Tech | Vipul Satya

Vipul Satya

To Dream is to Dare

Focus

Whatsapp CEO Jan Koum on hitting 500 million users

What’s the company going to do to celebrate? We’re going to get our engineers together and fix a lot of bugs. We don’t have anything huge we’ve changed in our last six months, but we’ve had probably 1,000 little bug fixes and improvements.

I worry about how to offer a competitive set of features without making the UI difficult, the user experience worse, the application bloated. These screens are small. There’s a limited amount of memory and bandwidth. It’s just all about focus.

There’s not enough money and not enough celebrities in the world to convince people to use a shitty product. People are so savvy these days. People expect a good user experience.

Enough said.

Nike fires majority of FuelBand team, will stop making wearable hardware ?

Nike is gearing up to shutter its wearable-hardware efforts, and the sportswear company this week fired the majority of the team responsible for the development of its FuelBand fitness tracker
“Partnering with industry-leading tech companies is nothing new for Nike,” Nike’s Strong said. “We have been working with Apple to develop products since 2006”

No shit Sherlock.

Galaxy Gear - Worth it?

Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch has got yet another price cut and will now retail at Rs 14,990. This is the second such price cut in a month, after Samsung slashed prices of the smartwatch from Rs 22,990 to Rs 19,075.

Nope. Not even now.

Understanding Google

An excellent article by Ben Thompson on why Google is focusing less on Android and why Chrome is the focal point of all future developments.

 

The new Gmail Interface - Welcome Ads. More Ads.

Well played Google. So all the hype around the new modern user interface was nothing but a ploy to insert more ads. Cheap tricks. Nonetheless well played.

Dear Notion Ink

I was there last time –All the time.

When the first prototype of Adam was delivered, when we toppled Oprah’s blog as the most read blog on the eve of pre-orders being launched.  When the Weather UI mockups were released. I saw it all.

The crescendo and the fall after that.

Every now and then I visited the blog hoping for a new post. Gradually the frequency reduced because there was no content coming up. In a way I was happy, Rohan and team were not revealing their cards.

Last year, they did some real innovation in terms of both Hardware and Software, their UI was way way ahead of the Touchwiz and the Sense UI’s that prevailed back then. They launched. They failed. Others conquered. The big guns clearly made the most of this failure, including making changes in design and UI clearly inspired by that of Adam’s. In a way it was a victory but the fanboy in me was sad. Sad for the fact that this victory could have been that of Notion Ink.

Fast forward to 2013. We’re seeing leaks again of the new Adam II with a side screen for notifications and all. Rohan, I request you not to reveal any features till you’re ready to ship. I do not want anymore “Over promise and under deliver” accusations neither do I want other companies to get inspired from the Adam and implement new features and ship products before you guys can. I want Adam to be a success. I want it to disrupt the “upgrade tech specs and get a new version” tablet market.

I want it to be the change. And young padawan the force is strong with this one.

All the love, hope and expectations

– Adam FanBoy!

Microsoft Surface - iPad killer my ass!

June 19th 2012 – Gizmodo comes out with an article and makes a bold prediction of Microsoft surface making the iPad  and Macbook Air obsolete.

They make claims of how Microsoft has out-Apple’d Apple, how the Surface is a device Sir Johny Ive would make if he had complete control over hardware and UI. How the Surface works as a laptop (thus making Macbook Air obsolete) and works as a tablet (thus making the iPad obsolete)

By the way, when Surface was used as an laptop it failed in comparison to the Macbook Air, when used as a tablet you guess which device triumphed.

Microsoft had a killer device in place – It had a huge marketing blitz to support it. There was a big hype over the Metro UI and Windows RT being the next big thing in OS world. What happened then?

Simple. It just didn’t work. When you get new bugs every other week, it can not.

Users were confused between Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 RT.

Developers prefered Windows Mobile and Windows Pro to develop apps

Even some of the closest partners didn’t see Windows RT as a platform to bet upon.

