Tag Archives: Reviews

Nexus 4 and LTE

I have 3G on an iPad that’s plenty fast for my mobile needs and an HSPA+ T-Mobile Android phone that’s also plenty fast and has a battery that lasts all day. LTE is a superior technology if you want to stream movies or use your phone as a data server, but how many actually do that on mobile?

If I could get LTE on the Google Nexus 4 I’m buying, I might do it for just in case reasoning, but I use T-Mobile pre-paid for a crazy cheap monthly price and their HSPA+ provides everything I need in speed and coverage. I’d also much prefer to have a longer battery life than faster data speeds.


Elixir 2 Review

I’ve been meaning to do reviews on Android apps for awhile, but I never seem to have the time to take the screenshots and write a thorough review of the many great apps I use on my Galaxy Tab, so I guess I’ll just link to reviews I approve of for now.

Elixir is a Swiss Army Knife (multiuse admin) app for Android that’s been around awhile and now version 2 is out. The same basic functionality is present in the new app, with improvements. There are several good admin apps for Android and it really comes down to personal taste which you prefer. Elixir gives you an amazing amount of system information, helpful utilities for killing and monitoring tasks, moving apps to the SD card, and much more. And it has a good set of widgets too. I’m happy to pay a few bucks for a good app, but there’s no need here because Elixir is free.




Evernote is Great!

I don’t usually cheer for commercial products, especially closed source ones. But Evernote is a special case. It’s an organization app that supports storing notes, pictures, sound recordings, just about anything you can digitize, and has well designed apps for most major platforms, including the web, Windows and Mac, IOS and Android … There isn’t an official version for Linux yet.

There are other apps that have most of what Evernote has, but Evernote beats these others in design. It looks good, works the way you expect it to. It just does most things right, better than the other organization apps out there. Evernote looks and feels right and works the way you expect it to, and its possession of this rare set of traits matters much more than any particular functionality in the long run.

I pay for a premium Evernote subscription and I also paid for a year’s subscription to Remember the Milk, but I eventually gave up on Remember the Milk because I just couldn’t get over the user interface. I now use a web app called Producteev combined with Astrid to manage my tasks and the user interfaces on these apps are excellent, making them a pleasure to use.

If you’re looking for an app to organize all your digital information, give Evernote a try.


LG Optimus V review

I bought the LG Optimus V the day it became available and I am impressed with it so far. My only complaint is that the Virgin Mobile network doesn’t reach into my office at work, which is in a very non-cellular friendly building. I get reception in all other areas I care about (even in my basement) so I think the phone’s reception is fine. If you’re fine with VirginMobileUSA’s network, you’ll be happy with this phone’s reception.

I have a Verizon Galaxy Tab but wanted a small no contract phone for the times I don’t want to carry the Tab and to comfortably make phone calls and text. The Tab is a great device, far better than some of the critical reviews indicate, and although the Tab is obviously a much higher end device that the Optimus V, the Optimus is more than satisfactory for my use.

Specifically, this phone has:
–  A bright, clear, and very responsive touch screen, with plenty of resolution for viewing web pages
– well designed and well performing physical buttons
– good reception in most areas
– fast internet access in most areas – around 1000 Kbps down/250 Kbps up from my house
– decent battery life – easily a full day’s occasional use with talk, chat, and web
– fast response for most applications despite having a much slower processor than current high-end phones
– keyboard is cramped in portrait mode – I have big fingers – but Swype comes with the phone and makes it much easier to type.
– very stable – crashes less than my Galaxy Tab even though I’m a major tinkerer and like to play with various launchers and other apps
– very nice physical design – it’s a good looking phone
– decent camera provided there’s enough light – phone has no flash
– good WiFi performance – I can connect to my router with this phone from my car more than 20 feet from my house

A few tips:
– Be sure to put the phone in airplane mode when you know you have no reception so the phone doesn’t drain the battery constantly looking for a signal. I only have this problem in my office at work where only Verizon gets good reception.
– The screen is apparently plastic so it’s a good idea to put a screen protector on it if you care about scratches – no scratches yet for this phone but I’m neurotic and have a screen protector on my Tab’s Gorilla Glass screen.

Summary: The Optimus V is great choice if you’re looking for an inexpensive phone with no cellular contract that will give you the full Android experience.

Evangelical Christian Propaganda

From the Ministry of Truth comes a naked propaganda film, attempting to paint the founding fathers as ardent Christians when many of them, including the most prominent, were either deists or atheists. If you read Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Thomas Paine, John Adams, et cetera, you will see that they ranged from deist to atheist. This nation was explicitly NOT founded as a Christian nation. The founders were well aware of where religious extremism, the very kind we have today, can lead. The authors of the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution were steeped in Enlightenment philosophy. Our founding documents echo clearly the greatest political thinkers of that time, Locke, Montesquieu, et al.

The director of this mess clearly wishes to support himself and his faith by constructing a temple of lies that will withstand the gales of truth. Look him up online. He’s a fake and a liar on the scale of Sarah Palin. The only people who will be fooled by this travesty of a documentary are those who are incapable of real analysis and are just looking for something to confirm their opinions and calm their doubts. Lying on the scale of this film should be punishable by life in prison.




Review of "The Mummy Returns"

I just watched “The Mummy Returns” with my 9 year old sons Thomas and Joshua. The plot is lightweight, serving mainly as a framework for the many action scenes. There’s a lot of fighting and some gore (but not too much), with a humorous, somewhat goofy undertone. As with most movies of this type, you need to not just suspend disbelief, but leave your rational mind at the door. Trying to analyze the events in this movie will only ruin it for you.

As an adult, I appreciated the moments where you could empathize with some of the movie’s villains, understanding that they were just deeply flawed human beings. Just as with the first Mummy movie, I felt a litle shortchanged by the presence of so many deep philosophical themes and the failure to really develop any of them, A deeper, more thoughtful script could have made this a great movie for the thinkers among us. But this is not that kind of movie and it’s unfair to hold that against it.

Overall, the boys and I enjoyed “The Mummy Returns”. It reminded us of “Big Trouble in Little China”, and that’s a good thing.

[review pros=”lots of action, very good special effects, goofy undertone, feel-good” cons=”illogical, story is a big stretch”  score=80]