Friday, October 28, 2011

Real Men - Do's and Don'ts

Real men don’t “write checks” that require the “endorsements or withdrawals” of their entire family life and/or professional integrity to cash.
·         Real men don’t use the excuse of their pressures and responsibilities at work; to bare down unfairly and take for granted the love and loyalty offered to them daily by their own family and loved ones, children and spouse.
·         Real men don’t use the pressing responsibilities they are facing at home; as an excuses to practice cutthroat politics or even less scrupulous tactics; towards advancement within their workplace.

A real man’s character should always be present throughout his’ life.
·         Real men, don’t overlook that being a man requires protecting and defending the good in one’s self; maintaining steadfast character; a character that ceaselessly enforces one’s ethics and principals; especially when they are facing trials. 

Real men don’t find their own judgment, ethics, and principals; clouded, compromised or abandoned over new found power and responsibility.
·         Real men don’t find they have different priorities and ethics simply because money is being offered to them.
·         When greed becomes your inspiration, you have already failed.

Real men think about the legacy they will leave in this world before it is too late in their life to alter it. 
·         They understand that they are never to alter their legacy at the cost and expense of their own family, co-workers, and friend’s wellbeing or trust.

Real men don’t falsify loyalties.
·         Real men don’t change their idea of loyalty and alter the people they bestow it on, whenever it suits them; or ever stray from or deceive the very people whom they led to believe could depend on their consistency and sincerity.

Real men find a way to obtain humility, and treat others fairly; abundantly representing they are no more important than the persons they are speaking too, managing or calling friends, co-workers and family.
·         Real men treat their wives as if their own lives depend on their happiness, trust and love being respected and steadfast.
·         Real men treat their children as if their lives depend on it.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Irony of Conformity Amongst "Creatives"

I do often wonder if many Apple fan boys within the "creative" fields, have ever bothered to examine the irony of their own conformity?  ..."conformity" is not a very "creative" trait after all.

After-all, where related to technological tool-sets, "creatives" typically share in uniformly seeking the same monochromatic, minimalism, computing platform. (Mistaking, if you will, minimalism for high-tech.) An unfortunate misinterpretation; given Apple is a computing platform which draws those same professionals towards a set of tools which are actually so technically limiting; in either their offering as a PC, or robust computing platform. ...and let's not even try to approach the Apple's recent (2010) abandonment of its' X-serve enterprise line of computers. Indicating, even Apple concedes the shallow nature of it's platform and opportunities outside of consumer, versus professional customers.

In keeping with product lines, devoid of "professional" / mission critical, profit based, computing intentions; rumors are they will soon abandon their Mac Pro desktop computing line as well. Eliminating their only remaining; flexible, up-gradable, high-end system offering. This combined with the fact they have recently alienated themselves from Adobe; the only real application developer of professional / industry standard, Page Publishing (In Desgn) , Photo Editing (Photoshop), Web Authoring (Dream Weaver) and reliable video editing tools (Premier) their platform supports, (not even going to mention Flash) is just embarrassing and completely destructive for all those "Creatives" who continue to depend on them. (And my hat is off to all those fellow NLE's who have had experienced the nightmare of using both the previous "Pro" version, and the now downgraded Final Cut, over the years!) Not to mention the fact there has NEVER been an adequate "industry standard" application developer in the (CAD) Computer Aided Design field, (and very few within the field of Computer Animation tool-sets) which has ever wished to risk development resources on supporting the Macintosh product line. The only exception are typically those which already had a presence in the UNIX landscape so for a few years supporting a directly ported version for OSX.

Being a "creative", should never mean turning a blind eye to the most productive and liberating tool sets. But it is often hard to get a "creative" to turn their eyes of the obsessions they have already chosen to desirably gaze at! Passion! Can't live with it, can't live without it. In these cases, a plea or question should be asked. "Since when do "creatives" wish to be limited? ...or for that matter conformist?" Was never a goal of mine while steeped within the Computer Graphics, Design and Simulation field...

