Thursday, April 28, 2011

Data Tracking & Smartphones

Just about anywhere you turn today, there are users complaining about data tracking, whether it be for Android or iOS devices. I am frankly amazed at the blissful ignorance of those individuals. The very services they love to use and that have greatly accentuated their mobile lives they seem to think was all done by magic. (Sure, I resent just as much as the next person that location-based ads will start becoming more pronounced—especially in light of the fact that AT&T has now put a choke chain on the amount of data that a user can consume. It would sure irritate me if I started receiving numerous, unsolicited ads that count against my data plan. But that is another story.)

The fact is that the whole reason the government mandated more accurate GPS systems was specifically for the reason of tracking. (We were spoon fed the idea that it was for our own safety but that was just to get us to buy in.) It doesn’t take brain surgery to realize that. But I am not suggesting that the intent was nefarious either. Did we really expect that social media and other apps would just be NSA? Apparently so. But the fact is in order for those services to work correctly, just by definition there would have to be some data caching. The greater population of users do not realize that. If anything, what this all argues in favor of is that we users need to educate ourselves. If we don’t want all this monitoring, then perhaps we should settle for nothing more than QMD (Quick Messaging Devices). You love your smartphone? Then stop your whining.

(Maybe we should get rid of mobile phones all together--after all, every time a phone hits a tower, it can be tracked and movement charted. Gasp!)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Samsung Galaxy S2 coming to AT&T & suggested summer release

Interesting. I found this quote on in reference to the G2:

"Our inside sources have told us that it has indeed been approved, and ***WILL BE AVAILABLE ON AT&T***. As for ironing out a specific date, it’s still unfortunately too early to tell, but we are suspecting this has more to do with AT&T wanting to sell as many Atrix’s as possible before debuting the Samsung Galaxy S II. Still, we suspect it will be available before the end of Summer."

Full article (dated April 6, 2011) here:

I also had a feeling they were trying to bleed as much blood out of the Atrix turnip as possible. Now that Atrix has shown up on Amazon for $50 and at Best Buy for $30, I'm hoping the rivers of buyers are drying up on it. Couple that with the numerous negative reviews from users, it is definitely time for "the next big thing."

Seeing as iPhoney5 is reported to be released in September, I'm sure they will try to space release of this somewhere between the Sammy Infuse and the iPhoney.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Western Bars & the 21st Century

For anyone that’s sat through an old western movie or TV show, you know exactly the imagery I’m conjuring up here—you have the old men gathered around a table playing cards; the quiet, strong-charactered bartender; the floozy who thinks she can sing; and finally (what we all were waiting for), some action from the gunslinger(s) who come barging into the joint, and shooting a round just to get everyone’s attention (he suffered from poor self-esteem and was compensating with a wild entrance).

Well, not much has changed in the world. The bar has given way to online discussion groups. Pretty much everyone is playing on level ground and fair deal. They just want to deal their card for whatever its worth, knowing that it will probably be challenged. Someone always has a hidden agenda to steal the game & enrich him/herself with adulation from others. The bartender (moderator) always has his gun of censorship right where he can grab it at a moment’s notice.

Then there’s the floozy. These characters have no interest in the beverages being served, the games others are playing or anything else. They merely want to entice someone, anyone, to listen to their overtures. They usually post right in the middle of any interesting discussion offering such absurd services that wonder why the heck they are there in the first place. "There’s a brothel down the street with plenty of activity, honey, go play there."

Finally, the gun slinger enters. This character also has no interest in the communal activity. He just wants to come in blazing. He gets some sick enjoyment out of destroying peace. Problem is, his distraction techniques can be very effective—and hence everyone breaks into a bar fight. You feel like saying, “Look, if all you have to offer is your hate, there are plenty people like you, why not go join around your own campfire and enjoy your bravado there?” But you don’t say that, because you will be their next victim.

Now, you’ll notice I’m missing one key character—the sheriff. Sure enough, policing of the internet is still in its infancy and none of us really want to see Big Brother involved in running all the internet. So, for the most, we try to be peaceable and amicable, that is, until the hidden ACE falls out of someone’s sleeve.

Yup, more than a hundred years and nothing changed. The setting may have changed, but the characters are all the same.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bellyakin' & Impatience.

I just turned 60, so you'd think that by now I'd have a whole lotta patience. Well, actually, when it comes to people, I do. When it comes to other things, nope....

At the beginning of 2011 AT&T announced they would release 20 new devices in 2011 (this year). Supposedly 12 of those will be Android devices. It doesn't take anymore than 4th grade math to figure out that should be about one device per month, right? So how many Android devices has AT&T released as of April 6th? Two. (Count them, one...two!) Hmmm. Slight disparity here… Four months, two devices. (On 4/12 AT&T announced two LG Android devices, so I guess that catches them up, 4 for 4). So they still have 10 8 devices to go in less than 9 months and still no news about when the coveted Samsung Infuse will be released. (There is also some industry buzz about the "Samsung Galaxy S ii" coming to AT&T but AT&T doesn't even mention it. In fact, if you check their website (as of today), besides the Infuse, the only other phone they have identified as "coming soon" is the LG Thrill, which I'm not thrilled about at all. Talk about gimmicks—come on now, really—a 3D camera and you can only view the 3D images on the phone?!!)
So AT&T, when are you getting off your duff and releasing  another phone? Or are you still trying to bask in the light of those sorry excuses for advanced technology (Moto Atrix and HTC Inspire phones)?  (Okay, I’ll admit it, those phones really aren’t that bad. I just despise Motorola and don’t like the screens on the HTC phones that much.) Will you really wait until May or June to release the Infuse as some have suggested? That will mean you'll be play major catch up toward the end of the year to make your goal. I can't imagine you flooding the market with a slew of new phones all at once, its just not good marketing sense.
So why are my britches all bunched up? Becuz, pappy, I want the Samsung Infuse and I want it now! What does it have that isn’t currently available? I want a phone with a front-facing camera for video conferencing. Yeah, yeah, I know, the iPhoney4 and the M-Atrix both have front-facing cameras. You already know how I feel about Moto and the iPhone, well, let’s just say I haven’t drank the Apple Cool-Aid and never will.
So again, here we are in the 4th month of the year and AT&T hasn’t even released three devices. Doesn’t molasses run faster than that?

Addendum: Someone had asked about the dimensions of the Infuse. What I was able to find was a video from CES of someone holding a Samsung Captivate alongside the new Infuse. After some image editing for perspective, Here is what I came up with.