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HTC Touch Pro

I’ve admired HTC cellular (PDA) phones for a very long time… their cost, though, has always made me choose an alternate.

With the release of the very popular Touch Diamond and Touch Pro (Windows Mobile 6.1) phones has come the opportunity to buy one at an aggressive price ($200 with no contract if you shop wisely on Craigslist).

Most all of the HTC phones are hackable, and there’s a large community preparing custom ROM sets for them.

You’ve never seen a HTC phone?  Well, you may not have seen HTC’s phones, but you’ve probably seen a derivative of their Touch Flow 3D interface… whether they’d like to admit it on not a company in Cupertino popularized that type of interface on a phone they sell in the US through AT&T.

You can check out HTC’s site (URL below) for a list of all the various handsets they make (and not all of them are Windows Mobile — you might notice they also make the Android based G1).

I purchased the Touch Pro because it has both a touch screen and a keyboard… it’s a little thicker than the Diamond Touch, but I’m just not willing to give up on the keyboard yet — but I wanted a touch screen to make browsing the web a little less tedious.  And with Windows Mobile 6.1 you can internet connection sharing built in (so you can tether you notebook very easily without paying any additional fees).

One of the first things you’ll want to do (even if you’re not changing phone carries on the handset you get) is unlock your phone… primarily so that you can flash a custom ROM in that matches your own tastes (you can even customize many of the ROMs yourself).

Touch Flow 3D is wizzy and cool… and will amaze your friends, but let’s face it — isn’t battery life and functionality more important?  And simplicity goes a long way in making the phone more practical for everyday use (after all, you’re probably going to use it as a phone most of the time… or not).

At the moment I’ve got Mighty ROM loaded in my handset; it’s fairly clean, fairly light-weight; and works… I’ll consider upgrading to a Mobile 6.5 versions once those are more stable, and I might consider customizing my own ROM to remove a lot of the apps I don’t every intend to use.

By-the-way, one of the things you may find you no longer need if you go to this phone is a GPS… you can run Google Maps on it, but that requires you have an active internet connection (and that doesn’t always happen in many places), I also loaded Garmin XT on my handset, so I basically have a Garmin GPS with access to Garmin Live (weather and gas prices, I think you can pay a monthly fee for traffic, but there’s no traffic in my area).

All I can say is it’s a GREAT phone, and a wonderful PDA… and my feeling is HTC has gone a long way towards providing us with a convergent device.  Microsoft is rumored to be working on their own handset; let’s hope they’ve studies HTC and will leverage off their design.

The only negatives are battery life (always an issue with a PDA phone, but far less of an issue when you can Touchflow 3D), and radio quality (I suspect that has to do with the way they designed the radio — it’s certainly adequate when cell coverage is reasonable, but you might not get good reception in fringe areas).

http://www.htc.com/us/

Originally posted 2009-06-10 11:00:22.

Re-Usable Shopping Bags

Rather than throw away bags that stores provide to you, why not consider purchasing some re-usable shopping bags?

Reduce, reuse, recycle…

You’re reducing the number of plastic (or paper) bags that need to be produced and recycled (or otherwise disposed of).

You’re reusing the same bag over and over.

You’re recycling, since almost every reusable shopping bag is made from 100% post consumer recycled material.

I know most vendors seem to want to charge around $1 each for these (and that’s ridiculous — and unconscionable to try and gouge a profit on people who are trying to do the right thing), but watch the sales at Walgreen’s, they put regularly advertise their smaller bag (which is perfect for most shopping) at 3 for $1 (with coupon in their advertising circular — look NOW).

Originally posted 2010-04-23 02:00:46.

Critial Microsoft Patch — DO IT NOW

Microsoft has released an out of cycle patch (they only release patches on Tuesdays), this was released today (Thursday), which means it’s an important patch for you to install now.  Get details below and use the Microsoft Update facility to download and install — don’t be part of the problem, take pre-emptive action.

Remember, in general it’s a good idea to check for updates often and install them unless you have a good reason not to.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/Bulletin/MS08-067.mspx

Originally posted 2008-10-23 08:00:56.

Bush-bashing

Generally I feel it’s bad form to pick low hanging fruit… that’s a clever way of saying you shouldn’t take easy shots… but when it comes to taking shots at George W Bush — I’m all for it.

Mainly that’s because so few criticized him during his eight year Reich.

And current President Barrack Obama is taking every opportunity he can to remind US voters that the current Republican ideas don’t substantially differ from those of the Bush administration — the administration who’s credited with sinking the American economy to the lowest level since the Great Depression.

While my feeling is that it’s a Democratic administration (Clinton) who laid the ground work for the economic blight, certainly the Bush administration did nothing to mitigate it, and likely fueled it with the irresponsible polices, and massive military spending.

