Rants

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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:

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-Rusty G

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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

copystories

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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Facebook doesn’t pay me for ads?

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Ok, so it seems Facebook has added a new feature that allows you or your friends to tag PRODUCTS, in your photos. Much like the (stolen) photo above. The idea behind this is, it allows companies to get a feel for their web presence. Really??? Oh and by the way, so far, I can’t find anything that says I’m getting paid to do this, so why would I?

Well to be a bit more specific, they are allowing you to tag photos with Pages. For instance, the girl above is holding a coke, and coke has a page, so you then can tag the coke page, like you would normally your friends, and they can see it. To be honest, at this point, I have given up on security and privacy on Facebook. Mark Zuckerburg is all about the Benjamins. He’s just basically turning us into product placement whores.

I’m removing all my likes and any pages that I like right now… I’m boycotting! Let’s start the revolt!!! We aren’t product whores!!!

via [TechCrunch]

sidebysideFatdetective

Batman Movie Similarities Across the Ages

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Ok, so I just purchased the Anthology of Batman (1989-1997), I was a big fan of Batman as a kid growing up, I never really did like Forever or Batman and Robin, as I think they got away from the darkness that was Batman and Batman Returns were. I still to this day can watch Jack Nicholson pull off Joker, it’s just a great character for him, as was Heath Ledger for the Dark Knight version. I will give you a little background though, Tim Burton did the first two movies, Batman and Batman Returns, so I think this is why I liked the first two so well. It was then handed off to Joel Schumacher for the last two of the series, in which the rest were totally ruined. Plus Michael Keaton playing the first two were a LOT better than Val Kilmer (Forever) and George Clooney (B&R). By the time Clooney showed up, it was a horrible, horrible mess. Directors, stick with the same actors, it helps not to confuse the audience. (You listen here Spiderman 4, and Transformers 3, Iron Man 2 oh and Hulk 2??)

Anyways….. enough about the history, let me give you what I was thinking the entire time I started watching Batman again.

So I began to think that I had seen some of these scenes before. You know, like for instance, the Batman and Joker standoff. And I started putting the pieces together, I think that Christopher Nolan (Begins, Dark Knight) was either paying homage to, or just straight ripping off from the original Batman movies from 89′ and 92′. So I began a mental inventory of the scenes I was watching. (I’m not talking about the story line, obviously, they have to stick true to the comics, but the scenes seemed oddly familiar)

#1– Fat Bad Detective

See??? The bad detective from Begins seems to look a lot like the one from Batman

#2 Bad guy gets a speech from Batman while hanging out over the edge of a building

Wow, now this time the characters are completely different, but the scene is pretty much the same. (Batman, Batman Begins)

#3 Harvey Dent is giving a speech about crime

the weird difference here, is in Batman, he is black, in Begins, he is white. What was he in the comics??? (Besides Two Face)

#4 The Joker crashes a party (well Art Museum in Batman)

So in Dark Night, he is holding a shotgun, in Batman his just dancing around with a cane, but in both instances, Joker ends up trying to take Batman’s girl. Rachel for Dark Night and Vicki for Batman.

#5 Batman Crashes the Party

Now this one I’ll let slide, because I’m sure that there is a crashing the party scene in EVERYONE of the movies. Some scene where he comes crashing through the roof with his cape spread out. As a matter of fact, I remember in B&R, there was a scene when they met Ice for the first time at the museum. But as for the pictured above, the first is when Batman comes in after Joker raided the art museum. The 2nd is from Begins, towards the end when he jumped down the middle of the staircase. The last one is in Dark Knight where he lands on top of the van and almost crushes it.

#6 The joker shows his face without makeup (or with makeup, however you want to see it)

You’ll see here from Batman, he was wearing a hat to help hide his identity, as for the same in Dark Knight. Also, both in a tie.

#7 Batman drives the girl back to safety

Now in Batman, Vicki wasn’t sick, but she was in danger, in Begins, Rachel was sick and in danger. And both times each scene ends with Batman driving into what seems to be a wall (either the stone from batman or the waterfall from Begins) and scares the girl in the passenger seat. Also, they both get lights shined into their eyes. HA! This is the first time for both girls to see the Batcave.

#8 Batman has to think about what he is doing

I don’t know if the reference is the same, but both times Bruce is or has said something to the fact that he doesn’t think he should be doing the job, but someone has to do it. (Dark Knight and Batman)

#9 Batman grabs the joker close-up to his face

Now I’m sure I have seen that somewhere in a comic, but it seems for both Batman and Dark Knight, he has to pull Joker in close to get his attention.

#10 The Batman stance

Now these are from different parts of the movies, the Batman scene is at the end, and the Dark Night scene is near the end when he is listening for Joker phone calls and such. Both are still him standing up against a night sky though.

#11 The Batman and Joker Standoff

This one was way too easy and almost EXACTLY the same. Both scenes from Dark Knight and Batman have Joker standing in the middle of the street with a gun, shooting at Batman, while Batman charges at him in a vehicle of sorts. Obviously for Batman it was the Batwing and for Dark Knight it was the Batpod. Either way, Batman blows up something behind Joker and then “crashes”. All this as the Joker is tauting him with a line like HIT ME, COME ON HIT ME or COME ON, COME ON YOU GRUESOME S.O.B.

#12 The Joker Kills a guy while talking to the mob.

This one I couldn’t find a screen shot, so I’ll just explain it. It Batman, Joker is basically trying to take over the mob as their new boss, because he had killed his boss, because his boss tried to have him picked off by the police (over a woman). So when he comes back the first time as the Joker, he is telling the mob that he has taken over, and one guy doesn’t believe him, so he electrocutes him to death with a hand buzzer and leaves him smoking.

