Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A day in a Dog World

Hello All!

Lets take a moment and imagine that one day you wake up and you are stuck in a hole in the ground where you just have enough room to turn around.  Then you come out and you realize that there are no humans around you at all, just giant dogs.  Well the dogs aren't giant, you just shrank.  Then all of a sudden some of the younger dogs come running towards you and start jumping on you and biting you in a playful manner.  Then when you try to run away an adult female grabs you by the neck and pulls you back.

The biggest baddest male in the pack gets up and starts going and everyone just starts following. You don't want to be left behind so  you start following too.  On the trip you really have to go to the bathroom so you keep asking them if they can stop but no one listens to you.  They ignore you and you end up not being able to go until that big bad male decides to stop.

During the night they would make you sleep in a little hole they dig up again.  Whenever you'd end up hurt a few of them would come to you and sniff you but then they'd just leave you alone.  Whenever you'd meet a new dog they'd come and sniff you all over, specially your private areas.  You always had to sleep on the ground, you'd never get much attention from any of the other dogs, the games were always rough and you always had to be doing whatever the big bad male wanted to do.  You couldn't eat when you were hungry, you'd only get to eat whatever left overs were left.

Now imagine that they all treated you like this not because they didn't trust you or you looked different, but because they loved you.  They all loved you so much that they wanted you to be just like them.

Doesn't matter if they loved you, this kind of life would probably suck for you right?

Well, think about how Dogs feel when we try so hard to make them human because we love them so much. Dogs don't want to be humans any more than we want to be Dogs.  They want to have that leader that tells them what they can do and when.  Otherwise they just live very confused lives.

If you have a Dog and you love it, allow it to be a Dog.  He/she doesn't care that you are not a Dog, they don't know that, they know that you are either the big bad male that leads the pack or not.

And yes, I keep saying big bad male but it doesn't have to be bad or male for that matter, there are certainly female leaders.  But I'm just going with the normal here.

Javier Torres

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Waukegan High School Cheerleaders robbed?

As you all know I don't talk about local stuff too much but I do like to talk about things that are bugging me and this is certainly something that bugged me.  So if you have a moment to read and make up your own opinions and maybe share your comments it would be most appreciated.

The origin of this post comes from Saturday January 28th when I went to Belvidere, IL to watch my cousin participate in a cheerleading competition.  Five teams would get picked from there so they could go on to the State competitions.  Waukegan did not get to go to State.

Now, I'm very well aware that not all teams can make it and I sure as hell don't want all teams to make it.  I'm a firm believer that too many times we are too soft with kids and we want to reward them even if they didn't do very good.  I also know that at this level of the competition things get more difficult to judge because you are dealing with a lot of the better teams that have actually made it this far.  So in the end a good team full of ladies and gentlemen that have worked their asses off will end up having to go home as a losing team.

I will also be the first one to admit that I don't know jack about cheerleading. I was there just to help support my cousin.  However, even though I don't know anything about the scoring system, I assume that people falling down and stuff like that has to have some big points deducted.  Now, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that Waukegan should have placed first, or second.  There were two teams that I honestly found to be more impressive than Waukegan, I hate to say it but it's true.  At least on this particular day those other two teams were better in my opinion.  This is again just based on how impressed I was as a spectator.  All the other teams were fairly close in my mind.

My problem here is with the fact that a team that messed up quite a few times and another team that was just "blah" got to go to State while Waukegan couldn't.  Again I'm very well aware that not everyone will be able to go and I'm very well aware that this will always be difficult on the families of those teams that worked so hard.  But when I see two teams compete and I see the team that messed up the most WIN, there is something wrong there!

It all just feels so political honestly.  I hope that's not the case, because I do want to believe that these kids are scored based on their talent and performance, not based on who owes who what, but I just can't accept that two teams compete and the one that messes up the most ends up winning.  That just makes no sense to me.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Story: Teodoro Torres

This morning I want to do something a little different.  I would like to tell you guys a bit of a story, a story about a man called Teodoro Torres, my Grandpa.

