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Year: 2009

Test from Droid

Trying a test post from my Droid using the WPtoGo App. It looks like it’s working pretty well. I tried this app a week ago, but it was working horrifically slow. It looks like the latest update has fixed that, and the app is working great.

Watch out as you may now see some posts from my Droid!

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We’ve Droid’ed Up!

A few days overdue, but relevant anyway:

droid

Last weekend Bethany and I went out upgraded our smart phones over to Motorola Droids.  We didn’t stand in line or anything crazy, but as it turns out we were able to get pretty good discounts and buy them on Saturday.  A few weeks ago I wrote about how I was drooling about the Droid, and the opportunity to have a good smart phone experience on the Verizon Network.  After 5 days of using the device, I can saw that device definitely lives up to the hype and offers everything I was looking for.

My first entry in to the SmartPhone world was using the Treo 600.  The Palm had a really nice OS that I enjoyed using, but the 600 was a 2G device.  I upgraded to the Treo 700w, which was probably the single-worst phone that I had ever owned. It was a Windows Mobile phone that was packed into hardware that was too underpowered to run it.  That phone drove me nuts and as soon as I had a chance to upgrade, I did – to the HTC Mogel (or Verizon xv6800).  Windows Mobile didn’t really bother me at the time, but it served my needs.

Now, nearly two years after getting that phone, after the iPhone 3G and the application ecosystem, I grew increasingly frustrated with Microsoft’s lack of drive in the mobile space.  Windows Mobile was quickly becoming stale, and while there was a historically large application offering, there was nothing new and dynamic coming about.  You could tell that all of the great developers have moved onto bigger and better things.

Enter: the Droid.  This phone may not *yet* have the application offering, but it delivers a sleek, colorful mobile experience on a fantastic network.  This phone does everything that I want it to do, and does it very well.  It gives me the ability to use a keyboard, to multi-task, and to be able to tether if I’d like to.

Back to “5 Days in” and I am exceedingly happy with the device. I’ve discovered that most of the big apps (like Shazam and Pandora) have ported to Android and have a good offering there.  I love the phone’s performance and some of the little thing things that Android does to make an awesome experience.  For example, I really like my “Contacts” interface, which combines my Google contacts with my Exchange contacts that I use on Outlook, without any duplication or redundancy.  To make things better, Facebook has imposed pictures onto all of my contacts, without screwing anything up on the Google or Exchange side.

The touch is definitely sensitive on the Droid, and coming from an older touch platform like Windows Mobile (that really never adapted from the stylus to the finger), it’s taken a little bit of getting used to.  One of the things that I’ve missed from my Windows Mobile phones (and a feature that Blackberry has) is the scroll wheel on the side of the phone. The “flicking” motion is nice, but something that I will need to adjust to when it comes to scrolling content.

There are a few things that I don’t like about the phone, but they are relatively minor things like not being able to accept/reject Exchange calendar invites in my email.  The keyboard is a little flatter than even my XV6800 and does take a little getting used to.  I remember switching from the Tero (which had one of the best keyboards ever) over to the XV6800, and I expect a similar adjustment time over to the Droid’s keyboard.  The on-screen keyboard works really well when I’m looking to do a search or enter in my password.

The camera is really nice as well.  I took a picture of our house using the Droid, then took the same picture with on Sony DSC-W290 12Mp Camera:

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The first picture was taken with the Droid, the second being the camera.  You can definitely see the clarity in the camera, but the Droid seems to hold it’s own for a quick picture.

Bottom line: I believe the Droid is a big win for Verizon and their users.  I love having my phone on Verizon, and while the iPhone may still be the sexier device, the Droid – combined with the Verizon network – delivers a better experience that ultimately satisfies me as a Verizon customer.

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Mile High Turncoats Continued

Last month I wrote a post reacting to the number of Broncos season ticket holders that sold their tickets to Cowboy fans, calling them “traitors” and “turncoats”.  Well it may have taken a Steelers game to get other people to notice, but it looks like I’m not alone.

Someone wrote a guest post on Mile High Report (an awesome Broncos blog, by the way) about whether Broncos Country is for sale. The next day, the Denver Post’s Mike Klis responds in a Mailbag story about someone who posed those same concerns.

If you didn’t see the Broncos/Steelers game on Monday Night, then you missed out on seeing our stadium inundated with those Tacky Terrible Towels twirling around.  The Cowboys have been called “Americas Team”, but several media pundits have suggested that the Steelers are truly Americas Team, given recent statistical fan surveys.  You go back to the formula of hosting teams that don’t play in your city very often, coupled with a large and passionate fanbase as Pittsburgh, on top of that having it on Monday night when it becomes difficult for some fans to attend: a perfect storm of neutrality formed at Mile High on Monday.

Klis actually went to the Broncos COO to get a comment, and they simply responded with “Frankly there’s nothing we can do about it. Our ability to control that is nonexistent and would be illegal to do so” [Denver Post].

He’s right, but season ticket holders: that doesn’t make the act of selling your tickets to opposing fans any less traitorous.

