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Motorola Droid 4 und LG G2 🔍 Load image: Motorola Droid 4 und LG G2
Droid 4 trumps the LG G2

Im November 2013 habe ich mir zum bislang letzten Mal ein neues Smartphone gekauft. Es handelt sich um ein LG G2. Seitdem sind einige neue Geräte erschienen (ja, jetzt bald ist wieder Mobile World Congress, die Geräte-Schwemme hat schon erste Vorab-“Leaks” erfahren), aber auch wenn ich zuvor über Jahre ständig zu viel Geld für allerlei Smartphones ausgegeben habe, musste ich bald feststellen, dass das schnelle Wechseln plötzlich keinen Sinn mehr machte. Ja, das LG G3 ist schon ein bisschen besser, aber irgendwie nicht so richtig (wer braucht diese Display-Auflösung, und warum ist das Ding noch größer?). Samsung rühre ich aus Gründen (TouchWiz, Hardwaredesign) nicht an, HTC verbaute 4 Megapixel-Kameras und die Gehäuse sind im Vergleich zum verbauten Display zu groß.
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Marco Arment on Google and Blogs

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When I realized how well Google ranked Blogs running WordPress with very little optimization in 2006, I was amazed and also surprised. Yes, there were some great blogs, but this way of ranking also jazzed up not so great blogs, including my own.
In 2015, or rather since July 1st, 2013 this has changed, as Marco Arment points out:
Marco.org | Google and blogs: “Shit.”

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Computex 2013: And the winner is: Intel

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There is not much to write about this years Computex, as almost every news has spread a thousand times throughout the web. This is thus more a personal note: Intel have finally managed to win quite a few smartphone and tablet designs, and at the same time they have managed to really lower the consumption of their performance platform with “Haswell”. Finally, thin, light, powerful and long lasting mobile computing solutions are possible. Thumbs up!

One simple example that could help newspapers to monetize on the web

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Today I stumbled upon yet another example that shows how newspapers could easily make money by selling their content on the web: Make your printed articles available behind your paywall, too; and make it obvious for print readers too what the very link would be (via a shorted url or a code). I would certainly pay 0.50€ for one article1, if the mention on the web is interesting to me, but I would never buy the whole edition (digitally or printed) for that one article. And I bet that others would, too.

  1. assuming a price around 2.00€/edition []

Imerj / frog design 2 in 1 Smartpad

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As you may have noticed, I prefer not to cover each and every device with a short article, I rather write about the few devices, that really seem to make a difference to me along with the devices that I actually buy.

One of these interesting devices I didn´t cover because it seemed far to unlikely to ever even get my hands on it was the Kyocera Echo, a very interesting 2 screen Android smartphone, made for the US operator sprint, build with two 3.5” inch displays, powered by a first gen CDMA/EVDO Snapdragon CPU (MSM8650). However, this first attempt at a dual screen smartphone seemed to have some caveats, including the fact that it was just on sale on one US network.

The guys over at Engadget (which while certainly having suffered from quite an exodus of editors and writers still is a great online publication on tech) now got their hands on a similar device, which is a lot more interesting, just because it will most likely be an AT&T device – AT&T has a WCDMA/GSM network and thus this device will, even if marketed only in the US, be usable (after an unlock) almost everywhere in the world.

Specs have been bumped up in comparison to the “Echo”. The screens on this still feature the same WVGA resolution, size is increased to 4” though, which ads up to one splitted screen of 6” (compared to 4,7” on the “Echo”, the device has a simpler folding mechanism, is thinner (folded: 14mm, as “tablet” 7mm ) and has the horsepower of a TI OMAP4 chip at yet undisclosed/unfinalized speed in it – which means it´s totally on par with similar superphone solutions and most likely even faster than those running on a nVidia Tegra 2 SoC.

How you use the device is simple and fascinating, yet hard to describe. That´s why I urge you to check out Imerj Designs website and the afore mentioned engadget article now to get an idea about the device.

While certainly not much more than a niche solution (at least as long there is this devider between the two screens), this proposal of a device certainly is a charming thing. It offers a lot more than a stardard (Android) superphone and isn´t that much bigger in terms of size – it will most likely be more expensive and battery life is something to be concerned about with such a thin, dual screen device, though.

Announcement: Books.

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As I don´t feel like sharing my personal opinions here, I had to think about what else to write about, and as I love culture, I really liked the idea of a good friend to write about books. This will happen in german – as most books I read are written in my german mother tongue – whenever I read a book in english though, I will of course review it in english.

Da es hier in der letzten Zeit eher ruhig war und ich keinen besonderen Drang verspüre, meine persönlichen Meinungen zu verschiedensten aktuellen Ereignissen hier abzulegen. Deswegen wird es hier demnächst vor allem Buchrezensionen geben – vorwiegend auf Deutsch.

