Ideas for app developers

I started thisnpost early last year and saved it. It still applies, so I’m going to publish it now. 

I’ve had my smartphone for over 2 years now. I’ve gotten used to the idea and practice of holding a small computer in my pocket just to make calls and do stuff. I really like having the ability to do the various things it allows: access to travel plans, maps, pictures, and the larger world. There are apps on my phone that are invaluable to me.

But there are apps on my phone that I initially downloaded that were useful that are losing their utility for me. As the phone and battery age, and the battery life degrades, I’m having to pay closer and closer attention to performance issues that I was once able to overlook.

It seems that a growing trend in phone apps is to have them start up when the phone boots up. It isn’t enough to have access to them when you want it, you must have them on ALL THE TIME. And if you do try to turn them off? Well, its just too bad, so sad, you can’t. There is no way to turn the app off. You can back out of it, but it stays on and takes up memory space, as well as adds to the power drain on your battery. I don’t care that you the developer think that your app is the best thing since sliced bread, and should be able to go instantly. I use your app differently that you think I should. Give me the option to turn the damn thing off. If it doesn’t already start up at the phone booting up, DON’T ADD THAT TO ITS NEWLY UPGRADED FEATURES! You don’t add value to it by doing so, you make me re-evaluate its status as a valuable tool, and it becomes more likely to be uninstalled.

The day has come, bankruptcy is upon us

I watched my twitter feed closely this afternoon. After being put off several months, the county commission finally made a decision on a course of action.

Its only been over three YEARS since they had the option. I blogged about this in August 2008. And millions of dollars have been spent in interest, millions of dollars have been spent in lawyers’ fees, and millions of dollars have been spent in receiver fees.

It sucks. Its not good for anyone. But the alternative is worse. The county has been functionally bankrupt for over 2 years. The loss of tax revenue, thank you very much you greedy, money grubbing pair of lawyers who were only in it for the fees you could get, has removed a third of the previous budget from the table. And JP Morgan, that sorry excuse for a financial institution, has given the county major contradictory signals when it came to trying to negotiate some sort of solution to refinancing the debt. It was willing to forgive Greece billions in its debt owed, but wants to make up any difference on the shoulders of Jefferson county residents. Then the court appointed receiver wants to do the bidding of his corporate overlord, JPMorgan, and hike the sewer rates that have already risen over 300% another 300%. He’s only being paid $500.00 per HOUR to come in and raise the sewer rates.

When the county commission met in September, they were trying in good faith to avoid bankruptcy, and Governor Bentley twisted the commissioner’s arms in executive session to keep them from declaring bankruptcy at that time. The governor said he would get the county’s legislative delegation to come to an agreement about how to help the county raise the money and meet the bond obligations. The local business leaders have been all pissed off cause its going to impact their ability to get a loan, but they’ve done nothing to actually work to create a solution.

Then the county’s legislative delegation refused to come to any compromise on an additional revenue stream for the county. The governor couldn’t get them to do it. They wouldn’t budge. As before, the county tried to work with the banks to come to some sort of equally agreeable decision for both parties. And, as before, the banks tried to get the county to agree to things they had no control over, and forgive less than they first offered. So the county finally pulled the trigger on bankruptcy.

Now the governor is hurt and mad that he was shown as the ineffectual leader that he is. And the sewer receiver is threatening bad things for the county and its residents because his master the bank has been told that it won’t get things that the commission can’t legally give it. This is going to affect municipal bonds all over the state, cause the banks are now going to go into reprisal mode.

Interesting times.

And its all for the want of a nice suit and some cashola. There are currently 5 previous county commissioners that have been convicted of felonies, four of them directly related to this sewer mess. The county is now screwed for avarice of some people and institutions.