Thursday, December 06, 2012

the looming fiscal cliff

Can someone explain to me why Republicans and fiscally conservative pundits are going along with the Democrats and press, agreeing that letting the sequestration happen is a huge disaster? It's a significant lowering of government spending, and the only one possible for the next 4 years at least. Why in the world are Republicans trying to stop it?

Yes, yes, I know that it also involves a dangerous reduction in military spending but seriously, how hard is it to ever increase spending? If the US needs more military spending to handle some emergency in the future, Congress will vote for it and the president will sign it. I'd love to see the Democrats trying to tie needed military spending to their favorite social programs during a national emergency.

Here's to the fiscal cliff. Let's jump off it.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

phone wars

Donald Crankshaw is complaining because he can't find an Android phone in the size he wants with the latest processor. I can relate. When I was looking for a waterproof Android phone I had the same problem. If you want some specific feature different from what the mass audience wants, you often have to settle for lower specs in other areas. Most likely this is because they always design smaller-market phones with last year's technology because they can produce a smaller batch cheaper that way.

On the other hand, though I sympathize with Donald emotionally, rationally, it doesn't make much sense to demand the latest fastest processors and the most memory unless you have been having performance problems. When I think about it, I haven't really noticed much performance trouble with my two year old phone, so a phone with one year old technology should work fine (Yes, I do buy a new cell phone every two years or more. I know it's kind of ridiculous, but I'm a Silicon-Valley developer. If I let my cell phone get too out of date, the other kids will make fun of me and not let me sit with them at lunch).

So I'd say go with the RAZR M, Donald. It looks like a nice phone. The pain of inferior technology will only hurt for a week or two and then it will just be your phone and you won't think about it any more. Well, except at those times when someone at the office reaches into the pocket on his sagging pants and pulls out his new 2 pound new MEGADROID 7 with the 16-core Intel Core i9  and a terabyte of RAM and a built-in corkscrew. Then you just have to humbly bow before his tech fu and mumble something about how your phone is adequate for ... WHAT, YOUR PHONE CAN DO THAT!?!?! ... but, really, why would you need that on a phone, ... NO WAY I THOUGHT THAT FEATURE WASN'T READY TO SHIP YET... but sure, if you want the beta version ... NO! SERIOUSLY? ... Look I have to get back to work, want to have lunch later? No? Oh, yeah, that's OK, I understand.

On the third hand, I decided not to bother with the water proof phone because it's unlikely to get splashed and if it goes overboard it's gone anyway. Instead I'm thinking about going the opposite direction from Donald and getting a Galaxy Note II which has the biggest screen you can get on a smart phone. I use my phone all the time now for browsing the web and navigation, both of which will be much easier with a bigger screen. I also think the Note II may be big enough to use as an e-book reader which would actually save pocket space at times because occasionally I actually carry an e-book reader in my pocket. It would be nice to have one with me all the time without the discomfort.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

the joy of colds

I'm a pathological procrastinator. I'm always putting things off or forgetting them altogether. This week I've had a cold and have come to appreciate the advantage: it gives me an excuse for not having done the things I probably wouldn't have gotten done anyway but now couldn't do even if I weren't procrastinating. A cold is like a week of get-out-of-jail free cards for procrastinators.