Sandra Bullock vs Jesse James

bullockBy: Billy BeerSlugger

Why is anyone really surprised that this badass biker dude with tons of tatoos and used to be married to a Porn Star cheated on Sandra Bullock? Seriously? I know women are all up in arms about this but given the situation was anyone really taken aback by this infidelity revelation?  Let me go back a sentence and repeat the whole fact that he was married to and has a child with porn star Janine Lindemulder.

So dude goes from being married to an award winning Porn Star and probably being used to some pretty crazy shit in terms of the relationship to being married to Sandra Bullock, award winning movie star who is probably a lot less sexually adventurous.  Then James goes outside of the marriage to get some fetish sex or whatever he’s into and everyone’s like, “oh my God, how could you cheat on Sandra Bullock”.  No one saw this coming? Really? Seriously? You poor naive general public.

It is fascinating to me that this is such a huge news story. Jesse James has seen such a media backlash (somewhat rightfully so) but who’s really at fault here? Probably Jesse James for lying about wanting to be in a monogamous relationship (if that was even an agreement) or Sandra Bullock for marrying a guy who’s best known for making custom motorcycles, being a bodyguard for heavy metal bands and being married to a popular late 90’s porn star?

Just let that marinate for a little bit. I’m not saying that it’s right to cheat but couldn’t this situation have been avoided altogether if both people had exercised a little logical thinking?

BTW: Shocker this story comes out after right after Bullock wins an oscar. Nothing like a bitch using her body to make money, then make even more money by releasing the story about using her body to make money. It’s a disgrace to honest, hard working strippers and hookers everywhere.

The O’Brien / Leno Sillyness

Leno never grew a beard during the Strike.

By: Billy Beerslugger

I know this story is a little old but given I took the entire team to Costa Rica for the month of January and we couldn’t get a decent wi-fi signal, this is as good a time as any to weigh in on the subject.

Firstly, I can’t stand Jay Leno, never could, never will. Maybe he’s it’s his writers fault for the crappy, predictable jokes he comes out with nightly. Maybe he’s just too corporate, maybe he’s on the West Coast and I’m on the East Coast, it really doesn’t matter. I have always been a Letterman guy myself and even though he can be annoying at times, the things he can pull off on his show, the comedic risks he takes with asinine skits and recurring preposterousnous more than make up for it.

But I didn’t write this article to tell you about how much I like Letterman, though the Conan /Jay situation did get Dave badmouthing Leno, a subject taboo until recently on the Late Night.  Anyway, Conan is going to be OK, in fact I think he’s going to be more than OK, he gets to do what Letterman did and go to another network and have pretty much full control over HIS product, succeed or fail it really will be on Conan to make it work and I believe he will.

I’ll try not to go into detail about the mess but I won’t try and hate on Jay Leno too much either. I think it’s a case of NBC being very greedy, they signed Conan to take over the Tonight Show in 2005 when Conan could have gone on to another network for more money. However, it’s not Leno’s fault they threw a show at him and a bunch of money to go on right before Conan at 10pm.  It’s Leno’s fault for taking offer but you can’t fault NBC for trying to keep Leno from destroying Conan in the ratings (which he would have if  Leno went to Fox or wherever), in 2005 it’s a win-win.

Fast forward 2010, you have Conan faltering in the ratings, partly because or no substantial lead in audience due to Leno’s show tanking but also because it takes time to build an loyal audience like Leno and Letterman have done over the past couple decades.  So NBC now sees their worst nightmare come to fruition, the Leno or Conan debate again. Still, even after all of this Leno is going to crush Conan in the ratings if he goes to another Network so the easiest thing to do is try to force Conan to quit, which is what they did essentially trying to demote Conan back to Late Night.  Instead Conan did what I hoped he would do, force a paid exit and be allowed to reformulate his show in the near future.

So it kind of worked out for everyone even though it was pretty messy there for a couple weeks. Leno gets the Tonight Show back, Conan will get his “Letterman” opportunity and Letterman is #1 in Late Night.  What will be very interesting to watch is the Late Night talent assembled behind Letterman and Leno as they continue to get closer to retirement. Jimmay Fallon has shown the kind of innovation, risk taking and downright absurdity pioneered by Letterman and continued by CoCo. Not to mention Craig Ferguson is fucking hilarious. Crappy skits aside, when it came down to it, I’ll admit I chose Craig over Conan though partly because I’m loyal to Letterman and don’t like flipping channels that late.

