Archive for July, 2011

GPS for Android

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

I’m a big fan of GPS, even when I know where to go, I like to keep an eye on the statistics of my current trip.  My first experience was with a Garmin Nuvi, which still works fine – but mainly I use the Google Navigation on my Incredible.  Problem is, Google Navigation isn’t very smart.  The app doesn’t allow you to choose between the ‘shortest’ or the ‘fastest’ route to a location, instead it simply believes that the route it suggest is what is best for you.  Most times, that may not be a big deal, however in the case of my recent drive to North Carolina, it added nearly 2 hours to the drive.

Instead of keeping me on the highway for a majority of the trip, it sent me on back roads which shortened the overall drive by about 100 miles.  This would have been fine if the short cut wasn’t packed with 30mph zones and traffic lights.  Pretty much every other GPS and mapping application out there skipped the back roads and sent me on a more direct route.  100 more miles, nearly 2 hours less to drive.  That lead me to the Android Market to find a suitable replacement that provided more accurate routing.

Right now my top 2 are Waze and Sygic.

Waze is free, and community based.  So far its directions aren’t the best (a recent trip from North Jersey to my house skipped 3 other routes that I know for a fact are faster) – but it has a large user base and they constantly keep other users up to date on traffic, hazards, speed traps, etc… in the area.    The graphics are basic but effective, the navigation voice appears to be human (instead of the robot used by Google Nav), and the vehicle tracking is accurate.  That’s one thing I like about most GPS units, it shows you where your car is… something lacking in the next option, Sygic.

Sygic is a paid application, it runs $15.99 in Euros and has the bonus of being able to download updated maps directly to the SD storage on the phone.  Sygic attempts to bring a more traditional GPS interface to the Android phone, multiple map packages, voices, etc…  Its directions are accurate, and its short/fast options are also well implemented.  My biggest complaints are that Sygic will take the turn for you – and then auto-correct.  Meaning if it asks you take a left, and you continue straight, the mini-map will take the turn and for a few moments continue on before it corrects.  I’ve found other GPS options handle recalculating much quicker.  My other complaint is that the icon for your current location is a HUGE ORANGE ARROW that takes up a VERY large portion of the screen unless you’re driving very fast.  I want a small icon, that’s it.  Voice navigation is computerized, but also better than the Google Nav option.

I attempted to purchase Sygic the other day but had some trouble with the card processing…. going to give it another shot.  As much as I am enjoying Waze, I need a GPS app I can count on, and Sygic is it.

A question…

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Nagasaki, 1945 – After the atomic bomb…

Nagasaki, 2011 – After the earthquake and tsunami…

What the FUCK is that arch made of?

Brilliant in its simplicity…

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

A) Back off and let those men who want to marry men, marry men.
B) Allow those women who want to marry women, marry women.
C) Allow those folks who want to abort their babies, abort their babies.
D) In three generations, there will be no Democrats.

Say you want a Revolution?

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

For the past 2 weeks I have been thoroughly enjoying my latest personal vaporizer (aka E-Cigarette). It is the Revolution V2.1 by Chinese manufacturer Boge. The $60 kit came with the vaporizer, charging plug, micro-USB charging cable (compatible with ANY USB port), 5 cartomizers, 2 fluid bottles and syringe tips. I purchased an additional bottle and syringe tip for another $7 since I like to alternating flavors.

The device itself contains two 700 mah batteries wired in parallel which offer up 1400mah of total power.  I’ve gone as long as 3 days without needing to recharge.  While it comes with a cartomizer (heating coil and wicking material in one) it is capable of supporting standard 510 atomizers.  I currently use Boge LR 510 atomizers which generally deliver more consistent vapor and flavor than any cartomizer I’ve tried thus far.  One thing to keep in mind is that the Revolution V2.1 is designed to use cartomizers.  Not all atomizers will work, but (and don’t blame me if you do this and break the thing) if you remove the fluid bottle and gently press an unsharped pencil against the underside of the port where the atomizer screws in, it will nudge it just enough so that the atomizer can make a solid contact with the Revolution.

