Not really sure what all the fuss is about. It’s nice but nothing to write home about, a decent mid range Bourbon whiskey – I picked this up for $42.99 at Dan Murphy’s. Couldn’t help but notice it’s distributed by Coca Cola amatil, that’s probably why it tastes generic and mass produced – because it’s generic, and mass produced. I wouldn’t turn it away if it was a gift but for the same or less money (as this is normally more expensive) you’re better of sticking to Jack Daniels.
iOS 7 (Beta 1)
Well Apple finally did it. They made the iPhone 4 unusable. I wrote a few months back about iOS 6 and how Apple tends to brick devices by their second major update (that aren’t left out – iPad 1 for example). The A4 processor clearly doesn’t cut it for iOS 7. The phone is usable, but you’re constantly reminded how “old” and outdated it is now, with laggy graphic effects and unresponsive apps (Safari, I’m looking at you now). Granted, this is a beta, but having used iOS 7 on the iPhone 5 it’s clear that Apple wants to send a message.
You see they could’ve just excluded the iPhone 4, the way they have the iPad 1, or iPhone 3G with iOS 5. But Apple are smarter than that, they save face with the media by continuing to support “legacy” devices, despite this device I’m typing on right now being not even 3 years old, but ultimately they want users like me to feel the pain. They want to make it seem older than it really is. Imagine the uproar if they tried this with their notebook market. The design doesn’t look old, it doesn’t feel old to touch, the features are barely any different to the current flagship (except LTE), so Apple makes the user experience absolute misery. It’s artificial, it’s manufactured. There’s nothing wrong with my iPhone 4, but Apple are really saying “it’s high time we got some more money out of you!”.
And they will. Call me a fanboy but iOS 7 feels like a mature mobile operating system now. It feels more like a proper OS than a mobile phone interface. It’s difficult to describe, but the new multi tasking and navigation effects really give you the sense that what you’re holding is actually a remarkably powerful tiny handheld computer. I couldn’t understand how people were using iPads as their one and only computer before, but now with AirDrop (that I don’t get for the same artificial reasons outlined above) almost completes the desktop experience – power users not withstanding.
It will be interesting to see where Apple heads next with it’s hardware. I was suitably unimpressed and underwhelmed when the iPhone 5 launched and despite Apple’s (latest) best efforts, I still (like many iPhone 4 users) cannot justify the cost. I hope Apple breaks with this silly “S” intermediate model in odd years like we’ve seen in the past. I doubt an iPhone 5S could pack enough new gear to make me jump. Apple really needs to come out with something very special – to catch up with the likes of Samsung if nothing else. The iPhone 5 felt like a cheap upgrade to quell the masses (we want a bigger screen) but ultimately brought nothing new to the table. They just stretched the iPhone 4, like anyone couldn’t have thought of that. We need the iPhone 6, not the 5S. We need the one with the bendy screen and the new design, or the one that’s semi transparent OLED. I want to be able to look through my phone. This technology exists I’m not imagining it. Otherwise, I’m off to eBay for a used iPhone 4S.
Star Trek Into Darkness
If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you’re probably not a hardcore Trekker so this warning can be ignored.
Seemingly unsatisfied with destroying a lifetime’s worth of work by people like Rick Berman, Michael Pillar and Brannon Braga with the story of the first film – J.J. Abrams and his crew saw fit to rip off elements from the best Star Trek movie of all time – The Wrath of Kahn, instead of actually coming up with something new and different. The film starts with the cliched non-interference prime directive plot device (TNG – Who Watches the Watchers and ST:Insurrection) with Kirk brazenly flouting federation principles to “save” Spock – insert needs of the many apologue here. Kirk is demoted, looses the Enterprise to Pike, Pike dies, Kirk gets the Enterprise back. Yippee. Kahn is the bad guy, Kirk gets captured, Spock calls up old Spock to ask about Kahn, old Spock says he won’t divulge information about the future – then proceeds do exactly that (WTF!?).
Then we have the worst scene of the film, the role reversed death of Spock from Star Trek II. Complete with hands on the glass and tears.
Instead of leaving the revival for a sequel with a second plot device (Genesis) in this new version Kahn’s blood is a magic cure all that revives Kirk and thus the status quo is restored, like a bad episode of Voyager – no harm no foul. The whole anti-apologue lesson about the needs of the one is completely lost in all the over the top special effects and useless teenage sitcom drama (Spock and Uhura) thrown in for no good reason other than to sell Trek to an uneducated, unimaginative market of tweens. There are things I love about these new Trek movies (ship exterior scenes, space gore, the music, even some of the casting isn’t THAT bad (Zachary Quinto)), but there are just far too many things that I hate, why destroy a whole timeline only to then proceed to rip it off, and not even do a very good job. I was thinking J.J. Abrams could save this franchise (new Trek) by revisiting the Nero incursion in a future film and undoing the damage to the timeline, but now I fear even that would be too little too late. I purposely avoided all the teasers, posters and trailers to give this film its best possible chance of impressing me, instead I left feeling uncomfortable and cheated.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad Sci-Fi movie, and judging by the critics, it’s mostly favorable reviews and undoubtedly set to break some box office records, but as a Trek fan I have much higher standards – and this doesn’t cut it. Too many plot holes, predictable story elements, an out of character appearance by old Spock – the whole thing comes off cheap, like some non-canon fan fiction (no offense to the wonderful men and women ST novel authors). I will watch it again, and I wouldn’t go as so far as to tell people not to see this movie – but don’t get your hopes up too much, this is certainly not a return to form for Star Trek and most unfortunately, certainly not the last of this style. Perhaps eventually, once ST Online wraps up, we might be able to get back to proper Star Trek, in the prime universe – and forget J.J. Abrams and his crew ever existed.
Here We Go Again
Happy to be wrong! I still believe another crash is coming though, perhaps when the last of the GPU/FPGA miners are obliterated by obscene difficulty factors in the coming months.
My prediction, $220 USD on the 27th April, then crash. Hope I’m wrong! Sure looks like an interested party is pumping up the price again, massive trades started about 6pm AEST.