In light of a post i just made on Wil Harris' blog, here is a quick blog about Pownce - oh, and this is me at Pownce. Since i'm already on the subject, here are some of my thoughts on Pownce:

If you ask me, Pownce is a pretty good idea with one big problem: its 2 or 3 years too late. If this had hit the web before Twittr or Jaiku both became large, it could have / would have been huge - but it didn't. Instead, it trailed in after the whole social networking thing had already blown up, and most of it's web-splash was because the simple fact that Kevin Rose was one of the founders, along with several other big names in the Web 2.0 community.

As things stand right now, it's still in invite-only phase, which limits the possibilities of it. On top of that is the fact that most people have already sworn loyalty to one of the other sites that offer similar services, and can't be bothered to switch over - and so far, Pownce hasn't offered any major advantages to motivate them to switch. Even with the $20 yearly pro membership, Pownce capabilities are only so-so, and hardly worth switching if you're already entrenched in one of the other sites.

Another thing that is currently working against Pownce is friending any and all strangers -- but in a sense, this is completely necessary. Without friends, Pownce is dead in the water. On the other hand, the more friends you have, the more messages you get, and the more interesting Pownce is - which has quickly turned Pownce into a big friend-whoring circle.

For the time being, i'll keep using Pownce off and on. If i had a bunch of friends using it that i wanted to share links, files or events with, i would be pretty excited, assuming there was a reason we couldn't keep a dialog through email. But as things are now, i have a bunch of strangers as "friends" so i can skim random tech conversations & news and while that can be interesting, its not nearly enough to keep me using a service consistently.


If you came here looking for an invite, leave a comment with your email - and put it in joe @ whatever.com form if you're worried about getting spammed. I'll post a comment & edit this post if / when i run out of invites.


Who is taking advantage of who?

I recently started a dead end job at a restaurant. It's not a terrible job (like others i've held) and it's not an amazing job like the wilderness therapy one i used to have; it's just some dumb college student job.

For the last two years i've gotten very little action, be it random play or potential girlfriends -- but prior to these two years you could say that i had maybe a bit more than my fair share of action. But that makes being single for this long just that much harder.

Well there is this girl at my job who is a couple years younger than me -- she is 19, so legality is not an issue here! For the most part she seems decently grown up for a girl under the age of twenty.. but there are the moments when her younger age is quite apparent.

A couple nights ago we were working together and she made some comment about how she had smoked in the cooler on several occasions. Without thinking too much about what i was saying, i congratulated her on accomplishing one of the two things that most people want to do at some point in their life: smoke in the walk-in cooler at some dead end job, and have sex in that same cooler. Thats pretty logical and normal to say, isn't it?

Since then i've noticed that every now and then she looks at me with these slightly dreamy "i want you" eyes -- but not all the time. Initially i disregarded it and thought it was a just a "i'm really high" look - but then i realized how inconsistent it was, which ruled out her just being high.

Basically i think it boils down to this: i think this girl -- who is 4 years younger than me and has been working at this job for several months more than i have -- wants to bone me in the walk-in cooler.

She is pretty attractive, and i do get the feeling that it would be a no-strings attached thing which is good too. But i do work with her, and i am frequently reminded by her that i'm much more into girls older than me instead of younger. So there is a good chance i'd feel bad about having sex with a girl who i'm not really all that in to, and there is the very real possibility that something bad would come of it either as a personality clash or misunderstanding, or something to do with work, etc... but then there is this:

I would love to get laid, especially in the cooler at work.

So if i have sex with this girl -- who i feel like is young enough to be, to some extent, influenced by the fact that i'm a couple years older than her and have seen a lot more shit in my life than she has -- who is taking advantage of who?

Would she be taking advantage of me because i'm horny and in need of action, or would i be taking advantage of her because i'm older than her and she may in a sense be influenced by my life & travel experiences that are above and beyond hers?


Respect the Anti-Social Signs

Everyones seen them: the girl or guy, walking down the street with the headphone cord snaking out of the pocket or the backpack and plugging into the almost irregularly large headphones. Good chance this persons also wearing sunglasses -- regardless of whether the sun is out -- too. Sometimes if you're lucky you can even see this same person rocking out to their music: singing, gesturing, and on the best of days you'll even catch them playing air guitar!