On April 22nd 1917 Teodoro is born in Puerto Rico.  His parents were Salome Torres and Monica Claudio.  Right away you kind of have to think of all the things this man was alive for.  For starters he was born the same year the US decided to join World War I.  There is a lot of things that happened after that but honestly I have no idea how they impacted him or even if they did.  Grandpa didn't live in the cities where people were talking about all those things, he was living in San Lorenzo where people mostly just did plantation.  A lot of Sugar Cane and a lot of Tobacco.

At a very early age my Grandfather didn't have much of a choice in life but to start working the fields as well.  They didn't have much money, they lived in straw houses with dirt floors, but that was just normal life back then.  He started working the sugar cane plantations since the age of 12 if I remember correctly.

If we fast forward to 1953 we get to see my dad be born, but lets go forward a bit more to 1978 when I was born and lets move another 5 years to 1983 when I was 5.  At this point my Grandpa had an actual cement home and my dad, mom, brother, sister and I lived  in a wooden home built on top of Grandpas.  As a kid there is nothing that I used to love more than hanging out with Grandpa.  I remember when I didn't have to go to school I would wake up at 6AM and go look out the window to see if he was already out back.  You see even when he was 66 and very much retired he still had a bit of a plantation out back.  He didn't have much land, just about 1/4 of an acre that the Government had given him when they got rid of all the Sugar plantation there and decided to give the land to the people that worked the fields.  But in that little bit of land he had all kinds of fruits and vegetables growing.  Every single morning he was out there extremely early just taking care of his crops.

I would run downstairs as soon as I saw him and start following him around.  He would always be telling me all these stories and I used to love listening to him.  I didn't follow most of the stories, he used words I couldn't understand and he jumped around a lot but I always tried to understand.

If there was anything I could get from his stories is what a truly amazing man this was.  He was always trying to help people out.  There were many times when people would just take advantage of him, but it never kept him from trying to help people.  He would give up his food if someone else needed it.  And the fact that even after he was retired he still took my half brother Angel as his son says a lot about him and my grandma.  I wish I had known Grandma better, but back then I was busy trying to avoid her because she always wanted to kiss and hug me.  She was certainly a good woman, but back then I simply found Grandpa to be more interesting I guess.  Grandma then passed away in 1987 if I remember correctly.  It was very sad, Grandpa loved Grandma a lot.  I don't recall the relationship between Grandpa and I changing after her passing, but I'm sure he was hurt.

October 28th 1989 my family decides to move to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  So I had to leave Grandpa behind.  Before I left however I had him help me plant a Mango seed in his yard.  So I left hoping that my little Mango seed would turn into something.  I chose mango because it's the one thing he didn't seem to have, I always had to steal them from the lady next door when I wanted one.

At first, living in Milwaukee was difficult, I was very homesick and the winter wasn't helping.  I used to write letters to Grandpa, letters he would have someone else read to him and have them reply since he didn't know how to read or write.  Sadly the years passed and the letters stopped, I was a teen and I found other things more interesting.  In 1994 we visited Puerto Rico again but I didn't really get to spend that much time with Grandpa.  My mango tree was growing, but it was still rather small.

The years kept passing by and my relationship with Grandpa was basically seeing him at special family meetings when he'd come visit from Puerto Rico.  I always did miss talking to him and hearing his stories, but I simply never got any time to spend with him anymore.  When he'd come visit from Puerto Rico he'd always stay with our family in Chicago so I hardly got to see him.

Oddly enough I started thinking even more about him after 2007 during my first trip to Mexico.  It was a work related trip, we were going to do inventory at some of the plants we subcontract there.  One of these plants is located in a small town where you still see a lot of people living in straw homes with dirt floors.  I remembered how Grandpa would tell me about some of the jobs he had and how they would always notice when the owners or just the Americans would come by and how everyone would start working faster.  Two Generations later here I was being the "American".  Difference is when I would see these people working I didn't see machines, I saw a young Grandpa working his ass off trying to support his family.

