Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Questions to ask when shopping for Homeoners Insurance or switching

As I do periodically I wanted to get some quotes on homeowners policy and I wanted to make sure I was looking at things "apples to apples" comparison. Below is a list of some questions I researched to ask during the process to help.

  • [BASIC] What is covered under the new policy and what is excluded?
  • [BASIC] How much would it cost to rebuild or replace our home from a total loss? Is there a percentage of value?
  • [BASIC] Are there any discounts we might qualify for?
  • [BASIC] What would our deductibles be and for what?
  • [BASIC] Is mold covered under the policy?
  • [DETAILED] How much liability protection would we have and what is covered and what is excluded?
  • [DETAILED] Do you offer separate flood/earthquake/sewer backup insurance policy?
  • [DETAILED] What is my coverage for Additional Living Expenses (ADL) is included? 
  • [DETAILED] Do you offer a umbrella coverage? How much would it be and what wold it cover?
I hope this helps you in your search for better rates.

Facebook Marketplace & Craiglist Acronyms

You might have seen the following acronyms when searching on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. I was confused at first, but after some use I figured them out.

AFAIK: As Far as I Know
CP: Cross Posted
FS: For Sale
FCFS: First Come First Served
FP: Fixed Price or Firm Price
OBO: Or Best Offer
PPU: Please Pick Up
POMS: Posted on Multiple Sites

I hope this helps you if you had questions.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Whiskey & Bouron Life List

Below is a list of Whiskey & Bourbons I have that I would like to try or have tried and reviewed:

Standard
  • Glenmorangi Original 10 yr [Tasted]
  • Eagle Rare
  • Bulleit 10 yr [Tasted]
  • Monkey Shoulder [Tasted]
  • Buffalo Trace [Tasted]

Premium
  • Blanton's Original Single Barrel
  • Four Roses Single Barrel [Tasted]
  • Four Roses Private Selection
  • Maker's Mark Cask Strength
  • Elijah Craig Barrel Proof
  • Hibiki Harmony

Ultra Premium
  • Yamazaki 12
  • Yamazaki 18
  • Aberlour A'bunadh
  • Glenmorangie Signet
  • Nikka Pure Malt

Uber Coupon Code 2017 $20 off

Uber coupon code 2017 good for $20 off your first ride.

Uber Code: matts32873ue

Let us know your it works.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

How to Stop or Remove Spam Calendar Invites on iCloud?


NOTE: If you "Accept" or "Decline" the calendar invite this alerts the spammer that you are a real user and the spam you receive will increase.

To remove the calendar spam follow these steps as highlighted by our Dutch friends at appletips.nl

Step 1. Open your iCloud calendar app (for this demonstration I am using the web version)

Step 2. Go to Calendars and add a new calendar




Step 3. Click the "Edit" button and then the "+" to add a calendar. You can call it anything you want "spam," or leave it as the default "untitled 1." I left mine as the default "untitled 1."

Step 4. Open each invite and move it to the new calendar "untitled 1"

Step 5. Repeat this step for all spam invites.

Step 6. Now delete the spam calendar "untitled 1." Click the "Edit" button then the red button next to "untitled 1." to delete the spam calendar.



Not only will this remove all current spam, but it should eliminate any further ones from that sender.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Best iPhone Case for 6/6S & iPhone 6/6S Plus

After trying several cases over the last year I have settled on a case that fits my style, personality and provides functionality.

My recommendation for best iPhone case is the Spigen "Slim Armor" case. This is the case that I now use on my iPhone 6.

Pros:
  • Feels very durable
  • Has a lightweight design
  • Has enough friction to not constantly fall out of your pocket
  • Easily access the headphone port
  • Allows phone to be connected to a good variety of third party devices 
  • Allows free access to the Tough ID for quick access to phone
Con:
  • Case is not an ultra durable case (maximum protection)
  • Case does not come with a belt clip or holster for specific activities
  • Case does not provide superior protection for the screen
In my extensive use of this case I can tell you that I have been pleasantly surprised that for around $16 I have a case that fulfills the majority of what I want in an iPhone case.  Before this case I was using the OtterBox Defender and found it to be bulky and awkward. The case hid the features of the phone and the protective film over the Touch ID sensor.

I have dropped the phone inadvertently while using it and the case provided a great buffer from a waist height drop. The case protects the corners and will protect the phone against a face first fall. The one downside in the protection area is that it will not protect the phone against a piecing fall. For example if the phone would fall onto a sharp rock it may crack the glass.

Overall, I believe you will be surprised by how seamless this case will protect the phone while not interfering with your use.


If your interested in what they look like check them out here:
iPhone 6/6S: http://amzn.to/2a8sTZr
iPhone 6 plus / 6S plus: http://amzn.to/2a8tsmb

Best iPhone Case for 6/6S & iPhone 6/6S Plus

After trying several cases over the last year I have settled on a case that fits my style, personality and provides functionality.

My recommendation for best iPhone case is the Spigen "Slim Armor" case. This is the case that I now use on my iPhone 6.

Pros:
  • Feels very durable
  • Has a lightweight design
  • Has enough friction to not constantly fall out of your pocket
  • Easily access the headphone port
  • Allows phone to be connected to a good variety of third party devices 
  • Allows free access to the Tough ID for quick access to phone
Con:
  • Case is not an ultra durable case (maximum protection)
  • Case does not come with a belt clip or holster for specific activities
  • Case does not provide superior protection for the screen
In my extensive use of this case I can tell you that I have been pleasantly surprised that for around $16 I have a case that fulfills the majority of what I want in an iPhone case.  Before this case I was using the OtterBox Defender and found it to be bulky and awkward. The case hid the features of the phone and the protective film over the Touch ID sensor.

I have dropped the phone inadvertently while using it and the case provided a great buffer from a waist height drop. The case protects the corners and will protect the phone against a face first fall. The one downside in the protection area is that it will not protect the phone against a piecing fall. For example if the phone would fall onto a sharp rock it may crack the glass.

Overall, I believe you will be surprised by how seamless this case will protect the phone while not interfering with your use.


If your interested in what they look like check them out here:
iPhone 6/6S: http://amzn.to/2a8sTZr
iPhone 6 plus / 6S plus: http://amzn.to/2a8tsmb

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Pay ATT Bill with Promotional Card Online

Below are the steps on how to pay your ATT bill online using your Promotional Card.

I was having a hard time finding out how to pay my ATT bill with my "Promotional Card" that I had received when I had sent in my old iPhone 4. Several websites indicated there where "hacks" to be able to get this to work and after contacting the website on the card www.att.com/tradein and calling the 1-877-659-1886 number I was directed to go to an ATT retail store (not a authorized retailer). Finally I found that the website has been updated and you can do it all online now as of 1/2015.


  1. Log into your ATT account
  2. Click on the "Make a Payment"
    • Note if your have auto-payment enabled you may need to alter it for the month
  3. Under "Payment Method" you can now select "New Promotional Card"
  4. Enter the information from the Promotional Card
  5. Success! You should be able to credit your account from your Promotional Card. 

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Swtiching to Droco 6 Blade System from Gillette Fusion Proglide (Bonus: Dorco Codes)


I wanted to make a change. I was sick with the price per cartridge that I was paying to use the Gillette Fusion Proglide ($49.98 for 14 ct = $3.57 per cartridge) and I decided that it was time to look for an alternative. I have used the Gillette Fusion over the last few years after switching from the Mach III.

