Thursday, 18 December 2008

Samsung NV100HD - 14.5 mega pixels and instant HDTV pictures



I am a Samsung fan. I love the company. They give you so much more for your money than the Jap equivalents. And it is not as if they make the same but cheaper, but they do make some major advances. Look at the NV11 camera with its innovative buttons. So much to do, and can do, and you do not have wheels to turn etc.

But as usual I spend my time reading other reviewers who take a cynical view of innovation. Most of the reviews of the new NV100HD are bad. I don't think one of their bad comments are valid. It is not heavy. It is light and very small. It is very bright, and the pictures are amazing.

Now many people who buy DSLRs have to defend the fact that they have coughed up at least £500 or three times the price of this 14.5 megapixel baby. The reviewers will tell you that you don't need it. But you do if you have a Samsung Full HD TV. This is how easy it is to impress people. Imagine a camera the size of your fingers. You shut off the flash, and you take pictures of your friends and family quietly. Then you drop it into the cradle and sit there with the remote control on a 50 inch massive high definition tv. How does that strike you?

Well folks that is what this little wonder can do. And nothing else can do it right now. Not at Full HD. I am not going into the other stuff it can do, I am just being really practical. Well maybe one other geeky thing. This camera has multifocus and the high pixel count means that you can really edit things afterwards. So buy a Samsung TV and this camera and you have an instant set up with no software or computers in the way, and later on when you are editing photos you can really zoom in because it is whopping 14.5 mega pixels but it is small and quite thin.

Superb.

Monday, 8 December 2008

From Blackberry Storm to Blackberry Bold again

Crazy isn't it. I have now done a full circle. A while back, I was really wound up on the new Bold. When it came, it looked enormous compared to my 8310. But now a bunch of new phones later, I can see where the designers are going.

The bold is bigger, but it is easier on the fingers, and the screen is not a compromise compared to the Storm. What the Storm lacks is cursor control. Actually I saw a colleague at work, who had just got a Google Phone or the G-1, and that have a roller ball. That is what the Storm should have done. Fiddling around on the screen with your fingers is useless. With a scroll, it can land on the smallest button or link, and make it work. Try hitting a small link with your finger. Now with the phones that have styluses like the Palm Treo Pro it is ok, but there you have other problems with the browsers and the email.

So the Bold wins big time. It does not have touch screen, but you need it, as much as you need touch screen on your computer. The email, and the browser, and in particular two particular add-ons are really neat. Read on.

Google Sync is a cool tool if you want to truly release the mobile phone from the computer. Actually come to think of it, I have not connected my new Bold to the PC and etc. Why? Because I just downloaded Google Synch and all my Gmail contacts and appointments were synchronized over the air. And speaking of Over The Air or OTA, this is where Blackberry is really winning. The OTA software make the Blackberry mobiles truly independent.

And the very best OTA software has to be the Opera Mini. Download that into the Blackberry Bold 9000 and you have a superb mix. WOW! Now you don't have that error I spotted and posted all over the net. The one where the text does not indent automatically when posting on bulletin boards or forums. Opera opens another window, you edit it and it just posts it in the forum box. Superb. Especially if you are addicted to Newsnow.co.uk.

So there you have it. If you want to Blog and post on the web and don't want to use a computer, you can do it in a Blackberry Bold 9000. And the best network, with the most helpful people are the folks at Vodafone. They have put up with all my switching. Hats off to all of you.

Friday, 21 November 2008

From Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 to Blackberry Storm 9500



So in the video, Kevin visited four sites, NYTimes.com, WSJ.com, CrackBerry.com and ArsTechnica, he made certain that both phones had Javascript enabled. The results were as follows: NYTimes.com - iPhone 3G wins, WSJ.com - BlackBerry Storm wins, CrackBerry.com - BlackBerry Storm wins ArsTechnica - BlackBerry Storm wins.


