Consider Kindle…

I was a bit of a sceptic to begin with.  I wanted all of my books to surround me and be there as a record and testimony to what I had read.  This, ultimately, was not going to work out if I were to keep residing in SF for the long-term.  Not enough space to manage.

So I’ve gone the route of the Kindle.  It’s been great so far.  I’m very happy with the very small depository for my written news and entertainment.  It’s compact, and the battery life lasts up to a month on one charge.

I’ve just delved into my first book, The Rum Diary, by Hunter S. Thompson, and everything is straight forward.  The interface is basic, so that makes it very accessible for any level of user.  You really will get used to the page turning after about ten pages.

But what I really want to rave about is the internet browser that it comes loaded with (On Kindle: Menu>Experiments>Web Browser).  This is a great feature as it gives users free access to 85% of the internet’s content with absolutely no service fees.  That’s right!  No service fees for internet access.  From the browser you can access Google, you can email, and you can even access your Facebook – minus the photos and videos tab with this feature.  Though you can still search and view photos in many other ways.

All in all, I’m really surprised by this product and I think it’s a great technology that can hold onto what’s been lost by the downturn in book reading.  Sometimes, you just need to have the quiet of a book in your hands.

An hour after writing this: the Kindle has just changed sold its “Resting Screen”.  This is the screen that displays an image on the screen while the Kindle is powered off:  Instead of a lovely consistent cycle of literary legends, new and old, it has just begun advertising!  I powered it on and off at least five times and it kept displaying different advertisements at me from Sprint to local steak delivery offers.  This Kindle is definitely going to need a covering case as well. 

Later it was revealed to me that the options for a Kindle with advertising or without are available.  You have to pay more for the model without adverts.  Still, a dirty little trick to not show the ads for the first several weeks.


Vote today…

Please vote today.  But really.  If I can ask you to do only one thing all year: please vote.

Voting is an important role that we need to fulfill as active citizens in our community.  Voting is a way to show politicians and special interests that we are here.  If you want a good reason why politicians don’t listen to the youth, take a look at the percentage of us that vote.  I’ll tell you it’s not a pretty statistic.  Why should they pay attention if we don’t elect them?  It’s doubly disappointing when you compare that with the percentage of us who choose to gripe over the current state of things and yet don’t take the small action to change it (by all means possible and that includes getting out the vote).

This is not to say that voting will change everything all at once.  But it will work towards showing politicians that we are paying attention.  They haven’t had to worry about that enough as of late and I’d like to see the pressure turned up considerably.

The one thing I’ll leave you with before I head off to vote is: the resources for being a smart voter are available.  The San Francisco chapter of The League of Pissed Off Voters has a great guide to break down the choices for you.  If you vote anything like me, this is pretty much the only guide you need.

Finally, I personally encourage you to vote for John Avalos for Mayor and Ross Mirkarimi for Sheriff in San Francisco.  Both have been great supporters of progressive movements while on the SF Board of Supervisors.  Mirkarimi is featured in a video I shot a while back and you’ll get a feel for where his heart is at.  He has a great little soundbite and I’d be very happy with him running the jails here.


Anarchism is not a bad word…

I wanted to make people aware of this very nice article on Anarchism and the importance of inclusion and ally building within the movement (and the greater Occupy movement). While I don’t presently consider myself an Anarchist, I do find myself fascinated by the writing that comes out of this group.  This article does not disappoint with its smart introspection.
Anarchism is the revolutionary idea

In my experience, some of the most articulate, smart, and genuinely good people have been associated with Anarchist and Black Bloc movements.  Many are people that you wouldn’t expect and wouldn’t recognize until they mentioned it to you.

I encourage you not to be discouraged by your previous conceptions and read the article with an open mind.  You don’t know.  Maybe you’ll find yourself amazed just as I have been over the years.  Anarchism is not what your parents taught you…