Thursday, June 28, 2012

Nexus 7 Tablet

On Wednesday June 27th 2012 Google made some big announcements on it's Google IO, a conference for developers.  This is where they usually show the newest info about Android and every now and then you see some new hardware.  This year they did announce the new version of Android, version 4.1 code named "Jelly Bean".  It will be available in mid June for some Nexus devices.  But that's not what I want to talk about today, I would like to talk about the Nexus 7 tablet!

So what is it? 

Well aside from the fact that it's a 7 inch tablet, it is the first NEXUS tablet ever.  NEXUS again being devices that are made for Google and that come with 100% pure unaltered Android.  So basically Google is not crazy about the fact that so many companies use Android but they always change it to look like something else.  So Google now gets their own devices to show off what Android is really supposed to look and feel like.  

What we have here is a 7 inch tablet with a screen resolution of 1280X800, a Quad Core Tegra 3 processor, GPS, NFC, a battery that should last 9 hours for video and over 300 hours of standby, a front facing camera for video chat (no rear camera) and a lot more.  

How much? 

The Nexus 7 comes in 2 different models.  A 8GB model (8GB of space for storage) or a 16GB model.  The cost of the 8GB model is $199 while the 16GB is $249!  

This makes the Nexus 7 the main competitor of the Kindle Fire which also costs $200 but has a LOT less power than the Nexus 7.  

I'm not going to go into details about how the Nexus 7 is more powerful than the Kindle Fire but I will say that I used to ALWAYS recommend the Kindle Fire to people who were looking for a simple Tablet because it was so cheap.  Well now I'll be recommending the Nexus 7 to even people who are looking for more than just a simple tablet because it really is more.  The Tegra 3 processor is the exact same processor you find on a lot of the new much more expensive tablets like the Asus Transformer Prime.  It was actually built by ASUS for Google.  

You can preorder the Nexus 7 today via the Google Play Store and it will start shipping in mid July.  It WILL ship running Android 4.1 AKA Jelly Bean.  So if you are looking for a 7 inch tablet that will run anything on the APP Store with ease, this is the one you want.  Movies, Music, Books, Games, Web Browsing, Emails, Maps, Video Chat and so much more, all right there on your hands.  

For those of you who DO enjoy some specs, I guess I'll take the time and compare it to the Kindle Fire, I'll just mention the main differences though. 

Nexus 7 vs Kindle Fire 

Display Resolution:  

Kindle Fire: 1024 X 600 (170 DPI)
Nexus 7: 1280X800 (216 DPI) 


Kindle Fire: 1Ghz DUAL Core Processor
Nexus 7: 1.3Ghz QUAD Core Processor


Kindle Fire: 512MB of Ram
Nexus 7: 1GB of Ram

Front Facing Camera: 

Kindle Fire: None
Nexus 7: 1.2MegaPixels

Now, you do need to keep in mind that the Nexus 7 is new while rumors of a new Kindle Fire have already been heard.  So Amazon could surprise us any day with news of a much better Fire, no way to know right now.  Also the Amazon kindle has a very impressive selection of media, while the Google Play Store is getting much stronger in the media department, it is still lacking compared to Amazon.  

Javier Torres

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Why Prepaid Cell Phone Service might be better for you!

There was a time when having a prepaid cell phone meant your credit was too messed up to get service at one of the larger providers.  However, things are changing and more and more people want to be in control of their cell phone provider, not the other way around.

What if I told you that you could have a plan with Unlimited Talking, Unlimited Texting and 2GB of data for just $45 a month?  Or if you are like me and you don't talk on the phone much, a plan with 100 Minutes of talk time, unlimited texting and 5GB of fast 4G connection for $30 a month?

You would probably think these are some seriously crappy services.  Well, they are not!  The $45 a month plan is from Simple Mobile, a company that uses the T-Mobile and AT&T towers.  The $30 a month plan is straight from T-Mobile.

I first got the idea from the Galaxy Nexus section over at the XDA forums.  But before I continue let me explain a little something.

In the USA we have 2 types of cell phone providers.  CDMA type, these are the ones that require an EIN number from your phone in order to work, providers like Verizon, Sprint, US Cellular.  Then we have GSM, these are the ones that use a SIM Card that you can switch from phone to phone, in the US the GSM providers are T-Mobile and AT&T.  The CDMA technology however is dying, the rest of the world uses GSM.  For some reason here we have stuck with it.