I found the Dorco 6 Blade System as a comparative substitute for what I needed the razor to do. The price from the Dorco USA website is $5.71 for the handle and 2 cartridges or $6.25 for 4 ct = $1.56 per cartridge. That's over a $2 savings per each cartridge.

I have used the Dorco 6 Blade System to shave both my face and head and have found that it took a few times to get used to the different style than the Fusion Proglide. I have found that for my head shaving it does take a few extra strokes to get the back of my head. Using it on my face I have found a comfortable and smooth shave.

Overall, for the price I would encourage anyone to purchase a base set and give it a try. If it works it will save you a bunch of money. When switching know that it will take a few shaves at least two weeks to really break in the new razor. Most of it is just getting used to the hold and technique for using a different blade system.

Pro's:
- Razor did not nick or cut and appeared sharp
- 6 blade system provided a comfortable shave experience
- Blade has good movement to get hard to reach spots

Con's:
- The razor head feels smaller than others
- Razor handle has a little cheaper feel

Other Suggestions:
- Dollar Shave Club
- Harry's Razors

Dorco USA Discounts:
Dorco Code Save 20%
Coupon Code: TYTYTY
Expires: 9-12-2014

Dorco Code Save 20%
Coupon Code: TOGETHER
Expires: 8-31-2014

Dorco Coupon Code Save 25%
Coupon Code: BTS2014
Expires: 8/15/14

Dorco Coupon Code Save 25%
Coupon Code: DTravel25
Expires: 8/8/14

Friday, November 29, 2013

Walmart 1 Hour Guarantee - 2013


The short version:
Tried to use Walmarts 1 hour guarantee service completely sucked. No phone service, still had to wait in line 2.5 hours to pay for card so I returned the card and walked in Target the next day and walked out with same product in-hand. Someone at Walmart should have had a plan B.

The long version:
See below

What to know:
Walmart was offering a 1 hour guarantee on Thanksgiving Day 2013 for two main events 6PM and 8 PM and Black Friday morning at 8 AM if you met certain criteria.

Some things to know:

  • You must claim voucher by December 1st
  • You can't lose the credit (it turns into a large gift card)
  • In-store pick-up only
  • You may not get the exact same item you ordered

For a full list of "Details and Gotcha's" check here http://www.gottabemobile.com/2013/11/28/walmart-black-friday-2013-guaranteed-deal-details-gotchas

My personal experience:
My wife and I made the conscious decision to go out on Thanksgiving Day for only one item because it was guaranteed and we could get it for on-sale and with $100 gift card to use for other gifts. So after getting home from our family dinner we decided to head out to Walmart at 15 to 6:00 PM to try to get their 1 hour guarantee card to have the ability to purchase an iPad Mini and get the $100 gift card to use for other gifts.

When we arrived at the Walmart (on North Avenue in Northlake, IL 60164) it was still a crazy zoo and people were already tearing into the 6:00 PM shrink wrapped isles of products that were denoted by balloons (GPS here, Canon camera, etc). One group had even taken it upon themselves to start opening an 8:00 PM deal and I thought we were about to see the national guard deployed. So we finally made our way to the "iPad Line" and began asking for what we needed to do. It appeared that with all the extra help that 1 out of every 5 employees actually knew what was going on and the others were just decoys wearing a Walmart smock attempting to direct people (very timidly). So from the beginning a frustrating process. Finally after 10 minutes a lady came around and issued us a "voucher" that we had to hold onto and pay for our product and the wait started. This process took of waiting and paying for our voucher took over 2.5 hours of waiting in line and watching another 8:00 PM sale happen. Which happened 5 minutes early according to my cell phone. But people had begun to arrive and find the shrink wrapped products and hold onto items "claiming" them until they were unwrapped.

Once we paid we were told that we needed to go home as the voucher indicated and register for our product and designate which store we wanted it shipped to. Our first big surprise was that the gift card was an e-gift card that we would receive only after our product shipped. The cashier clearly stated we had until December 1st to do this and at the time seemed like a long time away (this was Thursday November 28th). However, when I got home and tried to access the website I couldn't get one and had to wait for a few hours until I could get through. Second big surprise was that once I could access the website my receipt was not done correctly and did not have the required "Access Code" to register my iPad Mini. So my next two options were to call their support number 1 (877) 745-0190 which I tried to call (about 30 times) but I finally gave up because it was the same recording over and over and it didn't let stay on hold to get a representative or give useful information.

Finally I tried two more times on off hours at (2:30 AM and 5:30 AM) and still the same and decided to give up and wait until later in the day on Friday. So now that long time it seemed like we had seemed to be closing and the amount of time I already spent trying to get this product had swelled.

Well we headed out to hit a few shops on Friday as usually do on Black Friday (Toys-r-us, Target, Sears) and while we were at Target I happened to stop in the electronics department and low-an-behold they had 10 iPad Mini's left. We decided to put the whole Walmart situation behind us and leave the store with one in hand. Not only that we got a $75 gift card that we were able to use immediately on some other gifts we were getting for the kids. Another reminder of the difference in service and quality between Target and Walmart.

Afterwards we stopped at Walmart and within 10 minutes in line again I was able to return my $330 voucher. They did offer to fix the situation and print me a new receipt but it was beyond hope.

SO pie in your eye Walmart. Someone had a big idea that could have a been a huge holiday success or a big mess and I know which one my vote would be cast.

What I found out:

  • Sometimes the website was flaky walmart.com/1hourguarantee you should use walmart.com/onehg (worked better than the redirect)
  • Some stores didn't print the "Access Code" on the receipt and ask you to call 1 (877) 745-0190 which has a simple message and then hangs up (yes no answering service or putting you on-hold)
  • If you use the voucher you don't get your e-gift card until after your product ships
  • It was noted later that the fine print denoted that Walmart had the right to substitute similar products (would have been interesting if they tried to substitute an iPad Mini)
  • Walmart still seems inadequately prepared for the crowds and sales they promote on Thanksgiving & Black Friday (but very interested in profits)
The dude abides.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Hunger Games demonstrates parallels outside plot

After bending to my will I decided that I needed to go watch the Hunger Games this past weekend as I began hearing from friends & colleagues who spoke highly of the movie. All the reviews were coming back positive even from people who originally had no intention on going to see the movie.

The first thing to note about the movie was that it was an incredibly tense movie and at times kept you on the edge of your seat and provided for some dramatic encounters. My only criticisms would revolve around some of the bad acting (except Jennifer Lawrence) that flows in and out at times.

Having not taken the time yet to read the stories I find that I am drawn towards downloading the books (Hunger Games, Catching Fire, & Mocking Jay) to experience this adventure further.

My diversion. After finishing the movie I could not contain the thoughts that were going through my mind wondering why such a story in today's day-and-age would be so popular. Then it occurred to me that one could draw strong parallels from the movie to the current socioeconomic condition of the US and the diverging classes of our citizens. As the storyline progresses you begin to feel (yes I mean feel) how Katniss begins to recognize her surroundings and understand the true game she is playing. By game I am not referring to the "hunger games" but to the game in which the citizens of the district are pawns in the large game of "life". As the socialites continue to find enjoyment from the struggles of the lower class citizens (think occupy Wall Street & the 1%) we begin to gain a better picture. Now this is one take on the comparison and you can equate it to a myriad of past struggles of good vs evil, have's and the have not's but my proposition is that this is what is making the movie a hit. The fact that a person can visualize the gravity of the situation in a Hollywood analogy fit with a life struggle and praised victor.

