Monday, May 28, 2012

Hey Kids, It's Speculation Time!

See that image above? That's a magical place of wonder known to us normal people as San Jose. But to the tech industry, that there is Silicon Valley. The land of microchips, software, fruit-powered laptops, and crazy people who's names rhyme with Koogle. We're currently approaching June. Which means one thing- the World Wide Developers Conference that Apple holds every year. And it's the first one without Steve Jobs.

But cheer up, young lads! This is a time of excitement! Apple has yet to upgrade the current iPhone 4s and iPod lines. And MacBooks. And iMacs. And- wait. If you haven't noticed this yet, something odd has been going on with Apple. They haven't pushed any major updates onto their products in almost a year now. Well, to be more precise, since the death of Steve Jobs. So yes, Steve does have something to do with this. Or at least, maybe he does.

It's been a long time since I've speculated. Or talked about what is going on with Apple. First off, for those of you unaware, I love Apple. I will never rid of my beloved Apple products. Even if they break. Or die. Or become outdated. I love Steve Jobs. When he died, a little part of me did as well. I idolize(d) him. I always will. So, I'm not hating on Apple at all here. But like a mother of a teenage child, I am a little concerned. I mean, what the hell happened Apple? Where did you go off to? Just because Steve is gone, doesn't mean the momentum has to go with it! Sure, your products are selling like hotcakes. But they're outdated. Steve would never let that happen.

Yet, it most certainly has. The last update to an Apple product that can be considered "major" was the introduction of the iPad 2. Last time I checked, that was more than a year ago. A year ago. See, whenever you think Apple has made the latest and greatest thing, they one-up it with something even better. That's just how Apple is. And because they've done it time and time again without failure, we come to expect it. Because hey- why shouldn't we?

Remember, whatever Apple does, so do the other guys. Notice how there hasn't really been any other new or revolutionary updates to existing Android and PC products? Hmmm... I wonder what's going on... But I really don't. The trends have always been the same, and they will likely continue to be the same. Unfortunately, the lack of momentum from Apple has a domino effect on the entire industry, and everyone has been feeling the pain. Notice how I haven't really posted much new stuff lately? There really isn't anything that interesting to talk about right now.

So, what is to come from Apple? Well, the company is (from all sources out there) looking to be finishing up what is destined to be an iPhone 5, working on a new iPad that can either be smaller or more featured or both, finishing up designs on a new MacBook Pro that brings the power of the current line with the sleekness of the Air, and some new iPods.

And... I'm going to leave it at that. Apple, get your momentum back- for all of us! Everybody else, pick up the slack, get some originality! I know none of these companies will be reading this, but hey, I speak for the good of the techies. And we want some new toys dammit. Some cool toys. Like those Google Glasses. Those would be nice.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bloomberg: New iPhone Coming With Bigger Screen, Closely Developed With Steve Jobs

No, the concept image above isn't real. However, it could be. Apple is said by Bloomberg and Wall Street Journal to be finalizing a new iPhone design with a larger display, possibly for release during this year's WWDC 2012 conference. The new iPhone is also said to have been developed by the late Steve Jobs before his passing. Remember, it was said that Steve Jobs' work is supposed to last with Apple for at least twenty years in the future.

The current iPhone has a 3.5 inch display- which is subpar in comparison to the many 4+ inch Android devices on the market as of now. Also, it's worthy to mention that Apple's iPhone 4s is not that big of an upgrade from the iPhone 4- which really makes one expect an iPhone 5 this summer. Although we can't prejudge anything, it will be interesting to see how Apple delivers a new iPhone to the smartphone market. It always is.

Source Bloomberg 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The US Department of Justice Says You Can Record Angry Cops

Have you ever been subject to police brutality? Although it probably wasn't Apartheid-related, the fact of the matter is, this sort of thing happens everywhere. It's always been an issue in my country tis of thee, the land of lady liberty, the free, the brave, and police brutality. We live in an angry world. And although officers often try to silence your concerns by preventing your recording of their procedures, they aren't allowed to do so. In fact, according to the magical powers of the first amendment, we as American citizens have a civil right to record the activity of our policemen- despite what you may have otherwise heard.

If you'd like to read more, and check out some interesting videos of such brutality, as well as the unneeded behaviors of the police force in the United States and around the world, check out the article linked below.

