My ideal phone may be tantalizingly close

The phone I use right now is my favourite phone I ever used. It's a Benq S68, and it's awesome because it's just a phone. My philosophy with tech is that I'd rather have something that does one thing well than something that tries to do a whole lot of thing and fails at one or more of them. For example, I always thought including an incredibly crappy camera in phones was stupid: The camera sucks, and the phone is bigger and more expensive as a result.
Of course I'd love to have a phone that can do more than the average phone, but I've never seen one that is still a good phone as a result, but now we're getting tantalizingly close:
Wil Wheaton mentioned in his SG column how much he liked his new Helio Ocean, and I have to admit, that thing is already well on the way to being something I'd want to use. But, here's what my absolute ideal phone would be:
It would obviously still have to perform very well at its primary function, but I don't think we need to talk about this. The other features just shouldn't sap so much battery life from it that I need to recharge it every night, because that shit is tedious, yo.
It should be reasonably compact. Most "smartphones" I've seen are big enough that I'd have to buy a murse to lug it around (they don't even fit in my Urban Tool holster.
It needs reasonable internet access with email integration (gmail would be great, pop3 would be fine) since I'm fucking tired of not being able to look up stuff on the go.
It needs a qwertz keyboard. This didn't used to be a major issue, because I never used SMS anyway, but I've been fiddling with twitter and other tumbleblogs recently, and I just hate hate hate having to write entries with ten measly buttons. I feel the Ocean has an awesome solution to this; that dual-slider thing is dead sexy.
IM integration. I never even considered this until I saw the Ocean does it, but IM integration would fucking rock. I'd just love having my contacts at my fingertips all the time. Only problem with the Ocean? It doesn't do fucking Jabber. Seriously, how can you miss Jabber? They do Windows Live IM - or whatever the fuck it's called - AIM and something else, I think. Not only is Jabber open and well-documented, so it can't be that hard to implement, it's also used by Google Talk, so they could have added another recognized brandname to their list. Well, hopefully they'll add that.
But the seriously mostest sexiest thing about the ocean is GPS with Google Maps integration. It's so brilliant I peed a little. Want. So. Much. I'm not buying another phone without this.
So basically, if Helio built the ocean without a camera (they can leave it in, but meh), Jabber capabilties and, you know made it available where I live, I'd be so all over that. Of course, I'd also have to get myself a cellphone plan with unlimited data transfer, because right now that stuff is fucking extortion in Germany.


Iraq is an utter clusterfuck.

Maj. Gen. William Caldwell:
Our success in Iraq depends on our ability to treat the civilian population with humanity and dignity, even as we remain ready to immediately defend ourselves or Iraqi civilians when a threat is detected.

And as this article from The Nation shows, that ability doesn't exist. Neat, huh?


On Faith. Nobody could have said this better.

One of the best thing said, ever:
Yeah. I'm calling your "faith" bullshit. This man needs medical help if he can't get through his life without something invisible to believe in. Y'know, I wouldn't mind all this half so much if there was some historical truth in it. This whole concept of "faith"— of believing in something that isn't fucking there— was invented by a man to cover up the cracks in the "christianity" he cobbled together with the Romans. This whole god thing comes from the days when our brains weren't as connected up as they are now, and we all hallucinated daily!

It was, of course, written by Warren Ellis and said by Spider Jerusalem.


Flickr, thank you for protecting my feeble brain from teh boobies.

So, apparently Flickr feels the need to protect me from the evil that is the boobies in this shot from the Suicidegirls stream. It says this is some Safesearch protection, although I have that bullshit explicitly turned off. I hear it's about Yahoo being afraid of German courts or something.
Fuck Flickr.
Fuck German courts.
I need two things now: An alternative to Flickr that doesn't feel the need to protect my feeble me, and a tool to get my pictures from Flickr before I delete my account.

EDIT: Zooomr is looking pretty good right now.


The stupid, it hurts.

Wow. AACS head honcho Micheal Ayers is either incredibly stupid, in denial or lying through his teeth. But I guess at least two of those are a requirement to work in the DRM field. No bonus points for Mr. Doctorow for "liking" Ayers. The man is reprehensible. And what makes me fucking want to puke is that he actually may have the law on his side. And even if he doesn't, the giant consumer-fucking machine that he is a little cog of can certainly afford good enough lawyers that it doesn't really matter.


On What I Believe

I believe in the self-sufficiency of the Human Meat Machine. I believe that we, the Extraordinary Flesh Machine Corps, make our own way in this wholly wondrous universe, and that all the wonders we wreak are our own, as are our atrocities. I believe that the Amazing Flesh Computer every one of us is equipped with is a mighty tool, a tool mighty enough to decide and to deduct, to discern what is Right from what is Wrong. I am proud when I or my brethren in Meatship use this tool to correctly discern this difference and act accordingly, as this is a decision made under our own Computational Power, and I am sad when this tool fails somewhere in this process and mistakes are made; I therefore believe that our existence is cheapened by the supposition that a set of moral commandments, handed down from on high, coupled to the promise of eternal doom and despair should we stray, is necessary to keep us moral.
Atheism is not an absence of belief. It is not the anti-belief, at least not for me. I do not believe in nothing. I believe in Meat Machines, self reliance, emergent systems, science, and evidence. My belief is strong, and it gives me comfort, pride, and peace of mind. And sometimes it gives me grief, when I have to struggle with the stupidity that has still not been eradicated, but I never have to struggle to reconcile my system of belief with what is happening, because all of this is contained therein.


Tinkering, tinkering

So, while switching to the new-fangled customizable layout I thought I'd change the look of this place completely. So far, I like the new look, and I definitely like working with the new layout in the background. As with nearly all things Google does, the interface is straightforward and good. It doesn't afford me the kind of control manual editing would, but as you can tell from my post frequency, I don't really want to put that much time into this (and the little time I do put into it better be spent posting), so I'm really grateful for this.


Lord, send brains. Oh Lord, we need them so.

I can't fucking believe that a site like cbsnews.com is incapable of fucking telling "its" and "it's" apart. It boggles my fucking mind.
Dear Lord, this fucking place is going down the shithole. I think I need to work harder on getting off this fucking dirtball before everything goes fucking sideways. I'll be at the cornershop buying more, stronger, deadlier smokes and booze.