Archive for March, 2009

Video Games Boost Vision, pew pew pew

Kapow! Take that mofo! Blam! Headshot! First person shooters sharpen vision. ORLY? Results may be interpretted differently according to how you see it (no pun intended). The gamer’s mentality is more focused. Anticipating certain outcomes and being prepared to respond makes a gamer good. It of course also helps to have 20/20 vision but is not always necessary. I’ve seen many “coke-bottled-4-eyes” out game the best. Hand eye coordination helps too. Unless you just enjoy playing Time Crisis. Let’s face it, the best FPS are Halo, Call of Duty, Resistance, Gears of War, and that age old classic Counterstrike.

“The researchers found that the action buffs were 50 percent more efficient at detecting contrast.

But there remained a chicken-or-egg question: had their vision been improved by playing, or did they become action game players because they had better than average contrast sensitivity to start with?”

Western Digital buys Silicon Systems

Well hello there! It looks like Western Digital thinks solid state drives are worth investing in. Silicon Systems just got snapped up by WD for $65 million. It seems for a little while SSD technology has been searching for something … a legitimate place amongst the big boys when it came to data storage. I think this purchase makes a good case for the technology hitting mainstream with a bigger push. But rather than just a re-branded Silicon Systems solid state drive, I’d prefer to see Western Digital integrate the technology into their existing research and development. I’d like to see some innovative approach seeing how WD has the resources to do it.

So does this acquisistion put pressure on Seagate to make a purchase as well? I think if you see a Western Digital SSD sitting next to a lesser known brand at the store, you’re going to stick with WD. It certainly sets the bar for other companies looking to sell. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Seagate make a similar purchase or announce that their brand of SSD’s to be shipping soon.

Way to go Jack-Hole!

Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. Hackers, malware writers, java script coders can all thank one particular dumbass for coming up with a new way to make our lives more difficult. Say hello to a new bit of code that can infect your BIOS despite a full system wipe and firmware re-flash. The rootkit can infect your BIOS upon reboot and continue to do so despite your regular cleaning methods. Just when you thought you had the whole anti-virus, malware, spyware all figured, they come up with a new way to mess up your computers. Thanks guys!

Intel Atom hits 2Ghz

Just my luck. Pick up a Dell Mini 9 and Intel comes out with 2Ghz Atom processors. Faster, smaller, efficient processors. Now it’s a race between VIA nano and Intel Atom. Who’s going to top the benchmarks and sway consumers to buy their products. Most likely you’ll be seeing these processors in cell phones in 6 months. Full blown Windows platform (or perhaps even a Google platform?) ultra mobile net pc in a cell phone package. Sliding 3″ screen with touch screen interface and keyboard. Forget netbooks. Who’s going to make the computing capable cell phone with usability.

Review: SciPhone i9++ (iPhone clone)

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Wow, I can’t believe people still hit up this old post. Anyways it would appear that nobody searches the comments for answers so here’s a quick rundown of the most commonly posted questions/problems.

Review Sciphone i9++ (more)

Dual sims – yes, you can have both active at the same time. Not sure how it works if you receive 2 calls at the same time though. 3G sims will work but you won’t get 3G speed.

Memory – the max is 2GB, however newer versions/firmware may support larger sizes. Mine only takes 2GB and it’s a Kingston brand so I can confirm that is compatible.

Transferring files to your phone – plug in the phone to your pc, when the dialogue box pops up on your phone select “mass storage”, it should pop up on your computer as 2 new drives. Select the larger of the 2 and copy your data over. It might take you a few tries to get the right folder for the appropriate media files. I’m not going to tell you where what files go where, you should be able to figure it out on your own. The other option is bluetooth adapter. I’ve tried it, it works, stuff gets dumped into the bluetooth folder (received files or something like that).

Vibration – settings> user profiles> customize> alert type. If you don’t want your phone to vibrate or ring at all (ie. silent mode) set the alert type to ring, then change the volume down the lowest setting.

Pricing – I’ve seen them as low as $40 US lately.

Apps – you cannot download apps. A handful of java games will work but not many. Plus the ones that you do get to work will run very slowly. It is not compatible with iTunes.

SMS/MMS/Internet – it doesn’t work out of the box. You will need to configure your SMS/MMS/Internet settings yourself based on your service provider.

Video files – need to be down sampled to 176×144 in mp4 or 3gp format. A 1 hour show should be about 60MB.

Quality issues – there are many unofficial manufacturers of the SciPhone i9++ so don’t be surprised if you get a dud. There are already quality issues with the phone to begin with. Let’s face it, you are the owner of a fake Chinese clone of an iPhone. Do not expect it have the same build quality, features, performance of a name brand product. Many of the people that post here are mistaken in believing they are getting a true iPhone clone when in fact they simply buying a phone that LOOKS like an iPhone. Remember, there’s a difference between talking the talk and walking the walk. This phone does neither well. I bought the phone out of interest, this is in no way my main phone, nor did I rely on this phone for extended use. (I currently use a Nokia E71). While it does provide some usability, it really is a novelty product. In the end, you get what you pay for.

I will continue to approve comments but I have not been responding to inquiries.

