A bunch of small items

I've had a bunch of small things I've wanted to blog about but I've never quite gotten the energy up to start. In the interest of you, my dear reader, I decided to pull a few smaller things together into one blog First a bit of news. The Pope is still catholic, bears do their business in the woods and Apple is planning a September Special Event that will involve ipods. It boggles the mind that anyone would expect apple NOT to have a special event as they have clearly demonstrated a yearly cycle for iPods and quite frankly for consumer products like this they *have* to follow a yearly cycle, 'nuff said. Next up: 3G or not to 3G? I purchased a 3G iphone (white) and like most folks discovered it runs through batteries faster, and I mean much faster, than my 2G. Now as it turns out I know a bit about cell phone design and RF stuff and I can provide a bit of insight into why this is. You see a '2G' iphone is GSM based which is also known as constant modulation. What this means is that the processing of the signal is very simple and power amp (the part of the circuit that boosts the signal when you talk) can be very, very efficient because you can run it highly compressed. Enter 3G: 3G is none of these things, it's a very complex signal that requires a *lot* of baseband processing (that's one of the ways they get the zippy speeds) and the power amp is not nearly as effecient becuase you need to operate it in a mode that wastes more power. The unfortunate thing is that for voice there is *no* difference between 3G & non 3G talking (it doesn't sound any better at all) but it's all or nothing if your radio is in 3G mode for data it *has* to be in 3G mode for voice which means you loose power even though you don't get any benefit (sad really) Of course Apple thoughtfully added a switch to turn off 3G and it *does* return the phone to it's good old power situation but that sort of defeats the purpose of buying a brand new 3G phone, no? What I'd like to see them do is add a turbo feature. Look, if I'm not talking and the phone notices a *lot* of internet traffic, I'd like the phone to switch from 2G to 3G.. If after a while it notices no more traffic it can switch back. It takes some time (5-20 seconds) to switch between modes but that strikes me as a very reasonable way to allow for good battery life and fast data transfers when I need it. Then there is Apple TV vs. the Roku Netflix box. Honestly I've used them both and they both have pluses and minuses. On the Apple TV the only Minus is the fact that you have to pay for everything -- Look I only want to watch Weeds season 2 episode 3 one time in my life I really don't need to purchase it. I would happily pay a subscription fee to get unlimited access to movies & tvs. That is where the netflix box is brilliant. For the cost of membership you get access to lots of content unlimited -- to be sure not all of it is first run content but a suprising amount of it is useful (for example you can watch the aforementioned weeds on it) Finally the app store. Is it just me or does it feel like working in a windows environment? Lot's of stupid apps useless apps, shady developers (such as the 'one ebook per app' guy and the unit conversation that switched to paid or the fellow with the $1000 "I am rich"), toss in the user rating system with such witty ratings as "Epic Fail", "This app is way overpriced at $1.99, should be free", etc. -- I'm actually in development of two apps for the phone but that marketplace really turns me off, on the upside I have a new appreciation for my mac customers who are in general a much better breed of person than the average iPhone user... Ok, 'nuff for now.

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