One of the stories about Grandpa that I love is the first time he came to work in the US, when he got paid he went to the manager because he thought there was a mistake because he got paid a lot of money.  He was just working there, he had no idea how much he was making, he expected to make a little bit more than what he made in Puerto Rico not so much more.  I'm sure compared to now a days it was nothing but back then it was impressive apparently.

From 1994 it wasn't until 2011 that I got a chance to visit Puerto Rico again.  For the longest time I just could never afford it and after 2007 I was going to Mexico every year and that kind of satisfied my need for a vacation.  But in 2011 an opportunity came up to go to Puerto Rico and I took it.  I was going to go with my Brother Jose and his son Diego.  The trip was for mid August.

August 1st, 2011 my beautiful Mother Margarita Reyes passed away.  I have not written a story about her because honestly my heart and brain still can't accept the fact that she's gone.  Even writing this couple of sentences make me tear up.

We decided to still go to Puerto Rico in mid August, sadly instead of just a vacation our plans turned more into visiting some of her family to make sure they are doing ok.  We still got to stay at Grandpas and I still tried to take advantage of every moment I spent with him.  I sat there once again listening to him tell me stories.  However now he was 94 years old and it was more difficult to follow him because he was jumping all over time lines.  But just being there with him hearing him felt so good.

Then he surprised me, in one of the stories he told me about he mentioned how the mango tree I had planted had dried up while he was on vacation in Chicago.  That made me a bit sad but at the same time I was super surprised that he even remembered that tree! During our few days in Puerto Rico it was kinda rainy and then Hurricane Irene decided to come down for a visit also.  But I knew I couldn't leave without checking the spot where I had planted that Mango tree.  So I ventured into the back yard.  Grandpa still tried to keep this area clean but at 94 years old there was only so much he could do so the thing was literally a jungle now.  But I found the area where I planted that tree.  Indeed there was a tree there that had been cut, probably because it dried up but there were some new life growing on it.  But something didn't make sense,the branch on this tree was very small, if there is new life growing on it now that means it could not have been cut up 18 years ago when it was about this thick.  Then I looked at this much bigger tree that stands next to it.  It was a big Mango tree!  There was no Mango tree there when I had left.

I left Puerto Rico with many ideas.  Ideas of coming back more often and ideas of things that I should try doing to make life there easier for grandpa.  There were a lot of things that needed fixing in the house and there were a lot of things that could be used.  Sadly with all the holidays coming up, trying to get anything started was going to have to wait till after.

January 20th 2012 Teodoro Torres dies in a Hospital bed in Puerto Rico.  I am sad that I didn't get to do all the things I wanted to do for him.  But I thank God that he gave me the chance to go to Puerto Rico in August and spend some time with him.  I've always had this idea that ever since Grandma died, Grandpa has just kind of been waiting for the moment when he passes as well in order to be with her again.  When I went to Puerto Rico I noticed Grandpa still has pictures of her hanging around.  He never tried to make a new life with anyone.  I know that now they are together and that he's extremely happy.

I can't say that I'm crying for the loss because honestly when someone is past 90 years old you just have to start expecting it.  To not expect it is just foolish.  I'm sad, but I'm also happy for him.  He died in a hospital bed and he had his daughter Leony taking care of him and he had plenty of people here in the US and Puerto Rico asking about how he was doing.  That's so much better than so many people.  There are too many people who die alone forgotten in retirement homes.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Grandpa is the person I want to be like the most.  Never really wanted trouble with anyone and always tried to help people.  For that God blessed him with a long life.  But that life was starting to become a burden, having to hear of so many people younger than you passing away can not be easy, it's just not normal.

Javier Torres

Friday, January 20, 2012

MegaUpload shut down! Anonymous not Happy!

On Thursday January 19th 2012 The department of Justice shut down the file sharing website Megaupload.com

I make a mention of the date because I believe this is a date that will end up in history books. The department of justice decided to shut down the popular file sharing website calling it a criminal organization because of all the copyright material it hosted.  They didn't just close down the site, they had the owner arrested in New Zealand.

