Monday, September 25, 2017

Marking the purchase of a new iPhone

[VIDEO] Ten years ago I bought a Motorola Razr phone which at that point was the most stylish phone of the time. It wasn't very difficult to find that phone is some of the TV series of that time which was roughly late 2000s. Essentially it was the first phone I owned that had a camera, and this was for the most part a new thing. Camera phones more or less became available roughly mid-2000s.

That same year 2007, came the first iPhone - the product launch you see above and this was something I slept on. It was likely I was aware during that time of Apple computers , however, it was in my head that they were expensive. Not only that I largely had used a PC all my life, which includes computers at my mother's job, at school, or even at home. An Apple - or a Mac if you will - would be a new concept which at that point and still even now, I was unwilling to even make the transition. Although I always thought Apple computers did things easier than a PC could.

Anyway, I had little concept back then of this so-called "smartphone" and still being in college at the time all that occurred to me with such phones where that they were expensive. Not just for the phones themselves but the other services they offered such as text, internet, email, ect. If the phone cost $100 - let's just say - then the additional services could cost just as much. And it wasn't until roughly 2010 when I started working that it was necessary to enter the smartphone era with a Blackberry Bold.

Then it was interesting that by 2012, I transitioned to an iPhone 4S. I went from a Razr flip phone, to a Blackberry that had a physical keyboard with a tracking pad to scroll the screen, and then to a total touch screen device. The 4S remains my one of my favorite phones of all time although eventually I had to transition to another iPhone two years later.

Another thing I recognize is how the transmission of photos have changed. Many of the photos there on this blog and others I've started over the years were in the beginning taken on my Razr. I could literally text the photos to Blogger, Twitter, or even Facebook and then eventually I could use e-mail to send pics. Usually the e-mail I'd send photos from was from an e-mail that may contain my phone number. Then later that became outmoded and eventually to share photos to social media one needed an app. Then by 2012 here comes Instagram and it became easier than ever.

Recently I have transitioned not to the latest iPhone, but the iPhone 6S plus. It's an oversized phone - well a "phablet" to be more precise - but the larger screen I was keen on trying out. Of course I had a 4.7" screen with the iPhone 6 and it was something of an adjustment from the 3.5" screen size of the 4S.

Having become keen on the olloclip lens I bought for the 6, I opted to only upgrade to the 6S plus because the lenses I bought were only compatible with the form factor of the 6 or 6S plus. In the short term this will save me some money and I can keep snapping pictures on my still new phone. Also I wasn't ready to get a brand new phone although that could happen down the line. Also I never liked the iPhone 7 & 7 Plus because the form factor was too similar to the 6 & 6 plus. Although the cameras were far different than with the previous phones, the 7 Plus had dual cameras on the back of the device.

I'm elated that the iPhone 8 & 8 Plus has somewhat returned to the form factor of the iPhone 4 & 4S. There's still a 4.7" & 5.5" screen however this time the touchscreen isn't surrounded by a metal body. Basically the metal parts of the phone is sandwiched by glass. Glass for the touch screen on front of phone, and of course glass on the back of phone. The only difference from four generations ago in addition to the larger screen side is the phone is much thinner.

And since the iPhone is now 10 years old essentially there is an premium anniversary edition called the iPhone X - btw X=10 so not merely iPhone X but iPhone 10. Now this iteration of the iPhone will be available by November and this version I'm definitely iffy about. It certainly resembles somewhat the android phones that I've noticed - say a Samsung - many are far more fond of for a variety of reasons I'll allow android users to explain. In fact the new iPhone releases this year only sparked this debate between iPhone and androids.

With this being said who knows if iPhone is losing it's position as far as smartphones. Apple could at some point lose its leadership and nothing is forever. Then again since the original iPhone had been announced in 2007, the mobile phone world changed rapidly since that time. And it will continue to change in the future.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Thank the British if you live in freedom

[VIDEO] John Ruberry posted this video from Prager U. with regards to the British Empire expanding around the world this idea of freedom throughout it's almost worldwide empire. Remember the United States of America was once part of the British Empire until the American Revolution - probably caused by "benign neglect".

Of course Ruberry brings to mind his Irish ancestors and British rule over Ireland that may cause questions to be asked over Britain's ideas of liberating these many lands. Better yet, their role in keeping peace between warring tribes. Allowing people to maintain their cultures and customs although having a strong sense of right & wrong still might put their foot down on practices they may see as barbaric - such as what's noted in the video the live burning of widows.

I just know that there are going to be those who because the British conquered so much land on the globe for so many years that many will attack this video. Yeah when the British landed in the Americas they came into contact with the American Indian or native American and unfortunately there were some skirmishes and even disease that began to lower their numbers. Same for the Aborigines of Australia or even the Maoris of New Zealand. Yeah we may even discuss the role of the British in the Atlantic slave trade although they ultimately resolved to end Slavery in their territories and end the slave trade.

The bad news today is the emphasis has become demonizing certain groups of people. Unfortunately we know so much about the oppression caused by Europeans on different ethnicities or race. The various nations of Europe have over the centuries been at war with each other and sometimes there were some oppression or genocide. These days we know about the Europeans and their brutal colonialism in the Americas, Africa, or Asia.

