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Tech Talk => PC Load Letter?!? => Topic started by: Kwyjibo on September 23, 2009, 10:11:55 AM

Title: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on September 23, 2009, 10:11:55 AM
It irritates the living daylights out of me that if you have a lengthy excel spreadsheet and you delete a good portion of the rows that the slider on the right doesn't recalculate to only cover the remaining lines.  I'm working on a spreadsheet today that I whittled down to 500 rows from 20,000.  If I want to select 200 of those rows out of the middle and highlight the first one and just barely pull down on the slider I end up at row 4000.  There ceased to be information 3500 rows ago!  So obnoxious.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on September 23, 2009, 11:12:52 AM
Does it still happen if you close the spreadsheet and reopen? I know some versions of Excel calculate the slider lengths on opening and don't recalculate while it's open.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Dan on September 23, 2009, 12:15:13 PM
Hahaha. That's great. I've had that problem, too.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on September 23, 2009, 01:13:45 PM
Does it still happen if you close the spreadsheet and reopen? I know some versions of Excel calculate the slider lengths on opening and don't recalculate while it's open.

Sometimes it does, today, no.  They did a lot of really nice things with 2007, I really don't get how they could have missed something so minor yet so freaking aggravating.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Doug on September 24, 2009, 08:28:29 AM
I run into new things to hate about Excel almost every day.  Just lately my hatred is focused on:

1) 65K row limit
2) Tries to close quotes when a file is saved as CSV
3) Drops leading zeroes unless the column is specially formatted.  Even then, if you format the column as Text, save the file as a CSV and the open it up again, it drops the leading zeroes.


AAARGH!
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on September 24, 2009, 08:55:22 AM
I've never run into the 65k rows problem, thank the good Lord.  However, that leading zeros thing drives me insane.  Some zip codes start with a zero for Christ's sake!  Leave them alone.  The East Coast hates you for this.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Docta on September 25, 2009, 06:17:04 AM
I run into new things to hate about Excel almost every day.  Just lately my hatred is focused on:

1) 65K row limit
2) Tries to close quotes when a file is saved as CSV
3) Drops leading zeroes unless the column is specially formatted.  Even then, if you format the column as Text, save the file as a CSV and the open it up again, it drops the leading zeroes.


AAARGH!

csv files do not hold any formatting.  when you open the file, any spreadsheet app will probably assume the same thing that it's a number and not text.  if you're pushing the row limit you need to move on to a real database app.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Doug on September 25, 2009, 08:25:42 AM
csv files do not hold any formatting.  when you open the file, any spreadsheet app will probably assume the same thing that it's a number and not text.  if you're pushing the row limit you need to move on to a real database app.

I know about the no formatting....it just pisses me off when it happens.

I'm actually working with 90K row csv exports from a 3rd party app and using DTS to import them into SQL.  It's not much fun.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: rva on September 25, 2009, 09:58:48 AM
Are you using MS?  Because I hate the DTS Package creator in Enterprise Manager more than anything on this planet.  ESPECIALLY HOW IT DOES THE TRANSFORMATION STEPS.

My beef with Excel is that if you take a column that has leading zeroes, and you change it to text, and then you can do a find and replace (eg. find "809" replace with "0809) it won't really do it.

Excel will show the leading zeroes, and if you look at the column format, it will say it's text.  However, you won't be able to import that data into text SQL field via DTS.  It'll still treat it as a number and screw up.  But if you go to that cell and manually type in "0809," then hit return, suddenly the data in that cell becomes text.  You can tell because you get that little green triangle that indicates you have a number in a text field.  If you do find and replace, you don't get it.  Of course, no one is going to manually type "0809" 45,000 times.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 28, 2009, 09:04:50 AM
Why in the hell do Java and Adobe reader need to update so damn much?  Do I need all these java updates?  What are they even for?  Can I make them stop somehow?
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Poncho on October 28, 2009, 09:23:40 AM
Are you on Vista?

My wife's lappy is on Vista... she gets Java updates nearly every single day.  She gets Adobe updates like twice a week.

I'm on XP Pro and do not get updates on either more than once every 30-60 days.  I have mine set to ASK, so it's not just doing it in the background.

I'm getting my old lappy out of mothballs and reformatting it with Ubuntu, as I've heard it will take an old piece of crap and light a fire under it.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 28, 2009, 09:29:19 AM
Yes, Vista.  Why would it need to update Java and Adobe so much?
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Poncho on October 28, 2009, 10:16:58 AM
I have no idea.  It annoys her to death.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Poncho on October 28, 2009, 10:19:54 AM
This is what I'm going to do to hers...

http://www.timo.dk/wp/2009/03/21/disable-java-update-service-on-windows-vista/
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: rva on October 28, 2009, 10:31:14 AM
I wouldn't do that if I were you.  There's a lot of java exploits out there, so you need to keep somewhat up-to-date.

You can set how often java updates itself via control panel.



Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on December 01, 2009, 03:21:41 PM
I'm getting my old lappy out of mothballs and reformatting it with Ubuntu, as I've heard it will take an old piece of crap and light a fire under it.

How did this work out for you?  I'm thinking about doing this with our old desktop that I want to turn into a media PC.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on April 05, 2010, 09:28:02 AM
One of the bosses here bought an iPad.  I played with it for a few minutes and it's pretty slick.  It really is just an oversized iPod Touch but the display is killer.  It's going to take a while to catch on but I'd wager tablet/pad PCs are here to stay, if I could do on that the few things I do on my laptop at home I would ditch the laptop in a heartbeat.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Doug on April 05, 2010, 09:51:51 AM
One of the bosses here bought an iPad.  I played with it for a few minutes and it's pretty slick.  It really is just an oversized iPod Touch but the display is killer.  It's going to take a while to catch on but I'd wager tablet/pad PCs are here to stay, if I could do on that the few things I do on my laptop at home I would ditch the laptop in a heartbeat.

My co-worker pre-ordered one.  It's all I've been hearing about all morning.  I've never seen one and I'm already sick of them.

Maybe I'm jaded from all of my years spent building, repairing and supporting computers, but I'm to the point where I could care less about every new toy that comes down the pipe.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on April 05, 2010, 10:03:42 AM
I agree, but I also imagine the days of the ever bigger and better PC is nearly over.  The only people that will have them will be gamers.  Most people do little more than surf the web, listen to music and watch videos on their PCs, all of which you can do on a smaller, cheaper platform now.  I'm not saying necessarily that the iPad is going to be the next great frontier or that playing with it left me speechless and wanting to run out and buy one but it's certainly a step in that direction.  Once these devices (iPads, iPod Touch, Droid or whatever) can do a few heavier things, like manage your checkbook, do your taxes and has a larger storage capacity say goodbye to the PC being anything more than an appliance you have to make room for to support your smaller device.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Doug on April 05, 2010, 10:13:41 AM
Once these devices (iPads, iPod Touch, Droid or whatever) can do a few heavier things, like manage your checkbook, do your taxes and has a larger storage capacity say goodbye to the PC being anything more than an appliance you have to make room for to support your smaller device.

