Archive for January, 2006

muscle pain

Oh, one more of these. My back started hurting in a very specific spot last night and it became really worse overnight. I couldn’t sleep, no matter what position I tried. And was keep waking JBQ too as there were times that the pain kept me from breathing (it felt like I had a broken rib, but it’s not really). I hope it’s just some muscle pain (that will go away soon) and nothing worse.

To add to this, I installed an A2DP driver to the Bluetooth stack of my new PDA, only to crash it hard and have to reinstall all applications from scratch again. Ah.


After I see an interesting gadget announced, I usually send an email to the PR/marketing dpt of the manufacturing company asking for a sample unit to write a review for.

Well, it usually goes well, but I have noticed that when I email “white box” manufacturers in China, they come back to me giving me the prices of the product per unit, and per 1000s.

No matter how I try to explain to them that I just need a single sample in order to write about, they don’t get it. They seem to see the world very binary: you are either a reseller/wholesaler, or you are not.

Thankfully bigger companies “get it”. The problem is only with the small white box chinese companies. They are small because they have no clue about PR, and they don’t get any PR so they stay small.

Another thing I noticed is that the people who email me back have changed their names to western-sounding names (in order to make western wholesalers feel more at home). So, you have Yo Chin Hong replying to you as “Judy”… Riiiight…

Konica Minolta is out

Terrible news. Just days after Nikon announced that they had to stop doing film cameras, now Konica Minolta is out of the camera business altogether. It seems that digital cameras and phone cameras has brought a stop to the camera market at large. Sad days for those who like tradition.

Stupid phone

What is the world coming to? Look at this phone’s user interface. Laughable.

Microsoft screwing up

I would definately expect this from a Linux package, but never from Microsoft. And yet, it happened.

So, I downloaded a 900 MB package tonight which includes the developer’s SDK for Windows Mobile 5. It supposedly also includes a 90 days of VisualStudio 2005. Well, it doesn’t! There is no link to install it in the installation window, and it doesn’t exist on my hard drive after having uncompressed the .msi file. It’s not there! And without it, you can’t install the rest of the SDK which is there.

I wonder, no one actually tested the bloody file?

Here’s the question: N80 or N92?

Nokia announced their high-end phones a few months ago: N80 and N92. They have the exact same configuration and features except:

* N80 has a 352×416 2.2″ screen, while the N92 has a 2.8″ 240×320 one.

* N80 has a 3MP camera while the N92 has a 2MP Carl Zeiss one.

* N92 supports DVB-H wireless TV, the N80 doesn’t.

* N92 is a clamshell while the N80 is a sliding candybar.

* N92 is bigger and much heavier (190 grams)

* N92 reportedly has Bluetooth+EDR 2.0 with A2DP support, while the N80 is v1.2 without A2DP. This information on the N92 is not confirmed yet though.

By reading the net it is obvious that all the geeks at the mobile forums have picked their favorite: the N80, mostly because its smaller looks, high-MP camera and high resolution screen. And I was one of these people too. I couldn’t wait until April when the N80 is supposed to be released.

Well, I have changed my mind.

I am 32 years old now and after working with computers for years day-in and day-out my eyesight has worsen (mostly astigmatism and a tiny bit of myopia). When I was 16 years old I was able to read the time on the VCR’s LED screen from 8 meters away. Today, I need to be 3 meters away from it or I need to have my glasses on. I also can’t see well in the dark. No, I am not blind, I can even drive legally without glasses just fine, it’s just that I am not the eagle I used to be when I was a teenager.

So while I was thinking over today about the N80, a N92 preview popped up and got into reading it. I searched a bit more on the net and found that it probably also supports A2DP along with a faster Bluetooth implementation. I got a bit warmer into the idea of N92, but the kicker was the LCD screen.

I quickly used the N80 about 1.5 months ago at my meeting with some Nokia engineers. It’s a briliant device, but when I loaded in its browser I had to bring the LCD to my nose to be able to read the page. The font size was extremely small as the LCD is just 2.2″ and it has a high resolution. On the other hand, the E61 phone model that they also had with them and showed it to me was much more pleasurable to read. The E61 uses the exact same LCD screen as the N92 does: 2.8″ QVGA.

