Category Archives: Technology

What has been your experience using Google AdSense?

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.  Look, you guys have no idea how expensive a yeti cage is.  Plus, when that furry prick is incarcerated, I have to feed him, water him, I have to hire a guy to clip his toe nails and pick up his turds because I sure as hell am not doing that shit.

Bottomline, I need new ways to fund this ruckus.

Has anyone out there ever used Google AdSense?  Apparently, it is open to WordPress users and there is a plug-in you can use to make ads from Google pop up on your blog.  You’ll get paid for clicks, though you’ll have to rack up a certain dollar amount (100 bucks) before they send you any dough.

I’m curious how many clicks you need to reach that 100 buck mark.  Honestly, an extra hundred bucks a month could help around BQB HQ.  Even more would be welcomed.

How much traffic does your site need to even bother getting involved?  I mean, I have a little more than 3.5 readers but not much more.

Anyway, curious about your experience.

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Anyone Ever Use a Microsoft Surface?

And if so, what did you think?

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I Have Already Lost Money on the Snapchat IPO Because I Am an Idiot

Hey 3.5 readers.

So, if you’re an older reader like me, you might need a rundown on what Snapchat is.

Snapchat was born out of the idea that millennials are total perverts who enjoy taking snaps of their private parts and sending them to their various love interests.  However, as we all know, love today can turn into hate tomorrow and not all relationships are meant to last forever.  Ergo, people thought, “Hey, wouldn’t be great if I could snap a photo of my naughty parts, send them to my love interest and then after a little bit the photo disappears so that today’s naughty photo doesn’t get turned into tomorrow’s hilarious Internet meme, thus ruining my chances of running for president?”

I mean, I don’t know Snapchat exactly asked that question but at any rate, they sort of cured that problem.  You can snap a photo or a video, send it to a friend, then after awhile the photo or video disappears.  In theory, it prevents that video you thought was a good idea when you were drunk at 3 am from going public, although it isn’t foolproof.  There are ways around it.  Your sneaky snap buddy could take a photo of  your naughty photo, for example.

At any rate, Snapchat grew strong and got popular with the younguns.  They created filters that can make you look like a puppy, a kitty, for awhile they dabbled in filters that made you look like you’re from a different race only to get smacked down hard because you can’t do shit like that, and yes, they created those damn flower crowns that literally every woman, even your grandma, uses for their profile picture now.

My gut told me not to buy.  The experts also seem to agree that it’s not the best idea.  The company has been valued at some astronomical figure, even higher than Facebook, yet I fear that might be all hype related and not reality related.

Had you bought Facebook stock early, you’d of been happy with your decision.  As for Twitter, not so much as of late.  Facebook has gone strong and everyone and their granny is on Facebook.  Facebook basically became a new form of communication and information dispersement.

Twitter, on the other hand, became a repository of geeks like myself trying to tweet their way to fame and infamy, but ultimately it just descends into dummies writing dumb things limited to 140 characters.

As for Snapchat, I’m not sure I see an ability to generate the kind of wealth necessary to maintain a high valuation.

First, the primary users are young people…who have no money.  Thus, if you make that stupid flower crown filter cost money, they won’t buy it.  Maybe a few will dupe their dumb parents into buying it but for the most part, no.  Only a select handful of dummies will spend a lot of money on photo filters.

3.5 READERS:BQB you asshole, do you think anyone is going to spend a lot of money on Toilet Gator either?

Probably not.  Thanks, 3.5 readers.  I needed that tough love.

Second, I don’t see a lot of social media value.  You’ve heard of people becoming stars on Facebook and Twitter but has there been a Snapchat star yet?  Has anyone Snapchatted their way to fame and glory?  I’ve seen authors sign up for it but I feel like this only works for famous people.  If a famous person is sending out videos, then you might sign up if you are a fan.  Otherwise, I just don’t see it.

Plus, Facebook has come out with Facebook Live, which I assume was an effort to head Snapchat off at the pass.  So, if you’re an author with a good Facebook following, you could livestream a video of yourself talking about your latest book.  Meanwhile, if you’re not that well know, I guess you could snap videos of yourself out into the wind but I don’t think many people will partake.  Maybe if you’re Stephen King or something.

