Oil Is To Bush As Google IS To Obama?

Here is an interesting post from The Daily Mail UK looking at the number of times Google officials have visited the White House and what roles offcials from the Obama administration and Google have played in each other's organization.  Worry?  Folks were worried about oil and anti-global warming guys and the revolving door at the Bush White House, perhaps, we should be concerned about the same for the Obama years as well as it relates to trade, regulation, and privacy in the Internet.

Here are the quick, cold, and hard facts:

  • Google have visited the White House more than 400 times and got 363 meetings. Some of those meetings are with the president himself. 
  • Executives from Google have gone on to work for the White House and Obama officials have gone on to likely more lucrative posts at Google.
  • former CEO of Google Eric Schmidt have worked for the Obama campaign as well as the administration. 
  • Google's top lobbyist in Washington have spent more time at the White House than those from other lobbying firms.
  • Some of the meetings coicided with investigations from the Federal Trade Commission as well as privacy matters.
Google did note that some of the meetings are for matters like science fairs.  Even so, that is a lot of face time.  So, for folks who were suspicious or even upset with the tight relationshipment between the Bush administration and the energy sectors, should be be concerned with Google and Obama being so tight? 

I like to believe that Google officials and engineers would offer their expertise on matters of education, security, and privacy.  And I'm sure that sort of exchange of infromation has occured but I'm sure Google's top lobbyist was not there for these kinds of discussions. 

Top Gun Theme Serves As Star Wars Video

Someone put together a video of some of the hottest action scenes from Star Wars and paired it with the Top Gun theme song, Danger Zone.  Not bad.  It's a good try but I still think the original is better.

What do you think?

Now, here is the original version with scenes from Top Gun.

Now, if someone can put together a version for Robotech, I'd be a happy boy.

Leaning Towards Against Apple Watch With A Camera

If you're on the Internet today, who isn't these days, you probably heard a thing or two about the next Apple Watch.  But one thing no one seemed to have mentioned about it today is whether the next Apple Watch will have a camera for take pictures or Facetime calls.  Personally, I'm leaning against Apple adding one but, at the end of the same, it will not affect me too much.

The main reason I am leaning against Apple putting a camera on the Apple Watch is mostly due to privacy issues.  I'm a guy and as far as looks, well, no one will be clamoring for me to be on the cover of the next issue of GC or anything public.  No, no risk of anyone taking pictures of me and violating my privacy.  I can't say that is going to be the case for a lot of what society considers to be good-looking or attractive.  I can see folks getting uncomfortable in gyms for starters.  Or showers.  Or changing rooms.

While I'm not less likely to wear my Apple Watch if it had a camera on it, I can see some people getting uncomfortable if they see someone wearing a watch with a camera.  Of course, people these days are entirely comfortable with carrying phones into gyms, maybe this is not as big of an issue as I expect. 

Still, most people would not deny privacy to be an issue with a wearable capable of taking pictures or videos.  It was an issue with Google Glass after all.  And it will be an issue with other wearables including the Apple Watch.

Another reason why having a camera on the Apple Watch will not affect me is that I don't answer FaceTime or phone calls now because it is heard to hear for one thing and holding my wrist up to my ear looks silly.  So, even if Apple does install a camera and if only for FaceTime video chats, I'm still not gonna use it much if at all.

Should Apple find the space for a camera, I rather have them add new sensors and/or battery instead.  What do you think?

New 12" MacBooks Coming Soon?

Like many of you, I am eagerly waiting for Apple to release the new updated 12" Macbooks.  It's been more than a year since we have yet to see anything new on that front.  However, with the extended sale going on at Best Buy for the 12" Macbook, there is a slight glimmer of hope that we might see an update sooner rather than later in June when Apple holds its next event, the Worldwide Developer Conference.  For weeks now, Best Buy has been pushing out the 12" Macbook with a $300 discount. 

