Goodbye 2010

Well this is it, the last blog post for me for the year 2010. Here’s hoping that 2011 will bring good fortune 🙂

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Move In Almost Complete

Standard Pacific decided to give me an early Christmas gift by finishing my townhouse ahead of schedule. I was originally slated to get my townhouse back sometime in January but instead, they were completed on December 22, just a mere 3 days before Christmas. The walkthrough went pretty well, the house looks better than it did when I left it back in September and I even had the movers come the next day to throw everything into the house.

As of today, most of the house is put away except for the office and the family room. Over the past few days I’ve made many trips to Home Depot and Ikea getting things to put together the new furniture we recently acquired. It only took a total of eight hours to assemble an entertainment center for the upstairs that came in 4 pieces and 2 book cases. I am waiting for a bracket to become available at Ikea so I can finish off the book cases and bolt them to the wall and then I can begin the unpacking of all my books. The entertainment center is done, now all I need to do is add the TV set and i’ll be golden on that front as well. I think I’m going to need another power strip because I don’t tihnk I have enough of them currently for all my power needs.

This week is going to be taken up by work and by assembling a few more things that was recently purchased at Ikea. Hopefully the new TV and surround sound system come in soon as well so that I can hook that up and enjoy some awesome 3D movies in the comfort of my own home. I’m hoping to ring in the new year with all my new stuff and in my comfy home. 🙂

Yahoo! is not what it used to be

Ahh how the mighty have fallen!  I remember the days when I used to be an avid user of Yahoo back in the infancy of the internet.  Back then Yahoo was just awesome because it provided everything you needed under one roof.  Of course this was back in the days when internet portals were popular to aggregate all your information (circa 1999).  Along the way Yahoo! was able to acquire some really good technology, especially in the Web 2.0 space.  The reason I’m writing this is because of the possible demise of delicious (I’d put in the proper periods but I don’t know where they go).  Like a lot of internet savvy people, I use delicious to bookmark things that are important to me and so that those bookmarks are always available online or on the computers that I use at work and at home.  I too saw all the web postings about the possible sunset of the service and yes I too also transferred my bookmarks to another service just in case.

I do think that the bad PR is hurting Yahoo!’s reputation in the market and it doesn’t help that they were doing lots of crazy things when they were talking to Microsoft a couple years ago.  I personally think that was a missed opportunity for Yahoo! to be part of MS.  While they would have been part of the evil MS Machine (which I don’t really care about), I think they could have used Microsofts drive to succeed on the internet as a way to not die slowly as so many before it have.  Things like Go.com, Excite, Infoseek, and Webcrawler come to mind.  Besides, its not like Yahoo! is running its own search engine anymore, they’re using Bing to power the thing.  I think Yahoo should have concentrated on search and tried to compete in advertising rather than acquiring services that they never integrated beyond single sign on and putting a badge that says it was a Yahoo! Company.  Don’t get me wrong, there is still a lot of great things at Yahoo! but they all just look like they are dated and haven’t had a feature or graphics update in the last 10 years.

I used to use their portal page exclusively but have since transitioned to Google for the most part.  My Yahoo! account is still active and I still sorta use Flickr but delicious is where I still had an interest.  Maybe the time is ripe to start picking Yahoo! apart and leaving the bones for someone to buy up.  Or maybe they should have hired some system integration consultants and melded it all together 😉  HA!

I guess I’ll still use Yahoo! here and there but since its only a shell of its former self and uses Bing for its search results,I might as well go directly to the source and use Bing all on its own.  Who knows, maybe a turn around will come soon… or not….

No ads in my e-books!

I recently read an article while reviewing my RSS news feeds that was describing how marketing firms are starting to review how they can add ads to ebooks kind of how like google gives you contextual advertising when doing searches or outing ads in the beginning or when you star reading the book again after taking a break. The article goes on to state how ads used to be in the back of books but the practice stopped due to the small margins. I’m quite the avid reader and I like not having things interrupt the story.

It’s bad enough that there are ads everywhere like video games and all over the Internet. I think the reading experience needs to remain pure when it comes to novels. There are already plenty of ads in magazines and newspapers that distract us from the news stories or other articles that we want to read. I’m willing to pay a little more for an ebook if that means that I will not have to see any ads in my books. The price of a paperback is about the right price for an ebook in my view. It will also save quite a few trees in the process which I’m sure costs plenty of money to cut down and make into paper and then all the ink that’s needed to produce the text.

