Rant

This Infomercial Defines What’s Wrong with America

Every night at 10 o’clock I have a button I click in Safari. The moment I click this button, my browser is begins loading around ten “daily deals” websites. Woot.com was the start of it all but it seems to grow by a few sites each year. Most of the deals on these sites aren’t so much great steals as they are “turns out this thing sucks and we’ve gotta liquidate it” deals. Like the time I bought “OEM Apple Ear Pod Headphones” which translated to “OMG how could these sound so horrible” headphones.

But something you get awesome legit deals, like the time I got a sweet vacuum for 80% off. Yes, I have a thing for vacuums. It’s hit or miss and after a while you get an almost religious understanding of how these sites, and their wine compatriots, work things. To me it’s worth checking in at 10 o’clock, midnight CST, to see what’s new.

Last night I clicked and saw something I just couldn’t un-see; partly because my vibrant imagination went directly where it shouldn’t. Remember “Batter Blaster!”? Think along those lines. It’s the Rollie EggMaster Vertical Grill, and I assure you, this is the real deal.

Rollie_Vertical_Cooking_Set_for__29.99___Free_Shipping_on_1Sale.com Keep on reading…

How I Used Social Media to Buy a Car

How I Used Social Media to Buy a Car

Wow, my first post since moving to San Diego and it only took 52 days to do it! That’s pretty horrible, I must admit. Here I thought moving to a new city would inspire me to be more active in my photography and blogging. Nope. Turns out moving and starting a new job means you have next to no free time. When you do find yourself void of responsibilities, all you really want to do is relax with your iPad and new season of Nikita on Netflix. Perhaps I’m projecting a bit… Clearly I really love that show.

For all the years I lived in San Francisco I never owned a car. It just wasn’t necessary. I walked almost everywhere in that city, and loved it. It was a healthy way to get around and it allowed me a little time to myself. When I needed to go further than a say a mile, I’d take the Muni. And despite what many of the locals might say, we have a stellar mass transit system.

My apartment had a Walk Score of 98 and a Bike Score of 95. My office had a Walk Score of 92, a Transit Score of 100 and a Bike Score of 89. Basically I had the world, just steps away. San Diego, well it isn’t quite the same here. Keep on reading…

Nokia is at it Again Misleading Consumers

Remember last year when Nokia released the Lumia 920 and they just wouldn’t shut up about the new PureView camera? They even put out a video to show off how good it was at optical image stabilization and wow, was it good!

Oh yeah, it was also faked. If you look closely at 27 seconds in, not only is this video being shot from a box van driving next to the girl, shot by someone else from a bicycle, as it implies, it is also being shot with a full DSLR video rig. Turns out the Nokia Lumia 920 video was actually shot with a DSLR, not with the PureView camera with optical image stabilization (OIS). Keep on reading…

Rethinking the Ike’s Place iPhone Application

If you were to ask ten San Franciscans for the best sandwich shop in town I wouldn’t be surprised if they all exclaimed Ike’s Place as the best sandwiches. Ike’s menu is absolutely astoundingly huge with eighty listed sandwiches and many more secret sandwiches that only the cool kids know about.

Ike_s_Place-3

I’m a bit spoiled to be honest as I live just one block away from an Ike’s. I found myself tempted to eat one of their gargantuan sandwiches just about everyday back when I worked from home. Thankfully I had the willpower to know better. Their sandwiches range in price from $10 all the way up to $20 (though the average price is $10.60) and they’re famously large with The Kryptonite sandwich clocking in at 5,700 calories!

Those same San Franciscans that would have suggested Ike’s Place would also add the caveat “But be ready to wait in a long line or order ahead.” Ike’s Place is so popular that they’ve been kicked out of their shops at least twice (?) since I moved to San Francisco. Neighbors pushed them out due to the extremely high traffic. Ordering ahead of time is absolutely essential with some wait times exceeding an hour!

Thankfully Ike’s Place has an iPhone app for ordering ahead of time (no online ordering through their website which bewilders me). It’s made by mCommerce Innovations Group and it’s pretty horrible. Look Ike Shehadeh, I LOVE your sandwiches. I just want the best for you guys which is why I wrote up this post. It’s full of criticisms, corrections and the like but it’s also full of solutions and love.