Source The Verge

Dear Dell, Your Customer Service Sucks

I don't tend to bitch about companies I don't like (because I really don't hate any company, except for DHL delivery). However, I'm going to make an exception today for a special piece of crap I feel that I need to address. Dell. Yes, Dell. I love their hardware- they make fantastic products. Products good enough that I would buy one INSTEAD of another MacBook (yes folks, this is true). Because they support open source. Because Ubuntu runs without extra drivers. Because the price was right. But something isn't right. And in case you're blind, illiterate, or just plain stupid, you probably know what I'm getting at by the title. Yes, Dell's customer service. But I have good reasons for my anger and hatred toward the service. Let me tell you all a story, and then spend a few extra paragraphs complaining. Because hey, I know you all love reading it.

So, in case any of you are unaware (and I hope this doesn't make my credibility shot, since I am an award winning writer), I'm a high school student. One thing people don't understand about high school, is that it mirrors that of an uncontrollable zoo of crazy kids, smart kids, pot heads, and overly popular morons. So much so, that setting down a backpack with a laptop in it (protected by a case, mind you) is a bad idea. See, one of my fellow students (who's name will be left anonymous) decided that having a bag on the chair adjacent to his seat was an annoyance. So what does he do? He throws it on the ground, unaware that a barely two month old laptop is snug between notebooks and binders. And, it breaks. The aluminum and plastic device cracks, bends, and becomes useless. And I become enraged. He's paying for the damages (bless his soul), and it all looks as simple as calling Dell and having them ship out a box to have it repaired.

Wrong. So wrong. Instead, Dell figured it would be better to keep me on the phone, transferring me department to department for a straight week. And when that wasn't enough, they decided to have me pay just to ship the damned thing out. How much you ask? Oh, just 200 bucks. But this wasn't the end. It successfully took them another week to realize that I had paid, and send the box out. And a day after the box had reached their offices, they put the thing on billable hold. Three days later, the money gets pushed through so that they can replace the following. A motherboard, a keyboard, a trackpad, AND the casing.

But this hasn't been enough for Dell. They kept it on billable hold despite money going in, they notified me three times a day, through phone and then another  three times (no joke) through email. Instead of wasting their time letting me know that they are going to take it off billable hold, maybe they should just do it. Instead of wasting my time telling me they're working on it, maybe they should just get it done. Isn't it enough that they're getting 480 dollars out of me to do it (I paid less for the laptop)?

So, what exactly have I learned from this experience? Well, a couple of things. One, don't trust your stuff when it's not literally in your hands. Two, never bring a laptop to school that is considerably fragile (although this goes for a lot of things). And three, avoid Dell costumer service if at all possible. Because honestly, having a Mac, and dealing with AppleCare, was great. I hated having a product that was essentially defective, but Apple took care of me and got things done as fast as they could. They made it as inexpensive as possible, and they did it all with a smile. Considering everybody is always trying to copy Apple's products, you wonder why nobody has attempted to copy the customer support experience. It's really about time. You know, before I have to write another 700+ word article complaining about a company's costumer service.

Thanks for listening to my rant. If you made it this far, you are a saint. If you scrolled to the bottom, hey, at least you wanted to see if there was some kind of happy ending. Sorry to disappoint you, but there isn't. Only Dell is happy, because they made some money off of my misfortune.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

TheTechTile 15.0

Yeah, I'm sure you get the joke above. If you've been reading this site for enough time, you'd know that the format changes ALL THE TIME. Why is that? Because here, we like to experiment. And unfortunately, there aren't many good designs for a tech website. Well, until now. Now we found it. The New TechTile. The future of short and long form tech journalism. The best weekly geeky site on the net. And now, it looks amazing!

But seriously, myself and the rest of the website's design staff would like to apologize for the new look being a new thing all the time, everyday. It sucks, I know. But now, we have something we REALLY like. That looks REALLY good. That we REALLY think you'll like to. And if you don't? Too bad.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Microsoft is Bringing the Full Internet Explorer to Xbox 360

What? Yes, it's true. Microsoft is prepared to pair their Xbox 360 console with a Kinect, and few controllers, Netflix, Facebook, Hulu Plus, and now... Internet Explorer. Although the 360 already utilizes Bing Voice Search, this new addition will change everything in terms of what this little black box can do. And now it looks as though Microsoft and the rest of our tech friends are pushing for apps on all devices, not just smartphones and computers. Although we do not yet have any release dates or any further confirmation of this, we'll keep them eyes peeled for more details when they come.

