Archive for the ‘Opinions and Rants’ Category

Lame U.S. has started a new amnesty for wealthy individuals that keep undisclosed money in offshore accounts, the new “amnesty” has reduced penalties (which means you still have to pay of course). UBS is coming under more scrutiny because they tend to protect individuals rather than comply with government inquiries and probes. I’m all for offshore banking, this means levy’s and liens would not be seized sporadically out of your account if you had a judgement against you, and living in California, a sue happy state, this ends up protecting many individuals. You can read more HERE.

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A couple weeks ago Apple sent me a nice letter and a little box. They had sent me a free Magic Trackpad as a gift for nondisclosure information and I was thankful for the small gift. The Magic Trackpad measures 5×5 roughly, slightly larger than the trackpad on your Macbook Pro, and functions exactly the same. Is it innovation? Not really. Is it cool? Kinda. Do you need one to replace your Magic Mouse? Not in my opinion.

I’ve been using it for a couple weeks now, actually, it’s been connected for a couple weeks sitting right next to my magic mouse (which I use with my 27″ iMac). I used it for a day, and then was pretty much over it. It’s really about personal preference, and after about 10 minutes of whipping around on the web and iMac, the tips of my fingers whether its on my Macbook Pro, or on this new trackpad, I kinda get this irritating feeling on the tip of my fingers.

If you’ve always wanted a over sized touch responsive trackpad for your computer, then “Oh My Gawwwd”, this is for you. Rotating pics in preview is nice, and flipping through the always over sensitive Finder in Coverflow view is nifty, but the novelty wears off pretty fast. The build quality as always with Apple Wait…what about that iphone 4 antenna gate problem? is top notch, it’s solid and sexy. For power users, I’d say give this a pass, even at their price of $69. Or don’t take my word for it, but I’m sure you’ll think the same thing in a week.

Recently a friend of mine asked me for a slick case for his new ipad. I had told him that I saw a nice looking case online from Engadget or maybe it was TUAW called the DoDocase. A quick Google search later, brought him to the dodocase.com website where he scoped out and ordered the dodocase. Now at the time, the case was $49.00 and has since increased to $59.00, just a little side note there. It is a hand made case, and well, I typically think that when something is hand made, that it insinuates quality. This however, wasn’t the case deal with the dodocase.

First off it’s light. Like feather light. It wasn’t what either of us expected. It has the same feel and weight as those shitty school books in college that you overpay for…hell it even smells the same. The bamboo was thin, and looked brittle, and his even came with a hole. The elastic strap that holds it shut reminded me of two things, one… fat chick pants, and two… the strings on your socks that come apart right before you throw them away.

Putting the ipad in the case isn’t difficult as you see in the video, it just pushes right in. However it isn’t *tight*, it’s just sitting in there. As you can see in the video it easily falls out. Some of you might argue by saying, “well yah but who the hell is going to turn it upside down?”. Two words broke back hero… “shit happens“. That cheesy elastic strap may pop off, and voila, ipad on the ground. You may accidentally drop the case, cmon that’s a reasonable scenario, and the ipad will come falling out and probably roll like a $600 meatball, with your tears for sauce. Or maybe your on the subway, and the little shakes and vibration cause it to slip off your lap (the faux leather is slippery on pants), you get the point.

Added to the poor case design, it takes 4-6 weeks to actually get it. You could easily go out and buy a better more protective case for cheaper. Like this one. NOTE: It’s better to buy the apple case in an apple store and avoid the 3-4 weeks online shipping wait.

After we messed around with it after the video, I took some heavy duty neoprene sticky tape (from the old LN2 and phase change overclocking days) and cut tiny little pieces and adhered them to the same 4 corners where the existing neoprene stickers are, and when we popped the ipad in, it fit MUCH more snugly and took quite a firm shake to get it to pop out. The downside to this is though, is that ALL neoprene deteriorates pretty quickly. My friend is dropping it off at a local upholsterer and having it wrapped in real leather, and adding a clasp/buckle to the cover. As for holding it inside, that’s still to be determined.

