July 29, 2010

HOAs Are Evil!

We own a home in a community with an HOA.  They charge fees like all HOAs do, claiming these fees cover the costs of the services they provide the community they serve.  Sometimes, however, these HOAs get a little out of hand.  Watch this video to see just how evil an HOA can be:

Our HOA sent out a letter, reporting they had "saved" over $2,000,000.00 from the dues collected over the last few years.  I say, lower the dues and provide more services.

July 25, 2010

Keyboard and Mouse vs. Console Controller

Gaming was a huge part of my free time back before I was married.  Clan 3104 had LAN parties, with the Mountain Dew flowing and the FPS SOF2 lighting up the screens.  With console gaming systems like Xbox, PS3, and other raising the quality of graphics on the TV, it seems like more and more games are headed away from the computer.  But I haven't made the switch for a few reason.  One main reason is the controllers for console gaming systems; they seem to be harder to use.  I keep telling my friends that I'll buy a gaming console when I can play using a keyboard and mouse.  I've also said it would be cool to be able to prove that the keyboard and mouse is superior to any gaming console's controller.

Today, I read an article with a statement made by the CTO of HP, about keyboard and mouse superiority.  Apparently, Microsoft has killed cross-platform games due, at least in part, to the superiority of the keyboard and mouse, according to him.  I feel like it would be a successful endeavorer, allowing PC users to buy games and compete against Xbox and other gaming console users.  I do think I'd be much better on my PC than any Xbox user could hope to be, but I still think it would be something to offer.  How about co-op games?  If we are working together in a game, I may have more kills than an Xbox person, but at least we could enjoy the game together.  (I think I will at this to my CEO plans for Microsoft).

Anyway, cross platform gaming should be a reality.  Even Xbox to PS3 should happen.  I think there should be a server farm somewhere that hosted games for any and all gaming systems to log into.  PCs, Xbox, PS3, Wii, etc. could all join into a gaming server and play against or with each other.  This would also promote better systems and better game play.  I think the entire gaming industry would benefit from cross platform gaming.  Come on people, LET'S DO THIS!

July 24, 2010

Darth Vader Is In The News Today

Darth Vader apparently purchased an iPhone 4.  And while he is the dark lord, he doesn't seem to be able to get much out of Apple either.  Take a look:

Because of this, Darth got so upset he decided to rob a bank today.  See the story here.

July 20, 2010

iPhone 4's Second "End Call" Button

I have nothing to say except, this is really clever and hilarious.
This actually would probably stop the antenna issue by placing a barrier between the problem area and the person's hand.  Still funny and clever.

Found on Crunch Gear.

Jeep Tent Trailer

My parents had a tent trailer for a time. We would go camping a couple of times a year. My dad's campground coffee is the reason I love coffee today. We enjoyed some of the comforts of home with our tent trailer (gas stove, no bugs or animals, heat, cushioned bedding), but we still were out in the wilds of nature (bears, campfires, fresh air).

Jeep is going to be selling a tent trailer that fits nicely with their...well, there jeeps.

I think this would be a fun way to spend a vacation.  Fresh air, a 4x4, and a cozy place to sleep at night.  I'll take one Chrysler.  You can take the expense out of the loan my tax dollars were.

See more at Autoblog.

Or buy the only Jeep I can afford.

July 18, 2010

FIA...Frustration from iOS4 & Apple

Apple says, "Your iPhone gets better with every iOS update...iOS4 is available for iPhone 3G."

I upgraded to iOS4 on my iPhone 3G.  It was a mistake.  It's not better.  It's so much worse.  This is false advertising in my opinion.  I wish so badly there was a way to go back (I mean an official way).  Apple doesn't take care of its existing customers.  This is why I haven't purchased the iPhone 4.  I know it's a great phone right now...I mean, besides all the issues that have been publicized.  But what about a year from now?  What about 2 years from now?

Here is a video showing some real problems caused by "updating" an iPhone 3G to iOS4.  I've actually experienced all of these problems and more.  The other day it took 22 seconds to load the Apple Store app.  That's 21 seconds longer than it took my friend to load the same app on his iPhone 4.