Disclaimer: I’m not a real designer, I’m not a UX/UI expert for some big dev company, I’m not a real programmer or a guru at any of this stuff. This just what a casual user, who has a touch of OCD, observed when trying to order a sandwich from his favorite sandwich shop.

Keep on reading…

Chill Out Y’all, it’s Just Instagram “Ruining” Itself Again

All this talk today about Instagram adding video and how that is going to ruin it reminded me of all the talk about Facebook acquiring Instagram and how that was going to ruin it. It didn’t just in case you were wondering. Also it reminds me of that Instagram added Android devices and how that was going to ruin it. Hell, remember when people remarked that Instagram changed some filters and how it was going to ruin it?

justex07 Justin Scott on Instagram

Let’s go over that again.

  • Did filter changes ruined Instagram? — No
  • Did adding Android ruin Instagram? — No
  • Did Facebook’s acquisition ruin Instagram? — No
  • Will the addition of video ruin Instagram? — No

Instagram adding video is not an Instagram decision. It isn’t about expanding features within the app answering a feature request from its 100 million users. It’s simply about Facebook’s continued battle with Twitter as the dominant social network.

Instagram-Is-Not-VineThey battled over acquiring Instagram, Twitter lost. Twitter births Vine as a response (6 seconds long video service, no filters) so Facebook’s natural response is to add video to Instagram (3 to 15 seconds long video with filters). This just a week after Facebook added hashtags, a Twitter staple, to their network. Don’t even get me started on URL shorteners, Google+ and “firehoses.” Keep on reading…

Quickly – Facebook Quietly Updates Events RSVP Options

Facebook-Like-IconWhen Facebook first rolled out their “Events” section ages ago it gave invited guests three options with which to RSVP.

  1. Going
  2. Maybe
  3. Not Going

Seemed like enough. But people who RSVP “Maybe” to events kind of suck at life. I can’t maybe make more food on the fly. I can’t maybe have enough alcohol. I can’t maybe have enough room for everyone. These are things that I have to have. Ryan and I host parties from time to time and often get as much as 50% of our RSVPs as “Maybe” and it drives me crazy.

Facebook seemed to understand this and for a period of time you could remove the “Maybe” option. People were either there at your party or not there. No longer were there these Schrödinger’s cat guests! (I love making physics jokes…)

Sadly this option was taken away but today I noticed a new option in place of the “Maybe”. Now invitees can select “Interested”.

Facebook Events Interested

This doesn’t bring back the ability to disable all those indecisive people from not committing to your event. However, the wording change might prevent people from abusing the selection like they abuse “Maybe”.

If someone is interested in coming over they should understand that it doesn’t mean they have said they are or aren’t going. It’s a non-commital option that should tell everyone involved that at this point, you’re not going but the event interests you.

Do you think this will make a difference? I sure hope so. Also, properly RSVP to events people. It’s the civilized thing to do. Just ask Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham.

How I Really Feel about Instagram

I am known in my circle of friends as the guy who hates Instagram. This isn’t really true, I don’t hate Instagram, I philosophically loathe it. That is to say, I don’t enjoy the way many people on Instagram treat the art of photography.

When I talk about Instagram I am often met with a rebuttal as strong as those over religion or politics. In the end we are all entitled to our beliefs. I have a feeling that a similar post as this was written by many film photographers when the first digital SLRs started hitting the market.

justex07-on-InstagramI’ll keep this brief but here is my gripe. People take ordinary photos, what we would call snapshots, what we would drop in a shoebox and forget about as quickly as we took them. These photos do not stand out like the ones we would put in a physical album, that we would pay to have printed or that we would submit to a gallery for showing. They are the epitome of disposable photography and there is nothing wrong with that.

What I have qualms with are people that elevate these toss-away photos to a level of importance not by context or content but by obscuring the banality and ordinary mundanity of the photo with a filter, sometimes to such a degree that the original content of the image is totally obfuscated. That is not art, that is glorified censorship. Keep on reading…

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