Microsoft Surface Pro vs. iPad

This is a personal observation since I had the opportunity to own both the Surface and iPad. You would be surprised to find out which device I actually kept. Can you guess? Microsoft Surface Pro was the one that I ended up keeping. I’m totally fond of Apple products and I still use them over “others”. For example, MacBook Pro is the primary laptop I use on daily basis, iPhone is the primary handset that I use for pretty much everything.

However, in the tablet world I was looking for a device that can do it all. Many will argue that iPad’s can achieve such, I strongly disagree after I gave Microsoft Surface Pro a chance.

With the Surface what you are running is a full blown version of Microsoft Windows 8. iPad’s are running a well designed but limited iOS version which essentially should only be used on handsets.

Second, I’m able to use a full Office products on the Surface. On the iPad I have tried various alternative “apps” such as: Pages, Office2, Smart Office2, and Docs2Go to name a few. Great apps don’t get me wrong, but neither of these applications could open a simple Word document that included, charts, and colour schemes. On the iPad the particular Word file in question looked like a mess. All I wanted to do was edit, and send it back to the sender. The program that came close was Smart Office 2, however after editing and attempting to save, the recipient could not open the document.  I’ve tried literally everything to edit this simple Word file. I almost threw my iPad out because of it. (I was highly disappointed in Apple’s Pages) What took hours without success, took only seconds with Microsoft Surface Pro.

Okay, some of you may be thinking, just because of a Word document he got rid of the iPad over the Surface. Well no. Essentially iPad will more then likely beat the Surface in the entertainment area. BUT, there is one interesting feature that the Surface has that has not been advertised or talked about over iPad (entertainment related).

I love music, for entertainment purposes I would choose music over movies, games, etc. On the iPad the only way I could play an entire song was to either go on Youtube or purchase the song from iTunes. Well on the Surface there is an app called “Music”. You can search for any artist and listen to the entire song for free. YES for FREE. Not only the entire song, the entire ALBUM!. Can your iPad do that? There is no jailbreak required, there is no “hack” needed, just simply click on on the Music icon, and listen away.

The conclusion what I came up with was, if you are planning to use any iPad for productivity (aside from replying to emails), forget about it. You are looking at a wrong device.

I won’t be purchasing an Apple tablet until they release iPad Pro (which hopefully includes a full blown MacOS).

UPDATE (May 7, 2014): Needless to say I never kept the Surface Pro. I felt as though it wasn’t very compact. I rather bring a full blown laptop. I also found that touch-screen when you are doing serious work is not required. I’ve used the touch function maybe 10% of the time. I still believe Surface Pro is much better overall functional unit than iPad, however I’m sticking to laptops until possible iPad Pro release.

12 Year old Montreal Hacker

It is reported that a 12 year old hacker from Montreal was able to hack into websites belonging to the Montreal police, the Quebec Institute of Public Health, the Chilean government, and other, non-public entities. If all checks out, he would be the youngest Canadian known hacker. It is reported that $60,000 of damages were caused by the hacks. There was no word what sort of exploits he had used, however it was reported that the hacker did manage to gain Administrator and User access. I doubt there will be any releases of the exploits he had used, it would have been interesting to see what it was.

Are all the elite hackers from Montreal ? 🙂

Blackberry Messenger BBM Released

At first I thought it was a joke. But here are the direct links for both Android and Apple, its official Blackberry Messenger BBM is released.

APPLE

ANDROID

Update #1: I have fully enjoyed having BBM on my iPhone. I truly don’t have any complaints and I think Blackberry did a terrific job creating the App on the iOS platform. I haven’t had the chance to try the Android version as of yet, therefore I can’t comment. For me the only feature that its missing is swapping between devices (sorta how iMessage has it setup). Lets say I have an Android Tablet and iPhone. If I have BBM installed on both devices, it would be great if I was able to use both simultaneously. Currently, if you log in one device, it logs you out of the other one.

Many of the other complaints I have been hearing that are lacking are video sharing, video chat, etc. I’m sure those will be added to the future upgrades, however, the App the way it is currently is fantastic.

Web Search Results Required

Clients have approached me on a countless occasion requiring web search results over the actual web design/development. Web site owners rather keep their out dated content, old layout, old infrastructure, old coding and expect a Search Engine Optimization to place them number 1 on Google search index.

The problem with that assumption is that Google updates its search engine index algorithm monthly if not weekly (possibly daily). The algorithm is constantly evolving and including the latest technologies, trends and social data gathering. More importantly, Google’s main search prerogative is the actual content/information. In simple terms, if your content is 5 years old, and you spend your budget on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), it won’t be significant enough for Google to care.

CONTENT IS KEY

PRO TIP: Before attacking SEO, consider changing and or updating your websites content. Google likes updated content, coding, and technology.

Google Hangout for iOS

If you have updated to the latest version of Google Hangout, you will notice that there is a call option now. And yes it actually works for Canadians (for now). The call quality is superb, and it essentially uses Google Voice technology without all the extra options that you get with Google Voice. Its a start for us Canadians who have been deprived and have not had a chance to legally obtain Google Voice account.

If you are a Canadian, grab the 1.3.0 version and don’t update it. I assume they will disable this for Canadians in the next update. Enjoy free phone calls to Canada and United States.

