Jelly Bean Arrived

Got Jelly Bean on my Galaxy Nexus this morning! (Otherwise known as Android 4.1.) It’s … um … better? I can’t really tell much difference, to be honest. It might be a tiny bit snappier. And the notifications look slightly different.

SGU (not to be confused with SG-U)

I’ve started listening to a podcast called the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe. So far it’s the only podcast I’ve found to challenge The 404 for the right to be the first podcast played on the morning commute.

Commuter podcasts have to have a certain conversational quality to them, and they also have to be funny. The 404 and SGU are perfect examples. Of the two, SGU is considerably more substantive. 🙂

So basically these people are what they call “skeptics,” which is apparently a term that describes a group of people who try to debunk anything and everything, from UFOs to conspiracy theories to mediums to homeopathy to ghost hunters, and anything in between. I think their stated mission is to promote critical thinking and science, and expose fraudulant snake oil remedies, or something like that.

So anyway, it’s pretty cool. Go critical thinking. Yay for pointing out logical fallacies. They talk about cool stuff that makes you think, and like I said, it’s usually pretty funny. (Sometimes they are not so funny, like for instance when they are joking about people who think that X, Y, or Z are true, and you happen to be one of them.)

It’s kind of the exact opposite of a show I used to listen to called No Agenda, which also promoted critical thinking but they _embrace_ all the conspiracy theories in the world. Well, one of them did, anyway. (I stopped listening because it stopped being funny and the conversations went on waaaay too long.)

The Kindle Fire HD

Is it finally time for me to get a tablet media player? It suddenly seems
very convenient to have a dedicated Netflix player that I could set on the
table while I’m computing, or I could carry into the kitchen or living room
or bedroom, or whatever.

Coincidentally, Amazon just announced a new line of Kindle devices.

First they announced a new e-reader called the Kindle Paperwhite. This is a
no-brainer, and I have already pre-ordered it. It has a slightly higher
resolution, better fonts, a higher contrast screen, *and* lighting built-in.

But then they announced this thing called the Kindle Fire HD, which made me
re-think my need for a tablet. There’s a 7″ model, but I’m interested in the
8.9″ model with 1920×1200 resolution for $299.

That is a full $200 less than the equivalent iPad. I say equivalent, but
obviously the iPad technically has broader functionality and a bigger and
better display. But I can’t see myself jumping into the iTunes ecosystem any
time soon, whereas I’m already somewhat invested in the Amazon ecosystem.

So if I *were* going to buy a tablet, right now it would definitely be the
Fire HD.