How to turn off vibration for i9++ i68

*The Original Post*

I know what you’re thinking. WHY? Just get the real thing! Well for one the data plan is a big barrier for the average user. Up here in Canada the minimum iPhone plan will run you $60/month on top of the 3 year contract and the purchase of the phone itself ($199). So if you could buy a fake at a fraction of the cost ($99USD from eBay) and avoid the whole data plan wouldn’t you at least investigate it?

So here it is: the SciPhone i9++ unlocked GSM quadband (850/900/1800/1900 Mhz) 3.2″ touch screen mp3 video java bluetooth gprs fm radio 1.3mp camera video recording.

sciphone002Marketed as i9+ or i68+ or 3G i9++ (no 3G functionality). There are many sellers on eBay. Judging by the box, you think you’re buying a real iPhone (but of course you’d be wrong). Probably not a good idea to buy one of these if you’re vacationing in China. Don’t get fooled by those shady street vendors. Even the box shows “AT&T” in the picture and Safari as the browser, just looks good to me.

sciphone003Open up the box and still looks good so far. The packaging is nicely sealed and indeed it does look like an actual phone and not a brick inside. Looks like everything is here. 2 batteries (3.7v, 1000mAH, lithium ion), charger, USB cable, micro SD adapter, and wired headset. Each neatly wrapped up in their individual plastic bags.

sciphone004Hey look! It’s actually charging! This is a good sign. Perhaps the phone may even actually make calls. (photo is washed out due to the crappy flash, hey, it’s an old Fujitsu camera, that’s what was available at the office).

sciphone005The manual was essentially useless. Here’s an exaggerated sampling “SMS: to SMS type an SMS” or perhaps “To make phone call, press phone icon, and type in number”. Forget putting in important details such as setting up your SMS or MMS settings or video file resolution playback, or which folders to put what files in. Instead you’re left to figure that out all on your own.

I’m just going to put a bunch of pictures here. Yes, that does say “Phone” and “16GB” (no it isn’t actually 16GB, supposedly the limit is 8GB).

sciphone006sciphone007sciphone008sciphone010

Inside it has the badging “SciPhone i9++”, quadband, standard serial number and IMEI number. Spot for the micro SD card on the right and 2 SIM slots on the left. Stylus, yes, a stylus. It comes in handy sometimes, but it’s a bit too small for my liking. The tip tends to dig into the “webbing” between my thumb and finger when I hold it. The back plastic piece takes a bit of patience to get off the first time. Because it is so flimsy you don’t want to risk breaking it by being too forceful. It’s not a big deal after you’ve done it a few times (THATS WHAT SHE SAID! *budda-boom!)

sciphone009sciphone011sciphone013

The touch functionality is good. The interface is not as quick as the real iPhone. Flow page navigation is easy with the thumb (up to 5 pages I believe, we’ll see after I install all of my java games). Compared to the CECT P168 and the previous SciPhone i9 the screen is better and the camera is better. The P168 is still king when it comes to reception. You will find reception to occassionally jump around with the SciPhone i9++. Call quality is above average. Hey, it’s even got speaker phone.

Bluetooth didn’t seem to work initially. I tried connecting my headset and it didn’t work on the first try. Powered it off and tried again and it detected instantly.

The volume is loud. Make sure you have your thumb on the volume tab when you get that first call. And for God’s sake change the default ringtone! Load that thing up with your mp3s stat!

You can’t change the default screen saver (at least I haven’t figured out how to) but you can switch between the basic ones. When you’ve got the lock screen up, give the phone a shake to the left or right (yes, it supports the shake feature, also during mp3 playback) to switch pictures. I like the stones one myself, something peaceful about those smooth rocks.

Overall it seems like a bargain for $99 USD. Anything more and it’s probably not worth it. I’ve only had it for less than a week but I’m pretty happy with it so far. I’m still trying to set up the GPRS to do some web surfing but that’s not a big deal for me since I’m not spending my time doing Twitter or Facebook updates. The stylus is really handy for texting since my fat fingers often press the wrong letter. Down convertering video files to 3GP is annoying but certainly helps pass the time when you’re sitting at the doctor’s office waiting. Also the video does auto rotate to both sides depending on which way you turn the phone.

Bottom line is: you could do worse. It’s a very good fake iPhone. Even fooled some of my friends after they picked it up and played with it. They found it to be a bit lighter but couldn’t quite figure out why this iPhone was different. Also you need to remember what you’re buying. It’s a iPhone clone, a fake, made in China, most likely from some shady dropshipper. I wouldn’t be surprised if it stopped working after 6 months. Make sure you get the right one. There are many models and believe it or not. There are actually clones of these clones. People making cheaper copies of these phones from left over parts! Probably why you hear horror stories from some people who bought this phone and how it sucks. They probably got a fake SciPhone or fake P168.

*Also don’t buy this phone if you’re big into texting. A touch screen phone is not meant for a great texting experience!

Update: July 27, 2009

ATTENTION: CHECK THE FORUMS! I’M TIRED OF ANSWERING THE SAME QUESTIONS OVER AND OVER AGAIN. PLEASE READ THE COMMENTS, THEN CHECK THE FORUMS AND SEARCH FOR AN ANSWER

http://www.mysciphone.com/English_Sciphone_Forum/index.php

Update: May 7, 2009
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