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Why I Wouldn’t Stand In An iPad Line (But Get Why Others Do)

As I sit here writing this on the day the new iPad has launched, I’m inundated with reports of people around the globe waiting in line outside Apple stores hoping against hope that they’ll get their hands on one of the iPhone maker’s highly sought-after tablets. Some folks — including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak — waited nearly 24 hours to get a new iPad, sleeping on sidewalks just for the chance to have it on launch day.

At first glance, many among us might ask why people would do such a thing. After all, the new iPad will only be sold out for a short time, and then everyone who wants one will be able to head online or run down to their local Apple Store and pick one up. Plus, the new iPad isn’t all that different than the iPad 2. So, for iPad 2 owners, sleeping outside to get Apple’s latest tablet really doesn’t make sense.

Admittedly, I’m one of those people that wouldn’t even consider waiting in a long line or sleeping overnight to get my hands on a new iPad. Sure, the device is a stellar product that combines some of the finest tablet elements we’ve seen yet, but it’s just a gadget at the end of the day. And spending nearly 24 hours of my life thinking solely about that device doesn’t appeal to me.

I’ll freely admit that waiting in line for an iPad isn’t for me, but I also embrace the fact that there are thousands among us who love the idea of it.

[aquote]It’s about the camaraderie they just won’t find elsewhere[/aquote]

See, to many of those folks waiting in line for a new iPad, it’s about the camaraderie they just won’t find elsewhere. From the front of the line to the back, there are people there that share common interests, love Apple, and perhaps most importantly, have a real passion for the same things in life.

Forgive me for sounding too poetic about iPad lines, but I do think that there’s something rather uplifting about them. Apple has successfully created a culture around its products, and with each new product launch, its supporters have a place to go to carry on conversations, share stories, and yes, play Angry Birds.

I just don’t see any difference between going to the bar and having a couple drinks with friends and going to a line to wait for the iPad. There was a time when many people would have said waiting in line for a gadget is rather geeky, and the so-called “cool” among us would only be hanging out at the bar. But Apple has made tech-worship “cool.” And yesterday’s tech-obsessed are today’s norm.

There is a passion that surrounds Apple products unlike anything we’ve seen to this point in the technology industry. The people that support the movement are often called “cult-like,” but I’m not so sure that’s the right term. Today’s iPad, iPhone, and Mac faithful have built up their ranks and now, they’re millions strong. They are the mainstream now. And they’ve made waiting in line for a $500 tablet cooler than ever.

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Windows 7 Review: Why I Like Windows 7

About the author: Acclaimed Windows expert Andy Rathbone has written numerous Windows for Dummies guidebooks since 1992. His Windows review for Datamation Why I Don’t Like Vista became an Internet classic. In this review of Windows 7 he provides a sneak peak of his book due this October, Windows 7 For Dummies.

After nearly eight-years, Windows XP had grown as comfortable as an old car. Just as I’d forgotten about the growing number of dings on my car’s bumper, I’d forgotten how many third-party tools I’d used to prop up Windows XP. After adding CD and DVD burners, search programs, Firefox, three media players and a host of other tools, my Start menu’s three columns reached the far edge of my desktop.

That’s why running Windows 7for the past seven months brought back the excitement of driving a new car. And for the first time, my once trusted Windows XP began looking like a car that needed much more than a paint job.

It’s partially my own fault. Like many others, I skipped Windows Vista. And Vista, for all its faults, provided a strong, secure base. Unfortunately, Microsoft ruined Vista’s improvements by adding overly aggressive security, thick layers of meandering menus, and a sense of being designed by a huge committee.

Windows 7 strips away that ugliness to create something that’s light yet strong, useful yet still playful. Windows 7 grabs me in a lot of ways Windows XP no longer does:

Oddly enough, Windows 7’s new wallpaper provides a great example of how Windows 7 pulls off a difficult mix of being both utilitarian and fun. Windows 7 softens Vista’s armored-guard persona by adding a healthy dose of personality. Its backgrounds come stuffed with groovy psychedelic landscapes, dreamy Dada-esque creatures, and candy-colored anime art.

