Tag Archives: tech

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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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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No One Wants to Buy Twitter

This CNN article explains it better but essentially, Twitter is looking for a buyer and Disney, Google, and Apple have said nope.

What’s up?  What do you think? Has Twitter reached its apex? Its zenith? Yikes, I’ve put a lot of time into it I hope its not going to go the way of Myspace.

What say you, 3.5 readers? Do you use Twitter? Do you like it? Is tweeting worth it?

Oh and shameless plug – follow me @bookshelfbattle

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A Thought on Campaign Funding, the Internet and Technology

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Hello. I’m Bookshelf Q. Battler, noted ugly rights advocate, champion yeti fighter, proponent for a cure for Lightning Infused Toaster Paper Toilet Death (we must find the cure in our lifetime) and the owner of a website owned by 3.5 readers.

Blah blah blah, you know my spiel about not getting political.

But here’s a thought I wonder if everyone couldn’t consider.  And I’ll say up front, I’m not sure how it could be carried out.

It just seems like it is becoming too much that people are able to cut a check to a candidate for huge amounts of money and then say with a straight face that this transaction doesn’t mean the candidate’s loyalty hasn’t been bought or that the donator is doing it solely on ideology and not expecting some kind of quid pro quo.

The problem has always been that the money has always been needed.  You don’t take it, your opponent will, your opponent can then buy a lot of TV ads and attack you 24/7.

But look at the tech today.

First, it is easier to collect small donations from the little guy.  Few people have the attention span to remember to write a check, address an envelope and mail it to the campaign of their choice.

However, if the laptop is already on your lap, burning your genitals while you’re watching Scandal Thursday nights on ABC, it doesn’t take much effort to send your candidate whatever you are willing to part with.

Should there be a cap?  Hypothetically, yeah, if its limited to, say, a hundred dollars per person then I’m not sure the average politician would become beholden to someone for a hundred bucks.

In other words, its never been easier to collect small donations from the general public and those donations won’t necessarily lead to an unsavory phone call demanding that a politician engage in sketchy behavior.

Second, and here’s the big one – video and/or other content has never been easier to produce, create, and share.

Seriously.  If some kid in his dorm can generate a million followers on YouTube by buying everything he needs at the local Best Buy, then surely the prospective leaders of the free world can.

Really – buy ad time? Seems like an outdated concept.  Turn on your smart phone, say something controversial about your opponent, post it, and then the media will pick it up.

OLD WAY: Buy millions of dollars worth of ads to play a commercial about how your opponent is a butt face.

NEW WAY: Turn on cell phone camera.  Say, “My opponent is a butt face.” Post. Wait for major networks to report that you called your opponent a butt face. Heck, your ardent followers will even spread your message to all their friends, informing them that you think your opponent is a butt face.

IN CONCLUSION:

  • It’s never been easier to raise a lot of money from a lot of little people who don’t have the power call you at 3 a.m. to ask you to do something to compromise your integrity because of a $20 donation they made on your site.
  • Content has never been cheaper to create or share.

AND THE BEST PART:

  • The average person who is a semi-respectable, non-douche with good ideas but hasn’t spent a lifetime being a henchman/woman for people making giant donations might, just might, be able, with a few simple, affordable pieces of tech available at Best Buy, be able to spread meaningful content about his/her ideas that goes viral and becomes as formidable as content created through enormous donations, thereby allowing better, less douchy people to rise to the top.

What say you, 3.5 readers?

 

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iPhone earbuds go wireless; Apple Gets Rid of the Headphone Jack

Apple has deep sixed the headphone jack on the iPhone 7, claiming that getting rid of the jack hole will help make the phone waterproof.

Great idea or incredible outrage?

Harmless innovation or CIA conspiracy to give us all brain cancer and/or control our minds via wireless earbuds?

Discuss.

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Will Virtual Reality Be the Next Big Thing?

Happy Saturday 3.5 Readers.

Virtual reality. How big do you think it will get?

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One of BQB’s 3.5 readers reads Bookshelf Battle in VR.

A lot of articles in the news.  Seems like every tech company from Facebook to Google is getting in on the action.

VR was dabbled with in the 1990s but the graphics weren’t that good.  Community had an episode last year where they made fun of it. (Why would you want to put o a pair of VR goggles and search through a virtual filing cabinet to find a file when you could just point and click your mouse?)

I think it all depends on the quality of games and/or experiences that can be made. If they can make something that truly immerses you and allows you to pretend to do something you could otherwise never do then they might be onto something.

At any rate, the last big tech innovation was the iPad/tablets.  Now it seems like all the tech companies are going full force into Virtual Reality.

What say you, 3.5 readers?  Would you like to read this horrible blog through VR glasses?

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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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Mitch Albom Article – Teacher Fired – Cell Phone Privacy

Hey 3.5 Readers.

