iPhone OS 4 Rant

  Although by the time that I post this, I will have already been there, a 4 hour bus ride to a career fair in NYC seems the perfect time to blog about the new Apple iPhone OS 4 which was revealed at the live event yesterday. The iPhone OS 4 SDK was released to developers yesterday and will be released to the public this summer.

The new iPhone OS to me is both exciting and not exciting at the same time. I've been a longtime fan-boy of Apple products; therefore, I’m always excited when new technology or firmware is released. This new firmware brings many things to the iPhone that I had been wanting, which I had to jailbreak my iPhone to currently achieve the same features. The first thing that everyone is excited about; unless you don’t have an iPhone 3GS is the multi-tasking feature. This is one of the biggest announcements because never before could you run more than one application. If you wanted to run Pandora Radio and browse the web at the same time, you couldn’t do it. Now you will be able to run multiple apps at the same time and can switch back and forth at will. This is one feature that I had unofficially though for some months now.
The newest features that I am most excited for though is the new folders, which allows you to group your apps into folders to make it easier to find them, the ability to change the background on the home screen (one of the reasons I originally jailbroke my iPhone), the new social gaming network (it’s a bit like Xbox Live and PSN, with leader boards, etc.), playlist creation on the phone and also a digital zoom for the camera. All of these features are making the iPhone into the phone I wanted it to be, but it took Apple way too long to get here.
In the time it took them to bring these features, I already purchased an Android phone, which gave me these right off the bat. It seems like Apple is finally catching up to Android in these aspects and I’m grateful for this, but I think I’m sold on Google’s Android. My biggest complaint with Apple is they always take too long to release new features and new firmware for their hardware. Look how long it took for the iPhone to be able to record video, it wasn’t until the iPhone 3GS could it do it and I bought mine when it was released in summer 2009. I understand that Apple wants to perfect features and that this is their marketing strategy, but in the world we’re living in today, speed and time is everything. If you can’t quickly meet the demand of your customers, you’re going to lose some. I haven’t been completely lost since I still use both of my phones, switching back and forth from Nexus One to iPhone every so often, but Android bought me almost from the get go. Take notes Apple!
P.S. Were it not for my iPhone being jailbroken, I wouldn't be able to tether the internet to my netbook on the bus right now to post this rant. Tethering is another feature Apple should have included! Some food for thought.


Sorry Steve... I'm not impressed...

I'm sitting here in the HUB on campus, waiting for my girlfriend to get done work, so I figured to kill the time for the next hour, I'd write a little blog entry. Being that I'm madly in love with tech and love blogging about it, I feel that I have to get in my two cents about the recently unveiled Apple "iPad".

Being the huge Apple "fanboy" that I am, you can imagine how excited I was for this thing to be unveiled. I've been following the rumors of this thing for months now and just like everyone else I had my expectations for the product. The last time that I was really "wowed" was back in 2007 when the iPhone was unveiled. I just remember watching the Keynote and being like "I need to have this" and sure enough I got it. I paid $500 for an iPhone the month of release. I had the same excitement as I was watching this year, but in the end, I wasn't impressed.

What we were all expecting (well, what I was expecting) was a product that would be Apple's answer to the netbook and an ereader. I wasn't expecting a giant iPod touch though. While I was impressed with some of the features like with Mail and especially iWork, there were many things that I was expecting to be there that weren't. These things were flash, USB ports, expandable memory (SD/MicroSD) and a camera. I would have also liked for it to run a variation of OSX, not the iPhone OS. Look at the HP Slate, it's going to be running Windows 7 which makes it much more netbook-like than the iPad. With all of these things missing, the iPad seems to fall short to me.

Don't get me wrong though, it is very cool. There are lots of things I do love about it, one other thing being the ereader part. I would love to have this for books and to automatically get all of the newspapers I read. It would make that so much easier, also since I don't like e-ink, which devices like the Nook and Kindle have. I can't see myself spending $850 on this thing for using mostly those functions, although the screen seems beautiful. Maybe in the future, with the second or third generation, I'll consider investing in an iPad. I think I'll stick to my controversial hackintosh netbook for the moment though. It's much more practical.