My saga continues. Oh lord, when will I finally settle down, and be content. The Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 turned out to be really good for music. Those panes are a joke, as you cannot customize them. You can get a couple more at the Windows site. But the whole point was to put your own links, and I could not do that. The Vodafone Business Email sucked bad. I called Vodafone and they said they do not support it for the X1. And finally the internet browsing was slow, and jammed all the time, such that I had to soft boot it all the time. Oh also, that metalic keyboard reflects unwanted light that makes it really hard to type in day light. So that was that, and it had to go back.

Now I asked them about the new Storm, and whether that Business Email was supported, and they said that that is supported by BB themselves. So they arranged an exchange within the 14 day trial. So folks I have now the new Storm.

My first impressions are not completely great. There is a marketing con going on with the BlackBerry Storm right now. The ad clearly states that you press on the button, it turns red, and you feel a response. Now wait a minute. It makes you think that you feel the button or the button that glows red. The fact is that you do not feel the button. You feel the whole glass move down. So the way to use the device is to move your finger over the button you want, and unlike the iPhone you do not type a letter that you did not want. But what you get is a moment to see if the red glow is going to go on another button, just in case your finger is too fat, and then you press the glass down. So the BB ad department is out of line.

So what does the typing experience feel like with avid Bloggers like me. Well the large screen is great. I can see a lot, and zoom into the pages nicely in page or column format. The trouble begins when you try to tap on a link that is on a list of other links. The software is so clever that it zooms in until the button is as big as the whole screen, and then it can be selected. Now if you use the cursor on the Blackberry Curve, it will just select the link and then you press the pearl. It is so much faster, and you do not have your own finger in the way of the area you are looking at. I think the next version of Storm should have a pearl on it, so that you can do both if you want to.

The sound is fantastic, and the cut and paste is really neat. I am still struggling trying to get all the applications to run. Also the battery needs a couple or so full discharges to get good. It really needs a beefier battery, but then the weight comes in. I like it being a bit big. It is not flimsy and feels as if it will last a long time. The leather pouch has stitches that are not done too well, such that pieces of leather get caught on the buttons as you are sliding it in, lifting the buttons and tearing them off. So I squeezed the sides to make it loose, and I think I messed up the contact, and so it does not open the email as soon as I pull the body out of the pouch. Then one other thing. Let's say you want to delete a whole bunch of emails which you have already read on the web, then what. You need to go through each one. On the curve or WM 6.1 device you just run your fingers over the lines and click mark opened. That is not there.

All of this in just two days. I hope someone can benefit from this report so far.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Chinese pirates crack Blu-ray DRM, sell pirated HD discs


Forget boring old standard-def DVDs—movie pirates have moved on to selling high-definition discs in an effort to make money on the HD craze. The HD discs are not genuine Blu-ray discs and don't boast as high resolution as Blu-ray does, but they're apparently good enough to fool many consumers, and the movie industry is worried.

It was just a matter of time, wasn't it.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Sony Ericsson Xperia X1


I just sent my Palm Treo Pro back after the third one from Vodafone did not glow when there was voice message.

It took a couple of weeks to get the new Sony Ericsson Xepria X1. One can very easily think that this is an HTC Touch Pro clone. It is not. Most of these phones vary according to the way the external shells are made. Some have more buttons, some have almost none. HTC is much smaller and has very little buttons. Sony have put a lovely touch sensitive kit in there that allows great versatility and customization in your screen experience. It looks as if we will have loads of different apps, not too different from the loads of apps on let's say the igoogle framework when you want to start in your browser. WM 6.1 only allows you to program two buttons but with the panes in X1 you can do a lot more, and more over you can do things inside the panes.

The phone is narrow and not too thick. I like it a bit thick, such that you can put it between your ear and shoulder. But joking aside the keyboard is wonderfull with ample space. But the funniest tool of all is this rectangular optical scratch pad. It is really easy to get addicted to. To browse or scroll a page you literally move your finder 5mm. Now imagine that you are tying away with the keyboard open, and you want to move the cursor over to the left just to correct a typo. Well in Xperia's keyboard they there isn't a cursor moving button to the left or right. So you are left with the fiddly pad, which can move the cursor over to the left and right if you press the edges of the pads. Of course if you got nails or have the stylus out it is really easy. I think that the pad on the Xperia is easier than the pearl ball in the Blackberry. Further more you aren't likely to get stuff stuck in the pad as you do with the pearl ball.

