Ryan (thesolidone) wrote,
Ryan
thesolidone

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Revenge of the Nerds

 Ahh.. livejournal it's been too long. I suppose not much has changed. More work, more money, less weight, and less pasta. Much to my annoyance I'm covered in mosquito bites from the hike I did on the island this weekend. It was a beautiful day on sunday and when we first got to the peak of Mt Jones it was an amazing view in all directions. This sensation lasted for all of about 45 seconds before the mosquitos swarmed. And the rest of the next couple hours as I traversed the other 2 peaks of adjacent mountains they went to town. I couldn't help but wonder what the hell do so many mosquitos feed on at the top of the mountain. I mean past the tree coverage at the higher elevation. Hikers I guess.

Hmmm.. I've been trying to figure out what everyone has against the new facebook. I mean in all things I can see it is more functional, less cluttered, interface elements are more reuseable. In fact the mobile version is very similar in makeup. I can only imagine that this new design would allow for increased security and more flexibility in data hiding. I actually like less scrolling and while the combined wall and feeds could lead to that section being a bit longer.. it's not nearly as long as before. I think the design is all around slicker too. But so many people are opposed. I mean it is slightly more complicated but the end result is much tighter.

So the iPhone 3G is out and in full force. I know old news now. But it is definately starting to build up to it's potential which I just touched upon a while back. Within 4 days of it coming out Duncan and Bern got it and are loving it. Of course a year ago they were like why get an iPod touch with only 16Gb when I can get 80Gb with the classic, yeah they didn't get it then but they sure do now. I mean do you think I use my iPod to listen to music mostly? (More on that later) Rogers made it difficult of course saying you can't just buy the phone and if you don't qualify for an upgrade yet you can't get a new plan without cancelling the old one. Duncan managed to use his communicative skills(yes that's what I will call it) to get around this problem mind you involving having to switch to Fido and getting out of Rogers contract for free. The reason for the rush of course is Rogers being bandwidth mongers and only offering the the 6Gb for $30 til the end of Sept (It was originally end of August). After this point it goes to 1Gb for $30. To get 6Gb will cost you $80. So that's the scam. In the states it's a flat fee for unlimited and that's where Canada is incredibly backwards. Our service providers hold bandwidth over our heads for ransom. In fact going to get a dataplan for a Blackberry (or perhaps "Complete Joke berry" .. more on that later) and Rogers was charging $20 for 7mb this past February. 

I am finally getting off DSL. It is so slow. I'm on an archaic system that maxes out at 110 kb/s. I put up with it mind you cause I never made any agreements with bandwidth in those days. So I can download as much as I want and they don't bother me.. Speed finally getting to me and Shaw coming out with a 100Gb a month plan definitely changes things. So I call Telus to cancel. And they are like well we can offer you 6 times the speed of your current connection for 2/3 of the money. Like why didn't they mention this before. And continued to let me pay more.. I actually don't care I knew about their new plans, and the Gb limits that come with it. They said they could give me anything Shaw did other than the speed was different but DSL is dedicated and not shared. I said ok give me 100Gb bandwidth. And he responded "Please wait a moment while I cancel your account". So yeah.. But I digress.

I was more thinking about how impressed I've been with the iPod Touch in the last couple months. A few months back I said it and the iPhone are awesome but not quite there. They still aren't quite there, but they aren't nearly as far as one would think.  Firstly the accellerometer (that thing that detects which way you are holding it) is way more sensitive than you'd expect. I have a dyno program that claims that it can determin horse power and torque +- 2 just from the g force it measures.  Not to mention a lot of games including the Nintendo emulator use it instead of arrow keys sort of a tilt navigation. Works ok for some games like I was playing Kirby's Adventure it was ok but was pretty hard with the original Legend of Zelda. But for all those who don't like touch screen buttons or using the accelerometer there is a new dock accessory coming out called the iControlPad that fits around the iPhone or iPod touch and adds controls. Looks very PSP like. Who knows how long before you can use the tv out to put it on any tv screen and just use the iPod or iPhone as the controller. Not to mention the gaming capabilities are way more than I expected. For instance I can play Quake 1, in all it's first person 3d shooting glory. Added bonus is network support so you can play with a bunch of friends over wireless. So yeah iPhone LAN games just about every nerds dream. But games aren't everything.

