Archive for July 2007

iPhone observations

So, I’ve had it for a week inside the network range, and here are things that I have noticed that haven’t been covered to my satisfaction at other places.

First, the decision to use a glass faceplate instead of plastic was genius. It feels like a real device. It is nearly impossible to scratch. It looks fantastic. I don’t worry too much about what I use to clean it (which I usually only need to do after using it a long time, using it someplace really bright, like direct sunlight, or if I am eating bacon.) The glass is thick enough to be durable. I am much, much less worried about breaking it than cracking the LCDs on the cellphones that I had before which were only protected with thin, flexible plastic. I’ve been waiting to see the deluge of stories about people shattering the glass faceplate.

Still waiting.

The keyboard is different. I am slower on typing on it than my full QWERTY Blackberry, but much much faster than on any tenkey or multiple-letter system (like on the Pearls) , no matter how smart. I still type one fingered on it. A lot of people are clamoring for the landscape keyboard, but for me it has been worse than the narrow one (because of all the reaching to get to the most common keys.) One fingered on the narrow keyboard seems to be the way to go, especially when you start to feel the Force and the autocorrect is clicking. The strange thing is that the autocorrect doesn’t seem to be spotty — you are either Using the Force or not. You’ll get a string of two or three spot-on sentences, or two or three lines of complete gibberish.

Apps do crash. My Blackberry would lock up too under the use that I put it to. Even with the crashes, it kicks the everlasting shit out of the blackberry browser. There are pages that were completely offlimits on my Blackberry that are 100% accessible on my iPhone, and ones that I needed too (like the Southwest page.) The only annoying thing is that I wasn’t sure if it was even crashing, because I got no notice — it just closed the app and went to the home page.

The youtube player is the best video player ever. I will find clips on my computer, note the name, and then watch them on the iPhone because they look that much better. I understand that they have to re-transcode the videos to get them on this part, but I wish that there were more. The ones that have been converted are fantastic.

Battery power is a non-issue. I have to recharge it every other day, but I was already in the habit of phone and iPod charging every night. It might get worse when I am using it at work, but here around the house, the amount it will handle without recharging is amazing. I’m not worried about the removable battery, but I am considering getting an offboard charger unit as added power for a backup. The recessed headphones port is annoying. I will probably get an extender dongle to use other headphones with it, unless they come up with a stereo Bluetooth fix pretty quickly. I am really excited to see what fixes are coming in 1.0.1.

One thing that I have noticed — when I am browsing on a traditional computer, I have been catching myself trying to double-click a section of a webpage to get it to zoom in. A lot.


If Bearing Arms Was Just Another Right

Posts like this make me wonder how we got to the point that we have on gun control. I really don’t think that Robyn hates gun owners (any more than I hate reporters). She just has a very skewed and uninformed outlook. I am pretty sure that she has never held a gun. I’m pretty sure that Die Hard is as close as she has ever gotten. Just that would make her positions like a medieval illiterate peasant opining on freedom of the press. But it isn’t that simple. In addition to complete illiteracy, she has also been fed a one-sided horror story her entire life. That’s like asking the medieval illiterate peasant what he thinks of freedom of the press after he has spent his entire life listening to the priest tell him about how tomes are full of black magic and used by witches to conjure up demons.

But what if we treated other enumerated rights like we do bearing arms?

  • Because of the potential for riots, all assemblies must occur in approved areas. Cities shall have the right to prohibit assemblies inside their incorporated areas since riots occur almost always in urban areas. Anytime three or more people assemble in public, the police will treat it like a riot and use riot-appropriate force until they are able to separate everyone involved.
  • Because of religiously motivated crimes and terrorism, all religion may only be practiced in public by properly licensed and tested people. Religions that most people think have a high potential for fostering violence will require extensive background testing, punitive taxes and periodic inspections by the Bureau of Images, Religion and Media. You can practice your religion in your home as long as no one sees you, and all of your religious items are properly serial numbered and you have pass a background check to buy them.
  • Due to extensive libel, the press shall be regulated more closely. All paper has to be serial numbered and all paper dealers have to keep records of paper purchases. States will have the ability to require people to obtain licenses to possess paper, and municipalities and states will have the right to prohibit the use or possession of paper in their jurisdictions. Anyone who manufactures paper without a license has committed a felony. Because of problems with tracking ink back to individual users, all ink in California is now required to have a unique chemical tracer added. No ink can be manufactured or imported into California until the industry figures out how to do this.
  • Because of notes left by people committing suicide, no one with a history of mental illness will be allowed to purchase or possess pens or paper. To enforce this, all stores selling pens or paper are required to conduct instant background checks on all purchases. Purchasers will be required to show ID and fill out government forms listing the serial numbers of the paper purchased and swearing to no history of mental illness and no felony convictions. Failures by the seller to properly maintain these records will be punishable as a felony and will result in permanently revoking their license to deal in paper.
  • Government lawyers, in re-examining the Third Amendment, point out that it specifies “No Soldier shall” be quartered in people’s homes. The government immediately begins quartering sailors, airmen, and civilian contractors in private residences.

