Friday, August 14, 2009

I now own an iPhone

Hallelujah, I have joined the fold. I now also own an iPhone. A real life working iPhone that is my own. My own I tell you. A 16 iPhone 3GS (yes, I said I would shell out for a 32GB one, but seriously, I have a 32GB iPod touch, so I will use the iPod for music and the iPhone for iPhoneing). The fun thing is that I already knew what I was in for. I have had a touch for a while, I've tried others, my mother-in-law and wife has one, but having my own is different.

The iPhone doesn't suck at all. Why would I say something like that? Because I measure things in how much or little they suck, not how great they are. The less weak points the better for me. I get easily irritated by stupid cumbersome bad features. I very much do not get irritated by the iPhone. I really enjoy using it and now and then I find things I would have liked included, but either way I really enjoy using it.

That's all. Go get one yourself, they are great. I also think that this whole hoopla with the app store is going to be fixed. Apple doesn't stand to win on their current way of doing things for sure. It will be resolved, little by little, the normal Apple way.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


I am downgrading my expectations on Android to "probably just a big mess in the end". We have reports such as this and the inevitable results of having n number of mobile phone companies having their own private, and perverted, agenda for Android. So what does that mean you ask? I tell you what it means, SEMC, Moto, etc will have their own incompatible extensions and rewrites, their own "ideas" for usability that they will, badly, shoehorn into the devices, and they will all suffer in the performance and quality sectors.

Apple and the iPhone has problems, but none of them are related to their hardware or software. It seems like all of them relates to carriers (we already knew these guys are professional grade A assholes) or the appstore. Oh, and a bunch of nutcases wants the iPhone to be something that it is not and they jailbreak it etc (I don't count people who jailbreak to use it with other carriers, see previous opinion on carriers).

Android is just software, and seems to have most of its major problems in the software.

The only other camp that is worth watching today is the Palm/RIM camp. They really really should join forces. Seriously, now, at once.

Friday, July 10, 2009

What is wrong with music today.

I'm listening at Nine Inch Nails on Spotify as I am writing this. I read this article before writing this as well: Trent Blogging on Music. Go on read it before you continue to read this.

That guy has quite a few ideas to be sure. I agree with some, and less with other of his opinions and ideas, but the most important thing is that he views the world as it is today and does his best to live in the real world. I respect him for it.

For let's face it, the RIAA and the giant music cooperations of the "past" is just not working out. Suing singles moms with kids for millions of dollars, if that isn't cruel and unusual punishment what is? Yes I've read the amendments. I urge all of you to read them too, and the basic laws of your own country if you don't reside the US of A. These people are not about the music, but about money, money, and money. They remind me more of the Mafia than anything else.

So is the solution to bring anarchy to it all and just demolish copyright? Or the other extreme (to which we are heading) some kind of 1984, Fahrenheit 451, DDR - type of world? No, not really. Neither is. We need freedom, and we need some form of basic cause and effect when it comes to what people put their efforts in. But the time when music sales could equal an insane lifestyle should hopefully soon be over. Do we really need another Britney Spears train wreck?

What we need is a digital marketplace for music. One actor that could make this happen really fast would be Apple. I consider their iTunes store offering a best of breed high end solution. I don't say you can't do better, I am saying nobody else comes close to them up until now. Their appstore for iPhone is just fantastic and very very democratic. For a license (about 100 bucks or maybe a bit less) and 30% of the profits anyone can publish their software through the premiere mobile device software service. I haven't seen anything that comes close.

What if Apple would open up/make it easier for any band out there to buy a license to publish their music on iTunes and decided the cost themselves? Ok this would wreck the 99 cent/song idea, but I think that is a good idea for large labels. Streamline the pricing makes it vastly much easier to manage. It might be a good idea to limit the independent publishers to 0, 49, and 99 cents though. For simplicity. And why 0? Because you want to build a fan base! If you are willing to spend silly amounts on pushing a band in the media, why not give away music instead? That way when you go out gigging new places people can have heard your music and when they see your poster they might think "wow, cool, I wonder how they sound live, maybe they play new songs as well, let's go there and bring all my friends!".

Also imagine being able to buy a recording of the very show *you* attended? I would love that. I wish I could have had recordings of all the shows I've been to. Even that one where #€)(#€(#% got to get onstage with Iron Maiden during Heaven Can Wait. I'd pay twice for it to be honest.

Which brings me to something possibly resembling a point. The solution is *NOT* to make new laws or use the legal system as a weapon against large portions of the population for such a minor crime as illegally *copying* music. For never ever is it stealing. The solution is to find new ways for people on one hand enjoy music, and on the other hand make money on it. Who knows, maybe a "Hidden Stars" edition of Guitar Hero and the likes could be the future? :)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

First post!

Ahh, a new fresh unspoiled blog. My third one. I have one pretty dead one, it felt far to serious and I very seldom sit down with the intention of writing a fairly large post. It's hard to stay focused when writing longer pieces and it requires more thought, time, and work. I tend to loose the coherency and end up a bit ranting. So that one will more than likely remain dead. The other one is the healthy and living table top miniature blog. It is fun to write :)

Which makes this my third blog. I didn't want to mix in these techie post with my miniatures one. We'll see how this one works out :)

I used to work with mobile devices. I did for quite some time even. It wasn't especially great at all. I am sure many out there thinks that it would be very cool to work on smart phones and the like, and I am sure there are those who think what they do is real fun. The thing is, I've yet to see anything I like out there with the huge exception of the iPhone. Most of the mobile market is a huge mess of vast quantities of incompetence, spaghetti code, too many requirements, and no quality control. The things I've seen and heard should be appalling to all software engineers for sure! And that is just a subset of the whole thing *shudders*.

