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Posts tagged ‘Technology’

eKester on eReaders

It’s important for me, as a writer, to read a lot. I read books by the world’s best authors so I can pick up new techniques for my craft, and to make sure people like Stephenie Meyer aren’t plagiarizing me. Mostly, though, I read because I need to keep track of my competition and stay up to date on market trends. Recently, my empirical research has shown that, if I want to obtain unimaginable wealth, I should be writing a bestselling book about wizards, or vampires, or wizards who are also vampires. This is a cause for concern, considering my strategy the last few years has been to write a free blog about nothing in particular. But what can I say? I can only listen to my inner muse, and my inner muse happens to be lazy.

I’ve been encouraged by a lot of people lately to make the switch to an eReader, the lovechild of my two favorite things, books and technology. I’ve put a lot of thought into the matter, but I just can’t bring myself to abandon old-fashioned books in favor of a Kindle or an iPad.

I must admit, there are times when I’m tempted to buy an eReader. I’m attracted to its slender size, which makes it far more portable than some books. I’m currently reading Mark Twain’s autobiography, which is exactly a bajllion pages long. The meteor that killed the dinosaurs was smaller than this titanic hardcover. This causes a serious problem when travelling, because in order to cram the cement block into my suitcase, I usually have to jettison one of my sneakers. Do I want my trip marked by wit or level footing? I’ll usually choose the shoe over the book, which explains why I’ve read the latest edition of SkyMall 29 times.

So yes, thick books can be annoying for travel, but eReaders have their own problems. Take the iPad, which has an iBooks application among its myriad other iFeatures. I have one, but I can’t read books on it. There are just too many distractions on the iPad, and it’s hard to make progress on a book when I constantly receive notifications that Grammie has emailed me another YouTube video. Sorry, Mr. Salinger, Holden Caulfield may be a compelling character, but he ain’t no kitten getting stuck in a pickle jar. The iPad also has problems with glare, and the reflection on the screen can be really irritating while reading. I don’t know about you, but I prefer not to look myself in the eye as I read Snooki’s book.

Call it pretentious if you will, but I like filling my shelves with the books I’ve read. It’s kind of like a hunter putting stuffed animal heads up on his wall. Sure, books don’t put up as much of a fight as a moose, and sure, most of my conquests take place on the toilet instead of the wilderness, but still I’m proud of each book I’ve completed. I want you to walk into my apartment and notice the amount of books I’ve vanquished, and not the smell. I want you to marvel at how culturally refined I am, and wonder how I possibly had the time to read all 22 volumes of the Peanuts Anthology.

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Steve Jobs, Immediately Following His iPad Keynote Address

(Originally published 1/28/10)

Steve Jobs: Whew! That was intense! I practically blacked out up there. How’d I do?

Assistant: Umm, it went well. A few minor inaccuracies, but overall it was fine.

Steve Jobs: Minor inaccuracies? What did I mess up?

Assistant: Well to start off you announced the wrong name. You called it the iPad.

Steve Jobs: What? Shit! The iPad is the name of an accessory for our next big project, the iGirlfriend. I can’t believe I screwed that up. I guess we’ll just have to stick with ‘iPad.’ Do you think the Internet will make jokes comparing it to a feminine hygiene project?

Assistant: Umm, well, probably not. The Internet doesn’t usually pick up on stuff like that. But the name is causing some problems for consumers with British accents –they keep referring to the “iPad” as an “iPod.”

Steve Jobs: I can live with that. Did I make any other mistakes in the keynote?

Assistant: You forgot to mention a few of the iPad’s minor features. Like its ability to run background apps, operate Flash video, and its built-in tamagotchi.

Steve Jobs: Damn, those seem like some pretty important features to leave out. Any other minor things I forgot?

Assistant: Well, I noticed that you skipped the part of the presentation where you were supposed demonstrate the iPad’s hover-board feature by flying over the audience while gleefully tossing limited edition iPod Nanos out of your pockets.

Steve Jobs: Man! What are you going to tell me next? That I forgot to exaggerate its battery life?

Assistant: Don’t worry, you definitely did that. You said the iPad has a 10-hour battery.

Steve Jobs: Ha! Good.

Assistant: Yeah, so it’s not all bad. You also forgot to leave out some of the iPad’s more negative aspects. For instance, you didn’t mention that the iPad’s standard operating temperature is 300 degrees. You also left out that technical issue where anyone who holds an iPad near a running microwave will piss their pants and lose some childhood memories.