Third, I don’t see a lot of advertising value.  True,  Snapchat has been inventive.  They had a Gatorade filter for the Super Bowl where you could take a video of yourself and make it look like you just had Gatorade dumped on you, thereby making money off of a fun way to give Gatorade some unique advertising.

Other than that, I don’t know if the kids will sit still for actual ads.  If you have to sit through a thirty second commercial before you can snap yourself, that’ll probably last until a rival company comes out with a similar app where you don’t have to watch a commercial.

3.5 READERS: So why did you buy the stock, asshole?

Because I’m an asshole.

I hope I’m not.  So far it feels that way.  I bought it, and then the instant I bought it, it lost me $5.  Then twenty minutes later it lost me $25 dollars.  So, that could just be a fluctuation.  Hopefully, it gains tomorrow.

I don’t know.  Twitter’s stock fell.  Go Pro’s stock also fell, largely due to the fact that every dumbass who ever wanted to buy an athletic stunt camera bought one and as it turns out, assholes who want to jump out of planes and record their skydives are a select group.  So once you sell them all stunt cameras, you’re out of people who want to buy stunt cameras.

Thus, I wonder about Snapchat’s future.  Zuckerburg started raking in the coin by pushing his site on youngsters, but he became richer than most small nations by getting your mom and grandma to join, thus making bank on ad revenues.

So, I could be wrong, but the key will be to reach out to more old people and old people who want to make videos of themselves looking like puppies are a small, select group, or at least I hope they are.

Or maybe I hope they aren’t.  Hey, 3.5 readers.  Did you hear there’s an app that can make your face look like a dog?  Trust me.  I’ve pictured what you all look like and it would be a definite improvement.  Zing!  I kid, I kid.  You’re all beautiful.  But seriously.  Get Snapchat, pour some virtual Gatorade on your head, get a virtual flower crown because you’re too lazy to just pick some flowers and make one, just use that Snapchat so my stock will go up high enough that I can put a Bookshelf Q. Hot Tub in Bookshelf Q. Battler Headquarters.

 

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BQB Reviews a Go Pro Hero 5 Black

Why did I buy this?  Someone please confiscate my wallet.

After seeing these things for years, but without a reason to justify buying one, I finally went for it.

Let’s discuss the pros and cons.

PRO:

  • It’s got voice control, so that can help you take pictures of yourself with your friends, family, dog, cat, llama and so on.
  • The Go Pro website has a whole host of mounts that you can use to capture action shots.  There’s a mount for your helmet, a mount to wear on a strap that goes around your head, a mount to put on your car, your bike.  There is a mount you can put ON YOUR DOG (Bookshelf Q. Battledog videos would include a lot of sniffing and pooping).  There is even a mount you can put on your GUN so you can take videos of yourself shooting at (well, I hope targets.  My attorney advises me to remind you that you shouldn’t be shooting at anything but targets).  #Merica!
  • It’s a good buy if you’re like some kind of highly active social media video blogger.
  • I got a little handle to attach to mind so it makes it easier to walk around.  It doesn’t have a screen on the front that can show you a picture of yourself which I think is a flaw they need to fix because otherwise, the handle makes it so that if you were some kind of fancy video blogger, you could record yourself easily while you are walking.

CONS:

  • I’m not an active social media video blogger.
  • I couldn’t strap a camera to my head without feeling like an asshole.
  • I couldn’t strap a camera to my dog without feeling like an asshole.
  • I’m not an athlete so my camera will never capture any stunts, back flips, white water rafting trips, parasailing, parachuting or any of that bullshit.
  • So yes, I basically gave Go Pro a donation.

CONCLUSIONS:

All that being said, it is a decent camera.  I’m a tech nerd.  I enjoy this stuff so I find it fun to play with.  If you’re active and you want to record your athletic abilities for the masses, this gadget is for you.  If you’re a couch potato who wants to record video, you’d probably be better off just getting a standard hard drive video camcorder.

Or hell, just take videos with your phone like everyone else does.

