It’s not a gun-control debate, it’s a mental-healthcare debate

There’s no way to escape the great debate about guns in the wake of the recent Connecticut shooting. So be it. It is certainly a heart-wrenching tragedy and therefore the knee-jerk reaction of the national consciousness is on “tighter gun control”. The politicians are promising “meaningful legislation” and a lot of other hot-air bullshit. Why is it hot-air? Because they are doing what they do best: pandering to the public on whatever happens to be the controversial news topic of the day in a way that does absolutely nothing to improve the situation, but rather could make things worse. This tragedy is an excuse for them to act fast to pass legislation they otherwise could never pass. It is a publicly-stated mantra of the Obama Administration to “never let a crises go to waste”.

No matter where you come down on the idea of personally-own guns or gun control laws and all the rest, I ask you indulge me on this one.

The first argument I have to make has to do with the idea of banning “assault weapons”. First, try to define what an “assault weapon” is. Anything used to injure another person, be it a gun, a knife, a screwdriver, a rock, can be defined as an “assault weapon”. It’s the law makers who define this term arbitrarily. So let’s be more specific: the call is to ban automatic and semi-automatic rifles, but truthfully: what good will this do for anyone? The previous “assault rifle” ban lasted from 1994 to 2004 under President Clinton. Columbine school massacre still occurred during this “assault rifle ban”, didn’t it?

Before I continue, I’d like to make it clear I agree with such a ban as I can’t see any reasonable purpose for anyone other than the military and police to have possession of an automatic or semi-automatic rifle. But I also understand many own guns for leisure or hobbyist purposes beyond self defense and the rest.

Let’s substitute VHS Video Cassettes for guns. Banning those VHS cassettes containing a certain genre of movie on them simply prevents the legal first-sale of them. What about the millions of these same VHS cassettes already out in the “wild”, privately owned? Banning them does nothing whatsoever other than prevent those who tend to always remain within the law from legally buying them. There is no law against owning them, or reselling them.

The rest of my diatribe is here.

Can I get paid to complain about Android?

There are countless jokes and jibs about “girl gossip” and it can surely be a fun subject, but let me tell you something about: girl gossip: it has nothing on the tech industry. Not even close.

Based on what I’m reading it’s the “beginning of the end for the desktop personal computer” as it makes way for mobile computing devices now being the great new thing. In the ‘80’s and ‘90’s the big pundit fence divided Microsoft Windows and the Macintosh. I always thought it funny how tech pundits always compared software to hardware, but I figure it’s because the hardware on the Windows side was always a real piece of shit more often than not. It still is. Hence why even Microsoft is considering building it’s own hardware.

However, there were rarely ever a lot of rumors about what Microsoft, or any other Windows-based developer or hardware manufacturer was going to do. Mostly because they’d pre-announced a lot of their vaporware, sometimes a year or more in advance. This meant all the ‘news’ writers for the magazines (and eventually blogs) were really just opinion-throwers, save the actually useful how-to articles salt-and-peppered in.

Ever since Bill Gates ‘burned’ Steve Jobs way back when, Apple Computer (as it was called then) became hyper-super-secret about their software and hardware goings-on. They announced when they were ready to release or very shortly beforehand. So secretive is the company that when they announced, the world paid close attention and sometimes there were real stunners. Because of this there always has been a full-blown rumor industry about Apple.

Because 99% of these rumors are completely misleading leaks or outright wrong, Apple was able to literally change the technology world in front of our eyes in a way that tangibly changes our lives. The first, obviously enough, is the Macintosh, or more specifically: the Mac OS, a graphical user interface the world owes to the Mac team. Sure, it was inspired by the Xerox PARC version (I’ve seen it - so I say inspired, hardly “copied”.)

Then came the iPod, which in itself didn’t really change a lot on it’s own, but the iPod ecosystem did. iTunes, designed and built to support the iPod, is the first and largest way to purchase our media and software apps legally, online, at decent prices. Now Google and Amazon and others are following suit, or at least trying to.

Finally, there is the iPhone. Even the Macintosh didn’t create such a stunning change in our lives as the iPhone did, and it did whether you use an iPhone or not.  So successful is the iPhone and the iOS software—and the ecosystem that comes with it—that there are so many copycats one could’t hope to keep-up, possibly including the Android OS - at least on appearances and release timing, but that’s a moot point.

Because Apple stunned the world with these life-changing inventions a lot of extreme techno-nerds can seem only to find fault where there isn’t any. The first most common of complaints is that Apple isn’t “changing the world” with new gizmos every year. Uh, hello? They’ve change your life tree times, Microsoft and everyone else hasn’t done it even once. It’s not so easy a thing to do, is it?

These extreme techno-nerds haven’t figured out that the Windows versus Mac wars are and have been over for a long time. So they move their silly arguments to the mobile space and have turned Windows/Mac into iOS/Android. Well, rather they try to turn it into iPhone versus Android.

