Phone News ala Frood Part 2 of 3: Before the Storm

In my previous post on phones I set up the circumstances and got into a couple phones that I’ve looked at but wont touch.  This post will get into the leaks and rumors that have me itching to replace my DROID.

Starting with the phone I’m anticipating least, the HTC Incredible 4G is almost here, set to release on April 26.  It sounds like it will come up short of any phone in the HTC One line up with a small 4″ screen with 275 ppi density, 1.2Ghz dual-core processor, and 8GB storage.  This can’t be a phone intended to compete at the top of Verizon’s lists, but the recent leak showed it’s price listing as such.  It would kind of be a joke, especially since the Nexus has been dropping in price all over the place; a phone released last November which has struggled in reviews as a phone solution but still sells well at the top of Verizon’s lists and beats the pants off of the supposed “Incredible” specifications.  It also looks like the same bulky phone as it’s predecessor.  I’m curious what the real device ends up being even though I’m not particularly interested in it as a product. (Update 4/26/2012: Release date May 10th?)

The second to last phone on my list is Samsung’s Galaxy S3 that is already selling like hotcakes and it’s only in pre-order status completely lacking a formal release date, list of specifications, or original photos; and here I thought I was itchy for a new phone.  Rumored to be sporting a 1.4 quad-core processor, 4.7 inch display with 295 ppi density, and 12MP camera.  It’s also supposed to get 17% more battery mAh than the Nexus had, which had notorious power and wireless issues; I’m curious how Samsung can execute their own integration of Ice Cream Sandwich.  The leaked photos have been all over the place as far as specific aesthetics go, but flat and sleek glossy black seems to be a consistent theme.  I was kind of hoping to see a genuine curved, phone shaped screen from Samsung; the Nexus just had a curved glass overlay so it must be on some developer’s mind.  Anyway, with so little actually known about this device it’s hard to put up higher on my list.  There is a lot of hype, too much by comparison to the competition it has with the other phones.  Far from being head and shoulders above the rest; the One X and the Motorola Droid RAZR HD both seem to look the S3 square in the eye.  I don’t like paying extra to join a fad, so hopefully it lives up to it’s own wake. (Update 4/25/2012: New rumor that the Galaxy S3 doesn’t hit stores until June. Update 4/27/2012: Exclusive to Vzw? That’s promising.)

I anticipate my primary bar for comparison to be the Motorola RAZR HD.  With my wife’s recent update from a DROID to a DROID 4 my household has become familiar with Motorola craftsmanship which looks and feels like a brick, but takes punishment and keeps working.  My wife hard her DROID up until about a month ago when the screen started going on the blink, her two-year was up anyway and she loves the physical qwerty keyboard so the upgrade was a no-brainer.  My DROID is still chugging along like the reliable dinosaur it is; it’s been dropped, glued, wet, lost, tossed around carelessly, tapped on as I play drums with stuff in my pockets.  Obviously the word for this phone is: Reliable.  Even though I would describe Motorola to be the least interesting looking brand out of the three major Android manufacturers my experience has made me more than a little biased toward Moto even if that means getting something more brick-like.  Luckily I’m aiming to adapt to the way innovation it taking the industry which means I’m gonig away from the physical keyboard allowing for a lighter phone and/or larger battery.  With Moto’s last move with the RAZR MAXX and it’s stupid-awesome battery they still manage to keep it within 0.6 oz of the RAZR, the thinnest and lightest Android phone at VZW (which has been dropped to $99 recently, btw).  Battery life is one of those considerations that makes the phone a phone.  Now with the next step up Moto is taking the RAZR HD will beef up my primary concern about the device: the screen size.  Rumored to be getting a 4.6 inch display with 720p which would stick the pixel density up to 319 ppi bumping just past the Nexus to second place under the iPhone 4S, which has 326ppi.  I think this is actually pretty far fetched, it doesn’t sound like Motorola but if they put out a screen larger than 4.3 inches I’ll be happy.

Last phone on the list that I most anticipate coming to Verizon is Samsung’s Galaxy Note; the 5.3 inch monstrosity that managed to make the stylus cool again.  Rumored to be redubbed the Galaxy Journal for Verizon and/or Sprint and already set up for T-Mobile with Ice Cream Sandwich I look forward to seeing how uncomfortable that phone is in my pocket.  The Galaxy Note has been out for a good while, since last fall I think, and it’s been maintaining good reviews and perplexing people with it’s size ever sense.  Battery-life is so-so, which makes me curious how it holds up on Verizon’s network which is known to drain your battery faster than the others; I’ll be watching for that closely when or if it releases.  It sounds like the S-Pen/stylus makes it pretty convenient for jotting down notes, drawing, and probably other stuff I haven’t seen.  It’s supposed to be useful, and I’m curious how that’s possible.  I just want the screen.  That beautiful massive screen with a respectable 285 ppi that will let me read articles and play games with ease.  If this comes out for Verizon in the next month I will likely be owning a Note and, potentially, a spare or upgraded battery.

