When is the next Palestinian election?

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I was asking myself when they should be holding their next election as part of contemplating the current conflict.  Turns out there was supposed to be an election in 2010, but it’s been postponed by both sides and now it’s supposed to be 2013.

Every time one of these conflicts arises I end up back to thinking that it’s a waste of time to try to come up with a “solution” to the situation.  Nothing aside from a temporary band-aid will solve this conflict.  What possible short-term solution could address decades of violence (especially towards civilians), mistreatment, oppression and mistrust by both sides?

I think it shows how complex the situation is that while I think both sides are very clearly in the wrong and making bad decisions, when examined individually I can’t claim either side is doing the wrong thing for themselves given the circumstances and history.  Clearly they’re both making the wrong decisions in the big picture, but cultures that are so consumed by violence and hatred rarely look at the big picture.

Cutting down oak trees to save the children

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This has seemed to evoke universally negative opinions: Mom wants city oaks torn down to protect kids with nut allergies.  If this has anything greater than a zero chance of happening, I’d be concerned.

The first good news for RIM in a while

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I’m sure you’ve all seen the news: RIM has set a release date for BlackBerry 10.

Some people may complain that it’s 2.5 months away, but I think this is good news.  It’s a hard deadline, and I hope it means RIM is truly confident in declaring that publicly, because a further delay would be disastrous.

I’m excited to see how BB10 evolves.  Now that I’m using an iPad regularly, I feel a lot less dependent on my phone, which has made me wonder if I want to try out another platform.  I don’t feel compelled to try Android.  It’s come a long way in the last year, and I think I could be happy using an Android phone, but I just don’t see anything it truly does better than the iPhone that would compel me to switch.  On the flip side, there are some things that iPhone does better than Android, at least for me.

But, maybe BB10 will have some killer features?  Making sure it gets Skype would at least remove a serious flaw.

I’m curious what the next major evolution of smartphones will be.  Really, once you’ve got a powerful, beautiful, device that works well, isn’t the rest mostly software?  That’s why I get so fascinated by the hype that precedes each new iPhone launch each year, and people are inevitably disappointed when it’s “just” a more powerful, more stylish, iPhone.  What else do they want?  I’m not really interested in any of the “innovations” coming on the Android side; I don’t want a 5.5-inch screen with a stylus.  NFC?  Ok, but what would I actually use it for right now?

Actually, I am interested in the experiments with docking smartphones to tablet screens or notebooks.  Smartphones are powerful enough that they could power a modest laptop, so why not?  And really, why couldn’t an iPad just be a larger screen you dock an iPhone into?  Probably only because that means Apple couldn’t charge as much for it.

A week after Sandy

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It’s been a week since Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast. Some friends in NY are still without power, some still flooded, last I heard.

This has been one of the first times it seems like most people are willing to admit the effects of climate change. This article has some good quotes: It’s Global Warming, Stupid

“Would this kind of storm happen without climate change? Yes. Fueled by many factors. Is storm stronger because of climate change? Yes.”

And

“We can’t say that steroids caused any one home run by Barry Bonds, but steroids sure helped him hit more and hit them farther. Now we have weather on steroids.”