I agree completely.  I don't even use my desktop PC anymore, but I carry my laptop all over the hose to listen to music, surf, etc.  I'm already doing all of the stuff I could do on an iPad.  I'm pretty equal opportunity sick of most new technology.  I guess I see it as all middle ground between where we're at now and the next big step.  Who knows where that step will take us.  The way I see it, as long as I can do all of that on my current machine, I won't be throwing my money into the wind to feed Apple or Microsoft or anyone else who releases these incremental steps in a blatant grab for my cash.  When something really big comes along that blows away everything I know now and can do things that I can't currently do with the technology I have, then I will relenquish my dollars.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on April 05, 2010, 10:23:42 AM
Yeah, I was probably being a bit over zealous with my initial post.  Our laptop is probably safe until it dies.  Which will certainly be much too soon, it's already slower than crap.  But I have a hard time finding any convenience in it.  The battery lasts no time at all, even when it would charge (no, we've never gotten it fixed).

That's all to say that when it comes time to replace the laptop the iPad certainly has a chance at being an option, assuming the capacity goes up.  I have no doubts it will learn some new tricks before I'm in the market for one.  I guess I'm just excited to see where it goes.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Juliana on April 05, 2010, 09:28:49 PM
And I think it's stupid and lame and have no desire for one.
I just think you wouldn't want to sit one on your lap and stare at it for a long time and you wouldn't want to put it flat on a table because that wouldn't be comfortable either, so what do you need?  A stand.  And what's that called?  A freaking monitor.

Whatev.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: trixi on April 05, 2010, 10:25:10 PM
I don't understand why in the world they did not put a camera in the stupid thing. 
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Hell Toupee on April 05, 2010, 10:35:16 PM
I don't understand why in the world they did not put a camera in the stupid thing. 

...or microphone, or Flash (although I understand the Apple/Adobe tiff), or a small USB port, or let it multitask, etc., etc.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: dirk on April 05, 2010, 11:02:33 PM
I think the iPad is going to highlight a lot of the flaws in in iPhone OS unless there are some major changes soon.  For example, Flash not being on the iPhone is a small annoyance, but people put up with it because they generally aren't doing heavy duty surfing.  But on the iPad where it is meant to be used for surfing the net, I think it will become a much bigger deal that there are so many sites that don't work without flash.  Same thing with multitasking.  On the iPhone it was something that would be nice to have, but not a huge deal.  But with the iPad being pushed as an internet machine, not being able to have instant messaging open while you are surfing the net becomes a much larger issue.  The things that are small annoyances on a phone become much bigger issues on an iPad.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: rva on April 06, 2010, 12:04:52 AM
Yeah, not being able to multitask or play Flash are HUGE flaws in the product. 

The major weakness of the iPhone is that you are tied to a two year contract with AT&T.  The major weakness of the iPod Touch is no 3G so it's useless in many situations.  The iPad fixes those problems, but you have to shell out $900 for it.  And you lose portability and without multitasking or Flash, the beefier OS and bigger screen are pointless.

Having said that, I think it'll probably be at least another year before someone puts out a really good pad that gets it right.  And the company that does that could very well still be Apple.  They'll learn from this device and gain a foothold in the market and with the app developers.  So from that perspective, it's not a bad idea for Apple to put it out.  It is a bad idea however, to buy one.  "I know at least 2-3 hardcore Apple freaks who aren't getting the iPad.  In fact, I don't know anyone who is planning on getting one.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on April 06, 2010, 01:22:46 PM
I definitely wouldn't want the launch version, too expensive, too much room for improvement.  Down the road though I definitely see the potential.  Unlike my wife I definitely see this as a vast improvement over that big clunky laptop/laptop table/cord running across the room annoyance combo we've got junking up our living room now.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Doug on April 06, 2010, 01:31:56 PM
http://www.slate.com/id/2249822/?from=rss

http://www.boingboing.net/2010/04/02/why-i-wont-buy-an-ipad-and-think-you-shouldnt-either.html#previouspost
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on January 04, 2012, 02:58:34 PM
Happened to see this quote on the interwebs from some Apple rumor site.

Quote
By the end of 2012, we’re pretty sure Apple is going to make its big move and introduce a television set, including a full and working Apple Store, Siri controls and iCloud. Nothing could be better.

I would add "or more expensive".

Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: lutz on January 11, 2012, 03:22:10 PM
I would add "or more expensive".
Hah, so true  ;D

Soooo, it seems that at CES this week not only have a bunch of 4K resolution LED TVs been unveiled, but also at least one 8K TV. Assuming the difference in price is about the same as between 720p/1080p when they were first released, why would anyone bother buying a 4K TV? Are 720p TVs even manufactured any more? I also wonder how visible the difference will be between 4K/8K and whether higher refresh rates will be standard - I should hope at least 200Hz.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on January 11, 2012, 04:18:42 PM
4k and 8k what?  I gotta learn another set of terminologies?  Boo.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: dirk on January 11, 2012, 04:35:08 PM
There are still 720P TV manufactured, and for most people, they are a great deal.  For watching TV, there is very little difference between a 720P and a 1080P TV.  Unless you are watching BlueRay, the average person doesn't see a big difference (if they see one at all).  And since so few people have BR players, 720P makes perfect sense for as cheap as they are. 
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: va-vacious on January 11, 2012, 06:45:40 PM
I'm planning on getting a new tv soon, and I'm looking at the 720s... no blue ray, no cable, and I just want to watch my how to shows in peace! :) And Vampire Diaries.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Nate on January 12, 2012, 01:52:28 AM
Count me in the minority, but I don't see buying anything in HD when my "normal" pic on the TV looks just fine.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: lutz on January 12, 2012, 06:35:16 AM
Looks like I picked the wrong crowd for that post :p

I, personally, cannot wait to see The Hobbit (filmed at 48 fps) on an 8K screen. Even those who claim not to see the difference between SD/HD will be in awe.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: jcarwash31 on January 12, 2012, 11:24:36 AM
Count me in the minority, but I don't see buying anything in HD when my "normal" pic on the TV looks just fine.

