The QiRanger Adventures

Posts Tagged ‘USA

Phones and the ADA

leave a comment »

I’ve written a few times about how phones in Asia are considerably more advanced than those in the US. But my question is this:

Given the ADA and the fact that hearing impaired individuals can use video calls to sign, is it likely the US Government will require all US carriers to provide such a service on all phones?

What are your thoughts?


Written by Steve Miller

July 15, 2010 at 5:41 am

Hate Crimes

with 6 comments

It never ceases to amaze me how some people can miss the mark so badly that it makes me wonder if they have a brain that works.

When President Barack Obama signed the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act, he also authorized the Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Now this largely went under the radar, but has the effect of adding extra penalties to violent crimes when they are motivated by gender, sexual orientation, or disabilities.

Star Parker calls the law a “weakening and damaging our country is not something to be proud of.” Parker continues by saying, “It should be clear that hate crime law has nothing to do with improving our law but rather creating favored political classes. It is something that should be hateful to everyone who cares about a free society, and particularly hateful to those, such as blacks, who have been victimized by politicization of law.”

Hate crimes are premeditated or conducted out of intentions to be overly cruel to an individual. In many cases, the victim did nothing but be born and has been attacked for being a certain race, religion, or sexual orientation. Such crimes should not be tolerated in an evolved society and those who perpetrate them should be dealt with sternly. What I find ironic in Parker’s editorial was the justification cited:

Is it not a sign of our own pathology that we now have codified that it is worse to murder a homosexual than someone who has committed adultery, even with your husband or wife, or who has slandered or robbed? Isn’t the point murder?

No, the point is the intention and the methodology of the crime. This is why when one does face murder charges, the circumstances are factored into case. Is it pre-meditated? Was it an act of “passion?” Was it accidental? Hate is just another factor to the equation to be considered. It is simply one more tool for the legal system to utilize when sentencing.

Written by Steve Miller

November 3, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Short and to the point

leave a comment »

Written by Steve Miller

October 17, 2009 at 5:01 pm

Pulling a Microsoft

with 3 comments



I’d really like to know what Apple Computers is pulling. I mean, there are stupid things and then there are ridiculous things. This certainly falls into the latter.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, let me give you the run down: Apple is suing Woolworth’s in Australia over trademark infringement. Their claim is that the new stylized W logo looks too close to an apple and may confuse consumers and damage the Apple brand.


Yes, the new Woolies logo is definitely an apple (and why not – they are a SUPERMARKET CHAIN???), but who in their right mind would EVER connect the two?

First, the logs look nothing like one another. NOTHING!

Second, they operate in different sectors – one is a technology powerhouse and the other is a SUPERMARKET! This amounts to nothing more than pure greed on the Apple front.

In fact, this reminds me of the time Microsoft tried to trademark the word windows. Yeah… they tried that. It was ill-conceived and amounted to some serious backlash. If Apple doesn’t back down, this will be a PR nightmare for them, not only in Australia, but around the world.

What are your thoughts?


Written by Steve Miller

October 7, 2009 at 3:32 am

The US is really behind…

with 4 comments

Just where is Uruguay???

Just where is Uruguay???

About two weeks ago I saw a story that really made me proud to be a human being, while at the same time making me feel ashamed at being an American. The story surrounds some legal developments in the small country of Uruguay. For those not familiar with the country, here’s the wiki:

Uruguay, officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, is a country located in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to 3.46 million people, of whom 1.7 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area. An estimated 88-94% of the population are of mostly European and/or mixed descent.

Uruguay’s only land border is with Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, to the north. To the west lies the Uruguay River, to the southwest lies the estuary of Río de la Plata, with Argentina only a short commute across the banks of either of these bodies of water, while to the southeast lies the South Atlantic Ocean. Uruguay is the second smallest country in South America, larger only than Suriname.

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay’s oldest European settlement, was founded by the Portuguese in 1680. Montevideo was founded by the Spanish in the early 18th century as a military stronghold. Uruguay won its independence in 1825-1828 following a three-way struggle between Spain, Argentina and Brazil. It is a constitutional democracy, where the president fulfills the roles of both head of state and head of government.

The economy is largely based on agriculture (making up 10% of GDP and the most substantial export) and the state sector. According to Transparency International, Uruguay is the least corrupt country in Latin America (along with Chile), with its political and labor conditions being among the freest on the continent.

Uruguay is one of the most economically developed countries in Latin America, with a high GDP per capita and the 47th highest quality of life in the world. It was the first Latin American country to legalize same and different sex civil unions at a national level in the year 2007.