Then, there is Apple's handling of the issues with the iPhone 4.  Sure the people who are using the iPhone 4 are not reporting the issues like the media is trying to make it seem, but there is an actual issue with the design.  The antenna IS affected by the way the phone is gripped.  There is also the proximity sensor issue; supposedly this is being fixed by the latest iOS update (4.0.1).  Apple did have a press conference to talk about the issues, but they started the conference with this video:

I laughed at this video, but part of me thinks it's Apple's way of thumbing its nose at the complainers who are pointing to REAL issues, no matter how slight.

Apple is going to provide free bumpers or cases to iPhone 4 purchasers, so they are making good on a fix for the antenna issue (apparently).  And if the iOS 4.0.1 fixes the proximity sensor issue, Apple will have made good on the main issues.  But, why did they want to go through all this bad press?  They knew about the antenna issue.  They had to have known.  They can deny it as much as they want, but they knew.  I'll always believe it.  Heck, they had the bumper designed well before the antenna issue was publicly outed.  It wasn't even a day later that users were posting videos and complaining.  Apple was working on it for a while (I've read longer than a year), including a testing stage that would have revealed these issues.

Also in their press conference, Apple tried to point to other handsets and these devices' issues.  This was a deflection that ticked off RIM (maker of Blackberry) and others.  Just own up to your own issues, Apple!  Don't try and say, "well, every body else designs phones with problems.  Why can't we?" (I'm paraphrasing, of course).  RIM's Co-CEOs published an awesome statement:

"Apple's attempt to draw RIM into Apple's self-made debacle is unacceptable. Apple's claims about RIM products appear to be deliberate attempts to distort the public's understanding of an antenna design issue and to deflect attention from Apple's difficult situation. RIM is a global leader in antenna design and has been successfully designing industry-leading wireless data products with efficient and effective radio performance for over 20 years. During that time, RIM has avoided designs like the one Apple used in the iPhone 4 and instead has used innovative designs which reduce the risk for dropped calls, especially in areas of lower coverage. One thing is for certain, RIM's customers don't need to use a case for their BlackBerry smartphone to maintain proper connectivity. Apple clearly made certain design decisions and it should take responsibility for these decisions rather than trying to draw RIM and others into a situation that relates specifically to Apple."

Finally, I do need a new phone, mostly because of how JACKED my phone is since updating to iOS4.  I'm still not sure what I'm going to do.  I loved my iPhone for the first year, then it went down hill.  I love the features of the new iPhone 4, but next year when 5 comes out, I know Apple's business plan is to screw the previous phone owners.  Android has so many options, just not on AT&T's network.  ARGH.  This is tough.

UPDATE: The Unofficial Apple Weblog wrote a story about this very issue.  I hope a blog as large as that one will help get Apple's attention about this issue.  Knowing arrogance, there will probably not be a great fix.

July 12, 2010

VW Polo. I Need a Good MPG Car.

I love Volkswagen.  I started learning how to drive on my parents 1976 Diesel Rabbit.  And now I've had my 1999 Golf for 11 years and over 185,000 miles.  I love Volkswagen.

I wish there was a way to get my blog sponsored by them.  I'd sell myself for a Volkswagen.  Haha.

UAW STRIKES Again...Trying to Get Toyota to Unionize

I linked a story under my "More Stories" section about the United Auto Workers Union's (UAW) plans to have union workers "strike"...or hold banner up at Toyota dealers in California and New York. I hope that Toyota doesn't break under this little bit of pressure. The UAW is a major reason for GM's issues. Their power over policy makers, over the companies that employee unionized workers, and their excessive entitlement mission have caused so much damage to this country's automotive industry. Their purpose has long been over stayed. Sure, workers were abused and misused in the past. But there are now laws, thanks to the unions, that protect the workers. Now, all they do is weaken this country by demanding "rights" for the workers that are excessive and unnecessary.

Anyway, don't support unions. I love that Tesla is planning on opening Toyota's NUMMI plant here in California, BUT not as a unionized plant. They even went as fat as to say they would work to hire those employees who were laid off, but not under a union contract. Good luck Tesla. And stay strong Toyota.

July 9, 2010

When Animals Attack...Morons

Thanks to a friend, I saw this video.

And thanks you You Tube, I watched these videos.