My JBQ says that Nokia does the right thing going with super-high resolutions on small screens because that makes pictures look better and that makes teens more keen to these models. But I don’t care about the bloody pictures. I care about (web browser) TEXT and be able to read it comfortably without going blind. Be careful, I am not talking about the menus and such. These are using large fonts by default and make the N80 look like a normal phone font-wise, but I am talking about text-oriented applications –like the web browser– which their default font is extremely small for the screen size used.

That was the last strike for my decision about my next phone. I am getting the N92 instead of the N80: smaller pixel count but bigger pixel size. Between the geek factor and comfortability, I will pick comfortability this time.

I know that there is a N93 coming out right after the N92 is out (pictures leaked out about a month ago on the web), but that new model while is fixing some usability keypad issues with the N92, it will be using a 2.2″ 352×416 screen just like in the N80! Arrggggh!

I wouldn’t mind using a 352×416 screen at all, but please, make it 2.8″ at least! 2.2″ is just too small for this resolution and having to change font sizes all the time on text-oriented applications (e.g. web browsers, document readers) defeats the whole purpose!

Free range chicken misconceptions on bird flu

My mom doesn’t understand the dangers of bird flu. I called her today in Greece and told her to stop eating chickens and she replied “oh, don’t worry, we only eat free range ones, from your aunt’s and grandmother’s herds”. What a huge mistake. She has imprinted in her so much the fact that free range chickens are healthier than the industrialized ones that she fails to realize that when it comes to bird flu, free range chickens are in bigger danger than industrialized ones. The free range hens are free, out and about. They come in close contact with ducks and other birds that can carry the virus. The industrialized hens don’t. But my mom doesn’t get it. For her, free range chickens equal “good”. 🙁

new PDA, new bluetooth headphones

I am getting a new PDA, and a new stereo A2DP bluetooth headphone pair. The great thing about this particular PDA is that it has a VGA screen and the biggest battery of all: 2640 mAh. This is enough to surf via WiFi for at least 5 hours and use the PDA without WiFi for at least 12 hours (that’s with Win2003SE because with WinMobile 5 battery life is even better). We will see, after I conduct the tests. As for the A2DP stereo bluetooth headphones, I think I have 4 or 5 now. I’ve lost count.

UltraViolet movie: Bad Ass

Milla Jojovic seems to be doing a great job at the Ultraviolet movie, which trailer’s was released today. Hopefully the movie will do well in the box office, although I am almost certain that it won’t. The movie has received extremely little marketing support from Sony Pictures, the trailer is out just one month before the movie hits the cinemas, it was delayed 6 months from release, and it is going against two more movies with similar vampire-theme that are also going to be released this winter (Underworld:Evolution and another one that I can’t remember its title).

I feel sorry for director Kurt Wimmer, because his previous film that I like a lot, Equilibrium, had the exact same problems. Equilibrium became a cult classic with its DVD release, but it only did $1.5 million in the box office. It is indeed frightning how much marketing today’s customers need to eat on their faces before they decide and go see a movie at the theater. Serenity was another example, although Serenity had much more marketing support than Ultraviolet will have. Serenity was deemed a “failure” at $35 million in the world box office proving that it still didn’t have enough marketing behind it. If I was Kurt Wimmer, I would be afraid. Very afraid.

South Park’s “Bloody Mary” banned?

The Catholic Church got very unhappy about the “Bloody Mary” South Park episode I blogged about a few weeks ago, and there were many fears that Comedy Central would shelve the episode from future airings.

Now, think about the fact that Scientologist laywers didn’t do a peep when South Park heavily chastisized their religion 2 months ago in another episode. In my opinion, the Scientologist episode had more impact because it clearly puts their faith in a very difficult position in front of the public eye (the episode nailed them nicely). And yet, they didn’t sue (as they usually do).

And here we are now, having the Christians getting pissed off over free speech and expression. Booooo!

Thankfully, Comedy Central said that it won’t shelve the episode permanently and won’t listen to external pressure.