Fun fact: Go Pro’s stock took a dive in 2016, the explanation being that pretty much every one who wants a Go Pro has one and the market for future Go Pro purchases is small.  After all, there aren’t that many assholes who want to jump out of a plane and record their parachute free fall.

However, word has it that Go Pro is working on virtual reality and so on so who knows.  Hopefully they have some surprises in the years to come.

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BQB Reviews an iWatch

Ugh.  Tim Cook gets more of my money.

BQB here with a review of an iWatch.

Let me break it down between pros and cons:

PROS:

  • It’s a conversation starter.  I’m uglier than Gollum at low tide but if you’re not, you could get one of these, start chatting up a babe at a party and I wouldn’t be all like, “Check out my iWatch baby!” but chances are she might notice it and ask about it and then you can show her how it works and get her to touch your hand and shit.  Then again, if you’re that hard up, you could just use the money you’d spend on the watch on a prostitute, though my lawyer advises me to remind you that I do not condone prostitution or prostitutional patronage.  (This is probably the only iWatch review on the Internet that mentions prostitutes, so go me).
  • It’s got an activity app which tracks your activity, thus encouraging you to take more steps, stand up more, and exercise more.
  • It’s got an optional Mickey Mouse face.

CONS:

  • There’s not much it can do that your iPhone can’t.  Actually, you do need an iPhone to be able to use it.  And ultimately, all it really does is act as a fancy remote control for your iPhone.  So yes, the Activities app is great but if you’re so lazy that you’d rather look at your wrist then reach your hand into your f%$king pocket then you probably don’t care about your activity levels anyway.
  • Though the activity app is great, you could get a FitBit or something like that at a cheaper price.

CONCLUSIONS:

It’s up to you.  I’m a tech nerd so I’m into this stuff.  If you’re not into it, you can surely live without it.

Dick Tracy’s dream is here but alas, technology made Dick Tracy’s dream obsolete long ago.

Excuse me while I go try to impress Video Game Rack Fighter with my iWatch.

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BQB Reviews a Hatchimal

Over this fine Christmas holiday, I had the chance to witness the birth of a Hatchimal.

Once you get it, it seems like a pretty lame plastic egg.  But play with it, pick it up, rub it, and eventually it starts pecking away at the egg until it is all gone.  Then it is a baby for a while, then it is a toddler for a while and finally it is a kid for a while.  In other words, it grows up over time and changes its reactions accordingly.

Does it seem like a dumb toy?  On the surface, yes.  But I have to say, it’s a remarkable piece of engineering.  Consider what has to happen for this thing to work:

  • A toy stuck in an egg that you can see has to respond to you when you play with the egg.
  • The toy inside the egg must physically break through the egg, but it must do so in a safe way so that a kid doesn’t take a piece of egg in the eye or something.  Somehow, the egg is sturdy enough that it won’t fly into a million pieces but breakable enough that it responds to the little animal’s beak.  (After it pecks for a while, you can start pealing the egg pieces away and help the little schmuck out).
  • It then must go out of peck mode so that the kid doesn’t peck.  It then must keep track of time i.e. how long the kid plays with it until it feels nurtured enough to go to a new stage of life.

In other words, a lot of science went into this thing.  I was impressed.  If you have a kid, you should get him/her a Hatchimal.

Just beware dud Hatchimals.  There have been reports of some of them not hatching and some reports that they swear, though I have a hard time believing that.  They seem so cute and good natured but then again it’s always the ones you don’t suspect.

 

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Amazon’s Checkout Line-Less Grocery Store

Hey 3.5 readers.

Skynet begins!

That’s right.  Amazon has opened up a grocery store without checkout lines, cash registers, employees taking your money or what have you.

The whole thing works with your phone and when you walk out the door, you get charged for whatever food you’ve got with you.  The food items have sensors or something and somehow this damn robot store can tell what food you have taken.

I’m curious how they’d stop shoplifters.  I mean, OK they’ll charge your phone if you have it set up so there’s in that case, even stuffing a bag of Funions down your pants won’t work because you’ll just get charge for those delicious crispy onion treats.

