Rants

Stop Cluttering my Screen with CRAP Apple!

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Maybe I am the only one seeing this, as the iOS gets updated EVERY year, but I am seriously getting ticked at the amount of icons that I have to have on the home screen. Remember iOS 1? Those were the simple times. Look at this, my iPhone from stock now has to have 2 home screens to fit everything on it!


What?!?! If you saw my post earlier, you saw I already don’t like the idea of Music and Video being separated into two different apps. They are doing the same function. Playing media, you know what else USED to do that? the iPod app. I don’t want my iPhone looking like an iPod Touch. It looks tacky. The bad part is, even apple groups together the crap you don’t use, under utilities. Voice Memos, which seemed to have turned blue? Did I miss that? Contacts? Why did we ever pull that out of the phone app? That is duplicating what you already have. I guess there was such an outcry to have a one click access to it? Who really uses the compass? The only utility I use is the calculator. I don’t use Weather or Stocks and I hardly use the notes app. Oh wait, we added a ‘new’ app. Reminders. I guess this adds a checklist or some other feature to reminders that are already in the calendar. I just won’t really ever use it. Also, why can’t the iTunes and App store be one icon? When I click on the iTunes store on the PC or Mac, it’s one place, why not on the phone too? I don’t need all this crap filling up my screen before I even get started. I LOVED the folders when they finally implemented it in iOS 4, and I think it was a GREAT design choice. Less clutter is better! Oh, Newsstand and Gamecenter, I don’t like you much either. I use the feature of gamecenter RARELY to find people to play with, but I never actually click on the icon. I don’t think I will ever use Newsstand either. The phone just has too small of a screen to read anything on. ALTHOUGH, the new reader feature in Safari is great! (Another GREAT design choice!) Why can’t I pick a custom install where I get to choose what shows up? Just like iBooks, I don’t have to install it, but if I want to, it is a free download away. Please work on this in the future. Maybe iOS 5.1? Here’s to dreaming.

Ever see my theme elsewhere???

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So I was just a little bored at work today and I was reading the tech news from my Google Reader page, I noticed another website that I was reading had the same free theme that I had. Now I had seen this a time before on VeronicaBelmont.com. I really never paid any attention to this because I just figured it was a popular theme out there because it was free. I remember actually reading about it somewhere on one of the tech sites like Mashable.com. I really liked the theme, so I picked it up and put it on this website. The funny thing is, if you take the little small phrase from the bottom of this page, and google it. You can find that there are a lot of other websites out there with it. So that’s what I did partially at work today, took the phrase “Powered by WordPress and Mystique theme by digitalnature” and looked it up. WOW, I never knew I was going to run into so many sites that have the same theme, or at least a modified version of the same theme. Check out the list that I found:

http://granthuhn.wordpress.com

http://veronicabelmont.com
http://iknowrusty.com (this website)
http://miravox.fmcrowd.com/
http://www.gbcallen.org/ (modified)
http://41minds.com/ (modified)
http://www.dirtyshort.com (modified)
http://jayolsonimprov.com/ (modified)
http://www.tainteamtour.com/
http://odogparks.org/(modified)
http://www.moveablepeace.org/(modified)
http://blogs.dotnetkicks.com/connectsql
http://www.facetray.net/ (modified)
http://clubs.calvin.edu/crew/
http://www.pioneercrew.org/site/ (modified)
http://www.alexxcalise.com/
http://arcommunitybankers.com/
http://eurohealth.ie/ (modified)
http://puppeteersofpugetsound.org/
http://www.chinmaykulkarni.info/blog/
http://ericgoldstein.net/
http://www.ohioview.org/
http://www.calda.org/(modified)
http://michaelwalsh.org/
http://www.levelcapped.com/(modified)
http://repeater.org/
http://www.adminlair.com/(modified)
http://campusninja.nl/test/wordpress/ (modified)
http://www.agentsinspired.com/
http://www.uprdetroit.org/
http://bobdawg.org/wordpress/
http://www.namase.com/(modified)
http://edtech411.com/
http://eye-dropper.kepi.cz/
http://berrythemereview.com/
http://www.elitethemes.net/
http://rha.njit.edu/wordpress/ (modified)
http://www.cmduke.com/ (modified)

The funny thing is, I never knew I had so much in common with so many other websites. Or should I say that only the (modified) ones had any creative smarts about them and changed it up a bit. Now, you can keep looking, because there was something like 8 million hits when I searched that phrase. Have a good weekend folks.. I may end up blogging about the facebook/google+ war here later this weekend…
-RustyG

Oh COME ON!

