Tag: review

The Best Ever Apple iphone Review Video

Thinking of buying the next iphone?

Make sure you review this important video to make sure it’s the right fit for you.

If you find it’s not, be sure to research the Ubuntu phone which is built on a totally different philosophy.

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Ubuntu: Something to Write About

Today a friend pointed out that Mr. Joey Sneddon (a.k.a. Mr. OMG Ubuntu) had nothing to write about.  If you don’t believe me, go read it yourself HERE.

Really? Nothing to write about?
Is that possible in Ubuntu?

I could understand having nothing to write about in Apple, in Google or in Microsoft because you can only talk about what they let you talk about.

Perhaps in Apple you could write about your frustrations about how you own the only phone that can’t use a friend’s mini usb charger.  Perhaps you could write about how you feel enslaved and want to break free and have something truly smart in your pocket.  But after that there is absolutely nothing left to write about with Apple.  It’s just a thing.  It’s just electronic ‘stuff’ like a watch or a necklace or a running shoe (with batteries).

In Google perhaps you could write about how you know someone is watching you and you know you are being tracked and compromised for the free email you agreed to sign up for and that you are scared and don’t know what to do.  But once that article is over, there’s nothing more to write about.  It’s just spying and you aren’t willing to close your bedroom window curtains to stop it.

But in Ubuntu having nothing to write about is actually impossible unless you – personally – have lost the vision or, worse, never had it in the first place.

I didn’t come to Ubuntu because it worked better, looked better or could toast my bread with the usb device (although that would actually be pretty awesome – and go figure  it already exists!).  No, I came to ubuntu because it absolutely BLEW MY MIND (that’s the first time I’ve blogged italics and underline together like that I think) that a group of people could get together on a project and end up putting out something that TRUMPED (under-talicked again!) the above mentioned monopolists in both vision, potential, and freedom.

It was night versus day.

And it was exciting!

That was seven years ago and my excitement towards the project has only skyrocketed in the last year with Ubuntu in my pocket and convergence on the horizon.

Nothing to write about??? You should change the blog to WTFubuntu…

How about write about freedom and future?

How about write about revolution?

And if that isn’t exciting enough to fixate upon, you could publish testimonies of people who have been impacted by Ubuntu or who have impacted others.

I’m not trying to say you haven’t done some good informative stuff, because you have, but if you can’t find something to write about, please don’t publish something that makes it sound as if there is nothing to write about!

Maybe this is your problem.  You wrote this:

Get In Touch (Seriously, We Love It)

Whether you’ve made an app, theme or nifty little script you’d like the world to know about, or have stumbled upon some fresh news you think we really ought to mention (and that hasn’t been covered to death elsewhere) please do get in touch.

1.  Is an app newsworthy?  Maybe if you are searching for one, but I’m not sure this is what stirs the hearts of the people and draws them to Ubuntu.

2. Is a theme or a script newsworthy?  Not to 97% of the people I know.  So how about  not asking them for this nor publishing it moving forward? That will drive up interest in your blog by pure statistics.

3. If you angle something correctly you should be able to cover news from elsewhere *better* than others because you can publish about it from an Ubuntu perspective.  To say you don’t want to cover news because someone else did makes me wonder about your passion as a writer.

But here is the bottom line.  Perhaps the stuff you are writing about is not OMG at all.  Perhaps you could start writing about bigger picture things. Not only would your own imagination run wild but you could use your great forum as a place to inspire the minds of people who are pretty darn uninspired out there.

Let us move forward inspiring the world with Ubuntu shall we?

There.

I’m done.

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Ubuntu Phone About to Shake Things Up

I’ve been an Ubuntu fan since 2009 now.  As soon as I met Ubuntu it was game over for all my desktops, laptops, netbooks, home media servers, etc.  There was no competitor who could make a new or existing machine run so quickly and reliably, and without the pain of viruses and continual financial investments to keep it up to date.  The most exciting thing was that no one owned me.  When I heard that Ubuntu was moving to the phone, I purchased a Nexus 4 (N4) so that I could go along for the ride, as that was the first device for development.

