Posts From March, 2013

Music and Twitter 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Saturday, March 30, 2013 8:52:00 AM Categories: Internet Music

Look how cool is this "interactive" song:

Brightly - Preflight Nerves

While the music video is shown on the background, the lyrics are shown on the foreground, citating existing tweets.

It's brilliant.

The adventures of Windows XP SP0 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Friday, March 29, 2013 8:14:00 AM Categories: Windows

Recently I installed Windows XP SP0 (the first edition, from year 2001).

I was shocked to see how it's evolved, without our acknowledgement. For example, the Wi-fi doesn't natively work, as my bluetooth mouse: the setup says it wants XP SP3 to continue.

So, I had no other choice to use it only with the keyboard.

Well, just do a Windows Update to fix the problem, right?

You would like it! It says that you need to update to XP SP3 to use it!

I browse the menu with the keyboard and after ten minutes and hundreds of TAB key presses, I can download XP SP3 from the Internet (try to browse the net without a mouse: it's not that easy).

I install it:

Oops! If you want to install XP SP3 you need XP SP1! Let's download it from here. The setup doesn't work, it can't download the update package!

I continue to search for a valid download and finally I find the network install package on the Microsoft website, but when I click download:

It's time to upgrade your browser! Internet Explorer 6 is outdated, you need the 8. I bet that, if I download it, it will say that I need XP SP2, so I start to search between my CDs if I still have an update that Microsoft mailed me when people still had 56k modems:

Luckily I found it! Now I can install XP SP2, then XP SP3, then the bluetooth mouse driver, then the hundreds of new updates... when I will be done?

I am getting used to the Metro UI 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Thursday, March 28, 2013 8:36:00 AM Categories: Cellphones Windows Windows Mobile

I said that I hated the new Windows 8 and Windows Phone interface, but now I am getting used to it, and I am liking it, I even installed a themed launcher on my HTC Android.

Launcher8 it's great, free and it perfectly merges with Android, its live wallpapers and widgets, I find it much more intuitive. It already has themed icons and you can customize in every way:

 

Gravatar

Nothing left 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Wednesday, March 27, 2013 6:28:00 PM Categories: Japan

Just a while after the tsunami disaster in Japan in year 2011, we saw the photos of the destruction with "before and after" comparison. Now, Google went in the "forbidden" radiation zone and put on Street View the pictures of the destruction.

It's terrifying, look.

Nothing is left, what was an elementary school, now is rubbles. Street View let you go to see the inside.

The outside, the entrance, the kitchen, the classrooms on the first floor...

And also other cities, that were far from the coast, are empty, due to radiations...

Google Notebook comes back from the grave, with a different name 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Thursday, March 21, 2013 5:39:00 AM Categories: Internet

Exactly as happened with Google Reader, two years ago, during a "spring cleaning", Google killed its Notebook.

Also in that occasion it was a shock for me: I wrote hundreds of notes on it and I got addicted on it. Find, suddenly, all my notes "imported" in a single, huge, useless word file made me very angry!

Then I found Springpad and I got my replacement...

Guess what? Now they are pushing it again, but with a different name!

Yay! That's great!

Well, I can't trust them anymore, maybe I get used to it and use it daily to jot my notes and then, BOOM, it gets wiped again during a "spring cleaning" 

PSP Crisis 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Wednesday, March 20, 2013 7:51:00 AM

This is my PSP: it's literally covered in dust, it has been months, if not years that I don't turn it on.

I don't see a worthy game from years... the last that I remember it's Echochrome, that's from FOUR years ago.

Meanwhile "scene" sites are slowly disappearing, with their guides and discussions.

Do you have a PSP? Do you know any games worthy of playing? Come on my forum to discuss it!

No wonder that digital downloads sales aren't going well 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Sunday, March 17, 2013 10:11:00 AM Categories: Games Sony

I shot this photo a week before the official release of Assassin's Creed 3: you could preorder it the digital gold edition for just 130 euro ($170). What a bargain!! On Amazon you could preorder the boxed version for just $60 (now now $30), and you can lend it to friends, sell it, keep it on the shelf to gather dust, etc...

You might say "hey, that special $170 digital download gave the PS Vita version for free"

But on Amazon the PS Vita version was $40 , if you bought both the boxed edition you would still saved a lot of money, even if you splurged on the exclusive Assassin's Creed III Encyclopedia Edition, that includes a 384 pages hardcover book and a 208 pages graphic novel.

I believe that a digital download MUST be MUCH CHEAPER than the retail edition!

Let's go back to the Amazon Bluray edition that now you can get for $30. Remove the markup that Amazon is doing on it, marketing, distribution, printing, prepress, etc... how much money is Ubisoft getting? I would be surprised if they get more than $8.

Why, why, why, the digital download, must be sold at the same price level, if it doesn't have any upfront to the seller?

Actually, it's good that Google Reader is going away 

Posted by Magnetic_dud Saturday, March 16, 2013 6:52:00 AM Categories: Internet

Google Reader is in my daily routine. When I turn on my PC, it's the first website that I open. Discover, suddenly, that in July it's going to disappear, was a shock for me.

Its sudden demise left a big space for new, innovative products, here are the alternatives:

Feedly

Feedly it's nice and free.

Pro:

  • They plan to be compatible with Google Reader application programming interfaces, so existing apps can support it with a trivial updateo.
  • They make money with a small ad in the right sidebar in the home page, it's almost invisible.
  • It imports feeds and starred items from Google Reader, creating your account with just one click.
  • Can be customized in a lot of styles.
  • You can find new blogs to follow.
  • Did I mention that it's free?
  • App for Android/iPhone

Cons:

  • You must install an app or browser extension to use it. (That means it works only with Firefox, Safari, iPhone, Android)
  • It's based on Google App Engine, that means that if they have a lot of users, they have a lot of expenses. Will the money coming from the very small ad in the home page be enough to pay bills?

Newsblur

It's an impressive one-man job, Newsblur looks like it's a perfect alternative:

  • Open Source
  • Programming interfaces for building mobile applications
  • Suggests new content
  • Browser based: you don't need to install an app or an extension
  • Ad-free
  • App for Android/iPhone

But, it has a fatal flaw: it's not free, and it's understandable, having no other ways to pay bills, but I don't like the behaviour of the developer. Instead of showing a sign "we are managing a horde of new Google Reader users and our servers are busy, try again later", he practically disabled the free version (max 12 sites to follow) and doubled the monthly fee. He says that when things are stabilized, prices will be back to normal points, but I hate this way to greet new users. If you don't pay, you can't import your items from Google Reader, that means you have to pay and subscribe first, then try.

The Old Reader

Then, there is also The Old Reader, but, when I tried two days ago, they required too many authorizations when I connected my Google account. Why they want complete access to my contacts?

If I try again, they don't ask it anymore, maybe it was a temporary configuration erro, but for now I don't want to try again, because they don't offer smartphone apps.

I might try again after some weeks/months, when a smartphone app is available.