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

dougom Author

March 11, 2012 • Editorials

Does the Concept of “Fat Books” Still Matter in an eBook World?

Photo courtesy of 3D Photoshop Actions  “I never read fiction online. I read for substance, and to me there’s no substance in a pixel. ” –Jonathan Franzen, (ironically), 2008 I’m basically as different from Franzen as it is possible to be–I pretty much only read fiction (and everything else, for that matter)–online.  And as I …

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March 6, 2012 • Editorials, Rants and Raves

Game of Thrones on iTunes Introduces New Pricing Tiers for TV Shows?

Sean Bean of HBO’s hit “Game of Thrones”–today’s bone of contention! Last week, Carly put up a very interesting post that referred to a post by the folks at The AV Club.  The AV Club post talked a lot about piracy and concluded that “Be Patient” was the best solution for one’s desire to pirate …

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February 24, 2012 • Editorials

The Future of Touch Interfaces?

Image courtesy of Multi-touch Research Because of my work, I have to toggle back and forth between a Windows laptop and a MacBook Pro during the day.  I am not going to add to the Apple/PC wars, nor to the Windows/Mac OS X discussion; instead what I’ve noticed most, every day, day after day, is …

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February 21, 2012 • Editorials, Rants and Raves

Apple TV All About Social Media? Nah.

Image courtesy of iJailbreak Tech-head Dave Winer is a smart guy, and has been writing interesting things about technology for pushing 20 years now, and he is one of the few in that category that I really respect.  But in his recent post about Apple TV, what he thinks it will offer, and why he …

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February 21, 2012 • Editorials

Personal Privacy: Is It an Archaic Concept?

Image courtesy of The Punch In 1990, science fiction writer David Brin released “Earth”, a book that was set 50 years in the (then) future, or about 2038.  It extrapolated a number of things–increased UV and higher coastlines due to global warming, for example (Houston is inundated with water like Venice!).  One of the key …

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February 13, 2012 • Editorials, Rants and Raves, Travel

Road Warrior/Technogypsy Notes: The Right Stuff Helps

™ No, I don’t travel with quite that much stuff; close, though (Image courtesy of The Tech Journal) So it used to be that I had to travel basically every week–my job was in California, but my home is in Austin, so I did an awful lot of flying around.  After a while, it got …

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February 5, 2012 • Reviews

Arkon iPad Table Mount Review

I love my iPad; I mean, I really love it.  If I could figure out a way to get it to completely replace my laptop, I would do it.  I use it to watch movies, read books, follow my Twitter feed, and lots of other things.  As a nerd– and this is no exaggeration– it’s …

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January 23, 2012 • eBooks, Rants and Raves

Has Apple Jumped the Shark with iBooks Author?

Image courtesy of Carrypad I’m a huge fan of eBooks.  I’ve been reading them since the Peanut Press days, I have gone on at length about the strengths and weaknesses that I’ve found in the various software eBook readers currently available, and I’ve reviewed a number of “enhanced books” right here for y’all. I haven’t read …

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December 30, 2011 • Gaming, Rants and Raves

You Just Bought a Brand-New Game Console–Time to Upgrade!

Image courtesy of PS4 Talk How it started, basically, is because I can’t keep my mouth shut when something bugs the crap out of me.  I complain.  And sometimes, when the topic is gear, I complain to Your Humble Gear Diary Team. So what’s the problem?  Maybe you’ve noticed that when you buy a new …

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September 19, 2011 • Editorials, Rants and Raves

Movin’ to a Mac

Recently, I was laid off from my day job.  As a result, for the first time in my life (literally!), my main system will be an Apple system, specifically 15″ MacBook Pro running OS X “Snow Leopard”.  And as I’ve made the move, copying my iTunes library over, setting up a backup disk, and all …

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September 17, 2011 • Editorials, Rants and Raves

I Don’t *Want* to Buy Retail, Media Companies!

