Tuesday, February 19, 2013

HTC One... not enough to beat the Four (Galaxy S IV)?

So HTC announced their 2013 flagship phone, the One today... and while it has a nice design and great specs (1080p screen!)... I don't think it's going to be able to compete once Sammy announces their Galaxy S IV in mid March.


(picture from Engadget)

One glaring con for me is the lack of a microSD card slot. I still don't understand why they do that (as with Google's Nexus series). The explanations for controlled environment etc just don't counter the convenience of expandable and switchable storage. I think it's one of the reasons why Samsung's Galaxy series does so well because they still have microSD expansion.

HTC says availability is mid March... but since that coincides with Sammy's rumored announcement... I don't see people rushing to get a One when they can get the IV.

Friday, February 15, 2013

iWatch vs. Galaxy Watch

There are rumors that Apple is working on an iWatch:


And that Samsung is working on a Galaxy Watch:


Really? Based on those articles, wristwatch computing is a "major hole" in their product lines and these will fill it. I'm skeptical.

Myself and at least a few people I know stopped wearing watches because our phone tells time and does so much more... so why go back?

Now, I understand that these "watchputers" are supposed to do more than just tell time... but with such a small amount of space, how much more can they do without sacrificing size and battery life?

It might be kind of cool if it can function as a phone too so that you don't have to worry about pockets, holsters or armbands... but that kind of miniaturization has to be expensive and cost prohibitive. Even the Pebble Watch (http://getpebble.com) is $150 so how much more will these be (although if it has phone functionality, could get carrier subsidies).

I'm sure these will be more like vanity gadgets and the previous gen iPod Nano proved it can fit in that form factor but I don't think this will become a money maker segment.

I guess we'll see.. but I think the minimum features should be:

- Camera (video and still)
- Expandable memory storage
- Bluetooth (to interact with your phone)

I'm still watiing for someone to get a 5-7" tablet with physical game controls right (Archos is close).

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Continuum = Time Cop and assorted time travel stuff

Just started watching Continuum... a Canadian sci-fi TV show about a "cop" and some "terrorists" from 2077 who get transported back to 2012.

It's pretty good (the cop is Rachel Nichols, Scarlet from the GI Joe movie) but it reminds me of Time Cop (the TV series spawned from the movie of the same name). Or, if any of you remember, Time Trax, a TV show with a similar premise. The reason why Time Trax sticks out to me is it had this martial art called Mosh Ti and a thing that the protagonist could do called "time stalling" where he visually sees things faster than normal so it enables him to fight better.

All these shows have to deal with the idea of if you change things in the past, do you affect the future... or the whole Terminator explanation that whatever you think you change in the past, it was meant to be and is actually required in order for the future to happen as it does.

Time travel is always a tricky proposition, the Fringe finale generated some questions because they traveled to the future to change the future in order to change the past (huh?). Even Looper's explanation of time loops didn't really make sense.

I do like the neatness of Back to the Future where they explained that any divergence in the past breaks off and causes a new timeline resulting in multiple universes thus preserving original timelines.

But I'm not really on board with the multiple timeline theory (which was also a variant in the movie Timeline) so I prefer the whole Terminator paradigm, that changing the past won't markedly change the future no matter what you do (which was the case in the Time Machine movie with Guy Pierce). The Shatner Star Trek stuck to this theory ("How do we know he didn't invent the thing?" when Scottie gave the scientist the formula for transparent aluminum) while the new Pike Star Trek does not.

Back to Continuum, they tested that theory by targeting ancestors of the people who traveled back in time. They even killed the grandmother of one of them but he remained in existence, so I think they are sticking to the "can't change the future" paradigm although that effectively kills the endgame of the terrorists as their whole goal is to change the past to serve their needs.

Bah... time travel is a conundrum.