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I think I want an iPhone 6, but my 'Nexonaxy' envy is stronger than ever

The Writer

I genuinely enjoy using iPhone hardware and iOS, and Apple's phones have been my phone of choice since iPhone 3G. However, I have never been more open to purchasing an Android phone. This is due in large part to: how I use my phone today, the availability of very good Android hardware that may better fit my usage style, and how good Android OS has become. With this in mind, I've been thinking about a few non-negotiables, that if absent from the next iPhone(s), would push me toward an Android phone. 

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Really Microsoft? "Facebook [!?] to acquire Oculus Rift"

The Writer

Are you as surprised as I am that we didn't see a headline earlier this week stating that Microsoft was to acquire Oculus Rift VR company? Sony's Project Morpheus announced earlier this month, looks great. Microsoft will need to compete and have been working on an unannounced VR headset all their own. However, It would've seemed that Microsoft could have hit back doubly hard by acquiring the tried and true Oculus and their IP. 

I could have even seen licensing deal since VR headsets seem to be a cross between your display screen and controller. Both those things are often sold by third parties and licensed all the time. Additionally, Oculous being already built for PCs seemingly would need to go to no great lengths to work with Xbox One.  

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Cola and Net Neutrality

The Writer

Nilay Patel recently wrote an article for theverge.com about Net Neutrality. Its a great rant, even if the title may alienate some. I will not repeat points about the impending and systematic killing of the Internet as we know it, for profit. It is enough that you understand that Comcast, Verizon and the like are Cola X and that Netflix and everything you love is Cola Y. Click the 'read more' tab below and watch the video to decipher the preceding gibberish.

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iOS 7: A Brief Visual Gripe

The Writer

Below are a few reasons why I can't love iOS 7. It's a good operating system and I want to love the OS, as discussed in 'Why I Prefer Mavericks as an upgrade to iOS 7'. However, there is this looming feeling during use that Apple went too far or didn't go far enough. After several months of using iOS 7 I finally understand what irks me the most about the OS: iOS 7 is a bit of a digital oxymoron. It manages to be polished yet unpolished, a little too gaudy yet a little too simplistic, very systematic in instances and not not at all systematic in other instances. 

What do I mean? Below is a brief visual guide of a few of my gripes.

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3 Amazing Things About Submarines

The Writer

Submarines or submersible watercrafts have been a long time in the making.

Just how long? (answer)

 

As weight is distributed throughout a submarine its position in the water is affected. For example, a submariner called a Trimming Officer must calculate the likely effect of all the stores, fuel and armament, which have been taken on.

How do submarines retain their position? (answer)

 

The first nuclear powered submarine, USS Nautilus (SSN 571) made its debut some 85 years after Verne's fictional Nautilus. Verne wrote about his vessel: “le pouvoir dynamique de mes machines est à peu près infini" or "“the dynamic power of my engines is nearly infinite."

Was Verne's prediction correct? (answer)

 

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The Buckeye Stops Here: Tesla Motors' Battle With Ohio Auto Dealers Association

The Writer

One more win for Tesla Motors against yet another Auto Dealer Association:

"Yesterday, a House committee declined to take up a one-paragraph amendment pushed by the Ohio Auto Dealers Association that would have blocked Tesla’s business model by prohibiting an automaker from owning an auto dealership. Dealers wanted to stick the amendment into a noncontroversial bill that would require drivers to move over when approaching a road-maintenance vehicle. But with Tesla representatives pushing hard, the committee passed the bill yesterday without amendments." (Columbus Dispatch)

It is understandable for automotive dealerships to be extremely fearful that their industry may one day be rendered obsolete by Tesla’s sales model. It is also understandable that auto-dealerships would like to get their hands on some of the money passing from consumers to Tesla. The question is whether auto-dealerships are entitled to remain in business or share in Tesla’s profits.

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Not So Instant Karma: Fisker Files For Bankruptcy

The Writer

Fisker Automotive has officially filed for bankruptcy. It’s difficult to think of Fisker's demise without also thinking of Tesla Motors' success. Aside from issues with the vision and execution of Karma’s powertrain, and the impossible to recover from Consumer Reports debacle, Katie Fehrenbacher’s February 2012 “3 key differences between Tesla and Fisker” write up was spot on. Fisker likely went bankrupt because of the major differences she outlined in her piece almost 2 years ago:

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A Coin In My Murse

The Writer

What man doesn’t live in fear of the dreaded Costanza wallet and the inevitable fallout from such monstrosity?  I’m guessing not many, since entire companies have been created based on this fear and embarrassment. Dramatics aside, Coin seems amazing even if you do not care about a large unsightly wallet. It is brilliant in its innovation and execution alone. Excited about the brilliance that is Coin, I rushed to share the news with one of my closest female friends. Yes… the very young lady who jumped atop my Tom Bihn BrainBag with Macbook Pro inside. Needless to say, I was met with some pushback.

