Archive for December, 2009

Android Phones on US Carriers – Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T

I have a friend on T-Mobile who asked me if I liked my Droid.  I do, but he can’t get one on T-Mobile.  However, there are many phones to choose from that have android.  Note that I can’t think of an android device on AT&T, and have only seen the rumored Motorola Backflip.  I’ve also listed the Android version that I think it has.  If there is no android version, there may be a custom interface or I don’t know.

Here’s my list:

  • Verizon
    • Droid (Android 2.o)
    • Eris
  • T-Mobile
    • Behold II
    • CLIQ (Android 1.5)
    • Pulse (Android 1.5)
    • magic/MyTouch (Android 1.5)
    • Dream/G1 (Android 1.0)
  • Sprint
    • Moment (Android 1.5)
    • Hero
  • AT&T
    • NONE YET! (maybe Motorola Backflip)

–Ben

For more info and pictures see Androphones.com

Browser lag in 2.0.1 Droid Update – Browser Issue in ESD56

I have noticed one thing about the Droid Update, the browser gets a little bit laggy in places.  In plain english, swiping your finger doesn’t translate into fluid motion on the page movement.  I can’t identify exactly which sites, but I did come up with someone who’s been tracking it down a little more.  Jeftek.com‘s video below:

Otherwise, I’m really liking the update.

Happy Droid’ing.

–Ben

Next Droid Specs? – maybe Sholes Tablet

I came across a couple of articles today describing what may be the next follow-up to the Droid.  The articles claim that the follow-up to the Droid will not have a keyboard.  As it is, I don’t use the slide keyboard very much as the on screen keyboard (in landscape mode) is generally sufficient for my needs.

I guess I’ll enjoy my Droid while I can, and get jealous when the next Droid aka sholes tablet comes out.

Here’s some of the proposed specs:

  • HDMI port
  • 8 megapixel camera
  • 720p video
  • xenon flash
  • 3.7 inch touchscreen (no sliding keyboard)
  • FM Radio
  • Android 2.1

Sounds pretty cool.  Hit the source links for pictures.

–Ben

Sources:

Engadget

ZDNet

Droid Update: version 2.0.1 AKA version AP:ESD56/BP:C_01.3E.01P

Just got an update ESD56 to my Droid today and wondered what was changing. So far, so good. The most noticeable thing is that my homescreen clock changed font. Other than that most everything seems to be under the hood.

Engadget gives a summary of the Droid update: “In brief, this looks like bug-fix nirvana with improved stability and battery life, better camera and call quality, faster visual voicemail, and a host of other goodies.”

According to Verizon’s Droid update page:

  • OS stability is improved.
  • Battery life is improved.
  • Camera auto focus functionality is improved, and time between shots is reduced.
  • Enhancements for three-way calling.
  • Audio for incoming calls is improved.
  • When receiving a call on call waiting, the speakerphone now remains on.
  • Bluetooth® functionality is improved; background echo is eliminated.
  • Improved Bluetooth phone book transfer of contacts to in-vehicle Bluetooth solutions.
  • After closing a GPS application, the GPS icon will now automatically be removed from the notification panel.
  • Users can now receive SMS and MMS messages after an EMS message is received.
  • SMS and MMS may now be sent to seven-digit addresses.
  • Google® contact merging has been updated to accommodate seven-digit numbers.
  • Visual Voice Mail notices now arrive instantaneously.
  • The corporate calendar widget user interface is updated.

Happy Update!

–Ben

iPhone vs Droid – an ironic comic (xkcd)

iPhone vs Droid xkcd comic

iPhone vs Droid xkcd comic

There are way too many levels to this comic.  Is it a comment on the app store?  Is a comment on smartphone buyers?  Is it a comment on which phone should win?  Is it just a comic?

Wow.

–Ben

Law Firm Layoffs – How’s the Legal Profession Doing?

I’ve been hearing about of legal firms laying off people.  I’ve also been hearing that law students are having a difficult time finding work.  However, I haven’t seen many statistics.  After a little digging, here’s what I found out about the state of the legal industry:

Total 2009 Active US Lawyers:  1,180,386 (also see bls.gov)

# of Lawyers laid off from Major Law Firms: 5,511 (also see St. Petersburg Times, Nov. 10, 2009 – 5,259)

# of Lawyers at Major Law Firms in 2009 (top 250 firms): 126,669

Doing a little bit of math and assumptions (i.e. assuming the same cuts across the board), it looks like the total legal industry may have shed 51,355 jobs.

Consider that in 2008, 56,537 people were admitted on examination and 7,888 were admitted on motion and you can see why the legal jobs have all dried up.  We have double the amount of people looking for work.

