Archive | August, 2013

Insufficient Capacity?

28 Aug

In my article Hot Stuff V… A Little Bit More on the old site, I noted that:

I’ve also noticed the signal at home is weaker than it used to be (again, we’ve just been upgraded to 4G in my area) so I wonder if the two are related.

 

T-Mobile can’t possibly be reducing the quality of their 3G coverage to push their 4G service, can they?

 

Obviously that was just speculation from me, but one thing I didn’t mention was getting a data connection at all in the Stratford station area of London between about 17:10 to 19:00 is a very, very patchy thing. Usually it takes several attempts before data is returned, and then the connection only holds for short periods.

I understand this is a peak time at a busy location, but this is also 2013 and EE have had plenty of time to upgrade the infrastructure here to cope with the load.

I’m not saying this is cheap or easy to achieve, but the service is falling far short of acceptable.

I used to think it was just my imagination, then I watched this BBC Watchdog article, and now I’m pretty convinced this is what’s happening.

It’s just another nail in the coffin for renewal time. I wish I had switched to 3 as I originally planned.

Oh well, only another eighteen months remaining on my contract…

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Nokia Tablet

27 Aug

So Paul Thurrott and others have confirmed that Nokia is getting ready to announce a 10.1″ Windows RT tablet. It’s going to be a high specification with a quad core Qualcomm 8974 processor, 1920 x 1080 resolution screen, etc.

That is great news, except for one caveat: The expected price is going to be $499, or about £322 in the UK, plus taxes on top I’d imagine, so we’re looking in the region of £386, although I expect £399 to be the minimum headline price.

Nokia/Microsoft, you have a problem here. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ll let a recent mailshot from Ebuyer explain:

So while I absolutely love Windows RT, I can’t see myself advising many to buy this new Nokia device. Yes the Nexus screen is smaller at 7 inches versus the RT 10.1 inch display, but is higher resolution at 1200 x 1920. Also the Nexus doesn’t have Microsoft Office, but most people won’t care.

Also the app selection on Android is far bigger than on Windows RT.

I actually feel the app situation is a bit of a red herring, as almost all the major app categories are covered by RT, and a lot of Android apps are dross, but many are very fine programs indeed.

In favour of the Nokia is also the fact that RT is much more secure than Android.

So it’s an interesting release, but I can’t help feeling the price is going to put off many prospective purchasers, which is a shame.

What we really need is some RT devices @ seven or eight inches to rival the price of the Nexus or Kindle Fire devices. These will, I believe, add credibility to the higher prices of these larger RT devices.

It’s no good having premium devices if there are no standard equivalents against which they can be compared.

Unless of course you’re the only player in town, like Apple was three years ago.

Those days have gone.

Aside

It’s a bit of a mess at the moment, sorry.

23 Aug

Since I wanted to get off Blogspot as quickly as possible, I’ve basically created this new WordPress blog in a bit of a hurry, so apologies for the mess.

I’m working on tidying things up as quickly as possible, but until then please bear with me and let me know what you think.

Thanks,

Stu.

Breaking up isn’t that hard to do…

23 Aug

Google, you suck. 

Google supposedly has a motto of “Do no evil”, but as I write they continue to block the YouTube app for Windows Phone for the oddest of manufactured reasons: They want it written in HTML 5. 

Even Google itself doesn’t have a decent HTML 5 version of a YouTube app. None. Not on iOS or Android. If they had, this would be a non-issue. 

Even third party iOS developers have openly stated that the HTML 5 APIs for YouTube are sub par. 

But Google wants an HTML 5 app to ensure users get the best experience. 

Microsoft and Google worked together on this and both came to the conclusion that it was going to take a long, long time and would probably be below par compared to native apps. 

So while they are working on it Microsoft re-released their native app, which displays adverts as previously requested by Google. It should be noted the Google apps themselves do not do this… 

But it is not written in HTML 5, so Google have blocked it claiming it breaks their terms, which they are apparently enforcing as they want “the best experience for users”. 

So apparently. according to this thinking by Google, no access is better than an app that’s equal (some say better) than that which is being offered on other platforms is it? 

This is a silly fight between Microsoft and Google, and for once it is Google who are harming consumers. Of course, they are well within their rights to do this, it’s their product after all. But in this case I’m one of the consumers being affected. 

Then we have the recent issue where Google considers itself above uk privacy laws and the fact that Gmail users should not expect privacy!  

We should get one thing straight, Google is not a search company, and hasn’t been for some time. Google is an advertising company. It uses your private information to target advertising to you which allows it to offer a premium service to advertisers, and it is also able to sell on the information it has on you. 

Google is a massive business and it has to make money somehow. This is the primary means to do it. That is fair enough, just be aware of how they get their income and consider this when chosing your providers. 

Remember, if the service is free to use, you are the product. 

Conversely, Microsoft makes the vast majority of its money from selling software and services (their advertising arm is one of their billion dollar businesses, but this mostly comes via adverts in apps, and they openly declare the only reason they read your emails is to reduce spam). 

So it really comes down to if you are happy with the business practices of a particular company. 

For me, Google has blown it. I don’t care how much they know about me, but I don’t feel comfortable with the methods they choose to get this information. But if you’re happy with them, good luck to you. 

So much has changed since I wrote Google Quite Possibly Owns my Soul – Part 1 and Google Quite Possibly Owns my Soul – Part 2 just over two and a half years ago. 

Now, I think their actions stink. 

So what can I do? 

Well, I already mistrust Google enough that I’ve moved away from their services as my primary email provider for example. But with this action I’m looking into using Vimeo going forward (there’s things I don’t like about this service, but I’ll give it a go and see how I get on) 

Additionally, this old tech blog is hosted on BlogSpot, as owned by Google. If you’re reading this post you can see I have transferred this over to Wordpress (who already host my personal blog). I’ll live the other blog posts as there are some comments, etc. that I don’t know how to migrate. 

As an aside, I own a couple of Android tablets and an old Android phone. I will continue to use these occasionally as I already have paid apps for them and they are good devices, but they are by no means my primary devices and will become even less important from here on in. I shall be thinking very hard before purchasing any more apps for them. For the same reason I can’t close my Google account, but that gets little use these days anyway. 

Yep, time to move on. 

Pull up a chair…

21 Aug

If you’re reading this entry before 23rd August 2013 then you’re here early, but welcome!

Essentially, I’ve had it with Google and want to distance myself from as many of their services as possible. The old version of my tech blog was hosted on BlogSpot (http://imorital.blogspot.co.uk/) which is owned by Google, so that is easy enough to ditch, although unfortunately it doesn’t appear particularly easy to move content across.

However, this new tech site on WordPress gives me the opportunity to start again, so let’s see how I do this time.

Hopefully I won’t need/want to move again anytime soon.