There are all the usual Sony media toys and sat nav and radio etc etc, but they have not put two decent mini speakers. Instead you have the speakers on the lower left hand side on the back so that if you are holding the phone with your left hand, then the sound will get muffled. It is great if you want to turn the sound off quickly, but annoying in other respects. Again not much thought went in that direction. Come on Sony, sort it out. That is just pathetic for such an expensive phone. Stick two decent speakers or four and allow people to choose which ones. But I must say the phone, like some of these souped up cars with lights under the chassis, lights up for all kinds of things; be it charging to when you get messages. Now that was good thinking and it is fun. And of course the fact that the keyboard slides up is neat, as you can have it act like an alarm clock radio, which are a rare entity these days. You can have a nice analogue clock with a diary and all your short cut buttons to websites on these ready for you to press.

Finally the browsing experience. And that is what I tend to specialize in. As you know I have chucked phones because they are useless browsers. Remember how the 3D Touch Flo on the HTC edit bookmark just got blocked by the virtual keyboard. Well we don't have that here. The Opera browser that is available has not 3D-touch flo, but the rest is there. With the Opera you can thumb around on the screen and move it around, whilst with the IE would have to tab or move your fingers around the pad or push down the sides on the pad. I like a very powerful browser called Skyfire, but it does not run on high resolution screens such as the HTC Touch Pro or the Sony Ericsoon Xperia X1. I went over to the Skyfire forum and sure enough there were a couple of people already complaing about the fact that it would not install. Once they do bring the next version such that it would install on Xperia, then whole package would be the best.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Opera Browsers and Blogging

One thing that a lot of reviewers are not doing, is to look at the most practical aspect of mobiles, and that is Blogging.

Right now I am using my new Palm Treo Pro to write this post. I am actually not using it, but the browser in it. The browser is actually not the boring old Internet Explorer, but the new Opera beta.

So yeah go to Opera mobile and download it. It's free and has a lot of that Touch Flo 3D stuff without overwhelming the mobile like it does on the HTC Touch Pro.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Push Email: from T-Mobile to Vodafone


One of the most fascinating aspects of these new phones of course, is that it takes you away from that horrible sitting position behind the keyboard. If you are anything like me, you get ideas in the most unsuspecting places. To that end, the mobile network you are with is the most important element in communication. That is why I chose Vodafone. They were the first and they have masts all over the place. It is the only network that works well in the kitchen, and downstairs bathroom - two of the most inspirational areas of the house! So you can see how important it is to get ones fingers and thumbs to work right away, and respond to whatever; be it a piece of news you browsed by with your left hand, when you were in the kitchen munching away on a kebab or fish fingers. I won't go into the other inspirational areas just mentioned, but you can get my drift.

The one thing that the networks all go on about is Push Email. You get the feeling that it could be and is really quick. Hmm, well it depends. I switched recently from T-Mobile because the reception was so bad. I still have the Blackberry 8310 on the T-Mobile, and it was an absolute nightmare trying to make it "instant email". Bascially you have to forward your email, be it gmail or your own domain to the T-Mobile instant email account, and then they relay it back to you. That is pretty quick. At best it is 15 seconds, and 15 minutes at worst.

As you know WM 6.1 comes with "pull mail" or the usual old way of getting the mobile's outlook to access Gmail or other email server. That system cannot be set to poll faster than every 5 minutes. So you would think that the Push Email is better. Well with Vodafone, they give you a simple software to install, and then they don't ask you the detailed POP IMAP or SMTP questions. The software tries to guess it, and inevitably gets it wrong. Not all servers are pop.xxxxx.com. I had to call customer service, who are not really that trained in this sort of rubbish, and then you have to wait to speak to their level 1 technical, who after a little persuation got around to look at the settings that were automatically set wrong.

