Category Archives: Tech

Mango Making The Rounds This Week

Looks like Windows Phone Mango update will be making the rounds this week around the world.  Several European carriers are announcing today or tomorrow.  Canada is on the same boat as well.  Here in the US, At&t are announcing and probably pushing out the update tomorrow.

All I can say is FINALLY.  People with Windows Phone right now have been waiting for this.  It’s finally catching up with the likes of iOS and Android.  It’ll be a welcome update.  Hopefully it’s not too late.  With the current released winphones that are lacking is the front facing camera.  I think that it was a bad idea for Microsoft to not include this in the debut of Windows Phone last year.  A lot people are who got a phone last year, aren’t probably gonna get new phones this year.  With the economy as it is and most people are gonna be under a two year contract.  Therefore, they’ve got another year before they’ll will eventually upgrade their phones.    And it seems like all the new Windows Phone are coming with front facing cameras.  It’s a pity though.  Microsoft should have been ready from the start.

Hopefully that Mango update can persuade current users to stick it out and hopefully this Mango goes much smoother than the other Windows phone updates.  As far as the Mango update goes, not all phone will be updated at the same time.  Let watch some video of the Mango update and hopefully it does make the rounds this week.

It’s Coming… The Sony Nex 7

With Sony and their Nex line, they introduced a small compact camera that give the users the quality of a DSLR. The only problem was there was some issues with first generation of their line. Most notable was that the Nex 5 didn’t have much to differentiate itself for the Nex 3. Only adding a 1080i video and aluminum metal body. Also the lack of manual video controls was the major drawback to the Nex 5.

Jump a year later and Sony is about to release the Sony Nex 7. This camera is not geared to the “regular consumer”. It’s geared more towards the “indie/budget film photographers. What people complained about with the Nex 5 was answered in the Nex 7. I’ll just get some of the most notable ones. The Nex 7 has dials. Two new dials which are programmable by the way. Now people can change aperture and shutter quickly and efficiently. It’s also got a built-in viewfinder which is digital but very indistingushable from an optical thanks to the OLED.  Also the hotshoe on the Nex 7 is the same as the more expensive cameras on Sony’s line.  This allows it so that you’re not stuck using something just for the nex line.   Another great addition to the Nex7 and all of the Sony camera lines is the touchscreen LCD.  Now you can get fast quick focus immediately.  All this comes in a slightly bigger package, but not noticeable really for what you get.

The biggest question on everyone’s mind though is that how will the video be?  Everyone knows that the Nex line is known for it’s photo quality, but how about in filming.  That’s to be determined later when it actually releases.  The biggest is the full manual controls in video mode which what kept the Nex 5 from becoming king.  Another addition and great addition in my opinion is the addition of 1080p at 60fps.  Not interlaced, but progressive.  Smooth motion without the lose of resolution.  Will it also incorporate the same image stabilization that the Sony HX9v has (which probably has the best image stabilization around for a consumer camera).

Will the new Sony Nex 7 be a big hit.  From the looks of it, it will very likely be.  With Panasonic GH3 bound to rival the Nex7, makes you wonder what Canon and Nikon are doing.   Anyways check out this video on the new camera coming out this October.

What New Things Are At Siggraph?

With #SIGGRAPH going on, developers and companies are showing their greatest and latest gadgets, software, and what ever else can help you be more efficient with your workflow.  Here’s a video showing some new “technical papers” that look great.   There’s facial animation, simulation, clothing alterations and more.  Some of this techniques will truly speed up someone’s workflow.

 

Demo under August Rain

The Chicago Tech Meetup (@Tech_Chicago, #chitm) hosted its August Demos on Monday, so I thought I’d check it out.  I wanted to get inspired by the cool things the Chicago techies are making. Who knows, maybe I’m planning to build something and I want to make sure I don’t steal anyone’s ideas.  Then again, maybe I just want the free food.  Yes, free food is the key to getting guys out of their high-rise condos and come to your events.

As usual, all downtown tech events, whether it’s the .Net crowd or the CGSociety folks, takes place in buildings that require magnetic ID cards or security guest lists.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t on the list.  Fortunately, security let me in.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t on the list in the second sign-up area.  Fortunately, blonde person let me in.  Apparently, RSVP and asking someone to put my name on the list last week didn’t work.

