Au Revoir, Android (On How Uncool Android Has Become)

‎Having an Android handset has never been a disappointment like this. As more and more people have Android phones on earth, one thing you must know is that you should be ready if your handset turns obsoletely unupgradable within 1-2 years of use. Yes, it costs us cheap as hell but if you don’t want to have a pricey smartphone that will end up too soon in a landfill, or even worse, left unused in the drawer though actually still it can function, you’d better find any other alternatives. Such as Apple’s iPhone. Ahem…

I know BlackBerry sucks when it comes to apps, ecosystem, and so on, but admit it, even if you think it sucks a lot, the security is much better. That’s why Obama doesn’t use Android or iPhone. Because the security of BlackBerry is better! How come? Thanks to the much fewer apps it provides on BlackBerry World! A security expert says the more apps a platform has, the higher the security risk means. Within an app, comes also a bunch of security flaws that are maybe exploited by hackers.

Android is way too unsecure for sure. Look at the uncurated, unfiltered Google Play, which is filled with fake applications for anyone to download. As Nathaniel Mott of Pando Daily puts it some days ago, “Android can sometimes seem like a no-win product for Google, especially where security is concerned.” And I can hardly believe how ignorant Google is to the cyber safety of older Android handsets owners. They pretty much don’t care.

Mott says again:

“The company can either assert more control over the platform and risk the alienation of its manufacturing partners, or it can leave things alone and receive criticism when security vulnerabilities aren’t fixed in a timely manner — if they’re ever fixed at all. This problem is highlighted by Google’sinability to fix several security vulnerabilities in the WebView component included with versions of the platform before the release of Android 4.4 “KitKat” in October 2013. As the company’s engineers told the developer of the Metasploit Project after he emailed them about the newly-discovered vulnerabilities: If the affected version [of WebView] is before 4.4, we generally do not develop the patches ourselves, but welcome patches with the report for consideration. Other than notifying OEMs, we will not be able to take action on any report that is affecting versions before 4.4 that are not accompanied with a patch. It’s not that Google doesn’t want to fix the vulnerability — it’s that Android was designed in such a way that it can’t fix the problem itself. Manufacturers have to develop their own fixes, or decide to send Google’s updates to their devices because they’re responsible for the software installed on their smartphones. (Carriers also have some input.) The only problem? Manufacturers often stop sending updates to older devices after a certain period of time because they’re focused on newer products. That has hurt consumers in the past, like when Google revealed thatpeople using older Android devices will remain vulnerable to the infamous Heartbleed bug until manufacturers release a fix. This problem is further exacerbated by the fact that many manufacturers never update older devices to more recent versions of Android. After all, if they can’t be bothered to release security updates, why go through the trouble of working on a much larger Android update? So even though Google is working on this issue, it will be years before consumers benefit. Google is trying to do the right thing, but it made a mistake when it sacrificed control over Android for the sake of market share. Now its customers are paying the price, and because its name is attached to Android despite its lack of say over how manufacturers use the platform, it could face backlash for the perception of it not caring about consumers.‎” (Nathaniel Mott)

I ditched my Samsung Galaxy Nexus 2 months ago. Not that it defuncted or started to fall apart, but I just develop a new interest in iPhone. The Nexus 2 and iPhone 4S don’t differ much but one thing I notice is the fact that you are less likely to find a malware, or crapware on App Store. And I have a BlackBerry for a blogging and writing purpose (this is the thing I am writing this very blog post on). So I don’t quite care about the apps on my BlackBerry Q5. As long as it can work well to blog and draft my news articles on the go, why should I download crappy apps?

Update Software Biang Konsumerisme?

