Lazysupper

Koenji, the world and elsewhere


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Lenovo Yoga 910 Battery Is Disappointing AND Phenomenal [Updated]

Just 5 days ago I posted the Internet sucks in large part due to the sea of bullshit reviews on affiliate link farms we consumers must wade just to get an honest fucking review.

One would hope that “real” sites (ie: those we expect to have legitimately critical reviews) were not so desperate they find themselves stooping to the level of the disingenuous bottom feeders at Purch Group (ie: Top Ten Reviews and their ilk).

As a consumer, I expect professionals who receive piles of free laptops, consoles, cameras and countless other gadgets to review, to actually review them. I guess I live in a dreamworld. I mean, I always knew there was some payola going on in every industry to some degree. Like that movie reviewer at some daily paper in Ohio who gives the latest box office bomb 5 stars. But I thought they were easy enough to identify.

In the market for a new laptop, I’ve started looking at 2-in-1’s or hybrids or whatever you want to call them. All those shiny new devices trying to mimic and improve upon the Microsoft Surface. One of the essential specs for me is excellent battery life. Therefore, I was a little surprised when I read two reviews of the Lenovo Yoga 910 on two (arguably) reputable tech review sites.

The first review, by Kevin Lee (@baggingspam) at Techradar, informed me that the Yoga 910 has “disappointing battery life.” It was listed one of the three main cons in his pros & cons list.

The second review, by Joel Santo Domingo (@JoelSD) at PC Magazine, informed me that the Yoga 910 has “phenomenal battery life”.  It was listed in his Pros column and a key point in his “bottom line”.

Obviously, the same battery cannot be both amazing and shitty. Battery life is not an Adam Sandler film. It’s not subjective. It’s fucking measurable. So one of these guys is either very bad at his job or he’s full of shit and on the payola train, and not so different than the assholes at Top Ten Reviews.

I guess I should have titled this post Why The Internet Sucks: Part 2.

 

UPDATE:

Or… I could have titled this post Why The Internet Doesn’t Suck.

No more than 2-3 hours after my post and tweet, one of the reviewers (Domingo at PC Mag) had replied to me on Twitter and clarified the discrepancy. He pointed out that Techradar had reviewed the 4K version of the Yoga 910 while he had reviewed the 1080p version. (Lee and PC Mag liked his response, letting me know that everyone had at least acknowledged my concern.)

I appreciate the quick response. But a word of advice to professional reviewers:

If you are reviewing a product and there are two versions of the product, you should make it very clear that there are two versions and clearly indicate which version you are reviewing. Both articles barely made any mention of this, hence my confusion.

The PC Mag article states “a standard 13.9-inch 1,920-by-1,080-resolution (full HD) IPS touch screen. (An option for a 4K version boosts the price of the Yoga 910 up to $1,499.99.)” halfway through the article and makes no other mention of it.

The Techradar article does mention the 4K screen a few times, once on the first page and a twice again on the second page. In their spec sheet it is listed as UHD (Ultra High Def) rather than 4K, something that may not be clear to the average consumer.

I scoured the articles looking for differences/typos and completely missed the bits about the screen. So that’s my bad. Mostly. (I’ll take 80% of the blame.)

It would have been very simple for the articles to be titled Lenovo Yoga 910 (1080p) Review and Lenovo Yoga 910 (4k) Review, especially when the different models have quite different performance results.

When I’m in the market for new tech I like to read as many reviews as possible. I scan them looking for the germane, I don’t digest every word as though I’m reading Faulkner or Fitzgerald. Clarity is key.

That said, the one thing I’ve always like Twitter for has been customer support. Somehow I’ve often found it more effective than official customer support channels. Perhaps because it also allows companies to slip a bit of marketing in with their support.

 

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Why The Internet Sucks

The Internet is full of invaluable information. It is also full of valuable information. And useless information. And misinformation.

I’m not talking about the Fake News that is on the tip of everyone’s tongue as though it’s some great revelation. (I guess for a lot of people it is.) The news has been full of shit since CNN went 24/7. I’m talking about ratings and reviews.