Dude, have you seen Joe Mauer's sideburns in HD?  You'll never go back to "normal".
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Butter on January 12, 2012, 12:22:38 PM
Yeah, I have no idea what 4K and 8K are either, but since I made the switch to HDTVs, I won't go back to SD.  They just look like garbage by comparison.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: lutz on January 12, 2012, 12:30:27 PM
4K is four times 1080p, 8K is eight times, although there seem to be a couple of different standards emerging (3840 vs 4096 horizontal lines).
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on January 12, 2012, 01:15:42 PM
Sounds like overkill to me...

Agree with Butter though, can't stand SD TVs now, they look like shit.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Butter on January 12, 2012, 02:54:43 PM
4K is four times 1080p, 8K is eight times, although there seem to be a couple of different standards emerging (3840 vs 4096 horizontal lines).

So that's what the "Digital Cinema 4K" means.  Got it.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: lutz on January 12, 2012, 04:15:03 PM
I believe these "ultra-high" resolutions will only be available on TVs larger than 42", though.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Homsar on February 21, 2012, 03:20:07 PM
Y'all gotta read this article.  Crazy stuff.

The boy who played with fusion. (http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-02/boy-who-played-fusion)

The fact that there are people out there who are this intelligent is enough to blow my mind and get me totally psyched for the future.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: lutz on March 28, 2012, 03:56:54 PM
Y'all gotta read this article.  Crazy stuff.

The boy who played with fusion. (http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-02/boy-who-played-fusion)

The fact that there are people out there who are this intelligent is enough to blow my mind and get me totally psyched for the future.
This is incredible. If he figures out how to scale it up to be able to provide power to people's homes, we're saved!

I think we need a Random Science Musings thread for articles like this.

EDIT: I just had a look at his website, wherein he lists the chemicals required for fluoridating uranium trioxide. One of the reagents is hydrofluoric acid. If you google "HF burns", you will understand my sharp intake of breath. I hope to god he wasn't doing that in his garage.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on May 07, 2012, 08:41:27 AM
I have come to the conclusion that people that don't have a clue how to use excel effectively compensate by adding copious amounts of needless formatting.  In my work environment I'm being sent data, lots and lots of data, for various purposes every day.  Invariably when I open one up I find a hideous morass of hidden data, bolding, highlighting, color coding (with no indication of what any of it means), crazy fonts, varied font sizing, unnecessary extra tabs... I don't get it.  If I spent that much time on every spreadsheet I created I'd do nothing else.  The first thing I do with almost every spreadsheet I get is create an empty cell with no formatting, copy it with the format painter, and apply it to the entire spreadsheet... all that time spent formatting goes right out the window.

Thank Christ for the format painter.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: lutz on June 18, 2012, 02:48:31 PM
It seems that all is not well in AppleLand:

Mountain Lion Review: What Happened to Apple’s Innovation? (http://gizmodo.com/5888597/mountain-lion-review-what-happened-to-apples-innovation)
Five Disappointments of iOS 6 (http://mashable.com/2012/06/16/disappointments-ios-6/)

And these are from two Apple fanboy websites, so the situation must be really bad.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on June 18, 2012, 02:56:22 PM
And I think it's stupid and lame and have no desire for one.
I just think you wouldn't want to sit one on your lap and stare at it for a long time and you wouldn't want to put it flat on a table because that wouldn't be comfortable either, so what do you need?  A stand.  And what's that called?  A freaking monitor.

Whatev.

Said the person who has not touched our laptop since we bought a Kindle Fire in March.

Course, we have both also made a conscious decision to stay off the computer at home.... so that is a big factor, but when we need something we go to the Fire and not the laptop, unless it's to manage our iTunes.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 18, 2012, 03:47:50 PM
Apple seems to have badly lost the plot.  Like what's up with Apple commercials.  Old people home alone talking to their iphones?  Housebound loser Zooey Deschanel can't get out of her pajamas and has to ask Siri if it's raining while standing two feet from a window?

Who were the ad wizards who came up with this one?
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: MissKitty on June 18, 2012, 03:53:00 PM
... Zooey Deschanel can't get out of her pajamas...

Who were the ad wizards who came up with this one?
I'm guessing Dan.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: c-lando on June 18, 2012, 04:09:30 PM
Apple seems to have badly lost the plot.  Like what's up with Apple commercials.  Old people home alone talking to their iphones?  Housebound loser Zooey Deschanel can't get out of her pajamas and has to ask Siri if it's raining while standing two feet from a window?

Who were the ad wizards who came up with this one?
According to The Soup, Brian Williams went OFF on these ads sometime last week. It was hilarious. MUST.FIND.CLIP.

Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9eessJx_Ww
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: lutz on June 18, 2012, 07:01:52 PM
Their ads over here are very good, actually. Emotional manipulation by evocative music and nice framing. They make me sick.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Dan on June 18, 2012, 09:38:58 PM
She'd be always delightfully quirky...in my bed!





(oooh, I'm so original!)
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on June 19, 2012, 07:56:02 AM
Housebound loser Zooey Deschanel can't get out of her pajamas and has to ask Siri if it's raining while standing two feet from a window?


This ad makes me want to punch her in her quirky bug-eyed face.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Jen on June 20, 2012, 08:38:04 AM
I don't find the Apple ads good either. Annoying really. I think the videos they did promoting Siri for the first time were better than the stupid celebrity ones.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on June 20, 2012, 11:44:25 AM
You mean the one with the kid that got a guitar, learned to play it, made a band and in the end they passed it off as if he did the whole thing to get laid?  Yeah, I didn't want to punch him at all.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 20, 2012, 02:30:10 PM
Yeah, but the kid didn't cost them a ton of money to be in the commercial, unlike Zooey Deschanel.  In that commercial, I don't want to be Zooey Deschanel nor do I want to be with Zooey Deschanel.  Which pretty much negates the whole point of the celebrity endorsement.

Also, the other iphone commercial still made me want an iphone.  Like who wouldn't want to have a phone that can teach you to do something cool and gets you laid?  I wanted to punch the kid because he was an obnoxious poseur and did not deserve his cool phone and hot teenage sex.  But I still wanted the phone.

Zooey Deschanel in her ad seems like an idiot using an idiot phone in an idiot way.  She asks Siri for places that deliver tomato soup and then is too lazy to even follow up and make the call so the whole thing was pointless.  If SIRI had been like "Why don't I dial up some of those places and arrange a delivery for you?" or "I hear Samuel L. Jackson is making Gazpacho, shall I have him bring you some?"  I would have been like dang, Zooey Deschanel is lazy but that's a cool phone.



Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on June 20, 2012, 02:52:33 PM
Hilarious.

How about the John Malkovich one in which he asks Siri to tell him a joke?

