|PPC CROWD IS AT IT AGAIN...
May 10, 2003, 7:40pm
One thing I don't like about PocketPC (PPC) zealots (well, there's a few of them) is that sometimes, whenever a new feature *finally* makes it to the PPC, they triumph it as if it's the second coming, conveniently ignoring the fact that other competiting technologies did it first. It's not just Microsoft PPC either - it's MS Windows too.
One case I remember vividly is when Compaq/HP decided to add a 'consumer IR' to one particular iPaq. Along with it came some slick remote control software for TVs. See, before this, every PPC device had a short range infrared thing that could at best send out its signal maybe 5 feet. The 'consumer" infrared could send out its blips as far as 20 or 30 feet.
It was treated as "wow, the PPC can now do this - everyone will now love this device, they are amazing, those who deemed to invent this stuff..." yada yada. Problem is, Sony's been doing this for almost a year with many of their PALM-based Clie lineup. But the PPC crowd conveniently ignored that, thinking the PPC iPaq was the second coming now that they 'brought this technology to PDAs'.
I'm not a Windows freak or a Mac freak, or for that matter, a Palm OS supporter or PPC supporter - I just want technology that works. That's my ultimate goal. It's one reason why I opted for the Sony Ericsson P800 (based on yet another competing operating system, the Symbian OS) - it mainly works, and works well.
So today, I read about yet another PPC / Phone hybrid that has the PPC folks all agog - the new Samsung SCH-i700. It's a big brick, but has some nice features.
But it when I read this very early review of the phone that I was shaking my head in yet another case of "wow, I've never heard of this technology before" kinda stuff from the PPC crowd. To wit:
"Where the i700 really shines is in the voice dialing application; Voice Signal. It does not come pre-installed and will need to installed preferably in main memory for speed reasons. It is worth sacrificing precious main memory (the amount I don't yet know) because it is an app that you will use everyday. You can voice dial ANY contact in your address book simply by tapping the Voice Signal icon (or mapping it to a hardware button) saying "Name Dial" and then the contact name when prompted. The voice recognision is very quick, with only about a 1.5 second delay between speaking a name and recognision. If a contact has more than one phone number Voice Signal will ask you which one you wish to call (home, work, mobile, etc.). All in all, it is a very slick and useful application. For those more difficult to pronounce names there is the ability to train the system on a case by case basis."
Boring. Most cell phones these days have voice dialing options (mind you, it isn't voice recognition per se, but more like audio wave comparisons, as you have to record the voice dial name once).
My SE P800 goes several levels better. For instance, it has a "magic word" feature that, once enabled, will constantly monitor the ambient sounds looking to hear the "magic word" (which you program - make it unique, or you can trigger the phone inadvertently). Once it hears the magic word, the phone will beep and then give you five seconds to say a contact name - once you say it, it dials. The phone also uses magic word to automatically answer the phone (if the phone rings, you say your magic word or phrase and answer, and the phone will do so), hang up, or send to voice mail. You don't have to go through several button presses or options for full voice dialing either - you can associate name tags for any number of contacts, and you can associate a voice tag for each contacts' mutliple numbers, so for instance "jeanette chan, cell phone" and 'jeanette chan, studio" work just fine.
And it does this all completely hands free. It even does it via my bluetooth wireless headset, with the phone firmly in my jacket pocket.
What would be truly innovative is using voice character recognition to 100% accurately dial a number. The Samsung PPC phone don't do this, no phone on the general market that I know of does. I'd like the ability to say "phone, dial 1, 8 0 0, 5 5 5, 1 3 3 2" and have the phone nail it 100% accurate, reading the number back to me before dialing.
When a PPC device can do that, then call me :) But until then, ppc crowd, please, stop claiming features better than sliced bread that other products already do, and do pretty well as well (much better, in fact, than this PPC solution that the reviewer wrote about).
BTW, I checked out Phonescoop (excellent site, btw) for more details on this Samsung, and it ain't much to write home about - some corners were cut.
For instance, no Bluetooth, so no wireless headset options. Also the GPRS is Class 8, which is SLOOOOOO. (P800's Class 10). It is relatively thin at 3/4 an inch, but still a big brick in height and width.
But there are some cool things too - the SD slot is SDIO which is awesome, and the fact that two batteries come in the box (normal and extended life) is awesome.
|Previous Ten Daily Rants
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|| 5:00pm, 07/26
Photos from Algonquin Park
Photos from my trip to Algonquin Park this fall with my Mom and two brothers.
Making Snow for the Fortress
One of the worst jobs I ever had... till I got out.
Tools I Use
The tools I use to build websites and lead a tech life.
iPod and iTunes Offline
iMark's iTunes and iPod isn't iPlaying anything right iNow.
Most Recent Songs
Fiddlers Green by The Tragically Hip
Around The Bend by Pearl Jam
Here With Me (Rollo's Chillin' With the Family Mix) by Dido
With arms open wide by Creed
truffle pigs by Matthew Good Band
In the News
Burundi and Beyond - NY Times
Great article by Peter Meehan - provided some background.
St. Petersburg Times
Side mention in an article about good machines
AP Story on Espresso
Background and information provided
NY Times - Grinders Article
Especially proud of this one - got the reporter to focus on grinders
Globe and Mail
LOL - showing bad reporting, dude says I'm an American-based site!
The Olympian, WA
Talks about my love for the El Sal Siberia Pacamara
Seattle Times - Clover
Interviewed for comments on the Clover brewer
NY Times - How it Works
Background and information for various espresso machines
Time Mag Article
Just a brief mention, article about roasting beans.
Front page article about consumers getting into specialty coffee.
Quoted reference to what I wrote in an article at CoffeeGeek.
USA Today - Barista Jam
Intereviewed for my thoughts on what the epitome of espresso is.
The Wall Street Journal has interviewed me 3 times. This is the first time my name got in a story.
Interview with Reuters, Jan 2 - this is the USA Today version.
My Other Stuff
Launched Dec 22, 2001, this is THE online community for espresso and coffee fanatics.
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Hey, if you feel the need to buy me something, check here!
Great gadget site run by the guy who used to do Gizmodo.
This is how I get my daily news fix.
The most active forums for digital photography online today.
Need my Daily Zen fix!
A blog about car stuff. Vroom Vroom.
An industrial design blog. Very cool stuff.
Friends and Family Plan
Beata's got her own blog! She updates it most days.
Riddla on Flickr
Matt Riddle's flickr account, updated regularly
Irdy, my friend from Jakharta, on Flickr
Canon EF 24-105 f4 L Lens
The best lens I've ever owned. Super sharp and quick.
A full frame dSLR, with luscious colour reproduction.
Alzo Digital Lights
Some amazing florescent cold lights for product photography
Canon Xsi dSLR
Amazing technology and image quality in a tiny package.
Latest prosumer camera from Canon - a much better upgrade than the 30D
Great 2.2lb computer that does most of my travel / writing needs
28mm f1.8 Lens
A great lens for closeup work and full picture photography
Finally got the right tools for freezing green coffee.
Canon 50mm 1.4
Most amazing lens I've ever owned. Produces stellar photos.
Super wide angle (full frame fisheye) zoom for my Canon 20D