Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Fresh/Raw Thoughts on the Election of Donald Trump

I just wanted to record some thoughts that I have on the morning after Donald Trump was elected as the next President of the United States of America.

I did not vote for him - I voted for Hillary Clinton.  And I voted for Clinton, not because I thought Trump was awful (although I did think that), but because I thought she was a capable leader and would do a better job.

A lot of political pundits today are talking about this being the "anger" election, about some previously unrecognized undercurrent of hatred and racism and misogyny and so forth.  And maybe all that is there...but I think the real story of the this election is that Hillary Clinton's base didn't turn out.  It wasn't a victory for anger so much as a failure for an apathetic Democratic party.

In poll after poll - including internal polls done by the Trump folks - Hillary was ahead by anywhere from 3 to 8 per cent.  And it does look like she may have won the popular vote by a tiny margin.  But she did not win in a lot of states that the polls indicated she would win, and there's basically one explanation - her people didn't show up and vote.

Donald Trump didn't get some groundswell of new, untapped white male angry people - he got fewer votes than Mitt Romney.  But Hillary Clinton got fewer votes than Barack Obama by a much larger margin.  Maybe the coalition of women, Latinos and African Americans just didn't turn out in big enough numbers, maybe the small but significant part of the white male vote Hillary was expecting decided to sit this one out.  But the numbers don't lie - she just got a lot fewer votes than Obama, and they didn't go to Trump, they just didn't vote for anyone.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Two Days To Pixel (and I can't wait)

On Thursday I should be getting my Google Pixel XL (silver, 128GB).  I pre-ordered it from Verizon last week, and today I got the shipping notification.  Today (Tuesday, 10/18) Google lifted the embargo on reviews and all the major tech sites have pretty much published.  The synopsis?  Here's the breakdown:
  • Looks - most point out it looks like an iPhone.  Some folks like that, most think it would be nice if Google had innovated in some way.  Multiple sites griped about the glass on the top third of the back (around the fingerprint sensor).  I am thinking I'll have a case on mine as soon as possible so I will not know or care what the back looks like. 
  • Camera - most sites are genuinely impressed with the camera and from what I have seen, I will be too.  I am VERY excited about this part.
  • Assistant - Google Assistant is Google's "AI" similar to Siri on iPhone.  I have played a bit with the implementation in Google Allo, and for me, it's a mixed bag.  Sometimes it does something neat, sometimes not.  It seems that maybe the reviewers are experiencing the same thing - some reviews were really impressed with it and some not.
And those are the main areas the reviews have touched on.  Here is some information that puts the purchase in perspective for me.  I am currently using a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 that I bought nearly 3 years ago.  3 years isn't an eternity of course; and the phone DOES still work, and pretty well.  But for a piece of tech, and especially for an IT person, it's a bit dated.  I've waited quite a while because it's hard to justify spending the money on something like this TOO often, but I decided it was time when Google announced they were doing their first "all Google" phone.

Size-wise, it will be about the same as what I have (0.2 inches smaller diagonally on the screen but a LOT higher resolution, and probably a bit thinner and lighter).  The camera should be a lot better and more important to me, much faster - the camera on the Note 3 is a DOG to open and use.  One review says cell reception is a lot better and I'm hoping for that - I live right at the edge of Verizon's 4G LTE range and am hoping for more than a half a bar which is what I usually get now.  

One thing no one has really reviewed yet is the VR capabilities, and this is NOT something I bought the phone for - but since Google is giving away the DreamVR headset and remote, I am looking forward to trying it out.

I'll post back here soon!

Monday, January 4, 2016

One Year On - My Experience With A Chromebook

Note: If you don't know what a Chromebook is, this article may not make much sense.  Check out this link  to learn the basics - there are numerous other reviews and articles on the Internet that you can find with a quick search.  Then come back here to find out how using a Chromebook has worked for me!