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text you, text me

android, iOS, mobile tech

good gets better

I have come to the realization that I am the nerd amongst my set of friends. I shot out a status update last night on Twitter and Facebook asking who else would be watching the big Google/Samsung event. The resounding response, to quote my good friend Jeniene, was “**crickets.** I had to laugh. Nevertheless, I soldiered on, joined on GoogleTalk by my tech partner-in-crime, Francis. In a nutshell, last night Google rolled out it’s latest version of the Android Operating System, known as Ice Cream Sandwich. In tandem with that announcement, Samsung revealed the not-so-secret Galaxy Nexus. The Galaxy Nexus, though a bit larger, looks like a beautiful piece of hardware. The focus, however, really was on the improvements to the operating system. I titled this piece “Good Gets Better” because I feel that Android, at this point, is good, but needs improvement. What I saw in the presentation last night has thoroughly intrigued me, and may just keep me from a possible move to the iPhone. Though I am prone to, sometimes exhaustive, long-form posts, I’ll let the folks at Google explain the what’s new.

If you really want to get your hands dirty, and get an insider’s perspective on the direction Google is taking Android, check out this great interview of Matias Duarte by Joshua Topolsky for This Is My Next (soon to be The Verge).

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t give a nod to Apple’s presentation of the improved, though not entirely new, iPhone 4S

Kudos to Apple. They truly know how to do a slick presentation.

On an aside, I wonder if Apple’s people know that their keynotes would be just as successful without so many superlatives. Apple is quite fond of the word “amazing!”

I, along with many others, was disappointed that a completely new iPhone 5 was not introduced. All the rumors and speculation about a new body had me going. It should be noted that my friend Brian nailed nearly every feature of the iPhone 4S several weeks before the announcement. Irrespective of my let down over a new shiny body, the iPhone form factor is still very attractive. There are a number of interesting enhancements coming with iOS 5 that really don’t have anything to do with the new 4S itself, but if I were going to move to the iPhone, I would get the 4S over the 4. The improvements to the camera, which was already a solid performer, look really impressive. Several of my friends who are photographers have been raving about the camera. For what it’s worth, Siri, the personal assistant software, is cute but not something that blows me away. In all candor, all the post-announcement blather and giggles about how “neat” Siri is causes a slight amount of gastric juice to bubble up into my mouth. Look..I have a sense of humor, but come on!

The iPhone 4S has risen near the top of the list, right behind the Galaxy Nesus, as a replacement for my Droid X. I haven’t given up on Windows Phone 7…yet. If only Nokia would release that beautiful N9 here in the States with the Windows Phone 7 operating system.


some things i’ve read lately

weekly reading list

I have not posted my random list of interesting reads and videos in a while. Please excuse this longer-than-usual list as I play a little catch-up.

Words – Everynone

Timelapse : The City Limits – Dominic Boudreault

A Photography Conversation with Zack Arias – Chase Jarvis

Doodlers Unite! – Sunni Brown

culture, relationships

admitting a problem is just the beginning

I was in my kitchen last night when this topic, particularly as it relates to relationships, popped into my head.

This post is really a first-person account. Regrettably,  I have spent a good part of my life working around problems, often not solving them — let alone discovering the genesis of friction and strife. Unfortunately, the rather toxic byproduct of this behavior can be resentment and frustration. I think going through a divorce caused (read: forced) me to take a long look at my behavior. It’s so easy to say it was the other person’s fault; but the real work comes when you take a look in the mirror, figuratively.  What did I do, or what have I done to create problems in my relationship? Interestingly enough, a lot of us are willing to have that internal query. We usually go off in one of two directions — denial (most common) or admission.

I think the hazards of denial are pretty obvious, so I won’t dwell on that. I would offer that an admission, without a commitment to introspection, humility and hard work, can be just as threatening to a relationship as denial.

Again, speaking first hand, I had to look at my pattern of admitting problems and thinking, “Viola! Problem solved.” I wasn’t even aware that my logic was, if I admitted that I had a problem my significant other should take the victory of the admission. For a lot of people, acknowledging a problem exists is a huge hurdle. Thus, I think when people finally ‘fess up, they feel the weight has been lifted. No longer do they have the burden of hiding that issue. When the problem arises, post-admission, the excuse given to the significant other often is something akin to, “Well, I already admitted that’s a problem for me.”  There is a reason why admission of a problem is the first step on just about every recovery program in existence. Without acknowledgement that a problem exists, you cannot really move on to examining the root cause(s) of the problem, as well as figuring out a path for moving forward. I’m careful not to say move past a problem because so many of us want to merely  move around or circumnavigate a problem instead of doing the hard work of moving through emotional obstacles.

What we all need to realize is that saying, “I have a problem.” is not the end…it’s just the beginning. It’s a bit like energy transference to throw out a problem and act like it’s now the other person’s burden.  To be fair, a lot of us aren’t really equipped to know how to move past admission. That’s why I am a big proponent/fan of counseling. One of the most important things I’ve learned in counseling, both individual and couples, is to truly examine the problems, anxiety, or fears come from. I try to stop and think, Where is this fear/anger/anxiety coming from? Where in my body do I feel that emotion? I try to  back away from what could be an argument and sit quietly. This is particularly useful when your blood is boiling, because it’s really important to understand why something or someone could make you that angry. So often, we think the problem is the significant other, when she or he may merely be reflecting a part of ourselves that is the real menace.

I don’t have all the answers, nor do I yet consistently follow my own advice. I do know, though, that once I made an effort to get past merely making admissions,  stopped blaming others for my “stuff,” and put in the work, a number of problems and fears that have plagued me for most of my life became inconsequential or non-existent. Now, I hope that it goes without saying that there has to be a commitment by both parties in a relationship to move through problems. The health of a relationship hinges on there being a safe place where either individual can bare their soul. Without that security and trust, the person with a problem is likely to become defensive and recalcitrant.

I wish all of you nothing but peace and harmony in your lives and relationships. However, life being what it is, there will be friction with others. Just remember admission is a big step, but it’s truly just the first one on a journey toward emotional repair and recover.  Good luck!