After our original buyer for our 2nd set of tickets was forced to back out, Bethany and I had to put our money where our mouth was and sell the tickets at a loss to ensure that Steelers fans didn’t get them.  I realize that not everyone may be in a financial position to do that, but if you’re looking at your tickets as a profit-making experience, then maybe you shouldn’t be owning season tickets.

I’m just glad that we don’t have any more Monday Night home games on the schedule. I loathe Monday Night games at home.  It may be exciting for the players, and I love wearing my jersey on Mondays when your team is playing, but it sucks for fans going to the game.  First off, you have to make an effort to leave work early just to get there in time.  While you’re driving, not only are you battling “Game Day Traffic”, but you’re now dealing with “Typical Weekday Rush Hour” traffic.  No matter how early you leave, you don’t get any time to tailgate.  I could be wrong, but it seems like everyone working at the stadium on Monday Nights are not the typical people that work there on Sundays – I’m talking about everyone from the bus drivers to concession stand workers.  The experience just seems cheapened.  Once the game ends you deal with traffic, hoping you can get home before the clock strikes Tuesday and you have to be at work in 6 hours (and I can’t imagine how horrible it is for those on Eastern Time). I don’t mean to come across as ungrateful for the opportunity to watch my team live, but I’ll take a Sunday afternoon game over a Monday Night home game any time of year.

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This isn’t helping in redeeming Soccer

I understand that people are trying to validate soccer as an up-and-coming sport in the US, but the New Mexico Lobos aren’t helping soccer’s case with this (hopefully this video isn’t taken down).

Maybe Elizabeth Lambert is trying to challenge Rodney Harrison as the “dirtiest player” (oh wait, Rodney’s retired, so now it’s Hines Ward).

Geez.

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MPAA: Those Evil Movie Pirates

Watch this, and feel your blood boil.  Watch as 60 Minutes, a supposed beacon of broadcast journalistic integrity, is spoon-fed propaganda from the MPAA, and eats it right up.

Let me make one thing clear: I don’t support movie piracy. At the same time, I can’t sit here and let the MPAA spread misinformation and scare tactics, painting everyone with a broad brush of evil.

I love how Leslie Stahl eats up all of the information – my favorite part is the look of disgust at 2:50 when she repeats “In the diaper bag” – without offering any kind of challenge or exploration in the truth of their claims.  Instead, she just lets them go on and equate people who film movies in theaters to drug cartels, human traffickers and child prostitution.

I understand that there is a valid point in damage being done the counterfeit DVD circles, but 60 MInutes let the MPAA completely blur the line between them and the kids who download bit-torrented movies on the Internet.  Furthermore, Stahl allows the MPAA to tarnish the US citizens with their broad brush, yet conveniently forgetting about the rampant piracy that is going on in Asia – specifically China – where they’re making money hand-over-fist from piracy.  It makes sense that DVD counterfeits may cost them money, but where’s the direct linkage with bit-torrent? Still, the MPAA goes for their low-hanging fruit – the “gee-whiz computer technology”.

In the piece the MPAA allege that their industry is robbed of $6 billion annually by piracy – yet they base this on the false pretense that everyone that downloaded their movie had the original intention of seeing it in the theater, or purchasing the $25 DVD.  That’s simply not true. According to the MPAA, the people downloading these movies must be doing it because they’re evil jerks who want to rob the “little people” of the movie industry blind.  There can’t possibly be another side to this: the fact that people want to consume this media in different ways – that some people actually don’t want to go sit in a crowded theater with the talking and crying babies and $5 soda.  In the piece they showed people being wanded and searched, as well as forced to turn in their cell phones, just so they can see a movie.  Wow, when you treat your customers like criminals and give them cavity searches, who wouldn’t want to go to a theater?  No way in hell am I going to give you my money, just so I can be treated like that.

It’s one thing if you’re providing a good alternative – like a same day digital release that I can watch in the comfort of my home theater with a cold beer in my hand – but the fact is that you’re blatantly ignoring the changing market conditions and instead just whine about the Internet.  Where was Mark Cuban to talk about his same-day release and digital distribution ideas?  60 Minutes had no interest in providing any other views in this complex issue.  Apparently movie downloading equates to drowning puppies: no one can have a differing view.

I love how they parade out Steven Soderbergh to say that he wishes the Internet was never invented.  I’m sure you do Steven, because now people can warn other movie-goers about some of the crap that people call “movies” and expect people to shell out $8-12 to go see.  Surely the fact studios green-light these sure-fire bombs (soon-to-be Avatar, anyone?) can’t be the reason no one sees these movies. no it’s all based on piracy.

Soderbergh says they’re losing money at an alarming rates, yet I think someone forgot to tell him that 2007 was a record-breaking year when it came to movie theater revenue.  If I’m not mistaken, 2008 was an even better year for them.  Apparently he still thinks they’re not being paid.  Someone should tell him that the revenue you bring in, over the cost/budget for the picture (which I believe includes the salaries for “the little guys”) = profit for the studios.

Again, I’m not advocating piracy or making excuses for those who download movies – however is it too much to ask 60 Minutes to at least do some research before they parrot the MPAA’s talking points?

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