By draping this whimsy over Vista’s security underpinnings, Microsoft’s helping make people feel both safe and creative with their computers, a feeling that comes so naturally to Apple.

Even if the backgrounds don’t suit your fancy, you must admire how Windows 7’s design team deliberately chose wallpaper that would have been shot down in a traditional boardroom. That’s a big change from Vista, where everything seemed to fall to the lowest common denominator.

Vista’s bloat kept it from running on netbooks, the PC industry’s single bright spot these days. Windows 7, by contrast, runs fine on most netbooks, as well as on older PCs. Needing another test machine while writing Windows 7 For Dummies, I installed Windows 7 on a Pentium III with 16MB of video memory. Surprisingly enough, Windows 7 not only installed, but its automatic trip to Windows Update brought the PC some new drivers, as well. That old Gateway PC will never be a game machine, of course, but it works fine for the essentials, e-mail and the Internet.

Chances are, Windows 7’s slimmed down footprint will fit well on your PC, as well, whether it’s a modern netbook or a borderline antique.

Probably the most welcome change, Windows 7 tones down User Account Control’s overly aggressive policing. But if you still find yourself grinding your teeth more than working, a sliding control lets you adjust Windows 7’s paranoia level to match your own. It’s refreshing to feel in control of your PC rather than the other way around.

Windows 7 comes loaded with many other creative keyboard shortcuts, a sign that the team had time to focus on subtle details rather than major overhauls.

Now I Understand Why The Oneplus Concept One Exists

Now I understand why the OnePlus Concept One exists

The OnePlus Concept One hides its magic well. Indeed, you’d be hard-pressed at first glance to spot that the technology OnePlus developed for its new concept smartphone at CES 2023 started development eighteen months ago, the Android phone-maker once again taking McLaren’s supercars as its inspiration. Only this time around, it’s not just a fancy color scheme.

There’s one of those, certainly. Most of the back of the Concept One is clad in the automaker’s eye-searing orange leather, the same hide (and hue) that you’d find inside supercars like the McLaren 720S. It looks and feels great, with all the stitch detailing you’d expect, though I can’t help but wish that it was the 720S’ Alcantara that had made it to the OnePlus’ rear.

Snaking down the center of those two leather panels, like half an hourglass, is a slender pane of glass. It’s deceptively simple, but that black sliver is what gave OnePlus engineers their sleepless nights.

It’s electrochromic glass, which basically means that it can go from being opaque to transparent depending on an electrical charge being passed through. McLaren offers the technology on the glass roof of its 720S, in fact: you can dim it when you want shade in the cabin, or make it transparent when you’d rather see the sky. Problem was, OnePlus couldn’t just borrow a piece from the car company.

McLaren’s version of the glass is thick: after all, it needs to withstand errant rocks and inclement weather, not to mention survive crash testing. In fact it’s probably not far off the overall thickness of the Concept One itself. OnePlus needed a much thinner version it could layer over the multi-camera array.

Clearly (pun intended) they succeeded. When the Concept One is locked, or you’re using apps other than the camera, the electrochromic glass is black. You can just about see the circular shapes of the lenses underneath, but you have to be looking at just the right angle, and up close.

Tap the camera app, and in a split-second the panel turns clear. Because OnePlus can operate it in levels, too, it can also apply it as a makeshift ND filter, helping cut over-exposure in brighter or mixed brightness scenes. Flip to the front-facing camera – which pops out of the top – and the panel blacks out again.

Like I said, it’s deceptively simple. OnePlus is still refining the technology: it may look production-ready, as does the Concept One overall, but it’s not quite ready for mass production. Still, the company is excited about the possibilities, which include larger panels of the glass or, indeed, making smaller, custom shapes like an individual lens for a camera. Get the latter right, and you could have different filters for, say, the ultra-wide versus the telephoto lens. Better still, OnePlus tells me that there’s no real power impact from the system.

