A look at iOS 7: the good, the bad and the same

Written by Colton Chesnut on . Posted in Tech

Here I was sitting and watching the live broadcast of WWDC and I thought, “Things have really changed with these Apple events.” I don’t want to get all uber-nostalgic with fanboy grandeur or anything, but I do have a comment on certain aspects of the Apple keynote that were completely missing from Monday morning’s presentation of iOS 7. In a word, defense. In a few more words … I know that Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs. I don’t expect him to be. However, when you wield a company like Apple, you don’t have to justify to your audience that you still do incredible things. We know that. The problem is, we expect that. I don’t propose we give a book by Stephen Covey to Tim Cook, I just remember that in the past an Apple keynote felt more like a cult-ish mob rally and less like a formal apology at a public trial.


Exciting Games Shown at this Year’s E3

Written by Jarren Bird on . Posted in Tech

If you’re one of the many young people who grew up playing video games and have not decided to eschew them in pursuit of an “adult life” then you, my friend, are in luck. This week has brought us many promising new adventures in the video game world and I want to talk about a few of them. Note: These are only three of the many promising games shown at E3 and they are all multiplayer, first-person shooters. I personally prefer these types of games which is why I am focusing on them specifically.


2013 Android Phones: Televisions Don’t Belong on Your Face

Written by Colton Chesnut on . Posted in Tech

You know exactly what I am talking about.

You’ve seen the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 when walking through the mobile department at your local Best Buy. The Note 2 is not a mobile phone. It is a television. I have had one up to my face and I don’t like it. Not because I would have to buy new pants with larger pockets to own one, but because it simply lacks original thought. I don’t want to sound like I’m on a total rant, there is a point to this.

music piracy

The Slow Downfall of Illegal Downloads

Written by Jim Dalrymple on . Posted in Music, Tech

Earlier this fall, I decided to get Arcade Fire’s latest album The Suburbs. Like everyone, I get more and more music online, but in this case, I also thought maybe I’d go in to a record store and pick up an actual CD. It’d be nice, I considered, to have a physical copy, and the smell of a CD booklet is certainly nostalgic. After procrastinating my record store outing for weeks, however, I finally gave up and bought the album on iTunes.In retrospect, what surprises me about this whole experience is that I didn’t illegally download the album. In fact, I didn’t even consider it. Though I’m not ethically opposed to pirating media — I’ve done a fair share of it in the past and believe it has a legitimate place in the consumer music ecosystem — the thought just didn’t really cross my mind this time around. What’s more, some significant evidence suggests that I’m not alone, and that people are increasingly turning — if not yet stampeding — to legal channels to get their music. (Slate tech writer and NPR contributor Farhad Manjoo discusses some of these trends here.)
So why are my downloading habits changing? Why might everyone else’s be slowly changing too? Some in the media industry might point to the huge lawsuits the record labels occasionally bring — and win — against music pirates. Manjoo also points out in the article linked above that the download-now-use-later approach to music is starting to feel outdated in a streaming world. Or maybe everyone just realized that downloading was wrong.

Facebook vs. Google: The Epic Battle

Written by Kristin Clift on . Posted in Tech

A long time ago, I was introduced to Google. I was working on a research project and my teacher wrote the strange-looking word “google” on the whiteboard — it sounded kind of sketchy, but she told us it was a good tool for research assignments. My life has never been the same since.

Fast-forward a few years to my freshman year at BYU when my roommate introduced me to Facebook. I was reluctant to join since I already had a MySpace account, but I joined because all our new friends had an account and it was a great way to organize daily social gatherings. Needless to say, my MySpace account quickly became a redheaded step-child to me. With Facebook as my new love, my social life hasn’t been the same since.

If you can remember around about this time last year, the media people were all predicting the fall of Facebook as a result of the older generations becoming involved. They had the notion that old folks would make Facebook lame. However, we (the younger generation) adapted and learned how to censor ourselves or use the privacy controls. (Well, at least some of us.) As for the prophecies of Facebook’s decline… well, they couldn’t have been more wrong.


Why I Won’t Be Getting Another iPhone

Written by Ben Wagner on . Posted in Tech

In a word? AT&T, but it’s a little more complicated than that.

I’m not dropping the phone because it’s not a great phone or because of AT&T’s coverage, nor am I dropping it because of their piss-poor service. I’m ditching because of their new data plan pricing, just announced this morning.

One of the biggest reasons I find that people don’t switch to the iPhone is that it’s too expensive — not the phone itself, but the minimum iPhone plan runs about $100 a month. After you pay for the required 3G data plan, the minutes and the texting, you are left paying quite a hefty price. My counter argument is normally that it’s worth it, that having that unlimited data connection and non-stop access to the Internet is a life-changer, that it will change your daily routine and the way you communicate with the world.


Podcast: Google IO, Google TV, & Emails From A Hurt Locker

Written by Colton Chesnut on . Posted in Tech

Colton, Jarren, and Mike get together for the fourht installment of the Rhombus Tech Podcast. This week was all about Google’s annual IO conference. They announced Android 2.2, Google TV, and everything else that will bless the Internet for the coming year. Also, some thoughts on movie piracy as the producer of The Hurt Locker gets all bent out of shape over his stolen film.


Review: iPad

Written by Ben Wagner on . Posted in Tech

Yep, I am writing this from my brand new iPad. Well, brand new in that I’ve had it a couple days. Enough time to get familiar with it, hold it, use it, learn it, cuddle it. I’ve done everything I can to put the iPad through its paces the last few days, and I’m here to bring you my full review. Note, I have been accused many times of being an Apple “fanboy” and, while I don’t deny that, I have tried my best to come at this review as objectively as possible.

The first thing you notice about the iPad is how responsive it is. It’s incredibly fast, and it’s the most responsive touch screen I’ve ever used. Rarely do I register bad touches or find that it didn’t pick up my finger. Everything you do on the device feels fast, from switching between applications to launching websites to even the simple act of switching between pages on the home screen.