Archive for 2009 - Page 1


    Look Back at 2000 - 2009: Welcoming in 2010

    Over the past 10 years quite a bit has happened. Anything from four attacks on 9/11/2001, to the US electing it's first Black President.

    We lost many celebrities and influential people over the past 10 years. Some of those celebrities include Chris Reeve, Pope John Paul II, Michael Jackson, Charles M. Schulz, Sir Alec Guinness, Jim Varney, Walter Matthau, Christopher Hewett, Dale Earnhardt, George Harrison, Jack Lemmon, Perry Como, Johnny Unitas, John Gotti, Milton Berle, Ted Williams, Barry White, Bob Hope, Charles Bronson, Gregory Peck, John Ritter, Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, Nell Carter, Julia Child, Marlon Brando, Ray Charles, Rodney Dangerfield, Ronald Reagan, Yasser Arafat, Arthur Miller, Don Adams, Johnny Carson, Peter Jennings, Richard Pryor, John Spencer, Anna Nicole Smith, Aaron Spelling, Don Knotts, Jack Palance, James Brown, Kirby Puckett, Peter Boyle, Robert Altman, Saddam Hussein, Steve Irwin, Dan Fogelberg, Evil Knievel, Ike Turner, Kurt Vonnegut, Luciano Pavarotti, Merv Griffin, Robert Goulet, Arthur C. Clarke, Bernie Mac, Bo Diddley, Boyd Coddington, Brad Renfro, Charlton Heston, Eartha Kitt, Estelle Getty, George Carlin, Heath Ledger, Paul Newman, Sydney Pollack, Tim Russert, Billy Mays, Brittany Murphy, David Carradine, Dom Deluise, Dominick Dunne, Ed McMahon, Edward Kennedy, Farrah Fawcett, Frank McCourt, James Whitmore, John Hughes, John Updike, Les Paul, Patrick Swayze, Ron Silver, Roy Disney, Soupy Sales, Steve McNair, Ted Kennedy, Walter Cronkite, and William Rehnquist. These are no where near the extensiveness of the loss of those who we lost over the last decade.

    Some of the biggest stories over the last decade include, the collapse of the 'Dot Com' bubble, Y2k fizzle, The attacks on 9/11/01, Enron, The London Bombings on 7/7/05, The Afghanistan War, Hurricane Katrina, The Death of Pope John Paul II, The Florida election debacle of 2000, The War in Afghanistan, The fall of Saddam Hussein, The loss of the space shuttle Columbia, Enron, Nuclear Tests in North Korea, Virginia Tech Shootings, The I-35 Bridge Collapse, The collapse of the economy, China Hosting Summer Olympics, Gas Price Surges, NHL Season cancelled and who knows what else.

    Some of the biggest tech stories include Bill Gates Stepping down as CEO of Microsoft, the Rise of Google, the resurgence and later dominance of Apple, the iPhone, the iPhone, BlackBerry, 3G Wireless, Cloud Computing, Software Pirating, Bit-Torrent, Social Networks, online video streaming, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii, E-readers, USB Flash Drives, physical media dying, Tivo, DVD, to Blu-Ray, the GHz Wars, YouTube, Skype, Microsoft being ordered to 'break up' and countless other phases. We have seen Moore's law continue without abatement.

    What will the '10s hold in store is anybody's guess. Increase in cloud-computing, alternative energy increases, Continued missions to the moon, Mars and beyond. Miniaturization will continue, along with reliance on the Internet for all communications. The increase in mobile computing will definitely rise.

    All of this would not be possible without the miniaturization of technology, the increase in speed, and the diligence of companies in trying to be the best and outsell, outsmart, and out maneuver the competition.

    What would I like to see for the next decade, that's a good question. I'd like to see major copyright reform, the work to begin on documenting all human knowledge, and increased progress. I would like to see World Peace, but I know it's unrealistic.

    What does everybody else want in the next 10 years. Leave a comment and let me know.