By now, everybody know that most Amazon reviews are bullshit and bought in bulk, typically from some typing pool in Southeast Asia. With books (mainly ebooks), it’s gotten to the point that reviews and ratings on Amazon are utterly useless. Especially, but not exclusively, in the self-published arena.

Then there are the “product review websites” that claim to be there to help consumers make informed decisions about their purchases. They are nothing more than link farms aimed at getting as many affiliate click-through purchases as possible.

Most of these sites are fairly obvious to spot, especially if they long URL’s peppered with hyphens, something like w*w.the-best-bluetooth-adapters.com. But, of course, the Fake Review Sites have had to up their game. They’ve gotten better at masking the smell of their bullshit.

The mother of all Fake Review Sites, Top Ten Reviews, makes a great effort to look credible. They put “real-looking” content on their sites, but you’ll never find a recommendation to NOT buy something. Every product they review fits the bill for someone. (Unfortunately, a couple years ago the Top Ten Reviews parent company acquired Tom’s Hardware, a once good site.)

To make matters worse, Google, the Internet’s convenience store, puts these Fake Review Sites front and centre like candy in a point-of-purchase display. It gets harder and harder to find genuine, critical reviews when the Internet’s vanguard, skipper and bully is pushing fake ones down our throats.

Yesterday, I did a Google search for “best bluetooth adapter”. The top result, out of almost 8 million, was a website I’d never heard of before. So i clicked to see what they had to say.

It was a very simple blog, but had a clean layout and appeared to have real content. But it didn’t take long to realize the content wasn’t real at all. It could very well not even be original content, given the prevalence of text spinners nowadays. There is even a WordPress plugin that spins someone else’s content into “your own”. This is the State Of The Internet today.

Looking at this website’s selection of best bluetooth adapters, it was #2 that sounded the alarm bells. After a recommendation for Plugable (a “real” company), it then recommends an adapter from Costech. I thought Costech, hmm. I’m not too familiar with them. There’s a reason for that. I left the following comment on the site, but (unsurprisingly) it was not approved.

This article is disingenuous at best, a scam at worst. Costech is NOT a real manufacturer. There is no such thing as a “Costech adapter”. It is simply an online company that buys buckets of USB dongles off some OEM on Alibaba then has “Costech” printed on them. I reckon this entire website is nothing more than page after page of articles pointing to any and all products on Amazon trying to scrounge together revenue through affiliate links.

I’m not looking at the past through rose coloured glasses. There have always been advertisers peddling their products everywhere and every chance they get. At sporting events, at the cinema, on television, on the side of the highway, in magazines, in newspapers, in movies, even at schools. And trying to come across as authentic and genuine is nothing new. Those actors with “not an actor” below their fake names in infomercials have been around for a very long time.

This is just a rant. It’s up to the individual to separate fact from fiction. It’s up to the consumer to identify bullshit. It would just be nice if there wasn’t so much bullshit to wade through.

Hopefully, someone with more technical prowess than myself will create a browser or plugin that blocks out the bullshit. Because Google certainly doesn’t care. Bullshit is their bread and butter.


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Hey Cortana! You kinda suck.

Cortana could be–and should be–so much more. But instead, it–sorry, she–is just another blown opportunity by Microsoft.

She is very limited in what she can do, and a lot of the time she doesn’t even do that right. When I instruct her to open my Line app, she also brings up the Line Uninstall program, as if that’s really something I’d want to do with a voice command.

Cortana_Line

Cortana knows how to flip a switch up but has no idea how to flick it down. While I like being able to say “Hey Cortana, open weather” and she opens my weather app. It would be great if she possessed the minimal intelligence required to close it as well. I’m not an AI engineer or researcher, but I tend to feel that ON/OFF are pretty fundamental basics. Cortana can’t close programs and can’t shutdown the PC. However, she can tell me how to turn off my PC. Thanks Cortana.

Cortana_shutdown

Add to this lack of … almost everything, there is also the fact that numerous times throughout the day she’ll just pop up uninvited and say “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that.” Well, at least Cortana–unlike Microsoft– can admit when she drops the ball.


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Selective Android: Missing Files & Folders

One of the (many) things better about Android over iPhone is the ability to plug in a phone and access its files quickly and effortlessly through a PC’s file browser (such as Windows Explorer).

