iPad Air or iPad Mini retina?


retina-ipad-mini-ipad-air

Hello world.

One day after Apples “we’ve got a lot to cover” event, which brought the long rumoured and expected hardware / software updates. I was most definitely expecting new iPads and knew I was going to upgrade this time. Because as it happened last year eBuyer made a great deal on eBay which allowed me to buy an iPad 4, sell my iPad 3, and still walk away with £30. So I thought – I deserve an upgrade this year as the budget is there.

When the iPad mini was released, I was very excited about it, apart from the lack of retina display. When I actually looked at it in the Apple store, the non-retina display stopped me from buying it. Now we’ve got a retina iPad mini! However… We’ve also got an iPad Air. I’m sure I’m not alone on the “weird name” opinion. Are we getting an iPad Pro or something anytime soon? – unlikely. So anyway, the point is that it now starts to seem that the iPad Air is not such a bad option as it’s lighter than 4th gen, and you get the bigger screen. What buys me back to the mini is that it’s got more potential to be used in more places. I would probably take it out more, and actually use it. If I were to get it I am thinking of a 4G version and for a start put the free data sim into it from Ovivo – so that I don’t care about usage and just use it when I need to.

Ehh! I’m going back and forth between the two. I’ve used a full size iPad regularly for nearly two years soon. And I have been tempted by the mini design. I am thinking of getting the mini first. If I REALLY don’t like it, there’s always the 14 days return policy, right?

Any thoughts? I’m sure I’m not alone on this “decisions decisions” topic.

Alex

Can YouTube or Facebook replace RSS?


Hello World!

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been very happily using the new updated YouTube interface, and I think it’s a game changer. There is now a main focus on the channel subscriptions, and you seem to be forced to care more about the channels that you subscribe to. Not to say you couldn’t care about them in the past, but now it’s just right there, in your FACE:

Image

That sort of brings me to the way (soon to be gone) Google Reader is displaying the feeds:

Google Reader

Kind of similar, huh?

I know it’s two different things. But most blogs / news sites have a youtube channel nowadays, where they publish daily news. I very closely follow CNET TV for example, and I feel that it’s probably even a better way of getting the news, as you can actually see things in real life. I definitely agree with the fact that more people should do it after all, as not ALL of the web sites have  a channel.

I think the point that I’m trying to make is that YouTube is a different kind of a social network beast than it someday used to be. It went from all sorts of clips to daily news, updates, weekly reviews etc. I seem to be opening YouTube nowadays before I go to the RSS. It is just simplerAnd that (I think) matters to people. The easier it is to get access to the information that you’re after, the more likelihood you are to go with that source. I think the fact that it has a billion monthly users only proves my point. Proof – BBC Article.

I keep hearing this on podcasts, that Twitter is a new RSS replacement. And I will say that yes, I have been using it mainly for that purpose for a while. It seems however that it is good to deliver the latest, but the “river” issue with it is a concern. When I go to twitter on my iPhone I will more than likely scroll through the last 200 tweets at most. And that would mean that I would miss whatever’s been posted before. I know you can create lists etc, but it’s not as convenient, and there’s clearly the absence of them focusing on that in the way it is shown in the above screenshots.

Facebook is adding the followers section in the News Feed update. That will put it closer to where twitter is, however it will separate your stuff straight away, so you will have your friends with the garbage joke photos (sorry, I think Facebook has become a Trash folder recently) and companies that you follow. However I haven’t been following many on there, so I cannot tell if it’s any good. I probably should give it a try.

So guys and gals. What is your take on this? Can we live without RSS? I know a lot of people might not know what it is, but I know a lot of people rely on it for research purposes, and as a way of keeping up-to-date. YouTube helps me personally, and I’ve also been trying to contribute as much as I can myself, by bringing useful, and sometimes not so useful footage to the worlds biggest social video network.

Peace!

OSX Flashback Trojan Fix


Hello All.

This is absolutely not the best reason to write  blog. This is one of the worst ones. At least for a person like me, an active member of the MAC community. It is sad, but we have to be realistic. This day was expected to come when something major hits the MAC. Apple have been busy making these amazing computers, and now as they become more and more popular there’s more people aiming to attack us using them.

The attackers used a vulnerability in Java to insert malware onto the machines. In case with Apple, who have their own custom version of Java, they sadly are usually quite late with updating it. So in this scenario, even if you were up-to-date with your software you could get the malware onto your machine, just by visiting a compromised web site which contained malware (a lot of major web sites affected by this), it would use the Java vulnerability to install itself onto your machine without you even noticing. No user interaction required whatsoever.

Going back a number of months it was acting a fake-flash installer that you would download, and by installing which you would get malware onto your machine, so you would have to actually accept the installation of the so-called “flash” which would prompt for installation after you visiting a web site for example.

The attackers are forming a botnet (What is a botnet?) of Mac users to be available for spamming/monitoring/data theft, you name it.

Now how do we go about understanding if you have it, removing it and making sure we protect ourselves. First of all, everybody and always has to make sure their software is up-to-date. No excuses. I see no reason people not updating their software, if their computer can run it. There is really no reason. And make sure that you are using an Apple Supported OS – so you have to be on Snow Leopard or Lion. Anything under – you’re not safe.