A convenient on/off switch provides security from pocket-vaping (a lot like pocket dialing, only you’ll drain the battery, ruin your atomizer, and possibly burn your leg).  Apparently prior models had some sort of ionizer feature which was removed in order to make room for the additional battery – but the switch and LED’s were carried over.  It also has a set of 3 power LED’s which indicate the current battery level, as well as an indication of charging and full charge.

The underside has two removable panels, one that holds in the juice bottle and the other allows you to carry an extra cartomizer or atomizer.  The underside also holds one of my most favorite features, the micro-usb plug that allows you to charge the device on any USB port (computer, cellphone charger, etc…) as well as vape WHILE it is charging.

Without any atomizer/cartomizer attached, it is about 2/3 the width of a pack of cigarettes, which makes carrying it around very convenient.

My only complaint about the device are that if left in any position except upright, it has a tendency to leak.  It does come with a cap that can be screwed on in place of the atomizer – which if you’re like me, you will lose within 10 minutes of un-boxing the vaporizer. 🙂 It leaks whether using a cartomizer or atomizer, although the cartomizer will absorb most of the fluid (thus flooding it) instead of coating the top of the device and whatever it is sitting on in smoke juice.

So far this is my 4th vaporizer and by far the most satisfying, efficient, and convenient of them all.  I still carry around my ‘box o stuff’ but if I don’t, I can be confident that a full bottle and charge will easily last me 2-3 days of constant vaping.  If you want to pick one up or check one out, I recommend visiting vapelite.com.  They’re based out of West Milford, NJ at PAC Computers (I’ve only bought things in the store) but the owner is well versed on everything related to vaping and is fantastic to deal with.

Sad, but true…

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Got this in an email this morning, purportedly stated by Donald “I may or may not be running for President, but this free publicity is awesome” Trump… I can’t argue with it.

Let me get this straight . . . ..
We’re going to be “gifted” with a health care
plan we are forced to purchase and
fined if we don’t,
Which purportedly covers at least
ten million more people,
without adding a single new doctor,
but provides for 16,000 new IRS agents,
written by a committee whose chairman
says he doesn’t understand it,
passed by a Congress that didn’t read it but
exempted themselves from it,
and signed by a President who smokes,
with funding administered by a treasury chief who
didn’t pay his taxes,
for which we’ll be taxed for four years before any
benefits take effect,
by a government which has
already bankrupted Social Security and Medicare,
all to be overseen by a surgeon general
who is obese,
and financed by a country that’s broke!!!!!
‘What the hell could
possibly go wrong?’

Sierra Club vs Wyoming Rancher

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

The Sierra Club and the U.S. Forest Service were presenting an alternative to the Wyoming ranchers for controlling the coyote population. It seems that after years of the ranchers using the tried and true method of shooting or trapping the predators, the Sierra Club had a “more humane” solution to this issue. What they were proposing was for the animals to be captured alive. The males would then be castrated and let loose again.This was ACTUALLY proposed by the Sierra Club and by the U.S. Forest Service. All of the ranchers thought about this amazing idea for a couple of minutes. Finally an old fellow wearing a big cowboy hat in the back of the conference room stood up, tipped his hat back and said; “Son, I don’t think you understand our problem here… these coyotes ain’t fuckin’ our sheep… they’re eatin’ ’em!” The meeting never got back to order.

Ok, what the hell is that smell?

Friday, July 1st, 2011

The other day I’m riding my motorcycle to work when I notice this smell… kinda like rotting cat food mixed with decomposing flesh.  It would come and go, at first I thought it was my helmet… then my jacket… then I went as far as checking under every cowl on my bike as well as inside the air box for some sort of dying critter, no luck.  Today I’m driving in to work (shaved, showered, and smelling rather awesome) and the smell hits again as I hit Goshen.  I roll down my window and it gets worse…  Turns out that all the rain we had last week has backed up the sewage system and well, yeah.  Goshen smells like death right now.  My only saving grace is the clean, filtered air in my office.  BLECH