Got me an iPod Touch

Late last week I was able to get my iPod Touch and sync that baby up with all my music and what not. I can now see the appeal of the iPhone to many people since the Touch is just an iPhone without the phone component. I can use it for most of the applications while I’m here at home connected to my Wifi. There are some gripes and I’ll get to those in a second. I just wanted to say that I think it is true that this is the most fun I will ever have with an iPod when compared to my old one or at least until Apple comes out with yet another version thats even cooler.

I downloaded a bunch of apps and most of them work fine. I don’t know how useful they will be when I’m on the road since they require a network connection but I did get some games that are really fun. One of the games that I truely like is CannonGame. It’s like playing Worms but with a huge artillery cannon. I’ve been trying out the email and the web browser and both are really cool. I like the web browser more than the email. I’m still trying to get over the no physical keyboard thing. I think I’ll still be gunning for my Treo with its regular keyboard.

The video and music capabilities are good. I espeically like it for video since thats what I bought the thing for. It shows my movies in a much larger format so now I can actually read the sub-titles. I haven’t had a chance to try out the Nike+ stuff yet but I’m dying to. I just need to get one of the sensors and I’ll be all set to try that out. I’m also in the market for a case but they don’t have many of those out yet either. One thing I did discover is that it won’t play on my current iTrip. Not like I was going to use it for that purpose anyway, my old iPod is now the car iPod in my view. It’s mainly there for use in the car because the click wheel is still easier to manage than the touch screen while you drive around town.

I can’t wait to take this thing out on the road, it’s going to be so freakin sweet! Other than a few small gripes, this new iPod rules!

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Enter the ANDROID

Well a new player has come forth in the Smartphone world.  Google has released Android which is basically a Google Powered phone.  I’ve been reading around the net about this little gem and trying to see what threat it poses to any phone that I may potentially buy.

Right now it seems that it is no threat at all.  This is a barebones smart phone that just uses Google crap.  I will admit I use a lot of Google crap personally but not so much on my phone.  So why do I consider this phone a non-issue over all?  It pretty much boils down to the biggest group of users that have a reason to use a Smartphone and thats business users.  The Android phone doesn’t have any way for IT organizations to actively manage or push information to Android.  The big deal breaker is no Exchange support which most companies run on as well as no advanced security feature set (they let you monkey with everything in the phone).  Last but not least (this is huge for me) no desktop syncronization.  Thats just plain STUPID!  I don’t want all my crap in the “cloud”.  There are some things I keep locally only because thats where it belongs.  Security is a big thing for me and I like my privacy.

We’ll see how well Android sells, I can see this for teens or something but not for your 20-50 somethings.  Even though I don’t like admitting this, the iPhone is better than this thing by leaps and bounds in terms of useability and acceptance by IT departments (I’m still buying my Windows Mobile phone and having my iPod touch because I need something that syncs with my desktop seamlessly and I really need the Copy Paste functionality).

More bail out maddness

It would appear that in the infinite wisdom of the government, it needs to use my tax money to start bailing out private companies left and right because they would totally kill the economy.  Well, if these companies are going to be bailed out by me and my tax money, whats in it for me?  I’m the average citizen who isn’t in financial trouble, I pay my mortgage and my taxes on time, and generally don’t give a crap what government does as long as my life keeps humming and no one is raising my taxes.

Now with this bailout I expect a little something in return, some interest would be nice but seeing that most of this is for bailing out companies that bought troubled mortgage securities a really nice thing they could do is to reduce my mortgage.  There are tons of people that over stretched themselves when they bought their houses and they are allowed to “re-negotiate”, so why can’t I?  I don’t think its fair at all to punish people that are making regular payments on their mortgages while people that can’t pay have the ability to make some adjustments to keep them in their homes and maybe get the chance to pay lower payments while I’m still chugging along while watching my home value tank.

The fair way to do this would be to take an assessment for say 2008 for all property and renegotiate all outstanding mortgages and re-adjust them so todays value is the baseline for payback to these troubled firms.  Granted the firm I’m with is just fine and dandy but still, it would be nice to give the benefit to everyone.  Oh and one more thing, I want a stake in any of these companies that need a bailout.  I want stock or something that I can hold on to and cash in later for some profit.  If my taxes are fueling a bailout I deserve a little something something in my pocket book and not see it go to the government to fund some other social program I will never use.  We need to take care of the 95% of the people who benefit from programs and stop focusing on the last 5% because the return on investment just isn’t there to the average joe.