No, this isn't me. I do wear my headphones a majority of the time that i'm out of the house and walking around the town, but i stick to the small in-ear headphones. But even if i'm wearing the small in-ear buds, doesn't that imply that i'm not too interested in talking to people? I always thought it did, but i'm starting to wonder if i'm alone on that.

The big headphones definitely scream out something like, "I'm in my own musically centered world -- and you don't exist!" Awesome: you go buddy.

But recently it has started seeming like every stranger and their daughter wants to talk to me on the street or on the bus. Isn't the annoyed expression on my face as i pull out one of my ear-buds to listen to you obvious? Or how about the fact that you have to repeat what you said three times AND wave to get my attention away from the window which i was aggressively staring out? These people are either really dumb -- which i don't doubt -- or me and my ear-buds are giving out the wrong message.

Somehow, i doubt that the anti-social genius with 5" diameter headphones -- air guitar and all -- ever runs into this problem. I myself, a fellow anti-social headphone enthusiast, has to sit back and respect the wonderful and direct message that this person is broadcasting: Yes, i am listening to music that i thoroughly enjoy, and no i do not want to talk to you.


Efficiency and the Internet

It really is quite amazing how much random stuff you can come across on the internet when you are trying to get something done. In a 30 second break from working on a project, you can find yourself reading about Boby Dylan and some things he did. Or easily just as easily end up looking at pictures of why pimpin' ain't easy. Or reading about "muffin top" girls.

But none of these things help you get your project done. Right now i'm trying to write a paper about Cambodia, Angkor Wat, and religion -- but somehow i keep managing to find news articles, blogs, etc, to read - instead of working. And to make matters just that much worse, here i am blogging about the problem. And the stink of that is that i'm having no problems whatsoever with blogging - but just getting a single friggin paragraph typed up in the paper is similar to getting teeth pulled, or jerking off with sand glued to your hand.


Searching Out Disappointment

Why is it that we put such small things on such big pedestals sometimes?

The inspiration for this post was a small thing that didn't really matter at all -- but it left me on my way home feeling really disappointed nonetheless. I think that whether or not we mean to, we often invest a lot more than we should in small things, and often find ourselves disappointed.

Everyone does it, whether they intend to or not. You hope -- and maybe in the back of your mind almost expect -- your favorite team to win. If you meet some girl or guy at the bar when you're out to "meet someone", you probably hope right away that they are "the right one" or whatever. Or when you turn a paper in for school.. all of these little things can leave you disappointed with your results. And those are just tiny snippets. If you put some real time into it, I'm sure that anyone could come up with a nearly endless list of possibilities for disappointment.

What i'm wondering is this: is it disappointing because you are a let down optimist, or is it disappointing simply because it didn't work out in the best possible way?


Harry fucking Potter.

First of all, yes i have read the Harry Potter books, and yes i did enjoy them. But no, i did not wait in line to read any of them. Actually, come to think of it i didn't actually buy any of them, but instead borrowed them. And i didn't see any of the movies in the theatre, let alone buy a VHS or DVD -- and i don't plan on changing that anytime soon.

Regardless of whether or not i enjoyed them though, can't people get off this damn boat and realize that there are hundreds -- no, thousands -- of other authors out there who have written books that are just as good [hell, probably better] than the Harry Potter series? I wouldn't say i'm a serious fantasy enthusiast, but i have read my fair share of it - and i can safely say that Harry Potter is far from my favorite series.

Somehow though, this damn series has blown up across the country, from what i understand. There is a girl in my humanities class who was bragging about how long it would take her to finish the book after waiting in line and getting it at midnight.

Today, at my preferred cafe i was enjoying some espresso before going to work, but the sheer pleasure of the moment was lost because of some damn couple sitting in the corner loudly discussing every aspect of the characters in Harry Potter -- down to the sex appeal of Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Finally i got frustrated with not only with the subject matter, but also how loud they were being so i put on my headphones.

As i was trying to get my espresso Zen back, i started noticing the other customers around me. Right at that moment, a woman of about 35 came in and sat down on a nearby couch with a smug look on her face. She put down her latte, and quickly surveyed the room before opening her book -- yup, you guessed it: Harry Potter.