Now, megaupload.com is a file sharing site and yes there was a lot of piracy going on there, but there was also a lot of legit legal information there.  A lot of people use the site to distribute family videos with other family members or pictures or just plain legal things like Android roms for phones.

The shut down comes a day after websites like Wikipedia and Google had a special day protesting the SOPA and PIPA bills that are trying to become law.  The protests actually led a lot of people in our Government to switch positions and oppose the bills.  However even without the bills becoming law yet, they go and shut down such an important website.

All these copyright laws they are trying to pass and the reason megauploads was shut down are because of the record labels and movie production companies that feel they could still make a few more million dollars than what they are currently making.

As soon as the Hacker group Anonymous heard about this they had the following to say on Twitter

"One thing is certain: EXPECT US! "

After this Anonymous went on to make it's largest attack ever.  In less than 2 hours they shut down the following websites:

Department of Justice (Justice.gov)
Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA.org)
Universal Music (UniversalMusic.com)
Belgian Anti-Piracy Federation (Anti-piracy.be/nl/)
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA.org)
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI.gov)
HADOPI law site (HADOPI.fr)
U.S. Copyright Office (Copyright.gov)
Universal Music France (UniversalMusic.fr)
Senator Christopher Dodd (ChrisDodd.com)
Vivendi France (Vivendi.fr)
The White House (Whitehouse.gov)
BMI (BMI.com) 
Warner Music Group (WMG.com)

I say January 19th 2012 will be in history because it is the day that the internet fought back.  The internet should be freedom.  Free speech, free knowledge!  Why is it that megaupload has to suffer for the illegal activities of others that use their system?  Do car companies suffer because people use the cars for smuggling guns and drugs or doing drive by's or use them ask get away cars?  Ford can not police everything people do with their cars, why are internet companies expected to do it?

What about iTunes?  The company that makes so much money for the industries that want SOPA and PIPA.  With iTunes music match they are taking a lot of pirated music and giving people better versions of it.  Google Music hosts a lot of our pirated music, so does Amazon, are they going to be shut down as well?

Think About it
Don't let them take our only source of free speech

Javier Torres

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Acts like SOPA and PITA want to destroy our free speech online so that certain corporations can make more $$$

Do not allow it!

Go to this page and sign the petition to let our Government officials know we do not care for these bills!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

You just gotta love Steve Wozniak

If I was to pick a single person in the world of technology that I’d say I have a great deal of respect for and would LOVE to meet, well it would probably be Shigeru Miyamoto, but if we were to not count video games then it’d have to be the Co-Founder of Apple that most Apple lovers don’t know about, Steve Wozniak.  Even with all the tension between Apple and Android I don’t think there is a tech geek out there who doesn’t hold some sort of respect for Steve Wozniak.  The Woz has always been so honest with his views as far as technology go.  You gotta love the way that the guy could just go into Apple and get an iPhone but instead he just waits for it like everyone else.  You also have to love the way he will talk very sincerely about what he does like and doesn’t like. 

In a recent interview with The Daily Beast Woz talks about how he still prefers his iPhone but he truly wishes it did some of the things his Android phone does.

“My primary phone is the iPhone,” Woz says. “I love the beauty of it. But I wish it did all the things my Android does, I really do.”

He also mentions how he actually has less issues getting Androids voice commands to understand him than Siri and he expresses how Androids built in GPS Turn by Turn navigation is also an advantage.

He mentions that “if you’re willing to do the work to understand it a little bit (Android), well I hate to say it, but there’s more available in some ways,”

Steve also goes on to mention how the fight between Android and iOS (Apple’s Operating system for the iPhone) is very similar to the fight between Windows and the Mac.  However he thinks this time it’s even more difficult for Apple because “There’s not as big a difference [between iOS and Android] as there was between Mac and Windows.”

