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

Rants and Raves Category

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April 30, 2016 • Rants and Raves

Lawd Help You If Your 1.5 Year Old Amazon Kindle Voyage Dies

This is a public service announcement for anyone considering buying a Kindle: be sure to get the extended warranty. Why? Because Amazon doesn’t repair them (at all) when they break; the best option you will get (after a bit of haggling) is $20 off a new one. You’ve been warned.

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2396

February 17, 2016 • Rants and Raves

What’s the Point of Those Sticky Card Holders for Your Phone?

In the last year or so, I’ve noticed smartphone/tablet adjacent accessories have become big giveaway items. Instead of a crappy free pen, you get a crappy free pen with a rubber capacitive stylus tip on one end. Yay? At least pens are useful…the sticky card holder I received today is just weird, ugly, and useless.

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2360

February 13, 2016 • Rants and Raves

Is Spam Going Through a Bold Renaissance?

Is spam going through a rebirth, led primarily by information you submit to business directories? My inbox for the past year would answer yes based upon the number of email newsletters; semi-official looking emails received to my company’s “honeypot” email address.

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2129

January 28, 2016 • Rants and Raves

Is Theranos Truly Disruptive, or Is It All Smoke and Mirrors?

Have you heard of Theranos? The name might seem vaguely familiar because they are a wildly successful start-up that’s raised over 9 billion dollars! They claim they have a faster, more efficient way to test blood using a drop instead of the traditional blood drawn from the vein. Unfortunately, it looks like the enthusiasm over …

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It’s Wednesday, So It Must Be Time for New Garmin GPS Watches?!?

Doesn’t it feel like I was just writing about the Garmin Forerunner 225 announcement? While it has actually been 5 months since the FR 225 reveal, since then they also added the FR 25 entry level GPS watch and each slowly trickled into availability. This year has been all about big new launches and slow …

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461

October 7, 2015 • Rants and Raves

An Android User’s Thoughts on iOS: Likes and Dislikes

I’ve been an Android user ever since I received a G1 as a gift. I’ve only ever had Android phones and tablets, so I haven’t had a lot of exposure to iOS. When my workplace offered us a phone for work use, I had a choice between a Galaxy Note 4, a Galaxy S6 and the iPhone 6.

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576

September 24, 2015 • Rants and Raves

Android Pay Ruins Loyalty Cards by Tying Access to Your Credit Card Information!

I used Google Wallet for one reason: it held my loyalty cards. Unfortunately, with the new Android Pay I can’t access my loyalty cards unless I have a compatible bank card added! Wallet functioned fine without a card added, and even if I add a bank card, if it’s not a supported card I can’t …

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361

September 14, 2015 • Editorials, Rants and Raves

Amazon Officially Kills Fire Phone-5 Reasons it Was the WORST Smartphone I Ever Owned!

Phones come and go every year, and nobody notices very much. Generally they are superseded by a new model, the Galaxy S6 replacing the S5 or the iPhone 6S replacing the 6…but sometimes they just disappear. Such is the case of the critically slammed and commercially failing Amazon Fire Phone, permanently killed off after less …

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493

August 13, 2015 • Rants and Raves

Apple’s Backup and Restore Process Ruined My Apple Watch Health Streak

One thing kept me up until the early hours of the morning: attempting to figure out exactly what was the issue is between my Apple Watch and my iPhone’s Activity app. I didn’t get answers, and Apple needs to give one.

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273

August 2, 2015 • Rants and Raves

T-Mobile Experiencing Lengthy Problems with Online Account Management

I’ve been trying for the better part of two weeks to login to my T-Mobile account online. No matter which way I try to login I’m  met with a request that ultimately stops me in my tracks – either a request to verify a phone number or submit a password for another T-Mobile account they …

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276

July 14, 2015 • Editorials, Rants and Raves

Reddit, aka ‘The He-Man Woman Hater’s Club’, Currently Under Fire

This isn’t your typical Gear Diary post, but more so a personal vent of mine. As a huge fan, and recent user of Reddit, the recent turn of events in the past few days have actually surprised me so much that I’ve gone ahead and deleted my daily reddit driver completely from all of my devices.

