In early 2003, Lady Miss Kier, formerly of the band Deee-Lite, initiated a lawsuit against Sega corporation for allegedly stealing her former persona and using it as the basis of a video game character. The lawsuit was based on accusations of copying her look of knee-high boots, short skirts and a pink ponytail, for Sega’s Ulala character design.
Lady Miss Kier (real name is Kierin Kirby) claimed that Sega offered to pay her $16,000 to license her name, image and songs for the game, though she rejected their offer. Kirby later learned that the videogame maker went ahead and used her resemblance anyway, and she decided to initiate the lawsuit. She ultimately lost the suit and a later appeal and was liable to pay Sega’s legal fees of $608,000 (reduced from $763,000 requested). In 2008, her single “Groove Is in the Heart” was licensed for use in the Sega video game Samba de Amigo for the Wii, ironically appearing in a stage featuring Ulala.
College pals and I went out on the town tonight and had a blast; I also got to meet up with Shannon for the first time since he got his Galaxy Nexus. Overall, I played with it for about ten minutes, which isn’t much, but I was more interested in how different it would feel during initial impressions than how it does in extended use.
It’s really nice. This is the first Android phone I could use for ten minutes without being disappointed at some point. Seriously, bravo Google.
Are there rough edges? Yes, except they aren’t staring you right in the face like they do on earlier versions. Are there slow animations? The only ones I ran into were in apps that didn’t support hardware acceleration.1 Anything by Google was free from sluggish animations when I was testing.
It’s pretty huge. Whether or not it can comfortably be used one-handed will depend on what apps you use2 and how big your hands are. That said: I think the magic combination of the screen size and the improved keyboard in ICS makes typing on this a lot better than previous phones.
My biggest concerns with the Galaxy Nexus were the same concerns I have about other phones with AMOLED or PenTile displays: colours would be too saturated and subpixels would clearly be visible. Color saturation was surprisingly not an issue on the Galaxy Nexus. This may bother those of you who are insane and prefer the over-saturated look on Galaxy S phones. Subpixel visibility is only really an issue when looking at a flat colour; in those cases, it looks like someone added very light noise. It was much better than what I had expected. If it wasn’t for that, I feel the display would have had parity with the Retina Display.
I don’t want to drag this on for too long so I’ll try to sum it up like this:
The Galaxy Nexus is the first Android phone I would feel comfortable recommending to someone that is not a geek.
Ice Cream Sandwich does have rough edges, but they are not things that will jump out at you unless you’re really OCD.
Having great hardware and a great OS does not solve the ecosystem problem. Android third-party apps pretty much all suck. Also, who knows how long it’ll take before apps get updated to be consistent with ICS?
It’s a goddamned shame that Motorola, HTC, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson are going to be spending months destroying the progress that has been made with Ice Cream Sandwich as far as polish and snappiness is confirmed. I bet fuck the manufacturers is something you’ll be hearing me say a lot in 2012.
Yes, you can go into Dev Tools and force hardware acceleration; I find it ridiculous this isn’t turned on by default, but I guess it’s being overly conservative for the sake of backwards compatibility? I dunno. ↩
I found Twitter unusable one-handed due to the Home and Connect tabs being tiny (I presume it’s a dpi bug?) and in the top left corner. I could barely reach Connect and had to stretch a lot for Home. ↩
The jailbreak community’s beloved Ron Weasley impersonator, Grant Paul (chpwn), put up a blog about rough edges he found in Ice Cream Sandwich, because Android users kept begging for examples of where Android has bad UI decisions.
Now, Grant and I have gotten into arguments about dumb shit in the past, but I’d like to think they never got this ridiculous. I even disagree with one or two of the things he posted on the blog, but damn, I’ll let people read it and make their own minds instead of telling people that it sucks and that you must agree.
I looked up Eric Schmidt’s comments on Google TV from the LeWeb conference a couple days ago because I thought I might have figured out a way Google TV could infiltrate the market within the next year.
His exact quote was sadly, “By the summer of 2012, the majority of the televisions you see in stores will have Google TV embedded,” which my theory does not apply to, but it does have me thinking that embedding Google TV into televisions might be a bad move.
Why does Google think embedding Google TV in a television makes sense?
Google TV is distinct from other smart TV offerings out there because it’s fundamentally a wrapper around cable or satellite television. This sounds like a silly distinction, but that implies that televisions shipping with Google TV will require IR blasters to communicate with cable set top boxes. Fucking IR blasters.
This is not the future I want to live in. This would make the experience of owning a television more complex than it already is. What’s likely to happen is that unless Google TV setup is forced upon the user before being able to do anything, they will skip it and keep using their cable box like they always have.
Google TV being built into the television benefits no one.
However, if Google TV is built into the cable box as a replacement for their current operating systems, suddenly everything becomes simpler.1
Google could walk into a meeting with the cable guys and say: “Look, people are going to get streaming Internet content on their TVs whether you like it or not. Do you guys want them to be getting that content through your box or getting it through Apple’s?”2 and then, assuming cable companies don’t have their heads up their asses3, Google could take over the market in the blink of an eye.