I can however appreciate the fact that many "creatives" are not necessarily striving to be "computer nerds"; therefor, seeking what may seem to be the "path of least resistance", to this end. And I might try to be sensitive to those who feel the safest route to avoid becoming technically adept; is to harbor a platform based on "closed architecture" and a highly restrictive ecosystems; since such limits might initially offer the desired solace or comfort.

It just seems that ultimately depending on appropriate provisions such as of self proclaimed, "Awesome", IT folks, (or perhaps, 3rd part, outside consultants,) in an inspired and productive effort to avoid stifling platform limitations, the perils of discontinued support and whole product lines, and the stagnation of "comfort zones" (aka paradigms); and instead support or introduce platforms and tools which actually provide the most depth, security and freedom. Such liberation and better values, should actually be the smartest long term route within any organization or studio. But as is always the case, folks just don't know, what they don't know.

Creativity and Intelligent within larger organization is already fraught with so many challenges; it is certainly not a good choice to have those individuals whom are "avoiding being computer nerds" to indeed have the final say, belief or influence on the computing platform they chose to find comfort in.

If creatives are thinking by avoiding the wiser choice 90% of all computer users see fit to depend on, they are avoiding being "typical" or conformist; I'm afraid by instead conforming to their other "creative" peers (or all of those visible within their immediate circles;) in this case, they have shot themselves in the foot.  This wouldn't be such an irony and challenge if it wasn't so likely to stifle future creativity.

Here are some odd perspective on a couple of emerging technologies I shared through a blog entry last December, that I have yet to see shake up the industry, as I hope they one day will:

Perhaps even CITRIX recent announcement today claiming, "it will make virtual desktops cheaper than real ones", is also a step in this direction of remote computing, based on platforms even the "creatives" among us can't be stifled by.

And some rather unrelated news of Apple' "green" efforts, which I am a fan of:


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

International Cellular & Mobile Computing Bliss

This blog post entry will expand on the previous blog entry from yesterday, by listing very specific purchases which can be made prior to your travels in order to assure you stay both connected, entertained and charged up for a long day of travel, surfing, itinerary review and keeping in touch with the office or family members.

Fact is, a well engineered, state-of-the-art, handheld cellular or tablet device can be APPed up, customized or altered to indeed be all things for all people, just like any good solid piece of mobile or desktop computing. And while there are many faults I have previously discussed about so called "state-of-the-art" devices these days; most having to do with the manufactures desires to limit users to a single "ecosystem" of media and applications, or cellular providers exorbitant, long term contract pricing and highly restricted and costly data plans; I am not going to worry about these previously discussed limitations in this blog entry. Instead I am going to point out the limitless possibilities available to those wishing to fully exploit the current potential of truly mobile computing.

This "link happy" blog entry will assume at this point that you get I am a fan of the Android platform and Motorola (aka Google's) more recent method of "unlocking" the power of the Android platform through the use of a an advantage they have termed "Webtop". These combination's of reliable hardware, extensive wireless handset experience, and advanced VM and OS techniques, provide for the lightest, most connected, most compact possible solution for your communication, e-mail, entertainment and laptop needs. With the convenience of a solid state full size laptop.

Side Note:
For those just not sure if they can trust the equipment I am encouraging, given some of the lack luster reviews both Android and more specifically the Motorola ATRIX have been subject to over recent months; I submit the following:
Most current technology reviewers of these new devices and OSes mistakenly try to compare these devices and their ingenious peripherals to the functionality of a Laptop. While the form factor is indeed similar, that is where the similarities end.