In Dark Knight, Joker is trying to tell the mob that their money isn’t safe and they need to trust him, but one guy doesn’t believe him, so he stabs a pencil on the table and makes it “disappear” by shoving the guys head right on top of it really quick (assuming that it killed him).

#13 Freak Accident to create the bad guy

Again, no screenshot. Batman, Jack Napier has to fall into the toxic waste to become the Joker.

Dark Knight: Harvey dent survives an explosion to become Two Face.

#14 Joker Falls off a tall building

No screenshot. In Batman, the Joker fell off of a ladder from the helicopter all the way to his death. In Dark Knight, they didn’t let joker die, Batman caught him and tied him so he hung over the ledge.

#15 The Batmobile transforms into something else

In Batman Returns, the Batmobile turns into this torpedo looking thing. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SqwMMj2wvA)

In Dark Knight, the Batmobile broke down and became a Batpod (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPaTv98wUsE)

#16 Gotham City gets gassed!

You will remember that in Batman, the Joker is gassing the city with his toxic fumes to kill everyone, and in Begins, the Scarecrow is gassing the city with his toxic fumes to scare everyone to death!

Final and last one #17

This one was pretty OBVIOUS, but I didn’t make this split screen comparison, but it is pretty convincing; a trailer comparison of the Dark Knight and Batman:

With that off in your mind, let me know what you think… Have we just watched the same movie? Did Christopher Nolan steal the new Batman series all form Tim Burton? Was this just his interpretation??? Or is it Chris Nolan’s homage to the two better originals. We will never know. Leave your thoughts below.

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The iPhone tracking problem

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Well it seems, even amongst all the rumors, rumors & rumors of the white “unicorn” iPhone 4 coming on the 27th of April (spotted for Vodafone in the UK and Van Roey in Belgium), Apple can’t seem to get away from headlines about this whole tracking ordeal. It seems the whole world is asking questions as to why this is going on. South Korea is asking questions, the Attornery General from Illinois is asking for a meeting & now Senator Al Franken is holding a hearing on May 10th and has called Apple and Google both to this meeting.

Source: O'Reilly Radar

What has made this even worse, is now there is a couple of guys filing a class action lawsuit against Apple; one is from Florida and the other from New York. What’s even better about this is, a user emailed the great and powerful Steve Jobs, told him that he was getting a droid, and he got SERVED. Basically, Steve told the guy that Apple doesn’t track you, Google (via Android) does track you, and all the blogs are lying and spewing false information. WOW. How can you deny the information that is out there? The two guys from the UK plainly showed it works with their online tool and directions. Now even if Apple doesn’t use the information directly, why would you store it on the phone and on the local harddrive of the PC or Mac? UNENCRYPTED.

I found this file on my PC, I haven’t put it on a map yet, but still rather odd that it is there. It seems a security issue, especially since users that know nothing about the inner workings of an iPhone can be easily SSH’d into with the ‘root’ and ‘alpine’ combination. (Why doesn’t Apple give the basic user the chance to change this, without having to jailbreak. ) Once inside, the file isn’t even encrypted and easily downloadable and transferred to a map. So it seems to be a small whole in the security of the iPhone and it is causing a lot of concern among a lot of people.

The funny thing is, WE ALL CONSENTED to it, wether you knew about it or not. So I have no more pity for those crying about this issue. If you don’t take time read what you are agreeing to, then it is your own fault. The same goes for any legal documents, it is always good to read it before you sign anything! I’ll give you a section from the Apple document that you agreed to, upon purchasing and syncing up your iPhone: (pulled from the Apple SLA .pdf)

(b) Location Data. Apple and its partners and licensees may provide certain services through your iPhone that rely upon location information. To provide and improve these services, where available, Apple and its partners and licensees may transmit, collect, maintain, process and use your location data, including the real-time geographic location of your iPhone, and location search queries. The location data and queries collected by Apple are collected in a form that does not personally identify you and may be used by Apple and its partners and licensees to provide and improve location-based products and services. By using any location-based services on your iPhone, you agree and consent to Apple’s and its partners’ and licensees’ transmission, collection, maintenance, processing and use of your location data and queries to provide and improve such products and services. You may withdraw this consent at any time by going to the Location Services setting on your iPhone and either turning off the global Location Services setting or turning off the individual location settings of each location-aware application on your iPhone. Not using these location features will not impact the non location-based functionality of your iPhone. When using third party applications or services on the iPhone that use or provide location data, you are subject to and should review such third party’s terms and privacy policy on use of location data by such third party applications or services.

See? You agreed to that when you were syncing up the iPhone for the first time. You may not have realized it, as most people don’t. You just click and click and click, until you get to the end so you can setup your phone. The problem that I have with all of this, it seems that we are to believe (again for regular users) that this can be disabled by turning off the location servies, inside the settings of your phone. There are tests that show that iPhone continues to record location data, even after the switch is turned off. So you are being lied to at this point? “Oh yeah, we track you, we’re sorry. You can turn that off in your settings. Not really.”

As for me, I don’t really care, and it doesn’t bother me, but there are some people out there that still don’t have a cell phone, don’t direct deposit, mail things with a stamp, write letters, have landline phones and still pay for cable or satellite service. It may matter to them, and it may be their first smartphone and they don’t like the idea that they are being tracked, even if it isn’t being uploaded anywhere. If you do care and don’t really know what do about it, I suggest you jailbreak your iPhone and download the app ‘untrackered‘.

Just one more thing, it seems that Microsoft is trying to get a piece of this frenzy pie. Since they are the lowest percentage of smartphone users, it seems they are just reaching for attention at this point. They basically say they do the same thing, but just don’t store it locally for someone to find. Shut up microsoft, no one cares.

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