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In a follow up to my previous post about Apple copying Samsung, I came across this story about a new phone that Samsung just released in the UK on Vodaphone. It is the Galaxy S II carrying the android gingerbread OS. When I saw the announcement on Engadget Mobile, I had to laugh again. Mainly, because if the rumors are true, it seems it is only half true. They just have the who is copying who backwards. If the next iPhone is suppose to be the mockup that MacRumors is showing off, man do these phones look awfully close. Again, I submit for your consideration the evidence:

click for larger image

-Rusty G

Apple inundated news?

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Sorry that I am on this Apple kick, but it is really driving me nuts here lately. I spoke a little about this in my previous post about the Samsung vs Apple quarrel that is going on. It’s like every time I open my news here lately, it is nothing but apple. You people realize there are other companies out there right now? I will say they seem to be one of the most valuable companies in the world, but MAN, this is ridiculous. (to be honest, I am not helping by griping about it either…) I am so sick of hearing about iPhone 5 rumors and parts being leaked. It’s like we have seen all of the parts, but no whole phone yet. Go over to AppleInsider or MacRumors and look up iPhone parts. The latest? We have a FCC ID #! Who freaking cares?

Did you know that IFA 2011 is going on right now over in Germany? Heck, Samsung, Toshiba & LG are all announcing some pretty cool stuff at IFA. But when I open up my news this morning, I get iOS beta 7 expires in October! WHO FREAKING CARES?!?! I guess this further cements the fact that all the parts are coming together and they have their FCC approval and that we should see an iPhone refresh here in the first week of October.

I mean it is to the point that we are putting up their building issues in London because of the size of their retail store plans. Also, we are watching glass getting put up? Why not watch grass grow? Are we so worried about what Apple is doing that we have to know EVERYTHING about them? Oh, wait, here’s another. Apple has their own police force running around and impersonating officers. Isn’t that a crime punishable by jail time? I know if I did that, I would be in jail. Is it because they have so much money, if they have a problem, they can just pay off the police?

It just goes to show you the power that Apple has on it’s name. You can almost post anything and say Apple did it, and you get 200,000+ views. Even the bad stuff. For instance, I like this one: a guy is complaining about the Sears goofup they did a few months back on the iPad and priced it at $69. Sears wasn’t going to honor it, so what did he do? He emailed all of the tech blogs! Who thought that was a good idea? Apparently he did. Hey, here’s a story, I’ll sell it to you for an iPad 2 w/Wifi! Of course though, you can always email Steve Jobs, I mean Tim Cook. They always seem to answer to customer emails.

-Rusty G

The Problem I have with Tech News Sites

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When it comes to getting the latest Tech News, it seems there is more than enough to choose from and you probably have one of choice that you like to read from. As for me though, I like to have several sources that I read from for cross reference purposes, and because I co-host a YouTube only podcast/webcast that we like to whittle down the top tech news stories for people that don’t do all the reading, can watch and listen to. (Along with some lite humor added in.) So I would say I have a bit of journalist in me. Now that you have an idea as to why I read so much tech news, and why most of my friends and colleagues come to me with questions about the latest, I will go on with my problem.

I used to use Digg as my news source. v4 of Digg came around, and I lost interest in the site. Many people went to Reddit, but I really wanted to skip the middleman. So I started to visit every website individually, which was kind of time consuming. Then I moved onto using the RSS feeds inside of Outlook, and now I have moved onto Google reader.

#1) Being the fact that I check several websites for stories, I continually see the same headline across multiple sites. Now, I know I cannot change this, because every site that is news, has to have every headline that matters to their particular subject matter. The answer to this would seem to be easy, and just stick to just one site, and not read multiples, but then I couldn’t cross reference from multiple sources and not all of the stories make it to every website. Which in of itself, every site may have the same headline, but may have different views; so, I guess I just deal with this one, or hope someone can make an RSS reader that detects duplicates (from mulitple sources).

