Sunday, 29 March 2015

Tim Cook's "Charity" timing is highly questionable.



So the good news of Tim Cook donating his entire fortune to charity was hailed with delight from lefties and of course news outlets ready to blast this information out loud and proud.

However the good deed does have some highly questionable motives behind it, and why like many other high paid executives, CEO,s etc that do the same thing either throughout their careers or at the end of them, this one been painted as a saint.

Before I carry on I applaud any gift to charity, but a charity gift that is used as a marketing tool makes me sick.

I'll explain, I make no gripes that I don't like Samsung handsets, not for a long while anyway, but you have to question the timing of Cooks generosity. Samsung this week have started to take orders for their new handset Galaxy S6 which is Apple iPhones closest rival, the same week Cook decided to bleat out and grab headlines for Apple. Almost killing off the Samsung marketing campaign in one click of a "publish to marketing machine button".

Well call me a cynical old bastard all you like but this stinks to high heaven, rather than spending money on charity, wouldn't it be best to reinvest that cash (although I understand its Cooks personal cash, not Apples) into paying fair wages to the staff that make their products in Chinas backyards. Lets face it - Apple have a solid history of employing (indirectly) children inside their supply chain over the last 5 years.

Anyway, I now have got this off my chest now, and relax.




Saturday, 7 March 2015

Nexus 6 does make sense; although its a surprise.


After I initially saw the Nexus 6 after its release my first reaction was - what the hell are Google doing.

The Nexus brand had gone from sensible showcase of how stock Android should look to, a one trick pony targeted at a niche crowd. "Phablet" Fan Boys mostly, but it didn't seem to make any sense why anyone would want a device that big....

......until I got one.

Moving over from my daily driver of a Sony Xperia Z3 Compact to the Nexus 6 is like jumping from Fiat 500 into Humzilla. That's not an easy jump to make, and not without losing a few features along the way. I'm already missing small apps, dare I say it, I also miss Sony's contact style and the 20mpx camera. Battery life isn't too shabby on the N6 but not in the same league as the Z3 Compact, so who knows what else Ill find along the way.

What makes the Nexus 6 so great is its size, I never thought I'd get used to it but within a few days I forgot all about my little Sony and now I have all this sexy screen estate to play with. Great for games and typing emails for work. The work part is an important note to make, I can get quite a bit done because I feel I can sit down and actually type out long emails and feel more comfortable working from the device. Something I never experienced on iPhone or any of my previous Androids with the exception of the LG G2 maybe, so as a work horse its amazing.

The support for Exchange is all there, and syncs with your Gmail in Lollypop really well, including your calendar.

Getting over the size so quickly was a surprise for me, as I don't have the biggest shovel hands in the world much to the amusement of the colleagues but the handset never feels like I'm holding a newspaper from the 1960's. I know I mocked the 6" Nexus before it was released last year on this very blog. I thought it would never work but I'm not alone in that thought - maybe that's why I haven't seen them around like the N4 or N5 of old, could be the $600 / £600 price point either.


It does fit into rear pockets of your favorite denim, and inside pocket in your jacket / blazer, something which turned my head with the Blackberry Passport too - which by that way is a brilliant device. If only Blackberry would let you install Google Services out the box then it would conquer all. The Nexus 6 fits with the same gusto, but just don't sit down with it or wear a seat belt in either case, unless your covered with insurance and like to play risky

The lack of memory microSD slot is also a huge loss for me, having had a 64Gb card in my old Sony, I thought I would miss it, but having looked at the data there and realized 70% of my data is up on Google Drive / Google+ / Picasa anyway. So no biggie.

All in all, the move, and size, and OS changes didn't mean I was chopping off an arm to buy two gloves. The device does stand up well against the competition but it does feel less Nexus-like because of the price point and size.

Is that so bad, maybe not but a confusing message from Google regardless.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Why I cant wait for the Ubuntu Meizu MX4

Its been a long time since I have been excited about a handset, particularity a handset with an untried and test OS like Ubuntu Phone.

However Ubuntu has a fantastic chance to really make it in the mobile space and that's because it truly is open.

Google have Android of course, and while Android is an open source you cant ignore that Google have started to tighten their grip on the platform. Something Samsung have started with from day one with Tizen and in some ways that's even more of an Trojan horse platform due to its horrendous list of partners. Apple too which force you to use all their guff even if you have no desire to.

Ubuntu on the other hand is as open as they come, no outside influence from a network provider to get you to buy, or because its under pinned by services that record your every move. Its here that I think Ubuntu will ultimately win over business and consumers, it needs the Blackberry effect in some ways to make it a stand out as an honest OS.

Meizu MX4

The spec list of the new Ubuntu phone is a real head turner, much better than the one that popped up in Europe which to be honest, a Moto G with a few whistles on - not something I want. Again come MWC the Meizu MX4 maybe seen as a little under powered but I'm sure it will pack enough punch to make the Ubuntu handset come alive. To be fair it was good as an Android phone anyway and would Ubuntu need all that power anyway ?? Who knows but the handset does have superb battery life, and a decent screen both important areas for me personally. Check out GSMarena's conclusion on the MX4 which was very positive.

So we really need a great push by developers to make this platform great and stand out - I haven't used the OS yet but I cant wait and hope someone will either send me one or I'm first in the queue to buy one. From whats been said about the little BQ handset, the devs really are taking it seriously.






Saturday, 7 February 2015

Brawler's Quick Pick - Dying Light

So I've decided to call this, "quick pick," because I'll just be giving my early opinion on the games I choose before I complete it, because unlike big name game journalists, I have no one paying me to stay up all night completing a game for work. 

Let's get this out the way, I play multiple games at once, and because of this it can take me like a month to complete a game, pending how interesting it is, the length, and how much fun i'm having outside the house. So with that said, let's begin....


Graphics

Graphically Dying light looks great in my opinion. From the look of the landscape to the dismemberment of body parts. When the sun begins to set, is when this games looks best to me, because It's as if the game's atmosphere is shifting into a whole new dimension, especially when you know what comes next. I've experienced nothing bad at all, other than my flashlight not really getting the job done in some areas, but it's nothing I couldn't get over.


Sound

The sounds in this game definitely get the job done. When sprinting you hear the heavy breathing from running out of breath. When attacking you get the sense of a successful impact with every blow, and when your running for your life at night, the sound of those mutant zombies chasing you, gives you every reason to never really want to look over your shoulder.

Story

The story revolves around a agent named Crane, he has a first name, but I didn't care to remember it. At the point I'm at, Crane has been tasked with finding some secret Gov't file, but of coarse that's easier said than done, and Crane soon finds himself stuck doing task for two different factions, and having to deal with a heavy conscious as he makes some very tough decisions as the story progresses. Oh yea, Zombies hinder his every move.

Gameplay

Dying lights gameplay isn't anything new, when it comes to the concept of running around with a character that knows parkour, but where Dying Light differentiates itself, is having that ability while running from zombies. The combat is good, but good luck early on while being attacked by multiple enemies, it can get tough. Being able to run and jump everywhere gives you a real sense of freedom, and leaves you with the sense that you can escape almost anything. Co-op in this game worked really well, and being able to run through the main story with friends is a huge plus, and an advantage to you in the tougher areas of the game.

Game Vibe

As of right now I get a great vibe when playing this game. It's fun, engaging, full of quest, and perfect to play with friends. This game will go down as one of the best zombie games to hit a next gen console, and will be one to top in the coming years, and even if it is topped real soon, I can assure you that it most certainly outshines the Dead island series.