Treo 800W for Verizon?

Well the rumor mill has it that Verizon will be getting the Treo 800W rather than the Treo Pro. The 800W is already out for Sprint and should be arriving in the next month or so. Thats going to be uber sweet. I was expecting the Treo Pro but that sucker is GSM and the rumors that its going to be CDMA are still rumors while the 800W is currently out and active. I hope it keeps a lot of the cool trimmings that Palm puts into the device and maybe add some apps to make it more useable out of the box. I’ll be picking this little gem up in January when I’m due for new every two with Verizon. BOOYAH!!

iPod Touch for ME!

Today I decided to treat myself to a new iPod Touch. It’s basically an iPhone without the phone component. It’s only 32GB but it has some neat features that I’ll take advantage of. It has wireless internet, access to the apps store, Nike+ sensor, and the best part is that it has a large screen. This is somewhat replacing my current iPod Classic 5G that my wife got me. I’m still going to use it but it will be relegated to car useage beacuse I can control it by touch (that sounds funny), ok maybe I should say by feel to change songs and what not really quickly. The iPod Touch is mainly for my plane rides during the week so that I can watch my movies on them. The Nike+ thing will also be cool since I run a couple times a week and it will be interesting to track all that stuff. There are lots of free apps and games available too so that means I will have even more things to distract me while flying the un-friendly skies.

This won’t replace my phone and I will NOT get an iPhone because I don’t like AT&T. My phone will still be my number one device because it is my phone and I can get internet everywhere. I was able to use my discount and engrave it. Now all I need to do is wait for it to ship and to buy a case for it so I don’t scratch it up too bad. I can’t wait, this is gonna be soo sweet. OK on to the next post!

Another big bail out by the Fed

Well it seems that the Fed isn’t done using my tax payer money to bail out companies in private industry. Now its AIG that needs some help and another $85 Billion of tax payer money in order to make sure it doesn’t fail. This is starting to get a little crazy. My tax money is to improve infrastructure and pay for projects that make the country a little better than it was yesterday, not to keep failing companies from going bankrupt. Like I said earlier, let them fail. Granted its a sad thing to see people lose their job but the government should not be in private industry, regulate it sure but not actually own and liquidate stuff while risking the money I pay in taxes.

I’m hoping that AIG gets dismantled quickly so that my money will be safe. I’m fine with the Lehman solution but if this continues we’re going to be in deep doo doo. If the financial markets need to take a nose dive, maybe its for the best to do the correction and start fresh with some new regulation to ensure this doesn’t happen again (i.e. 1929 crash). OK thats it for my rant, time to create some new blog entries about other stuff.

Bye bye Investment Banks!

Things got really interesting this past weekend.  The investment Bank Lehman Brothers is going down with a knock out blow to its balance sheet in the form of mortgage securities and Merrill Lynch is running for cover by getting bought out by Bank of America while it still has some value on the open market.  To Wall Street, this is a crushing blow because 2 of the major players in Investment Banking just got pounded into oblivion in no time flat.  I feel bad for the rank and file people who are losing their jobs over this endeavor, as if the collapse of Bear Sterns wasn’t enough, 2 more bite the dust!  I do believe that the C level execs that get the fat pay checks should give up something since the companies are basically bankrupt or heading in that direction.  Where is the fairness that some CEO gets 10-20 million bucks in severance while everyone else is going to lose their job and probably their savings because they were paid in stock as part of their compensation package?

As far as I can see, the fun isn’t going to be over just yet with AIG on the brink and WaMu looking kinda weak in the knees.  It won’t even take a big whack from a stick to bring them down which is kind of frightening.  Now the part that hurts me personally is what this is doing to my 401K which is going into the toilet pretty quick as the market loses ground.  Kind of pisses me off but there isn’t much I can do except pull out and leave it in the money market account or something where it will be semi-safe.

Could all have this been preventable?  Who knows!  20/20 hindsight vision is great but for the here and now it doesn’t do anyone any good except to become an example of what not to do in the future.  This might be a good thing, kind of like when Arthur Andresen got creamed (I didn’t agree with that on a personal note, the Houston firm should have been the one that got clobered and not the whole firm) but more regulation will come of this, stricter rules everywhere and the people that will ultimately benefit are the professional services firms like mine.  I wonder what company will flounder at the end of the week.  Just so long as the Fed isn’t propping it up with my tax payer money I couldn’t care less for the most part but it will be interesting to see how the market deals with all this change.