The smug look on this womans face was what finally reminded me that it must have come out last night, so she was proud to have one of the first copies -- which for the record, she was nearly finished with. Noticing that, i looked around mildly curious about how many people in the cafe may also have such a prized possession.

Much to my dismay, my brief glance proved the situation to be much worse than i expected: of the nearly 30 people in the cafe, there was a good 10 people with their nose shoved into the book -- not to mention the vocal couple discussing it.

Now maybe i'm just not aware of it, or am to young or something, but has there ever been such hype over the release of a freakin book? I know that when the last one came out before this weekend, the girl i was dating who worked at a book store had to not only work until 3:00am, but had to dress up for the release party they were throwing. Hell, i colleague today was telling how he stumbled into Barnes & Nobles last night stoned and half asleep, only to be offered some cake by an overly-enthusiastic witch.

In the long run i guess it's good that people have such a passion. It's good to get worked up about things, to get excited enough so that you're willing to wait in line to get it. It gives everyone something to discuss with strangers, and it's a welcome relief from all the shit going on in the world around us.

As for me, i want nothing to do with it. Sure, i'll read it eventually and probably borrow (*cough cough*) a copy of the movie too. But not for a long time. At about the time that these overly enthusiastic people are latching onto their next little thing (Paris Hilton, the iPhone, etc) maybe i'll be asking for a copy to borrow. Until then though, don't ask me if i've read the damn book or seen the damn movie -- i've seen more than enough strangers freaking out over it to last a long time; i'll be fine without reading it.

If you're looking for some other good fantasy authors who (in my humble opinion) blow J.K. Rowling out of the water, check out Tad Williams or Melanie Rawn. Sure, they probably can't say that their first published book was barely afforded, but at least you won't have to worry about a rabid fan-base that will drive you up the frigging wall. And [again, in my humble opinion] the character development blows that of Harry Potter & Co. out of the freaking water.


Society, governments, and couch potatoes

Where is our society going? We've got a government that is quickly turning into a police state with checks and balances disappearing faster than i go through gallons of milk. It seems like 7 out of 10 people you pass on the street either completely ignore you just because, or have headphones on and pay you no attention anyhow. Sitting in a cafe everyone is engrossed in their own personal tasks, for the most part ignoring the world around them.

For example the other day i was in my preferred cafe when there was a brief scuffle outside. Apparently one homeless guy owed another some money and wasn't willing to pay up, so the other guy punched him in the face and walked away. I regret to say, but myself included: everyone in the cafe just sat there and watched it happen. From the initial "Hey man, give me my fuckin' money" all the way to the final blow -- and no one did anything. Even when they were shoving each other, obviously leading up to a fight. We all just sat there with our espresso drinks and wondered if we should do anything -- but of course, nobody did.

Isn't something wrong with that? But then again, isn't something wrong with our current government & their actions?? Portions of our government [read: the executive branch] are doing their best to eliminate our freedoms and eventually take over the world, and we're not doing anything to stop them. Isn't this a time when we, the people of America should be rising up and doing something about all of the shit that our government is doing.

And just a side note: i found all of those links in the last 24 hours. If i really searched around for shit, it would have gotten worse. Let's say that those make for some good light reading.

So in the midst of all this political crap going on around us, we're still sitting around -- myself included -- reading news articles, talking about how bad things are getting, posting about it on forums, being appalled by the most recent news, looking to Darfur and wondering just what our government IS doing.

But wondering aloud, posting on forums, talking to friends... while it's great to spread the word, none of these things can directly accomplish anything.

There, i said it.

Sure, i'm glad that there is plenty of reading available about this, and people are concerned, complaining to senators, writing congressmen, probably sending hate-mail to the president. But WHEN will we break, when will we hit that point, where suddenly people get up and DO SOMETHING??

I'm talking about something like the scene in Pink Floyd: The Wall when abruptly all the students jump out of their desks and start a full scale riot -- that is what i want to see.

But i'm losing faith in Americans. We've been singling ourselves out from society too long, wearing our headphones too much and caring too little about the strangers around us. How can we start a real revolution (if that's whats needed) if no one wants to talk to strangers on a daily basis? If all we want to do is post blog entries and complain about sketchy government actions on forums?

