Tag Archives: technology

Cheap Computers vs. Expensive Computers

Hey 3.5 readers.

Your old pal BQB here.

The last few computers I bought were expensive and sure enough, they all kicked the bucket within 2-3 years.

This time around, I bought a cheap computer and I gotta be honest, I’m noticing zero difference. Like I always bought expensive computers with all the bells and whistles and the high RAM and the extra expansion slot. “OMG WELL WTF OF COURSE I NEED THE EXTRA EXPANSION SLOT! WHAT IF I’M UP LATE ONE NIGHT AND NEED TO STICK TWO SOMETHINGS INTO AN EXPANSION SLOT BUT I ONLY HAVE THIS ONE LOUSY EXPANSION SLOT?!”

So I figure I have been duped by Big Tech all these years. I’m happy with this cheap ass computer and I understand it will probably break in 2-3 years but that’s fine, because I won’t have spent that much.

Honestly, I’m almost thinking about buying a second cheap ass computer so I have one for upstairs and one for downstairs because I’m a lazy schmuck face and then I won’t have to go up or down stairs when I need a computer and it isn’t on the same floor.

This is revolutionary. Seriously, when it comes to computers and women, always go cheap because they will inevitably break down on you within 2-3 years and you’ll be glad you didn’t waste all that money.

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BQB on Freebooksy

Hey 3.5 readers.

Just a reminder my book, “The Phone Did It” is super free this weekend, so free that I paid for a listing on Freebooksy, an awesome site that promotes free books when they are indeed, free.

FAQS:

Q – BQB, will I have to pay for your book?

A – No, because it is totes free.

Q – That’s good because I hate paying for stuff.

A – That’s good because I hate earning money for stuff.

Q – Wow! We’re a match made in heaven then.

A – Yes we are.

And look! I was put together in a posting with a free book about what I assume is a crime solving cat, so you could check out this link, get my book for free, get a book about a crime fighting cat for free…look, let’s face it, before you saw this post, your day was going to be bupkus but now? Now you get a free book about an evil phone, a crime solving kitty cat, and plenty of other freebooksy books.

Click on the crime fighting cat and you will see my book a few books down:

Q – BQB, I was just kidding. I hate free stuff. I love to pay for things.

A – Oh, then you shouldn’t click on this link and get a free copy of my book. You should totes wait a few days and buy a copy of my book when it goes back to $2.99. I would hate earning money from the fruits of my labor. I really would.

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I’m Number One! I’m Number One!

Check it out, 3.5 readers.

My latest twisted short, “The Phone Did It” is number one on Amazon’s free technothriller charts. Thanks to a Freebooksy promo, I gave away approximately 1900 free copies of this book this weekend.

I mean, yeah if people had actually PAID for 1900 copies, I’d have a nice little chunk of change coming my way but let’s not get ridiculous, here. Authors making money in exchange for their labors? Absurd! Absurd, I say!

Anyway, this books is FREE until Tuesday, so do grab your FREE copy and if you’re so inclined, maybe you could even leave a review:

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GET A FREE BOOK!

3.5 readers, this weekend you can get one of my fine books for FREE, which means you don’t have to pay for it. All you do is go and get it for free. Wanna read it? Great. Don’t want to? Hey, maybe you will later. Point is, get it now, for it is FREE.

Do you know how your phone has been trained to show you stuff you’re interested in? Hell, buy one pair of French loafers today and you’ll be seeing ads for French loafers until the end of time.

What if they had a phone that could DO the things you want done, before you even realize you want them done? What if your phone just knows you like French loafers and automatically calculates when you need a new pair and orders them?

What if your phone, capable of impersonating your voice and making all those grunt work calls you hate making, what if your phone, capable of doing actual tasks and making purchases and transactions in your name, took its mandate to fetch whatever its user wants before they know they want it…way too seriously? (Muah ha ha! Cue sinister foreshadowing.)

Grab your free copy of The Phone Did It this weekend on Amazon. Reminder – it is FREE.

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Buy My Book!

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

It’s late at night. You’re fast asleep. Do you know what your phone is doing behind your back?

Behold! The world’s first automated cell phone. The ACP is a modern miracle of technology, so advanced that it can write your social media posts for you, generate and post CGI photos of you fulfilling your wildest dreams, complete all your busy work, and it can even impersonate your voice as it calls all those obnoxious bores in your life that you absolutely detest talking to.

Ahh, but alas, as one Jay Ferris is about to find out, the ACP can also commit crimes in its owner’s name, and it takes its mandate to fetch whatever the user wants, before they even want it way too seriously.

Fans of mystery/thrillers with a jolt of hard science-fiction will rejoice in this, the first installment of the second volume of BQB’s Twisted Shorts. Did you think “The Twilight Zone” needed more dark humor? If yes, then this series is for you. If not, try it anyway.

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Book Cover – The Phone Did It

Hey 3.5 readers.

