More power!


As smartphones get smarter (and suck more battery power), there is a real need for a “flux capacitor” of phone/tablet batteries.

I finally broke down and got a Mophie Juice Pack for my iPhone – I don’t use my phone that much, but it is way worse (battery power) than any other phone I’ve had. When I have a couple calls; do some updates via the phone…10% is gone. What!! (Note: First smartphone for me).

The only color I could get (at the time) was magenta; I like magenta, but I thought it would look a little girlie. Maybe, but I like the power.

I now have a yellow Mophie Juice Pack on the way; yes, packs are heavier. Yes, they double iPhone life.


Won’t it be nice when battery life is not an issue?

A tale of two devices

Tale of Two Devices

Long story short, my iPhone and my calculator were next to each other on my desktop, and it got me to thinking:

  • Yep, virtually the same size and perform the same functionality (calculating).
  • Yet the iPhone can do much more.
  • Yet the iPhone costs much more.
  • Can’t put apps on the calculator.
  • Calculator is solar powered.
  • iPhone’s battery life sux (iPhone 4s)
  • LED screen (calculator)
  • Color touch screen (iPhone)
  • Physical keypad (calculator)
  • Virtual/touch keypad (iPhone)
  • One’s rugged (calculator)
  • One’s pretty…but can break (iPhone)
  • And so on…

What does it all mean?

I dunno, I just thought that it was interesting that the same form factor – both of which are electronic tools – are so much different (functionality)/same (size/can calculate). Just drives home the point of the rapid evolution/revolution of such tools.

Imagine the difference between an iPhone (today) and [whatever it is] five years from now. Wow.

Update: Duh, yes, I realize this entry (old vs. iPhone vs. [whatever is next]) is not new – It just struck me with the two devices next to each other. I’m not claiming to be the first to say anything about the acceleration of technology. K?

Working around IE

Like any web developer, I have a hate-hate relationship with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE). In my case, it goes all the way back to IE3 in the 1990s.

And things haven’t gotten (much) better since those times: IE always seems to be behind the curve in adopting standards. With the rise of Firefox, this really became pronounced.

The latest issue – for me – has to do with the work I’ve been doing with CSS3. There are a lot of new functionalities in CSS3, but – of course – IE doesn’t support same (Note: I’m on IE 8, I think IE 9 begins some support of CSS3 – but virtually everyone is on v7 or v8!).

There are two functionalities that CSS3 adds that are really huge, and of course IE doesn’t support: Drop shadows (I still don’t like the implementation) and rounded corners (no more rounded-corner GIFs – yay!).

So last week I started poking around for a work-around for these functionalities on IE, and I ran across the CSS3 PIE site. PIE stands for “progressive internet explorer.” The curator of the site – it appears to be one developer, Jason Johnston – has an .htc file that has Javascript goodness that will emulate some CSS3 functionality on IE. Hmm!

I downloaded the file, and while I couldn’t get it to work via an .htaccess file (weird…), I was able to use the PHP work-around. Here’s the test page, which intentionally goes overboard on CSS rounding/shadowing.

Works in IE, Firefox and Chrome on a Windoze box, as well as Firefox and Safari on a Mac. I didn’t test IE on a Mac because, well, I don’t care. If you’re running IE on a Mac, I really don’t care if my sites look as pretty as they could be…

I still want to get the .htc file working correctly with the server file – the PHP work-around could present issues, because it sets a content type for the .htc file in a header call. This blew up things for me until I stopped echoing out debug statements until hitting the actually HTML. But I image this could cause issues with sessions and header redirects.

But that’s the next step. For now, my IE pages can look pretty, for at least some of CSS3’s features. Progress.

Google Green

Story of Send

Google came out with a new feature today – at least, new to me: Their Google Green section. There was a link to a subsection of the Google Green area on the Google home page today.

The subsection? An amazing, whimsical, virtuoso HTML5 “walk through” of how an email goes from one computer to another one, with all the pass-throughs at Google: The Story of Send.

Now, make no mistake about it: This is a commercial for Google – it touts its energy-efficient data centers, its carbon-neutral footprint, how it safeguards users’ personal info and so on. Nothing really about how an email gets from point A to point B.

But so what?

It’s fun, it’s informative, and it’s pretty unique. Embedded videos and slideshows and what-not. What’s not to like? And it’s effective – you come out of the interactive presentation admiring Google for all they’ve done (just the levels of security at various data centers, for example) and just being impressed with how much they are thinking ahead (investing in alternative energies, including a pig-manure plant that’s a win for Google and the farmer).

And this presentation had nothing to do with Google’s core business of search/ad words.

Note: View on a desktop for full effect, but the mobile presentation (Safari/iPhone) is pretty solid, as well.


I’m doing some coding that I have to have work across the major browsers, but hmmm….

My fav browser: Currently, Chrome.

Yet Firefox is good…

IE sux.

Yet – after a day in Chrome, FireFox looks/feels (the latter, just a little) like IE.

Yikes. And – reality.

Small TV rant

Damages – Season 1
Starring: Glenn Close, Rose Byrne, Ted Danson

I had heard many good things about this show, but when I finally watched the entire Season One (13 episodes) this past weekend, I was blown away: This is good. Unusually good.

Good actors, good concept, well filmed.

But the best part – to me – was the non-linear plot line: The pilot opens with a pretty sensational event four months into the future … and then just jumps around for the entire series.

Without giving much away, some scenes are repeated but one sees them differently depending on where you are in the series. Hard to describe, but very well done. It keeps you guessing until the end and … Season Two is (I’m guessing) foreshadowed in some weird scenes in Season One.

Glenn Close is brilliant in this – a total bitch of a top-gun lawyer – and the supporting characters are solid, as well.

I don’t know if the show creators can keep this type of WTF? for more than one season; I look forward to the next installment to see what they do.

This is one of those shows that I could write almost endlessly about – it’s that remarkable – but I’ll leave it with what I said above: Can’t wait to see Season Two.

All reviews

Why is it that the off-brand channels: FX, TNT, HBO, Starz and so on – produce the best TV.

And the best network (ABC, CBS, NBC) can give us is a seemingly endless stream of reality shows. Bleh.

But that’s me.

But I loved Damages (see review). Why isn’t this and its ilk on network TV??

New phone

I’m looking for a new phone/carrier for Romy, but this is the silliness I run into:

Sprint chat

NOTE: “You” in the chat is me, Lee. A Sprint customer since ~2000.

Geez. Why is this so hard??

Update: This is not a ding at the customer service rep, James. He’s just doing his job. But he’s stuck in a place where he can’t do much to get me excited about adding a new phone to my account. Just sad.