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June 2009

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Rep. Cynthia Davis of O’Fallon, MO (District 19) has recently made a complete ass out of herself showing how little she knows about what it’s like on the other side of the tracks. Someone needs to pop the little picture perfect bubble world she lives in and clue her in on the harsh reality of being poor. She recently made comments about cutting the free lunch program that provides MO children with meals during the summer when school is not in session saying that hunger is a “positive motivator” for children and also:

Who’s buying dinner? Who is getting paid to serve the meal? Churches and other non-profits can do this at no cost to the taxpayer if it is warranted. […] Bigger governmental programs take away our connectedness to the human family, our brotherhood and our need for one another. […] Anyone under 18 can be eligible? Can’t they get a job during the summer by the time they are 16? Hunger can be a positive motivator. What is wrong with the idea of getting a job so you can get better meals? Tip: If you work for McDonald’s, they will feed you for free during your break. […] It really is all about increasing government spending, which means an increase in taxes for us to buy more free lunches and breakfasts.

A report by Feeding America found that one in five Missouri children currently lives with hunger. Taking apart Davis’ other arguments, a St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial noted that most of the summer feeding program sites are actually hosted by churches and that the program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, fed 3.7 million meals at a total cost of less than $9.5 million last summer — “a pretty good use of federal money.”

Because of this, Keith Olbermann has named her the Worst Person in the World twice this week. Once for her asinine statement, then again for her clarifications, which proves even further that she is out of touch with reality. Watch below:

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imac

I know my sisters are going to get on me about this, saying I don’t need another computer, but I purchased an iMac. My Windows Vista desktop has been giving me a lot of trouble over the last few weeks. I even reformatted and reinstalled Windows and it still kept bothering me. I’ve had enough. This morning I bought a 24 inch iMac to be my primary machine. I’m excited to get it because I love OSX and the apps that run on it so much. In my opinion, and in my uses, it is a much better OS than Vista (or XP) is. I can’t wait to get it and set it up.

SiriusXM is doing everything they can to raise money and alienate customers. Since the merger there are several things I’ve noticed about their service, none of them good.

When the merger took place I noticed a reduction in quality of their online streams. We later find out that’s because they were going to start charging for internet streams. Charging more money on top of the ~$12.95 a month customers pay to listen to the service in their car. It’s always nice when companies take away an included service and tell you that you can have it back for an additional fee. Of course, through the length of your contract (I signed up for a year) you can listen to the lower quality stream for free. It doesn’t stop there though. I also noticed, and I have no way of confirming this, that the quality of the broadcasts in my car have gone downhill and I think it’s due to them cutting back the number of terrestrial towers broadcasting the satellite signal. I used to get a strong signal everywhere I went, and if the satellite signal was not strong it was backed up by towers bouncing the signal around. Now if I get near a building (like a drive-through for example) I lose signal. I even lose signal under the thin roofing of the covered parking in my apartment. Before the merger I never experienced a loss of signal unless I was in a parking garage (which most of the time I still got the signal) or a long tunnel. They must have cut back on the number of towers in service to save more money and deliver inferior service.

Now, after much delay, they have released an iPhone/iPod Touch app that can stream their service. But guess what, they want to charge you a monthly fee to use it. You must pay an additional $2.99 a month for the premium stream to listen using the app. I think I’ve had it with them. They keep pushing for more money and continuously deliver degrading service. If the quality stayed the same throughout the year and a half I’ve had them, I might not have a problem with this. But the fact is, they have degraded their signal, on both satellite and the internet, a noticeable amount, enough for me to think the money I pay for their service isn’t worth it. Even though I love the stations on XM, when my year is up I will not renew.

Unless you were living under a rock the past couple days, you probably know that OS 3.0 for the iPhone and iPod touch came out yesterday. There are many new features including copy/cut/paste, MMS (unless you are on AT&T), tethering (again, unless you are on AT&T), voice recording, push notifications, CalDAV support, among others.

After I installed the update and my phone rebooted I was excited to start testing out the new features. There was only one problem. After the update my iPhone was running slow. Very slow. Safari would freeze, applications would crash, and it took forever to find my AT&T signal. After about 15 minutes and multiple restarts, it started behaving again, and in some cases sped things up.

Copy and paste was something that I thought I would never use or if I did use it, it would be on rare occasions. I probably used copy and paste more than anything else yesterday. It is great with the Tweetdeck iPhone app. I wanted to copy a url and paste it in for a tweet and it worked perfectly. The part where it came in handy the most was setting up my Google Calendars.

With OS 3.0, you can finally add Google Calendars using CalDAV. I can’t use Google’s Exchange sync because I have my work’s Exchange account on my phone and you’re only allowed to add one Exchange account. I added my first Google calendar filling out the normal credentials, but it only syncs the main calendar on your Google account. If you have multiple calendars, what do you do? This is where the group calendar comes into play thanks to great instructions here. You add the calendars the same way, but when you are finished you go into advanced options and replace your email address with the randomly generated email address that Google creates. If you have ever seen this email address, it is quite long. Luckily, I could copy the address on my desktop and email it to myself, then open up the mail app and copy it from the email and paste it into the calendar settings. Cross app copy and paste ftw! Also with copy and paste you can also finally email multiple pictures instead of sending a separate email for each image. Awesome.

OS 3.0 is a solid release that brought a lot of long-awaited features. It will be even better once AT&T get their act together. The only thing that I really want to use right now but can’t is MMS. AT&T really dropped the ball on this one. They are trying to hide the fact that their network is not all that great. How can they not be ready for iPhone picture or video messaging when every other phone on their network has the capability to do so already? The only answer is their network can’t handle it. That has to be the same reason tethering isn’t available yet. I’m glad that Apple make the snarky remarks during the WWCD singling out AT&T. This must be a PR nightmare for them. There are a lot of angry customers.

On Saturday Penny arrived at my apartment. She is a sweet Boston Terrier that loves everyone she meets. She’s 1 and very tiny. She seems to be adjusting well to her new home, though I have to play with her food in order for her to eat it right now. She is definitely a lap dog, so if you’re sitting on the recliner or the couch, she’s in your lap or right up against you. She also sleeps right up against you in bed as well. Oh yeah, and she snores, which is hilarious. She’s been a good dog so far and I’m so happy I got her.