I think that Zack de la Rocha says it best in the song "Know Your Enemy":
Ive got no patience now
So sick of complacence now
Ive got no patience now
So sick of complacence now
Sick of sick of sick of sick of you
Time has come to pay...
Know your enemy!

Come on!
Yes I know my enemies
Theyre the teachers who taught me to fight me
Compromise, conformity, assimilation, submission
Ignorance, hypocrisy, brutality, the elite
All of which are american dreams


I, anonymous: Pig Fucker

I just got back from having a snack at the food co-op before doing some shopping and coming home. Now, most of the time i'm content to listen to a podcast or mp3's while eating and not do much of anything else.. but there is something about eating / hanging out in the co-op that makes me feel obligated to come back to the reality of the world around me. So i took out my headphones and grabbed a copy of The Strange, a free publication out of Seattle, WA. Most of what i browsed over had little to no effect upon me -- that is, until i came across this piece:

"You spineless, sneaky, lowlife, ignorant, godless piece of shit. Vandalizing the artwork around town, what a big person. Sneaking around at night, so scared of being seen, and mindlessly tearing up the pigs on display. For no good reason other than your balls must be so shriveled up that you are mad at society. You are racist. Show us who you are. Why don't you post your mother's address in the next issue so we can all take turns violating her while you watch? You better hope I never see you in action. I would love to beat your fucking ass, pull out your rotten teeth, take your clothes off, and strap you to one of your vandalized pigs. You suck, you pig fucker."

I figured i'd post it in hopes that it will bring as much entertainment to others as it did to me. Have a great night -- and to whom it apparently concerns: Stay the hell away from the local art pieces, Pig Fucker!


State of the World? State of America?

So there's a practical genocide happening in Darfur, America is still looking for a reason to attack Iran, we're still in Iraq and Afghanistan -- even though a definite majority of the country no longer thinks we should be in either, and now we've angered Russia enough that they have pulled out of a treaty established quite some time ago.

Now i'm sure that at some point in almost everyone's life, they have thought that the world is going to shit. But is it just me, or do we have a better claim than most generations that that's the case? Hell, there was even a German holocaust survivor who moved back to Germany, because as he put it: "I've seen this before."

All this is going on in the world, and it really feels like we're powerless to do anything about it. Our president is making things so that he can take almost complete power of the country if the right situation arises -- and who's to say that it won't be something like Loose Change 2?

The theory goes that 1.20.09 is Bush's last day in office, but considering some of the bullshit that has already been done during his term, as much as i want him gone, i'm kind of thinking he'll find a way to stick around. And i'm about as devout of an atheist as you can be, but God i hope that doesn't come to happen.


Just a quick follow up:

Since i posted about falling yesterday, i thought i'd include some quick details about my day today, which also involved falling.

In an effort to keep a potentially long story short, i'll cut right to the chase: On my longboard today, i got "doored". And for those of you not familiar with the term, getting "doored" means that you get hit when some unsuspecting spectator with no bad intentions gets to witness you're abrupt halt when you slam into their just-opened car door.

Then to make matters worse, i stopped to pay off a friends parking ticket (i owed her money, so she gave me the ticket to sort out instead) on my way to play some ultimate frisbee. Well, low and behold the post office closed early, so i'll have to wait until tomorrow. But when i arrived at the field where we play ultimate, a friend told me the court house might still be open, and it was only two blocks away.

So i jumped back on my long board (oh yes), and went to the court - which was closed. Great. Dejectedly i turn around and head back to the field. Feeling a little bitter, i go to change the song on my mp3 player when suddenly-!- i get launched off my board by a poorly alignmed sidewalk section.

Yeseterday's events left me with cuts on my face and right side knee, elbow shoulder and hand. Today, getting doored left me with a bloody shin (right side) and wonderful cut on my left hand, which almost perfectly matches the one on my right hand.

Oh and not only did no one see my second fall, but on top of that the girl who doored me was too attractive for me to be angry with -- but she didn't give me her number for my pain. Too bad.

Falling is fun.

I've talked to a lot of people who firmly believe that it is best when they fall completely out of sight of other people. They explain to me that it's embarrassing when people see you fall, and how dumb they feel afterwards.

