I still have mixed emotions about “Episode I: The Phantom Menace.” I want to love it, but at this point I think I’m going to have to settle for a tepid like.
I recall living in an apartment at the time a pop music radio station played “Duel of the Fates” for the first time. I couldn’t help but wonder what scenes we’d see unfold on the screen when that day actually arrived. Then, I remember painstakingly downloading the official trailers over a 56k Internet connection – in the days long before YouTube. Who were all of these wonderful new characters?!
The Battle Droids caught my eye, of course. The army was more than ready for battle – but against what? I’d have to find out at a later date.
I didn’t wait in line like so many of my fellow geeks did. Somehow, I made a connection through my brother that shot us close to the front of the line on the evening Episode I was released (at Midnight). We didn’t have Twitter – we didn’t even have text messaging – to keep in touch with nerds from around the world. Blogs were still a distant possibility, too. We were “Force’d” to socialize with one another in-person.
Was “Episode I” worth the wait? No. Was “The Phantom Menace” nice to see? Maybe. Would I watch the “first” Star Wars movie again? Sure. A fan of the prequel, I was not. You might make the argument that I was too old in my mid-20s to see what Lucas had served up, but I’d tell you that Sithy dialogue is Sithy dialogue no matter your age.
When LEGO began producing Star Wars sets for the fan base, I didn’t go out of my way to swoop up anything outside of the original Trilogy. Still, when it came time to populate my own Amazon wish list, I gave in and added a few Prequel items I thought would be worthwhile – if only to torture certain characters.
My girlfriend and I did have fun putting the Droid Invasion set together:
We now have more than enough Battle Droids in our library, though I’d hardly consider them minifigs (by my own definition). These things are near impossible to keep free-standing or fastened! If you wanted to grow your own Droid battalion, this set would be a good place to start; you can get plenty of Battle Droids for the price.
Best Buy has announced (sort-of) pricing for the long-awaited Droid 2: $199 with two-year service plan activation or $599 without. Engadget reader Greg (who lives in North Carolina) sent in photos taken at his local Best Buy. The leaked dummy units are on display in the store – complete with price tags.
There’s still no official word as to when the phone will go on sale, despite rumors of it happening on August 12th. The original Droid now appears to be “out of stock” on the Verizon website – adding even more fuel to the rumor fires surrounding the launch of this new model.
Verizon has allowed a LOT of information to be leaked regarding this as-yet unreleased phone. What better way to build momentum and gain free advertising, though? Over the weekend, a newspaper advertisement was also leaked, showing the Droid 2 going on sale very soon.
Are you salivating yet? Do you plan to grab one of these hot little devices as soon as they hit the market?
It’s official! The EVO 4G will be the first in a long line of phones to be updated to Android 2.2 Froyo, beginning August 3rd. The release will be rolled out in stages according to Sprint. However, they will provide a manual download link for those of you who cannot wait another moment. According to further reports, both the HTC Desire and the original Droid phones will be hit with the update later in the week.
The list of features and fixes is a long one, and owners couldn’t be more excited. Given the list I’ve been seeing, it’s no wonder you’re chomping at the bit to get Froyo onto your devices. The update boasts new preloaded widgets, flashlight mode for your LED flash, light-assisted 720p video with improvement to the quality of your video captures. Going by the image that Engadget has up on their site, you’ll see a heck of a lot of updates in other areas, as well.
Mail will see groups tabs and auto-saving when you press the back key. Additionally, your email will be saved as a draft automatically should you lose connection in the middle of composing a missive. You’ll enjoy a large composition area and the capability to send a Contact card via SMS.
There are a lot of enhanced features for the social media addict in you, as well. Your calendar will display birthdays and events from Facebook. The Gallery will now support the Facebook “Comments” function. And… you’ll be able to quickly link a contact to a Plurk or Twitter contact.
Are you planning to wait it out until the update is rolled to your phone, or will you be rushing to download manually?
The new Motorola Droid 2 is rumored to be launching on August 12th. All of you who are robot-loving Star Wars fanatics will want to pay close attention to this. According to a source at Engadget, the sequel to the original Droid iteration will not only have Froyo loaded at launch – it will have an optional R2-D2 special edition logo on the back! To those of you who are now salivating, I KNOW it sounds too good to be true. However, several reputable (and some not so much so) blogs are now reporting on this little piece of news. We’ll see in the near future how true it really is!
Remember, Verizon and Motorola had to license the Droid name from Lucas Films in order to use it for the Android device. Thus, it appears as though the Droid line is heading back to its Star Wars roots. What do you think? Will we see the beloved robot on the backs of phones everywhere anytime soon?
Many of us have known for awhile that the touch screen on the iPhone is far and away the best there is. MOTO Labs (no relation to Motorola) recently tested several phones against each other, including the iPhone, Google’s Nexus One, the Motorola Droid, a Palm Pre, an HTC Droid Eris, and a BlackBerry Storm 2. The robots tested the phones by using the SimpleDraw application, and the iPhone won by a landslide. The Nexus One came in a very distant second place.
