To whom it may concern
thedailymeme:

Scumbag Rick Perry


I hate this guy.

thedailymeme:

Scumbag Rick Perry

I hate this guy.

Awesome.

I’m convinced that Republicans exist to piss everyone else off while making huge asses of themselves.

This is a list of animals that should not exist

I hate these animals with the undying passion of a thousand suns.

1. Mosquitos - these are the most dangerous animals on Earth. They are also bloodsucking flying horrors that haunt me on the rare occasion that I go outside.

2. Fleas - like Mosquitos, these small animals exist only to bring pain and itchiness to the world while serving absolutely no purpose in the ecosystem.

3. Spiders - fuck spiders. I know they kill bugs, but they’re still creepy as hell.

4. Bugs in general - I’m convinced that bugs exist to gross me out and terrorize me while I’m outside and when I’m lying in bed.

5. Birds - these exist to poop on cars, ruin paintjobs, and to make awful high-pitched noises at ungodly hours of the morning. Except chickens. Chickens are delicious.

6. Mosquitos - did I mention them?

7. Hippos - these might look like harmless novelty animals, but they’re actually cold-blooded killers.

8. Jellyfish - these are absolutely terrifying. They’re nothing more than congealed masses of poison and water. They make Australia’s beaches uninhatable. Which brings me to number 9…

9. Any animal from Australia - every animal in Australia exists to kill humans.

10. Dogs - I realize that this is not the popular opinion, but hear me out. Dogs are horrible creatures. You bring them home only to have them shred your furniture, eat your shoes, pee on and poop on your carpet, and ruin everything they come in contact with.

Inspired by our dog, Arf.

Regarding the “lolsummer69” phenomenon

Forced meme is forced.

Brief infographic of Android’s history. It spans from the creation of Android, Inc., through the Google acquisition, to the inception of the latest version of Android (3.2). Really puts things into perspective.

Brief infographic of Android’s history. It spans from the creation of Android, Inc., through the Google acquisition, to the inception of the latest version of Android (3.2). Really puts things into perspective.

ChristWire - Westboro Baptist Church Finally Figured Out the Internet?

So as I was browsing the interwebernets today, I found this interesting article by ChristWire via a tweet from Modestep’s Twitter account. It caught my attention simply because of how bad it was. So I decided to opine on it.
Here is the article in question.

…Emo-raver band of the year Modestep…
“Emo raver band?” Modestep is a dubstep group. They make electronic music.


They found a lolgraph and took it seriously to emphasize how “evil” Modestep is. Once again, they took a trivial joke as if it were serious.

“Juggalo” is what male emo-ravers call themselves on the street
“Juggalo” is a term used to describe followers of the Insane Clown Posse, a rap group based in the U.S. Not fans of Modestep or any other artist/band/group. This is just inaccurate and shows an obvious lack of any semblance of research.

Now it seems the depravity and sex cravings infamous within this demographic occult culture is exploring a new frontier, our nation’s elderly.
“Occult culture?” Seriously? Fans of a particular band/group/artist cannot be considered an occult. (Although the Insane Clown Posse is an exception to this rule.) That last part was hilarious, but clearly absolutely asinine.

…these people and this Wiccan occult tick. Raver is the new witchcraft, holding terrifying festivals of unholy concoctions and Satanic squeels they try to pass of as music. Know it’s all just another music ploy by Satan to recruit souls for hell.
Why are they associating a secular band with Wicca? Do they know anything at all about music? Do they know anything at all about other religions? Did they research anything at all? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding “no.” They even go so far as to associate Modestep and dubstep in general with satanic rituals, demonstrating complete ignorance of the subject(s) they attempted to report on.

You can tell these fools lack education because the Ecstasy drug has fueled their minds at these secret sex parties where they abduct college girls and induce their minds to want to do unthinkable things and get them pregnant with indiglo babies.
They claim that Modestep and their fans lack education and assert that everyone who listens to their music is addicted to ecstasy and participates in orgies wherein they abduct college girls for brainwashing. Wow. Sweeping generalizations such as these are not only lacking in any validity and accuracy, they portray the author as lacking insight and objectivity. You can’t do that if you intend to write educational material. And certainly not if you want to be taken seriously by anyone other than equally insane readers.