The story surrounds an important development in rights of homosexuals around the world: setting into law the fact that same-sex couples can (and are protected by law) adopt children.

Uruguay, like the United States, is a secular country with a firm division between the church and state. As many in the US attempt to tear down that division and impose their own “superior” morals on others, it’s very refreshing to see a country with similar ideas making a public declaration about what is a family unit and that same-sex couples have the same parenting rights as hetero couples.

The United States needs to wake up and join the rest of the world in the twenty-first century. The antiquated Puritan values that many hold has done nothing but stifle the development of its population and created a lazy nation. If the United States is to return to its place as the “Greatest Nation on Earth,” it needs to pick itself up by the bootstraps and make the hard changes that will allow itself to do so.

These include:

  • A declaration of Gay Rights.
  • Universal Healthcare for all.
  • An end to government bail-out programs.
  • Higher standards of education.
  • A flat tax across the board.
  • An end to lobbying.

If these things can happen… then America will be great.

Written by Steve Miller

September 9, 2009 at 4:18 pm

In DC…

leave a comment »

The Capitol

The Capitol

It is such a joy to travel in the United States… not!

As Jo and I were preparing to depart on our DC odyssey, I wondered if I was going to encounter trouble at the airport. This is mainly because the idiots that work for the TSA have consistently been some of the dumbest I’ve ever seen at any airport. I was not disappointed on this trip either.

Unfortunately, to make use of our free tickets, Jo and I had to fly different airlines, and thus were remanded to different gate areas. As I went through security screening, I did the usual: took off my flip-flops, took out my laptop, and prepared to empty my pockets. I went into the “pro” line, since I do travel quite a bit and know the routine.

However, I guess those at the TSA are not that familiar with technology or what it takes to make movies. My backpack caused quite a stir, since it had multiple hard drives, cameras, batteries, iPods, and cables. Even though most were compartmentalized, and other airports had no problems with the set-up (Incheon, Beijing, LAX, SFO, etc.), the folks at this airport asked me to step aside and swab every little corner of my bag and asked me why I had so much gear.

I have to say, that flying US domestic is not fun. When you fly an international carrier (even if it is a domestic flight) is far better. They provide you with food and beverages. In the US… we get NOTHING.

Once in DC, Jo and picked up our car and drove out to my brother’s place. We got in a little late and immediately went out to dinner with him and some friends. Thursday we took a tour of the Capitol and Library of Congress. It’s so nice to visit DC during a holiday, there’s so much going on and to see, that you’re never bored.

Tonight, we’re headed out on a special night tour of the Washington Monuments, something that I’m really looking forward to capturing on film!

Written by Steve Miller

May 23, 2009 at 3:39 am

The Upcoming Crusade

with 2 comments

I’m still amazed that I need to come back and revisit this topic, but now that there appears to be a new run against same-sex marriages in the United States, it appears that my previous lessons on scripture and the 1st Amendment haven’t been learned.

The primary concern of those leading the charge against extending rights to gay and lesbian couples, is that they feel that marriage is only a union between a man and a woman, as defined by scripture.

This is a correct interpretation, since the Bible is quite clear that God created marriage as a union between man and woman. But, as humans often do, we mucked things up.

Rather than leaving marriage in the realm of God, we brought it down to earth and mingled this holy union with various civil rights. What we, as citizens, need to realize is this: the 1st Amendment of the Constitution not only promises freedom of religion, but separation of church and state. If we allow Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and other organized religions to practice freely, then we also need to allow churches that support Gay/Lesbian unions to practice freely, without restrictions.

For when it all coems down to the point of contention, those objecting to same-sex marriages ultimately fall back on religion. The 1st Amendment busts that defense wide open, as the civil government cannot regulate religion.

This is what needs to happen:

  • Marriage needs to be defined as a spiritual union, set by individual churches. This way, each individual body can determine the requirements for marriage.
  • Spiritual unions would hold no legal value in courts and would be governed by “common law” settings.
  • All couples would be eligible for Civil Unions, that would extend all civil rights we see today.

This solution is right, just, and what is needed. It isn’t something that needs to be voted on, since you can’t vote on civil rights, they are inherent. We learned in the 1960s, that given the choice, people usually make the wrong call on civil rights. It is time for government to actually carry out its duty and solidify this right for all.

As always, thoughtful discussion and questions are welcomed.

Written by Steve Miller

May 4, 2009 at 11:15 pm