Note that this was written before I have read/finished the books and I hope to update my opinion as my knowledge increases. Please feel free to agree/disagree/respond as you feel appropriate.

The dude abides.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Project: Remote Temperature Sensor Array

Alright. I have begun to work on a new home project and wanted to document my work (because I often forget) and if anyone else is interested. I have broken down this project into 4 phases with my end goal being completed at the end of Phase 4.

Here is my project code named: Thunder Rock (yup, just because).

Phase 1. Develop a temperature sensor that can read the ambient temperature have have it display the readings on my computer via USB connection.

Phase 2. Build a multiple sensor array via wired sensors and have the temperature be displayed on my computer.

Phase 3. Convert sensors to be wireless and transmit the data remotely back to my desktop computer.

Phase 4. Connect working wireless sensor array to the WWW and allow myself to view the different temperatures on the web.

NOTES:
- For the beginning stages of the project I plan to use an Arduino Uno as my micro-controller
- There have been a lot of great resources on internet and I am not trying to re-invent the computer here.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Best & Worst Recommendations

Updated: 7-23-2011

Below is a list of items that I would always recommend and feel they are a great value and other items I have used and believe them to be a complete waste of money and should be avoided. These are my opinions.

BEST RECOMMENDATIONS
  • RipIt - [Mac App] This has been a very reliable alternative to backup movies I want to watch at a later date. Very few DVD's it won't work on and it just works when you put the DVD in.

WORST RECOMMENDATIONS
  • Dell TV - [Consumer Electronics] I purchased a Dell TV probably 5 years ago and only a little over a year it stopped working (remote, display, etc) properly. I will never recommend purchasing a Dell TV ever again with all the other quality alternatives.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Podcasting with two USB Mic's in Garageband PICS -v2.0

After getting a few requests I have decided to update my old post to current info for OSX 10.6.4 and Garageband 3.0.5. Yes, I know that there is a new version of iLife'11 available but I have not had the need to purchase, but once I do I will update my post to v3.0. Also, new is a notes feature at the end of the post for strange things that I have come across.

This following post is an updated version of my original: Podcasting with two USB Mic's in Garageband PICS

So after searching the internet and apple forums I found some work arounds, but finally found a way that works great and is easy to setup using the utilities provided by my Mac.

So here is how I found out how to do it:

Step 1. Plug both of your USB mics into your Mac

Step 2. Open up the "Audio MIDI Setup" utility Applications -> Utilities -> Audio MIDI Setup



Step 3. In the bottom left of the "Audio MIDI Setup" window click on the "+" button to add a new aggregate device.

Step 4.
Locate your two USB mics and check in the "use" column. You can now double click on the new device "Aggregate Device" and change the name. I changed mine to "Dual Blue Snowball Mics" so that I could easily identify it later on.

Step 5.
Verify that your newly created aggregate device shows up in your audio settings. You can find it under System Preferences -> Sound -> Inputs



Step 6. Open your Garageband podcast project. You now want to set your Garageband Preferences to take the input from your new aggregate device. Garageband -> Preferences -> Audio/MIDI -> Audio Input and find your device for mine I added Dual Blue Snowball.



Step 7. Now to add the input to the podcast poject. For this I added two new tracks using the Podcasting -> No effects setting (you can set this by using the track info on the right hand side after clicking on the track).



NOTE: Don't forget to change the "input" on the track info to "Channel 1 & 2 (stereo)" for one of the tracks and "Channel 3 & 4 (stereo)" for the second track. Otherwise Garageband won't pick up both mic inputs.





You should now be able to test either mic and verify that they are input and being recorded by Gargageband.

Good luck and happy podcasting.

The dude abides.


NOTES:

- Make sure you are connecting your USB mics directly into the laptop or desktop computer. If you use a USB hub you may have some interference or it may not pickup the mic correctly.

Updated: 3-6-11

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Wikipedia the worlds oyster...

After reading recent criticism about accuracy of Wikipedia I find myself in an interesting position. Currently I am finishing my second Masters degree and over that time I have written countless articles on a wide range of topics from a few pages to over fifty. When asked by my professor to utilize credible sources and "peer reviewed journals" I think nothing over it. I have learned to navigate the educational abyss of the the university library like a busy street during rush hour downtown. However, this doesn't mean I always begin my search flying blind and disregard the wealth of information available on the internet. Thus this brings me to Wikipedia the self regulated largest collection of knowledge with over a couple million english articles. Although I agree that you should never find a wikipedia entry as your primary source it can be a great spot to start your search as it offers a good overview of almost any topic imaginable and if it current doesn't have an article by the end of your research you can author one. Often I have read an entry in Wikipedia as an overview of the topics I am going to examine to help me drill down to that next level and to begin to make sense of what constraints are for the topic.

So the next time you need to research a topic don't shy away from the opportunity to begin your search on the internet using Wikipedia as a starting point. Although remember that it's not a good idea to quote directly from a wikipedia page and it's worth the extra ten minutes to find the original quote from a reputable source.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Be Adventurous in the Current Economy

Although it may be an interesting turbulent time there appears to be a lot of positives that consumers and investors can take advantage of.

For example:

- Car shopping. Many car dealerships being hit hard by the current economy are beginning to offer better and better deals to car buyer. The trick is that you need to be patient and work them against each other, and also realize that financing may be a sticking point if you need to go through a bank instead of a car dealership themselves. Recently my wife and I had found a great opportunity at a local Honda dealer and recently purchased a 2009 Pilot. We did this because it was once of the rare times that we have ever seen Honda offer such great price on a vehicle.

- Internet shopping. If you have been looking for a particular item it's a great time to browse the internet for deals.

Best way to find deals. Begin at either Google.com (do a quick search for price comparison) or Amazon.com (to find out quick reviews about most products). Next when you find the website you would like to purchase from be sure to use your resources and do a search for "coupon code" etc. This can turn up a lot of hidden treasures and can save you a bundle of money.

To make up for loss of sales companies have been offering steep discounts to get new members or increase sales.

- Buy last years model. When looking to buy something (cars, tv's, etc) consider purchasing the previous model or years product. Many sellers are trying desperately to move these items and continue to offer steep discounts. You may not get the latest/greatest, but you can get a very similar product a great discount.

- Investing. Consider if you have not already begun saving for you future the opportunity of putting away money pre-tax (401K, IRA, etc). This can automatically increase your current savings by using pre-tax money to begin building your nest egg. A good starting point is finding a discount brokerage account and buying a few index funds. **Remember that this is a long-term investment** By investing now you can continue to purchase stocks at a depressed value (even if the market continues to drop).

Overall, may sellers are trying to keep drumming up business and continue to offer sales and discount to keep products moving off the shelves. So if your patient and do your research good things can happen and great deals can be found.

