Either my phone has given up trying to understand Shenzhen weather or someone is playing a bad prank on me. If you are, stop it. Stop it right now.
It's been pouring rain the last 30 minutes. You wouldn't know it from looking at Yahoo's weather app. Beautiful weather app though.
The new Star Wars won't be arriving this year, I'm not very interested in the new Superman or Iron Man 3, don't know much about this year's documentaries, and while the next Star Trek will surely be awesome, I'm not planning to run out to the theater to see it upon release. So which movie am I most looking forward to this year? Funny Or Die's full length online "biopic" about Steve Jobs staring the 'Mac' from the Mac vs PC commercials.
"In true Internet fashion, it's not based on very thorough research — essentially a cursory look at the Steve Jobs Wikipedia page," said Ryan Perez, iSteve's writer and director, to the NYT. "It's very silly. But it looks at his whole life." The movie found its roots in the idea for a fake Steve Jobs movie trailer, and the idea snowballed from there.
From an blog post about on the word 'Android' disappearing from Samsung's Android-based phones:
What is interesting, though, is to place Samsung's share of Android next to the share that comes from China. As most people know, most Android phones sold in China come with no Google services pre-installed - no Maps, Gmail, calendar, Play etc. It is possible but very fiddly to add them. In MWC I even saw a Motorola phone in this condition.
Last year I bought a HTC One X at a Chinese big-box electronics retailer. I got it home, opened it up, and started looking in vein for the Google Play Store. It wasn't on the phone. It had been replaced by a small (and terrible) HTC-branded app store. In fact, the phone had no Google apps on it whatsoever and was blocked from installing any. The next day I went to Hong Kong and bought another HTC One X. Not only was it cheaper than the one I purchased on the mainland just the day before, but it also came loaded with a full suite of working Google applications. I then returned home and took the mainland-bought phone back to the store for a full refund.
So if you're interested in buying an Android phone and care about having Google's services, buy your phone in Hong Kong or from abroad because buying one in mainland China will only bring a world of hurt and frustration.
I can tell you this right now (even before they have been officially released): If I'm ever approached by someone or am in the presence of someone, be it friend or foe, and this someone is wearing Google Glasses, I will ask them, and ask them in the kindest way possible, to remove the Google Glasses, and if they refuse, I will walk away with immediate effect.
This from The Verge:
I ask if it’s [Google's] attempt to define "Glass etiquette." Will there be the Glass version of Twitter’s RT? "That’s what the Explorer program is about," Steve says. But that’s not going to answer questions about what’s right and wrong to do with a camera that doesn’t need to be held up to take a photo, and often won’t even be noticed by its owner’s subjects. Will people get comfortable with that? Are they supposed to?
The privacy issue is going to be a big hurdle for Google with Glass.
There is absolutely no way I will allow myself to be in the presence of someone, especially here in China (and probably also in the US), who has a piece of technology attached to their face that can video and record everything in front of them with a touch on the glasses or simple head movement. It's easy to identify someone taking a phone or camera out of their pocket and taking a photo and/or video. But how will I be absolutely sure someone wearing glasses with an integrated microphone and camera isn't recording me? As far as I'm concerned, I can't be sure.
So hello friend. Sit down with me for a drink. Take off those Google Glasses though. Take them off right now.
I love WeChat and all its shaking. It has become my social app of choice (with more usage than QQ, MoMo, Facebook, and anything else combined). Now Tencent is opening a US office focused on development of the WeChat app for the US market:
Tencent has launched a U.S. office for its WeChat mobile messaging application, according to Huxiu.com, citing an internal company email on Monday morning.
The office will be responsible for development and research for WeChat users in the US, as well as for client relationship development, said in the mail.
Wonder where the office will be located.
And by use, I mean actively searching contacts and making call on each at the same time. He's also most definitely speeding.
My seat belt is most definitely buckled.
Binhai Highway, Nanshan, Shenzhen.
IFC Apple Store. Central, Hong Kong.
I'd say slightly more crowded than the Lenovo Store I came upon earlier today.
Holiday Plaza. Window of the World, Shenzhen.
First one I've seen. Lenovo is selling a fair amount of phones in China and is arguably making the most exciting Windows 8 laptops thus far. Their own branded store isn't the worst idea in the world. So is this the next Apple Store or next Sony Style Store?
Central Walk Mall. Futian, Shenzhen
Now for sale in China. Yay? From The Verge:
HTC's designers seem to be cognizant of the fact that smartphones are growing too large for some people to use comfortably, but the company is taking a truly bizarre approach in trying to rectify the problem. Meet the HTC Mini, an NFC / Bluetooth-enabled device that's now being bundled with the 5-inch HTC Butterfly in China. Yes, HTC seems to think giving you a second, more ergonomic handset to carry around (and keep charged) is a better alternative to shrinking down its flagship Android phones.