But i've laughed heartily alongside these same people when we see a candid of someone tripping and falling, and the sheepish look they cast around wondering how many people -- if anyone -- saw their blunder. So what i'm wondering is this: If we can get so much pleasure out of watching someone do something which is - granted, in no way elegant, sexy, smooth, etc, why do some many people hate being that person?

I, for one, love it.

Generally speaking, when i eat it -- for a good reason or for no reason -- i'm getting up laughing at myself as much as any onlookers. One of the first things i do is look around, hoping that someone saw what just happened to me. No sheepish grins for me, just a shit-eating "did you just see that??" look cast out to strangers as readily as friends.

Well, most of the time.

That wasn't the case this morning though. I finally got done doing whatever random stuff i was doing online, and realized i was going to be late for class. Seeing that it was beautiful out, i grabbed my sunglasses and longboard -- and with a random thought, my camera.

Running out the door, still stuffing my mp3 player into my pocket, i got to thinking about how i have yet to take my longboard out since moving into my new place. I was thinking this mostly because i now live on a rather steep hill -- not a good place to be on a longboard.

Yeah, you guessed it: i fell -- hard.

But instead of my normal comical glance around, i completely freaked out. My head was throbbing and bleeding, as was my right hand, elbow and knees -- and i soon found out that my should too was bleeding. Not only did i not glance around, but i quickly grabbed everything that had either been dropped or fallen out of my pocket, and speed-walked back to my place.

Honestly though, I think that today was a great experience for me: i really got a good taste what it is people feel when they get embarrassed about falling in public. What's been driving me crazy all afternoon though, is i have no idea if anyone saw it! And considering it was 1/2 a block from where i live, i'd love to know so i don't meet someone in 2 weeks asking, "Dude! Didn't you wreck hard on your longboard right in front of my house a week or two ago??"


Keep your religion out of my throat!

Disclaimer: I'm doing a paper on the Christian religion infringing upon other (specifically Eastern) religions. This topic tends to bother me, but then again so do most things about religion.


This website i just came across while working on a project is downright appalling if you ask me. Why is it that Christians feel such a strong need to convert other people? I mean really! On this website they are measuring other religions by how many members have not heard the messages of Christ!

Not only that, but they are looking at a map which highlights the most populated areas of the world, saying how they have insufficient missionaries to handle it -- like they are talking about a plague that will ravage the world if not prevented by them.

This other website talks about Thailand is now "open to the word of God" now. But who they are really talking about is tsunami victims who just happened to fall prey to devout Christians who wanted to help - AND convert them after they homes, lives and possibly families were destroyed by the tsunami.

I guess i'm just too much of an atheist to really understand it, or i was not raised properly, or something. But i know that reading things like this just makes me seethe. Almost all the people i met while traveling in Southeast Asia who spoke decent English said that at one point or another, a Christian had asked to speak to them about God for a while, or left a pamphlet for them to look at on their door, etc.

Now i will make one concession: my sisters friend explained it very simply to her one time, in a way that makes more sense to me than most other explanations. He said, "Well you see Jay, it really sucks when you know that all of your friends are going to hell if they won't follow the bible."


Well when you put it that way, i can understand -- a little. But that is talking about your friends. And sure, it can be argued that these missionaries have such great hearts that they even want to save strangers who don't speak the same language as them.

But what do you think a Christian would say if i walked up and asked them if they have recently considered switching to Satanism?

Trust me, they don't like it - i've done it. And yes, i was a goofy teenager who didn't really know what i was doing, but that's besides the point. They were offended. And maybe they should have been - but if they find that so damn offensive, can't their missionaries take into consideration that most (if not all) of these people did not ask for the Christian Bible to be brought to them?

Can't these people realize that others don't need their god or way of life, that they are content with their own and maybe never wanted to even hear about Christ?

A successful waste of a day.

Somehow i was convinced to go out and do things with my day that i didn't need to do. Don't get me wrong, i enjoyed myself -- but i didn't accomplish very much.

It all started with going to a local cafe to work on a paper for one class, and a program for another. I managed to get almost all of the program finished (and very little writing on the paper!) when a buddy called me up. I told him we could talk on the phone, but since he was close he may as well swing by and say hi.

