wpid-20140726_114210.jpg

What year is it?

May 2004 was the latest time I was on campus at my alma mater, the University at Albany, when I graduated. So when I find myself in Albany for the day today, I decide to head over to go back in time and head over to campus.

It definitely took me back to the early 2000s when I was a student here. While there are new buildings, a new football stadium and other new stuff from the last decade, most of it hasn’t changed.

There’s still the familiar concrete Podium and quads. There’s still the fountain in the middle of the Podium, though the main fountain isn’t on. Other than a lack of people around on a Saturday in late July, being on the Podium feels like I’m walking to class again. It feels like I never left.

Of course, if it was 2004, I wouldn’t have been able to write and upload this post using my phone while walking around campus.

image

The Podium and fountain

image

image

Where I spent much of my time

image

The new football stadium

Prediction for the World Cup final from a non-soccer fan

fifa

I admittedly don’t know much about soccer and don’t pay attention to it, but why not make a prediction for the World Cup final? Sure, I may have picked Spain to win the tournament– which didn’t go well — but that only means my pick for the finals can’t be much worse, right?

So it’s Argentina vs Germany. Looking at their rosters, or squad lists as they’re apparently called, the only player on either side I have heard of before the World Cup was Lionel Messi so because Americans like superstars in sports, why not go for Argentina? And because soccer is usually low-scoring, except for Germany’s thrashing of the host nation, I’ll go with a final score of 1-0.

Because of my pick, I’d like to be among the first to congratulate the Germans for their fourth World Cup title.

Amazon’s Fire to be quickly extinguished?

Image courtesy ABC News

After years of rumors that Amazon was going to release its own smartphone, the giant e-tailer finally announced the Fire yesterday. Many people expected the device to have good specs and a low price, like the company’s KIndle Fire line of tablets. But Amazon surprised those people … and not in a good way.

The phone has decent specs, including a 4.7″ screen and quad-core processor, and a largely gimmicky 3-D feature, but it doesn’t compete with the latest flagship phones like Samsung’s Galaxy S5 or the HTC One (M8), or the eagerly anticipated, yet-to-be-announced iPhone 6. And then there’s the price. The same $199 on-contract that the S5 and M8 sell for. Add in the fact that it’s, at least for now, an AT&T exclusive — a throwback to the early days of smartphones that seemed to have gone away — and the Fire probably isn’t going to be as successful or game-changing as people expected.

Facebook released a mid-range phone as an AT&T exclusive last year for $99.99 on-contract and sales were so bad, the carrier discontinued the device after just a month. Amazon hopes its name and some bonuses, including a free year of Amazon Prime and unlimited photo storage, will help prevent its first smartphone from meeting the same fate. Although it’ll probably be more successful than Facebook’s First, I’m not convinced it will be nearly as successful as the Kindle Fire tablets.

scottj326

06/15/2014

I figured it was finally time for me to start a blog so here it is. More to come …