Monday, May 19, 2014

World Cup: Pele Concerned About Brazilian Protests During Soccer Event

Source: BBC.

Pele, soccer legend (football for you folks outside of the United States), is concerned about protests flaring up during the World Cup this summer and would disrupt matches, causing some foreigners to cancel their trips. 

The truth of the matter is that some countries just are not fit or stable enough to host major international events like the Olympics and, in this post, the World Cup.  It's unlikely that Brazil will reap the financial benefits that a major event like this ought to bring.  Even now, there is chaos with hurried attempts to put as close as a finishing touch on venues.  Pele admitted that some stadiums have yet to be completed. 

The Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia served as a great reminder why the priorities of these sports and event committees are no longer about the spirits of the games, athletes, and fans but about politics.  Russia had no rights to be hosting Winters Olympics since it really could not afford to do it.  It's unlikely Brazil does either. 

Hence, the protests over the priorities of the Brazilian governments and elites over those of the average Brazilians.

Some time on the future, perhaps when Brazil is stronger economically and socially, it would make sense for the largest country in South America to host such events, at a more appropriate time when such events can be more inclusive of its people and truly proud of what the Brazilian people has been able to accomplish. 

Honestly, Pele as an advocate to bring the Cup to Brazil has done a disservice to millions of his fans at this time.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Inflatable Bouncing House Swept Up In The Air, Injuring Two Kids

Here is an incredible story about a inflatable bouncing house that people rent for birthdays and other occasions that was swept up in a burst of wind and took off with two children inside. Both fell about 15 feet and suffered critical injuries. I've seen many of these. Been inside them. And they're heavy as heck. Still, even when properly grounded by stakes, I always knew this could happen.

And now it has. And this isn't the first time. The following CNN video showed just how powerful the elements can be with dramatic footages of other bouncing houses getting thrown up in the air.

So far, the police does not believe anyone was at fault here. It was just an unfortunate freak accident.

Source: CNN.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Must See: Family Cat Saved Boy From Stray Dog

This is a must watch: A boy minding his own business, riding his tricycle on front of his home was suddenly attacked by a stray dog.

The dog was powerful enough to drag him a few feet. Luckily, help was about a second away. Not the dad. Nor the mom.

It was the family cat. He leapt into action and went after the dog. Chasing it away until he knew the dog was no longer an immediate danger to his human friend.

Source: inquisitr.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, May 12, 2014

Apple Can (Should) Surprise With iPhone Release Without iOS 8

The market, by that I mean the financial as well as mobile, is used to Cupertino release new iPhones along with a new version of iOS to go along with it.  However, I think for the sake of market disruption, I would love to see Apple release a new iPhone even without a new iOS in the fall, say, this summer.  That would really kick things up for its fans and really screw things up for its competitors. 

Has this happened before?  Sure, the iPad. 

What if there are new features that are specific to the new iPhone hardware?  Well, then Apple simply (okay, I know it's not simply but the talented hard working Apple employees sure make it appear that way) update apps and release codes for this new iPhone.

As it is now, it's the hardware that catches up to the software.  Beta versions of iOS are released in the June to coincide with Apple's World Wide Developer Conference.  Then new iPhones are released later in the fall that support new features.  Take the iPhone 5S.  When iOS 7 beta was released at the WWDC last year, there no mention of TouchID and yet when the 5S was released in October, the codes to support fingerprint magically appeared.

Not wanting to get into current rumors regarding iPhone 6 and possible (though highly improbable) release dates, Apple can move up a bigger screen iPhone 6 this summer with a special version of iOS 7 specific to it and then wait for iOS 8 to catch up to the hardware for once. 

When Apple moved from the 3.5" screen to the 4" screen, apps continued to work flawlessly as 3.5" screen apps with black bands on the sides until developers updated their apps to take advantage of the added pixels.  The same can happen with 5" or 5.5" iPhone 6 screens.

Can it happen?  Nah.  This is a "wishful thinking" post on my part. 

Samsung With Even Bigger Tablets - I Like Where It Could Lead (Hint: Table Top Computing)

Source:  BGR.

It's inevitable that we'll have tablets as our tables, desks, or coffee tops.  Well, you know, the surface operating as a gigantic screen just like in any number of science fiction shows or movies.  Pretty sure you've seen them.  So when I learned that Samsung would be going further with a 13" tablet, frankly, I think it is a great move in the right direction.

I think once you've got a surface that is about 20" and up you can lay it down and use it as a tablet top device. 

And we'll get there. Microsoft has already done that with Surface (not the tablet) back in 2008 (now called PixelSense) and has continued to work on it. 

I'm sure Android versions of these devices are only a few years away. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Beats As Apple's Instagram

This might not be the best analogy but I'm beginning to see Beats as Apple's Instagram.  Bear with me and maybe I'll manage to muddle my way through this.  This is because I'm not entirely convinced about why Apple would want to buy Beats.  In fact, I'd bet come next week, there will be no announcement regarding Financial Time's breaking rumor about Apple plucking down $3.2 billion for Beats, maker of headsets and floundering streaming music service.

So, the only thing I can think of is that Apple is looking at Beats for the streaming music service to supplement its iTunes buy/download music store as interests in streaming music has increased while downloads have decreased in the last couple of years.  Most of Apple's iTunes service growth comes from app sales. 

And just like Facebook who spent $1 billion for Instagram (which as far as I know is still not making money), Apple is buying Beats to make sure it has a foot in the streaming music service.  Why not buy Spotify, you ask?  I'm sure Apple took a look at it and for its own reasons decided Beats makes more sense.  There have been speculation that Apple will keep around the team of music insiders that built Beats' music service. 

Like everyone else, I don't think Apple bought Beats for the headset hardware. 

And like Facebook, Apple probably will not fold Beats into Apple and rename it iTunes Music Streaming.  It makes sense for Apple to keep the appeal of Beats for other mobile platforms as well as the PC market. 

So, what do  you think?  Make sense?  It's not so much as a defense play but see the right opportunity to get into a new service with the right people. 

ISP to FCC: Pay Up Or Stick with Slow 28.8kbps Lane

Source: Arstechnica.

The FCC abandoning net neutrality (essentially a U-turn from its previous position has many big and small companies protesting the move.  It's good for broadband dumb pipe operators like Comcast (currently trying to buy Time Warner Cable to gobble up more bandwidth) and Verizon but not for end-users.

So, while most companies like Google and Netflix are content with sending letters and lobbyists, one ISP decided to act.  So, it's taken FCC's IP addresses and throttle all connections down to dial-up speed of 28kbps.  I think that is kinda cruel considering 56K should be enough but I'm a gentle person at the end of the day.

The ISP, Neocities, And they're quite funny about it too. They're giving the FCC a special "Ferengi plan" (obviously Star Trek fans there):  pay the $1000 a year (they'll accept most payments including digital currencies but not Latinum) and Netcities will remove the throttle.

I think that's brilliant.  Maybe Google and others should consider doing something similar.  After all, I can see ISPs begin to charge the government access to the fast lane which means the tax payers, you and me, will have to fork over even more money to the greedy cable and DSL providers.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Friday Video: They Made It! (Climbing Bears)

Source: IO9.

Did you know that bears can climb? No? Neither did I. I mean I know they climb trees and stuff but scaling the sides of a mountain is something else.

I've gone climbing before. And I suck at it. But these bears you're about to see are natural climbers. I had no idea they could to this.


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Apple Should Prepare to Leave China (There Is Still Time To Execute Such A Plan)

At first glance, you might think that the title of this article is a clickbait considering that China is the second biggest economy in the w...