[Note: this entry deals with some sensitive subject matter and may anger some people. It's also a little lengthy, written late at night and edited rather quickly.]
|Photo taken with iPhone 4, edited with SwankoLab and Snapseed|
A few notes about my life and the blog, starting with tech.
I mostly post about technology: iOS, video games, mobile tech, accessories, app reviews. I post some art, too, and I've been messing around with photography again since pocket-sized devices can take such great photos (I never liked lugging around a Canon EOS SLR around).
I haven't written as much on society, life and disability lately — not directly, anyway. I use the iPad and iPhone as my only computers primarily because of my disability, but it's become a preference. Even if/when I get a new computer (hopefully a MacBook Pro with Retina Display), I will still likely use my iPad more.
That has a lot to do with the great apps. I love the art/design/photography apps, social apps and games for iOS, and I like having iCloud automatically backup and sync everything. So cool. Some of the mobile games are incredible, too. Console games on a handheld?! Hopefully Square will release Final Fantasy VII through X for iOS one day. As the iPad continues to improve, who knows, maybe we'll have games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on it!
The iPad mini is likely weeks away, and the iPhone 5 released, but I've been waiting. The purple lens flare issue reminds me of antennagate. Maybe Apple will quietly fix it with later iPhone 5 models. I am excited about the iPad mini. I hope it offers a cross between the new iPod Touch and iPad, with a retina display.
I will be posting a few new stylus reviews as well as some more iPad usability advice. Hopefully the weather improves so I won't feel so awful; I'd like to get a few more things done this month, and work on cleaning and packing. More on that later.
Coming soon: Capacitive touch stylus showdown; Adonit Jot Touch vs HEX3 Jaja
These styluses can't quite replicate the Wacom Intuos/Cintiq tablet experience, but they do offer functionality that the iPad lacked — and in my opinion, desperately needed. I love drawing on my iPad, but the device hasn't adequately replicated the sketchbook/slate tablet experience. This isn't critical for many people, but I love sketching, writing, doodling — insofar as I was even looking at alternatives such as the Samsung Series 7 slate tablet PC and Galaxy Note, just for the pressure sensitivity. However, after using a Retina display, there's no going back. The iPad 2 now looks like last-gen, low-res pixelated crap!
The Adonit Jot Touch is a superb stylus. I'm going to test the Jaja very soon. I intend to create some designs with each and post them here along with my review. I just wish more apps supported pressure sensitivity, and in better ways. Specifically, I'd like to see Paper by FiftyThree, Autodesk SketchBook Ink and Adobe touch apps (like Ideas) support pressure sensitivity, as well as Infinite SketchPad, Noteshelf and Remarks.
A little more with iOS
Blogging (posting entries) on my iPad is fairly straightforward and simple with Blogsy, but editing the website is a challenge. Squarespace isn't iOS friendly. I've been thinking about switching this blog (back) to WordPress — I'm just not very good at creating themes and such. WordPress offers greater flexibility for iOS users; I could post and edit pages and work within the straightforward web UI. Know anyone who could help me build a theme?
iOS6 has added the much needed ability to upload images to websites from Safari. So I can finally add images to my web gallery and sites like dribbble.
However, I'm still having issues uploading to my Squarespace gallery, and in typical, frustrating Squarespace fashion, support simply says that they'll forward a feature request to developers, that Squarespace was designed for desktop browsers, and finally, that I should update from a desktop browser. WordPress is looking a lot more attractive even with less appealing themes.
I've used both Squarespace and WordPress iOS apps — both are lacking. It's very frustrating.
Political season: impacting updates
The General Election on November 6, 2012 is so important. This decade is what's at stake. My feelings are clear; Obama has failed America and has lied about too much.
- Obama said he'd close Guantanamo. Guess where my Army MP friend is going to be stationed next year?
