Here are my blog posts where I fix all things technology...
Why can’t my real life be as neat and organized as my digital world? My email is meticulously sorted into folders and subfolders as soon as it is received, while my actual mail piles up on the dining room table. My iPhone apps are immediately updated, but my car has needed an oil change for almost a month. I have an insatiable hunger to organize my bits and bytes that borders on Digital OCD. In my real life, I’m human; a bit disorganized, and somewhat lazy. Why the difference?
When I buy products online, I don’t mind the shipping options, but I have a big problem with the receiving. If I’m buying a product on Amazon, where do I have it sent?
I want a secure place for my deliveries. A place where the package is always going to be accepted because there is always someone available to sign for my packages. A place far away from my co-workers, family and friends so I don’t have to be judged by my often silly purchases. A place available to me 24/7, so I can grab my goods when I’m available - late at night and weekends. And it all has to be for free.
You’ve decided to buy yourself an iPad, and now you have to decide which model to get. The iPad Mini, iPad 2, or the iPad 4?* Which iPad do you need? Okay, that’s a trick question. You don’t need any iPad. iPads do not do anything that you can’t already do with a laptop or smartphone. They just do many things better and more conveniently. The iPad is a toy. Now, let’s go toy shopping.
One of the most exciting things about buying the iPhone 5 was the ability – no, the freedom – to move from AT&T to Verizon. Switching from AT&T to Verizon has been conservatively described by others as being freed from the shackles of a windowless prison and feeling the sunshine of the Lord on one’s face. So my wife and I made the leap of faith by buying two Verizon iPhone 5s in October. Thanks to the Christmas gift of a iPad Mini with Verizon LTE, the transition is complete. With Verizon, I’m all in. Here’s the cry of a heretic: I want to go back.
So much precious TV time is being devoted to the upcoming Presidential elections. Why? I already know which guy I’m voting for. Let’s call him “My Guy.” But here’s the thing: On Election Day, in addition to voting for a President, there are going to be a lot of people I have to choose for other races on the same ballot. Congressional, State and local elections will slow me down as I try to get the hell out of my cramped and crowded polling place. I want to take the time to do my civic duty, but let’s face it, democracy needs a breath mint.
Coffee chains like Starbucks are amazingly efficient. They’ve refined the process of running consumers through their stores as quickly as possible. And yet, one step in the consumer experience gums up the whole process: The coffee fixins bar.
My wife Gen and I spent this summer indoors again, watching exciting new TV. Big Brother, Louie, The Newsroom, and Breaking Bad filled our nights. But our Breaking Bad was very different than everyone else’s Breaking Bad.
Gen and I had always talked about watching Breaking Bad, but had not previously pulled the trigger. At the urging of our friends, Gen and I fired up the Netflix Watch Instantly account on our TiVo, or as I call it, “the TV Time Machine”, and traveled back to 2008 to start Breaking Bad from the beginning.
I love stand-up comedy. I hate comedy clubs.
My wife and I had our very first date at a comedy show, and for many years, we were semi-regulars at a number of mainstream and alternative comedy rooms. This summer we resumed that old past time, returning to two of the bigger LA comedy clubs. We saw world-class lineups of comedians, each bringing their A game. Comics like Chris D’Elia, Tom Papa, Sebastian Maniscalco, and Dane Cook (yes, Dane Cook, haters!) had Gen and I doubled over in laughter and gasping for air. It reminded us that stand-up is so much more powerful when it’s live. But our recent pilgrimages into Hollywood also reminded us why we stopped going to see live comedy years ago. We dislike everything about comedy clubs except the performers. At both clubs, we had a lousy time having a great time.
This is going to be an eye-opening week: After years of eye problems, tomorrow is the first of two cataract surgeries. Right now, the lenses in each of my eyes are covered with a white frost, called a “cataract.” I don’t like that term - It makes me feel like a senior citizen. I prefer to imagine that I’m looking at the world through a light dusting of powdered sugar.
To restore my sight, an ophthalmologist will be removing the natural lenses in each of my eyes and implanting artificial replacements, called intraocular lenses. Sounded scary to me at first, but it turns out it’s very routine. I’m not worried about the surgeries. The procedures each only take about fifteen minutes. It’s like going to Jiffy Lube.
My phone continually vibrated throughout my last birthday. Each alert was from Facebook, each indicating another friend had posted a short note to my wall. I received 69 birthday messages that day, with 6 belateds on May 8th. The intent was sweet, but each one made me more annoyed than the last. For the first time, Facebook was ruining my birthday.
Listen up. To your phone.
