Nokia Lumia 920: No buy until further notice… (Update + 720 info)

Update 22/7: I finally agreed to repair the 920 with a charge (changing the main board or something similar…) but I’m waiting for it from somewhere in Hungary for 2 months now. For the last 5 months that I can’t use the 920, I’m using a red 720 which is a worthy replacement. Bought it for €250 in Abu Dhabi (but now I know that I don’t have a warranty). It does everything that the 920 with just two things to be aware of: the optical stabilization that helps 920 take incredible low light photos is not there and a restriction of the Here Drive+ app that can work with only one downloadable map (for the country that the SIM is “connected”). The amazing microphone (and the technlogy that supports it) is still there, so you can capture a live show like never before. And its battery keeps it alive for two working days! I completely ignore the 512MB “limit” because I don’t use my smartphone as a gaming console… Waiting for the 1020!

A major mess (in my opinion) on the way Nokia handles warranties and repairs/replacements makes all Lumias a no buy for me now.

I bought a Lumia 920 (an amazing black device) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia while working there. The 920 model wasn’t available in Athens yet and getting it through my MO wouldn’t offer something special in price. After exactly 5 days of the best experience I had with a smartphone, things turned bad. But I wasn’t there. I was already in Peru and starting my 3 weeks in Latin America. A typical life for a modern nomad. Mobility is what keeps us connected to work and family… Right? Nokia has another idea of mobility.

The details of the problem can be the content of another post, a problem that has hit (as far as I understand from the fora) A LOT of users of 920. But this problem made the device unusable: overheating and an empty battery in a couple of hours, a camera that is actually destroyed. I contacted Nokia support online to check how I can visit a Nokia service center in Greece, the country that is my base for most of the time and the only place I can drop a device and pick up a repaired or replaced one after a couple of weeks. The “online” response was that my lumia was not covered by warranty in Greece because it was bought outside EU! Wow! I thought duty free shops at airports all over the world try to sell you something that can only be fixed in their country. You have to go back there. And not just at the airport (airport shops will not accept a device to fix) but outside in the city to find a Nokia service center…

I’m not talking about a TV or something for home use. I’m talking about MOBILE DEVICES. Smartphones that we buy somewhere to use somewhere else in the world. Some of us even spend most of the time outside the country which may be our home country and the country that we bought the device. I didn’t contact Greece because I’m Greek. I contacted Greece because this is the place I can drop the device for a fix. If I was planning to stay for a month in Malaysia, I would be contacting their service center because I would expect my smartphone to be fixed there. I need my smartphone. It’s part of my life. Isn’t it true?

I know another friend (he’s or was an MVP too) who had the same problem but buying a device in Europe and travelling to North America. If Nokia insists on this warranty policy, a “non-mobility warranty” that will make their power users, the ones who travel a lot and truly rely on these devices, switch to other manufacturers not because of Windows Phone 8 which is amazing, not because of the smartphone itself which has technology that really surpasses everything else, but just because of a silly decision of someone in customer services…

Nokia, I’m waiting. Till then, Lumias are perfect but their warranty works only where you bought it. Let’s say the Guadalahara airport while on honeymoon…

PS1: I don’t know how HTC or Samsung handle such a situation. I hope they treat their customers in a better way.

PS2: The criticism above is about a smartphone that costs more than a base salary in my country. I wouldn’t expect Nokia or anybody else to provide the same support for eg. Nokia 100 which sells for €27. I would just throw it to the bin…PS3: I accept that a Lumia sold outside EU is covered by 12 months while in EU by 24 months. I believe this is also reflected in the price difference.

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New blog for ICT teaching resources

If you are teaching ICT in a primary or secondary school, or you are interested in the use of computers in education, you can follow the posts of a new blog, Computing @ school, at www.computingatschool.com.