    Message To Apple Fanboys And Girls From @jasoncalacanis on This week in Startups (#twist)

    This is a Rant from Jason Calacanis. Thing thing to remember about what he says is that he states that fanboys are the ones who think Apple can do no wrong. There are plenty of us that think Apple is a great company, makes innovative products and is pushing the market. Yet, we're the ones who are also willing to criticize Apple when they make a mistake.


    iPhone 3GS review

    I've only had my new iPhone 3GS for a few hours yet I have found the biggest improvement; the new Camera. Below is a comparison of both the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 3GS cameras.


    Both pictures were taken from the same distance from the keyboard. I used both of my ultra-compact iPhone power adapters along with my old iPod Mini as a stand. The second one is so much clearer because of the auto-focus and higher pixel camera. The auto-focus is such a nice feature. I still need to try the video though.


    Can't we get sales figures right?

    These two stories appeared in my RSS Feed this morning:

    Which one is correct?

    So How many were sold? Was it 750,000 or was it a million? Can we get a straight answer from Apple and it's carrier partners or is that too much to ask?


    Google Reader

    I don't think google reader gets enough credit for some of the little additions that it puts into the software. I use Google reader exclusively as my RSS aggregation utility of choice. Not only because it's simple to use, but mostly because then I do not have to worry about syncing between multiple clients, and thus re-reading what I've already read through once.

    But the thing that most don't realize is that it can give statistics on all sorts of things. Anything from which feeds you do not read, to which ones you read the most. To even how many other subscribers are subscribing the same feeds you are reading. For instance, see the image below.

    [caption id="attachment_1015" align="alignnone" caption="Most Obscure in my RSS Feeds"]Most Obscure in my RSS Feeds[/caption]

    The ability to see how many others are subscribed to the same feeds is quite unique. Granted, don't take the numbers as the total number of subscribers, it's just the same number of subscribers to that exact feed. Sadly, I'm the only subscriber to my own feed :( Oh well, not the end of the world. I guess I should post more often, I might get more readers.

    The other cool thing within Google Reader is the overall Trend Data. You can see how much information you've received, read, shared, and starred over the last 30 days. Too bad they don't keep the historical data as well. But that's a whole lot of data to really keep, so it's understandable as to why they cannot keep this information. See the image below for my stats from 04/07/09 to 05/07/09.

    [caption id="attachment_1016" align="alignnone" caption="30 Day Google Trends Data"]30 Day Google Trends Data[/caption]

    I suggest people use google reader for their RSS reader, because you don't have to sync, it works on mobile phones as well as on desktop clients, and you can just browse and find what type of content you wish to read. Give it a try.


    Decisions, Decisions...

    So Apple announced an entire refresh of their Desktop line. Everything from the Mac Minis, to the Mac Pros, and even some other peripherals like Time Machine, Airport Extreme and new keyboards.

    With this, I'm debating on whether to get a new Mac Mini to use as a server, media center, or development machine. Or whether I should get the Apple Server Maintenance for the copy of Server I already have.

    I'm leaning towards the Server Maintenance, therefore I don't have to plop down $500 for each version of OS X Server that is released in the next 3 years. Since I can always buy a new machine later, since I have to have the Apple Server Maintenance before the next version of Server (which is 10.6) arrives. I'm not sure when that day will be, which is why I'm leaning towards the maintenance program.

    I'm not 100% sure what to do, but I guess I'll sit and think about it for a bit before actually acting.


    Kindle 2 Review

    Amazon released the Kindle on February 24th, of which I received yesterday, the 24th. Not having the first Kindle I thought I'd go ahead and buy the second one to see what changes Amazon had made from the first version.

    The Kindle 2 is an interesting device. The Kindle 2 is an e-book reader that is based on E-ink technology. The Kindle sports 16 shades of gray which provides some very crisp pictures and some very crisp text. The screen on the Kindle is a 600 by 800 pixel. Which, for those who might remember, used to be a standard screen resolution for many years, and is still used by some people. Its 167 pixels per inch, which is quite a bit.

