Monday, December 12, 2011

Riley's Corner - Favorite Candy Bars

This week's entry for Riley's Corner is sweeeeet!
All you have to do is name your three favorite candy bars of all time.

Friday, December 9, 2011

WebOS Lives!

For months now there have been rumors that WebOS may be tossed to the way side like it's host tablet the HP Touchpad. However, that rumor has been laid to rest and it appears as if the best possible scenario, given the situation, has happened: HP has decided to open-source WebOS and make it available to developers to invest back in the project. This is good news indeed for the WebOS community.

Here is an excerpt from their blog:
Well, you’ve been waiting for the big webOS announcement, and today we’ve made it. This morning, HP announced that webOS will be going open source with the resources of HP behind it. The Developer Relations team is very excited by this announcement and what it means for the future of webOS, and for you, our developer community.

With this announcement, Meg Whitman has reiterated HP’s commitment to webOS as a cloud-connected, scalable platform, while opening up new possibilities for platform expansion and improvement. She has also committed HP to a course of continued improvement to webOS, which means we’re in it for the long haul. Finally, we are committed to good, transparent and inclusive governance to avoid fragmentation of the platform.

You can read more here.

As an aside, I would have never given webOS a chance had it not have been for the firesale that afforded me the opportunity to test out my first tablet. I believe WebOS has many a good qualities, namely multitasking, cards, notifications, the homebrew community... Android and iOS could learn a few things from their neglected sibling.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Riley's Corner

This week's question on Riley's Corner is a doozy. The question is: if the Motion Picture Association of America had to choose one movie to keep in existence, and the other is lost forever, which one will you choose? Dumb and Dumber or Ace Ventura Pet Detective.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


A dozen minor children and the responsibility that comes with having children lies elsewhere?

One sad thing about this is that the children love their mother and are now separated from the only person they have known as their mother. Regardless of her state or the way she has raised them, she is still their mother and they will still love her and be hurt by this ongoing process.

I pray that God would give these children hope and a better future regardless of their past and the circus that surrounds them. Perhaps this will give the mother an opportunity to make some changes in her life that will help to reform her mindset on entitlement.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sprint'ed to Virgin Mobile Update

Today it was announced that Virgin Mobile (who I chose for my mobile carrier- see here. ) will start throttling data. Seeing how Virgin Mobile is owned by Sprint the irony is, well, ironic when one takes this announcement in light of Sprint's current add campaign. Will Boost Mobile (also owned by Sprint) be subject to the same fate?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Need Free Health Care? Go To Jail

Verone didn’t want to scare anyone. He executed the robbery the most passive way he knew how. He handed the teller a note demanding one dollar, and medical attention. “I didn’t have any fears,” said Verone. “I told the teller that I would sit over here and wait for police.”

... he has a lot to say on the subject of socialized medical care. He suspects he wouldn’t be talking to a reporter through a metal screen wearing an orange jumpsuit if such an option were available in the U.S.

“If you don’t have your health you don’t have anything,” said Verone.
The man has high hopes with his recent incarceration.
He has seen several nurses and has an appointment with a doctor Friday.

The ideal scenario would include back and foot surgery and a diagnosis and treatment of the protrusion on his chest, he said. He would serve a few years in prison and get out in time to collect Social Security and move to the beach.

You can read the rest here.

Some questions:
-What would you do given this situation?
-Do you consider James Richard Verone's actions to be noble or costing tax payers money?
-Given his situation, what alternatives could he have tapped into to get the help he wanted/needed without committing a crime?
-If you were the judge, how would you handle his sentencing?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sprint 'ing To Another Mobile Phone Carrier

Confession time: For the past 12 years I have been involved in a love/hate relationship. We had some good times together and we had some very, very bad moments, but through it all we always were willing to work things out and overcome our issues... that is, until now. We finally hit a roadblock in our relationship that neither of us were willing to budge on. Usually about every two years, we would hit one of these roadblocks and we would bring in a mediator. This year, the mediator just couldn't help us bridge our differences. So, I'm leaving. After 12 years in this relationship, I am finally packing my bags and moving out at the end of the month. As a matter of fact, I have already found a replacement and her name is Virgin Mobile. Yes, I know Virgin Mobile is her sister and they share the same network, but she made me an offer I couldn't refuse so I took it.

Details? I'm glad you asked. For the majority of my 12 year relationship with Sprint I was under a retention plan. The retention department (aka our mediator) always seemed to pull through after the 8-12th call to them. Every 2 years I would get a better plan at my previous price point or I would get the same plan at a cheaper price point.
Currently my Sprint plan is the following:
-Unlimited Data/Web
-Unlimited Texts
-Unlimited Picture Mail
-Free Roaming
-Free Nights and Weekends starting at 7pm
-Free Mobile to Mobile
-800 Anytime minutes with additional blocks of 100 minutes for $5.00 if we go over.
-2 lines

This costs us a base fee of $72 something a month before taxes and fees.

What caused us to leave? I'm also glad you asked. We wanted to upgrade our phones to either blackberry phones or Android phones. We currently have the Samsung Ace (Windows Mobile) and a Samsung flip phone. Sprint informed me that I would have to upgrade my data plan if I wanted a smart phone. My Windows Mobile phone (Samsung Ace) is a smart phone and utilizes the web, Windows Marketplace, GPS, etc. just fine on the current data plan but for some reason my data plan wouldn't work with the newer phones. In reality Sprint just wanted me to pay more for the same service I already have by calling it a different name and applying it to other phones. Data is data. I did not want to pay the additional fee and I didn't want to pay an additional 10 dollars a month per phone (if we got 4g phones) as we don't have 4g in our area. This time retention could not keep my bill at the same price point and allow us to upgrade our phones so I started looking around.

