Tag Archives: Pittsburgh

2012 Predictions

So, the end of 2011 is almost here, and 2012 will soon be here. So, what do I think will happen in 2012? This is my predictions for 2012, and some will be ridiculous, but others may make sense. I will also divide my predictions into groups.

Pittsburgh Local

Port Authority to try to stay in the black will do things to upset many people. Bus fare will go up, and service will go down. In addition, the fare system will be streamlined to make it easier. All standard bus routes will be in 1 fare price rather than possibly two. This will increase the base fare to $2.75 (mid point between the two zone prices), and will keep transfers at $1 for a 3 hour period. Services will also drop. Bus routes now not offering Sunday/Holiday service will also loose Saturday service. Express, Rapid Buses, and Subways will have a 75¢ surcharge. In addition, there will be the use of a magnetic card/cash combination. The card will replace bus passes, and will eliminate transfers requiring the rider to use the card if they will want to have transfers. A card will be keyed to a particular person, and therefore provide for half fare transit for disabled which will also require a photo on the card.

Apple

Apple will release the iPhone 5. It will have a new shape, but I don’t see the screen going above 4”. Even with the license spectrum that T-Mobile has with AT&T, I don’t see it coming to T-Mobile, unless Apple produces an iPhone supporting all of the HSPA+ bands. Unless Sprint abandons WiMax (therefore pissing off current 4G phone owners), or Light Square comes in as a White Label LTE provider, Apple will not go to 4G. They will still stay with a 64GB max capacity.

Apple will release a Macbook Air 15” model, and drop prices on the other two models. I could see the 11” going to $800. The 11” will still lack a SD card reader – however the 13, and 15 inch models will have one. The Mac Book Pro will be dropped, and the iMacs will get a refresh. I can also see another virus hitting Apple Mac OS lines.

The iPod Shuffle – dropped. The iPod Nano – price reduced, and runs a minimal version of iOS. Don’t expect a robust app store compatibility. iPod Touch will be the flag ship, and the Classic will be changed to support SSD rather than a mechanical hard drive. This will drop prices in SSDs and make it more attractive to the end users. I could see SSD prices hitting $1/GB because of this.

Apple will release a television. This television will have integrated access to the iTunes Store, will have a cable card adapter and support for 4 simultaneous channels. It will have a camera for FaceTime, PiP, and a power button. The power button will be out of sight, and will rely on an iOS device as a remote control. Remote control will take the form of wifi, and LAN access with UID authentication for controlling individual TVs. They will come in 36”, 40” and 50” models, and will cost 75% more than a lower high end TV. It will be pretty, but will not sell.

Google

Google will continue to offer free GTalk calling services, and I could see them considering to going into SIP, however this may not seem to be likely. I will like to hope that they would have done something with the 2 year Gizmo Acquisition and at least offer +883 support. I could also see Google offering better URLs for their Google Plus Service, and with the increasing adoption of Android devices, this service will increase by default. I don’t see many people using the service though. Android 4.0 will be a success, but only for the devices that have it. Manufacturers and carriers will continue to drag their feet on updates, and one my only expect an upgrade to 1 platform even if there can be support. So all phone originally with 2.2 will not get 4.0.

In the end, Google will continue to have dominance, but will start to stagnant. Google will also most likely sell the Motorola acquisition they possessed but of course keep the patents to use to protect Android. As for the Android OS, it will start to off branch into other areas. It will be reasonable to see the OS running cars, homes, and little tiny Androids. Non Approved devices will still not get the Market, or other Google Integrated Services instead – companies will continue to offer their own store with paranoids like me not opting to use them. Instead, people will get the Amazon App Store – therefore will be a serious competitor to Google.

Internet

A major company will acquire its own TLD (example IBM acquires .ibm). GoDaddy will suffer in 2012 as many small consumers who knew of their support for SOPA will alienate consumers, and they will change close to the expiration dates. TelNIC will continue to not have a widespread adoption and will only be used by people who want a contact page, or knows the full potential.

There will be another major security issue that happens on the Internet. In addition, a US infrastructure system will be targeted via the Internet. I also see something coming into public light that accuses the United States having committed a cyber attack on an unfriendly country.

Verizon will make a deal with Comcast. They will take Comcast’s wireless spectrum, and offer the network to allow Comcast to offer a “Quad” Play package – adding mobile into their deals. However, Verizon will stagnant on expanding their FiOS markets, and eventually stop taking customers. Instead, they will recommend Comcast. Comcast’s prices will rise. Ala’ Cart Television will still be a consumer’s dream.

Netflix will face a serious competitor either in Amazon, or Apple. They will not offer DVD rentals, but offer streaming services for less than Netflix.

