Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

Rants and Raves Category

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October 6, 2014 • Rants and Raves

Want to Know What’s in Your Food? Don’t Ask Heinz!

My son is very allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, and sesame. Nuts are required by law to be listed, but sesame currently is not. We’ve gotten quite adept at calling companies about sesame as an ingredient, but disturbingly companies do not need to tell you without a doctor’s note … according to Heinz at least!

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September 23, 2014 • Editorials, Rants and Raves

Top 10 Reasons I Switched from the 5.7″ Galaxy Note 3 back to the iPhone 5

A few weeks ago I bought a brand new Samsung Galaxy Note 3 on a great deal, and wanted to see if it would be possible to use it to replace my iPhone AND iPad, much as I would try to do with an iPhone 6+. As usual I went ‘all in’ with my attempt …

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222

August 25, 2014 • Rants and Raves

HTC One M8 ‘Double Tap to Wake’ Leads to Disaster

The HTC One M8 has a double tap to wake feature, which is great. The One also has a security feature where 10 failed password attempts resets the phone. These two features came crashing together disastrously for me yesterday afternoon, so for now I’ve turned off the ‘double tap to wake‘ feature as a result.

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101

July 24, 2014 • Rants and Raves

Facebook Has a Nomenclature Problem. I Have a Solution

Until recently Facebook was, for me, mostly about communicating with Judie and the Gear Diary team. In the past few weeks however that has changed. And as I have used Facebook more and more I’m finding the “Like” button to be a fundamental flaw in Facebook’s approach. When strong emotions are involved the “like” button …

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70

July 4, 2014 • Rants and Raves

Apple Is One of the Most Unpatriotic Patriotic Companies

In recent years Apple has pretty much been printing money. They are HUGE. And to look at their decision to close down Apple Care for the July 4th holiday, one might think they are also a truly patriotic company. Think again.

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July 1, 2014 • Rants and Raves

Watch Those Spam Emails and Think Before You Click

Spammers have gotten more and more sophisticated in recent years. Long gone are the offers of millions if you simply help some poor Nigerian refugee. Now you can get official-looking emails that, if you don’t think before you click, can take you to all sorts of unscrupulous places. One example of this convincing type of …

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84

June 27, 2014 • Rants and Raves

Yes, Matt Lauer, You Can Be GM’s CEO and Be a Mother, Too!

Hypothetical situation: You have the CEO of a major company on your morning news show for an interview. This CEO has been under the microscope for good news (positive sales numbers) and bad news (product issues). So what’s tops on your list of questions? How to fix the products? Why are sales strong? Are they …

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73

June 25, 2014 • Rants and Raves

The Death of AEREO, and Why I Am Perplexed

AEREO was effectively killed this morning, and with it we the consumers lost out big time. The thing is, I’m rather confused about why there is such an issue with a service I’ve been using for the past few months and absolutely loving. Here’s why I’m perplexed, and why the ruling makes absolutely no sense to me.

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102

May 30, 2014 • Editorials, Rants and Raves

Facebook Asks Whether You Think Your Post Will Get Reported or Not. What?!

About five minutes ago, I shared a post from Fox News on Facebook which reported an incident in Houston TX describing a lawfully licensed handgun owner involved in a shootout with armed robbers. So far this is pretty normal type stuff. But upon clicking POST, Facebook presented me with the prompt: “Do you think anyone will report this …

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55

May 12, 2014 • Rants and Raves

You Can’t Leave the Solar-Powered Bracketron Xolar3000 in Direct Sunlight?