Cheers People,

Exempt

Hey folks! Let’s not talk about how busy I’ve been and dive right into this shit. 🙂

iPhone 4 , it’s great, it’s everything I expected it to be, and at the same time, it isn’t. I know, kind of a contradiction right? It does everything very well, it clobbers all other smart-phones out there, seriously it does. I know that some of my Blackberry friends and HTC buddies say shit like,  “but my phone can take video and pictures and blah blah”. And they’d be correct, their phones do. However, taking TRUE 720p HD video, and having it be fast to acquire initial capture  (quick startup) and smooth filming (not all choppy when moving the camera) they don’t do so well (little side note for your brain munchies, the competition DOESN’T film in HD…period).

The infamous “Death Grip” is complete rubbish, I’ve tried holding the phone in every possible angle, finger combination, one hand and two hands (oh and I do this when I TALK and DRIVE by the way bastards). I cannot replicate the dropped bars what-so-ever..soooo, let’s move on.

Let’s talk about the commonly used abbreviation FTW. I’m not sure how these teens came up with the reeeeeeeediculous idea that it stands for: “For the WIN!” . No no no no…  no. You sound like some down syndrome kid tripping across the finish line ribbon at the Special Olympics, complete with drool and a kool aid stain. FTW derived waaaay before that, from 2001 to be exact, by a band called Tiger Army, an ecliptic combination of punk/rockabilly (which totally kicks ass!) and stands for “Fuck The World“. So everytime one of you twittering facebook boogers posts, “I just totally souped up my dads mustang with headers FTW!” , most people think that you are saying, “I just totally souped up my dads mustang FUCK THE WORLD!” . Poor confused children.

Oooh this one is gonna be a doozy. (I know who says “doozy”? )  the most infamous remark I hear from the un-informed, “Yah Mac’s are nice but they are really for graphics and artists, not practical for my work/office“. Wow, just wow, if they gave out “I just repeat shit I’ve heard without really looking into it” awards, you’d be the winner for sure. That comment had it’s place, I’ll give it that, about 12 years ago. Most PC aficionados still don’t realize that all Apple computers, use the exact same hardware (by Intel) inside them.  Now granted most of you know that I am an indefatigable apple guy, but as they say in the streets, “let me kick you some knowledge lil homie“. *Takes a deep breath..

First as I stated Apple uses the same speedy hardware inside them, from the lowly basic student macbook, to the James Cameron Hollywood editing Mac Pro. All Intel goodness (ATI & Nvidia notwithstanding)

Secondly, you might retort back with, ” but my office software doesn’t work on a mac” , and I could reply back with “my reliability, stability and ability to complete work projects without crashing just doesn’t work on a PC“. Ok ok I’m being cheeky, but honestly there are numerous options to have your PC software trucking along on a Mac, Parallels is one, and a quick search for virtualization software for mac will return some results, VMware Fusion is another. And again another common myth that pops up from that response is, “yah but it’s sooo slow on my mac“, and that my friend is a thing of the past as well. If your running at least 8gb of ram (why the hell wouldn’t you be? it’s cheap) then running Mac OS snow leopard and Windows 7 ultimate, have absolutely no problem. I do it all the time (albeit I started with 8gb and moved up to 16gb since I use heavy RAM intensive apps). Dual booting (the ability to run both Windows AND Mac natively) is always an option as well.

Third, the Mac has made a huge shift in its target users. Microsoft office has been on the Mac for quiet some time now and unlike its PC brother, it doesn’t crash every time you have a deadline due in a few hours. However I promise that once you use Apple’s version of “Office” (iwork) you’ll never look back (until you get an email from someone who still uses the garbage and your forced to). The “holier than thou” mentality of artists and designers and mac users comes from solid reasoning, and I will admit, I use BOTH in my day to day work and tasks. My PC makes a killer gaming machine, but it also kills my mac with the i7 980x, and 24gb of ddr 3 2000mhz, but you know (if you DO know lol) that it’s a lethal combination of hardware, not for your average Joe Sixpack down the block. However….however… [pause for effect] when I have a tight deadline, I use the souped up iMac 27″, because it’s more stable and reliable, and I just need shit to work.

Adobe software for artists, is on both platforms, and both platforms have great video editing software (though I prefer Final Cut Pro), so the “artist and designers only” comment needs to go, it’s just not suitable anymore.

