Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Audacity of Hope by Barak Obama


The Audacity of Hope is a look at Barak Obama's politics with a personal history behind what brought him to his world vision. It is clear throughout the book that the fact his father was an immigrant and his mother a U.S. Citizen colours his opinions strongly. He has spent a great deal of his formative years in Indonesia and Hawaii further engaging him with the outside world. His writing style is easy and familiar making the read a pleasure.

In many ways, Senator Obama's politics mirror my own. He believes in societal responsibility for its citizens. While not a pacifist, he doesn't move quickly to military solutions to U.S. Problems. He believes strongly that the U.S. must be a peaceful partner in driving poverty from the world.

He writes quite extensively on the Religious Right and how it has become something more than its original roots.

There's the religious absolutism of the Christian right, a movement that gained traction on th eundeniably difficult issue of abortion, but which soon flowered into something much broader; a movement that insists not only that Christianity is America's dominant faith, but that a particular, fundamentalist brand of that faith should drive public policy, overriding any alternative source of understanding, whether the writings of liberal theologians, the findings of the National Academy of Sciences, or the words of Thomas Jefferson.

Obama returns to this theme often--he obviously is highly conflicted on the issue of abortion but champions the right to choose. He clearly is a defender of cival liberties and abhors the secrecy and the abuses that appear to have occured under the current adminstration. He discusses at length the idea of partisanship and illustrates the current leadership's attitude with a quote from Carl Rove. A senator suggested that the President make certain small changes to a piece of legislation that would benefit the centrists in a meaningful way.

"Make these changes," the senator told Rove, "and not only will I vote for the bill, but I guarantee you'll get seventy votes out of the Senate.

"We don't want seventy votes," Rove reportedly replied. "We want fifty-one."

It lays out, in an intelligent and lucid way, the need for a strong centrist--perhaps slightly left leaning--voice in the U.S. leadership. It outlines the need for social activism, not just on a micro-level but at every level of American society. It makes a compelling case that the choice to help pull the world out of poverty, to fight AIDS, to be decent Christians (not in the Religious Right sense) as a methodology of safeguarding the country.

Friday, January 12, 2007

It is COLD


For the fourth week in a row it is snowing. There won't be much more than a few inches this time round, probably because of the cold. It is about 9:10 pm and 1 degree F/-17 degrees C. The temperature is supposed to keep dropping throughout the night and we are supposed to be in a deep freeze for several days.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Apple and the Trademark Debacle


Why on earth would Apple decide to use a name trademarked by another company since 2000? Cisco Systems owns the trademark and appear none too happy about Apple's use of the trademark. They chose to change the name of the iTV to Apple TV--that name is owned by Independent Television. So why would they decide to go toe to toe with Cisco after TWO years of negotiation to use the name?

Cisco has filed in court to prevent Apple from going to market with iPhone. While the case might not be clear cut in favour of Cisco, it just seems like this will end up being a collosal waste of money and time.

I am a strong advocate of Apple and Apple's products. Still, this just doesn't seem like a decent way of doing business. If Apple found another company using it's trademarks, they would be an extremely aggressive litigator. In fact Apple did just this when e-power came out with a copycat design of the iMac.

So come on Apple! Do the right thing. Re-brand now before the unit begins to ship.

More Thoughts on the iPhone


I decided to check on when InfoTech registered the name iPhone. It was in 1996. At this point Apple had never used the "i" in any of its products. In fact, it wasn't until 1998 that Apple released the iMac. The iBook was released in 1999. In 2001, the iPod was released.

The point that I'm making here is that the use of "i" didn't have a lick of precedence when the orginal trademark was made.

So, will Apple do the right thing? Will they fight it out? Will they drop the arrogance of assuming that they could muscle use of the name?

I sure hope so.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Apple News


Today Steve Jobs announced the iPhone and AppleTV.

The AppleTV is an interesting device designed for streaming content from you mac to your tv. Basically it synchs with iTunes so you can watch or listen to content from your computer. It is compatible with Windows.

The iPhone, which hasn't made it to market, is still pending FCC approval. From the Apple Site:

This device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. This device is not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained.

It looks to be a very cool device that *might* woo me away from Sprint--it appears to only be Cingular--with its feature set. It runs on OSX and is one massive touch screen. There will be 4 gig and 8 gig models. It will be a music player, cell phone, and web browser. It includes a QWERTY keyboard as part of the touch screen as needed, but that strikes me as being just a little clunky. One of the things about my Treo 650 that I love is the tactile nature of the keyboard.


Screen size 3.5 inches
Screen resolution 320 by 480 at 160 ppi
Input method Multi-touch
Operating system OS X
Storage 4GB or 8GB
GSM Quad-band (MHz: 850, 900, 1800, 1900)
Wireless data Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) + EDGE + Bluetooth 2.0
Camera 2.0 megapixels
  • Up to 5 hours Talk / Video / Browsing
  • Up to 16 hours Audio playback
Dimensions 4.5 x 2.4 x 0.46 inches / 115 x 61 x 11.6mm
Weight 4.8 ounces / 135 grams

I'm looking forward to when it ships. I'll check one out at the Apple store when they are available.

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