Enter to win a ZAGGSparq 2.0!

Here’s some fun news! The people at ZAGG were kind enough to offer me five, yes FIVE, ZAGGSparq 2.0 units to give away! The ZAGGSparq 2.0 is one of the latest gadgets I reviewed and one that I absolutely love.

Win a ZaggSparq 2.0

You can check out the review here. To get the details read on. Continue reading

This is the New Facebook

Facebook is doing its best to blow the minds of developers and users today at their F8 conference. Of course, over the last few days, all they have really accomplished was upsetting their user base with dramatic and seemingly unnecessary changes to the Facebook user experience.

Today they unleashed the future of a Facebook profile. It looks slick, fun, interesting and very narcissistic. The new Facebook is the old Myspace.

Next is a screen capture of what an entire profile will look like. Continue reading

Netflix’s apology uncovers something much worse

This morning I, along with 23 million others, received an email from Reed Hastings apologizing for keeping everyone in the dark about the changes afoot at Netflix. These changes weren’t simply the price increase for DVD + Streaming use, it also includes a total rebranding and restructuring of the company.

Now Netflix, as far as physical media goes, will be called Qwikster. Yes you will be able to get games as well as DVDs in the mail now but it will be a totally different site which does not connect to Netflix at all. Netflix will become solely the streaming service. The names are explained as follows.

Netflix because they are Internet flicks aka interNET FLIcksX versus Qwikster because its QuWIcKSTER. Not only is the name stupid, but breaking this once great company into two for nearly any reason is stupid. Seriously though, Qwikster is a horrible name. It sounds like a Napster clone.

Qwikster is a Netflix company

You will now receive two bills each month, one for Netflix and one for Qwikster. We still don’t know for sure of stock owners’ situation. They originally held stock in a DVD mailing fulfillment company. Then they owned stock in a DVD mail fulfillment and video streaming company. Now they own stock in a DVD and games mail fulfillment company and a separate video streaming company.

Finally, why this change is truly horrible? Check out the new process for renting a DVD.

Netflix Restructuring Usage FlowchartIt can now take up to twice as many steps to rent a DVD in the mail if streaming is not an option. Instead of it all being under one roof, Netflix.com, you will have to first search Netflix and then search Qwikster. You will also have to have the two completely separate memberships and will have to manage two distinctly different movie queues.

This is the most insane part. Netflix, what were you thinking? Reed Hastings, how did you create such an amazing and innovative company only to pull a HPCompaq-Palm, AOL-Time Warner and drown it with obstacles, barriers and complications?

In a modern world where everyone else is scrambling to catch up to Netflix in both subscribers, available content, streamlining and awareness; Netflix just gave everyone else in the game a massive boost.

Oh and let’s not forget the ten years of branding and name recognition we have with Netflix. Qwikster has now become yet another company and service that will have to be re-explained to the masses.

“Qwikster, it’s like the old Netflix only now it’s really like the new Netflix but you have to wait a few days to enjoy your movie.”

What were you thinking? Am I alone in this? Is this not just a horrible mistake? 

The Other Justin and Pine 22

I am always excited when the opportunity to meet a Twitter friend during one of my trips comes up. On my trip to Orlando I got to meet two of my Twitter friends in real life (IRL) for the first time. The first was a Twitter friend of my namesake, Justin, followed by Skylor at another downtown Orlando restaurant.

Corey and I met Justin aka @TheJustins86 at a gourmet burger restaurant called Pine Twenty 2 in downtown Orlando. Pine Twenty2 was the recommendation of Justin and what a great one it was.

Pine 22

How we actually came about Pine Twenty2 is even more interesting. Corey was showing to me the menu of a restaurant downtown. I kept saying “wow that sounds awesome” and thinking, “I want to go there!” Then I say to Corey, “The other Justin wants to go to some place called ‘Pine Twenty2’…”

Meanwhile, Corey was showing me the menu to Pine Twenty2 the entire time. If that isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is. Continue reading

Meeting the One and Only Skylor

One of the downsides to making friends through social media is common issue with knowing just how you “met”. Did I follow you and you follow me back or the other way around? Did I like something you said that was retweeted or did someone #FollowFriday you or otherwise recommend that I follow you? Someone should make an app that figures this out for us. Tracks the first mention of another user by your handle and treat that as first contact.

SkylorThat’s where I find myself as I think back at Skylor. I feel like we have been following each other on Twitter for years, yet I cannot for the life of me remember how we met. At the time Skylor was living in Washington DC and I was visiting Landon somewhat regularly there but we never met on any of those trips.

After years of talking to each other online, we finally met in person on my last day in Orlando.

Corey and I headed to Hue Restaurant just on the outskirts of Orlando’s downtown area where we anticipated the arrival of Skylor. Upon his arrival our waitress turned on her best awkward turtle. Whether she was standing silently behind Skylor or giving each of us multiple sets of silverware, girlfriend was hilariously awkward. Continue reading

Catching up on a few things

I was thinking today about how much I have to catch people up on. Even though my life isn’t super exciting or anything, I often put out these quick short stories and get so distracted that I never follow up on them. So here we go. Continue reading

Jackson Pollock or Toxic Mold

This is a blog post I probably should have written a few weeks ago. As you probably know, Ryan and I have been staying at various hotels across San Francisco for the last few weeks. And while I’d love to say I got a gig writing a San Francisco high-end hotel blog but that isn’t the case.

In fact, the reality is much much less glamorous.

Ryan moved into our San Francisco apartment last August. It’s a fabulous apartment, in the heart of the city, on the edge of the Castro and just a block or so from a metro station. I walk less than a block to my Walgreens and gym, just a few blocks from our grocery store. The location is a dream.

Though it isn’t nearly as large as the condo we have in Columbia, it makes for it in fabulous views, nice accommodations and location, location, location.

A handful of weeks ago Ryan pulled back a pillow from our bed which sits against the bedroom’s back wall. Behind the pillow was quite the site.

Toxic Mold or Jackson Pollock Painting

Toxic Mold or Jackson Pollock Painting

I’ll leave it to you to decide which it was that was growing/painted on our wall and pillows, but here’s a hint, it’s definitely toxic mold. Continue reading