The Dude Abides.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Car Stalking

So what do we do for fun when we want to have a no hassle approach to car "browsing." My wife and I had coined the phase "car stalking." Which simply put means we do our research online and then find the local dealers that carry the cars we are looking at. After the dealership closes we head over and drive around to look at the model we like, writing down specs from the window sheets and getting a chance to look at the colors. Although this will work for some, I am not suggesting everyone try this. The pros to this are: we can really look at the spec sheets and do a thorough walk around without feeling watching, no pressure to test drive or make a deal. Cons don't get to see the inside and we need to go back to work on the deal.

But overall if your just in the market to "look" at cars we have a found this to be a no-hassle way to do that.

The dude abides.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

2008 Tax Suites: Buyer Beware!

Very sly... buyer beware. As tax season is approaching and those of us early birds who file to get our money back that the government has graciously held for us back have begun working already on our 2008 taxes. However, after doing a little research I have noticed that several tax programs most notably TaxCut (H&R Block) and Turbo Tax (Intuit) have removed the packing of state e-filing from their packages.

Meaning that last year if I would have purchased the "Premier" version of TaxCut I would have been allowed to prepare both Federal and State taxes AND e-file both federal AND state. Currently they have removed these options in their 2008 software packages.

When digging I found a response from a representative at TaxCut that stated that few people had used the state e-filing so they had removed it and lowered the cost. Thus lowering the overall cost of the software package. This may be true and in some instance can save some people some money, but others who are more creatures of habit may overlook this small feature switch. Just a heads up. Now go get cracking on your taxes.

The Dude Abides.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Welcome to the future

Looking for inspiration in today's world seem very easy to find.

I have the internet at my finger tips (literally via my iPhone) and access to information at incredible speeds. What boggles my mind is the things we are still faced with as a developing society.

Take for instance our recent financial downturn that we have are currently experiencing. Who would have speculated that something like this would have happened? A few did but most of the world didn't listen and now we find ourselves in a pickle. The US housing market has plunged the stock market has crashed and crashed again, and we still don't have an answer on if we will need to bail out the "Big 3." Hindsight is 20/20 but when did we move so recklessly into the future without caution for much of anything?

Now there are tough questions being answered and people and having to "pay the piper." What sucks are the millions of people who were honestly taken advantage of during the housing boom and were given the wrong types or size of mortgages who will suffer because of the other group of people who own two or more houses they were trying to flip or knowingly asked for a $350K mortgage when they could only afford $200K. It's how are system works thought we must flush everything out or help everyone because if we don't those who know how to work the system will get all the benefits while those who truly need it will not.

So looking forward I hope we take a step back and see where we are now and these leaves a small scar on the minds of Americans as we realize what we are capable of good and bad. Because there is a chance to make a difference and turn things around. We have a chance to change our future and make things better, but we must always realize what got us here as well.

The Dude Abides.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Pondering the World - 1

Things that make me go "huh." One of the biggest items I ponder are why other people do the things they do...

Here are some examples...

- Went to a local restaurant that has a buffet and clearly at the start of the line it clearly states "One bowl please." Yet there are still those people (big, small, old, young, etc) who choose to take two bowls. What in our human nature causes us to disobey a simple guideline. I would imagine its the fact that there are no penalties for anyone who violates this norm and that because others are doing it, it must be OK.

- A second example is where I watched as a car pulled into a parking lot that was full and because there was no room decided to park next to another car (not in a spot) and make their own new row. Even better was they guy in the expensive BMW who pulled up and actually moved a set of cones restricting people from parking in a spot to use the spot for himself.

Where in our history have people found the need to feel entitled to these items?

The Dude Abides.

Monday, June 09, 2008

iPhone 3G - Release Info UPDATE

EDIT: As all good things go, if it's too good to be true it probably is. The actually release date for the 3G iPhone is set for July 11th.



The new 3G iPhone that is expected and now confirmed via sources from Gizmodo will be released TODAY Monday June 9th after the keynote address by Apple guru Steve Jobs.

Althought it is still based on confirmed sources based on recent news about boxes arriving to retailers worldwide this has some credence.

Now to wait and see what happens.

Follow the news live via MacrumorsLive.com

Saturday, April 05, 2008

iPhone 3G - Release date TBD (coming soon)!

With all the recent news of the new revision of the iPhone due out in the next few months it has spurred some thoughts on how well received this will be and what will it mean for AT&T.

Recently during a presentation Walt Mossberg Co-editor of All Things Digital has stated that iPhone will be 3G within the next 60 days. This has increase speculation about the summer release of the iPhone rev 2.0.

As someone who has waited to jump on the bandwagon for several reasons, but most notably because of the 2 year contract I was tied into with Verizon Wireless has decided to wait it out and switch over in September after my contact expired.

Currently reasons to wait for the next generation of iPhone (mostly speculation):
- 3G network capabilities
- Ability to download and use native (non-internet depended) application on your iPhone
- Ability to cut and paste
- Larger storage capacity 32 GB +
- Corporate system integration (push email, iCal, etc)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

It Must Be the Season

No matter where I go the Holiday's always seem to have an opposite affect on people in regards to shopping. I find myself being cut off for parking spots and brushed out of the way as the hustle and bustle ensues. I find this irony disturbing for the holidays are a time to revel with strangers and celebrate people we love most.

Hence, a key reason why I mostly avoid the in-person shopping experience opting for one of my many favorite online stores such as Amazon.com or an other handful that offer online coupons and free shipping.

Remember next you are out and challenged with a situation, rise above, and bring the holiday spirit with you.


Warm wishes. Happy Holiday and a great New Year.


The Dude Abides.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Rhetorical Question no. 5002548

When will I be able to use an iPhone on the Verizon network?


Image from: http://www.mobilemag.com/content/100/344/C11529/

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Apple playing nice with others...

With the much anticipated release of the new version of Mac OSX 10.5 Leopard Apple has made some broad claims for the future. The bets have been made that this new version of the operating system will be the "anchor" for future application development. Having had the opportunity to install and use the new system I can see where they are coming from. This new version has several much anticipated features such as Time Machine, Cover Flow viewing, new integrated finder, and countless others.

See Apple's website to view the over 300 new features:
http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/300.html

However big the news isn't about Leopard. Personally I feel the big news came when Apple released info that beginning next year they would be offering a SDK (software development kit) for the iPhone and iPod Touch. This is a huge step in the right direction. I still don't think the end result product will be as smooth as the "install.app" and "jailbreak" versions currently used on hacked iPhones and iPod Touch's but it will be close.

So now I sit in anticipation to see what Apple's next big move will be to cause others to scurry around franticly in an attempt to beat the growing giant.

The Dude Abides.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pop Culture Entertainment

So, I find myself sitting in a hotel room while at a business conference and it in between working on things I need break. I begin to browse the web reading some articles and checking out Digg. Next thing I know I am send to the website of a video blogger on youTube. This video made me laugh and reval at the ingenuity of amateur entertainers... rock on vloggerman.

For your viewing pleasure:



The Dude Abides.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

iMac update soon upon us?

UPDATE: The Apple store is currently back up and now showing prices for the iMacs. Although I still hold that this may be an indicator of a soon update of the product line.


Currently the Apple Store is not showing iMacs for sale. This could be first indications new iMac with industrial designs are soon upon us.

Members of the Macrumors forums some people have begun experiencing delays with current iMac orders.