Quite a few nice people on the internet have came up with a few ways of looking up if you have the trojan, and how you can remove it.

One of my most respected podcasters Bart Busschots has combined instructions to check if you’re infected from F-Secure and Tidbits. You can find the instructions on his blog at http://www.bartb.ie – the direct link to the article is here

But all it takes is to download a script, run it. And it will identify if you’re infected. If you’re not – happy days. If you are… You have to follow the instructions on the F-Secure web site. And at the time of me posting this, Kaspersky have came up with a removal tool – the direct link to download is here.

Ok people. This is a sad news, but I keep you updated. Stay on the ball, safe, and careful!

iMessage for Desktop and OSX Mountain Lion (Cougar?)


There we go. iMessage for MAC is finally out. Wait… MAC? Or do we just call it OSX? Hold on…

Most of the usual suspect blogs got exploded today after Apples quiet sneak peak of the new OS that will come out this summer – Mountain Lion (Cougar?). I was excited and not very excited at the same time. This new OS release just seems like a software package on top of what we already have doesn’t it? Am I the only one who thinks that way? Mainly I think it’s the issue of not much changing (Gatekeeper is the only system based thing is it?) system wise, just a bunch of software add-ons. Yes, we will get twitter integration. Do we need to change the whole OS for it? Maybe I’m wrong…

As an Apple fan-boy I should probably be more excited about it than I am. It’s the second time I find myself in a situation like this. Last time it was with Lion. New gestures… AirPort is now called Wi-Fi! iCloud… Seems like all of this stuff doesn’t really deserve a whole new OS. Maybe I just want Apple to make more major changes to the OS, rather than add some app-like functionality to the system. I don’t see a reason why they cannot release Notes, Reminders, Notification Centre, Game Center, Airplay Mirroring just through the AppStore. Is it impossible or something? They did it with iMessage did they?

iMessage by the way looks awesome. Something I wanted for a while. If I exclude the weirdness of the old iChat that still seems to be present in exactly the same way (it’s just a bit harder to get to contacts). It would be cool if we got a unified window for everything if they want to join these two apps. However it would probably be a lot easier if they didn’t. Make sure you check it out!

I hope the world is doing great. Just decided to vent a little in my own very personal-public little blog.

Peace!

Samsung vs. Apple


Hello World,

The idea for this post came from the recent tech news and announcements from Samsung that I’ve been looking at.

So may I be right or wrong, but Samsung seems to be trying to go Apple, in terms of design at least? I keep reading these posts on the internet where Samsung has made a tablet that looks like an iPad, which is comparable in sizes and specs. Then it’s a laptop which is trying to compete with the Macbook Air, and kind of looks too similar as well.

Macbook Air Samsung Series 9

So what’s the game Samsung? I’ve noticed that your Galaxy phone looks like an iPhone 3G/3GS. And geeks, – correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s a copied design, with a bigger screen on the Galaxy S. Yes it’s slimmer, yes it’s bigger in screen size. But if you look at them from a distance they look too similar to me.

Galaxy S
iPhone 3G

There’s the new Galaxy 10.1 / 8.9 on engadget.

http://www.engadget.com/photos/samsung-galaxy-tab-8-9-and-10-1-hands-on/#3989415

I never liked Samsung’s designs, and all over sudden I like them. There’s a simple answer to the “Why?” question that comes after this statement, – They look like Apple-like. Isn’t it strange that quite rapidly after the iPad 2 announcement we’ve got a re-designed Galaxy Tab that kind of looks the same again? Is it a good thing – I don’t know. I think it just makes a bit mash from products, and people still call them iPads, though most of them aren’t just look the same. It is also similar with the phones. “Have you got one of those iPhones? – No… Couldn’t afford one, went for a Samsung”.

This post may put me into a position of an Samsung/Android hater but I can assure you that I’m not. I’m happy that they are finally doing some progress design wise, but… They should probably come up with their own ideas, not steal it from another company.

20.10.2010 Apple announcements (Back To The Mac) – My views


Well hello everybody!

We’ve just seen the new announcements from Apple, the keynote was streamed live (good changes) and we’ve got some exciting news, and some that may actually worry people.

 

So the new iLife 11 suite is out, it’s got a weird logo as you can see. It’s got major changes to iPhoto, iMovie, Garageband. No changes were mentioned during the Keynote for the iWeb or iDVD.

The changes are not too dramatic with the iPhoto, Apple seems to have concentrated on the new slideshows and prints a lot. Now you can do more books for print, and actually store them really nicely locally on the machine as well. You also get a full screen view, which seems nice, not a big deal, but can make people concentrated more when dealing with photos. I wish there was more effort put into the editing really…

iMovie seems to be big. You can now see the waveforms of the audio right in the editing are, plus in the clips pane. You can make automation for the volume, you can fade it really easily, and you can boost the sound quite nicely. It seems like a big deal to me because it has always been a problem there, I think. Now the big part of the demo during the keynote was spent on creating trailers of your home movies. It’s not like I’ve done that many home movies, but… Who needs trailers for home movies? I mean… Maybe it’s just me though. The technology they use to find clips using tagging seems to be extremely helpful and powerful. Seems something like Faces for iMovie really. It also detects all sorts of differences in the video, like how many people are there etc. Seems amazing.

