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Still Shameless After All These Years

iOS 8 Multiple Windows

“I can’t believe that people aren’t rallying in the streets over how cool this is!”

I said these exact words yesterday while showing a friend my new 12.2″ Galaxy Note Pro.

While the Android platform has its issues, myself being one of its harshest critics, the multiple-window multitasking I found in the new tablet was beyond cool.  It was, quite frankly, the most awesome feature I’ve discovered since I began using Android about 5 years ago.  The ability to literally draw a square, and have a new application pop into that square, all without disrupting the current application, is just badass.

Continue reading Still Shameless After All These Years

Samsung’s Security Theater

Samsung's Security Theater

You want to know why so many websites are getting hacked these days, leaking your personal information to anyone and everyone?

Allow me to illustrate …

Yesterday, I tried to change the password to my Samsung account.  I’d changed it previously to a shorter password, and I had second-thoughts about doing so, so I decided to change it back.

I logged into my Samsung account and proceeded to change my password back to my moderately-secure, 11+ character password which has never been written down anywhere.

I couldn’t, though, because apparently, I’d used it before.

Fair enough, I went to a variation

Continue reading Samsung’s Security Theater

Duck Duck What?

Duck Duck Logo

It’s easy to get into habits, and by doing so, failing to discover better alternatives.

Take search engines, for example.

I’ve been using Google since it was a cluster of Linux/Free-BSD boxes in the late-90′s.  In those days, Google was a scrappy challenger to then-dominant Yahoo, and when I told people that I’d switched to it, I was met mostly with snickers.

Alas, history is repeating itself, as it wants to.

Google was superior to Yahoo because its algorithm was right for the times.  Whereas Yahoo merely counted the number of times a search term appeared on a page,

Continue reading Duck Duck What?

Beware Parallels Desktop 9

Parallels Screenshot

My occupation requires that I write, test & support software on a variety of different platforms, and for the past couple of years, I have been pulling this off using virtualization technology … primarily the open source VirtualBox.

A Linux user since the early 90′s, I’ve always preferred open source solutions when reasonably possible. I still use Linux on all of my servers, as well as Open Office, GIMP, Eclipse, etc on the desktop. Over the years, my bias against commercial software has only increased with Corporate America’s increasing level of hostility towards consumers, as well as a general decline

Continue reading Beware Parallels Desktop 9

Farewell Android, Farewell

Google Play Google Plus

It’s a tough time to be an American consumer.

It’s a tough time to be an American.

I always knew it would come to this, but being the Pollyanna that I am, I was hoping that it wouldn’t.

Two and a half years ago, I bought my first Android device, an HTC EVO, and even though it was a battery-draining, unstable mess … I sung its praises.

Why?

Because I saw great potential. A true multi-tasking kernel on a Linux core, open source code, a generous development platform, the ability to run non-pre-approved apps … the possibilities were infinite, and

Continue reading Farewell Android, Farewell

Et tu Java?

Oracle Java Browser Scam

Write-once, run-anywhere.

Native language of Android.

The most popular programming language in the world, finally surpassing C in 2011.

I just received notice that a Java update was available for one of our workstations, so naturally, I logged in to update it.

This time, however, I was paranoid. Cynical even. You know, what people have been calling me for the last 7 or so years.

“Come on, Rex, not everyone is out to get you. Sit down, have a beer, and stop being such an obsessively-worrying asshole.”

Alas, I never listen to those who try to tell me

Continue reading Et tu Java?

Gone in 45 Seconds

Adobe Flash Player Download Screenshot

That’s all it took to lose control over my own computer, and my own operating system.

45 seconds.

It’s actually been sitting unused on my computer for some time, but I scrubbed my old copy, then installed the latest and greatest version of Windows on my machine.

Lest you think I’ve gone squirrel-turd-nutty, I should qualify this by stating that I installed it in a virtual box, the only way I would deign install Windows on anything short of my worst enemy’s life support machine. In addition to Windows, I also have OS X 10.8.1, Ubuntu 12.04, and Cent OS

Continue reading Gone in 45 Seconds

It Just Works

Screenshot - OS X Mountain Lion

So, this is what it’s come to.