Back in September I wrote:
As a side note, Nokia says their largest market thus far for Windows Phone has been China. I saw a woman with one in Hong Kong today (just one), but I have yet to see with my own eyes any pedestrians on the mainland walking around with one. Where are all of these supposed Chinese Windows phones?
Just read this from Computer World about Nokia in China:
In China, things are even worse. The Financial Times reports that Nokia made a deal with with China Telecom for the carrier to sell a customized version of Nokia's Windows Phone Lumia, so you would expect that to help sales boom. That didn't happen. The Times says that Nokia sold only 4.6 million phones in China for the fourth quarter, compared to 14.7 million in the fourth quarter a year previously. This massive drop in sales occured even though the Chinese market is going like gangbusters, and will be the world's largest for smartphones in 2012.
I will repeat my same statement from September - Where are all these Windows Phones they're supposedly selling? (single digit millions is a small number in a country of a billion people, but it's not an invisible number) I was shocked/fascinated to see a Lumia 920 next to me in the subway the other day. It was bright red and in the possession of a girl about a foot taller than me. Part of the fascination was because outside of electronics retailers I hadn't seen a Windows Phone in the wild for months.
Guessing it's difficult to sell many Windows Phones when the below is a typical type of advertisement from China Telecom. That's 14 (extremely) cheap Android phones, one lone Nokia Windows Phone, and one I-look-like-an-iPhone-so-believe-me-that-I-work-just-like-an-iPhone phone.
So why didn't I end up buying a Lumia 920 as I was originally thinking about doing in my September post? The sad fact is the phone is a tank of a phone. I had heard this stated in reviews but when I finally got a chance to see and hold one in person... man, it's an absolute tank, both in size and weight.
Why can't Android and WP phone makers produce high end phones that aren't bricks or phablets. There must be people out there like me who aren't built like the Hulk and don't carry around a purse and want to easily use their phones one handed while walking around. That's the main reason I stuck with the iPhone.
HTC has a "solution"...
Spicy McDonald's, California connections, hugs for children, Apple revenue, and Mythbusters busted.
The man had ordered a McCrispy Chicken Burger in Guangzhou on Saturday, and then askeda restaurant manager why the burger was spicy, since a previous burger he had eaten was notspicy, the Yangcheng Evening News reported.
Even the China Daily finds some humor in the story:
It was not reported whether police tried the burger, or stayed to order a meal themselves.
Gov. Jerry Brown's long-planned business trip to China is definitely on.
April 8-15 are the dates set for his visit to Beijing, Shanghai and perhaps other cities, where he will be meeting with senior government officials, exploring opportunities for Chinese investment and other deals in California, and opening the first of at least two planned trade offices there.
Parents of children attending kindergarten in east China’s Yangzhou City were charged a so-called “hug fee” of 80 Yuan, some $12.80.
According to the reports for less than $13 a month the child would get one morning hug and one goodbye hug. Not bad at all.
Outlets in China selling the iPhone rose to 17,000 in the period that ended Dec. 29, from 7,000 a year earlier, A
pple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said on a conference call yesterday. That helped Apple boost sales in the Greater China region to $6.83 billion, from $4.08 billion a year earlier, the company said in statement yesterday that marked the first time it formally broke out China data in its earnings release.
Chinese viewers seem amused by the fact that an expensive American TV show could so overthink, and somehow make dangerous, a banal popcorn maker that would seem cozily familiar to many urban Chinese. They also seem fascinated, as in often the case when Western media looks at China, by how they are perceived and portrayed. It’s a funny reminder of the mutual interest between China and the West, particularly the United States, and of the still-wide cultural gap that we’re slowly closing from both ends. Imagine how it would look if Chinese TV featured a wide-eyed segment on the dangerous magic of American hot dog carts.
China Telecom office. Futian, Shenzhen.
Last week as I downloaded photos from my Fuzhou trip and was inspecting them on my computer, I noticed a small black spot which appeared in the same place on every single photo (I will put these up in a gallery of Fuzhou photos so you can see for yourself). I had never noticed it before as this was the first time seeing the photos blown up to their full size on a desktop monitor. It was either a dead pixel in the camera or a piece of dust that had infiltrated the interior of the camera casing.
I made a genius appointment online, crossed the border, and went to the IFC Apple Store. I sat down, explained my problem to the genius, he made a few notes, walked into the back, brought out a small box containing a new phone, erased my old one, and I had a brand new phone within 15 minutes of me entering the store. I never even had to show a receipt for the original purchase. Easy. I've had non-Apple technology failures that have taken a week or more to set up and finalize an exchange for.
I'm a person that has emotional attachments to my gadgets, so it felt a little bit as if I had adopted a child, found out he had a knee problem and would never grow up to be a star football player, and decided to return him to the orphanage in return for a healthier child. I only had that first phone for a month and we had already shared some great experiences together. So of course I had to take some goodbye photos.
So goodbye old iPhone of only one month...
And hello new iPhone. I'm sure we'll share some wonderful adventures together in the future.