Wow, look at this. The cover for my next short, The Phone Did It, which I hope to release later this month.

The plot? Jay Ferris is a salesman for a company that has invented the world’s first automated phone. That’s right. This phone can do all the crap work you hate doing. It can write your reports, analyze your facts and figures, pay your bills, do your shopping, schedule your appointments – why, it can even make all those annoying calls you hate making. It will impersonate your voice and call your co-workers, or that pesky, nagging relative you love but don’t like talking to…and then give you a full report later.

Unbenknonwnst to Jay, this phone can also…dun…dun…dun….commit crimes. The phone is scheduled to get the user whatever it wants, so alas, when Jay starts pining over the social media profile of an ex love from long ago, the phone experiences a flaw in the system that takes the phrase, “get whatever the user wants” a little bit too literally.

Here’s the cover, where Jay’s asleep while his phone is committing crimes in his name. Will he go down for it? You’ll have to read the book. (And buy a few other books, will ya?)

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Black Mirror Review – Hated in the Nation

Couldn’t find a Netflix trailer so see this Ending Explained video instead.

Spoiler alert. If you haven’t seen it, look away. It’s ok, I have a total of 3.5 readers so I can lose up to 2.5 and still have a full reader. It’s just hard to talk about this episode without delving into spoilers.

Death has become a hashtag. Whenever the Internet folk post a name along with the hashtag #deathto they are voting for that person to be killed under mysterious circumstances, with the name that receives the most votes becoming the victim of the day.

Two days and two victims – a journalist who wrote a scathing, unkind op ed about a handicapped rights’ advocate and a rapper who mocked a young fan’s tribute dance to him, dashing the kid’s dreams on live television.

Detective Karin Parke (of Boardwalk Empire fame) has seen it all and is breaking in her young partner, Blue Coulson (Faye Marsay). Along the way, they team up with British government agent Shaun Li (Benedict Wong of Doctor Strange fame.)

At first, the episode is a slow burn and feels a bit like an episode of Law and Order set in England. As we learn the killer’s method, it picks up the pace.

Spoiler – robot bees! Yes, it’s the future and robot bees have replaced the usual kind, apparently due to a lack of hot and steamy bee on bee intercourse. An entire company has emerged to produce robot bees, setting them to work on the UK’s pollination needs, each robo-bee buzzing from one flower to the next, deliver the special yellow dust along the way.

SIDENOTE: Listen people. We need to save the bees to save the plants and save the world. If you know any bees, please encourage them to engage in a lot of indiscriminate bee on bee fornication to prevent a nightmare world where robo-bees take over.

Like Alfred Hitchcock’s birds, Black Mirror’s robot bees take on a life of their own, buzzing and stalking the prey programmed into their little bee minds by the killer. Many harrowing scenes of people narrowly escaping bee attacks ensue.

Overall, the robo bee concept is interesting and sadly, may be needed one day if all these male bees can’t build up their confidence and start hitting on all these lady bees. Wait, there’s just one Queen Bee right? All the male bees go to work and then return to the hive to service the Queen Bee’s needs? Yikes.

Also, it’s a meditation on when Internet anger goes too far. People are stupid. They do dumb things. They say dumb things. Much of this stupidity went unnoticed back in the day but now that the Internet preserves everything, people often engage in a social media pile on, spewing all kinds of vitriol toward someone who they believe has crossed a line. Sadly, this leaves no room for a person to apologize and seek redemption.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy, mostly because of the bees. I do remember enjoying Boardwalk Empire back in the day and thought it was cool to see Nucky’s GF in the present day.

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Black Mirror Review – Arkangel

BQB’s Black Mirror marathon continues.

It’s not easy being a parent. This is the understatement of the year.

You want to protect your child, extend their youthful innocence for as long as possible – shield them from everything and yet, the more you shelter them, the less resilient they become.

You don’t want them to scrape that knee yet they won’t learn to not run around like a goofball until they get that scraped knee. It is indeed quite a slippery slope. Maybe the best you can do is safeguard them yet as they grow up, hope your lessons take hold and they make wise decisions or at least learn from their mistakes.

Marie (Rosemarie DeWitt) wants to keep her daughter, Sara, safe. After an incident where she briefly loses sight of her kid at the park, Marie signs Sara up for Arkangel, an implant that reports everything and anything about what Sara is up to directly to Mom’s tablet.

There’s good news. Mom can monitor daughter’s health. Put her on supplements as needed. Mom can block out anything that is scary, i.e. that scary dog in the neighbor’s yard just becomes a blur.

However, the as the years past and the more protective Mom is, the less able to comprehend the dangers of the world Sarah becomes. Ultimately, you don’t want your kids to see violence and yet, until they see one kid shove another kid and cause a boo boo, they don’t learn to keep their hands to themselves.

All this control and lack of learning about the world seems like a powder keg a brewing and how it will explode…well, you’ll have to watch.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Black Mirror Review – Black Museum

BQB here with another review of this creepy tech anthology series.

