Product Review-> Belkin Vue Grip for iPhone 4

So you survived the pre-order fiasco, waited overnight, or both to get yourself a shiny iPhone 4 in the color of your choice (so long as that choice is black), eh? Now you need to protect your motivation and investment. If you’re looking for a mid range priced case, the Belkin Vue Grip is a worthy condom for your unit. (Pics at the end)

APPEARANCE

The Belkin Vue Grip case is a rubber based, wrap around protector that fits snugly around your iPhone 4. At first glance the color of the case looks like the color of hallways in cheap hotels, but once applied your phone, it gives off a see-through silver’ish tint. I was skeptical upon opening, however it won me over in short amount of time.

The button guards are one of my favorite aspects of this particular case. Both the power and volume defenders are tightly fit, so as not to mistakenly adjust your level without intention. Anyone who has dealt with this issue knows exactly what I’m talking about.

The pin connector, or point of charger, is open enough to freely plug your USB or car charger into without consequence. I don’t have a dock to test it on, but just judging by the thinness I can safely guess you won’t have an issue. The silent/vibrate switch was easy to maneuver even for me and my chubby fingers.

It is worth noting for those who are eager to flash their new several hundred-dollar piece of eye candy off, that the case’s silver tint is plenty see through, to see both the Apple logo, as well as the branded “iPhone” on its back. In fact, the case seems to only show its silver side on the silver steel antenna. Go figure.

PROTECTION:

This is the section of the Belkin Vue Grip that rises its value. Being the most important function of a case, I’d call the job it does protecting your iPhone 4, superb. Having used this case for a month’s time, I *gasp* have dropped my precious token of nerd’ism twice. Once was at the mall chasing after my toddler, having the phone slip onto a tile type texture, face down! The drop was from about 3 feet, and the slight ridge above the screen bounced the phone onto its back, leaving not a single mark on my device.

The second drop was much more of a scare. I had just left a meeting and was rushing to my car in the pouring rain, when I went to switch the phone off of vibrate (my oh so courteous self remembered to go silent in the mtg), when it slipped out of hand, onto the street. This time it landed on a corner, again bouncing itself onto the backside of the phone, leaving it harmlessly lying on the blacktop.  I will say I some luck was on my side, but nevertheless, the phone is still in mint condition thanks to this case.

The Case fits closely enough to the phone, that most dust and dirt will escape being trapped between it and the device. I won’t say all is avoided, but then again I do carry my iPhone in my pocket the majority of the time.

How about signal you ask? This pesky detail of sorts must be included with any case review for an iPhone 4 Im afraid. You’ll be pleased to know that while I admit this “issue” is more reception area based, I see no performance issues with any type of “hold” I put on my i4. Now I didn’t stick it down my Hanes to check, but I can predict that this case either fixes, or doesn’t effect (whichever way you view the problem) the phone’s calling.

PROBLEMS

There is only one “real” issue I found while using the Belkin Vue Grip. It lies solely in the space for the headphone jack. When plugging my iPhone 4 into the deck of the Mazda 3 I drive, I noticed the space to be a bit small. This doesn’t affect your standard headphone plug-in, however for those who use their iPhone 4 with the vehicles audio deck, they should be mindful of which sort of cord they are using with this case. I should state that I am able to turn the cord and have it work fine, but this shouldn’t be necessary.

One minor bit of information that may be worth mentioning is that if your hands are of the sweaty type, or your outdoors frequently, this case has the potential to be a bit slick.

OVERALL

When it comes down to the yes or no question of if I recommend the Belkin Vue Grip, I say 95 of every 100 people can benefit themselves by using this case. For $25 it is a well specked, and most importantly durable protector for your iPhone 4. Again, the case is a bit slippery so remember, wash your hands kids!

Posted in TECHnicalities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

App Review-> Osfoora For iPhone

So to start the tech blogging/reviewing off, I figured it would be appropriate to begin with a service I use multiple times each day. By now you’ve searched both intentionally and non through the various Twitter clients offered in the App Store, and if your like me you’ve asked yourself, “Self, why can’t they all just collaborate and include all the features into 1”? Osfoora for iPhone comes as close as any I’ve used in doing just that, sort of.

APPearance & UI

From the moment I logged into the client I could see this app was not your fly by night (or day if you’re a morning flyer), casual tweet tool. The “home” screen as its called is a 12 button grid of sorts, that categorizes the functions and options available in Osfoora. These included but aren’t limited to, timeline-profile-settings-nearby-search-drafts, etc. What I noticed first of the UI was the retina screen friendliness (for those using on an iphone 4,  you’ll be very impressed) The gloss and shine, especially when viewed in “dark” mode rivals a waxed Mustang shining in the western sun

The timeline displays your tweets from oldest to newest, and like most clients out it categorizes your tweets and replies by color. It’s worth noting to those suspicious of functionality regarding the “home” screen, it’s accessible from any of the 12 screens you choose from at its platform. It works very smooth.

TOOLS

This is where Osfoora packs its punch. Just in the compose function alone it offers a 6 shortcut menu that rests horizontally above the 140 character window. For posting your favorite on the post hilarity picture wise, Osfoora allows you to choose from TwitPic, TweetPhoto, YFrog, & Posterous. Same options are available to post your (not so) noteworthy videos. Posting multiples? No problem. Location, tagging, contact mention are of the 6 in the readily available task bar. Now if your of the type (which I am time to time) to feel the need to tell the world that follows you what your listening to, the music note in said task bar allows you to tweet the playing song that’s blaring through your ipod. Not listening to from your ipod you say. Well, it allows you to also search through your library and pick a song to tweet about.

Search allows you to rummage through the worlds diary by user, trends, and nearby. Nearby also has a spot in your home screen, displaying nearby tweeters either in Google Maps, or in list form. Stalkers sound your engines.