 With the philosophy of Web 2.0 based applications; and the emergence of viable "Software as a Service" (aka SaaS) models of delivering applications; in order to make a valid comparison (if one should even be attempted with such completely different approaches to computing) you would have to incorporate into a valid review the utilization of Web Based Application on the Webtop device. I have yet to see this appropriate approach attempted in any reviewers comparisons. However, to this end, I have created my own website for helping me both access, compare and benchmark these types of SaaS (Software as a Service) websites.  You are welcomed to register with any of the service providers made available on this Virtual Desktop I've created; most offer a free or "free-mium" approach to signing up new users of their application. Or in many cases no sign up is required at all.

Back on Point:
In the case of those wishing to take advantage of utilizing and traveling with a mobile computing device like the Motorola ATRIX, I have compiled the following list and advice of accessories and equipment and techniques I followed while traveling internationally with this equipment.  And I must add, utilizing these practices and technologies during recent overseas travels, I have never felt more portable, less encumbered and more connected during any of my previous international vacation or travels. Mobile computing platform such as Google's Android, and hardware made by company's as experienced as Motorola are definitely the combinations of expertise which will usher in this new era with little compromise and unimaginable opportunities and freedom.

Keeping in mind, "the future is already here, it is just not evenly distributed." So if the goal is to utilize and travel with such equipment today, let's finally review some "best practices" and helpful tips and accessories.

Since the Laptop Dock charging adapter is of course internationally capable (but is a 3 prong plug) I simply bought the following charging adapter (not converter) and also the following portable power strip. In addition I found thefollowing charger to be excellent, since it is compact, and allows both the phone and any brand or shape EXTRA battery to be charged at the same time.

Besides assuring I was always thoroughly charged and connected to the Internet; my only other travel considerations were providing some portable entertainment, and keeping up with the various Micro SD cards (Do NOT use "Class 10 micro SD cards" on an Android phone) and SIM chips I inevitably keep handy during such travels. So I did order a couple of helpful accessories to this end.

For more reliable SIM chip use, storage and compatibility I grabbed both ahandy wallet organizer, and a Micro SIM to SIM adapter. And for entertainment, I loaded two of these handy USB to Micro SD adapterscombined with 32 GB Micro SD's. This provided me with endless movies (80+), songs (1000+) and audio books and ebooks; as well as document storage for a few work related projects I kept up with while in the air and on trains. You see, the Laptop Dock has two USB ports located on the back of it, so you can simply leave these USB Micro SD adapters plugged in, and each time you dock your phone, presto, Movies and entertainment library! (I also have a 32GB Micro SD in the phone (for a total of x3 when docked), so there is plenty of on board storage as well, when I don't wish to make space for the "Lapdock".

A quick mention for those who like to takes lots of photos and videos while traveling:
If you really think about the implications of a phone (aka: mobile computing device) with access to extra USB ports, you can consider another option I depended on daily. Since I shot reams of 3D video footage (which incidentally shoots 2D .JPGs simultaneous to every 3D photo, and provides completely compatible videos for YouTube / Vimeo uploads) of my trip each day; I needed to free up the space 3D footage requires, from the camera's 32GB SD cards. So each night I also used the laptop dock as a file manager. I simply attach a 500GB 3" portable, external HDD (must be FAT32 formatted) to the back and a SD card reader to the other slot, and copied every picture and video to the HDD repository.

I hope this veritable "brain trust" of accessories and related information gives you some idea of the options and opportunities available to you with the right GSM hardware. I have also gathered (and personally performed) the thorough, step-by-step instructions, necessary for any and all "unlocking" you might choose to do to your new ATRIX, assuming that is the route you choose. And I am happy to forward these instruction to anyone wishing to know more about these details. But again, none of these OS and Boot-loader "unlocking" actions are really needed to take advantage of the opportunity required for typical day-to-day use and travel. ...just the Subsidy or SIM unlock.

