Monday, November 22, 2010

By The Beard of Zeus!

Wow folks it's been a while since my last post and I sincerely apologize. I have been consumed by this demon test to get into law school on top of all my work for regular school but I have a break between classes right now and thought I'd grace you all with my Whatever.

There's been plenty of stuff happening since my last post (yes, the world does continue even if my blog isn't updated. I was shocked to learn this as well) AND the holidays are approaching, which means that there will be plenty more goodies coming up!

Alright, here's a breakdown of today's update:
-Verizon LTE!
-Apple iOS 4.2 (and 4.1 for AppleTV)
-Netflix's new streaming-only option
-And maybe some more stuff if there's time...hah.

image and video credit: Engadget

Okay, this one has me really excited. Verizon is going to launch it's brand new LTE (Long Term Evolution) / 4G network a couple months early! Originally, the release date was slated for a "first half of 2011" launch but by some good grace of the techno-gods they are pumping it out next month! Here's a link to Verizon's 4G website for more information. Initially the network will be for their mobile web attachments for your laptop but they hope to see it extended to their wireless devices around summer 2011. Worst part? I don't have an LTE/4G phone =( BUT we do get to see a variety of brand new phones available from Verizon that will be compatible with the current network as well as the new LTE / 4G network soon. I'll be sure to update with any more news about the network and brand spankin' new phones that will be hitting the shelves soon! Until then, enjoy Verizon's snazzy new commercial for their new network which really only reveals the date. But still...pretty cool

More after the break including Apple's new iOS 4.2 and NetFlix's streaming-only option!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

(Black)Berry Picking

Up until April I was a proud BlackBerry user and it was hard letting go of my first smartphone, but I finally did and I have to say I do love my Droid Incredible and the Android operating system. Still, it is always tough watching companies like Google and Apple continuously update their operating systems to keep up with the times and watching RIM drag its feet because BlackBerrys truly are great, comfortable phones, even if you're not using it for business.

What's this? A light on the horizon? Yes folks, BlackBerry is close to releasing it's operating system version 6.0 and to me it looks very good. Thanks to and WillyBoy6 we have our first look at not only BlackBerry's new OS 6.0 but the new BlackBerry Bold 9780 (coming soon to AT&T)! I've included the video below so you can see it in action.

I, for one, love the new layout. Being able to scroll side to side for different pages is very nice and organized (much like swiping screens on the iPhone / Android phones) and it looks impressively fast and responsive. The scrolling on the browser looked a little sluggish but once the whole page had been explored it seemed fine. You can also follow the next link to's up close and personal photo gallery of the new OS 6.0.

Even better news? Looks like RIM is giving it another go in terms of a touchscreen BlackBerry. This is the BlackBerry 9800 Slider, a touch screen BlackBerry much the same size as the Curve / Tour but with a sliding keyboard. The screen looks fantastic and the keyboard is pretty much the same size as the new Curve's when fully exposed. reports that the handset should be on sale mid-August of this year with a price tag estimated at $200 with a 2-year contract after rebates. Enjoy the pictures =)


In other news (and I hate to beat a dead horse), Apple has added the Motorola Droid X to both its Smartphone Antenna Performance website and its YouTube channel. The video, like the others on its website, demonstrates that the iPhone is not the only phone that loses service when held "the wrong way". You can see the effect on signal strength roughly 5 seconds into the video. Now, let me preface this by saying that I am a little skeptical of some of these video demonstrations because to me it looks like the person holding the phone is choking it to death, BUT it still is good of Apple to let its consumers know that they are not the only ones affected by signal attenuation caused by holding the phone a specific way.

Well, that's it for today! I hope you BlackBerry owners are excited! Hopefully some more interesting news tomorrow! Until next time, enjoy this video, it's an oldie, but a goodie!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

R.I.P. Nexus One

As the title suggest the Google Nexus One has been pulled off the shelves...or at least from Google's website.
What awaits at the main page for the Nexus One

I completely blame Google for this failure (and I love me some Google). I was extremely excited for the Nexus One to come out (You can ask all my friends, it was pretty annoying) but I noticed right away that the way Google was handling it was all wrong. If I were Google, I would have waited until I was ready to supply a power house company like Verizon or AT&T before even beginning to think about releasing the phone. Let's be serious, Verizon's ad campaign for the Motorola Droid was one of the biggest factors in why the phone sold (and continues to sell) SO well. While Google may rule the internet ad realm when compared to Verizon or AT&T, the TV spots and special websites that Verizon sets up for its new phones (especially the Droids) target more audiences. I'm sure even T-Mobile would have been able to lend a hand and help the Nexus One sell more than 135,000 units (a little more than 1/10th the sales of the iPhone and Droid, each) in the first 75 days. As a result, both Verizon and Sprint cancelled the Nexus One and a couple months later here we are.

