Archive for June, 2011

Interesting interview with Bill Gates

June 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Courtesy of

The UK newpaper The Mail published a really interesting interview with Bill Gates. It’s amazing how he’s changed his image from one of being an asshole to one of being a very generous philantropist. It’s amazing what donating $25 Billion to charity will do to your image.

Among the items mentioned in the interview:

  • He drives a mini-van when he need to get the whole family around town
  • His children will get only a “miniscule” amount of his wealth – only about $10 million each
  • When U2 was in town, he and his kids went to the concert. He didn’t go backstage to see his friend, Bono. That’s because Bono stayed at his house.
  • Speaking of his house, it cost about $200 million and is 66,000 square feet in area
  • His kids don’t have iPods/iPads/iPhones; rather they have a Zune and a Windows 7 phone
  • He is the world’s second wealthiest person, with a fortune of $56 Billion

Check it out, it provides a glimpse of a man who is famously secretive about his private life.

Categories: Humor, Other, Tech

Wisconsin Craft Brewers Under Attack

June 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Wisconsin = beer/cheese/and the Green Bay Packers (and not necessarily in that order. Now, large beer manufactureres are trying to pass legis;ation to place impediments on small breweries (which produce superior beverages to the large conglomerates, in my opinion. Read more about it on the Beer Club blog:

Wisconsin Craft Brewers Under Attack.

Also, sign the petition:

Petition to support WI craft brewers

Categories: Food

He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

June 9, 2011 Leave a comment

HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread these cloths under your feet.
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet,
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams

W.B. Yeats

Categories: Other

Motorola Xoom – Love it but it’s no iPad killer

June 8, 2011 Leave a comment


I love this tablet. It’s not perfect, but I use it as much, if not more than my iPad. There seems to be no shortage of love for this device amongst the tech bloggers out there as well; however, among the general public, the iPad sales figures blow the Xoom out of the water. People have spoken with their pocketbooks and the clear winner is the iPad.

That being said, I still want to make a case for the Xoom as a tablet you should consider.

First off, here is the tale of the tape:

Technical Spec and Comparison of Motorola XOOM and iPad

Motorola XOOM Apple iPad (1st Gen)
Processor 1 GHz Dual Core Tegra 2 1 GHz Single Core A4
Display 10.1 Inch 9.7 Inch
Resolution 1280 x 800 (160 dpi) 1024 x 768 (132 dpi)
RAM 1GB 256 MB
Front Camera 2 MP None
Rear Camera 5 MP None
Storage 32 GB 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB
Video Recording 720p None
Video Playback 1080p 720p
Communication Port HDMI, USB 2.0 None
Operating System Android 3.1 Honeycomb iOS 4.3
Flash Support Yes No
Speaker Yes Yes
Network 3G and 4G 3G

Just from the technical specifications alone, it seems as though the Xoom would beat out the iPad. There are other advantages that I see in choosing the Xoom, not the least of which is customizability. This isn’t a big desire of iPad buyers though. Ease of use trumps the ability to create your screens the way you want them, or true multi-tasking, or Flash availability. Having bought both, I can attest to the simplicity and ease of use of the iPad. As a power user and an experienced technophile, I can navigate through the capabilities of the Xoom quickly; however, I had my folks here for a visit and my father (who’s 73) enjoyed using the iPad much more than the Xoom.

Pros (IMHO):
Multi-channel app distribution
– The fact that I can get Android apps from multiple sources is a plus as there can be healthy competion in app pricing.
Widgets – Easy “windows” right on the desktop that allow me to view upcoming appointments, unread emails, weather, headlines, etc. without having to launch or re-launch an app.
Customizability – Live wallpapers, icon placement, widget placement, widget size.
Flash Support -Enough said.
Apps – All of the apps I use on the ipad are available on the Xoom. Dropbox, Evernote, Documents to Go, PDF Apps, even Angry Birds are all there. Sure there are 150,000 apps in the Android Market vs. 325,000 in the Apple app store, but do you really need 10 different games where you fling dogs/cats/chupacabras through the air at poorly constructed edifices? Didn’t think so.

Predominant orientation
– The Xoom comes configured in a landscape mode. the Motorola and Verizon trademarks are set on the top of the device when it’s in that configuration, as is the front facing camera. It’s not an issue for me because I do everything in landscape mode already but it does feel weird the few time I need to use it in portrait mode.
Honeycomb 3.0 OS – Still feels like it’s in beta. Crashes more that I’d like and when I had two open apps and tried to watch a movie (Tron:Legacy), the frame rate was sluggish. I upgraded to 3.1 and it feels much more stable.
Weight – There is a slight difference in weight 607g for iPad2 vs. 730g for the Xoom. You would think it’s insignificant, but it’s not.
Less Intuitive – Let’s face it, Apple has cornered the market in creating elegant, easy to use, devices. The Xoom, even for someone technically savvy, has a greater learning curve than the iPad.
4G Network – Why would this be a con? Because getting 4G capability requires shipping the Xoom back to Motorola to retrofit the 4G chip. Oy.

In conclusion, the Xoom isn’t for everyone; however, if you are looking for a worthy replacement for the iPad because you don’t like Apple or just want to support another tech behemoth, the the Xoom is a worthy choice. Your productivity will not suffer after you get through the initial learning curve and you’ll have a great mobile device that you DON’T have to stand in line for.

Categories: Tech Tags: , , , ,

Titanic II sinks in harbour on maiden voyage – Yahoo! News

June 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Schadenfreude is alive and well. I find it so humorous that someone would have this type of luck. Make sure you don’t name your next boat the Lusitania.

Titanic II sinks in harbour on maiden voyage – Yahoo! News.

Windows 8 Preview

June 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Looks like Windows 8 is blurring the lines between PC and mobile devices more as the home screen is a mod of their Windows 7 phone home screen. Interesting video and feel like I’m excited about something Microsoft is releasing for the first time in years. Is there still hope for redemption?

We shall see.

Categories: Tech, Windows

Virtual real estate selling for millions

June 1, 2011 Leave a comment



As if regular real estate isn’t risky enough in this economy, now we have to contend with rising costs in the virtual world. A virtual planet recently sold for $6 million. That’s right, someone bought, when you get right down to it, a series of 0’s and 1’s (albeit a BOATLOAD of 0’s and 1’s).

Oh and all you Farmville playing people laughing at the ridiculousness of this, Zynga (Farmville’s developer) sold $100 Million of virtual tractors, buildings and other goods.

Virtual real estate selling for millions.