Wednesday, November 28, 2012

You Guys, The Nokia Lumia Just MIGHT Be Greater Than The iPhone [Not A Review, But Kinda]

From 2010 to the end of 2012, I was exclusively an iPhone user.  I owned an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S during that span.  Prior to that I owned the original Motorola Droid and afterwards, I purchased both the HTC One X and Galaxy Nexus.  My level of experience with both iOS and Android had reached somewhat of a God status, and being the tech whore that I am, I simply wanted to try something new.  Windows Phone intrigued me from the moment it was announced, but I couldn't bare the thought of leaving my beloved iTunes ecosystem.  But now that Microsoft has had time to perfect and improve upon it's fledgling OS, I figured now's a good a time as any to give it a shot.  And though there are a handful of WP8 phones currently on the market, it's clear that Nokia's Lumia is THE Windows Phone to get.  Note:  I'm well aware that there are multiple Lumias on the market, but for the purpose of this article, we're gonna refer to the Nokia Lumia 920 as the Nokia Lumia, because's the only one that matters.  

But Nerd, there are barely any apps for Windows Phones!

This is the cheap cop out of arguments against Windows Phone, so I'm gonna get this out of the way right now.  I currently have virtually every app (or at least, a more than suitable alternative) on my Lumia that I had on my iPhone or Nexus.  Most of what I'm missing are games, as titles like Temple Run, Scramble With Friends and others don't exist on the platform yet.  And yes, I know: there's no Instagram.  But everything else?  Twitter?  Facebook?  (Which actually exists better in the People Hub than the standalone app, but I'll save that for another article), Pageonce? (for finance management), Dropbox?  ESPN?  Amazon?  Paypal? DirecTV?  I HAVE ALL OF IT! The apps that I'm missing, I must not have used much anyway.  Let's be real.  The majority of us want our phones to be able to tweet, take pictures, play music, stay up on FB notifications, and occasionally make phone calls.  The Lumia does all of these things, and remarkably well I might add.  

But Nerd, iOS and Android are both much more mature operating systems than Windows Phone!

Yea?  Says who?  How do we measure maturity in software?  Is it by the usefulness of it's interface?  Because I'd argue that WP8 has a better front end than either iOS or Android (and I'd probably win).  Is it by the lack of bugs or glitches?  Because both Android and iOS have had their share of snafus over the past month or few.  Is it by feature count?  Because ALL smartphones offer damn near the same set of options.  And the few that set iOS or Android apart from the crowd tend to be novelty features that no one uses more than once.  When is the last time you touched your phone to a friends phone to send a playlist?  When is the last time you used Siri to order movie tickets?  It's all fun and cute for commercials, but these are not real world applications that people clamor over.  They're selling points.  And they work, but they're not practical.  

But Nerd, Microsoft, and Windows by extension, just isn't COOL anymore!  I want my phone to be cool!

OK, you wanna pull out your iPhone 5 in a crowd and get a few gasps.  I totally get it.  But pull out a Lumia and see what kind of reaction you get.  It's one of the most beautifully designed smartphones I've ever laid my hands on, crafted with arguably the same amount of painstaking precision as Apple's darling.  Christina Warren drew stares from a restaurant full of people and got stopped on the street because of her Lumia.  You will STILL be plenty cool, trust me.  

So what you're telling me is the Lumia is BETTER than the iPhone 5?

It's becoming harder and harder to quantify "better" in the tech industry.  Any manufacturer worth their salt will be sure to include their handset with the top of line specs necessary to compete with their contemporaries.  But it's time to look at facts.  iOS is great, but arguable aging platform.  Android is great, but is just only now, after nearly 4 years, matching iOS in terms of usability and aesthetics.  The door is wide open for Microsoft to swoop in and snatch up their lunch money.  And if phones like the Lumia continue to be made, who's to say they won't do just that?  

I really liked my Galaxy Nexus.  I LOVED my iPhone 4S.  But there's something about this Lumia that I can't quite put my finger on.  Maybe it's the newness of it all.  Maybe it truly is the next big thing.  Only time, and Microsoft's commitment to continued perfection of their platform, will tell.  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Really Shitty Thing Facebook Did That You're Probably Unaware Of

Over the summer, Facebook did something really stupid and selfish that almost nobody (accept savvy tech news followers like myself) even noticed.  They took whatever email you had listed on your profile and replaced it with the completely useless email address linked with your page.  Many tech blogs, including Gizmodo (from whom I lifted that awesome header photo) outlined the steps necessary to reverse this boneheaded move.  After randomly checking 10 profiles from my chat list, I noticed all 10 of them had the email on their profile instead of their personal one.  You may wanna take a second and fix your contact info so people can, ya know, contact you.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Banned Lunchables Commercial [Video]

Can We Please Standardize The Voting Process?

In the weeks (and in some cases, days) leading up to the election, there were numerous reports of voter sabotage; everything from people being given incorrect dates to actual votes being wiped out of the system by mysterious "glitches".  Ohio, in particular, made the news when a last minute decision was made to update voting software with little to no rhyme or reason as to why.  It's also worth noting that a majority of these suspicious cases seemed to involve members of Republican Party.  

While it's clear that a high level of security and scrutiny needs to surround the election and it's voting process, I see no reason why it can't all feature a standard set of procedures consistent throughout the country.  A standard process for in-person voting, absentee, and email voting (for special circumstances such as those introduced by last week's storm).  One uniform interface in all booths across the country, instantly recognizable to repeat voters and easy to understand by new voters.  This isn't rocket science, people.  

While the last two elections seemed to have been a wide enough margin for this not to be a huge issue, the last thing we need is such a poorly thought out process that leads to miscounts and incorrect balloting.  I was too young to vote in 2000, but the "hanging chad" debacle is still fresh in my mind.  

I can walk in to a Wawa, tap a touchscreen and walk out with a custom made sandwich in five minutes, yet there are reports of people going to vote and the screen selecting the incorrect candidate.  That would be hilarious if it weren't so sad.  

2016 may introduce a leap technology for the voting process.  But somehow, I doubt it.  

Friday, November 2, 2012

Romney Says Vote For Him Or The GOP Is Gonna Fuck Up The Economy. On Purpose.

Just in case you needed a reminder that the election is in four days, I've got a little nugget of info for ya.  Romney said, in a closing argument of sorts, that if the country doesn't vote for him, the Republican led congress will purposely shoot down Obama's attempt at bringing a calm to our recession.  I'm no political expert or whatever, but that doesn't sound like a very compelling argument.  Full video can be seen here

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Facebook, What The Fuck? [Rant]

Facebook is good for lots of things.  But recommending people who I may know is apparently nowhere close to being one of them.  This useless sidebar bombards me with complete strangers who are more likely to be spam accounts than real people.  I haven't received a legitimate friend recommendation in years.  It doesn't bother me because I'm smart enough to reach out to and find the people I'm looking for on my own.  But what the fuck?

Is Facebook aware of how utterly broken this system is?  Do they care?  It'd be awesome if they did something about this.  From a purely logistical point of view, it pisses me off. 

Thank You, Lydia Callis

For brightening all of our days during this incredibly disastrous hurricane.