So I thought that I should throw out some ideas and opinions and see how well they stack up in the future. I always loved how John Gruber (I want to write GrĂ¼ber for some reason) of daring fireball saves links to stupid things people say and then post them years later. It's always great fun to read how the iPhone would *never* be a hit.

So my first point on the agenda. The smart phone with a physical keyboard. It's a serious machine, for serious people. It's about communication, business, and the Blackberry. Their biggest competitor by far is the new Palm Pre. Palm is dying, it's tech is weak, and now they have raised a new champion. It seems solidly engineered (ex Apple engineers apparently, but then again that won't give you the guys with the ideas and quality control, and it shows from far away). I do not like the idea of the webOS on the other hand, as I loathe what I call "webtech", but I will leave that for a later post.

So what was that all about? Simple. Palm and RIM should merge asap. They aren't especially strong players, they compete directly with similar products. The thing is that what one lacks the other one delivers. Palm has a new shiny OS to pull people into their device, RIM has the well known products with great email and one very very shitty OS. Put WebOS on RIMs next generation hardware, add in the apps that are missing so that the strong points from the Blackberry is in it. And market it as the Blackberry 2 or II or NG or something slick like that. But for the love of , do only use the Blackberry name. Palm is weak. That would give us a second true player in the smart devices arena.

Then what about Android? It sounded really cool before it was released. I do not like Java one little bit, but the idea sounded good nevertheless. It has lost momentum something fierce. Struggling maker of utter crap, a.k.a. Motorola, has jumped on that bandwagon big time. HTC is kinda sniffing at it. If you can make a windows mobile piece of hardware, you can make one for Android too. Just one catch, Windows Mobile, who cares anyways? It seems Google has lost interest and focus, and the spirit of cooperation among mobile makers aren't that strong. I have simply stopped caring. When more struggling companies (you know who you are!) tries to release Android devices I won't care either. Unless something fantastic happens Android will continue to be stillborn.

Next up, an old man in the field. SymbianOS. Or should I say NokiaOS? Nokia's Series 60 5th ed is simple and pure nonsense. SymbianOS is a woefully horrible OS to work with. It is past useless. I understand why Nokia is trying hard to be sneaky and build a device on Linux paired with QT from Trolltech (whom they bought). I think that Nokia will suffer more and more in the market as they live and breath on ultra cheap devices and the margins continue to fall and they can't even remotely compete in the high end spectrum. Nokia is welcome to wow me with a cool new device in the future, but I suspect it will feel as fresh as reintroducing the Volvo 740 or the Trabant, ehm, something. Nokia will continue to fire people in the years to come if they can't pull pure magic out of a hat.

Another favorite subject of mine. Sony Ericsson, a.k.a. SEMC. A hot tip for Sony AND Ericsson. Sell sell sell! Sell the whole thing to some company in China so they can make cheap knock offs. And do it quickly before it is not worth anything at all anymore. Sony should by far be the most concerned here as SE is dragging down its Sony brand a lot when they are already struggling themselves. Ditch SE and put all your efforts into your playstation mobile device thingie. You only got one chance here. Draw on the quite cool PS3 interface and actually pay some industrial designers to design the hardware. Do not, I repeat, do not bring any design from the PSP. Your competitor is the iPhone. That means as much screen as possible, large disk space, digital downloads, and slim. Do not, really I mean it, use that useless memory stick crap.

LG/Samsung? Not sure about them, they seem to be trying and not failing too badly, yet. I give them a wait and see. Or in my case ignore and won't mind surprises.

Microsoft. Windows Mobile will be a thing of the past. Something for the older to chuckle at. "What were people thinking?" There is only one thing, and one thing alone, that could save that horrible mess by now. One single strong man or woman. Microsoft's got great engineers, smart and nice people. What they lack is vision and driving force. Someone with the right drive and passion at the helm of their mobile division could bring the sluggish and fat fighter and turn it into a lean, mean, fighting machine. Right now a windows mobile device stands the same chance against the iPhone as Steve Ballmer would against a heavy weight UFC champion. A fight I would pay lots of money to see btw:)

Let's end on a high note. By now you must have guessed which device I believe in. I can also confess that I am writing this on a mac, and at the end of the day today the only computer I own will be a mac. I like Apple. They are not perfect, they make stupid shit all the time. But they make far *less* stupid things than their competitors, by far. They work with a clear plan and execute it methodically. They build things layer by layer, be it software or services. iTunes is a huge powerhouse by now (renaming it from iTunes store to something else would be in order though. I simply vote for the "Apple Online Store" to go well with their physical Apple Stores and thematically tie in their digital online sales with their mail order business). My next phone will be an iPhone 3GS. Black. Or possibly white and then I would paint it some other cool color. Maybe a Warhammer 40k theme :)

That's all for this time. I will post rantings, thoughts, and all sorts of things here. On a regular basis I hope. I don't know if anyone will read this, or if they will enjoy read it, but either way it is good to post about things :)