Nexus 7 Review

I've been using the new Nexus 7 Google tablet for a couple of months now and in a nutshell -- I really, really like it. It’s primarily an entertainment device and does that job well.  Don’t expect to get a lot of serious work done on it.  It’s not a laptop replacement.

I follow tech news closely but have never been an early adopter when new gadgets come out. But I pre-ordered the Nexus 7 8GB model and got one of the first ones when it was released in August.

Here are the short list of stats on the Nexus 7:

  • It runs the Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) operating system
  • 7 inch 1200 X 800 HD display
  • 1.2 MP front-facing camera
  • Volume control
  • Mini headphone jack
  • Small but adequate speakers on the back
  • Small pinholes on the side for the microphone
  • Micro USB port for charging and docking to a PC where you can load and unload data.
  • Power button: press it quickly to put the device to sleep and press and hold to power it off.

It’s fast fun and capable. It has great battery life. I can get eight hours of continuous use.  I use it in the evenings so I get  few days of use before needed to charge it.  It’s a wi-fi device.  There’s no 3G or LTE service for right now but there is internal circuitry for that feature to be added in the future.

Although it’s plastic and glass It feels like a it has high build quality. Not cheap feeling.  It really works for me because I’m already so heavily invested in the Google ecosystem.  I use Gmail, Chrome, Maps,  Analytics, Picasa, You Tube, Calendar, Google + and many others.  It’s really good for posting to Twitter and Facebook.

It has tons of both free and pay apps. Google calls it’s app store Google Play. There’s limited availability to music and books.  Amazon has Google beat when it comes to music and books. I've abandoned my Kindle Touch because I can read all my books with the Kindle android app.  I got a $25 credit to use in Google Play. I’m not sure if that credit is still being offered.

There’s a few minuses but nothing that’s a deal breaker for me. It’s not a device to do serious work on.  If you have to type anything longer than an email forget it. You can view, create and edit Word docs but it’s slow and there’s not really enough screen real estate to be productive when writing.  I’ll have to use a full-blown laptop for true productivity. I’m not a tablet power user.  I’m happy to use it in the evenings while watching TV, while cooking, reading or listening to music.

Conclusion: I’m not sorry I got the 8GB version.  Most videos and radio are streamed so you don’t need that much storage. I have Google Drive and Dropbox so I have lots of cloud storage.  After using it for a couple of months it’s held up well and just keeps working great.  It’s not an iPad but it didn't cost $500 either.  Definitely worth the $199.  I give it 5 stars.

It's Not a Lie

To lie is to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive.

I think I'm beginning to understand the disconnect between those who are apalled at Mitt Romney's lies and constantly shifting positions and those who don't think Mitt's falsehoods are a big deal. I got a little flash of insight while watching "The Choice" on PBS. The show revealed something about Romney and about values that had not occurred to me.

It boils down to a difference in values and what your definition of integrity is. I was taught that a person's integrity was judged, in part, by words. That what you say is what you believe in. That to say one thing today and the opposite tomorrow demonstrates hypocracy. If hypocracy is not lying, then it's dishonesy's twin brother. Once you demonstrate hypocracy you can no longer be believed. I was punished as a child for dishonest and deceptive behavior. For me learning to tell the truth was part of growing from childhood to adulthood.

Now imagine a scenario where you are not punished for hypocracy but rewarded. Every time you switch your opinion on some issue you are encouraged through reward to do it again and again. Go into a business meeting and say one thing. Go meet with other business people and say what they want to hear to get the deal done. Not all business people are liars but for many being deceptive is rewarded. You begin to think of yourself not as a liar but rather pragmatic and smart. This is the world that Mitt Romney inhabits. I think this is where Paul Ryan resides too.

It's pathological but it's also ingrained, completely part of who they are.  And to them it's not something to be ashamed of but rather something to be proud of.  It's like the criminal who can pass a lie detector test. It's not a lie if you believe it.  It's not a lie if there's no intent to deceive. So it's not a contradiction for Romney to be both a good man and a liar.

Economic Rape

I'm baffled by the attitude of some "business leaders". They want to take as much wealth from America as possible, keep it all and not give any back to the country that made success possible.

Unless it's to pay your sons and daughters to fight and die for his security.  It's anti-social.  It's psychopathic. It's the opposite of patriotic. They are economic rapists.  Then there's this "job creator".


What is Romney Hiding?

So Mitt Romney wants to be President but he doesn't want to show people his tax returns. Is it because he has something to hide? Is he afraid if people see his tax returns they won't vote for him? All the more reason for people to not stop asking to see his returns. This is from Edward D. Kleinbard and Peter C. Canellos at CNN:
The U.S. presidency is a position of immense magnitude and requires a thorough vetting. What the American people deserve is a complete and honest presentation by Romney of how his wealth was accumulated, where it is now invested, what purpose is served by all the various offshore vehicles in which he has an interest and what his financial relationship with Bain Capital has been since his retirement from the company. These are all factors that go to the heart of his character and values.
It's quite probable that Romney has hundreds of millions of dollars stashed overseas. Why would he do that?  It's possible he's a tax cheat. Why else would he hide his returns? A lot of people are not voting for Romney because they like him, they just hate Obama.  So yeah, some people hate Obama so much they are willing to vote for a possible tax cheat. Romney should know that in the absence of information, people will tend to make up information to fit the narrative.

So people will continue to ask for Romney's returns.  After all, many people never stopped asking for President Obama's birth certificate, right?  The drumbeat will continue.


