Archive for November, 2004

Cell Phones & UIs

Posted: November 21, 2004 in General

Why does it seem that cell phone manufacturers can’t design a proper user interface? I purchased a pair of Samsung cell phones on Thursday evening for Cara and me. These are to replace our Motorolas (and swtich from T-mobile to Verizon.)I am surprised though. I actually had to break out the manual to just figure out how to put numbers in the contact list. Beyond that, there are just certain aspects of this phone (like the integrated web browser) that just isn’t designed for any kind of logical use. That said, the pair of Motorola T722s were worse (something that Brian has commented about himself on his phone.) I’m thinking that someone like Motorola needs to partner with someone like Apple to build a proper UI (after all they do have a partnership to bring a little bit of the iPod into the Motorola phones.)

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The weekend was good, Justin, John, Jr and I went to Bidwell Tavern on Saturday to eat wings. I had never been, and although there was a little “dragging” on the part of John (as in getting me out of the house,) I think a good time was had by all.Otherwise the rest of the weekend was quite boring. I worked most of it on the MobileMed project that I’m working on.Of course, then we have the big waste of time that should be sitting on my doorstep tomorrow when I get home. No, not Ratchet and Clank (which will be there,) but Halo 2. If Halo 2 was a movie, it would have grossed $75 million dollars opening weekend (there are 1.5million pre-sales at about $50 each.) Pretty impressive stuff.

Actors better role models?

Posted: November 5, 2004 in General

I’ve been watching Kevin Kill on UPN recently. It’s a bit of a “chick” show but overall pretty entertaining. Not something I’d normally make time for, but it stars Taye Diggs, who I think is one of the best non-A list actors out there*.I don’t know when specifically I started noticing Taye. I think it was probably in Go! (one of my favorite movies.) He’s been in a smattering of other things (including Ally McBeal,) all of which I’ve enjoyed watching him. I think what I like most about Taye is that he has a lot of personality that shines through in his characters (and Kevin Hill is no exception.)Anyway, so this started me thinking about black role models. I mean we draw on three main role models. Musical artists, sports stars and TV/Movie stars (sure there are others, but they are outweighed by the big three.) Sure there are excellent role models in each category, however I think (especially in music) there are far fewer positive black role models.Now I’m male, white and middle class so I’ll be the first to admit that I have no first hand experiences of what many of our society have been through, but I do see what stereotypes are built (and what I see in the media,) and that is that the predominant black role model is gangster rap and supporting the stereotypical “black” lifestyle. These artists come into their money and everything is “bling bling.” Not too many popular artists try to buck that trend.I have to admit that I’m leaving sports stars out of my analysis mostly because I’m not a sports fan, but also because I don’t think their media exposure is quite as high as with music and TV.So back to my original argument, and that is, that most of the black actors (and actresses,) we see don’t support the “bling bling” lifestyle. Maybe it’s because we don’t see their “real” life, but I don’t picture Taye Diggs driving around in his Cadalac Escalade with 25″ chrome dubs and a thumpin system.Maybe I need to do more research…* That’s not to say that Mr. Diggs, can’t act as well as an A-list actor (if not better,) just that he isn’t there yet. It’s more about clout than skill.

Grand Theft Cool

Posted: November 1, 2004 in Computing, General

I don’t think “Jumping the Shark” really applies to video games (although in some cases it does.) That said, it’s a shame when a sequel just doesn’t hold up to the original. Over the next couple months (and especially the next couple weeks,) there are a number of excellent sequels being released. The first of which was “Grand Theft Auto : San Andreas” which I picked up last week.Now, the Grand Theft Auto games started out as ho hum games, but graduated to a full force to be reckoned with when they went 3D. Subsequently” Grand Theft Auto : Vice City” upped the bar with a bigger world with more of what we liked with GTA3…. but then something was lost. Something indescribable. Sure the idea and the implementation is almost the same, but the soul of the game isn’t there.Admittedly, I haven’t spent a great deal of time (maybe a couple of hours,) playing the game. The thing is, I was expecting a certain amount of “video game addiction” as I’ve experienced before (most recently with Burnout 3, and probably not felt for a long time before that.)Maybe that’s okay though. After all we are on the cusp of “Ratchet and Clank : Up your Arsenal” this week (I think,) followed by “Halo 2” the week after. Both of which I also have very high hopes for. Then of course in January I await “Gran Turismo 4” (which hopefully makes up for the disappointment with “Gran Turismo 3”.)