Failz to you Verizon, Failz to you.

Bookmark and Share

How I feel. :)

So my Droid Incredible started to act up. Things weren’t quite working, and the phone kept rebooting itself. It also wouldn’t update to the 2.2 OTA. So we call Verizon and they tell us to go into the vrizon store because they had “More information.” So we schlep all the way over to a Verizon store and they say the EACT same things that they said over the phone. So we leave with absolutely no help. So the next day we call verizon AGAIN and we finally get a replacement phone shipped. But this hasn’t been the last of your problems. First of all, they tried to ship the phone to some invalid address in South Dakota, wherever THAT is. They were off only by half of a country. So then they send it to the correct address. Nope, it gets BETTER. I open it up and turn it on and activate it and sync it and everything, so it all looks good. Until I make the mistake of opening up the camera app. Low and behold, the camera wouldn’t focus properly. At all. It just didn’t focus. I changed every single setting possible. SD card in, SD card out, hard reset, soft reset, reprogramming. Nope. So I call verizon again and I tell them the problem and they say “Well, we can send you a replacement phone,” and I just say “That would be great. Thanks!”

So here I am with 2 faulty Droid Incredibles, and one of then happens to be a certified like-new replacement. That’s odd, because like new phones aren’t usually faulty like that.

So verizon, FAILz to you. I Hope this one works. It took 3 calls, a trip to the verizon store, and 2 weeks to get a phone that STILL doesn’t work properly. First time in 10 years. Yup, my WHOLE FAMILY have been verizon customers for 10 years. But from the way your customer service is, I’m not sure if it will last to much longer.This is your last chance Verizon, and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you get it right.

Chrome OS isn’t (can’t be) the new Windows

Bookmark and Share

So everyone is talking about how all of our normal applications are transferring to the internet; the cloud. But if you haven’t noticed, people are still buying powerhouses and desktops and the netbook business ain’t doin so hot. The iPad is selling like hotcakes but think about it: it’s not completely web-based, you can download games and things. Why isn’t the world using just the web for everything?

Because people in the world have more to do than just email and flash games and facebook and spreadsheets. The web isn’t powerful enough. Google Docs can’t do quite as much as iWork or even Microsoft Office. Because it isn’t as powerful. And we can only diagnose this if we dig down a little technically deeper.

When we are using a web-app, for example, google docs, not everything takes place on the web. The potential is actually downloaded to your computer and then executed in this tiny little cache. The processor isn’t web-based. You are just keeping the stuff up there. And this tiny little cache where the web-app is downloaded is just too small for anything more than a very lite application. If we were going to use a full featured but “web-based” Microsoft Word, it would take 10 minutes and 2 GB of a cache to download. The web isn’t fast enough to support powerful applications. What about the video editors out there. What about the photo editors out there. As amazing as it seems, The web doesn’t have enough power bandwidth to do advanced things such as video rendering.. That’s the reason that there is no online version of Final Cut. Developers can’t make their applications to rich because they are limited by the capabilities of the web-browser, download speed, and cache. But what do we get if we eliminate these barriers? We get a desktop application. What i’m trying to say is that Desktop applications are virtually unlimited. . Lets say I’m in a taxi and I just remembered that I had to do a presentation in a few hours. If I have a computer running ANYTHING OTHER THAN chrome OS, then I can open up my handy dandy presentation creation application and whip up a quick and easy slideshow. But if I’m web-based, then there is the variable of internet access. A netbook running chrome OS is completely useless if you are in a plane (unless of course the plane has WiFi).

So when google is trying to launch their Chrome OS, keep in mind why you are getting this computer/netbook. For some people, it may be fine. Maybe they just want to have a simple lite computer to use when in a meeting. But remember, if you opt for this the web is your only option, therefore you are limited in power, features, and accessibility.

Recent verizon support call: the good and the bad

Bookmark and Share

So my Droid Incredible has been doing some odd things.

First of all, it didn’t update to 2.2 correctly. It tried and failed.

