Monday, May 30, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
Friday, May 6, 2011
The business of cell phones is maddening. I currently use an Android phone, and I like it. I wouldn't say I love it....but I certainly don't hate it. It works.
I keep seeing ads for the Windows Phone. I think it might be a good alternative, but the more I think about it, the more frustrated I get.
Because I can't try it.
I can't go to a store and try a phone out for a week. I can't spend enough time with a phone's operating system to see if it is something I like. About 2 years ago, I purchased a Motorola Backflip from an AT&T store. After spending about 3 weeks with that abortion of a phone, I moved on and haven't looked back. But, I needed time to get used to the phone, to get comfortable with the options, etc. See, most people aren't like me. They just want a phone that makes calls and occasionally checks email and Facebook. Not me. I want a phone that does it all, and doesn't frustrate me. It is a tradeoff for me...I love the iPhone, but there are still too many things that make Android better, in concept. Like free, turn by turn navigation. Like over the air updates. Like a real notification system. But the iPhone works...it just works, and looks great (and has 100x better games).
So, I see all of these ads for the Windows phone and how awesome it is, but the last thing I am going to do is get locked into a 2 year contract with a phone that I might hate after three weeks. I have to be able to try the phone out. If someone were to let me use a Windows Phone for a few weeks, I bet I would love it, especially as a work phone. The integration with Exchange is probably top notch (another thing that frustrates me about Android...the Exchange integration can be kind of wonky).
So, Microsoft...if you want a convert, send me a phone to use. If I like it, I will buy it. But there is no way in hell I am going to lock myself down until my son graduates from high school to try out your phone, only to hate it and have to spend more money.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Monday, May 2, 2011
So, a few months ago I noticed that Tom Clancy had released a new novel for the first time in several years. The title is Dead or Alive, and since I have loved pretty much everything that Clancy had written, I checked it out from the library and read it.
For those of you unfamiliar, Clancy's flagship premise is following a guy named Jack Ryan, who appeared in novels as far back as 20 years ago. I believe you have seen "The Hunt for Red October", which was about Mr. Ryan convincing a Soviet Sub captain to defect. In the novels, Jack Ryan progresses through his career, eventually becoming President.
In Dead or Alive, Jack is now retired and writing his memoirs, and the focus shifts over to his son, Jack Jr.. Junior is a CIA operative who is, naturally, working his way up the ladder on his own.
So, here is where it gets kind of wierd...the novel is essentially a fictionalization of the capture of bin Laden. Of course, the name is changed and the story is altered slightly, but you can tell that Clancy was just taking the history of our country, changing it slightly, and writing a sort of "history porn" of how the capture of the most notorious terrorist of our generation would go.
He got a lot of it right...You have the CIA keying on a courier (that really happened), you have a night-time raid of a compound (that really happened), and even the fact that he was kind of hiding in plain sight (which is smart).
Some of the bigger differences are that the fake bin Laden was in Las Vegas in the book, not Pakistan, as well as a pretty key character dies in the book, which didn't happen in real life. I think it is pretty interesting how the stories tend to parallel each other pretty closely.
It is a pretty good read, but I wouldn't recommend picking it up if you haven't read any Clancy first. Start with Red October and work your way through the progression. The book will make a lot more sense after you have some context of the characters.