If you’re like me, you’re a nerd interested in technology, so this story I found on USA TODAY stood out to me.

It is by Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays with Morrie, which is a great book by the way.

The synopsis:  Teacher took nude selfie for husband for Valentine’s Day.  Left it on her phone.  Left phone unattended on her desk.  Student picked up phone, went through it, found the naughty photo, took a picture of it, sent it around everywhere, teacher gets fired, eventually student gets in trouble.

Tough case, right? Yes, it is very stupid to take a naked picture of yourself and doubly stupid to leave it on your phone.  There’s no guarantee of privacy on the Internet so anything you don’t want “out there” shouldn’t be created in the first place.

But then again, this is her private phone.  No one has the right to go through any item that belongs to someone and look around through it.

Yet, I can also see the argument that she brought this phone into a school.  When she did, she brought every virtual piece of data on the phone into the school, including the nude photo.

Definitely should have had a passcode on the phone.  Who doesn’t have a passcode on their phone these days?

I can sympathize with the teacher.  Some silly thing she did in passing, something she thought only she had access to, never thought it would lead to anything.

I do think this is an issue where lawyers.have taken away common sense in the workplace.  The common sense approach would have been to give the teacher a lecture to never let this happen again or else you’re fired.

But I assume the administrators felt the safest thing (for them) would be to fire her outright.

Anyway, lessons to be learned:

  • Don’t take nude photos of yourself.  I don’t because no one wants to see that.  You shouldn’t because no matter how secure you think you are, it can always get out somehow.
  • If you’re stupid and do so anyway, don’t leave them on your device. Delete, delete, delete.
  • Keep in mind when you take your phone into a public building, you’re taking everything on it into a public building.
  • As a general rule, since your privacy can’t be guaranteed on the Internet, the best practice is to not do anything on the Internet that you wouldn’t want to explain to the authorities and/or your mother later.
  • Put a passcode on your phone!
  • Don’t leave your phone unattended.  Keep it with you at all times.

 

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Tech Review – Amazon’s $50 Fire Tablet

Happy Saturday, 3.5 readers.

BQB here. So I did it. Due to the exceptionally low $49.99 price, I caved and got myself this bad boy:

(*cough cough* SHAMELESS PLUG! Follow me on twitter @bookshelfbattle)

OBSERVATIONS

  • It’s cheap. Can’t go wrong for the price. Now even people without much scratch can waste as much time mindlessly streaming media as the one percent do.
  • For $50, it does have a pretty good display.  Obviously, it’s not as good as a suped up top of the line iPad but its decent for the price just the same.
  • It is good for watching Netflix and/or other movie apps.  I watched a few minutes of Brick Mansions, Paul Walker’s second to last film (RIP Paul, you are missed) and it came through crisp and clear.
  • It’s got a camera, so that means you have yet another camera in your life to take pictures of your lunch and post it on social media.
  • Obviously, it is set up so that you’ll make the most of it if you sign up for Amazon’s services like Amazon Prime.  Click on music and it’ll try to sign you up for Amazon’s music service.  Books will take you to Amazon’s infamous book service (and ask if you want to sign up for it.  Videos takes you to Prime and wants to know if you want Prime.
  • But then again, what tablet doesn’t try to sell you on the tablet company’s media? iPad wants you to buy stuff through iTunes, Android tablets want you to buy stuff through Google, etc.
  • I am debating whether or not to drop a hundred bucks on Amazon Prime.  Access to a lending library, more TV shows, free shipping all sound like they’d be nice.  Then again, it could just be Jeff Bezos’ ploy to grab me by my ankles, turn me upside down and shake all the spare change out of my pockets.
  • BUT if you don’t sign up and/or pay for any stuff, its still a great little spare tablet to have in a pinch.  I can tell you, my house is full of people who feel the constant need to borrow my computer, my tablet, my whatever device I’m working on and it doesn’t matter what I’m doing with it at the time.  I could be two seconds away from coming up with a solution for world peace or a cure for cancer and some jerkface will bellow in my ear that he needs to play Candy Crush and there goes my device.
  • So in theory, this is a good spare.  But in a day, I’ve noticed that means its a spare for me.  No one else around me wants to learn how to use an Amazon tablet so they steal all my shit and leave me to use the Amazon tab.  But at least it’s a spare someone’s using, even if it’s me, while everyone else uses my shit.
  • Please, the Yeti, stop swiping my laptop.  I’m trying to write a novel so the Mighty Potentate won’t conquer the planet.  Here, use this $50 Fire tablet instead.
  • Finally, its up to you really.  Do you need this?  Probably not. The low price is Amazon’s main selling point.  “You were never interested in Amazon’s stuff before?  Well what if we made the delivery system cheap…you know you nerds will throw your money away just for a chance to check out a new piece of tech…”

 

 

 

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