26Sep/11
onstar

I’m watchin you – and my name is OnStar…

Are you one of the 6 million people that have used or currently use OnStar?  Well then listen up.  Did you know that now they have updated their Privacy Policy stating, “that it reserves the right to track and sell information about vehicles’ location and speed even after the driver has cancelled the service” Continue reading “I’m watchin you – and my name is OnStar…” »

19Sep/11
bears

NFL Week 2 = Bears Reality Check

After watching a great performance by the Bears last week, I expected to at least see a competitive effort from the Bears going into their game with the Saints.
There’s a lot riding on this season for the Bears. Questions need to be answered. Continue reading “NFL Week 2 = Bears Reality Check” »
02Sep/11
unknowing

The Unknowing Masses

The other day I was reading an article about Obama’s forthcoming address to the nation.  And, as usual, I started reading the comments that people post.  It makes me feel like I know the pulse of the country.  Anyway, as always, there are the “Obama Haters”, which is fine.  It’s to be expected with any President.  I hope for the sake of the country we all don’t just like a President because he’s from a particular party, or dislike him/her because of their gender or race.

What’s amazing to me is that so many people have such a misinformed opinion of what is actually happening in the U.S., let alone the rest of the world.  It’s like they refuse to pay attention and listen to what everyone has to say, and make an informed decision.  In reading some of the comments that were posted on CNN it was like “Hillbilly Bob” fired up his Internet Box and landed on cnn.com by accident.  While there he said to himself, “That Obama, he’s just another black man gettin’ paid by the government, to do nothin’”  (Side note: I’ve got nothing against Hillbillies, should you be affiliate with the like.)

So I read on….  And one comment struck me as kind of like, “man you just pulled shit out of your ass and smeared it onto your computer screen.”  He or She referenced the Obama “Change” slogan used in the campaigns in regards to 6 items that Obama hasn’t changed:

  • Still in Iraq/Afghanistan
  • Gitmo is still around
  • Hasn’t repealed the Patriot Act
  • Hasn’t fixed unemployment
  • Hasn’t reduced the country’s debt
  • Another War

Now, I’m definitely not a political genius, and I’m ready to accept when I’m wrong.  But I think that if this person had known that Google exists, he would have found out the real reason why these things haven’t changed.

Anyway, here’s what I posted in response (which I rarely ever do, unless there is a complete display of lack of someone’s faculties):

I’m glad to see that you (and a lot of other people) have such a strong grasp on reality.  I mean, I totally understand how easy it is to knock someone, especially when you have no real knowledge on the issue.  Its funny how you bring up 6 topics that are not Obama’s fault as the President.  They are the fault of the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, The Tea Party, The Independent Party, and most of all us Americans as a group.  We’ve let the politicians (all of them, regardless of party) use their agendas to further their political career, totally dismissing the effect it will have on our ability as a country to have a job, save money, etc….  You can ask any Senator or Congressman how they’re going to help you find a job, and they’ll all answer the say way – whatever their party tells them to say.  They’re not going to say how they will bring more business to your town without taxing you.  They’re not going to say how they’re going to make the tax laws equal for all Americans.  They don’t even know how tax laws work, most of them anyway.  I think that just like our founding fathers fought against the British for freedom from taxation without representation, for freedom to live and prosper, we need to send that message back to our current President, Congress, Senate, Governors, Mayors, Janitors, whoever will listen.  I think that instead of the politicians campaigning for our votes, we campaign against them.  “Jobs for Votes – you want our vote, you bring jobs”

Now to address the 6 things you think Obama screwed up on:

1. Iraq/Afghanistan – Still there because of defense contracts controlled by the Republican Party, initiated under the Bush/Cheney regime.  These wars should have been over under Bush – why didn’t he end them?

2. Gitmo – Still Around – Of Course Gitmo is still around, where else would America put potential terrorists, on US soil??  More Americans are opposed to keeping these prisoners off our soil for fear of retaliation.  That’s why Gitmo is there.  Find a better place, buy it, and sell it to the U.S. – just make sure you have the American People behind you.