With the new Nexus 6P that simplicity seems to be … less so.

Not sure why, but I cannot access 5 of the 6 photo folders (ex: screenshots) on my phone. Nor can I see over half of my music folders. I would be less perplexed if it was a zero-sum situation, but the fact that I can see some but not others (especially when they are all in the same main folder) is a mystery. As far as I can tell, I’m ticking off all the to-dos on the checklist…

  • USB Debugging is enabled.
  • Use the USB for … File Transfers is selected.
  • Using the official/stock USB Type-C cable that came with the Nexus 6P.
  • Have a Gigabyte Z170XP-SLI motherboard (which has USB Type-C) so no adapters in play

 

Android-music-screenshot

11 on the phone

 

Android-Music

5 visible through PC


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Dear @GooglePlus, stop asking about my friends

Google is like a goddamn mosquito buzzing in my ear. For a company founded on the core principle of simple, parsimonious user interface they’ve really lost sight of that.

Even though I have always hated Google+, I am trying to use it a bit more for some forums — sorry, that’s communities in Googlespeak — for Lightroom, Scrivener, etc. But every time I visit Google+ it is asking me to look for my friends.

Piss off, Google. If I want to look for friends I’ll look for my goddamn friends. I don’t need you poking me every five minutes like some annoying little brother. I understand that giving users the option to add connections is standard protocol when setting up a new service, but generally after you make your selection the first time they stop asking. They Do Not. Keep. Asking.

But Google+ seems so desperate to increase its floundering user base it feels compelled to ask about my friends every bloody time I access it. Even if I’m already logged in.

It offers two options:

  1. Spam your friends
  2. Spam your friends later.

They apparently have no qualms about keeping it more worthy of being called Google-.

Google-fuckyou

 

 


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Microsoft can’t recognize it’s own software?

Trying to fix the Error Microsoft gave me when it tried to automatically update my Windows 10 today. I tried to open the manual update page in Firefox but it told me to use Internet Explorer. Okay, so I opened Microsoft Edge, which I thought was Internet Explorer’s cutting edge replacement. So I was surprised it couldn’t handle their own website.

The page then told me it’s best to use Internet Explorer — which it reminded me I have on my computer (news to me actually!). So fine, I clicked the “Open with Internet Explorer” link the page provided.

The new page then told me that I “must be running Internet Explorer 6.0 or later.” So I checked the version of my IE (seeing as I haven’t used IE since 1997 I really had no idea what version I ‘d be on). But I’m running version 11! Much much later than 6.0 I reckon. What say you Microsoft?

 

microsoftisdumb


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Honest criticism does not meet Microsoft’s guidelines

I took time to write an honest review of Microsoft’s Assure Software Support Plan. Which I stupidly bought. And am now paying the price for my stupidity. On the Microsoft Store website I left a One-Star review. It was without profanity, without name-calling, without lies. Unless “smug” hurt their feelings. It was simply an explanation of my dissatisfaction. So other consumers could make informed decisions before purchasing (or not).

Unsurprisingly, it did not pass the Microsoft Censors. But they ended their email with an exclamation point and an inspiring “you’ll get ’em next time, slugger!

The Pitch

They’re available online to provide your service 24/7 throughout the US, whenever it works best for you.

The Scam

You get in line with everybody else (ie: free support).

Microsoft Store - Answer Tech Chat Page(1)

The Review

I bought this a couple months ago for advanced support with a “Level 2 Tech”. I scheduled a call for the next morning (they require a 2-hour window). The two hours came and went. Nobody called. I tried phoned them. Nobody available. Scheduled another call. Some smug unhelpful guy called me a day later. Ended up resolving issue on my own. Had a second problem last week. Waited in queue (it’s the same queue as everybody waits in, not a priority service queue) for 8 hours. So much for a Tech Support at my service 24/7. Finally scheduled a call for the next morning between 8-10am. The 2 hours came and went. No call. I emailed, tweeted and phoned. Someone finally phoned at half past midnight! The worst Customer Support I’ve experienced. Made even worse by paying for it.

The Reply

Our staff has read your review and values your contribution even though it did not meet all our website guidelines. Thanks for sharing, and we hope to publish next time!

MS is full of BS.