One year and a month down the line.

We get this
As sales flounder, Microsoft will drop prices on Surface RT tablet

and. THIS.

Walt Mossberg: Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Air offers amazing, all-day battery life

Update:

Microsoft took a $900 million hit on Surface RT this quarter

Godspeed Tim Stevens

Yesterday night, something strange happened. The nicest guy in Tech, who for once more than filled Josh’s big sized shoes at Engadget has resigned and decided to move to something else. All the best Tim for all your future endeavors, You’ll always be remembered for being the man amongst the world of fanboyism.

PRISM - The biggest hoax ever played - Either ways!

Washington post came out with a report about the NSA having access to servers of the big 9 tech companies, whose products/services are being used by billions of people around the globe. To say it shook the tech world would be an understatement. It was surprising but what followed was a strong response by every major tech company named.

Google, Facebook and Apple came out with almost identical statements which you can read here [google], here [facebook] and here [apple]

What they said was

We do not provide government any kind of access to our servers. Period.

Though they agreed to give access after proper court orders were issued. Google and Facebook went a step ahead and said

“…We have never received a blanket request or court order from any government agency asking for information or metadata in bulk, like the one Verizon reportedly received…” – Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook

“…Until this week’s reports, we had never heard of the broad type of order that Verizon received—an order that appears to have required them to hand over millions of users’ call records. We were very surprised to learn that such broad orders exist…” – Larry Page, Google

Now, to think of it that the heads of major corporations are lying and giving the NSA a backdoor access is a remote possibility but you cannot rule it out altogether. The usage of very similar words adds to suspicion. On the other hand if you happen to read the NSA article that I linked above and scroll down to the very first comment on the website here is what it says

“I think the american public just got punk’d by a well managed prank. Consider, the Department of Transportation’s FAA division does use a software program they call PRISM. It’s a management program that integrates with the computer systems of their vendors. One of the slides gives it away to the alert reader, “Complete list and details on PRISM web page: Go PRISMFAA”. WTF, the FAA web site is the place to go to find out about an NSA operation? I don’t think so. Or, whoever did this may not know what the role of the FAA is within our government. So we are to believe these slides were created on government computers without regard for copyright notices for all those logos. Better yet, why bother with logos? Did anyone else notice that Apple was “added Oct 2012”, one year to the month of Steve Job’s passing? What a coincident. Even the “International Internet Regional Bandwidth Capacity for 2011” values seem way off, say about 11,000 Gbps off. I also have to assume the “Special Source Operations” seal is classified, couldn’t find it in any database of government seals. Even the “SI” annotation is not correct, there should be a qualifier with it (SI-G, would do it). And when did NSA analyst start giving a hoot about how much an operation cost? This punk’n has just enough truth around the edges to alarm us. It’s working. Peace”

 

Either the US government with every tech company hand in glove is playing the biggest hoax or someone at Washington Post and The Guardian got fooled by someone who’s a big fan of Person of Interest

False Advertising Redmond

Microsoft came up with this witty video ad below:

While the ad was witty and was taken in good humor as the Mac vs PC series that ran some years ago, to top it up Microsoft came up with this page:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/compare#t1=asus-vivotab-smart

This is where trouble started.

Have a look at this:

Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 1.25.06 AM

It compares the display size of the iPad and the new Asus VivoTab. The figures drawn are not to scale, It’s a clear case of wrong proportions.

Why do I say wrong proportions, because when you scroll down the page here’s what it says:

The ASUS VivoTab Smart is lighter than the iPad, has a bigger touchscreen…

While the FACT is it does NOT.

The iPad is 7.76X5.82 and the Asus VivoTab screen is 8.8X4.95, while it has got more breadth it has less width, resulting in a bigger diagonal
BUT
the iPad screen size is 45.16 square inches whereas the ASUS VivoTab measures 43.56 square inches.

All said and done, False Advertising is never appreciated, whoever it comes from.