Incidentally, as is always the case with technology, Motorola has continued to advance their Webtop / power phone offerings since the release of the ATRIX this last spring. Most recently with the announcement of the new Motorola RAZR line of Android devices. To this end they have also updated the laptop Dock product line with a new smaller 10" model called the Lapdock 100 and a new larger 14" model called the Lapdock 500. However, the only version of these handsets I have seen available for pre-order are not GSM capable, they are only Verizon/U.S. compatible, so they are really irrelevant for yor application. In addition, my understanding is the new Lapdocks are not backwards compatible with the first Webtop Motorola devices. so yo can't simply order one and expect the additional features of the updated Lapdocks to provide anything for you.

Admittedly, the only thing I do think they should have included with their first iteration of the 11" Laptop Dock, was an integrated web camera at the top of the screen. Alternatively, for any live, international video conferencing you wish to do, you will simply hold the handset by itself and use the front facing camera with any standard video chat app., such as Google Chat, QIK, Tango or Skype. I also don't care much for the touch pad on the device, so I keep handy a small portable Bluetooth mouse. Also a bluetooth headset can be real nice if wanting to have a voice conversation while typing away at the Lapdock.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A non-Apple Travel Experience is Simply a Better Trip!

Just returned from a European vacation.  Thought I might try to "quickly" share a bit of info with you, regarding a handy technological set of solutions.

I recently utilized a Mobile phone which doubled as a laptop computer; the Motorola ATRIX and it's add-on, "Laptop Dock" peripheral. You can also purchase very inexpensive, after-market, removable batteries for the phone handset, for less than $15 (so spares can be easily pocketed); and the "Laptop Dock" unit will run for an additional 8+ hours on a single charge, while also providing a full re-change to the phone handset.

These combinations provide for the lightest, most connected, most compact possible solution for your communication, e-mail, entertainment and laptop needs.  With the convenience of a solid state full size laptop.  We found this indispensable when on planes and trains, for journaling and e-mailing friends and family.  (Let's face it, typing on glass just isn't what it is cracked up to be. And the locked down nature of most/all Apple product just doesn't lend itself well to international compatibly and diverse travel.)
Myself and my wife traveled with two other friends while we were on our vacation.  They had iPhones, we did not.  Despite the attempts they made prior to leaving to have their phones fully "jail broken" and SIM subsidy "Unlocked" they we NEVER able to depend on ANY compatibility with any of the 3rd Party Micro SIMS they attempted.  Since we chose to use an Android based, Motorola device which also support Motorola's "Webtop" technology, we were NEVER without a method to surf, change last minute bookings, or use Google maps and other navigation feature to continue tweaking our plans and itinerary.

"Webtop" simply provides access to the full Linux underpinning that is present within every Android device, but is rarely made available without some extensive hacking. Thanks to Motorola's offering NO HACKING is required with a "Webtop" capable phone.

Once we arrived in Italy we bought TIM branded SIM cards.  This provided our unlocked GSM devices with UNLIMITED data for 30 days and 45 minutes of talk time along with unlimited SMS texting all for 7.9e (euros).  The beauty of our mobile devices at this point was not only the connectivity, but also the lightweight / long battery life and full size keyboard and 13" screen availability, thanks to the compatibility with the Laptop Dock and our subsidy / SIM unlocked handsets.

Well, this description has already gone FAR longer than I intended.  I just thought I would share a perspective on the benefits of utilizing a Fully Unlocked, and highly capable GSM Android device made by a leading worldwide phone manufacture.  It proved to be indispensable for us in providing a flexibility and confidence while traveling that we had never before experienced on any of our many other remote / extended journeys over the past 15 years.

Meanwhile, our professional photographer / travel companions spent more than one evening within the lobby of there hotels blogging, when available and free, on hotel provided WiFi about how frustrated their Apple equipment was making their attempts to stay connected and informed.
I do think one key to hassle free traveling is to avoid taking technology, gadgets devices, clothing or accessories which are unneeded, untested, unreliable, unreasonably costly and inflexible.  Keep your mind open and challenge yourself to explore options and opportunities that others have had proven success with.

Good luck with any future travel adventures you are fortunate enough to embark on.  I hope they each far exceed your expectations.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

America Must Remain a Birth Place for Future Entrepreneurs!

