Way back when AT&T originally announced the evolutionary iPhone back in January of 2007 an exclusivity agreement between Apple and AT&T started. Fast forward to today, people complain about AT&T's network. It's over filled with millions of iPhone users. The launch did exactly what it was supposed to do, bring more users to AT&T's network. Some users stay and suffer through the fact that they drop calls left and right, just because, the device itself is revolutionary. It requires no user manual to understand. Users are able to pick it up and understand how the touch interface works and the ins and outs of the operating system in no time.
Yesterday, mysteriously on 1.11.11, Verizon, not Apple, announced the iPhone 4 would be going on sale and shipping in early February. With a new 2 year contract, users can finally end AT&T's dominance of one of the phone which has had the biggest impact on the mobile computing world.
Is this the phone to buy if you're shopping for mobile devices now? In my opinion, no. Annually, over the summer, Apple announces a new iPhone. In a few short months, you will be regretting your purchase. While I'm sure Verizon will sell tons of units, those who upgrade now will be locked into a phone which has been on the market for almost a year and a two year contract.
Still, this is a revolutionary announcement, the end of an exclusivity agreement which has crippled the AT&T network. Will it do the same to Verizon?
In a large amount of classes, you're taught to find and design for your target audience. If you create an application of sports games, you target men in specific age classes as your primary target audience for example. I was thinking about this for this blog as I've been trying to get readers and it puzzles me. Does target audience really apply to a blog?
Some may argue that target audiences (Ta's) don't matter as much when it comes to blogging. Your goal is to attract as many readers as possible. Who cares who you target? Unfortunately, you have to have some sort of idea of what to write about. In order to decide what to write about, you have to think what everyone wants to read about and therefore need a subject. The interesting part is, the topic can be very broad...for example, the target audience for HCIGuru is technology people. I try to write articles of varying complexity and allow people to decide to read based on some of my opinion articles . This is what makes blogging fun, trying to reach out to as many people as you can, share your ideas, and get their feedback through comments.
Some will argue it's very important. Having very specific targeted groups of people allows you to advertise to them, but writing isn't all about money or being popular. I write on this blog to put ideas on to paper and to practice writing. It is those two simple goals which allow me to have fun while writing things. Targeting readers isn't important to me because I don’t care if the only person who reads this is my Father...at least I wrote and I keep my writing skills sharp. :)
Ever since the advent and mass consumption of the cell phone in the 90's, the land line has slowly but surely dying. I'm assuming a good percentage of families whose average age is < 30 do not in fact have a land line, but prefer to simply have two cell phones. The Landline is dying because it is not portable, its cost is duplicated , and it simply is not needed.
Let's face it, a land line is attached to your house. There is no taking that home number outside of your house (unless you port it to a cell phone). The line is attached at home. The only meaningful use I can come up with is you can't get cellphone service at home due to the location of your house, the building materials, or some other external factor, however, these are not valid excuses. One should always contact their carrier if their phone doesn't work at home. Not only do they fix their specific problem, but they may solve a coverage issue for a number of people.
Having a landline is a duplicated cost. Assuming you pay for some sort of cellphone plan, it is relatively inexpensive to pay for a cellphone.. Some carriers have unlimited plans which include unlimited talk, text, and data, for a low cost. Having a landline is only an additional cost just to have another phone number (which can't receive text messages.
A landline is simply not needed. Why purchase a land line, when you can buy a cell phone like the Motorola Droidx, Apple iPhone 4, or Google Nexus One? All three are excellent phones. They all function much better than a house phone and will definitely satisfy you requirement to talk to your family, browse the web, and play with apps.
I would highly suggest against buying a landline...unless of course you work fo ra company who refuses to take scanned documents and wants faxed information...which is a whole nother argument! So, all in all, buy a cell phone and save some cash!
Go Chat! Is an awesome idea. It's a free client to chat with your friends who are signed into Facebook. Being that most people hang out online on Facebook all day, and the only requirement to have a Facebook chat account is to enable it and be a member of Facebook, it could easily become the worlds largest chat client.