…cracked cocaine laced ecstasy droplets.
This was funny, but obviously inaccurate.

Modestep has no mysterious, dark agenda. Modestep makes dubstep. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s evil and to be condemned.
And another thing, why do they associate the emo subculture with dubstep? The two are not even remotely related. Once again, they demonstrate their blatant ignorance and lack of research.

There’s a valuable lesson we can learn from all of this: do your research. It is vital when you’re writing any article. Yes, even op-eds.


Thank you for reading, and please let me know if you liked it.

From Dream to Domination: Android’s Rise to Dominance
It all started with a Dream. A dream of a free, open-source, and infinitely flexible mobile operating system to revolutionize the smartphone market and to free us from Apple’s walled garden. The little green robot’s been with us for almost 4 years now and in that short amount of time it has become the de-facto mobile operating system. Android, in terms of global shipments, is now the number one mobile operating system in the world. But how did it get that far in such a short amount of time?

Android is free software

Android, as we all know, is free and open-source, making it extremely appealing to manufacturers the world over. Anyone can grab the source, modify it to their liking, then slap it on some shiny new hardware. While evidence suggests that this may change in the future, this is among the main reasons why manufacturers adopted Android so easily. They could customize it a bit, adapt it to their hardware, then license the Google apps from Google, and have a good product that is ready to hit the shelves. This eliminates the costs to developing a new operating system from the ground up and eliminates the licensing fees normally associated with using a third-party operating system such as Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7.

When manufacturers saw that the platform was taking off and that consumers wanted these devices, they jumped on the opportunity, flooding the market with amazing new hardware running newer and newer versions of the OS, most of which had been customized to differentiate one manufacturer’s products from another manufacturer’s. This was the beginning of the Age of Android.


Speed bump: Fragmandroid

So now that we have all these awesome new phones, what happens when El Goog releases a new version of Android? Well, that’s where things get a little messy for our little green friend.

Platform fragmentation has long been an issue with Android. There are many reasons why this is, and few of them are technical. Most of them, however, revolve around the issue of cost vs benefits. Is it practical for the manufacturer to update every device they’ve ever made with the newest versions of Android? No. And that’s where the issue of fragmentation comes in.

Since these manufacturers often use custom overlays to their phone’s Android installs, updates are difficult. It’s not as simple as copying all the related files over to the new source and recompiling. They have to make sure everything works well with the newer version of Android, and this often involves a partial or complete rewrite of the entire UI. This costs a lot of money; developers need to eat too. And even when they do update their phones it doesn’t do much for the manufacturer. They don’t gain any money from it except, maybe, swaying a new customer’s decision to purchase their phone over a competitors on the basis that it’s running a newer and more capable version of Android. Customer loyalty is great in the long run, but it’s difficult to sustain a company on customer loyalty alone.

Android has matured a lot over the years. Newer, more capable hardware and software, more APIs for more complex applications, and boosted performance are all among the improvements made to the platform in its many revisions. But the problem of fragmentation hinders the experience for the end users. Google’s said to be working on controlling this problem by tightening its control over Android while staying true to their open philosophy. I just hope they can do it without discouraging manufacturers and developers.


Freedom from Apple’s walled garden

Android had, and still has, a significant advantage (and disadvantage in the eyes of some) over Apple in a significant area. Apple’s approach with the iPhone was to lock it down and control everything that went into the platform. This meant a polished, but limited, experience for the end user. Something the average user wouldn’t really notice. But the more advanced users were not pleased. No sideloading of applications, no file system access, and no customization options meant endless frustration to these people. Enter Android with the promise of all of those things and more.

Android looked to be a nerd’s wet dream. Essentially a Linux phone with a touch-optimized interface and infinite possibilities for customization, this had nerds everywhere salivating.

The G1 debuted with little fanfare outside the fringe communities of enthusiasts. But it was clear that Android had promise. It just needed better hardware and a good advertising campaign.