Either way, Letterman and Leno can’t very well be rocking Late Night into their 70’s which puts Fallon and Ferguson in a very good position.  If I had my way, I’d like Conan to take over for Letterman sometime in the near future and I’m sure that’s been talked about by the CBS brass.  It would be fitting to see Letterman hand the job off to Conan, both men being weaseled out of the Tonight Show job by the same person. I think Letterman’s successor is already booked though. Ferguson and O’Brien went head-to-head in terms of ratings late in Conan’s tenure as Late Night host.

The good thing is it’s almost over. Wherever Conan lands will be the ultimate decider of what will happen for the next decade of Late Night television. Only time will tell but it should be pretty interesting and it already has been.

Tragic Irony on MTV

Thank God JWow's breast don't move or there could be some wardrobe malfunctions.
Thank God JWow's breast don't move or there could be some wardrobe malfunctions.

By: Billy Beerslugger

This weekend I subjected myself to more MTV than I have watched probably since 2002 or so.  I could not get away from the phenomenon that is “The Jersey Shore”.  Guido’s, Guidettes, Blowout’s, fake tans, muscles and a whole lot of attitude. Pretty much what i expected from this show but after I watched it as research (I’m a hypocrite), then sat in with my roomates to watch a portion of it, then went over a friends house and they were watching it I seriously will not watch this show again.  I stopped watching “The Real World” after Pedro died in season 3 and “The Jersey Shore” is nothing more than a rehash of the Real World formula with the twist of having all Italian American’s as house inhabitants and a whole bunch of sterotypical behavior.  I can tell you how this show in it’s entirety will go: fist fights, fist pumping, drinking, shit talking about roommates, roommates hooking up (some of whom have boyfriends), roommates getting in a fight after hooking up, girls getting pissed about other girls being in the house, half the show being bleeped or blurred out, lame Guido stereotypical behavior, people get fired from their job selling t-shirts but are ultimately let back to work because it’s really hard selling t-shirts, some girl gets punched in the face by a dude.  Now save yourself the couple hours of your life and learn something.

For as much complaining as I’ve heard coming from the New Jersey tourism associations it didn’t stop them from running an ad during the show about Ocean City NJ.

Now onto the next farce I’ve seen on MTV that should have been pulled, DJ AM’s Gone Too Far follows the deceased record spinner while he tries to help them kick their addictions to drugs and alcohol.  The problem I have with this show still being on the air is that DJ AM died of a fucking drug overdose.  Wouldn’t that kind of be like if Oprah starred in a show about losing a weight and then her stomach explodes from eating too many Twinkies? This isn’t to say that DJ AM is a bad dude or that it’s easy to kick drugs but it’s not exactly inspiring that the host of a show about kicking your drug habit dies from a drug overdose. Do you see what I’m saying here? The guys credibility is completely ruined.

More Questions than Answer

allen-iversonSports with Bob McFlurry

So Allen Iverson may retire, he’ll probably come back later this year to play for a contender but he’s not playing professional basketball right now after a short stint with Memphis.  It’s somewhat sad to see a player I pretty much grew up with on the fence about his athletic future but in a lot of ways the retirement of most of my sports hero’s from my youth prepared me for this time.  To tell you the truth I was way more taken aback by the trade of Chuck Barkley to the Suns for Jeff Hornacek and a couple other no names. I cried when Mike Schmidt announced his retirement. I was bitter that Randall Cunningham was run out of town in favor of Rodney Peete only to see Randall lead the NFL’s most prolific offense ever (to that point) 3 years later in Minnesota. I wasn’t particularly shocked that Iverson was traded away a couple years back because just like my last relationship, I could see the signs that things weren’t going to work themselves out.

I love Allen Iverson. He was perfect for a city that prides itself on the underdog status and made millions believe he could bring a Championship to Philadelphia for the first time since Dr.J was running up and down the Spectrum floorboards.  He could drop 30+ on any team any night of the week and did most of his time in Philly. He played through injuries and he gave you everything he had any time he stepped on the court in a game (not talkin’ bout practice).  I can still feel the goosebumps I got from going to the playoff game in 2001 against the Raptors and Iverson and Vince Carter both dropped 50+. It is a top two sporting event that I have ever been to.