Siri: Two iPhones walk into a bar.  I forget the rest.

JM: That's funny.

No, it's not.  How is that funny?  I realize that JM and I are fundamentally different people, he being one that owns an iPhone and can find no one else to tell him a joke, and me being... not that, but still.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 20, 2012, 02:59:32 PM
Yeah, and when he asks SIRI "Life" and SIRI goes all "Fitter Happier" on him that is as creepy/scary as it is sad.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Jen on June 22, 2012, 08:36:17 AM
Not sure about the guitar kid. Never saw that one. I am talking about the one I saw on Apple's website with the guy driving down the road talking to Siri through his bluetooth or ibuds. That made me realize how powerful it was and how to use it. Made me also realize I don't use most of the features of my phone.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: lutz on September 12, 2012, 07:45:25 AM
It seems that all is not well in AppleLand:

Mountain Lion Review: What Happened to Apple’s Innovation? (http://gizmodo.com/5888597/mountain-lion-review-what-happened-to-apples-innovation)
Five Disappointments of iOS 6 (http://mashable.com/2012/06/16/disappointments-ios-6/)

And these are from two Apple fanboy websites, so the situation must be really bad.
And the opinion pieces keep flooding in (http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-19557497). Innovation is officially dead at Apple.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Nate on September 12, 2012, 11:42:59 PM
Well...if the Apple TV is all that, then the answer is innovation still exists there.  Not to mention when competitors deliberately copy the style of Apple products instead of creating their own cool thing, then Apple will always be innovative on some level.

I think judging a product that hasn't been officially released yet is unfair, but this is the Internet and he who writes the opinion piece first gets noticed.  But maybe I'm still kicking myself for selling my 100 Apple shares back in 1998 when they were $30 each for rent money.  :(  Hindsight is 20/20, but sixty grand right now would be nice.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: lutz on September 13, 2012, 07:07:45 AM
A simple summary (http://www.buzzfeed.com/jwherrman/the-only-thing-you-need-to-read-about-all-the-new) of what's new in the iPhone 5.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 13, 2012, 09:39:03 AM
It's unfair to expect Apple to trot out an iPhone or even an iPad every year.  For another company, a mild upgrade like iOS6 or iPhone 5 wouldn't be viewed as a disappointment.  Then again, no one juices announcements or carries a ridiculous cult following of stupid fans like Apple either.  So I suppose it cuts both ways.

One thing about Apple is that it seems like they will launch something amazing every so often, but they don't really do as much with upgrades.  Like iPod was pretty much iPod and fans still wanted "classic" iPods even when they were many years old.  Same with iPhone.  They beef up the hardware some each time to keep up with technology but the basics of the device are still the same even going back to the original iPhone.

The most ominous thing about the iPhone 5 launch might be that right after the announcement, every website immediately did a Samsung Galaxy S III vs Nokia Lumia vs iPhone 5 comparison.  I read some of the comments, expecting the standard Apple vs Android fighting.   Instead the heated (mostly foolish) debate was over the S3 vs Lumia and the merits of Android ICS vs Windows 8.  Apple wasn't even in the discussion.

Apple never wins on tech specs, so it's not surprising they lose the battle on paper.  But it's odd that few people seemed interested championing the device.

As for Apple TV, it seems like the exact kind of thing that Apple sucks at and its been gestating for so long.  People seem pretty happy with their roku netflix devices and XBox's.  Apple is never the first one in the market, so it's certainly conceivable they'll come up with some twist that blows everyone else away but it's hard for me to think what it could be.   The idea of internet on TV is so old.  TV's stream, roku streams, video game players stream, phones stream, tablets stream, laptops stream, cable boxes stream, DVR's stream, etc.  Is there a need for another streaming device?

Apple is not a bad company, but they are so overvalued right now it's crazy.  I would buy Facebook stock before I'd buy Apple stock.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Jen on September 13, 2012, 12:16:57 PM
But maybe I'm still kicking myself for selling my 100 Apple shares back in 1998 when they were $30 each for rent money.  :(  Hindsight is 20/20, but sixty grand right now would be nice.

I am still kicking myself for never buying any back in the day...my retirement would be looking a lot nicer about now. ;)
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 28, 2012, 02:26:53 AM
I'm getting really old.  New technology doesn't interest me at all.

I do not care about front cameras on a laptop or phone.  Windows 8 and it's "Metro" information alerting me to any facebook posts or twitter updates means nothing to me as I don't use either service.  I have no use for the whole "social" thing.  Ability to play streaming video?  Don't care.  Portability?  Don't care. I have an iPad that I use pretty much only on plane flights.  I have a Galaxy SIII that I use to make phone calls and pretty much nothing else.

Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on December 23, 2012, 02:09:47 PM
What the hell is "Arduino?"

Every time I go to the Shack or an electronics store online or in person all I see is Arduino crap.  But it just looks like regular stuff to me.  Like there will be an "Arduino" parts kit filled with components.  I look at the list and its like some random assortment of electrolytic and box capacitors and common resistors.  I'm sure I could build some "Arduino" stuff with this, but then I could build just about anything with it. 

I bought a 100 uF capacitor the other day and the guy was like "Ahh, making an Arduino circuit, huh?"  No.  A common use for a capacitor is as a power supply filter.  It's basically like a power reservoir.  If you supply some power, then the capacitor has to "fill up" before that power goes to the rest of the circuit so that protects you from power surges or from power suddenly going from 0 to 100.  Also if your power fluctuates, then the circuit doesn't die right away but rather the capacitor "drains" and supplies the juice it has stored up.   And then when power goes up the capacitor fills up again.  It just smooths things out so things aren't going on-off-on-off all the time too harshly.  Pretty much every circuit ever made has a capacitor going to ground somewhere.  And almost any low-power battery/adapter kind of circuit uses a 100 uF capacitor. 

Then like I look at the Arduino kits and it's like "Build an Arduino circuit to light up some LED's!"  I guess the twist is they seem to involve PC's somehow.  Why?  "oooh, when I push "a" on my PC this LED lights up!"