The iPhone is the best selling phone in the world. But the Uber-Techno-I-Know-Better-Than-You types love to proclaim “Android” is outselling the iPhone. Umm, wrong argument there, Slick. The iPhone outsells every other phone on the market, except perhaps recently the Samsung Galaxy III (I think it’s that one). Okay, fair enough. But what to you expect when cheap-shit hardware sells at a fraction of the cost of premium high-quality hardware that costs more to manufacture? Cheap shit always sells better than gold bullion: Samsung Galaxy SIII versus iPhone 5 “drop test” video.

But if you want to talk Android, then talk iOS, not iPhone. These pundits always like to compare Android to iPhone, which is stupid. iOS runs on iPod and iPad, not just iPhone. So if you count all devices running Android OS versus all devices running iOS the numbers are a bit different from what these tech writers would have you understand. But in reality who really cares?

They constantly love to proclaim “Apple is doomed!” or “The end of Apple as we know it” because they 1) aren’t ‘innovating’ enough to change the world every year and 2) the iPhone is losing market share (where I understand the important business consideration is profit, not so much market share).

Personally I don’t much care which outsells the other. I use one. Only one. The one I like to use and as long as the company who makes it stays in business then I’m happy with what I have. I just find it laughable every time I see these so-called professional technology commentators trying so hard to make a living on laughable stuff. It’s all about click-bait to get page-loads to ram adverts down our throats. Fortunately I run software that bypasses all that garbage, but I do load the full page on the rare good stories when I archive them for later research.

Here’s one of my favorites for pointing-at-while-holding-my-nose and laughing my ass-off:
iPhone And iPad: My Top 5 Complaints" by Larry Seltzer of Byte Magazine.

The one good thing about Larry’s article is that he’s at least honest in admitting these are his own personal issues, unlike all the others who bash on iPhone and iOS: it’s his opinion that matters only to him. And that’s fair enough, I suppose. Use what you want to use and don’t bother wasting your money on something you don’t want. That’s capitalism: vote with your dollars. In his post he claims five things he doesn’t like about the iPhone and iOS. Here’s what I find fascinating: his first sentence is this (emphasis is mine):

People usually look surprised when I tell them that I dislike my iPhone. It’s a 4S and I got it pretty much the day they were first available. It was my first personal iOS device.

This begs the question: why would you go and buy something you knew would not have the features you want? It’s your first personal iOS device, but surely you’re already intimately familiar with iOS or you wouldn’t be writing about it all this time, right? See how he snuck that in there? Making it appear this was his first ever iOS device, but not really? And he still bought one.

Here are his five complaints:

  1. User Interface can’t be customized (wrong on every count he mentions except changing to a custom keyboard.)
  2. No storage expansion (memory card slot)
  3. No “Back” button in the OS (like a web browser “back” button)
  4. Too many “proprietary” interfaces (meaning the Lightning cable - but only one “proprietary interface” is too many, apparently)
  5. The battery doesn’t hold up (in comparison to a Blackberry)

On complaint number 1: everything he complains you can’t do, you can. Except changing to a custom keyboard. Which begs the question: why are you writing about iOS like an expert when you can’t figure out how to accomplish elementary tasks on it?

On complaint 2: Then buy a larger version. I have a friend who has a 64GB and thinks he should have gone with a 32GB because he hasn’t come close to reaching that level yet and he’s an App Whore. As for transferring files and pictures: works great through wifi for me! And remember: Windows phone is like desktop computers: the OS sits on the device’s main storage. So a 32GB leaves only 16GB for your own use. A 32GB iOS device leaves almost all 32GB for your own use.

On complaint 3: There is a “back” button! It’s called the “Home” button - it’s the little hardware button you press, and it’s right there at the bottom of your screen. Duh. Why is it so important to have the same feature in the OS when it’s right there under your thumb all the time? Moot.

On complaint 4: Mini-USB sucks. It’s too small, too difficult to fit it correctly into the socket and, well sucks in every and all ways save one: it’s USB. As fragile as it is, do you think dockable accessories would work very well at all?

On complaint 5: Uh, Blackberry does not yet have a smartphone (by today’s definition) - when RIM releases their first “smartphone” then compare them. No phone will hold-up to minutely FaceBook status checks and updates all day long. Go figure. Oh, and there are external add-on batteries available. Again, aren’t you supposed to be a technology guru or something? Isn’t that what you’re paid for?

So here are my impressions of Mr. Seltzer, even though I don’t know him, based on this “article” he’s written:

  1. Larry Seltzer is a whiner. He complains to the public at large about things no one can help him with.
  2. Larry Seltzer is conceited in thinking his negative complaints will influence anyone, since he apparently couldn’t even influence himself and bought an iPhone anyway.
  3. Larry Seltzer is a dimwit for spending so much money on a device he knew had shortcomings he didn’t like, or he’s a technology charlatan and actually a purchasing dullard, not knowing what he’s getting before buying it.
  4. Larry Seltzer is disingenuous at best, and outright troll at worse. At least this is the subliminal impression he is projecting with this useless diatribe.
  5. Larry Seltzer is a click-bait troll, giving Byte magazine a worse reputation than it already has. At least thats the start impression one comes away with after realizing the wasted minutes of one’s life in taking the time to read this useless rhetoric.

