...but the Japanese are right.
Apple's iPhone is a hit everywhere in the world — except for Japan.
It turns out that Apple's video-playing, music-downloading, motion-sensing handset is just too, well, backward for the Japanese market.
In fact, the iPhone is such a flop in the Land of the Rising Sun that it's being given away free with a 2-year contract, Wired News reports.
I've had my iPhone for a year now. I'm one of millions, I know, but many more millions have held off either because of the expense of the instrument or because they're satisfied with their BlackBerrys or other smart phones and don't want to risk what they've heard may be a big headache. Though some folks still look at mine longingly, I am quick to temper their envy with reality: think twice.
At first, anxious to rationalize my extravagant purchase, I blamed all the iPhone's problems on the fact that I am not a Mac user and the interface between Apple's iPhone and MS Windows is cumbersome and unreliable. That rationalization lasted about a month. Though it IS true, it's only a part of the problem. In the past year, my list has grown to include some glitch in nearly every area of performance, and I can now say that if I had it to do over, I wouldn't have bought it.
I know a lot of people are genuinely happy with their iPhones. I chalk this up to one of three things:
- They aren't as happy as they say they are but are embarrassed to admit it's overrated
- They don't know that there are now phones that will do pretty much everything the iPhone will do with way less trouble
- Their phones really are great and I (and tens of thousands of others I read on the internet every day) somehow got lemons
- The phone is uncomfortable to handle.
- Unless you use a skin, it's downright impossible to hold onto.
- The touchscreen is the worse idea ever devised. (Okay, so I'm into hyperbole today.) Apple is finally coming to its senses on this one and will introduce a screen that can at least be navigated with a pencil eraser or something closer to the size of the "buttons" than my thumb. And if you have nails, forget it.
- Who would purposely buy a phone in 2009 that won't send or receive photos to/from someone else's phone?
- There are scores of unexplained malfunctions, totally unpredictable, that no one seems to be able to fix.
- Don't even get me started on the Edge network.
- Apple and AT&T have managed to avoid fixing anything by blaming each other for the malfunctions. It's worse than sibling rivalry.
- THE VOLUME. Part of the reason I bought this thing was because it would hold and play my music and audiobook library. But two feet away from the thing I can't hear it. I have to plug it into speakers or headphones. When alone, I've been known to tuck it under my bra strap just to get it close enough to hear. And don't even think about having a real conversation with someone on speakerphone. If you put it on speaker, you still have to hold it up to you like a walkie-talkie and you certainly can't walk around the room and talk. This, by the way, is the second most prevalent complaint about the iPhone...it's not just mine.
I AM addicted to the ease with which I can check my email compared to my friends who have other smart phones. But other than that, I'd give it up in a heartbeat for whatever is making the grade in the Land of the Rising Sun.
So, all that to say...the reliably technologically-savvy Japanese have it right. If you can get an iPhone for free it might be worth it. But only then.
And that's if you're not figuring in the cost of institutionalization for constant frustration :-)
Apple's iPhone Flops in Japan, Now Sold for Free
Well think again. When the greenies get through, we'll all be through.
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, February 27, 2009; Page A03
President Obama sought yesterday to quell growing complaints from members of Congress about his plans for drawing down troops in Iraq, inviting lawmakers to a White House meeting on the eve of a North Carolina speech in which he is expected to announce that he will pull out many combat troops by August of 2010.
After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) complained that the level of troops -- 50,000 -- who would remain in Iraq is too high, other senior Democrats voiced similar concerns. Not one member of the Democratic leadership, except for Sen. Richard J. Durbin (Ill.), defended the new Obama plan, which will take three months longer than he promised and still leave a significant force structure on the ground.
Now you might have noticed the Speaker jumping up and down like a middle-school cheerleader behind the president on Tuesday night, but when the cameras are off she's not so happy.
Pelosi’s aides say the speaker was comfortable playing the role of Obama’s shield during the stimulus fight—Republicans teed off on her rather than on the immensely popular new president—and that she remains strongly supportive of the administration on health care, energy and education reform.
But on Iraq and other high-profile issues that matter to her, aides say Pelosi has no intention of holding her tongue when she thinks Obama is wrong.
On Wednesday night, Pelosi made it clear to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that she wasn’t happy with Obama’s plan to leave 50,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and that, unlike Obama, she “absolutely” favors criminal prosecutions for any Bush administration officials involved in torture or other excesses in the fight against terrorism.
On Thursday, Pelosi said she’d move “faster” than Obama is to roll back Bush-era tax cuts. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman Chuck Schumer joined Pelosi’s critique of Obama’s plan to leave. Reid urged Obama not to push too hard to eliminate congressional earmarks.
