Tuesday, December 19, 2006

So I've been carrying Sprint's Moto KRZR K1m in my pocket for a week now and while it is a cool phone, I think it was implemented very poorly.

What is my number one complaint about most portable electronics? The same complaint I have about non-portable electronics: Not enough processing power. When I tried out Motorola's much touted Q smartphone, I couldn't believe that I would get the equivalent of a spinning hour glass to look at my contacts list. Wouldn't the designers figure out how much processor it would take to pull up a contact list on a what amounts to be a mobile phone? I guess not.

But I could figure in that the Q was more than a phone. It had a file system (a way too complicated file system with a shitty search function) and checked my email and surfed the web and ran 3rd party applications. So, ok, I guess when you take all of that into account, looking at a Window's version of the spinning beachball of death wasn't so bad.

But what is Moto's excuse when it comes to the KRZR. I'm still experiencing the 1 - 3 second wait time to pull up my contact list. There is still way too much lag going between my main screen into my contents folder. This lag in a small multimedia phone is hardly acceptable.

However, switching from my Treo 700p to the KRZR K1m has brought about one shining mark: Opera Mini. I had heard about this and tried to download it to my Treo, but always got some kind of Java error. Not on the KRZR. Opera Mini makes you never want to open the phones built in browser ever again. It's fast, it's skinnable, it's got a customizable opening page. It's everything you would want from a browser on your computer or on your phone. Point your mobile device to mini.opera.com and see what I mean.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My thoughts and prayers go out the Kim family.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I found a great video presentation by NTT DoCoMo on The Keitai as Lifestyle Infrastructure. I'm still amazed at how advanced the Japanese communication system is. It reminds me of the Yin-Yang symbol in that their advancements are done by equal parts engineering and imagination. In the United States, I think it is widely accepted that somebody is either "right brain" or "left brain", they're either math or art. Which might be true, but I think due to social idiosyncrasies the two types of people are separated by social and professional barriers. Just a theory.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

In my search for the perfect American keitai, I picked up Verizon's LG "Chocolate" (in black if you're wondering). I've been toying with going to Verizon specifically (and this is lame) becaue I really like the Samsung a990. So I'm picking a carrier because I like the phone, I'm not the first person to do that, am I? But before I drop all that cash on 3.2 megapixels in my pocket, I thought I'd pick up a cheaper phone (not free, goddamnit) and give Verizon a test drive before I commit.

My first impression of the Chocolate: I've never like this phone. Why get it than? I thought if I switch everybody over to Verizon than this would be the phone that I get my mom. It's also the cheapest one that isn't free and isn't a RAZR.

First "Ooooh" Moment: I really like the VZ Navigator feature and I couldn't wait to try that out. While still in the store, not more than five minutes after paying for the phone, I went to GIN and downloaded VZ Navigator. It installed itself without issue and was up and ready to go by the time I pulled out of my parking space. How was it? I was very impressed with the navigation service. The voice was loud and clear. The visual mapping was dead on. The routing was pretty good.

When I said "Oh Shit": Verizon makes you have to pay for friggin' everything! I tried to download and ring tone and it wanted me to subscribe to some service for a monthly charge. What? I just want Weezer on my phone, man. Wireless sync was $19.99 and is not very impressive. So far I've just got it (barely) syncing my email in my .Mac account.

What may end my trial period early: I'm going to give Verizon a fair shake. I was really hoping to have a handset that would let me check my email, tell me where everything is and what not, but I don't know if I want to pay so much for it. WTF? I'll give it a week or so and than hopefully Sprint will have the M610 out and I can check that one out.

Also, I just saw a videon on You Tube where Kevin Rose leaks some information about Apple's new iPhone. Comes in a 4GB and 8GB model. Touch screen. Slide-out keyboard. Two separate batteries - one for the iPod and one for the phone. Apparently to be available for any phone carrier. But if it's Cingular (which I think it will be) than I'm screwed because they charge $40+ a month for crappy UTMS data service for a regular handset. I don't pay half of that for Sprint's data - and I've got a Treo 700p.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Why is American, or more specifically, Americans, so reluctant to embrace the mobile phone culture that is so prevalent in the rest of the civilized world?

I've been reading about keitai, the Japanese mobile phone culture. Japanese of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds rely on their keitai for not only voice calls, but email, GPS services, current events, monetary transactions and multimedia.

Members of the EU use their "tellies" much like their Asian neighbors. Most European subscribers (80% to be exact) use text messaging and mobile email for communication over traditional voice calls. But they all use their handsets to keep them in touch with news, sports scores and miscellaneous information.