He was actually quite vocal about his dislike for what Apple has done for Siri, apparently he preferred the program when it was an independent program for the iPhone, which in case you all think SIRI is a new thing, it is now. 

“I used to ask Siri, ‘What are the five biggest lakes in California?’ and it would come back with the answer. Now it just misses. It gives me real estate listings. I used to ask, ‘What are the prime numbers greater than 87?’ and it would answer. Now instead of getting prime numbers, I get listings for prime rib, or prime real estate,”

“With the iPhone 4 I could press a button and call my wife. Now on the 4S I can only do that when Siri can connect over the Internet. But many times it can’t connect. I’ve never had Android come back and say, ‘I can’t connect over the Internet.’”

“I have a lower success rate with Siri than I do with the voice built into the Android, and that bothers me, I’ll be saying, over and over again in my car, ‘Call the Lark Creek Steak House,’ and I can’t get it done. Then I pick up my Android, say the same thing, and it’s done. Plus I get navigation. Android is way ahead on that.”

Finally he tells us who he recommends the iPhone to:

“The people I recommend the iPhone 4S for are the ones who are already in the Mac world, because it’s so compatible, and people who are just scared of computers altogether and don’t want to use them. The iPhone is the least frightening thing. For that kind of person who is scared of complexity, well, here’s a phone that is simple to use and does what you need it to do,”

Again regardless of how you feel about Google or Apple, you just gotta love this guy J

Written by:Javier Torres

Less Android Phones Please!

Hello everyone!  It's not very often I talk against anything Android and maybe even say some good things about Apple but sometimes it has to be done.  Although technically my issues here are not with Android but with Android phone manufacturers.  

Google likes to say how they hate the word Fragmentation and how there really isn't any.  I call bullshit on that, Google just accept it, the current status of Android phones is kind of a mess.  One of the reasons I love Android is because of the fact that you can find it in so many different devices, so you are bound to find a device that works best for you instead of being forced to used the 1 device a company provides.  The Apple iPhone may be a very nice device but if you don't like the look or feel of it then too bad.  

However the problem is that we have all these companies making a new phone every other week now!  For the most part I honestly don't expect my phone to made as high quality as an iPhone 4 because chances are I'm going to be changing it within a year anyway.  But I do expect that phone to be a top of the line phone for at least a year!  

Let me use the current Droid Razr as an example.  A very nice phone, better made than most Android phones you see out there.  Just came out in November 2011.  During CES 2012 they announce the Droid Razr MAXX.  Which is the exact same phone but with a MUCH better battery.  You really have to wonder why is it that the Droid Razr Maxx wasn't the original Droid Razr??  Why in the world would you release a phone only to release a better version of the same phone 2 months later??  You can also argue that the Droid Razr itself was a mistake since it had only been a couple of months since the Droid Bionic had come out which was supposed to be a Motorola flagship phone.  

Motorola did say during CES 2012 that they plan on releasing less phones this year.  I hope they are right because frankly it's getting impossible to keep track of all these phones.  They and Samsung and other companies need to learn to only have about 3 phones per year.  Yes kind of how Apple does it but instead of just the one option you provide 3.  

1. A High end Phone with all the bells and whistles. 
2. A Middle ground Phone, something like last years high end phone but cheaper. 
3. The cheap phone, not cheap quality but just cheaper components.  

You could even throw in a 4th and just have it be a version of the middle ground phone with a slide out physical keyboard if you want.  But really that should be it!

But I said that options was part of the beauty of Android, how is 4 phones a year so much better than what iPhone has?   Well, for starters 4 phones is a lot more than 1.  But then you have to remember that LG would have their own 4 phones, and so would Samsung and Sony and HTC and so on.  So it would still be a LOT of phones, but still a lot less than what you find out there now.  

If all these companies were to focus on just 3 or 4 phones a year I am sure they would be able to make much better quality phones as far as looks and feel go.  

