Real books!?

January 28th, 2010

Last month in the furious christmas season I saw some blurb somewhere about how ebooks outsold real books in the holiday season or some such nonsense. Well this notice inspired me to give a big reach around pat on my own back and congratulate mankind for stepping out of the past.

But that feeling of species  satisfaction (that I imagine only occurs at the top of the good chain) was short lived. I will review my procession through on this path:

“Oh wow, cool. I mean it’s only amazon that’s reporting this so it’s probably just a silly number. But great job people; we’ve done it! We’ve finally made the leap into the future.”

“You mean; by beating some paper? Wait a minute… paper? You mean that was a competition? There was some struggle between displaying a page of text linked to another page of text in an easily readable format electronically and we lost to paper until just now? ”

“You’re being unfair matt (yes I refer to myself in the third person and yes I spell and pronounce my name in these discussions with a lower-case ‘m’) paper is a rather economical medium for um… the transfer of datum…”

“You are insane! Are you even listening to yourself soliloquize?! Paper?! Trees and/or plants, soaked, beaten flat into a pulp, dried out in order to spray ink on it an a fashion that forms letters and words for communicating… to people…. in the year 2009! You must be high! Why is this still even an option?”

“Well at the very least we’re making progress right?”

“Are we really? So people bought more books from amazon in the e-bundle instead of in the meat-web…

a) they are probably lying because it promotes their product

b) that doesn’t include how many stupid frigging newspapers and magazine are out there

c) amazon can decide willy nilly just to erase your books at any time they please in the future (alla’ orwell 1984 [in a weird twist of irony that actually happened])

d) not to mention junk mail and coupon fliers.

e) how does it stack up over the whole year when people are not trying to find cheap non-personal gifts for people they have no relation to even if they happen to be related to.”

“We’re doomed.”

“Yes, yes we are.  And amazon is going to wave their cowboy hat on the way down.”

To all the iphone fanboys, I apologize.

January 8th, 2010

Like most apologies from this guy named Matt Cornell, there are a few caveats.  Let me get to the meat.  I considered you mindless fools that we’re easily seduced by cat toys. Their adoration and devotion to a piece of hardware that didn’t perform very well as a phone was foolish.

So now that I have joined the latest generation of phones I have to say that I too am hopelessly devoted to my Nexus One phone.  I can understand now why people like their shiny new toys.

I was too harsh about Iphone users. They were ahead of their time and don’t deserve my full scorn. But they didn’t know it.

Today I walked into the T-mobile (penthouse level) mall hut and found two guys chatting it up without much to do business-wise.  On my way in I was pegged… youngish guy #1 said “Did you get the Nexus One?”

I feigned surprise but honestly I was proud to look like the kind of guy that would get this phone a day or two after it was released. I see this as an event horizon where things start to change for the cell phone providers.  This phone was an investment that I made in what I hope is the future of Things.  This is a device that I bought to own and then after that I went to a service provide to pay for some service. There are no contracts. I pay them, and my phone connects.

They have no say (directly) over what my phone can and can’t do. Google does that. And it seems in their best interest to keep doing what they are doing – and be cool honey bunny.

Now iphones started this trend but unfortunately they didn’t start it to be cool.  They started it to make money. Which is great… just not what I’m looking for in a tech pimp.

So these guys asked me why I bought this phone so quick and started grilling me about what it could do and stuff. It occurred to me that even though I did seem to know a great deal more about the phone and the general status of the industry then them… I didn’t really buy the phone for what it could ‘do’.  Don’t get me wrong I played with it for about 2 hours straight just using the wifi because the screen was so pretty and the touch interface was a neat thing.

But no – I bought the phone as a protest. I was voting with my dollars. That was one more unit that they get to say ’shipped’ 1 hour after they announced it.  TAKE THAT verizon.

So apple was cool in that they just went and designed a phone with a neat graphics chip and they also killed off a technology I was really excited about so that they could monopolize the touch interface (boooo Jobs… booo)… and then they took their Big Boy Pants and shopped it to the carriers. They essentially told the carriers “You can not touch our phone… it’s ours, but you can service it all day long”.  Well the carriers were obviously taken aback – but AT&T needed those Big Boy Pants to feel their mostly naked bottom line.

That’s so close to being a phone that I could buy…. but then their Apple-ness has a 360 degree  suck radius when they remove the competitor’s applications on a whim. Boo Apples.

Then the droid came out and man did I want to buy but unfortunately that would mean signing up for another huge contract.

Well… we’ve done it. Made the switch. I bought my phone and subscribed to T-Mobile for this month and if it goes well I will continue to stay with them.

That’s my phone story. I want to hear something from an Iphone user that is articulate about what the Iphone brings to the betterment of the species.  Most everyone I’ve heard talk about say things like “It’s just neat… but you know what? the phone part kind of sucks… and it got really slow after a couple updates”.

Well – sucky phones and slow interface is something I can get just about any where without having to worry about /which/ applications that Apple thinks are good for me.

Right now I am latched onto the Google tit and everything ‘just works’ the way it should… or at the very least it is working the way I should. :)