If you are looking for work, I hope you find it.  If you’re competing for a legal job, remember that you now have to beat twice the number of people.  Polish that resume and do something different than the rest to stand out.  Good Luck.

Personally, I’m grateful I still have a job with steady work.  I wish that for you as well.

–Ben

User Login with Roles in Ruby on Rails

I’m busy tapping away at my current Ruby on Rails project and have been overwhelmed by the number of options out there.  Luckily I’m a member of URUG and we have some great discussions (and even better programmers).

I came across a discussion on role requirements for users.  Tim Harper developed what seems to be a very clean implementation of user roles in RoleRequirement using Restful-authentication.  I’ve installed both plugins and I like what I see.

I’m not that far into it, because I work as an attorney during the day.  But in just the little I’ve been able to chip away at my project, I think you might like it too.

–Ben

Update: MerchantCircle Listens and Fixes Email Marketing

I wrote a blog article about timing your email marketing, specifically calling out MerchantCircle for its sending of a lot of email marketing in the middle of the night.  I unsubscribed from their email marketing because my shiny new Droid was going off in the middle of the night because I got a new work email.  Yes, I could silence it, but I like being responsive to my clients.  Its part of what makes us different from other firms.

So after unsubscribing, I thought I would write a post about how other marketers, like me for our firm, could reduce their lost email subscriptions by making an easy time change.  I called out MerchantCircle because they were the most egregious of the bunch.

Imagine my surprise when Kevin from MerchantCircle writes in my comments that he’s fixed it.  It not only tells me that he’s seeking to provide value to me, but that they also get social media.  Bravo guys.  You got me back and hopefully a few more.

–Ben

5 Mistakes in Job Interviewing with Examples

I’ve been thinking about the people who apply for jobs and wonder, sometimes, what they were thinking.  I’m actually shocked at the number of people who run off at the mouth and don’t consider what they’re going to say.  I’m also shocked about the resumes and lack of thought that goes into them.  Seriously, consider your market – what do they want to know about you.  Here are some bad examples to learn from, from hiring people I’ve been talking to:

  • Someone calls up and says something like “Oh, finally, I get to talk to someone.  You know how it is, you send out 8,000 resumes and no one gets back to you.”  No I don’t, and now you’re probably off my list.
  • Someone puts their gradeschool to high school education on their resume.  I don’t need to know that much.  In fact, it actually says that you don’t have enough to tell me on the resume, so you need to pad it.  And it wastes our time.
  • Someone calls up and says they are attending law school and refers to themselves as a law student.  However, the college they are attending does not have a law school.  Maybe pre-law.  But they are not a law student, yet.  Stretching the truth in an interview puts you at the bottom of the list.
  • Someone calls up and volunteers out of the gate, “You know I believe that if you go work somewhere and it doesn’t work out, you just need to cut your losses right away and move on.”  I didn’t ask, and now I’m going to assume that it must be more than what you say because its bugging you more than it was bugging me.
  • Someone applying for the job that lives really far away, but doesn’t mention it in the cover letter.  Look, if I lived that far away, I would hate the commute.  What motivates you to the contrary – tell me in the cover letter.

If I appear blunt, I apologize.  These are all good people.  The hiring people with whom I spoke have a job.  Their job is to pick the most diligent and closest fit to our organization.  If you haven’t done the research or have skeletons in the closet, you need to deal with it before you get to them.  If you resume leaves questions in my mind, predict them and diffuse them in a cover letter.  Its a lot easier to craft it in writing than it is over the phone off of the cuff.

Unfortunately, the people I was talking with can’t tell you why you didn’t get the job because they could say the wrong thing and get sued.  However, look on the internet and the comments above, and learn from other’s mistakes.

–Ben

TiWi in the Car – Big Brother, Big Savings or Helping Teens Drive Safer?

I just saw some information about TiWi last night. Its a little box that you stick in your car that “watches” the car’s movement. It vocally warns of speeding violations, fast corners, seat belts, and leaving parent designated zones through an onboard speaker. And if you don’t listen, it will rat you out to your parent’s cell phone via a text message. In fact it may rat you out to your parent anyways with its arrival notification feature (ie Daughter arrived at school at 8:17 text message). It looks like the introductory price is $599 plus about $30 a month.

Its pretty amazing the reaction it gets from folks. I’d call it pretty polarizing. Some people believe that its too invasive and discourages trust. Others seem to say that it allows them to give their kids more freedom because they know where their kids are. Personally, I’m of the camp that says “You can drive my car, but you follow my rules. Don’t like the rules, don’t drive.”

Now, whether or not I use the device? I’ve got a few more years to decide.

–Ben