Category Archives: Editorials

Jon Rettinger from TechnoBuffalo back tracks on his original Surface Pro review in time for Surface Pro 2.

I wrote a longer maudlin article about agenda “journalism” and bias. I had no idea I’d be rewarded so soon with another perfect example of why we journalists need to take a more nuanced approach to reviewing, and at least try to overcome our natural personal bias.

Screenshot (91)Windows 8 has been incredibly divisive in the tech community. Most of the commentary surrounding MS’s new OS has been pretty negative, and there have been a number of criticisms regarding changes to the UI. See, when you change something as well established as Windows, a UI which hasn’t been significantly altered since Windows 95, people are going to freak out. For as much as we like to think we want “new” and “bleeding edge” we don’t weather actual change all that well. Windows 8 was a shock for me, but after a couple days on a touchscreen laptop, I came to not only really like the UI, but also appreciate the improvements to file management and hardware resource management.

That’s the kicker however. I had to take a couple days to get used to it. I didn’t write up reviews and thoughts during that time. I wanted to understand it before I shared my experiences with readers, even though I was hopelessly behind the tsunami of early angry reviews.

Windows 8 is far from “bad”, it’s actually quite good. If Microsoft is guilty of anything here, it’s not making a bad product, but doing a miserable job of communicating with consumers what the changes were going to be.

And now, in time for the Surface 2 launch, we’re seeing people “come to appreciate” the changes to the UI. Now Windows 8 is “elegant”. Those adorable scamps, they just had to “get used to it”, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s not really as bad as their initial reviews would have led MILLIONS of tech enthusiasts and blog readers to believe. It’s almost like you get more honest and accurate information when you don’t put an un-boxing and first impressions video up as your proper review of a product. Interesting.

Sorry to pick on you Jon, but welcome to the club. Glad you finally figured out how to use a product that most of us haven’t had any serious or significant issues with. I hope you enjoy the Surface Pro 2 even more. Maybe spend more than a day with it before you “review” it?

Hit the jump for Mr. Rettinger’s ACTUAL review of the Microsoft Surface and Windows 8.

Continue reading Jon Rettinger from TechnoBuffalo back tracks on his original Surface Pro review in time for Surface Pro 2.

Agenda “Journalism” and Waiting for “Perfection”

WP_20130728_004I think we’re at a tech crossroads. I’m not sure which road we’ll travel down.

There’s a problem with how we talk about news in this industry. I’m complicit in that problem to a degree, and around me I’m watching the foundation of this market start to crumble. At its core, we tech journalists are beholden to metrics like views and bounce rates. To satisfy those demands we have to get you, the reader, to actually engage. The most popular sites among us have developed a number of handy tricks to goose interactions from their subscribers. Tactics known so well that we’ve coined terms like “Flame Bait” to describe them. We all know what’s going on when we come across these types of tactics, and we know that the site using them is rolling in traffic.

As with political news delivery, the tech landscape is fragmented into reinforcing a reader’s previously held notions. We don’t strive to challenge anymore, to present the “new” in this industry. If your site starts to find some popularity among a certain niche of readership, that’s what you are. An Apple blog. An Android blog. A Microsoft blog. You’re done. Whatever commentary you can hope to offer beyond that branding, you’ll always be colored by that general perception. Your audience will take those things for granted, as they too are fans of the things you like, and hate the things you hate.

Moving beyond the natural biases an author holds, we all hold a certain bias regardless of our attempts at objectivity, we’re human, but beyond those biases I’m saddened to see once respected organizations catering to blatant agendas. Misrepresenting products for no other benefit than to increase site hits, start flame wars, and satisfy an audience who doesn’t want to see competition, but see their “side” win. Whatever that might mean… Continue reading Agenda “Journalism” and Waiting for “Perfection”

I Ask YOU: Why Do We Need 64-Bit Processors in Phones?

apple a7 and m7 processors 64 bit somegadgetguyNo seriously folks. I don’t get it, and I need your help to understand.

Why do we need 64-bit processors in our phones?

First Apple announces 64-bit will be included in the iPhone 5s, and now Samsung says they’ll be getting in on the trick in 2014. As best as I could understand, one of the primary reasons we moved to 64-bit on desktops and laptops was to allow us to use more than 4GB of RAM.

Are there other advantages I’m not aware of? Might this be a preemptive move for some future technology? I’m nonplussed…

Drop me a comment. School me folks!

Apple’s Crisis of Confidence: Consumer Perception and Stock Market Response

tim cook apple logoBefore I dive into this, I need to make it clear that I don’t hate Apple. I used to be an Apple product specialist working a JIT contract for DOE facilities in New Mexico. This was during the dual socket days of the PowerMac G5. It was a glorious machine, and I used to adore Apple. As Apple walked away from markets and product lines that I cared about, that adoration became a loving competition. The recent glory days of the company provided me a terrific nemesis as I moved over to Windows 7 computers and Android Phones.

Following Tuesday’s unveiling of the iPhone 5C & 5S, I came to an unsettling realization: I’m worried about Apple.

See, my world as a tech enthusiast and writer just doesn’t make sense without a powerful Apple, and the company which was on display during this last keynote was anything but powerful.  Continue reading Apple’s Crisis of Confidence: Consumer Perception and Stock Market Response

Rumor: Samsung to release Galaxy Note 12 by years end?

move player net galaxy note 12 rumor renderComing out of South Korea, courtesy of MovePlayer.net, are reports of a leaked image of what could be a Galaxy Note 12. Now I’m not entirely sold on the idea of large tablets. Even at a fairly reasonable ten inches, larger tablets often become home convenience items. Gadgets used in comfort and safety, but rarely leaving the house.

What worries me even more is Samsung’s insistence on including hardware control buttons. On phones I think they’re great (if you include a menu key HTC), but even on a smaller tab like the Galaxy Note 8, they often felt like they were in the way, especially using the tab in landscape. This render shows those buttons below the screen in landscape. I’m not sold on that. I’d prefer Samsung use on-screen controls like the Nexus tablets so those controls move with the orientation of the screen.

Lastly, twelve inches doesn’t sound remarkably big, but that screen size can be somewhat cumbersome to hold. Discussing this rumor on Youtube, I demonstrated the difference between an iPad and my Lenovo Twist, a laptop which screen-swivels into a 12.5″ slate.

Rumors point to a 2560×1600 resolution display, which should look gorgeous on a screen this size. We’re all used to wimpy Ultrabook and Macbook Air low res displays around 13″. Plus since it’s called a “Note” we should see support for S-Pen.  Besides that we don’t really know much else about it.

If this is released it could be a really interesting, dare I say audacious, device, but I’ll be really curious to see how it performs out in the wild… Of my living room… because I’d probably never want to leave the house with it…

(via GSM Arena, Pic courtesy MovePlayer.net)

(Video) Ask Juan: Can Chromecast screen share with a tablet or PC?

Got a great question from a subscriber on my Chromecast review video. http://youtu.be/v2IV8ilxcUo

From DimitrisByDesign: “What if you want to mirror your tablet i.e. show a presentation, document, etc. onto a monitor, can it be done or is this strictly for videos. Thanks.”

Let’s take a closer look at Chromecast!


Buy Chromecast using this link, and you’ll be supporting this blog at NO cost to you!

(Video) Juan’s Thoughts: Why I’m Not a Fan of Bezel-less Phones…

I really don’t understand folks. Why do people want ultra thin, or no bezel phones and tablets? It looks cool. I’ll grant you that. However, it just doesn’t seem like a good idea from a practical standpoint.

Am I missing something? Will having no bezel somehow improve functionality or usability? Please leave me a comment below!