I often warn folks to keep in mind, we are all either "part of the problem or part of the solution"...

Recently a FB "friend" posted the following sentiment:

"Find something better than you, and when you do, figure out how you can make that something even better. Stop asking/demanding for other people to live your life for you. You can reap what you sow, or you can cry about what other people reap and sow. If you can't own up to your own life, how can you ask others to pay for your failures. Life isn't fair, get off your entitled high-horses and make a difference. Stop empowering the government to think for you."

** While it all sounded rather inspiring at first, it unfortunately garnered the following typical remarks:

"...there are so many out there that ONLY WANT to live off of the government and off of the taxes we pay!!! I have a hard enough time supporting myself and my 3 kids, and to have to pay the taxes we do really sucks, knowing the part of that goes to a lazy ass that doesn't want to work. Especially when they just want to keep having kids, doing drugs, driving nicer cars then I do and I'm the one out there busting my ass for 10 to 15 hours a day!"

** In discussions such as this, I think it is best to first ask yourself, "are you a person guided by fear or opportunity?"

A true entrepreneurial individual / job creator, is never guided by fear. This is not to say they are not aware of pit falls, but paranoia and bazaar ideas of victimization are hardly the catalyst for American innovation!

It amazes me how "off point" anger can place a vast lump of the American public. While it may make for titillating, sensationalized, editorial, commentary, it does so little to actually effectively / productively motivate the American public.

We all loose as American citizens when well-meaning folks actually believe they are under seize and under attack. When was the last time you personally saw some "angry conservative" become a productive, job creating entrepreneur? personally?

I desperately wish more "conservatives" would form opinions based on testimony rather than titillation. After all, "conservative thinking" is hardly the opportunity provided to those who truly know how to take advantage of our country's, free market, free enterprise and exceptional capitalistic nature. However, so many are being distracted by anger and fear, versus harnessing a productive passion towards the opportunities which would actually make a difference in this country's future and sustained viability as an economic world power and job creator.

While free speech is certainly one of the greatest freedoms we all have, it does little to create jobs when it is so poorly miss directed, time and time again. Don't confuse your opportunity and freedom to be angry and scared and expressive with that of being productive, patriotic and a part of the solution.

It is simply NOT a complicated thing to determine where your own taxes are really going. Simply do the research, don't let FOX or any other editorialized network or website throw you off point. Do the research necessary to truly form your own opinion, rather than using information of those simply wishing to sell advertisements.

First and foremost, depend on the actually sources of spending to determine where your money goes within the U.S. government. This is truly a democracy for the people and by the people, and these numbers are and always have been published and available. Use such information to become an educated voter. Then work to gain an understanding for why these HUGE swath of pie charts of spending require the money they do. Laziness, or the thievery of greed fostered by the poor, sick or needy is HARDLY the source of any exorbitant taxes any one in this discussion or any population of America should be directing it's anger at.

Our only hope is for America to remain the birth place of future entrepreneurs! Fear and misdirected anger is hardly the solution. Overcoming the brain dead nature of the modern voter, and the countless millions who would allow the likes of nightly staring contest directed at a TV in order to help them decide where these loyalties, passions and "facts" come from is one of the biggest threats to our fabric of opportunity in this country.


Trusting Your Health to the Non-elected

It is one of this countries biggest shames that folks who might have something MUCH greater than just the opportunity to simply work at Wal-Mart or McDonanlds to contribute, often feel quickly driven or continually trapped to such legacies simply to find away to pay one of the six (6) insurance company's which control our health care opportunities in this country the exorbitant premiums they demand.