I looked at AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Cellular South. I really looked at going with Cellular South but they were still going to be more expensive that my current plan with Sprint (all the others were way more expensive) and they don't have 3g data service in my area (7 miles on either side of me, but not here). That's when I thought I was going to have to just grin and bear it and just accept that Sprint had one this battle. That's when I happened across an ad for Boost Mobile. I looked into it and thought it was great. It was still more expensive than Sprint at the onset but after 18 months you get unlimited everything for only $35 dollars a month (it starts at $50 a month and gradually decreases over set month intervals: 6, 12, 18). Plus, there is no contract and the taxes and fees are included in the price points given. Once I started looking at it, I found out they were utilizing Sprints CDMA and IDEN networks (remember NEXTEL?). Ultimately I wasn't impressed with their phone selection... but I read somewhere that new ones should be rolling out in April (it could be nothing more than a rumor).

Then I found Virgin Mobile and saw they use Sprint's CDMA network and they had a little better selection of phones and one phone in particular that has good reviews all around: the LG Optimus.

Virgin Mobile's plans are as follows:
-Unlimited everything: $60
-Unlimited everything except for voice (1200 minutes): $40
-Unlimited everything except for voice (300 minutes): $25

With Virgin Mobile they also have the fees and taxes included so there is nothing to add on top of your monthly bill. And, like Boost Mobile, they do not tie you up with a contract either.

I also checked out Wal-Mart's offerings (Straight Talk) and wasn't impressed with their phone selection. I understand it uses T-Mobile's network, but the phones are less than stellar.

For me, Virgin Mobile allows both my wife and me to have an equivalent plan to what we had for a cheaper price point (she is getting the $40 plan and I am getting the $25 plan) and we were able to upgrade our phones to the LG Optimus V (V stands for Virgin Mobile). We bought the phones through BestBuy for $129.99 a piece which is cheaper than elsewhere at this time and that is about what we would have paid to upgrade our phones with Sprint if they would have chosen to keep us as customers. The only thing that we will not have is the Roaming service as Virgin nor Boost offer that. With that being said, I don't know when the last time it was that I wasn't in a Sprint network area for any length of time.

We picked up our phones a couple days ago and have hooked them up to our wi-fi connection. They are very responsive and seem to be a great phone for the price. (the two cons listed in the linked review above are easily addressed by Skyfire for seeing flash content and Quick Settings for making your phone a wifi hotspot from the Android marketplace)I would definitely recommend the phone and I don't see why I wouldn't be happy with the Virgin Mobile service as it will use the same service that I am used to minus the roaming. We are going to change our numbers over to Virgin Mobile towards the end of the month as Sprint will not prorate service when your 2 year commitment has expired and you are on a month to month plan.

If you run across this, note it was written on March 9th, 2011 and hopefully it will broaden your options when considering your next phone carrier.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Can The Government Be Trusted With Our Health?

Two official investigations have begun into an unpublished study from the 1940s in which a US researcher deliberately infected Guatemalan prisoners and soldiers with syphilis and gonorrhoea.

These infections were carried out without consent or knowledge of what was being done.

You can read the rest here.

You can read the US Department of Health & Human Services fact sheet on this here.

Some questions:
-Is there ever a situation in which something like this would be justifiable? If so, what would that situation look like?
-Do we know what we are injecting into our bodies? Our children's bodies?
-How should they right this wrong? Can they?
-Do you trust the government with your health?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Woman With A Story Waiting To Be Told

Hajiyani Abeda fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan and now the Taliban. She is well past her youth and living and fighting in a place where women are barely allowed to leave the home, let alone command men in battle. One commander said of her, "We don't even think of her as a woman when she comes to these meetings," he said. When the Guardian asked how many fighters she had under her command, she raised a bemused eyebrow.

"These are all my fighters," she said...

You can read the rest here.

This is one biography I would love to read. Tim?

Some questions:
-Why do you think, in an Islamic culture, her gender is overlooked? (Do you think this honors what they believe to be God's word?)
-She has earned respect of men, are other women afforded that same opportunity in Afghanistan today?
-Would you read her story?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Parents Killing Children

A woman who said she strangled her 18-year-old daughter because she "pushed my last button" pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree manslaughter.

Her husband, who discovered the body, wept during the court session.

You can read the rest here.

Are our children really so defiant as to deserve death? That is the question that I first thought of when I read this article. I then quickly concluded that our children are only as defiant as we allow them to be. I would be curious to know how this girl was raised. Was she allowed to backtalk? Was she allowed to disobey without consequence? Did she only have to obey when the parents where so frustrated that they disciplined her in anger? Of course, I don't know the answers to those questions and it would benefit her not on this side of the situation. However, it should cause us to think about how we raise our children and the laxity of our current society's emphasis on discipline and the lack of weight given to any one set of morals and values. If you choose to teach your child that something is of value that isn't materialistic, you run the risk of being labeled extremist or intolerant. If you choose not to instill within your children any set of values or morals you run the risk of destroying your family either by the situation that played out in this article or some lesser form thereof, or by abdication and apathy corrupting the family bonds, but I digress...

My condolences to the father who now must endure the loss of a child and a wife.

Here are some questions:
-Is the state of our youth in the hands of their parents?
-Should the state enact legislation to help stressed mothers cope with undisciplined youths as a state funded service (similar to how Memphis responded to this situation)?
-How do we, as parents and citizens, remedy this epidemic of unruly teens or is it too late?