3. Patriot Act – It takes an Act of Congress to change and/or remove the Patriot Act.  Even if Obama initiated a repeal, he would crucified by the right-wing for potentially risking U.S. National Security.  They would scare the American people into believing that without it we would all be victims of terrorism every time we went grocery shopping.  “Don’t go to the grocery store, terrorists are going to blow up your Frosted Flakes”

4 & 5.  Unemployment and Debt are a direct result of the same thing.  A bad mortgage policy instituted by the Bush administration.  “Let’s make it easier for Americans to get home loans.  Who cares if they don’t have the paperwork to prove their income” This lead to bank collapses, people getting foreclosed on, people taking loans they couldn’t afford.  It is the true definition of the “butterfly effect”

6. War 1-More: what exactly are you referring to.  The War on Drugs, The War in Libya…?

Please let me know what you think.  If I’m wrong, just show me the facts and I’ll give you a dollar. (I’m lying, I won’t give you dollar, but I will say thanks for being a good AmERican).

Cheers

21Mar/11
AT&T

Wow! AT&T & T-Mobile….

So I wrote last week about how Sprint was in talks with T-Mobile regarding a possible merger/purchase.  I have to give props to T-Mobile for making us all look one way, while they were working on something in the complete opposite direction.  The AT&T buyout of T-Mobile makes much more sense, however.

Here, you have two carriers that operate on the same network infrastructure, GSM, so combining customer base, devices, and capabilities will go much smoother than a merger with a CDMA carrier.  To repeat what has probably been said quite a bit already, the AT&T/T-Mo merger will make the largest wireless carrier in the U.S.,  totalling +/- 130 million wireless subscribers.  That’s nearly 42% of the U.S. population, meaning 2 out of 5 people in the U.S. will have AT&T service, crazy right?  Not really.  In many European countries, there is usually 1 or maybe 2 major carriers offering service.  But in the U.S. we have something called “anti-trust” laws.  This is to make sure one guy/company does not control a single product and/or service in the interest of fair trade.  I’m not going to get into a big diatribe about how that law is only enforced on the surface and that monopolies exist everywhere, and that consumers get hosed…… Sorry I slipped for a second there..

Anyway, what was I saying, oh yeah, AT&T buying T-Mobile makes perfect sense, for both companies.  AT&T gets increased customer base, increased network capacity (which they need), and the ability to really take 4G to the next level.  Also, AT&T could learn a few things about customer service from the T-Mobile side.  T-Mo has regularly been ranked as one of the best in customer service for several years.

This whole merger talk has probably got some wheels turning at Verizon HQ.  I mean, think about it, your Verizon, and you’re nipping at AT&T’s heals, you just got the iPhone, and all of a sudden AT&T decides to pull a Steinbrenner, may he rest in peace (buy it’s way to the top, in case you don’t watch the Yankees).  What avenues does Verizon have?  Well they can do the obvious, buy Sprint, right?  Then we’re back to that whole monopoly/anti-trust thingy again.  But really, that would be the obvious choice.  Or they could start with a purchase of U.S. Cellular, who has roughly 6-7 million subscribers.  Then move on to the other regional players like Cricket & MetroPCS.  Combine USC, Metro, & Cricket, and Verizon could easily add another 20 million subs.  It would also give Verizon a play in a segment that neither AT&T nor Verizon have barely played in, prepaid.  With the changing economy, prepaid has made great strides in taking customers away from traditional wireless agreements and built quite a following.  Plus from Verizon’s perspective, I don’t see them having to pay $1,181 per subscriber like AT&T is paying for T-Mobile.

Yes, I know, its more than just subscribers, its about infrastructure, resources and innovation, but it all starts with the customers who pay their bill every month.

Good look with the US DOJ and all the regulatory hoops you will be jumping through this year, AT&T.  Now lets all keep our eyes on Verizon, they’re pretty smart of there too, you know.

08Mar/11
sprintmobile

Sprint and T-Mobile are dating…..