For the better part of his career he led the league in minutes, shots and points, later throwing in steals to the mix.  But for every 50 point game, for every feat of athleticism, amazing shot or electric, hustle play he never won a championship.  He’s won an MVP, been to All Star games, been rookie of the year but he could never win a title with him as the go to guy.  It’s nothing to be ashamed of though, there’s lots of Hall of Famer’s who never got a ring. The thing is, Iverson can still get a ring albeit not with him starting somewhere.  If he doesn’t accept the fact that he’s going to have to play off the bench somewhere, hopefully for a contender then he probably should retire. At 34 he can’t be “The Answer” for a franchise but he can be “The Answer” in short bursts coming off the bench and spot starting for a team that is jockeying for a Championship run.

Though for everything that made Iverson great in his career, pride, tenacity and a never say die attitude, these are things that may be holding him back from being a successful 6th man in the NBA.  He still feels like he can be the man and help a team win the way he’s been “accustomed” to his entire career save last season.  Problem is, no one else thinks the same way, at least not in a starting role.

So for him being “The Answer” he does leave us with a lot of questions. Will he come back, will he retire?  What would have happened if Iverson had been paired with a legit big man? There was one thing he was the answer to though, ticket sales for the Sixers and most arenas when he was on the road.  Everyone wanted to see the most electrifying player in the NBA in the early to mid 2000’s.  Shame we’re here in 2009 and one of the greatest talents in league history hasn’t gotten any closer to a Championship than those halcyon days of 2001.  Only time will answer the question if he will ever get back there and we’ll all just have to wait and see.

Adam Lambert Controversy

That's so gay!
That's so gay!

By: Robby RipChord

You know people are all up in arms over some sort of American Music Awards performance by Adam Lambert.  I had to figure out who Adan Lambert was and apparently he was on that American Idol show. I’m not sure if he won or not but he’s also a homosexual (not that there’s anything wrong with that).  I guess he kissed one of his male band members and did some suggestive dancing or something. I can’t really tell you what happened because not only do I not watch award shows for the most part but I also refuse to lookup a video that has guys kissing in it so I can disseminate to you why that doesn’t give me a warm feeling inside.

The performance has been labeled “Outrageous” and there has been a bunch of backlash from it including getting nixed from a Good Morning America interview (instead CBS’ The Early Show picked up the interview).  I really wouldn’t have known about this whole thing if it wasn’t for a coworker who alerted me of the fiasco. The funny part is she described it as disgusting, however, she is absolutely pro gay marriage. When I probed her about this she told me that she was pro gay marriage but she didn’t necessarily want to see it on TV.  I found this quite hypocritical in that gay and lesbian people who want to be married and have a wedding like straight couples would eventually have to kiss at the closing of the ceremony. Can you be pro gay marriage but not want to go to a gay marriage ceremony as well?

Not to say that a gay marriage ceremony would be anything like an Adam Lambert concert make out fest but if someone is claiming to be tolerant and progressive enough to give an enthusiastic yay vote on gay marriage shouldn’t that person also not want to throw up when they see two men slip each other the tongue during an awards show?

Why is it more socially acceptable for Britney Spears, Christina Aguilerra and Madonna all make out in succession but Adam Lambert can’t make out with his own band members without getting ditched from interviews?  Not to say there’s a double standard but, well maybe that is what I’m saying.  Why can guys like Stifler from American Pie and Ashton Kutcher make out or Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal movie but Adam Lambert is given the boot from a morning show interview? Is it because those movies are done for laughs or art and the other is done for perceived shock entertainment? Is it because Adam Lambert is admittedly gay and the other actors mentioned are (as far as I know) not?

I’m playing Devil’s Advocate a little here but I just want to point out some hypocrisy that is going on in America.  You can be for Gay Marriage and not particularly want to see dudes make out, i get that. Just don’t be so be adamant about your support for the gay politics and then be disgusted when they make a scene in public, because they are going to make a scene it’s pretty much inevitable.