Look, Big Media Companies:  I don’t want to buy physical objects retail. Your humble GD crew has opined on many occasions that we think that the BMC’s “strategies” for releasing their content electronically doesn’t make sense, that it doesn’t discourage piracy, and that it’s just plain nonsensical.  Today:  a perfect example. Consider the movie X-Men: …

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August 31, 2011 • Editorials

To iPad or Not to iPad?

It’s simply the latest variation of that popular topic:  is your thing better than my thing, or is it the other way ’round?  Wine, or beer?  Ford or GM?   Tastes great, or less filling?  Mac or PC?  “Firefly” or “Buffy”?  (“Firefly”, dammit!) Yesterday, your faithful Gear Diary team was hashing over the topic of …

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August 18, 2011 • eBooks, Editorials, Rants and Raves

Designing a Good eBook Reader

Winnie the Pooh iBook on the iPad–not bad, but could be soooo much better With the explosive growth of the eBook market, one would think that the design of eBook reader apps would, by now, be well-advanced.  Lots of cool options, good readability, and all kinds of thought put into their design. One would be wrong. …

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August 10, 2011 • Editorials, Rants and Raves

Adventures in Customer Support: AT&T

Guess which Stooge is Doug in this little scenario It all began back in January . . . See, here’s the deal:  for the kids’ “big holiday gift,” I got them both iPhone 4s.  Alas, now you have to get limited data plans.  But these are good kids, and I knew that if I got …

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August 7, 2011 • Editorials, Rants and Raves

Why I Hate Compact Florescent Lightbulbs

Okay, look:  there’s no question that ordinary incandescent light bulbs are on the way out.  Another few years, and they’re going to be as rare as candles.  I’m okay with that; they’re a 150-year old technology, they put out most of their energy as heat rather than light, they’re inefficient.  With more and more people …

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July 14, 2011 • Editorials, Rants and Raves

Netflix Changes Pricing Model–Are You Outraged, or Resigned?

  Image courtesy of I guess it’s like the old truism: it depends on how you look at it. Yesterday, Netflix announcing a new pricing plan.  Here’s how the Netflix marketing folks put it to me in an email: We are separating unlimited DVDs by mail and unlimited streaming into two separate plans to …

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July 4, 2011 • Editorials

Your AT&T iPhone Data Usage Is Unusually High? Maybe This Is Why

Image courtesy of Productivity 501 We all have iPhones in our house. For the kids and Sami, I got the lowest data plans, because they’re all on the wifi all the time. But weirdly, every month, Maggie’s phone was approaching and going over the limit. At first, after talking with the AT&T support folks, it …

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June 25, 2011 • Editorials

New Story/Study: iPhone Owning Parents & Social Media

I’m not one of those parents who is totally panicked by the idea of all the kinds of scary things that are made available by new tech like cell phones, social media, and the like.  Yes, there are a lot of scary things kids can access or be sucked into via new technology.  But as …

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June 7, 2011 • Editorials, Rants and Raves

Adventures in Customer Service: Barnes and Noble

It’s been quite a while since Barnes and Noble made me happy, I’ll admit.  My bias is simple:  shortly after they bought out eReader and deployed their own version of the eReader app–basically just a slight modification of the existing eReader app, with a few quite-nice enhancements (progress bar with chapter markers; in-app access to …

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May 30, 2011 • Editorials, Rants and Raves

Yo, Apple: Time for a UI Redesign!

“Where is the Bluetooth menu, again?” Really, you all can blame Thomas for this.  He tweeted: Apple – Please move the Bluetooth toggle from Settings > General to Settings (w/ Wifi, Personal Hotspot & Airplane Mode) where it belongs. I usually don’t kvetch–publicly, anyway!–about the choices that user interface (UI) and operating system (OS) software …

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March 26, 2011 • eBooks, Editorials

Whither Goeth the Newspaper?

I grew up in Northern Virginia right in the middle of the Nixon/Watergate madness.  Both my parents were big readers, and growing up then, and there, turned me into a big newspaper reader.  A big newspaper reader.  When I went to college, I made sure my dorm subscribed to a paper; when I moved into …

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