1. Republican-based Intellegence

    brian on 2003.01.24
    at 04:44 pm

    OK, most people reading this right now are just waiting for me to tear into some random Republican for something underhanded. Well sorry to disappoint, but I'm hear to sing the praises of Gov. Mitt Romney of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (no one here calls it a state). Well on this one issue at least. Read this Globe article detailing how Mitt and his crew have actually listened to environmentalists who continue to harp on how sustainibility makes sense economically.

    Yes! He wants to cut out SUVs from the state fleet, where they're 99% un-needed.

    "The price tag for SUVs is 50 percent more than regular cars and it's 50 percent more to operate,'' said Douglas Foy, the newly appointed coordinator of housing, transportation, environment, and energy under Governor Mitt Romney. ''Aside from the environmental issue, it's a budget issue in these austere times."

    He's also staying with an excise tax on SUVs mentioned during his campaign and looking into the placement of government offices in urban settings which are readily accessed by mass transit. Damn. I'm impressed. I disgree on many topics with Mitt, but I will be the first to say "Job well done" if this kind of progress makes it to reality.

    Posted in: Cool Info

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  2. 12" PowerBooks, in person

    brian on 2003.01.24
    at 03:55 pm

    We finally got our 12" PowerBooks. They're awesome. Some thoughts:

    • Feels solid, as if cut from a chunk of aluminum.
    • Details abound. Sleep light placed on the lid latch. New speaker placement on the back reflects (louder, higher-quality) sound off the screen at the user. There's now a third, mid-range speaker inside. When the lid is down, sound can shoot sound straight out. We compared, the 12" seems both louder and clearer than the current 15" PowerBook. You won't throw a party with any PB (sans external speakers), but it's a notable improvement.
    • New RAM and AirPort(extreme) card placement. Neither no longer reside beneath the keyboard. This does a couple things: some hard typists thought the previous keyboards were a little squishy. I didn't. The AirPort(X) card now lives inside the battery bay. RAM (that snappy DDR, 640mb max) has its own little door on the bottom, next to the battery.
    • Video: The Nvidia GeForce 420Go video card is snappy, while only using 32mb of DDR video RAM. Windows fly across the screen.
    • Resolution: many think 1024x768 is not high enough resolution. I think on a 12.1" screen, any higher res would lead to squinting by all but the youngest of eyes. A compact laptop isn't about screen real estate.
    • Finish:New anodized finish seems tough, and feels nice. The track-pad has a different texture now, almost abrasive. Some of the guys really liked it, I'm indifferent. Mouse button is raised slightly higher than on the similarly shaped 12" iBook. Keyboard (which I believe is plastic painted metallic to match perfectly) keys are shaped differently than previous PBs and iBooks, much more shapely and angular.
    • Is it hot you're asking? Well, I think some people are overly sensitive to laptop heat. Never the less: it's warmer than my indigo iBook, but after a day of being used non-stop, I stuck my hand beneath and was not burned, or even close. You can definitely use this on your lap. If you're bothered, buy a pad.

    That's all. if you haven't seen the new Big and Small TV spot, go see it now. Vern Troyer meets Yao Ming, big and small yuks...

    Lastly, wanted: a cool nickname for the 12" Suggestions?

    Posted in: Technology

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  3. OLED Monitor on show, thoughts...

    jake on 2003.01.24
    at 02:17 pm

    A new and emerging technology is OLED displays. So far they are still in development stages but they are starting to emerge as the screen tech of choice in handheld devices. I'm not positive when they will actually be on the market.

    Sharp had a prototype of a 12" screen at CES recently. The guys over at PocketPC Thoughts had a friend at CES who took a couple pictures of the unit and posted them. The thing is amazing, less than an inch thick.

    Posted in: Technology

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