Club Admiralty

v7.0 - moving along, a point increase at a time

Club Admiralty Blog

A blog about life in general, in as many languages as I can manage. Ενα ιστολόγιο περι ζωής, πολυγλωσσο - σε όσες γλωσσες εχω μεράκι να γράψω.

And you thought GSM was bad...

I've been looking at phones lately (no thanks to the iPhone!) and I must say that I am seeing some absurdities with the selection of bands. GSM had five bands (frequencies), although only four are used. THe original band was 900Mhz, then 1800Mhz rolled out in Europe, 1900Mhz and 850Mhz followed suit in the Americas and 450Mhz was tested but never deployed. This was a 2G technology

Now we've got 3G rolling out. We started with 2100Mhz and we rejoiced! This would be the one band to unify the world! Well, no! at&t came in and decided to use 1900Mhz and 850Mhz as well! OK, phones are triband 3G now (well some anyway), and T-Mobile US comes out with 1700Mhz, and some carriers in Europe are experimenting with 900Mhz...that's five bands!

Nokia phones aren't triband (the iPhone and some HTC handsets are). With nokia handsets you get 2100, or 1900/850, or 2100/900 or 2100/850... Just make a quintband 3G chip already! I wonder what LTE is going to bring...

This sort of reminds me of a recent Hollowmen episode I watched. The think tank had a 6-point plan for the Prime Minister, but they could not implement it. So... they came up with a 4-point plan, to make the 6-point plan a 2-point plan. Hillarious, until you think about it!
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Television Tuesday: American Gothic.

Yet another Hulu discovery: American Gothic.

I have to say that this series was weird, X-files weird (or possibly the outer limits weird)!

I thought that since Gary Cole (Lumberg from Office Space) was in it, that it would be rather comical. I was wrong. The story revolves around a small town in the south that has a lot of inexplicable phenomena happening. If you make a deal with the Sheriff, your life is prosperous, but eventually you will have to pay him back. Throughout the series I was wondering if he was corrupt, if he was some sort of witch with supernatural powers, or if he was the devil himself!

Even though the series is rather dark and at times, I think, disturbing, I highly recommend it.

If you want some more info about the series, click here for the Wikipedia entry (SPOILERS WARNING!)
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Leveraging my strategic assets for a synergistic paradigm shift

I was looking at various people on LinkedIn a few weeks back to see if there are any acquaintances on there, and I came across an individual who had this in their blurb about themselves (changed mildly to protect the innocent):

“PMP certified IT Project Manager with over fifteen years of experience with the ability to leverage her proven record of strategic leadership in solving complex business problems, increase ROI and decrease CTO, as part of a collaborative work environment.”

Maybe it’s the fact that I am sensitive to business bull after having listened to the Bullfighter’s guide, but all I can say is WOW! I can’t really believe that she speaks about herself in the third person and has one sentence so fortified with business bull. Now, I don’t know this person, but if I were a hiring manager I would say that there is a lot of smoke blow from her direction. I personally prefer to more personal blurb. You can be a high powered whatever, but making your blurb more personal shows that you are a person and thus, in my opinion, more valuable to the organization than a business bull automaton.

Just my two cents…
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Video Game Friday: Black and White

OK, so last week I wrote about Populous II. This week, on a similar theme, I am remising about a game called Black and White (and its sequel Black and White II). One of my friends, who is really into Real Time Strategy games, bought this pack, but he did not really like it (I guess he’s more of Panzer General type of RTS fan).

Never one to turn down a game, I took the games in and gave them a good home. In the game you play a god, and you use a giant hand to perform various miracles such as saving people, creating forests, encouraging crop growth, and so on. The game is almost like a SIM city clone. You can get people to worship you through good will, or through fear. I’ve used fear tactics when I was frustrated that my enemy god’s subjects would not worship me when I gave them food (and other) miracles. It’s surprising how much more worship you get through fear rather than being a kind god (or course in the end being a vengeful god reflects poorly on your stats, if I remember correctly).

