Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Latest Buzz

So what's the buzz? Well Buzz for starters, and after that? well I've got a little more there too.

First there was Wave, and then there was Buzz.

In the April, 2004 (If you believe the Wikipedia) Google created a whole new way to think about email. I got my invitation in January (2005).  Since then I have been a faithful admirer of the Gmail.  Still, Google was not prepared to rest on their laurels.  So they reinvented email, and they've been trying to re-reinvent it ever since.

I'm honestly glad that google didn't stop with a basic Gmail.  I love google chat, and Gmail Labs.  Reluctantly I joined GoogleWave, and I could see myself really liking it too, but honestly... I like Buzz better. I like the added functionality of Google Wave, but NOBODY ever checks it.  I mean it takes too much work. Buzz, on the other hand is simple, always present (too present some would say) but it doesn't feel intrusive.   It's just a simple way to connect with your friends.  Admittedly they had some kinks to work out when they first released it. But they are working them out (and some of them didn't even exist in the first place, they were just assumptions, and rumors, and juicy tech gossip). Now I get the joys of Social networking, with out ever having to leave Gmail... Nice.
Now Google Buzz(GB) may not do everything, but I think it could meet a lot of my social network needs.  For me GB may in fact be one step better than the FB. Don't get me wrong, I'm not giving up one for the other, I just like the option to use them both, but in different ways.

So I have a new favorite show... well technically I have two... um or 1.2... or...
It's like this.  I found the funniest show ever created. Maybe you've heard of it, it's called

Somehow it just speaks to me, and honestly I really like it... a lot.
It's short, well really short. But it's funny! So if you need something to watch sometime. Maybe you would like it too.  And perhaps the best part is that you can get the whole thing on Hulu, well it's got the first season... or the first part of the first season.  I hope there's more.

And then there's that other new show. It's called Human Target.
And I think I like it too.  I mean I do like it, but I worry that it will go the same way that so many other shows have gone.  That it will "need" to do something to boost the ratings, and as usually happens when someone in that famous California city want to get attention, I'm worried that they will try to make it more "appealing" by making it less friendly for a family type audience.
It would be good to note, that they have kept it cleaner than a lot of the other stuff on TV, I just hope they will keep it that way.

So what about the iPad.
I really don't have much to say about it, right now but I think the best (read most likely to be be accurate) review came from Stephen Fry (He's a British author, but we won't hold that against him, oh and he's done some other things too).  Anyway you can read his funny, but informed (go figure) review of the new apple tablet here.

And finally I got a cell phone.  Yeah it's true, I actually got a cell phone.  I think it even works now. So what's my number? I have two, my number that looks like a cell phone actually is now, and my google number is too (57 20 HEY)

So that's the buzz. For now anyway.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It's like Apples, and oranges (and bananas)

It is almost inevitable that as Apple releases (or announces) a new product, people on both sides of this issue, go bananas!

So for the sake of... well, because I thought it was interesting, I have decided to do a brief comparison of the latest said product, and it's competition/ siblings.

So apple has this new tablet thing coming out... Are they the first to try this? No actually they are not, much like it was when the iPod came out a lot of other big names have already tried to make this work.

So lets look at the competition: Laptops, Tablets, netbooks, E-readers, the infamous Joojoo, and the iphone (and then of course a brief look at the real-deal, the iPad)

Laptops have been around for well almost forever it seems, Ironically one of the first real laptops was indeed an Apple computer.  Most laptops have a few major problems, not the least of which is that they are not really ideal for use on ones lap.  They are heavy, and sometimes dangerously toasty.  But they offer a great portable experience... as long as you're not going to be away from a power outlet for more than a couple of hours.  Of course you can pay more for an extra battery, or even Get a MacBook, but in one way or another if you want a good one that can be used without a power plug, it's probably going to cost you.

Bonus? Power.
Biggest disadvantage? Battery, windows, or cost.
Who's this for? People who will probably use this as their main computer.

Tablets: In 2001 Apple released A revolutionary new product, the iPod.  Well the boys in Redmond (aka Microsoft) had a bit of a revolution in mind too... Windows-based Tablet PCs.  These Tablets were indeed cutting edge cool, but they had some big big problems. First they were expensive sometimes ridiculously expensive. Second they ran windows, and thus came with all the "joys" of a windows based computer. And third, they were more of a novelty than an actual advancement.  They didn't have the kind of power that tablet computing really needed, nor did they really do anything new incredibly well.  Well there was one thing, Inkball.  I can't say why this game is so addictive, but it is.  And Inkball works best (sort of only works) on a tablet PC. But alas, Inkball was not enough to out weigh their disadvantages. Most manufacturers realized that the category was failing, and quickly got out. Most consumers just decided that these tablets just didn't deliver enough advantages for the premium prices that they commanded.

Bonus? Inkball, totally. 
Disadvantage? Value
Who's this for? If you find a good used one, they're nice otherwise, there are few people to whom I would recommend these.