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Apple sial! Hanya dalam waktu 3 tahun, iPhone-nya sudah menjadi barang usang. Bagi Anda yang memiliki iPhone 4, jangan berharap akan ada update iOS 8. Dan bahkan bagi pemilik iPhone 4S, jangan berlega hati dulu! Karena konon meskipun masih memungkinkan untuk mengunduh versi terbaru iOS itu, iPhone Anda akan makin BOROS baterainya dan LAMBAT kinerjanya!!! Bagaimana bisa? Mari salahkan hardwarenya yang kurang mendukung. Lalu solusinya apa? Beli iPhone baru lagi. wtf!!!

Sebetulnya sayang sekali bukan menghambur-hamburkan uang demi membeli perangkat baru yang belum begitu mendesak untuk dimiliki sekaligus membuang perangkat lama yang masih berfungsi baik? Tetapi bagaimana lagi, memang itu yang kerap terjadi di dunia teknologi. Tak ayal sampah makin menggunung saja. Jadi kalau ada anggapan Apple perusahaan yang paling ramah lingkungan, mungkin harus dipertanyakan lagi.

Namun, di balik update software yang membakar semangat konsumerisme itu memang ada sisi positifnya. Keamanan makin yahud. Dengan kemunculan virus Heartbleed yang konon menyebar luas di dunia maya, yang artinya juga bisa menjangkiti perangkat bergerak apapun yang tersambung ke Internet, aspek keamanan berselancar terutama dalam hal transaksi keuangan dan data pribadi semacam surel menjadi melemah. Karenanya, produsen software semacam Apple harus menyempurnakan sistem operasinya lagi agar tidak akan ada lagi insiden memalukan seperti bocornya foto tanpa busana aktris Jennifer Lawrence.

Dunia Android juga setali tiga uang. Saya pernah memiliki Samsung Galaxy Nexus 2 yang diberi gelar sebagai smartphone flagshipnya Google-Samsung. Tahun 2012 Nexus 2 dirilis dan begitu mendapat 2 x update sistem operasi Android secara otomatis via jaringan seluler dalam beberapa bulan berikutnya, tak akan ada lagi update yang bisa dinikmati. Itulah kebijakan Samsung. wtf!!!

Dan kabar buruknya bagi para pengguna smartphone beranggaran cekak (atau yang sengaja membatasi anggaran pembelian perangkat barunya) seperti saya dan mayoritas pengguna ponsel pintar di dunia ini, sisi keamanan harus dikorbankan agar tetap bisa berhemat. Duh!

#AppleLive is ON

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Forty five minutes to go. I’m fidgeting…
It’s 23:17 Jakarta time. And why this live event is too long to wait for to start?

Coco Lee, that 1990’s singer, is attending the event as well. Anna Wintour of Vogue Magazine is there.

Here we go!

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#AppleLive is ON

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Forty five minutes to go. I’m fidgeting…
It’s 23:17 Jakarta time. And why this live event is too long to wait for to start?

When An Android User Switched to iPhone

Whenever I show a new, non-Android gadget to coworkers who happen to be avid and loyal Android users, I was terribly judged as a traitor. Seriously, why is it so?

Once I got a BlackBerry, they thought it was a total crap. An utter fad I would at last lament with utmost remorse. I don’t.

As I switch to another mobile phone, I learn new things, and that’s particularly good as it stimulates my brain. Learn to use new stuff and your grey cells keep agile and connected to each other, just a way to stay away from premature dementia.

So I switched to the iPhone, after being an Android user for about 3 years. I was just curious why some Apple fanboys and girls are that fanatic. I wish I could feel the enthusiasm, adopt the fanaticism but alas! I never manage to be a staunch fan of any single thing on earth. Just be modest. Anything, anyone has their own strengths and weaknesses so be cool every time possible. Fanaticism has been proved to have a long dark shameful history, and I’m not going to be part of that.

To be blunt, fanaticism never works on me, whether it be politics, education, religion, or technology. I want to be free. And fanaticism won’t let you as free as a bird. It shackles you. It is the cage that never let’s you fly to roam the vast world.

That said, possibly my next gadget is some cool Windows Phone. But definitely not now, when the variety of apps is less than exciting.

