware. They should have been like Android and let other makers build phones so that they could get saturation at multiple mobile companies. Unlike Apple, Palm doesn't have the customer base or retail presence do pull an iPhone-type strategy and if they had partnered up with HTC, Samsung and others, they would probably be fighting it out with Android rather than performing worse than Windows Mobile.

We'll see what happens. If HTC does buy them, I think things will get very interesting in the mobile space.

Friday, April 9, 2010

What do big nerds watch on TV?

What I am following currently:
  • Lost (wish this wasn't the last season)
  • Flash Forward (almost like time travelling)
  • Fringe (alternate universe!)
  • American Idol (yeah... so I like music)
  • Stargate Universe (almost like BSG but without the Cylons)
  • The Ultimate Fighter (big UFC and MMA fan)
  • Warehouse 13 (when it starts up again)
  • UFC/MMA shows/events

What I wish I had more time to watch:

Just like my pizza... I want it thin: LED TVs

I really want one of those new super-slim LED TVs. Not only because they save energy but they are so thin and will look awesome on my wall (even if I'm the only one who sees it).

I really want to hate the iPad...

... but I actually played with one at Best Buy yesterday and it's hard not to like it.

When they initially announced it, I laughed because it just seemed like an oversized iPhone. And then when they said it would not support multi-tasking (that has changed with the release of the new OS), doesn't have a camera and has no USB ports... it became less of a sell for me.

But once you hold one of these things and surf the web, play games or just use any of the apps... you realize how useful it can be and why there are so many people going Lady GaGa over it. The price point is the main barrier for me and I doubt I will actually ever buy one but my opinion on its utility has changed and seeing how it's constructed (along with their notebooks) makes me wonder why PC manufacturers are so behind the curve when it comes to designing consumer products like these. Maybe if they come out with an iPad Nano (rumors abound), I may revisit the iPad.

Newer and Improveder: iPhone OS 4.0

So yesterday was the announcement of the new iPhone operating system, version 4.0. You can view the video here:

Apple Keynote for iPhone OS 4.0

Apples says they've added 100+ new user features with 7 of them being "tentpole" features:
  1. Multitasking
  2. Folders
  3. Enhanced Email
  4. iBooks
  5. Enterprise Enhancements
  6. Game Center
  7. iAds

Thursday, April 8, 2010

In Search of the Perfect Notebook(s) 2.0: Part 1

I initially started my notebook review site long ago because I was looking for a notebook for myself.

Well, it's that time again, as my old Dell Inspiron 8600 is at its last days. That guy has seen a lot of action and even though it is outdated, it's Pentium M, 512mb and 40gb hard drive running on WinXP still does what I need it to do.

So this time around I'm searching for TWO notebooks:


This is sort of the first blog for me... at least the first of this type. I actually started "blogging" many years ago (1997 to be exact) when I used to do reviews for notebook/laptops way before the magazines and online sites used to do them. Back then, they would usually lag months behind when it came to reviewing new notebooks and so I would actually arrange to get review models from different companies and post my own thoughts.