There is no right click on the Mac. Boy o’ boy did you graduate from the school of special (meaning not suitable for society) children.  There has been a right click (alt click) on the Mac since its creation,  in the last few years they actually put the physical button on the mouse for you specially challenged people. Before there was a actual button, you just held down ALT (or option) and clicked, voila right click. Now with the last 4-6 years (and more recently with the magic mouse) you’ve had an actual right click button. Yes you still get to pet the rabbits Lenny.

Yours truly,

David

I recently picked up a G-Drive (1tb) (by Hitachi) from the Apple store (prices online will not vary much, so no need to shop around for it). More than anything it was an impulse buy for some much needed extra storage space on my video editing machine. I had a new project coming up and wanted to be prepared for all the new data I would be importing and this little thing seemed sexy enough to sit on the desk during the long hours of night while working.

Now I could sit here and tell you the regular bullshit about what it comes with (obviously the cables needed to power it, plug it in, and use it). The unit amazingly also has all the necessary ports to connect it to the cables and hence, connect it to your computer.

The G-Drive is not Mac only compatible, though out of the box it is formatted under Mac OS HSF+ Journaled and it is “out of the box” ready to use for Time Machine. *Quick note… If your using Time Machine, your an idiot. You obviously would be using it to “back up data” for safety and data integrity, however hard drives crash and can also be stolen. Search my blog for benefits of Cloud storage vs HDD backing up, it’s more affordable and much safer.

Back to the review. So I start using the G-Drive day one (connected with the Firewire 800 to my 27″ iMac) and right off the bat the first thing I notice is the amazing read and write speeds while importing and exporting large video files in and out of Final Cut Pro. I mean this little sucker flies through file transfers. Note to any novice computer user, whenever you are using external devices for importing and exporting, or even as scratch disks, you will want to disable “sleep” mode on your PC or Mac, this will greatly improve performance since the drive will not have to slow down/speed up every time it sleeps and wakes.

Acoustically, the drive could be a slight quieter, and I read that the 2tb version is even louder. I’m not saying its clickety clackety loud, but for someone as anal as me, I would store it inside a component cabinet if your going to be recording sensitive audio. Aesthetically as I said earlier it is damn sexy, sporting a very “Apple-ish” style.

Overall I was so pleased with it I decided to order the 2tb Raid “G-Safe” pictured below, since I quickly filled up my 1tb on the video project.

Price wise, it is not the cheapest external hard drive. If your cheap, then look elsewhere. However if you want quality, performance, and something sexy, this my friends, is a definite winner.

Details from the manufacturer below:

Professional External Hard Drive

G-DRIVE high-speed interface external storage systems offer the ultimate in flexibility by providing 3Gbit eSATA, FireWire 800 (FireWire 400 via included cable) and USB 2.0 ports.
G-DRIVE is the perfect high-performance solution for storage intensive applications including audio/video editing, digital photography, MP3 libraries and high-speed data backup. The system features a fan-less cooling system and the latest technology 7200 RPM SATA II hard drives with up to 2TB in storage capacity with up to 32 MB of cache.

G-DRIVE supports professional music production tools including Pro Tools, Logic Studio, Cubase, Nuendo, Digital Performer, and many more.

Easy to Setup – Time Machine ready!

G-DRIVE is formatted at the factory HFS+ with Journaling and is Time Machine ready right out of the box! A simple initialization is all it takes to prepare G-DRIVE for use with Windows® systems!

If you watch TV and actually see the commercials, you might have seen commercials for Hughesnet Satellite internet pop up every now and then. The main target is for people that live in rural areas, or fiber deadzones. Within the last few years, amazingly even in the middle of Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange County, I have had several clients be in a fiber deadzone, where the only option for high speed internet (aside from a 30 day wait for a T1) is either Microwave wireless (Skyriver, OSWI etc), or Satellite internet.

Recently a client of mine went forward with Hughesnet, against my employees strong recommendation to not. The commercial does a real slick play on words, dancing around the mysterious FAP (Fair Access Policy). Of course it is a commercial, and it’s meant to sell consumers, but such a huge company should not falsely advertise and lure clients into long contracts with early termination penalties.

The real reason HughesNet really sucks the fat chubby is because of their FAP (Fair Access Policy in case you failed to remember). It’s hard to even find any information on the HughesNet website, obviously hidden for devious reasons. Here’s the skinny.