Suffice it to say that "other high-profile issues that matter to her" would be the ones you and I would be very concerned over as well. In the opposite direction.
In any case, given her bent, I think it's going to be fairly safe to say that whenever Mr. Obama ticks off Ms. Pelosi, we'll be slightly better off. But only slightly.
Labels: Political Observation
WASHINGTON — Taking another step into the abortion debate, the Obama administration Friday will move to rescind a controversial rule that allows health-care workers to deny abortion counseling or other family-planning services if doing so would violate their moral beliefs, according to administration officials.
The rollback of the "conscience rule" comes just two months after the Bush administration announced it last year in one of its final policy initiatives.
As is becoming increasingly clear, Mr. Obama will decide for you which of your convictions you are allowed to act upon:
Officials said the administration will consider drafting a new rule to clarify what health-care workers can reasonably refuse for patients.
Lest we are led to believe that freedom of conscience in this arena was only a passing two-month Bush-ism, take note...
For more than 30 years, federal law has allowed doctors and nurses to decline to provide abortion services as a matter of conscience, a protection that is not subject to rulemaking.
In promulgating the new rule last year, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said it was necessary to address discrimination in the medical field.
He criticized "an environment in the health-care field that is intolerant of individual conscience, certain religious beliefs, ethnic and cultural traditions and moral convictions."
Officials said the Obama administration's goal is to make the rule clearer.
Gee, thanks, Mr. President. Our country is going to be so much better because of your concern for clarity.
Obama administration may rescind 'conscience rule'
I am stunned almost beyond words to read these arguments by Dawn Johnsen, the woman Mr. Obama has chosen to head the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel. Read it carefully, please, because the implications have a reach that would have been unimaginable even in the virulently pro-abortion Clinton administration:
Statutes that curtail [a woman's] abortion choice are disturbingly suggestive of involuntary servitude, prohibited by the Thirteenth Amendment, in that forced pregnancy requires a woman to provide continuous physical service to the fetus in order to further the state's asserted interest.
And in the same brief to the Supreme Court:
[The woman] is constantly aware for nine months that her body is not wholly her own: the state has conscripted her body for its own ends. Thus, abortion restrictions "reduce pregnant women to no more than fetal containers."
Just in case your last course in ConLaw was a few too many years ago, let me remind you: the Thirteenth Amendment outlawed slavery. Yes, my friends, ponder...this woman, who will no doubt carry great influence in the Obama world, holds a view which equates even the weakest abortion restrictions with slavery!
Paul Mirengoff of Powerline Blog comments:
Johnsen's appointment is consistent with the emerging (and entirely predictable) trend of the Obama administration -- appoint non-radical liberals and a few centrists to cabinet level positions, and then populate key sub-cabinet jobs with radicals.
I said it before the election and I haven't budged: this was bigger than our dissatisfaction with the Republican candidate. This administration is not here to teach conservatives a lesson. They may well be making changes from which this country cannot and will not recover, either morally or economically. Yes, I believe God is sovereign. And He will sovereignly hold us responsible for refusing the meal because we couldn't get the dessert with it.
Our grandchildren, and the generations yet unborn, will shake their heads in disbelief.
Dawn Johnsen, radically disingenuous
hat tip: The Papa
Labels: Political Observation
My sweet sister-in-law Suzanne has a beef with a man of the cloth:
Our pastor keeps saying every week that we need to "reverence God". I understand from my dictionary that reverence can be a verb as well as a noun, but wouldn't "revere" sound better?
W.O.W. to the rescue!
Yes, Suzanne, your ear is a good one. I can't put this one in the black and white category of "its and it's," but I can register my complaint about the sloppiness of usage that allows the willy-nilly transfer of one part of speech to another simply because today's writers and speakers don't have vocabularies rich enough to make use of the great words we already possess.
What is it that makes someone feels that "reverencing" God is better than "revering" Him? Reverence is the noun that is produced by the act of revering. Using reverence as a verb ends up reducing the impact of a beautiful noun.
And let's talk about "impact," shall we? Impact is a noun. The music has an emotional impact. Yes, I realize that it's now become acceptable to use it as a verb, as in, The music impacted me. But the only reason it's acceptable? Enough people misused it that some lame-brained dictionary finally included it as a "variant" and there you go...all other dictionaries that needed to sell a few copies had to fall in line so as not to appear backward. *Sigh* Because I write for businesses and organizations that can't seem to get enough of impacting their world, even I have succumbed.
But please, PLEASE don't ever expect me to use or even approve the further degradation of the word by letting it slide into adjectivity (hey, you like that??). The music was not, and must never be allowed to become impactful. Sorry, there are some lengths to which I will not go. Unless you're paying me a very large hourly fee and will accept full responsibility for the consequences.