Second of all, it keeps rebooting itself randomly.

So we call up verizon support about both problems. Lets start with the bad:

The Bad:

We called and a nice lady answered who had us go through some simple procedures like a hard reset. We changed some settings to try and help the rebooting. As far as the update goes, she told us to go to our local verizon store because they had “more information”. So the next day we went and waited in line and everything and what does the guy say? There’s nothing we can do. You’ll just have to wait for the update. Now inferring logically, I argued that “The system has the phone marked as upgraded, even though it failed the install.” The guy says “WELL, it takes about a month to roll it out and everything.” He really didn’t get that we HAD gotten the update, it just didn’t install. Once again, “Well, you just have to wait about a month and see.” Thanks for the help. We schlepped all the way over to a verizon store, waited in line, and we get absolutely no valuable information. Great.

The good:

So after that, we call verizon again and someone knowledgeable picks up. We had to wait on hold for 8 minutes but let me say, it was well worth the wait. He asked about the water activation sticker and had us look at the firmware on the device. And he says (finally) “Well, the system has your device marked as upgraded, even though your phone says differently.” THANK YOU. I’M RIGHT. THE TWO OTHER PEOPLE WE TALKED TO WERE WRONG. So he asked if there was any physical damage and hallelujah, a replacement phone is on it’s way.

But the real question is, why did the two other people there have no idea what they were talking about? I mean, come on verizon. Why would you hire them if they aren’t knowledgeable? These are questions that may never be answered, but in the mean time, here comes a device with 2.2 pre-installed. Yay!

Beats by Dr. Dre studio

Bookmark and Share

Well, the Solo HDs weren’t so hot. At all. But lets check out the original beats, the studios. Throughout this I will be comparing the headphones to their main competitor, bose.

Design

Like all beats products, these are nice. They feature smooth curves that give the bose style envy. Unlike bose, the exterior is reflective and streamlined. One of the biggest differences is how at the ear cups instead of having odd and obvious joints, you can’t see the joint one bit. This adds a much smoother aesthetic to it.

However, this cannot be defined as lightweight headphones (which luckily they aren’t). Unlike the Solo HDs, they are quite large and heavy and take up a lot of room. These headphones are great for thigns like airplane, car, or train rides, but I wouldn’t go on a run or hike or bicycling with these things. The Solo HDs were light and small, but that is one of the biggest trade-offs to headphones. Smaller size results in smaller sound, which results in degraded sound quality. And hence, the studios don’t have that same sound quality problems as the Solo HDs.

Features

Unlike the Solo HDs, I can actually include a section about features for these headphones!

A key feature would be the noise isolation. No, not active noise cancellation, just isolation. This is where the bose take the gold. The beats by dr. dre studio headphones do indeed have a form of noise cancellation, but it only blocks out the lower end of the sound spectrum. For example, I can still hear a car horn, unlike the Bose. But playing music also blocks out a large amount of sound on top of that.

Value

For $350 MSRP ($300 at an Apple store) it’s quite an expensive purchase. For so much money, you might as well get Bose. They are great headphones, as long as you can fork out the money.

YouTube Instant

Bookmark and Share

Well, Google instant is out, but I found something that takes the same idea and applies it to youtube. They’ve simplified it into a you put in a search, a video appears. No click required.

It’s simple. just go to http://ytinstant.com and type in a search. Instantly (hence the name) the first video from your query will appear below. Bam. Whatcha. boom boom pow. No refreshing, just type and BAM.

But whatever you do, please don’t type in my name. :P

Sadly, if you try to type in goodmorninggeek it will automatically revert to a suggestion of something like good morning workout :-\

Beats by Dr. Dre Solo HD

Bookmark and Share

These are some of the highest quality headphones on the market, competing with Bose. Here’s a full review of the headphones.

Design

Attractive and minimalistic design

The Beats Solo HD are some stylin’ headphones. They boast a very well put-together minimalistic design that will make skullcandy jealous. It features a tri-fold design so that it can easily be stored into the soft case.