I'm not too sure what will happen with it but engadget reports that the best method of getting one at this point (if you still really want one) would be through Vodafone, in Europe, and KT, in South Korea (confirmed by a Google blog post). They also mention that it will be sold to registered developers through unspecified partners. Regardless, it lowers the number of phones running stock Android (Google's User Interface) to one, The Motorola Droid so I think we can start writing the eulogy for that as well, which isn't necessarily such a bad thing. While it is a good UI, what HTC and Motorola have added with their UIs (Sense and MotoBlur), is the aesthetics that the regular consumer likes. The stock Android UI looks and feels too techy to be honest but in the end whatever floats your boat is what you're gonna use.

In other Android related news, the new Motorola Droid X can now be rooted!
Photo Credit:
Yes, a mere week after launch we see that the boys and girls at have successfully rooted the Droid X. Beware though, the Motorola Droid X apparently puts itself into recovery mode forcing you to install an approved version of the operating system when it is tampered with or any attempted modifications are made.

I am continually impressed with the speed that rooting is available on newly released devices (except for the Incredible which just got one button rooting 5 days ago) because it gives people a chance to get in touch with their developer side. I am probably going to end up rooting my Incredible within the next couple days but I'd also like to wait for the CyanogenMod6 Froyo for it to be available first.

Another piece of interesting news surrounding the Droid X is its users are using up to 5x the amount of data when compared to other smartphone owners on Verizon's network! Verizon seems pretty stoked about this, but it also might be a good reason as to why they will be implementing something like AT&T's tiered data package as opposed to their flat rate unlimited data plan. 

I have to give credit to my buddy John for technically "breaking" this story before I could find it anywhere else. An AT&T representative had told him a few weeks ago that Verizon and other service providers would be changing their data plans to something along the lines of AT&T's new tiered plan. At first I was skeptical, mainly because I hadn't read anything regarding this anywhere, but now engadget has a lead regarding Verizon's potential change. 

AT&T revised their data plan around the release of the iPhone 4 and that's a reasonable decision considering that since the iPhone's release data usage on AT&T has exploded, straining their bandwidth. Therefore, it makes sense if Verizon is doing the same before it begins to implement its new LTE network as well as the already huge increase in data usage by Droid X owners.

I can't say I'm happy about this but I hope that Verizon does what AT&T did and let those that already have the unlimited data plan to keep it and just implement the new tiered plan to new customers (Selfish, I know, but I love my data <3).

More iPhone carrier expansion news! This time Cult of Mac has T-Mobile at the top of the rumor mill. A person said to be very high up in T-Mobile claims that negotiations between Apple and T-Mobile are advancing and that they are "80 percent likely" to have the iPhone available on T-Mobile by the third quarter (fall). 

The next iPhone carrier?

Why T-Mobile (if this is even true)? Well for one T-Mobile, like AT&T, uses GSM which means the iPhone would have to undergo very little, if any, hardware changes. In fact, a good deal people already use unlocked iPhones on T-Mobile's network. Also, Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile's parent company) already offers the iPhone in Europe through T-Mobile and Orange.

But what of the exclusivity agreement? It was reported by USA Today that Apple and AT&T had a 5-year exclusivity agreement starting in 2007 which meant a 2012 end date. However, AT&T has recently made a move allowing anyone with a contract expiring this year to upgrade early to the iPhone 4. Maybe AT&T knows that its agreement is up and it wants to get as many people locked in before its too late. Who knows?

Verizon's name has been brought up so many times that I've basically grown immune to these rumors but it makes more sense than completely redesigning a phone to fit it onto another network. However, as mentioned 112 times (probably in this post alone) Verizon's new LTE network will be using SIM cards which could be promising for a Verizon/Apple relationship. All I know is that it would take nothing less than Catherine Zeta-Jones giving me the iPhone herself (among other things) before I would even contemplate switching to T-Mobile.

In more iPhone news (and I swear, I don't hate the iPhone, this is just what has been popping up these last couple weeks!) the iPhone 4 drops less than 1 call more per 100 calls as compared to the 3GS. Umm...what? Basically it still drops more calls than the 3GS but it's a fraction of an amount more. This is of course in response to the antenna issue that's been plaguing the iPhone 4 since its release, even though a simple case, now provided for FREE by Apple, fixes the stop complaining and let Steve get on with his life!

Also, there has apparently been something buggy about the proximity sensor with the iPhone which Apple has been concentrating on to fix. The proximity sensor has been having issues with facial recognition and as a result has been hanging up or muting calls when the phone touches the user's ear. Again, it's probably not everyone so don't bite my head off, but it is an issue Apple has acknowledged and they are working diligently to fix it.