Microsoft

Windows 8 will integrate better with the gaming and mobile platform. The design will cater to those using those systems, and newbies, but will isolate the long time Windows 95+ users who have been familiar with the Start Menu and task bar. Microsoft will unify their OSes, and line ups. One might see Windows Game, Windows Mobile, Windows Home, and Windows Professional with the version starting at 8 for everything. Game will be the XBox platform on a new XBox system.

Technology

The rise of prices in mechanical hard drives will stagnant in the second quarter. About this time, I could see prices of SSDs dropping. They will be higher than the price of mechanical hard drives, but at $1 per GB which is what I will assume the price to be eventually will drop the prices to where it will be reasonable for most people. Thin notebooks will start having SSDs as an option. End of the year, I will suspect a low end PC to have a 120GB SSD (PC less than $500).

Tablets will take a center stage, and will try to replace PCs. In some people who are just using it to consume media, this will become an option. For people that create content, the tablet will serve secondary. Smart phones will rise with the major players being Android, and iOS. Windows Phone will stagnant at 15-20%, and RIM will fall to 10%. If they don’t have a game changing lineup of phones, they will declare bankruptcy or seek a buyer.

SIP will start to gain more attraction for people needing or wanting a home phone. One might even see a consumer grade cordless telephone that will connect into both an RJ11 and RJ45 jack. This will hit brick and mortar stores, and will carry an attraction niche such as cheap phone service. One company once keeping their SIP services behind walls (such as Vonage, or NetTalk) will open it up allowing people to not have to buy their router.

Wireless

Republic Wireless will go out of BETA and will have better integration with Google Voice. This might actually help convince Google Voice to accept +883 adoption. T-Mobile will declare bankruptcy, and Deutsche Telekom will simply just abandon them. Without the sufficient subscriber base, and the bankruptcy news, they will start to bleed customers. This will drive higher prices of current cellular plans. VMNOs such as Cricket, or Virgin Mobile will reap the benefits of T-Mobile’s wounds.

World – America

Canada will loose RIM to a bankruptcy, or company buyout as their market share in the mobile space drops below 10%. The United States will re-elect Barack Obama unless the majority of the population will blame him for another hit in the financial market. If this Ron Paul or Mitt Romney will be elected. Housing and Urban Development which provides financial assistance to low income families will offer a program for long term recipients to provide a similar home/condo to where they will provide for a 10 year assistance payment on a mortgage. This will only apply to recipients of 10+ years with no landlord complaints of non-payments.

No changes in other parts of America with the exception of Mexico. I could see a very public assassination of a government figure by the cartels. I also see a mass murder spilling over on the US side of the border. This will involve the US to go into Mexico on the blessing of the Mexican Government to either use Special Ops forces, or drones to strike cartel gangs.

World – Asia

Having seen that Capitalism has “failed”, the youth will seek to try to bring Communism back to Russia for hopes of jobs, and meeting the basic needs. Russian/US relations will falter, but there will not be a cold war attitude. The nuclear armistice will still allow the US to help Russia get find and dismantle their nuclear arsenal as agreed with.

Having lost their long time great leader, North Korea’s successor will flex its muscles by “test” launching flag ship nuclear ready ICBMs. There will also be rumors that South Korea will be invaded by North Korea. China will have to step in to try to make things better at least in regards to North Korea.

World – Middle East

Iraq since our departure in late 2011 will fall into a Civil War, and there will be concerns of Iraq splitting into two or even 3 separate countries. However, Iraq will remain 1 country. Talks between Palestine and Israel will be in the final stages, but Hamas must not be allowed in power. In addition, a successful cease fire will have to take place with both sides. Country lines will be mostly Israeli based, but some adjustments from there.

Confirmation that Iran has a nuclear weapons program will become apparent. The United States will still have a strong presence in Afghanistan, however there will be considerations of pulling out. Pakistan will tighten permissions to use their border in efforts to get more financial aide.

2011-09-17

Not much happened, but what did happened was wonderful. I was able to chat with a couple of friends that I feel close too. One of them is married, and didn’t know I like large powerful breeds. I think she might be a little jealous (in a friendly way) of Talisa, and the possible new dog I might be getting. Another friend who lives in Mexico got a Scottish Terrier. They are nice dogs, but a little small for my preference. Also, very furry which is a bit more to maintain.

I also met the male pit bull that is being offered to me. He is a 5 month old puppy, and therefore a little excited and playful. However, Talisa loves him. He is also very friendly towards me, and a polite dog, so maybe the good qualities of one will rub off on the other. This of course is done by rewarding the good behaviors. He is a wonderful looking dog, and I am sure I will get compliments of him too. Nicole (the one that rescued the dog) will miss him, but will be happy for me to have him. She of course will be more than welcomed to come and visit him any time.

Continue reading 2011-09-17

Kellee Maize

On September 30th, I received an email from a person asking me to listen to her music, and mention her on my site. Under normal circumstances, I have little or no interest in rap, but considering this is local talent, I gave the music a chance. I also wanted to try to give some insight to the person, and site even if I didn’t like the music, so it meant visiting the site, on a few occasions.

