Damned if they do, damned if they don't.
I want to be completely independent - of everything.
I finally upgraded my contract yesterday because the Nokia E71 was available. It really is a super handset - GPS, FM radio, qwerty keyboard and more - but I had a couple of pleasant surprises when I opened the box. The accessories and software bundled with this phone are quite stunning and hopefully a portent of the future.
- Stereo headset is included. Not only do you get a really nice headset but the phone uses a 2mm jack. If you have nicer headphones, you can just plug them in. And because the jack is up on the side out of the way, you can use headphones and a bluetooth keyboard without doing any balancing acts.
- 2Gb SD card included - none of yer 128Mb cards here. 2Gb is a great capacity for the average user.
- A decent leather case is supplied.
- The voice recorder is no longer crippled to a few minutes. You can record high-quality WAVs for an hour or more.
- Nokia Maps is included. Navigating around Gauteng with just your cellphone using high detailed local map information is easy. In fact, I'm going to use the feature just now when I go to an unfamiliar area for a meeting.
- The Wifi chipset has been vastly improved. I can browse from practically anywhere at home at full speed now.
I loved my E61i (and still do) but the E71 has been improved by an order of magnitude and doesn't force me to go and buy additional accessories.
The United States is bankrupt. Completely and utterly. It's entire banking system is insolvent.
It owes $53 trillion.
Its currency is about to go down the tubes.
Its housing market is dead.
Its stock market is tanking.
Its credit default swap market is in dire straits - an additional $40 trillion of unregulated mush where no-one knows who owns what anymore, nor how much it's worth.
Folks, we're watching the end of an empire. And the collapse will be swift and horrible.
Some Americans are trying to save fuel by what they're calling 'hypermiling' - over-inflating the tyres, tailgating, coasting a lot and generally driving very conservatively. I tried some popular methods on Thursday between Joburg and Durban and I have to say they work well.
The car: a 20-year old Mazda with four passengers and a heavy load
The distance: 580 kms
The fuel consumption: 7l/100kms which is really good
Conclusion: it works and it's a lot of fun to do instead of just counting down the distance. I coasted the whole length of Van Reenan's Pass - from the town right down to the bottom - and the whole length of Town Hill above Maritzburg. In total I reckon I did more than 50kms in neutral with the engine idling.
Tip: DON'T sit on the brake for extended periods of time. You will heat up your brake fluid until it becomes a gas and then at the bottom of your hill your brakes won't work! Don't use your brakes at all if you can possibly help it. Just use your fifth gear to slow when necessary.