Monday, February 7, 2011

Interesting Posts, Thoughts - politics, iPad, Android, Aliens

Interesting stuff I read today:

(Politics, Economy) President Obama spoke at the Chamber of Commerce today and is looking to reconnect with the biz community.  This LA Times post has a good summary on the challenges facing the Administration and the biz guys. It's looking like everyone is looking for the middle ground where it's easiest to do work.  Not a bad approach except there are still issues that need to be tackled where things could still get ugly (NYT)

(Green) EV owners in the Carolinas would be getting free charging stations for a study.  Not bad.  Still, Considering the drip-paced production for the Volt and Leaf, I think these owners will be waiting for a long while.  A very long while.  Meanwhile, CA is allowing electric companies to hike prices for EV owners because they would be considered customers who use more electricity than the average household.  Talk about an idiotic move.  I hope some kind of exception is in the works.

(Apple) Macbook Pro refresh is due.  However, given Intel's problem with the next gen Sandy Bridge defect, I wonder if Apple will need to fire up the old lineup and make the older Macbook Pro for a while longer.  Also, looks like Apple is moving big time to eliminate retail software in stores.  It could spark a revolutionary change in how developers, retailers, and customers get their apps.  I wonder if Frys, Best Buy, and others will start opening their own virtual app store to cash in on the coming change.

(Android) If you didn't see the Xoom commercial last night, well, it wasn't much of anything but the $800 price is.  On top of that, it's $30 less than Apple's 64GB 3G iPad (versus Xoom's 32GB) and requires a month of data access subscription in order to activate the WiFi. Maybe with enough outcry, we can get Motorola and Verizon Wireless to drop that stupid requirement. Also, check out Kyocera's dual screen device running on Android.  I like it a lot except I know it won't last more than a day in my clumsy hands (it's why I've passed on the G2).

(Health) Lifehacker's post suggests something I already know about and practice:  eat healthy and smaller frequent meals is both good for your body and wallet.  I remember times when I've starved and ended up getting whatever is easiest.  Most of that time, it's expensive and has a lot of calories, the bad kinds.  

(Green) Americans who could not stand the Bush Administration's policies (except for the Baldwins, I doubt anyone picked up and left), including it's seemingly pro-oil stance, had the option of moving to Canada during the 8-year term of President Bush.  But with Canada's economy relying more in oil production, they stance on green tech and EV is not what I had expected.  They're afraid of EVs and hybrids as it turns out, especially in the tar sands province of Alberta, which I'll liberally renamed the "Arctic Mordor".  (Gas 2)

(Android, PSP) Sony's Xperia Play will go on sale in the coming weeks.  Great and all but it's single core CPU is not what I expected.  The new NGP is going to be 4-core.  I was excited until I saw the specs.  I suggest serious gamers pass on it and wait for the NGP.

(Android) Finally a review of the LG Optimus 2X (Engadget).  Everything panned out as I expected.  But it's a no go for me.  the 2X's anemic battery life was expected, though this issue has consistently plagued high-end Android devices.  I think the Tegra 2 chip works better in a tablet where you can stick in a much bigger battery.

(Politics) The Groupon Tibet commercial for yesterday's Superbowl was idiotic and exploitative to say the least.  But with so many folks blogging and reporting about it, I reckon more Americans probably know more about the issue now than they did yesterday about the struggles of the Tibetans.

(Apple) I stumbled into this Wired post on some of Steve Jobs' quotes over the years.  It's something to tie fans over until he returns to Apple from his current medical leave.

(Privacy, Security)  Here's a great post on why I'm gonna go home and change all my secrets words are a lot more complex but it's a good reminder to change them again.

(Apple, iPad) iSuppli and others believe in iPad domination for a few more years.  The scary thing is that Apple stands a good chance to dominate in this market like they did with the iPod in the MP3 market. Unless its competitors wake up about the whole ecosystem thing, they don't stand a chance.

(Android) With ATT's feelings hurt by Apple over loss of iPhone exclusivity, it is now focusing more on Android.  And interestingly, its focus on tablets could be just what will save the wireless provider somewhat over the mass exodus in the coming months to Verizon as iPhone swtichers move on.

(Media) AOL buys Huffington Post for $315 million!  Congrats, Arianna!  

(Politics, Terrorism) Wedge between Taliban and Al Aaeda could be good for US policies - meaning our troops can come home earlier.  Interesting, I heard in the Daily Show that the average Afghan has a 62% favorable rating of the international presence in their country. However, any policy to further create a drift between the two allies is a very delicate balancing act War will rage on with 1 in 50 active participants there being robots.

(Privacy, Facebook) 10 Settings we ought to know about when trying to do what we can from Zucker and company from exploiting what we already share.  The most important ones for me are not allowing friends to be able to check you in and public search. Come to think of it, they're all important. (Mashable)

(Space) New recon satellite goes into space on a secret mission for the NRO.  Take that, Chinese and Russians!  Meanwhile, I think we are closer than ever to finding life in the universe other than our own with a bunch of planets discovered in the habitable zones in other star systems.  I still think we are inching towards the day when the government acknowledges the existence of alien life. 

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