He shows up, and the next 30 minutes flew by with us chatting about all sorts of random crap. In the midst of the conversation (which about 3/4 of was about a girl sitting nearby that i was interested in) he convinced me that we should either play frisbee golf with the rest of the afternoon, or play some soccer in 2 hours.

I finally caved, telling him that i needed to finish the program and at least get a good into paragraph written in the essay, and then i would join him in playing some soccer.

Well low and behold, only 4 other people showed up to play soccer, so we just goofed off and played some "world cup," which was still pretty entertaining. Jake dropped me back off at my place, and told me he'd call me at 10:00pm, because we were going out to see this band.

Okay, cool - but wait: it's 8:00, i need to shower and shave, not to mention making & eating dinner before i can go out! And the stink of it was, i didn't even really want to go out, but somehow he had convinced me that it was a great idea.

Ten o'clock rolls around just as i'm getting out of the shower. Jake rolls up in a car with Ryan and Liz, and we all head down to the bar. Turned out that the band that we all came out to see wasn't going to start until midnight, so we had about 2 hours to waste -- great.

One thing that is worth mention at this point is that i have not drank alcohol in seven or eight years, and have no intention of starting now.

So two very boring hours later, the band is finally on the stage and the crowds really starting to enjoy it. This bar is far from large, so things get cramped really quickly - which basically means, once the crowd is getting into the music, it quite quickly turns into a mosh pit.


Here is a little background on my friends Ryan and Jake. Today while on the way to play soccer with Jake, he started talking about how his brother used to carry around mace with him everywhere he goes. Then we got to talking about some of the more noteworthy fights that he has been in, one of which involved drunkenly shouting at a complete stranger (for no real reason) "Ohh, Brett the Hitman Heart! Come and fight me you pussy!!"

Well, sure enough so called "Brett" did come over and fight Jake. And beat the shit out of him for that matter.

Ryan is different though. He's kind of a sleeping bear: he won't do anything to anyone who hasn't done something to either him or a friend -- but once something is done that sets him off, it's all downhill from there. I've seen this guy pushing past three guys trying to hold him back, just to hit someone. And why did he want to hit that guy so badly? Because that guy had just hurt a friend of his in a fight that Ryan wasn't there for.

Okay, back to the moshing.

So i'm hanging out in the middle of things, and for the most part it's a pretty mellow mosh pit as mosh pits go. Not too many people, and the crowd not in the pit only pushes you back into the pit if your on the edge, they don't throw you like other pits i've been in.

Well at one point the band starts playing a heavier song, and things are starting to pick up - or at least as much as the small dance floor allows. Then as far as i can tell, i look over just in time to see Ryan, who is a big guy, kind of cock his head to one side and in the middle of the pit, fucking drill someone.

The band keeps playing, the guy he hit is trying to stay on his feet, and Liz is pulling Ryan away before he does any more damage. And then (right on time) a very drunken Jake shows up, trying to figure out what's going on, getting in the other guys face, and starting shit with the bouncer who both Ryan and Jake are friends with.

In the long run, we all left the bar not wanting anything more to go down. Ryan and Liz both adamantly agree that this guy specifically & intentionally shoved her into the soundboard, which will probably leave a pretty vicious bruise across her side. Liz, apparently got a punch in as well - and probably broke her knuckle & maybe even wrist in doing so. Ryan was a funny combination of wanting to wait for the other guy to come out so he could really have a go at him, and wanting to get out of there before that happened so he didn't get arrested.

So that was how i managed to waste a day and not really get anything done after 2:00pm. The bitch of it all is that i wouldn't really say i had all that much fun; and while hanging out with Jake is almost always a good time, it's rarely productive.

Oh, and Jake? Well, the last i saw of him was his pathetic drunk attempts to hit on a group of girls near the door of the bar.


iPhone -- ibust or not?

It all really comes back to the iPhone this week, doesn't it? With plentiful jokes made about the line waiters, newly spawned ideas, and even musicals about the phone itself, it's finally out. And of course, so are plenty of reviews.

There are people making claims all over the board: waitingforiphone.com is claiming an insider told them that over 1 million iphones were sold, while the Wall Street Journal is predicting between 500,000 - 750,000.

In it's one week on the market it has already been cracked, destroyed", and activated without a contract.