While I still love Apple computers, I feel I'm starting to stray away with their other products. I think my next phone may be an Android phone, for I'm falling in love with that OS. I love the openness and I'll admit it, the little Android logo is awesome! I also like how other products like Nexus One have expandable memory so you can just switch out MicroSD cards. One last thing, why can't iPhone have a camera flash by now? It would make it so much better. This is what the 4th generation iPhone already and only has a 3-megapixel camera with no flash. All this being said, I'm looking more forward to the possibilities of Android tablets for the time being. I'm interested to see more with what the Dell Streak will have to offer in the near future and the dozens of other Android tablets being developed.

In conclusion... iPad=Fail!
Sorry Steve...


Year of the Android!

I'm finally starting my last semester here at Penn State and it's time to start seriously looking for a job. No matter what, I still have the hopes and dreams of becoming a tech writer working for either a place like Gizmodo or Engadget, no matter how long it takes me to attain this goal.

I want to dedicate this blog entry to a little experience that I had yesterday. I was hanging out at my girlfriend's apartment and I had the chance to play around with her roommate's T-mobile myTouch 3G. It was actually my first experience using a phone with an Android OS and I have to admit, I'm quite impressed. It pretty much sold me. If you don't know, I've been an Apple "fanboy" for the longest time and have been up to date with my iPhone, I currently have a white 3GS. While I wouldn't get this specific model Android phone, I want a Nexus One, I think my next phone will have to be running Android.

I noticed that Google lets you do all of the features that I can do on my iPhone, but I had to jailbreak my iPhone to be able to achieve this. Some of the things I noticed, that sold me, was that it let you customize the icons and download apps like an NES emulator, both of which I could only achieve through "jailbreaking". The phone that I tested wasn't perfect, the virtual keyboard took some getting used to and there was no multi-touch, but those can be improved with future firmware updates.

One last thing that I think sold me was how easily you can sync it with all of your Google apps and how you can easily get Google apps on your phone to easily use GTalk and GMail on the go. Being that I use GMail, GTalk, Google Docs and Google Calendar everyday, it would make my life all they while easier to be able to sync it with my phone that simply.

I like that the Android phones are more open source and you aren't tied down as much as you are with Apple. I highly recommend checking them out, I've only heard good things.

Photo from laihiu on Flickr


Modern Wareware 2 making children terrorists?

I just read an article on Kotaku that tells about Fox talking about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 which was just released yesterday for multi-platforms. One of the things that they bring up is the scene in the game where you play as a CIA operative disguised as a terrorist to essentially try to infiltrate the terrorists, but you also take civilian lives. What people on Fox were trying to say was that since you get to play as a terrorist in the game, if children can somehow get a hold of the game like through their parents, it will harbor them into becoming terrorists. I don't believe this, and this made me think of something that we recently talked about in one of my journalism classes.

The point of Activision putting this mission into the game is to show all sides of the war, to show that war is ugly and that these things do happen. Maybe I'm just very liberal, but I feel that this is necessary. One thing I don't like that the US does is sugarcoats its news. They don't show all the fighting and people dying when it is clearly happening. Recently in my one class we watched a movie called "Control Room" about the Arabic-language news network, Al Jazeera. One of the things America hated that they did was show footage of dead American soldiers in Iraq. America disagreed with this saying it was inhumane of them to show this. One thing they also did though was show dead Iraqi civilians as well. They were just trying to be fair and balanced and not sugarcoat the news. They were trying to show their people how real the war is. This is what MW2 is also trying to do. They are not trying to make kids into terrorists, first of all you need to be an adult to purchase it, and also it gives you the option to skip playing the scene, warning how violent and disturbing it is.