You would think that Vodafone would send you a test email to see and time it to see whether it worked, and it was fast enough. Luckily for me, I was put in touch with Tony Dawson who like me was "driven like a Terrier" and a Palm user, to get this thing sorted. First it was the fact that the server had not taken my password, and then there was some authentication detail that was wrong. Beyond me, but the lads at Vodafone Business section had taken the trouble to actually simulate my settings and see what the f... was going on. It had driven so many and so many phones mad.

So a well done to all. I think then if we can just tweek the servers a little more, to make the push email at Vodafone a little faster, then we are very cool. At the moment it takes between 5 to 10 minutes to get the email. Just Ok. It would be nice to get it under a minute. Anyway if you know anything about Astrology, (as I do) then you would know that Mercury retrograde really finds all these communication problems, and we will get to the bottom of this by Thursday.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

From HTC Touch Pro to Palm Treo Pro


My dilemma on phones continues. I discovered that the bookmarking in the opera in HTC Touch Pro puts a the virtual keyboard on the edit bookmarks. So it has to go back. I am getting the Palm Treo Pro back. You need those buttons for mail internet in front. The Touch Pro 3D is a gimmick.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

From Palm Treo Pro to HTC Touch Pro


As I wrote earlier, I was all the rave with my Palm Treo Pro. Wonderfully thin, with touchscreen. What a relief from Blackberry's ball. That ball can really get on your nerves. What if something greasy gets stuck in it, and it stops turning. I quite like my old BB 8310 and it is nice to have such a small gadget with all those functions. But touch screen is a must.

So when I looked at the Blackberry Bold, when I eventually got it, I was really laughing. Life knows best. No wonder it took so long to get to me. It is huge. The Bold is the size of the 8310 with the leather cover on. Once you put the cover on the Bold, it is massive. Then the text rendering on forum sites was awful. With no touch screen, back it went, and I stayed with the Palm. But then one day I was trying to synchronize my email with the Vodafone business mail server, and it just did not guess my server's details. This so called push-mail actually is useless, if it takes 15 minutes to get to you. I prefer to set it up as normal windows pull mail. Finally the software in the Palm is not recognised too many places. Go to Opera and they don't know whether it is a smartphone or a pocket pc. You end up with softwares that do not use the Windows Mobile 6.1's features. Ah it's a mess. Vodafone said they will send me another one as it could have the wrong updates from the server at their end.

The mail arrives, and I get a HTC Touch Pro instead. Wow, that is weird. The names are two similar. So I thought, "well maybe there is a message in all this?". I will give it a go. Now I am person who was the first person to try the first Pocket PC called the MDA Vario on T-Mobile yonks ago, with good old version 3, then 5. So I knew this son on TytnII's pedigree very well. I never considered it, because I thought it was going to be too big. Well let me tell you this. This thing is lovely. First of all it is really shinny and narrow and not too long. It needs to be thick to have the sliding keyboard. The Keyboard is so much like a normal keyboard.

So it really comes down to keyboard. When you want to type on a Blackberry, you need to press so many function keys to get a stupid comma or full stop or an apostrophe, that you forget what you wanted to say. Now you might say, "why don't you just sit down behind a normal desktop or a laptop". My answer is that I usually get inspired at the toilet or some stupid place, and I do not have access to my laptop or desktop. So it has to be a handheld device.

Then you have the one handed moments in your life. And this new HTC Touch Pro accomodates that situation really well. Because they have kept the length and width down and thickened it, as if you feel you are holding a Mars bar. So if you are on a bus with one hand on the hand-rail, the other thumb can do everything with the virtual keyboard like the iphone. Yeah it has that same effect of making the letter pop out, as soon as you push on the screen. If you want to put numbers you hold the key for a split second more. Really easy. So this phone has all the features of iphone, smartphone, as well as the sliding keyboard that a laptop has. Ingeninous.

But nothing goes without a few errors. The folks at HTC need to put a few more buttons on the phone. The way it is, it is lovely. The phone switches off the screen quickly and you can wipe that shinny glass very nicely forever and it will look just like new all the time. Everything is flat and smooth. But they should have allowed more virtual buttons for customization, and let the user decide what to do with the physical buttons. You only get one button you can customize. On the Palm you have a side button as well as the front ones to customize. Long pressing is what people do to, to get a dual function. So I have to push the Start Menu on the long press phone button (the default is voice dial). The other way is to use voice commands for everything instead of buttons. But then you are stuffed if you have a cold. So two recordings are needed.