    The processor within the Kindle is a 532MHz ARM processor, which is faster than the iPhone 3G's processor, which clocks in at 412MHz. Which is plenty fast for turning pages when reading or doing some basic web browser with the experimental browser.

    The layout of the entire device is elegant. The navigation is done via a 5 way joystick; up, down, left, right and a center click. The entire device is quite simple to figure out, even without the user manual. All I had to do was turn it on, and it was just easy to navigate and determine how everything works.

    The buttons on the device are placed quite well. The only complaint I'd have about it is that there are 2 next page buttons, and only one previous page button. I'd like to see a second previous page button. But again, I'm not sure exactly how useful this would be, since most people probably don't go back a page.

    The 3G Network called 'Whispernet', provided by Sprint, does a great job of having all of my content sent to me without any issues, thus far. I woke up this morning and had the New York Times, and Chicago Tribune waiting for me to read, if and when I wanted to. This is definitely a nice thing to have.

    The 'flash' that everybody talks about when the page is turned doesn't bother me. Yes, it's noticeable but it's definitely not something that gets annoying. If anything it's a good indicator in case you notice something weird happening (so far, I haven't noticed anything unusual).

    One feature that I have noticed that nobody is talking about is the American Oxford Dictionary that is natively on the device. It allows you to search and look up words, or highlight a word in your book or article and look that word up automatically.

    As of this writing, the selection of Magazines and newspapers isn't that good. There's less than three dozen newspapers and just under two dozen magazines. I expect this change as the cost of print mediums continues to skyrocket.

    Overall the Kindle 2 is a great device for getting your content on the go, or just to sit and transfer it via USB from your computer. But there are definitely a few things I'd like to see with it.

    The first of these is an API to allow additional applications, like a better web browser or a link to my Audible account so I can download Audible books straight to the Kindle. I do not see why this wouldn't be possible since Amazon owns Audible.

    The other thing I'd like to see is the ability to have custom 'Screen savers'. I like the pictures of the authors that show up now, but it would be cool to be able to add your own photos, just by uploading them to your Kindle. I'll be sure to keep everybody up to date on the progress of any updates and the like with the Kindle.


    Westinghouse LN2610 Review

    I purchased a 26" (25.5" viewable) Westinghouse, model L2610NW from for $249.99 with free shipping. The monitor itself isn't too bad, it works, but there are definitely some issues with it. The biggest issue I have with the monitor is that it seems as though it was very cheaply made.

    When you turn the monitor on, with the speakers muted there is an audible sound emitted from the speakers. Can somebody please explain to me why the speakers should even be making ANY noise when they are muted. It just defies logic.

    The next issue I have is that if you try and turn down the brightness via the monitor an audible hum comes out of the speakers. This just seems like it's wrong. I mean how can turning down the brightness affect the speakers. Just doesn't make any sense.

    The final issue I have is that the native resolution is supposed to be 1920x1200. I cannot, for the life of me, get my computer to display this. When I attempt to adjust the settings via my display preference panel, I end up getting an 'out of Sync' message. Why you may ask. Because the monitor is incorrectly reporting the resolution as 1900x1200@62Hz, not 60Hz like it's supposed to.

    According to Westinghouse's website:

    "Since Westinghouse LCD TVs and Monitors are plug-and-play devices, they do not require any drivers. If your computer is unable to display at the recommended resolution, please check your graphics card to see if it supports the recommended resolution. You can periodically check the graphics card manufacturer's website for any updates."

    Well, people wouldn't have issues if your crap actually worked.

    The monitor itself does work, and it looks good, even when only at 1080p. It is available at for $249.99. I would only recommend buying this monitor if you don't plan on using it above 1080p, and you don't need the internal speakers. The screen real estate provided by this monitor is quite nice though. I'd recommend that either Westinghouse improve their 'monitor' quality, or just stick to making televisions. If you can afford something else, get it. Otherwise, you get what you pay for.