Direct Link (AppStore)

Rogers down for 3 hours due to software glitch

Rogers wireless has approximately $9.42 million wireless customers and all of them were down between 6:00 PM and 10:30 PM. The most interesting part is that voice and SMS were down, however DATA was up and running.

The apparent software glitch was due to heavy traffic and was not handled properly by the switching system causing a major crash. There have been no specific reports of how the software works and what it has to do with switches. The assumption is that there is a two way system where one voice is carried over and the other signals between the towers, therefore when you are driving it makes sure that it switches you over to the nearest tower to you. Allegedly that’s what failed which caused the primary system to run into a loop.

There is an underlying denial that hacking was involved taking down the system.

Current result and resolution is the update of the current software thats being used (fixing the hole) and giving all the postpaid subscribers a day of service refund (if you are paying $30 monthly, you would get $1 discount on your next bill).

The most disturbing factor in all of this is that 911 was not functioning. Interesting part is that Rogers recommends users of having a land line if they are required to make 911 phone calls. Who has a land line anymore?

PRO TIP: If your provider is ever down, take out your sim card, reboot the phone and let the phone roam on any network to make that important 911 call. Hopefully, you can do all of these steps while in an emergency situation. Or get a Bell land line.

Search Engine Indexing: Alexa takes out reviews

If you are a web designer-developer you have heard of Alexa. Alexa is in a way a premium version of Google Analytics. It also provides you with a detailed statistical data of your website.

One of the features that it had was “reviews”. You were able to review other websites that were ranked in the Alexa system. This is no secret but if you had an account with Alexa and had your domains added to your Alexa account and you ended up reviewing other websites your ranking would improve significantly. For example if I left a positive review for Bing.com and Google.com I would see my personal domains get bumped. Alexa will of course deny such a practice but it was evident that it would “help” to leave positive reviews for other domains.

The other issue is that there were services that provided for $ to leave positive reviews for your website. Of course again, that would improve your Alexa ranking even further versus if you left positive reviews yourself.

Alexa has finally decided to take “reviews” out of the equation. If you go on any website under the reviews section you will receive a message that the feature was retired.

There are of course other methods of manipulating Alexa’s rating system, I shall leave that for another article.

Blacklist for stolen phones in effect (Canada’s first)

The Canadian Cell Phone “blacklist” database has been created a while ago, but it was never implemented by any of the Canadian telecoms. Needless to say the technology has been used in various countries such as U.S. and U.K.

Blackberry if you recall had been using this technology in their own eco-system for many years. What they would do is disable any of the core service such as BBM, and email. Therefore, you were only able to use anything that wasn’t Blackberry service related. They did this particularly with Demo models and did implement stolen blackberries to be included in the database as well.

Why did all the telecoms agree and decided to share the current database. It’s possible due to the rise of robberies in the Greater Toronto Area particularly Rogers stores there was a consensus to kick-start the database.

What’s in included in the database?

IMEI which every handset has. You can check your IMEI by typing *#06#.

Therefore, if you are planning on purchasing a used or new handset, now you can check online if it has been “blacklisted“. Click here

If you are unable to go on the internet to check the IMEI, the easiest way to check is to pop in a SIM correlating to the cell phone. If you are unable to make a phone call the chances are your cell phone was blacklisted.

UPDATE: Its important to note that the database DOES NOT include any of the phones stolen prior to September 30, 2013.

iMessage for Android

iMessage for Android

iMessage for Android iMessage Description

There was no word about it anywhere, iSheep followers were stunned, what happened you ask? iMessage for Android was released by Apple. Wait, no it wasn’t by Apple, it was by a guy named Daniel Zweigart (Alias?). What he did is pretty remarkable. He took what I could only assume propitiatory code, rewrote it, created his own server (in China of course), created valid handshakes, and got iMessage to function with individual Apple logins. Pretty impressive. The only problem is, the information is floating back and forth on a server located in China and so is your Apple login information.

How does it look aesthetically, well its remarkably familiar to those who have used iOS before:

iMessage Aesthetically

Thus far the reviews have been either fantastic or awful within the Android community:

iMessage Android Reviews

If you have used the application I would suggest to reset your Apple password, I would even go as far in saying to remove the application from your handset.

How long will the application be on the Google Play store is difficult to say. I’m actually shocked its still there.

iMessage for Android

UPDATE: As of 6:00 PM (EST) the app is no longer available on the Google Play Store.

Canada Spectrum Auctions 700 MHz band

Today is the day where the mobile applications must apply to be part of the auction which takes place January 14, 2014. The applicants must submit beneficial ownership, associated entities information along 5% deposit which could be in the millions.

The word is Wind Mobile, Telus, Bell and Rogers are currently the only players in the auction. The hope is that there will be a foreign entity involved. As you may recal Verizon was the early entrant who backed out after they staked into Vodafone.

We won’t find out who the players are until October 22, 2013 who the entrants are, unless they somehow leak it. On November 8, 2013 we should know the actual publication of final list of qualified bidders.

Even if a foreign entity does win an auction, builds a telecom, and then finally starts to roll out the service, we will not see any discount and they will submerge as the other 3 (Bell, Telus, Rogers).

QUICK FACTS ABOUT 700 MHz band:

  • less towers required to cover the required space vs. other bands
  • penetrates objects such as walls easier vs. other bands
  • compatible with 4G