It is rare that we recommend a device or accessory and then, at a later date, retract that recommendation. When that does occur you can be sure that it is for a good reason; that’s the case with the Bracketron Xolar3000. We reviewed it last week and are now withdrawing our recommendation. The reason? Read …

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181

May 2, 2014 • Editorials, Rants and Raves

10 Reasons This iPhone-User Is Happy with the Samsung Galaxy S5

I’ve been using the Samsung Galaxy S5 for over a week and a half. and don’t see myself putting it down anytime soon. That’s surprising, since the only time I’ve seriously used Android phones has been to review them; I’m not using this to review it, rather I’m using it because I like it. Here are …

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105

April 28, 2014 • Rants and Raves

9 Reasons the Pebble Watch Will Still be the Best Smartwatch You Can Buy

  The title of this post is “9 Reasons the Pebble Watch Will Still be the Best Smartwatch You Can Buy”. I might have called it, “What every other smartwatch manufacturer is currently—and will probably continue—doing wrong”. Either way, this post is all about the Pebble watch and the smart moves that have, and continue, …

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82

April 28, 2014 • Rants and Raves

The Pernicious Nature of Homemade Baby Food Revealed

A recent article in the NY Times caught my eye: “As Parents Make Their Own Baby Food, Industry Tries to Adapt“. We make almost all of our son’s food, with a few exceptions, and I thought it would be an interesting read. That’s how I learned that Beech-Nut thinks our choice is downright sinister!

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68

April 10, 2014 • Editorials, Rants and Raves

With Facebook Messenger FB Introduces Next Gen SMS/MMS to the Carriers

Yesterday Facebook announced the conscious uncoupling of their messaging feature from its core app. Some exceptions exist – such as if you use Paper (both of you) or some third world variant of their app. However this announcement started me thinking. Disbanding Facebook Messenger from the Facebook app as a whole is a completely absolutely brilliant …

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83

April 8, 2014 • Rants and Raves

Keep Your Sanity By Speaking to An Actual Person at USPS

My dislike for the United States Postal Service is at an all-time high. An iPad I sold on eBay vanished after I sent it. I get that packages get lost by USPS. It is what happened since (or more appropriately, what has not happened since) that is making me nuts. This tip at least let …

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March 31, 2014 • Autos, Rants and Raves

The Elio Dilemma or Why I’m Glad to be Living in New Jersey

Judie spent this past weekend at motorcycle school working toward getting her motorcycle license. She needs it to drive her Elio. She wondered if I, with one wrist fully fused, will be able to pass my test. Suddenly my ability to drive MY 3-wheel car was in doubt. Would I be legally able to drive …

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184

March 24, 2014 • Rants and Raves

Have You Had Error Code 80c805e2 Email Sync Issues on Windows Phone?

If the error code 80C805E2 means nothing to you, you probably don’t use a Windows Phone. I’ve seen it crop up twice, with two different email addresses, and the fixes have been different for both. For my GMail, I had to delete and re-add the whole account; for Outlook, I had to wait for a …

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March 15, 2014 • Rants and Raves

Adventures in Awesome Customer Service: FLOTE Your Tablet Edition

When I reviewed the FLOTE m2 Tablet Stand I referred to it as “The Maserati of Tablet Stands”, and I meant it. The m2 is a work of functional art that I use on a daily basis. Now Dave  has shown that he not only makes great products but also understands how to give amazing …

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March 10, 2014 • Editorials, Rants and Raves

DRM or Cream in your Coffee? Soon you Could have Both with Keurig 2.0

Let me preface this with a well-known fact: I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Keurig. With that said, my current Keurig could be my last one, since Green Mountain is souring my morning cup with a little Digital Rights Management in their Keurig 2.0 machine coming this fall. This idea is so bad that I will …

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February 11, 2014 • Rants and Raves

Jimmy Kimmel’s ‘Celebrities Read Mean Tweets’ Is a Glimpse at the Other Side of Fame

Insulting a celebrity is basically a victimless crime, right? Perhaps, but it’s hard to look at Jennifer Garner as she reads a particularly rude tweet without cringing and feeling some sympathy. A HuffPo post about the sixth Jimmy Kimmel Show‘s “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” (many are NSFW) reminded me that I’ve wanted to mention this series for a …

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January 29, 2014 • Rants and Raves

Case-Mate Says Sparkles Are for Girls, and Rugged Is for Boys

We received a marketing email from Case-Mate this morning that’s left me scratching my head. No, it’s not that they’re still pushing overpriced bedazzled cases, nor is it that they think the ultimate Valentine’s Day gift is an iPhone case; it’s that they imply case choices are very clearly gendered: men need rugged cases, but …

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