Friday, September 10, 2010

Wired Magazine: Really? The Web Is Dead?

The Web Is Dead.

Or so says and article in Wired Magazine: The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet

They include a fancy graph at the top of the article as proof of the authors statements.
However, that graph seems to be misleading if I'm interpreting it correctly. Lets take a look.

Sources: Wired Magazine per Cisco estimates based on CAIDA publications, Andrew Odlyzko

Notice that DNS and Web are down relative to video and peer-to-peer however we know that they are not down; DNS alone still happens every time your computer needs to translate a name to a number and it happens a lot more in your computer and on more devices than it ever has... it's just a very small amount of data. If the values are a proportion of traffic, then even if Web (http) usage was increasing, the volume of a movie or p2p file transfer (also most likely a movie) would dilute the figures so that it looked like "the web" was dead as the author claimed.

In fact all this is really showing is that the proportion of data attributed to video is rising, which we know to be true as more and more people get their content via streams (Netflix, iTunes, Youtube, etc). It shows that more data is video, and possibly the web has become more efficient... in no way does it actually indicate that "the web is dead".

I am very surprised that Wired would make this kind of mistake, let alone that others pass it along without actually understanding what they are looking at.

It's one of those inaccurate mumbo jumo articles that can actually define the attitudes that make it come to pass, although I very much doubt that it will in the next 15 years at least.
It actually unfortunate that the authors (Chris Anderson and Michael Wolff) made this mistake, because even though they did have some interesting things to say, they caused themselves to be taken les seriously using that data as a basis of their article.

It really makes you wonder how many people are going to read that article and not actually look at the graph.
I can see it now; I'll be talking to some customer and he/she will tell me "The Web Is Dead"... at which point I'll likely apply palm to face.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

iPod Nano: new version is missing the features I want!

Apple has just updated the iPod Nano line.

The trouble is that they have taken out the video camera.

Now I don't need an iPod, I have a phone that plays music just fine and gives me a whole lot of other features as well, however I would like to get an iPods for my kids.

To the kids, the music is important, but to me the camera is important. I want the video camera, because it give a passive device and active feature.

When you think of what sort of gadgetry you want your kids to have, a camera should be right up there with anything else, what better way to give them a tool so they can start building their own life record early on? What better way to encourage them to go outside and see what they can see?

Since apple has changed the line and removed the camera from the Nano, I've looked around and managed to find a few left in a local Apple retailer. I'll be buying the old iPod Nano instead of the new one this week, while I can still get them, even though I had not planned to give them to the kids for another year.

Now I can't believe I'm the only one disappointed that the camera is gone... so I have to wonder once again is Apple actually listening to their customers?
If I wanted an iPod that small, I could have purchased an iPod Shuffle instead... the new Nano is just a tad larger than the Shuffle... it's not the size I want, it's the features and removing a feature like the camera was a silly move.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Upgrading Nexus One from Android 2.1 to Android 2.2

Well it turns out that I had version 2.1 update 1 installed (build id ERE27) and my Nexus One would not update to Froyo (build id FRFxx).

So, I had to find out how to do it manually.

I used this article to run the update:

  • Be patient; Ready Everything!
  • This will update you from ERE27 to FRF50. You can use the same instructions to get to FRF83. (download FRF50 to FRF83 update here).
  • after step 8, you will see a box with an arrow coming out of it and a little droid. It takes a while, but don't panic. the phone is installing the update.
  • The phone will do a few restarts on its own. Let them run.
Q&A For Fido Users
  • Yes, the tethering option is available.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

iPhone Keyboard Emulator

This page will no longer be updated.


The iPhone Keyboard Emulator is an "Input Method" that runs on Android 2.1 OS phones and is mainly for iPhone users that have switched from using an iPhone to an Android based phone.

If you don't already have it installed, you can use this site to help find it in the Market: iPhone Keyboard Emulator


Don't expect an icon to show up on the home screen;
this is an Input Method and is essentially a modification to the system that allows you to change how it works (one of the great wins of Android).