But, it's release did grab the media attention around the world -- and the first week of sales figures do have European telecommunication companies sitting on the edge of their seats, wondering if they should buy in (arguably, O2 already got the contract).

So with the lowest estimates coming in at 500,000 sales in the first week, i have to say i think the iPhone has been a success -- especially considering they were able to rope in that many people on what is probably one of the worst cell phone carriers in the US.

But i guess that's just the way it's going to be.

But consider: the iPod was the first of a generation of portable mp3 players. A market that was, for the most part, untouched prior to Apple's entrance. And while they did make one of the sleekest, simplest designs... i gotta say i'm not a fan. And while my opinion is tainted in part by dislike for the player, i still must say there are some serious flaws.

Sure, iTunes is a decent player, but why is the iPod so exclusive - not to mention AAC format! Then there is the audio quality factor of the iPod. I'd much rather have a not-so-sleek mp3 player with great audio quality. And finally, the cult factor. I'm not saying i won't buy the best product available because a lot of people have it, but when there are other products (that often cost less) out that offer the same values, i'll quickly get something else!

So how does this relate to the iPhone? Well, i'm thinking that people have been so floored by Apple's performance the past couple of years -- especially with portable products -- that they have jumped on a boat maybe too quickly. Yes, the preliminary reviews have been ranging from decent to great, okay. But without the Apple name on it, do you think that anyone would have even considered a $600 phone with a 2 year contract from AT&T? I doubt it.

I think that this next year will bring a whole new line of cell phones (which T-Mobile may have already begun) that will either easily keep stride with the iPhone, or very possibly will blow it out of the water.

For now, it looks like the iPhone will (at least in hype and news) rule the smart phone market, and i'll be left wondering whats next. Will the smart phone market blow up like the mp3 player market did, or will the old cell phone giants just play catch up?

Some links

Okay, so i've been trying to get things all set for this and my Tumblr blog so they are ready to really be used. One of those things is signing up for a Technorati account.

And to be honest, Technorati is the whole reason for this post: i needed to "claim" my blog :)

Where is Google going next?

This day in age, i can pretty safely say that you can't walk down any street in America and meet anyone over the age of 12 who hasn't heard of Google. For a company not even 20 years old, that's pretty damn impressive - consider: Google.com was still 'beta' in late '99!

Initially, they were exclusively a web search engine -- a really good one at that. Then they started to spread out, first with a form of a keyword targeting ad service, and from there onto variations such as the Google Toolbar and as early as 2001 was looking to wireless customers.

From there, everyone has a pretty good idea of how Google has blown up into oh-so-many different parts of the internet. It almost seems like a majority of websites have either Google ads on them, or a Google powered search -- hell, even this blog, courtesy of Blogger.com, is a part of Google Inc.

But does Google have any more big moves left?

Probably. I was reading this this excellent article the other day which mentions all of the different things Google has done hinting at a move into the telecommunications industry. There are a bunch of interesting & valid points (up to and including rumors [that came true] of Google buying the great website / service, GrandCentral.com)

Then there are the rumors that Google is considering purchasing Apple, outright.

Wow - but wait, what did Apple just release? Nothing other than what is arguably the best cell phone on the market. How fitting. And, as is pointed out over at Dive Into OS X, the iPhone comes more than prepared to work with Google apps, but Apple and Google also have a common enemy.


So where is Google going? Will they launch into a full telecommunications type of service in a few weeks/months/years, or will they ditch their own applications and pick up Apple & OS X instead? I guess at this point it really is too early to tell -- hell, for all I know, they will just keep doing exactly what they are doing and not change a thing!

But i don't think that will happen. Google has a plan, and be it building their own operating system, acquiring Apple's, getting into telecommunications in a serious way, or world domination, i'm sure that people will avidly follow where & how they go there. I know that i will be - but i'll be wondering too: how big can they get, and how long can it go, before informal motto ("Do no evil") becomes impossible?


iPhone anyone?

With all the hype about the iPhone's release, i think that most of the world was really expecting the cellular phone industry to have some drastic changes after the release. But somewhere it seems that Apple went wrong.

Even before the release, we had iPhone wallpapers , applications, and even articles about the security threat that the iPhone poses for enterprises -- and how it's lacking in basic security features typical to smart phones.