Happy Birthday to Hunter S. Thompson

Happy Birthday to the late Hunter S. Thompson.
Maybe there is no Heaven. Or maybe this is all pure gibberish — a product of the demented imagination of a lazy drunken hillbilly with a heart full of hate who has found a way to live out where the real winds blow — to sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whisky, and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind except falling in love and not getting arrested...Res ipsa loquitur. Let the good times roll.
  • Gonzo Papers, Vol. 2: Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the '80s (1988)
We need people like Thompson now to help us make sense of the world.


Things Are About to Get Very Bad for Mitt Romney

The story about why Mitt Romney has not released more of his tax returns is about to break wide open-- and it could be the end of his candidacy. I expected the story to start to get legs today. There were a few rumblings over the weekend. All this even before the smoke has cleared regarding when exactly he left Bain Capitol to manage the Olympics.

 Here's the latest from the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson:
Romney has spent the better part of a decade running for president. Did it never occur to him that if he ever won the Republican nomination, surely there would come a time when he was under pressure to release multiple years’ worth of tax returns? Did he think everyone would forget that it was his own father, George Romney, who set the modern standard for financial disclosure? Did he not recall that when he was being considered for the vice presidential nod four years ago, he furnished tax returns spanning more than two decades to John McCain’s campaign?
All good questions. So now even conservatives are calling for a full disclosure of returns. This is real trouble for Romney. If it comes out that he's a tax cheat then that's the end for Mitt. Look for serious challenges to his candidacy at the convention.

The Best Election Money Can Buy

This is going to be the first national election since the Supreme Court decided the Citizens United case that allows unlimited corporate money in politics. Anyone who thinks that's a good idea is crazy.  A law called the DISCLOSE Act that would help reveal donor identities was defeated yesterday in the Senate. John Avlon says the bill never had a chance:
Look, bringing up a bill that attempts to clear up this potentially half-billion-dollar loophole never had much chance of passing just four months before a presidential election. But it is still disappointing to see it go down in a 51-44 vote. Because back in 2000, a similar proposal to increase transparency in election donations enjoyed bipartisan support—and in the last congress, the DISCLOSE Act passed the House and received 59 votes in the Senate. This version of the bill would have impacted unions as well as trade associations and 501(c)(4)s in the future. It was a balanced bill that could have compelled more disclosure on both sides.
It was your friends, the GOP, who voted it down. No surprise there.  And so unlimited funds continue to pour into political campaigns without a trace of where they come from. What a great way to launder drug money. Who knows, maybe our next president will be chosen by Exxon or Pfizer or even China?


Income Inequality Hurts Everyone

In today's Washington Post,  E.J. Dionne says conservative policies make income inequality worse:
Occupy Wall Street, whatever its future, will always merit praise for placing inequality at the center of our politics. The biggest sign of the Occupiers’ success: Conservatives once stubbornly insisted that inequality wasn’t a problem because the United States was the land of opportunity and upward mobility. Now they are facing the fact that we are by no means the most socially mobile country in the world.

Power for Sale

In 2010 Rick Scott spent an estimated $75 million of his own money to successfully run for Florida Governor. He clearly bought the governor's office.

Now with hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on the presidency, could we have the first president bought by special interests? Robert Reich says American Democracy is for sale and the American people are the biggest losers.n
I’m not letting Democrats off the hook. Democratic candidates are still too dependent on Wall Street casino moguls and real casino magnates (Steve Wynn has been a major contributor to Harry Reid, for example). George Soros and a few others have poured big bucks into Democratic coffers. So have a handful of trade unions.
 But make no mistake. Compared to what the GOP is doing this year, Democrats are conducting a high-school bake sale. The mega-selling of American democracy is a Republican invention, and Romney and the GOP are its major beneficiaries.

Reich is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration.


Starz Magic City Premieres

A friend and former co-worker, Rick Alexander worked on a new TV series for Starz called Magic City. 

The drama is set in 1959 Miami Beach. The main character, Ike Evans, owns a luxury hotel and the action revolves around a large cast and all the current events of that time and place - the Cuban Revolution, the Kennedys, the Mob and more.

Rick was audio technician for the production.

Watch the premier this Friday on Starz or watch three episodes online here.


Spell Check Ate My Homework

Here is a little poem I found regarding spell check.  If you want to people to think you have a brain, then start by spelling words properly.

I have a spelling checker.
It came with my pea sea.
It plane lee marks four my revue.
Miss steaks aye can knot sea.

Eye ran this poem threw it,
Your sure reel glad two no.
Its vary polished in it's weigh.
My checker tolled me sew.

A checker is a bless sing,
It freeze yew lodes of thyme.
It helps me right awl stiles two reed,
And aides me when I rime.

Each frays come posed up on my screen.
eye trussed too bee a joule.
The checker pours o'er every word.
To cheque sum spelling rule.

Bee fore a veiling checker's Hour.
spelling mite decline,
And if we're lacks oar have a laps,
We wood bee maid too wine.

Butt now bee cause my spelling.
Is checked with such grate flair,
Their are no fault's with in my cite,
Of nun eye am a ware.

Now spelling does knot phase me,
It does knot bring a tier.
My pay purrs awl due glad den.
With wrapped word's fare as hear.

To rite with care is quite a feet.
Of witch won should be proud,
And wee mussed dew the best wee can,
Sew flaw's are knot aloud.

Sow ewe can sea why aye dew prays,
Such soft wear four pea seas,
And why eye brake in two averse.
Buy righting too pleas.

-- Sauce Unknown.