All this reminds me of a Public Service Announcement I saw recently which tries to fight back against the phrase “That’ so gay”.

I think this PSA proves without a doubt that it’s pretty gay to say “That’s so gay”!

The Rise of the Tater Tot

Tot's are so hot right now.
Tot's are so hot right now.

By: Billy BeerSlugger

Tater Tot’s are so in vogue right now it makes me want to boycott them, however, they’re just too fucking delicious. This simple food is served to you in a restaurant/bar essentially the same way they come out of your oven. There’s really no difference except the price and maybe some chives or scallions you’ll get when eating out somewhere that serves them.

So where did the popularity of the Tater Tot come from and why in recent years have I seen a steady increase in places offering them, especially the hipster places.

Notably, I worked at the Barclay Prime circa 2006 and noticed they were serving them there.  One of the more fancy and best steakhouses in the city and they’re serving the same thing that run down diners serve to their patrons (granted at a bigger markup).  Other places I’ve seen them on the menu is the Urban Saloon and North Bowl, so much so that when my friends and I go either place it’s always brought up how multiple orders of “tot’s” were going to be consumed that night.  My comrade has told me that they are available at Sonic Fast Food Restaurants but I’ve never actually seen one of those. My guess is that Sonic is a fictional corporation akin to one of those companies in the movie Boiler Room.

Where did this phenomenon come from?  Was it the cult classic Napoleon Dynamite that brought the tot back into mainstream America?  Has the tot in some ways always been part of large part of American Culinary Culture?  Americans consume approximately 70 Millions pounds of tot’s per year to the French Fries 2 million tons so the tot does have some ground to make up.  If the tot continues to be adopted as the potato product of choice for the hipster set and the trendy establishments they frequent, you may well see the tot challenge the fry for it’s dominance. Will we see McDonalds, Burger King and other fast food places start to carry the tot? Only time will tell, in the mean time grab yourself a big bag of tot’s at the supermarket, a pack of your favorite shredded cheese and get totted up!

Carrie Prejean Sextape

carrie-prejeanBy: Billy BeerSlugger

Former Miss California Pageant winner Carrie Prejean is back in the news because of a sextape (although more like a masturbation tape) that has surfaced.  Prejean originally came into national focus after she was criticized in the media for her answer in the Miss USA pageant which elaborated her views on gay marriage.  As more information came out about her and the more interviews done because of the answer on gay marriage she painted herself as a very god-loving person as citing that the body was a holy temple and other Christian type views on the world.  She was labeled as a hypocrite by the media after photos came out of her posing semi nude and or topless and then being under fire to surrender her Miss California Crown in which Donald Trump (who owns the pageant) gave her a pass.  Later she was stripped of her crown for breach of contract for reasons I didn’t care to look up which resulted in Prejean suing the Pageant for wrongful termination.  That suit was settled last week sometime as rumors of a sextape swirled and eventually was shown to Prejean and her mother (classic).

So now Carrie Prejean is back on the talk show circuit, Larry King Live, the Today Show, The View and talking about her book while all these shows are booking her for is the sextape questions which will boost ratings, not the book.  She refuses to answer questions about the sextape under the premise that the details of the settlement of her suit she is not permitted to and yada yada fuckin yada….

Now maybe this is an elaborate plan to boost her public persona and sell her book or maybe the former boyfriend she sent the video of her masturbating needed the money, though it seems the most money to be made from the tape would have been during her 15 minutes of fame. Anyway, she kind of won’t go away and it’s annoying me.

It’s not particularly annoying me that she has a sextape (because I definitely want to see it) but that all the talk shows have to have her on to talk about this shit.  All the liberal media has to parade her around as some gay hating, god loving whore when the girl is pretty much everything that most girls her age are, a little opinionated and a lot naive.  How many teenage girls have sent sext messages to their boyfriends.  How many groups of teenage girlfriends have put up a video on Youtube of themselves dancing very scantily clad to fast paced music or filmed the lot of them in the shower with bathing suits on (Ask me how I know these exist)? Point being that this kind of stuff happens quite regularly. I don’t know about filming masturbation, that’s a little overboard but I’ve received some pretty graphic stuff from girlfriends past that I wish I had saved.

