random thought

February 2nd, 2010

If I had access to the iTunes genius datastore I would waste hours making lists of most frequently skipped songs and laughing at the crap people (myself included) leave on their iPods.

More on the LG Dare

February 19th, 2009

I’ve had my dare for about a month now and I have to say I really like it. The browser is still mediocre (and that may be kind…) but the basic phone functions are very usable.

I’ve definitely gotten used to texting on it (I’m much quicker with the T9 predictive text mode from the number pad than with the full qwerty). The favorites screen is actually very useful and I like the ability to drag a person to the phone or text icon to call or send them a text message. MMS messaging (picture/video messaging) is not nearly as streamlined as SMS which I guess makes sense but does make it a bit of a pain to send a quick picture to someone.

I think I’d use the browser a lot more if it was quicker to load. The time between when I select the browser icon and the time my home page is displayed is a bit ridiculous. I’ve tried browsing with images off to speed things up, it didn’t help as much as I was hoping it would. If you really want a portable browser the dare is going to frustrate you daily. I’m getting better at clicking on the links in the touch screen but still have a bit of trouble activating input fields on web forms (logging into my bank site is painful).

I still have the Premium plan although I don’t use the vcast stuff very much (the video quality is pretty crappy) so I’m still thinking about dropping down to the next plan. I think the ESPN MVP stuff my be nice for baseball season but at the moment sports is kinda meh (2 weeks to March Madness though!!!!!).

So in general if you’re thinking of getting a LG Dare and you’re looking for a basic phone with some pleasant extras I’d say go for it. If you’re looking for a mobile browser or email device look elsewhere.

So how do I log into that?

February 19th, 2009

We have a spam filter with a web based check/configuration tool. No one seems to know the correct password so the unofficially official way to log in is to request a temporary password. Gotta love corporate know how!

LG Dare first impression

January 16th, 2009

So I got a new phone. I spent a lot of time (enough that my fiance got sick of me talking about it) looking at what phones were available. At the moment I’m on verizon and didn’t want to switch because they actually do seem to have the best coverage in my area at the moment. I wanted to get the blackberry storm, but I don’t really need the blackberry features and didn’t feel like paying an extra ~$20/month for stuff I would rarely use.

To give some perspective here’s a little background on what I want to do with my phone. I do a fair bit of texting. I want to make calls, preferably using a bluetooth hands free device. I’d like to be able to use the web to occasionally look a few things up (amazon wish lists, sports scores, nothing huge but I’d like it to be quick and simple). I don’t really need to get my email on my phone, although it would be nice to have the option on a rare occasion. One last bit, I’m a casual guy (jeans most days). I don’t have a purse. I’d like the phone to fit in my pocket. No I don’t want a holster. Thanks.

So after much consideration (thanks for your patience baby), I decided to go with the LG Dare. I’ve had good luck with LG phones in the past and the dare sounded like a good fit for my uses.

Verizon actually has some pretty decent plans available with enough flexibility that I don’t think I’ll have to pay for a bunch of stuff I never use (which is great!). I decided to go for the gusto and chose the premium plan (more minutes than I probably need, unlimited messaging, unlimited data, access to Verizon’s VCast lineup and the ESPN MVP application). Verizon allows you to change your plan at any time without extending your contract so I’m starting with lots of stuff and then plan to cut back if there are things I don’t use (which I expect there will be).

Sorry for the tangent but I thought that would give some context for my reaction.

So after I got the phone (stupid broken doorbell made me miss the delivery person’s first attempt), got it charged and activated (Verizon does a great job of making this very easy.), I finally started trying to use the thing. First things first, I transfered my contancts from my last phone through bluetooth, this was pretty easy once I figured out how to put the dare in discoverable mode (not hard, just had to track down the correct menu).

Now I have contacts so I decide to send a sms message (text) to my fiance (who happened to be sitting directly behind me.) I had read in reviews that the virtual qwerty keyboard was a pain to use, I disagree. I had very little trouble with the qwerty although I think I may be quicker with the T9 number pad. Message sent successfully, fiance’s remarks about me texting her from 5 feet away dutifully ignored. So far so good.

