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The Power of a Kiss is giving an entirely different meaning within the pages of this novel. Ted Dekker and Erin Healy do not disappoint in their first collaborative effort. They created a vivid character in Shauna McAllister. The reader can't help but be drawn into her story of trauma induced amnesia and wonder if there is more to the situation than she is told. As the plot twists from one intrigue to another and the reader's suspicion switches between characters you will feel a kinship with Shawna's loneliness of not knowing the truth. The story has a most intriguing plot that is frightening in how believable it is. While the book may start a little slow, it picks up rapidly and soon you will find it hard to put down. This is the first ted Dekker book I have read. I'm a fan now.
*********** UPDATE JAN 27, 2012**************
Thanks to a suggestion from Bino I enabled the performance mode (always had used balanced) and the Prime shined in all it's Quad core glory. The little pauses and lagginess mostly disappeared. I don't know why I hadn't tried this mode, oh yeah, it was because of battery concerns and yes the Prime did die on me today after enabling performance mode even though I barely touched it today. Since I will get the docking station soon then this is not a concern. When I bought the original TF I made a review for the dock saying it was necessary to fully enjoy the TF if you used it all day like me. Now with performance mode I would say the dock is obligatory if you want to use performance mode which you should, otherwise wy buy a Tegra 3 tablet. Let's see how it behaves when the dock arrives. Changed from 4 stars to 5 stars
My Transformer Prime just crashed and rebooted so I have like a minute to write this review...
Ok it's back up, that was fast but... I might as well finish the review.
I'm an Android fan, a Transformer fan, maybe even an ASUS fan. When people talk about Android tablets they always say the Galaxy Tab, the Xoom blah blah, they never mention the ASUS Transformer which was the best and most innovating tablet bar none. I guess this is because people know samsung and Motorola (and LG and HTC, etc) from their phones. ASUS doesn't make phones so it's in a disadvantage there but if you know anything about computer parts then you know ASUS is a pretty big and trustworthy company. They make awesome video cards, awesome mother boards, awesome laptops and a lot more stuff.
I bought the Original Transformer knowing and trusting ASUS completely, I imagine a lot of people dismissed it because they thought ASUS was some crazy crappy company like Coby or Pandigital. What I mean is ASUS is a huge successful company, not some weird newcomer.
The original Transformer was awesome, actually it is awesome, ASUS delivered fast updates and it worked great. Of course when I heard about the prime I had to have it so I sold the original Transformer and I went through the whole nowinstock ordeal, I pre ordered it here and there and then cancelled here and was charged there so had to wait for the funds to be available to pre order it somewhere else and then finally I was able to preorder it at Amazon and it said it would arrive Jan 27 - Feb 10 and then I got an email from Amazon saying hey good news! Your order will arrive sooner, like in 2 days and bam immediate $500 dollar charge but I didn't have the money ready so overdraft fee blah blah. So finally I got my prime like Jan 21 because I don't live in the US.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: When I opened it up I didn't get the wow factor, looks pretty normal to me. Booted up and honeycomb was kinda laggy. I upgraded to ICS and it's snappier in general but it still seems laggy to me in some things like selecting options, for example I enable bluetooth... wait a sec... then I get the notification. I select a recent app... wait a sec... app opens and stuff like that.
COMPARED TO OG TF: I restored my backup from the original Transformer which was almost 200 apps so I guess this could make the tablet laggy but the thing is the old transformer worked just fine. Don't get me wrong, the Transformer Prime is a good experience, it's a good tablet, I just don't feel the difference compared to the original Transformer. If before I had 2 cores and now I have 4+1, why does it feel a little slower? You know what I mean? If it was super easy to sell the old one and buy the new one it would be different but to get a Champagne Prime at retail price is hard and I'm not sure it was worth it, now I don't have the keyboard dock which is annoying but I was finally able to order it from Tigerdirect so I'm waiting for it to arrive.
WIFI? GPS? Who cares about GPS in a wifi Tablet? Seriously? Wifi to me has been choppy. Works fine next to the router obviously but not so much in my room but the OG transformer didn't work so well in the room either, we have thick brick walls here so that sucks.
SHOULD YOU WAIT FOR THE IPAD3? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO what is wrong with you people? If the Prime was a disappointment to you for some reason that doesn't mean you have to go to crapple!! The OG Transformer is available, other tablets are available, more tablets will come besides people are more likely to write a review if they want to complain about something so count each good review as double or triple.
CRASHES: My apps very rarely crash and the Prime never crashed until today while I was trying to watch a Youtube video and I use all day all the time.
IS IT REALLY SLOWER THAN THE OG TF? This is a Tegra 3 so if you used a T3 optimized app like the jetski game that splashes the screen n stuff I'm sure it will run great and it won't run on the original TF (Or it won't run the same). But for general use like scrolling around, looking at widgets and opening my usual apps like Netfix, Pulse, Cnet TV, Doggcatcher, Youtube, etc it doesn't feel faster to me.
WHY DON'T YOU RETURN IT? It's not easy for me to return stuff since I'm not in the US. I still wouldn't return it because I don't want to go back and then I stumble upon a Tegra 3 only app that I can't get cause I went back. Also the prime is lighter and thinner and prettier, I finally ordered the dock so... I might as well keep it. Besides when the TF700 comes out it and if it works well I could probably sell the Prime and get that one.
