What About Lumia 920? (My Breakaway from iOS Ecosystem)

Usually, people would rather trade in their whatever brand of smartphone for an iPhone 5, but I did the opposite.  I ran away from iPhone 5 by gave it away to a family member, bought Lumia 920 instead.  What’s the big deal you ask?  Probably not to you, but it’s to me.  I like to think that I had successfully completed a challenge, and the challenge was for me to break away from iOS ecosystem.  Basically, once you’re tied into any digital ecosystem, whether that be iOS ecosystem, it would be super hard to break away from it.  Unless many digital ecosystems begin to have the same amount of apps and features, breaking away from one digital ecosystem for another is like to throw away all the money you had spent in one ecosystem for all that time.  For me, it wasn’t a big deal and I did not break any sweat.  How come?  Well, watch the video right after the break and you will know.  Within the video right after the break, I also make a brief comparison between iPhone 5 and Lumia 920.  So, enjoy!!!

iPhone 5 AT&T LTE Network Speed Test

I have a mixed bag of a personal customer satisfaction for iPhone 5 really!  On one hand, it’s a more powerful device than the older iPhone iterations, but on the other hand iPhone 5 does have few quirks that are really bothering me.  Such quirks are Wi-Fi slowness occurs from time to time (i.e., sometimes it’s fine) and purple halo camera glitch.  Nonetheless, with that being said, I find iPhone 5’s adoption of true LTE (i.e., real 4G speed) is quite pleasing.  Please check out the video right after the break to see the speed test of iPhone 5 LTE on AT&T LTE network.

Waze Is Going To Be Absorbed By Facebook?

facebook

facebook (Photo credit: sitmonkeysupreme)

If you have an iPhone and I say Waze, you probably know which app that I speak of.  I’ve been using Waze for some time already, and it is probably the only free navigation app that I prefer most on iPhone.  Waze has many great navigation features and one of them is very controversial.  It would be Waze allows users to notify each other of police presence in specific areas.  So, Waze is a really great free navigation app for iPhone, and the rumor has that it will be bought out by Facebook.  I don’t usually like to write an article based on a rumor, but I have to go on ahead and write about this since Facebook is involved, rumor or not.

We know Facebook has already had a ton of information on its users.  Only cave dwellers won’t know Facebook and Facebook won’t know cave dwellers.  No offense, but it’s just a figure of speech to magnify Facebook presence on the Internet social scene.  Sure, Facebook’s stock does poorly in the market and probably will continue to do so for some time to come unless Facebook can figure out how to build a business model that actually does speak some confidence into investors.  As now Facebook stock is at $19.31, way below its IPO price of near $40.  In reality, Facebook stock and Facebook are two different concerns altogether.  Facebook itself, not the stock, is a giant machine that hold lot and lot of personal data.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Obviously, just like any other web services, Facebook might have lot of fake accounts and spam data to be dealt with.  Nonetheless, we cannot disregard the position that Facebook is in.  Unlike Google and somewhat similar to Google, Facebook has a way of knowing people’s secrets.  The truth is just like how people ask the search engine secrets that even their closest friends and family members won’t necessary know about, some people out of so many people on Facebook do save secrets that would boggle your mind.  When I speak of some people on Facebook, some are real people, and some are just machines that pretend to be real people known as bots.  Nonetheless, Facebook is a giant machine that harbors around 900 million active accounts.  Some of 900 million active accounts do speak tremendous volume.  To put it plainly, Facebook is an elephant that carries tons of ants on its body.  OK, I lie, this isn’t plain at all.

Since Facebook is like a databank machine, with smart algorithms, that holds valuable, personal data of so many active Internet users, the rumor of Waze acquisition by Facebook might be rather unsettling for some people.  Perhaps, some people might just have enough of Facebook being so pervasive in their personal lives, because Facebook will not only know about their secrets but will also know about their bad sense of direction.  Hint, Waze is a navigation app after all.  And this paragraph is meant to be sarcastic.  Anyhow, it’s just so interesting to me to hear a rumor that Facebook wants to acquire Waze.  I think Waze has a lot potential as a navigation app, but I fear Waze won’t be Waze if Facebook acquires it.  Then again, perhaps my fear is just all smoke and mirror, because Facebook might just add a lot of social features to Waze and leave Waze to be Waze.

In conclusion, the moral of story is there isn’t one.  What on earth I’m writing about…  Anyhow, I think Waze is awesome and Facebook too.  Nonetheless, if you use Waze the wrong way while driving, you will get no where that you need to be.  If you use Facebook the wrong way, your secrets will be unveiled to the world.  The combination of the two is making my head hurt.  Anyway, so far this is only a rumor, and we might know more in the days ahead.

Source:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericsavitz/2012/08/28/facebook-to-buy-waze/

Apple Needs To Implement Stronger Authentication For iCloud; Google Can Be A Great Teacher On This!

Before Mac OS X Mountain Lion roared its way into the market, iCloud was already a stir.  After Mac OS X Mountain roared its way into the market, iCloud is even a bigger stir.  iCloud is now more integrated into Mac OS X ecosystem evermore than before.  iCloud is better now as it allows so many more apps to have the option of saving data in the cloud.  One example would be TextEdit.  If you open up TextEdit on Mac OS X Mountain Lion, you would see a finder gladly greets you and asks you if you want to create a new document in iCloud or on the Mac itself.  This way, TextEdit clearly presents you the option of saving data in the cloud.  Many more apps on Mac OS X Mountain Lion are implementing this approach for iCloud too.