REALLY?  Your PC is capable of executing 10 zillion trillion kajillion operations per second, this is what you want to use it for?  Some pointless circuit to turn on an LED that seventh graders used to build on bread boards 25 years ago?   Yeah, you see that screen you're looking at?  Well, it's kind of like 1,000,000 LEDs being turned on by your PC.  So every second your PC is on, its doing something a million times more kickass then turning on 1 LED.  Is it really so shocking that you can turn on an LED with a computer? 
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: dirk on December 23, 2012, 03:12:23 PM
Arduinos are basically mini-computers to run your stuff.  You program then so it doesn't need to be hooked up to your PC.  They basically give you more control over your parts.  For example, instead o fhaving a motion detector which just turns things on, you could use an arduino and have it stay on for 20 seconds and then turn something else on farther down the chain (if it was in a hallway for example, so the light moves with you). Or you can put more advanced parts like proximity sensors.  The best use I have seen (and the only one I have considered actually making) is a simple light.  But you put proximity sensors and arduinos in it so that you actually control how brightness by moving your hand closer or farther away.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on December 29, 2012, 09:54:02 PM
Another thing about getting old is the love/hate affair you develop with technology.

I installed a new printer today.  I would say that pretty much every 2 minutes I went from awestruck to how far technology has come (wireless printing!  Cartridges that light up when installed correctly!  That's *AMAZING*) to crotchety what's with this new-fangled stuff (WHY WON'T IT FIND MY PRINTER?  I REMEMBER IN THE OLD DAYS YOU COULD JUST PLUG THE PRINTER INTO THE PC!!!)

In the end, I got it working.  No thanks to the crap instructions that were included.  The print instructions to just set up the printer were fine.  The drivers were on a CD, and I'm sure the install process walked you through the networking as well.  Except that CD is useless if you don't have Windows.

But I got it all figured out and managed to download some Linux drivers from Canon in Asia and get them installed.  And I had to do it from the command line, which I enjoyed as it was both geeky and high-tech and yet satisfyingly old school.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: lutz on January 02, 2013, 05:08:41 PM
I've long associated LG with cheap, shitty TVs, but it seems that opinion is quite outdated now. They're releasing a very swish-looking 55in OLED TV next year, and the Nexus 4 phone is very, very nice indeed. Completely out of stock everywhere, but very nice. I now associate LG with excellent products but poor supply. Maybe one day they'll get it right.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on January 02, 2013, 08:02:56 PM
When I finally got my flat panel TV last year, I went with an LG. I've been quite happy with the cellphones I had from them, before getting my Droid. They're one of the best business rebrands from the Lucky-Goldstar days. Between them and Samsung, I think South Korea is winning the current electronics market (my current phone is a Samsung).
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Poolio on February 03, 2013, 09:18:20 PM
Wha? Hey Windows Media Player, when I want to burn a list of tracks, I want to burn in it the order I choose not your random order. Good lord... I wish I could figure out what you're doing and how to make you not do it anymore...
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: luisterpaul on February 03, 2013, 09:51:54 PM
Wha? Hey Windows Media Player, when I want to burn a list of tracks, I want to burn in it the order I choose not your random order. Good lord... I wish I could figure out what you're doing and how to make you not do it anymore...
*cough* winamp! *cough*
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Poolio on February 04, 2013, 06:44:37 AM
Wha? Hey Windows Media Player, when I want to burn a list of tracks, I want to burn in it the order I choose not your random order. Good lord... I wish I could figure out what you're doing and how to make you not do it anymore...
*cough* winamp! *cough*
I know, I know. It's a sudden freak-out in WMP though. At least it's burning a music cd instead of burning all the tracks in one file which is unreadable by a stereo. *sigh*
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Homsar on May 24, 2013, 11:03:13 AM
Bing commercials are still annoying.  All they did was take a regular search and throw a few image search results up at the top.  That doesn't make it better.  If I was looking for a picture, I'd use image search.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Homsar on June 19, 2013, 04:23:02 PM
Hmm.  I was going to post how the Bing commercials were annoying.  I forgot I already had.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: lutz on June 19, 2013, 06:38:22 PM
Between them and Samsung, I think South Korea is winning the current electronics market (my current phone is a Samsung).
Japan are fighting back. Well, Sony is. The Xperia ZU is apparently the fastest phone the world has ever seen and puts the Galaxy S4 to shame. And it's waterproof! The not-yet-announced Xperia i1 is rumoured to be just as fast but with the toughest glass the world has ever seen.

The phone arms race is officially ridiculous. How do we not have hover cars already when phones are so advanced?
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Homsar on June 20, 2013, 01:16:18 PM
Drivers on the ground are already bad enough.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Butter on June 20, 2013, 01:40:37 PM
Self-driving hover cars.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Poolio on May 09, 2014, 04:07:17 PM
Howdy Ya'll. So, Yahoo has decided to disable your browser "Do not track me" settings if you had it enabled. All so they can show you "personalized ads".

Now, i think this is a giant crock of shit and am looking for a way to get around it. I have already changed all my settings on there, opted out of whatever weirdass preferences they seemed to think I had and have made sure whatever is on my profile is set to private (they've changed that shit too!). Anybody know of any useful browser add-ons that can help curtail this crap?

Thanks....
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Dan on May 09, 2014, 05:14:59 PM
Is it that you use Yahoo a lot?

What do you use Yahoo for?
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: dirk on May 10, 2014, 06:08:32 AM
Well, the easiest way around it is to use AdBlock, which just blocks the ads outright. It can be disabled for certain sites you want to show ads on as well.

I am also using Privacy Badger which is in beta that is trying to identify the tracking cookies sites use and block those. DoNotTrackMe also tries to limit the tracking sites do of you.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Poolio on May 12, 2014, 06:30:21 AM
Dan, I've had a Yahoo email address for nearly 20 years at this point. Mostly, at this point it's where bills/shipping notifications/newsletters get delivered. I've also had this address attached to various work-related stuff for a few years. But, since other sites are going to go the same way, I figure it's probably better to get ahead of it as much as possible.

Thanks Dirk, my fiance suggested privacy badger too.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on November 06, 2014, 02:23:54 PM
 Amazon Echo (http://www.amazon.com/oc/echo/ref_=ods_dp_ae)

Thoughts?
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 06, 2014, 03:43:39 PM
I think I'm really pissed off now that I bought Amazon stock. 

It's a crappily voice-controlled radio.  Or a non-mobile, limited-function SIRI.  WTF?  When did Amazon get some lame?
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Butter on November 06, 2014, 03:49:44 PM
I was trying to figure out how many things it would do that my phone doesn't already do.  Plus there are lots of questions that my phone can't answer when I "ask it" stuff, so how would this be any better than that?
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on November 06, 2014, 04:01:28 PM
I had some of the same thoughts... Siri does the same stuff, but do you really use Siri for it anyway?  If not, why would you use this?  Plus it's only handy if you happen to be in that room... what if you're on the other side of the house?  Do you walk over to it and physically move it?  I doubt it.  I dunno... kinda ill-conceived like ZK said.