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"The Most Challenging Job in Tech": John Chen's Blackberry Handset Plan Must Include Android

The Writer

I tease my uncle every time he brandishes his Z-10. Blackberry’s hardware is great (save the Storm click screen), but their ecosystem has been dying a slow painful death for quite a while. It goes without saying that all of Blackberry has more than a-foot-in-the-grave. It’s doubtful that Apple or someone else won’t run them out of town in enterprise eventually. They need the consumer market. 

So, I wonder if new CEO John Chen has a primary plan for saving Blackberry’s hobbled handset business other than selling consumer handsets running Android. If he does, I wonder what that plan is. If he does, I wonder how much this 'other plan' is worth. If he doesn’t, I wonder how much the insight and fortitude to sell consumer handsets running Android is worth. I shouldn't think it too expensive considering the abundance of logic in favor of such a maneuver... oh wait.

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ONE is greater than 4: Getting an XBOX One instead of a Playstation 4

The Writer

Let's set out some ground rules right up front. First, if you plan on purchasing a Xbox One or a PS4 because of a game title exclusive to either system, you may not be able to relate or you may feel differently. Having only purchased Nintendo game consoles for Zelda, this is understandable.

Second, if you are purchasing either system purely for some core spec, this will not apply to you. Gotta have the fastest ram despite the ability to discern real world performance gain? Having used a HP 48G graphing calculator as opposed to a TI-86 (until my statistical-design-undoing), this is also understandable... 

Those things aside, the Xbox One is the the system to buy; it seems like the next-gen system between the two. 

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Why I Prefer Mavericks to iOS 7 As An Upgrade

The Writer

Undoubtedly, both of Apple's latest and greatest operating systems have their positives and negatives. Mavericks seems like more of the same; iOS 7 is new and shiny. As most reviewers have pointed out, you would be hard pressed to find differences between Mavericks and Mountain Lion at-a-glance. In fact, after installation Mavericks left me asking what the hell my Mac had been doing for the past couple hours. There was simply no shock and awe visually speaking, or any real feeling of anything new or substantially new.

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Touch ID in the MacBook Pro: Passwords are passive “gatekeepers”, Touch ID can be an active “bouncer”

The Writer

Though still being vetted by the public at large, Apple's Touch ID identity sensor seems to be a success based on early impressions. Most prominent reviewers have high praise for the biometrics tech included in the new iPhone 5s, after powerful initial skepticism[i]. Naturally, with such a successful launch and presumed security benefits comes speculation as to what other Apple products will get Touch ID next.

For starters, there is a lot of talk that Touch ID will be included in the iPad 5 expected to be announcement this Tuesday. Of course, inclusion in the iPad 5 is a no brainer. So it is with the iPad mini and Apple's forthcoming non-premium phone models from here on out, if not this Tuesday. This year Touch ID is a premium feature, but there will be no good argument for not securing ultra portable devices in the near future. Further, screen size will likely be the next premium feature or model separator for the next batch of iPhones released. Thus, Touch ID will be free to spread its wings. Add the fact that Apple's margins will increase with the proliferation of Touch ID, and we can bank on its inclusion in lower tier ultra portables. We can of course expect Touch ID to work in exactly the same way on the aforementioned devices, as it does now on the iPhone 5s. Thus, Touch ID will be far more interesting on the MacBook Pro than it will be on these devices, at least in its functionality. 

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Tesla Model S Battle Raps: Awaiting Tesla's response as to whether the Model S is the safest car ever tested by the NHTSA

The Writer

Tesla recently claimed that the Model S is the safest car ever tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) receiving a score of 5.4. Tesla further claimed the Model S broke the testing machine that tested its roof strength. Tesla says that what this means is that you can place 5 Model S’ on top of another without the roof caving in. Since Tesla’s claims, the NHTSA has released a statement explaining that they do not give a ratings of higher than 5 and that they do not have any record of the testing equipment breaking. This of course lead to talk that Tesla has lied about the safety of its cars, or at least exaggerated. However the NHTSA statements do not necessarily contradict Tesla’s claims.

