Monthly Archives: June 2013

It’s easy…

It’s easy to call yourself a Liberal.  It’s harder to be habitually generous.

It’s easy to call yourself a Conservative.  It’s harder to conserve, preserve and transmit the traditions that you love.

It’s easy to call yourself a Democrat.  It’s harder to respect the beliefs, viewpoints and experiences of your entire society.

It’s easy to call yourself an environmentalist.  It’s harder to plant a tree.

It’s easy to call yourself a pacifist.  It’s harder to be a peacemaker.

Labels are easy.  Actions are hard.

Man of Steel

Last night some I saw Man of Steel with some friends, and was reminded why I don’t go to the movies very often.

It’s not that I’m opposed to entertainment, and I certainly enjoy hanging out with the guys every bit as much as any other introvert with social anxiety and Aspergers, but I found myself very impatient with the movie.

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Secret secrets

The US government commanded the phone company Verizon to secretly collect vast amounts of data about its users activities.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/nsa-phone-records-verizon-court-order

Furthermore, Verizon was banned from admitting the existence of this secret order.

“The court order expressly bars Verizon from disclosing to the public either the existence of the FBI’s request for its customers’ records, or the court order itself.”

I am very disturbed when anyone is ordered to do something unethical and then required to deny all knowledge of that action.  At this point I truly believe that non-compliance, even if it results in prosecution, is the ethically correct action.  To do anything else is to be complicit in the creation of a privatized secret police.  I would have a huge amount of respect for any executive who stood up in public and said “we have been ordered by the government to spy on our customers and then deny all knowledge of this program, but instead we choose honesty.  We refuse to do this.  We will inform you if we receive further secret orders.  And we will accept the consequences of our honesty if necessary.”

Imagine the power of an executive choosing to go to jail rather than become complicit in large scale espionage.  That would be someone I could respect.

 

Nexus 7

I’m loving my new Nexus 7.  I’m sitting in Casa Cappuccino drinking coffee and updating my blog.  It’s a significant improvement over my old Playbook, for a number of reasons.

Firstly the on screen keyboard is better.  A physical keyboard is always going to be more efficient than a touchscreen, but I’m finding that typing seems a lot more fluid on this than the playbook.   I’m making less errors, the autocorrect is smarter, and editing existing text is easier. I’m not convinced by gesture typing yet, but with a bit of practice it could be quite handy.

Second, being part of the android ecosystem means there are way more available apps than on the playbook.  The nexus 7 is a very nice portable movie viewer, for example.

Third, it’s very accessible as a development platform.  It didn’t take long for me to go through the android tutorials and write, build and deploy my first application to the device.

On the downside, I miss the smooth integration with iTunes that I’m used to on iOS devices, and I’m frustrated that Greek fonts don’t render correctly.  I love the youVersion bible application, and I wish I could switch easily between the English text and the Greek.

That said, this is definitely the nicest mobile device I’ve used so far, and is significantly cheaper than the iPad mini.  Strongly recommended.