BBM: A Conspiracy Theory

So BlackBerry stated they would be launching BBM on Android and iOS this past weekend, the official announcement was made months ago. As the hype was built, here in the Asia Pacific region specifically, BBM was the topic of discussion for the first time in a long time, reminiscing back to its former glory.

So they began the roll out slowly, confusingly however they started rolling it for iOS first, whereas they had announced that it would be coming for Android first. A couple of days before the rollout, the apk was leaked. Many people installed it but couldn’t get set up and connected, which changed this past weekend. Before it even launched on the Play Store, the apk was installed and activated on numerous devices, the number floating around is 1.1 million however it is not clear whether that was iOS and Android or just android. As time went on and people were clamoring away, posting their new PIN’s on any and every form of social media, BlackBerry dropped a bomb. They said they would be halting the roll out for the foreseeable future and would also be deactivating the accounts of those who signed up through the leaked apk.

Now here’s where my conspiracy theory comes into play. Take BlackBerry, a company that’s failing, dying. Soon enough they won’t even exist in the consumer world. Their former fame and glory now a shadow in the distance, fading away. Sunk-ed so low that they’re offering their only selling point to their competitors, for free. The picture that comes to your mind is of a BlackBerry, one that has not been picked and left to dry, withering on the vine, frail and wishing for death. But here’s where the twist comes in, the metaphorical rebirth. What if it was BlackBerry themselves who leaked the apk? It would make more sense would it not? A one last hurrah! Think about it, people were already forgetting about blackberry and preparing to throw their old blackberries away the minute they migrated over to BBM on their other, more loved platforms. So the minute BBM was on the Play Store and App Store all over the world that would be the last nail in the ill fated companies coffin. So they leaked the apk, gave people a small taste of what they wanted and got the world hungry and in a split second, took it away from them. Its a classic mind game and a good one at that. It’s been 3 days and my timeline is still cluttered with people asking what happened about bbm, how do you get bbm, etc. That’s the most anyone’s spoken about the company in a while. Now, people want it, they want it bad. Giving BlackBerry back a little control of the market they once dominated.

Now with this in no way am I saying “blackberry is back”, they’re still going to die soon and there’s no stopping that. This has merely prolonged the consumers acknowledgment of their existence. It is unclear what can become of this now, whether that was it and they just did it to do it and go out with a very minute bang, more of a pop! you could say. Or, did they do it so they could test the market and see how many people were actually interested in BBM, so that they could probably spin it off into a separate entity or even monetize it. What they do with it is up to them, all we can do is sit back and watch.

Android Phones: Overpowered or Compromised?

Take a good look at the android phones that are around today. Have you noticed that some of them tout so many features yet always have something very lackluster about them? I mean look at the so called ‘Flagship’ phones out there now, the Samsung Galaxy S4 has brilliant performance and a superb camera, in exchange of that they chose to neglect build quality and make it out of plastic, bad plastic. Now look at the Lumia 1020, the tank of a phone overcompensates widely in the camera department but the lack of app support in windows phone renders the phone to be in what I can only call exasperating. 

Now let’s take a look at the mid-range devices. The underdogs in my opinion. My favourite of which, the HTC One Mini. It has a great build quality, a good enough display and a mediocre camera. I know it is the same camera as the One but it’s not, it lacks OIS (optical image stabilization) which actually makes a huge deal. Had they ditched the HTC One and the HTC One mini and made just one phone in between with no real compromise or over compensation, it would have been the perfect phone for me. 

 

You may be thinking, what exactly am I talking about. Well here it is, why must manufacturers over-compensate so much on one aspect of the device that they have to skimp out on the other. Why must we have the highest end specs and power but still skimp out on build quality. Why must smaller phones lack the necessary features to making it a useable device. Why can’t we have just ONE product that doesn’t go overboard on any aspect and doesn’t skimp out on any as well? That would be the phone to get. 

Think about it. One of the hardest decisions you have to make when picking up a phone is to go High End Vs. Cheap Price, more simply it becomes Overpowered Vs. Underspecced. Is this a battle we have to face? I can honestly say I’ve had this fight for so long that I’m still stuck with my almost 2 Generation old Galaxy Nexus. There just hasn’t been a phone so far that sits perfectly in the middle of what I would call a perfect fit. I considered the HTC One Mini but the lack of OIS disappointed me, the Moto X seems promising but there aren’t any plans of it being made available internationally as yet and that AMOLED display is really putting me off. 