Source The Verge

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Is Micron Prepping DDR4 RAM Modules for Late 2012?

Yeah you read the above correctly. It appears that Micron is sending samples to clients to test out the new performance. DDR3 showed massive speed increases but DDR4 plans to wipe the board clean. Micron’s new DDR4 stick is estimating a speed of 3200 MT/s (Up from DDR3’s 1066!). And now using the 30 Nanometer technology rather than DDR3’s 90 Nanometer, the sticks require even less power to operate. Will these beautiful sticks be making their way into your system? We at TheTechTile have a better question: “What’s going to support it when it’s launched?

All potential compatibility problems aside, it is fantastic to see technology improving. Faster Ram access speeds means your computer spends less time waiting for information to process, and more fluent multitasking. Not to mention I’m sure we can all save a few bucks on our electric bill.

Your Android Carrier is an Evil Liar

About six months ago I purchased a Droid X2, which at the time was only two or so months old. At the time, I bought it in anticipation that it would be essentially "future proof" since it possesses a dual-core processor and half a gigabyte of RAM. Mind you, this was before a full gigabyte was "the thing". Regardless, I made the purchase, and was not initially impressed with Android 2.3 at all. I find it to be very buggy now as I did then. However, in anticipation of Android 4.0, now known as Ice Cream Sandwich, I decidedly bit the bullet and figured I'd play the waiting game.

Enter six months later. Motorola has no intention of upgrading the Droid X2 to Android ICS. Why? Because it has only 512 GB of RAM. But lets be honest here, that's a real cop out excuse. For a device that is barely a year old not to receive the latest and greatest software is just ridiculous. But it isn't just Motorola. And it isn't just the Droid X2. There are multiple devices across multiple manufacturers that don't plan to upgrade YOUR Android device. And what is it all for?

The answer to that question, is the money in your pocket. No, I'm not skeptical (although we all know that's a terrible fib). Because seriously, why else would they refuse to upgrade phones with the hardware capable to run a goddamn desktop operating system? And who are they to stomp their foots on the ground, shrug their shoulders, and say no? Because it will cost the company to develop yet another flawed skin to cover up the already attractive Android to look more like it's fruity counterpart?

People need to start questioning these corporations. There is no reason why my six hundred dollar phone should be neglected, or why I should just sit here and take it. I do know one thing, I'm not going to purchase a Motorola phone again anytime soon. Or any other manufacturer's device that limits the potential of a perfectly speedy product. No sir.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Does anybody really care about the new BlackBerry?

Yesterday, instead of dropping the ball on customers and investors and just cutting the cords on Blackberry, Research in Motion managed to do the complete opposite, announcing a new competitor to Apple's iPhone, Android devices, and Windows Phone 7 devices. And it's called Blackberry 10 (what a creative name). Although there is only software right now, Blackberry plans to introduce real products in the coming months.

The device is set to feature the same old secure email Blackberry users have come to know and love. And it happens to run off that fancy QNX platform the company purchased eons ago. As you may or may not be able to tell by the image above, the device is very similar in both hardware and software design to the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. As a result, it really does take on that copycat status we saw in the Blackberry PlayBook and the BlackBerry Storm and the BlackBerry blah blah blah blah...

Does anybody really care anymore? There are so many better products out there right now, and hey, they have a fully functioning app market, great support, beautiful design, originality, and so many of the same features this thing has. RIM has done it again- they've made another copycat.

Where and when will there be something new? Where is the fresh new face of RIM that was promised to us a few months ago? Whatever happened to the enterprise focus the company had back in the day? Unfortunately, even if this product is better than the iPhone or the eons of Android smartphones, it's a lot later coming than it needed to.

We were looking for something like this last year for christs sake! And now, Apple is working to make a better version of the iPhone 4s. What will RIM do then? What will Google and Motorola and Samsung and HTC and everybody else do then? I guess we'll have to wait it out and see. I'd like to give RIM the benefit of the doubt, but after the huge disappoint that has been the last three years, I don't really know if I can anymore.