Windows Phone Flop

Mobile devices are an area that I like to think and talk about. I just love those little gadgets. I like the gossip, I like the features, I like the shiny. I think what I like most about mobile devices is knowing just how much potential they have to change the way in which do life. They have the power to enrich , to delight or infuriate, and to simplify or complicate. So when I first heard that Microsoft was working on a new device, and that it had a ‘minimalist’ design style, I got really excited.
After all, here was a company that has the biggest reach of any, entering in to an area where they can really say ‘Hey, we’re Microsoft and we’ve got something great here.” As is too common for mobile devices, I was disappointed when I first read the reviews and saw one in person. This was just another phone. To the delight of critics, it even crashed. It felt as though Microsoft made a less-than-half hearted attempt to enter the mobile market.
Let’s just think about it for a second. Microsoft. They make things that perhaps billions of people in the world use on a daily basis. Why come out with just a phone with pretty icons when they could have launched an amazing product that made our lives simpler? Why not integrate the phone with the PC or with the Xbox?
For example, wouldn’t it have been rather elementary to tie a phone’s account to a computer account and eliminate the hassle of new computer setups? Just stop and think about that. You have a phone with your email and other accounts already set up. You get a new Windows based computer. You log in with the account already on your phone and voila, just like magic, all of your settings appear on your new computer with no other interaction on your behalf. All of your emails, social networks, and media start appearing. Just because you have the two things that talk to one another in some way.
That’s just one example. Tighter integration from end-to-end would have made the Windows phone tough to ignore. But now it’s just another bit in Microsoft’s history.
One of the things I like about mobile is just how rare it is to find a new thing that really works. I wish the Windows phone would have been one of those.

Turn Off Apache SSL Certificate Warning

I have a few Linux (CentOS/RHEL) web servers around some of them have SSL certificates. Installing them is one thing (another story for another day) but when you don’t need the certificates anymore and they’re about to expire, how do you stop from receiving emails titled “SSL Certificate Warning”?
As it turns out, this warning is generated by a cron job called certwatch.  Navigate over to your /etc/cron.daily directory and either delete that file or comment it out and you should be all set.

Things I Hate: Cell Phone Carriers

I’m a pretty even-keeled person.  I don’t get angry very easily and I certainly don’t like to use the word “hate” in my everyday conversations but when I learn about things that just make no sense, I get furious and can’t help but “hate” on the news.
So, what’s bothered me so much today?  Well, Verizon (and pretty much all mobile carriers, actually).  I absolutely can’t stand the fact that we pay them so much money and yet they are able to cripple services that we receive.

For example, take the brand new iPhone 4 that hasn’t even arrived yet.  It’s already crippled.  How?  Verizon has decided not to allow certain features of the phone unless you pay more.

WHAT?!

Let me repeat that.  You pay $200 for a device and you are not allowed to use all of its features, unless you pay MORE money to the carrier.  They are basically hijacking the device you paid for. I wouldn’t have a problem with this if this were a free phone or if my service wasn’t “unlimited”, but surely this raises some really good questions that Verizon has and probably won’t address in a public forum.

For example, take the mobile hotspot function of the iPhone or Droid phones.  Verizon makes you pay extra for the use of this function.  But WHY?  I paid for the phone.  It is a feature of the phone.  I pay for unlimited bandwidth, and any connected devices would be using the phone’s bandwidth.  So, Verizon, what gives?!

Let’s make a quick analogy.  You buy a new car that seats 4.  You fill it up with gas.  You are ready to hit the road.  But your friends can’t enter the car unless you pay more.  Why?  Well, just because.  Makes sense?  Didn’t think so…

If you can offer a logical explanation, I can try to understand and be more civil about this, but until then, @(*^&!!!