In any case, I got to the last level of the game, but I had a hard time moving through and finishing. The last stage was de-forested, over cropped, and possibly over-mined. (in other words, humans were there), so it was difficult to expand my sphere of influence and maintain enough power to destroy my enemy god’s temple. On top of that, the game suffered from not being backed up, so when my hard drive died, so did my save-file. Oh well. If I ever have some time, I may get back to it because it was quite an entertaining game (despite the constant “we need food!” whines of the people)

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Why business people speak like idiots

I recently finished listening to Why Business People Speak Like Idiots: A Bullfighter's Guide during my commutes from home to work and vice versa. I was never really a fan of business speak, crazy work such as paradigm shift, or leveraging my assets to build up a best of breed solution. While in business school I tried to avoid such BS, but I do have to admit that I have in a number of occasions (when in the presence of Business people) used such language.

The book was actually quite refreshing for both people who actively seek asylum from such language, and people who should reform their vocabulary to eliminate such non-sense from their word banks. The book comes in audiobook form, and I highly recommend it. At the very least the book is entertaining and it won’t be a waste of your time. Who knows, the book might convince you to look at your own usage of business bull and encourage you to cut it out.
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The society of librarians who say *bleep*

Recently Google reader recommended an RSS feed for me. This blog is about the everyday frustrations of librarians and library patrons and it’s called the society of librarians who say mofo. I have to say that initially I was skeptical about the site, but I find humor in the every day absurdities that occur in the lives of these individuals mostly because I’ve seen or heard something in my immediate circles.

One story that’s caught my attention is this whole surrendering of the library card to access the AV collection and the constant monitoring of PC terminals in the library. Now I am not a schooled librarian, but I consider myself a librarian at heart, MLS or no MLS, and I have to say that as someone who interacts with librarians and has two management degrees, I cringe at the tactics that the library in the blog story is using. Furthermore I am surprised at the apparent complacency of most of the townsfolk.
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Television Tuesday: Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show

Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show !

Ok there isn’t much to say about this show that can adequately describe it! You just have to see it!
This is a series of short webisodes. The show is essentially a mocking of those crazy Japanese television shows, and the engrish and utter wackiness that you see in them.

Also check out their website: CLICK HERE
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Web4lib – tensions rise!

I was reading on LISnews a short time ago about a critique on web4lib regarding the future or libraries (and librarians). I’ve noticed that every time there is critique of the profession (or the MLIS degree requirement to be a librarian), it’s like someone spills blood in shark infested waters. This isn’t the first debate of this kind that I’ve seen (or read through) and probably won’t be the last. Quite entertaining, and informative.

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Video Game Friday: Populous II

In the days of my Performa 635CD (somewhere between sophomore and junior year in high school), I bought something called a MacPackAttack at my not-so-local microcenter. The pack contained ten games (on CD-ROM!!!), and one of them was Populus II: Trial of the Olympian Gods. My initial reception of the game was a lukewarm one. I was more used to the Tetris type Platform type of games. One summer I was quite bored, so I started playing more of Populous and I got sucked in!

The game is Sim game, where you have control over a certain amount of land, and your goal is to increase the number of the people that worship you (oh yes, you play an up-and-coming God), enhance their standard of living, and obliterate the people that worship enemy Gods. While I found the difficulty of the game to be a hard one, I eventually made it all the way to the end. If I remember correctly there was an Achilles spell that I could use to make my people superhuman (after a certain amount of experience and population as reached) and they could do my bidding – i.e. obliterate the competition.

It was quite an entertaining game for what it was, and there have been others that have followed in its footsteps and have made games like Populous that are entertaining (black and white comes to mind)
Sadly, there is no YouTube video that showcases the gameplay.
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Adios to Helio

Well, Helio is going the way of the dodo! It’s being acquired by Virgin Mobile, and the brand will eventually merge into the Virgin brand. When Helio came out, I thought that their focus was a little too narrow. When they first came out they were going after Korean ex-pats, and people who wanted advanced Korean features on their phones. While the company did well (170,000 subscribers is nothing to scoff at), and their phones were pretty cool and had a great user interface, they just could not compete.

My problem with Helio was that it was not GSM. While I don’t change phones that often these days, I still like to pull out my SIM and put it in a different phone for the day or the weekend. CDMA phones just don’t have that and I just never got to use Helio because of it. Now if their network piggybacked off AT&T and T-Mobile for GSM/UMTS, I would most likely have given them a try. I keep hoping that Virgin will jump onto the UMTS bandwagon, but given that 40% is the company is owned by Sprint, that is most likely not happening.

Adios to Helio!
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