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02/20/10 11:54 - ID#51046

not a stupid windows phone ad

(e:paul) wanted to know how my Nexus One compares to an iPhone. I previously had a first-generation iPhone, though (e:dragonlady7) has a 3GS. I'm still on AT&T's network, though not for long. It works just fine on EDGE, though T-Mobile's data service is cheaper and faster.

Except for storage capacity, the Nexus One hardware specs are much better than the iPhone 3GS. It is about the same size [slightly smaller] and weight [slightly lighter]. The battery life is comparable [slightly less]. The display is a little larger but has an insane resolution [800x480 @ 252ppi vs 480x320 @ 163ppi]. The camera has a flash and digital zoom, and is five megapixels rather than three. It records video at 720x480 at 20fps 'or higher', compared with 640x480 at 30fps. It has a 1GHz processor compared with 600MHz [both ARM Cortex A8]. It has twice as much RAM [512MB vs 256MB]. The speaker seems a little tinnier than the iPhone's. The hardware design is slick, the one glitch I found being that the target area for the soft-buttons is actually slightly above them, along the bottom edge of the touch-screen.

Nexus One definitely has a more 'open' feel to it. It isn't carrier-locked. It uses a standard Micro USB connector [although this is not compatible with the more common 'Mini USB' connector]. You can upgrade the storage [MicroSD] relatively cheaply up to 16GB [32GB when it becomes available] without buying a new phone and service contract. You can mount the MicroSD card as a mass-storage device, and transfer files to-and-from without restriction. You can replace the battery. You can install applications on it from third-party sources. OS updates are pushed directly from the manufacturer without going through the carrier. The manual comes with instructions for bypassing your carrier [via Google Voice] when placing international phone calls. You can, in theory, get a shell prompt on the phone or unlock the bootloader using tools supplied and supported by the manufacturer for free [although it's unclear to me how that's useful, and unlocking the bootloader voids the warranty].

Android OS feels comfortable coming from iPhone, but it's definitely different. It has a lot of 'wow' features of varying usefulness - interactive wallpaper; Google Goggles, which lets you search by photo & location; Compass View in maps, which adjusts the display heading when you move the phone. All text fields support voice input, which works pretty well.

Overall, it has a more 'power-user' feel to it, without being excessively geeky. You can place active widgets on your home screen in addition to application icons and bookmarks. Application switching is smoother than in iPhone, with the Back button working smoothly within and between applications. Android also has an 'Alt-Tab' equivalent which shows the last six apps you used. It not only supports but relies heavily on multitasking, and even provides a cumulative display of battery usage broken down by application. If you pull down the status bar at the top of the display, it shows all pending notifications from running applications; poking one takes you to the right place in the right application.

The Android platform encourages interapplication communication, so the applications integrate tightly with each other. To wit: Facebook. My contacts came from Google Contacts and a vCard export I did from Address Book, but the contact photos came from each person's Facebook profile [this is the first time I've ever had reasonable photos in my address book]. When you click on anyone's picture anywhere in the UI, it shows their Facebook status and a list of things you can do to them: phone, text, email, map, Facebook. It's not that Facebook has a deal with Google, but that their application takes advantage of hooks that anyone else can use.

The built-in apps are mixed, in comparison with iPhone. 'Maps' is way better, giving live navigation instructions in the foreground or background. 'Browser' is a version of Mobile Safari, but its zoom feature is a little wonky. Though when you zoom in, it rewraps text to the viewport, which is nice, and it creates auto-links from addresses as well as phone numbers. 'Messaging' is slightly nicer on Android due to some neat minor features like showing the recipient's photo and Facebook status in the header. Gmail as an app is largely comparable to Gmail as a web-app, with the addition of new-message notifications. 'Contacts' has a fairly awful and confusing UI which really needs to be replaced. 'Music' is somewhat disappointing - I miss 'now playing' on the lock screen, sound check, and EQ settings. It's also very difficult to export playlists and music from iTunes. 'Clock' should have a timer and stopwatch in addition to alarms. There is no built-in 'Notes' application.

