New iPhone

I bought an iPhone in October 2007 and today it is still working, albeit with a cracked screen. When I saw the new iPhone 4 presented I got the itch to get a new phone. I could wait a few weeks and pay $200 USD for the latest iPhone, but I decided to buy the iPhone 3GS now for $150. I held on to my old first generation iPhone for more than two years. I hope I can do the same with my this one.

Wildfire 650cc

Triad Auto World has this 3-wheeled vehicle for sale on it’s lot. It’s the Wildfire 650c.

This tiny vehicle has four seats and, according to WildfireMotors.com, it gets up to 60 mpg. The EPA certificate on the site says it is classified as a motorcycle, and has a 4-stroke, 2-cylinder, 644 cc engine. Cruising speed is 45 mph. I haven’t found out if it has a heater or air conditioner. While you are waiting for your smart fortwo™ or Toyota Prius to arrive, check out the Wildfire on Battleground Ave next to Higgins Cycles in Greensboro.

See also the Youtube video by WHEC in Rochester, New York.

Gadgets

These are things I own which require electricity, gasoline, or kerosene, etc. They are listed in the order in which they came to mind.

Sirius Satellite radio
Magellan GPS
iPhone
Amazon Kindle
MacBook Pro
OCW 120G external hard drive
500G external hard drive
Clearwire modem
Linksys wireless router
1993 Honda Accord
Western Digital USB hard drive
Panasonic portable DVD player
Offbrand VCR
Offbrand microwave
Sony Television (share with roommate)
Washer (share with roommate)
Dryer (I think they are both Whirlpool)
Mini Maglight LED
Petzl LED headlamp
Radioshack mulimeter (volt, ohm, amp)
Oster Hair clippers
Sony Playststion 2
Sony Playststion 3
Mini Shop Vac
MSR Whisperlite camp stove
Bic cigarette lighter
Screaming Meanie alarm clock
Sony clock radio
Bose Acoustic Wave Music System
Black & Decker electric drill

I’m sure I’m forgetting something.

7 mm thick e-book reader

Plastic Logic is working on an e-book reader that is thinner than an iPhone and is 8.5 in x 11 in. It utilizes E-ink® technology and has a touch screen. Even though it is very thin it is as large as a sheet of paper which makes it only slightly more portable than a laptop. The real question is what books and periodicals will be available for this device? The Amazon website says, “Over 200,000 books, newspapers, magazines and blogs” are available for the Kindle, a similar device that has been available since November 2007. Probably half of the titles available are books and half are blogs. Only a small number of magazines and papers are available. When it was first released there were 88,000 books available. The figure I’ve seen for the Sony Reader is 25,000. How can Plastic Logic compete, especially when each device uses a proprietary file format? So far I’ve read about 15 books on my Kindle and I love it. My only complaint is I can’t borrow or loan out Kindle books.

Microsoft finally makes a decent commercial

Apple has been running the “I’m a PC and I’m a Mac” commercials since 2006 without a word from Microsoft. Finally Microsoft has responded and created an ad which says, “I’m a PC and I’ve been made into a stereotype.”

From TechCrunch.com

[The new Microsoft ads] show lots of fascinating people saying that they use PCs. They highlight the fact that many people may be somewhat offended by the idea that they can’t be interesting or cool if they don’t use a Mac.

Suddenly, Apple looks a little elitist. I mean, they were elitist before, but in a way that made you want to be a part of the club. Now, they just seem a little snobby.

Edit: The links I had posted to videos of the ads are no longer available.

They still make supercomputers

Blue Gene Supercomputer rackSupercomputers today have thousands of processors, can perform trillions of calculations per second and have hundreds and hundreds of gigabytes of memory capacity. TOP500.org maintains a list of the fastest 500 supercomputers in the world. Here are the countries with the most supercomputers on the list:

United States has 257 of the fastest supercomputers.
United Kingdom has 53.
Germany 46
France 34
Japan 22
China 12
Sweden 9
Russia 9

Computers this powerful are used to simulate global weather phenomena, simulate protein folding, sequence genes, play chess, predict traffic patterns.

Posting on the road

I am posting this using Safari on my new iPhone. Some blog software allows you to post via e-mail, so mobile blogging is nothing new. With the iPhone I have access to the entire blog interface. I am connected to the Internet using AT&T’s Edge Network. It’s faster than dial-up, but slower than broadband. Right now I am sitting in the driver seat of an orange 2004 Freightliner Century Class. I’m in Calera, Oklahoma at a Choctaw truck stop, across the street from a Choctaw Nation casino. Using the touch keyboard is a bit tedious, but I don’t think it’s any worse than any other hand-held device and in some ways it is better because it can adapt to the context.  For instance, when you are typing in the address bar of the browser you get all Qwerty keys plus there is a single key labeled “.com”  and the forward slash (/) is right next to it which allows for rapid entry of web addresses.  When you are typing an e-mail addresses the @ key is right there, too.