Nice dance moves.


July 8, 2010

July 7, 2010

If I Were CEO...Microsoft

Microsoft has been around for a long time (as computers go anyway).  It made their previous CEO, Bill Gates, the richest man in the world for a while, they made home computing popular with their MS-DOS systems, and they brought the Graphical User Interface (GUI) to the mainstream as they transitioned from MS-DOS to the point and click, drag and drop ease of Windows.

Microsoft has gone through so many changes since the early 80's, moving from typing cryptic codes on a monochrome screen to simply moving pictures and objects with your hands.  They have many popular/"can't live without" products.  From operating systems to Internet services, hand held music library devices to gaming consoles, Microsoft has their hands in so many technology areas of our lives.  They are the leader in the computer world by leaps and bounds, servicing over 90% of the computers in the world today.  Their history is full of great technological advances over their short 35 years existence.

But, if I were CEO of Microsoft, I would work on stopping the apparent loss of customer base by...well I'll get to that.  Before I share my plan with the world (all 3 of you faithful readers), I want to address some reasons I believe they may be losing market share on purpose, or at least without an attempt to stop it (and let me start this point by admitting that I have done no research what-so-ever on this topic.  Remember, this is my blog, and I can say what I want and believe what I want to believe).  I think Microsoft NEEDS the downsizing.  I believe with all the lawsuits, anti-trust stuff, etc., they can and need to shrink below the 90% range.  If they stay to large (or grow more), the government will slap them back down again, or even worse, make them split the company into multiple companies.  But let's pretend none of this is an issue.

If I were CEO of Microsoft, I would create something I'm calling "MSOne".  MSOne would be the network, the device manager, the hardware, the software, everything you, life connection service, linking everything from hardware to software, that is you (the user), together.  MSOne would be seamless connection and flow.  It would be massive; something only the likes of Microsoft could take on.  MSOne would connect everything from your PC to your phone to your game console to your MP3 player to your vehicle.  MSOne would work like a Remote Desktop for your work PC too, allowing you to access your personal life from work.  Everything in your life would be connected the way you want.  Social networking could be tied to the settings on your devices.  Feeling excited about something?  Your status update would change the wallpaper and color schemes on your devices.  Need to look at that file on your home computer?  Check it on your phone.  Want to listen to an MP3 you were emailed?  Retreive it from your MP3 player and go.

Right now, Internet devices, cell phones, computers, gaming consoles, etc. all provide us with the information we want and need (and sometimes the information we don't want and don't need), at any minute of the day.  I want to simplify that even more.  Currently, Microsoft has the computer operating system (Windows), the Internet services (Hotmail for email, Bing for search, etc.), the music player (Zune and Media Player), the cell phone software (Windows Phone), the gaming console (Xbox), the word processing and other business tools (Office, including Word, Excel, Power Point, Access, Outlook, etc.), and vehicle integration (Sync).  I want to create the ability to connect all these devices and services together so they are all updated on a constant basis or link to each other at any given moment.  Beyond cloud storage, I want the ability to access something saved in any location from any other location.  As CEO of Microsoft, I would make this happen.

Beyond just software, which is the only thing Microsoft claims to do right now, I would start working on hardware solutions too.  I would create devices that fit together in flow; cellphones that integrate directly into the car stereo system as part of the hardware, PCs that are also your gaming console and link to your TV or PC monitor to allow you to game in either location, MP3 players that can connect to any of these other devices to charge, share files, or for storage.  I want the devices to talk to each other over the Internet, through local and wide area networks, through Bluetooth and other small network protocols, and by directly connecting or linking the devices to each other.  I would design a world of devices that worked together, not limited or strangled from their potential, but free to do things the way the end user sees fit.  High quality, top rated, sturdy, reliable, fast, consistent hardware would be the backbone to a quality experience, customizable with all the features the end users want.  Time and effort would be put into listening to what the true users are looking for.  Work would be done to listen to the people who really know what can and can't be done, and the end result would always be the max of what can be done at the time.  More efforts would be put into providing the very best available, and less time would be spent on figuring out how many things could be left out for later revisions and future models.  By producing the best NOW, we will keep our customer base coming back to us.