Not only does the apps purpose sound awesome, but the app itself rocks. The UI is designed very similarly to the Google Talk app. The interface is simple and easy to use and it's not overly complex. You sign in, see a list of your friends click on it and wa lah, you're talking to people signed into Facebook.
I find it to be an awesome IM client and would high recommend downloading the free version at least named "Go Chat! Facebook (Ads)" or the paid version named "Go!Chat Facebook Pro" for $2.48 USD. It's a great buy or download for any android phone such as the Motorola DroidX, Droid 2, Google Nexus One, or any other Android Phone.
(Also, the app support site is www.facebook.com/gochat
so I'm guessing this is Facebook make a few bucks on the side!)
After registering a new account to download some software today, I just felt like writing up a little blurb about passwords. This website, which shall remain nameless, asked me to enter in a password. No problem. I have about 5 passwords I use depending on the site requirements.
Site requirements differ from page to page, which utterly confuses me. Why isn't there some sort of secure standard? I mean, do we really need to limit passwords to not be one of your last 5 passwords, have lower and uppercase letters, symbols, and numbers...oh yeah, don't forget that you can't repeat a character and have to meet a specific character limit. Most sites use a combination of these methods of essentially preventing the good old dictionary attack. A dictionary attack, as defined by Wikipedia "is a technique for defeating a ciper or authentication mechanism by trying to determine its decryption key or passphrase by searching likely possibilities."
Preventing a dictionary attack is one thing, considering a big key to IT security is essentially making it too hard for the hacker. Eventually they will try some set of methods and if they don't succeed they will move on.
Here is my suggestion. Based on my frustrations, I am proposing a new password standard known as BITS Passphrase Security Standard. Each of your passwords now must contain at least 3 spaces. By requiring spaces, this causes the user to create some sort of a phrase, rather than a word. Based on the necessary level of security, we can call them stars, additional criteria can be added. For example:
- 1 Star Security = Minimum 3 spaces
- 2 Star Security = 1 Star + One Complex Character (a period, question mark, or exclamation point at the end of the phrase)
- 3 Star Security = 2 Stars + Additional Complex Characters (replace an a with an @, an I with an !, or an s with a $ for example)
This way, passphrase security can be scalable. If 3 star security is not enough, we can create a 4th Star level! Then, when you are required to enter your password, you are simply prompted for your 4 star security passphrase! No need to remember 5 zillion different passwords/phrases, just remember one increasingly complex phrase. This idea probably isn't genuine and...as all good thinkers know, coming up with the idea is only 10% of the battle, implementing it is more than half.
Well...I'll get off my soapbox and get started on documenting and implmenting BITS Passphrase Security Standard...BITS PSS.
year ago, I posted this article claiming that the Zune HD
was a futile device. Back then, it seemed pointless; every phone is an
integrated audio player. What I failed to consider was the fact that the
device itself wasn't only intended for me as a target audience.
believe the proper target audience for the device could be one of the following
- Someone who does
not have a smart phone
- Someone who has
another phone, but likes the Zune Pass
- Someone who
wants a Microsoft MP3 player
importantly, I think it was a milestone release for Microsoft. Last year,
in August, we had no clue what Microsoft was going to do with the Windows
Mobile Platform. We now know of Windows Mobile 7 Series and it's
similarities with the Zune operating system.
actually purchased a Zune the other day. My phone batteries don't last
more than a day as is, and even less if i am playing audio, so I figured why
not. As I did with my original Zune, it was love at first
sight, the minimalistic interface, and the overall hardware design has always
impressed me. The best part is, I know that I'm holding a device that
will hopefully sometime soon get a pretty sweet firmware upgrade similar to how
the iPod Touch received a refresher to iOS4.
UPDATED - Fixed some spelling stuff
Years ago, when I was a young child (ok...it wasn't that long ago), I used to watch a tv show known as Pee Wee's Playhouse. Now, the show was amazing. It was fun to sing along to and I remember how much fun it was watching the show at my grandparents house.
One portion of the show emphasized a technique of "connecting the dots." In this instance, the show would display a puzzle, as shown in various episodes (like this one), and connect the dots. Pee wee would connect the dots and sing along with it.