Steve Jobs: Excellent. And what about the pricing, did I get those numbers right?

Assistant: You did leave out the zero at the end. No worries, though. People will still camp out to buy the iPad on its release day. Especially after they’re brainwashed by our marketing campaign, which will feature commercials of peppy young adults celebrating their individuality by randomly dancing in colorful T-shirts.

Steve Jobs: I love those commercials. Watching them makes me feel young again. They’re almost as effective as the rejuvenation chamber that I sleep in. Anyway, I have to get back to the office. Today we’re going to attach the iEyes to the iGirlfriend. She’s going to look great!

iPhone App Review: Boob Party

(Originally published 1/18/10)

With so many apps available for the iPhone, it can be difficult to distinguish which ones are worth downloading. I find that the most effective way to find the best apps is to trust popular opinion, as the cream of the crop always finds its way into the “Top 10” most downloaded section of the App Store. This is what led me to the application “Boob Party,” which currently ranks #7 in the store, barely edging out useful apps like “The Weather Channel” and “Tasty Pasties 18+ Amateurs.”

Initially, I wasn’t interested in this application. The fact that it had over 3.5 million downloads in the first week left me more depressed than impressed, and I spent several days coping with the realization that the world is a far lonelier place than I ever imagined. Still, “Boobs Party” received rave reviews, and it was difficult to ignore such glowing endorsements from users like VeNGEfuL_WArLocK1992 who notes that “THIS APP IS F**KING SWEEEEEET!!!” I was sold when I read one particularly insightful review from user SCHLONG_CONNERY, who stated “dis app iz a must have. makes my bus ride 2 werk 103434 times more x-citing!!”

Upon opening this app for the first time, I was struck that “Boob Party” seemed to have plenty of the former and very little of the latter. In fact, there was no “party” to be seen in this application, unless you count the video clip of two girls engaging in a playful pillow fight. I think that the developer included “Party” in the title because, when combined with “Boobs”, it gives the target demographic access to a combination of things they have never been invited to.

While it’s comforting to know that, should a crisis occur, I have 50 pictures and 10 video clips of busty girls waiting for me in my pocket, I still have trouble recommending “Boob Party” to my readers. It seems better suited for the male 13-16 demographic, which ironically falls out of its “Age 17+” rating. I’m not sure how such an application made it into the Top 10 most downloaded apps. Personally, I find it kind of pathetic when people put “Boob” in the title of their App or blog post just to increase traffic.

Final Grade for the app “Boob Party”: DD

If I Blogged When I Was 14 Years Old…

(Originally published 8/28/08)

“Man, sometimes I can’t believe just how far technology has come. The other day I got my very own cell phone, and it’s freaking awesome. It’s a Nokia, and it’s so small that I can basically fit it in my pocket if I’m wearing cargo pants. It’s one of those fancy “Smart Phones” that’s hooked up with all the sweetest new features: Voicemail, Speed Dial, Snake…you name it, this puppy has it. I don’t get reception within a 2-hour radius of my house, but I bet it will come in handy if I ever need to take a road trip to Rhode Island or something.

For my birthday I got this really cool thing called an “Mp3 Player”. It’s kinda like a Discman but smaller, and it doesn’t even use CD’s. And here’s the best part: it holds up to 25 songs. That’s right. 7 more songs than your average CD! An absolute steal at $300, if you ask me. And it’s so easy to download music for it. My Internet is wicked fast now, so all I have to do is use this program called “Napster” to get music. I just search for the song I want, double-click it, go to bed, and if it’s done downloading in the morning, I can just add it to my Mp3 player! I’ve already downloaded 12 songs, and I’m hoping to be at like, 30 or 40 by the end of the year. It’ll be hard choosing which songs to keep on my player!

My friend’s family is all about the latest technology, and they’ve gotten some real nice stuff lately. First, they got this unbelievable TV. The picture is literally crystal clear. I went over there the other day to watch the Patriots game, and I swear the picture was so sharp that I could easily read the numbers on the players’ jerseys like, 80% of the time. He’s hooked up some cool stuff to the TV, like a DVD player, VHS Player, and even a stereo. It’s so fancy that they need 7 different remotes to work everything.

They also got a new car. It’s one of these fancy “hybrid” cars, which means that it has both a cassette player and a CD player! I hope that one day I have a car like that. Then again, if it still costs a ridiculous $20 dollars to fill up a tank, then I think I’ll pass!”