Android 4.3 – I can’t believe it’s not butter

Posted by Madbot on Jul 27, 2013 in Madbot Madness, Techno

Madbot says:

Not bad Google, not bad. The ‘original’ Nexus 7 of mine enjoyed initial dedicated love and attention for several months where I faithfully carried it to work everyday – in case I have a need for it. I enjoyed discovering more Android with it and doing things Steve would never let me do on the iPhone and iPad. It was a real performer compares to the other Android tablet – Asus transformer. I was charmed by project butter and became one of the converted.

However, as time wore on and patches after patches got loaded, the butter knife became blunted and the 7 lost performance fast. Over time, I discovered it needed a minimum 2gb of free space to function in a barely acceptable speed. Even then, some apps were still extremely frustrating and switching between apps infuriated me more. Even the simple act of bringing up a keyboard could take seconds. SECONDS! Using some iPad 1’s at the office made me ask myself why I ever left Steve’s world. Sure, I later discovered having 3gb of free space made it slightly more tolerable – but then why would have to put up with this?

The Nexus soon joined the Transformer in a pile of wasted technology.

But now Android 4.3 is out and installed, initial thoughts were happy ones. Apps are more smooth and while it’s not as iPad-like, it’s certainly made the overall experience more enjoyable.

I still question why it takes a second to bring up the keyboard – and I had given up on Swype and those cool keyboard apps to switch back to the default in the name of performance, yet the lag is still there.

But you know what? Using the (original) Nexus is enjoyable again. It has brought back the smile on my face. Well done, Google. Can we keep the butter going now? It really should stay as part of Android’s bread-and-butter. Keep up the quality!



Android 4.3 here I come

Posted by Madbot on Jul 27, 2013 in Madbot Madness, Techno

Finally, Android 4.3 arriving OTA (over the air) on my Nexus 7.

Hope this brings the performance back on par with project butter.



Gawker Media and truncated blog (RSS) feeds

Posted by Madbot on Jul 21, 2013 in Human Observation, Madbot Madness, Techno

So Gawker Media does it again. After chopping its blogs feeds and place the contents behind ‘Read More’, and realizing it doesn’t work, the feeds were returned to their full glory albeit you had to jump through a couple of hoops to find them.

I am a heavy user of offline RSS reader, therefore relies on the full content feed. Last week, Gawker Media does it again and truncated the feeds unannounced, without so much as a ping to its readers.

Well, it’s been a good run. I stuck with Gizmodo, kotaku, and lifejacket for many years. It’s now time to switch fully to Engadget, joystique, and .. I dunno what replaces Lifehacker. It’s a pity as I have enjoyed the humor and the sometimes silly and relaxed style of Gawker Media writers. But clicking through ‘Read More’ for each article is like having to stop and start your engine at every red light.

So so long Gizmodo, so long kotaku, and an in-advance farewell to Lifehacker.


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Microsoft Surface Product Placement – Ghost in the shell (Arise) 2013

Posted by Madbot on Jun 30, 2013 in Madbot Madness

Madbot says:

Microsoft went all out this time to promote the new Microsoft Surface Pro. The series Ghost in the shell, an epic Japanese sci-fi anime that produced manga, TV episodes and movies, last week launched their latest instalment in the form of a pre-quel.

Rather than telling the story in TV-episodes, this time it’s movie-episodes. Each movie episode is approximately 60 minutes and there will be a number of movies. The first instalment launched last week (Jun 22) in Japan with the ticket price of 1,200 yen, or around US$12.


Microsoft released their first serious attempt into the PC hardware world with Surface (the tablet, not the table) last year with limited success. Surface RT didn’t receive a great reception although personally I am enjoying the Surface Pro. I had read on blogs that Microsoft Surface was a dominant product placement in the latest Ghost in the shell instalment but I had no idea how far they went with it. As we lined up to go into the theater, each one of us was handed this “newspaper”.

Microsoft Surface on one side:

Articles giving background information on the movie on the other side.

In the movie itself, the Surface was advertised on large buildings and even used by the main character as her personal computer. With the film set in 2027, it was weird to see the main character – who is a genius hacker herself – use “old” technology from 2012.. Imagine us running Windows 98 on a Pentium laptop in 2013. YouTube won’t even run..

