Archive for the ‘high tech’ tag
Seriously, food coloring is about the worst thing that you can do to beer… including the kind of cheap shitty beer that generally gets food coloring dumped into it this time of the year. All it is is a green mistake. If you want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by having an “Irish” beverage, just have a Guinness. Or Harp. Or Killian’s. Or some Jameson.
I was going to wear a green t-shirt to work today, but ended up not doing so (I wore a salwar tunic top with elbow-length sleeves that kind of had some light green on it instead) because I didn’t have any t-shirts that would cover my bruises. They may be the right color (they are at the yellow-green healing stage) but the bruises that I got at fencing practice last week just aren’t appropriate accessories for the office.
Ahem. Now for some important news about the news.
I get my news from three sources – The Daily Show and Colbert Report (yes, it is a comedy news show, but I think that they do a better job of hitting important events and stories and are more “fair and balanced” in their presentation then, say, Fox News), NPR, and the New York Times online.
If I don’t subscribe, I will be limited to “20 free articles (including blog posts, slide shows, video and other multimedia features) each calendar month on NYTimes.com, as well as unrestricted access to browse the home page, section fronts, blog fronts and classifieds.” (This is from the article. To my understanding, I can look at the headlines on, for example, the home page for free, but if I click on an article, that counts against my monthly allotment.) I probably read 20 NY Times articles every day.
I will subscribe. I read the NY Times online daily and I don’t want to lose access to that news source. (I donate to NPR as well, because I want them to stay on the air and continue to fund shows like Car Talk and News from Lake Wobegone.)
On one hand, I can understand their need to charge something. I doubt that they make much money from the ads on the site or from the sales of the print papers, and they have to pay their reporters something in order for all of us out in reader-land to continue to enjoy their high-quality content. On the other hand, I do think that their prices are a little high.
After some additional thought I realize that a year’s subscription to the NY Times online is about how much I donate each year to support NPR.
However. There is a difference. I freely give that money to NPR, even though I could continue to enjoy their programming without contributing a red cent. The NY Times, on the other hand, will cut me off if I don’t pony up. It is the fundamental difference here between donation and coercion that is sticking a bit in my craw.
I really love the treasure trove of mobile devices that my group at work has access to. This time I was able to snag an iPad for a test run.
I am already not happy with the iPad experience.
First of all, you can’t just turn it on and get started. No. First you have to synch it up with your iTunes. This is mandatory. No getting around it. Argh! And if you don’t have iTunes (which I do) or if you don’t have the latest version of iTunes (which I don’t, because of my 3 year old iPod which chokes and dies and refuses to synch on modern versions of iTunes) then you have to either install or upgrade. Double argh!
I only hope that I can roll back my iTunes version with a minimum of fuss when this is all over.
Once that is over, then you have to manually enable the 3G. And then the Wi-fi.
I thought that Apple was supposed to be all about out-of-the-box functionality? Apple does have very nice hardware design, no getting around that, but the software… eh, it has been a while since I was impressed by their software.
The iPad, for all its small size, was heavier then I expected.
I was annoyed to see just how many of the websites that I visit on a regular basis use flash, which iPad won’t support.
Bottom line, it is a big iPhone (or Nexus One, or whatever flavor of app enabled smartphone that you have) that can’t make phone calls. Web browsing is about the only thing that I found that the iPad can do better then a more conventional smartphone.
So I have had the Nexus One for a few days and have played with it extensively.
The touch screen is very nice and quite sensitive. There is a trackball underneath the screen for people who are anti-touchscreen, but I never needed to use it. Actually the touchscreen was so sensitive that I occasionally accidentally selected things when I was only trying to “flick” the screen in order to scroll it.
There is some nice feedback when you touch-select something one of the function buttons below the screen – a nice little buzz beneath your finger to let you know that you hit the target.
The screen does have multi-touch capability (standard now, I suppose) and you can use several fingers to pinch or spread whatever you are looking at to either shrink or expand it.
The touch screen keyboard which I was so concerned about (I felt that I would be much more comfortable with a physical keyboard, which is why I was looking initially at the Droid) was not a problem at all. It took me less then five minutes to get used to it. The predictive typing was also a nice feature, though it did take me a little while to get used to it.
The apps. I liked the apps. I could get very very used to using a lot of apps. Some apps I especially liked (that I need to remember for when I get an app phone of my very own):
- FxCamera: All kinds of seriously cool camera filters that mimic classic polaroid, holga, and diana cameras and their effects
- Aldiko: eReader and access to all sorts of browsable/downloadable libraries of free and public domain books. Free books! That I can read on the phone! Can it really get any better then that?
- ColorNote: It should not surprise anyone at all that I found an app for to-do lists
- flickr by pixelpipe: upload photos right from the phone to flickr
Honestly, my only complaint would be about the lifespan of the battery, which was woefully short. I had to plug it in to recharge over night, and it needed to spend a long time during the day powering off of my laptop. Of course, I was playing with it almost constantly, so I am not sure how loudly to complain about the limited battery life.
Oh, the screen… I also have a complaint about how the screen looks when you are out using the phone in bright sunlight. Basically the glare reflected off of the shiny, shiny screen overwhelms everything and it is tough to see what you are doing. This is not a unique problem… it is shared by pretty much everything with a screen (laptops, kindles, GameBoys, etc…) and the people who want to use them outdoors.
Verdict: Yes, please!
Really, it has been a while since I got this excited about any kind of new tech gadget. I looked at the iPhone and while I thought that it was really interesting, I didn’t feel any drive to go out and get one (of course, I also didn’t get a chance to play with one for several days either). I liked the Kindle a lot (I did get to play with one of those for a few days) and I want a Kindle, and I know that I will get one eventually, but I never felt the urge to run out and grab one. This phone? I want to run out and get one.
I think that the Nexus One is a great multi-tasker, I think that the user experience is great, and that it is a very simple and intuititive device to use. I think that I could use some of the camera apps to really invigorate my photography and that they will give me the opportunity (and excuse) to do a lot more of the playing around and exploring that I wouldn’t necessarily do with my DSLR, because the DSLR is so much more of a serious tool. I think that if I had this phone I would never again need to look at a purse and think “but can I fit a book in it?”.
Do I really have to wait until my AT&T contract expires in late July? I don’t know if I want to wait more then three more months. If the penalty fee isn’t too high, I might look into breaking my contract early.
It looks like Dayton is marketing itself heavily to be one of Google’s fiber test cities.
Check out the website for the project. I especially like the “Average” page on the site.
Of course I indicated my support and added myself to the map… what else could I do?
I hope that this project comes through… It would be pretty awesome.