On the other hand, we had just bought a Bose bluetooth speaker which we may elect to return.  If you're going to have a bluetooth speaker that costs $200 it might as well be web connected and have these other features.  Especially if we can get it for the $99 invitation only price.  Otherwise I wouldn't consider it.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 06, 2014, 04:52:53 PM
They could have hooked it up to Spotify/Rdio/Beats instead of Amazon Prime.  That would have helped tremendously.  I probably would have bought one.

Other than that the major problem is that in the "Internet of things" it's an end-point/dead end.  It's not connected to anything else.  As it is, all it does is allow you to use your voice to execute some functions no one really cares about.  And if they did, they could get it done with a smartphone and a bluetooth speaker.

If it actually allowed you to use your voice to do new and useful things, then it could be a game changer.

I'm thinking:

-If it were a universal remote control for your TV, so that instead of paging through 10,000 menus with a shitty remote that doesn't even have alphanumeric keys I could just be like "Watch Broncos Game" or "Record Walking Dead."

-If it could turn my lights off and on or control small appliances.

-If it were hooked it up to IFTTT.  I wouldn't use that functionality, but a lot of people would.  Particularly the kind of geeky people who are first adapters.

-If you could hook it up to your TV so that if you asked it for directions or about James Dean it could show you a map or wiki page instead of just talking at you.



Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 08, 2015, 04:37:41 PM
I don't understand people.

"Hey, what do you think about me maybe shrinking your phone to 2.5 inches while taking away 80% of its processing power?"

"Hell no!  Make my phone smaller?!?  I want my phone to be as huge as possible!  I want a device with a 7 inch screen."

"Okay here you go, it's called a tablet... or phablet."

"No!  I don't want that!  I want a PHONE!"

"But it IS a phone."

"No, it's not CALLED a phone.  It has to be called a phone!"

"Okay, then. Here is your ridiculous giant-ass phone."

"Yay! HUGE PHONE!  I love it!  Hey, can you make it even larger?  That'd be awesome!"

"Sure.  No problem.  But now okay, what if instead of shrinking your phone to two inches, we gigantified your WATCH to two-and-a-half inches?"

"You mean it's not a tiny phone, but a gigantic useless WATCH?!?  Yeah, gimme that!  I want a gigantic-ass watch!"
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on January 09, 2015, 07:58:32 AM
Because we all want to go back to wearing a big expensive hunk of metal on our wrists like those jackasses than can afford Tag Heuers.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Dan on January 09, 2015, 12:15:45 PM
Can we get a giant phone like the iPhone 6 Plus or a Mini Tablet, but that can fold in half so it's small enough to fit in my pocket?

Kthxbye.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 09, 2015, 03:19:03 PM
I'm told the iphone 6 plus folds in half in your pocket rather easily.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 16, 2015, 05:42:12 PM
I put a CD in my laptop today.  I tried to open it in Explorer and play the songs on it, and they wouldn't play.  I was like, "wtf?"

Then I ejected it and put it back in and it started playing automatically.  I was puzzled for about 2 minutes, until I remembered that it was an actual audio CD, and had to be converted to mp3. 
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: lutz on January 17, 2015, 11:39:11 AM
DRM strikes again!
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on March 23, 2015, 09:25:32 PM
I don't understand, man.   What does Apple have against widgets?

I was going to hold out for the Galaxy 6, but then I really needed a new iPad and I could get $200 off an iPad if I got an iPhone 6.  Which amounts really to free iPhone 6 with purchase of iPad.  So I got the iPhone.

It's annoying me, a lot.  I like being able to take my phone out of my pocket and see the time and weather.  On the lock screen.  And also on the home screen.  Why does Apple think I want to turn on my phone and get a bunch of static icons shoved in my face?  This is supposed to be a great GUI?  Shit hasn't changed since 2007.

I don't mind it too much on the iPad, because if I take out the iPad I'm probably going to do something. 

But I use my cell phone like a watch.  It works great.  That way, I don't have to pay $300 for an Apple Watch, and wear an Apple watch.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Dan on March 24, 2015, 09:55:33 AM
I got an iPhone 6 in November and although I'm fine with everything, I'm pretty convinced that the Galaxy S line is the way to go these days. I don't even have a particular complaint (yours above are all accurate) but it just seems like the droid stuff is better.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: dirk on March 24, 2015, 10:43:49 AM
Have they ever done anything about the terrible TouchWiz interface? I remember that being a HUGE issue with some of the older Galaxy phones. Even with top of the line hardware, the TouchWiz interface slowed everything down to a crawl.

I with they would just do away with the stupid bolt on front end interfaces for Android phones. I have used them and none of them are as good as stock android. They just monkey around with good settings and make it harder to use.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: lutz on March 24, 2015, 02:12:54 PM
Why would you have an iPhone and not jailbreak it? You can have all the widgets you want, then.

I just switched from my beloved old iPhone 4S to an Xperia Z3 Compact because it was a third the price of an iPhone 6, and I'm loving it. So slick. Much prefer designs that are all glass instead of all aluminium.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Dan on March 24, 2015, 03:42:27 PM
I don't have a clue how to jailbreak something. I know I saw yours and it looked sweet, but it just feels like a lot of work. Is it?
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: lutz on March 24, 2015, 05:10:17 PM
It's only a lot of work if you want to make your own themes and tweaks. The actual jailbreak itself is really easy - just let the software do its thing. The sheer quantity of tweaks and themes available can be overwhelming at first, but reddit.com/r/jailbreak and reddit.com/r/iosthemes are both extremely helpful.

Honestly, I would jailbreak for f.lux alone - anyone who has it installed on their computer knows why. Total eye saver.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on March 30, 2015, 08:02:30 PM
Z3 Compact was the phone I wanted, but it's tough to get in the US.  Everyone here wants their phones as huge as possible, so no carriers have it.  You can get it independently, but it's like $600 although prices may have gone down since last fall when I was looking.

I don't really have any complaints about the iPhone.  I just think it's weird that Apple won't update their lock and homescreen.

Like yeah, the Touchwiz and some of the other fake Androids get all bloaty and laggy.  And some of those widgets aren't well-written and mess up your phone-- or at least kill your batteries.  And really, I think most people stop using them, except for maybe clock/weather and a couple others.

But that's kind of my point.  I personally have always been in favor of the "it's my phone, so let me mess it up if I want" approach, but I'm just taking this even from Apple's standpoint.  They've all but allowed widgets... you just have to cram them in the notification thing.  Which seems like all of the bad, and none of the good.  I can put like 20 widgets in my notifications and have them all constantly checking for data and/or clutter up my shizz and/or slow down the system.  I just have to swipe once.

