Thursday, February 13, 2014

Electronics Battery Life

Battery life with laptops has always been a pain to me.  The battery either only last for a few hours new or doesn't function at all because it has not been charged and discharged in a healthy way.  Usually it didn't impact me much, since I usually had access to a power outlet, but it usually meant that I used the battery for nothing more than changing locations and then plugged it back in again.  This behavior on a new battery, in a relatively short time, led to a battery that would hold less and less of a charge.

You'd think they could come up with a battery technology, either with electronics or in the battery media itself, that could keep a battery from being destroyed that way and that could hold more power without being cost prohibitive.

This has become more of an issue with ultra portable devices like tablets, media players, and cell phones that one does not tether all day long.  Tethering often limits functionality of the device as the cord is in the way.  Also, the way it is used doesn't lend to always having external power when it is being used.

We are finding that if we get a device that can run for eight hours in relatively heavy use we are ecstatic.  This means that in 24 hours of incidental use it is dead.  If an app goes rogue and starts eating battery and you don't know it, you are quickly without a device.  If you rely on that device to make calls or give you directions to where you need to be or tell you that you need to be in a certain place at a certain time then this can be a huge problem.

I need a device that will do 24 hours of solid use and half a week to a week of incidental use.  Then I won't have to do the drain the battery/fill the battery dance every day and beat up my battery.  This would also allow laptops to be more useful and not have to be underpowered when compared to desktops.

Where this has become an issue for me lately is in using my phone as an alarm clock.  I was in a place where I had no alarm clock, but I was scared to death to rely on my phone to do the job, even though it was over half charged when I went to bed.

I had a more than half charge, so I did not want to plug it in.  I have heard you should drain it most of the way before charging and then charge it all the way up.  Yet, I still did not trust it.

The week before I had gone to bed with a mostly full charge a couple of different nights, only to find my battery completely dead by morning, because Google Plus had gone rogue and was drawing more power than my display when it is on.

I still do not know exactly what Google Plus's problem was, but I shut down all of the features I could and it went back to decent battery life.  I am pretty sure that at that point any functionality that was of use to me from Google Plus was disabled and was running for no reason.

If I had a 24 hour battery I would feel more secure.  If an app went rogue like that I would know that the device would still make it through the night and the alarm would reliably wake me at the time I absolutely needed to be up.  This without needing to plug it in as a backup.

The electronics we have are amazing and even the battery technology compared to a hundred years ago is phenomenal.  None the less I am almost certain way more than we have is possible with today's technology.  I feel like battery technology (and don't get me started on lagging implementations of solar technology) is not keeping pace with the other technologies that use it, from my humble perspective.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Take Your 18-20 Year Old To The Bar Day

I was listening to a discussion with Colorado Senator Greg Brophy and Jerry Doyle.  I researched Doyle and found that he was an actor on Babylon 5 who I really liked.  His voice did not sound familiar at all, but it was an interesting surprise.

My admiration of Doyle's acting aside, the topic he and Brophy were discussing was weird.  Apparently Brophy has introduced legislation that would allow parents to buy alcohol for their 18- to 20-year-old children in Colorado bars and restaurants.

Both Doyle and Brophy used the argument of 18-20 years can vote and be drafted, so they should be allowed to drink.  I would propose that perhaps they shouldn't have the right to drink and also should maybe wait until 21 to join the army and vote as well.  I haven't thought that out completely, but when they started talking about taking your kids to the bar during sporting events to teach them about how to drink I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

Doyle proposed not only that, but also that once the parent and child had too much to drink the parent could have a conversation with the child about how they are both too drunk to drive and assess the options on how to get home.  There are so many holes in that theory.

First, how about teach them to drink responsibly, if there is such a thing, and not get too inebriated to drive.

Second, a bar is a place to teach people how to behave?

Third, people's behavior while watching a football game in a bar does not teach people how to behave responsibly.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Grammar Nazis

There seem to be people out there that are very touchy about having their grammar corrected.  I see them constantly posting on Facebook making fun of Grammar Nazis and complaining about people correcting their grammar.  In other of their posts I see them complaining about people that say "ax" instead of "ask" or "ideal" instead of "idea" or "pacific" instead of "specific" or "libary" instead of "library".

While bad grammar and bad pronunciation can get under my skin too, but this practice of in one post giving people hassle for their pronunciation and in the next complaining about people giving you hassle about the way you speak is more so.

If you are going to be bothered by the way someone speaks, then take your lumps quietly when someone doesn't like the way you speak.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Keep It Simple Stupid

I keep hearing President Obama say the wealthiest Americans need to pay more and the middle class needs to feel relief.  Then I hear that people who make between $30,000 and $100,000 per year are going to have their taxes go up this year.  The wealthiest Americans now starts at $30,000 per year?