(Credit: Screenshot by Kent German/CNET)
Top Bar: updated iPhone 4
Bottom Bar: iPhone 4 without update
Location: interior of shopping center
Typical reception: Average
Last but not least, iOS 4.0.1 was released recently to address the issue with incorrectly displaying signal bars and the folks at kindly ran some tests to determine its effectiveness. The issue was that peopel were complaining about service in areas even though their phone showed full signal strength, or mostly full. Apple initially had contributed the issue with the "death grip" to this but later recognized this as a separate issue. Check out the link for the full results but overall the changes were seen in the middle ranges of service which is still an improvement so, thumbs up!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Big Red, 4G Looks Gooood on You

So it's been a while since my last post and I do apologize. The good news is that during my absence some pretty awesome information has come up for Verizon and Apple. It's not an iPhone for Verizon rumor so hide your raging Phoner for now.

On Friday, Steve Jobs announced that Apple will be giving anyone is buying or has bought an iPhone 4 a complimentary case. Buyers can choose the bumper or a variety of other cases sold by other vendors through Apple. What if you've already bought the bumper? Well, no worries there, Jobs mentioned those individuals who already purchased a bumper can get a full refund! This is a big move for Apple because they have acknowledged that this is, in fact, an issue. Jobs also went on to provide data and demonstrations using a few other phones to show that this problem isn't isolated only to the iPhone 4 and that the issue was being blown out of proportion.
when companies get big, people want to tear them down. I've seen it happen to Google...and now I've seen some of those people jumping on us."
Like I said, this was a big, and important, move that Apple has made and it will only help put this behind them. Kudos to Jobs and Apple for taking the issue on as opposed to sweeping it under the rug.

I'm a little excited about this next bit of news and I have to thank engadget for breaking this one. So, as some of you might know, Verizon has been testing their LTE network (changing to SIM cards and 4g) for quite some time now and has plans to service around 30 Cities by the end of the year. Well, the boys and girls at engadget have got their hands on some documents showing that Verizon computers are being fitted for their LTE SIM cards.

Verizon has mentioned in the past that they will be rolling out data-only related products (Aircards, USB data sticks) for LTE first with smartphones roughly a quarter behind. The projected time period for smartphones on LTE is the first half of 2011 and there are rumors circling that Verizon will be selling a bunch of LTE compatible phones on Black Friday (November 26th, my birthday =D) of this year. Below are the photos engadget received.


Thanks for being patient with me and I hope to be updating more frequently (These last couple days have been pretty awesome, and much needed).

Friday, July 9, 2010

iHave A Soft Spot

Since the release of the iPhone 4 we've heard a good deal of complaining from owners of the iPhone and left handed people claiming that when the iPhone 4 is held in a specific spot (one that looks pretty similar to the way I hold my phone, and I'm a righty) service is severely crippled. The editors at ran some tests to confirm this and the results are pretty amazing. On one of the tests, the callers voice actually cut out completely! Now, since the buzz started about the iPhone 4's release I had a number of friends ask me if they think it is worth it and whether or not I will personally be buying one. In all honesty, and this is truly my objective opinion, No. If you have an iPhone 3gS you are essentially just upgrading the casing, the screen (a brilliant looking one by the way) and getting a front facing camera. You're not getting 4g like the Evo 4g on Sprint and all of the software updates (unified inbox, folders, multitasking) are essentially playing catch up to even some of the earliest Android phones (I also would never give up Verizon for AT&T simply because of the reception). If I were an iPhone owner I would wait until the 4g version pops up unless you desperately need to have one. Again, that's my personal opinion.

In better news for the iPhone, the media streaming program PlayOn has just announced that a free mobile version of their application will be available in the app store starting on July 15th. For those of you who don't know, PlayOn is a media streaming program for Xbox 360, and Playstation 3 that you download onto your PC. PlayOn runs in the background on your PC acting as a server essentially. Your PS3 or Xbox 360 connect to that server through the network and from there you just choose which of the many media sources you'd like to use (Hulu is included, as is NetFlix and Pandora). Although working through the interface can be a little sluggish at times it's not a huge annoyance.

*Step 2 will now include your iPhone

There are two drawbacks now unfortunately, you can only use the PlayOn application on your iPhone if you have the full version on your PC. The second drawback is that PlayOn recently changed their purchase method from a one time payment to a yearly subscription that can range from $5-$40 (Still better than Hulu Plus' $120/year) with discounts given to existing customers. There is however a free two week trial so I suggest waiting until July 15th, downloading the program on to your PC and the application on to your iPhone and giving it a shot.

Well, that looks like it's it for today, I know it wasn't as long as the previous one but this next video will make up for it, trust me.