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234

July 7, 2015 • Rants and Raves

Project Fi Invites Stretch to 12 Weeks (or More) for Some

If you apply for Project Fi as I did (back in April) you can check the status of your invitation on their site here.  Unfortunately in my case, it looks as if I won’t be receiving an invitation any time soon as my status shows “Expect your invite in 12 or more weeks”.

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205

May 11, 2015 • News, Rants and Raves

Lolli-Flop 5.02 Bricked My Over-Priced Nexus 9

Friday I received notification that Android 5.02 was available for my Nexus 9.  I accepted the update and left it on the charger in my office before leaving for the weekend. Upon my return Monday morning, I found that update 5.02 has apparently bricked my Nexus 9, leaving it in perpetual reboot sequence, and it doesn’t …

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189

May 6, 2015 • Rants and Raves

Who is Right in Uber Versus Kansas?

I had my first Uber experience last weekend, and I have to say it was remarkably pleasant. It doesn’t change the fact that I think Uber as a company is a bit shady, and the fact that their response to Kansas requiring background checks and insurance was to take their service and leave the state …

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225

April 1, 2015 • Editorials, News, Rants and Raves

Google Maps Attempts to Bring Back 80’s Nostalgia with PacMan

Sometimes April Fool’s jokes can be a good thing, and Google is serving up a special treat by allowing us all to play popular arcade game PacMan on Google Maps. Back in 2010, Google did something a little bit similar by creating a Pac-man Doodle, but this year’s opening to the month of April is …

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350

March 28, 2015 • Editorials, Rants and Raves

The Apple Retail Store, the Watch, and the Consumer

Have you been in an Apple Retail Store recently? I was just in one yesterday, and the experience made me seriously question whether adding “fashion advice” to the list of specialties Apple Stores offer is a good idea. It also made me wonder if Apple’s customer service advantage is starting to fade, as it was …

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257

March 17, 2015 • News, Rants and Raves

YouTube Introduces New “Cards” To Interrupt Your Videos

Miss the glory days of YouTube? I sympathize with you. One thing that I hate about YouTube is Ads. But not more than I hate ads. If you’ve used the web version or even on a mobile application, you’ve endured both. YouTube announced today they will be getting rid of both, somewhat.

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220

March 11, 2015 • Editorials, Rants and Raves

10 Reasons I Found the Apple Watch Event a Snooze-Fest

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Greg’s take on Why I’m Considering Getting an Apple Watch, more than I enjoyed yet another over-long, under-delivering Apple ‘event’. Part I can understand, as I was listening to the audio stream through my car for a half-hour, but I found this the biggest Apple snoozer I can recall. Let me …

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317

February 3, 2015 • Rants and Raves, Reviews

When Do You Give Up on a Company? The Pivotal Living Story

A few weeks ago I reviewed the Pivotal Living fitness tracker, and I concluded the following: “Pivotal Living is a company to watch, and I think if the bugs and kinks get ironed out, the Pivotal Life 1 is a very cool product.” I wanted to give them a few months, but here’s the truth: Don’t …

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172

January 30, 2015 • Editorials, Rants and Raves

Verizon Account Sign-In #Fail

Dear Verizon: Why exactly have I chosen a password for your site, when upon login from a new computer you’re still going to ask me about some obtuse reference I probably have not jotted down and which may have multiple answers? In many cases, answers to these dumb challenge questions are easily found by looking …

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185

January 17, 2015 • Editorials, Rants and Raves

The Negative Aspect of Software in Smartphones and Other Devices

There are some negative aspects to using embedded software in hardware.  A few sites have written that about how phones or tablets still on Android versions below 4.4 are at risk for a vulnerability in the default browser. Don’t blame Google for this; blame the OEMs and carriers, as Google fixed the issue. However, there’s much more to this story.

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