My next full report will in a few weeks after phones and/or news come out and I have one on hand.

Update 4/25/2012: This is the second rumor I’ve come across which describes the DROID RAZR HD with a 4.3 inch screen… 720p (which is 1280×720 resolution) has been a pretty constant rumor all along, since that justifies the “HD” label, a 4.3 inch screen puts the pixel density at 342 ppi.  Doing more research on phones already out there 342 ppi isn’t an out of the norm pixel density.  But pixel resolution and ICS are splitting hairs as far as I’m concerned which leaves a 13MP camera to justify the usual $100 difference between predecessor and successor.  It needs a bigger screen for me to justify leapfrogging the MAXX.

I’ve set May 28th as the longest I’m willing to hold off on making a choice.  Verizon Wireless usually has pretty good sales memorial day weekend so even if the good stuff still only has rumor puffs I can at least grab something tangible at a discount.

Update 4/26/2012: It’s smelling as though a lot of the gravy coming to Verizon will be happening beyond the time I’m willing to wait.  Hopefully rumors start turning into announcements when Sammy finally unclogs the rumor mill next Thurs.

Recap of Discussion Part 1 of ?: Proof Convinces or Confirms?

Now that things have spiraled into a muddled jumble of comments over at the Can We Prove the Existence of God I figured it was a good time to stop adding to the mess, recap on things that I read, and source out some of the things that were said. Zilch hit the nail on the head with his post at the very end of the mess, the interactions maintained an admirable level of civility despite the obvious disagreement from one side to itself and the other. While my perspective is that the communication only amounted to treading water, I didn’t pick up anything new, I do feel encouraged to go home and get some of my toys to show people.

Starting with the article itself I still maintain the same opinion as my original post: The title and premise draws you in by using the ‘confirm’ definition of prove then conceeds that you can’t confirm the existence of God but you can sometimes ‘convince’ certain people.  There seems to be common ground cast here where believers and non-believers can explore new territory and sow new interactions but where James admits his explanation of disagreement is a short answer, it’s scripture and therefore final.  He basically references the ‘sick’, as Jesus calls those of questionable character, to reassures his readers through contrast: ‘Don’t worry doubters are still denying this truth which I just admitted was unprovable.’  The article unites us in our quest for information and understanding then divides us into the righteous and unrighteous.

I can’t say that I can blame James, in addition to sticking to convictions he probably has some desire to maintain his appeal.  It’s just disappointing to me because he acknowledges the common ground in his ‘Proof and Persuasion’ section.  Where he talks about axioms of mathematical proofs dependent on their system is the establishment of an existence to experience not similarly dependent on a system through which, and with which, everyone interacts. Existence exists objectively.  I admit that I picked this axiom up from from Ayn Rand’s Objectivism, but why I reject her execution is a blog for another day.  I dare anyone to make a definition of a non-objective universe… such a premise negates itself as subjective.  The universe and all the manifestations of energy that it consists of exists as it has even when the first scribes of Sumeria wrote that the beginning was a void of deep water which became a hemisphere universe with a pantheon of deities in the waters above and below to explain everything happening around and to mortals witnessing events on earth.  Reread Genesis 1 if that didn’t sound familiar, the other links in that sentence are bread crumbs for anyone who want to find and explore the stories of ancient pre-Israeli divinities relating to that story.  Sources are like jokes; Set up the story and give the punch line as best as you can.  Whether or not they get it is out of your hands and explaining too much usually ruins the whole point.  While sources are easily found with the names of those ancient deities, I’m always willing to answer questions.

By comparison an assumed axiom of a omnipotent, omnipresent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient being allows for a subjective universe. Virgins can give birth, fathers can reproduce without intercourse, animals and shrubs can talk, saviors can manifest on toast, and pretty much anything else is possible and justifiable when the universe is a sandbox for a divine imagination.  In the cosmological argument and the intelligent design argument for the existence of God it’s proposed that God exists before time.  Before time being the paradox of that conclusion.  There’s a reason why it isn’t uncommon for cognitive dissonance to come up when the secular interact with the faithful.

That about raps it up for the content of the article, actually.  I’ve already started working on a response to the implications and some of the comments of the moral claims so stay tuned for more.

Phone News ala Frood – Part 1 of 3: Setting The Stage

I’ve been following mobile phone news fairly closely as of late since my tax return will provide me the ability to replace the DROID I’ve been carrying around since 2009. Whether phone manufacturers are getting positioned for their own annual cycle, setting up to make waves during the Summer Olympics, or capitalizing on froods like me who are getting tax money back I’m in a fortunate position of having a drama of new phones leaking information all over the place begging for me to make a choice.