 Netbooks: When I first saw what ASUS was doing with their netbooks, I thought it was brilliant, I mean I wanted one.  They were cheap, and not uber powerful, but not prone to fail (like other cheap machines). Basically just the thing that I thought would suit me perfectly.  I know that they have their limitations, but they suit their purpose remarkably well.  A good many people just love their netbooks, most perfectly portable. But so small that they can be frustrating to some.

Bonus? Price... BIC/ features... (too many sometimes perhaps but on the whole good)  
Disadvantage? The itty bitty keyboard, and Windows (I know why they thought they had to do this, but I see it as a problem... a big one, they're not built for it).
Who is this for? People on a budget. Also people who don't need much, or who have a main computer already.

E-readers:  A relatively new category, of products that are best for reading documents/ e-books.  I like the e-readers, but they haven't made the compelling argument that I expected from them. The Amazon Kindle was the pioneer (though not the first) of this category, and it remains a leader among e-readers.  The larger version is essntially the same price as the new iPad. 

Bonus? E-ink.  This means that they are easy on the easy, and have unbelievable battery life. 
Disadvantage? E-ink. This means that turning a page and motion graphics end up being awkward, when implemented, and color? well you have two choices, black or white (great for text, lousy for anything else).
Who is this for? People who read... A lot.

The iPhone/ iPod Touch is a gorgeous device that turned the Cell Phone world on its ear. It's not the only amazing phone, but it was clearly the phone that convinced all other manufacturers that it was time to raise the bar.  Every generation is a new unbeatable device (though by some accounts the last generation has finally been beat, but certainly still the king in many many ways). It is simple, and powerful, and perhaps the most customizable phone ever created. 

Bonus? 140,000 + Apps. Many of them free (remember when cell phones came with free games? I do.  Unfortunately some people (the cell phone companies) decided that games were way to valuable to just give them away so they got rid of them)). Well the iphone has brought them back, along with thousands of "useful" applications too.
Disadvantage?  Size. The size is both amazingly good for the ways people use it, and not very good, for actual work.  Not exactly ideal for writing, or types of content creation, but better than most devices of similar proportions.
Who is this for? People who want portable internet, games, or productivity apps.

Side note/ Disadvantage. No Flash. Flash is indeed a tricky issue.  Some  websites rely pretty heavily on Flash, but Flash has it's downsides too.  Almost every time that I have had any kind of problem on my computer, it was due to one of two things: Flash, or Javascript. So while I do think access to some content (read Hulu) would be nice, I totally respect anyone who says it's just too dangerous.

The Joojoo:
It's kind of like an iPad, but a little less impressive in almost every way.  The battery life is not awesome. It does have a USB port, but it really only does one thing: the Internet. It had a chance a being a killer device... until the iPad was announced, and showed people the many new things a tablet could do.

Bonus? Could come out first, and it has a USB port and a webcam.
Disadvantage? It just doesn't feel polished (not my words) and it doesn't do anything but the web.
Who is this for? People who hate apple, but want an iPad.

And Finally the iPad.
Wow.  It's a book, and a media center, and a game platform,  and a planner, and the internet
and a computer, and a game changer.  It doesn't do everything, but what it does, it does so well.  

Bonus? Works with the 140,000 iPhone apps that already exist. Simple and stunning. Big enough that it can be used for real work, but still incredibly portable. Oh and no contract Cellular.
Disadvantage?  There are three.  
1) It was not announced with a webcam.  I think it is almost certain that it will have one, but it is not certain, if the very first ones will have this.
2) Flash. See side note above.
and 3) the memory card slot is an extra attachment.
Who is this for? Students. (If they get textbooks right, this will be unbelievably great for a student)
Travelers. This is exactly what you'd want on an airplane, one a train, or even in a car. 
Bloggers.  And of course, those of us that think an iMac is a portable computer.

So what do I think, I think it will be recieved sort of like the iphone was, first there will be skeptics, and fanboys.  Then people will start to say "Wow, it does that? I think I want it." And finally, it will be followed by many companies trying to compete, but they will find it hard to keep up with this elegant, and ever improving slab of brilliance (Ok, I'm a little biased, but hey look at the iPhone). Ü
Thanks to Amazon, Apple, and Fusion Garage for the images.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Palace... No, The Castle

I'll get straight to my point.

My mom wants you to watch Castle.
yeah, that's what she said.

"Tell everyone they should watch Castle, I don't want to see it canceled yet... I need four seasons"
(this is season two).

So what's the story?

It's about this kind of arrogant, and somewhat childish/ childlike writer who works with a cop to help solve murders.
Yep it's another show about solving murder. (What you thought that tv  could do something else?)

Anyway it's funny.

It's on every week, Mondays @ 9:00
and it's on ABC.

So yeah that's the story. I should be back soon with my first thoughts about... well you know what I'm thinking about. Ü