Wednesday, September 30, 2015

iPhone 6s - I love you. I hate you.

Thanks UPS!
My iPhone 5s quickly became one of my favorite phones that I had ever owned when I bought it two years ago. As weird as it sounds, I was ready to ditch it the first chance I got had the iPhone 6 met hopes. When the 6 came out, I was excited for NFC and Apple Pay. What kept me from buying it, though, was that the camera was still stuck at 8 megapixels. Apple's offering wasn't enough to make me want to spend money on them... well at least on their iPhone. (Some of that money that I saved went on to buy my laptop.)

So this year for the iPhone 6s, Apple upped the camera to 12 MP and introduced some other features.  I got online and ordered one and was fortunate to be able to get one on launch day. So here are my thoughts:

The bump up from 8 MP to 12 MP is welcomed. I haven't noticed too much of a difference between this phone and the old one when it comes to the overall picture quality. Photos still look fantastic until we get into low light situations. 

Live Photos
Pictures taken with this mode on will also take video and audio capture along with a snapshot. It will make your pictures come alive! I think that most people will think that this is a gimmick. For the most part, they are right but I've already used this on little kids and pets and I welcome it. I may not be using it all the time, but it is an awesome choice to have.

3D Touch
Critics seem to think that this feature is more worthwhile than Live Photos. They may be right but in my experience, I have not used this very often. I'm already accustomed to doing certain actions the old way. Mostly, I've only been using the peek and pop when I am in iMessage and want to look at the picture attachments.

Apple Pay
This is pretty darn awesome. I love being able to pay for things with tap/hover of my phone. It's unfortunate that acceptance of these types of payments are not everywhere. Most notably, Wal-mart.

Storage Options
Apple offers 16, 64, and 128 Gb options when it comes to storage.  With 12 MP photos, 4k videos, and an OS that takes up lots of room, getting a 16 Gb phone is not a smart idea. I opted to spend the extra $100 and get the 64 Gb option.

6s or 6s Plus
I thought about getting the 6s Plus because of its use of OIS in the camera but also the bigger battery. However, I am always by power and OIS by itself wasn't enough. I opted instead, for a better form factor. The Plus is a little to big for my tastes.

While I love this phone, I also hate it. The design is rather horrible with the antenna lines and protruding camera module. Mostly I hate the price. I had to pay full price in order to keep my grandfathered unlimited data plan with Verizon.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Courser and Gamart - Karma's a Bitch

I had a real long blog post on a news story coming out of my home state of Michigan. Two social conservative state representatives have been caught having an affair. In a bizarre twist, one of them, Todd Courser, decided to plant a false flag story in which he was caught having sex with a male prostitute. According to audio recording of a conversation between him and a staffer, he had hoped that this story would make the real scandal tame in comparison. I held off on publishing the post because the story kept evolving day by day. Now I'm just kind of sick of it and would rather just make a short little post about it now.

State Representatives Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat are now under pressure to resign for using their offices to cover up their affair. They have both so far declined to do so. Aside from getting 2/3 of the house to vote to expel them, the only thing that I am aware that would work would be to recall them but by the time that process is complete, it will be time for the next campaign season to start again anyways.

The two are pretty much ostracized from the party. Cindy Gamrat, for other reasons, has already been kicked out of caucus meetings. In a show of support, it has been said that Todd Courser has not been going to caucus meetings either. Even if we are stuck with them through this congress, I have to think that their respective constituents aren't going to be voting for them again. God knows they probably have egos big enough that they probably would try to run again. ...Well maybe just Todd.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

A Speaker Resigns and a Parliament is Dissolved

It was an interesting day in international politics today. In Australia, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Bronwyn Bishop, has resigned due to mounting pressure from an expenses scandal. Occasionally, I check into YouTube to watch Questions to the House. It's a lot nastier than the UK's Questions to the Prime Minister and it only got worse when I saw Speaker Bishop take the chair. I don't think that there could be any claim that she attempted to keep her position as partisanly neutral as possible. There is a series of YouTube videos by George Stenhouse that you should check out.

In Canada, Prime Minister Stephen Harper had the Parliament dissolved. Campaigning begins for elections that will be held in October. The election cycles of both the UK and Canada have started and been completed in the time the US's Presidential Cycle has even begun. I wish ours were as short.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

WANTED - Hey, I know that guy!

“I bet ya that he will be dead or in prison by the time he’s thirty.”

The few of us that were huddled together in Mrs. H.’s class were discussing a fellow classmate that had broken into the local grocery store. We nodded in agreement. Steven would be dead or in prison by the time he was thirty because he could not help but get into trouble. It seemed like he was determined to fulfill a sad destiny.

A rash of break-ins have been taking place in my hometown and the Sheriff’s department has finally released the name of their suspect: Steve. I haven’t heard any word if they have arrested him. I asked my friend Sara if she wanted to go out hunting for him and possibly collect the Crime Stoppers reward money. She think he’s probably fled to Tennessee where he supposedly has family.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Disruption in the Cosmic (Company) Order

The New Horizons probe made its closest pass to Pluto. For us who have grown up with nine planets, this marks the completion of the solar system family portrait. It is an amazing experience. We have never seen a clear shot of Pluto and now for the first time, the whole world can. A new world seen for the first time.

I entertained the thought that there may be something to astrology. As this new world was being revealed, there was some major upheavals at work. Carmen, one of our most beloved coworkers didn't show up for work. It took us a bit to realize that she wasn't there because we are not always at our desks but once we did, we got worried because it was so unlike her to miss work and not call in. My supervisor called and there wasn't an answer but a little while later he got a call from her. She quit. Just like that. I didn't even notice last night when she left that she had put her badge in the drawer and took her big tube of M&Ms with her. It was stunning when we were told. Apparently she claimed that it was personal issues and that it was nothing to do with us. We can only speculate as to what she meant by that. Within a couple hours, news had spread to the other buildings on campus. Jim, our IT guy, even called asking why he got a termination ticket for Carmen--as if someone was playing a joke on him. It is going to be tough until we can get some replacement help. I plenty of people that the company could hire two people and they still wouldn't be able to do as much as she did. It is such a mystery why she left so suddenly.

Most of the day was talking about Carmen and the various reasons why she might have left but to finally end it, we had two temps get into a verbal showdown that escalated to one of them threatening to kill the other. Of course, that kind of threat isn't going to be tolerated so one of them was immediately let go. I'm not sure if the other one is going to be there tomorrow.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

An important victory but not the end.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that bans on same-sex marriages were unconstitutional. It was expected that the court would rule on this beginning sometime last week but most thought that it would come towards the end of this week or possibly on Monday. While I was at work, Roy sent me this message about 15 minutes after the decision was released. I found a bit of humor that I would be getting US news first from Great Britain. 

I am happy with the decision and I think it was a correct one but I am disappointed that it was a 5-4 decision. I had really hoped that Chief Justice Roberts would have joined in with a 6-3 decision. In the arguments, he brought up that this could be gender discrimination and teased the possibility that he could be another pro-gay vote. It has been said that Roberts wants to avoid 5-4 decisions and has angered the right when he sided with the liberals when it came to the Affordable Health Care cases. On the other hand, his positions in the cases on DOMA and Prop 8 suggested otherwise.

I’ve been busy at work but I do intend on reading the opinion.

Just because gays can now marry, it doesn’t mean the march for equality is over. It seems that the backlash is going to be in the form of religious freedom (to discriminate) laws. And it is still true that society is divided. Even my own family.