Maybe what I’ve said makes sense to you and you can relate to it. Maybe I’m just too hard to please. Either way, the decision regarding a new smartphone has to be made and each day the battle grows more infuriating, no thanks to the manufacturers and designers around the world. Oppo, let’s hope you’ve got something up your sleeve with the N1. 

 

What I just realised about the POP Debacle

You guys remember POP right? The kickstarter funded portable charger that got canned by Apple, and then was mysteriously allowed back on the market? Well if you don’t we have a post for you on right here. So I was just sitting down the other day and thinking about this, when I realised, why was Apple so panicky about it? Well in my opinion, Apple found out about the project later than they had hoped, so they panicked. Why, you ask? Isn’t it obvious? They wanted to produce it! Think about it, a design language so close to Apple’s, along with the amount of people interested in it, Apple must be kicking themselves wondering why they didn’t come up with it in the first place!

Look at it in this perspective, the POP charger wouldn’t have even seen the light of day if Apple heard about it before hand, as they would have purchased everyone involved in the project, taken the pop charger, slapped an Apple sticker on it and broadened their product portfolio. Of course they would have changed something, such as maybe making the plugged in version of the POP aluminium based, or maybe even called it the iPOP. But alas, before any of that would or could happen, the project was funded on kickstarter, much to Apple’s dismay. Thus they panicked and thought that maybe if they got the product banned, perhaps by suing POP or something of the sort, they could get the product of the market and still get their hands on it. Sadly that didn’t work out, firstly because I’m not sure how that would’ve held up in court given that there are so many other third party 30pin cables and because of all the contributions they had gotten from numerous different donors would have been quite arduous to return. Worst of all, if Apple had decided to go forward with creating a similar product, the controversy surrounding that would have been tough even for the cupertino giants to evade.

Of course the real story could be completely different and this is just my opinion, but it would be interesting to see how this plays out and also come to think about it, which of Apple’s current products do you think were actually designed by someone else? Sound off in the comments below!

catch ya later folks

2012’s top tech might be obsoleted in 2013?

We all know that technology has been advancing at a rapid rate, so fast that the rate of new technology has more than quadrupled over the past couple of years. So fast that some technology tends to die out even a couple of months after it’s inception. So which of these many new technologies have I presumed to be doomed by next year? The portable charger of course!

A year ago, portable chargers were nothing, they were unheard of. Now, everywhere you turn, you’re bound to see a couple. Five in ten of the people in my school have them now; every restaurant, coffee shop, mall and even somewhere like the golf course I see people walking around with those bulky things hooked up to their phone. The main reason of this is, the hardware in smartphones is advancing rapidly, but the batteries aren’t. My blackberry 9360 couldn’t get more than 4 hours maximum on a single charge, thus making it essential for people to have portable chargers. In less than a year, portable chargers have become the norm, they’ve become the most rapidly growing technology that doesn’t classify as a daily driver. Therefore my question arises, what next?

Many people speculate that 2013 will be the year of the extreme batteries, with battery technology expected to advance and with new technologies predicted to be announced at CES in a couple of weeks, does that mean that all these companies that manufacture power packs are going to be going out of business? I’m not sure about that.

While I do believe that power packs are going to be redundant by the year 2013, there’s a large probability that the companies responsible for making portable chargers will be the same companies that invent some sort of technology that will dawn as the new age of batteries. However, what this means for the world of technology is that the market is fluctuating right now and that nothing can prove to be stable. What’s booming this year could just be ancient tech next year, which is why I feel that to jump into the tech industry at a time like this has a very high payout, along with an equally high risk.

What do you think will trend this year? Sound off in the comments below! Also, Check out LinkedGeek.com, a site I work for.

Theory: How to make shows Last

Instead of my brain cells being active during school, I have the pleasure of my thoughts not being able to shut up at 2 in the morning when I’m trying to sleep. It’s not all bad though, I did come up with a theory about some of the shows I watch and would like to share it with you. I’m sure what I’m going to say is nothing new, but it’s just one of those things where I opened my eyes and noticed something I didn’t see before.

