Google’s Android Devices Emerge as Viable Challengers to Apple’s iPhone

Android Logo
Since it’s unveiling 3 years ago, Apple’s iPhone has set the bar for aspiring rival smartphone developers with carrier-specific endorsements (AT&T), advertising strategies (“There’s an app for that”), and direct consumer purchasing point-of-sale techniques (the Apple Store and App Store). Until this point, no individual or combinatorial effort by any carrier, developer, or hardware manufacturer has even come close to challenging the iPhone as the reigning consumer-wide smartphone king. Until now that is: enter Google and their Android mobile operating system.

Everyone knows by now either someone who owns an Android-powered mobile phone or, at the very least, is aware of their existence and subsequent emergence onto the mobile scene. From rampant television/magazine advertising campaigns (“Droid Does”) to widespread carrier exposure (every major carrier now offers an Android-powered device) Google has careened into the headlines without apology, humility, or lack of bombast. As if that weren’t enough, the fact that these new devices are authored and owned by 3rd party Google, Inc. introduces instant brand recognition, mass online exposure, and buying power to the package – all of which are intended to eschrew control and dominion from the existing (and antiquated) marriage of device + carrier. In the true spirit of open-source principles and in direct contrast to Apple’s model Google has made their source code (as they have done with most of their projects) publically available to any and all would-be developers. Apple on the other hand rigorously controls access to their development channels, imposes monetary obstacles to realized access, and strictly moderates submitted applications by what can only be described as “whim.” But what does this mean to the average consumer? It means that the Android Marketplace (Google’s version of the App Store) will operate on a truly open-market system wherein the users will have relatively unfiltered access to a wide range of applications and aspiring developers will have equal opportunities to make a splash in the mobile application market. This will result in more variety, competition, and access within the ever-growing Android Marketplace which as of this writing currently hosts more than 30,000 unique apps.

On a larger scale, it also means that there is now a legitimate challenger to Apple’s game-changing iPhone in Google. Furthermore, Google has taken the necessary actions to insure that it’s model is supported from the ground up and could, should it choose to, directly challenge even the service carriers themselves. These developments will surely result in lowered costs all around as Google, Apple, RIM, and others vie to compete with one another on an ever-evolving scale of technological prowess and awe. It’s impossible to predict who will emerge victorious, but one thing is for certain: it’s a great time to be a mobile consumer.

Summer Project

As opposed to continuously sifting through the myriad streams of opinions, interests, and causes posited by others I intend instead to articulate my own (with some degree of regularity) right here in this blog. Stay tuned for more.

Shenandoah

Existentialism

The world is meaningless, there is no God or gods, there are no morals, the universe is not moving inexorably towards any higher purpose. All meaning is man-made, so make your own, and make it well. Do not treat life as a way to pass the time until you die.
Do not try to \”find yourself\”, you must make yourself. Choose what you want to find meaningful and live, create, love, hate, cry, destroy, fight and die for it. Do not let your life and your values and you actions slip easily into any mold, other that that which you create for yourself, and say with conviction, \”This is who I make myself\”.
Do not give in to hope. Remember that nothing you do has any significance beyond that with which imbue it. Whatever you do, do it for its own sake. When the universe looks on with indifference, laugh, and shout back, \”Fuck You!\”. Rembember that to fight meaninglessness is futile, but fight anyway, in spite of and because of its futility.
The world may be empty of meaning, but it is a blank canvas on which to paint meanings of your own. Live deliberately. You are free.

Define Religion

Brandon Hawkins
As a sentient being of this planet whose fundamental values, beliefs, morals, and various approaches spring from the roots of reason, scientific discovery, and logical rationale religion represents nothing more than a duality of pragmatic consequence and exacted dominance in the face of fear, namely that of the unknown. When considering religion, one must immediately disconnect spirituality, morality, and ritual from the singularity of the lexicographical “religion” as each are fused commonly in varying efforts (merely in degree of extremism) to distort or protect the validity of the others; one can surely be a moral person in the absence of personal religion. The same can be said of spirituality and socio-ritualistic participation. Religion, in its most primitive consideration, is the humanoid construct of assigned meaning by way of philosophical consideration, abstraction of fact, and pure farce that purposes our very existence and dulls the finality of death. The fact that most Abrahamic religions both espouse and advertise the lure of everlasting life is the most unsettling tenant; if life on Earth isn’t finite then why live? What is the loss in sacrificing oneself to a larger cause if the after-party is the real celebration, or still worse, reward? No, as a sentient being in pursuit of biological discovery I must denounce such ammunition and ludicracy. Religion has also been, unfortunately, harnessed for other considerations as well.
Religion, doctrine, creed, and belief are the labels applied to any number of warring factions throughout the course of history. These appellations and justifications are but outcroppings of larger undergrowth: the use of religion as a proselytizing, fear-mongering, opiate of the masses; the harbinger of core dominion. What better way to govern or otherwise influence another liberated individual than direct appeals to emotion instead of logic? What better way to increase revenue and ultimate branding value than instilling a self-perpetuating, unobtainable, fear-inducing prophecy blindly adhered to by many millions of unwitting sheep and, ultimately, investors in the destruction of science, humanism, and reason? The word ‘religion’ disgusts me.

A Look Back on the Last Decade in Rock

It’s difficult to overstate how badly rock sucked 10 years ago. Does the name Crazy Town mean anything to you? Vertical Horizon? Mudvayne? Do you still gag at the words “I did it all for the nookie”? Radio and MTV were swamped with major-label rap-metal dipshits in baggy shorts. But savage young bands came to crash the party, from Detroit’s White Stripes to Sweden’s Hives, plus New York’s Strokes, Interpol, and the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s. Radio wouldn’t touch them with Fred Durst’s 10-foot pole, but they kicked in the door with sex, sweat, and guitar noise. Now these were unabashed rock stars. Our long national Durst-mare was over.