Here are some quick instructions on enabling it:
  1. Go to Settings -> Language & keyboard
  2. You should see "iPhone Keyboard" listed about half way down.
  3. Enable the new input method by selecting it (check the checkbox) you should get a warning that I could have logged your keys presses etc. If you don't trust me now, uninstall it and stop wasting your time reading this.
  4. You can now exit Settings.
  5. Select any application you like that you can enter text into.
  6. Make a long-click on the text input (press and hold your finder on the text box).
  7. You should get a popup list within a few seconds and one of the options should be "Input Method". Select it.
  8. You should see the iPhone Keyboard in the list of input methods. Select the iPhone Keyboard option.
  9. Your keyboard will now change.
Note that you can change it any time you like, but the selection will be sticky (it stays selected) and going back to the original Android Keyboard is as simple as doing steps 6 through 9 again.

For more detail on input methods, see: Change Your Android Soft Keyboard System

Version History

Version 1.0.05 EA
- Reworked keyboard. (Keyboard changes in 1.0.04 were not helpful)

Version 1.0.04 EA
- Fixed apostrophe deleting previous char.
- Added double-space = period+space
- improved key spacing & layout
- Fixed shift key preview (was popping up blank)

Version 1.0.03 EA
- Fixed can't select / or : on N1

Version 1.0.02 EA
- fixed layout on shift-symbol keyboard.

Version 1.0.01 EA
- fixed button images
- improved layout

Version 1.0.00 EA
- Initial release

Upcoming Features

I actually do pay attention to the comments attached to the app in the Android Market. This is a list of features I see people asking for (in no particular order, you'l get them when I get to them).
  • (***DONE) Improved key spacing
  • Auto-complete
  • (***DONE) Space bar double-tap for a period+space.
  • Improvement to the key colours (iPhone uses two tones of grey)
  • Landscape mode
There have been a few comments about how it's "exactly like the android native keyboard" which is simply not true. I can only imagine that nobody bothered to hit the number screen, where most of the changes are... so to those people; get a clue.

For those that can't get it to work: so far most of the comments to that effect are because someone didn't actually bother to read the instructions above. To those people; I'm sorry your having trouble, but please RTFM.

Known Issues
  • The key colours are not the same as the iPhone.

Q: What version of Android does this work on?
A: It should work on any Android 2.1 OS that uses a virtual keyboard. It was specifically written for the Nexus One but I have reports that it also works on Motorola Droid (although I don't now why you'd need it on one).

Q: Does it collect my data as the warning suggests it could?
A: No. I'm not interested in your data. I wrote this for myself and I already know my own data.


Having used an iPhone for a few years now, I am finding the Android keyboard a bit difficult to use. I think the iPhone layout is much better both in allowing my big finders to hit the tiny keys and in its visual design. I hate how the android keyboard switches from lower case to upper case letters all the time and my fingers are used to finding certain keys in certain places.

To deal with the problem for myself, I created a new "Input Method" that emulates the iPhone layout. The app is designed to run on my Nexus One with Android OS 2.1 but should work on any 2.1 Android phone.

It's working great for me, and I hope you find it useful as well.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Getting the Nexus One working on Fido (Canada)

Since the Nexus One is an unlocked phone and you can buy it without having to sign your life away, you will have to do a little bit of configuration yourself. It took me a little while to sort out what little conflicting information I could find in order to get all the bits in place.

As far as I can tell, the phone works perfectly on the Fido network at 3G speeds (I saw a lot of people saying it would not and would only work on EDGE).

Here are the steps you need to take to get the phone working on Fido's network.

Basic Phone & Voice Setup
  1. The Phone will want to configure when you first turn it on (You need a gmail account or a Google Apps account for this). Leave the SIM card out until the initial configuration is done. You can do it with the SIM in, but it's better to use a WiFi access point instead.
  2. Once done and booted for the first time, shut the phone down again (press and hold the button on the top left). Once the phone is off, insert your SIM (give attention to the orientation of the SIM card, it's labeled in the slot). Press the same button to power up the phone again.
  3. You should now have a working cell phone. you can make and receive calls with it etc. however the data portion will not yet be working. Make a test call if you can to check that the SIM is correctly installed.
Get the Data Setup
At this point the phone is working but you have no data. It will work fine on a Wifi connection (which you have already created) but as soon as you leave the house and the wifi goes out of range, you will lose the data access. All is not lost, there are just a couple of settings to add.

