Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hot Topics

Global Warming - Not strictly technology, but definitely science.

Ever since the awarding of the Nobel Prize to Al Gore, skepticism about the science surrounding global warming has gained more and more press. I admire Mr. Gore not because of his stance on the subject, but because he has devoted so much time and effort to a cause that ostensibly affects the world community. Even the respected scientists that disagree haven't provided a cogent argument against the well constructed presentation that Mr. Gore has given.

The arguments for and against global warming have their valid points, so what are we to believe? Is this just a natural phenomenon or cause and effect? If we examine other environmental pollution such as our waterways and atmosphere, it seems clear that mankind has definitely caused those catastrophes. No rational person would suggest that water pollution is a natural phenomenon. So why is global warming subject to such skepticism? My guess is that even though the median temperature is allegedly increasing, we are still experiencing extremely cold and rugged winter seasons. I definitely believe that we have influenced our climate in a negative manner. I also believe that if we don't change our fossil fuel consumption rate, we will not only cause catastrophic atmospheric conditions, but geological issues as well. The science behind global warming makes sense to me and I believe that we should take heed now while we can still breathe the available air.


Verizon iPhone….. YEAAAA!

As I reported last time, I had to return my BlackBerry Storm2 due to a cracked screen (my fault) and Best Buy doesn't carry them anymore, even for replacement. So I was forced to take an Android phone (the HTC Incredible) or terminate my contract and get something else. I like the Incredible although, it took a while to find all of the apps that I needed to make it compatible with my usage patterns. Now, Verizon announced the availability of the iPhone and I'm torn. I have 4 months left on my contract and I'm not unhappy with the HTC device but like everyone else, I do like the iPhone's look and features. I consulted with someone who sells devices on all of the networks and he said that he thought the HTC Incredible was even better than the iPhone and as much as I hate to admit it, he may be right!

Before all of you fanboys start whining, the comparison is not just based on looks. While Apple has the definitive industrial stylist working for them, the phone still needs to make calls and perform other functions as advertised and I believe that the higher quality Android devices have equaled or surpassed what is available on the iPhone. The HTC Incredible was the first of the Android phones to include all of the bells and whistles (1ghz processor, 8mp camera, MicroSD Expansion, Multi-touch, WiFi Hotspot) and it performs well on the cellular network.

On the other hand, I think RIM is ready to announce the availability of the Storm 3. I really did like the Storm form factor and the functions were excellent. The only issue I had was the on screen keyboard. If they could either improve that or add a slide out keyboard (in landscape orientation) then I would definitely go back to a BlackBerry.

Monday, January 31, 2011

New Year… New Challenges

It's a new year for this blog and my only resolution for this year is to attempt to become more diligent about getting posts together. It's not a matter of time, because right now I have plenty of that. It's my motivation that's lacking. I have good ideas and I make sure to keep them written down, I just don't act on them and that is something I need to change if I'm going to be successful (here and in life).

Walk like an Egyptian… Just no talking.

This past Friday, the Egyptian government cut off cell phones and internet access in response to the mass protests developing around the country. Stock markets and government services were exempt from the outage. I hope great big alarms went off around the world. A country with this much disregard for rights of any kind should be censured.

Hopefully, this will alert the world community that we need some kind of universal law regarding communications. Emergency communication still needs to be available and there is no assurance that it is available in situations such as this. When governments are allowed to cutoff essential services to citizens regardless of their politics, they violate the principles that allow them to govern.

Android… It's like a virus and now I have it.

Don't get me wrong, I like the Android OS. I liked my BlackBerry better, but unfortunately, BestBuy doesn't carry them anymore and my screen cracked. I could have replaced it with a Curve, but the keys are so small, I spent most of my time correcting what I mis-typed.

I chose the HTC Incredible and I really like the phone. There are some things that both take getting used to and offer less integrated functionality than I wanted. The unified inbox is one thing that I really needed. I monitor 3 email accounts regularly and switching between inboxes is a real pain. I finally did find "Improved Email" which offers most of what I need.

I don't know about other carriers, but one thing I (and many others) find annoying is the stuff that Verizon loads on the phone and you can't get rid of. Things like 'City ID' which displays the city that the caller was from after the call is over. That is useless to me and it can't be deleted. Other annoyances are the three different 'Social Streaming' apps that they included. Each has the same functions with a different UI. What they don't include is a good synchronization application that works like the BlackBerry sync app. HTC has an application but it's very limited.

All in all, the android phones are excellent and provide a good alternative to the iPhone. My contract is up this summer and all of the kinks should be ironed out of the Verizon iPhone, so maybe I'll try that next.