And hot on the heels…..

…..of Nikon’s camera, Samsung now has an Android camera. I remain to be convinced, but maybe…..

Android Camera

Yes, it’s true Nikon have released an Android camera. Not too surprising really and opens up a realm of processing opportunities. So rather that a phone/PDA with a camera bolted on, we now have a camera with PDA capabilities. Should be interesting to see how the technically challenged take to it……

Nexus 7

The tablet urge finally hit and I went out a purchased a Google Nexus 7. There are plenty of reviews around (CNET, PCPro) so I won’t labour the point that it’s cheap, extremely good hardware (processor, screen)m runs Android 4.1 and is reasonably pleasant to look at. It lacks memory with no microSD for expandable storage. So, going beneath the skin what can we do??

  • root your device: not difficult to do and works a treat
  • Obligatory case: took a punt and this is excellent. Slots all in the right place, magnetic sleep latch and prop stand
  • 40 tricks and tips
  • use the full tablet UI (rather than Google’s fixed phone UI). ES File Explorer great to roam the file system and then use the in-built text editor to edit and save the build.prop file
  • take photos with the forward facing camera: yes, amazingly, the camera only allows programmatic access. Use Camera Launcher
  • mount a USB stick for extra storage: yes really! Buy yourself an OTG cable and install Easy UMS. Voila, read and write files from your USB stick.
  • Kindle Reader: thus far it’s not listed as compatible with the Nexus 7. Don’t know whether this is just tardiness on Amazon’s part or deliberately designed to minimise use given the Kindle Fire. Anyway, Google it, download latest APK and sideload it. Works a treat
  • MindJet: I’ve blogged briefly before about a mind mapping app for Android that is, well, brilliant, and writes MM files. This has been bought up and released to support an online service. However you don’t have to use it and it works brilliantly on its own. Not listed as compatible with the Nexus 7 yet, so download on to another device, backup and then sideload on to the Nexus.
  • Quick Office Pro: used my credit with buying the Nexus to purchase Quick Office Pro. Works well, worth having
  • Other useful apps: Skype, VitalPlayer, PrBoom (Doom), QuickPic, Google Reader. Repligo PDF Reader, MapDroyd, K-9 Mail, Android VNC all worthy apps to use on a tablet.

Finally, worth noting that Android 4 no longer supports UMS (i.e. accessing your device as a drive letter). Either MTP or PTP. I find this irrating, as do others. For earlier Nexus devices there are some hacks to reinstate UMS, however nothing available as yet for the Nexus 7.

Dealing with email……

Several years ago I wrote about Getting Things Done (GtD) and whilst I don’t anally (!) follow the setup to the letter of the law, I find it invaluable as an organisational process for managing projects in outline and implementation via email collaboration. However the mass inundation of crap into one’s InBox means we need to have a variety of tools to deal with this influx - and whilst GtD is good, a dose of pragmatism is needed. Take a look at Matt Gemmell’s salutory advice which is somewhat refreshing. If you do 85% of this, you’ll be a much happier camper.

Vagaries of peer review……

I was recently asked to review a paper at an open access journal……I’m happy to reciprocate on this whole process as it’s what oils the whole research process. Anyway, I agreed 4th July and, somewhat unusually, it slipped off my radar until I was reminded yesterday (August 2) that 2 reviews were in and they were due to return a decision to the author 6 August. I apologised for the delay and said I would be able to get it returned within 2 weeks. Somewhat surprisingly I received this reply:

“Thank you so much for your rapid reply. We are very sorry that 17 August is late. Fast publication is one of the advantage of open access. Hope you can understand.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, and hope that we will be able to invite you to assist with this journal’s review process in future.”

This doesn’t look good on two counts:

firstly, they have two reviews. I don’t know whether they normally ask for three but it gives the appearance of going for three reviews from beginning so that they have a good chance of returning two within a quick timeframe. This, in my mind, short changes and abuses reviewers as clearly they don’t need my comments.

secondly, fast publication and open access is a complete red herring. All journals want fast publication.

Long and short…..I doubt I will either review or publish with them.