Garageband has a minor update and includes a couple of features that seem to be handy, but in my opinion they need to work on the whole interface as it is horrible. I am obviously more used to the Pro apps like Logic or Cubase, so maybe I’m misjudging. So now you’ve got Flex and Groove Matching. Flex can help editing the timing of the recordings, quite a good way to fix simple mistakes actually, I’ve used it in Logic for back vocals. Groove Matching seems quite interesting. You set one track that seems to have been played right to the rhythm, and all the others get automatically scanned and matched to the ‘master’. You can obviously select the ones that are affected and disable the change. Quite handy, and looks good, will have to check how good of a job it actually does though… There is also a new feature for lessons. It now can analyse the way you learn and tell you where you make mistakes. You can record and listen how you’ve played after and get marked down on various things. A couple new lessons are included.

Mac OSX Lion.

Now the big thing that was previewed was the next MACOSX version 10.7 Lion. That seems great, but they have not showed off much, because of lack of time as Steve said. The main thing is that we will get some features that are great on iOS on the MACOSX desktop version. We will be getting the App Store for the Mac as well, which I think can cause quite a bit of noise in the press and podcasts space now. The apps that will be published on to the App Store on the Mac, will work the same way as the iPhone does, you get the updates for them, you install them exactly the same way as you would on the iPhone. There’s no difference. Now there’s no difference to the publishing process neither… Huh? You might ask? Well Apple gets 30% of your stuff that you put there. They will host the app and everything, but 30%? Really? I’m not sold that developers will be too happy. Too many unanswered questions about this so far. The App Store for the Mac will launch in 30 days.

First thing is the launchpad. Which is basically and iPhone home screen, contents of which is you application folder. You can organise things the same way you can on the iPhone. Folders, home screens etc. So basically a stack that is better made. Looks great, but isn’t anything special. It adds some simplicity, but that’s about it. I prefer Launchbar.

So we’ve got a couple of changes to the expose and dashboard (now called Mission Control), which gives you a view of all things open with previews for everything that is going on and launched on the machine.

We’ve also now got a cheap Macbook Air that has been improved. It’s now got integrated Flash storage like the iPad, it is available in 11.6 and 13.3 screen sizes. Is extremely thin as it used to be. Has 30 day standby time, 7hrs of wifi browsing on the 13.3″ model and 5hrs on the 11.6″. It has not obtained the optical drive, and there’s no way you can use a hard drive with the thing. It’s got 2 USB ports, SD card reader, a mini display port, a headphone jack, a microphone, and a facetime camera. Now is the facetime camera the horrible VGA? Hopefully not. It’s got a full size magic trackpad as on the other macbooks. The display resolution on the 13.3″ is a whopping 1440 by 900, which is more pixels that a 13″ mac has ever seen before, and 11.6″ gets 1366 by 768 which is stunning also. The flash storage on the 11.6″ is limited to 64GB or 128GB, and 13″ gets 128GB and 256GB. WiFi 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR are included. 13.3″ model has choices of 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 6MB on-chip shared L2 cache; or optional 2.13GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 6MB shared L2 cache. 11.6″ 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB on-chip shared L2 cache; or optional 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB shared L2 cache. Both have NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory.

So the machines are underpowered due to the size, but seem compelling. The prices start at $999 for the 11.6″ and $1,299.00 for the 13.3″.

So that’s all the exciting news that we’ve got.

/me says thank you all!

Skype 2.1 on the iPhone4 review (with iOS4 multitasking support)


Hello world, just a quick post regards to the new Skype app for the iPhone that has been updated to version 2.1 yesterday. I have tested it briefly with my iPhone4, and from the functionality perspective, it seems to be surprisingly good!

It is still the same good old app, but now you can receive messages and calls while in the background, I have tried both, and can only say that so far I am very happy with it.

Now coming to issues, which no app developer apart from a couple in the app store can avoid (and that’s understandable). People can’t hear you any good!, that’s using the iPhone 4. The person I was talking to had to turn up the volume on the speakers all the way up and could barely hear me! And I could hear myself back echoing very bad. Though as soon as I’ve put my headset on the problem went, and the person could hear me well, and there was no echoing.

You can do whatever you want with the phone while you’re on a Skype call now. Unless you are using a jailbroken iPhone with Backgrounder. Most people have these issues with 3GS, and not many reports come from iPhone4 users.

There is apparently no more proxy support, I have personally never used it and don’t feel the need.

Battery life is horrible according to most people on @twitter, I did not have a chance to try it out in a full day, but during the call that lasted around 5 minutes, it killed around 3% on the iPhone4, totally worrying.

Skype have also announced that there will be no charge for 3G calls anymore!, that is obviously very good for all of us, and gets Skype more users, so they think at least.

And for the conclusion – No video calls through the front facing camera.

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