I confess, at first I was a little unclear why OnePlus was doing all this. The roof in the McLaren makes sense: you get the benefits of both a transparent and a shaded roof, but without the moving parts that can slow down supercars. The argument for a phone, though, is a little less clear.

Listen to OnePlus, and it feels like there are a few reasons, varying on the scale of practicality to “well it just feels nice.” On the one hand, yes, you can add different filters to the camera, and that addresses a common complaint about smartphone photography. On the other, why not have a sleeker device when you can, and only expose the complexity when it’s actually needed?

Where you stand on that argument depends on how much you consider a reasonable price for a smartphone, and how big an emphasis you place on aesthetics. While the Concept One may feel like a frippery on one hand, I can’t really fault OnePlus for wanting to dig into engineering and make something cleverer for the sheer fact that you can. After all, nobody ever said a supercar was a necessary item, but that doesn’t make them any less appealing.

I Hate Android: Why? – By A Hardcore Android Lover!

Like millions of people around the world, I am an Android fanboy. Recently I though about sharing some of my  aspects which I don’t like about Android.  Eventhough being Android has gotten better over the years but there are still many things I dont like about it. To put it bluntly, I hate Android, at least some of its features. I have used Linux for a few years since Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon and fell in love with the open source movement. Ive come to realize that all the hype about being open and portraying Apple and RIM as the evil closed platform was all a deception. . Theres a list(I love lists). Lets go through them. I hate some of the UI. Customization is nice but it allows for more things to break. These include themes and design. At first, the UI was cool and beautiful. I felt like I had a computer in my hands, literally. Icons were nice to touch and scrolling was smooth(at first). After using it for a while, I started to experience the pains of using the touch screen. Mistypes, and mistaps were frequent. The Android experience varied depending on manufacturer. All the different flavors of Android pushed by their respective hardware developers all look different. OneUI, TouchWiz, and MotoBlur are all different. OneUI is probably the best(IMO) out of all these. TouchWiz makes me feel like Im using an iPhone and MotoBlur is a mess with all their social networking widgets. These skins load on top of Android making it slower than its vanilla stock core. When I get my phone, I hate all the bloatware that comes with it. All carriers seem to do it. They push Vcast, SprintTV and other bloatware that I dont want. The Chinese manufacturers Xiaomi,Oppo,Vivo are the notorious ones feeding bloatware just to compnsate for the cheap price they offer in some countries. Not only that, but I hate that I cant delete them. I hate knowing that they are on my phone and the only way for me to get rid of them is by rooting my phone. Why do I have to jump through hoops just to get rid of this crapware? Im not scared of rooting my phone. In fact, Ive done so and install a few custom ROMs but there is always a risk of bricking your phone and leaving it useless. Average users dont want to risk the warranty by rooting their phone. Not only are there crapware on the phone, but there is/was malware on the Market. I hate Andoid memory management, being an old Symbian OS user.Symbian was the most efficient Mobile Os in memory management, followed by iOS. My old Nokia 808 Pureview had just 512MB RAM which was handling the Mammoth Camera, the 41MP beast with Xenon flash. I know that comparing a Symbian Phone with very limited apps and strict developer requirements with Android which has an ocean of apps and simpler developer standards is not fair. But are these crazy RAM of 12GB,16GB etc etc in many high end Android Phones really necessary? Or are they worth the performance they offer compared to iOs? Expanding from the 1st and the 3rd reasons, I hate Androids software fragmentation. I hate that Motorola’s flavor is different from Samsung’s. I hate that the buttons are different in all manufacturer, and even sometimes, within the same manufacturers. And I hate that I cant install certain apps because I my phone doesnt have the latest and greatest version of Android. Notoriously all my Samsung Phones from Galaxy S3 to Galaxy S9 Plus started showing sluggishness after 1 year of usage. The problem being whenever I update an app, the hardware is not able to cope with newest software. Android isВ recognized as the open platform and that unadulterated Android experience does not come standard. It only comes standard on Googles Nexus phones  and Selected flagship phones from other manufacturers. But most people dont own these flagship devices. Most people get their Droids from their carriers. Not only are these phones locked down with carrier bloatware but they are also locked down from performing specific tasks. People have gotten around this issue by a process called rooting. This grants the user superuser status allowing him to do anything he wishes with the phone. The Nexus phones are relatively easy to root but carrier phones are harder. Android phones are great if you want the phone to be your hobby, if you dont mind tinkering with the device, rooting it, or if youre just a techno buff.  

