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Stuhrling Prestige Tradition Unboxing

The Stuhrling Prestige Tradition is a timepiece by watchmaker Sturhling Original. It features a 22-jewel Swiss-made automatic movement. When ordering, I chose the silver dial with the blue hands. The leather strap matches the color of the watch hands.

The wristwatch comes in a special carbon-fiber-look box. Incidentally, the Stuhrling Prestige logo is different than the typical Stuhrling wristwatch logo, having the implication of an “SP” instead of the single letter S.

Stuhrling Prestige Tradition Unboxing - 1

Inside the box, we have the warranty, Stuhrling Prestige cleaning cloth, user manual, and other documentation regarding the traditions of Swiss watchmaking. There is a special Stuhrling Prestige quality seal, different than the typical orange seal. The watch itself is covered with a typical warning about not using quick-set date between certain times. The cushion on which the watch sits is plush, as is the material lining the box.

 

When removed from its protective cover, the wristwatch is stunning in its simple beauty. The hands are a spectacular, sparkling blue which I can only describe as azure mixed with cobalt.

 

 

The back of the wristwatch, like many automatics, is transparent, so that the beauty and functionality of the movement can be explored. Note the “Swiss Made” stamp and the Stuhrling Prestige logo on the rotor.

 

 

One of the reasons I selected the Stuhrling Prestige Tradition was the perfect height of the watch case, as well as the design on the side of the case. I felt these features made the watch very attractive, as I am not a fan of “ultra-slim” watches. Yet, the size and design of the timepiece case attracts the right amount of attention.

 

And finally, we can put the timepiece where it belongs…on the wrist. Ahhhh!

 

More information on Stuhrling Prestige can be obtained here, here, and here.

The timepiece can be purchased at many fine retailers, including online at Amazon.com, here.

(As an aside, I simply love watches. I do not work or consult for Stuhrling or Amazon in any capacity, and received no promotional consideration for this article.)

 

Governor Deal: stop obstruction, and implement the Affordable Care Act

The following is a letter which I wrote on July 1st, and sent by mail directly to Georgia’s governor, Nathan Deal. I am publishing it online to go hand-in-hand with my recent petition about the same issue. It is slightly edited, in addition to including linked citations.

 

I hope that Democrats and proud centrist Georgians will join me in this appeal. Please co-sign my petition, write your own letters to the governor, and write to your local newspaper. – JII

Governor Nathan Deal

The Office of the Governor

206 Washington St

Suite 203, State Capitol

Atlanta GA 30334

 

Governor Deal:

Please allow me an introduction as direct background for my important letter. My ancestor, Henry Irby, was responsible for the establishment of Irbyville, now Buckhead. Several generations of my family have lived in the neighborhood inside the Atlanta perimeter where I now live. In addition, I travel all over the state frequently, and also extol its numerous virtues to non-Georgians. In short: it would be difficult to find someone who is a prouder resident inside the Atlanta perimeter, and a prouder Georgian.

Unfortunately, I write you today with the most profound disappointment I’ve had in a governor’s leadership in years. I find your stated opposition to the state-level implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to be unconscionable.

As you well know, we live in a region rife with opposition for the PPACA. Florida’s governor Rick Scott has yesterday stated he has no intention of complying with the Act. Louisiana’s governor Bobby Jindal earlier said the same.

Florida and Louisiana can act as they wish. I expect better from the state of Georgia, and I would love for these expectations to be secure. Unfortunately, I am now exposed to your own anti-progress rhetoric, including the following:

Congress must now work steadfastly on repealing this law and replacing it with reforms that help taxpayers instead of hurt them.

We are probably just going to be in a holding pattern until such time as we see what the events of November bring us.

Governor, you and I both know that the provisions our state must implement are actually matters of simple common sense. First, we must expand an existing program, Medicaid, to cover even more of our state’s poorest citizens. Second, we must implement a healthcare exchange, an absolutely outstanding idea for helping Georgia citizens purchase private insurance in a competitive, free-market way. I should note that this was a good idea under Republican governor Mitt Romney in Massachusetts, and it’s still a good idea now.

I am a centrist who is willing to accept good ideas from either party. What I will not tolerate is lies about an Act that does have “reforms that help taxpayers.” These falsehoods are abhorrent when a minimum of 600,000 of my fellow Georgians would be positively impacted by the Act. Your statements and actions directly stating otherwise do not constitute leadership. Neither does inaction as an effort to appeal to the radical right wing of your party. This is the basest partisan trash, and it should have no place on the agenda of the governor of one of the greatest states in the Union.