OK now, the idea of switching to prepaid is to be in complete control of your plan and to also save a lot of money.  If I want to try T-Mobile today I can do that, if I want to try Simple Mobile next month, I can do that, if I want to use H20 the one after I can do that too.  I use whatever service I want.

What do you need? 

Well first of all you need a phone that is 100% yours.  When I say 100% yours I mean an unlocked phone.  Normally carriers lock their phones so that they can only work with that carrier.  Probably one of the main reasons why we still use CDMA here, control.  It is also the reason why you can't put a T-Mobile sim card in an AT&T iPhone and have it just work.

Getting an Unlocked smart phone tends to cost a lot of money.  I'm talking $600-$800.  A difficult price to just pay up, but you can make up the price of the phone and more in the savings.  Now it's even easier, you can actually get an unlocked GSM Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone for $400 straight from Google by going to the Google Play Store!

Once you have your phone, you need phone service.   The same day you order your phone you should go online and order yourself some Sim cards.  T-Mobile was selling them for 99 cents.  You can find a lot of other ones right on for also around 99 cents.

SIM Cards usually come with instructions on how to activate them, so just do that and you are all set!  Try out some plans and see how you feel about them.

Google Voice

Since you may end up switching sim cards a lot till you find the service that works best for you, I'd use Google Voice as my main number.  People can call it and it will call you.  It's great for text messaging as well but it wont do Picture messaging.  You'd have to give your contact your current phone number for that, or ask them to email you pictures.  I just did a post about Google Voice recently so check that for more info about it.


Ok, so lets say you just spent $400 on a Google Samsung Galaxy Nexus.  Now you feel you've wasted a lot of money instead of saving money.  But let me explain the savings.

Normally when you do a contract you end up paying $200 for a phone that you could have bought for $700.    But then you are stuck on a 2 year contract.

Lets say you just wanted a simple plan where you can have around 500 minutes of talk, unlimited texting and 2GB of data.

US Cellular: $75
Verizon: $90
AT&T: $90
Sprint: $70
T-Mobile: $80

Lets say the average is around $80/month

Prepaid: $45/month X 24Months = $1080
Contract: $80/month X 24Months = $1920

You are paying $840 dollars more using a contract. Add to that the $200 that you already paid for the phone that you can ONLY use with them, and you've paid $1040 for a phone that can only be used with that one provider.


Here in the US the large providers are all constantly looking for ways to get more of us while giving us less.  There was a time when Verizon was happy to sign me up on an unlimited data plan, but now they treat me like I'm some kind of thief for using around 5Gigs a month.

It's like they have enough customers so they don't care if they lose some.  With these smaller providers, they have to compete against each other for those few customers, so that's why you see better prices.  Competition the way it's supposed to be.


My Samsung Galaxy Nexus is a pentaband phone  which means I can use it in just about any GSM network in the world.  So if I'm going to Mexico for a week, I can just get me a Mexican SIM and use my phone.  But I know most people don't care to be switching sims all the time.  However, think about the current job market, can we really afford to be signing 2 year contracts when we don't have a clue if we'll have a secure job next month?

Final Words:

I know that Prepaid isn't for everyone.  Some of us run businesses that require the full power of a network like Verizon.  But I do believe that prepaid services have come a LONG way, to the point where for most of us they would work just fine.

Javier Torres

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Google Voice and why you might need it!

Hello everyone!  Today I'd like to talk a little bit about Google Voice and how some of you just might need it.  So what is it?  Some new service from Google?  Nooooo, it's actually pretty old, but I'm still surprised by how little people know about it. 

So, again, what is it?  It's a phone forwarding service from Google!  Ok let me try to explain. 

Lets say you have a cell phone and a home phone and another cell phone.  Why another cell phone?  I don't know!  You are the one with two imaginary cell phones, don't ask me why you did it! 

Now, imagine that you are home watching TV and someone calls your Google Voice Number (yes you get a number).  You hear your cell phone ring but you also hear your other cell phone ring and you also hear your home phone ring.  You are home, so you decide to answer your home phone.  You answer and you hear a message saying "You've got a call from 'Milwaukee Journal', To answer Press 1, to send to voice mail Press 2".  You don't want to talk to the Milwaukee Journal people so you press 2 and send them to voice mail.  But you are still a little bit interested in what they have to say, so you stay on the line listening to them leave a voice mail.  If they say something that REALLY grabs your attention, you can press * and actually talk to the person.  