Americans on the other hand are completely phone handicapped. I believe that if todays handsets didn't set their own time, most Americans would be walking around with a blinking 12:00 in their pocket. And it's not that American wireless carriers aren't trying. Sprint and Verizon offer many similar services that are being offered in Asia and the EU, but Americans are naive or ignorant or both when it comes to how useful modern mobile phones are. Sometimes people act as though it were a badge of honor that they are completely unwilling to succumb to any new advances in technology.

Remember Star Trek? Remember when Captain Kirk and Spock and Dr. McCoy would beam down to a sound stage in Burbank that was made up to look like a 70s version of a sci fi, alien landscape? What was the first thing that happened? Somebody, I think it was Spock most of the time, would pull out their tricorder and get a reading on what was going on with the atmosphere and biological data. That's actually not that far off from what phones can do now. When you land at Phoenix Sky Harbor or Chicago Midway you can pull out your GPS enabled handset and have it give you voice instructions and real time mapping to find your hotel or the nearest coffee shop. With the wireless web, I'm never at a loss for the most mundane musings. So what exactly is Floam? Is Burgess Meredith still alive? If Borders is selling the new Paul Auster book for $24.00 at the store, how much is it online? I can't believe people would take this informaiton for granted.

Whether Americans like it or not they are living in the BlackBerry age. Soon it will be expected that you proclaim your proficiency with Palm's Versamail on your resume in order to be considered for a decent job. As geography begins to sink into a pool of culture splicing and the world shrinks under the weight of global connectivity, America will be left behind because of their proud neo-Luddism.

Everytime somebody sticks out their chest and booms out, "I just need a phone to make and receive calls" or "I'll take the cheap free one", a little piece of my hope dies. *sigh*

Thursday, November 30, 2006


I just finished reading Douglas Coupland's new book JPod. As usual, Coupland proves to be Generation X's most innovative and witty pen-man. He has an instinct for writing about modern concepts in a graphical manner that can be easily absorbed by a generation reared on the nutrient deficient iridesence of RCA cathode ray tubes.

I'm sure most Coupland fans were hoping for more of a sequel to Microserfs, and I think that this is the closest thing we're ever going to see of that, but instead of re-hashing old characters and putting them in new, more modern predicaments, Coupland used the same formula (intelligent people with no purposeful outlet for genius and creativity wasting their lives on the minutia of pop culture and internet innovation) to tell a new story that was less cliched. Doug even employed his previous use of free flowing consciousness by throwing words on a page spread apart with different font and font points. In Microserfs, Michael was trying to find out if computers had a subconscious and, if so, what did they think about. This method of story telling can only be described as William Faulkner meets Jackson Pollock.

The bottom line is: I like witty! And Douglas Coupland is a witty bitch! And when you can be witty about things that I know about, like the internet and video games and soft-core Fox dramas of the late 90s, than even better for me.

Kurt Vonnegut


William Faulkner


Steve Jobs


Jackson Pollack

= Dougla$ C0up7and

Gears and Grub

I was stuck in traffic yesterday morning (a block away from my office building) so i downloaded a new ringtone for my Treo while pumping the brake so as not to bump the Toyota Solara in front of me. Which ringtone? Hashpipe by Weezer. Gotta' love the Weez.

New lunch record: Today, I ate lunch at Goros for the third day in a row. And! I had at least one bite of an Izzy roll each day.

Monday, January 02, 2006

My poor wife Elizabeth ended up in the emergency room this morning. A few days ago some wierd skin lesion starting forming on her right calf. We didn't think anything of it. But over the days it got worse and worse. New Year's Eve she was having trouble walking. We decided that she should see our doctor first thing Monday morning. Unfortunately, like a lot of businesses, our doctor's office was closed Monday. We were able to get another doctor from the same office to call us back. He advised we go to theh ER and have one of the MDs there drain the offending abscess. So a quick trip to the Methodist and *bang*boom*, we had a drained leg and a prescription for Vicodin.

The doctor we worked with told us it was Staph infection was is common in climates like South Texas. She told us it is potentially very serious and that if we put it off Liz could have ended up in the hospital. That sucks.

Liz is recuperating with her leg up and surfing the web on my PSP - I knew that was a smart purchase. Sophia has been very good while Mommy stays in bed. It wasn't exactly how I wanted to spend my day off, but I'm glad I was here and able to take her. She was totally out of commission. I'll keep you guys posted as she regains her health.

Monday Morning

It's so very nice not to have to go into work today. Even though I still woke up at 5am (habits do die hard), it was so nice to be able to get rigt on my PowerBook, check my email, look at eBay aucions, etc. I wish every morning could be like this.