I flashed it on, and took it for a ride.  The first thing I noticed was how amazing the user interface was.  It was as if (shocking as this may sound) someone had actually designed a phone with the user in mind.   When I was forced to use a fruit-phone by the big fruit company for a job once, it was like driving a luxury sports car with one arm cut off and in a cement warehouse:  high quality hardware, perhaps, but I’d rather have my freedom and functionality, thank you.  The big US spy agency phone (google/android) not only spied on me, but also has a user interface experience that never quite made sense.  It was (and still is) difficult to do some basic setting changes.  I tried cyanogen mod as a bit of a ‘lesser-of-two-evils’ but it too had the same issues because ultimately it’s all built on the same shaky foundation.

Ubuntu, on the other hand, is built with freedom and people in mind.  Randall Ross wrote a great post a while back about the pillars of Ubuntu (seven P’s) This article really helps us understand why Ubuntu is not just software.  Randall has been preaching this message for years but only now it’s starting to really hit home with some people.  People are starting to ‘get’ that they have been sold a bad deal for computers (Ubuntu has already taken over that show) but now also the computers we carry in our pockets.

As a business owner as well as sales person for our company, I will not deny that there were some bumpy roads in the beginning.  I needed some basic things that a smart phone could offer which were a bit buggy when Ubuntu launched on the phone a few years back.  I would flash back and forth between the bondage robot (android) and Ubuntu on my N4 while I tried to do my sales job.  No battle is easy and it was never promised to be so.  Some naysayers would laugh and say ‘why don’t you just wait until they have fixed it’?  This would anger me because “relying on they” is what has caused the world to be enslaved by their technology.  I knew that I could not wait for ‘they’ to fix things.  I had to become part of the solution somehow.  So I would stay up to date the best I could, periodically flash in and out and watch the growth. I would offer my feedback and needs to the developer groups and to my surprise, I found out that I wasn’t alone.  Others were listening, fixing, building, changing, debating, enhancing and more.  I realized one very exciting thing – I was and still am part of what is a major revolution in technology.

A revolution?  Isn’t that word a bit strong?

No, it’s not.  Do you remember just a few years ago when every phone in every pocket was either a Blackberry or a Nokia?  It wasn’t that long ago.  I believe it was around 2006, perhaps.  Their day is over.  A revolution occurred, albeit perhaps not one that has not helped the world.  The employees at Blackberry and Nokia felt the revolution and when it came time to renew your nasty cell phone contract, you felt the revolution too.

But this revolution is different.  This one comes without catches, snags or enslavement.  This one allows you to finally have some control over your phone instead of it and ‘they’ having control over you.  Now tell me that that is not a revolution?  Unless your head is really deep in the fruit and robot sand, you will be nodding your head in agreement with me and looking painfully at the ‘nice phone’ you just bought.

And so we are at another turning point.

How do you know when it’s a turning point?  For me it’s when the ‘thing’ moves from the underground to the masses.  It’s the point when it starts to ‘peek out’ and when ‘regular people’ start to acknowledge that something is happening.  For me, it’s when the mainstream media has *no choice* but to start covering it or be forced to lose respect.

I believe today is the day.

This article on a very mainstream technology website (you can tell it’s mainstream by the nasty ads for Microsoft, etc, that interrupt your reading) covered the revolution.  This article explains how the excitement is now here.  The author is unable to deny that something is going on.  He is unable to restrain from wanting to be involved.

The timing on this article was also interesting for another reason.  It perfectly confirmed advice I gave to a friend who is in the middle of launching a kind of ‘uber business’.   He launched his business with the traditional iOS and Android ‘app’ approach.  He wanted to show it to me and so he instructed me to ‘download the app’.  After a short discussion, I explained to him that this business model may be outdated and on the way to extinction.  I did not want to be forced to give a big bad company my information (including GPS location!) to explore my friends business on my phone. I explained politely that he was violating my privacy.  By the end of the conversation, I believe that he took my advice to *strongly consider* moving his development to the Ubuntu platform – a place where he will be immediately received with a warm embrace, not to mention a place that is future proof.

Every business that uses technology (and I believe that is *every* business) needs to seriously consider where they will be in three years.  The way of the fruit and the slave robot is now over.  With the Meizu Pro 5, there is now a very exciting and viable option out of the box.  There are no more excuses to not jump in with all support.  Not only will you bring more freedom to your customers but you will also sleep better at night knowing that the future of your success is not in the hands of a few very powerful people.

Today is a new and very exciting day for the Ubuntu project.