Lets say that someone called you and there is a part of the conversation you want to record.  Just press 4, a message is played letting both parties know the conversation is being recorded and then it records till you press 4 again. 

Don't want to be bothered at all from 10PM to 7AM?  You can tell it to not ring any of the phones.  

Want to send text messages from your computer?  You can do that, you can send them from your smartphone too, but sadly it doesn't do MMS, just SMS (no pictures).  

More importantly, some of you all change phone numbers way too often.  With Google Voice you get 1 phone number that stays with you no matter what service you have with whomever.  Right now I'm going to be switching from a contract phone to a prepaid phone (sick and tired of contracts, I'll be making a post about this soon) so I'll probably be going through a lot of different phone numbers,  but to my friends and family it'll simply be the Google Voice number.  They can call and text me there.  It's super simple to go online and add a new number for Google Voice to dial when someone calls your number.  

So if you are one of these people that are always getting a different phone number for whatever reason, do yourself and anyone who knows you a huge favor and just get a Google voice number! 

There is a bunch of other cool little things that can be done with Google voice.  Like if you answer your call on your cell phone but now you are home, you can press a button to have it dial your phones again so you can pick up your home phone and continue the call.  If you are on a call with someone and get another call it'll ask if you would like to do a conference call with both people.  You can easily block certain numbers so that when they call your number they just hear a disconnected tone.  You can set up different greetings for different numbers.  So you could be romantic and leave your special someone a lovely message just for her/him/it (you never know).  

There is just a ton of stuff you can do with this service, and it's 100% free.  so go on over to to get started!!

Javier Torres

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A letter to the world from an INTP

Hello, my name is Javier and as I've mentioned before, I'm an INTP.  I'm not going to go into the details of what is an INTP because I've done some of that before.  Suffice it to say that is is one of the16 personality traits in the MBTI system.  We are people that basically live in our heads.  We are known as "Thinkers" because our brain is constantly going.  Doesn't mean we are all smart, we think about a lot of just plain stupid things too.

I do want to explain some of the things I do so that hopefully people can understand me and those like me a little better.

You've probably seen me a lot of times and wondered "what the hell did I do to him??" because I probably didn't say hi or smile or anything.  Feelings are not our strongest point, most of the time we are too involved in what's going on in our heads that we don't even think of saying hi.  And when we do tend to say hi it's really just hi.  We are not chit chat people.  Do not take it personally, it's just the way we are.  We LOVE to talk about things that we find interesting and normally if you start talking to us we won't be rude, but the concept of talking for the hell of it is one that we usually do not understand.

If you are one of my close family members or friends you've probably wondered "Why doesn't this guy ever call me??".  Once again, we are always into something new so we get so fascinated about that thing that we lose track of time.  Add to that the fact that we don't like to talk for the hell of talking and we end up not contacting people very often.  When I talk to people I feel like I should have something of substance to say, saying "I did the same thing this week as last week" doesn't really go well with us.  We DO however appreciate it when people ask us how we are, even if our answer is a simple "ok".  We also understand the importance of keeping in touch with people, so if we REALLY care about someone (like family) we'll try to come out of our caves every now and then.

If you are a female and you hear from me often then I must really care about you.  I would not assume that I just want a friendship with you either.  However I probably will never tell you how I feel about you, not because of fear of you saying no, the concept of a woman saying no is very clear to us and we certainly can understand it, it's the idea that it may make the relationship feel weird to the point where it is destroyed that haunts us.  Also the fear that you may also feel the same way about us and then us not being able to provide you with what you deserve, which in our minds if we really like you will almost always be more than what we can provide.

If you are a guy and you hear from me often, I probably had too much to drink, ignore it.

If we've dated and I decided to end our relationship because of something you did, it most probably wasn't just something you did, I was probably too afraid of having to actually take the opinion of someone else into account when I make decisions.  I keep saying that if my workplace wanted to send me to some other country to work, I'd want to just take that chance, I wouldn't want to have to deal with the complications of having a significant other to talk about it with.  At the same time, I keep hoping I will one day meet the woman who makes me not care if I have to talk to her about it.