But what if you don’t have the app set up?  I assume Jeff Bezos just sends a team of drones to hunt you down, pick you up by your feet and jingle all the spare change out of your pockets.

It’s very interesting.  I can see some good behind it.  It speeds things up so you don’t have to wait in line.  You can just walk right out the door when you have everything you need.

On the other hand, I do feel bad as this may very well lead to less jobs for grocery store workers.  I know that personally, I have seen more and more stores up the number of self-check out registers in recent years so automation seems to be the trend.

You know what I would love?  If I could just enter all the stuff I want into an app, order it, and then when I show up at the store, someone just hands it to me because they’ve packed it up already.

Come to think of it, there are some stores that do have an online ordering/delivery feature where you can order in line and then they deliver the food to your house.  The downside is you can’t squeeze the melons in the produce section to see if they are ripe or not and I hate to miss out on that because this is the most action I get in life.

What say you, 3.5 readers?  Is this how Skynet begins?

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Comcast on an App

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

I heard something amazing today, that Comcast is going to be available on an app.

You don’t need a cable box.  Just a TV with an Internet connection.  Turn on the app and you get the channels, the on demand stuff, you can still record shows with a virtual DVR.

Available on any gadget that can stream media – your laptop, tablet, phone, etc.

This is pretty much the end of cable as we know it, isn’t it?

The future is now!

Good or bad, what say you, 3.5 readers?

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Slate Article – Parents Punishing Kids by Shaming them on Social Media

Yeesh.  Since we’re all techno nerds around here, I, from time to time post articles about technology and I came across this one by Amanda Hess of Slate.

Hess starts with the case of Izabel Laxamana, a girl who sent a selfie to a boy from school.  Her father’s punishment was to cut off Izabel’s hair and took a video asking her if it was worth it.

According to the article, the video made the rounds on social media, the school got involved. Izabel later jumped off a bridge.  (It isn’t totally clear this made her do that but it couldn’t have helped either)

Yikes.  And I thought Uncle Hardass was tough.

Hess goes on to talk about public shaming being an ancient thing.  Schools no longer make kids wear “dunce caps” and teachers don’t beat kids with “the rod” anymore.

For a long time, parents would dole out whatever punishment they deemed necessary, but they’d do it within the confines of their home.

Now, as Hess explains, there seems to be a new trend for parents to punish their kids via online humiliation, taking an embarrassing video – maybe making the kid confess or in one case Hess discusses, a father made his son dance around in skinny jeans and posted a video online (apparently Dad wasn’t a fan of the skinny jeans).

Sigh.  It seems no matter what the technology is, there will always be people who abuse it.

I’m not saying let kids get away with everything but holy crap, whatever happened to a good lecture and some grounding?

Things put on the Internet last forever…FOREVER.  Sure, maybe you’re a dumb parent and you think you’re helping your kid by shaming them out of bad behavior by posting an online video.

But keep in mind that video follows the kid everywhere.  His/Her friends will eventually see it.  Shit, ten years later a potential employer might find it through a Google search, decide not to hire your adult kid and he/she is now stuck living on your couch forever.

Maybe the millennials have it worse than we thought.  Every day their dumb parents are posting pictures and videos of them online that will definitely keep many of them out of a presidential bid.

Shit.  Right now there could be a kid who could have grown up to become the president that solves all our problems and unites us all but it’ll never happen because I don’t know, his dumb parents posted a picture of him picking his nose or whatever.

Anyway.  It’s just some food for thought.  Social media can be a great tool, giving voice to people who otherwise would have remained voiceless.

The downside is…there are a lot of people using it to do dumb things.

Parents…as mad as your kids will make you, and they surely will from time to time, “social media shaming” (holy crap there’s a term for it) is not the way to go.

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Amazon Dash Buttons

Have you seen these, 3.5 readers?  Sticky back buttons.  Put them around your house.  When you’re out of detergent, paper towels, gatorade or what have you, just press the button and Amazon will charge you and send you some.

Super convenient or the start of the rise of the machines?

Could this work for self publishers?  Every author sends their fans a button.  Push it when you’re ready to buy the author’s next book.

 

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