But mainly the reason I think George W Bush is fair game for any and all criticism is the way in which he apparently had a free reign to lie to the Congress and American people.

I only hope that I live long enough to see how history reflects on George W Bush…

My feeling is that professional politician have no place in America — vote them all out, and keep voting them all out.

INCUMBENTS

Originally posted 2010-08-09 02:00:06.

The Sky Is Falling!

Don’t you love all the horrendous predictions of cataclysmic apotheosis marking the end of the world?

It seems the general public is always ready for a good scare; and no one seems to remember the big nothing that was Y2K.

21 December 2012, or is that 23 December 2012 — at least Y2K had a consistent date to fear.

Across the world people are making movies, writing news stories, blogging, praying, partying, and generally believing that the Mayans have fore told the end of the world.

Couldn’t it be they just ran out of ink and or paper (OK — chisels and stone) and took a break from filing out the calendar, and then got wiped off the face of the Earth by a Spanish conquistador they didn’t fore tell?

Here’s the translation of the text at Mayan ruins in Mexico called the “Tortuguero Site” that’s being used as “evidence” to support this claim:

The Thirteenth [b’ak’tun] will end (on) 4 Ajaw, the 3rd of Uniiw [3 K’ank’in]. Black … will occur. (It will be) the descent(?) of Bolon Yookte’ K’uh to the great (or red?)

Seems like the experts haven’t quit figured out exactly what the inscription means yet; partially due to the lack of Mayans around to help with the translation, no doubt.

Besides, the end of the world is kind of a Judeo-Christian belief (gotta love religions steeped in drama); there’s no references to any such world ending event in any other Mayan text, and there are plenty of references to events wells beyond this alleged end of the world.

Doubtful that the Mayan calendar fore tells the end of the world; galactic alignment isn’t going to happen in 2012 (besides it’s already happened many times); planet Nibiru (aka planet X) would probably be in sight if it were bearing down on Earth (whoops, that’s a Sumerian prediction — a contributor to drama in many modern religions); major solar activity (actually predicted for 2012-2014) probably won’t destroy the Earth; the sun isn’t scheduled to explode for several million more years; an asteroid could hit the Earth (if it were coming from an oblique angle it might not be noticed quite yet), but unlikely the Mayan’s would have had insight into that; green house gases probably won’t accumulate enough by then; tectonic activity probably won’t increase enough in two years to destroy the Earth…

OK, I’m out of possibilities… other than people just needing something to believe in (read that as fear) I just don’t see anything “real” about any of these predictions… I suspect in the end it will be just like poor hysterical Chicken Little (Chicken Licken / Henny Penny if you prefer the non-Disney version [which doesn’t rhyme]– or just go all the way back to Aesop’s Fables or the Daddabha Jataka).

Originally posted 2010-04-01 02:00:15.

gOS – Nothing but ‘Net

Strike two — another candidate falls by the way side.  Don’t worry, this isn’t baseball so I’m not feeling the pressure of striking out (just yet).

gOS is a descent Linux distribution, and it works — in fact it works nicely.

The applications that come bundles are heavily dependent on Google; and it really doesn’t follow the Mac look and feel very completely (you would have to scab on a better theme and my feeling is that way too advanced for the target audience). 

gOS is also missing most every multimedia capability that an average user would want.  That’s allegedly to avoid legal issues in many countries, but the fact of the matter is if you can’t play a DVD or most video and audio streams a person is likely to find it’s just not an acceptable OS for the general public.

If you want something fairly basic that works when you install it and doesn’t require much fussing, but you’re not interested in multimedia this might be a reasonable choice; but you’re probably better off to stick with a distribution that doesn’t carry the weight of Ubuntu (something derived directly from Debian or built from scratch).

gOS

Originally posted 2010-01-05 01:00:48.

Protecting Your Rewards

Many financial institutions that issue “cash back” or “rewards” debit cards and credit cards are in poor financial shape at the moment.

As a precaution you may want to cash in your points now in order to insure that the institutions don’t make a change to the program that greatly diminishes your value.  In addition you might want to find another financial institution that isn’t in precarious financial condition with a rewards program to use in the interim until your current institution stabilizes.

The two largest banking institutions that have liberal rewards programs that are in financial trouble are Citi Group and Bank of America.

The largest banking institution that has a liberal rewards program that isn’t in financial trouble is Chase.

Originally posted 2009-01-29 01:00:04.

Time To Move On…

For the moment I’m going to hold off making any changes to my BLOG or web site… including moving to a new hosting server.

