Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Archives-November 2006

November 27

Welcome Back!

I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend-we sure did. And Friday was Dean's birthday so the celebration kept on going.
I am somewhat mystified to reveal that for the better part of the last 6 days i have barely picked up my XDA Exec. It almost makes me wonder if i wont ultimately go back to the use of only one device. I love the concept of high speed data because one of the things I've noticed is that it makes me less prone to add applications and tend more toward looking to bookmark a page on the internet that has the info I need. So while my Exec is loaded with Wapipedia and IMDB databases, my BJ has a link to the wap version of both those sites.
Listing wap and mobile-optimized sites has been done to death, but what i plan to do is compile a list of programs and the sites that can serve as substitutes.

November 23

'Borat' Suit Says Villagers Were Misled

NEW YORK - Residents of a remote Romanian village filed a $30 million lawsuit Monday over their depiction in the hit movie "Borat," accusing the filmmakers of misleading them into thinking the project was a documentary about poverty.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Manhattan on behalf of Nicolae Todorache and Spiridom Ciorebea, two residents of Glod, Romania, where residents were used as stand-ins for Kazakhs in the film.
By LARRY NEUMEISTER Associated Press Writer

First 3 Days with my Blackjack

This time I've decided to start with the things that I dont quite love before I talk about the many pluses:
First of all, there is no kind of auto-capitalize and punctuate on this device. This is especially needed because there is a millisecond lag between when you type a letter and when it shows on the screen. Speed typing is also out.
Next with the new bluetooth profile, I am no longer able to dial-up from my XDA to the internet using my smartphone. I have mixed feelings about that-on the one hand, my BJ is really showing me its best stuff and vying to be my sole pda. On the other hand an email as lengthy as this entry is almost kabuki torture on thi keyboard. I plan to experiment with a few options that will let me type long emails on my Xda then send them to the BJ for dispatch.
The 3G seems to be great-when I can get it. Its nowhere near my home which I already expectd from the Cingular coverage map but I suspect they have taken some artistic and factual liberties by portraying the entire city of Manhattan as a blob of coverage.
On the other hand, I love this device. Its tiny and fits very comfortably in the hand-to be honest now that I've experienced this i dont even know how i was able to grasp a Treo!
Its very well thought out especially the hidden features-press and hold home key for task manager, the quick launch scroll bar which is activated by pressing and holding the jog dial. And i even found myself using the Cingular extras like MusicID (to identify the song from the Geico.com caveman in airport commercial).
The screen is extremely vivid and bright and I like the control i have over the brightness and duration. I have even found what I consider to be the holy grail of notification sounds right down to the camera sound effects.
I just tried the Windows media player built in and its pretty impressive. There is a funky colorful equalizer which I noticed from the first Blackjack commercial I saw on television yesterday.
The built in RSS reader is pretty much on par with all the other readers I've seen for smartphones-not as good as the ones for the PocketPC. The Cingular video seems to have been out of order for the last 2 days, but when it was working it was fair. I had no problems using Slingplayer Mobile using the fix explained in the Slingplayer community home page.
Overall, I am in love with my Blackjack and I would say that the pros far far outweigh the cons and this comes from a chick who has the Rolls Royce of PocketPC phones (the HTC Universal) in the other hand!



 



  
November 22

True 3G

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Note to self- before boasting about 3G speeds, make sure USB cable has been disconnected from PC, ensuring that speed is actually 3G and not just PC throughput speed.
So, I disconnected from my computer and tested the speed of 3G and here is my average speed. I'll test it in a few more places through the city today and see if I top that.

Loving 3G on the BJ!

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I'm planning on making a full entry later on today, but I couldn't resist showing off the speeds I am getting with 3G. All  I can say is wow!