When I finally got inside the presentation room, I grabbed a seat on the 2nd/3rd row, so I could get clear view right in front of the projector screen.  I was hoping people would sit in-front/around me, but instead everyone sat behind me.  Consequently, I had to work extra hard not to yawn in front of the presenters.

As for the actual demos, I was expecting to see some funky algorithms that did something new to help people.  Maybe a new Search Engine to address Google’s highly disorganized search results or a tool that involved organizing your life that has nothing to do with social API’s.  I don’t think Steve Jobs is on Twitter, so what happens if he uses your app that relies on Twitter API?

The apps that attracted me the most were MyZeus, Goshi.me, and koaladeal.com.  The other projects are great in their own way, but I’m not in school, I don’t have a kid, and I want a deal on a Sony S1 tablet!  MyZeus is about movies and music.  If you read this blog, then you probably know we like those things.  Goshi.me helps artists sell their artwork.  Maybe I’ll try it with one of my old pencil drawings.  One thing that I don’t understand is the lack of actual web app that runs on a desktop browser.  Koaladeal’s UI looks nice and that’s enough to make me want to consider trying it.

All in all, pretty good demos.

Nokia’s N9, N950, And The Sea Ray

Well Nokia is bringing hype.  The question is, will they be able to keep the interest of the consumer.  Let’s look at what they announced.

N9

The Meego phone that would be king if it wasn’t so late to the party.  Design of the phone is great.  I’m pretty sure they took some design cues from the iPod Nanos.  Mainly in it’s curved touch screen.   It’s a buttonless phone on the front.  No capacity buttons on this either.  It’s just pure screen on the front.  An AMOLED screen at that so you get the best blacks of any screen available.  Also included in the front is the is camera locate on the lower right hand side.  Is that placement for the phone to be used in landscape when doing video calls?  Most likely.

On the side you’ve got your usuals like power button and volume rocker buttons.  Unusual is they didn’t include a camera button.  Surprising since the camera on this phone is great and fast.   One thing I didn’t noticed is where do you plug this in to your computer or a wall outlet?  There doesn’t seem to be any ports.  Maybe they just concealed it very well and I just can’t see it.

As far as the Meego OS goes, it has great potential.  One thing to do is get rid of that grid like icon.  Do something different instead.  Its so dated.  Make use of the “swipe” that Nokia keeps talking about.  One issue I do have is that their swipe implementation seems like it would require more actions for certain tasks due to the lack of buttons either capacitive, actual or software.  It smoothness is on par with the likes of Windows Phone, IOS.  It’s just seems a little to late to the party.  Look at WebOS.  It just doesn’t seem like it would take off.

N950

Well it’s just like the one mention above, but with a sliding keyboard.  This is where Nokia get things right.  There are people who love actual buttons to press on and Nokia listens to what the customer wants.  If Apple made an iPhone with a slide out keyboard, you’d bet my money there would be even more people with iPhones.  Nokia gives people choices.  They can never go wrong with that.

Sea Ray

This one looks exactly like the N9 with one minor difference.  It’s got a camera button on the side.  Also, it is running Windows Phone (Mango).  Nothing else was shown, but it look like it ready.  Hopefully this phone has some updated hardware (dual-core).  Other than that Nokia did state this was one of many Windows phone that are already working and hopefully will be available soon after the Mango update has been released.

Though the phones look great, did Nokia just announced it too soon?  Nokia does have a history of announcing things then have the product be release later than anticipated.  Hopefully with the new boss around, things have changed and they have come to compete.

Windows 8 Why Are You So Far?

I’m not talking about features or user interface wise, but on when you’ll be available to the masses. Your touch ui is really great. The split screen is genius. How about that multitasking nice. Oh and those touch button icon (some of the most used things you would do) is awesome. Did I mention how software (apps) can be made via HTML5 and Java if you’re so inclined. It’s a freaking full OS!

My question, why are you so far away? Why do you have to tease us, when all we have is that ios thing and that other honey thing? You’re like that light at the end of the tunnel. You’re like an oasis. You’ve got the looks, the power, and the individuality. Who needs those other underpowered oses when we can have a full blown one that can run every big app imaginable (if they rewrite it for Windows 8).

You think I’m full of it? Well check out the video below:

PS: Hey Microsoft, I’d be glad to be a beta tester for Windows 8 (of course with one of the quad-core tablet to test it on).