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Archive for December, 2011

31
Dec

Happy New Years

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2011 has been a pretty crummy year in terms of the economy and tragedies around the world.  For Tucson it started off bad with the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford.  On the technology front it hasn’t been too bad.  Lots of advancement in consumer electronics.  But with every family making cuts in their budgets due to increase in consumer goods, one thing did shine though.  It appears that the sense of family and togetherness came back.  Families are spending more time together and I guess that us what is really important…the company of loved ones.  Hopefully 2012 will be a better year for everybody.  Happy New Year everybody!

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31
Dec

Samsung Galaxy Nexus LTE Battery Life Statistics

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So far after using the phone for a while this is what the phone is reporting on the battery usage.  Not bad that I can get over 14 hours of normal usage on a standard battery.  Hopefully this keeps up.

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30
Dec

Power Play System Q Adrenaline Iron

I recently built a set of irons for a client and I have to admit it was one of the best sets I have ever built.  The set consisted of a 3 through PW set matched with Dynamic Gold Steel shafts and Jumbo size Lamkin Permawrap Classic oversize grips.  This is a solid feeling set that just looks sexy.  I originally built a 7-iron demo and when my client gave it back to me, I took it out on a round and played with it.  The feeling of the ball coming off the face of this club feels like if you hit a baseball on the sweet spot of the bat.  Because the club distributes the weight all over the face of the club, mis-hits still feel solid.  My client during this first few rounds instantly saw 10-15 yards improvement over his older Nike Slingshot irons.  This set can be found at Hireko Golf (http://www.hirekogolf.com) either pre-built by Hireko or custom-fitted by your local clubmaker.  I highly recommend getting a set build by a custom clubmaker because of the benefits of added attention to detail to your skill level, physical attributes, and playing style.  I know people tend to purchase golf clubs by the major manufactures due to brand recognition but do not be fooled by the quality of these clubs.  These are not knockoffs but a high quality set from a company owned by one of the founding fathers of clubmaking.

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30
Dec

Verizon Pulls $2 Fee

Just a few days ago, Verizon was going to charge their customers $2 for paying their bill online or over the telephone with a credit/debit card.  I was almost about to go and sign the petition circulating around the web for Verizon to cancel their plans.  Looks like customer outrage really works.  Here is a statement from Verizon.

Verizon Wireless Will Not Institute Single Payment Fee

December 30, 2011

Verizon Wireless has decided it will not institute the fee for online or telephone single payments that was announced earlier this week.

The company made the decision in response to customer feedback about the plan, which was designed to improve the efficiency of those transactions. The company continues to encourage customers to take advantage of the numerous simple and convenient payment methods it provides.

“At Verizon, we take great care to listen to our customers.  Based on their input, we believe the best path forward is to encourage customers to take advantage of the best and most efficient options, eliminating the need to institute the fee at this time,” said Dan Mead, president and chief executive officer of Verizon Wireless.

Go Verizon.  Now if only I can get 4G where I live.

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30
Dec

Wires, Wires, and More Wires

One thing that has not changed very much over the years is wires.  Undoubtedly, if you have electronics, you have wires.  I have tried and toyed with wireless devices such as speakers but there always is something wrong with them.  I’m sure if I dropped a hunk of change at wireless speakers they can perform well.  But lets be honest, I’m part of the middle class so that is out of the question.

One of my projects for my Christmas break was to rewire the back of my entertainment center.  It can be described as a rats nest.  For those who have a bunch of wires behind a desk or cabinet, you know what I mean.  For those that don’t, a rats nest of wires is the situation when you have a ton of wires tangling each other and forms a web of wires.  Kind of like a birds nest but since it is on the floor, it’s great for a pack of rats to form a home.

I spent over an hour and a pack of velco and made an attempt to organize the wires behind the entertainment center.  The picture below shows the end result.

So these are the wires for a Internet-Ready TV, computer with monitor, PS3, DVD player, DirecTV DVR, Roku Media Player, Audio Selector, AV Receiver, 5.1 surround speaker set, portable hard drive, and a bunch of power connectors to name a few.

How come there really hasn’t been much advancement on wires that take up so much space.  Wires are just a nightmare to deal with.  But I think it looks good for now.

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30
Dec

Verizon Adds $2 Fee for Paying Bill Online and Over the Phone

If you have not heard the bad news, here it is.  Effective January 15, 2012 Verizon Wireless will charge you a $2 fee for paying your wireless bill online or over the phone.  If you were like me you probably thought “Gee my cell phone bill a month is HUGE.  Might as well earn some credit card points/rewards while I am at it.”  Well it is going to cost you an extra $2 to do this every time.  There are ways around this.  Listed on Verizon press release:

  1. Electronic check online (My Verizon Online, My Verizon Mobile/Handset). Fee waived.
  2. Electronic check via telephone. Fee waived.
  3. Enrollment in AutoPay using credit/debit/ATM card or electronic check; fee does not apply
  4. Online from the customer’s home-banking service provider website; fee does not apply.
  5. Credit/debit/ATM card, electronic check or cash at a Bill Payment Kiosk, Panel or with a representative at a Verizon Wireless Communications Store; fee does not apply.
  6. Use of a Verizon Wireless Gift Card or Verizon Wireless device Rebate Card to pay a bill in-store, online or by telephone; fee does not apply
  7. Paper check or money order mailed to the VZW remit address on customer’s bill; fee does not apply.

