Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Samsung Galaxy S 3 First Impressions

Continuing with my series of first impressions reviews of the devices I purchase, I present the Samsung Galaxy S 3.  I had actually ordered this phone several months ago and scored it while Verizon was still offering to grandfather in unlimited data plans.  And so far I've been generally happy with this new device.  Success measured by how many coworkers bought a Galaxy S 3, especially after having recently "upgraded" to something else.


My previous exposure to Android powered phones was the Motorola Droid.  With an ARM Cortex A8 processor and 16 GB memory, it was definitely not a slouch in the hardware department when it came out.  This phone had a processor and memory that challenged the capabilities of my first desktop computer in college.  The Samsung Galaxy S 3 posts numbers better than twice as high as the OG Droid.  Memory is expandable to 64 GB and the form factor is nearly an inch larger on the diagonal.


Two versions of Android later, the difference is noticeable.  Also noticeable is the change from Motoblur to Samsung TouchWiz.  Having never seen pure Android UI I can only make the comparison from one manufacturer's interface to another.  Google has built in and standardized a great deal of functionality into the operating system while allowing manufacturers ample leeway to differentiate their product; not always for the better.
I don't like most of Samsung's software on this phone.
The saving grace is that, under Android 4 and above, you the user can disable any application you want, including most of Samsung's proprietary code.  In fact I've done this with many apps, killing the original calendar, music players, and S Voice, along with some other bloatware.  Sorry Amazon Kindle app and Facebook; you're gone.  Fortunately, as an Android phone, the Galaxy has full access to the Google Play Store, where I was easily able to replace and expand the phone's built-in software.

Final word

While I like the Samsung Galaxy S 3, even as a replacement to the Motorola Droid, it has some issues but is still a guaranteed upgrade.

Buzz Off

Provided there is no allergic reaction, the first aid for a bee sting is simple. Quickly remove the stinger by scraping with the back edge of a blade or card.  After that, treat the injury as you would a puncture wound.  That is, wash with soap and clean water.  Because of the injected venom an insect sting can quickly become complicated.  In severe cases it can cause a condition known as anaphylaxis.  This life-threatening condition is characterized by a whole-body allergic reaction including hives and difficulty breathing.

Luckily, I am not that susceptible to bee venom.  But my minor allergic reaction to getting stung last summer means I am at increased risk of anaphylaxis in the future.  I was at summer camp at Camp Fiesta Island, San Diego, CA, the week of 4 July with my Boy Scout troop.  For the rest of this article, I present my point of view of an injury and its treatment.

Here is a picture from immediately after the bee sting.  To give the viewer some perspective, that is my left forearm above a table.  The bee sting is the reddening spot on the right (underside) of the arm.  This bee had discovered a nice place to rest in a fold of my T-shirt when I brushed my arm against her.
Bee sting is on the side of the arm. Picture taken immediately after impact.

I knew this was a relatively minor injury for me and cleaned my arm after scraping out the stinger.  Then I watched for allergic reaction and was prepared to treat for shock.  As it happens, the bee sting did lead to an allergic reaction.  I treated the symptoms with calamine lotion to control the itching and antibiotic lotion to prevent infection. 
One day after I attacked a resting bee.

The venom spread slowly, as it does, through the muscle tissue in my arm.  It looked the worst several days after the attack.  
Bulls eye.  Three days later.

After about a week, I still had a bruise from the tissue damaged by the venom but had otherwise recovered.  It's important to note that I was not grievously injured here.  Bees leave only small puncture wounds but can cause serious allergic reactions.  This is clearly an allergic reaction but it is minor.  
Just a bruise.