November 20

Test from Blackjack

Test post

November 17

Why I'd Rather Be inTexas Right Now

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Because that's where my beloved BlackJack is right now!!! I must have phoned a million Cingular stores yesterday and the few who actually knew what I was talking about said they hoped to have the Blackjack "early next week". At first I thought I would keep trying to hunt it down, but then I realized that if I wanted to have it by Thanksgiving (giving me 4 full work-free days to play with it!!) then I couldnt risk them not having it and being forced to place a later order online. I placed my online order yesterday by noon and have been meticulously tracking its progress. Part of me hopes, with each refresh, that the page will suddenly change and the status will read "Delivered ahead of schedule"....is that odd?
November 16

Ode to the BlackJack


Alas, my love...
It seems today
Our love is not meant to be
For nary a store for miles
Has even heard of thee!

Happy BlackJack Day!

Today is the day that the Cingular BlackJack goes on sale in the US and also the day that I get my hands on one! I happened to wake up around 2am this morning and figured I would check to see if I could place my order online. The system must have been jammed because it wouldn't let me sign into my account to use the upgrade feature. By 6am though, the system was back up but by then I had already decided that, as there is no online discount, I'll just go to a store and pick one up today. I already received the 1GB micro-SD card I ordered and I can't wait!
November 15

Who Woulda Thunk It?

When I finally convinced Dean to join me on Cingular a few months ago, I also managed to steer him towards one of the handsets with Bluetooth builtin. He seemed to like it, but his favorite feature was that I would often take pictures of myself and set them as his wallpaper to give him some eyecandy to get through the day apart! Gradually, as time has gone by he asks me more about the devices and gadgets that I am interested in and I think he was positively agog when I explained MusicID technology to him.
Two nights ago when I entered into my Cingular Blackjack fever, a very strange thing happened. As I gushed about the luxury of 3G and builin keyboard he suddenly asked me what I was planning to do with my SDA. At first I was taken aback by the question- its an unwritten rule in our home that I may spend as much as I need to in order to quench my tech thirst as long as I attempt to offset at least part of the cost by selling the older item on eBay However, in this case, it seems that my T-mobile SDA has done a very unlikely thing and has actually caught his eye! I am, of course, thrilled that this has happened (I long for a day when we sport his and her Jasjars but, well, one step at a time) and I proceeded to launch into an extremely impressive demonstration of the features of his 'new phone'. I'm also debating whether to actually do a hard reset or just delete the PIM data and let him have it fully loaded.
Has anyone else noticed that, when it comes to tech, I'm a bit like a drug dealer or something- encouraging everyone to join in, peddling the product in dark alleys (or, as in this case, in our study) and offering a free sample for a 'taste'! C'mon...you know you want it!

Tivo Series2

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I spent my commute this morning doing something I've never been able to do- I watched the episode of Nip/Tuck I missed from last week. Except, I didn't watch it from my Slingbox (which I won't comfortably be able to do without WiFi until I get my  3G Blackjack) but I watched the show downloaded from my Tivo.  And it was absolutely amazing.
We got a Tivo Series 1 ages ago and it did what it was meant to do- a basic Tivo experience without much else. Around the time that I was investigating the SlingBox, Dean was on a mission of his own- namely to get another Tivo box for the bedroom. I convinced him to go with a Series 2 as I had heard all of the great features that it offers. Long story short, we ended up with a DirecTv DVR in the bedroom and I got the Series2 for my playpen (i.e. my all pink, all gadgety den).
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I've been blown away with all of the Tivo2 features (podcasts, desktop downloads, maps, weather,etc) but, as you know, the feature that always gets my 'mobigasm' is the ability to access these things on the go. Tivo desktop will allow you to download the shows recorded onto your computer to watch, but the format does not work on my mobile device.  I tried TV Harmony's Autopilot, but either I am really dense, or its extremely labor intensive, but I could not get it to work the way I wanted it to. The process took forever and the setup was really not intuitive.  I finally decided to shell out the $30 to upgrade to the Tivo Desktop plus, which automatically converts the shows into the format of your choice. I chose MPEG4 and was thrilled to note that the conversion process also shrunk the size of the file (another feature that did not happen with AutoPilot), allowing me to get a one hour show into about 300MB. Once its done (and it works very nicely and quietly in the background) a little popup lets you know the number of shows that have been downloaded and converted,as well as their location on your pc. I popped my SD card in and was able to simply pull the shows onto my card.
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Here is a full-screen shot of Escobar being taken down in the airport after McNamara/Troy's surgery deception.