This is what the beginning of the end looks like for American technological supremacy.

Here we have the “world’s most advanced operating system”, a full decade into development, and backed by the nation’s wealthiest corporation; An operating system with a devoted, almost religious fanbase.

What is the world’s most advanced operating system doing in the image above?

Well, as you can see, it’s crashing.

Is it being crashed by a malicious program written by a KGB agent, backed by the ample resources of the entire Russian government?

Nah.

Is it being crashed

Continue reading It Just Works

Flying The 787

Flight Simulator Game

Yesterday, I took Boeing’s new flagship airplane out for a spin.

I hopped in the cockpit of a 787, took off from SeaTac, flew down to Olympia, cut back over Vashon Island, and came in low over Downtown Seattle before sticking a VFR landing at Boeing Field.

Now I know what you’re thinking … Rex is on another meth bender, but you’re wrong. That shit wore off hours ago, and when it did, I downloaded X-Plane’s new 787 model from the Android Market (technically “Google Play”, ick), and I spent a couple of hours putting the aircraft to the

Continue reading Flying The 787

My Big 10″

My 10.1" and 7" Galaxy Tablets and EVO

My 10.1" and 7" Galaxy Tablets and EVO

On Tuesday, my 10.1″ Galaxy Tab arrived.

I’ve only had a few days to play with it, but I can already see that it’s going to be yet another life-changing device.

As someone whose life literally revolves around technology, especially mobile technology, incremental updates such as this literally change the way I do everything, from blogging, to working, to coding, to sketching, to recording, to organizing, to playing games, to … well, seriously … everything. The device I carry with me becomes an extension of myself, and because of this,

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Ode to My Android

My Android Tablet

It’s 7:00am, and Nirvana’s “School” is blaring through two tiny, yet surprisingly powerful speakers. Supposedly, this song is loosely based on Kurt’s hatred of Seattle and its upper-middle-class cliques. The town which now plasters his face on every museum it has, and is now oh-so-proud to claim him as a native son.

What can I tell you, I love waking up to irony.

7:30am I check my calendar.

7:45am Respond to five emails. Repeat this 10 times over next 12 hours.

7:55am Respond to text message. Repeat this 90 times over next 12 hours.

8:00am Spot photo opportunity. Take shot,

Continue reading Ode to My Android

Apple vs. Microsoft: A Tale of Two Stores

The Microsoft Store in University Village Shopping Center

Last Thursday, I went with a friend of mine to two stores, located directly across from each other in the University Village Shopping Center.

The first store was the Apple Store, the second was the newly-opened Microsoft Store.

You see, my friend, a non-US resident, needed to buy a contract-less iPhone, and he could not do it in the AT&T Store in Downtown Seattle. As you might imagine, they would only sell him the device with a contract and a line of service.

This being the case, we took the 15 minute journey north to the U District to procure

Continue reading Apple vs. Microsoft: A Tale of Two Stores

Google Plus Bans Seattle Rex

Seattle Rex on Google+

Seattle Rex on Google+

Today, I was notified that I will be unceremoniously banned from Google+. My page will exist until September 9th, and I will be able to make further posts, but in three days, all of my data will be deleted and I will be locked out.

Why?

Was it because I posted a profanity-laden diatribe about some petty injustice?

Surprisingly, no.

Was it because I posted a photograph of my massive schlong, causing widespread panic and a run on Viagra?

Not this time.

Was it because I uploaded a pirated copy of the latest mass-produced, auto-tuned

Continue reading Google Plus Bans Seattle Rex

The Seattle News App Shootout

Screenshot of Video on Q13 FOX Mobile App

Since I am going to be away from my main computer this week, I decided to download all of the local Seattle news apps onto my Galaxy Tablet this morning.

I grabbed King 5, Komo News, Kiro 7, Q13 Fox, and the Seattle Times — then I went about testing each app to see which would take the coveted upper-left-corner position on my news page.