Next they need to pick a brand and stick with it.  I'm so sick and tired of all these different names for the same phone in different carriers.  I'm also sick and tired of all these little changes to a phone for specific carriers as well.  How for example a Phone may be 1.2 gigahertz for one carrier but then 1.5 for another.  It just makes no sense to me.  

Before Christmas someone wanted me to give them my opinion on the Motorola Electrify for US Cellular.  I had to look it up because I had no idea what this phone was, had never heard of it.  It took a while but I finally realized that the Electrify was simply what I knew as the Photon 4G.  It just wasn't 4G because US Cellular doesn't offer 4G.  But would it have killed them to call it the Motorola Photon?  

Another Good example is the Samsung Galaxy S phones.  When the original Galaxy S phones came out here is what their names were based on carrier: 

T-Mobile: Samsung Vibrant.  But later they released a 4G version which they actually called Samsung Galaxy S 4G. 

AT&T: Samsung Captivate. 

Sprint: Samsung Epic 4G

Verizon: Samsung Fascinate, then there was the smaller version Samsung Continuum and then there was the Samsung Stratosphere which was more like Sprints Epic 4G. . . 

Almost every single one of these phones different in some way.  How are people supposed to keep track of this?? 

Things went a little better with the Galaxy S II but not by much: 

T-Mobile: Samsung Galaxy S II
AT&T: Samsung Galaxy S II, Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket (4G version), Samsung Captivate Glide (Keyboard)
Sprint: Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch
Verizon: Didn't even get it. 

I applaud Samsung for trying to keep a specific line of phones but they need to work with the Carriers to control the naming better.  If Apple can cell the Apple iPhone on all carriers under the same name then I don't see why there can't just be "Galaxy S II".  And for the love of God just make them all the same. 

According to Motorola the reason they need to keep changing Android themselves by using things like Motoblur or Sense or Touchwiz is because the carriers want phones that look different.  I can't blame the carriers when you are releasing 100 phones a year.  But if these manufacturers were to focus on 3 phones a year, I'm sure they could make each one stand out on it's own way.  

Written by: Javier Torres
Anarchy Live.com

Monday, January 9, 2012

Fake Apologies

Today I would like to talk a bit about Apologies.  Not just any apologies, fake ones.  I mean those that are so fake that they are basically forced.  You know the ones I'm talking about, some public figure says something politically incorrect and the next day they are holding some press conference to apologize.

Does anyone actually believe these apologies?  What exactly is the use of them?  Ok, I can understand that sometimes we get mad and we say things we don't really mean.  I myself have done it.  But I would say the majority of the time when I see some public figure apologizing for what he/she said it always sounds extremely fake and scripted.  You can just tell it is something the Public Relations office gave them.

Lets not forget about how fake these apologies make people look also.  Look if you have an opinion about something that is not politically correct and you let it out, be proud of it don't back out.  You have every right to  have your own opinions.  I for example let it be known that I have a great deal of respect for people like Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez.  Most people don't like that comment but tough.

Even if you are a Racist, be proud of racism.  Personally I think you are an idiot if you are a racist but I'd rather deal with a racist who is comfortable with his/her racism than someone who keeps trying to hide it.  Obviously being a public figure and being racist doesn't make for very good business, but if you do happen to let it be known that you are a racist by mistake, then don't be going and apologizing the next day.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

My thoughts on Piracy!

Today I want to give my opinion on Piracy.  I'm not going to talk about the SOPA act just yet because I'm not familiar enough with it to talk about it much, but it is certainly something I want to talk about in the future.  But it does deal with Piracy and hearing so much about Piracy lately made me want to talk about it. However there are many types of things that are being pirated out there, I really only want to focus on 2, movies and music.


The movie industry complains all the time about how much money they are losing due to piracy.  However every year we see more and more millions of dollars spent on making movies and we see many of these movies making a lot more.  Each year we see ticket prices at the movies go higher and higher.  There is absolutely no reason for some of these actors to make some of the money they make.  Some of these guys make in a movie a lot more than the average american makes their whole life working a normal job.  So how can they sit there and cry to me about how much money they are losing?