Ebooks are the wave of the . I can almost see text books going to ebook format large scale. It’s done in a limited fashion right now but it could be more widespread. Granted you wouldn’t be able to sell the book back, well maybe, but at least you can keep it forever and it won’t take up valuable space on bookshelf. Well that’s my rant for now, I’ll have more material before the end of the year.

I want a dumb internet pipe

Ahh net neutrality.  The discussion is on and everyone is weighing into the discussion.  I guess I’ll put in my two cents as a person that is into technology.  For the most part, I want a dumb internet pipe.  I just need a way to feed off the internet to get the content that I’m asking for.  A lot of companies such as Comcast, Cox, and AT&T don’t want to be just simple internet traffic routers because there really isn’t that much money in it.  From what I understand, companies like Comcast want to start charging extra for “managed services”.  So what is managed services to the average joe?  Coming from my consulting background as well as IT, managed services is offering different services to people using the same infrastructure that has always existed but now I can charge you for using it in different ways.

One such example is video on demand services that seems to be popular.  Comcast and other cable providers want to be the people that sell this type of service but companies like Netflix upset this model because they can offer the same content at a cheaper price with the only limitation being the internet pipe it comes down on.  ISP’s want to start segmenting and putting in limits to the internet and making it more consumption based (kind of like an AT&T data plan).  Anyone with half a brain knows that video and audio streaming take tons of bandwidth and charging for how much you download/upload to me is just insane.  A lot of what companies are pushing is putting everything online like cloud computing or services that live online like Evernote or DropBox.  Companies like this will have issues with new pricing models coming from ISP’s because people will want to manage how much they are online.

In my opinion, the internet should be managed like a utility like the power or water companies.  The same thing happened with voice services a while back with the government imposing limits.  I am not a fan of big government but it does have its place and I want the FCC to give me my dump pipe so I can get the internet and its content on my terms and not from my cable/phone/isp company.  I don’t like the idea of getting my speed cut in half or having to watch what I use and then be selective on what I stream or not.  The answer is to update the infrastructure.  The more people you reach and the better the pipe, the more people will want to hook up.  If anything start doing things like AT&T which is offering free access to their wireless hotspots if you’re a customer, that should be incentive for people to sign up with one service or another to avoid paying for something they have access to at home.

Well that should do it for today’s rant.  So if you’re listening out there, give me my dumb internet pipe so I have the freedom to CHOOSE what I want to consume and not have to choose a provider based on the content they are willing to sell me.

Galaxy Tab is eh

Tonight I went to Best Buy to pick up a few things, just a couple of Blu-rays and a gift for a family member. I went over to the mobile section and they had a couple of Galaxy Tabs to play with. These weren’t the normal demo’s that Best Buy puts put but actual functioning models running the Internet. I have an iPad and I wanted to compare the two just to see if there was any real competition with the Galaxy Tab.

I used it for all of ten minutes and I can say that the Galaxy Tab is just The size is 7″ which is kind of a weird spot since it’s just kinda bigger than my iPhone but it’s not nearly as big as my iPad, I was trying to the interface but I’m not that familiar with Android so didn’t get very far with it buri did like that you could use widgets and stuff instead of always having to go tian app for your information. The only thing I really tried out was the web browsing and it didn’t seem as smooth or seemless compared to iOS. I haven’t tried out a Windows Phone 7 yet but web browsing on Windows Mobile 6.1 was painful. I can see how people who are fans of Android would like this device, its how iPhone people like iPads. However the execution doesn’t seem to be there for the Galaxy Tab. It still feels like a phone, just a really really big one.

I’m not an apple fan boy by any stretch of the imagination, I’m still an avid hater of Macs and their OS but the iOS is still kicking butt and taking names. It should also bear mentioning that Android is not scalable for tablets just het so that might be part of the problem too. I think to have a successful tablet you need a bigger screen like an iPad so that you’re not in that in-between state of phone ore tablet. I use my iPad differently from my iPhone even though all the apps are the same overall. When given the chance I’ll switch to the iPad to consume the Internet, play movies, or view pictures. The iPhone is mostly for text messaging or games and sometimes playing movies when I don’t have my iPad handy.

I’m looking forward to seeing what RIM has in store with their new Playbook. If it’s compelling enough, I might get an iPad 3 some day but we will see how the tablet wars pan out. My next major purchase is goring to be an OLED TV and then an iPhone 5 for me and the Mrs. 🙂