Rumors have pointed to an Aug 7th release, but this may be an indicator of an earlier release.

Here is a screenie from 7/28



Some recent rumors:
http://www.macrumors.com/2007/07/17/imac-revision-and-ilife-on-august-7th/
http://notes.thinksecret.com/secretnotes/0707august7.shtml

iMac update soon upon us?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Even God Knows About the iPhone

Now that much of the hype of the iPhone has diminished I thought I would be able to escape the craziness that has ensued from the previous two weeks of the climax and intro of the iPhone... I was mistaken.

Recently I attended the funeral of my grandmother and while we were at her burial the pastor was giving a few words about death and the passing of the soul. During his talk he described the wait that she was going to have to participate in before she got into heaven "just like the people were waiting in line for the phone recently."

I was shocked and for a moment my spirits lifted a bit at the comedic humor involved in this situation. Later afterwards I took a moment to comprehend just how far this iPhone phenomena had really gone and asked my dad an aging boomer who only purchased his Razor phone because it was on-sale when he went into the store. He responded by saying that he had heard about the "iPhone" or Apple attempt at getting into the market, but also described it as an overpriced phone for the offerings.

So it seems that Apple has done a good job of getting the word out on their new "baby." I just hope this thing grows up to live up to the hype and expectations.

The Dude Abides.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Dear Santa (Jobs) where's my HiBRID device?

Dear Santa (Jobs) where's my HiBRID device?

I would love to purchase the new iPhone for many of it's features, but find the burden of a 2 year AT&T contract overwhelming (and frankly crazy) I currently have Verizon and they have EVDO. So with all the hype surrounding the launch of the new iPhone I thought I would take this moment to write my Dear Santa letter for the year.



Dear Santa (Jobs).
For Christmas (or sooner) I would like a hybrid device that can:
- Sync with iTunes
- Play's music and videos
- Has WiFi connectivity
- A mini version of OSX
- A great version of iCal that actually syncs with my macs
- A device that allows third party software development

You can give the coal and 2 year phone subscription to someone who needs it more than I do.

The Dude.

PS. What's up with the flux in the RDF (Reality Distortion Field) at the WWDC?

The Dude Abides.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Oh my Google!

Recently among speculation of a release of a the new Google phone and other clever new products, such as a new powerpoint like product in their Google doc lineup.




Recently, BusinessWeek ran an article on the growing giant. Is Google to Powerful April 9, 2007. The article discussed Googlezon spawned from the creation of the merger of both GOOGLE and AMAZON.com. This is also based on EPIC 2014 "a faux documentary posted to the Web in late 2004 by young journalists Matt Thompson and Robin Sloan."

What this all describes is a monolith of a company that has been silently and with a smile on their face growing very large in scope and purpose. Last week Google announced its recent acquisition of DoubleClick another rival online advertising company. This has caused great concern from the others out there because this now offers Google a large share of the market.

A majority of all online searches are being routed through the Google servers and they do their best to keep these statistics to use as competitive advantage. However, with growing concerns over size it is also brings some concern over privacy. Google is frightfully getting close to the edge of the cliff that many other large companies have approached and then fallen off the cliff. It's this your too big and now your the enemy. No one likes things to be to big or to controlling. No matter how much Google does good it's company will begin this slippery slope down to "evil" status.

The enigma currently with Google is what's its business. Google seems to be diversifying over several technology markets, and by doing so is spreading itself very thin. By branding all new products with the Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Search, Google Adsense, etc. They are creating a culture of Googlemania.

It will be interesting to see where we go next from here. As Google continues to grow and its long arm reaches gets bigger that they take great care and control over its large company.

Cited from: BussinessWeek.com

Thursday, March 22, 2007

WoW Gold Farmers use in game "Auction House" to deliver gold!


Digg!

WoW gold farmers find new and inventive ways to circumvent the system. Here is an email that was spammed out a few days ago from one such company. This only goes to show the constant struggle in the digital world to provide parameters to control cheating as well as though determined to fight against it.


---------------------------
The fields gave forth an odour of spring, just like our warm greetings here.

Since Blizzard updated the in-game mail system, sometimes your orders of WOW-US Gold
cannot be received in your mailbox after we have made delivery. To ensure that you do
not experience such problems with your order, we have been changing the process of
delivery:

Delivery by In-game Auction House System!

You only need few steps to receiving your gold:

STEP ONE: Fill in the relative information which contains your payment, your character
name, the item name what you provide to sell.

STEP TWO: Set your Buyout price which was based on your order.

STEP THREE: We will do our best to source the gold for you and buyout the items which
you put them on Auction house after confirmed your information.

There are some advantages in this service:
1. You do not need to provide any personal information.
2. We can promise to deliver your order within 24hours.
3. The gold and your account will be arranged the most security.

SAFER, FASTER, COVENIENT!!!
ENJOY OUR BETTER SERVICE NOW!

Best wishes,

Sincerely,
The Team

---------------------------

Friday, March 02, 2007

Digg Scam: Investigative Reporting PICS

I hope this information can be use to help make Digg stronger and better!

So after reading a few articles on the digg.com conspiracy I decided to do a little investigative reporting. I found a source that was willing to send me some pics and and information about an unnamed website. This site apparently charges money to help promote "Submitted" websites to help promote them on the Digg website.

Here is a screen shot of their main login page:



Here is a shot send to me looking at the user page giving them instructions on how to use the service.



Here is a final shot of the verification that the stories had been dugg by the appropriate user.



IRONY. The irony of the whole situation is that my friend indicated that on average they were receiving a bout 6 - 8 new articles a day and were getting them verified within 24 - 48 hrs.

So looking at that it would be like.

6 stories a day / 3 per .50 = 2 x .5 = $1.00 a day

A DOLLAR A DAY! For that amount of money it would take approximately almost month to get the minimum $20 dollars needed to with withdraw your money. So who is making out like a bandit... um its easy to see.

Most likely users will keep getting banned, blocked, or modded from Digg and will never see a penny from this "company"

So I hope Digg can fix their algorithm to account for the ever changing "attacks".

The Dude Abides. Digg on!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Apple's Clever Product Placement

Recently while watching two of my favorite TV shows I noticed some clever product placement by Apple.

CSI New York: The non-tech savvy Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise) ironic with the Mac, recently needed to view a video evidence found during an investigation. After bringing the DVD back to the lab Detective Mac Taylor proceeded to play the DVD on his MacMini.

Numb3rs:
Although not as direct as the above reference if you are clever you can see that Dr. Charlie Eppes (David Krumholtz) relies on his trusty Mac Book Pro to aide him in his quest to finding the numerical probability with the use of (insert random math theory).

It's no mystery that Apple has already capitalized on their market share with the iPod while included several of their products in TV shows and movie.

It will be interesting to see how long it will take before the iPhone begins to make its debut on prime time.

The Dude Abides.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Apple iPhone: Remove the celluar provide = happier customers

Apple has release the information regarding their long awaited Apple iPhone.



