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full dysclosure
Soon to be no “Mac” in MacWorld
RIAA – No longer serving, leaving that to those who provide service
“Digg”ing deeper into debt
Amazon – The e-Scrooge
Water, water…everywhere?

Television
Boxing up Boxed Sets for the TV Lover
Anthony stuffs:  Monty Python, Freaks And Geeks, Blackadder
Mike stuffs:  Sports Night, The West Wing, Arrested Development

Wheel of Pop
Music of 1986

Websites of the Week
Anthony: www.kiva.org
Mike: www.christmaslore.com

Music by Jonathan Coulton

Is it just me, or were my expectations for any product that came with the “android” moniker just a bit too high? When I think “android”, I’m thinking super cool, almost human-like robot with crazy math skills. Apparently the threshold for such optimism has been lowered a little bit. That said, the first Google Android-powered phone was sold today.

Instead, I get an phone with an unfinished OS. I’m sure the phone technology is okay… at least better than the phone capabilities of the iPhone. All reports, however, indicate like most things Google, the Android OS is beta at best. If Google history is any indication, the OS will be in beta for at least two years. The optimism arises in the fact that they’re making it as open source as possible and allowing for quality control to be thrown to the wind. That said, by relaxing the control on Android they are opening the potential up for the  OS to become the most functional, cross-branded piece of mobile software around.

Let me outline a couple of things about the future of Android phones v. the iPhone:

1) Breaking Android apps will cause very risky elements for new downloads and the iPhone, despite their growing pains with the app store, seem to have mellowed out the brick factor.

2) Android will never have the elite status the iPhone has, but will be easily customizable and tweak-friendly.

3) The non-exclusivity with a single service provider and plan will vault phones with Android installed over iPhones within a year. As much as the iPhone gets a lot of hype, many manufacturers will increase the odds of a cooler looking form factor, on an ongoing basis, quicker than the Mac love-ins.

But to coin a phrase, unless you’re one of those “nutty” early adopters: “These aren’t the Androids you’re looking for.”

Does anyone feel like I do? Have we finally sacrificed function for flash in our electronics?

I remember growing up with PC cases left unscrewed so that I could get in and overclock and tweak and swap RAM, graphics cards and CD-ROM drives that often didn’t match the colour of the case but could burn at 4X instead of 2X. I remember the glory of gunmetal beige. I remember accessories that dangled from serial and parallel ports. I remember when I tried to squeeze every single last ounce of power out of my system and really not care about how it looked.

I remember the first laptop I had was dinged, scratched, butchered and every blemish was a badge of honour that was embellished by a sticker or liquid paper graffiti. I remember the besmirched black plastic that I abused and bled every last recharge from.

Is there really any reason to pay for what Steve Jobs’ called “the new range of aluminium bodied MacBooks [that] offered the same features as the old MacBook Pro series?” It used to be that notebooks were year-old technology from desktops that got shrunk down. Apparently the Macbook is year-old MacBook technology dressed up in a Judas Priest jacket.

Now I’m really not a Mac hater… I’m not a Mac user mind you. And I certainly don’t begrudge Apple marketing style to all of the hipsters that love art in their computer design. I think they look plenty cool and I’m sure they work very well. After all, I’ve got some very smart friends who swear by them. That said, Macs to me are like SmartCars; if Apple wants me to try one, they better make them significantly cheaper than current PC technology or I really won’t have any reason to switch… I can’t wait ’til people start buying Macbook skins to protect their aluminum finish that no one will ever see again.