Top 6 Reasons Why I Prefer The Iphone Over Any Android

I’m a professional Editor/Reviewer and have been through most of the Android smartphones out there – since the birth of T-Mobile G1 (or the HTC Dream). I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years now – even before Android, iOS. I really enjoy using Android smartphones, loving their feature rich OS, their impeccable cameras along with the myriad customization options they support. To be honest, I miss the theming options of most Android phones, their Always On Displays, the ability to sideload apps and more. Surely there are dozens of impeccable Android smartphones out there with over the top specs, but when the time comes to choose mine, I always go for the iPhone.

Be careful: I never said that iOS is better than Android. I just mean that with iPhones there’s always something more than just their iOS platform. It’s how the device works in everyday usage, how software and hardware co-exist and complement each other. Don’t forget also that the iPhone works seamlessly with other Apple gadgets, including Macs, Apple Watch and Apple TV — a complete ecosystem ready to prove its worth.

Here’s 6 reasons why I prefer the iPhone over any Android It’s the Ecosystem

One thing that puts Apple over its competitors is surely the whole ecosystem. The fact that the company has total control over both software and hardware at the same time. This gives them the freedom to tweak their products, offer greater control over them, easily solve bugs, offer greater services that combine with one another and more. They can easily decide when to add or remove from the hardware, or what to add to the software to make everything work as a whole – better. Take for example their services: The App Store is miles ahead of Play Store and other competitors, offering iBooks, Podcasts, Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and more – combined all in one! They even have their Apple One subscription model: one subscription for all. Easy to use, easy to think. Easy to charge I might add 😉

But that’s not all. iPhones work great with Macs, Apple TV’s, HomePods, HomePod Minis, Apple Watches and so on. If you own one of these (or more), then the whole Ecosystem gets into place. You can use Continuity feature to continue your work in an iPhone/iPad/Mac, send iMessages directly from a Macbook, get phone calls there as well. Send any file using AirDrop feature with HUGE data transfer speeds. All you have to do is keep your iPhone nearby.

iCloud and more…

Let’s not forget also iCloud. The service that works silently under the hood, keeping everything in sync. This way you can have easy access on your Mac to the photos you take on your iPhone, as well as any notes or documents you create.

No bloatware – No unnecessary apps in an iPhone

Truth be said, Samsung has gotten much better at minimizing the bloatware in their smartphones, but surely there’s a lot more to be done by companies such as Xiaomi, Huawei, ZTE, Vivo, Oppo and others. When you turn on an iPhone for the first time, you will find only the absolutely essential apps in order for it to work. It’s a truly clean out-of-the-box experience – one you can also have a say on. After the launch of iOS 12 (3 years ago) any user can delete even most of those bareback essential applications if he wants to.

Apple Pay

One way to pay – and rule them all. Yes there’s Samsung Pay but tbh this isn’t as popular as Apple Pay is all over the world. It’s a quite simple method to use for any type of user: you just add your credit/debit card in Apple’s Wallet, and you’re ready to buy anything contactlessly. Just bring your iPhone close to the supported payment terminal at the checkout counter and then double press to On/Off button to pay. Authentication is being made either by FaceID or using Touch ID (in older iPhones).