I also keep hearing about all the pork that is being shoved into this plan to reduce the deficit.  Not balance the budget, but just reduce the deficit.  A deficit should never be allowed.  There should be law in place that if there is not a balanced budget then every program shuts down until there is one.  That is how it is for American families.  You can only spend yourself in the hole so long before they come and shut your family down.

It seems that everyone and their brother is coming and sticking junk that has nothing to do with balancing the budget into this law.  Things to further their political career with their constituents and not balance the budget.  It sounds like bribery to me.  Both the one who paid the bribe and the one that took the bribe should both go to jail.  Isn't bribing a US Senator or Representative a crime just like bribing a judge or police officer?

A bill submitted to congress, in my opinion, needs to stay on topic and be protected from scope creep.  When a bill is submitted on a topic, then material not directly pertaining to that topic need to disallowed from being included in that bill.

Bills and the resulting laws passed from them, should be short and to the point.  They should also be readable by the average American.  Not the upper or lower level American, but the average American.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Adam and Eve, Not Adam and Steve

I saw a flow chart posted by an old friend yesterday.  It starts at the top with "So you still think homosexuality is sinful?  And therefore Gay shouldn't be allowed to marry?"  The graphic goes outlines why the author thinks it is not sinful based on disputing claims people make about what the Bible says.

The graphic goes from their initial statement to a yes or no.  If you choose know they give you a "congratulations on being part of civilized society!"  The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender movement is an example of civilized society.  LGBT is about gathering together as many deviant lifestyles together to gain power.  This was confirmed this morning as I Googled to try to remember the acronym and found that it is being expanded to LGBTQIA to include "Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual".

If you choose to go down the yes side of the initial statement you come to "WHY?"

One of the options under there is "God made Adam and Eve, Not Adam and Steve!"  Their answer to this is "The earth wasn't populated.  There are now 6.79 billion people.  Breeding clearly isn't an issue any more!"

First of all the earth can sustain another 6.79 billion people, God made it to sustain people.  The problem is that people don't use the resources intelligently or responsibly.  They pack themselves into large cities and let the refuse pile up there.  There are plenty of places for people to live and plenty of places to grow food.

Secondly, pairing a man and a woman wasn't simply a procreation issue.  It was also because men and women are very different.  When they become a family they complete each other.  Yes Adam and Steve have their differences and can grow by overcoming them, but it is very different than the struggles and compliments that the two genders bring together.

As I stated, the author states that the need for Adam and Eve was a temporary situation due to procreation.  They then condemn plural marriage, polygamy, or whatever you want to call it, that is mentioned in the Bible.

I would argue that Adam and Eve were not a temporary necessity, but that plural marriage was.  I believe that God opened that up to a few people for a short period of time or a few different occasions.

Plural marriage allowed for an isolated people to grow in numbers quickly.  This provided security for them in having a work force and an army if it became necessary to defend itself from animals or hostile humans.

I saw someone else post a response to all the points in the graphic that I thought was quite good, so I will repost it here:

Begin quoted material
1. Jesus said: Mark 10:6-9 "But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."
This is Jesus describing what a man does when he gets married and why. Only a man and a woman does God make one flesh. This is what marriage is.

2. OT: Deuteronomy 4:44 "And this is the law which Moses set before the children of Israel"
The OT says the law was not for everyone, but only for the children of Israel.
Act 15:19-20 "Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and fornication, and things strangled, and blood."
I.e. for the non-Jew that turns to God the only OT laws to retain include sexual sin, listed in Leviticus 20.

3. NT: Romans 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet."
Not a word about prostitution or promiscuity only, in that.

4. God made Adam and Eve: is still true.

5. The Bible does not clearly define marriage as one-man, one-woman. It defines marriage as between a man and ideally one woman.
Exodus 21:10 "If he take him another [wife]; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish."

But the entire starting premise is wrong. It is not that homosexuality is sinful and therefore excluded from marriage. It is that marriage is a man and a woman becoming one flesh by God. Just as Oxygen and Hydrogen become water, while O2 or H2 remain gas. Even if you redefine H2 or O2 as water, it is still a gas. You only lose the meaning of the word water.
End of quoted material

Born That Way
I hear many using the argument that homosexuality is ok because they were born that way and it is part of who they are.  They site the example of being born blind.

Doesn't a person born with poor eyesight get glasses?  Don't the blind hope that someone develops a cure for blindness?  They do what they can to live with the condition that is holding them back, but they also attempt to find way to make it not so.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Big Bird and PBS

PBS has become more of a business than a public service.  People talk of how they have no commercials.  That is simply not true.  They just put the commercials at the beginning and then end of the show.  Then they beg for donations and have the government fund them.  It is very much like paying for cable TV and then having to watch commercials too.  Except in the case of PBS, they want you to pay for it three times.

