Saturday, August 21, 2010

Four Reasons Why Zombie Outbreak Is A Real And Present Danger

After reading the reassuring article 7 Scientific Reasons a Zombie Outbreak Would Fail I like many others was able to sleep peacefully. However, after careful thought, a thorough examination of the 2009 documentary Zombieland, and a fruit drink which may or may not have contained Bacardi Coconut Rum I have come to the conclusion that a Zombie outbreak is not only possible but imminent.

Zombie Apocalypse

While some may scoff, I think that once you see the arguments you too will begin working on improving your cardio health.

1 Sheer numbers

Scientists believe that there are more people alive today than the total number of people from our past. In other words there may be more of the living right now than there are potential undead.

However, instead of reassuring us I believe this should concern us. For one thing if the numbers are changing to favor the living then what better time for the Zombies to strike? Also consider that the largest generation of humans to populate the earth are now passing middle age. Soon many of these will become part of the undead ranks and the numbers will shift rapidly.

For this reason I am quite certain that a Zombie uprising will happen within the next Decade.

2 Accelerated recruitment system

While the authors of the original article were reassured by the number of predatory scavengers who would aid in the defeat of the army of darkness, I think they completely miss the mechanism by which the undead can swell their ranks: create more dead.

Consider that the typical process for creating a new living human takes nine months, on top of that it can be years before you can teach them to fire a shotgun accurately. I calculate that a single Zombie is capable of converting from four to seven humans into undead per hour. There is just no way to keep up with that kind of exponential growth rate advantage.

3 No governing body or centralized command structure

Zombies use an amorphous and anarchistic social structure. Some would see this as a major disadvantage, but I call BS. While the living are forming “A Committee to Evaluate Reports of an Undead Outbreak,” the Zombies are already clawing through your back door and eating poor Fluffy. The undead do not wait for orders. They do not hesitate while deciding to eat the cheerleader or the postal worker. They act immediately and I believe this is their greatest strength.

In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that big government and hierarchical command structures are in fact the work of minions of the undead. A plausible mechanism to slow our response to their attacks.

Our biggest disadvantage may well be our overwhelming desire for organization.

4 Fearlessness

Humans are afraid of a lot of things. The fear of death is only slightly below the fear of being turned into a mindless brain eating automaton. The site of a single Zombie will send a room full of young people screaming into the night as evidenced in numerous motion pictures.

Zombies, however, have no fear. You can’t threaten the undead with death. Even if they can be stopped via dismemberment, the prospect will not hinder their advance. Bravery, as it turns out, does not come from guts but from mindless dedication to achieving an objective.

Conclusion – Stock up on Twinkies

I can think of no other conclusion than that a Zombie uprising is currently more likely than at any time in history. For this reason I recommend we prepare. Remember that there may be no warning from our government agencies.

  • While the outbreak could come from any direction, if you live near a cemetery or ancient burial ground I suggest you consider relocation.
  • Work out an emergency plan with your family. Plan both primary and secondary rendezvous points where you can meet up when the apocalypse begins.
  • Establish a complex set of signals that would be impossible for any undead to reproduce so you can determine quickly if your loved one has already been converted to the army of undead.
  • And remember - “Double Tap”

Oh, and could someone warn Bill Murray.

Friday, August 6, 2010

More Android Apps you must try

Shortly after getting my first Android phone, the HTC EVO 4G by Sprint, I wrote an article about Android Apps you must try. It’s been a couple of months, and I thought it was a good time to dust off that article with some of the latest Applications for the Android that I have found to make my mobile experience better. Things change so rapidly with smart-phones and with the recent release of Android Operating System 2.2 (Froyo) to the EVO 4G, this seemed like a good time to revisit this topic.

Once again I will provide links to the AppBrain website for all of these apps, unless they are not available from the Android Market yet.

Brightness Profiles – In my first list I had a widget/app called Brightness Toggle Widget. While BTW is a fine widget, I found it didn’t quite have the flexibility I wanted. With Brightness Profiles you can set any number of custom brightness levels which can be changed from a single App shortcut on your home screen. You can also set Auto-brightness or set your brightness manually to any level you like from 0-100% via a slider. Handy, fast and easily customizable, all things I really like.

SwiftKey Keyboard Beta – Last time I extolled the virtues of the Swype keyboard. After using it for several weeks I liked it a lot, but found it was really a headache with longer words and even had trouble with getting the right word for some of the smallest words. Since then I have switched to SwiftKey Beta. This add on keyboard takes the idea of word prediction a step further. Not only does it predict which word you are typing after you start, but it can often predict what the next word you will type is before you press a key! It uses standard English grammar rules for this prediction, and I find it is like having a keyboard that reads my mind. I can type faster than I could with Swype, and with fewer errors to correct. It is a beta product, and will likely cost something when it is finally released. But then again, so is Swype. SwiftKey is also available in multiple languages.

Grocery IQ – My wife actually found this one back on her iPod Touch. It provides a sophisticated way to create shopping lists with reminders of items you need to pick up the next time you get to the grocery store. Grocery IQ has favorite item lists so you can quickly add anything you buy regularly without having to search through the hundreds of items it the main database. You can also have multiple people sharing an account. So when I remember I am out of Starbucks Frappacino, I can add it on my list and it automatically goes to my wife’s. Having it on our new Android phones means our lists stay in sync no matter where we are now.

LastPass for Premium Customers – LastPass is a password vault that you can access from anywhere on the web and from pretty much every device/browser you can imagine. The Mobile version of the Application is only available for paying customers, but since the subscription is just US$12/year. That’s a buck a month to remember your passwords. If you are not sure about keeping your passwords available like this, consider that LastPass has been recommended by some of the biggest security experts there are. The new wisdom is that it is better to have complex and hard to guess passwords that you can get to when you need to remember them than it is to keep using the same simple password everywhere. Unfortunately LastPass doesn’t have a plug-in to work with the default Android browser, but you can set up bookmarklets which help you get your passwords when you need them. Plus LastPass does have it’s own built in browser on the Android for easier use.

I know there are others, and I am still finding new apps for my Android every day. See you in a couple of months with more recommendations.