iPhone 6 – What You Need to Know

Apple unveiled their new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus yesterday and I am going to just go ahead and say it: I am not impressed. Apple continues to be behind the ball on innovation and just simply hardware.

Instead of showing you a comparison table, I am going to take some of the bigger things and explain them in a way that makes sense (I am leaving out the iPhone 6 Plus since its specs are the same just a larger screen (akin to the Samsung Galaxy Note).

I’ll start with the processor (the “brain” of the phone). The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus use an Apple A8 Processor. A8 means absolutely nothing to me and what is more interesting is the amount of work I had to do to get actual specs that mean anything. After searching around the internet the closest I could find to actual specs was that the A8 is a 1.4 GHz, dual core processor. Right off the bat that turns me off. The Samsung Galaxy S5 sports a 2.5 GHz, Quad-Core Processor. Without knowing anything about processors, just by looking at the larger numbers, you know the processor in the Galaxy is much more powerful. It is kind of a cop-out for Apple to compare the A8 to the A7 because of course the processor would perform better than the last generation. The real comparison is to its competition which is a sneaky PR thing. All that being said though, what is written on paper can be drastically different when it comes to actual performance and since the iPhone 6 is built from the ground up to be optimized to the specific hardware, I have no doubt the performance of the iPhone 6 will be exceptional.

The display on the iPhone is a retina display and for anyone that has seen a retina display, it is fantastic to look at. However, the display is still not 1080p which is odd to my mind since almost all the other phones on the market today display at 1080p. In fact, the iPhone display really isnt even 780p, its slightly lower at 750p. One could argue that a screen as small as a phone does not need to be at 1080p at all, however, the technology is there so why not do it? Especially when all of the main competitors are doing it.

Apple has finally upgraded to an 8 MP Camera that records at 1080p. Too bad the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 have a 16MP Camera and records at UHD (4k). For a company that puts so much on its camera and sharing capabilities, not adding a 16 MP Camera is just plain lazy.

Those are the big points, just a few minor issues I have with the iPhone 6, is the non-removable battery and the lack of room to add memory. The iPhone comes with on board memory and you can’t add an SD Card or anything to it.

Price. Prepare to have your head spin.

On contract, the iPhone 6 is $199 for the 16 GB Version, $299 for the 64 GB and $399 for the 128 GB. For comparison, the Galaxy S5 and the HTC M8 are $200 on contract for the 16 GB. This is absolutely insane and the biggest rip off I have ever seen. For $200 you can get a technically superior phone for the same price as the iPhone 6 and you can’t even install a larger SD Card to get more memory. You are stuck with the 16 GB of memory.

I personally can’t understand how people can be so brainwashed into blindly buying into the hype or you could go as far to say lies that Apple is feeding everyone. Like I said before, comparing the processor to the last gen of its OWN processor instead of comparing it to its competition is a lie by omission, never mind the fact that they haven’t really released the specs for it so the speed I have is really only speculation.

In the year 2014, as consumers of technology, it is very important that we all be aware of what we are buying and what is a good deal and what isn’t.

Release Day Delivery

It’s the year 2014 and you can go online and pretty much order anything and have it to you the next day. You can even order digital downloads of games. So should you be punished for ordering a physical copy of a game?

Like thousands of other gamers across the US, I pre-ordered my copy of Destiny waaaay back when Gamestop started taking pre-orders. When the Limited Edition was announced, it just made financial sense to upgrade (see ), so a week after the Limited Edition was released, I went back to my Gamestop to upgrade. I got there and was told Gamestop was sold out. So I checked my local Walmart and Target, both of which were also sold out. Being the computer saavy guy I am, I went on Amazon only to find out they were also sold out. I looked at Newegg and they still had stock, so I pre-ordered with next day shipping.

Fast forward to today. My game just shipped and I will be getting it tomorrow but it begs the question, why can’t Newegg offer release day delivery? Amazon offers it on everything from books to games. I love Newegg and buy all my parts and accessories there but I won’t be buying games anymore.

These days, being late to a launch of a multiplayer game will put you behind of friends and prevent you from being able to group or play with them. Some games even offer day 1 rewards and perks. You could even lose the name you wanted because you were late to the party.

It is unacceptable to me that Newegg does not offer release day delivery. If they did, it might put them in a position to compete with Amazon as far as games are concerned.

The Right Internet Speed For Your Grandparents

Remember back in the day of the dial up modem? The day when you had to make sure your parents and little sister did not pick up the phone in any other room as to not lose connection? Remember watching the little AOL man run across the screen as you listened to the sweet sound of the fax machine tones as it brought you to the “World Wide Web?” Great time right? You had the AOL software installed and from that one “Connect” button you were able to get online and search through websites, download things from Napster, and hang out in chat rooms with people. You were at the infancy of the Internet and little did you know what might become of it.