I loved shows like Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers when I was a kid.  I believe that if PBS moved to being a self sustaining network it would still do just fine, because many of the things they do are good and the programs are loved by many.

These days they could even cut costs by putting the programming as on demand on the internet.  Kids watch things over and over and over again.  They could get revenue every time a kids watches the show.  Each kid would probably watch each episode 10 or more times.  This instead of having them only watch it when it is on TV.

If PBS does end up failing, then it shows that there weren't as many people who wanted it as we think and the government is for the people and if the people don't want it, then it shouldn't be funded anyway.

Eat the Rich?

This concept of living off the rich by making them pay and pay and pay is ridiculousness.  This country was founded on everyone having the opportunity to make their own way in the world, not have the government mandate that others have to give it to us.  This is true for individuals as well as businesses.

Government needs to get out of the way and let businesses innovate.  Lots of regulation and taxes slows that down.  Initiatives to encourage people to buy American also discourages that.  Business need to be encouraged to do it better and more efficiently than the other guy to survive.  If a business fails, then it should be allowed to fail and someone else will step up and get it done.

As far as making the rich give up what they have, I say leave the rich alone.  I want to be rich when I grow up and I don't want people dictating how I spend my money.

What is crippling families?  High prices and lack of employment.  The more that government drives down on businesses in order to fund welfare programs, the more welfare programs will be necessary, because business will do what they need to to survive and guard profits, which means prices will go up and employees will not be hired and some may even be cut.  To guard profits they will choose to grow at a slower pace and charge more to maintain.

If you want lower unemployment and lower prices then get out of businesses way and let them grow and make money, which will force them to hire more people to sustain that growth.

If you tax the businesses more and put more regulations on them that make it expensive for them to do business they will defend their profits and pass on the cost to the consumers through higher costs of the product or through laying or and not hiring more employees.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Serious Car Crash at Jackson and Chatelain Road, Ogden Utah

Friday October 5, 2012
This afternoon, witnesses say, a car was speeding over and down the hill northbound on Jackson Avenue in the Sullivan Hollow.  At the bottom of the hill car driven by a pregnant woman and containing her small children pulled out westbound on Chatelain and was struck by the speeding northbound vehicle.

Witnesses said that if you didn't know what happened, looking at the position of the cars when they finished moving would be very confusing.  The vehicles had been push and spun around in various directions.

The pregnant woman's vehicle was pushed over some large bushes in a yard on the southeast corner of Jackson and Chatelain.  The bushes were always precisely manicured by the home owner and now they are smashed down in the middle and will probably take several seasons to grow back.

The light pole at that location was an old tall wooden pole.  It was knocked down and under the pregnant woman's car.  Many of the poles in the neighborhood are very old and in poor condition.  One of the neighbors has a utility pole in their backyard that is rotting and splintering.  Rocky Mountain Power, the own of the pole and provider of electrical service for the area has stated that there is nothing wrong with the pole and has declined to replace it.

In a related issue with Rocky Mountain Power, in a nearby neighborhood there is a power line that goes through a home's back yard and is at slightly lower than the height of a single story roof.  It would be very tempting for children to throw stuff on it or try to climb up to it.  The home owner has stated that Rocky Mountain Power will not adjust the height of the line without significant cost to the home owner.

It is the hope of those in the neighborhood that the light post at Chatelain Road and Jackson Avenue will be replaced.  There has been several break ins in nearby areas in the last few years as well as automobile accidents and a police shoot out.  There are several streets near that area where there are no streetlights and those areas are very dangerous areas after dark.  At this time of year there is a lot more dark and it would a great safety feature to have a street light at that corner as well as other dark streets in the area.

This is not the first traffic incident on a hill leading into the Sullivan Hollow.  Recently another speeding car ran a spot sign at Jackson and Sullivan speeding down the other hill that leads into the Sullivan Hollow southbound on Jackson avenue.  The vehicle was a blue sports car.  The car crested the hill, ran the stop sign, and t-boned a grey sedan that was slowly heading Westbound on Sullivan.

After today's incident the neighborhood is left with a large stain in the street from the materials used to extinguish the fire and to clean up fluids.  There is much anyone can do about that and it is not a safety issue. On the other hand, there is a lot of glass and debris in the road and gutter just outside of the immediate strike zone.  Those that reside in this area are concerned about the safety issues this situation could create.  There are many children that play in this area and ride their bikes on that street and in those gutters.

The neighbors are working to clean it up, but are disappointed that those responsible for cleaning up the street after the crash and making the road safe for travel left this safety hazard in the neighborhood.