Friday, 21 November 2008

From Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 to Blackberry Storm 9500

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