The thing that most aggravates me is that she is a lightening pole for the liberal media to take shots at.  Trying to discredit her in any way possible and tie it into the Republican Party or Conservatives.  Not exactly a fair assumption and really she shouldn’t be news at all.  Prejean is right in that she says she is being attacked by the media for being against gay marriage and a devout Christian in the spotlight but really why does anyone care what this girl has to say?  Beauty Queens aren’t exactly known for their brains are they? Please Click here for more on that subject.

So why?  Why is this girl in the news?  A sextape is a sextape but it doesn’t necessitate talk show interviews.  Shame on whomever booked her and shame on her for using the publicity of the sextape  to sell her book even if by happenstance. Since you know she wasn’t going to get booked without the sextape scandal as her 15 minutes was up.   A person using a sextape to sell books and talk shows using a sextape to up ratings, I guess everyone wins (except the public).

Now I realize that the “Right” or “Conservatives” sometimes paint newsworthy people into the Democrat/Liberal unfairly but you really didn’t see Kim Kardashian be a lightening rod for criticism from the right even though she supported Obama for so long and has a sextape and naked pictures. It’s like Prejean is the newly appointed spokeswoman for conservatives as seen by liberals and really that’s far from the truth as Obama is doing a good job so far.

Maybe one of the biggest reasons why I wrote this is smug ass pseudo-intellectual talk/news host Kieth Olbermann seems to be fixated on her whenever she pops up in the news.  You may know I have a deep and reasoned dislike of Olbermann but I think the guy took it a little too far when he gave Prejean the two-fingered salute at the end of his show, signifying the two fingers a woman may choose to masturbate with (to view it go to the end of this video). It’s the kind of over the top gesture that someone on the other side of the political spectrum would get fired for but I’ve heard little to no backlash.

Olbermann, like many of his so called reporter counterparts seem to forget that this girl is a beauty queen not a Rhodes Scholar.  The weight of what she says or her opinions really don’t need to be a concern of national media , shes famous for being pretty and being personally (not an activist) against gay marriage.  There really is more pressing things going on in the world than the trials and tribulations of Carrie Prejean and her fake breasts and sextape.

However, as I said earlier, I do want to see the sextape.

Some Apple’s Have Worms In Them

Apple's market Share is up around 10% now.
Apple's market Share is up around 10% now.

By: Billy BeerSlugger

Something I’ve argued for a while with my friends who use an Apple Macintosh (Mac) computer and a real problem I’ve had with the “Mac vs. PC” commercials which have come out is the notion that Mac’s “don’t get viruses”.  Though I believe the Mac vs PC commercials point out Windows propensity for being “more vulnerable to viruses” it is a pretty subjective statement and not the whole truth.

The estimates for the number of Malware (Viruses, Spyware etc.) threats geared toward a Windows environment is around 1.8 million while compared to only a couple hundred aimed at the Mac. So by looking at those numbers, Windows has a lot more to worry about and a lot more to stay on top of than Mac in terms of threats. The disparity in the number of threats from Mac to PC is directly correlated to the dominant market share PC’s hold over Mac’s.  It’s only logical to think that a person who makes viruses/malware is releasing them for the most part to make money stealing information or just in it for the ego boost of disrupting millions of computers (sick I know but it happens).  So either way, the maker of the virus is naturally going to target it to the largest audience possible, this being the PC market.

Given this I do agree that PC’s are “more vulnerable to viruses” given the abundance of threats when compared to the Mac , however, that doesn’t necessarily make a Macintosh safer than a PC. In a Wired Magazine Post I read a month or two ago it describes the various ways that a Mac is actually less secure than it’s PC counterpart. It also goes on to say that “Their good track record is more a matter of luck in small market share”, which has been my argument for some time.

Something else I’d like to bring up that goes along with the substantially larger market share the PC has is the amount of Computer Illiterate users who take a perfectly good system out of the box and can turn it into something almost unusable inside of 3 months.  Letting their Anti-Virus subscription run out, downloading fake Computer Cleaners that claim your PC is infected only to then be infected by the downloaded software.  Adding 5 or 6 Poker games which are notorious for containing complete crap or downloading porn of a Hollywood Starlet which they must accept to install infected software to see and then ultimately be disappointed to find the starlet never even got naked in front of a camera. I can’t tell you how many of these inept people’s computers I’ve fixed for these reasons and while it does keep me in extra money if they were just a little smarter and cared a bit more they wouldn’t have 90% of their computer problems.  It’s amazing how many people don’t renew their Anti-virus subscription for $30 a year and instead opt to have their computer fixed for $40 an hour. Same goes for Mac users too!  Apple recommends the use of Anti-virus as well and I’ve seen Mac systems (a client’s work computer in particular) pretty much crippled and non-responsive.

