OH. MY. LORD. — Windows Phone 8.1


If you are a person fortunate enough to have a developer unlocked WP8 device you can get the update NOW.

And let me say that this is probably the best thing since sliced bread. SERIOUSLY.

If you’re not a Windows Phone user now is a great time to try one if you have a friend described at the top of this post. 😊

Oh, one more thing: If you’re updating a Lumia 1520 you’ll want to make sure that you plug in using your charging block. Until I did all I got was that “low power!” warning icon. It may also work if you plug into your computer, but I wasn’t in a position to try that.

Android really ISN’T your friend

It is simply amazing to me that people don’t pay more attention. Case in point, I wonder how many of the devout (yes, that is the word) Android (and in the first case iOS) users know about the following two articles that I saw today…

How Fandango and Credit Karma exposed millions of smartphone users’ data

Apps with millions of Google Play downloads covertly mine cryptocurrency

The first is a clear example of an utterly-reputation-damaging-yet-probably-survivable breach of trust that we’ve seen in the media recently (Target anyone?). Even though the situation and circumstances are different the outcome is the same: they blew it when it came to relatively easy security practices and it’s up to the consumer to make them pay for it.

The second is much more malicious in that someone is willing to most certainly shorten the life of your smartphone to make themselves richer. The onus of this one is on the greed of the app author… but the blame is needs to be shared with Google and anyone else who provided the app because of their very-much flawed application certification processes. Although comfortably couched in legalese and corporate rhetoric in their TOS and statements to the media about those apps, at the end of the day they pulled apps that should’ve never been published in the first place.

And let’s not forget this little ditty where Google tries to say that Android is “more secure because it’s open”… if that isn’t round-robin logic I don’t know what is.

Logic Fail #1: Google assumes “people” will review and contribute fixes to the OS. Hmm…. that’s like assuming your neighbors will willingly mow your lawn for you while you’re sitting by the pool drinking lemonade and working on your tan.

Logic Fail #2: Google says that hackers will go where most people are. Hmm… No, it’s been my experience that hackers go where the low-hanging fruit is. I’m not talking about the hacking elite that are trying to change the world; I seriously doubt they even care about this stuff. I’m talking about the script-kiddies and malware cartels that are intent on using you to make them money.

Logic Fail #3: Google says their app certification process is state of the art and that every submitted app is checked for malware. Really? Then how did the two Google summarily pulled from the Play Store get there in the first place. And let’s not forget that this ISN’T the first time Google has been to this particular dance… (http://www.bing.com/search?q=google+pulls+malware+apps)

Anyway, I think I’ve ranted long enough.

Please pay more attention to what is real and not the bull the marketers push on you.

Vote with your wallets, people.

This is why “authentic” outlets shouldn’t push blogger content as “News”.

See that last character in the title? That’s a period. “Polka Dot”, as my mother would say.
In his October 28, 2008 article titled “Blu-ray is dead – heckuva job, Sony!“, Robin Harris (no, not the late, great comedian) declares that “12 months from now Blu-ray will be a videophile niche, not a mass market product.” Hmm… well, today is January 6, 2014 and Blu-ray is “still going”. Fairly strong, in fact.
No, I’m not a videophile and I can EASILY tell the difference between a DVD and a Blu-ray with my naked eye even on under 20-inch displays. The difference is anything but marginal, and it only gets worse to disgusting on larger displays (meaning anything 32-inches and above). The DVD for The Matrix (one of my 3 favorite movies of all time) looks absolutely horrendous on my low-budget 40-inch Insignia TV. Which I bought in 2010. And it’s not because the TV is “old”. Any Blu-ray in the same player on the same TV shows pristine and clear. DVD, on the other hand? If I could afford it I would replace ALL my DVDs with Blu-rays, TODAY. Seriously. And I wasn’t a Blu-ray fan, either. In fact, the switch was a distinct pain-in-the-arse because at the time my Xbox didn’t and wouldn’t ever play Blu-rays… which meant that I had to buy yet ANOTHER player.
Anyway, my point is that this guy clearly got it wrong; very wrong. Even if now there’s talk of another standard coming out in 2015 that’s supposed to push the typical storage on a single disc to 300 GB, Blu-ray has served its purpose and then some. It did all this a full 4 years or so after the predicted demise. ZDNet published this crap for the simple purpose of getting clicks, not because it was based on solid research or fact. The number quoted in this article was 4% market share of physical media sales. That is a pretty dismal number… but don’t forget that back then it was still competing with the death throws if HD-DVD and the then reigning champion, DVD. However, if I remember correctly, DVD had a similarly slow uptake versus VHS. And we all know how long VHS stayed around after its supposed “death”.
Quick Poll: It’s 2014, yet how many VHS tapes are still in your house? EXACTLY.
You can find the full article (or, complete miss as I like to call it) here: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/storage/blu-ray-is-dead-heckuva-job-sony/365.
And I’m also calling BS on ZDNet.com for keeping this dated and completely incorrect article around and in the “Facebook Activity” list for The mobile web is dead, long live the app, which is the article I really went there to read. You can see this in the attached screenshot.