The headphones detach from the cable so that Monster didn’t have to mess around with cable management in their case.

The Beats by Dr. Dre Solo HDs are on-ear headphones so they rest on your ear instead of going over your ear. This does a good job of keeping the music from leaking out, so you won’t bother the others around you.

The ear cups of the headphones pivot to cover your ear more evenly and comfortably.

These headphones are very lightweight and feel light on your head. They are great for people on the go with a busy and on the move lifestyle.

Sound quality

Sound is the most important aspect of headphones. If there is no sound, then what’s the point? The Beats by Dr. Dre series is all focused on sound quality, but these headphones are a broken link in the chain of sound satisfaction (like what I did there?). Compared to many headphones on the market they are above average, but some of the bose headphones really come out on top with this one. The sound from the headphones has quite the emphasis on bass. The bass tends to drown out everything else, which tends to take away from the value of these headphones.

Value

These headphones sell for $220 MSRP which is a bit expensive for headphones of this quality. These headphones seem like $100, and $220 is a lot to ask for for the sound quality these headphones deliver. I’m afraid I’ll have to mark these as a DNB, or Do Not Buy unless you can find them for under $150.


The new iPod nano and why I don’t like it

Bookmark and Share

So today apple announced a chutzpah of new stuff (as expected) including a new apple tv, a new iPod touch, a new iPod nano, and a new iPod shuffle. I’ll cover those in a later post, but for now I want to talk about the nano.

What apple did with this design really stood out to me, and not in a good way. First of all, they got rid of the buttons and replaced it with this extremely tiny excuse for a touchscreen, and got rid of the camera and curved edges and put a clip on it. So basically, it is an iPod shuffle with a touchscreen. But my big problem is the clip…

So lets say you have it clipped to your shirt like that picture. If you want to change the song you either have to bend your head over to see the screen and look like an idiot or you have to unclip it and attempt to hold the awkwardly shaped thing to change your music. So then why don’t you just put it in your pocket? Why include the clip? The only other function is to show EVERYBODY ELSE IN THE WORLD what music you are listening to at the moment. But to tell you the truth, nobody really cares what you listen to other than you. So that eliminates the clip. And what’s with the form factor of this thing?! It is a square that barely fills the palm of your hand, and it doesn’t look like it would be very fun to try to hold.

Oter than the clip, the other thing is how they tried to make it an iPod touch-like interface with homescreens. But instead of having apps, ou have things like albums, playlists, genres, etc. Why?! This interface might be cool if you wanted to use apps on it, and if you want apps go get yourself an iPod touch. it is 1/3 bigger (and is so much more confortable to hold) and boo hoo, you can’t tell the world what you are listening to. Oh, darn. That’s too bad.

I mean, nobody really cares about your music! It’s nice to know you are currently listening to the black eyed peas (I guess that explains why you, sir microsoft employee, are line dancing in the middle of your stores [traitor using iPods, don't worry I won't tell. ;-J ]) but nobody cares at all! It’s just an iPod shuffle with a screen. A smaller, less functional iPod touch. Something along those lines.

If you disagree or have anything more to add, comments are welcome. :)

Why I’m not upgrading to the official 2.2

Bookmark and Share

So the official OTA 2.2 Droid Incredible Update is finally live.

But I’m not upgrading.

So to install this, I would have to unroot my phone. There is no way to root this version of 2.2, so I won’t be able to use my beloved Wireless Tether.

Now I already have a leaked version of 2.2 so I get everything of 2.2 other than the 720p video recording, but I get my wireless tether. So it really becomes a tradeoff between the wireless tether and 720p recording. Now I know that 2.2 has the built in 3G mobile hotspot, but that holds me at 2GB and costs me another $20/mo. Riiiight.

So I’ve decided to stay how I am with a partial 2.2 update and stick with my Wireless Tether until they find a way to easily root this version of 2.2.

P.S. Sorry for the lack of posts, I have a few more coming soon. :)