Have you ever really needed a beer but didn't want to get off your butt? Well, the guys at Willow Garage have found the solution to every man's dream: the PR2. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Boot Up

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome. This is the start of my first blog and, needless to say, I'm excited. I've been considering starting a blog for quite some time now but I was never able to pick a topic that would both please me and avoid boring you.

This blog is intended as a news resource for the average Joe who isn't scouring forums or tech sites for the latest news on operating systems, mobile devices, or what have you. I am going to be (or at least try to be) as objective as possible when it comes to product reviews and news from various companies and developers in order to offer you the best possible information regarding the products. From time to time I will also post some new music (most likely techno) from different DJs and artists but to be honest that's more dependent on what peaks my interest the most at the time. 

As for myself, I'm currently a student in my last undergraduate year and I'm getting ready to take the LSATs in the fall. I know, I know, apparently law school graduates are barely, if even, making enough money to pay off their loans but it's something I can really see myself both doing and enjoying, especially if I complete my goal and become a judge.
Now that we've got the formalities out of the way, let's hit the ground running!

Mozilla's Firefox 4 Beta is finally available for download! (MacWindowsLinux)
I have just finished downloading it and will be putting it through its paces over the next couple hours and let you know as soon as I can if it's worth dropping Google Chrome (I have my doubts).

*Edit* So, I have been using Firefox 4 Beta on Windows for a couple of hours now and there are a few things that immediately pop out. First thing you'll notice is that the tabs have been moved above the address bar (see picture below) much like Internet Explorer. In fact, the more Mozilla updates, the more it resembles other browsers. Anyway, for now this is the standard format but Mozilla has said they will potentially make it a toggle-able feature to have it up top or in the usual spot below the address bar.

Firefox 4 Beta also introduces WebM compatibility which allows users to watch HD WebM videos on YouTube or WebM videos into their video encoding application. They've also added a handy add-ons manager which you can access by clicking the orange Firefox pull down bar in the top left corner. Most of the other advances that Firefox 4 has made involve things like HTML5 support for running web applications, their new JetPack SDK allows for making add-on development easier, and Web Sockets that developers can use to build real-time interactions online like gaming and chatting. One of my favorite improvements is the fact that if you are watching a video using Adobe Flash, Apple Quicktime, or Microsoft Silverlight plug-ins and it crashes, you won't have to close your Firefox browser. Now you can simply reload the page to try again or close that particular tab. There is also a nifty feedback button in the top right corner to the right of the google search bar. Whenever you notice Firefox has done something you either like or dislike simply press the feedback button and select "Firefox made me happy because..." or "Firefox made me sad because..."and type in whatever it was that caused your reaction. Chances are if you're the average Firefox user you'll just notice the increased speed and tab placement. I am still a fan of Google Chrome, but I will be giving Firefox 4 a chance for the next couple weeks and who knows, maybe I'll convert back. (For a full in-depth review on Firefox 4 Beta, visit

In other news, AT&T has screwed the pooch...again! Yes iPhone users, another reason to be happy with AT&T (sarcasm). The mobile communications giant is being accused of intentionally capping the upload speeds of iPhone 4 users in certain parts of the country including Philadelphia, New York, Washington, D.C. on the East Coast and Seattle and Salt Lake City out in the West. Why? Because the amount of data being uploaded by iPhone users apparently is causing outages in other parts of the country. With a new ad campaign claiming that AT&T covers 97% of the United States (a campaign that I immediately called shenanigans on), I only have one question: "What exactly is AT&T covering the United States with?", because it doesn't seem like reliable service. Remember when people wanting to reserve the iPhone 4 experienced network errors causing a 10 minute process to last anywhere from 2-10 hours? That process was also handled by AT&T's network. Now, I want to give AT&T the benefit of the doubt and hope that, for their sake, this is a temporary measure they have to take in order to fix the problem but with their introduction of their new tiered data packages it looks like they are trying to limit (at least to some extent) the extreme amount of data usage that is crippling their network. If you are an iPhone user, let me know if you've noticed any decrease in your download/upload speeds, I'd love to have a first hand look at this.

**This just in!** HTC's global PR and online rep, Eric Lin was quoted on the record saying that his company will be “done with our Froyo updates before Christmas.” He also goes on to explain the reason for the delay:

“It takes time to port all of our applications over to Froyo and then make sure that it is running well on each of our devices. That’s not like a one week kind of project. We need to make sure that our applications are taking advantage of the Froyo features. To make sure that they’re all running properly on the OS now that it’s a new version. And then to make sure that it’s running on our hardware as well as we expect.”

I'm extremely excited, even though I had hoped it would be closer to the end of the summer. Christmas can't come sooner! Props to Mike Hurley at The Great Wall of Chinatown for the find!

I hope you all have enjoyed the first day of news and reviews! I'd like to leave you all with a funny little video of Yoda doing his recording for the TomTom Star-Wars Themed voice series Enjoy!

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