What's Wrong With A Cheaper Smartphone?

As one of those canny Scots who likes to save a buck whenever I can, I was encouraged to see an article in HowToGeek on "Why you don't need an expensive smartphone anymore". My only minor gripe is their idea of inexpensive is a little less stringent than mine - I am thinking less than $100, rather than $100-$200 in the article. Now certainly, my price point may result in "cheap" rather than "inexpensive" - possibly a reflection on quality rather than value. Yet in some ways, I am willing to forgo a little quality. I don't need the best (at least in this commodity); I just need something that works well enough and is affordable. It's still a good article, and worth a read for those of you who are less miserly than myself.


Decrepitude Cometh

not a photo of me, honest
I recently found myself indulging in a pastime I had previously associated with "old people" - listening to a police scanner channel. I was a couple of hours into it, when the horror of what I was doing dawned on me. I tried to rationalize that I had been listening via the "TuneIn" app on my tablet, but that was of little comfort. I suppose now I will have to take to sitting in a rocking chair and talking to myself about the old days. 

Actually, blogging is a bit like talking to myself. Hmmm.

Or I could just carry on the way I usually do and think "The heck with it, I'll do whatever I want."

Windows 9 Multiple Desktop Is Old Hat Already

Microsoft's forthcoming operating system, Windows 9, will reportedly feature multiple desktops built into the OS. This is a technique that allows you some of the functionality of using multiple monitors, but on a single screen. You can have several "virtual" desktop screens running at once, and can switch between them as needed - this can be useful in keeping your sanity when you have a lot of windows open at once. This is a welcome move, but just remember Apple's OS X and many flavors of Linux have had this ability for some years. I have a short video below showing the Workspaces switcher in Linux Mint. I have some other "how-to" and "quick look" videos here also.


If Momma Ain't Happy...It's Science!

The old saw goes "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" (or a variation thereof). It's meant to be humorous, but as most married people will tell you, if they are honest, it's also a truism. Apparently, Scientists have now discovered this after presumably spending time and money researching the phenomenon. I sometimes wonder if the scientific community is actually as smart as they seem to believe, as we seem to see a fair bit of this "Johnny come lately" discovery or affirmation of age old wisdom.
When it comes to a happy marriage, a new Rutgers study finds that the more content the wife is with the long-term union, the happier the husband is with his life no matter how he feels about their nuptials.

You're A Child Of The...?

The pace of progress in the use and integration of computers into our daily lives can be used (at least for fun) to indicate the era you grew up in. So says the Infographic below from


The Scottish Question

I have no idea how my fellow Scots will vote on the subject of disentangling themselves from the rest of the United Kingdom on September 18th. While I don't have any great insight on the whole situation, if I still lived there I think I would lean towards Independence. My heart says yes, but my head has a lot of doubts. The Scotland vs England thing has a long and sometimes cruel and ugly history, the nearest thing I can think of here in the US might be the lingering resentment of some of those in the Southern US states to the Northerners. It's not the same, but that perhaps gives you a sense of it.

I can confidently say that the subject is front and center for most Scots these days and that I think the chances are the best they have been for the pro-Independence folk. Scottish first minister Alex Salmond is a glib and persuasive leader of the "YES" movement (for Scottish Independence), but it remains to be seen if he can deliver after the fact. It's a big gamble on so may levels. Scotland is proud but small, about 5 million souls, and it's possible they would be giving up rule from London to be subject to rule from Brussels if they later join the EU, as they almost certainly will have to - at least if they want to any sort of bargaining power in dealing with other countries.

It could be a wonderful, memorable decision that will enable Scotland to flourish on it's own terms. It could also be pretty ghastly, if the wrong people are in charge of an independent Scotland. Be careful what you wish for, etc.