 

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SIP VOIP Clients for Ubuntu for PBX for Business

So you have a business and you also want to build that business on Ubuntu.  You have this annoying need for the old school ‘phone’ and maybe even the older-school ‘fax’.  Your team is all over the place and you want it to appear as if you are a big, professional organization.  The answer is simple – Voice Over Internet Phone (VOIP) system using the SIP protocol. These systems are called “PBX” or “Hosted PBX” for those who don’t have the bananas or are too busy to try building their own phone system (like me).  If you do have both time and bananas, you could get an old computer and build an asterisk machine which essential does what these paid companies do for you.  But time is money and mucked up phone systems could be lost $$… Sup to you.

Just as a reference and a quick plug, I use this Vancouver Canada based company Peopleline because they have proven to be very solid, reasonably priced and very reliable technology running it.  Simple, works, and I don’t have to think about it.

Assuming you have chosen your PBX provider or have your own box running in your basement, now you have to put a ‘softphone’ on your computer, or even your smartphone.  You can do both of these but I will focus only on Ubuntu because Ubuntu is the future and Ubuntu is now.  The rest is just noise.  However, that said, you may have a few team members who have not fully woken up to the fact that their operating system is killing them so for this blog I will be focusing on SIP clients (soft phone software) that will work on Ubuntu and on these horrible other operating systems.  I will be making quick notes on them and giving them a quick review, however, please note that each project is open source so it could be that the day after I post they are already fixed and working.  As of today, though, these are my thoughts:

Twinkle

I should promote Twinkle because Twinkle *only* runs on Ubuntu (not on fruit or redmond, for example).  I wish that I could use Twinkle in our organization but we have a team member who is still booting fruit and so we have to let that story play out to it’s inevitable destination.  I remember using Twinkle and remembering that it was very solid, like Jitsi.  I cannot speak from recent experience about it, but I would recommend any organization that is fully Ubuntu to explore Twinkle and perhaps even add your comments below for the world to benefit from.  I will hopefully be able to switch to Twinkle one day, however… Jitsi is here…

Jitsi

The final verdict is that Jitsi is the best, the most bug-free, always working, pretty robust ‘answer’ for now. It also works cross platform, so they say, which I will have some other victims test for me since I won’t be booting up fruit or redmond.

Jitsi also can take both 555-555-5555 and 555.555.5555 formats, strip the stuff and make the call. This was the deal breaker for me because over one year it will probably save me a who day worth of clicking as some other clients cannot do this simple task

Jitsi is a bit sluggish, however, and seems to take a while to boot up.  If you have a newer machine, it should be fine.

Jitsi also provided me some initial headaches when I first got set up.  The default settings didn’t work with Peopleline, but after a while I found a blog post, copied the settings and it has been a dream ever.  It may be that these settings will work for 99% of the clients out there so I plan to blog those settings with screen shots after posting this.

Yate

Yate is more simple, nicer interface, always works, if you can work with two bugs:

Bug 1: you have to remove the – or the .  from any phone number before you call it.  Unlike Jitsi, Yate doesn’t seem smart enough to strip these away.

Bug 2: There is some audio problem where when a call comes in, you have to hit the pause button twice to engage the call.  This creates about a 2 second lag when you answer your phone which isn’t cool.  However, there is a workaround.  If you shut off your ringer in the settings (permanently) it will answer perfectly, but – you don’t have a ringer and that is kind of an important feature on an old-school phone 🙁

Yate is my second choice so far.

Ring.cx

Honestly, I was really hoping that Ring was going to work.  But there are so many major bugs I had to actually uninstall it completely.  I could make calls but no sound was there. I tried to muck with the settings like I did with Jitsi, but no go.  Ring is the coolest of the options because you can make decentralized ‘phone calls’ from it.  So, I love the project itself but it is definitely *not* a good choice for running a business phone on Ubuntu.  I definitely hope to change this report.

 

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Everything You Need to Know about Ubuntu Phone

My friend sent me this link to a great page that summarizes most of the key things you need to know about the Ubuntu Phone.

As mentioned in my previous article, we are quickly moving to convergence and in order to make sure we get there safely, ubuntu is the *only* option.

The great news for all of you who were making excuses, is that now you can buy very reliable devices out of the box that are Ubuntu.

It’s not that Ubuntu is the future, it’s that everything else is the past.

 

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The Race to Convergence: Or is it a Marathon?