I would design a system, where all the information you wanted to access was always available to you.  It would be secure, fast, and affordable.  Easy to set up home networks that saved all your information on your home computer, not in some "cloud" (if desired), would allow users to feel like their information was readily available to them but securely sitting on their home computer.  Cloud infrastructure would also be available and it would be fast, safe, and affordable too.  The network would know the devices allowed to join, helping these devices (cellphones, portable computers, game consoles, etc.) work well and communicate quickly and accurately with each other.  The user interface would be similar and familiar across all the various platforms, with ease of use in mind.  Consistency would be available in personal settings, allowing for customization across the various platforms for a personal feel to any and all devices on a users network.  Devices used by multiple users would have recognition keys or log-ins to allow personal settings to follow the different users.  If a purchase is made of upgraded or new software, the purchase would allow the software to work across all platforms on the network.  No more buying the "phone version" of Office.  Simply adding the purchased software to a user's account would sync the various devices and necessary versions across the network of devices.

If I were CEO of Microsoft,  the wealth of the company would be used to create a new Microsoft, one where customers don't feel like it's a tough choice to choose between a PC or a Mac.  I would lead the company to greatness in quality, quantity, and reliability.  I would provide a service that people trust, and one where people know they are making a choice in a company that cares about their well being.

If I were CEO of Microsoft, I would change the world.

July 5, 2010

If I Was CEO...Introduction

This is an introduction to a new series I'm going to start called, "If I Was Were CEO...".  Now, right off I have a problem.  Which is grammatically correct:

If I Was CEO...
If I Were CEO...

Microsoft Word couldn't tell me which is the grammatically correct way of saying this.  I just asked Grammar Girl so stay tuned for the response.

Anyway, I'm going to try and write a series of blogs about what I would do if I were CEO of a given company.  I hope to spark some discussions so feel free to comment.  I love all 3 of you who do read and comment.

UDPATE:  I finally got a response back from Grammar Girl.  I had to change the series to "If I Were CEO". 

July 4, 2010

Be Aware of Your Surroundings UPDATED

UPDATE: This is fake.  I think i hear a director telling the cops to come out at the end.  Still funny.

Being aware of your surroundings is one of the main focuses and lessons taught in my academy.  Apparently, it's not as pushed in all academies.

Seriously, did no one standing around want to say anything?  Also, we were not taught to just run in.  That makes me think it's fake.  But, if this is real, I'm embarrassed for these officers.

A Blog Post About Nothing

I know that there aren't many of you who read my blog, so it's not really important what I write.  I really only have a blog because I like to practice writing, I love having a place to share interesting (at least to me) stories and information, and because it's a way to pass the time.  I'm literally sitting here with nothing to write about.  I figured I would start typing and see where it led.  I have such a random thought process; I figure either something interesting will come out of this or I will get to laugh at the fact that someone read it and completely wasted their time.

I did pass the old Mervyn's on Blue Oaks today and saw that someone has stolen my idea to turn it into a theater.  The sign said a 16 plex is going in called "The Blue Oaks Cinema."  16 sounds like too many for the building, but I'm excited for another theater.  I wish them well in my venture.  I don't have the capital necessary to do anything with my hair brained ideas.

Speaking of hair brained ideas: I have a few of my own.  I would love to open a sports bar and grill type place.  I've talked about it for 8+ years now.  Originally, my old roommate and I talked at length about a Dave and Busters in Roseville.  Ryan and I even went as far as looking into the franchise requirements, which at that time were either not available or way too expensive for us.  And now there is a D&B in Roseville, although it's too small and poorly laid out.  It's definitely not like other D&B's I've been in.  (or should I have said, "in which I've been"?)

I started this new thing, I didn't want to start, where I don't want to end my sentences with prepositions.  It started with a TV show I watched ( I think it was House, which has become a favorite), and now I keep trying not to end sentences with them.  Of course, I just found a site where the illegal use of prepositions at the end of sentences is mostly dispelled.  Visit my new favorite grammar helping site (mostly because the article is read to me by the writer as a Podcast directly on the site).  Here is Grammar Girl telling us it's okay to end a sentence with a preposition.

Anyway, that's enough for now, mostly because my wife finished her work and I can now watch another syndicated episode of House.