Phil Nickinson

As is so often the case in life, the little things can make a big difference. I was worried that our little Valentines Day contest -- we're giving away a pair of Nexus 7s and Nexus 4s -- would come off as too cheesy. Sappy, even for me, a guy who grew up believing John Cusack's "Better Off Dead" was actually a preferred way for high school to pan out. (Sadly, I played trombone instead of the sax -- not quite the same romantic effect there. And no bitchin' Camaro, but my sun-faded 1985 BMW 325e with no air conditioning, speedometer and, occasionally, brakes, at least sounded cool on paper.)

But it's working. At the time of this writing, there are some 28 pages of entries. Somewhere around 600 pictures posted of all kinds of happy couples as I sit here Sunday morning finishing this column. Pictures of boys and girls. Boys and boys. Girls and girls. Dogs. Cats. Even saw someone with someone in a cow suit or something. (I don't judge.) In a job like this, it's both a blessing and a curse to not actually have to interact with people all the time. But every single time -- from the occasional reader meet-up (and we really need to do more of those) to events like Google I/O and CES -- getting to meet even just one of our reader is energizing in a way that's tough to describe.

So thank you for that. Each and every one of you. I can't wait to pack up the hardware and get it off to a couple happy couples. But we've got another couple weeks -- and hopefully many more inspiring pictures -- to go.

And now, a few more thoughts to keep things going ...

Four stories of incredulousness

  • All that mushiness aside, now, why are some folks just so damn angry? I know that they make up a minority of Android users, but the hatred that's spewed toward app developers needs to stop. Don't want to pay a few bucks for Action Launcher (which might not be your cup of tea but is still a very well-done app)? Then don't buy it. And don't be a dick about it. Yes, the Carbon Twitter app has taken way too long to come out. Do you think the developer doesn't know that? Being a dick about it ... just makes you a dick about it (especially since it'll be a free app). Those are just two developers we've seen attacked this week. It's beyond ridiculous.
  • By the way, we've got a release candidate for Carbon in house now. It still does a few things differently than other Twitter apps, but it's so smooth and so well-designed I don't see myself not using it. (Check out our preview from last week if you've yet to do so.)
  • Speaking of ridiculous, try this on for size: There's not a single piece of tangible evidence that tells what this "Motorola X Phone" is. (Let's not pretend that last week's blink-and-you-missed-it job listing was anything other than a plant for getting folks to talk about it.) Blind loyalty for a piece of hardware we know nothing about, while throwing rocks at applications that actually exist? It's a mad, mad world we live in.
  • When HTC announced last week that it didn't care about the RUUs and custom ROMs that the now-defunct HTCRUU.com was hosting, and instead it was the unapproved user of the HTC branding in the domain name and logos that brought the lawyers, folks -- including our own Jerry Hildenbrand -- met the explanation with skepticism. I'll agree that actions speak louder than words, and a follow-up by Rootzwiki shows that, low and behold, HTC meant what it said.

Other goings-on

  • A little bit of news on the Miracast front. I've still got the Netgear PTV3000 adapter laying around, and it finally got a firmware update a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, neither the changelog nor my testing (just in case they snuck something in there) have have it working with the Nexus 4. The interesting thing is that the new official firmware -- v 2.1.5 -- is lower than the leaked 2.2.2 that I've been running (and that somewhat works). There's also been a 2.4.1 floating around. So there's still work to be done, apparently.
  • Very cool to see Dave Grohl's "Sound City" music doc on Google Play at release. I'll admit I didn't expect to find it there at first. A poor assumption on my part, and I've now paid for it twice -- once as a direct download and once on Google Play. But it was an easy mistake as there's no mention of Google Play on the Sound City website. For iTunes, yes. Google Play, not so much.
  • House of Cards on Netflix -- pretty damn good. Moreover, it's another shot against the traditional studio-controlled entertainment model. That can't die soon enough. If you haven't yet, read GQ's profile with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. (But at the same time, why are folks acting as if Hastings himself is holding a camera for HoC? Still, very cool that Netflix got this done.)
  • So there's a question: Might Google one day get into the production side of the business?

So much good stuff going on. So much good stuff to come. We've got some exciting months ahead, folks. Thanks for riding with us.

 
There are 17 comments

Chewie01 says:

I would say it's a sure thing that Google will start promoting and making their own content via YouTube channels.

joshua.worth says:

Its been a decent week surprised not to see a mention of the seemingly widespread availability of the Nexus 4.

mlacla22 says:

Camaro everyone.

Sound it out phonetically. CA MA RO.

mlacla22 says:

Nice edit Phil.

Now where's my two dollars? :P

I really have to agree with you on the developer "feedback". I think we may need to be reminded from time to time about an old saying:

"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

Also, can we stop 1 staring apps just because they don't run/start on your phone? Just because it doesn't run, doesn't mean the app is bad. There are many factors and you can contact the developer to get it sorted out.

datamike1 says:

I always thought it was incredibly crappy to 1 or 2 star an app because you couldn't move it to SD. Add to that, "I will raise the rating when you can move it". Total dick move. Fortunately, not much of an issue now.

TenshiNo says:

I don't see a problem with stating in a review that you had problems with a given application, but it's not appropriate to flame the developer or others in the process. Any criticism should be constructive, not derogatory.

As for the 1 star issue, that's why Google started listing the user's phone and Android version next to the review, so that you will be able to better tell if you will suffer similar problems on your phone.

jermajesty says:

Bitchin' Camaro

Synycalwon says:

Ran over my neighbors. :P

mwara244 says:

OOOhh, ooo OOOOhh retard zoo, love the Dead Milkmen Album Big Lizard in my Backyard

Synycalwon says:

Speaking of sappy, couples, and John Cusack takes me back to this: :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-j379JbL-xM

mwara244 says:

Better off Dead, his best movie ever, next to grosse point blank

hodan says:

Phil, kudos man. There are few editors with your brand of honest. I love this site more each time I visit.

By the way, "I want my TWO DOLLARS".

Joshua Munoz says:

Phil, at least you played trombone! Still cooler than tuba, which is my principal instrument.

I'd like to see someone else do what Hulu and iTunes do, pick up TV episodes as they air. Netflix and Play only show seasons once they're done airing, at least for all the shows I watch. Granted, that's partially the fault of the networks who carry the shows, especially the curmudgeons who are still struggling to adopt streaming video on a large scale.

BigDinCA says:

Good on HTC for being true to their word. Thanks for the link, Phil.