Podcast - This Is Only a Test

Episode 145 – Missing Mail -11/1/2012

On this week’s episode, Will walks out, Norm speaks directly to camera, and Gary is a giant douche. All that, plus the latest on Windows Phone 8, more Surface thoughts, the new Google Nexus tablet and phone, Star Wars going to Disney, and the most meta Would You Rather ever. Enjoy!

Comments (17)

17 thoughts on “Episode 145 – Missing Mail -11/1/2012

  1. Holy shit, this Windows/Microsoft/Surface discussion, I’m laughing my ass off. =p This is an instant classic, I need to rewatch when the video comes, because I want to actually *see* the steam rising from Will’s head.

    Edit: yes, mondays just got a lot better =)

  2. I actually had to open up Vi so I could keep track of my comment bullet points:

    • Agreeing with Gary on Windows Phone is deeply troubling and threatens to shake me to my very core.
    • I don’t see myself as tribal since my refusal to purchase Apple products comes from their caustic corporate practices. Same reason I wrote off Microsoft for most of the 90s and early 00s. iOS isn’t my favourite OS by a long shot but I don’t begrudge people who prefer it.
    • *head + desk* over LTE being a near deal breaker. Whatever the opinion is the fact that the phone is $350 OUTRIGHT that makes it a non-issue. I’m surprised more fuss wasn’t make about the lack of microSD that everyone is whining about.
    • Congrats on the future fatherhood . I’m on verge of becoming one myself (within the next 24h probably) and hope you go into this more on a very special ‘No Jars Allowed’, especially how you plan on scheduling Work/Play/Personal/Babytime.
  3. Gary, if you want to live in the United States I would say that areas that are in the middle but off of the coast are the safest. Tennessee, Kentucky, Western North Carolina, Northern Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, and extending westward to California. Those areas are away from much geologic and coastal activity, are not too hot or cold, have water resources, and only occasionally have tornadoes. Somebody might prove me wrong, but as far as natural disasters go I don’t hear much about the middle areas of the country. States in the Midwest are safe from most natural disasters, but Winter is not enjoyable for many people.

    1:24:00 – Silly Norm being surprised that Apple had to show people the way of small tablets. Of course it all makes sense now that Apple has revealed the truth.

  4. Hasn’t Gary lived in the States for more than 15 years? Speaking as a Brit though, we dont get bad weather like you guys do. Yeah, it’s usually quite grey here and it rains a lot but the weather in the UK will rarely (if ever) kill you.

    Rivers busting their banks and flooding a few houses are probably as bad as it gets here. Something like a hurricane is terrifying!

  5. I meant in general, not Gary specifically. Considering the low frequency of earthquakes California is a pretty damn good place to live.

  6. Agreed, but again, I guess when you grew up in a country where the worst thing that the weather could ever do to you is ruin your carpet if you live within a quarter of a mile of a river should the banks burst then the threat of a quake, even if they only happen once in a generation, is always going to be a little bit unsettling.

    **edit**

    re- Android talk:

    • Galaxy S3 smart cover. A friend of mine has one and it annoys her because, bizarrely, there is no hole in the back for the camera lens, so when you want to take a picture then cover flaps in front of the lens and blocks it. You can keep it out of the way but its awkward.
    • Android 4.1 and 4.2 both being called Jelly Bean. It happened with 2.0 and 2.1 too, both were called Eclair.
    • Was pleased to hear Will of all people so complimentary about the Nexus 4 as his criticisms of Android often sound spiteful (to me, at least) but I am convinced that the Nexus 4 is the next phone for me. The only criticism anyone seems to throw at the Nexus 4 is the lack of LTE, and as the LTE network is so immature in the UK (it literally launched this week, only covers about 25% of the population and the carrier is absolutely gouging early adopters) I was going to wait at least a year before signing a 4G contract anyway. A two generation jump from a Nexus S, which is still completely up to date and will almost certainly be getting 4.2 will be lovely.

    **edit 2**

    Congratulations Will!