Apple ‘Bagikan’ iPhone Gratis di Facebook. Sayangnya Cuma Spam.

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Melihat seorang teman di Facebook yang baru saja menyukai sebuah unggahan, saya pun langsung tergiur. Siapa tidak? Dalam unggahan itu dikatakan cukup klik untuk mengklaim sebuah iPhone gratis dari 60-an unit yang tersisa.

“Gila, beruntung sekali saya! Masih dapat! Horeee!!!” Ibu jari mulai beraksi tanpa berpikir lagi. Saya baca dan temukan tombol BELANJA SEKARANG. Dan tampillah laman di atas.

Lalu sejurus akal sehat mulai bekerja. “Looks fishy,” gumam saya. Saya ketikkan “apple giveaway scam” di mesin pencari dan… voila! Ini bukan pertama kali taktik keji seperti ini dipakai penipu. Beberapa tulisan mengenai hal serupa beredar di Internet.

Saya belum tahu apakah email saya akan menjadi sasaran scam setelah ini karena di laman itu dikatakan email konfirmasi akan dikirim.

UPDATE: Setelah memeriksa kotak masuk surel, ternyata memang ada surel dari laman scammer tadi.

Don't share!
Don’t share!

The Franzenstein Effect: Jonathan Franzen on the ‘Eternal’ Battle of PC versus Mac

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Those sharp eyes and the stare! (Image credit: GQ.com)

As he was reading his own essay on the Kraus Project, the contemporary renowned American author Jonathan Franzen showcased his bitter, cynical view towards the latest progress of the world of technology. And that makes him so much intelligently ‘sexier’ than any other authors, in my view. I’m glad that he spoke about it with utterly no regret.

During his brief reading, anyone can notice the underestimating tone he was using to explain Apple’s product that J. K. Rowling said while interviewed by Anne Pachett to have changed her own life because of its light weight. Thanks to the slim design and dimension of MacBook Air, the British writer admitted she now can write “really anywhere”.

But, Mr. Franzen begs to differ! He’s got his own belief and stance.

And I coined the term “Franzenstein” to show you how much I love this dark, studious and super serious literary monster, like one created by Frankenstein in a gothic novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (the creator’s name is commonly used to refer to his creation). He is the man who obviously escapes control (of the society’s) and destroys its creator (society too).

Franzen refers to this as “Kraus’ dichotomy” of coolness and uncoolness, content versus form.

He lashed out with his eyes swiftly sweeping the audience and entire room he was in,”Is it the essence of the Apple product that you have coolness by virtue of owning it? Doesn’t matter what you’re creating on your MacBook Air, simply using a MacBook Air and using its elegant design of hardware and software is a pleasure in itself. Like walking down the street in Paris, while we’re working on some clunky utilitarian PC, where the only thing to enjoy is the quality of your work itself… As Kraus said in its Germanic life, the PC sobers what you’re doing. It allows you to see it unadorned.”

The author again added spontaneously,”This was especially true in the years of DOS Operating System and early Windows…”

To emphasize his point, he sheepishly whispered, almost unheard,”I like DOS…”

And he didn’t want to stop there. Franzen also criticized Microsoft on how messy Windows now has become since the corporation’s engineers decided to choose the pursuit of becoming more like Macintosh in and out. As Franzen put it,”One of the developments that Kraus would decry in this essay is the Viennese dolling up the German language and culture with decorative elements imported from Romans language and culture has a correlative in more recent editions of Windows which borrow ever more features from Apple but still can’t conceal their essential and uncool Windows-ness. Worse yet, it was chasing after Apple’s elegance, they betray the old austere beauty of PC functionality.

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The MacBook that Franzen says won’t stop teasing you switching from your virus-ridden, sluggish PCs.

On The Dark Side of Entrepreneurship: Arrogance, Unkindness and Being a Total Jerk

I tell you, entrepreneurship not only brings money to you but also brings out the worst in you. You may think I’m ranting groundlessly but that holds true in a (relatively huge) number of cases.