DROID

Motorola teamed up with Verizon to make the Android of our dreams back in the day. Motorola would supply the hardware, Google would provide the software, and Verizon would force the phone into the limelight using an ad campaign targeted directly where it needed to be for Android to take off. It was aimed specifically at the average consumer. This is what Android needed. This is the key to its mainstream success in the U.S.

The Droid sold ~250,000 units in the first week. Verizon’s ad campaign had succeeded and Android was now mainstream. Now what?


Nexus One: A story of broken dreams

Not all was well in Androidland, however. As Google debuted its Nexus One “superphone,” the brunt of advertising money was elsewhere in Droidville. This meant that consumers had no way of knowing anything about the “Google Phone.” To their credit, Google did try very hard with ads placed all over the internet. Unfortunately, most consumers scan right over banner ads, especially when they are underwhelming.


Google’s Nexus One banner ads were plain and easy to miss

To make matters worse, Google opted not to issue demo units to carrier retail stores. Turns out, people like to try products out before they lay down $200-500. The phone was only available through their web store, which was great for enthusiasts but terrible for the average consumer. The Nexus One was revolutionary. It was Google’s baby. But sadly, it wasn’t meant to be. Google couldn’t appeal to the masses and thus they were ignored. With a very underwhelming 20,000 units sold in the first week and 135,000 units sold in the first 74 days, sales petered out and the Nexus One would be discontinued before the launch of the long-awaited CDMA model.

Sad.


Android in 2011

Android now has now forked into two branches. 3.0 “Honeycomb” and 2.3-2.4 “Gingerbread.” Honeycomb was intended to run solely on tablets; a market that exploded into popularity with the introduction of Apple’s iPad. Gingerbread is targeted toward phones, with the familiar Android interface along with some minor upgrades. Though updates have been slow, they are slowly trickling down to last year’s hardware and new manifestations are appearing every week.

Android’s explosive growth has resulted in a whole new breed of market conflict. Manufacturers are fighting over who can pack the most tech into the smallest package. As a result, we have superphones that can easily overpower the average laptop from just a decade ago running Android. These phones allow us to stay connected anywhere we can get a signal, some even have 4G capabilities so we can get connection speeds that would have been unthinkable just a few short years ago.

Meanwhile, in the tablet market, Android is growing a bit slower in the tablet market. The Motorola XOOM, Honeycomb’s debut hardware, has not been doing so well against the iPad 2 juggernaut. The iPad 2 has the mindshare, advertising dollars, and a vast pool of existing customers from which to draw sales. Google and their partners will have to step up their game to face the elephant in the room if they want to win in this market.


The future is wild

Expect to see more Android 2.3/2.4 phones coming out in the coming months. More dual-core, qHD display-sporting, 3D-capable superphones are destined to bombard us in 2011, and quad-core chipsets are slated for 2012.


Yes, it is indeed a great time to be an Android fan. Thank you, Google, for the gift of Android. And thank you, manufacturers and third-party devs that have made the platform what it is today.

Rooting Android: The War Between Carriers and Customers

NOTE: This post is mostly an opinion piece. It is based on my observations.

Carriers have long insisted that manufacturers comply with their demands regarding phones, and that hasn’t changed with the influx of Android-powered smartphones. We have all experienced the disappointment of seeing the bloatware preinstalled on our shiny new Androids and the pungent stench of our carrier’s greed emanating from the nagging prompts which originate from the bloatware. Most of the time, the carriers demand that their apps are placed in the /system/app directory, thereby making them impossible to remove. Luckily for the owners there’s a way to remove them in the form of “rooting,” or gaining superuser access to their device. Not so fortunate for them is the way the devices are locked down so as to prevent the owners from doing so.

This is the story of the war between the carriers and customers. A story of greed, corruption, and the bastardization of Android’s open nature.


Encrypted bootloaders, or, “why Motorola is no longer regarded as hacker-friendly”

Among the worst offenders in this war is Motorola. The original Droid was not locked down, but in their later devices they reversed this decision, leaving customers burned on devices they could never truly own. Since the Droid X, Motorola’s been using encrypted bootloaders on all their devices. And to add insult to injury, they’ve brought their MotoBlur Android skin back. Sure, you could use a custom launcher and ignore the MotoBlur launcher but it doesn’t fix the stock apps’ customizations or the bloat.

