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!