Finally, I would be remiss if I addressed this topic and did not include one of my family's perennial favorite pet peeves, one of those words we love to hate: orientate. This is an example of a word that started out as a perfectly lovely verb (orient, meaning to familiarize a person with new surroundings or circumstances, or the like: lectures designed to orient the new students; OR to place in any definite position with reference to the points of the compass or other locations: to orient a building north and south). Then somewhere along the line it was expanded to the "tion" form to become a noun (orientation, meaning the act or process of orienting; OR the state of being oriented). So far, so good.
But it wasn't long before some folks who had no idea where the noun "orientation" came from tried to turn it back into a verb and completely, well, mangled the word. Friends...I don't care which dictionaries try to suck up to the masses by giving their grudging nod to "orientate," I will not be a part of this national travesty. No matter HOW much you pay me per hour. You'll have to find yourself another writer. Yes, even in a recession.
Suzanne, I would not recommend making an issue of reverencing God with your pastor. I'd just keep it out of your own speaking and writing :-)
You May Not Be a Church IF...
hat tip: Jen C.
A Crucial Word from Machen's Mother
And then, who is John Galt?
(Read the book, I tell you. READ it.)
Anyway, that's not where I was going with this. I needed to step back and get the perspective that matters: what is my place in all this? Not to fix it, because getting even a hundred of you to read Atlas Shrugged and posting all the absurdities of this new administration every day is not going to change things. It might help you to recognize the signs of a great Republic on the way out, but it will not avert the plunge.
The only thing that can make a difference in my world is for me to do the very best I can at the job God gave me: being a WholeHearted mother and grandmother and encouraging others to do and be the best they can as well. So I return from the WholeHearted Mother Conference with a new determination to make the most of the remaining years I have with the kids still at home, and to work even harder to help moms see the importance of what they're doing in their homes every day. While I'm more pessimistic than I have ever been at the direction of our country (and I don't mean economically), I am optimistic when I sit in a hall with 650 other mothers and grandmothers who have been called to raise men and women of character, people who will glorify God and declare His principles to a country who has turned a blind eye.
Today, I'm taking a deep breath and diving back in.
I didn't even remember it was Wednesday (despite having an army here for Bible study tonight; you think I'd know, right?) until I read Annie's Facebook lament.
W.O.W. to the rescue!
I am too tired tonight and still have too much to do to get ready for leaving tomorrow to think about a complicated grammatical explanation for this one. But I'm with my brilliant daughter Annie, who says,
"Anne is terrified that "then" and "than" will be deemed interchangeable by the ever-acquiescent grammar gods...."
Ummm...I don't want to turn this into something pseudo-religious, but yes, this would be pretty near the top of my list, too, Annie. Here we go:
"I liked my first husband a lot better then this one."
"I'd rather face a hot poker in my eye then put up with people who want to write but don't care enough about writing to do it right."
AHA! Some of you missed it, didn't you? Be honest, get those hands up! See? It's become so ubiquitous (relax, we'll do that one another time...) that our eyes are beginning to glaze over and not even notice! Thankfully, we don't see the reverse error as often:
"Here, eat the last of your stale bread and than go scrub the kitchen floor!"
Easier to spot, huh? But it doesn't make it any easier to swallow that for people under 35, "then" is just an alternate spelling of "than." Yes, I know, I'm showing my true colors as a bona fide "age-ist" but other explanations won't do. I truly believe that 25 years ago the grammar teachers, long disrespected and eventually convicted of something horrible by liberal left educators, finally gave up and went home. And the poor kids who were sitting in their middle school classes looked up and found no teachers and so they just sorta made up their own rules.
I will tell you, in all honesty, why I think these errors appear to be so much more egregious in the under-35 set. I really believe it's because even though many in my generation didn't learn their grammar much better, they didn't write it out in public for all the world to see. We didn't do message boards and Facebook and blogs and Twitter and texting and IM'ing and comments on news sites. We just nodded a lot. Younger people write more, even though very little of it is serious writing, and so their, shall we say, gaps are out there in plain view while ours are our own dirty little secrets.
And that, my friends, is why I think that we're no smarter then they are ;-)
This State May Not Take the Stimulus Money
Orchard Park police are investigating a particularly gruesome killing, the beheading of a woman, after her husband — an influential member of the local Muslim community — reported her death to police Thursday.
Police identified the victim as Aasiya Z. Hassan, 37. Detectives have charged her husband, Muzzammil Hassan, 44, with second-degree murder.
"He came to the police station at 6:20 p.m. [Thursday] and told us that she was dead," Orchard Park Police Chief Andrew Benz said late this morning.
