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31 May 2014

On Intelligence

Before going on holiday, I grabbed a book from my "to be read" pile and this time, it was the book "On Intelligence" by Jeff Hawkins.
This is, by far, the most approachable book I have read on the topic in about 15 years and even though the first 100 pages of this 245 page book hasn't yet expounded upon the meat of the topic which the author wants to discuss, he does excellent job of using analogies to bring readers of many levels to the same point.
Jeff Hawkins puts together a very convincing case and I think that this book is a "must read" for everyone who, at least, has a passing curiosity on the nature and nurture of consciousness.

30 May 2014

Google Play Services

Why must "Google Play Services" use up 40% of my phone's power consumption? Ugh.
#android #googlefail

16 May 2014

OsmAnd is better than Google Maps

I am using a HTC One M7 phone and to maximise battery life, I have mine configured to not use WiFi+Data to determine location. Because of this, Google Maps gets in a pouty mess and refuses to work even though it may use the GPS to directly acquire the location. OsmAnd doesn't throw such tantrums and works fine.
I should note that this tantrum of Google Maps appears to be a recent change, possibly related to their "show nearby offers" feature. In any case, it is a huge step backwards in functionality.

Do no evil, Google?

Actually, I'd settle for "no regression".

I can no longer recommend Google Maps for mapping on Android. It is broken. However, Open Street Maps' OsmAnd works great and did not balk when used 6500 miles apart without rebooting the phone.

01 May 2014

Dear HTC, a suggestion for M9

If only they'd listen...
Dear HTC,

Please bring back the pogo-pin dock connectors for charging and auto-pairing to Bluetooth audio devices.

I do enjoy your HTC One (M7) phone but the lack of pogo-pin connectors was a disappointment; I lived with it but I do not like the daily wear on the micro USB connector.

I was further disappointed when you launched the One successor (M8) without it either. As a result, I'm willing to wait and see what your M9 offering brings - I can wait.

We know you can do it - your HTC Nexus One had the pogo pins for its docks but possibly, the lack of documentation over it was disappointing, even though it is somewhat trivial to reverse engineer.

Please reintroduce the pogo pins for charging and docks in your future phones.