Gizchina News of the week iOS Privacy features

That’s a huge reason NOT to avoid an iPhone. Apple has been providing (for the past year that is) more ways to protect our privacy and the launch of iOS 15/iPadOS 15 made everything better. With the new update, iPhone (iPad also) users can:

Hide their Email Address. Apple creates a randomized email account in order to anonymize your identity and reduce the amount of spam sent to your actual email address. To use this feature, the user must be running iOS 15 or iPadOS 15 and sign up for a paid iCloud+ subscription.

Hide their IP Address with iCloud Private Relay. This way your actual IP address is replaced with one from a range of anonymous addresses based on your general region as a way to hide your specific location.

iPhone: More Privacy

Detect Camera/Microphone Access: There’s a green dot appearing on the top screen when using your camera (or an application is doing it without your knowledge). There’s also an orange dot appearing at the same position, everytime an app is using your microphone.

Limit access to Photos & Videos: Now we control what applications can see from our Photos app. So if you have some sensitive photos/videos you wish to keep to yourself, you can limit access to just specific photos.

Get the best iPhone apps – first

Surely Google Play Store has a zillion of apps. But if you’re looking for a STABLE and more fluid version of the same app, then the App Store is your final destination. Most of the world’s renowned developers choose iOS in order to launch there their apps – and then they may head to Play Store. Take Fortnite for example. A game that took several months to leap from iOS to Android, and even then it was a Samsung exclusive. There are other apps as well such as Super Mario Run, HQ Trivia, Monument Valley 2, Affinity Photo, Snapchat and more.

Long term software support – with security and more

This is going to hurt a bit those Android fanboys out there, but it’s true. iOS adoption for the latest iOS 15 is almost over 80%. Not to mention that Apple keeps supporting for devices that are over 4 or 5 years old now. For example even the iPhone 6s (a 2023 model) can easily be updated to the latest iOS 15 software version. Google hasn’t even published adoption rate numbers for the latest Android versions… and I’m not sure they can get that high. One more thing to take into account is that, if your iOS device qualifies to get the latest update, it will get it as soon as it launches.

The Android updating process isn’t that easy and seamless as you can imagine. After all Google only gives direct updates to its own Pixel series models, with Samsung, Xiaomi, LG, Motorola and other companies having to wait, and wait to get the update from them. Then they have to work on it, solve extra bugs, optimize it for their own UI and then release it. In many instances, carriers have to go through them too, which only assures you get updates late, sometimes months down the line… if ever.

Do As I Do, Say What I Say

Do As I Do, Say What I Say

I worked in the North Orange, New Jersey school district for one day. It was a training day. I had accepted a job as a teacher in a fine High School (read: rich) teaching Journalism and Theater Arts. As a challenge, this was a step down from the English teaching I had been doing at inner city High Schools for the past five years, but it would have been a very cushy teaching job. I had been offered a salary of $75,000, which is more than I thought a teacher could make. On my first day of training, a couple weeks before the school year started, I got a call from a Web site to which I had also applied for a job. They wanted me to work for them as a product reviewer and news writer.

[Image credit: Redfire Motion Group]

The Web site was offering less than half of what I would have made as a teacher. I tried to negotiate, but things fell apart quickly. Instead of increasing their offer, they decided not to hire anyone for the position and just stick with the people they had. I got a message on my voicemail that pretty much said “thanks, but no thanks.” I called back immediately and asked if they would let me work for the initial salary offer. Of course, they accepted. As a negotiator, I really suck.

I recently left tech journalism to work with a major phone manufacturer. When I told people I was leaving, I heard two questions repeating themselves over and over. First, would I continue writing these columns for SlashGear. Second, could they have my job. I don’t understand the first question. I didn’t suspect people enjoyed reading reviews of bad movies and sentimental stories about Facebook quite as much as they did. I’m flattered, and I hope that I’ll be back on SlashGear to stay a while longer.