Maybe they should give him a break. After all, he was in the business of trying to improve the image of peace-loving Muslims:
Muzzammil Hassan is the founder and chief executive officer of Bridges TV, which he launched in 2004, amid hopes that it would help portray Muslims in a more positive light.(Oh, and SECOND-degree murder?)
Prominent Orchard Park man charged with beheading his wife
Christianity and Evolution -- Seeing the Problem
Last year, the average spent on Valentine's Day was $122. This year, $102. My guess is that, despite recession, folks love each other just as much. And I must not be a romantic...if my Valentine ever spent that much on me in February, I would secretly cringe. Except if it was for a vacuum cleaner. Yeah, see, I'm really NOT a romantic, am I?
This is the 4th Annual Evolution Weekend. Just thought you should know. I, of course, believe in Intelligent Design instead, observing that the only evidence against it is evolutionists.
It was a fun week of preparing for the arrival of the Slaughters. A score or more of people from our extended family, church and homeschool support group participated in stocking their pantry, fridge, freezer, bathrooms, and deck with all kinds of things to keep the family fed and comfortable as they move in. Nearly 50 people showed up between 1 and 5 today to help them move in, and now all furniture is in place, boxes unpacked, pictures hung, dishes put away. Amazing. And now, of course, the real fun starts :-)
Well, we've now mortgaged not only our grandchildren but our great-great grandchildren. By the way, you might have noticed that part of the Mortgage Our Future bill was a cap on executive pay for the leadership of failed companies. I'm flippin' through here, and I don't see that that applies to Congress. I don't understand.
Last week I finished The Count of Monte Cristo. I don't know when I've enjoyed the plot of a novel as much as I did this one. Wow. Put it on your list. I've now embarked on Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. I'm also making my way through three or four cookbooks, my weakness...
In case you were wondering, my Valentine gave me Ghirardelli. Yeah, he's good that way.
Do see The Secret Life of Bees. And if you can still catch it on TNT, don't miss Gifted Hands. Both of them are worth your time.
From this morning's worship service, my all-time favorite hymn:
The shadow of a mighty Rock Within a weary land;
A home within the wilderness, A rest upon the way,
From the burning of the noontide heat, And the burden of the day.
~~Beneath the Cross of Jesus, Lyrics by Elizabeth C. Clephane, 1830–1869
Calif. fraud suspect caught with $70,000 in boots
Apostrophes. They're boogers, aren't they? I happen to love them and love making sure they're in the proper places, but that's because I'm a visual learner and I see instantly when they're misplaced. But a lot of very smart people have trouble with them, just as I have trouble with things that are a cinch for them.
Still, I'm here to help. So let me take a minute today (because a minute is about all I've got) to point out one of the most annoying and egregious misuses of apostrophes: employing an apostrophe to indicate a plural.
I referred to this tendency tangentially the other day when harrumphing about the city in England that's decided to stop using the apostrophe. But, much as I abhor this dumbing down of the language, for some reason I much prefer the absence of apostrophes to their extravagant overuse in all kinds of random
WHY is this so hard? When adding an "s" to indicate a plural, it gets glued onto the word with no apostrophe. If you add an apostrophe and an "s" to a word, you're indicating either a contraction (My wife's not exactly a grammarian) or a possessive (My wife's greatest weakness is not using apostrophes correctly). But when creating a simple, non-possessive plural, please do not let the pesky thing sneak in there. You're not selling "apple's" and your daughter is not chasing the "boy's." At least I hope not.
Here's something odd I've noticed: two of the most common errors in this regard are with the words "mothers" and "doctors." The latter is rather easy for me to analyze, because we so often use the term "doctor's orders" (correct) that we automatically want to write "two of the doctor's said..." (incorrect). With "mothers" it's a bit harder for me to figure out, but it could have something to do with the annual emphasis on Mother's Day, sometimes written as Mothers' Day, either of which could be considered correct even though the first is standard. What is not correct is "All mother's want to be remembered on Mother's Day."
Please, friends...both mothers and doctors are strong enough not to need to be propped up with an apostrophe.
Unless they're very...possessive :-)
Praying tonight for my precious grandson Sam, hospitalized with severe asthma and on oxygen tonight. And for his dear, tired mommy...
Obama Throws Biden Under the Bus
Labels: Political Observation
(CNSNews.com) - Grammy award-winning singer and Academy award-winning actress Cher told CNSNews.com that living under Republican rule almost “killed her,” and she does not understand why anyone would want to be a Republican. She also said that President Barack Obama’s “intelligence” and “spirit” is “so great” he will be able to do “more than anyone could possibly do.”
Cher: Republican Rule Almost ‘Killed Me’
Labels: Political Humor
And don't miss the video if you haven't already seen it.
Goodbye, My Beloved Country
RFK Jr.: Hog farmers bigger threat than Osama
Labels: Theater of the Absurd