Monthly Archives: June 2014

Perception is a powerful thing.  When something isn’t popular, like Path anywhere outside of Indonesia, people have a lot of opinions on why it’s a lousy product.  When something seems to be a hit, like the Yo app, people have a lot of opinions on why it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.

It’s all done on the altar of success.  Traction is the only truth that matters, and people will do whatever mental gymnastics is required to work their way backwards to explain that success (or lack thereof).  Our tech culture prides itself on being smart, but it is still one where outcome rules logic.

I already wrote about Yo, an app so unsubstantial that Apple didn’t even want to publish it to their store.  Yo didn’t make some kind of technological or usability breakthrough — it is successful because it’s so stupid in its simplicity that people find it a hoot to download and talk about.

Remember those “wassup” Budweiser ads that got everybody going wassuuuuup?

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Windows 8 is smart enough to know when a user is typing from a physical keyboard or an on-screen one, so why oh why can’t the OS turn off auto-correct for physical keyboards while keeping auto-correct on for the on-screen one?

Auto-correct makes sense for the on-screen keyboard.  Without it, touch typing is frustrating.

But for most decent typists, you don’t need auto-correct with a physical keyboard.  Plus, I  prefer the freedom of typing words that aren’t entirely kosher, like fark or kekeke or lol.  No auto-correct also comes in handy when typing in a different language.

Currently, on Windows 8 for Modern side programs, auto-correct is either on or off for both keyboard types and that doesn’t make much sense.  For hybrid devices to transition smoothly from tablet to laptop and vice versa, auto-correct should also automatically turn on or off.

Lots of really good stuff at Google’s I/O conference.  I’m sure we’ll be delving into Android L and other announcements in more detail in the coming days, but today I’m shooting from the hip and unpacking what caught my attention.

If you haven’t watched it already, see the gargantuan 3 hour keynote here:

My most immediate reaction is “Wow.”  Google is killing it.  Android extends its lead over iOS and Microsoft is way behind in the rear view mirror.

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Nine months after the 3-year warranty expired, my 46-inch Samsung LED TV died.  I paid $2,200 for it and it was Samsung’s flagship TV at the time.  The picture quality was great but the TV suffered many problems: the panel was replaced three times, it had major backlight bleeding (who cares about deep blacks when there’s clouding?) and the optical audio port was busted.

It was an expensive TV and lasted less than four years.  It made me wonder whether instead of purchasing a $2,200 flagship TV every four years, I should just spend $1,000 on a mid-level TV every two.  With the way technology advances, the mid-level experience two years from now might be better than the flagship experience today.  I’d save money and average out to comparable viewing quality.

And so I purchased a Sharp Aquos 50LE450M online for an astonishingly cheap $720.  Yes, you read that correctly, a 50-inch, 1080P LED TV for $720 from a respected Japanese brand.  It was also only released in 2013.  I couldn’t find any reviews of it as the TV appears to be specially made for developing markets.  Sibling Sharp TVs with similar model numbers did have middling reviews, which by definition I was prepared to accept.  Plus, this is from Sharp so it can’t be that bad right?

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I’ve been using Facebook’s new app, Slingshot, intensely since it launched last week.  It was initially thought of as a Snapchat competitor and the successor to Poke – which I argued could have beaten Snapchat – but it’s actually quite different.

It’s hard to describe Slingshot and that’s the biggest problem.  It’s difficult to understand its purpose, and few will invest the time needed to do so.  Even after much thought, it’s still not clear why one should use Slingshot over other apps.

Get_Facebook_Slingshot_small

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