The test was done using a 7mm robotic “finger” to represent a “medium touch”. The test was repeated using a 4mm robotic finger to represent a “very light” touch. In both tests, the iPhone was found to have straight and accurate lines. The iPhone did show a slight weakness at the edge of the panel with the light touch. MOTO stated that the Nexus One gave a “solid performance,” but just didn’t measure up to the iPhone. The worst performance came from the Motorola Droid, which had significant waviness with the medium-touch test, and dropped signal often during light-touch testing.
MOTO made a point of saying that a touch panel alone doesn’t make a “good” smart phone. The screen must also perform well when combined with the phone’s operating system to ensure a maximum level of responsiveness.
I didn’t need robots to tell me this. I’ve known for quite a while that my iPhone outperforms any other smart phone I have tested to date when it comes to the ease of use on the touch screen. It just plain WORKS. That, my fellow Geeks, is what it’s all about at the end of the day. We have things to do, and we need to use what works.
A touchscreen is a touchscreen, right? Hardly! As MOTO pointed out in our recent Do-It-Yourself Touchscreen Analysis post, “All touchscreens are not created equal.”
But, as they say: seeing is believing.
For all of you who claim that x is better than the iPhone, how does it feel to be wrong? If you can’t trust your touchscreen device to respond accurately to touch, what good is it? The software is only as good as the hardware it’s running on, my friends.
An article posted yesterday on CNET has Internet users bashing the FBI up one side – and down the other. Many are screaming about “Big Brother”, and civil rights. Others are proclaiming that they are going to leave the Internet completely, which I honestly don’t see happening. Seriously, folks… you’d be able to totally give up your online life?
According to the article, the FBI is pressing Internet service providers to record which Web sites customers visit and retain those logs for two years, a requirement that law enforcement believes could help it in investigations of child pornography and other serious crimes. If logs of Web sites visited began to be kept, they would be available only to local, state, and federal police with legal authorization such as a subpoena or search warrant.
It’s unclear what, exactly, the FBI wants to keep track of. The possibilities include requiring an Internet provider to log the Internet protocol (IP) address of a Web site visited, a domain name, a host name, or an actual website URL. While the first three categories could be logged without doing deep packet inspection, the fourth category would require it. That could run up against opposition in Congress.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you feel the FBI has the right to require ISPs to keep such information? Also, do they have the right to OUR information in this manner? There are many excellent things being posted online, such as this story, on a daily basis – some of it right here in our own community!
During his speech on the final day of CES, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has stated that users no longer have an expectation of privacy. Mark said that privacy is no longer the “social norm”, and that we are seeing drastic changes in people’s attitudes towards that privacy. Privacy issues online have always been of great concern to most people, but that no longer seems to be the case. Says Zuckerberg:
People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that has evolved over time.
This raises a lot of interesting questions, especially in my line of work. We have quite a large community. Granted, we don’t have as many users as does Facebook or Twitter, but I like to think we’re a large group! Reading through our various sites, I can’t help but notice how right Mark is. People aren’t hiding things as much as they used to. They aren’t as careful as they might have been even last year.
Are people more comfortable with revealing information about themselves online? Or, as I fear, are too many people simply unaware of what can happen when they reveal too much? Identity theft isn’t the only concern… marketers can be quite aggressive once they find information about you online. Where should you draw the line when posting things in a place such as Geeks, or on Lockergnome?
I came across an interesting link today while browsing Twitter. The author writes about how companies who are new to social media are failing miserably when it comes to writing job descriptions for their newly-created social media positions. He goes on to say he used to blame the companies themselves for writing poorly-constructed ads. Then, he realized that it isn’t the company’s fault at all. They don’t know what they’re doing, remember? They are new to this whole social media scene, and may not even know what it is they are looking FOR, exactly.
How would you suggest a company create a position for this, and market it? What should they look for? How should their ads be worded to be the most effective? I think that the social media experts in our community are the perfect place to get ideas flowing, and help these companies out!
What have you read today that sparked your imagination and interest, or made you stop and think? Make sure you share the links with the rest of us, so we don’t miss out!
http://live.pirillo.com/ – Michael Rubin joins me live to talk about his new book Droid Maker. This book delves into the computer division of the Lucas Film making empire. Learn about the birth of some of todays’ most impressive film technology… begun by a group of computer Geeks.
Droid Maker is the three year brainchild from author Michael Rubin. Michael was part of the group who worked many years ago, developing what we now know as Pixar. They also are the pioneers of avatars, online game play, and even digital video editing.
Droid Maker is the inside story of George Lucas, his company, and the work they did to revolutionize the film industry. This book ventures in territory never explored, as Michael reconstructs the events in Hollywood to track the genesis of modern media. This is a compelling story that takes the reader into an era of technological innovation almost completely unknown.
I can’t wait to dive in and read this book myself. I only received it the day of our interview, so I haven’t had a chance yet. But Michaels enthusiasm for his work, combined with my own love of technology, guarantees this is one book I won’t be able to put down.
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