King 5’s app is nice, and has a great deal of features, but it only uses a fraction of the tablet screen. This is not a deal-breaker, but if I wanted to look at a

Continue reading The Seattle News App Shootout

Amazon App Store Fail

Rex's EVO

Rex's EVO

As you may or may not know, I am an Android geek of magnanimous proportions. I would go so far as to call myself an unabashed fanboy.

This is somewhat ironic given that I HATED Google before the development of Android.

What can I tell you, they won me over.

Competition, the Linux core, the developer program, Google’s Android Market, programming freedom, Java (which I have finally warmed up to somewhat), the fact that it’s not an infantalized walled-garden … the Android platform is just my thing. Perhaps the only thing tech to excite me

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Aurally Raped by the Seattle P.I.

Ad on Seattle P.I. Website

When I like a website, I am that site’s best friend. I read it religiously, pass on links, and most importantly … I click ads, lots of ads.

When I need to buy something online, if at all possible, I try to click an ad on a quality site so that the site may get a cut.

I’m aware of the economic realities of web publishing, and believe it or not, I’m an all-around good, empathetic guy.

These days, however, my patience is being tried as more and more of my favorite corporate sites are alienating me.

The Seattle

Continue reading Aurally Raped by the Seattle P.I.

Trouble in Paradise?

Ruh-roh!

Computerworld Article

“Music streaming service Rhapsody today blasted Apple’s decision to take a 30% cut of all in-app subscription and content revenues, saying that the move makes its iPhone business model unsustainable.

The Seattle-based company was the first to publicly express its displeasure with Apple’s announced rules changes, which not only spelled out the 30% revenue cut, but also require content sellers to delete links to outside-app sales sites, and offer the same or lower prices for in-app purchases as they do for subscriptions or content bought elsewhere.

(snip)

In his statement yesterday, Irwin also said, “We will

Continue reading Trouble in Paradise?

iFail

Apple Store

This morning, I got up at 3:30am. At about 5am, I turned on the TV and flipped channels to find a couple local news stations doing their bi-annual corporate shill pieces for Apple. Why local news routinely gives Apple free advertising, I’ll never know … but my guess is that corporate media owns tons of AAPL stock and/or they are trying to get favorable mention on iOS devices.

Whatever. Everyone who follows tech is used to this media buttboy routine, and most of us just roll our eyes and move on.

This morning, however, I could not

Continue reading iFail

An Echo In Here

Kyocera Echo

Four weeks ago, when I heard that Sprint was staging an “event” just before Verizon’s iPhone release, I got excited. I was sure that I was finally about to get my wish — an Android Tablet running Honeycomb.

Well, the “event” has just ended (complete with a magic trick by David Blaine?!), and it turns out that I will not be getting my tablet. Instead, I now have the option to purchase a Kyocera Echo … a dual-screen Android phone.

Yes, you heard right, a dual-screen phone.

But wait, it gets better … only certain apps can

Continue reading An Echo In Here

Linux, Apple, and the Lurid Allure of Consumerism

Well, I did it my way.

After years of shaking my fist at the spinning beachballs and $30 service packs, I made a change. I switched to Linux this weekend, and now I know exactly how Frank Sinatra felt when he switched to Linux. He wanted to sing, but I’ll stick to writing.

Rex's Linux Wallpaper

I am 48 hours post-install of Ubuntu on my iMac, and I already weep that I did not do this sooner. The experience is like night and day and I was foolish for waiting so long.

It’s not all gravy, of course.

Continue reading Linux, Apple, and the Lurid Allure of Consumerism

The Death of OS X

My MacBook in Seattle

Okay, so OS X isn’t going anywhere, but it’s dead to me.

I have made a decision, and that decision is … no more Apple computers.

Mind you, this was not an easy decision. Currently, I have 3 Macs (1 iMac and 2 MacBook Pros), and I have devoted a lot of time and energy to the platform.

My MacBook in Seattle

Yesterday, however, I realized that a change needed to be made. For the last two or three years, Apple has put their computer operating systems on the backburner while they focused on iOS, and this lack of

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