So why not just put the weather on the screen and save me a swipe?  You're not suddenly allowing those third party rabble to destroy your carefully designed OS.  Just take the 3-4 most commonly used widgets and make them available as an option.  It's not really hard, nor does it really destroy the brand.  You can force people to use Apple font, and not change the colors or skins or whatever.

And then too, a lot of people jailbreak their iphones.  Some people are just inveterate tinkerers or whatever, but I think a lot of people are just like "I wish I could get the weather." or "Man, I'm tired of looking at this massive grid of icons in my face."  Just a minor amount of customization would prevent a lot of jailbreaks.  Which, to me if you're trying to lock people in to Apple is a lot worse than allowing someone to change a font color.  To me, if you're the arty Apple type, you like things clean.  And the homepage with it's filled up grid of icons (many of them useless Apple bloat-- *cough* Apple watch *cough*-- doesn't meet that aesthetic.

It just seems like Apple won't do it, because they feel like that would be admitting defeat in some way to Android.  But like any of their fans would even care.  They'll just say Apple made it better and usable.  Like the mouse.  Or the iPod.

Anyway, I will probably jailbreak my iphone at some point.  It's not a priority for me, because I don't really use my cell phone hardly at all.  OTOH, I don't care about the risks/cons because I don't really use my cell phone hardly at all.  So, I dunno.  Probably one day I'll be massively bored and just jailbreak it for kicks.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: lutz on March 31, 2015, 12:33:52 PM
You might find yourself using it a lot more once it's jailbroken, purely because it will be a much more pleasant experience. I don't find it surprising that Apple haven't included widgets in iOS, because they haven't made any real innovations in any of their operating systems for years. Frankly, I don't think their recent hardware innovations are all that great, either. The iPhone 4 and original MacBook Air were probably the last truly great things they came up with.

Also, the Z3 Compact is £240 here at the moment (network locked to O2), so let me know if you want one shipped over ;)

Edit: Scratch that, it's gone back up to £360 now. Glad I got one when I did!
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on March 31, 2015, 01:39:17 PM
A swift kick in the nuts goes out to the exec at Cisco that decided to discontinue Cisco connect and replace it with a branded version of Jabber.  What a piece of shit this thing is.

Enjoying all those features?  Hahaha!  Gone.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: va-vacious on September 09, 2015, 11:44:23 AM
So, does anyone actually use Internet Explorer? I ask because it's our web guy's default browser at work, and I was under the impression noone (not even grannies!) used IE any more.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: dirk on September 09, 2015, 11:57:13 AM
I use it at work because we use SharePoint 2010 and our internal apps are designed for IE. Some things in SP2010 only work in IE. In all honesty, it is not bad at all. I rarely have an issue with it, it is decently fast, and it displays almost everything as it should. The only thing it is missing is plugins like Chrome and FireFox for things like ad-blockers. If it had that I would consider it on par with the other browsers.  At one time it was definitely WAY behind everything else, but they have done a good job of getting it caught up.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: va-vacious on September 09, 2015, 01:22:43 PM
That's good to know- I had just heard so much negative about it that I wasn't sure what was going on.
Kinda glad I don't have to deal with Sharepoint- we did at my old job, and that was no fun! (Lots of control issues, and amazingly, not coming from me)
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Dan on September 09, 2015, 02:19:13 PM
Explorer doesn't have as much functionality in Google Maps and, primarily, Google Street View. This makes all the difference at my job, so I continue on Chrome as my primary.

However, my office uses SharePoint as well, and a number of other in-house apps, which all seem to work better on IE. So I use that when I have to.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on September 09, 2015, 02:35:37 PM
IE isn't bad from an end user perspective but it's a nightmare to support and develop applications for.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on September 15, 2015, 03:42:24 PM
So those Amazon Dash buttons, that were an April Fools joke this year or last are, apparently, now a real thing.

AmazonDash (http://smile.amazon.com/ref=ods_gw_d_sk_oft_1/b/ref=br_imp?_encoding=UTF8&lo=digital-text&node=10667898011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=desktop-sidekick-2&pf_rd_r=1EYW704Q31SWG9R8Q83W&pf_rd_t=36701&pf_rd_p=2208002142&pf_rd_i=desktop)

Still for fools though, methinks.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: va-vacious on September 15, 2015, 04:32:05 PM
Yup. But if it wasn't so expensive to get kitty litter delivered (I have looked in to it!), I would soooo do that.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Dan on September 16, 2015, 02:11:07 PM
Wait, what do you mean? I get a 40 lb bag delivered from Amazon because I don't want to carry it. How much more is it for you to get it delivered. The one I get - Dr. Elsy's something or another...it's blue - is like $15. Is that expensive?
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on September 16, 2015, 02:53:50 PM
True, something like that would make a lot of sense.  Also, something like salt for our water softener (not looking forward to schlepping that shit around, let me tell you) would be great if the price were comparable, but Amazon doesn't even sell it directly.  Third party sellers are $15 a bag with $25 shipping, it's $4 at Menard's.

You're getting 40lbs. bags of litter delivered for $15 total?  I'd say that's actually not too bad.  Though, that'd be about a $5 markup for the shipping here, which is more than I'd pay for that convenience.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: va-vacious on September 17, 2015, 03:56:56 PM
I was looking at Arm and Hammer for a 40 lb box from amazon at $40. (I think it was that much- it's been awhile since I looked) It's $15 at Target. May be switching to Dr. Elsy's!
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Dan on September 18, 2015, 11:26:34 AM
I forgot to mention that I pay for Amazon prime, so I don't care about the shipping issues. Agree that is a real cost, too, if you don't have the prime membership.



Edit...............................
This is what I order:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0009X29WK?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00

Confirmed that it's about $15 (including Prime shipping).
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 18, 2015, 12:55:40 PM
Most people go through cat litter at a predictable rate, so I think they'd just subscribe rather than use the Dash button.

The Kraft Mac N' Cheese is the odd one to me.  If you push it, do you get like just ONE Mac N' Cheese?  Kraft Mac N' Cheese is readily available and easily storable so you can just go buy 30 boxes and then not run out.  And if you do, it's not like you can't get it at every grocery store, drug store, and convenience mart.

I think it's kind of genius from Amazon.  I don't think they will make that much money from retail sales, but it forwards the "Internet of things" concept where we should expect everything to be hooked up to the net.  Which is where the REAL Amazon makes $$$.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: va-vacious on September 21, 2015, 10:01:00 AM
It might have been before I got Prime that I looked... but thanks for sending what you use. Does it deal with odor ok? And does it clump well? (I like how I've managed to turn the tech musings thread into a cat thread, thankyouverymuch!)
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: notoriouspbake on September 21, 2015, 10:55:03 AM
(http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab56/elsie1959/notamused.jpg)
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Dan on September 21, 2015, 12:34:55 PM
Truthfully, I've never had a problem with that litter. I've also never used any other litter, so I don't know how it compares.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 04, 2015, 11:54:11 PM
My iPhone bricked itself today.  Don't know why.

