Lumia 950 – first reviews are coming online

lumia-950-xl-300x214Yesterday the first hands-on reviews of the Lumia 950 were published by thelarge’ American sites. I have read, viewed or listened to two; The Verge and WindowsCentral both have their reviews online.

What is striking is that The Verge, almost by tradition, is more negative about the Lumia in comparison to WindowsCentral. But in both cases the criticism is quite harsh;

There are many references to the simple design when compared to other high-end phones. It is described as cheap and plastic. Where the The Verge really does not recommend anything about the Lumia, WindowsCentral has found a few positive points in the specifications, the camera abilities and the Continuum addition, which is described as very special. WindowsCentral also makes clear, however, that they do not expect the average user to adopt Continuum.

As said, The Verge is not very positive, but WindowsCentral stresses that for users who choose the Microsoft ecosystem the Lumia 950 and 950 XL is the perfect phone. A phone that anyone who falls into that category certainly needs to buy.

Both sites are of course quite vocal at the sheer lack of applications. The Verge is the most negative and really says that almost nothing is available, while a somewhat more nuanced image is painted by WindowsCentral, but with the clear remark that there is a big gap between the quality and availability of applications for Android, IPhone and Windows Phone.

Is unclear, and no one dares to make any predictions, if Windows 10 will solve that problem.


The Verge – Lumia 950 review

WindowsCentral – Lumia 950 review

Test of Plantronics Voyager Legend bluetooth headset and Windows Phone

This is just a quick post to let you know that I recently tested the Plantronics Voyager Legend with my Lumia 930 Windows Phone (running Denim). I am glad to report all functions work out of the box:

  • Bluetooth pairing
  • Voice control
  • Full Cortana integration
  • Caller ID announcements when receiving a call

So all-in-all I am very happy with my choice. More test results after some road tests in the coming days.


Why I love my Surface 2

I was thinking about doing a piece on why I love my new Surface 2. But then i came along this great video from blogger Sean Ong on YouTube. He perfectly explains what you can do with this tablet. I cannot imagine why you would buy an iPad when you can do all of this.

Quoting the information from YouTube:

"He shows off voice control (windows speech recognition), multiple monitor support, and a variety of accessories via USB hub (including external hard drive, mouse, keyboard, and Xbox 360 controller integration). He shows how to connect the Surface 2 to the HDTV as well as wireless casting of music and video! In addition he goes through some other features, such as Spotify web player, and icloud web. Also kid friendly applications and multiple accounts.

Well see for yourself – the video is below (or the link is here


Two earlier blogs and now this: Microsoft is serious about your home

The Wall street Journal reports that Microsoft quietly bought id8 Group R2 Studios to boost its Xbox business.

I already wrote about Domotica before and I mentioned Microsofts work in this area already in my blog about the HomeMaestro project.

If they pull this off I would love it. Beats DLNA imho (which is crap really…unless somebody can explain to me how to get it working properly) and the Apple proprietary stuff (full disclosure: I bought a Sonos P3 recently).

Much more information can be found at CNet.


Choose your friends wisely

Sharing your personal information with the founders of FaceBook, MySpacePinterest, Friendster, Twitter and LinkedIn is probably something you would think about twice. The association of your private stuff with each of these networks is something you want to take very seriously.

There is an interesting tension between social networks and the concept of Privacy. Not only because some people will share what others will want to keep a secret; also because the social networks love to know more about you and continuously challenge your boundaries.

Let’s face it (pun intended) – the more you share, the more traffic you generate, the more money they make. It is that simple. So when social networks need to ‘take their responsibility’, they are acting against their nature (remember the story of the scorpion that wanted to cross the river?).

“If you are not paying for a product, you are the product being sold”

This tension between your privacy and their business model is described in detail in a recent whitepaper by the Atos Scientific Community (find it here) and they conclude:

“Social networking sites have been traditionally reluctant to take into consideration the data privacy concerns brought up by users and public authorities.”

The paper continues to look into the legal aspects of this subject and describes how we are dealing with the challenge of privacy in social networks. Several examples are cited and explained against the existing rules in Europe and the US.

In addition the paper goes beyond the legal aspects and also explores the technical aspects of privacy in social networks. Most interesting is their observation that there is not a single technology that will support the need for privacy:

“Privacy needs, inside and outside social networks, are quite different and should be tackled using specifically tailored technologies.”

You can imagine that privacy related to personal finance, banking information or on the other hand your holiday pictures are totally different datasets that need a different approach. The whitepaper shows this and explains how a difference can be made; it even explores the possibility of a ‘safe’ social network.

A full analysis is done of several technologies that can support a safer social network and allow for better control by the end-user. Also a word of caution is expressed by the authors on the possibilities of cross authorizing using for example your Facebook account log in on other sites.

Finally the observation is that the social networking domain, in which vendors and end-users struggle to get a grip on privacy, is in fact not ignoring the issue. So there is hope – but that does not change the fact you still need to think twice before you hit ‘Like’.

This blog post is a repost of