What else can we improve by treating like we do firearms?

Only Michael Moore is allowed to make money on Sicko

So it turns out that a bunch of lefties are up in arms because a Google blogger is crass enough to suggest that companies use Adwords to defend themselves from Sicko. Like this loon.

Let me make sure that I have this right: it is EVIL for Google to… uh… link to information? Over on this side, the assertion is that the Healthcare Industry is EVIL because they are profit driven. Because, as we all know, Michael Moore lives in a cave where he wears hair shirts and dines on an ascetic regimen of boiled peanuts and muddy water. You see, the Healthcare industry only saves people’s lives and improves their quality of life because there is money to be made in it, while Michael Moore only releases movies that have grossed nearly One Hundred Sixty Million Dollars because he loves children in a manner reminiscent of Jesus of Nazareth. (He’s only stuffing 50% of that $11.5 Million from Sicko in his pocket. I’m sure he’ll use it all on giving operations to uninsured American children.)

So, let me make sure that I have this right:

  • Informing people of both sides of an issue: Evil
  • Firing someone for trying to make the company money: Good
  • Responding to a claim that unless your industry is nationalized, children will die: Evil
  • Allowing an industry to respond to claims that it is evil: Evil

Well, since Google caved to the Communist Chinese and allowed them to censor their results, these guys might be onto something. If I ever need a political reality check, I only need to look and see which side is adamant that things like the dissenting view on a controversial political issue is forbidden knowledge from which I need to be protected from. (Military secrets, on the other hand, that compromise ongoing operations vital to national security, are things that I have A Right To Know.)

(Via The Reference Frame.)

The Rise and Fall of the American Republic

Radley says about Bush and Cheney:

I find these numbers a little suspicious, though I personally wouldn’t mind if both of them were impeached, convicted, and tossed out on their tuckuses.

NO! BAD LIBERTARIAN! The drive for incumbency is already too strong. The last thing we want to do is to foster a climate where you have to win every election or suffer permanent defeat. This is a very slippery slope. The founders were pretty wise with the terms they put in place. Elect the voice of the rabble to two year terms. Elect the executive for four year terms. Elect the voice of the States for six year terms (in the hopes that cooler heads prevail.) They didn’t enact “throw the elections out and toss whoever you want whenever the political winds change.”

What would Bush be impeached for? Engaging in a war authorized by Congress? This is a High Crime? No matter what the charge is, the real charge would be “membership in a party not in control of Congress.” I dread the day that we see an impeachment result in removal on these grounds. It could very well be the death knell of the Constitution. We have already seen this impeachment tried (Andrew Johnson) and cooler heads prevailed by a single vote. Do you really think there are cooler heads in this Senate?

What would we see as the result of this? We would see a state where there are no checks and balances. The Congress controls all. The sitting president would suffer under monumental pressure to ensure that his party wins every election. Should the other party manage to win Congress with an opposition president, they would need to impeach not only the president but enough Supreme Court Justices to ensure that this impeachment will withstand judicial review. On the other hand, the President would need to put enough Congressmen under investigation to ensure that he can blackmail enough of Congress into submission — or simply use the reckless impeachments as a justification for violating posse comitatus.

I’m sure there would be some initial glee from a lot of people if you could get revenge on the People for electing someone you didn’t want in office. But that will be an expensive rush, and we will all end up paying for it.