To make matters worse, Motorola is often the first to implement new technologies on their devices. They’ve paired the Tegra 2 dual-core processor with a qHD display and, just because they can, they threw in a fingerprint scanner to top it all off on their latest Atrix 4G handset. Unfortunately they’ve crippled it with their MotoBlur skin which, incidentally, is the most likely cause of the Gingerbread update’s delay. Oh yeah, it doesn’t come with the latest version of Android. In 2011.

If they’d left the bootloader alone and not added their encryption to it, the third-party devs could have fixed their mistakes. We’re now stuck with a buggy, sub-par, and outdated ROM running atop one of the most capable pieces of mobile hardware out there. We could have had CyanogenMod 7 running on the Atrix 4G. Granted, the presence of the WebTop environment does complicate things, but is it really necessary to lock the device down so thoroughly? The only reasoning I can find behind all this is simple greed.


Lies, greed, and more lies

The carriers and manufacturers have long tried to convince us that the reason they’re waging war against people who want the devices they pay for to belong to them is because they’re “protecting the customers.” I have one question for them.

Protecting us from what, exactly?

The customers who need protection aren’t going to bother with flashing custom ROMs or even rooting their phones. The people who want to root, flash ROMs, and customize their phones are likely going to know what they’re doing when it comes to their phones. Inexperienced folks will avoid anything risky and are likely to stay on stock. This means that their argument that customers need protection is a blatant lie; a construct of poorly-conceived rhetoric designed to trick the average consumer into believing that their motives are pure.

The reason why they’re doing this is quite simple. It’s because people who do choose to root their phones are the same people who like to remove their useless bloatware and ignore their carriers altogether. No bloatware means no money from commissions and no relevance for the carrier.

Truth is, carriers are scared to death of becoming irrelevant.

Think of what Apple did with the iPhone. AT&T wasn’t allowed to install their bloatware on the iPhone and as a result people completely ignored AT&T. This turned them into a dumb pipe for data, voice, and texts.


"Open" and what it means

Android is open. This is a common marketing term. Unfortunately, it’s only true before the carriers and hardware manufacturers get their hands on Android.

Because Android is so open to customizations and modifications, carriers and manufacturers can shape it to fit their needs. This means bloatware, and lots of it. This is bad for the consumers, but great for them. Again, it’s all about the money.

Android, by default, allows the user to customize and modify their device in any way they please, which includes removing any app they want—even if the app resides in the /system/app directory. The carriers can’t have that, so they lock it down and do everything they can to make sure that “open" means "open to us, but not to our paying customers.” This bastardization of the term has led to an immense amount of confusion. People pick up an Android expecting to be able to do whatever they want with it only to find that the carriers and manufacturers, who are usually bullied into bending to the carriers’ whims, have ruined Android’s open nature in the name of “protecting the customer.”


Tethering

Tethering is one of the main reasons to root. Carriers do offer tethering options but they charge way more than they should. Why should customers have to pay for a connection they already have simply because they want to use that connection with a different device? Imagine a home broadband provider charging you extra because you want to connect more than one computer through your home connection. People would be up in arms about it, the FCC would be all over them, and they would be boycotted. Why, then, do wireless broadband providers get away with the same thing?

I know that laptops use more bandwidth than smartphones, but the fact of the matter is that paying extra for a connection you already have is absolutely asinine. And I highly doubt anyone wants to stream videos through a relatively slow 3G connection. Though people with LTE- or WIMAX-capable phones may beg to disagree. But this is not an argument for charging extra for 4G tethering; the point of having a 4G connection is so that you can push more data through your connection faster.

You can’t get mad at your customers for wanting to use the service that they pay for.


Do not believe the rhetoric

Your worst enemy in this war is rhetoric. Their PR departments are pushing their agendas with all the tenacity of a movie villain bent on world domination. If you want to send them a message don’t buy devices that they’ve ruined with their greediness. Tell everyone you know what their true motives are. Everyone is entitled to own their device and nobody should have to pay for a device they can never truly own.


Education is the key to winning this war.