"Managed Health Care" has indeed transformed the way we all view our health when we are sick; and unfortunately for many the denial of such provision of health care to others when we are healthy.  I often ask folks who do not feel caring for our populations health as a "human right", if they do feel organizations like FEMA should respond when a community is devastated by a tornado, forest fire or flood? Or if they feel the coast guards should set out to rescues those capsized in a storm?  Most, even conservative folks do indeed feel such "Acts of God" yielding such unsuspecting, large scale tragedies should be approached as a collaborative, community wide response to those individuals and whole communities in need during such tragedies.

The irony comes when you ask them why they differentiate between the "Act of God" that decimates a community through that of an unsuspecting tornado, and the "Act of God" that devastates 1000's dying of breast cancer each year.  We are either a country capable of caring for our own or we are not.  We are either a country that prioritizes humanitarianism issues over that of endless nonstrategic exit strategy wars or we are not.  We can simply NOT have it both ways and claim to have a sensible moral compass in any of these matter.

In so far as simply maintaining a sensitivity for the "human experiences", I find it also ironic that most "conservatives" at this point would also claim to have a protestant Christian background, and yet I am simply not sure where being "Pro-war", "Anti-health care reform", "Pro Gun", "anti-human right for all Americans", etc...  Equals the grace-filled teaching of Jesus Christ.  Again, such duality of so called morality and principals will not be a legacy any of our children will see fit to respect, nor will have the luxury to follow.  Irony's such as these are signs of much deeper and greater problems than that of simply caring for the sick.

Many claim to feel adamant about avoiding trusting health care reform to our elected officials, and would instead continue to trust this insane, corrupt system to the six (6) company's which have a strangled hold on this industry.  I'm not sure why folks see fit to imagine that any groups of  share holder's opportunistic, financial  interest within a mere six (6) gargantuan firms are better suited to sway the nature of caring for all of our health, versus expecting the elected officials we have the power to remove and replace, in the matter of reforming such a VERY corrupt industry.  It seems we have truly lost sight of the power of a democracy.

I keep imagining this loss of vision and purpose must have simply died along with all other qualities of education within our country.  Perhaps less time should be spent following our favorite sports teams and more time understanding the purposes of our votes and the power of the people for the people.

The question of allowing our government to actively pursue "health care reform" might best be elevated to something the average public could make more since of, by simply asking the following:  Trusting your health to a board you neither elect nor own stock in; does this demonstrate wisdom or stupidity?  Even if so many "conservatives" continue to ignore the strangle hold this insurance industry has now placed on our country through it's insanely disproportionate financial burden, one might simply take some time to consider the stupidity involved in selling our HEALTH out to the share holders of six (6) unaccountable companies.  This isn't just the quality or value of an iPod or iPhone we're talking about! It is our lives! And our livelihood, and thanks to a burden 2nd only to our mortgages, it is a structure and a system of being taken advantage of the American public can no longer maintain.

It is amusing to think of all those folks who like to believe we are doomed financially in this country due to the diabolical, ingenious nature of "poor folks"; all those "lazy", "welfare mongols" who refuse to work, yet are so smart they have learned so well how to "work over the system", that they are indeed to blame for the bulk of our corruption and burdens within this country.  But the same folks crying about this poor, lazy but brilliant wolf, don't for a moment think the real problem are those who are actually educated and paid to consider on a daily basis, first and foremost, the profits received by their shareholders over all other considerations of public interest. Really?

How do we remind the voters, the leadership within any U.S. corporation within the U.S. are bound and driven by our current laws to make higher profits paramount before all other considerations.  We are after all talking about "managed health care" which while it has "health care" in the name, it should not be confused with true medical decisions. This is simply the insurance industry, nothing more.  Driven strictly by profits, nothing more!  Their decisions are NEVER weighed by anything as lofty as the Hippocratic oath, nor are the value of services they deem fit to pay for ever about the amounts we as American can afford of most need.  Why would a person EVER defend this system as if it has any one's best interest in mind where related to our health?

Have we truly forgotten the purpose for this democracy?
One created by the people, for the people...
Not by the people for Wellpoint, Cigna, Aetna, Human, United, Bluecross / Blueshield