If I were Apple, I wouldn’t be letting my marketing department brag about how the competition is susceptible to viruses when they’re not exactly secure themselves.  They may find that a brilliant (but obviously socially challenged) programmer could stay home on both weekend nights and devise a virus which could wreak havoc on Mac systems for just the notoriety of it between him and his nerd friends.

This wasn’t intended to be a Mac vs PC discussion at all. I am just trying to point out the flaws and half truths that are being spun by Marketing Firms and thus taken as gospel and regurgitated by the some parts of the computing community. However, you read this so please know that the real geeks, the hardcore computer enthusiasts and power users shun both Mac and Windows.  They opt for the Linux OS whether Red Hat, Ubuntu or another iteration.

60 Minutes of Unchecked Facts

It's more like 42 minutes and 18 minutes of commercials.

By: Billy BeerSlugger

I didn’t actually see this episode of the investigative news/magazine 60 Minutes since the Phillies were on but from what I and other people on the internet can tell you, their editor needs to do a little better in the fact checking department.

Their segment was on how illegal downloading was costing Hollywood 6 billion a year, which may or may not be that far off, however, the reasoning they give to support this claim is pretty much fabrication or conjecture which ever way you want to look at it.

First there is the claim that Organized Crime (the Mafia?) is making most of it’s money off of counterfeit movies.  Now I’m not going to dispute the fact that there are bootlegged movies out there but 60 Minutes is having me believe that Tony Soprano is behind all of this and not some dude with a DVD burner in his basement looking for some extra cash. I mean I could at least warm up to the idea if 60 Minutes gave me any proof. There was some talk about gangs of pirates using mafia style pickups but the focus quickly turned to illegal downloading.

Second, there is the segments claims by director Steven Soderbergh that piracy is costing the movie industry 6 billion a year.  Neglected is the fact that Hollywood continues to make more and more money each year. Another Soderbergh assertion is that fewer movies are being made and will continue to be made because of piracy.  Another assertion debunked given the statistics on movies 567 movies made in 2004 and 1038 in 2008, almost doubling inside of 4 years and still increasing.

I’ll give you that if movie tickets continue to go up every year then revenues should go up every year but you can’t really say that in this kind of economy.  Bottom line Hollywood made more money last year than the year before and the year before that.

The segment also delved into the role Bit torrent plays into illegal downloading and then cutting to a guy saying, “what we have done for 15 years is not put in any speed bumps, any technological blocks in the way of individuals so that the conclusion that the younger generation in particular draws is that if it’s so easy it cant be wrong.”

Well yes it is easy, people can choose to share anything they want on Bit torrent and if they choose to share or download things illegally it is on the government and the copyright holders to find a solution that does not intrude on the openness of the internet. The blocks and speed bumps the guy interviewed in 60 minutes is advocating sound a lot like bandwidth throttling and packet sniffing, things which go against the principles of net neutrality.

While there are millions of Bittorrent users out there, I only know about 3 people who could use Bittorrent effectively enough to download music, movies and the like. So if it’s so easy and so popular, why don’t I know more people that do it? Why can they use iPhones and computers but have no idea how to use Bittorrent even after I wrote an article on it?

I digress, the real focus here is on 60 Minutes and it’s one sided affair with File Sharing and the Motion Picture Industry.  There were a few facts thrown in about how the movie Wolverine was leaked and still did extremely well at the box office but overall there was not a peep from anyone on the opposing side of issue of illegal downloading.  Further, the “so called facts” that they gave didn’t coincide with any of the generally accepted statistics reported all over the internet.

I wonder how much money CBS makes off of Movie Advertisements a year?  Could this be yet another sacrifice of journalism for advertising dollars?  The whole thing to me seemed like a propaganda piece for the MPAA, chock full of bogus facts and subjective estimations.