    (and thanks to Gary for giving a great outro song sample at 1:50:20 of this weeks episode…)

    **edit 3**

    Slow-mo videos: SLO MO LIT FART!

  7. I bought an SIII instead of waiting for a Nexus 4 last week, seems I made the right choice because apparently the Nexus 4 has so-so battery life and then there’s the washed out screen + lack of microSD! I have stock Jelly Bean installed with the 4.2 keyboard and it runs & looks great, look forward to this ROM getting updated to 4.2 in the next few weeks! It’s also nice having a removable battery, that saved my ass on my Nexus S a few times, not a necessity but a ‘feature’ all the same.

  8. If the Surface is a laptop not a tablet as claimed by Will what is his problem with it not having a Facebook app? Use the browser like you would on any other laptop – none of them have Facebook apps either.

  9. I believe the windows preview is still there. The default is the stupid metro app, but you can right click an image and change the default program.

  10. I’ve debated an S3 myself, but I have a few issues. I fear Samsung will abandon it when the S4 comes out, they have plenty of previous on that front. I strongly dislike Touchwiz, I am not as familiar with the newest version, I havent played with an S3 for more than ten minutes (which was yesterday morning, oddly enough) but my sister has an S2 and I really didnt like Touchwiz on that. Storage isnt really a huge problem for me, I dont listen to that much music any more, podcasts are my preference these days, but I do have some 80gb of music in the cloud on Google Music just in case. I have found the cloud storage for photos to work fine as well (unclear to me whether it is Google plus or Picasa, but whatever) so after making a hard backup on my PC I feel fine deleting older pictures & videos from my phone.

    A removable battery is nice to have, but I might have taken advantage of that once or twice in the last couple of years and if anything the spare battery I bought for my Nexus S was a waste of money because I didnt really need it. I gather that the reports of the Nexus 4 battery life being crap is/was due to a bug within the camera app which some reviewers didnt encounter at all and some found excessively drained the battery. That should be patched.

    I’ve pretty much made my mind up really, like I said earlier I can completely ignore the lack of LTE because of where I live, I have a pretty good SIM only deal with a carrier who support HSPA+ which offers me unlimited data and no throttling and this handset is a good £150 cheaper than I was expecting it to be. I’m in.

  11. I’ve debated an S3 myself, but I have a few issues. I fear Samsung will abandon it when the S4 comes out, they have plenty of previous on that front. I strongly dislike Touchwiz, I am not as familiar with the newest version, I havent played with an S3 for more than ten minutes (which was yesterday morning, oddly enough) but my sister has an S2 and I really didnt like Touchwiz on that. Storage isnt really a huge problem for me, I dont listen to that much music any more, podcasts are my preference these days, but I do have some 80gb of music in the cloud on Google Music just in case. I have found the cloud storage for photos to work fine as well (unclear to me whether it is Google plus or Picasa, but whatever) so after making a hard backup on my PC I feel fine deleting older pictures & videos from my phone.

    A removable battery is nice to have, but I might have taken advantage of that once or twice in the last couple of years and if anything the spare battery I bought for my Nexus S was a waste of money because I didnt really need it. I gather that the reports of the Nexus 4 battery life being crap is/was due to a bug within the camera app which some reviewers didnt encounter at all and some found excessively drained the battery. That should be patched.

    I’ve pretty much made my mind up really, like I said earlier I can completely ignore the lack of LTE because of where I live, I have a pretty good SIM only deal with a carrier who support HSPA+ which offers me unlimited data and no throttling and this handset is a good £150 cheaper than I was expecting it to be. I’m in.

    To be honest I’m not that bothered if Samsung abandon it, although I don’t think they will until the S5 as the S3 sold so well and I think Samsung are *trying* to shake the bad update reputation, they seem to be doing a little better nowadays. If they do abandon it then in all likelihood we’ll still be able to find custom ROMs of the latest Android versions, the S2 still has a healthy custom ROM scene after all.

