Friday, January 19, 2007

And We Thought Tom Cruise Was The Problem...

I'm opening this one up to my fans - by whom should I be more disgusted? Oprah, the wretched opportunist who leaves no human tragedy unbroached... or the parents of this 15-year-old boy, who obviously need a little more fame to add to the fun their family has experienced this week. You decide!

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) -- The parents of the 15-year-old boy who was found last week in the apartment of his alleged abductor believe their son was sexually assaulted by his apparent captor, they told Oprah Winfrey in an interview to air Thursday.

When the talk-show host asked Pam and Craig Akers if they believed that their son, Shawn Hornbeck, was sexually assaulted by Michael J. Devlin, Craig Akers answered, "Yes."

Saturday, January 13, 2007


We were all amazed and impressed this week when Steve Jobs introduced his newest market-killer to the world – the originally named “iPhone”. I shouldn’t complain. Who needs an original name when your product actually does what you want. All indications are that this product will revolutionize how we function “on the go” – no longer will we need those pesky desks or chairs to communicate or take care of our most basic tasks. I, like the whole world, am fully impressed with the design. It took almost no time for me to see the iPhone on the TV and begin stroking the screen, uttering “preeecious… preeecious”.

Yet, being a recent newcomer to the smartphone market, I have realized that a flawlessly designed phone is only half of the recipe for a successful device. The other is phone service. It’s not sexy or made of anodized aluminum, but good phone service is absolutely necessary for device that can contribute to your life. Without it, you have a $499 paperweight. We’re not going to see the iPhone until summer 2007, but I feel that there at least two major issues that need to be resolved before this can be a successful product…

It is widely believed that Cingular wireless will be the sole service provider for the iPhone. Yet, in just one week, the new owner of Cingular – ironically, AT&T – will begin to phase out the Cingular brand. ( Now, I know that AT&T will tout their ability to provide uninterrupted service during this transition, but if anyone remembers the previous switch between AT&T and Cingular, they probably don’t remember it fondly. While this time around AT&T is just taking over Cingular and not trying to merge two different cell phone providers, you can be sure that there will be some changes in monthly plans that will confuse some customers. Which brings me to my next concern…

Data Plans. Sure, it’s great to be able to catch up on the latest vitriol between Rosie and Donald on your cell phone, but in order to do so, you’re going to need to use a LOT of data over Cingular/AT&T’s network. If you don’t happen to have a data plan (it’s not automatic yet), a single half hour TV episode could run you more than your entire monthly bill. Most cell phone data plans now allow you a certain amount of data usage per month for a fee, with any overages costing you a small fortune. Sure, you can sign for an unlimited data usage plan, but that basically doubles your monthly fee. Will AT&T offer these plans at a lower fee? Or will we all be buying this $499 handset just to make phone calls?

I’m sure Apple, in it’s infinite wisdom, has thought through all these issues and plans on leashing AT&T appropriately. I’m still a HUGE fan of Apple, Inc., and am grateful that the company has the size to force such an industry change, but also has the agility to continue to innovate. I just think before we all run out an buy iPhones in crowds like those seen at the recent PS3 launch, we should all think about how much it’s going to cost. Of course, Steve Jobs doesn’t have to worry about that.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Welcome, 2007

2006 was a pretty good year, overall. I recovered fully from the Great Fire of ’05, I found a great place to live, and Tina Fey became really funny again. I can only hope that 2007 is better. I even made it home with my dignity intact after New Years this year, which is more than I can say for Ms. Spears.

I gave up on New Years resolutions years ago. Why bother with the constraints of a resolution? Let me just tell you what I’m hoping for during the next 365 days.

  • Affordable housing I can purchase… in the District.
  • Better clothes available for purchase. Is it just me, or did all the stores have shit this year?
  • Some decent albums. Except for a few entries by a select few (KT Tunstall, Keane, Kasabian), the music of 2006 was LAME.
  • More grocery stores WHERE PEOPLE LIVE. Thank you, Trader Joes.
  • No more wrinkles under my eyes.
  • A big tax refund.
  • Congressional competence.

That’s not much to ask, is it?