I am an introvert, but this does not mean shy, it means dealing with people, specially feelings, drains my energy really fast.  It doesn't mean I'm antisocial either.  When my energy is full I absolutely HAVE to get out of the house and do something.  If I'm invited to a party I'll go gladly.  Problem is that during the day my energy level will drop and if I have to deal with very emotional type people or stupid people it will drop faster.  Once my energy level is down I become an asshole.  I don't want to deal with anyone and everything bothers me.

I'm not bored or awkward in social situations, I'm just different.  When I'm in a social situation 95% of the time I'm sitting back and enjoying something.  If there is a conversation going on I'll probably just sit back and listen.  I actually enjoy doing this but most people think "He's not talking, he must be bored".  Just because I don't feel I have anything of importance to add to the conversation doesn't mean I don't enjoy watching friends talk.

One of the strongest points of an INTP is Intuition, which means our brain is always gathering information and processing it.  So we tend to be quite scatterbrained.  We forget things all the time and we jump from one thing to the other very quickly.  But every now and then our brain gets stuck on one idea.  A lot of times we could be having a conversation and you may be talking and all of a sudden my brained latched on to something you said and even though you continued talking my brain is stuck on this other thing, analyzing every aspect of it.  If it's a problem then I'm trying to find 100 different solutions and thinking of which one works better for you.  Next thing I know you are still talking and I have no idea what you are talking about anymore.  So for this. . .. I apologize.

Because of our intuition always jumping from one thing to the next we tend to start a lot of things but not finish them.  We are known for our procrastination.  Our brain is a lot more about how to do things than about doing them.  If I need to fix something and I know exactly what I need to do to fix it, chances are I wont do it because I'm happy with knowing that I could fix it if I tried.  We also tend to learn quite a bit more than the average person about a LOT of things, but we hardly ever learn so much about it that we would be considered experts.  Usually if something grabs our interest, we'll learn and learn about it till we feel we know enough, then we lose interest.

Even though our feeling side is not the strongest,  we do have them.  We tend to care a lot about our friends and family.  We may not talk to them often but when they need us we are there for them.  We usually care a lot more about their happiness than ours.  We will give them our last bit of food if they needed it or sometimes simply wanted it.

You will mostly find us online.  Typing emails or whatever is a lot more like the inside of our brain.  We are always thinking of the best way to say something, so being able to edit whatever we write before it goes out is a huge thing for us.  You'll notice that whenever I write here it is a lot more than what you've probably ever heard me say.  Some people say that when we have to edit everything we say we are not being ourselves.  I happen to think that saying whatever comes to our minds without thinking of consequences or how people may receive it would be us not being ourselves.  We are Analysts by nature.

We usually analyze both sides of just about any argument and we are very good at seeing both good and bad sides.  For this reason we tend to be very split in how we feel about a lot of things.  This also allows us to be great at arguing just about any side of any subject we care about.

There is a lot more I could say about us, but I've already typed so much.  If you take anything from this let it be this, do not be afraid of us, we don't hate you, we usually don't hate anyone really, so feel free to say hi if you'd like because we'll always be up for making a new friend.

New Tablet in Town! Surface by Microsoft

Ok so most of you already know about the iPad and how there are a ton of Android tablets trying to compete against it.  Even though some companies like Asus and Samsung are making some really good devices, this market is Apples.  I'm a huge Android fan and even I decided to trade my Asus Transformer for an iPad.  

Now there is a new tablet in town.  The Surface by Microsoft!

That is correct, Microsoft decided to make it's own tablet which will be running Windows 8!  We don't really know much about this tablet yet, no idea when it'll come out or how much it'll cost, but we do know that they plan on having 2 versions, both running Windows 8 but one is supposed to be able to be a complete laptop replacement.  I guess Microsoft decided that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.

At first I was surprised about Microsoft making hardware, but then I remembered the Xbox and how successful that has been.  I don't know why but when I think hardware I just don't usually think Microsoft.

So far the tablet looks very stylish, very thin and sleek.

One of the things I already like about this tablet isn't exactly the tablet.  It's the cover.  They will sell this smart cover like device that will get attached to the tablet very much in the same way, however, this one doesn't just protect the screen, it actually functions as a multitouch keyboard and mouse!