This is the only time I’ll bring up Apple: As long as the venn diagram for a device’s built in compatibility is a circle it doesn’t fit my needs as a user. I like to consider my device as a summary of parts rather than a magic box, let me take out the battery and SD card or install any app I want without going through a proprietary store… it’s my device, let me do what I want. Besides that, Apple made a niche and it sounds like they’re sticking to it taking no risks to rock their iconic status. It isn’t a bad business strategy, it’s just one less reason for me to look their way.

Second thing to get out of the way is that Verizon Wireless is my service provider. I’m grandfathered into the unlimited data plan, a majority of the people I know are “in” which means that talking in the US doesn’t take my minutes, and I have coverage pretty much everywhere in the Portland area while people with other carriers have issues from place to place. No device is going to be appealing enough to get me to switch carriers unless vzw drops the ball and stops selling good smartphones. Luckily the brands and phones are independent of carriers which means that anything I say about one phone at vzw will usually carry over to something with the same brand at competing carriers.

Third thing to get out of the way are a couple of phones outside Verizon that caught my notice: the HTC One X and Nokia Lumia 900.

The HTC One X being released at AT&T in the US has good specs and it sounds like they’ve put forth the best camera/interface combination on any phone in the history of phones… multi-shot, clearer pictures, slow-motion video, etc. It’s camera is only 8MP, which will get surpassed pretty quick, but the interface makes up for it from what I’ve read. It packs a largish battery to power, arguably, the best processor in the smartphone game until the SIII comes along to give it competition. The thing also sports a large-to-most 4.7 inch screen that crams 312 pixels into an inch. Not that many would notice the difference, but that’s a higher pixel density than the rumored specs on the SIII and only gets surpassed by the iPhone 4S and Samsung Nexus. Also the phone is sleek to the point of knocking on the door of Apple’s iPod. The unibody designed handset looks like HTC considered form which is actually appealing when too many Android devices I look and feel like a TV; inconsequential casing that surrounds a screen. The phone looks really sleek and well put together… but I haven’t held it so take that opinion lightly.

The other phone that I would be interested in playing around with but isn’t coming to my carrier is Windows Phone… er, I mean the Nokia Lumia 900. Really that’s all I need to say about it because nothing else appeals to me.  Everything else is on par or worse with Android competitors so I probably wouldn’t buy it even if vzw got it but I’m really curious what Microsoft came up with. The unique thing about Windows phones will be that the interface will stay the same across manufacturers. This differs with Android because manufacturer interfaces get installed on top of the Android software; it’s why going from HTC to Samsung to Motorola will give you a different experience for each one… I don’t like that but it’s too bad that the Galaxy Nexus, the only true Android phone at the moment, comes up short as a holistic phone.  Hopefully Windows Phone standing as Windows Phone will bring integrated interface to a table where it’s normal to see bloated overlays and animations are bogging down fatty hardware specs.  But Microsoft isn’t exactly known for keeping their interfaces light so I’m curious to see if WinP keeps it’s agility through multiple device generations and software updates.

So the buzz is that Samsung, HTC, and Motorola are all lined up to present high-end Android phones to Verizon and my next blog will go into what those phones are and look at the information that has been leaked about them.

Froody Zarquon

I’ve recently been posting in the comments section over on a Gospel Coalition blog as FroodyZarquon.  For those who don’t know a Frood is “a really amazingly together guy.”  Zarquon is a legendary prophet that is foretold to have a second coming but only does so at Milliways: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe moments before the universe ends.  Yes, both are from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

In addition to being a bit of a HHGTTG fan-boy I think FroodyZarquon is fun to say.  It reflect my usual calm demeanor and I’ll admit that the Zarquon prod at Christianity projects my interest in discussing philosophical topics from a secular point of view.  The “Goat” in GoatIsMe is an acronym for Geek of All Trades.  I am an IT specialist, a gamer, a gadget enthusiast, a car guy, a wood guy, a metal head, orchestra buff, and all around music lover, and I enjoy discussing ideology, philosophy, and ancient cultures.  I don’t claim to be the best at anything except maybe my ability to explore everything.  The Biblical reflection is incidental, as Zarquon is, but I don’t reject it since I already stand in contrast to what Matt 25 says goats are to be punished for eternally.  I don’t mind my Biblical damnation being on the minds of Christian readers as they agree or even enjoy with certain perspectives I present.

On that note, I’m not really sure what I’ll be doing with this blog yet, if anything.  It’s obvious that I have a different perspective from many of the secular minds out there.