How do you do that today? Probably the same way you did ten years ago. Apple's earbuds form the "White Y"As handset manufacturers continue to improve screen size and resolution, they have done nothing to innovate how we get the sound from the phones to our ears. It’s time for another revolution - one that everyone will hear.
It’s embarrassing to admit, but last night I tried to unlock the front door to our apartment by pushing the “unlock” button on my car’s keyless fob. It’s not the first time I’ve made that mistake, and it won’t be the last.
But last night, instead of dismissing the action as silly, I started to think, why not have my front door unlock because I have a wireless fob in my pocket? Is it really too much to ask to be able to open the door with a Jedi wave?
After recently logging on to the online music service Spotify, I noticed a new Christmas album from the cast of the TV show “Glee.” Intrigued, I clicked on the icon and began listening to sugar-pop renditions of Yuletide hits, with an extra helping of sass. Imagine my surprise when I started getting a steady stream of Facebook comments from friends mocking my Glee choice.
It’s time to start a revolution to bring courtesy back to the Internet.
I rarely get upset with the signature line of an email (you know, the default text at the bottom of the message like "sent from my iPhone"), but this one really burned me up:
Sent from an iPhone. Expect mistakes.
The work acquaintance who sent me this email was basically saying, “Don’t blame me. Blame the tool.” He’s wrong. The phone is a technological miracle. He’s the tool.
I have a problem buying Groupons. Actually, I don't have a problem buying Groupons. Every day, the group-couponing site offers me a steep discount for a local store, service, or restaurant. I love trying new bars and new restaurants (which is the kind of Groupons I tend to buy). I love discounts. I love spending money via the Internet. So theoretically, Groupon was meant for me.
My problem is redeeming Groupons. Handing a waiter at a high-end restaurant a Groupon is tragically like handing a waiter at a high-end restaurant… a coupon. Awkward!
Google just launched the first social network to really compete with Facebook and Twitter. What is Google+? Should you bother trying it out? Here are 5 fundamental facts to know before you decide.
Facebook comments via email can really ruin a nice moment.
As I write this, my phone won’t stop vibrating. I’m receiving a relentless barrage of emails. Each one is a Comment to a Facebook Status Update:
“Omg!!!! Sooooo happy 4 u!!”
“:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)”
“We’re so excited!”
“I AM SOOOO PUMPED RITE NOW!!!”
I’m drowning in a river of well wishes, and it’s starting to piss me off. All this love is pouring through Facebook, but none of it is for me.
I don’t need the iPad 2. Why do I not WANT it
I finally spent some quality time playing with the new iPad 2 at the Apple Store. It was thinner, lighter and faster than the first gen iPad, which was already amazingly thin, light and fast. Clearly an upgrade to all the hardware specs of the first generation. I fooled around with the cool new magnetic cover like an excited monkey that was just given a wallet to play with.
I’m getting ready to walk the dogs. Do I need a sweater for outside? I check the weather app on my iPhone. “60 degrees.” Hmm, that’s a lot cooler than it’s been the last few days. But instead of opening the front door and stepping outside to check for myself, I double-check the app. Yup. The phone says its 60 degrees. So I put on a heavy sweater and walk out... into scorching heat.
Download these apps and you will use your iPad more.
A lot of friends unboxed iPads this holiday season. Their reaction to the iPad continues to be the same, encompassed by the following three statements:
- It’s sooooooooooooo beautiful!
- It’s sooooooooooooo fast!
- Sooooooooooooo… what do you DO with it?
I’ve read dozens of lists of recommended apps from other tech bloggers, lists that have ended with me wasting a lot of money in $4.99 increments. I’ve followed their recommendations, buying apps that were really cool the first time I tried them, but I never actually used on a regular basis. Why?
Breaking up with a laptop is hard to do.
We have to talk.
You know that I love you, so don’t take this personally. I’ve decided to get an MBA, and I don’t mean I’m going to business school. I’m going to be replacing you with a MacBook Air. This will be our last time together.
Imagine a huge room; a secret bunker thirty floors below Microsoft's Redmond campus. In that room, imagine a dizzying array of video screens, like the security offices of Vegas casinos, at least the ones in Oceans 11 or NBC’s Las Vegas. Now imagine, on each of the hundreds of screens, the images of people in their living rooms, dorm rooms, and bedrooms. People jumping around, waving, yelling and screaming. In my hypothetical room, Microsoft is using the cameras built into the new “Xbox Kinect” gaming systems to secretly spy on the consumers using them.
A status update from one of my Facebook friends just revealed who got kicked off last night’s “American Idol”. That makes me furious. Why? Because I’m a time traveler.
A simple database of TV episode names is the key to unlocking the power of a worldwide television community.