The cover will come in many different colors.  Now, I don't think typing on that thing will be amazing or anything close to it, but it has to be better than typing using the onscreen keyboard!  Who knows, I may be greatly surprised and it may be as good as they say it is.

Will Microsoft be able to gain any part of this market?  They certainly could, a lot of people have been wanting to just replace their laptops but as great as current tablets are, there is just too much they can't do.  Maybe a tablet running Windows 8 is just what a lot of these people need.

Javier Torres

New iOS 6 info!

I've already mentioned some of the new features about iOS 6 (the new operating system update coming to the iPhone) and I've already said how I feel about some of them.  Today I wanted to write about a few more features that you may enjoy! 

For me one of the best ones is the fact that you will no longer need to enter your password to update apps, only to purchase them!  I can't believe it has taken this long but I'm really glad to know this is finally going to change!  I've always found it so annoying that I have to type the password when all I want to do is update an app.  I mean, I know they are just trying to protect me, but updates are free! 

The Bluetooth option will no longer be hidden in the General settings, it will now be right next to the Wi-Fi option.  This is great news, I'd much rather have a widget type thing where I can easily turn it on and off from the home screen but this will do. 

You will be able to set up specific notifications for specific people. . . wasn't this already in iOS?  

Finally and I can't believe this is new either, there will be a CLOCK application with a stop watch and a timer and an Alarm!

Nothing extremely exciting but a lot of times these tiny changes make the biggest difference.  Making things easier on people is always a welcome addition to any OS.  

Javier Torres

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Facetime over 3G only for iPhone 4s and iPad 2 or higher

Previously I had announced some of the new features in iOS 6 which should be coming later this year (around Fall time). iOS 6 is supposed to work with the iPhone 3GS, 4, 4s, the 4th Generation iPod Touch and the iPad 2 and 3 (new iPad).

Today I've learned that that all versions of the iPhone will enjoy some of the new features.  First we will start with the Facetime over 3G feature.  In order to be able to do this you will need an A5 or better processor.  The iPhone 4S has an A5 but the iPhone 4 has an A4 processor.  So the iPhone 4 will not be able to do this.  I'm sure if you ask anyone who has ever jailbroken an iphone 4 they'll tell you that this is certainly doable with the iPhone 4.

Next we have the Maps Turn by Turn directions and Flyovers.  These all need an A5 processor as well.  So once again the iPhone 4 or lower are out of luck.  The iPod Touch 4th Generation also uses an A4 processor.

Both the iPad 2 and iPad 3rd generation will be fine but the original iPad isn't even getting iOS 6.

But don't worry, Apple has absolutely no fragmentation!

New Verizon Wireless Share Everything Plans

On June 28th Verizon Wireless plans to go live with their new cell phone plans which are made to make things a bit easier for some and to get more money out of more premium users.  Let me try to simplify it below.

Voice and Text Plans:

You know how right now if you want a voice plan you have to chose how many minutes you want and whether or not you want an unlimited texting package.  Sometimes the package that you get for voice comes with unlimited texting, other times it doesn't.  So it can all become quite confusing.

Starting June 28th there will only be 1 option.  An unlimited Voice and text package.  Whether you are a family in a family plan or a single individual no longer matters either.

So how much will it cost to get on this unlimited voice and text plan?

It depends on the device that you are hooking up to the line.

Smartphone: $40/month
Regular Cellphone: $30/month
Mobile Hotspot Device: $20/month
Tablet: $10/month

So technically you should be able to get a simple voice and text phone for just $30 a month according to this, but it's not that simple, they do require you get at least the $40/month data plan which gives you 300MB data.  So depending on how much texting you do, you might still be better off getting a prepaid plan.

Data Plans:

The cool thing about the Share Everything plan is that you will be able to share your data with all your devices.  This being a good or bad thing completely depends on the person.  If you and your family hardly use data then you could certainly save a lot of money.  However if you tend to use more than 2GB a month then you may find your savings to be lacking.

How much will Data Cost? 

$40/month = 300 MB
$50/month = 1 GB
$60/month = 2 GB
$70/month = 4 GB
$80/month = 6 GB
$90/month = 8 GB
$100/month = 10 GB

So if you have as smartphone and want the least acceptable data usage (1GB) then your cost would be $40 for the voice plans and the $50 for the data plan, a total of $90/month.  However if you got a tablet you could add that tablet to the plan to use that same 1GB and only pay $10 extra per month.  You can also tether that 1GB and not have to pay extra for that.  I like that idea since I've always been a believer that if I'm paying for XGB of data I should be able to use it however I want.

