Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Next: Motorola CloudBB Android computer

After my excitement of seeing the Android cameras (re: Samsung Galaxy Camera and Nikon S800C), here comes another Android gadget. This time it is from Motorola. Well done, Motorola! Finally, Motorola has pioneered what could be a game changing product, like the first time when it pioneered the mobile phone. Hopefully, this time this product turns into a money spinner for good old Moto.

This new Android gadget is called the Motorola CloudBB. It is basically an Android-based desktop computer, with wireless keyboard and mouse. I hope it doesn't stop at just being an entertainment device for viewing video and surfing the net.

I like working on a desktop environment when I write my blog, reply emails, or search the web for information. I also prefer to do word processing or spreadsheeting on a desktop with a proper keyboard and mouse. I am sure the Android apps are powerful enough for me and I don't really need any PC-based Microsoft office suite. PC-based computing is unstable, prone to malware, hard-disk crash, and system slowdown (unless you do regular housekeeping). It is so last-decade.

Unless you use heavy-duty PC-based software, an Android computer should be able to replace the needs of  a typical home user. What do you think?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Growing old vs growing sick

I just came back today from a brief stay at the hospital. I have not logged on to my Facebook (something I have not been doing for a long time) but I'd like to thank all my friends for their well-wishes. Thank you, all of you! Here's a little blog to share my experience with you.

My thyroid removal operation (nothing deadly serious!) was on Friday. Soon after I woke up, I felt the urge to urinate. Here is Lesson No.1. When they tell you to fast before an operation, you'd better do it. It is no small matter if you have any urge at all to empty your bladder or your bowels immediately after the operation.

Well, that would have been the end of Lesson No.1 if I could even use the urinal and do it on the bed, even with all the tubes running across my body. But that was not meant to be. I could hardly squeeze a few drops out despite a great urge. I was told it might be due to the anesthesia or the painkillers. Painkillers?!! That's it. I recall that when I woke up the nurse asked if I was in pain. Desperate for any bit of pampering, I nodded yes. I must have been given another dose of painkillers. Lesson No.2. I didn't dare complain of any more pain after that. Each time a nurse asked "do you have any pain?", I cheerily said no. Nothing is worse than the urge to pee and still not able to.

That night, I heard the other chap in the room telling the nurse how he couldn't pee and how it hurt when he did. Apparently he had this problem longer and much worse. I thank God mine was only temporary. Lesson No.3: no matter how bad, there is always someone else in greater pain.

The real epiphany came when I realized that as we grow old, it is not the balding head or the wrinkled skin that will concern us the most. It is the pain that comes when we have to suffer certain conditions. Like the inability to pee when under an increasing urge. It was torturous. I thank God I am now back to my fully functional body and health.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

How America can regain its dream

I have just read an article that says Mitt Romney has no plans on how to deal with the country's crisis. That set me thinking; what would I do if I were the president?

I think the answer is very simple, but to get it legislated would be impossible. Digressing a little, I believe America is no longer governed on the principle of  "of the people, by the people, for the people." Instead, it is run by a group of very rich and powerful people who are more interested in protecting their wealth and their way of life, than to  work for the common good.

Back to the question; what would I do if I were the president? I would cause the pendulum to swing back towards more socialism, as I think capitalism has gone too far in the US. I would use both carrots and sticks to bring manufacturing back into the country. If that fails, I would set up government-run factories to manufacture goods that all government departments will have to buy from. That itself would create a size-able internal market, as well as creating jobs.

I would expand, not reduce, the civil workforce. However, the pay scale will have to be revised downwards, especially for those in the higher rungs. Basically, I would use the same payroll budget to spread over a larger number of people. Yes, there is the economic theory that this will reduce incentive for people to work, as seen in communist countries. However, that doesn't mean it cannot be used as a short term measure to bring relief to the unemployed.

I would introduce compulsory service for new doctors and other selected professionals before they can work in the private sector. During this period, these new professionals will provide service at a much lower pay than they would get in the private sector. For example, they can be deployed to provide low-cost health care to the poor. This will also put downward pressure on fees and insurance charged by the private companies.

I believe America is still a great country and I believe it has the potentials to regain its past glory. It just needs to re-invent the government.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Camera and Nikon S800C

Some weeks ago I wrote about the idea of an Android camera. Imagine my surprise and excitement when I later read about Nikon's new S800C and then about Samsung's new Galaxy Camera.

First impressions are only first impressions. How well the cameras can actually satisfy a photographer's needs remains to be seen.

The Samsung model looks awfully futuristic and has ample specs to match. However, I just learned from one of the hands-on reviews that the shutter lag is significant. That being most probably true, it really kills off my enthusiasm for this camera.

The Nikon model is more modest in looks but the fact that one can start shooting as soon as the camera is turned on is really a huge one-up over its competition. My admiration for this shooter just climbed a few notches. However, something is very disturbing to me. I can't help but feel that Nikon may not have integrated the camera as tightly into Android as I would like it to be. What I mean is, I want to be able to install any camera app, and use the conventional shutter release to snap. I hope to be proven wrong, but it is possible that the built-in shutter release may not be part of a camera app (like Camera360, Instagram, etc). I have a feeling that the Samsung model is more seamlessly integrated, but I cannot tell for sure. I am still trying to glean this information from the latest news. Please comment on this blog if you have this information.