    The S3 / Jelly Bean or ICS versions of TouchWiz are really watered down compared to the older ones, it’s quite good now. Still I put a modded version of stock Android 4.1.2 on it instead (I think the DPI settings are too high on TouchWiz) and that has made it even better, if you don’t like TouchWiz you can just download the Galaxy S3 Root Toolkit and that will pretty much root and flash your phone to stock Android with no real knowledge needed from you, then you have a stock Android phone. All you gotta do is download the ROM and select the zip file, the toolkit does all the heavy lifting.

    I was excited for the Nexus 4, but damn really, only 16GB? no microSD? That’s just lame. I have all my music on Googles servers too but I don’t like relying on having data, plus I have to watch my usage when I do too, which kinda sucks. I’d still recommend the Nexus 4 to a total Android newbie but even on Nexus devices (well on my S) I usually end up putting custom ROMs on because they do add some neat features and often improve performance/battery life further.

    Have you noticed that Android phones tend to output pretty low volume through the headphones jack? My Nexus S was really quiet compared to my Clip+ and old iPod, same with my S3 but luckily this ROM lets me boost it up and now it’s the best sounding music player I’ve ever had.

  12. So after hearing Will’s quite scathing screed against the Surface, which I don’t find much fault with, honestly, I’m a bit puzzled by Anand Lal Shimpi’s quite favorable review. Now there’s a dude I generally trust with honest, thorough tech reviews, but his Surface review really strikes me as odd. He seems to overlook all the genuinely negative aspects Will mentioned. Now I’m left wondering if Anand is a closeted MS fanboy (never really struck me as one), simply lacking a critical perspective these days, or worse, in the pocket of MS.

    Also, on the Nexus 4: I was pretty reflexively disappointed when it was first unveiled, mostly because of the storage issue (which really does suck) and lack of LTE (which I don’t actually care so much about). But now, after sleeping on it a bit, the shockingly low off-contract price, coupled with the performance and all the other various Nexus goodies, makes this very likely my next phone.

    Also, congrats on the li’l one, Will! I missed that on Octoberkast apparently. Wishing you all the best with that, man. Now we just have to wait for Norm to knock someone up…

  13. Wow, can we have Norm do all the tech talk instead of Will? It seems like everything out of his mouth other than the part about the Ipad Mini was inaccurate! Most egregious was the Windows Phone section for which he attended the launch event and actually has the HTC 8X?!

    Just a few points:

    • Kid’s Corner: Gary was totally right that it is parental controls because the normal user section will be PIN-locked by the user if the kid tries to get in there…
    • Jessica Alba: the reports of her using an “iPhone” right before Windows Phone event is a Samsung Focus 2!
    • OEMs have way more differentiation possible: for example, the HTC 8X and 8S have different SoCs!
    • Screen resolutions: the HTC 8X in Will’s hand is 1280×720 and the Lumia 920 is 1280×768. The mid-range phones are 800×480.
  14. Regarding skew-morphism, while it’s not perfect, it’s why I like using Swype. Requiring me to lift my fingers so I can pretend to push down on nonexistent buttons is silly on a system that can accurately map touch.

  15. Will really pissed me off on this. We managed to get a Surface here in Singapore (Don’t ask) and I’ve been using it quite a bit.

    The keyboard just works. It snaps on.

    I’ve never lost Wifi.

    Its a Tablet. Its a Tablet. The laptop/tablet thing? That’s the Surface Pro.

    No apps, sure. That’s true. That’s definitely true. But a lot of it, I find, is remedied by the RT version of IE. That browser is amazing! Best touch based browser ever.

    Skydrive is fine. As a cloud storage system, it works perfectly and fast.

    Besides the sorely lacking ecosystem, the shit Will’s complaining about it just not true. Just not true. Will, maybe trying it out again? I’ve had nothing but a positive experience with the Surface. Really bummed that its gonna be leaving me and going back to the State. But I’m gonna be honest, when I spend time with the Surface and go back to my iPad, it feels bad. The Surface really changed how I feel about it.

    Yea, my thoughts.

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