Is there ways to stop the piracy?  No.  Is there ways to slow it down?  Yes.  It's simple, you make getting the real thing easier than getting the pirated version.  Companies like Netflix have the right idea, but the studios are still too hard headed and want to squeeze as much money as possible from the movie.  This is why you hardly find any good movies on Netflix.  Imagine if all the new releases were on netflix right away.  You'd never download a movie illegally again if you could get them that easily.  You'd probably be more than happy to pay $15 a month for such a service.  But no, they don't want to do that.

When a movie is created all the real money is supposed to come from its time at the theater.  And the experience of going to a theater with some friends or on a date or with your family is something that Piracy is never going to be able to replace.  Once they can no longer squeeze money out of the movie theaters they spend a couple of bucks and copy this material to Blue-ray and DVD and try to charge us $15-$25 for it.  I'm sorry but unless the movie is super good, that's just not worth it.

In my opinion whatever you can get from the Blue-ray and DVD sales should just be a nice extra. You want to sell more during the Movie Theater time?  Work on lowering the price of those tickets!


Oh the Music industry.  I dislike them even more than the movie industry.  But both are very similar.  Just like the movie industry you have too many musicians making WAY too much money.  You can NOT show me a video one day of how much money X singer wastes and then tell me how Piracy is hurting them.  There are so many REAL artists out there struggling to make a buck and then you have all these no talent jerks making so much and abusing every bit of it.  It's sad and it's sick.

Just like with movies the solution to slow down piracy here is to make the real thing easier to get than the pirated.  Services like Spotify and Rhapsody certainly are trying but they still get too much resistance from the labels.

Before you could record a disc the way it worked was people would go to concerts and they would listen to people sing.  That's how these artists would make a living.  That is still where most of the money is supposed to come from.  And no pirate is ever going to be able to pirate that experience of going to see your favorite artist perform.

Just like with Blue-ray and DVD, I feel that any sales that come from CDs or iTunes or any other music store should just be considered a nice bonus.

Final Thoughts: 

Both of these industries are very much alike and that's probably because of the fact that most of them are the same people running them.  They are greedy and power hungry.  I applaud Google for their new Google Music service that allows people to upload their own music and sell it themselves through the music store. I do hope this catches on and we see more independent artists out there becoming more popular.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Why I don't like Tipping in Restaurants!

Ok, I'm most probably not going to make many friends with this post since this is kind of a politically incorrect way of thinking, but I've been meaning to post about this for a while.

I don't like the idea of having to leave a Tip for a service provided.  But before you all come towards me with pitchforks and knives, let me explain.

First of all, I do always tip, don't think that I'm going to restaurants and leaving people hanging.  Second of all this is not anything against waitresses or waiters or any serving staff, I know and understand they get paid X amount and they basically work for the tips.

I feel that restaurants should be taking the Tip money from whatever they charged me.  And I don't mean charge me extra just to do this, I mean just charge me the same and then take 15 or 20% out of that for the wait staff.

Let me explain some of the reasons why I think this should happen.

Price of Food: 

A tip is supposed to be a way of us rewarding the staff for our experience at the location.  They usually get paid less than what they deserve and this is supposed to provide us with cheaper food.  Since I have to help pay for their staff, I get to pay less for their food, right?  WRONG!  When a restaurant charges me $8.50 for a simple Burger and another $2.50 for a glass Pepsi they are ripping me off already!

That's $11.00 for a Burger and a Soda.  If the restaurant takes out 20% of that and gives it to the wait staff, they are left with $8.80 which is still ripping me off for a burger and a soda!

Not Fair: 

If I go into a cheap Mexican Restaurant for an hour with my family the bill may come out to be $60.  If I go into a nicer restaurant on a date for an hour, the bill may come out to be $200.  If the server at the Mexican restaurant who had to wait on my whole family gets 20% as a Tip then he/she would get $12.  If the server at the nice place who had to wait on myself and my date gets a 20% Tip then he/she would get $40.  Even if I got the same level of service from both of these people, it is clear that I'm paying much more for great service in one place than the other.  Which brings me to my next point.