"iPhone combines three products — a revolutionary mobile phone, a widescreen iPod with touch controls, and a breakthrough Internet communications device with desktop-class email, web browsing, maps, and searching — into one small and lightweight handheld device. iPhone also introduces an entirely new user interface based on a large multi-touch display and pioneering new software, letting you control everything with just your fingers. So it ushers in an era of software power and sophistication never before seen in a mobile device, completely redefining what you can do on a mobile phone. "

Retrieved from: Apple.com


However, now the catch to this whole equation "iPhone + Cingular = PDA / Phone." Cingular... Cingular has a lot to gain from this and it will find itself securing more customers in the future. But like myself there are many others who are unwilling to compromise on our phone service.

Why or when will Apple release a version of the iPhone for other cellular providers. Also does it beg the questions that how many people will purchase the iPhone with the sole intention to use it as a PDA only by passing the use of the cellular service if it is at all possible.

So I take my chance and prognosticate the fact that I believe Apple with release a new "upgraded" version of the iPhone that can still utilizes all the benefits of the iPhone minus the cellular service equalling happier customers or "iPhone - Cingluar = Happier Customers."

The dude abides.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

How Google Handles Spam

They cook it!

Spam Swiss Pie - Bake 45-55 minutes until eggs are set.




The Dude Abides.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Podcasting with two USB Mic's in Garageband PICS

After getting interested in podcasting I decided to purchase and use two Blue Snowball Microphones and Garageband 3. The only problem I found is that when I connected both USB mic's at the same time to Garageband I could only use one of the microphones at a time.

So after searching the internet and apple forums I found some work arounds, but finally found a way that works great and is easy to setup using the utilities provided by my Mac.

So here is how I found out how to do it:

Step 1.
Plug both of your USB mics into your Mac

Step 2. Open up the "Audio MIDI Setup" utility Applications -> Utilities -> Audio MIDI Setup

Step 3.
Using the Audio MIDI Setup program open the "Aggregrate Device Editor." You can access this from the menu under Audio -> Open Aggregate Device Editor

Step 4.
Locate your two USB mics from the list under structure and click the "+" button to add them to the top. You can then click on the Aggregate devices and change the name to something you can remember. I changed mine to "Dual Blue Snowball Mics" so that I could easily identify it later on. Make sure you click on the "Use" button on the bottom under structure to ensure those devices will be used.




Step 5.
Change your System Settings under your "Audio Devices" to indicate your newly created aggregate device "Dual Blue Snowball Mics." Under the Properties For: make any necessary changes to the aggregate device. You will now notice that one of them is set to use channel 1 & 2 and the other will use channel 3 & 4.



Step 6. Open your Garageband podcast project. You now want to set your Garageband Preferences to take the input from your new aggregate device. Garageband -> Preferences -> Audio/MIDI -> Audio Input and find your device for mine I added Dual Blue Snowball Mics.



Step 7. Now to add the input to the podcast poject. For this I used one male voice track and one female voice track.

First clicking on the male voice I clicked on it to bring up the info in the bottom right of Garageband and made sure it was set to take input from Channel 1 & 2.



Next clicking on the female voice I clicked on the track info and made sure the input was taken from Channel 3 & 4.



After testing this out it worked great. The inputs from one mic went right to a single track and the inputs from the second mic went to the other track.

Good luck and happy podcasting.

The dude abides.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Apple's Big News!



This image adorned the www.Apple.com homepage on January 1,2007.

In true Apple form they have increased the anticipation surrounding the release of their new 2007 products. Only one can wait and see what will be on the horizon for this increasingly viral company of products.

Here are a list of some of the suggestions mentioned so far:
-Apple iPhone
-New GUI for Leporard
-New features for the iTV
-Widescreen iPod

Who know's whats in store for the future, but one can sit back and smile at the anticipation of what is to come.

Look for more details after the WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference) later this month.!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Amazon Confirms Nintendo Wii Strap Recall

Email from Amazon.com sent 12/18

Nintendo (previous Digg post) may be denying the recall, but the email below confirms that they are sending out new replacement straps and their is a recall.


Hello from Amazon.com.

We have recently learned that Nintendo of America is voluntarily
recalling the Wrist Straps used with Controllers for the Nintendo Wii
Video Game System you recently ordered. If consumers swing the
hand-held "Wii Remote" game controllers using excessive force and
accidentally let go, the cord connecting the controller to the wrist
strap can break, potentially causing the controller to strike
bystanders or objects. You may find additional details about the
recall in the CPSC bulletin at:

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml07/07061.html.

Nintendo is offering to replace the original version of the wrist
straps for the Wii remote with a newer version, free of charge. For
more information, contact Nintendo toll-free at (800) 859-4519 between
6 a.m. and 7 p.m. PT, or visit their Web site at
www.support.nintendo.com.

If you purchased this item as a gift for someone, please let the
recipient know about this issue as soon as possible, and provide them
with the information to contact Nintendo for a replacement wrist
strap.

Thank you for shopping at Amazon.com.

Sincerely,

Customer Service
Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/

Friday, December 15, 2006

Great deal on Podcasting Mic

I was looking for a nice USB powered microphone for my podcasting needs and I found this one available at a few online stores Blue Microphones SNOWBALL retail price $150.00, but if you follow these instructions you can get it for $83.95 w/ free shipping.


This is from the BSWUSA.com website:
Got a computer? Need great sound in that PodCast or DAW program? Here it is! Incredibly easy to use with its universal driver and plug & play USB compatibility, the Snowball makes recording a piece of cake. Its dual capsule design and three-position switch dials in the desired sound for any application. One capsule is tailored for vocals and the other is for instruments. The three position switch on the back of the mic lets you change between the capsules – giving you cardioid, cardioid with a 10dB pad and omni-directional patterns. The result makes Snowball a multi-talented recording tool—the first USB mic designed and engineered by people who know sound. With stand and cable. An incredible BSW value.


The best part is the price. With a coupon code from Podcastgearguy.com

To get you started, take $20 off your first order over $100! Anything in our store!! Just use the promotional code: 92654 at Checkout for your discount. This special promotional code for PodcastGearGuy readers expires 12/31/06.


So if you order from BSWUSA.com and:
-Order http://www.bswusa.com/proditem.asp?item=SNOWBALL
-and http://www.bswusa.com/proditem.asp?item=ALMONDROCA
-and use coupon code 92654

My total was $83.95 with FREE Shipping!

A great deal for a begginner - intermeddiate podcasting mic.

The Dude Abides.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Black Friday Recap

Consumers risk lives to save a few bucks...



The day after Thanksgiving is considered the first day of the Christmas/Holiday shopping season. It is often called "Black Friday" because it is when retailers that have been operating in the red first turn a profit for the year. A lot of retailers open before the sunrise that day for big sales ending later that same morning. They have always drawn crowds, and frequently caused disputes over a place in line, or the last of a hot item, but this year it got ugly, very ugly. Across the nation, people stampeded when doors were opened, and riots broke out when items the crowds were seeking had run out. Seven fatalities and dozens of injuries have been reported.