Governor, I plead with you to change course immediately. Show some initiative that will reflect positively on Georgia. Stop behavior which keeps citizens in the dark and works directly against their own best interests. As this state’s highest official, you should be ashamed to embrace that behavior. Instead, imagine the positive outcome when our neighbors and other states watch Georgia successfully implement the PPACA reforms.

My wife and I have always envisioned having our home in Georgia for the rest of our lives. I must tell you without hyperbole, governor Deal, that I am beginning to wonder whether this is really the place for centrists like us. Do you want to drive moderates away from Georgia and the south, to states that do implement the best reforms in the PPACA model?

I assure you that adopting the methods of governors Jindal and Scott will lead to a weakened South. Do not let this happen to Georgia. At one time, Atlanta was unarguably the “capitol of the New South.” You can now be the leader who ensures that our state is the gateway to a truly New South.

Providing privacy for criminals

An interesting article came across my radar this morning. It details what happens when the FBI comes to claim a server because of crimes committed using the server’s capability, and you should read it.

However, I’d like to focus on the especially fascinating and contradictory tension regarding providing privacy for cybercrime:

Using Mixmaster, email users can achieve nearly undefeatable anonymity — multiple servers pass messages from one to the other, each time stripping out header information and replacing it with false data, making it nearly impossible for investigators to “trace” the message to the original sender.

“If you had asked me before this happened if one of our members ran an anonymous remailer, I would have said, ‘probably,’ ” said McClelland. “That’s exactly the kind of thing we want to support and we want to protect.”

When correctly configured, anonymous remailers leave no trace at all. There are no log files to check, no other server “fingerprints.”

“The fact that the FBI’s investigation led them to an anonymous remailer should have been the end of the story….” wrote Hanni Fakhoury.

“These people making the threats, these are jerks, nobody wants to protect them,” Lopez said.

There is a hacktivist notion that everything by a single individual should be completely private, and everything by the government should be completely public. It’s an interesting notion, and most of the people who espouse it mean well, but it can be severely misguided.

Terroristic threats are a crime. Bomb threats against a university are not a matter to shrug off lightly. One simply has to examine the rash of recent shooting deaths by lunatics on university campuses to know that student safety is a serious consideration.

Make no mistake: McClelland’s organization is happy that they’re able to provide the ability for anonymous remailing, leaving no trace at all. Fakhoury believes that because the criminal who emailed the bomb threats used an anonymous remailer, that should have been “the end of the story.”

And yet they say “nobody wants to protect [the criminals].” That’s simply a fallacy. One only has to read the enablers’ own words.

As with all privacy issues, from anonymous hate speech by a single individual, to WikiLeaks, this ends up being a debate about the needs of the people as a whole. The argument here is whether the need of the student body of the University of Pittsburgh for safety is more important than the need for privacy of the individual doing the threatening.

Though Lopez protests, he is doing his best before, during, and after the crime to ensure the criminal’s privacy. Now, I’m not here to make a judgment as to whether that’s right or wrong. But I’m also not here to attack the FBI for doing what they believe is necessary to find the criminals.

Not Proud of AJC Coverage of Georgia’s Congressional Freshmen

As a thirty year reader of the Journal and Constitution, I’m not sure I’ve ever read such a one-sided piece as Monday’s front page article, “Georgia’s Freshmen Proud of Budget Cuts.” Essentially, this is an upbeat, positive character profile of the GOP activists who were responsible for the absolute lowest Congressional approval ratings of all time. Where in the article were the balanced voices of any Republican or Democratic Congresspeople who object to the annihilative tactics of these GOP freshmen radicals? Instead, the interviewees are uncritically cited as discussing “come-to-Jesus” meetings and “looking…to the Founding Fathers.” Rather than printing this with a straight face, a balanced Christmas-time article might have made mention of Jesus’ actual teachings on the same promotion of the general welfare that is the foundation our own government. The Founding Fathers designed the government of the United State of America not as a for-profit corporation, but an institution to provide the broad services mentioned in the same Constitution the GOP Freshmen purport to embrace. That’s why the Federal government has carried public debt since its very founding.

This subscriber thinks that feel-good character pieces are fine, but belong in the Metro section or the Living section, not fallaciously passed off as hard news on the front page of the AJC.