This article started out kind of exciting.  It explained how Ubuntu was about to show, on a large commercial scale the unveiling of convergence of multiple devices.  For those who don’t know what convergence is, it’s the ability for multiple devices to converge into one user experience – without the need for multiple processors and hard drives.  For a company that sells desktops, laptops and tablets, it is a scary, scary business proposition.  For a company that sells high quality screens or high powered mobile phones, it could be a dream come true.  Essentially, the ‘computer that you carry in your pocket’ can be instantly connected to whatever screen you feel like.  It’s truly the most disruptive reality to hit the computer hardware market, in my opinion, in recent history.  One thing is for sure – the entire world is begging for it whether they even know it or not. Combining that with the increase of people sticking their digital lives on ‘clouds’ (other peoples’ computers) this disruption is also poised to be a seriously dangerous one for those who don’t make wise choices.

This article, although it was smart to feature Ubuntu as a forerunner, it foolishly tried to give credit to Microsoft for ‘truly being the first’ to do convergence. First, did they?   I had no idea.  Nor do I care.  Nor does anyone else I roll with.  If the name has ‘Microsoft’ in it, we flee for the hills.  Why? Because it’s compromised out of the box.  It is dangerous.

So, while reading this article, it became even more apparent to me that the ‘battle for the operating system’ will eventually be won by Ubuntu in numbers (it is already won in principle) and it will happen not by speed (even though development is moving fast like lightning) but by security and, although the word might sound cheesy and not a popular choice in a tech article – love.  You see, Ubuntu cares about you, because it’s built by people who care about things other than shareholders’ dividends.

Let’s run this basic scenario.  You buy the latest, most fashionable phone by Microsoft or Apple.  They boast this cool new feature that allows you to plug it into a big 60″ screen and now it’s your computer (Ubuntu had this for years, btw, but I digress). It’s convergence!  You show Grandma and Grandma thinks you are the bees knees.  You take a selfie with Grandma and there is a picture of her Bible behind her favourite chair.  As you get in your car your photo is magically whisked away to the cloud service you love so much provided, by force, by your over-priced phone manufacturer.  Meanwhile, back at your local government, they decide (without vote, of course) that they don’t like what these Bible readers believe and decide to persecute them and kill them.  They ask Apple and Microsoft for access to review stuff on their servers (your cloud) and they say no.  They say yes.  They say no.  They pull out the guns.  They say yes.  They say yes, too. Oh! And look! There is Grandma with her Bible.  Busted with Bible. Bye bye, Grandma.

And so my point is this: it doesn’t matter who gets to convergence first.  It matters who gets there securely and with freedom as a top agenda.

And if you didn’t know, you could, right now, have Ubuntu in your pocket.  You can either buy one out of the box, or have someone help you put it on supported hardware.

What are you waiting for?  Your Grandma to get busted?

Go healthy.  Go Ubuntu.

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Why Yelp is No So Good

Yes, I did intend to write ‘no so good’.  I have an accent so lay off, cut me some slack and throw a dog a bone.

I have meaning to post this for a long time and failed but recently there was some article about how Yelp was found to be scammy in the way it deals with reviews, so it motivated me to blog something.

Yes, they are scammy to the core.  The summary of why it’s not good is as follows:

  1. If you review negatively, and you aren’t ‘special’ to Yelp, it will get filtered
  2. If you review positively, and you aren’t ‘special’ it will get filtered
  3. It keeps records forever.  What business has the same employees forever?
  4. The business can’t really do anything to respond but if I recall there was some way if you pay money (need to check this one again)
  5. There are professional Yelpers out there who take money to review positively.  They are considered ‘special’ by Yelp because they review so much.

In short, it must be the most undiplomatic ‘review’ website I’ve seen and it should go the way of the dinosaurs faster than it appeared.

Thankfully it seems to be finally happening.

End Yelp rant.

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Kakao Talk Privacy Problems

I was always too busy to try to research why something about Kakao Talk bothered me.  The first time I put it on my mobile device I was mesmerized by the way it, without any involvement of my own, loaded a contact list of people I knew who were using it, or not.  I was mesmerized until I thought about where that data came from and then realized it came from my own phone’s contact list.

So this thing raided my contact list and grabbed data without me ok’ing it…  people I had called just once from my phone are now my Kakao friends…

Then I watched pretty much every Korean I knew show up on this.  Then a few folks from Iran, then pretty much right across the board.