This is fake – I made it up!
According to the WSJ Sprint and T-Mobile are in preliminary talks to merge. This would make them easily the second largest wireless carrier in the U.S.
Since last summer there have been murmurs regarding these two wireless companies getting together to become one. There are a lot of questions to be answered if a merger like this were to occur:
1. Which would be their network of choice?
Seeing that Sprint operates on CDMA and is pushing their WIMAX (for now) and soon to be offering LTE (supposedly); and T-Mobile operates on GSM and has just recently launched 4G, which one would they convert to.  No matter which direction they choose to go, a conversion of any sort would be difficult, expensive, and take some time.  There are definitely advantages to going with either network, but the effect on the subscribers would also have to be taken into consideration.
….which leads me to
2.  Phones/Devices
If they decide to go GSM, they would open the flood gates  to new devices (iPhone cough cough).  And cool things like talking and surfing at the same time.  On the other hand, which 4G network would be better.  As an early adopter of 4G I’m pretty upset with the whole 4G debacle as it is….  But, with a merger like this there could be some real advances in the ability to actually make 4G work, instead of just having a signal meter on my phone that can’t find a 4G signal….
3. iDen
Would the replacement for iDen still exist.  As it is now, Sprint has already announced it’s plan to get rid of iDen in it’s current form and replace it with something else.  I also have an iDen phone (don’t ask why, it hurts to talk about it), and I’ve come to terms with the future loss.
4.  Who will run the company?
Even though Sprint and T-Mobile may have great leaders under their respective roofs, I say they need to look for an innovator that can see the true potential of the merger.  Not someone who will only look at “how many people can we get to by our next phone”.  What they really need is someone who can explore the true potential of the technology they have.  4G is supposed to allow 10 times the information at 1/10th of the cost, so why not take information and telecommunications to the next level?
In the end, I honestly hope they merge, but only if they have a concrete plan on what they intend to offer the world.  If they merge and say, “we’ll figure it out” then its time to switch to Verizon!
12Feb/11
egypt

Hello Egypt, Welcome to a New World

If you have had at least half an eye open, you know that Egyptians have won their freedom from 30 years of oppression.  May God bless them for everything they’ve endured in the past 3 decades, and their perseverance of the past month.

I can’t express the joy I feel in words, in emotion, in tears…none of it can come close to how I feel about this movement has shown the world that a single voice matters.  I have been watching this all day and night and am now imagining all the possibilities that the Egyptians shown us all.  What can the Arabs do when they unite in a peaceful protest with a voice that the world can hear?  Imagine a democratic Jordan, Saudi Arabia, or even a united Palestinian people.  The possibilities are limitless.  I read a tweet today that read, “30 seconds that erased 30 years” referring to the speech Omar Suleiman gave regarding Mubarak’s departure.  Oppressors everywhere beware, your reign is only seconds away from revolution.

A thank you to the Egyptian people is not enough.  As citizens of the human race we owe it to them to show them the utmost support in helping them rebuild their nation, their home.  Endless thank yous to Wael Ghonim and his crew for creating Revolution 2.0.  We should all take note, that a true cause has a voice.

Remember, being a humanitarian starts with being a human.

23Jan/11
bears

My Bears Ritual

So, here’s the thing. I have a ritual of watching the Bears game alone, every time I watch them alone, they win. It’s been that way since the 2005 season. For every game they’ve lost since then, I either missed the game, or watched it with a group. Prime example, the lose to the Packers on 1/2/11. We had a bunch of people over and they lost.

Yes, I know, it sounds stupid, but the numbers don’t lie.

Today, however, I’ve decided to go to a friends house to watch the game. This has drawn much criticism from my friends and family. They’ve already started blaming me for the loss. “How could you do this to Chicago?” “How could you pick the biggest game of the year to do this?”

Here is what was one of my family members emailed my wife:

You must seriously consider the joy you will bring millions. At 11:45am, dose his beverage with 2-4 drops of visine or any other eye drop. Better make it 5 drops, just to make sure. He’ll be fine, just a little violent vomiting and diarrhea. He’ll be back to normal by 9 or 10pm (maybe tuesday).

Of course if the bears win, you’ll have to do it again 2 hours before the super bowl. Those 2 hours gives you enough time so that you’re still home when this happens and can leave by yourself to attend any super bowl festivities. Any closer to kick off may find you on the way to or at the party, which would require you to drive him home.

Remember:

Jesus went to the cross for mankind…..What’s a little vomiting and diarrhea for millions of Chicagoans. Firas will be immortalized for his sacrifice: “Firjesus” or “Frihst” or “The Firssiah”, and he’ll drop 5-12lbs. Everybody wins!!!!!

You can do it! Be our Pontius Pilot.

PS: You will need some pepto, immodium and or donnagel. Don’t break it out right away, let him lay next to the toilet for 30 minutes, dont’ want the symptoms to subside too soon. But make sure he’s near a television. Don’t want to be sadist.

So in essence, its me that wins Bears games, and not those multi-million dollar football players on the field…… I don’t think so. At least I hope its not just me…