#2)The next is story copying but with your own words, or thoughts and then giving a link (via or source). Which sounds like the previously stated, but let me give you an example.(I can’t really say much, as even on this blog here, I do the same thing ALL THE TIME, but I plan to stop.) So let’s go with this story here:

Boy Genius Report
Facebook hires iOS/PS3 hacker geohot

which then goes to:

iClarified
Apple News | Geohot is Now Working For Facebook

then says Read More:

electonista
Original iPhone hacker Geohot starts working at Facebook

then [via]:

TechUnwrapped
GeoHot Woking at Facebook, iPad App in the Works

I don’t know what this is called, but I like to call it link-bating. It seems that tech site Boy Genius report actually just fills it’s sites with headlines, much like Engadget does. They really don’t write much, just give you a cool picture to look at, and a short synapsis and a link to the “original” story. Which, seems to be constantly linked to another source to another source to another source and so on and so on. I would like to be able to read the source material and skip all the other stories, but I have not been able to find a good way to do this yet without having to continually clicking the [via] links. There are some extreme examples that sometimes go 6 sites deep or more, but you get the idea.

#3)Large news websites seem to want to have multiple departments, writers and sections, so that they can cover many stories on one website. Again, this is the idea that I like, but sometimes seems to be poorly implemented. Let’s go with CNET, they are my 2nd favorite behind Revision3. CNET may have the same story two or three times because there are different writers across different departments for different sections of the website that may be writing about the same story. STOP IT!! Is there not any communication inside the company? This also fills up my RSS reader with duplicate stories from the same source! This goes back to number 1! I think they are trying to follow the old newspaper business model, and they need to stop it, or their senior editor needs to pay more attention before these stories hit the web. Now I will say though, sometimes, the mulitples may be the story in one, a video in another, and pics in another. Why not just put them all in one page?

Example:

#4)This is based off of number 3, but still pertaining to big websites.DESIGN. Cookie cutter desings for different sites, but all the same site??? For instance Gawker Media, who owns Gawker.com, DeadSpin.com, Kotaku.com, Jezebel.com, io9.com, jalopnik.com, gizmodo.com and lifehacker.com. They are all the same company, from what I can tell (please correct me if I am wrong), but they are all different sites with the same design: HORRIBLE. I think TechCrunch.com tried to do this better, by putting the different sections on top, but still they are completely different websites.CrunchGear.com, MobileCruch.com, TechCrunchIT.com, Crunchbase.com and so on and so on. I am not a HUGE user of the website GigaOM, but it seems they have the right idea, different colors for different sections, but all the same stinking website. The same goes for Arstechnica, except they keep the same design and color fo all sections.

#5)Podcasts??? I’ll wrap up with a question. Why Podcasts? It seems (based upon my short time in tech) that Diggnation (with Digg) started this trend. This ended up being the basis for Revision3 and to this day is still a flagship show. If you have a news site, you must start a video podcast. I really don’t know who started it, but it needs to stop. I think after Digg, the next one I can remember is Engadget; they may have had and audio only before, but since have added a video. Then came TechCrunch. Which TechCrunch is still very young (they just turned 1), so I may get my details wrong here because I don’t watch all of these. Now that TechCrunch has one(TCTV), BoyGeniusReport must have one. Now BGR is just an audio podcast, but I am sure they are in the works for a video one. Now I have left out GigaOM, Lifehacker (part of the Revision3 Network) and CNET, as because I don’t know where they fit in this timeline. I know that CNET has been around quite a while, which I think is a large competitor to Revision3 and probably have a very close birthday. Now don’t get me wrong, my absolute favorite podcasts are all on Revision3, but both Rev3 and CNET have the same problem. They are out to acquire many shows to be a full on network. Rev3 has some shows that competing against each other, like TechBuffalo, Soldier Knows Best and Tekzilla. They all are some sort of tech news, but just for different people I guess. Same goes for CNET, there are so many daily shows and live broadcasts and so many hosts on so many shows, I can’t keep up with show names, I just know personalities. They both need to get it down to like 5-10 shows. Quality is better than quantity.

Any comments? Questions? Feel free to leave them below!

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