I am not sure if Verizon Wireless would appreciate all their customers start sending in paper checks.  That will probably not happen.  However, to keep raking in those rewards, enroll in AutoPay and don’t worry about it anymore.

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29
Dec

Apple Files Patent for Face Unlock…huh?

Is Apple trying to patent the face unlock feature? Wait what? Based on the Apple patent investigator Patently Apple, Apple has filed for a patent on facial recognition to unlock your phone. Does this sound familiar? That is a highly regarded feature of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).

You’ve seen the Youtube videos (link) and being an Android fan, I cannot help it to feel like Apple is throwing a low blow. I have not seen any iPhone have this feature but they want to patent that technology?

Take a look at the UML picture below. It is almost a carbon copy of what Android 4.0 does. I just can’t wrap my head around this at the moment.

Source: Droid-Life.com

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29
Dec

Rise of Google+

Google+ recently published that there are over 62 million users right now.  An incredible feat by all means.  Questions originally rose of whether or not Google+ can overtake the mighty Facebook or not.  Facebook originally beat out MySpace because it was simple and not busy.  Google+ is simple too.  It does not have a lot of Flash ads or annoying color schemes and is very clean.  Since I already use Picasa as my photo hosting service, Google+ integrates well with it.  Also when you post a GIF image, it is animated in the stream.  I hope Google+ does not kill off Facebook because each serves there purpose.  I use Facebook to keep tabs on high school friends and people I don’t talk to much while I use Google+ to talk to close friends.  Feel free to add me on both Facebook and Google+.  Doesn’t take a brain surgeon to find me on both social media platforms.  Also follow me on Twitter also.

googlelogo.png 677166248.png social_twitter_box_blue.png

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29
Dec

Verizon’s Samsung Galaxy Nexus LTE with Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0)

Lately I have been playing with Android phones a lot. Originally I was tinkering with the Original Motorola Droid by Verizon Wireless. It was such a great phone however hardware limitations prevented it from keeping up with the times. Then a Motorola Droid X was added to the family of phones. The sheer size of a 4.3″ screen size was amazing. Thanks to the larger screen, a foldout keyboard was not needed anymore. Then the Motorola Droid Bionic was inherited with the whopping 4G LTE speeds. However something was missing. Why does the Apple iPhone still reign as the smartphone everyone talks about? It was the user interface that was simple and familiar.

Enter Android 4.0.

Android 4.0 (code name Ice Cream Sandwich) was introduced to the States on Verizon’s first ever Google Nexus device. If you don’t know what a Nexus device is, head over to the Google Nexus site to learn more. Samsung was selected to build the Nexus for Verizon and they sure did not disappoint on hardware specs. I won’t bore you with all the specs but having a dual-core processor and large 4.65″ screen is something to take note. Full specs can be found on the Verizon Wireless website. There are plenty of reviews on the Internet so I will not go in depth on this device. I will however provide a list of Pros and Cons of the device.

Pros

  1. 4.65″ screen – Lots of real estate for webpage viewing and full-screen movies
  2. Dual-Core 1.2 GHz processor – Everything is just snappy on this phone
  3. Android 4.0 – The most polished version of Android which makes using the phone pleasing and simple.
  4. Camera – Zero shutter lag. Gone are the days of waiting for the phone to focus and process the picture (there are negatives)
  5. Removal Battery – 4G LTE sucks battery.
  6. Unlocked bootloader – If you want to develop software or use other people’s software on your phone, this will be important. For the majority of users out there, this is really not that important.
  7. Google Nexus – Updates will be pushed by Google directly to your device. No need for the Manufacture to test the update by Google on their skin (i.e. Blur, Sense, TouchWiz)

Cons

  1. Battery Life – Well this really is not a con if you only use 3G and WiFi. You will see the battery life meter shrinking fast if you are on 4G all the time. However, all 4G phones fail in this category.
  2. Camera – Pictures are not as clear as other phones. I wish I could bake the cake and eat it too but it is what it is. Apparently you sacrifice quality for speed. But I can live with that because most of the time I need to take a picture quickly and speed is key for my needs.
  3. Accessories – Apparently the US is not cool enough as the Europeans to get good accessories. As time passes, this category will fix itself.

In conclusion, if you are an avid smartphone user and want more from your phone, the Galaxy Nexus is a good phone. I have no hesitation in recommending this device. Because of this phone, this blog will start taking off because of the endless possibilities that this phone can do.

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29
Dec

Golf Tuneup

So you buy a new car. What do you do every once in a while? You give it a tuneup. You change the oil and tires and brakes.

The same applies to golf clubs. If you ever been to a golf tournament, you would notice those tour vans of the golf companies such as Cleveland Golf or Titleist. Ever wonder what goes on in there? Well, the pros go into those vans and ask to have their clubs checked and “tuned up.” This usually entails having their loft and/or lie changed or having a new grip put on. The common statistic is that for every 1 degree of loft or lie off the spec of the club results in 10% in change of distance. So if your 48 degree pitching wedge usually gets you 100 yards, a 49 degree pitching wedge could only net you 90-ish yards now. The numbers may be off a bit but you get the point. Worn out grips, well, do not provide enough grip during the swing. The less tacki-ness available, the more tendency to grip the club harder. When it comes down to it, feel is the most important factor.

So the moral of the story is, the pros rely on their golf clubs to be at spec, so should you if you are serious of your golf game. If you ever hit off a cart path, smack a rock, hit off gravel, or just want a different feel from your grips, see your local clubmaker and simple alterations can extend the life of your clubs and even regain some lost distances from out of spec clubs.

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