Reasonable compromises in an age of Washington madness

This morning, I read an interesting piece entitled “Is Obama the last reasonable man in Washington?” The author, Joy Reid, points out the following reaction to the nation’s first African-American President, Barack Obama:
…his very presence, from his name to his cultural background to wild conspiracy theories about his ideology — has seemed to incite a near frenzy of hatred on the right (and a sliver of the far left).
Sadly, Ms. Reid is correct. To validate the latter part of her comment, we need look no further than Jane Hamsher, the founder of the far left site Firedoglake. She recently called Obama supporters: “the dumbest motherfuckers in the world.”
Now, the President may not be the only reasonable man left in Washington, but he’s certainly one of only a handful. And it is extremely difficult to find any reasonable person among the Republicans hired to represent their constituents.
This past Friday morning, the President held a town hall in Maryland, largely focused on debt negotiations in Washington. A teacher asked an important question: she wanted to know what she was supposed to teach her students in an anti-cooperative age. She asked whether something had fundamentally changed, when members of the opposing party were willing to go on record saying they would not compromise. It is indeed a sad age; I feel for that teacher and for the members of government who are interested in leading this country towards a better future.
This President has been willing to compromise on every issue. He radically limited his healthcare reform package after holding a bipartisan summit with Republicans, and ensuring their concerns were addressed. In return, he got zero Republican votes for the resulting legislation. He limited his Wall Street reform. He allowed the Bush-era tax cuts to continue.
Now, on an issue that actually threatens to destroy the world economy, the President has been willing to grant cuts to Social Security and Medicare that even Republican presidents would have had a hard time offering. In exchange, Republican leaders walk out on talks because Obama asks them to end tax loopholes for corporate jet owners and absurdly profitable oil companies. No compromise from the GOP: not one solitary penny of additional revenue from millionaires and billionaires during times they’ve been successful, and the middle class has been decimated.
The fact is: though this clearly centrist President is willing to agree to almost any terms, we’ve seen where Republicans draw the line. That party believes that their Tea Party revolution is a powerful force. However, according to Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly, it represents about 20% of American voters, and is in serious danger of self-destruction.
Enough is enough. If the GOP thinks that is a revolution, just wait until they see the reaction of the country and the world to their destructive, obdurate radicalism.

Sarah Palin blows another chance at real leadership

Blessed with a platform and an opportunity to help change a toxic tone of discourse, Sarah Palin does no such thing.

Recently, I’ve become disturbed with those who aren’t willing to “fess up” to the fact that their words reference — and even encourage — militancy and violence against our elected government.  The other day, in an excellent article banned from Huffington Post, Cenk Ugur referred to the small percentage of the population which can be incited to actual violence as “hate-seeking missles.”  The video that accompanies the post, documenting a recent history of violent speech, is also well worth your time.

I believe our culture has changed dramatically and regrettably since the campaign of Senator John McCain and then-Governor Palin.  As Kimberly Krauter points out in this post, Ms. Palin’s rhetoric during that campaign was beyond the pale.  Numerous articles and videos — which can be found in any Bing search — documented cries such as “terrorist,” and “kill him” in McCain/Palin rally audiences.

So today, I watched Ms. Palin’s entire professionally-produced video of “condolences,” and I was sickened by it.  The propagandistic narrative made it clear that she wasn’t backing down from this highly charged language of hatred and violence, nor was she going to hold her followers or anyone in her party accountable for their lingo.  Contrast this with Keith Olbermann recently admitting blame for something he said once on the air, and taking a pledge to abandon the use of inflammatory phrasing that could incite violence.

One of the first goals of the Tea Party was to defeat the reform of America’s broken healthcare system.  A strategy was distributed in writing at that time, intended to harass public servants at town halls (documented here).  At its core, it embraces tactics of being disruptive early and often.

The other day, I happened across a piece by a Tea Partier who actually referred to “the soft TREASON of civility.”  (I will not link to such a piece.)  Civility is treason?  What is happening to the discourse in my country? “Take them out?”  “Reload!”  “Second Amendment Remedies!”  This has gone far enough.

Politicians like Ms. Palin and radical radio/TV personalities like Glenn Beck are encouraging this type of content and vile tone.  We have leaders on the right who won’t even use the word “compromise,” and consider those across the aisle their “enemies.”  Will this devolution of a peaceful political process lead to a world fit for our children and grandchildren?

After more than two years of ridiculous vitriol, Americans have a right to request a calmer, more reasoned political discussion.  Ms. Palin could have acknowledged that and pledged to use her platform to bring about positive change.  She could have pledged to encourage political discourse containing no reference to militancy and violence.  But she did not, and I doubt she and her colleagues on the radical right ever will.

Tech startups: heed this warning

It’s a fact that we’re going to witness an explosion of tech startups again, led by those offering stand-alone social media applications — or plugins for platforms like Twitter and Facebook — that reach huge audiences. In fact, VC firm Kleiner Perkins recently started a fund worth $250 million to capitalize just this particular niche.