It’s great that iCloud is evermore readily available for many more apps on Mac OS X Mountain Lion, because it’s definitely a convenience for Mac users to be able to save data on the cloud for syncing and safekeeping (i.e., to recover when local data cannot be recovered).  Nonetheless, can one’s data be secure on iCloud?  Just recently I had read “The Dangerous Side Of Apple’s iCloud” Forbes article, and this daunted on me that if one isn’t too careful — one might save important information in iCloud and such information can totally be leaked by being hacked as iCloud’s password protection isn’t exactly strong at the moment.  Unlike Google which has 2 step password verification, iCloud only requires a user to enter password once to access iCloud data.  To add the insult to an injury, although iCloud does encrypt the data during the transit of data and on the iCloud itself, the encrypted data can still be decrypted easily as long the evildoer has the correct password which can be used to unlock the data from iCloud.

Then there is another issue of trust.  Can we trust Apple to be honest enough to not take a peek at our data?  Sure, the data are encrypted on iCloud, but is there a way in which Apple can ensure us that their employees won’t try to decrypt our data at will?  Perhaps, this is a concern for using any third party cloud service and not just only with Apple, because once the data reside on the cloud — such data are truly beyond our control (i.e., no longer in the control of the data owner).  Nonetheless, I think when one encrypts the data before sending such data onto iCloud, one might be able to sleep better even though one knows Apple is way more trustful than some unknown and untested third party cloud services.  This is why, one needs to keep TrueCrypt in mind even when Apple does assure one that iCloud is encrypting all data on Apple’s iCloud servers.

To end this blog post, I must say iCloud is a lot more attractive than ever before.  I definitely think iCloud is worth it, because it’s so integrated into Mac OS X Mountain Lion and onward (i.e., I hope it would be so integrated into Mac onward).  Knowing that you can always recover your data from the apps that are supported by iCloud is definitely a peace of mind when it comes down to that one extra layer of data redundancy.  You never know how unreliable the state of your data are until your data become unrecoverable, and by then everything is just too late.  Obviously, even with iCloud, one can never have too much data redundancy, therefore it’s still wise for one to backup their Mac to an external hard drive with the usage of Time Machine, regularly.  This to ensure and insure one in the case of having one’s iCloud account being wiped out by a hacker — just as how Forbes had mentioned how Mat Honan had his iCloud account wiped out by a hacker.  To really end this article, I wish Apple actually implements or at least giving Mac users a choice of implementing 2 step password verification, just like how Google is doing it now.

Sources:

Mac OS X Mountain Lion Quick Review

Apple has just released Mac OS X Mountain Lion today.  It’s Apple’s latest version of Mac OS X operating system.  Updating from Mac OS X Lion to Mac OS X Mountain Lion will cost you roughly around $20.  Mac OS X Mountain Lion has about 200 more new features than Mac OS X Lion.  The main features are mainly concentrate on making Mac more sociable, secure, and stable.  Anyhow, I had made a video which briefly review Mac OS X Mountain Lion, and you can check it out right after the break.  Enjoy!!!

Pay Up, Learn How To Code, And Get A Job?

Treehouse is a new educational web service which promises to help guide whoever interests in developing the skill set in web design, web development and iOS development.  Besides promising in training whoever to become a developer in the specific technological areas, Treehouse devises a unique strategy for whoever wants to get hire in their industry.  Treehouse’s strategy is to allow whoever in their programs to take quizes/tests to unlock badges.  The unlocked badges would be presented on a Treehouse participant’s profile.  According to the available unlocked badges, employers would be able to theoretically have a better chance of knowing who might be a good candidate for them to set up an interview with.  Treehouse charges the participants with either $25 or $49 per month.  The $49 per month plan would include additional materials such as more tutorial videos.

In my opinion, nowadays it’s very easy to learn how to become a web designer, web developer, and iOS developer without having to pay a single dollar.  How?  iTunes U is the answer!  Computer users don’t have to use Mac to have access to iTunes U, because they can install iTunes on Windows machines.  After installing iTunes on Windows machines, users can open up iTunes and navigate to iTunes U to download videos that teach users how to write programs in different computer languages, developing iOS applications, designing websites, and a lot more.  iTunes U isn’t for just these specific areas of study, because iTunes U allows users to learn just about any available open course of different universities.  Don’t be fooled by having to navigate to iTunes Store before one could check up on iTunes U, because iTunes U is indeed free!  It’s free to download educational videos so one could watch it at any time.

With knowing that one might not have to pay to learn how to become a developer for the information industry, it might be hard for some people to imagine about paying for programs that provide by educational web services such as Treehouse.  Nonetheless, Treehouse looks attractive to some people, because they think Treehouse might be able to allow them to find jobs that they’re specialized in (e.g., web designing, web development, iOS development).  I surmise that some folks who already have the experiences in these technological areas might just join Treehouse to unlock badges so certain employers might come around and interview them.  This will do if one believes Treehouse will be able to attract enough attentions from various employers of big companies and so on.

I’m not sure Treehouse will definitely be a solution for whoever wants to get a job as web designer or web developer or iOS developer.  The ultimate decision will have to rest upon the shoulders of the employers from various companies in regarding to hire specific Treehouse participants.  Perhaps, Treehouse participants might get the exposures they need for getting interviews, but they still have to score the interviews before the employers hire them.  As I mentioned earlier, Treehouse isn’t providing unique learning materials, because one can just download the similar educational materials within iTunes U.  If iTunes U isn’t carrying certain educational materials, there might be other places and sources for one to acquire such educational materials.

Source:  http://techcrunch.com/2011/11/07/web-design-and-development-community-treehouse-wants-to-teach-you-how-to-code-get-you-a-job/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+
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