Thurrott Daily: November 21

Thurrott Daily: November 21
Great photo taken with the Lumia 950. (Click for full-sized version)

Good morning from London, where it actually snowed for a bit right when I woke up. We had a fantastic meetup last night at the Camden World’s End, thanks to everyone who made the effort to come out and join us.

Here’s what’s happening today…

11/21/2015 10:15:37 AM

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Reviewing the Lumia 950 reviews

Two things. It pains me to do this. And how anyone could “review” a product after having it for only four days is beyond me. I won’t review a mobile product until I’ve really used it in the real world, and that includes traveling with it. Just a thought.

The WSJ proves once again that they know nothing about Windows, so why do they review Windows?

A few gems.

Despite having a plastic—sorry, “polycarbonate”—back, the phone feels well made.

Unless you know it’s not polycarbonate, why use the quotes? Yes, it feels like plastic. Just say that.

like Apple’s new Live Photos, Microsoft’s Living Images snaps a little video when you take a shot.

Nope. Nokia (and thus Microsoft) did this before Apple. And guess what? They still do it better. On iPhone, you need to manually tap and hold on a photo to see the “live” bits.

I had to reach for my iPhone to pay for my latte at Starbucks, check in on my Nest Cam’s live video feed and order my dinner through Seamless.

This says more about the reviewer, frankly, than it does about the app gap. Pukey.

The New York Times doesn’t even bother to review the Lumia 950

Which, frankly, is probably for the best.

The Verge is a bit harsh, but actually fair

The Lumia 950 is … bland, plasticky, and feels tacky. It lacks any defining design characteristics, making it a generic-looking rectangular slab. Worse, it’s virtually indistinguishable from the low-price Lumias Microsoft has been selling for the past couple of years in both feel and appearance.”

I’d love to disagree with that. I cannot.

Sure, Microsoft put some newer guts in it, and Windows 10 has some interesting features, but there’s nothing really here that would drive anyone but the most die hard Windows fan to buy it.

True enough. (I wrote as much in my First Impressions article.)

Ars Technica: Also harsh, mostly fair

The Lumia 950 does not really live up to … expectations … My handset was supplied with an AT&T SIM, but there has been some issue with activating it, and the carrier lock means that my personal T-Mobile SIM won’t work. As such I have no idea how the Lumia 950 fares as an actual telephone.

Hm. This is a bit tough. Four days in, never used it as a phone. There’s a reason I have SIMs for most major carriers. This kind of issue is one of them.

the specs are perfectly decent. High end, even … The ridiculously high resolution screen on the Lumia 950 is glorious … Performance, on the other hand, is something of a mixed bag … 3D performance in Gfxbench seems really slow … The 20MP camera with its triple LED flash and optical image stabilization takes great pictures in both low light and daylight … The Lumia 950 looks honestly bland.

Windows Central: Great for Windows phone fans

The AT&T and unlocked Lumia 950 from Microsoft is the best Lumia in the last two years. With the best PureView camera yet, solid battery life and a great display, the Lumia 950 has a lot going for it.

If you are a mobile camera enthusiast, then the Lumia 950 should be on your list of phones for consideration.

Unfortunately, iOS and Android are like unstoppable freight trains that are innovating and perfecting their ecosystems, and it makes recommending the Lumia 950 for switchers very difficult at this time.

Totally fair.

Apple’s Jimmy Iovine opens mouth, inserts both feet

You may have heard that Apple’s Jimmy Iovine appeared on CBS This Morning this past week to promote Apple Music, and that he insulted women everywhere when he casually mentioned that his service’s curated playlists were particularly helpful to the fairer sex. “Women find it very difficult at times, some women, to find music,” he said.

A few thoughts about this.

First, nobody over the age of 60 goes by the name Jimmy. This is a guy in an image-focused market who’s trying to look younger than he is. Mr. Iovine worked with John Lennon as a record producer in the early 1970’s for crying out loud.

Second, and more seriously …. come on. While it’s easy to view this comment in the context of “white guy of a certain generation denigrating women because, you know, that’s what happened in the ‘Mad Men’ era,” this is really just what happens when you’re speaking off the cuff on live TV. I used to rail against the small size of pre-iPhone 6 iPhones, noting that they were fine “if you were a child, or perhaps a woman,” and the pro-Apple goonsquad pretended that meant I was misogynistic, instead of it being me just observing that children and women generally tend to have smaller hands then men. Because, shocker, they do.

Point being, the faux outrage stuff is a bit too easy to summon. But when you’re in the public eye, as Iovine is, you need to be careful.

Oh, and he did apologize.

“Mark Zuckerberg Plans 2 Month Paternity Leave From Facebook”

This one is from the “who gives a f@#k files.

Yahoo is blocking ad-blockers on Yahoo Mail

Yahoo is testing a system that prevents users of Yahoo Mail from accessing the service if they’re using ad blocking software. If you are randomly selected to receive this restriction, you’ll see a note that reads, “Uh oh … We are unable to display Yahoo Mail. Please disable Ad Blocker to continue using Yahoo Mail.”

My advice here is simple. Continue using Ad Blocker. Stop using Yahoo Mail, which is about as relevant today as AOL, Netscape, or that thing that used to let you dial a landline from your PC.


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