March 29, 2015

Computers & Technology

Why Does the Subsidized Hardware Model Bother Me So Much?

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 inch.jpg

It's no secret I read a lot.  In the past seven days alone, I've finished 4 books totaling 1,067 pages, as well as worked on three other books which, between them, probably account for another 500+ pages finished but not in the tally.  (I only know this because, at least a few times a week, it seems like I get a request for a list of my books or what I'm working through at the time.  Back in June, I began building a spreadsheet to track my content consumption, figuring if I could stick with it lo … [Read more...]

Has Technology Doomed Privacy?

Matt Bomer

One of the biggest questions on my mind for the past seven or eight years, and cause for a general chronic uneasiness in my heart, has been the nature of privacy going forward as a result of technological changes.  To give you some background, I went to college between 2001-2005.  It was only during the final moments of my senior year that YouTube was founded and went live to the public.  Practically no cell phones had video recording capability.  Google wasn't monitoring everything you did and h … [Read more...]

Do Any of You Want a Google Glass Invitation?

Google Glass

A friend of mine has an invitation to the early access of Google Glass that he isn't going to use.  There is only 1 available and he said I could offer it to you all so it's not wasted. The first person to send me a note in the contact form, with the following information, will be the winner.  I'll forward it to him so he can get the Google Glass invitation details into your hands. Your full name Your address Your phone number Your email address A promise that you are going to … [Read more...]

The Kansas Legislature Is Working to Ban Google Fiber and Make Discrimination Against Individuals Legal

Google Fiber

Terrified by the competition Google Fiber brought to Kansas City with its 1 gigabit upload and download speeds for $70 per month, the Kansas legislature is now considering a bill drafted by the cable industry that would make such municipal infrastructure partnerships illegal.  It is called the Municipal Communications Network and Private Telecommunications Investment Safeguards Act [PDF], or Senate Bill No. 304.   This is a bill written by the cable industry, for the cable industry, that es … [Read more...]

The Magic of Magento for E-Commerce

Magento Ecommerce Platform

I've spent my entire day buried in documentation for Magento, playing around with the test server I setup.  Installing themes is horribly inefficient compared to what it should be, but otherwise, this open source platform is truly revolutionary in terms of what it's doing for e-commerce. It reminds me of Wordpress, which quickly standardized and came to dominate content management systems.  I think there is probably a huge business opportunity for someone to build a dedicated Magento hosting b … [Read more...]

The Samsung Galaxy 10.1 2014 Edition Is The Best Tablet I’ve Ever Owned

Samsung 10.1 2014 Edition Notes with Stylus Tablet in Dark

The new Samsung 10.1 2014 tablet was released, and its specs caught my attention.  My household and businesses usually buy the biggest, nicest versions of the iPad so they work right out of the box, upgrading nearly every cycle, but the 32 Gigabyte WiFi edition Android 4.3 Jelly Bean tablet that was recently released not only had a 2,560 x 1,600 pixel display resolution at a 298 PPI density (compared to iPad Air's Retina at the smaller 2,048 x 1536 and lesser 264 PPI density), but it had h … [Read more...]

Meet Susan Bennett, the Voice of Siri

Susan Bennett Voice of Siri Apple CNN

Half an hour ago, CNN published a story revealing the real life woman behind Apple's famous Siri voice.  Her name is Susan Bennett.  You can read all of the details and full story here or watch the videos they provided, which I embedded.  (Unfortunately, CNN's web developers are horribly out of date as their videos require Flash.  My apologies to the legions of you on iPhones, iPads, and many other mobile devices.  This makes no sense in a world of HTML5.)  She was also the voice of the first ATM … [Read more...]

What Are Your Thoughts on the New Mac Pro Redesign?

Mac Pro Black 1

Apple could be addressing some of the serious concerns I've had lately.  The new iteration of the operating system will fix the notification errors I mentioned, as well as introduce a desktop version of the iBook software, letting it catch up to Kindle.  Issues with dual screens and fullscreen settings will be resolved.  Though I'm still hesitant, if they fix many of the other errors instead of introducing new ones, it could be like the leap from Windows Me to Windows XP.  I can't wait for the da … [Read more...]

I Am Dangerously Close to Giving Up Apple and Switching Everything to Windows 8

Dell XPS 27 One

Aaron and I have always been early adopters in everything except 1.) cell phones, and 2.) social networks.  Long before Apple's rise, we went from staunch Microsoft advocates to Apple evangelists when Leopard made common tasks effortless, with greater stability, and streamlined work processes. Two years ago, I laid out the reasons we switched to Apple, with the first systems bought back in 2005, and spent a lot of our early money on building the technology around their products.  I even shared a … [Read more...]

I’m Finally Giving Up Physical Reports and Moving to An Entirely Digital Workflow

Highlighting Annual Reports in Adobe Acrobat Professional

As part of the radical simplicity project, which right now is mostly manifesting as total clutter reduction, I am taking the last step of the paperless project from two years ago and finally giving up - as impossible as it has been for me - physical copies of annual reports, 10Ks, and proxy statements.  We are very close to things like Perceptive Pixel being commonplace with large display screens and cloud-based storage for everything, so it is time to get ahead of the curve.  I always like b … [Read more...]