Roquefort salad and duck, or the vegetarian?

There were about 30 people at this group dinner, but I was the only one to wonder, out loud: “What is the vegetarian menu?”

The host of the event didn’t know, and it didn’t seem to matter. Not to her, not to anyone there, not to the five people who raised their hands to pick “the vegetarian”. Still… why would you pick it without even knowing what it is?

Now, I am not even a vegetarian, but I don’t need meat at every meal, and often I find the veggie option more appealing.

Are many vegetarians going green just for the diet, and the taste is irrelevant? Like a medicine? Or, maybe it’s the opposite, “the vegetarian” can only be delicious. Always. I don’t know, but I would not appreciate it if “the vegetarian” surprise at dinner was just what I had for lunch. Or if was boiled cauliflower. (That’s the worst)

Any veggie-lover cares to explain?

Testing Windows Phone

Nokia Lumia 520

Windows Phone and its innovative user interface are quite fascinating. I’ve tried it out for a few quick sessions, in show rooms and borrowing a friend’s phone in one-minute sessions, but I was interested in a first-hand user experience. So I made a full switch for a week, with a Nokia Lumia 520. It’s the cheapest Windows Phone out there, and the most popular one at the moment.

This my quick review.

GOOD

  • This is a solid device, a true smartphone not a cheap excuse.
  • Setting up a Gmail account is straight forward. It’s one of the things I was worries about, but it’s not concern. The account setup works a lot like it does on Android, with a system-wide management of all the services attached to it, i.e. email, calendar, contacts.
  • Impressive sound quality, both receiving and sending, as reported by different people I talked to.

BAD

  • When using IMAP, including Gmail, there is no no way to Flag or Star messages. There is an Urgent section, but there is nothing there. That’s a deal breaker, a reminder of iOS up to version 5.
  • Microsoft just loves terms of use and security warnings. Every app has at least one one them. You seem to get one at installation, on first run and sometimes when you upgrade an app. It’s just tedious.
  • No real-time app notifications? It seems that apps can only get updates only once every 30 minutes at most. This is a deal breaker for someone using Pingdom or other monitoring tools.

CONCLUSION

For 160€, one would expect something barely usable, but instead you get a full-featured smartphone. The design is elegant, the build solid, the interface quite snappy and the whole thing quite reliable and enjoyable. And not just “for a cheap phone”, but on its own. If you are using your phone for calls, web and mail, but not so much for apps, this is the device to get.

PS: Nokia announced a new and improved version of this device, the Nokia Lumia 525.