Flash forward to 2014 where your standard internet connection is at least 384kbps, which for those in the know is the standard DSL speed, and you are able to watch a video in less than 30 seconds, load multiple pictures, and have a fully function website come up no your browser in record time. Pretty sweet huh? But let’s back up a bit. When you were looking for an Internet Service Provider or ISP, what was your criteria? For the normal user including the elderly who are just coming in to this technology in the middle or tail end of their lives, it can all be very foreign to them. I am sure they probably even went to their children or grand children for advice, and that advice might just be, “Get what I have”; simply because it works. How are they to understand the Kilobytes or Megabytes or Gigabytes Per Second (KBPS)? How are we to protect them from being taken advantage of by service companies? And how can we keep them from breaking the bank?

First look at what your grandparents would use the internet for. Start with the simple things:

  • Browsing the web
  • Watching a video
  • Checking E-Mail
  • Making the occasional Skype Call

These are the basics of web use. Most older people are not familiar with the term Instant Messaging and the idea is very vague for them to understand but for those that do it must be quite pleasing to be able to talk and connect with them so quickly and easily than just the occasional visit or phone call. But look at the few thing like watching a video or making a skype call. Those take up a lot of bandwidth and if you have been sharing Wifi with a group of people and know when someone is watching a video, you see the speed drastically drop. So what would be good for them?

Your standard DSL package speed is about 384 KBPS. And there are plenty of companies like “NETZERO” which would say they are “faster than dial up by 10 times”. This is a funny statement as these companies are usually the ones that are slow to catch up with the times by being the ones who offered the “dial-up speed booster” when you had dial up. The reality is your dial-up connection was a 56KBPS connection. The software they provided you with to speed up the internet a month over dial-up most likely decreased the quality of pictures, made files smaller, and text different font to make it faster to render but it really did nothing toward making your speed faster. The reason it was called a 56K modem was simply because that was the fastest it could go: 56K. So that was the first scam they ran on you. So if we look to their claim as being “10 times faster” is really actually very wrong. The connection on most DSL modems can go at 384KBPS for the standard consumer model provided by phone companies and that is at the basic bundle. That is certainly enough to browse the web and read e-mail but will not be enough to handle YouTube or even voice on a Skype call. This is simple math. 56 x 10 = 560KBPS. That is not where close to 10 times. To prove this right you would have to rent the bundle with the upgraded model which goes at about 784KBPS and that is when you should rather just go with a basic cable package for internet because at that point your paying way to much.

Cable prices these days are not to bad. A basic package for a 50 Megabyte Per Second (MBPS) connection could start you between $30 and $40. Many cable companies will try and rope you in with bundles so be wary when calling. But for the internet technologies, software, and standards that are released every year the basic cable connection is your best bet. It is a solid connection for all the activities listed above and if ever needed most modems can boost up to 300MBPS, for a fee of course. Plus this basic package gives you some leeway to install a wireless router (if the one provided by the Cable company is not already wireless) so when you or family come to visit you can stream video and do whatever else you wish on the internet without your grandparents or parents losing money.

Now there is a warning that must be issued for those older people who have been up with technology and have an E-Mail from AOL and are still using the AOL software to connect to the internet. AOL may rightly be stealing money from you or them a month. If you have setup a different connection to the internet whether it be cable or DSL, and they are still using the AOL software to do everything on the web then they need to be shown whats happening. Now that you have put in a different connection the computer no longer uses itself to connect to the Internet as it did in the days of the 56K modem. The device the computer is connection to does. That device is always on so they no longer needs to hit the connect button on the AOL software to see the little yellow man run to the internet to connect. They have no need for the Mail app in the software or search or any of that antiquated functions that are currently no longer supported or produced by AOL. Why are they still paying for AOL then? Because somewhere in the transfer of their internet service AOL did not inform their users that they no longer provide internet connections and so they were able to justify the bill by saying that it is for support to their AOL software which is still being used.

It is intervention time. It is time to explain that the AOL software must be removed. They need to be shown how to access the internet without the software and how to check E-mail without the crutch. This is still a problem with senior citizens and $10 a month over many years is a lot of money for those on a budget or a fixed income. So sit down with your parents or grandparents and explain to them what is going on. Before the internet was a destination. Today the internet is always there and always on. We use it for communication, entertainment, and work. In this time of net neutrality it is time to bring them out of the dark of the old internet, save them some money, and move them into the light of standard connectivity.

Because getting an E-Mail or Instant message from Grandma or Grandpa is just as sweet if you know that they are not getting ripped off for sending it.

Shadow Realms

So I called it. The new Bioware Game is called Shadow Realms and it is an Action RPG. What I didn’t see coming was the 4v1 model behind the game. 4v1 is where 4 player characters take on 1 player character who plays the bad guy. As the player you can choose to be good or evil and gain progression in whatever one you are currently playing. Being that it is a Bioware Game I am expecting a great story and really deep combat progression.

The general plot is that humans are being awakened to powers they didn’t know they had. As they are figuring their powers out a force from a world called Embra called the Shadow Lords, have figured out how to leave their world and invade Earth.

That’s about all the information that was released but go here for a chance to get into the closed Alpha and to learn more about the game!

It’s also interesting to note that Shadow Realms (at least so far) seems to be a PC Only Game.