The first known fatality occurred at a Wal-Mart in Secaucus, New Jersey, a woman repeatedly stabbed a man with a kitchen knife taken from the housewares section to prevent him from buying the last Xbox 360. Another sad incident transpired at a Tucker, Georgia Toys R Us. One woman bludgeoned another to death with a baseball bat over an American Girl doll. She was heard yelling at her victim, "hasta la vista, baby." Cars were overturned and set on fire in Chicago, while a security guard was beaten to death by an angry mob in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The first of these incidents involved a DVD player priced at $17.95, and the second was touched off by the Xbox 360. In Columbus, Ohio a shortage of Star Wars toys had shoppers at wit's end when someone yelled, "they've got some over here!" A stampede ensued. Four were left trampled. In Glendale, California, two men fighting over an electronic toy called a Roboraptor knocked over several shelves full of merchandise causing thousands of dollars in destruction.
http://www.uncoveror.com/blackfriday.htm

------

Once the doors opened just before 5 a.m., hundreds of people poured through, breaking down the police tape. Dozens of others cut the line and ran through the exit door before Wal-Mart employees were able to stop them.
Inside, Wal-Mart workers were throwing boxes with laptops and portable DVD players to the people who were pushing and shoving to get the merchandise. A lone sneaker lay on the floor, lost by an anxious shopper in the scrum.
http://www.cadenhead.org/workbench/news/2814/black-friday-more-than-i-bargained
------



Looking back to the release of the PS3 we can see similar stories of people being shot, robbed, and stabbed all for a piece of hardware. WOW! What drives people to this end. Is taking a life worth a $17.95 DVD player or a $599 Playstation 3.

There comes a time when stores will need to be held accountable for the actions that are CAUSED by their doing. Accountability will be assessed based on the foresight to avoid this instead of contributing to it by have faulty systems to address the chaotic masses.

The Dude Abides.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Nintendo takes a page out of Apples book!



However, neat and innovative this product seems it has some very peculiar similarities to a certain Apple product line. At first glance you would hardly even know it was part of the Nintendo family, sort of step child to clan. But after playing around on the Wii interface, Zelda (Twilight Princess), and Wii Sports its clear it belongs.

But if we take a close look it gets a little fuzzier… The white glossy finish of the console and Wii-mote remind me of my iPod or white Mac Book. The interactive menu with the “channels” which can tell me the temperature or news (not currently active) can be a mini-clone of the dock and widgets those Appleites have on the OS X. Now if only I could get my iTunes to sink with my Wii console to play songs from my library while I play 9 on the golf course or bowl a few.



After having received my shipment today of the new Nintendo Wii I can honestly say WOW! This console is nothing like the Xbox 360 or Playstation 3, but is in a class alone. The Wii sports takes a note from the Guitar Hero & Dance Dance Revolution’s page as it plays to that crowd of ultra-interactive and entertaining party games. Spend a hour boxing on the Wii Sports and see how tired you are.

Nintendo’s innovation may as a result of implementing current technologies into their next generation console. As similar as they are the Nintendo Wii offers tons of fun with its unique Wii-mote and Nunchuck controls. Once you played with one of these for a while you will leave feeling tired and having a great big grin on your face.

Although I will say this console is not for the hardcore gamer, as it does lack some of the awe inspiring transition clips some of the Xbox and PS3 consoles can perform. What it lacks in power it makes up for in a new creative way to play console games.

The dude abides.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Stop Sending PS3 Ebay Auctions to Digg

Dear Digg Submitters,

Please stop sending PS3 Ebay auction links to Digg. Yes, I know there are some people who sat in line for days and now want to make obsene profits. Yes, I know there are also bitter, pissed off consumers making fake bids and bidding auctions up to $15,000 to $99,999,999. It's not news.

Sincerly,

The Dude.

The Dude Abides.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Amazon ships Zelda Twilight Princess Nintendo Wii

I recieved this email from Amazon.com today...

-----------------------------------------------

Greetings from Amazon.com.

We thought you'd like to know that we shipped your items, and that this
completes your order.

You saved an additional $0.17 with Amazon.com's Pre-Order Price Guarantee!
The price of the item(s) decreased after you ordered them, and we gave you
the lowest price.

Also, our Pre-Order Price Guarantee hasn't ended yet: if the price of the
item(s) decreases again between now and the release date, we will issue you
a refund for the difference.

You can track the status of this order, and all your orders, online by
visiting Your Account at http://www.amazon.com/gp/css/history/view.html

There you can:
* Track your shipment
* View the status of unshipped items
* Cancel unshipped items
* Return items
* And do much more

The following items have been shipped to you by Amazon.com:
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Qty Item Price Shipped Subtotal
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Amazon.com items (Sold by Amazon.com, LLC):
1 The Legend of Zelda: Twili... $49.82 1 $49.82


-----------------------------------------------

This might get here by Sat :)

Walmart Tells PS3 Fan to GET OUT!



Wal-mart up to new tricks as it makes PS3 customers wait outside for the launch of the PS3 on Friday @ 12:01 AM. So if you one of the brave who is about ready to head out or is already out waiting be aware.



Also the PS3 has a confirmed shortages at Wal-mart and other stores. It looks as Sony is not going to be up to the challenge to get the numbers out that they expected.

Original pics at: Flicr.com

Monday, November 13, 2006

Beward the Wii & PS3 Auction Wars

&


With the release of either console coming this week, we have noticed a trend with the market that can be examined from the latest release of the Xbox 360 to previous consoles. As the shortages were finally realized and people become increasingly hostile and bitter the auction wars began.

As soon as consoles were posted for sale on Ebay and other popular auction sites as well as private message boards the flames began. People who did not get their favorite console for personal enjoyment were pissed off. Not just upset, I mean down right “I hate this crap and want to do something about it”. So it began, they would flame the forums and raise the auction prices with phony bids to express their displeasure. They were especially hostile to the ones who got 3+ consoles and were raking in thousands of dollars from people just because they “knew the system” or “knew a guy, who knew a guy, at Best Buy.”

So I predict we will have much of the same, as we have previously seen with the release of the Wii across the pond in Japan. Unless stricter regulation is done to limit and create a sense of fairness this is going to be a rough week with the release of BOTH the Nintendo Wii and Sony Playstation 3.

Along that note I was lucky to receive a pre-order, but will NOT be selling it no matter how much they go for. I hope others do the same and avoid the greed.

The dude abides.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Buyer Beware: Sony Customer Support Woes

My $600 dollar 200+ lb. Paper Weight Story...


Digg!

--------------------
I am posting this not to bitch about Sony, but to let people know so they can be better prepared to avoid have a $600 dollar 200+ lb. paper weight on their TV stand.

Skip to the end for picture!
--------------------

Ok, so I go to sit down this weekend to watch some of my favorite TV shows I had TiVo’d this week and when I clicked to turn on my TV the damn thing wouldn’t work. I was like “huh” this isn’t happening so I checked all the cables made sure the outlet was working and I tried it again. The only sign of life I could see was the blinking stand by light on the TV set. It was doing it to spite me I tell you “blink,” “blink,” “ha ha,” “blink,” “blink,” “sucker,” and this almost drove me to toss the set out the window (except for the fact that I cannot lift it by myself.)

So I do what any good person would and I Google the model number to see if I hit a wrong setting, or left it in sleep mode. And this is when my nightmare began…

…there are several unhappy customers with the same problem I am having.