Only this afternoon, I heard sickening news from my fellow worker. He offered this generous advertising offer to one of the best culinary franchises in the country. The 29-year-young owner himself answered the call. The company I work at is not a small emerging startup. It’s huge, but the Achilles heel of it is that it does not specializes in culinary businesses or advertising.  And he blew my coworker off just like that. The highly pragmatic CEO asked if he would get what from the ad. “What benefits can you deliver to us for certain? Can you guarantee?”  My hunch is the man was talking like a boss to my coworker. I can tell that from the way my coworker told the story. It was a tragic phone call to him.

I, along with probably millions of people in the country, know who this man is actually. We know him by the well-known franchise. I knew also they are now aiming to expand overseas, too. But in spite of all the success, does he has the right to dish a company, which happens to be a lot bigger than him? I don’t know. I don’t  wish to be judging. I’m a yogi and being judgmental is not taught in our class.

So I found myself reading this aspiring writeup nicely crafted by Vinod Khosla, a far more seasoned entrepreneur and investor in the mecca of entrepreneurship ‘universe’, Silicon Valley, than our cocky franchisor previously mentioned. He nicely put there, “What matters is that you don’t have to make the above tradeoffs.” The tradeoffs Khosla meant refers to the proposition which Ben Austen of WIRED.com wrote, that  “you can either be a jerk and successful or decent and mediocre.” A very tough choice uh?

Austen points out the two extreme poles of being an entrepreneur which embodies in the figures of two Steves: Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. These two Steve are perfect models of the proposition above. Jobs was a jerk and damn successful as a world-calibre entrepreneur. His net worth was billions of dollars or more than that (couldn’t care less), which he couldn’t make use of to help cure the cause of the death (pancreas tumor, if I’m not mistaken) or regain his life which only spanned around 56 years. Jobs, unlike other generous entrepreneurs, was depicted as someone with outstanding level of kindness and generosity. Arik Hesseldahl of BusinessWeek magazine stated that “Jobs isn’t widely known for his association with philanthropic causes”, compared to Bill Gates‘s efforts, as stated by Wikipedia.

And in the other side of the spectrum is Wozniak. As a scientist and programmer, Woz does ace academically. Look at his list of honorary doctorates:

Steve Wozniak’s Honorary Doctor of Engineering degrees

  • University of Colorado at Boulder — 1989
  • Kettering University — 2005
  • North Carolina State University — 2005
  • Nova Southeastern University — 2005
  • ESPOL University in Ecuador — 2008
  • Michigan State University — 2011
  • Concordia University in Montreal Canada — June 22, 2011
  • State Engineering University of Armenia — November 11, 2011
  • Santa Clara University — June 16, 2012

Besides all the achievements, Woz still alocates his time for charity and the like:

Since leaving Apple, Wozniak has provided all the money, as well as a good amount of on-site technical support, for the technology program in his local school district.[1] Un.U.Son. (Unite Us In Song), an organization Wozniak formed to organize the two US Festivals, is now primarily tasked with supporting his educational and philanthropic projects.[1] In 1986, Wozniak lent his name to the Stephen G. Wozniak Achievement Awards(referred to as Wozzie Awards), which he presented to six Bay Area high school and college students for their innovative use of computers in the fields of business, art and music.(Wikipedia)

So if I happen to be asked, which one I would like to become, I think I am inclined to becoming Mr. Wozniak. How about you? Have your say in the comment box below.

iPhone 4S Panaskan Otak 3 Kali Lebih Cepat dari Galaxy S3 (Infografis)

Image representing tawkon as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

