Posts Tagged ‘Samsung’

Froyo Killed My Phone

Friday, March 25th, 2011

I can't guarantee my phone will look like this much longer, you know, all in one piece and everything

Ever since I got my Samsung Epic back in November, I’ve had something of a love-hate relationship with it. Up until the day I started using it, I was a hard-core Blackberry fan and I’m fairly sure I always will be. The Epic appealed to the hardcore nerd in me with the glow of its AMOLED screen and the processing power under the hood.

And when Blackberry released the substandard specs for their next phone, well, I couldn’t defend them any more.

I’ve gone through the growing pains of adapting to a touch screen device. The initial switch was eased by the pull out QWERTY keypad but I found myself using it less and less often and began to adapt to the touchscreen keypad and actually found myself typing faster than I had with my Blackberry.

I quickly found and began using apps that made my phone more of a workhorse than it was out of the box. I began to rely on the Epic as much as I had on my Blackberry for appointment reminders, on the go edits of documents, and the various other things I could do without being at my PC.

I’m using the “stock” Android OS that came with the phone. Two attempts to upgrade to an unofficial release of 2.2 ended in abysmal failure and I preferred to have a device that functioned correctly and performed what I needed it to do without issue and so, I simply nodded my head when friends told me I could upgrade without waiting for Samsung to push the software update.

Then, this morning, my phone shut off for no apparent reason. (more…)

Microsoft, just say you messed up and move on

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

If you have one of these, it's possible you haven't been making many calls on it

On Monday, there were reports of “bricked” Samsung Windows phones due to a patch Microsoft had released. As you can imagine, this was not a stellar beginning for Microsoft considering this was the first ever patch they had released for the devices.

Instead of owning up to the “oops”, Microsoft has chosen instead to point out that it was only 10% of users that were affected by the glitch. Considering that back in December Microsoft announced that 1.5 million phones had launched in the first six weeks, that’s 150,000 users potentially affected by the glitch. Maybe that’s a “small number” in some circles but to me, it’s still a significant amount of people you’ve dismissed by saying only a “small percentage” was affected.

Microsoft’s track record with accepting blame hasn’t exactly been stellar. We’ve seen them dump blame on others when it comes to Internet Explorer problems. We’ve seen them dodge the question about whether or not Bing is mining data from Google. They’ve never gone so far as to say, “you’re holding it wrong” but I think they’ve come right up to that line and then backed off a little.

Here’s the thing… I think as a virtual whole, users are tired of big businesses minimizing or trivializing their mistakes when it causes issues with devices or software they’ve purchased. There was a time not so long ago when product stability overrode the incessant need to profit by launching an incomplete product. There was a time when quality meant something and companies went the extra mile to make sure the product they were launching was tested thoroughly before it ever saw the light of day.

I’ve heard the arguments that postponing a launch can cost a company millions. I’ve heard the arguments that the longer a product is tested, the more opportunity there is for corporate espionage. And I say to all of those companies… YOU’RE doing it wrong.

I’m going to give an example of someone who does things right… or as close to right as one can get when dealing with technology or software. Blizzard Entertainment has an amazing record when it comes to keeping a product secret and then turning around and launching a product that very rarely fails when taken out of the box.

How they do it is something of a mystery and perhaps we’re better off not knowing.

That’s not to say Blizzard doesn’t have its own mishaps. There have been times in the past when a patch has essentially made a game unplayable for a portion of their playerbase. When it does happen, however, Blizzard doesn’t trivialize their own fault. They admit it, they own it, the ‘fess up to it. When World of Warcraft was first launched and there were issues with patches that made the game unplayable, they gave me free subscription time. In one case, the game was unplayable for several hours and I was surprised to find they had added three free days to my subscription. Along with their apology, they’d given me something for free without hemming and hawing about it.

That’s rare in this day and age when it takes weeks and sometimes even months for companies to admit their fault and actually do something about it.

My advice to Microsoft is to stop pushing blame off on other parties or issuing statements saying that only a “small percentage” of users were affected.

Own up to the mistake. I, for one, will be much more forgiving the next time it happens.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

3D for your Home Theatre

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Yeah, I totally ripped off Crutchboy's "custom" Avatar movie poster.

Samsung and Panasonic will begin selling 3-D capable televisions this week… What does this mean for us? Most likely nothing. The pricing will be, on average, about 500 dollars more than a comparable 2-D, HD capable television. Take into account that there will be very few movies available on DVD in the 3-D format, that you will have to keep track of and charge your 3-D glasses (they’re battery operated), and that game companies aren’t yet announcing any 3-D titles and what you have is a very overpowered and underutilized television in your home.

This isn’t to say that it’s not a great idea. On the contrary, I’ve been hoping for sets that produced 3-D images without a bunch of extra hardware for a long time now. But keep in mind that any movie you do rent or purchase that is capable of full 3-D on these new televisions will require additional 3-D glasses for each person you want to be able to watch the movie. Without them, all you’ll see is a very blurry screen. And the glasses look bulky from all I have seen.

With the launch of the 3-D televisions you can expect to see some “interesting” bonuses with the potential purchase. For instance from Samsung, a mere $3,000 (yeah, I said mere $3,000) will purchase one 46″ 3-D television, two sets of glasses, and a 3-D Blu-Ray DVD player. I’d imagine the deal will go on to include at least one 3-D movie for the player at some point.

We’ve seen the return of 3-D in the movie theater. We’ve seen movies like Avatar and Alice in Wonderland take advantage of the new technology. I’ve been impressed with the technology we’re only starting to see unfold for the entertainment industry but the question here would be if the television manufacturers might not be jumping on the bandwagon a bit soon.

I enjoyed watching Avatar in 3-D but it takes time for my eyes to initially focus when I put on the glasses and the movie begins. And once it’s over, it takes several minutes for my eyes to adjust to real life. I’m not sure I’d want to watch every movie and TV show using the glasses. And if I do, I’m certainly going to want to see how the gaming world responds to the technology.

So it may be some time before I’m ready for the 3-D television but if you have the cash and the wherewithal to purchase one, now’s your chance. Me, I’m going to wait for the consoles to catch up.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

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