Google TV setup becomes non-existant. No more IR blasters. No more needing to select your cable provider from a list to get listings. Just plug in your cable box and go.
Cable boxes no longer have vile, rotten user experiences.
Google TV can now potentially do more with cable content, because it’s acting on it directly instead of acting through a proxy (IR blaster).
How many people do you know who bought universal remotes, tried to set them up, failed miserably, and returned them? Now imagine those same people buying a new TV and being faced with that process. Google TV is uniquely positioned to make smart TV ubiquitous via the cable box, and they’re blowing it by aiming for integration with the television and complexifying things instead of simplifying them.
Coincidentally, Motorola is in that business, and Google is trying to acquire them! ↩
Doesn’t that sound like a totally Steve Jobs thing to say? ↩
This could very well be possible; they are cable companies after all. ↩
Tired of hearing irreconcilable views on smartphones? Good. Go read up on some irreconcilable views on music games.
Where I stand:
Konami and Pentavision are not flawless entities. You can’t just assume they’re flawless and shift all blame to the community.
Recent DDR releases are absolutely horrible. I hope I never touch a DDR X cabinet ever again. Don’t even get me started on home versions. As far as I’m concerned, anything after Supernova doesn’t even exist.
Am I a bad person for being sad that IIDX and GFdm home versions are gone? Considering I bought all the Bemani games I have, what was I supposed to do? Buy fifteen copies to make up for the pirates?
Am I a bad person for thinking that pop’n on the PSP, while better than no pop’n at all, feels like an April Fool’s joke gone horribly wrong?
On the bright side: we got home versions of Reflec Beat and jubeat, which would have been completely unimaginable two and a half years ago before the iPad was even a thing.
Also, have you paid any attention to any of the big Bemani arcade releases this year? Arcade Bemani right now is off the fucking hook.
The entire post seems to be based around the assumption that music game fans want music games to be successful in Western markets. This is probably false. I’m pretty sure what music game fans actually care about is that the games get better, and the changes that Bemani series would have to go through to reach mainstream Western markets would make the games less appealing to existing fans.
And one more thing to consider: Konami has pretty much ruined DDR; DDR is the most broadly available music game on this side of the planet. Konami has effectively pulled the plug on Bemani CS versions; CS versions is how many of us Westerners interact with Bemani, since we don’t all live within proximity of beautiful, shiny IIDX cabinets.
There was good reason to criticize recent DDR versions. There was good reason to criticize Konami’s exit from the CS scene. But because those are two of the primary ways Westerners consume Bemani, the criticism blew up to crazy proportions.
I love it when people all go on and on about how awesome it is that Android gives consumers a choice of devices, and then those same people will go out of their way to use a Nexus phone because they know as much as we do that carriers and manufacturers are incompetent little shits who will inevitably fuck something up.
If I see “fanboi” one more fucking time, I’mma punch a bitch. It’s fanboy, and amusingly, if he was using a Mac with Lion, it would automatically correct it for him. I wish journalists and bloggers would stop spelling like Avril Lavigne.
"Ultimately, application vendors are driven by volume, and volume is favored by the open approach Google is taking. There are so many manufacturers working to deliver Android phones globally," Schmidt said. "Whether you like Android or not, you will support that platform, and maybe you’ll even deliver it first."
The iPhone was built around a simple idea: Apple is going to build this batshit insane awesome phone, and customers are really going to want it, but if carriers want it, they’ll have to play by Apple’s rules.
When Google announced the Android platform to the world, the pitch they made was almost the complete opposite: Android was built to empower carriers and manufacturers by giving them a common application platform on top of which they can differentiate with software and hardware.
It’s a no-brainer why carriers would favour Android at retail or in their promo campaigns: they don’t want to hand over all the power they have over their product lineup to platform vendors. It’s really just a more modern version of the feature phone model where carriers could arbitrarily disable the phone’s features, like adding custom ringtones, because that would undermine their ringtone selling business1.
Your choice as a customer really boils down to “who do I trust with controlling the experience to this device?” Carriers and OEMs (the majority of Android phones) or platform vendors (Nexus phones2 or the iPhone)?
This week, a girl in Quebec called Marjorie Raymond killed herself after she couldn’t take any more of her classmates’ bullying. The story has blown up to insane proportions and it’s been all over the news today. The media seem to be tip-toeing around a big issue here, an issue I myself have faced as a victim of bullying as a kid.
Everyone seems to be proposing that we have more PSA campaigns to tell kids that bullying is wrong and that they shouldn’t do it. Go ahead. Try that. It won’t work. It won’t work because kids are immature little shits. You know who really failed Marjorie?
The system: adults which are supposed to be mature and responsible beings. According to an interview Marjorie’s mom gave on the radio today, she tried to get help from everyone at her school: teachers, counselors, shrinks, the principal, you name it. No one gave a fuck. Nothing happened, no one got punished; she might as well not have bothered. A week ago, some girl banged her head into a locker; Marjorie tried to defend herself, and she was the one to get suspended.
This is complete bullshit. Had they properly intervened, maybe Marjorie wouldn’t be dead right now.