Trends shows you the days top 10 and 20 top subjects, as well as the weeks top 30. Creating and editing lists is available for you organized users.

Changing your profile pic, mark all as read, hosting multiple accounts, text expander, read it later, follow/unfollow, and random Follow Friday selector are a few more of the seemingly endless supply of options to fiddle with. Abilities to email, translate or add links to existing tweet aren’t left out. Many of these seem arbitrary, and your right, however someone somewhere will use them, and that’s what appealing to masses is all about.

COMPLAINTS

Osfoora has its quirks, and sadly enough one of them is right where it hurts. PUSH. For an otherwise powerful, feature packed Twitter client, the Push notifications are painfully slow at times. Many times while in the app and receiving a reply, the mention will appear (sometimes) color coded in your timeline before in your bottom task bar badge. More often than not I have to close the app and reenter to have the correct number of notifications appropriately show up. In an otherwise fast working tweet counter, this can be annoying. Especially if you’re in a heated “win 56 free iphones from your Nigerian buddy” contest. Another minor but relevant bug seems to occur when you don’t switch to your home screen before you exit and you reenter the app, the client will take you to the top of your timeline when it normally loads bottom up.

OVERALL

For $2.99 Osfoora throws the farm at you. It’s quick speed and sleek look are welcoming for both casual, whimsical tweeters, as well as the every moment is newsworthy member. Currently it’s the client handling the thoughts and ideas of yours truly. I think if you download this you will be satisfied with how you just spent your 3 dollars. If you’re looking for a client that allows you to discover new tools as you go, this is for you. The problem with the amount of ability seems to be that at times, the application seems to be trying to do too much too fast. So for all you (and me) out there who asked for a Twitter app to included all your ideas, careful what you wish for. You just might, kind of, get it.

But this is Just Ethan’s .02

Posted in TECHnicalities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You can “Hate” me now..

The sensationalistic failure of allowing the “hate crime” to exist in and turn our justice system into an emotional playground, is a mockery to the platform it’s represented under. Classifying a crime on adults any differently based on race, gender, religion or sexual orientation is just as prejudicial as disallowing any of the mentioned minorities any freedoms.

The classification of certain crimes as “hate” crimes is a new idea. It’s also a lousy one. The ponderous nature of  claiming a certain murder or certain assault is somehow more punishable is taking the law and turning it into a slinky. Lets use murder as an example. The law clearly classifies murders based on intent and viciousness. Thus is the reason for manslaughter, murder 1/murder 2 etc. The nescience of allowing an emotion into the legality of crime is a slope to slippery to stand upon.

If someone intentionally commits a homicide against an asian woman and then commits the same crime against a white man, why in the hell would any court or prosector think the punishment should  vary? Imagine showing up in a chary sort of nature to inform the one family that their son’s life was only worth 10 years, but the woman’s life valued 20. All because the crime was committed in a “hateful” nature. The fact stands that both innocent people are dead.

There are many ways to bring attention to certain sorts of discrimination, and prejudices. I for one think the criminal justice system shouldn’t be one of them, at least not by way of synthetic criminality. When a “hate” crime is exposed nationally it nearly always puts a few more cameras in the courthouse but at what cost? Our system is far from perfect, but allowing our emotions in the proceedings and statues makes for a weak and shaky solution.

Don’t muddy up the seriousness of a horrific crime by diverting attention from the details of the incident. Allow all actors of heinous actions to suffer equally. Marking one elite by giving it special recognition in will only add to their egocentric phenomena. It won’t reverse the deed.

But thats Just Ethan’s .02

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Now we don our gay apparel

Today in my home state of Wisconsin, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional ban on gay marriage. The vote was an interesting 7-0. Not one individual thought that Jack and Jim should be able to tie the knot.

What is marriage? Is it a bond of commitment between two willing participants? A pre-requiset of the insertion of children to the relationship? A place for blood thirsty hyenas, I mean attorneys once it’s a divorce? It’s actually a contract. I don’t mean to cheapen the vows of those ready to make the ultimate leap of love, but in the eyes of the law, and it IS the law that’s deciding this, it’s a contractual agreement. This contract varies state to state, but the basis and root of the contract is that those involved are to faithfully co-habitate with one another.

I’m not going to insinuate a charade that I’m active in any gay rights, but I am interested in the rights of people as a complete entity. I am flabbergasted that the Supreme Court finds homosexuals unworthy of carrying out a contract. Insulting to say the least.

Many people insert religious propaganda as their platform of why gays shouldn’t get married. They of course do this to a very selective degree. If we were to examine marriage of say the Bible, it would quickly expose a certain disillusion that many who “faithfully” follow said book. Mosaic law allowed you to have as many wives as you could support. As far as I know the homosexuals just want one partner in marriage.

If you have a problem with homosexuality and your a man, you probably should’t be having sex with men. If your a woman and against it, I’d veer away from having sex with other women. Certainly don’t marry each other. But how this continues to be accepted as legal issue is completely predicated on the fact that it IS a contract. So basically what the Wisconsin Supreme Court said today was “Sorry gay Wisconsin-ites, we don’t trust or want you to have the same contract as straight people”

Last July Gov. Doyle went to bat for those who are gay and wanting domestic partnerships. Sort of. The Governor and lawmakers approved 40 of the 150 rights that us straight people get if we to decide to marry. 40 of 150? This is deja vu of when blacks were allowed to vote. Except what most people aren’t aware of is that their vote only counted as 3/5th’s that of a white person’s vote. Eerily similar.

Once again this proves that Wisconsin is an often liberal state in it’s words, and very conservative in its actions.

But this is Just Ethan’s .02

Posted in Current Events | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment