The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

iPad reality

March20

Here is what I know based on having an iPad in my hands for two weeks…

This from the perspective of a businessman (me) – or, perhaps a field researcher, doctor, traveling salesman, even a warehouse supervisor – anyone whose job offers them an opportunity to get away from a desk. The iPad runs hundreds of iPhone apps, and you can bet thousands of more are under development. The productivity and multi-revenue opportunities around the iPad are potentially inconceivable as of the writing of this post. Many of those apps are tailored to specialized lines-of-work. And, it’s more powerful hardware (I’m drawing the compaison to the iPhone) should inspire developers to be relentless in their pursuit of innovation.

But it’s iWork that sets the standard. It comes with attention-grabbing presentation tools. For example, the laser pointer effect in Keynote is slick, bad-ass, awesome, cool. iWork beats Microsoft Office for usability anyway – and, we like our videos. And, the iPad’s size, weight, and battery life make it a natural for the field and travel.

Prediction: “iPadders” will leave their Macbooks at home and the office when they go any where.

One determined piece of advice from a self-acknowledged know-it-all… Don’t skimp and settle for the WiFi-only version and fool yourself into thinking you don’t, or won’t, care about 3G. When you grasp the potential of this device for communication (i.e. VoIP), and the aforementioned Apps currently under development around that potential, “the game” (gaming is a whole other topic) changes completely.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

progressive slavery

February18

“The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.” – Thomas Jefferson.

As our country was founded on Judeo/Christian beliefs, the originators of our great nation appeared to understood one greater truth as they created our Republic.

I’ll position that as being human flesh is fallible and cannot be trusted.

“Given enough power, man will be corrupted by that power – no matter the nobility of his intent.” As so aptly phrased by Lord Acton when referencing the heated debates around the infallibility of the Pope at the turn of the 19th century: “And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that. All power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

I’ll pause here, and advise you that in 1862, Acton merged The Rambler, a Roman Catholic – ish monthly, into the Home and Foreign Review. His contributions at once gave evidence of his remarkable wealth of historical knowledge (one reason why I’ve studied him myself). But though a sincere Roman Catholic (while I could never pretend to be), his whole spirit as a historian was hostile to ultramontane pretensions, and his independence of thought and liberalism of view speedily brought him into conflict with the Roman Catholic hierarchy. NOTE: Lord Acton is naught less than a fascinating read. Look him up on Wikipedia. Do it!

In any event… Our founding forefathers knew that we needed a system of checks and balances that could control the flow of power. Legislative (to create the laws), Judicial (to enforce the laws) and Executive (to set policy). No one branch controls and the output of one branch is executed by another.

So I’m saying all this to inform. Perhaps the result will revolutionize and lead to reform …not because I’m waxing poetic today; rather because I’m inclined to think the collective we of this nation require turbulent, possibly radical change today, almost as much as our forefathers did, yesterday. Remember (if you care to recall positions taken by men such as the inestimable Mr. Acton) that one must centralize power in order to accomplish government programs, redistribute the wealth and “perfect the human”.

Mind you, Acton likely felt that that man was reflected by his government, and that kind of perfection was possible. However, I’m more likely to think that our government needs to reflect that greatest potential that man might realize. So, that’s where I flex my Jeffersonian ideals. And, Thomas Jefferson could kick Acton’s ass. And, he would take on Obama without, even asking names.

Although not for the first time, because I am constantly on the lookout for such things everywhere I study, research and travel, I’ve recently encountered a (possibly) fair(er), albeit sophomoric, description explanation of what is happening, currently, in American politics. Whether you like or dislike Glen Beck (and, most people say they do, as they continue to increase his ratings), the five minute program below might open a few eyes and lead to awareness, if not outright, understanding.

[youtube]LPEJtIQ2zSU[/youtube]

Socialism means slavery. Marxism, a form of socialism is change by revolution. Progressivism, a form of socialism is change by evolution. After all… In theory, it’s possible to boil a frog if you turn the heat up slowly…

I’ll pause here, yet again, to catch my breath… But also mention that you better not use that anecdote unless you are prepared to explain it fully, and understand what it might lead to, if relayed to a group of thirteen year old middle-schoolers. I tried it, and it was controversial, to say the least. I attempt things like that within my own household, with varying results. Just follow your browser here, and you’ll be just fine.

Look at the change in our country politically over the last one hundred years. We’ve all been part of it. The slow decay of values and morals to create a collective people (as in: …we the people…) who like their ears tickled.  So… There might be an argument here for a concern that the progressives, those collective peoples, intend to enslave your children’s, children.

Perhaps America is waking up to the objectives of progressivism. Watch the aforementioned video, and possibly be informed. In twenty five years we’ll have a better understanding whether it’s the informed or misinformed variety. Just start trying to understand now, so you can at least give your progeny a fighting chance, like Jefferson and his hearty and ferocious crew did for us.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

brian is not an Engineer

December23

Bill, a recent convert to Apple (I take naught less than the fullest of credit) came up with the following questions via email, and only this morning:

“Boomer, yo you know if upgrading a 802.11g wireless network to 802.11n would affect the battery life of connected wireless clients? I am hoping that perhaps such an upgrade would reduce power usage by the clients. Specifically, I have a wireless network consisting of two older generation Airport Express (802.11g) units, that Melissa gave me, set up as a wireless distribution system. My 13″ MacBook Pro is wonderful, but the battery life is less than I’d hoped. I’ve wondered if purchasing an Airport Extreme base station and switching to 802.11n would help.”

I am widely referred to as a “Cultural Architect”.

I like that title and work efficiently, and daily, to earn it.

Don’t confuse me with most engineers. However, I am capable of solid research, and I can sort out many technology challenges instinctively.

A common issue right now in the land of Apples is significant drain on PowerBook (laptops) batteries when Apple’s renowned Airport technology is running. The focus is on the difference between 802.11g and 802.11n.

I have never done a rigorous comparison, but my gut says it won’t. My home has both an 802.11n network (5 GHz, not 2.4) and 802.11g. I’ve used my MacBook Air and several MacBook Pros for extended time on each of them. I have never noticed a difference in battery life when operating on one or the other.

There may be a difference, but based on my experience, if there is, it’s so slight as to be virtually unnoticeable.

Nonetheless, here are my extended thoughts around this oft-lamented concern:

NOTE: I’d expect the difference between 802.11n and 802.11g to be minimal, at best. However, my point is relevant in terms of our combined and passionate pursuit of perfection and Apples illustrious role in that great effort.

I learned something not many others know over the weekend. It does not have to be fascinating, only vitally relevant… When active, 802.11n apparently uses more power – but what really matters is energy, not power (Example: If you can use one (1) Watt and get the job done in one (1) second, then sleep at zero (0) Watts for the next two (2) seconds, you use less energy than something that uses zero point five (0.5) Watts, and takes three (3) seconds to do the same job that consumes one point five (1.5) Joules instead of just one (1)).

Seriously.

So… It occurs to me that a better question to ask is: “how do I extend my battery life?”

There are many things you can do… Probably one of the best is to reduce the display brightness. I won’t do that because I like my screen bright and cheerful. This means I won’t typically run my laptop at the lowest possible brightness when on battery, but you might not find that comfortable to work with. So dim it! Do it now!

A second major consumer of power is the Central Processing Unit (“CPU”). Make sure the Energy Saver control panel is set for better battery life. I prefer “optimal performance”. But, this tip is for most everyone else. Also, keep in mind that applications using the CPU will use power as well. Some applications behave well when not doing anything and don’t use much CPU, but others (Example: EyeTV and Microsoft Office come to mind. so this is an opportunity to rally true Apple loyalists and remind them NOT TO USE Microsoft products. native Apple applications like Mail and iCal are terrific) are poorly-behaved and waste CPU cycles even when they’re doing “nothing”. This is also a reminder that you can use the Activity Monitor application in /Applications/Utilities to see how much power CPU applications are using. Also, turn off (or unplug) anything you don’t need – bluetooth, CDs/DVDs, Airport, USB devices, etc.

So, there you have it. And, possibly, with a flourish – certainly a bow.

Bill, you can address this post (because I know you read the Blog) and comment once you’ve sorted out the genius of it all. Also. let me know if Melissa gets you that 27″ iMac for Christmas (although you are, indeed, my Jewish brother – even though I’m not always Jewish) as I’ve advised her you are well worth it.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

running with the Bulls and driving Cattle

October28

Back in 1977 Grandad said to me: “You can be a leader or a follower. Leaders know whom to follow at critical points in their lives. But, don’t ever be the wrong leader of followers”.

That requires some careful thought, and much more perspective.

Over the summer of 1988, while teaching me how to first listen and then sell (while also teaching me how to sail in Santa Monica Bay) David Sugarman, my “Jewish mentor” advised me, in that brilliant sepulchural baritone of his: “don’t bother buying a stock you might ever want to sell.”

“Trust in human nature”, he added.

These, strategies (they might be foundational philosophy /1) if you will, then required careful thought, research, informed decision-making and maturity to pull off over a lifetime.

Through the Spring of 1999 I remember the DOW breaking 10,000 for the first time with it’s delicious opportunity to revisit and contemplate David’s words.

Under pressure of very awkward and highly suspect circumstances, the market began it’s dark and ugly descent towards 6000 last year, and I decided to hold firm to Grandad and David’s, always great and evident, wisdom.

Every where I went, the only talk you could hear was about how low the DOW might go. It reminded me of the whole OJ Simpson ordeal. It’s all anyone seemed to want to focus on.

I could easily draw a correlation between the two topics. However, as a Prudent Gentlemen, I don’t see the point as it reduces the advantage, and lessons the potential effects and opportunities now relative to Laws of Natural Selection.

I will, however, offer an example, with the hopes loyal readers of this Blog harken and, perhaps remember when the next test rears itself.

I first listened to, and then observed, a local and hapless friend defy common sense and guidance, as he sold off all of his investments, leveraging both a dirth of intelligence while timing his decision to match, perfectly, mind you, the very bottom of the market. He was firm in his convictions and determined to panic. The chap was convinced the market was going to “crater (a clever and dramatic, albeit meaningless terms financially)”. I had told him there were many reasons – most of them built-in, while others were easily psychological (although both cleverly manipulated) that the market would not go below 6000. You can read more about that here (but, there is more elsewhere), and on this very Blog. Do it!

In any event, he bought into the frantic mooing to be found permeating the internet, and stampeded with so many others, failing to see the buying opportunities, and sold into a crashing market designed to fatten the wallets of the happy minority.

That fellow was a follower. And, he might have actually been a leader of followers (he was a bad example of something, or maybe a good example of a bad thing), to make his plight all the worse.

Today he’ll wring his hands and tell you that his wealth managers “screwed” him, as they misled “everyone (typically this is what thirteen year olds say in the absence of empiric evidence)” regarding their research abilities and understanding of market trends. I’ll wager they had been telling him to sit tight. The storm always abates, and the market always comes back.

Just like the current market will.

Because you can trust human nature (make sure you read that aforementioned post). And, try it from the view of a Heterodox. Consider it a Kobayashi Maru, and literally, an opportunity to Kill that Bear./2

This is an obvious point, but the only people that “lost” money in the stock market are those that panicked and sold into a down market. Conversely, there is new wealth, big money, being created, on paper, by people that have been buying stocks up for the past six months.

I have, and with good reason, cause to make another stand, right here, and say we’ll break back up, and through 12500, by the end of the First Quarter of 2010.

Do some leading research. Maybe you begin with why are the banks really hoarding all that cash?

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

1/ There is some agreement, therefore, that philosophy is based on method, and is rational, systematic and critical, or characterized by logical argument.

Intrinsic Character: Philosophy can be distinguished from empirical science and religion. The Penguin Encyclopedia says that philosophy differs from science in that its questions cannot be answered empirically, i.e. by observation or experiment, and from religion, in that its purpose is entirely intellectual, and allows no place for faith or revelation.

2/ From the Movie: “The Edge”.

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

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photos by John Campbell

 

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