And even a website devoted to finding a solution:
http://www.pechorin.com/m/2004/03/09/Sony_Trinitron_display_malfunction_HELP-210431.html

One customer was lucky enough to get Sony to pay for his repair AND labor costs:

First of all, Sony DID pay all of my repair costs, parts and labor. I had to stay on the phone for an hour and go through about 6 different levels of customer service. I told them that I was reading all of the complaints on the Internet about this particular model and that I knew they had made a defective TV with this brand, so I wasn't going to quit until they fixed it at their cost. They hemmed and hawed, saying it was out of warranty. Then they agreed to pay for parts. After listening to me tell them that a 1-year old set that I paid $600 for should not be broken, that Sony is a billion-dollar corporation, and that I was reading hundreds of examples from people who had experienced the exact same problems with this set, they finally agreed to fix the set at their cost, which they did.

I took it to a service technician they suggested, who turned out to be a jerk, but I can live with that. I took a week to fix it, and I had to stay on Sony the entire time, especially when they tried to say they were only paying for parts, but they did eventually pay for the entire thing.

Just so you know, the technician told me that this TV is defective. The boards are bad. It's the A and C boards. They go out after 6 months to a year. He said the best thing you can do is to turn off your TV after watching it (don't leave it on all day or night). And to expect the boards to go bad even after replacing them. He also said Sony is aware of the problem. Sony tried to tell me they would have put this info on their web site if that were the case, but, obviously, their own recommended service technician says differently


A bit ridiculous that someone should have to FIGHT for a repair on such an investment.

The best suggestion I found was:

The picture tube in the Trinitrons from year “X” (insert the year your TV was made here) are crap and am lucky it lasted as long as it did. Solution: What until the sun has set, put the television into your vehicle (make sure the suspension can handle the load), find a business that has dumpsters large enough to accommodate a piece of s**t that large, and gently put the TV into the bottom of the dumpster by hurling that 800 dollar raping (compliments of Sony) with enough force to insure it reaches terminal velocity before it reaches the steel floor of the dumpster. Quickly leave the scene, curse profusely all the way home, and swear to never buy anything from Sony again

So I make my attempt to contact Sony Support… I would have had a better time banging my head against the wall first so the headache I had when I was done didn’t feel as bad.



Great I tell them two things and they tell me I need service… DUH! I would not have contacted your to find that out.



By this time I was fuming… getting the same cookie-cutter answer… ERRRR!




This was my breaking point… So I decided to follow through and let people be aware of this kinda of crappy service. But he did say “I’m sorry for the inconvience about the TV.”

Your sorry, then why don’t you help me fix this damn POS that weighs over 200 lbs. They expect me to drive this 1 hour and then PAY to have someone fix it.

My phone conversations were not much better… I kept getting similarly the same answers and no one would acknowledge what the problem was or agree to pay for the repair / labor. This TV was only 1 yr and 15 days old when it broke a few days ago…

I used to be a Sony faithful owning a DVD player, Digital Camera, and several other pieces of equipment. NOT ANYMORE, I was going to buy one of their high end MiniDV cameras, but won’t do it risking another meltdown from faulty equipment.

Here is a final pic of the monster:

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Suggestion: Digg please add “rumor” section!


Digg!


In a recent post of mine “I suggested that Digg consider adding a rumor section to their frontpage. I have always been a long time reader, but find it would be a considerably easier to sort through some of the news articles if I could sort out the rumors. Heck, I could be off my rocker with this one, but this seems like a legitimate request. Since my last request was buried because of an inaccurate title I thought I would try again to get the work out on this.

This issue is a nexus of confusion as I love to dance on the wild side and get my hands on as much information as possible to make educated decisions, and this involves reading the rumors as well. It helps to feel where the industry is going and being able to sort out those who tend to be “soothsayers” and those who have the know by being in the right place at the right time, or have the ability to connect the dots properly to anticipate the next move.

Keep the rumors, just clear up the news! Vote to add a Digg Rumors.





Here are some examples of articles recently from the Digg.com frontpage:

http://www.digg.com/gaming_news/Rumor_Best_Buy_Wii_Inventory_Numbers
http://www.digg.com/tech_news/Digg_s_Adelson_Brushes_Off_Acquisition_Rumors
http://www.digg.com/tech_news/Google_Re_Org_Rumors_Streamlining_Ad_Business
http://www.digg.com/apple/Video_iPod_Patent_Pictures_and_Touch_Sensitive_Bezel
http://www.digg.com/apple/50_inch_Apple_monitor_in_early_2007
http://www.digg.com/apple/Full_Screen_iPod_iPhone_Confirmed_by_Extremely_Well_Informed_Apple_Exec

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Firefox 2.0: Fasterfox update / work-around


Digg!


EDIT: As of Oct 30, 2006

Firefox (Tony Gentilcore) recenlty updated Fasterfox to version 2.0 :) WOOT!

This can be downloaded here: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/1269/


********************************************************
Only use the following if you are using 1.5.* and below:

After I updated to Firefox 2.0 one of my favorite add-ons was not working, but after some searching I found this simple work-around to update the file so that it works with Firefox 2.0 at least until a current version is updated.

by coreying , Oct 25, 2006

- Save the xpi Installer on your disk
- open fasterfox-1.0.3-fx.xpi with Winzip etc (you could also rename the .xpi extension to .zip and open it with Windows 'Compressed (zipped) folders')
- Extract and then edit the file install.rdf (with notepad etc)
- Search for "1.5.0.*"
- Change that to "2.0"
- Save the file, then add it back to the fasterfox-1.0.3-fx.xpi file.
- Drag & drop fasterfox-1.0.3-fx.xpi into the "Add-on-Manager"
- Restart Firefox

Info on Fasterfox:

--------------------------

Performance and network tweaks for Firefox.

Fasterfox allows you to tweak many network and rendering settings such as simultaneous connections, pipelining, cache, DNS cache, and initial paint delay.

Dynamic speed increases can be obtained with the unique prefetching mechanism, which recycles idle bandwidth by silently loading and caching all of the links on the page you are browsing.

A popup blocker for popups initiated by Flash plug-ins is also included.

--------------------------

The dude abides.

Digg to add new topic section "Rumors"


Digg!


As a longtime follower of Digg.com I have noticed on several occasions stories making it to the frontpage without any shred of truth in them but the "excitement" and crowd pleasing introduction of new "rumors." As it's nice to sort through and see whats not so accurate (without burying them), I think its also still great for people to speculate because it all does possess a sliver of truth within its knowledge.

However, I am asking that a new category be created for Digg.com called "rumors/speculation" or something of the effect to help clean up some of the confusion and allow the sorting of the topics and information to be readily available and easy to use. Digg is a great resource to hop on and check the current happenings, and the news as if you were chatting with a buddy at the proverbial "watercooler" or at a Starbucks before you headed back to work. This community has kept the interest of myself and others by providing this information and allowing users to share their input.

To the Digg community, keep up the great work!

Some references on the frontpage of Digg.com:
http://www.digg.com/gaming_news/Rumor_Best_Buy_Wii_Inventory_Numbers
http://www.digg.com/tech_news/Digg_s_Adelson_Brushes_Off_Acquisition_Rumors
http://www.digg.com/tech_news/Google_Re_Org_Rumors_Streamlining_Ad_Business
http://www.digg.com/apple/Video_iPod_Patent_Pictures_and_Touch_Sensitive_Bezel
http://www.digg.com/apple/50_inch_Apple_monitor_in_early_2007
http://www.digg.com/apple/Full_Screen_iPod_iPhone_Confirmed_by_Extremely_Well_Informed_Apple_Exec