Category Archives: Tech

All stuff nerdy!

This is what I get for Nostalgia

Image of China's Robot Police
China Has Robot Police

No more than I post about finding a way to get Polaroid than I find the world is taken over by Robots that have Tasers!  China has developed a Robotic Policeman that can Taser people.  It is patrolling around the ShenZhen BaoAn airport.  Having flown through that airport many times as a cheap way to get to Hong Kong from mainland I can say that it probably wasn’t needed.  It is usually very quite and orderly.

I did notice they usually have some of the most advanced tech at the airport such as TV’s that project 3-D without glasses many years ago now.  Looks a bit like a Dalek doesn’t it.  Hmmm the Chinese Invasion of Britain 2017!  Coming to a world near you soon.

Go read the article on the Dailymail.

Wait you know what if nostalgiazing over the 70’s Polaroid causes Robots what do you think nostalgia for Buck Rodgers TV Show would cause?  Any chance that I will be abducted by hot blonde women who want to make me their King?

Polaroid 600

I was searching for Polaroid 500 film for an old Olympus Camedia I have after looking at the Polaroid Zip and Fuji Instax SP-2 printers.   When I came across Impossible Projects Polaroid 600 camera and film.  Way cool they have other models as well like the Spectra we had back in the 70s and 80s.

If this brings back some fond memories or you would just like to time travel back to a time when instant gratification took like ten minutes to develop go check it out!

Tumblr Tumbling!

I have been using Tumblr for over 5 years mostly via the web interface I mostly have positive things to say about the service.  It has been working and not getting in the way while providing a free host to throw some blogs on.  However now that I’m using only my Nexus 7 I have an issue with it.  It won’t let you post images in your text post.  Even the Android App doesn’t have an insert image button. 

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Tumblr Android App

So whats the work around?

Go to the website in Google Chrome and click `Request Desktop Site` under the 3 dot menu on the top right, you might need to scroll down a bit to see it.  This uses more bandwidth and is a bit more complicated to use since the buttons are too small without pinch zooming.  Not the ideal Solution but while people continue to develop their Android Apps we will have to work around many shortcomings in the meantime.

Platform Wars…err I Mean Vendor Lockin

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Many years ago, actually well over a decade ago I saw this day coming in fact it was almost completed.  A day where vendor lockin prevents users from being able to interoperate with their devices.  I wrote about it many times and in great detail in my old Newsletter Of Bulls and Bears, back then Microsoft was the company in the anti-trust cross hairs of the worlds governments.  They were building a vertical ecosystem that started with the PC and had extended to dominate the LAN Server and Email systems, the browsers had rewritten HTML standards to Microsoft standards, and they had brought out the first true smartphone the progenitor of the iPhone the PocketPC phone.  The MSN network was a major player in net access and online services, they had even picked up TV networks.  If government intervention had not succeeded there wouldn’t be an Apple or Google to speak of.

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It’s a miracle that Microsoft doesn’t have the entire planet locked into their ecosystem.  It’s the lead up to and government action that prevented Microsoft from taking over.  They faulted at the moment they had all the pieces and lost their dominance.  At the time Microsoft even had a landline phone that connected to Windows systems and displayed smart caller information and opened the Outlook contact when a call came in.  On top of all that they had the Xbox and were making big deals for Smart TV, Set top boxes and HTPCs to add to their dominance of the living room.

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Now it’s the tale of two cities.  Microsoft is being locked out because of that governmental action.  Google isn’t developing apps for Windows Phone, and Apple doesn’t develop apps for any platform other than their own.  This anti-competitive behavior is exactly what got Microsoft in trouble so many years ago.  Today you need to speak out and bring awareness of this issue to your politicians.  There is no reason that devices shouldn’t work on industry standard protocols that would allow the consumer to choose what device best fits their needs.

Maybe Microsoft can push for some anti-trust action.  The question is if they would be willing to use the same tool they opposed so vehemently back then.  Check out the article on Arstechnica linked below.

PS: Don’t worry about Microsoft they aren’t down and out just yet. I’m happily stuck in the Google Ecosystem at the moment. I hope that interoperability wins out though so pass along this message so more can think about what they loose with Vendor Lockin.

Apple and Google Move Computing Forward in Identical Yet Incompatible Ways
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2014/07/apple-and-google-move-computing-forward-in-identical-yet-incompatible-ways/