The second question I completely understood. I’ll tell you when I realized I was working a dream job. I started at the Web site on the Tuesday after labor day. That Friday, I did not realize it was the end of the week until around 4:30, when it was time to start winding down. When I realized I had two days off from work, I was sad to be leaving. I wanted a longer work week. That’s my definition of a great job: when you hate Fridays more than you hate Mondays. For the past 4+ years, I’ve never looked forward to a Friday.

So, here’s how to get my job. Let’s start with qualifications. I have an English degree and a Master’s degree, but I wouldn’t say those are necessary. Definitely not the Master’s. But you need to be a very good writer if you want to do well. You need to be completely comfortable expressing yourself in print in a way that people can understand, and in a way that will express subtext and a deeper meaning to your readers. And you need to be able to do it quickly. I wrote 200 word news stories in 5 minutes. I wrote 4,000 word reviews in a day.

However, it wasn’t the writing or the degree that landed me the job. It also wasn’t my prior experience. I’d been teaching High School for five years, but before that I worked at a few top notch Web sites riding the crest of the tech bubble in New York City. I’d written some reviews, done plenty of editing and learned just enough HTML code that I can ask where the bathroom is using only anchor tags.

What landed me that job, and my previous tech jobs, was a connection I made with my interviewer using gadgets. I talked about my first cell phone. My parents bought me a so-called Motorola bag phone in 1991, the year I started driving. I talked about that, and how I had been landline-free since 1997, the year I got my first portable cell phone (an early Sprint TouchPoint phone). My future editor was hooked. He asked all the silly interview questions, but it was talking about my early experiences, and showing wonder for the world that opened up when I started carrying a phone everywhere, that convinced him I would be a good fit. I don’t think I even submitted a writing sample.

Start following some of the smaller Web sites that cover products and topics that interest you. Don’t aim large at first. Sure, sites like SlashGear, or Engadget, or TechCrunch may hire someone with little experience, but it’s not likely. Instead, aim for a smaller, up-and-coming site and plan on working hard until you’ve made a name for yourself.

Web sites usually follow a specific tone. SlashGear is intelligent, slightly longer-form, and family friendly. This site is interested more in discussion than simply blip-by-blip press release repetition. Some sites are more irreverent, with reviews of toys and even paraphernalia of all sorts. Some sites are more strictly news-based. Be flexible in your hunt, and try to write a few samples in the site’s style and tone. Most sites will ask for 2-3 samples anyway, so it’s better to have this ready up front.

Most important, make sure you target your application to the site in which you’re interested. If I could tell from an email that the applicant was sending me the same form letter he or she sent to every other site, I lost interest very quickly. You will have much more success taking the time and tailoring your attack to sites individually. Sure, you won’t be able to hit 20 sites at one time, but would you rather spend 4 months sending 20 emails a day, or 1 month sending one thoughtful, sculpted email at a time.

Now that I’m looking from the corporate side, I realize just how difficult the journalism job can be. There are a lot of fun aspects of the job. In my first week of working for a gadget blog, I went to a fancy dinner with RIM, got a free BlackBerry Pearl (which we then donated to a charity called Phones4Life), reviewed some of the coolest smartphones available at the time and saw my name in lights, err, pixels at least.

I also worked 12 hours a day (though usually not in a row), plus a few hours on weekends. I grew despondent as some of my best reviews flopped with little interest in the product or my analysis. I was rejected by PR flacks and left out of the loop. At those amazing trade shows, I skipped the free booze and greasy fried food and worked until 3AM, only to get up at 7AM for breakfast meetings.

I made far less money than my wife, who has an MBA, and worked more hours. But every hour of work felt like play time. I felt like I was getting paid for a wonderful hobby, and not like I was toiling away at a thankless career. It’s certainly not for everyone, and it isn’t an easy job to find, but for the right person, it’s a job that will have you looking forward to every Monday morning.

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