SpeedBump

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November 14

Cingular BlackJack Size Comparison

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First of all, you should just resign yourself to the fact that I will  most likely be raving about this device for a while. In fact, until I can place my overnight order on Thursday, this is probably all I will be able to think about. I did want to point out one interesting tidbit I noticed, though... I used SizeEasy to get a visual comparison of the size compared to the Treo 650 and they are identical except for the thickness! Take a look:

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50,000 hits by Christmas???

Wow.
It feels like it was just yesterday that I posted about having about 20,000 hits to my site. Today I took a look at the statistics and found:
 
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At this rate, there is a strong likelihood that by Christmas, I may hit the 50,000 mark! Its pretty amazing to think that so many people out there read my little ramblings! I love you all for stopping by! Keep on coming!

Moto Q Black

This is the Motorola Q in black which is being exclusively launched in Canada by Bell Canada. Its amazing how something as simple as a color change can totally breathe new life into a device. This Q looks less wide than its silver counterpart, and seems like less of a scratch magnet. I guess its similarity to the soon to be released Cingular BlackJack is also making me a bit soft on it too.

November 13

Cingular BlackJack

Well,well,well. It seems like Christmas has come early for me this year as Cingular has just announced the very thing I was hoping for, the perfect complement to my Xda Exec with 3g, Bluetooth and Thumbboard! I must have missed all the rumors of this device because this came as a totally unexpected and wonderful surprise! It also does not have WiFi which is great because I could count on one hand the numbr of times I've even bothered to fire up the wifi on my T-Mobile SDA. As a secondary device, I need it to have 3G, but still keep the cost down without including redundant features.
This phone is for me, it has tantalized me even beyond the Treo Lennon which I was still on the fence about. And more excitingly, its going to be available in about 3 days, so if you'll excuse me I'm going to head over and see if I can pre-order on the website right now!

Dreaded Dentist Visit

I'm sitting in the waiting room at the dentist's office and for once I'm glad to be here...that's because for once this visit is not for me. Dean's crown fell out of his tooth about a year ago and this weekend he was in excrutiating pain. The dentist I go to is so wonderful that he replied to my email over the weekend and even though Dean isn't his patient, he very nicely called in a prescription for him on Saturday for anti-biotics and pain killer.
I peered into his mouth to see the hole left by the missing crown and I have to say, I can't imagine how anyone would voluntarily choose to do that as a profession. I mean, I love him and all and I even felt a bit queasy, I can't imagine looking into the mouth of a total stranger....then again, I can't say I know what motivates proctologists either.
November 12

Scenes from my SL Weekend

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This weekend I purchased another piece of land- this time prime Beachfront property. I never understood the attraction of the beachfront land until I saw this view. I just go there and sit and listen to the waves. Truly its amazing. Here I am, enjoying the view and the sounds from the ocean relaxing on my hammock.
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 And meanwhile my friend LadyDeath has an amazing Ultimate Dominion which is so spooky. I must admit, I rather like it, especially all the blood. LadyDeath, as you can see, has modeled her castle after her self. She's a fascinating person when you get to know her, especially once you look deeper than the blood!Photobucket - Video and Image HostingPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting
November 10

QuikBoy Mike's Blog- Absolutely Hilarious!