What if I like my plan and don't want to change?  

If you like your plan and don't want to change, then the only option is basically to renew your phones before June 28th or if you are not due for a new phone yet then your only options will be to either keep the phone you are using or simply pay full price for whatever new phone you want.

Normally we sign a 2 year contract because we want the cheaper phone, so basically whenever you enter a new contract you'll have to go into the Share Everything plan.  If you pay full price for the phone you won't be making a new 2 year contract.  So the good thing is that you'll be free to leave whenever you want.

Verizon will not simply move you to this new plan unless you ask for it or get a subsidized phone.

What if I get a $50/month data plan but I go over? 

Before you go over, Verizon will let you know that you are close to going over.  At that time you will be able to just switch your data plan to a different one.  Which is normally $10 more for 2GB.  IF you go over and you never did change your plan, Verizon will charge you $15 for each GB that you go over.

How many devices can I add to share my plan?  

Up to 10 devices. Which is more than their current family share plans that only allow up to 5.

This upsets me greatly, should I move to AT&T? 

AT&T has already made it clear that they will be implementing something similar soon.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Apple shows off iOS6 at WWDC

Yesterday June 12th Apple held their World Wide Developers Conference where they showed us a new Macbook Pro with Retina Display that's also thinner and lighter, also a new Macbook Air which is about the same as the previous but with much better specs, their new additions to the next version of Mac OS X codenamed (Mountain Lion) and finally there was also the new version of their mobile operating system iOS, which would be version 6.

Today I would like to talk about iOS 6 and how it's both great and disappointing at the same time.

Siri will now come in more languages including Spanish so personally I'm looking forward to giving that a try, my biggest issue with voice recognition software is my accent so maybe if I could talk Spanish to one it'll understand me better.  But then again I want to send most of my text messages in English so I'm not sure how much I'd use this.

Siri will now also be available on the new iPad.  I do not believe it is coming to the iPad 2 although I'm not 100% on that.  Honestly I'm not sure how useful it will be in the iPad but I'm glad the option will be there.  I see Siri as more of a quick way to get info, I don't see the iPad as the device I'll pick up for quickly checking something.

Siri is now smarter!  They added a ton of info about sports so now you should be able to ask Siri a lot more sports related questions.  It is also more integrated with other services like movie services so that you can get much better info.

So basically they updated a lot of things to Siri.

There is now a new MAPS application, Apple has decided to get rid of Google Maps and make their own.  Well really they just made a deal with Tom Tom.  The new maps look a bit nicer than Google Maps, you know, as nice as a map can look.  It can find businesses just like Google maps can.  It has 3D view of buildings also very much to what Google Maps offers.  Even their big "Flyover" mode which gives you a 3D aerial view of cities is something Google announced on June 6th.  This new map software will also have up to date traffic information just like Google Maps.

The more important news coming from maps is that the new Map software will give turn by turn directions!! Finally!  The demo didn't show if it'll do live updating if you miss a turn but I'd think it will.  This is one more thing Android users will no longer be able to brag about, although they will always be able to say how they've had this since 2009 and iOS didn't get it till 2012.

The part where iOS users are kind of getting screwed here is with Street View.  Obviously it would take Apple a ton of work to go around catching all the images Google has caught and edited to make it's street view.  It has not been announced that there is no street view but they certainly didn't mention anything about it when showing off the features.

iOS6 now has Facebook integration just like iOS5 had Twitter integration.  Not much here, really surprised they weren't both integrated last year.

Facetime will now be able to be used over 3G. . . . About time, Jailbroken iPhones have been doing it for ever.  The picture quality wont be great but this once again proves that Apple just plain didn't want people doing it.

There were no big changes to iOS6.  There were no widgets added, no fresh look either.  They did say it has over 200 new features but most of those are things no one will ever notice.  Personally I was disappointed, I was hoping for them to allow me to add some widgets or shortcuts to that screen you get when you scroll all the way to the left, the search screen, most of it is empty anyway, they could throw some quick shortcuts to turn off Bluetooth, wifi, stuff like that.  The way users have been begging for widgets you'd think they'd at least try to provide something like widgets.