So, what are my thoughts? Well, still not a fan of rap, but this is a bit better than most of the rap I heard before, and definitely better than gangster rap which I personally feel should be considered as promoting means in overthrowing the government (bragging about how it is hip to bust a cap in the cop’s head simply is intolerable in my opinion). So, in comparison – this music is a bit better. Is it in the realm of the music I will normally listen to, no – but one can’t please everyone, right?

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October 2

Today was not much of an eventful day. I did go to the local grocery store to get some bread, and did some personal work. I also watched The Event on Hulu. My brother came by for a couple of hours to visit. Otherwise, my day has been spent doing some personal work.

A musical artist did send me an email a couple of days ago, and asked me to link her web site to mine. I replied, although typically don’t just add links with the exception of people I know. She also asked to listen to her album, and provided a free link to it. This particular artist is in rap which is not really my flavor, but As promised, I listened to it as this is local talent, and I always give local a chance that I may not otherwise give.

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Finally T-Mobile, you got it in Pittsburgh.

I was checking the data coverage map on T-Mobile’s web site, and it would seem as if Pittsburgh finally has UMTS coverage with T-Mobile. Not that I would see any benefit since the RIM 8000 series uses EDGE, but it’s good to know that I don’t have any delay when considering the upgrade to my phone.

I don’t blame T-Mobile, as if what I heard was true, the spectrum for UMTS was originally being used for emergency services communication. Sometime in November, the first line would be eligible for an upgrade, but I doubt I would do that. Most likely, I would eventually let the phone line expire when the contract ends. The reason is the original and former purpose of the phone is no longer being served. I also don’t have the money for a the 3G phone I would want, and doubt I would in November.

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Lonely? Just go and shoot someone

On 2009-Aug-04, a man named George Sodini decided to go on a killing spree to give retribution the “millions” of women who rejected him. It made national news on NBC Nightly News (Video), and Google went crazy about it since people started linking to the site. Personally, I’m a bit cynical about this. If I didn’t know better, I would say that people would start thinking of him as a mentally disturbed victim of society. Mentally Disturbed – of course. Victim of society? Well, ask the three complete strangers he murdered that question. So, instead of us thinking of him as a victim, let’s think of him as what he truly is – a murderer. So, Maybe the local Pittsburgh Tribune Review should report the story, and quit trying to bring his life into perspective.

So, what was his plan? To go on a killing spree, and take out many women to pay for the rejections he received over the past two decades. So, his master plan was to kill three women, seriously injure nine, and shoot himself? Maybe, I’m a bit cold hearted than that, but I have wished I could put more people out of their misery than 3 in this week. Now, I am not saying that he should have done more, but 3 people for his 25 years of rejections is a small price for this poor poor victim.

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PAT, you could really improve

OK, I am not getting down on someone name Pat, but PAT is Port Authority Transit which is the bus system in Allegheny County. In these troubling economic times, you would think a public transit system would try to improve cost efficiency. However, there are many things they are still “so 20th century”. Also, their system can be confusing for those that don’t use the bus system often. For example, some routes, you pay when you get on always, others you pay when you get on only when going towards Downtown (15222), and pay when you get off when leaving which forces a couple of routes to offer fare receipts which is paper. The numbering system could be a bit better, and just because one bus runs along a side of the street to go Downtown doesn’t mean that all buses do so. Also, it would seem as if the locations of routes and bus stops can be confusing even for someone who has been using the bus system most of their lives.

Now, this is not a rant. Quite the contrary. It is with PAT that people can get around in Pittsburgh without having to rely on a car. Most people in the city don’t even need a car because of the bus system. This is a good thing as it one takes cars off the road, and that helps not only environment but traffic. And since the bus system actually have reserved lanes and roads in some areas, this makes it more appealing.

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Newcomer Suggestions

School for the 08-09 year is about to start in a month. What does that mean? College students galore. Some maybe coming here for the first time. While I am not an expert on all things relevant, here are my suggestions for newcomers to the city. I am sure that some people would not agree with me, but these are my suggestions, so one should take it as is. As for my experience, I lived in Pittsburgh all of my life, so I have some thoughts that would prove helpful. I also do all of these suggestions too.

One, check with your school to see if your ID can be used as a bus pass. I know Pittsburgh University, and Carnegie Mellon University students, and employees get to flash their ID, and get on the public bus system for free. Consider this as a part of your tuition. If your school doesn’t offer this, you would want to invest in about $75/month especially if you would be using the bus a lot. Normal bus fare is $2.00 and $0.50 for a transfer. You should focus on living within the city, and not so much in surrounding areas as the ride would be too long. I had been on a bus for 90 minutes one time just going from point A – point B.

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