CES 2011: First third hand impressions

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While I could spend my time with something else as well (and I mostly do over the day here in Europe), it´s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA again. Even though I haven´t been that much into tech lately (besides scrolling the daily tech news), I must admit that as always (since I follow mobile computing) I´ve been pretty exited.

It´s CES, and that´s great, just like Computex or MWC (the German trade show CeBIT hasn´t been too exiting lately, btw) and while it isn´t too tough to guess which rumors might become true (even as a bystander, like me, I would like you to consider me as an attentive bystander), you still always sense something whenever you see a first “hands on” or follow a live blogging session from a press conference. There is surprise (rare, but it happens), disappointment, sheer exitement or happiness (because something came out the way you dreamt of it) or fear (you don´t like what happens, whatever the trigger is).

I will not bore you with more detailed descriptions, I will just try to name anexample for each of the feelings I tried to describe above.

Let´s start with surprise: When I first saw the ASUS EeePad MeMO I was really surprised (positively) to see a tablet with a stylus from a company like ASUS, which is a hardware company (and adding in a Stylus within a finger touch environment like Android requires additional software to make real sense, from note taking to hand writing recognition). Still, ASUS has proven to be innovative during the last years, and I really hope that others will follow them – don´t forget: it was ASUS who invented netbooks, after all.

Next on: Disappointment. Well, there wasn´t too much disappointment yet, probably because other news have been to overwhelming. Still, there is one product which I followed in the past which will (as I see it now) not live up too its hype, which I´ve been a little part of. It´s the Notion Ink adam. Looking at all these Tegra2 tablets getting ready for the market, announced with better screen resolutions and Android Honeycomb (featuring the Android market) I expect this tablet not to be the success it could have been, if only it would have been ready earlier – if NotionInk had managed to hit the market this November with a less perfect, but still promising and relatively bug free outstanding product, NotionInk could have hit it off. Now, still not available in the stores and about to hit within a plethora of similar devices (to the eye of the average customer), considering the amount of thought the makers of adam put into it, inferior solutions featuring the software Google created and Googles Android Market, sounding alltogether less biblical (I never loved these adam, Eden … names), NotionInks´ solution will have a very hard time to perform half decent next to all these things with known brandnames on them. I just hope, that they will survive (and be it as a team, then part of another company – Toshiba seems to need some brilliant engineers, looking at their failure with the Folio 100 (and other, earlier mobile solutions like the TG01), btw ;-) ).

Sheer exitement / happiness. I like what Motorola did by creating a phone (the Atrix 4G) that will power a subnotebook. This is truely great, even though Motorola sucked at Openness (as in hackability) lately, because it is what I dreamt of years ago, when I had my first Linux powered smartphone, the Motorola A780.

Fear. Well, I could have just mentioned the NotionInk adam in this section, but I felt just too certain about its failure, so what will I put into this section? Yes, it´s Microsoft really porting Windows to ARM. It´s not Microsoft, I don´t expect them to fail, it´s that I am afraid of Microsoft killing other, in terms of user experience superior solutions with its momentum. A momentum it has because almost everybody is used to the shit (not talking about software quality here, but about user interface design) they´ve been delivering for years. I really hoped they´d stick to CE. And to be perfectly honest: It´s not just the usability that makes me worry, it´ s that I am great fan and supporter (whereever I can) of open source software, which will suffer in one or another way (open 3d graphics drivers is one frontier harder to fight at now). Microsoft really entering the ARM platform (a move which, with Intel (&Nokia) working on Meego) makes perfect sense from all standpoints I can think of (be it technics or business), but still, for the reasons mentioned above I would have loved to see Microsoft failing at doing the obvious thing.

I will write more about this CES if I feel like, promised.
Apologies: I left out links out of pure laziness, I expect my readers to be able to find the information they need themselves.

Looking back (2010)

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2011 is close, and it will be there in a glimpse. 2010 will be over, and people on twitter will write “oh, that´s so 2010”, whenever they stumble on something that isn´t bleeding edge.

2011 will be the way it´ ll be. I won´t write down what I expect for 2011, all I can say is that I am going to do better in 2011, as 2010 wasn´t a great year for me. I don´t want to complain though, because complaining doesn´t help anybody and because I think of complaining as a way of “not admitting ones own guilt/fault”.

I could try to talk about tech here, but well, we all know what came up in 2010 – considering mobile devices it was interesting, but not exactly mind blowing. 1GHz superphones came up, Microsoft released it´s new mobile OS, Android, iOS, webOS evolved, MeeGo for handhelds didn´t make it in 2010, some tablets have been released, cheap and expensive, bad and good, but the real tablet business will start – you name it – in 2011.

Netbooks are still there and now dual core powered, but honestly: The Netbook business has become boring, prices are relatively high and there are just a few devices, that are outstanding in one way or the other – I won´t name them here, you have to find them on your own.

So, overall, I believe that 2011 will be better. I am quite optimistic, and that´s unusual.

I wish you all the best!