People have been complaining lately of bugs in Android. Yes there are bugs in Android, but I think the impact on user experience is exaggerated. In any case I've seen, if you are relatively savvy you can probably understand what's happening and work around it.

Oh right and you can also make calls with it. (-:

- Z
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Permalink: not_a_stupid_windows_phone_ad.html
Words: 848
Location: Buffalo, NY

02/18/10 08:27 - 29ºF - ID#51040

i'm aiight if you're aiight

Sorry about Chocolate Rain, guys. [Although I admit, Tay Zonday singing You're A Mean One, Mr Grinch is pretty hilarious.] For penance I changed my user sound [which I must not have done in years] to a CD I dug up at the office. -->

Thus bringing us to today's moment of Wikipedia Zen:

Terminator X quit the hip-hop scene in 2003 and has been running an ostrich farm in South Carolina.


- Z
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Permalink: i_m_aiight_if_you_re_aiight.html
Words: 105
Location: Buffalo, NY

02/17/10 10:54 - 28ºF - ID#51036


For those of you who haven't been within earshot of me this week, I bought myself a Nexus One

I'm not going to review it right now but suffice it to say that it's quite nice and works just fine on the AT&T network, although I plan on switching to T-Mobile shortly.

The phone comes loaded with about a dozen songs or so from musicians I've never heard of mostly, so I felt I should listen to them. So I've got my headphones on, quietly fiddling with my phone and not-really-jamming-out to music that's not really my scene, when I start getting that morse-code-from-God that tells you you're about to get a text message or phone call or something. And I start thinking, shit, I don't know how to answer the phone! So I wait for something to pop up ... and nothing happens. And then I think gosh usually the buzzing doesn't last so long. And then it dawns on me- some doofus made a techno remix of GSM handshake interference, and some other doofus thought it would be great to include it as a bonus track [and also ringtone] on the phone. [Ali Spagnola: Radiation]

Also I am apparently the only person in the world who hasn't seen this.

- Z
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Permalink: earshot.html
Words: 244
Location: Buffalo, NY

02/07/10 07:31 - 20ºF - ID#50985

i'd like to meet

the guy who invented 'I'm only watching it for the commercials.' Any ad exec that can make a couple million hipsters not just sit through but pay attention to ads for Walt Disney World and Kentucky Fried Chicken -during a football game nonetheless- and admit it deserves that Ferrari in his living room I'm sitting this one out, but I'm rooting for the Saints - their fans are crazier than Bills fans, and that alone deserves a trophy.

I see Google's stepped up advertising on the Nexus One, and I'm trying to convince myself it would be dumb for me to get one. My first-generation iPhone is still up to the task, except for that part where the maps take their sweet time loading every time I get lost in Hamburg again.

The specs are better than even the current-generation iPhone almost across the board and the service through T-Mobile tends to run about $25 per month cheaper than AT&T.

It doesn't help that I'm not too thrilled with AT&T right now .. the data/text plan for B's new iPhone runs about $15/month more than my old one. We're also paying about $30/month in overages, but adjusting our plan to cover our usage will only save us $10/month. If I switched to T-Mobile, we'd both have individual plans that would end up costing what we're paying now. If she didn't have a year and a half left on her contract, we could both switch to T-Mobile, save $35/month, and still not have a contract.

Of course, I could get the Google Phone and stick with AT&T but that would be kind of dumb, since I'd still have cruddy data rates and that's really the only thing that bothers me.

Or I could put $500 in an envelope and leave it under a rock.

- Z
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Permalink: i_d_like_to_meet.html
Words: 337
Location: Buffalo, NY

02/04/10 10:01 - 25ºF - ID#50969

nsfw: feed your head

I'm not entertaining questions about how I found this. Suffice it to say, if you look hard enough on the Internet, in just the right places, you can totally find pictures of naked people doin' it. But that's besides the point.

If you've got an hour and a half to spare and are looking for either a good laugh or some exceedingly challenging JO material, go ask Alice


- Z
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Permalink: nsfw_feed_your_head.html
Words: 77
Location: Buffalo, NY



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