Thursday, February 26 2015

Samsung's SmartHub
[15:55:31] matt []/Trip Two nights ago, my wife went to bed, and I tried to watch some Columbo on Netflix (I was up to the Great Santini, who sets up his own alibi through a fragile, technical, contrivance). We've only recently subscribed to Netflix since I've always been leary of the reliability of cloud services and rental subscriptions like this in general. It turns out the flakey Samsung implementation was more to blame.

This isn't abnormal. First off, the Samsung equipment (we own two of their TVs and one DVD player, all with essentially the same software) seem to arbitrarily forget WiFi passwords, which makes supporting them frustrating if not useless (they're all on the unsecured network now). Sometimes it fails to connect for a short period, and I need to just wait; that wasn't happening.

Obviously, there was a larger problem. I gave up and watched TopGear on my MythTV box instead, expecting whatever issue Samsung was having to resolve itself the next day. Why a box can't trust that it's on the Internet, or at least be optimistic about it once it's gotten an IP address, and a DNS server that resolves what it needs is an open question that I've tried to ask Samsung support (like the TV's software, I'm not optimistic for a response).

Yesterday while I was at work, I­ got a message from my wife, complaining about the DVD player not thinking it had Internet access. Obviously, she wanted to think it was a problem with our network—which is reasonable, given that's what the software said—but it turns out Samsung still didn't have their system up. It seems that there was some DNS hokeyness with their Akamai DSA settings. After a chain of CNAMEs (some of which included "china-" prefixes for some reason) eventually we got very short TTL addresses, which were not returning appropriate answers for the TV.

A Web search found somebody who *had* found an IP address that worked, also being served through Akamai DSA:

The resulting IP for was; while you're setting-up your own DNS for your Samsung devices, I also suggest making and either fail or point to localhost since these are what send and track impressions for the annoying little piece of real estate in the top right corner.

I strongly discourage anyone from buying one of these devices (and apparently Sony devices) for these features, since they seem to be fragile. As I­ was trying to find information on the current outage (Samsung was not forthcoming and even mentioned on their support page of no known issues), I found references and news articles for outages regularly going back to 2013. It's clear Samsung doesn't treat this as production functionality.

More coverage today, after a couple days of this:

Wednesday, October 19 2011

[14:24:17] matt []/Merch With the Android 4 SDK (ice cream sandwich) being released, Google and Samsung have announced the new Google phone (Galaxy Nexus), which looks striking similar to the previous model in terms of hardware spec.

Wednesday, July 27 2011

One Hour with the WebOS TouchPad
[17:16:54] matt []/Psi.dementia The web browser has different trade-offs with the pre-IOS5 web kit browser. General display is better, but there are instances where the scrolling is broken until you zoom in or out first; support for Arabic is noticeably absent by default.

The device itself collects and displays fingerprints more-so than others I've used (Apple iPad, Nokia N900, Samsung/Google Nexus S).

Oddly, when I set the language to Spanish, it still showed the Google location services terms-of-service in English. Other license agreements were in Spanish.

It required me to create a "WebOS" account with my name and eMail address. It didn't require me to set the timezone, which it presumably got from my location.

My co-worker, and IOS advocate, voiced that there weren't enough apps in the store, and that the UI looked too much like KDE.

I might like it better than an IOS device--the fact that I can switch between the Web browser and other programs without closing each in turn is a large part of this--but I'm not sure that I would buy one on my own. It seems rough still, but still promising. If it hadn't been for the disruption of Palm going out of business and being acquired by HP, I would imagine that a lot of these rough edges would have been polished, and am dissapointed that this hypothetical device isn't what it is my hands.

Tuesday, June 21 2011

[11:39:37] matt []/Psi.dementia Just finishing up with the Samsung S5 ( and my Nook Touch will arrive tomorrow (within two days of ordering it-not bad).

Sunday, June 19 2011

[14:03:28] matt []/Psi.generay I'm currently running Debian Squeeze on my Samsung Series 5 Chromebook, basically following the directions from the Chromium team themselves. I'm seeing what's practical on the Chromebook, and trying to script what I can for the install. It's not so bad. It still isn't as easy as a real laptop however.

Saturday, June 18 2011

[14:06:19] matt []/Psi.generay Apparently the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook doesn't boot from larger USB devices, meaning it wouldn't flash from the 40GB HDD I tried. Using a HD-SD card worked.

Wednesday, June 8 2011

[21:18:48] matt []/Merch Samsung Series 5 Chromebook arrived today, my first impression was that it was surprisingly thin next to the 1st gen Apple iPad device--about the same thickness with a cover on the latter. It's about an inch wider, and two inches taller and fits in the messenger bag I've been using for the iPad device, but which is too small for work's MacBook Pro. With the colouring scheme and thickness, it looks like a larger version of my USB multi-card reader.
[22:09:34] matt []/Psi.generay

nb: The feet take a little effort to get up because they're glued in and you don't have a lot of room to maneuver--however I was able to get them out with just my finger nails. There is a screw under each, making seven total on the bottom.
[22:40:49] matt []/Psi.generay Developer mode on a Samsung Series 5 Chromebook PC:

Wednesday, June 1 2011

[21:16:35] matt []/Merch My Samsung 5 (matte screen!) Should arrive in one to two weeks.

Friday, September 17 2010

[18:27:32] matt []/Merch Played with the Samsung Galaxy and Nokia N8 today. Galaxy has a super sharp screen, but is unnaturally cool (blue) which detracts from it. I also found myself hitting the bottom row of soft buttons frequently given the way I held the screen, and the fact that it maximizes realestate by minimizing its bezel.
[18:32:36] matt []/Merch Laudable points on the N8 are its responsiveness--very noticeable coming from earlier Symbian S60 devices and also the Samsung Galaxy--and hot swappable Micro-SD and SIM cards. Unfortunately, the battery is not easily removable. The UI is also much different from earlier S60 devices, which might be a plus, but I'd need more time with it to decide.