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Something witty this way comes.


I finally got a smartphone. - bnoel

6/14/2012 8:02:38 PM

HUAWEI M865C - Running Android. What are the "must have" apps and does anyone have any other relevant tips for me?

GlobaSat BT-368 Bluetooth GPS Receiver compatibility with EarthBridge - anilkumar

2/7/2010 2:05:38 AM

I would like to buy the GlobaSat BT-368 Bluetooth GPS Receiver, will this work with Earth Bridge. I am a novice to the GPS world.

If the aliens came down... - bnoel

12/17/2009 4:58:43 AM

If they came down tonight and offered you a lifetime of exploration, could you leave everything you have and take off? Forever. Not sure if I could... :) - drunken thoughts by bnoel...

Wow, really? - Wirehead

11/20/2009 8:58:15 PM

I'm sure everyone remembers the Apple 1984 ad.

Now, given the current idiocies with app store approval, and now this, does anyone doubt that they've decided to just dispense with the middleman, and actually become Big Brother themselves?

New Chrome/Firefox Downloader Announced! - Dylan

11/18/2009 2:37:04 PM

Microsoft has just announced the next version of their Chrome/Firefox downloader tool. New computers will have this latest version of the downloader pre-installed so you can get Chrome or Firefox quickly and easily. Some of the notable improvements in version 9 are faster page rendering, better font rendering, and more web standards support. These are welcome improvements and the download pages for Chrome and Firefox will now look better than ever.

Despite pressure from users, Microsoft is choosing to continue using the name "Internet Explorer" for their downloader tool.

People [drink] more than [tea] - Dylan

10/27/2009 12:12:06 PM

Here's my take of Kottke's take on e-readers:

"Sure, fine, make your single-use [cups]. But all these [cups] -- the [tea cup], [mug], [ceramic cup], et al -- are all focused on the wrong single use: [tea]. (And in the case of at least the [mug], the focus is on [drinking hot tea].*) The correct single use is [drinking]. Your [cup] should make it equally easy to [drink] [tea], [beer], [wine], [juice], [Gatorade], [coffee], etc. And keep in mind, all of these things have [colors] that are integral to the [drinking] experience. We want to [drink]; help us do it."

I disagree with him. As I thinly tried to point out above, it doesn't always make sense to have one "reading" device. My RSS feed reading is distinctly different from my book reading experience and I don't want them to be the same. The Kindle digitally emulates my book reading experience just enough for me to continue to enjoy reading books, but digitally. There's a reason I walk away from Google Reader and go sit on the couch to read for a few hours.

* Sorry, Jason, but the 7-Eleven sentence didn't survive the analogy filter.

