Book review: Dr Dale’s Zombie Dictionary

Right, there are a plethora of survival self-help books out there, covering vast areas like how to survive as a tourist in Paris with only the English language as a tool, how to survive in Sahara with nothing other than a teaspoon in your backpack. Have you read any of these ?

Of course not,  not only are they useless. But any sensible person would not find themselves in such situations unprepared, and you would at least have a biscuit with you if you venture in to the Sahara desert.

Now granted Zombie outbreaks never mind a Zombie apocalypse is a rare thing. In all of  recorded history there have never been a documented case. However there is doubt when it comes to Mick Jagger, Iggy Pop and that lot. However Michael Jackson  recently debunked the theory of him being of the undead variety by actually dying.

But why play the long odds of such a thing never happening when you know there is a mad scientist just microbes away from releasing the undead plague on an unsuspecting world.

Dr Dale's Zombie Dictionary: The A-Z Guide to Staying AliveThis book covers all areas of Zombie survival, with clear references to movies, books and other zombie related material that any serious Zombie survivalist will have exposed themselves to. It does away with myths and preconceived notions you might have regarding the Zombie uprising.

Right, on a more serious note. This is not a very serious book, but it is hilarious and I really enjoyed reading it. This book does for survival books what Shaun of the Dead did for Zombie movies. It pokes fun at them in a brilliant way. And there are zombies, you can never go wrong with zombies… unless they are Nazi zombies… they’re rubbish. Other zombies mock them.

This is also a great read-a-few-pages-and-put-it-away book, so great for reading on a commute, while traveling or while there is a commercial break in your favorite soap; Coronation street for instance. Or when like me you feel like you don’t have the energy to read a more serious book like say, How to Survive the Sahara desert with nothing but a teaspoon.

So read this seriously funny book, and should the Zombie apocalypse actually happen you are as prepared as you could be.

edit: The Zombie apocalypse might already have started… at least in a virtual sense, hone those zombie evasion skills now with Zombie Streetview.

Opinion: Skype on Android (Open Letter to Skype)

One of my favorite apps on any device is Skype. I am a paying customer, so why then am I affected by the deal Skype has made with Verizon in the US and other parts of the word. A deal that precludes me from getting one of the “killer app feature” video calling.*

Now the iPhone 4 has it, across the globe but android devices, nope. Why not ? I have not found a reason behind it, *though from what I’ve read it seems to stem from some deal Skype made with Verizon Networks.

edit 08.03.2011: Skype Videocalling on Verizon LTE Android devices, comments on the entry while somewhat flammatory has recieved no response from Skype.

Now if this is true, then it is what one could call consumer unfriendly. I suppose it made some sense to the bean counters, a company needs to make money. And such a deal if it exists probably made good sense at the time.

But when Skype made video calling available on iPhone4 handsets regardless of the carrier I am left with a sour taste in my mouth, perhaps Apple made a deal with Skype as well. A deal (again if it exists) that then competes with Apples own Facetime feature.

Now Skype is a company like any other, it needs to make money to make things go round. But please do not alienate your customers by treating them differently based on what network or mobile manufacturer they choose to use. You offer free VoIP (Skype-to-Skype service), registration is free and Video calling is free, so far so good, excellent. You charge for things like having a phone number others can call you on even if they don’t use skype themselves, a service I gladly pay for, and you offer a Skype Out service allowing me to call from skype to people who for some reason doesn’t use skype, or are without a network connection perhaps. Again a service I pay for since I have friends in multiple time zones spread across the globe.l And you provide me with a cheaper alternative to call them.

So why then as a paying customer am I not able to make video calls from my mobile phone (a Galaxy Tab for those interested)  ?

Why would you force me to choose between buying a mobile phone (iPhone4) that supports video calling and buying the one I wanted which you have not enabled to make video calls to ?

If revenue/making money is whats stopping you why not release two clients for android devices; and possibly for the iPhone as well, but I guess that particular cat is out of the bag. One free client which supports the usual VoIP and IM’ing and one, which I would gladly pay for, that supports video calling ?

Surely this would be the better option given that you then do not alienate you customers and generate revenue at the same time ?

So for whatever reason you currently do not, I ask that you give me video calling on the handset of my choice regardless of carrier or manufacturer (preferably to the android devices first though, priorities and all that)

best wishes

Sindre Sandvik

a disgruntled Skype user.