I believe, if it weren't for Pee Wee and his tactics, the android pattern unlock screen would never have been invented. Below is an image. Now, I understand connecting the dots wasn't Paul Reubens' idea, but maybe, just maybe, he helped me learn to connect the dots and someone along the line in android development thought, hmm...instead of numbers, maybe we can secure the phone with a pattern rather than a password!
This was a genius idea...now i don't have to remember numbers, just a pattern! Why aren't banks trying to implement this and get rid of pins...eat this cake...because it is good!
Now, I just wanted to say Pee Wee was awesome. And so was Paul Reubens. Unfortunetly, he recieved a bad wrap for being human and the image of Pee Wee was forever tarnished by some reporter who I will hate until the day I die, because they destroyed the Personal of Pee Wee Herman...one of my childhood heroes.
What do you think? Do you think Pee Wee inspired the pattern unlock?
Images courtesy of Wikipedia and Free Coloring Pages.
When it first was suggested to me to play around with the Motorola DroidX, I was very tentative. My father used to work in the Motorola Cell Phones design group, and I personally haven't been too satisfied with the quality of the products they release. OTOH, I haven't given them a chance since the RAZR, so...below are the hardware impressions. For those of you who may be curious, I have signed up for a Verizon Plan yet and will be writing a follow up update once I have played with the software a bit.
Hardware Design Impressions
When you first pick up the phone, it's very impressive how light it feels. The screen is gynormous. If you don't look at the Motorola Logo, at a quick glance, this phone could easily be mistaken for the HTC HD2. The device feels very sturdy like it can withstand a drop test. It fits in your hands easily as the bumper on the back buldges out at the top of the phone (hopefully the antenna is up there...ahem...Apple).
"Button, button, who's got the button." I think that's from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory :P
The buttons on the front of the device (the standard android buttons) have a very tight feel to them. I'm not sure if I like that. I definetly prefer the haptic feedback bottons on the Nexus one...but no big deal.
The power button at the top of the phone is nice...however location sort of puzzles me. It's on the right side for iPhones, left side for the Nexus One, and in the middle for the DroidX...guess I'll be working on muscle memory for a while.
Lastly, there is what I believe to be a dedicated camera button on the side.
This is probably the coolest feature of the phone. The DroidX has a microUSB port, a headset port...pretty standard stuff, but the big M threw in a mini HDMI port! A phone...with an HDMI port....sweet. Bonus points for being creative on that one.
+Hardware feels solid
+Awesome buttons and new mini HDMI port
-Location of Power Button
Keep an eye out for my software review soon!
*These images and this review are copywritten by Brandon A. Stein and www.hciguru.com. Please do not copy them without first getting a hold of me on Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin.
UPDATED: Corrected some spelling stuff
Who needs an AT&T Microcell?
The AT&T Microcell is a device AT&T is currently selling to help solve various issues with AT&T's network coverage. The target microcell customer audience is AT&T users who have no signal in their home.
What is the Microcell?
The Microcell is essentially a mini AT&T tower you are creating inside your home. Theoretically, the device uses your internet connection to take your phone calls and essentially make them a VOIP call. Essentially, AT&T is selling you a device to make up for their lack of investment in the quality of their network.
How did it work for me?
Terrible. I bought it because I was sick of dropping calls. Well...I drop calls no matter where I go with my AT&T Phone. I drop calls at home, I drop calls outside, I drop calls with full signal, I also drop calls with no signal. I've called numerous times to complain (and had the call drop while being on hold) and even had a supervisor say they would call me back even though he had no clue what I meant when I told him they have "backhaul" problems.
After setting this up in my new apartment, I would roam to the front of my apartment and no longer be covered by the microcell. I'd be back on AT&T's crappy network and drop calls left and right. These experiences weren't only on my phone (Google Nexus One), but also on various other AT&T phones.
I would highly suggest against purchasing this device ($150 - $100 MIR) unless you are really desperate to get some sort of AT&T signal. AT&T really should be giving these away rather than trying to sell them to you.