Initial Thoughts on my HTC Hero and Android - Dylan

10/21/2009 2:09:33 AM

This is simply a dump of the wave I'm keeping about my HTC Hero and Android in Google Wave. It's not in any particular order. HTC Hero/Android Thoughts and Observations I'm just going to post what I think of my phone and the OS, Android. This is the first Android phone I've had and I'm coming from Windows Mobile, so this should be interesting. Size I don't know the dimensions exactly, but this is a very, very nice size. It's fits very nicely in my hand and is actually smaller than I expected it to be. It's a tiny bit smaller than an iPhone. Buttons This phone actually has the same number of protruding buttons that the iPhone has. The iPhone has the Home, Volume, Silent, and Sleep buttons. This phone has Off/End, Call, Volume, and the Trackball. It also has four non-protruding buttons on the lower face that are Menu, Home, Search, and Back. What's really nice is that all the buttons on the face (including the trackball) light up during use. Indicators This phone has two indicator LED's at the top of the phone. My old HTC Mogul had an infuriating behavior of blinking one of these LED's every four seconds as long as it was connected to the cell network. And no way to turn that off. This phone, thankfully, does not do that. Keyboard I have been using a physical phone keyboard for so long that this is a tough switch. There is "tactile" feedback in terms of a tiny vibration when you hit a key. The keys on the screen do seem a bit thin, but still very usable. Calibrating the keyboard was a big help. Also, it has taken me several days to make the "switch" from a pressure sensitive screen, ala Windows Mobile, to a solid, glass, capacitive screen. Once this transition was over, my accuracy went way up. To do a special symbol you have to hold down one of the regular ABC keys and it gives you all the symbols and accents for that letter. I like this style. It's much easier than switching the entire on-screen keyboard to a symbol layout and using that. (Although you can do that if you prefer.) UI Speed/Lag Overall the interface is snappy and responsive. I do mis-"click" every so often, but again, I think that's a calibration issue. (It was.) On very long lists, when it first loads, there is sometimes a very slight hiccup or tiny lag if I start trying to throw-scroll right away. A few times I've noticed that when I go to drag, it first thinks I'm clicking and the UI state of what's under my finger changes, but every time it has detected I'm actually dragging and undoes the UI state. Like Windows Mobile, it does not actually initiate the UI action until the "mouse/finger-up" action. This is very good for when I go to click and decide I don't want to. I can just drag my finger away from the control and it will not take action. I have also noticed that there is occasionally a one to two second UI sluggishness/hiccup when switching to an app that was in the background while Android brings that app to the fore in memory. This is very similar to the exact same lag momentary hiccup/lag you get even on desktop apps when switching to an app that's not currently primary in the memory. I suspect this is simply a matter of multi-tasking in general, as it's not limited to Android or this phone. Screen The screen is beautiful. It's 320x480, which on this screen size looks amazing. I don't know where the sensor is, but it has a brightness sensor that auto-adjusts the brightness based on current ambient light (brighter screen in sunlight, dimmer screen indoors). I put a screen protector over the glass of the screen, as I want to keep it nice. The screen is an optics-grade screen with an oleophobic coating like the iPhone. It is not a recessed screen, so applying the screen protector is very easy. It is also a capacitive screen, not a pressure-sensitive screen like most Windows Mobile devices. I like that. When this screen protector wears out, I will likely not replace it. I[...]

Just Ordered an HTC Hero - Dylan

10/12/2009 3:52:08 PM

I just ordered an HTC Hero phone. So excited. This phone looks seriously cool. I've been wanting an Android phone since Android came out. I'm definitely looking forward to developing on this phone.

Tabby - My new (to me) tablet pc - bnoel

10/5/2009 12:18:19 AM

I just got a Toshiba Tecra M4 Tablet PC... loving it so far, but i never really looked that deep into tablet pcs... does anyone have any tips, tricks that i need to know about with this thing? I'm also wondering if i can make the tablet features work with ubuntu...

Would you abandon your children? - Dylan

9/29/2009 4:37:20 PM

I didn't think so. But Congressman McCotter from Michigan seems to be implying that you would consider such a thing if you couldn't list them as dependents on your income tax.

Congressman McCotter introduced a bill called the HAPPY Act. This bill, if made into law, would allow Michigan residents to list pets as dependents on their income tax forms, receiving up to $3,500 in deductions. I have nothing at all against this bill (partly because I also don't live in Michigan), but the reasoning behind it is off.

I've read a number of articles on this bill and many of them point out that there is great concern that many pets will be abandoned in this recession due to the costs of caring for a pet. Apparently the main reason for Congress McCotter pushing to get this bill passed is to prevent such a terrible trend, and, after all, many families look on their pets as a real, living, breathing members of the family. Here is a quote from the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, who is in full support of this bill:

"Providing pet owners the opportunity to deduct pet care expenses is an important step toward ensuring that pet owners provide adequate veterinary and other necessary pet care. It encourages responsible pet ownership and will hopefully reduce the abandonment of pets by people struggling as a result of the economic downturn."

So, wait. He's worried about people abandoning pets because of the cost. So he wants people to be able to list pets as dependents, equal to the way you can already list your children as dependents.

That doesn't make sense. If families hold their pets in such high regard, why would they abandon them? Would these same families also abandon their children if they couldn't list them as dependents?

Sounds like doublespeak to me. Just be honest. He's putting forth a bill that is pro-pets so that anyone who opposes it will be positioned as anti-pets, and nobody wants to be positioned like that.

(I should be careful. This post is suspiciously close to being actual content. Can't have any of that around here!)