Ingatkah Anda beberapa tahun lalu saat muncul kecemasan mengenai tingkat radiasi yang dikeluarkan ponsel kita? Saya bahkan tidak bisa mengatakan pada Anda berapa lama  sejak saya membaca teks FUD (penerjemah: Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) mengenai bagaimana ponsel cerdas kita perlahan-lahan memanaskan otak kita menjadi gumpalan-gumpalan daging ayam berukuran besar. Saya tidak akan berbohong pada Anda semua. Kapanpun saya memegang perangkat Android ke dekat kepala untuk melakukan panggilan telepon, selalu ada suara dalam kepala saya yang mengatakan bahwa 1. saya bisa menderita kanker otak karena ini dan 2. “Redrum” (apapun artinya)

Kini saya menyimpulkan bahwa jika Anda pemilik Galaxy S3, peluang Anda menderita tumor dalam kepala jauh lebih rendah dari, katakanlah, menurut saya … seorang pengguna iPhone yang mungkin sedang dalam perjalanan menuju tempat praktik ahli syaraf terdekat dalam waktu dekat. Jangan masukkan hati perkataan saya ini. Mereka di Tawkon adalah pakar dalam bidang ini dan mereka baru-baru ini merilis sebuah infografis yang menjelaskan semua ini untuk Anda.

Tawkon menjadi sorotan beberapa waktu lalu saat mereka merilis sebuah aplikasi untuk iOS yang segera dihapus dari App Store setelah hasil pengukuran radiasi pada iPhone tidak terlalu menggembirakan. Jangan khawatir karena aplikasi yang didesain dengan indah ini bisa didapatkan di Play Store di mana Anda bisa memantau radiasi ponsel Anda dan bahkan membandingkan tingkat paparan Anda dengan teman-teman Anda. Mengasyikkan.

Diterjemahkan dari:

Phandroid.com

 

Facebook Diisukan Buat Ponsel dengan HTC

ImageFacebook kembali dikabarkan akan membuat langkah besar untuk bisa bertahan di jagat social media yang makin sengit tingkat persaingannya. Kali ini bukan aspek softwarenya, tetapi hardware. Selama ini kita hanya bisa mengenal Facebook melalui layanan jejaring sosialnya yang gratis itu. Lalu akankah kita menyaksikan babak baru dari ekspansi Facebook dalam sisi hardware?

Sejumlah situs teknologi seperti TechCrunch, PandoDaily, dan sebagainya kembali menghembuskan kabar mengenai kemungkinan Facebook akan bekerja sama dengan pabrikan ponsel Taiwan HTC untuk memproduksi ponsel bercita rasa Facebook yang kental. Digitimes, blog teknologi dari Taiwan, tampaknya menjadi sumber berita utama karena semuanya mengacu ke sini.

Isu ini bukan pertama kalinya beredar di dunia maya. Isu semacam ini pernah dihembuskan Michael Arrington di tahun 2010 namun ditepis Mark Zuckerberg dalam sebuah wawancara oleh TechCrunch yang menyatakan pihaknya tak ingin menjadi “pesaing bagi Apple, Droid, atau pabrikan hardware lainnya”.

Sebagian merasa isu ini, jika benar adanya, adalah ide bodoh, sebagaimana yang ditulis Hamish McKenzie dengan judulnya yang provokatif: “Does Anyone Else Around Here Think a Facebook Phone is a Stupid Idea?” Meski kita tidak bisa menghakimi sekarang, karena bahkan kita belum mengetahui kebenaran rencana tersebut, jika benar Facebook memproduksi sebuah ponsel sendiri, ponsel tersebut mungkin bisa disamakan dengan Samsung Nexus bagi Google.

Kerjasama antara para penguasa pasar software seperti Google dan Samsung, dan kini jika benar, Facebook dan HTC, bisa jadi adalah solusi bagi HTC untuk terus melaju menyaingi Samsung yang menjadi jawara di industri ponsel pintar. Sangat beralasan, dengan demikian, jika HTC yang labanya makin menurun akibat tergerus Samsung dan Apple ingin menjalin hubungan bisnis yang lebih erat dengan raksasa jejaring sosial Facebook demi kelanggengan bisnisnya.(image credit: springwise.com)


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