Black Museum contains three vignettes, each warning of the dangers of futuristic medical technology. IMO, each one could have been a stand alone episode but I can see why they boxed them together.

Rolo Haynes (Douglas Hodge) was once a cutting edge (perhaps too cutting) inventor of medical technology. Forced out of the biz for going too far, he now owns a roadside “Black Museum” which features artifacts used in all sorts of high profile crimes. Fans of the episode will note Easter eggs i.e. items used by baddies in previous Black Mirror episodes.

Ironically, some of Rolo’s inventions are now on display, for his tech has been declared illegal, though he was able to skirt any liability in the nick of time.

Nish (Letitia Wright of Black Panther fame) stops to charge her car after a long drive one day, only to visit the museum as a distraction.

Rolo, having not seen a customer in some time, is happy to give her the grand tour and share his stories, which include a) an implant that a doctor used to feel the pain of his patients. At first, he becomes adept at diagnosing and curing his charges but over time, he develops a crazed addiction to pain (he feels it but does not suffer the physical effects) that can’t be satiated.

Story B is about a couple who live a happy life until the wife is struck by a car and left in a coma. Rolo offers up another invention, this one allowing wife’s brain to be downloaded into husband’s brain. At first, when husband is able to communicate with wife again, the reunion brings great joy. However, over time, the wife inside husband’s head becomes an unrelenting backseat driver, nag nag nagging all the time.

Story C is about a death row inmate who signed a deal with Rolo for his digital persona to be brought to life in his museum as a hologram, giving tourists the “joy” of flipping a switch that zaps said convict over and over again.

Is there any correlation to these stories? You have to watch to find out. Without giving too much away, I will say story B does have a bit of a biting commentary about how we tend to throw away loved ones once they get too be too much work.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Pride in Work is Dead

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

Not to get into specifics because you never know when the Yeti might be listening, but recently, I upgraded BQB HQ and that required the purchase of a number of new appliances.

You take them out of the box, set them up, everything is right as rain, right?

Wrong.  You have no idea how much time I’ve spent on the phone with tech support and customer assistance the past few months.

I got a vacuum cleaner that wouldn’t suck and ironically, its inability to suck made it suck.  It was cheap so I thought I got a bargain but apparently it was cheap for a reason.  After multiple go arounds with customer service, I junked it and forked out the cash for a Dyson.  The Dyson works great and ironically, had I just bought a Dyson in the first place I could have afforded a better Dyson.

I bought a desk.  It came in a box.  I had to screw all the parts together.  It was missing parts.  I consulted with others who looked at it just to make sure I wasn’t crazy.  I wasn’t.  It was missing parts.  After a long tango with customer service I, you guessed it, junked it.  It was 100 bucks, which I guess is cheap for a desk but that was all I needed.  I gave up and just got a 20 dollar folding card table.  That’s my desk now.  WTF.

Yeah, in hindsight had I not spent so much on book covers for books I’ll never get published I probably could have bought a really fabulous desk but anyway….the lesson seems to be don’t buy cheap things because they are cheap for a reason.  I’ll buy a top of the line desk when I can afford it.  Until then, I might as well have saved the 100 and gotten the 20 dollar card table up front.

Except the buy top of the line doesn’t work either.  I treated myself to a fantastic TV.  TV is my life so I might as well have a good one.  I take it out of the box and…WTF…there’s a base that screws into the television but the screw holes in the back of the TV are nowhere close to where the screw holes in the base are.

After an hour of having a physics and engineering discussion with tech support, the guy said he’d send me a new part and I told him up front please like actually work on this because I already know you’re just going to grab the same part and mail it to me and I’m going to have a meltdown, not an angry meltdown but just an utter collapse of hope in the overall abilities of society and mankind.

Seriously, if I get the wrong part in the mail, that will be it.  It will be a sign that we have turned a corner in the world, pride in work is dead, and I will retreat to a corner and rock back and forth in the fetal position until it is my time to go.

Also, I hear they don’t make blogs as good as they used to.  I wouldn’t know.  This blog is superior to all blogs.  You laugh, but you’ve never logged on here, found the wrong post, and had me be all like, “Oh sorry, I’ll send you the right post in 7-10 business days but it will probably still be the wrong post.”

By the way, did I mention that earlier this year, I got a new laptop?  It was great and still as laptops go it is fine, but occasionally it overheats to the point where it is hotter than the surface of the sun.  It got so hot that rubber pieces attached to it melted off.  After many tangos with customer service I finally decided that it only overheats once in awhile and a laptop that occasionally burns me that I can’t leave plugged in while I’m gone for fear it will burn down BQB HQ is, as the quality of most products go, a freaking win, because at least it is, more or less, operational, and somewhere there is a guy whose laptop grows a leg and kicks him in the balls who would love an occasionally hot laptop.

Do you have a customer service nightmare you’d like to share?  Discuss in the comments.

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