Archive for March 2008

Next-Generation iPhone here soon?

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

In addition to rumors that Apple has already ordered the manufacture of 3G iPhones, consider that all 3 of Apple’s New York stores are sold out of iPhones, and even Apple’s online store quotes a ship date of 5-7 days instead of the usual “within 24 hours.” Maybe much ado about nothing, but you never know…

Five Ways Clinton Leads Obama

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

Daily Kos: Five Ways Clinton Leads Obama: “Hilllary Clinton has won New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, and New York.  By contrast, Obama has failed to win a single state with the word ‘New’ in its name.  Obama’s failure among self-proclaimed new states, raises serious questions about his supposed strength among young voters (new people) and his supposed message of change (new policies).”

Maybe I should reconsider my support of Obama…this is a metric that carries a lot of weight. Pay attention, superdelegates!

Open “new window” links in a tab using Safari 3.1

Friday, March 21st, 2008

Terminal Tip: Safari 3.1 brings true one-window mode – The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW): “Apple has added a hidden preference to Safari 3.1 that allows you to tell Safari to stick to one window. “

Finally!

Jeremiah Wright’s full speech

Friday, March 21st, 2008

More than just a few soundbytes:

Richardson Joins Obama on Trail

Friday, March 21st, 2008

The Early Word: Richardson Joins Obama on Trail – The Caucus – Politics – New York Times Blog: “Already a dozen fresh farm eggs have been traded for tickets, says The Oregonian.”

Eggs, huh? I didn’t realize politics was so important to Oregonians!

Review: Ultimate Buds EB7EB

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

Bottom Line: This Frankenstein-esque merger of Apple’s standard iPhone headphones with higher quality earbuds combines the best of both worlds.
Verdict: Highly recommended

Apple’s earbud headphones supplied with iPods and iPhones are a common target of audiophiles. While inexpensive and compact, they are not renown for their high fidelity. I, like many others, never really had too much of a problem with the basic buds, but this may have been because of low expectations rather than any intrinsic quality.

ultimatebuds.jpg

What drove me to consider an upgrade from the standard set on my original iPod was listen to audio in the subway. The background noise was so great that that the limited sound insulation provided by Apple’s headphones forced me to either turn up the volume to ear-damaging levels or seek new headphones. I turned to a moderately priced Shure in-ear set, which proved excellent at blocking external noise when properly fit, though it took some work to make them fit properly.

The iPhone presented a new challenge. It’s recessed headphone jack meant that my Shure headphones wouldn’t fit without an adapter. Furthermore, even if they had fit, the headphones don’t have an integrated microphone like Apple’s standard fare, which is a major disadvantage since the goal is to use them on a phone (it makes for a rather one-sided conversation). Shure makes a music phone adapter, an extension cord that fits into the iPhone headphone jack and adds a microphone and call answer/pause/track forward button much like that found on Apple’s own headphones. Unfortunately, the combination of headphone cable and Shure’s lengthy adapters makes for a spaghetti-like mess that ruins the otherwise elegant experience of the iPhone.

A friend recommended a site called Ultimate Buds. While this sounds like an internet marijuana purveyor, it’s actually a company that has found a creative solution to the iPhone headset problem. They takes Apple’s otherwise well-designed headphones and remove only the questionable earbuds, replacing them with high quality versions taken from popular headphones that normally lack microphone functionality. The original model used the popular Etymotic ER6i earbuds, which are reported to have a high degree of clarity but are a bit thin on the bass.

I instead opted for the fusion of Apple’s headphones with the Futuresonics FS1 earbuds (the UB7EB), which reportedly offer a fuller bass than the Etymotics. I can’t speak to the how the two models compare, but I can say that UB7EB does have a nice full sound that’s well balanced and compares favorably to my bulky over the ear Sonys.

The buds come with several replaceable rubber earpieces – you can select the size that best fits your ears, and it’s important to try to find the ones with the best fit. It’s only with a good seal that you’ll obtain the maximum sound quality and best isolation form external sounds. The blacking of external sounds is just about right: enough to obviate the need to make volume adjustments in different environments, but not so much that they imperil your safety.

The buds are not cheap, with a currently listed price of $119, but they are really an excellent alternative to the standard Apple fare if you spend a good deal of time in noisy environment or just want an upgrade in sound quality.

Confronting the Kitchen Sink – New York Times

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

Confronting the Kitchen Sink – New York Times: “Mr. Kroft asked Senator Clinton if she believed that Senator Obama is a Muslim. In one of the sleaziest moments of the campaign to date, Senator Clinton replied: ‘No. No. Why would I? No, there is nothing to base that on. As far as I know.’

As far as I know.

If she had been asked if she thought President Bush was a Muslim, would her response have included the caveat ‘as far as I know’? What about Senator McCain? Why, then, with Senator Obama?”

I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed this…

Is Hillary gunning for VP?

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

Everyone knew that hillary had to win Ohio and Texas on Tuesday to remain competitive. It’s also generally agreed upon that, to have a hope of catching up to Obama, she had to win big. But she didn’t. In fact, given her minimal edge in the Texas primary and apparent loss in the Texas caucuses, she may end up with fewer delegates than Obama from this state. Essentially, a major opportunity for her to work towards catching up was lost.

One can argue that she may pick up some legitimacy from her victories, that she won’t be so quickly forced out of the race, but statement that she has a real hope of winning the nomination requires a real suspension of disbelief. Even if she wins big in Pennsylvania in April, the numbers are stacked against her. The only real way for her to win would be for the superdelegates to override the popular vote and elected delegates. That’s just not going to happen, as it would be suicide for the Democratic party.

I think hillary knows all this, but listen to what she’s been hinting at recently: a shared ticket. If hillary loses the nomination to Obama by a relatively small margin, then she can argue that she has the support of a large fraction of the party. Obama may then be pressured into adding her on to the ticket as VP to placate the party and “bring people together” (which of course, he says, is his specialty). If hillary plays her cards right, this may be the inevitable outcome, which would of course position her well for a presidential run in 2012 if the pair wins the next two elections. The question is how averse Obama is to this idea.

Obama’s backing Obama

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

Blogs from CNN.com: “‘Obama is an old town and needs a second wind. Maybe this is exactly the new
spirit our town needs.’”

In Tuesday’s Contests, a Party Divided – washingtonpost.com

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

In Tuesday’s Contests, a Party Divided – washingtonpost.com: “‘Now listen, son. Just listen,’ Eddie Jr. interjected. ‘It’s not like every young person down here is supporting Obama. I mean, what about my grandson, your nephew? He’s a huge Clinton supporter.’

‘Dad. He’s only 8.’

‘Okay. That’s true. But right now, we’re taking any support we can get.’”