So there you are. Life moves on. I have my eyes on the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1. They make all this fuss about the nine panes, which is what I meant by customizable buttons. The keyboard though looks like it has much better metal buttons. You know what would be nice. One should be able to draw the buttons, and then have the software make a connection to it. Special needs people could really use it. Hopefully one day with the new Haplo technology it will even give you the bumpy feel you want.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Sony Ericsson Rika Gets Leaked : Specs, reviews and prices.

There's not much info on the Sony Ericsson Rika yet. People say it's a Walkman model of the Sony Ericsson G705. Besides the supposed music capabilities, the Rika seems to have a front camera which must mean it has 3G support.

Sony Ericsson hasn't announced it yet, so that's all we have so far: a picture and a bunch of maybes.

More on Android and Gphone

Because much of Android is open-source software, it can be used for free, and that means those selling phones can spend their money on better hardware rather than on software license fees, Bruggeman said. In addition, other individual programmers or interested companies can help improve that open-source software, so at least theoretically Android could become an exercise in collective engineering the way Linux has been.

Windows Mobile 7



This is how WM7 will look like.

New Google Phone G1



The new Google phone with Android engine.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Palm Treo Pro



I am a member of an Iranian Forum called iranunited, Ordangi said that this is good phone. At that time I was really keen on the Nokia E71, Blackberry Bold. I got the E71 really quick from Vodafone in UK, and put it back in the box, as it did not copy paste or play You Tube.

I already have a Blackberry 8310, and it really sucked bad on T-Mobile. Good cheap contract, but where I live, the reception varies from the all important toilet to the kitchen, and the TV room. It is really crazy, as it changes from one sofa to the next.

So I said I would go on the Vodafone network, and wow what a difference. Now, back to the phones, I called Vodafone, and they said they have a pile of requests for the Blackberry Bold, and it will take ages. So I asked them about the Pro, and they thought I was talking about HTC Pro, and I said no, its the Palm Treo Pro.

Palm used to be the most advanced machine in your palm once, and it just went down hill for a while. So the fact that Vodafone geeks had no knowledge was good news. It is cheap, and very very good value, and better than all the others.

I have spent all this week-end mucking about with it, trying to find something desperately wrong with it. There isn't any. I can actually run two browsers on it simultaneously and make it act like a desktop. Why? Well Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional has touch screen, and so can copy paste, but does not run You Tube. You can do that thumb scroll for that reason. But Opera Mobile can thumb scroll but cannot copy paste, but will do You Tube. Opera has tab browsing. So get a 4 Gig micro sd premier from play.com for £16 and you are powered to blog.

For really easy free video viewing you can get vtap. If you go to MSN you will see that they recomment a great piece of kit called Vtap that will download easily and run Videos from You Tube and elsewhere. So that leaves the only bad part of the Palm Treo. It is so new that there are no fancy crystal cases, or leather pouches yet. Also the camera is not huge mega pixel, but the quality is good for 2 mega pixel, and that is why the phone is so thin. Palm have put some really neat short cuts in. For example if you want to look up something, then you can just type it in the Google search from the main screen. Then you have the unbelievable Sat Nav. Having a touch screen whist you are driving is brilliant. You can use that little Blackberry ball. And when you are stitting down, having a stylus is very important to pick the text or move around the screen.

So yeah, thanks Oradangi, spot on. Shame iranunited is down at the moment.

So yeah, well done Palm, and get some nice covers and really show the world the quality of the workmanship. It is to me the Apple of Pocket PCs.

Welcome to ali gadgeti

I used to really mess around when I was a kid. As an Astrologer, I find good moments to start things. Today we have Moon square Uranus, but in a Grand Trine to Mercury, Venus, Mars and Neptune. So it calls for a blog like this.