January 11th, 2008



The Apple iPhone

Now that it's 2008, the iPhone is no longer the latest and hottest thing about... oh, there are still people excitedly buying them? Huh. (grin) Just goes to show you what great design is capable of, even when performance isn't completely optimized in reality.

Anyway, a friend in the U.K. forwarded me a link to a WIRED Online article "The Untold Story: How the iPhone Blew Up the Wireless Industry". Relatively interesting, but I think it misses the point.

The Phone-less iPhone

It's not just that there's the iPhone changing how we think of mobile phones, but there's the iPod Touch -- which looks something like an iPhone without the phone. The "iTouch" isn't just an MP3 and video playing iPod with a touch screen, though. It's a portable Wi-Fi web browser which works damned well. IMHO, the iTouch is changing how we think of PDA browsers.

As a PDA, the iTouch sucks. You may be able to walk around with 8 or 16GB, but you can't mostly access that memory directly from the screen. You can't mark or copy or save text or images from Web pages.

But it views more webpages and handles more e-mail systems natively than most Windows Mobile (Windows CE) PDAs do and the ability to effortlessly zoom in and out or scroll around on the touch screen makes viewing webpages on a tiny screen more than just an interesting affect -- it's useful.

And that is what intrigues me. True portable yet tiny web browsing that is useful.

New Cell Phones

I will shortly be getting new cell phones for myself and Mrs. Dr. Phil. We bought a pair of Motorola V60i phones from Alltel in January 2003 and five years later, it would've been down to either new phones or a third set of batteries. Except we just got a notice from Alltel that the FCC wants our old phone's frequencies back. They've also been bugging us to get GPS enabled phones for Enhanced 911 use for a year or two.

Would I look at the iPhone? Probably not. The AT&T EDGE network is too slow and the next generation iPhone is still a year or two out. Not going to spend big bucks on that. Also, I just want a phone. I don't want a phone that plays MP3s, games or videos. I don't want to even hint of risky my battery life on stuff that's not mission critical. Because, when your vehicle is dead on the side of the road, it takes time to arrange for AAA and call people to say that you have to cancel class, etc.

No, not the iPhone for me. Not yet. But I would like a phone that I can get a GSM card and use in Finland or the U.K. or elsewhere in the world, if and when we get out of the country again. Yeah, I'd like that.

Dr. Phil
  • Current Music
    Quarterflash - Shakin' the Jinx

Fourth-Quarter Report

From 2003-2006, I finished the year with 7 stories out in the field. This year, I upped the ante by ending up with 9 stories. Since I've managed to have the same number out or higher at the end of each year, that's setting the bar higher, which is pretty brash considering that when I came back from Christmas, I was down to only 4 stories -- with two markets that I would normally send submissions to closed for the moment. (grin) Somehow, since June 2002, I have never had zero stories out to market, which is all I can ask of myself.

The Totals:
176 submissions (42 "wins" - 119 "rejects" - 6 "No Calls")
50 short stories written, 9 currently in the field
4 published: 3 in print, 1 web + 7 additional stories online

Year          2002  2003  2004  2005  2006  2007(12/31)
Submissions     8*   24    26    26    40    52 (12)
Returns         3    22    26    26    40    50 (11)
-- Wins         0     5    10     7     9    11 (3)
-- Rejects      2    15    15    18    30    39 (8)
-- No Calls     1     2     1     1     1     0 (0)
Number Out      5     7     7     7     7     9 (1)
  at year's end
New Stories     8     9    11     8     7     7 (2)
New Markets     6     9     8     6     9     6 (2)
E-submissions   2     2     2     6    19    29 (6)
Sales           0     0     0     1     0     2 (0)
Prizes          0     2     2     0     3     0 (0)
-- Honorables   0     1     2     0     1     2 (1)
Paid            0     1     0     1     2     1 (0)
Pending Publ.   0     1     2     2     3     5 (0)
Published       0     0     1     1     2     0 (0)
-- Print        0     0     1     1     1     0 (0)
-- Web          0     0     0     0     1     0 (0)
Other Publ.     0     0     0     0     1     7 (0)
                               updated 01-11-08

* - Partial year stats for 2002. Numbers in (parens)
    are partial stats for the last quarter.
(1) Wins includes Sales, Prizes, Honorable Mentions,
WOTF Quarter/Semi/Finalists even without publication,
plus Encouraging Letters from Editors which just cannot
be considered the same as a straight rejection.
(2) No Calls include Contests canceled, Publications
gone under, Manuscripts lost by the USPS, and Manuscripts
withdrawn after Way Too Much Time (usually associated
with Publications gone under).
(3) New Stories is only for stories shipped, does not
include all 2004 Clarion workshop stories or chapbook
stories sent to friends and family or Ficlets.
(4) New Markets are those first-time submissions for
Dr. Phil, not necessarily a new market in the industry.
(5) Honorables include Honorable and Laudable Mentions
which do not win a cash prize, but may be eligible for
print or web publication.
(6) Pending includes all currently unpublished stories.
(7) Other Publ. include short stories placed on blog
"A Rosebourne Christmas" for Christmas 2006,
and 7 very short stories at http://ficlets.com/dr-phil-physics.

BIBLIOGRAPHY of Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon
1. "The Gravediggers" in CrossTIME Anthology Vol. III. 
Santa Fe NM: CrossTIME, 2004.  pp. 44-63.  (August 2004)
ISBN 1-890109-06-1

2. "The Pulse of the Sea" in Northwest Passages: A Cascadian 
Odyssey / edited by Cris DiMarco, hosted by Cascadian Con.  
Port Orchard WA: Fandom Press, the co-operative division 
of Windstorm Creative, 2005.  pp. 179-194.  (September 2005) 
ISBN 1-59092-185-2

3. "Boxes" in CrossTIME Anthology Vol. V.  
Santa Fe NM: CrossTIME, 2006.  pp. 132-147.  (September 2006)  
ISBN-13 978-1-890109-08-0

4. "Dead Forever" at Ralan's Web Spectravaganza; 2nd Prize 
2006 Grabber Contest.  Illustration by Teresa Tunaley.  (October 2006)

In no particular order, at the close of 2007 I had stories out at:

-- Writers of the Future
-- F&SF
-- Analog
-- Asimov's
-- Interzone (U.K.)
-- Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show
-- Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine
-- Southern Fried Weirdness Online
-- Space and Time Magazine

Since this is being published in January, I'll spare us all the mock suspense and come right out and say that on 5 January 2008 I heard from Writers of the Future that one of my two 2007 Finalists, "A Man in the Moon", was selected to be included in the next WOTF anthology. This is huge. That sale, however, won't show up until the First Quarter 2008 statistics. (grin) And the check won't come til late in the summer. (double-entry-grin)

Despite only receiving one check for the entire year (thank you, Nikki!), this has been a very good year. For a while I thought I wasn't making much progress, but I've been working on quite a number of new stories which will soon be heading out into the wild and I've managed to go through my 50-story Invenstory and send many of them on to a lot of markets. Keep the pump primed, so to speak. Making my writing "more better".

I can only imagine that 2008 is going to be a very good an even better year.

Dr. Phil
  • Current Music
    A Whiter Shade of Pale