On to bigger and better things. I fired up the browser. My first attempt at using the browser was frustrating and disappointing. I was almost immediately thinking of dropping down two levels of calling plan (dropping the VCast stuff and the unlimited data). Pages render fairly well and the speed isn’t horrible (it feels like a fast dialup connection), but trying to use the thing was completely frustrating. The biggest issue for me was attempting to “click” anything! My fingers were clearly not hitting whatever box they needed to in order to select a link or entry box to fill in a user id. I was a sad panda.

I tried the browser again the next day, it felt a little better. There was less cursing involved. Clicking links is still a game of whack-a-mole but I think I’m starting to get the hang of where I need to click to do things (dragging my finger down the screen slightly as part of the click seems to help some). In any case I’m happier with the browser now than when I first tried it.

I also tried some of the media features of the phone. The music player is pretty decent and I may put some of my mp3s on there for occasions where I have the phone but not my iPod (few and far between). It does have a standard 3.5mm headphone jack so my ear buds worked fine. I watched a couple of VCast videos from the ESPN selection. The quality is horrible. I’ll probably give it another try but right now I don’t think the VCast stuff is worth much for me.

All in all I’m moderately happy with the phone at the moment. The touch interface takes some getting used to but it’s not horrible. The browser is a pretty big disappointment. I don’t want to work on google docs from my phone, but I’d like to be able to click on links without going insane. I can’t get mobile email to work for a general imap account, but I’m still messing with the settings so it may just be a config issue.

Happy new year!

January 2nd, 2009

maybe this year I’ll post more, maybe I’ll post less, only time will tell.

I’m hoping that sometime this year my area gets a decent snowstorm. I miss snow.

Creationism = not science!

September 18th, 2008

taken from this bbc article

Professor Chris Higgins, vice-chancellor of the University of Durham, said: “There should be no room for doubt - creationism is completely unsupportable as a theory, and the only reason to mention creationism in schools is to enable teachers to demonstrate why the idea is scientific nonsense and has no basis in evidence or rational thought.”

What I really find interesting is if you talk to a priest who’s also a biologist (it happens!). Try it out. If you need to find one I suggest checking your local catholic high school. Also I recommend a Jesuit, they’re my favorite priest-types…

Addendum to a classic piece of advice?

September 11th, 2008

Everyone as probably heard the advice, “Tell the smart girls they’re pretty and the pretty girls they’re smart”. I’m beginning to wonder if we have reached a new era socially were you can add: “Tell the dirty girls they’re sweet, and the sweet girls they’re dirty” or something along those lines.

Think about it…

BMI is a stupid metric

August 22nd, 2008

According to this article Alabama is going to start using Body Mass Index to determine if state employees are overweight and charge them monthly for insurance if they are.

I’m all in favor of encouraging people to live healthy active lives. I believe people should eat well and take care of their bodies.

BMI is not the metric to use for something like this though. BMI is based on a comparison of a persons weight and height. My BMI puts me at overweight but just shy of obese (around a BMI of 29 if you’re curious). I play full court basketball for around an hour 4 times a week. I eat around 2200 calories a day. I don’t get sick. I rarely catch a cold, I don’t have heart trouble, my cholesterol was in the good range last time I had it checked (which reminds me I’m probably due for that again)

At my lightest adult weight I had a BMI around 26. This was a period in my life when I was lifting weights 6 days a week, running 3 miles a day, and eating a high protein, low fat diet. A BMI of 26 is considered overweight.

What’s my point? I’m just saying that peoples bodies are built differently and that it’s not impossible for a person to be healthy and still have a high BMI. BMI is not meant to be used as a stand alone metric, it’s meant to be used as a guide and part of an overall health assessment.

In short I don’t believe that BMI is the right thing to use to enforce an employer’s health policy.

quote of the day…

July 3rd, 2008

But you’re so cute when you’re frustrated, dear
Yeah you’re so cute when you’re sedated, dear
I missed you

(Interpol - PDA)

To quote Ben Fold’s quoting Dr. Dre

June 23rd, 2008

Bitches ain’t shit but hos and tricks.