Monthly Archives: May 2014

Note: This was our last post while on Medium.

I can’t add a new story on Medium with Internet Explorer or any mobile browser. That’s a problem, especially as I currently travel with a Surface 2, iPhone 5S and a Moto G.

Not being able to submit a story while travelling is exceedingly difficult when the objective is to post once a day. So, that’s almost a deal breaker.

But the actual catalyst for leaving is Medium’s philosophy for organizing content. Specifically, how Medium recommends what story to read next.

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I had an HTC One before it was unfortunately stolen out of my gym bag. I needed an Android phone, didn’t want to spend much on a replacement as I already carried an iPhone 5S and so got the inexpensive Moto G. An excellent phone for the amount I paid.

Price was certainly an important variable, so when the One Plus One was revealed it caught my attention in a big way. This is a phone with the internals of a Samsung Galaxy S5 but with the amazing price of $300. Wow! The company can’t be making much money at those prices.

But if it’s too good to be true, that’s probably because it is. In the case of the One Plus, the problem is that it’s almost impossible to actually buy.

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For 13 years, David Pogue was the tech columnist for the New York Times before making a move to Yahoo in October last year. Pogue was not a fan of Windows 8 or the previous Surface Pro, so imagine everyone’s surprise when he came out with a positive review of the Surface Pro 3:

If you own or carry around both a tablet and a laptop, then the Surface is calling out your name. There’s nothing like it. It’s so much better than the sales figures would indicate. We, the buying public, are not giving it a fair shake. If this marvel of engineering doesn’t lift the Microsoft hardware curse, I don’t know what its designers are supposed to do.

What’s more eyebrow-raising is the video review that accompanied it, which is probably the most creative and entertaining tech gadget review I’ve ever seen: it’s a spoof of the “I’m a Mac and I’m a PC” commercials that Apple ran before.

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Before the iPhone, there were good MP3 players, good phones and good PDAs that could browse the Internet. But efforts to combine all that functionality into one device failed, because software and hardware weren’t ready for that convergence.

To replace several devices with just one device, the replacement had to replicate the functionality of those focused devices well enough to justify its existence. The iPhone was the first to succeed, and today you no longer buy MP3 players or mobile Internet devices; you just buy smartphones.

For the last several years, Microsoft has been trying to do the same trick for laptops and tablets. It’s been trying to create that one replacement device, and that device is called the Surface.

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This article on WIRED — also highlighted on the respectable Techmeme — sucks. Take a read and then come back here. Done? Let’s do a tear down.

Clearly great features are trickling down. But what’s more interesting is how these cheap phones are going to trickle up. Put Internet-connected, app-capable smartphones running the same major operating systems the rest of us use and there will be all sorts of unforeseen ripple effects on us that we can’t even anticipate.

We tend to think of the ways our technology will affect them. That’s arrogant. We’re the minority. It’s incredibly likely that they’re going to have just as big an effect on us.

The tone is already so annoying.

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