Your heavily restricted on your upload and download (DAILY) limit, once your pass this limit, which my client did within 30 minutes, your speed is reduced to dial up speeds. Yes I typed that correctly fucking dial up folks, that’s just pathetic. “But Mr.David, my grandma doesn’t download games and software, she just checks emails and goes shopping online“. Yes yes I understand however keep in mind that if you sent grams a link to a 5 min Youtube video, and she watches it, that equates as “downloading”, a 5 min youtube video in standard (.flv) format is about 4-9 megabytes. The video banners that automatically pop up all over the web, are also considered “downloading”. Hell a .PNG signature card in an email is considered an “upload” and “download”. We live in a world that caters and is shoving broadband widgets every corner of the web you turn (and it’s not always a bad thing), and yet HughesNet does not adhere to this world. Below is an excerpt of their FAP:

To ensure fair Internet access for all HughesNet™ subscribers, HUGHES® maintains a Fair Access Policy (FAP). This policy establishes an equitable balance in Internet access for HughesNet subscribers. Hughes assigns a download threshold to each service plan that limits the amount of data that may be downloaded during a typical day. A small percentage of subscribers who exceed this limit will experience a temporary reduction of speed.
Explanation:
The Fair Access Policy is straightforward. Based on an analysis of customer usage data, Hughes has established a download threshold for each of the HughesNet service plans that is well above the typical usage rates. Subscribers who exceed that threshold will experience reduced download speeds for approximately 24 hours.
During this recovery period, the HughesNet service may still be used, but speeds will be slower. Web browsing, for example, will be significantly slower than subscribers’ normal browsing experience. Subscribers will return to normal download speeds after the recovery period as long as they minimize their bandwidth-intensive activities. If they continue these activities during this recovery period, reduced download speeds may continue beyond 24 hours.
newfap.jpg
Ok so you might be one of the few idiots (no really if you agree with the FAP you are an idiot), your argument might be “But Mr.David, I don’t even watch Youtube videos, and nobody emails my sorry ass, I just browse porn my AOL favorites and read the news“.  I would reply first, your an major idiot for using AOL still, secondly if your using any version of Microsoft Windows, and yes even a Mac OS, there are these handy things called UPDATES, along with 90% of software updates that come frequently. A single update could easily set you over your limit. If you are using a Linux distro, well hell you actually might be in luck here….nope, your not, I just wanted to get you excited then burst your bubble.  VPN? nope, scratch that idea. Webex conference? Forget about it.
I can understand that if you live in a log cabin in the mountains, HughesNet might be your only choice, and when your options are THAT limited, the sure HughesNet will serve it’s purpose and connect you to the outside world….but only in very limited moderation.
Are you a HughesNet user? Have you been a previous customer of HughesNet service? Let us know what you think in the comment section beeelooow.

Not to long ago, a colleague of mine told me about Gilt Group, at the time it was a “members only” fashion retailer. “Members only” meaning you had to be invited from another member. I don’t think it works the same way anymore, anyone can register and become a member now. Also the prices are no longer discount prices for high end fashion. Gilt group sells quiet a bit of brands on that note. Brands range from Burberry, Gucci, Tumi, Skotch & Soda, just to name a slight few.

What I did like in the beginning was that if I referred a friend and they signed up and spent more than $100 (which wasn’t to hard), I received a $50 credit to Gilt Group.

Since the few short weeks/months since I signed up, it’s just been a downhill experience. First and foremost, the merchandise was supposed to be discounted, at least, why else would you become a member to a site that offers prices that are not discounted right? There would be very limited reasons to not just buy direct from the retailer if the prices are not discounted.

Most of the items that do seem like a decent deal are sold out, which nobody should say “well that would make sense, good deals go fast“. No, that’s not what I mean. When I receive an email at 8am about “New Items”, and immediately click that email and go to the website, a lot of the products already say “Sold Out”. That just doesn’t make sense.

Lastly, the most annoying aspect, which of course you can stop (actually you can’t), is the daily emails. It’s nice to be reminded of great deals going on, I can honestly say I read EVERY Newegg.com email that I receive, sometimes it’s once a week, sometimes it’s three times a week. It is NOT everyday like the Gilt Group. And the deals are not even great.

Soooo, yup…there it is, in a rant

UPDATE: 3 days since opting out of all email communication from Gilt Group, I am still receiving emails!