Good Service should be expected:

If I go to any restaurant and the tables are dirty or the staff is rude I'm not going to simply not leave a tip, I will get out of there and not even bother eating at this place ever again.  Having good service is just common knowledge for any place that is trying to get my business.  I don't tip the guy at Best Buy when he gives me good advice (ok that never happens but let's pretend).  Good service is simply something that we should expect no matter where we go.  So why is it that at restaurants I have to pay them in order to get good service?

It's not even an optional thing anymore, many restaurants just plain add the tip to the bill.  So it's almost my same idea but instead of them taking the money from what I had to pay for the food which was overpriced to begin with, they are simply forcing me to pay their staff.

Maybe there was a time when expecting someone to bring the food to your table was a crazy idea, but we are way past that.  There is many restaurants I could go to, so give me a reason to go to yours!

The Problem:

The real problem with this idea is not so much that restaurants wouldn't want to take 20% less profits.  It's simply that they don't have to.  Right now thanks to Amazon.com you will see a lot of stores struggling to get customers and they will think of good creative ways to make people come to their stores rather than shop online.  They have to, else they will simply go out of business.  This isn't quite the issue with Restaurants, we in the US cook at home less often and dine out more often.  There are plenty of restaurants that are making plenty of money every night.  You need a reservation in a lot of the nicer ones because they are so full.  So why would they care about looking for ways to get our business?

There are indeed plenty of restaurants suffering though, these are usually the small restaurants, and when you go in them you will find much cheaper prices.  That's what happens when you try to get people's business.  I think that if these smaller restaurants were to start a trend of making a no Tipping policy and just took 20% off the bill to give to the wait staff, they may experience higher sales just from people who like the idea.  The wait staff would probably feel much better knowing that they would get a tip all the time.  Eventually the bigger popular restaurants would just have to follow.

Final Thoughts: 

Not long ago I was at Paul's Omega Family Restaurant in Milwaukee.  I was paying $12 bucks for a plate of food that was ok but certainly not worth that much, my coffee cup was empty (which pisses me off whenever that happens) and I look around and it just seems like we were sardines in a can.  I didn't feel like a customer, I felt like a piggy bank.  I started thinking about how I'm not really enjoying this and still I'm expected to help them pay for their staff. It just boggles my mind.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Years!

Ok so my Happy New Years is a little late but not by too much!

Truth is my New Years kinda sucked, worse one I've ever had, but lets not talk about that.  The weeks prior to new years were some of the best time I've ever had.  I had 2 of my nieces over visiting from Philadelphia and it was a blast hanging out with them and getting to know them a bit better.  They are beautiful young women and I miss them a lot already.

All that aside, I wanted to mention that I'm still very much in love with my Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone.  I swear I keep turning it on just to look at that beautiful 720P screen.  I was using the face unlock feature for a while and it was nice but I eventually got tired of looking at myself every time I wanted to turn on my phone.   I'm also still protecting this phone more than I've ever protected a phone before, which means it will break soon.

The one thing about the phone I'm not too crazy about yet is the camera.  Don't get me wrong, it can certainly take very good pictures, but for me most pictures have come out blurry.  I'm sure eventually I will get the hang of getting better quality pictures out of it.

I've been super tired ever since new years, seems like I can't get enough sleep.  Losing energy at an astounding rate.  But I do hope to start writing more frequently again.  There are certainly a few things out there I want to talk about.  As usual there is the Apple stuff and how they keep getting patents for technology that they didn't come up with first.  There is a couple of other things I've been meaning to write about.  This year I also hope to start writing some reviews, maybe even do some video, we'll see.  I know I have a lot to say sometimes and even I don't like reading it all!

In the meantime, I hope you are all had a good New Years and that 2012 is treating you good!

God Bless All!

Javier "STUFF" Torres