Daily Archives: November 23, 2010

A kid, an off-duty cop, and a community’s outrage

henry dangA few days ago, I wrote about teen Henry Dang’s tragic death and disturbing details about the actions of the off-duty cop who hit him and others on the Windsor Locks police force.

This case continues to unfold. Initially, the off-duty cop’s lawyer stated his client hadn’t been drinking. This assertion is clearly disputed by witness accounts and tavern surveillance video.

Now, the Hartford Courant is reporting the off-duty cop’s lawyer has said the accident was “unavoidable” and that whether (the off-duty cop) was intoxicated or not was irrelevant.

Really? I wonder how well that rationale will work for other drivers stopped for driving while impaired. Is the fact that State Police investigators determined the off-duty cop was driving 73mph, over twice the posted 35mph speed limit,  irrelevant? How does this assertion reconcile with the fact that a witness driving the opposite direction on the same street at the time, was able to see Henry on his bike, and then heard the collision?

During the off-duty cop’s initial court appearance today, “Not Guilty” pleas were entered, as well as request for a jury trial. These pleas seem routine, and it’s difficult to see how the abundance of evidence uncovered by the State Police outlined in the arrest warrant can be ignored once the case goes to trial.

According to the Hartford Courant, , the case has been assigned to Judge David P. Gold. From the Courant: Gold [ ] handles the most serious crimes in the Hartford Judicial District. Most defendants are arraigned in a lower court and then Gold reviews the cases and decides whether to advance them to the more serious docket. But the seriousness of the case propelled it immediately to Gold’s courtroom.

This case is reminiscent of the recent Hayes trial in the way the community has responded with intense passion. News videos feature comments from community members questioning why the off-duty cop was treated differently by police than other drivers.

Online articles posted by news outlets like the Hartford Courant and WTNH receive hundreds of comments questioning the actions of the off-duty cop and decrying suspected cover-up by the Windsor Locks PD.

The online comments are intelligent and thought provoking. Here are excerpts from just a few:

A new police candidate who admits to abusing drugs or alcohol or worse, driving impaired is disqualified from the process. There are certain actions that are auto DQ such as domestic violence, drug sales, or other acts that would reflect a negative image. During the interview process you are questioned on situations where your actions could be compromised. This event is text book on what not to do. (Excerpt from comment posted by West Haven Drunk Cop @ wtnh.com)

If the public sees this case as more than just great blog material we MUST stay with this story until the very end. Why? Because the defense is already setting up the playing board so that his client will suffer as little damage as possible when this is said and done. (Excerpt from comment posted by Chucky @ wtnh.com)

I guess that’s why I’m blogging about this tragic story. I can’t do anything to help bring Henry back, but I can blog in an effort to ensure his story doesn’t fade away.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab: Initial impressions & comparison shopping

samsung-galaxy-tabIf asked a week ago, I’d have said the Samsung Galaxy Tab was the product I was least likely to buy. Although it looked interesting, I couldn’t understand why someone would buy a 7” tablet. Really, why?

Still, I’d been reading positive articles about the Galaxy Tab by James Kendrick and was intrigued. To learn more, I went to try the Galaxy Tab hands on. It’s a solid, well-built device with a beautiful, responsive touchscreen. I watched a YouTube video and surfed the web. Easy to handle. Text displayed clearly & crisply. I liked it, but wasn’t too sure about buying it @ $399 with 3G contract.

So, I visited some nearby stores to check out products that could be considered similar:

Huawei Ideos S7 7” tablet: Interesting feature set on paper (including Android 2.1), but I found the resistive touchscreen to be frustrating and not worth $299. Screen wasn’t responsive enough, and I didn’t like pressing so hard to activate a function.

Velocity Cruz 7” tablet: Another 7” tablet, but this time running Android 2.0. Build quality seemed cheap. Not compelling enough to spend ~$300.

Archos 7 Home Tablet: Cheaper than other 7” tablets at $199, and apparently running Android 2.1. However, read reports of poor WIFI connectivity. Why is it named the “Home Tablet”? Based on some reviews, apparently due to poor battery life.

I got to thinking, if my main use case would be as eReader, why not consider Kindle, nook, etc.? So I wandered over to see those. Both the Nook and Kindle are well-built quality devices (I owned the Kindle 2, and had used it day in and day out). The free 3G connectivity is enticing. However, while my main use was to read ebooks, I didn’t want a device limited to just one usage scenario. I also find E Ink’s reverse display during page turns distracting. (Note: There are rumors the $249 nookcolor will be hacked to enable broader use as an Android device. Stay tuned.)

Despite finding the Kindle and nook too limited, I realized I loved the device dimensions as a comfortable fit for an eReader. The roots of a Galaxy Tab were planted…

Before buying a Tab, I revisited the iPad as ebook reader. I love the iPad for bringing tablets to the masses, but find it uncomfortable to curl up with like a book. As an eReader, it is simply too big despite its other qualities.

Aside from the quality of the device itself, what finally compelled me to buy the tab-homeTab? RadioShack’s Sprint Galaxy Tab $350 sale (11/21 – 11/24/2010). I went with the 2GB $29.99 data package since I’ll generally use the Tab at home.

Now that I’ve had the Tab a few days, I’m finding I enjoy it even more than expected. I’m reading Keith Richards’ autobiography, Life, on the Kindle for Android app. I’m keeping up with news via the WSJ, NY Times, and Financial Times Android tablet apps. I’m reading PriusChat and AndroidCentral forum posts on the Tapatalk Pro app. I’m reading Twitter posts via the Toiuteur Premium app. I added the Clockr Evolution text clock widget. I’ve played chess on the SparkChess HD Lite android tablet app (requires Adobe Air) and honed my Angry Birds gameplay skills. I’ve taken screenshots by pressing the Back and power buttons simultaneously.

I love the apps that are configured for tablet display but haven’t had seen any display issues for apps not specifically intended for Android tablets.

For my usage scenarios (ebook reading and couch surfing), the Tab is perfect. Comfortable to hold with a crisp, easy to read screen. If your use scenarios are similar to mine, definitely recommend the Tab as an option.