What sparked this thought was reading the tweet that stated Nikita and/or Hart of Dixie will be canceled. These are shows in their first/second seasons and already facing cancellation. Lots of shows do, but it hurts more when it’s a show you actually watch. It’s just been bugging me lately because I feel like it’s much harder for a show to reach four/five seasons and more. Once you’ve got four seasons, I’d say that’s really swell and you’ve made your mark. Excluding shows that focus on solving crimes (CSI, Criminal Minds, Bones, Psych) and half-an-hour comedies, the shows that have really been there from my childhood to now is Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, House, and One Tree Hill. Yes, 3 out of 4 shows mentioned are wrapping up this year, but I would just like to say that they didn’t get axed – they are all getting fitting goodbyes to tie up loose ends and give the fans something special because they have been around for so long.  My point being is that I think shows that last this long are becoming extinct. And it’s a bit sad. You could argue to why a show shouldn’t stay around for so long, but if the fans are willing to fight for a show then you really can’t say anything (made evident by Chuck which ended on its fifth season after fans fought to keep it going for as long as it could).

You could also say that content is way more important than length. And I agree with that completely. I’m just looking to see if shows nowadays can reach a legendary length like shows conceived years ago that are still going on now. This slight fascination for shows to go the distance is a combination of curiosity to see if it’s possible and just me wanting a kid to watch a show now and still watch the same show when they are teens.

A show starts on its first season with no way to know where it could go, only with an idea. Maybe this theory could give it a fighting chance to last longer:

“Focus on a place, not a plot”

A place: Seattle Grace Hospital, Wisteria Lane, Tree Hill, the Upper East Side

A plot: putting on a Broadway musical (Smash won’t last that long), taking down an evil organization like Division (it won’t last that long like the ones I’ve mentioned above, but CW PLEASE DO NOT CANCEL THIS SHOW TOO EARLY), seeking revenge against the people who destroyed your father’s life (Revenge is the best show ever, but again, won’t last long like I’m looking for a show to), 

Everybody out there: get a general sense of what you want your show to be about, remember DO NOT CREATE AN ENDGAME. Pick a place, put some people in it, and create some good drama.

All of this made evident by Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, One Tree Hill, and Gossip Girl. I don’t think these shows necessarily picked a place first, but as the show runs for years and years, isn’t that what you know the show to be? When shows were being conceived, there was an overview plot and it could be easily explained to anybody. Then as these shows get older and older, I am not going to explain every plotline to someone who asks. For Grey’s Anatomy I would simply say “it’s a show about a bunch of doctors in seattle grace hospital, from interns to residents and all the drama that surrounds them” and Wikipedia agrees with me on this.

In all of these shows, the drama revolves around the setting instead of the other way around. And along the way, viewers are able to identify specific places in the main setting that are imprinted onto their brains. It helps us visualize specific moments or scenes in the shows that will help create an overall positive impact. For instance, most fans of One Tree Hill will jump to the Rivercourt. Once you got the Rivercourt in your brain, all the memories come flooding in. They bring you back without having to think extremely hard about, its association at its best. What these places also do is create a map, and that makes you confident about Tree Hill; it makes you a part of it.

Mark Schwahn (One Tree Hill) and J.J. Abrams (Lost) are currently working together to bring us a new show called Shelter. “Shelter is set at historic New England summer resort Shelter Bay where the new and returning staff attend to the practical, emotional and often comical needs of the guests while navigating friendships, rivalries and romances of their own.” If i’m following the theory, this is a smart idea. They got a place, they got people, and they got drama. Perfect. Who really knows where this show will go, but I have faith in it, and it definitely does not hurt that Schwahn & Abrams are working together.

So there you have it! The setting is the big picture. And that picture will not crumple up and die, it will withstand time people.

Cable Television- Another Conspiracy Theory

What is the definition of the free world? Being free to live our lives the way we want to, right? Then why are we all blind to this life of semi slavery we’ve been sucked into? what slavery? television!