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Access all Flash sites through IE10

Read everything here: Microsoft changes default Flash behavior in Windows 8 and RT

Microsoft’s official announcements say the change is based on an ecosystem that has gotten better at developing Flash content. But I suspect the real reason is more pragmatic. This behavior was confusing to users and frustrating to developers. For Windows RT in particular, it had a devastating effect on some sites, which simply wouldn’t work, and the fact that you can’t install an alternative browser on RT eliminates that workaround. And at this point in its life, the last thing Windows RT needs is another reason for potential buyers to reject it.

 

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Install Nokia Drive+ for free on any Windows Phone 8 device

drive

Αν έχετε ένα Windows Phone 8 οποιασδήποτε εταιρείας (π.χ. HTC), η Nokia ξεκινά το 2013 με το δωράκι που περιμέναμε από τις παλιότερες ανακοινώσεις. Microsoft και Nokia κράτησαν την υπόσχεσή τους και μπορούμε πλέον να έχουμε το Nokia Drive (με τα offline maps και τα άλλα καλούδια) δωρεάν. Προς το παρόν είναι beta, αλλά σύντομα θα έχουμε και το τελικό.

Πληροφορίες από τη Nokia εδώ: http://www.nokia.com/us-en/support/product/nokia-drive-plus/

Το κατεβάζετε εδώ: http://www.windowsphone.com/s?appid=9a0f7585-9f16-47d5-8041-28018fcea606

 

Posted in Mobile devices, Navigation, Nokia, Smartphones, Windows Phone 8 | Leave a comment

Docear – An academic literature suite for searching, organizing and creating academic literature

Are you working on a thesis? Are you a researcher managing a lot of reference material for a paper? Docear can solve most of your problems in searching, organizing and creating academic literature. Docear was created by German developers to address these issues first through SciPlore mind mapping software and now through their latest software suite. Give it a try: http://www.docear.org/

I like the name of the product/company:

The term ‘Docear’ has two meanings. First, Docear is an allusion to “dog-ear”, the folded down corner of a paper page.  Second, “docear” in Latin means “I may be taught”.

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Know exactly what’s going on with Network Monitoring for Windows Phone Apps at Windows Phone Developer Blog.

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A WSJ article on the current situation. Things are not as easy as they seem to be: Online Learning Courses Look for a Business Model.

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Smartphones, Silly Users | Harvard Business Review

Very interesting (and frightening) reading…

First, we don’t remember anything anymore. Research shows that we’re increasingly outsourcing our personal memory banks to Google and other search engines, effectively wiping our own brains of easily accessible information. But as the growth of apps per device skyrockets and user interfaces simplify, we’re relying on more cognitive crutches than ever. Can’t recall the name of your coworker? Don’t worry; their LinkedIn profile is just a few taps away. Forgotten the name of that Japanese restaurant down the street? Yelp it up! Look for our memory gaps to grow as we train our brains to recall where information is located, rather than remembering the information itself.

The rest is here: Smartphones, Silly Users at HBR.org.

Posted in Computers and Internet, Mobile devices, Productivity, Smartphones | Leave a comment

Computer magazines in the 80′s

Who remembers what was the main feature of some of the computer magazines in the 80′s? Pages of long program listings that had to be typed and checked. And we also had the opportunity (and challenge) to transfer a nice program from one platform to another (we had dozens at that time).

For those that lived the era of “home computers”: First encounter: COMPUTE! magazine and its glorious, tedious type-in code | Ars Technica.

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Using Windows 8′s “hidden” backup to clone and recover your whole PC | Ars Technica

Looking for missing Backup functionality in Windows 8? Everything is still there plus a much improved File History. If you want to create an image of your hard disk, look for Windows 7 File Recovery (strange? I missed that too the first time…). For the details: Using Windows 8′s “hidden” backup to clone and recover your whole PC | Ars Technica.

Tip: If you want to enter Advanced Startup Options during boot, just hold Shift while booting…

Posted in Storage, Windows 8 | Leave a comment