Maybe more people would go to see movies if 90% of them were not lacking in substance, didn’t recycle old stories, didn’t remake old movies or have plots which are so horribly obvious as to the outcome that all you really needed to see was the previews.

What about the film-makers who are using file sharing technology to get their movies seen by the masses or the ones exploring new business models like some in the music business are. Let’s not talk to the copyright professionals or consumer advocates who render baseless most of the MPAA’s claims 60 Minutes. That wouldn’t be a balanced approach to the issue, would it?

P.S: Maybe if Steven Soderbergh didn’t put out pieces of crap like The Girlfriend Experience people wouldn’t walk out of the movie theater requesting their money back like me.

The Android Army

android-logoBy: Billy BeerSlugger

People are pumped for the release of Google’s Android Operating System for mobile phones.  It’s inevitable that the number of phones supporting the OS will multiply a couple of times in the next couple of years.  There’s a lot of reasons why I believe Android will soon dominate the smart phone realm and most of my opinion is based on empirical evidence.

The main reason Android will soon outnumber the precious IPhone is it’s open source operating system.  I am a huge supporter of Open Source software as are millions of other people on the Interweb.  Apple’s IPhone platform is closed.

It makes me think back to the 80’s when Apple dominated PC sales only then to be supplanted by IBM’s PC which was an open platform.  You see on IBM’s PC you could run pretty much whatever OS you wanted, Windows, DOS, Unix etc, and by extension all of the applications that were available to those Operating Systems. On a Mac you could only run their proprietary Operating System and thus were limited to the applications developed by Apple and the companies they licensed.

It’s not exactly the same situation here with Android vs. iPhone but it is still a case of Open Source vs. Closed. In effect it is kind of the reverse of the 80’s situation for Apple where in the 80’s it was multiple hardware manufacturers making computers which were open ended and enabling Microsoft Windows to crush the OS competition. Now it is multiple hardware manufacturers making  computers (phones) which will run an Open Source Operating System.

Even with the millions of iPhone users with their phones attached to their hands at all times playing Rock Band or drinking a fake pint of Carling from their phone at a bar, I’m not sure the reputation and brand loyalty to Apple can beat (sales-wise) Google’s first foray into Operating Systems.

Though all of this doesn’t mean that the iPhone will just fade away in the near future it certainly does not bode well for it given Android addresses some of iPhone’s weaknesses.

1) Lack of background-processing capability: The iPhone can’t run multiple 3rd party apps at the same time which could be a draw for the multi-tasking individual or business-person.

2) Carrier Exclusivity in the United States: The iPhone is only available on AT&T which could push some people to grab an Android if they are locked into another carrier. Verizon is the largest mobile network and does not carry the iPhone due to the deal between Apple and AT&T.

3) The App Store: What is viewed by many as one of the iPhone’s greatest strengths is something that in my mind is holding it back.  Yes anyone can make an iPhone app and there’s almost 100,000 of them right now. However, an iPhone app must be developed on a Mac leaving Windows and Linux developers to either buy a Mac or not develop iPhone App’s.  A slight gain in Mac sales for a huge sacrifice in the developer community.  The approval process has been loudly criticized as vague when an App is declined and the guidelines for developing are just as opaque.

Not only is the Android OS invading smart phones, you will see it on e-book readers such as Barnes and Noble’s “Nook” and Netbooks (cheap laptops used for internet access, emailing etc.).  With Android popping up in so many places and with phones and other devices having more of the capabilities of our laptops, seemingly merging, Google’s OS could take a bite out of Microsoft’s market share without even challenging for dominance on the PC.  If Google dominates smart phones and smart phones continue on a path of greater functionality and computing power, you may see the first true OS war between Google and Microsoft.

Google still has to get by Apple, Research In Motion, Palm, Symbian and Microsoft though.  The Android OS still has some catch up to do to the iPhone, mainly because of the differences in hardware it will be installed on but I wouldn’t bet against Google, they have the money to throw at it and innovation is the culture in Mountain, View California.

Not that there will be a clear cut winner in the smart phone market any time soon considering iPhone is the current leader at 25%.  We’ll just have to wait and see what the future holds.