Javier Torres

Thursday, June 7, 2012

ASUS has the right idea

Imagine that you have this phone you really like:

Now imagine that you really like your phone but there are some things you'd rather do on a tablet, things like browsing the web.  So you take your phone and you plug it into the back of a device that turns your lovely phone into a Tablet.  Not only that but this device has a battery that will charge your phone while in use.

Now, lets say that you are on the road and you want to reply to some emails.  What if you could take this tablet and attach it to a keyboard dock that gives you some full size USB ports, a full size SD Card reader and a battery that charges the battery of the tablet adapter that charges the battery on your phone?

Lets say you started typing a document but decided you'll finish it when you get home because you really just don't want to type all that in a smaller keyboard and you'll probably need to be doing a lot of going back and forth and you just really need a full size keyboard and mouse.

So you get home, you take your phone out and place it on a docking station that is connected to a monitor with a keyboard and a mouse, turning your phone now into a type of desktop computer.

This all sounds really cool and it's not the future, this is now with the Asus Padphone.  The problem is that even thought the idea is amazing, the Padphone just isn't quite ready for it.  All the reviews I've seen mention the fact that things aren't as smooth as you'd like.

The Padphone also runs Android 4.0 which I believe is great for phones, I also believe it would be pretty good for tablets but devs just aren't making many tablet specific apps.  Too many Android tablet apps are just bigger versions of the phone apps.  Even Google's G+ app on the tablet sucks.  So if Google doesn't want to put the time into making a real Tablet version of their own stuff, why would anyone else?

With all that said, I still strongly believe that this is the future and Android is the OS that I think can certainly get us there, if Google ever grows a pair. Phones keep getting more and more powerful so I can certainly see us in the future having everything run from our phones.  I can see how the phone will be the CPU of many of our devices.

Which is kind of scary at the same time, I've never been a big fan of a device that does everything for me.  Even now I still carry a digital camera with me because I just don't want to take pictures with my phone all the time.  So to think of everything running from my phone and then breaking it?  I don't know about that.  But to be able to do all my computing from one place?  I don't know, could be worth it.

Javier Torres

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Transit of Venus

Missed the Transit of Venus yesterday (June 5th)?  Chances are you kept hearing about Scott Walker and not so much about this moment that only happens twice in a century every 105 years.

First of all, what is a Transit of Venus? 

A transit of Venus is like an Eclipse where Venus gets right in front of Earth and the Sun so we can see a little circle going by the sun.  Too small to even really be noticeable much.

Wait, twice in a century every 105 years?  How does that work? 

Well, Venus and Earth are both rotating around the sun constantly.  In 2004 there was a moment when earth was in front of Venus while Venus was in front of the Sun.  Eight years later this happens again in 2012.  However, this timing wont happen again for another 105 years.

Even though Earth and Venus are both going around the sun constantly, they don't go in exactly the same way, Venus travels around the sun at a different incline than earth.  There are only two spots in the rotation where we could actually see this happen.

If we lived in a 2D world, this would be happening every 1.6 years, but since again Venus is in a different incline then most of the time it is either above the sun or below the sun.   Also these times when Venus and earth meet are not always in the exact same spot, each time they are a little bit off.

In 2004 Venus and Earth both met in a place that where Venus would be right in front of Earth and behind the Sun.  Eight years later (June 5th 2012) it happens again but at a little bit different spot in the rotation as last time.  So 8 years from now, when it would have happened again, it will be once again at a different spot and by then Venus will no longer be right in front anymore.  So that's why it wont happen again for another 105 years.

Who cares? 

Well, life is short, you should appreciate the things you can live that no one else born today will be able to.  But the Transit of Venus has actually been quite useful for us humans.  It is how we discovered just how far Earth is from the Sun.  Scientists all over the world were looking at it over 100 years ago gathering data trying to figure it out.  And they did.  This was attempted over 100 years before then, but their data was inconclusive so we had to wait the 105 years for it to happen again.

Today we don't care as much because we have Satellites that give us the information we need, but it's still one of those things that shows just how perfect the universe is that we can actually predict such a thing will happen 105 years from now.

So even if you missed it, at least be aware that it happened, and go on youtube and check out some of the videos.  Personally I tried taking pictures but I just didn't have the right equipment so I couldn't get anything good.  Taking pictures of the sun without the right equipment = fail.

Javier Torres