I can’t stand #PaidTrolls.

Surface 2 design changes make it more difficult to crack open and repair

This is the kind of crap that I don’t understand…

To all you tech pundits, so-called tech journalists, bloggers and others that think they know what they’re talking about: LET ME SAY IT PLAINLY — the Surface RT and the Surface 2 were *NOT DESIGNED* to be opened, upgraded or repaired by mere mortals. In fact, normal people CAN’T upgrade any variant of the Surface: most of its components are permanently soldered or glued into place. This is squarely in the realm of the MacGyvers of the world.

And let’s keep it real: just how many people open up an iOS or AndroidOS tablet to “fix” or “upgrade” it? That number is incredibly and vanishingly small in the scheme of things. And those who really, really, really want to void their warranty are certainly more than welcome to open theirs up…

… but why the heck would you mess with that anyway when you can simply walk into a Microsoft Store (or kiosk) and say, “This is broken”? Their response (after verifying that it’s broken) is, “OK! Here you go!” and hand you a BRAND NEW device! I know this is true because I did just that with my first-run Gen 1 Surface Pro… and I didn’t even buy it directly from Microsoft; I got mine from Best Buy. Now of course that doesn’t cover normal wear and tear. Also, if you crack the screen because you put it in a vise or slam it in a car door that is your bad. But if you’ve got faulty hardware, you’re covered.

And if I’m not mistaken a normal person can’t convert a 32GB iPad into a 64GB model, correct? Again, a MacGyver would be needed.

Back to the point of this rant… these libelous “investigative pieces” that report only a quarter of the truth are really, really stupid. Instead of creating garbage to “report on” regarding hardware that’s simply well put together and incredibly functional, how about you guys check your facts and tell the whole story?



Galaxy Gear might as well be called Galaxy Nova

My private take on this: “Sammy, you shouldn’t have expected ‘pretty’ to overcome single OS & device, not-yet-ready packaging and ridiculously expensive price.”

My public take on this: “Feature-rich ubiquity will ALWAYS reign supreme. Your offering was too little, too early, at too high a price.”

I do entirely expect the form factor to take off, and that very soon. However, Samsung has *proved*, with this its at least SECOND failing at a smart watch offering, that it needs to let someone else figure out how to make it work and improve upon that.

Full Article: Galaxy Gear has a staggeringly high return rate

Posted from WordPress for Windows Phone

Excellent Articles: The Secret to Staying Sought-After

I don’t recall where I saw this first… I think it was from a LinkedIn email… but the point is that it is a great article that plainly states concepts that a lot of professionals seem to forget or ignore. I’ve only made it to page 2 and I’ve already decided to put it on my “completely consume and absorb the first chance you get” list.


A fix for the mysterious installation dialog when debugging an Outlook 2010 Add-In with Visual Studio 2010

Visual Studio is the greatest programming IDE ever. Even when it’s frustrating it’s still the best thing around. However, you wouldn’t believe how it can act funny until it happens to you.

Today’s saga was when I finally got my Windows 8 environment capable of front-line development work for both Office 2010 and Windows Azure projects. I fired up the debugger and WHAM! I saw a “Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate ENU Installer” dialog that had no business being there, especially since the original installation went off without a hitch. It would spin for about 2 to 5 minutes before finally disappearing and allowing Outlook to run. Of course that was a frustrating nuisance but I realized it was getting to be a problem (after I did the math and saw that I’d about an hour today waiting after hitting F5).

Of course, searching for a solution on both Bing and Google was fruitless until I hit on this little gem: http://channel9.msdn.com/Forums/TechOff/527958-Every-single-time-I-boot-my-PC-I-get-a-VS-2010-RC-setup-dialog . It wasn’t actually my problem but it put me on the right train of thought. The key was that all their experiences had a complete file path for the missing piece that the original installation failed to provide. Mine didn’t; all I saw in my event logs was the drive letter “e:\”. I realized that it was looking for the drive assigned to the external USB drive I used to install the application… so when I plugged that drive back in and hit F5 everything worked (like it was supposed to!).

Good Times are here again.  ;)

Happy Coding!