I was able to get it restored mostly, but I had to upgrade to 9.1.  Which means I lost my jailbreak.

And I have discovered I haaaaaate stock IOS.  Beyond any reason.

I mean, it is no big deal to have to make an extra push, or swipe when I feel like using a button.  It takes like .1 second.  And the icons aren't where I like them and the screen is ugly.  All of these things should be tiny annoyances, but instead they fill me with rage.

I had that phone set up exactly how I liked it.  I think it is because the things I want it no big deal that it angers me so much that Apple won't let me do it.  Really for no reason.

They need to jailbreak 9.1 fast. 
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 16, 2016, 10:32:12 PM
They could have hooked it up to Spotify/Rdio/Beats instead of Amazon Prime.  That would have helped tremendously.  I probably would have bought one.

Other than that the major problem is that in the "Internet of things" it's an end-point/dead end.  It's not connected to anything else.  As it is, all it does is allow you to use your voice to execute some functions no one really cares about.  And if they did, they could get it done with a smartphone and a bluetooth speaker.

If it actually allowed you to use your voice to do new and useful things, then it could be a game changer.

I'm thinking:

-If it were a universal remote control for your TV, so that instead of paging through 10,000 menus with a shitty remote that doesn't even have alphanumeric keys I could just be like "Watch Broncos Game" or "Record Walking Dead."

-If it could turn my lights off and on or control small appliances.

-If it were hooked it up to IFTTT.  I wouldn't use that functionality, but a lot of people would.  Particularly the kind of geeky people who are first adapters.

-If you could hook it up to your TV so that if you asked it for directions or about James Dean it could show you a map or wiki page instead of just talking at you.

So... A couple years later

Spotify: check

Tv universal remote:  Not quite there, but getting close.  If you buy anymote you can call out channels and on/off, volume and stuff like that. 

Control lights/appliances:  check

IFTTT: check

It is actually nicer than Siri as you can yell at it easier across a room.  It is super handy cooking, because you can set a timer or really quick ask it for a unit conversion without touching your phone with dirty hands.

Still a bit more toy than indispensable home device.... But it is getting close.  Jeff Bezos, I am sorry I doubted you and sold your stock despite the immense profit I made.  If it dips again, I'm buying. 
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 21, 2016, 11:09:23 PM
Is it me, or in the last 6 months or so has the internet retreated to 2000?

I have a decently equipped PC and good connection speed but my browser crashes all the time because of websites trying to auto-play video and crappy unnecessary Flash and linking to 10,000 sites that slow things down.  And I always browse with my audio off so I'm not having to hear shit forcefed down my throat.

I thought that we figured this out a long time ago.  When you over do it with the streaming and stuff you end up cutting off your audience because they will just stop going to your crash-ridden site.  Make your site accessible to everyone, more people will read your content. 
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Dan on August 22, 2016, 11:51:00 AM
You should try reading the NY Times without an ad blocker. It's insane how much stuff they have there.

Then turn the ad blocker on and suddenly it's a wonderful website. How does the Times not understand this?
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Poolio on August 22, 2016, 12:06:56 PM
Auto-play videos are the worst. They show up in the weirdest places (like when you empty the spam folder in Yahoo mail). There should be an easily findable way within every browser to turn off auto-play. I know some browsers make it sort of simple but not all...

And, Dan, the Times is earning a good chunk of money from selling the advertising on the website. It's a consistent revenue stream so they're going to keep at it. 
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Dan on August 22, 2016, 03:34:00 PM
Well, they aren't making much money when everyone has an ad blocker on. I could withstand a few ads, but if you overload it like that then I'm going to find ways to block it out. Or just not visit (ahem, Forbes, ahem), and isn't that losing them even more money?
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 30, 2018, 04:43:52 PM
Facebook Portal, wtf?

It's a video screen with a camera that works with Amazon Alexa.  Why wouldn't I just buy an Echo Show for way cheaper?  I guess portal has better camera stuff, but no one wants a camera on in their house all the time.  And especially no one wants Facebook to have a camera on in their house all the time.

They should be selling this for $100 LESS than Alexa to get the userbase, not $100 MORE.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Kwyjibo on October 31, 2018, 02:10:50 PM
I don't want facebook having control over a camera in my house at all, nor Amazon.  Who is dumb enough to allow this shit?
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 01, 2018, 04:05:21 PM
I have an Echo Show, but I keep the camera disabled via the software settings and I put tape over the lens.
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: euro60 on November 01, 2018, 11:03:18 PM
Essentially I have no idea what you guys are talking about, but the general idea of bringing a device into your home that has a camera and hence can watch what is happening seems ultra strange to me (even if you put a tape over the lens). Talk about "Big Brother"!

So glad that I am not on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or all those other social media. I just don't see the use of them. (I am on LinkedIn, I admit, for my work.)
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Dan on November 02, 2018, 10:32:48 AM
So something like a PetCube is potentially invasive I guess too?
Title: Re: Random Tech Musings
Post by: Zafer Kaya on November 02, 2018, 01:17:16 PM
Anything with a camera and/or mic is potentially invasive.  I don't see the reason to freak out about it, though.

They can't really mind video images for stuff that well yet.  But even if they could, why would they.  A passive camera looking at a blank room most of the time or just some dude watching TV doesn't tell you much.  They get a lot more from your cellphone and online accounts, because they are active.  You are making a choice and showing preferences and tendencies-- where you drive, what you look for online, what you buy, etc. in a feedback loop. 

I'm not on Facebook, but Google already knows from my photos and my contacts who my dad is, and when I call and text him.  Does seeing me call him really add that much to the equation?  Especially compared to the amount of data streaming and storage a video takes vs all my texts and emails?

I have my camera blacked out on my Show because I don't make video calls.  So I have nothing to gain and potentially something to lose and it takes like 25 seconds to put some electrical tape over the lens.  But if I was really into video calls I would have the camera on and not really be worried about it.

Everyone just needs to learn how to handle the new info. age better.  Older people have to be a little less paranoid but younger people have to be a little less stupid as well.  Do you really want everyone to know the stupid shit you said when you were 17?

There's a balance between too much anonymity/privacy and too little.  If you ask me, so far the major damage from social media and the like has been less from hackers and dataming and more from people's ability to anonymously make up lies or slander and harass others.