I have been getting in early on a lot of private and public betas recently. I’m seeing some fantastic ideas with the potential to change communication. Some tools are going to do this by simultaneously simplifying and broadening the networking reach of individuals and corporations. I’ve got some ideas of my own, and have begun to secure the domains and sketch out the plans.

But tech startups: if you have a concept with the potential to connect people, please do yourselves and the world a favor and heed a simple piece of advice.  I believe with every fiber of my being that you need to do one thing before you launch: make absolutely certain that your tool is available from as many Internet-enabled devices as possible.

One Case Study
If you’re lucky, you already know that your startup must offer something that’s available on mobile. Okay, wonderful. Do you have any idea how many portable platforms are currently available to the world’s connected users? I’m sure you can name iPhone, Blackberry, and Android, and a couple of others off the top of your head. I’m just going to take one example, so please set aside any personal bias about any one OS.

Next week, we’ll see the release of Windows Phone 7 (WP7), which I believe is an innovative, attractive, and easy-to-use mobile operating system.  But it doesn’t matter what I think. It matters that millions of people will adopt the device. Heck, Microsoft gave 80,000+ people Windows Phones (okay, those were MS employees).  Home Depot is already all over a WP7 adoption, and Dell’s waving goodbye to Blackberry while giving 25,000 Windows Phone devices to its employees.

Guess what?  It doesn’t matter that the scale of WP7’s adoption is smaller than the iPhone or Blackberry or Android, so I don’t even want to hear about market share. If you’re a startup founder, your mind is already working on the thought of whether you want to give up millions of potential users due to not being ready for a platform.

Let’s assume we have very little time, a very small staff and budget, and let’s examine some options. And I’m begging you again, please do not let your bias influence this one theoretical case study:

  1. Forget the Windows Phone users. I’ve got my developers already building an iPhone app, an Android app, and a Blackberry app.
  2. Okay, I’ll find someone who knows WP7 development already, and I’ll get on with making a WP7 app a priority.
  3. I’ll create a very lightweight m.[mystartup].com site that’ll work for any device.

It seems simple to me. The investment of time and money in taking approach 3 is minimal. You might even be able to code the site yourself. You also thereby ensure that your potential customers can access your product from any Internet-enabled device.

How to change the world
Many great eConcepts have started with a full webpage, optimized the page for mobile, and THEN thought about apps. Unless you work for — or want to sell directly to — Microsoft, Apple, RIM, etc., then I urge you to get your paradigm in order and work from the simplest to the most difficult. Do not alienate any potential customers. Trust me: your customers will understand when you tell them that a WP7 app — heck, even an iPhone app — is on the way! 

But your customers will NOT understand when they get a link to your concept from their buddy, and they can’t read it or use it on even the best mobile browser. In 2010, you might get their eyes when they get to a desktop. In 2011, you’re done if they don’t see it on mobile the second they first get the link. This behavior is pervasive today, because there are a lot of concepts based on an existing CMS or framework, and no quick plug-in exists to display the site well on mobile.

If you’ve got an app for every device in the world, great. Apps are wonderful, and I download them constantly. But there are 300,000 available for iPhone and 100,000 for Android. How do folks find yours?

And ponder this. Will Sony release a PSP phone soon? Will your customer’s next car come with decent touch-screen Internet embedded in its entertainment system? How about that Microsoft “slate” that might come out? It doesn’t matter what devices you can name right now or even what you can visualize in your head. Have you already heard the whispers that HTML5 might eliminate the need for all apps?

I know you’ve read the word Microsoft in this post more than you thought you might have. I don’t work for Microsoft. But food for thought: Microsoft Sync has rave reviews for voice recognition, and it’s in more Fords every day. We’re going to see an evolution in voice technology in cars and on phones (like WP7). Could your social app be activated and used with a few words, like “invite” or “intro” or similar keywords (like Hashable)? Then tomorrow, someone who just got done with a meeting will be asking themselves whether they can use Microsoft Sync to activate the lightweight version of your app while driving:

“Intro @JayInAtlanta and @IngridIrby and cc @Hashable.”

I’m a trained filmmaker, so I grew up with the idea of “High Concept.” Change the world. But change it with a High Concept tool, with a lightweight version fully accessible and ready to go when you open the doors.

UPDATE – Check http://www.jnjmobile.com/ and http://www.MocoSpace.com. MocoSpace is a browser-based gaming platform which is going the direction I described, away from phone-specific apps, and it appears to have a hit on its hands: http://ow.ly/19TVHh.

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