Even though I'm Canadian, and even though I think I'm a day late, I couldn't pass up on the opportunity to pass on this tag I got from an entertaining blog that I read:
I have a dream....
I have a dream that one day we will unite as a country to care for the deserving ones who cannot care for themselves. We will provide health care for our elderly and not force them into poverty with rising pharmaceutical prices for medicines that enable them to simply live.
I have a dream that we will welcome our military home with joy and gratitude and not force our beliefs upon them about a war they fought while we watched it on the news.
I have a dream that one day I will not fear sending my children to a public school.
I have a dream that myself and others like me can speak freely and innocently, with no malice in our hearts, and not be labeled as a person who hates simply because of the words we choose.
I have a dream that people will rise above those words thereby taking away their power to harm.
Powerful words indeed, let us remember and renew that dream.
Most of us are familiar with Bluetooth, the ubiquitous technology found in most mobile phones and a large variety of devices, allowing wireless connectivity. Bluetooth was named after a late tenth century king, Harald Bluetooth, King of Denmark and Norway. He is known for his unification of previously warring tribes from Denmark (including now Swedish Scania, where the Bluetooth technology was invented), and Norway.
However, I propose we change the name from Bluetooth to BlueHeadache, because that's what occurs when you try to connect the freaking devices. I have a Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capable PocketPC Phone (the HTC Alpine), and recently purchased Bluetooth Jabra Stereo Headphones with A2DP and a Bluetooth GPS receiver. The GPS still doesn't work after a week of trial and error, though on the bright side, it only took two days to get the headphones working! It involved a registry hack and a kernel-level patch. Seriously, you'd think it'd be marginally easier to achieve 'wireless freedom'. Its certainly understandable that ensuring compatibility with a wide range of devices is not simple, but they could have done a better job.
The way the profiles/services system looks good on paper, but when hardware vendors don't bother adhering to a more stringent set of common standards, the results are pure frustration. On top of that, there is not much you can do, because on the computer side, the components are limited in the tweaking sense, and if you're hooking up to something like a GPS receiver...well, there's really nothing you can do when the damn phone can't detect the correct serial profile for the GPS.
There are revisions, specifically Bluetooth 1.2, 2.0, and even a proposed 3.0, but they are not in consumer products yet, and it may be a while before they will be. One can only hope they managed to improve compatibility between devices. On the bright side, barring the instances when both my phone and headphones flat out refuse to work (and that happens randomly), it sure is fun having wireless audio...also disregarding the fact that it stutters when I use the phone, and when I walk out of a room. Once I managed to get the remote buttons on my headphones to work using the AVRCP profile, it is very convenient to listen to music. There is still the matter of my now useless GPS receiver though...the damn thing won't even work with my laptop's Bluetooth adapter.
Gizmodo has long been regarded as on the scale with one of the more popular tech blogs such as Engadget, but they recently came back from the Consumer Electonics Show 2008 in Las Vegas with some heavy confessions to tell. They took along a device called TV-B-Gone, which, I assume, scans infrared frequencies that turn off televisions. So, naturally, there are a huge amount of televisions at the fair. They went around turning them off for fun.
As you can see in the video by following the link, they may have gone over the line a little bit. Oh sure, cutting off booth sets are harmless fun, something I would definitely enjoy, but shutting them down during presentations and live events? That may be toeing, if not stepping over the line. It's a childish prank, worthy of a couple of high school students. You can see poor product reps glancing about in confusion as their displays went black, during their presentations. For their careers may depend largely on how they manage to market their product, and through no fault of their own, these mishaps occurs. You have to give Gizmodo credit for issuing an apology in the latter part of their post, but isn't this a bit like closing the barn door after the horses have escaped?
Let's hope that there are no serious repercussions from their little fun, both for the reps and Gizmodo themselves.
Edit: Here is another post about the incident, more information than mine, actually. They contacted Gizmodo's publisher on whether the persons responsible would be fired, his answer was a terse no, but I do believe there will be suitable actions taken within the company. They also expand on the possible ramifications of this act, reflecting badly on all bloggers everywhere. Quite a shame, really.
Further Update: Aaand, they've been reportedly banned by CES and Gawker Media, the site behind Gizmodo is probably going to get slapped with a lawsuit. Looks like that little prank has wide reaching repercussions eh?
Hello my friends,
Welcome to the Polity.ca blog. Some of you may have come from before this site went down, and some of you may be new users. I have switched to a much better host, (hostmonster.com), and have decided to start from scratch, rather than trying to import all the old stuff.
I will be posting interesting news, postings, editorials, and other stuff I find interesting, mainly from the web here, so if you're in need of something to peruse, feel free to subscribe to our RSS feed here and/or bookmark the site. I'm still tinkering with the site, but I've got the backbones and frontend up and running, which took about 45 minutes, and I will be furthering extending it with plugins and fun stuff. I have already installed a Search Engine Optimization package, and have plans for a lot of other stuff.
See you out there!