It was pointed out that for the most part former colonies of Britain often hadn't fallen into the trap of dictatorial governance. Unfortunately I'm not sure that's true, look at Nigeria, Zimbabwe, perhaps to a lesser extent South Africa - where the white minority chose to subjugate the non-white majority which probably is  a worse form of segregation that what we may know of the American south. British colonialism isn't perfect and more so than the end of British colonial rule.

Then again we see some parallels with for example Iraq and Afghanistan after removing their respective regimes during the course of the War on Terror we installed more liberal democracies in those nations. The results from what I've seen has been less than ideal in both countries and both are still dealing with radical Islamic fundamentalist movements in those nations, especially Afghanistan since after 9/11/2001 we removed the ruling Taliban regime from power.

In both of those examples it was certainly foolhardy to even think we should nation-build. With this in mind we could always look at the British example when we may make the ultimate decision to go toe-to-toe with a regime who proves uncooperative as far as their threat to the world.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The ‘Toxic Masculinity’ Smear

I just had to address this National Review article with regards to "toxic masculinity" especially this excerpt:
If men are not told to be “gentlemen,” some will be emasculated, but more will become destructive men. If men are not trained by good men, they will be trained by bad men; if they have no good males to follow, they follow bad ones. The Left routinely speaks about a world run by women and why such a world would create better men. But the most male-free environment in America exists in black communities, where well over half of black children grow up without fathers. This hasn’t made black boys less violent; it’s made them far more prone to criminality than their non-black peers. Many of these boys follow teenage role models, many of whom have lacked fathers themselves, and lack the training to be a gentleman. They live in a world of risk that requires masculine defense but have no one to teach them to distinguish between defense and aggression.
Of course the gist of the article is namely about the idea of "toxic masculinity" in general and the general answer to it which includes emasculation. Perhaps there are a segment of parents that want to take away from boys the aspects of what makes them boys. That may include the energy which also entails aggression.

Now this I wanted to discuss with regards to Black fathers and Black boys. Why aren't there many Black fathers in Black communities? Are they all in prison? Are they avoiding the women they have babies with? Are the women who had the babies chasing the men away after giving birth? Are the men engaged in high risk activities that either result in them going to prison for an extended stretch of time or otherwise are in the grave?

I can buy the idea that the boys who are left behind are looking for in role models the wrong type of men. That is the type of men who only can cause real serious trouble that can lead to these high risk activities that could either place them in prison or death. And yes sometimes these role models are emasculated.

I suppose if you believe this article there is a war on men. Masculinity is under attack and there is an attempt to redefine this aspect of manhood. It doesn't matter if the subject are bad men it seems the subject of this so-called toxic masculinity are also gentlemen. Boys want to be men, but they need examples of good men. At an impressionable age they may not get that and perhaps we get some of the issues we have now!

Monday, September 11, 2017

September 11, 2001

This morning I was listening to Mancow and on occassion they will play audio from that very day. I was listening to Mancow on that day and while it didn't process in my mind what they were seeing live on TV in their radio studio I would see it live later. It gave me goosebumps as they played the audio again and again.

I have nothing really to add in discussing this. We're still fighting terrorism and not just Islamic fundamentalist terror. I believe men are good, but unfortunately there are a segment of men who are bad. We saw them in action for sure on 9/11.

Either way hit that Sept. 11 tag to see other posts that mark this infamous day. And for you enjoy and like this ig post from Alex Ross, who is a comic book artist. This painting and other paintings of superheroes are without a doubt realistic. I'm a fan even if for the moment he's not doing my favorite DC Comics characters such as Batman or Superman.

For today, I'm a fan of his work and wish I could buy a print of what you will see below!
A post shared by Alex Ross (@thealexrossart) on

Sunday, September 03, 2017

VIDEO: One simple solution to brutal Illinois tax hikes

[VIDEO] At the expense of being accused of copyright infringement I just had to upload this editorial by the General Manager of our local FOX affiliate Dennis Welsh. With that in mind what you see above isn't owned by me, merely uploaded - unlisted - to my YouTube account. It is for educational purposes and for the sake of history that must be preserved.

Here's the pension language in the Illinois constitution contained in section 5 of article XIII. What's been put in bold were emphasized in the video above.
SECTION 5. PENSION AND RETIREMENT RIGHTS

Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State, any unit of local government or school district, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.

(Source: Illinois Constitution.)
In 2008, this state had the opportunity to vote in favor of a state constitutional convention and it could've address this pension language. Unfortunately voters in Illinois voted against a convention because many arguments against this involved pensions.

Now with an income tax hike, sales tax in Chicago, and even a potential property tax increase for Chicago schools are mostly for pensions. As one of the people in the video above states less money for the students, for roads, or for police most of that money is going for public employees' - yes I'm including teachers in that - retirement!

To this I say what a shame! We've gotten ourselves in this mess and it's hard to get out because these government employees want their generous pensions. Taxes are going up because we can't afford them and it seems they will continue to go up as long as they use Illinois' constitution framework to fight any attempt to reform this system. It needs reform for sure!