Posts Tagged ‘’

My cell phone is bigger than yours

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Cell phone de Fausta

Instapundit links to The ever-expanding smartphone screen: how supersized became everyday.

I recently had to replace my old cell phone, and bought a Samsung Galaxy S3 at a really good price at my neighborhood Radio Shack. I also own an iPod Touch, and you can find most of the apps, send email and text with the iPod as long as you have an internet connection.

I had looked at the Samsung Galaxy S3 last summer while visiting the Samsung booth at BlogHer. Once you get over the shock of the size (my old cell phone was tiny), you love the large display. Why so big?

… the primary purposes of smartphones have clearly changed. Early on, they were phones first, and data devices second. The various advents of modern apps, browsing and media shifted the focus enough that voice is almost incidental today. Our smartphones are now pocket computers, and they’re often our cameras and GPS units, too. Until and unless wearable computing replaces the smartphone, a bigger screen helps us process the glut of information we face in a day, and frequently provides a source of entertainment when it’s time to relax. There’s undeniably a threshold at which smartphone builders will have to relent: no one’s about to stuff a Galaxy Tab into their pocket. Likewise, there’s a good chance we’ll still see smaller devices for those who can’t (or won’t) switch to a phone that’s too big for their hands or pockets. Still, the past few years have taught us not to make too many assumptions — through technology and shifting tastes, what’s an extraordinary screen one year often becomes run-of-the-mill fare the next.

The size itself, even with the Otter protective case, is no problem for me since I have long fingers, it fits in coat pockets, and when I go out I carry it in a handbag. I prefer the iPod’s camera, but the Samsung’s cell phone reception indoors is superior to my son’s iPhone’s. The large screen’s great for videos and GPS, too.

Oh, yes, I got the heavy-duty Otter. While I got the Samsung S3 at a really good price, it’s best to not have to replace it.

Halitophobia! in Spanish, no less

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

This kid’s a hoot (sent to me by the Orabrush people),

You can get the Orabrush on Amazon, too!

Ampuero now in translation

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Several years ago my cousin, who lives in Chile, insisted that I read Roberto Ampuero’s novel, Nuestros años verde olivo (link to Kindle version). Finding the book took some doing, and, when I finally got it, could not put it down.

“Nuestros años” is semi-autobiographical. Like Ampuero, the Communist protagonist had to get out of Chile in a hurry after the fall of Allende. He headed to East Germany, where he met and married the daughter of a Cuban general, and later they moved to Cuba.

And then he got screwed.

Today the Wall Street Journal has an article on Ampuero:
A Literary Ambassador

His autobiographical novel “Nuestros Años Verde Olivo,” or “Our Olive Green Years,” a reference to Cuban military fatigues, chronicled Cuba’s reality of scarcity and secret-police paranoia, and became a sensation in Latin America.

The novel, published in 1999, is one of a handful of texts by disillusioned Latin American leftists critical of Cuba and communism in general. “Latin Americans who knew real socialism from the inside or saw how it fell apart, mostly opted for silence,” says Mr. Ampuero.

The book put Mr. Ampuero on Havana’s black list. “Neither Ampuero or anybody who remotely looks like Ampuero will ever be able to travel to Cuba,” the Cuban ambassador in Chile said after the book was published, according to the writer.

Ampuero has written crime novels since, among them “El caso Neruda” (“The Neruda Case”), which, like Il Postino, features real-life writer Pablo Neruda in a fictional setting,

Brulé, the neophyte detective in “The Neruda Case,” could be a fun-house mirror image of his creator. The detective is a Cuban-American émigré who falls in love with a revolutionary Chilean student he meets in Miami, and follows her to Chile just in time to experience the bloody 1973 coup against socialist President Salvador Allende.

Just before the coup, Brulé takes on his first case on behalf of Pablo Neruda, the Nobel Prize-winning poet and Communist Party politician. In the book, Neruda is dying of cancer and wants to find a loved one who has been missing for decades.

The Neruda Case is now available in Kindle; so is Ampuero’s latest, El último tango de Salvador Allende. I’m adding them to my wish list.

Thank you!

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

A big Thank You to all the readers who have purchased through this blog’s Amazong links!

You support this blog at no cost to you, and I greatly appreciate it.

Yes, you can take it with you!

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

your Kindle, that is, along with subscriptions to your favorite blogs!

The perfect gifts for everyone on your list!

“1984” down the memory hole

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

Amazon Erases Orwell Books From Kindle

In George Orwell’s “1984,” government censors erase all traces of news articles embarrassing to Big Brother by sending them down an incineration chute called the “memory hole.”

On Friday, it was “1984” and another Orwell book, “Animal Farm,” that were dropped down the memory hole — by

In a move that angered customers and generated waves of online pique, Amazon remotely deleted some digital editions of the books from the Kindle devices of readers who had bought them.

An Amazon spokesman, Drew Herdener, said in an e-mail message that the books were added to the Kindle store by a company that did not have rights to them, using a self-service function. “When we were notified of this by the rights holder, we removed the illegal copies from our systems and from customers’ devices, and refunded customers,” he said.

Amazon effectively acknowledged that the deletions were a bad idea.

Say Anything:

This is a troubling aspect of the digital age. In the old paper age, once a book was released to the public that was it. It was out there in people’s bookshelves and on their nightstands. If someone decided after the fact that whatever was published shouldn’t be out there it was too late. The toothpaste was out of the tube, and there was no putting it back in.

But now, in an Orwellian twist of technoligical development (I told you it was ironic), that’s not necessarily the case any more. As more and more of our literature and communication goes digital the archives of those things because less and less secure. If there is no hard copy, those with the power and the means to erase what they don’t want you to see can.

I’m also concerned about the original texts being changed, too.

For centuries scholars have compared different editions of texts, whether sacred, such as the Bible, or in literature, such as James Joyce’s Ulysses. What was changed from one hard copy to another matters.

Let me give you one recent instance:
On July 25, 2005 I blogged about Cuba and Venezuela,

Why bother with all this talk of “erradicating illiteracy” when people are not allowed to read freely?

  • Chávez has already come out with his version of Don Quijote For Dummies: just this year he took the excellent, definitive Don Quijote de la Mancha 4th Centennary edition by the Read Academia Española, abridged it, removed the essay “Una novela para el siglo XXI” by Mario Vargas Llosa, and replaced that essay with a short preface by José Saramago.
  • The essence of Vargas Llosa’s censored preface is that Don Quijote’s a free men’s novel. Saramago, Nobel Prize winner and Portuguese Communist Party member, has gone on the record (link to an article in Spanish) saying he hates democracy.
  • Chávez is using the Cuban “Yo si puedo” method — while Cubans are sent to concentration camps for owning banned books — the books Fidel doesn’t want the people of Cuba to read.
  • Investor’s Business Daily (via Publius Pundit) reports that Chávez’s new television network is designed to put the region’s free press out of business

Yo si puedo, but only if it’s what Hugo and Fidel say is OK.

As you may recall, Chavez detained Mario Vargas Llosa upon arriving at Caracas airport.

Buy the hard copy. Keep it.

Just One Minute:

If Amazon wants to run the irony meter past the red and off the scale, they should follw up by e-deleting all Kindle copies of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.

And, by the way, Truffaut’s movie version of Fahrenheit 451 is excellent, too.