I’m hopeful your time isn;t wasted reading my rhetoric because it’s intended to be useful, to a small degree in pointing out the hot-air these so-called tech experts blow everyday, when it’s really just a bunch of hothead opinion that doesn’t really do anyone a lick of good.

Here’s the ironic reason Mr. Seltzer is a troll; he ends his article with this (emphasis is mine):

Some would argue that Apple’s totalitarian control over the app ecosystem is a weakness, or at least a downside. There’s an argument for this, but the benefits of it are substantial. To the extent that Google, for example, has exerted less control over Android apps, it has let malicious actors into the process, and Android users must be more on alert for such things than iOS users.

Is this why even Microsoft is heading into the “totalitarian” control paradigm with Windows 8? Will it still be called “totalitarian” then?

I only have one question for Mr. Larry Seltzer: How is that iPhone 5 working out for you so far? Don’t answer. We already know you likely won’t admit to having purchased one until the article I am commenting on fades from memory so you won;t look like the hypocrite you appear to be.

Oh, and can I write an article for Byte Magazine on why I dislike Android and get paid for it, too?

Can I get paid to complain about Android?

There are countless jokes and jibs about “girl gossip” and it can surely be a fun subject, but let me tell you something about: girl gossip: it has nothing on the tech industry. Not even close.

Based on what I’m reading it’s the “beginning of the end for the desktop personal computer” as it makes way for mobile computing devices now being the great new thing. In the ‘80’s and ‘90’s the big pundit fence divided Microsoft Windows and the Macintosh. I always thought it funny how tech pundits always compared software to hardware, but I figure it’s because the hardware on the Windows side was always a real piece of shit more often than not. It still is. Hence why even Microsoft is considering building it’s own hardware.

However, there were rarely ever a lot of rumors about what Microsoft, or any other Windows-based developer or hardware manufacturer was going to do. Mostly because they’d pre-announced a lot of their vaporware, sometimes a year or more in advance. This meant all the ‘news’ writers for the magazines (and eventually blogs) were really just opinion-throwers, save the actually useful how-to articles salt-and-peppered in.

Ever since Bill Gates ‘burned’ Steve Jobs way back when, Apple Computer (as it was called then) became hyper-super-secret about their software and hardware goings-on. They announced when they were ready to release or very shortly beforehand. So secretive is the company that when they announced, the world paid close attention and sometimes there were real stunners. Because of this there always has been a full-blown rumor industry about Apple.

There’s more if you’re a masochist and curious…

Loud-mouthed atheist groups are bastardizing the U.S. Constitution

I have no issues with anyone calling themselves “atheist” at all. I think of myself as more agnostic than outright religious. However, I always find it laughable when anyone, anywhere in the United States of America ever brings-up the notion of "separation of church and state" because there is no law describing such. Yet it is this argument the extremist secular atheist groups throw out to the uneducated, uncaring society as a whole - threatening lawsuits they could never win, but society allows the brow-beating and simply steps aside rather than pressing their Constitutional right to display, for example, a Nativity Scene on a public  waterfront.

The seasonal news stories are now circulating from around the country how local governments are changing anything “Christmas” into politically correct “Holiday” (which is a truncation of Holy-Day, duh). More and more so-called religious symbols or statements are now absolutely forbidden than ever before - even if they only look like they might be religious. It’s the continuing Marxist assault on religious traditions thousands of years old.

These (usually local) governments fear the threatened law suites from extremist atheist groups, which, I have no doubt, are a ridiculously loud-mouthed-yet-tiny fraction of those calling or considering themselves agnostic or atheist. I certainly disagree with them and would never let them  They don’t speak for me.

Here’s a tip for everyone: read the Constitution and comprehend it. Try. It’s not really very hard to do.

Read the rest of this diatribe here…

When my Twitter “friends” call me elitest.

Google still tries too hard catch-up to FaceBook, which seems to be taking a lot of missteps all over the place. FaceBook is so large with a bazillion users (read: accounts,) how many of which are actually active being a mystery, is the household name that causes eyeballs to roll instinctively.

The other “big social network” of common reference is Twitter. Which is more or less a polar opposite in terms of what it is and how it’s used. Because of these diametric use-cases most “FaceBook people” aren’t “Twitter people” and vice-versa.

I am among the majority of FaceBook account-holders who never use FaceBook. It’s safer to just not use it than to make any feeble attempt at locking-down privacy options. But not only this, I really like the short-burst commentary and fluid nature of Twitter compared to the boring content that keeps showing up on my wall - and that can somehow be directly linked to and haunt me later in life. Hence the FaceBook lockdown and all-but-abandonment.

Read the rest