For a couple of reasons--not the least of which was that I was getting tired of carrying both my Samsung telephone and my several-year-old HP Ipaq (which I could sync to my schedule on Outlook) with me wherever I went (and still didn't have a way to download my e-mail, unless I drug my laptop along), I broke down yesterday, and upgraded my phone to a Blackberry Curve.
One of my brothers (and at least one of our contributors) will probably give me a hard time about this--they're Apple folks, and possess the iPhone. But for me, going with the Blackberry made sense for a couple of reasons:
I'm not as keen on the touch screens for typing--I like the tactile feel of the Blackberry's QWERTY keyboard (a reason why I didn't go with the slightly cheaper Blackberry Pearl, as well--it's keyboard is a bit different)--although it's small. I won't be typing long stories into my Blackberry, but it's adequate (and easier for me) for text messaging, Twittering, and (potentially) on-the-road posts for this site.
Where I live and the wireless carriers. My iPhone loving brother has trouble with ATT's wireless service (or at least he did at Christmas time) when he gets too far away from major population centers in the state. I imagine some of those companies will have improved service over time, but Alltel (in the process of becoming part of Verizon) already has extensive coverage throughout the country, and the coverage throughout Nebraska that Alltel has is pretty good. I've only run out of coverage "bars" for brief periods of time as I've traveled through especially desolate areas of the state.
While this Blackberry has some audio capabilities, I wasn't really interested in the machine for that--I already have an iPod. I wanted a phone that had e-mail capabilities, and the potential for some web access.
I did a little research, and found that the Blackberry syncs quite nicely with Microsoft Outlook (and important element for me). After trying it out last night and today, I've found that it does, indeed, work pretty seamlessly.
Supposedly, it can also be used as a modem for my laptop if I end up someplace that doesn't have regular internet access. Maybe a plus, although that would require me to know how to set that up.
There are, of course, a few quirks in the Blackberry that I'll have to get used to. But, I've been checking out Handango to see what other applications I can get, and it appears that there are some which might make my life a little easier. And I really like that I'll be able to read e-mails when I'm away from the computer. Who knows, maybe even answer some of them?
Senator Claire McCaskill has proposed limiting executive compensations....FOR BUSINESSES...to $400,000 a year, since no one should make more that the President of the United States. The Mises Economics Blog discusses the problem of this framework, and quotes the Dealbreaker blog which has done a more realistic analysis of how the President is compensated--closer to $60 million a year, when you include housing, the staff, the travel, etc. And, as both blogs point out, the President of the United States gets that for 4 years, no matter how good or bad a job he/she is doing, whereas corporate CEOs are at least subject to a loss of job, or a decrease in salary or bonuses if they've done a miserable job.
I will always remember him for his role in this little video showing the propagandists, of whom he is one, and their efforts to spin things their way. How dare someone not tow the line in the great GOP party, right? This is why they deserved to crash and burn. This is why they will stay an obscure remnant for a long time. Michael Steele has shown that he's pretty much out of tune with the constituents. Unless he's got some magic trick up his sleeve, I predict that his reign at the top will be uneventful and short-lived.
Steele's comments at 00:01:55 and 00:06:55 are very revealing. Lest we forget.
According to Sen. Ensign’s Republican Policy Committee, for the cost of the Democrat’s spending bill Congress could provide every American taxpayer a rebate check for $9,460. If you gave the rebate to every tax filer (including those who do not actually pay income taxes — a key Obama constituency) Congress provide a check of $6,336. That would do more stimulate the economy than wasteful Washington spending that won’t take effect for years. Republicans can ask the American people, which would you prefer: a check for $9,460? Or would you rather Washington spend that money on honey-bee insurance and the “removal of small to medium-sized fish passage barriers”?
The parties' joint press release pointed interested parties to the binding letter agreement [PDF] the parties signed over the weekend. The agreement includes several key points addressing past behavior:
GateHouse will implement technical measures intended to prevent
Boston.com from copying material from GateHouse websites and RSS feeds,
and Boston.com will not attempt to break those measures.
Boston.com will cease using GateHouse RSS feeds to create links on its hyper-local sites.
Boston.com will remove any material on its hyper-local sites that were created using GateHouse RSS feeds.
In short, the parties are pressing the "rewind" button and
pretending that GateHouse never offered the RSS feeds that massively
simplified Boston.com's linking to GateHouse content. On a
going-forward basis, GateHouse will try to make it difficult for
Boston.com to automate such linking, and Boston.com will honor those
Of course, as pointed out by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), some may question the wisdom of GateHouse Media's spurning of free traffic.
From BLUE YORK by John thomas Oaks and Grand Central
Music and Lyrics by John thomas Oaks
Featuring Tim Caudill — Bass, Gary "Biscuit" Davis — Banjo, Kevin Moore — Fiddle, Jeff Zona — Acoustic Guitar, Lakieta Bagwell and Jimmy Bryant — BGVs
For those who haven't heard, Michael Steele of Maryland was elected the new Chair of the RNC after 5 ballots. In many ways, his election will present a face that the GOP hasn't seen before--a conservative, African American from the Mid-Atlantic states. The good news--perhaps--for libertarian Republicans: Steele was endorsed by the Republican Liberty Caucus in his Senate run in 2006.
An interesting sidenote--I had the TV on last night--I don't remember what channel--and they were taking about the RNC race. Some person of questionable intellect (maybe it was a CSPAN show, given that their callers often see challenged) said that the Republicans' election of Steele was just a feeble attempt to counteract "Barack Obama, the greatest President we've ever had." I about choked. The guy has been President for 10 days, and he's already reached that level of greatness?