But now with the release of the iPhone 5 days past, nothing has really changed. Sure, there is still plenty of hype, there were the people waiting in line over 24 hours in advance, the plethora of reviews released -- many within hours of release, and even the podcasts filmed while waiting in line.

But really, what has come out of the iPhone?


Again, a lot of reviews, a lot of hype, even a decent amount of unhappy customers having troubles activating their phone with AT&T. But beyond that? Nothing. The cell phone market has not been revolutionized, Motorola, Nokia, LG & others, while probably still a bit nervous, haven't found themselves completely outdone in their own markets.

But the question i'm wondering is: what are they doing to contest the iPhone? Sure, it didn't blow them out of the water, and not everyone utterly loves their iPhones -- but from what i can see, it's still quite a bit better than any other smart phone out there.

Okay, that said here is Engadget's roundup of iPhone stuff. Read over it and make your own judgment. If you ask me, while the iPhone wasn't exactly a blow-out, but it didn't blow-up either, and other cell phone manufacturers have some catch up to play.

Additionally, FlyingPen makes a great point: the iPhone is out -- what now?

Relocated? Lost? Huh?

Okay, so i've been out and about. I just got back from Southeast Asia not all that long ago -- which was amazing -- and have been too busy to do much of anything since return beyond getting an apartment, school, and looking for a job.

But on the brighter side, i did somehow find the time to start a tumblr account. So, for more frequent and much smaller blogs, check that out here


A message to no one in particular

This past month has really been hell for me.

It all started out on the 9th of January, when my car and i became the centerpiece of a three car (well, 2 car and 1 truck) accident. Hanging out with a friend, we decided to meet back at his place, but since he had a donut on his car, he had to take city streets instead of the faster highway route. Telling him i would see him there in just a bit, we parted ways.

On the highway, traffic was a little congested, but nothing special. But 1 exit before where i had to get off, suddenly things started to slow way down. Watching the car in front of me, i started to flash my brake lights, and then threw on my four-way flashers to warn traffic behind me. At that point, i saw a car 2 cars in front of me at a dead stop.

Oh shit.

I slammed on the brakes and went into a skid, but it was inevitable: i hit the lady in front of me. All of the years i've been driving, and I have had almost a perfect driving record. What the fuck, why here, why now?

And in that split second before i hit the lady in front of me, i saw the truck coming behind me.

The initial impact was pretty minimal, probably around 5 - 10 miles an hours; the secondary impact on the other hand, was a good deal harder. I'm guessing that the Ford F-150 hit my little Subaru Impreza doing somewhere between 30 and 40 miles per hour -- and launched me back into the Honda Accord I had already hit once, but harder this time.

The split second in which i saw the truck coming fast gave me ample time to brace for impact, but feeling shattered glass cascading down my neck was not something i was prepared for. So i sat there in a daze for a moment, trying to comprehend what had just happened.

Then i did something that should make parents around the world proud: i called my parents.

Sitting in my totaled car, glass all around me, and no one i knew within miles... i called my parents. Briefly explaining the situation, i confirmed with them (several times) that i was alright, but that i may need help doing insurance paperwork in the near future. Over the next hour or so, i spoke with both other people involved (no passengers, and no injuries), and a police officer.

After that fateful day, things just seem to have gotten more complicated -- thankfully though, not all of those things have been negative. One thing for example, is that i have decided to study abroad this coming semester with a close friend of mine. Fittingly enough for this post, the friend i'm going with, is also the friend who picked me up from the accident scene.

But the moral of the story is that accidents suck, there is no way around them, and even a lot of good driving can't make you immune to them. Now i know that its more likely than not that no one reading this cares, but thankfully the internet is there for me (or anyone else) to voice my thoughts, and know they are available, if nothing else, to be read.


Wow, my own blog?

So i've finally given in and like millions of other people, started to blog. Not that i know what i'll blog about, but i guess i'll just have to figure that out as i go.

It's funny, at this point i have read so many other blogs that i feel some sort of obligation to have something interesting and / or worthy of blogging about... and yet i find myself not having anything that fits that description to write about now that i've created this thing.

Well on that note, i'll conclude my first postings with this: You're probably better off going to Violent Acres blog until i get my shit straightened out, and know what flavor i'm going to give this.