FINAL WORDS: The prime has issues but it's a good machine. You might be satisfied with the OG Prime which is a hundred bucks cheaper and the dock is now also cheaper, maybe you can find one in a store to play around with. Besides ASUS has announced that ICS is coming soon to the OG TF. I've had many Android devices and this is stuff you live with if you want to be free. I'd rather have one crash a month and wifi a little slow then to live in a little cube where crapple dictates your life, that's just pathetic.
This shoe is much more comfortable than I expected - It's hard to tell I'm wearing bike shoes when off the bike. I do not hear the cleat scraping the ground like I've read in other reviews. After tinkering a bit with cleat position I find these to clip in and release with ease and haven't had any mishaps leading to a fall yet - they stay locked in during various street and trail use. They are well designed, built with quality, priced appropriately, comfortable, nicely ventilated and are highly functional on and off road. I use them with the Shimano PD-M545, which came with the SH-51 cleats. These are my first clip in shoes and pedals and I couldn't be happier as a beginner. I was so worried I'd have a few embarrassing falls my first time out, but so far I haven't had a single incident.
I think the title says it all. This Kindle is very comfortable to hold. The ability to change the font size is great for older people. To download a book from Amazon is more than easy. I happen to live in an area where the Whisper Network for Sprint does not work but does work just a few miles away. I order my books on-line and then merely download them to my Kindle when I run to town. The time it takes to download a book is hardly measurable.
By the way, I purchased a re-furbished Kindle 1.
Sam Harris' new book, The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values, provides a clear and insightful challenge to those who have conceded the moral argument to the moral relativists. He has made, sometime redundantly, the point that moral good can be derived from whatever creates human well-being, thus being a subject that can be studied scientifically, allowing us to make objective claims, at least in principle, about moral right and wrong.
Harris doesn't shy away from the label, "moral realist," and in fact he defends this position admirably. He makes excellent points about some of the cultural practices that create misery for large numbers of a population, under the moral umbrella of religious practice, and how many of our intellectuals are reluctant to condemn these practices as morally offensive and just plain mistaken.
I think this should be a must read for any open-minded intellectual who seems to think that moral issues can't be objectified and that we shouldn't impose our values on other societies. He believes, rightly so, that our political correct, multiculturalism has gone too far, and now refuses to recognize any standards of human behavior.
Harris did, in my opinion, miss some opportunities to make a good point. He quotes philosopher and neuroscientist, Joshua Greene, and then argues against Greene's points.
However, when Greene states: "And like may of our common sense abilities, our ability to make moral judgments feels to us like a perceptual ability, an ability, in this case, to discern immediately and reliably mind-independent moral facts. As a result we are naturally inclined toward a mistaken belief in moral realism."
I believe that Harris should have jumped upon this implication that because something isn't mind-independent, it can't be a real fact and subject to the idea of realism. There are many objective facts that are mind-dependent and also collective mind-dependent. One great example, used by philosopher John Searle, is that of money. There is no physical, mind-independent fact about those little green pieces of paper, and lately, those little ones and zeros in bank computers that makes them intrinsically money. They are money because we accept them as money, believe they are money and treat them as money. Money is mind-dependent, actually also collectively mind-dependent, and yet it has an objective reality. It can provide food and shelter for people, cause the building of cities, allow governments--an other mind-dependent fact--to function and finance bombs that can level cities.
One other small issue I have with Harris' otherwise clear reasoning was his take on free will, denying it actually exists. He cites the neuronal basis for all human thoughts and actions, stating that thought just bubble up from within the brain, and that each thought is an effect with a cause. He discusses neuronal, psychological and environmental causes that make each human act determined. He also brings in moral responsibility, a central argument used by British philosopher and literary critic Galen Strawson. It appears that moral responsibility is only one part of the free will issue, and given the points made by Harris and Strawson, it would seem that genetic, psychological and environmental causes could give us a reason to claim we were not free agents and thus not responsible for our actions. This is used in court often enough. However, if we assume the mental structure we define as the self, the conscious and self-conscious entity that is now reading, understanding and forming opinion about these words, you can see that direct, physical causality really doesn't work. Many thoughts rise up, but we organize them into intentions, an active process, and from these intentions, we make decisions. If even the simplest decision can be said to be free, we cannot deny free will. I have a bowl with chocolates wrapped in three colors, green, red and silver. I reach for one, pausing only for a fraction of a second to choose, no issues involved, no moral responsibility, just an arbitrary choice. On a very basic level, that amounts of free will, and we can build on that to choose to write this review or to write Harris' otherwise wonderful book.
Values and morals are no less objectively real than money, justice, elected leaders or other facts of society. We can't relegate mental and social process to some ambiguous concepts where objective evaluation can't proceed.
While I can look at Harris' work, one that really needed to be written and read, and in the process find some points that weren't made strongly enough for my taste, as well as some that I felt might have been overstated, that in no way takes anything away from this book. He has said something that, at this moment in history, really needed to be said.
In short, if you ever think about these issues, you need to read this book.