Monday, January 4, 2010


Pros: Lightweight, Strong Signal
Cons: Difficult To Use, Awkward Keypad
Best Uses: Making Calls
Describe Yourself: Business Professional, Gearhead, Practical

After becoming accustomed to the iPhone’s touchscreen, this was a disappointment. The importance of the user interface moved to the forefront for me. The trackpad is an awkward substitute. For instance, there doesn’t appear to be any way to modify the tracking range of motion. Consequently, navigating between fields requires a delicate touch and that luxury isn’t always available.

Two lesser reasons for dissatisfaction are the plain-vanilla browser and the difficulty of learning some of the ways to modify the default settings. The browser is merely adequate. Even RIM acknowledges that. As for modifying the default settings, I particularly want to learn now how to (1) reset the clipboard, (2) prevent the phone number from being assigned to the work field when the number is added to contacts, and (3) assign Opera as the default browser.

Unfortunately, my dissatisfaction with the user interface overshadows the rest of this phone’s good features. It makes phone calls very well. As a regular phone therefore it’s been doing a good job. That can be attributed to the phone’s design and the robust coverage of the carrier. As a smartphone, it’s inadequate but that can be attributed to my prior experience with the iPhone.
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Sunday, January 3, 2010

The movie’s well on its way to becoming a success. It will probably create a cult-like following like Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and other megahits.

I saw it today in 3D. The plot was familiar but that didn’t detract from the story. The movie’s visual effects were impressive and very enjoyable. My enjoyment of the movie, however, arose from the emotional connection that it made with me. That’s what separates Avatar from other movies that were also rich in visual effects. Waterworld (1995), for instance, was a relative dud despite Kevin Costner’s star (which might have been soaring higher than anyone else’s when the movie was released).

I think that Avatar will succeed on two levels: commercially and as a pop culture icon. There should be nothing deregatory about becoming a pop culture icon. Pop is short for popular and popular culture refers to the “totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images and other phenomena that are deemed preferred per an informal consensus within the mainstream of a given culture.” (Wikipedia)

Incidentally, “avatar” is a fairly new term. One of my first encounters with it occurred in Second Life. However its roots, according to Wikipedia, can be traced to Hinduism where its meaning loosely refers to the descent of a deity into the physical world. In the movie, the human protagonists are projected into the alternate reality of the alien inhabitants of the fictional planet Pandora.

I recommend it. I think you’ll enjoy it.
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