Archive: July 24, 2009

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TDF stage 19 / flatish - Cavendish wins sprint after Rabo chases down break; jerseys unchanged

Friday,  07/24/09  11:09 AM

Well today was kind of a weird day in the Tour de France, wasn't it?  Everyone expected a break to succeed on the mostly flat stage between Bourgoi-Jallieu and Aubenas, but someone forgot to tell Rabobank, who kept the peloton close all afternoon, even when there was a twenty-man break.  Of course the break did not include a Rabo, and they fancied perhaps Oscar Freire could win an uphill sprint to the finish.

So what happened?  The field came together for a bunch sprint, and Mark Cavendish won his fifth stage of this year's tour, barely beating arch-rivals Thor Hushovd and Tyler Farrar.  Freire was never in the mix.  You start a bike race, you just never know what will happen.  Anyway it did make what would otherwise have been a rather routine transitional stage more interesting.  At one point we had Cadel Evans in the break - that would have been cool - and at another point world champion Alessandro Bellan attacked, so everyone got to show their colors.

A side note: your may remember Lance ruffled feathers when he called the 2008 Tour de France a "joke".  Later he apologized, saying that was "not correct".  But Andrew Hood looked at last year's Tour top ten, and where they are now, and really Lance was correct.  None of last year's top ten are contending, and only Christian Vande Velde (4th) and Frank Schleck (5th) are in the top ten this year.

Tomorrow is of course the BIG day, the mountaintop finish on Mont Ventoux that we've all been waiting for... you'd have to say Alberto Contador has the yellow jersey safely bagged, but Andy Schleck is less secure in second, and Lance Armstrong will really have to work to defend third.  It should be excellent, please stay tuned...

[ Tour de France 2009: all postsindex ]



Friday,  07/24/09  03:25 PM

Precelebration is the root of all failure - Ole

So it has now been one week since I switched back to the Palm Pre as my everyday cellphone, and I am ready to declare victory.  I really like the phone in all ways - the screen is beautiful, the form factor is excellent (small and curvy, fits perfectly in a pants pocket), it has a real keyboard, the WebOS is cool, easy to use, and multitasks effortlessly, the applications are great, WiFi works, Bluetooth works, GPS works, camera works, etc. 

You will remember my previous experiment with the Pre ended in failure.  I was hopeful that my particular unit was defective, and so it has proven; while I can't say the Pre has amazing battery life, it is certainly good enough, by which I mean I can get up early in the morning and use the phone all day long without having to charge it.  At this point there is no thought in my head about switching back.  I was also pleased to receive the WebOS 1.1 update yesterday, which not only brought some pleasant enhancements to the various apps but also indicates Palm are not resting on their laurels, but will continue to enhance the software.

I also like the Pre accessories, the fact that it can be charged right off USB (so my laptop is my phone charger), and the Touchstone magneto-inductive charging "cradle" is really cool (with the included Clock application, it makes a great desk ornament :)  I'm thrilled with my Plantronics Pro Bluetooth headset; I realize the credit for that goes to Plantronics, not Palm, but the Pre supports Bluetooth well, in fact it has a nice feature I didn't know I wanted: the ability to switch easily between my car's Parrot kit or my headset while driving.

The Achilles heel of the Pre is said to be the Palm App Catalog, which presently has only a small number of third-party applications.  But this is only by comparison with Apple's App Store for the iPhone, which is of course a roaring success; on the whole the fact that there is an open SDK available for the Pre is a big plus.  Heck, I could even create my own apps for my own phone, how cool is that?


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