What is slavery? Someone telling someone else what to do and when to do it right? just like TV! Don’t get me wrong, I love television, everything from “The Big Bang Theory” to “Nikita” from networks like TNT, CBS, ABC, The CW, etc. But what I don’t like is that they have a schedule, they tell you when to watch which show, how long you can watch it for and the only times you can watch it, so it’s not convenient to you, but convenient to them! Yup, you know it, I know it, Dora the explorer knows it! I love the shows that cable television puts out and I know I would be a completely different person without tv in my life, but I truly hate the system!

When you come to think about it, it’s a bunch of corporate fools puppeting us around for their entertainment, making us think it’s for our entertainment, making us the true fools. Which is why I have opened my eyes to the truth and have decided to cut the cord! Not physically of course because my family still needs the tv, but I have decided to be no part of this cable tv thing. Now there are a couple of options to go with here, theres the subscription based tv streaming thing like amazon instant video, netflix, BBC iPlayer etc. then there’s the pay for downloading thing like buying tv shows on iTunes (yuck, I know), there’s illegally downloading pirated shows, which is the only option for people living in a country such as mine considering they don’t show most shows on tv and theres no subscription based television, you could buy DVD’s (original ofcourse) or you could watch just web based shows like Film Riot or TechnoBuffalo 0n Revision3 or similar online networks.

What I like about these options is that you can watch whenever you want, it suits your schedule and you’re free to play and pause whenever you want!

Android: A Conspiracy Theory

DISCLAIMER: this is just an opinion, and everyone has different opinions, so I’m not being biased, I LOVE ALL OS’s, cuz I’m geeky that way :p

Is it really an android? or a disguise?

Many people, young or old, male or female, geek or n00b, are delusional to the phenomena that is android. you may think you own an android phone such as the Samsung Galaxy SII, but guess what, It ain’t really android. that’s right, I said it. You just think it’s an android, it’s just what they want you to think… To wake you up from the delerium manufacturer’s have placed you in, I have decided to highlight the key problems in android, and divided it into the layers, layer 1, layer 2, and yes, you guessed it, layer 3!

first of all, before the list, I want to talk about android. you’ve probably already heard of android right? well let me tell you whats wrong with it. When it comes to hardware, Android has some of the most amazing, and elegant hardware, but it always has its drawbacks. Take the motorola’s for example, they’re some of the best phones out there, but there’s always a defect in the display. Another thing is, when you buy a phone, you want it to last. You don’t want it to get outdated the minute you buy it. That’s the real problem with Android, there’s a new phone every two weeks, which means before you can even make up your mind, its outdated. Just a couple of weeks back I was pondering purchasing the not yet released Droid Razr, and now the Droid 4 is on its way. so Hardware is layer 3 of the problem.

layer 2 comes in the form of software and hardware collaboration. take phones like the iPhone and the BlackBerry for example, even with lower processors than those found on modern androids, they seem to work so fluently and mellifluously, this is because the hardware and software is made by the same company and therefore the engineers and dev’s understand the software and the hardware which allows them to live together in perfect harmony, just like ebony and ivory.

And now we move on to layer 3, which is software. Android has its own software, UI, etc. but once they give it to OEM’s such as samsung or htc, they mess it up with their own messed up OS to make it as much of their own as possible, therefore when you’re purchasing a phone such as the galaxy SII, you’re not getting an android phone, you’re getting a phone with TouchWiz, an OS that was based on Android. or if you buy an HTC Sensation, you’re getting a phone with HTC Sense, and so on. This is why phones such as the sensation and SGSII among a bloody mess of others are so laggy and buggy, even if you don’t notice it at first, and if you don’t notice it at all, you probably don’t use it that much, don’t need a smartphone or you just don’t understand it and use it for show :p

that’s why I feel that when you’re buying a phone that say’s android, it’s not really an android, and the only android phones worth buying are the nexus line of devices. think about it, they follow a yearly product release cycle and engineer’s from google take their time to work out the kinks and take their time to make one amazing phone rather than a few good phones, that answers the problems in layer 3. Then, the hardware is made with parts from samsung (Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus) and htc (Nexus One) but are completely overlooked and managed by El Goog, so therefore software engineers work with the hardware people to make the software work perfectly with the hardware, solving layer 2. And now the software, you get the pure android experience freshly from the google oven, with no software overlays and UI customizations, the original android you were meant to have.