This morning I noticed a comment had been made on my previous entry and decided to find out about the writer, QuikBoy Mike. His blog is called "A very boring blog" but personally I find it anything but! Mike is 18 and shares this hilarious story about trying to decide whether he or his 10-year old brother should get the only Banquet frozen dinner his mother bought.  What starts as a simple tale of sibling rivalry  quickly escalates into something much darker and disturbing... just what is Mike's mom up to, anyway? Is she deliberately trying to fan the flames of discord by buying mixed frozen dinners? And is it possible that she in some way helped Mike's brother cheat to tighten the odds of him winning the rock,paper, scissors contest? Hmmm.... Mike, I feel your pain. But here's a thought, rather than moving out, why not get a part-time job so you can just buy your own Banquet dinner?
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Quote
Ugh. My mom is always so unfair. Today, she just bought one of those Banquet frozen dinners, and she only just bought one. I expected to get it. But my little brother wanted it too. She said we had to decide ourselves. I suggested that we both don't eat it. Because I'd rather have nobody eating it, than my brother. But he didn't want that, and I kind of didn't want that either. So we did Paper, Scissors, Rocks. I won the first one. My brother won the second one. I really didn't want to do the third one. So we looked for another idea. I suggested we roll dice to see who wins. My brother, as usual, didn't want to do that. So I came up with another idea to write down what our 3 choices for Paper, Scissors, Rocks on paper, so that both of us couldn't cheat. We did it. We compared it. I put mines all rocks. He put Scissors, Paper, and Rock. We got a tie on one. He won one. I won the last one. So it ended in a tie. My brother wanted to try something else, but I wanted to keep doing the paper thing. He said we 'have' to have different activities. I questioned who said we have to, he said just him. I didn't accept that. He then decided the dice idea was good. But I changed my mind on that. It's possible that either one of us could know some dice tricks, and use it to cheat. He questioned how a 10-year old would know that stuff. I said people can do weird things, and it won't happen by chance. He then decided that we should close a door between us, and do either P, S, or R., and that one of us could open the door. I said that the person opening the door, would have a chance to see what the other person was doing, and could quickly change positions if he wanted to. He even said I could open the door. But I think he would then accuse me of cheating, if I win, since I had the advantage point. I said that our hands can always change, but what's put on paper won't, but he didn't want to do that again. We spent like 1/2 an hour on this. We kept arguing in my room, and our mom was starting to get frustrated. She said we either pick, or we both don't eat it. I then AGAIN, said that me and him both can't have it. I thought that was that. I went to get some of my things, but then I heard Alan taking it to put in the microwave. I questioned to my mom, that he can't have it since we both can't decide. But she said "Alan can have it anytime he wants. You two can still decide, but Alan will can always have it." So now Alan can have it even if we bother can't decide? How fair is that? She always seems to side with him. It's not just because he's younger in this case. My mom said we can still decide, but I gave up. I have things to do, and I told my brother, "You can have it if you want. But you don't really love me, and don't expect anything nice from me. You also can't go on my computer for a long time. Just know that I can't care about you if you eat it." He went to eat it. He didn't smirk, or give any sign of gloating, but at least I made his conscience feel guilty. Does this always have to happen? It's because my mom can be so unfair. I mean, why couldn't she just buy the same thing? She bought 1 Banquet dinner, and 2 other different frozen dinners, but none of them the same. If she would just pick the same things, none of us can fight. But no, it's always my brother because he's younger. I really hate my mom. She never listens to me. She always does what she wants, without my regards. Most moms actually listen to what their kids want. She doesn't always agree with him, but in this case, it doesn't make any sense to stay on his side, or any side. That's why I really want to get out of this house, and live on my own. It's too bad that I haven't passed high school yet, and have a stable job. Otherwise than that, I will leave and never see my family again.
November 09

BrainCast- Free Smart Voice Memos

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If you've ever called your home to leave a reminder message for yourself, this is the app to take it to the next level! With Braincast you call a toll-free number and leave you memo to self, then when you get to a pc you will be able to play back the message. You can even forward recorded messages to anyone's email! Brilliant! Apart from sounding really good, its free, so what do we possibly have to lose? If you do set up an account and want to send me a personalized hello, you can forward me a recorded message using Braincast to my email address!

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