In my opinion, this is a good thing that they put this scene in the game for adults. They are trying to show all the aspects of war, even the nasty parts. These situations are real, Activision just didn't want to sugarcoat anything by giving a real representation of all the aspects of war, including those people don't like to see (and never see in America).

(Photo courtesy of NSF from Wikimedia Commons)


Sunday Sunday Sunday

I really wanted to maintain this blog, but I've found that being a student and trying to run a blog is so hard. I have so much to do all the time that I always forget to post to my blog and I always say I'm going to post more.

but... I've started to get back to gaming again. I haven't had much time so I did next to no gaming for the past several months to the point where I don't know if I could call myself a gamer. This weekend changed that. I spent literally the whole weekend playing Section 8, Guitar Hero 5 and Beatles Rock Band and it really helped me get back into the gaming spirit.

I know I probably sound lame spending my Halloween playing Guitar Hero with a Little Caesar's pizza, taco flavored doritos and some mountain dew isn't an entirely bad thing considering I've partied the past 4 years.

I'll try to have a blog of more substance and real purpose soon, but I have just one question, why does trying to play PES2009 online with my friend in Tokyo have to be so complicated over the PSN. If it were Xbox Live it would be so simple.... something to ponder.. perhaps...


Short Post

I'll write more later if I get a chance, but today when I was on campus, I saw one of the techiest ways to get to class than I would have expected to see on a college campus. Normally when on a college campus you see people getting to class on either a bike or maybe a skateboard, but what about a segway??? This is a first in my book. This dude even had it all tricked out with different pouches and stuff to hold all of his stuff. This is a nerds dream come true to take a segway to class. I think that the person who owned it had to be a professor because one they were older and two, I don't think a student has the kind of money to buy one. Maybe one day I'll just be lucky enough to try one out. Although I can't see myself wanting to own one. Also, I didn't get a picture, I reacted to late, but this YouTube video pretty much can sum it up what it was almost like!


It's been a while... and I'm back!

I realize that the last time I posted to Tom's New Roman was back in January. I know it has been a really long time since I posted, but I have a pretty good reason for not posting until August, I was extremely busy with classes, I had class everyday with an extreme amount of French work to do every week and I was also working every other day as a busboy at a Thai restaurant when I wasn't taking classes, so it doesn't leave much time for blogging.

This summer I was also pretty busy with working for PennDoT and I also had a summer internship working for an online new site called Tonic. All of the articles that I wrote for them this summer can be viewed at the following address:

Besides that, I'm finished with both my summer job and also with my summer internship. I'm currently doing something that I enjoy. I'm working at the International Student Orientation at Penn State and am getting the chance to meet hundreds of people from all over the world, a majority from China, Korea and the Middle East. I'm also working in the computer lab, helping new international students setup their PSU access accounts and also helping them setup their computers to work with the wireless network. I enjoy working with computers so it isn't too bad and it's better than my summer job. I've become a pro at installing the VPN client on computers and also setting up computers with 64-bit Vista to work on the Penn State Network. With that all said and done, I'll move on to new talk about some new toys!

About 7 months have passed and in that time I've had the chance to get my hands on a couple new toys. First thing, I've finally had the chance to upgrade my iPhone. My plan was getting renewed this summer so I was able to upgrade to the iPhone 3Gs. I actually ended up buying the 3G, but then the new iPhone came out a week later so I was able to return it for the newest model. And the only other new thing I can think of that I got was something that I've been wanting for years, but was finally able to get this summer before my vacation to the beach, the classic Bose around-ear headphones. They are exactly what I wanted offering comfort, style and exceptional sound. That's about it.

One last thing, lately I've really been wanting a netbook. That's all I can think about. Taking how much money I have and the features I want into consideration, I've decided that I really want the MSI Wind U100 Netbook. It's this one right here and in white (white is sexy, lol):

I have enough birthday money and I just got paid for like the whole summer since I haven't gotten any checks from PennDoT until now because of the budget not being signed until last week. If I decide to buy one, I'll let you know. But...

For now, I'm back... happy reading!