As I expected more media stuff has popped up. The appstore (an application extension of the itunes store) and jailbreaking to get the hacked apps both add tons of options. Great apps for Facebook and Myspace. GPS location based social networking communities, bit torrent clients, terminal and commandline control. One of my personal favourites is the book reader where I been downloading and reading all my sci-fi. Yeah comic book reader, download manager, plus there a ton of streaming sites ala you tube that have been popping up so you can watch streaming content from mobile safari. And as I expected there is app already to use it as a remote control for iTunes on your computer. 

I've been reading all these blackberry toting business suits calling the iPhone a toy and don't see the hype.. I'm surprised at how short sighted these guys are.. It's like Steve Jobs and Wozzniac getting the go ahead on the Apple Computer in the early 80's since the big wigs couldn't see the big picture. Wozz had signed the agreement that his inventions were his employers intellectual property and they responded that they didn't think the average person would want a computer. This admittedly is fairly different, but the shortsightedness is the same. What we have is a new platform that makes PDA's look like 80's cell phones and makes a laughing stock out of other smartphones. It's completely flexible and very capable and will only be more so when they put the new low power Intel Atom CPU's in them.  If you want to understand capable, with the iPhone, which gets internet pretty much anywhere over cellular 3G networks, I can not only maintain and have it auto-sync all my emails, contacts, and calendars and talk over msn, aol, yahoo all at the same time while browsing safari while connected over a secure VPN tunnel to my office, I can remote desktop (ie log into my work computer) so I can run my applications like visual studios, and write programs (that's my day job). In fact I did my job one day entirely from the iPod Touch laying on my bed earning my $23/h the hard way (*sarcasm*).

I mean if you are starting from scratch I think the iPhone is like $200 + a plan which can be currently as low as $65 a month with 6Gb/month data usage over 3G. Damn I sound like I should be sellling these things. It's not intention, it's just that good. And really this is only the start. I'm waiting to see if someone gets past restrictions and gets a dongle working. For those who don't know a dongle in this usage would be using the iPhone as a modem for a laptop so you could get internet wherever you have cellular not only by hardline or over Wifi. In the states they have unlimited internet with their plans. The day that happens I'm completely freed. I mean I can picture sitting in a van travelling on tour with my band while doing my day job as we drive across the continent.  Technology is a wonderous thing.

Oh and one last thing. So they got a new super particle accelerator/collider that they are testing for the first time tommorrow. We have never done anything like this on earth but scientists hope to gain some insight into the beginning of the universe by performing this experiment.  We have had hyper accelerated particulars fly through the planet.. I mean it happens often enough, but with this well be able to measure and record the events first hand. A very interesting prospect to astrophysics. What I find so interesting is there is this panic of this causing a micro-blackhole that could suck up the earth.This to me with my understanding of the universe is ridiculous (I'm not saying it's not possible) just very unlikely. I could explain that even if a blackhole could be created the there isn't enough mass(thus energy) in the particle sustain a black hole for any length of time. It's like shooting a grain of sand at unimaginable speeds at a huge tightly stretched sheet with a bunch of sand on the surface. Even if the force caused by the rapid acceleration is enough to displace the sheet locally or even puncture it, it would not be enough to keep it displaced even if all the other sand in the local proximity gathered around it.   But the more I read the more paranoia I see.  Well I suppose if we're all here tommorrow we can all have a good laugh. And if I'm wrong and being arrogant in my belief of this being ridiculous then atleast no one will be around to witness that.

Goodnight.
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