Then I saw photos being shared and the app taking over as the main hub of the phone.  When they introduced a kind fof VOIP peer-to-peer calling it was game over.  Kakao *was* their phone.

Within short notice I deleted the app.  I don’t recall if I closed the account..

Today a Korean student of mine pointed out that she thought she was ‘ok’ in terms of privacy because she doesn’t really use Facebook.  I asked if she used Kakao Talk.  She said ‘yes’.  I said ‘There you go.  You are in danger.” She was shocked. The problem is that I didn’t have anything concrete to tell her.  So I decided to do some research for her.  Here is what I found to start with and your comments would be great to hear.  Perhaps some stories of privacy issues.

This story should just about sum it up.  When the police came knocking, Kakao Talk quickly handed over what they asked for.

Here is a quote from their privacy policy that should concern you [my comments in these bracket things:

KAKAO will collect the following information to make our services better.

When you sign up for the Services or in the course of your use of the Services, KAKAO will collect your telephone number, contact information saved on your smartphone [I read this as *ALL CONTACT DATA*] or other device [other devices, like computers or wherever else you have installed this tentacled animal] (telephone numbers and names of third parties) [I read ‘third parties’ as ALL YOUR FRIENDS and FAMILY IN YOUR PHONE] , device-specific information, operation system and hardware information including the OS version, CPU and LAN card information, legal guardian information (if you are under 14 years of age), your status information [whatever you type in your status updates they know *AND USE*], name, birth date, ID [ID??????  WTF??], photos (including meta-information) [meta information includes *WHERE YOU ARE* by the way, if you didn’t know], service usage history, email address, location information [they already got that from your photos], IP address [this shows where you are as well] and cookies through the official website of KAKAO, individual applications or programs. KAKAO will also collect shipping information (including the name, mobile phone number and address) [Oh. Now they just take your mailing address.  Don’t worry. They already got it pretty close from the other data they took from you above] to ship your purchases [That’s a nice cover]. In addition to the above information [wait! We haven’t taken enough yet! We want MORE!], KAKAO may collect your credit card information [Why not? The CEO needs a bottle of wine with lunch], carrier information, gift certificate number or other information required for payment processing when you use paid services. Given the nature of the Services, the personal information we collect may differ depending on the application or program. Before you get started with an application or program, KAKAO will inform you of the personal information we collect to which you must consent in order to use the Service [that, sucker, was the little checkbox you clicked before you were allowed to start using it].

If that wasn’t enough, they also have special agreements with a bunch of other companies that they share your information with.  That means, that you will also have to study each of these companies to see how they are using your photos and information.  Good luck. You may need a few hundred years to do that.  Whenever you use their ‘services’ [what does that mean?] you agree to let them send all your data to:

We provide the following personal information to third parties to handle customer enquiries:

Parties to be provided with your personal information

  • Gifticon: SK Planet
  • Giftishow: KT mhows
  • GiftTing: Wincube Marketing
  • Cootoo: CJ E&M

It doesn’t get any better from there.

My recommendation would be to rid yourself of this app and it’s agreements ASAP.

One day your data will hurt you.

 

 

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Ain’t Nothin’ But a Baofeng, Chicken Wing

Do you like ham?  You don’t have to eat ham to like it because now you can do the Baofeng UV-5R+ Plus.

I’m not paid to make sense so suck it up, Buttercup.

I’m talking about the most awesome ham *radio* ever.  Well, it’s definitely the smallest and cheapest ham radio ever.

Leave it to the Chinese to make a good thing cheaper – and add on a flashing LED flashlight to boot.  First it was Dim Sum, then Bruce Lee and now, ladies and gentlemen Baofeng.

As is standard with all Chinese products, there are a few flaws that you have to live with as punishment for not paying enough as follows:

  • horrific user manual with creative Chinglish
  • a bit of overheating

Not too bad, considering my radio and a handful of other accessories came to less than $100 on amazon.ca.

Here is what I gained:

  • super small ham radio
  • improved sound quality over my 15 year-old beast
  • an LED flashlight…. ?
  • VHF frequencies (my other one didn’t have it)

As much as I don’t want to admit it nor support it, my experience shopping on the Rainforest-like web shopping site went very well.

I will very likely, in the next little while, put a post together that brings all the Baofeng Wisdom of Ancient China together in one convenient place so keep your eyes out for that .

 

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