What is more interesting is that for the low-end model, only the gold is available while the silver is the only model at the higher price.  It's worth monitoring some more over the next week or so.  A check at other retials showed that they have some models in stock while Apple's own online and retail stores does not seem to have any shortages.  However, checking other models like the Macbook Airs similar situations where there are certain models that are no longer on sale.

It does mean that we could be looking at a refresh of the Macbook line sooner rather than later.  Personally, I don't buy the speculation and rumor that Apple is waiting for the WWDC in June to unveil the new Macbooks.  Perhaps, if there is a new Mac Pro, that might be the venue to do that.  Apple has not always release new Macs at the WWDC.  It's rare that it happens.  My guess is that Apple wants to allow more time between the just released 9.7" iPad Pro and the future release of the new Macbooks so that the iPad Pro can have a window of a few weeks to itself to take off. 

And this does make a lot of sense.  Apple has been trying to stem the dwindling iPad sales for many quarters now.  Given that the iPad is the computing platform of the future that Apple is betting on, it's crucial that demand for the iPad is strong.  A couple of quarters of increase sales could go a long way in easing concerns of both Apple brass and Wall Street. 

So, I'll be waiting for the new Macbook update whenever that is.  But I'm hopeful that it'll be a shorter wait than most anticipated. 

Mobile And Battery Life Ready For Primetime In Power Outages

Because of some work being done on my house, I did not have power last night.  Of course, I would have appreciated some warning from the contractor but it was a good "drill" if you will of what an emergency without power would be like.  In some respect, I was ready.  Almost. 

I had my banks of USB-charged batteries, one with more than 10,000 mAh and two with more than 20,000 mAh.  Not to mention a couple of LED lights that were solarly charged.  How did I fare?

No power meant no Internet service.  Now, I don't know what would happen in a 10+ earthquake on the Richter scale which we may we see one day living in California and all or a Category 5 hurricane which we are never going to see in drought stricken California, it's possible that we may see all of our power knocked off along with cell towers toppling over.  But since this was a drill, I had cell service.  And best of all, I have T-Mobile so I was able to Bing-On with music and video. Not an issue at all.  No worries about data overage. 

As for power, I have an Anker solar charger that should for the most part help me get enough juice at least for my smaller handheld devices, an iPhone 6 Plus, and charge my Asus tablet and the iPad mini.  Beyond that, I would have to fall back on a solar generator that I have never used before.  It's charged but I have not tested it for some time.  If the power issue persists today, it would be a great time for me to set it up and see if it is still working. 

As for other aspects of preparedness should this have actually been a real natural or man-made disaster, like most urbanites, I would have been out of luck.  I have some dried food and enough water for a couple of days but nothing that would last me a week or two. 

For this drill, I'm glad I managed to get through it well enough.  Perhaps, there are some other adjustments and equipments I should get.  I'll revisit this once I do.

How Nike Post Curry To Under Armour

For anyone who is a sports fan or just a fan of behind the scene type of stories, here is one about how Nike lost Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry to rival and up-and-coming Under Armour.  I'm partial to UA so I guess I enjoy this story more. 

I still find it interesting that we live in a society that still base a large part of our purchases on celebrity endorsements and not necessarily based on our own tastes and needs.  Certainly, we don't need $300 footware for going to school, gym, or just getting around. 

Still, more power to the players like Curry who are coming to into a system is that so good at promotion and augmenting their salaries. 

In the story, there was a level of disrespect and lack of interest from Nike which I found surprising.  And let's be honest, these guys, athletes or actors, all have a lot of ego. 

Now, no one can fault Nike - not really.  Disrespecting Curry probably was not something it had intented, at least not in the manner that Curry's dad, Dell Curry, seemed to have protrayed it.  If anything, Curry was not that big a start as he was in 2013 and Nike could not be faulted for not courting the future superstar in a marke that was not Los Angles, New York, Chicago, or Miami.

The latter part of the article about UA's effort to secure Curry was far more interesting.  A Good read.

Source: ESPN.