While I may think the customer service at 1and1 SUCKS, I don’t really need to interface with them very often, so I’m deciding to leave things as they are until after I get moved and settled.

I will be changing my BLOG time zone to Central Standard Time — that may effect some of you; but hopefully your RSS readers adjust the time properly for your time zone and you won’t see anything change (except the time of day my posts get published will now be 1:00 am CST rather than 1:00 am PST).

Originally posted 2009-03-02 01:00:04.

Is The Wall Street Journal a SPAMmer?

Well, at the moment that appears to be the case.

I got an email on Thanksgiving with the subject:

The Wall Street Journal. $1.99/wk. Get the REAL Bailout news…

From what appear to be a professional SPAMmer (chargecarde.com) — and I say professional SPAMmer since the return address in the email was set to my own email address, not theirs.  My SPAM filters caught the email, but I go through the SPAM on occasion just to see what unethical businesses would resort to such tactics during hard economic times.  After all, big business never really cares about the consumer or the law — they only care about what makes them money and what they can get away with.

The laws of the State of California make sending unsolicited commercial email (aka SPAM) illegal — and of course theft of service (you pay for your internet service) is illegal in every state.

As I said almost twenty years ago when the SPAM epidemic was on the rise; we must fight back, we cannot support SPAMmers or those who support SPAMmers.

Take a minute out of your day, and from a “throw away email address” write The Wall Street Journal and let them know how you feel about SPAMming and SPAMmers — here’s some email addresses for you (normally I wouldn’t include mailto links, but I have no issue with SPAMmers getting their email addresses harvested by SPAMbots).

And make sure you avoid doing business with:

wsj.com
The Wall Street Journal
4300 Route 1 North
South Brunswick, NJ 08852

or

ChargeCarde.com
SPUR Media Group
PO Box 99
Fortson, GA  31808

I will share any and all responses I get from The Wall Street Journal, SPUR Media Group, or any agent representing either; and will continue to consider legal action to recover damages under California Business and Professions Code Section 17538.45 and potentially Chapter 19 of the Revised Code of WA, RCW 19.190 (since I also have a legal presence there).

 

NOTE:  It’s been over a week since I contacted The Wall Street Journal about the email I received on their behalf; I’ve yet to get a reply, so it would appear that The Wall Street Journal intended that the email be sent and understand that they violated the law.  So in fact the Wall Street Journal is a SPAMmer.

Originally posted 2008-11-28 12:00:16.

Immigrants go home!

That’s right… if you’re not a native from the area of North America now claimed by the United States (or Hawaii) get the hell out!!!

All you people who can trace your ancestry to the Mayflower, unless you can also trace it to Native Americans get the hell out!!!

Just because you were born here of parents not from here doesn’t make you an American; and I’ll thank you to take yourself back to where you came from…

Well, at least that’s what a new Arizona law intends to try to do with people in that state… of course it’s not clear that they want to change their view that children born of parents legally in this country are extended citizenship, but those born of parents illegally in this country would be denied citizenship (I’ll need to see that all you original immigrants have papers authorizing you to enter this country).

What a joke…

Citizenship in the US is not something a state can decide whether or not to grant to an individual; it’s clearly in the realms of the federal government of the United States of America, and perhaps the legislature of the state of Arizona should read over the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, paying particular note to the citizenship clause (which also happens to be in the same section as the due process clause) and of course Dred Scott v Sandford.

Sure the Fourteenth Amendment has never been tested in the case that the parents of a child were in this country illegally; but it contains the phrase under the jurisdiction — and in my mind, if individuals aren’t under the jurisdiction of the state and / or United States then they couldn’t be deported, and the act of attempting to deport or detaining an illegal alien would clearly establish that they are in fact under jurisdiction.

What a waste of resources; at least Rhode Island came to their senses and tabled a clone of the Arizona law.

While it might be arguable that the Fourteenth Amendment’s citizenship requirements do not cover individuals who enter or remain in this country illegally; taking under consideration the Tenth Amendment (contained in the Bill of Rights) since the Fourteenth Amendment defines citizenship in the United States, it thus removes that area from interpretation (or legislation) by the states (or any state).

Amendment 10

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

NOTE:  Amendments are part of the Constitution.

Amendment 14

Section 1
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws

I’ll close by reminding all of you that the Constitution of the United States provides protections for it’s citizens and any and all who travel within the borders of the United States equally.  Whether you be an upstanding citizen, a politician, a criminal, an immigrant, an anti-government radical, or even a terrorist — the Constitution  provides a written basis for the American way of life, only when it’s principals and ideas are defended for everyone does the American system stand strong – when the pillars the country stands on crumble, all is lost.

Originally posted 2010-06-01 02:00:50.