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Archive for February, 2013|Monthly archive page

Alright then, about the new Blackberry

In Technology on February 1, 2013 at 10:39 pm

blackberry-z10-oficThe new BB10 operating system may very well be RIM’s last chance at relevance, as U.S. news reports have observed from within their shores. Not a surprise after alarming drops in market share and share prices–down to 6% from a peak of 20% and down by 80%, respectively–have quantified the depth of the hole they now find themselves in.

All the more reason to go with features that its rivals have already mainstreamed.  All the reason to toe the line for this last chance at recovery. But they’ve gone and done something unexpected and, frankly, quite inspiring. Even reminding us of the spunk they showed when they rolled out their first handheld, the old 850, back in 1999. Early reports say that the BB10 on their new Z10 phone defies the conventions of iOS and Android. For a start, the Z10 doesn’t have a start button, nor does it need one. Harking back to the multi-touch and accelerometer breakthroughs of Steve Jobs’ iPod Touch, and its progeny the iPhone, the BB10 and Z10 combination depends on user “gestures” as shortcuts to primary controls. Though, if you remember the Palm and how it created another way to write letters with Graffiti (this, instead of pecking at an on-screen keyboard), you’d realize how something of evident value can still go very wrong in the implementation. But, also according to early reports, the phone appears to respond crisply to these “gesture” controls. So it is a visibly distinctive control language that must be taken seriously. Read the rest of this entry »


Chips Digest Couch Potato, News At 11

In Society, Updates on February 1, 2013 at 12:16 pm

My favorite shoes are 15 years old. The leather has gone raw, giving up any pretense of being oiled or polished. But the skin is as intact as the callouses they shield. The rubber is still springy because, well, because it is rubber. Not the foamy stuff that mysteriously crumbles to powder when kept on the shelves. The uppers are still nicely wed to the soles with strong nylon stitching. Not by magic adhesives that come from, and prefer, climes north of the equator. And they’re simple oxfords. Simple enough, dare I say elegant even, to have come back into fashion once, then a second time for good as a classic artifact of my era (not that I claim an era, not just yet). So why this desire for a new pair of browns?


Conspicuous consumption: an alliteration that has floated repeatedly through our country’s consciousness as a sin, a misstep into political incorrectness, during our many episodes of shrinkage and austerity. A criticism one can make of persons, it’s when the culprit keeps wearing new things, using new things, playing with new things that he would otherwise not have to be bothered with if he didn’t buy the things in the first place. A curious case of the tail wagging the dog, the chips digesting the couch potato. Read the rest of this entry »