First, because the NHTSA does not ‘ultimately’ bestow a score higher than 5, does not mean that a vehicle's raw score could not be higher than 5.

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2013 iPhone (5S / 5C)

The Writer

It looks as if there will be an iPhone announcement on September 10th this year. So far it seems all but certain that a fingerprint scanner will be built into the home-button of the next iPhone, at least the premium model. This has fostered a lot of talk about a convex home button, so designed to house a biometrics sensor. However, a convex home button seems wrong. It just doesn't seem to go with the aesthetic of the iPhone. Perhaps if it was flat, or just barely convex to the point where it is not discernible I could understand. Otherwise, I would think Jony Ive would not build in the equivalent of an obvious "outie" belly button into the iPhone for any reason. No offense to all the beautiful people with "outie" belly buttons.

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3-D Printers: Intellectual Property Will Be All That Matters

The Writer

Three Dimensional printers or 3-D printers, are just like the printers we all know and love, except instead of printing an image of a thing, it prints the thing itself. That, and they may look a tad different from your desk jet. 3-D printers can print products almost without regard to geometrical limitations, through subtraction and or fusing methodologies, providing a designer or inventor incredible flexibility, freedom, and speed in sketching an item having said item in hand. Excitingly, while 3-D printers have been around for quite a while, they have become increasingly affordable, efficient, and accurate. 

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Moto X: 2 Cents

The Writer

Lots of speculation going on about the Moto X, and no doubt you have seen the picture  of the excited couple leaping to their doom with nary a lifeguard in sight. There are rumors of minor exterior hardware customization, which is likely since this is fairly easy, having little to no impact on manufacturing processes. Additionally, the phone will be assembled in the USA making the time from consumer order, until the Moto X is in hand short, and thus feasible. 

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The New Mac Pro: Expandability Outside The Box

The Writer

Since when has the sole criterion for measuring expandability been how much crap one can shoehorn into an aluminum quadrate?  The new Mac Pro was previewed at this years WWDC. It looks amazing, carrying an all new simple stunning form factor. There's been a lot of talk that it looks like the Death Star. That's incomplete. It's much more like the Death Star and the Obelisk from '2001: A Space Odyssey' had a baby, a beautiful alien baby, come to kill us all. Additionally, the new machine sports seemingly quiet, innovative effective cooling, it's available in beastly configurations at the outset, the ports even light up on rotation, and of course it has a bunch of Thunderbolt 2 ports. 

So what's there for people not to like (the vast majority of whom will never buy a Mac Pro)? Well, in a word so called "expandability."

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E3: The Only Specs That Matter

The Writer

With E3 days away, no... hours away, I thought it would be important to cut through the fat and post some key specs for the Playstation 4, Xbox One and the Wii U. Below you will find a quick comparison chart of the only specs that matter when considering what game system will deflate your wallet this holiday season.  I know who will be shutting up and taking my money.

Wii U comparison.jpg

Honda Designers Have Been Years Behind Themselves and Modders

The Writer

I've owned three vehicles, of which my 94 Honda Accord Coupe was the first. As such it has special meaning and I may be somewhat biased. Notwithstanding my bias, I believe reasonable persons would agree that this model is one of the best designed Honda Accord Coupes to date. It carried subdued lines that were simple and timeless.

Even now, seeing a 1994 Coupe next to a 1999 Coupe, one would be all but certain that the '99 Accord is the older model. I would argue that it has continued this way, with the 1994 remaining much more of a timeless design than Accord models from 1999 to 2007.  Keep in mind here that I am only referring to the Honda Accord Coupe and not the sedan, which carried on its fugliness through 2012. Those years were a kind of dark ages for the Accord, where at least styling wise, customers essentially bought an old american car, but not classic-good-looking-1969-old.

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The Nintendo Pii U

The Writer

A few days ago, I clicked over to ign.com to settle into a nice rumor binge about the Xbox 720, or infinity, or whatever the Xbox 360 successor will be called. Those plans were quickly derailed as I noticed a headline that read 'EA Senior Engineer: Wii U is crap’. How do I not click that?

That link lead to the most fantastic series of tweets from an EA senior engineer, Bob Summerwill, tearing the Wii-U and Nintendo a new one. Just then I remembered something: somewhere in my house there was a Wii-U. It had been there for quite a while. My cousin had left it in my care for safe keeping and enjoyment while he set sail on his summer-sea-term. I also remembered that he had returned my 'Zelda: Skyward Sword', which I purchased for the Wii, but never played for more than an hour.

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