  1. On the phone, go to: Settings -> Wireless & Networks -> Mobile Networks
  2. Click on "Access Point Names" (it will be an empty screen).
  3. Click the menu button (centre left) and select "New APN".
You need to do that twice as there are two APNs to add as follows:

This is the one that will show the 3G icon in the notification bar.
Name: FidoINT
Username: fido
Password: fido
APN Type: default
leave the rest of the fields blank

This one will enable MMS from the phone.
Name: FidoMMS
MMS Proxy:
APN Type: mms
leave the rest of the fields blank

You should now have proper 3G data access and MMS working.

Update 1: It appears that MMS is not working. I'll see if I can sort out why and post it here.

Update 2: A commentator below (Milo) added the following to our knowledge base:
"To all those of you who are not getting 3g speeds and only edge:

I called Nexus One support about the issue, and I figured out why it is that I too am only getting edge. There are 2 versions of the Nexus One. The AT&T version and the world version. The most recent one which became available for sale in Canada will allow for 3g on all networks around the world, however if you purchased your nexus one from the states or a third party site prior to its release in Canada then you're as boned as I am. The newer Nexus One is identical except for the fact it works in wider cellular range for data. Now this doesn't mean the phone is completely useless for 3g. For example I just got back from Europe using an Orange sim and had 3g. Sadly I don't believe any provider in Canada at the moment works on the same frequency as the older Nexus One."

Nexus One - First Impressions

I've been an iPhone user for about 2 years now, but I ordered a Nexus One the same day they became availible in Canada.

Here are my first impressions.

- The packaging is as slick as an iPhone.
- The phone is a millimetere or two thinner than the iPhone, but overall its almost exactly the same size and it is going to fix in most of my iPhone holsters etc.
- It comes with a 4 gig microSD card already in the phone.
- Starts up with an animation as an indicator.
- The screen is much brighter than my iPhone. and faster.
- The onscreen keyboard is very similar to the iPhone, so I'm not having much trouble with it. It doesn't come withteh keyboardsound feedback enabled however which I'm missing right away. I may be able to turn it on once i get things going. (update: indeed you can turn on the click sounds).
- Battery status shows you what applications/features are taking up the most battery power... very handy.

I'll have to explore more, but I'll post anything else I find that is particularly cool or different.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Disillusioned with the iPhone

I have to admit that I've been an iPhone user for almost two years.
I love the interface, as it mostly works and in my opinion is much better than just about anything else currently available; including BlackBerry and Android phones.

The reason it's better has to do with the design of the user interface and the way it's controlled (android does pretty well, but is stuck a bit too much in older design concepts).

However I'm becoming more and more disgusted with Apple's goal of completely controlling the phone and all the content it gets. The recent move to kill iPhone apps that are competitive or are some how morally objectionable to someone at Apple (such as the recent decision to remove wifi finders from the app store), along with Apple's tendency to lock down anything they do in recent years is concerning me on a usability and moral level.

It only a matter of time before my disgust with Apple outweighs my desire to use the best device and I choose something else.

The question becomes what else there is. Android comes closest at the moment, but I'm not complete satisfied with that one ether.

Note: This image is not mine, and I don't know where it came from. If you know, let me know and I'll attribute it properly.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

They are fighting for Your Future!

I found a good article, Tinkerer’s Sunset written by Mark Pilgrim.

Once upon a time, Apple made the machines that made me who I am. I became who I am by tinkering. Now it seems they’re doing everything in their power to stop my kids from finding that sense of wonder. Apple has declared war on the tinkerers of the world. With every software update, the previous generation of “jailbreaks” stop working, and people have to find new ways to break into their own computers

What struck me is that what he's saying is so obvious that I have trouble understanding why most people don't know what all the fuss is about. He says it well however, so I encourage you to read his article and actually think about the consequences.

Wake up people! There is a war going on that will significantly impact your future and the future of your children.