Tag Archives: function

I’m Falling In Love With An Android…Phone

an android with love in its eyes

A few weeks ago, something happened to me that makes geeks the world over scream with happiness: my cell phone contract had reached its end with my previous carrier.  To normal folk, this might not seem like that exciting of an occasion, but to the geek species, this is almost like having a second birthday.

Suddenly faced with a decision that will once again lock me into 2 years of ridiculous fees, unchanging phone hardware and the prospect that I would have to use yet another phone that I would not enjoy, I decided to shop around instead of going with the only local carrier with decent coverage here in my area.

I said goodbye to US Cellular, and went out into the world to find a carrier/phone combo that met my needs.  Each one of the providers had a major flaw, but I decided I had to look past that flaw in order to find a device that was exactly what I needed.

So, Sprint became the clear choice, regardless of the fact that they do not have a retail store in our area.  Now to decide which phone I wanted to use.


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Jupiter Broadcasting Gives Away a Popcorn Hour

Jupiter Broadcasting, the group of guys behind the Linux Computer Action Show, CastaBlasta and a range of other great internet entertainment announced a few months ago that they were giving away a Popcorn Hour media player to one lucky YouTube subscriber.

They announced the winner on Friday:

And that lucky winner was…Me! I’m super excited about this great prize for several reasons.

Currently, we consume our movies and television shows on my wife’s Macbook. This is a pretty great setup, but it can become a little uncomfortable at times. With the Popcorn Hour, we can now watch all of our media on the TV in our room. And I do mean ALL of our media:

  • MPEG1/2/4
  • MP3
  • AVI
  • ASF
  • WMV
  • MOV
  • H.264
  • XviD
  • AAC
  • WAV
  • JPEG
  • and more

We don’t own an HDTV, but this is thing is capable of pumping out 1080p signal. This will be great when we want to watch something over at my dad’s (he owns a GIANT Sony Bravia HDTV). Whereas previously we would have had to resample an AVI video and burn it to a DVD to experience it at my dad’s house, now I can throw a hard drive in the Popcorn Hour and lug it on down to his house.

I can’t wait to review this unit, and really get down in the trenches with its functionality.

So, thanks Bryan and Chris, you guys completely rock!

Audio in Modern Computing

With all the focus today on creating modern and more interactive interfaces with the computing platforms we use on a daily basis, it seems to me that we are focusing mostly on the senses of touch and sight, and neglecting the roll that sound could play in the way we use our computing devices.

I realize that most devices are targeted to work with a large variety of consumers, thus allowing someone to use a PC without needing to be able to experience audio-specific cues, but I have to wonder what sort of new ideas could come out of modern interface design if developers were allowed to use audio in a more functional manner.

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The Value of a Higher Education

I’ve been kicking back and forth whether or not to write this article, but this concept has been weighing on my conscience for far too long.  Being a student in Computer Science, I am beginning to notice the students around me more, and their level of competency when it comes to the narrow topics that are being discussed in class.  For the most part, everyone tries their best and gets things done, and as adults tend to actually attempt to understand all of the material.

But there are a select few students that either are just not getting it, or are relying on the “No Child Left Behind” mentality to simply skate through the college experience and earn their degrees.  One problem with this set of students is that they are going to be completely shocked and overwhelmed when they reach a real work environment, and not all requirements and steps are set in stone and handed to them on a silver plate.

This is where my problem with the state of higher education stems.
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