There were other brand placements in the movie though none as significant as the Surface.

Anyway, the movie was enjoyable. If you’re interested. here is a review of the movie at Kotaku.

And the trailer:



iPhone hangover – cant exit Do Not Disturb

Posted by Madbot on Jan 1, 2013 in Madbot Madness

New year hangover for the iPhone? Already 12:38pm and can’t exit Do Not Disturb.



Happy New Year

Posted by Madbot on Jan 1, 2013 in Madbot Madness

Somehow ended up on a local train from Yokohama to Tokyo when the clock ticked midnight.




Merry Christmas – and a video if you are missing out on a white Christmas

Posted by Madbot on Dec 24, 2012 in Madbot Madness

Merry Christmas all. 🙂


Nexus 7 – detailed (negative) impressions after 1 week.

Posted by Madbot on Aug 19, 2012 in Madbot Madness, Techno


Madbot says:

The Nexus 7 has been out for a month and I tried hard to get a unit out here in the land of the rising sun. Alas, all attempts failed and ended up ordering he 16gb unit over eBay for around 30,000 yen (around US$375) including shipping. Expensive? Hell yeah but I had high hopes for this little tablet.

The unit arrived soon enough – under 48 hours from New Jersey to Tokyo. Very impressed with Fedex. Happily teared open the box and here are the thoughts after regular heavy usage in just a smidge over a week.

Absolutely love this little tablet. It is fun to use, light and easy to carry due to the form factor, and hell it made my iPad 1 feel like a dinosaur.

However, it does have some potentially serious issues.

What I loved about it:
– Gorgeous screen
– Small(er) and light(er) form factor.
– Fast, fast, fast!

What I didn’t like:
– Build quality. The unit is generally built well however mine has one serious fault – the touch screen sometimes stops responding over certain areas. The condition was so weird that I thought something was stuck in my finger tips causing the screen to not register the touch.

A quick search found many others also reported the same problem. Since this was purchased over eBay and Nexus 7 isn’t out in Japan yet, I don’t really want to go through the troubles contacting Asus. There are definitely good days and bad days with the screen and in fact it is happening right now.

Here is one person reporting a completely dead screen.

– Google Play – I wondered why my Google Play store screen looked so bare when compared to the advertising and I had no idea what the $25 credit was all about. After some more searching, apparently the credit only applies if your IP is from the country where the Nexus 7 is available. Similarly the contents available are restricted by looking up your IP.

Others reported a bug where you can factory reset the Nexus 7, create a new gmail account and associate it with a new credit card – and everytime you do, you will get the credit. Giving this a shot using Hideman (a simple VPN service on Android) turned out to do the trick and managed to buy an app with the credit.

– Can’t read USB/SD. This wasn’t a deal breaker as the tablet can be rooted and hacked to read SD and USB keys – however, it requires rooting the device and that means a loss of warranty. With the screen problems, I just didn’t want to take the risk.

So for those of you who want one but haven’t got one yet – wait for v2 of Nexus 7 after the build issues have been ironed out.

This is such a fun tablet and gave me very high hopes about Android’s future, I am not even interested in the rumored Apple iPad Mini anymore. 🙂

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Google Handwrite – You win, Google. Can I join you now?

Posted by Madbot on Jul 27, 2012 in Madbot Madness

Madbot says,

Played with Google Handwrite today. Not so convenient when searching in English… typing on keyboard is still faster.

BUT !! (and a big BUT this is) what a completely different story if you need to search in a different language like Japanese or Chinese. I am not fluent in using the Japanese and Chinese keyboard on smartphones and tablets.. however now I can just “write” it..!

All those times when you see a character that you want to search but didn’t know how to type it using the keyboard..? No worries, just draw it on your smartphone and you’re set.

But one thing – add it to Google Translate already.

What a game changer. Google, you win. Can I join you now..? Call me..!


CNN typos

Posted by Madbot on Jul 13, 2012 in Japan

Madbot says:

Sitting in staff cafeteria during lunch, we watched in amazement as lines of CNN typos scrolled the TV screen.

Does CNN still check what they put on screen..?

“Chian” instead of “China”

Police shoots “rubbers” bullets. Lol!

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