- He said he'd cut the deficit in half. With Obama, our debt has increased by trillions, billions have been wasted on failed clean energy experiments. Obama blames America's reduced credit rating on a conservative unwillingness to raise the debt ceiling. Some people think that at one point, there was a surplus. There was never a surplus. (When has a government ever been satisfied with its cash reserves?!
- Obama said he'd reduce unemployment and get America back on track. Biden admitted accidentally that the middle class has been buried. Employment hasn't gotten easier because upper middle-class small business owners are still under an immense squeeze. Large corporations don't need to worry about offering long-term employment — careers — because they can always get new hires. The median middle class income has fallen by $4.1K over the past four years, and liberals claim that this is a recovery?!
I could go on for hours.
This entry is already getting long, and this isn't a political blog, but being disabled, I have a lot of time to study these issues and I feel obligated to share my opinions and inform people of the truth. I want to find out why people want a larger government with higher taxes, and why wealth is vilified in some parts of America, even though the majority of white collar crime is committed by poor people.
People harp on a few Republican sticking points like pro-life, supposed racism and anti-gay/homosexual attitudes. I want to address these things, and explain how and why the Democratic Party is just as racist and how they restrict and limit personal freedom more than the Republican Party.
There's a lot of misinformation because of lies and infographics on social networks like Facebook, and news networks like to sensationalize information for ratings. Most of the major news networks are liberal, ABC, NBC, CBS… yet FOX is the network constantly lambasted for being partisan. There's The New York Times and Huffington Post spreading inaccuracies as well.
For the record, I'm pro-choice, and GLBT friendly. I do a lot of things that the traditional, religious GOP member would likely frown upon. I've never belonged to the 1%. I'm a Republican because I believe in small government, low taxes, and that protected borders and military strength ensure peace and freedom. Hope is not a strategy, I'm a Reaganite. I believe in the profit motive; that hard work and innovation should be rewarded and encouraged.
(BTW, did you know that Jack Kennedy and Richard Nixon were really close friends and that JFK said that he'd vote for Nixon if he didn't get the Democratic nomination? Although JFK also preferred socializing with conservatives and took steroids to look more presidential.)
A party must be changed from within; if you believe in a conservative government but dislike the Republican Party because of its often backwards social values, join the GOP and help me change it! No Party is going to really change just because people yell at it from the outside. If you believe in a large government, high taxes and many regulations (like Nanny Bloomberg's NYC), why? Listening to Sean Hannity several months ago, I heard Occupy members and admitted socialists attempt to rationalize their views — and I just don't get it.
Politics, Sociology and Game Theory at Says Brad
People have been criticizing Romney for paying 14% in taxes, but for the past twenty years, he's also been donating 14% of his income as well. That's a lot of money going to charity! I believe in a flat tax for everyone. The government isn't a bad thing, it's just poorly run. We don't live in a true democracy, I don't think that everyone realizes that. Ever seen Hardcore Pawn? Our Democratic Republic is under fire from all sides, and needs better leadership and management.
There should be a safety net; people shouldn't starve or freeze to death in America. But mediocre, tenured officials shouldn't be the decision makers. Everything from education to health care needs to be reformed with accountability. We can't afford to continue throwing money at problems — no more blank checks to bad planners and corrupt officials.
These views are complex and perhaps controversial, so I will do my best to explain and clarify. It's so important. I would love to just ramble about iOS and games all day, but America is in trouble. Our status as the best country on Earth is in jeopardy, and that bothers me. America should be the model other countries attempt to emulate.
In this process, I will refer to many historical events and using game theory, propose alternative realities and scenarios to demonstrate concepts. This might bother some people, perhaps even moreso because I will probably still post the fun stuff, too. At heart, I'm an artist and a dreamer, I love technology and video games. Just as I can't ignore these passions, I can't ignore this nagging feeling to demonstrate reality as I understand it, either.
Hopefully I can change a few minds, open a few doors, and learn a few new things along the way. This is life as a highway, driving, but that sunset is just out of reach. Says Brad.