Thursday, September 25, 2014

iPhone 6 (and 6 Plus) Screens Breaking Too Easily

You may have heard recently in the news that the new iPhone 6 (+ 6 Plus) bends a bit over time when put in your pocket or when bowed under even small pressure... But have you also heard that this is causing the screens to break easier?

If you are familiar with iPhone screens breaking then you already know they break super easily. You drop the phone onto any hard surface (just a foot or two is enough) and the screen shatters instantly. Well now what happens is that the phone bends and the screen breaks when people try to bend it back into shape.

Design flaw?

I think not. Apple makes $100 every time a customer comes in with a broken screen ($150 for the 6 Plus).

This kind of defect would have been noticed during product testing. What Apple therefore must have done is shrugged greedily, knowing every time the screen breaks they make more money.

Defect? Pff. More like an opportunity to make waaaaaaay more money off of screens breaking.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Stuff My Neighbours Throw Out (Part 2)

To see more of this series of posts, see also:

Stuff My Neighbours Throw Out (Part 1)

or click SMNTO to see the list of posts on this topic.

On this week's episode, my neighbours threw out a mirror (minor scratches on the frame) and a rather well-made set of drawers for putting clothes in - which similarly had a few scratches on it. Both mirror and clothing drawers work fine. Unlike the previous episode however I did not do a "Yoink!" and grab the stuff for myself. This time I just snapped a photo for use as part 2 of this series of blog posts.



Super Glue Pen = Super Waste of Time!

OMG, as office supplies go this product was such a huge waste of time.

Okay so I purchased this "Super Glue Pen" because I figured it would save time. I would just need to press down on it like it was a pen and then glue would be dispensed slowly on the surface. I was expecting it to be slow.

What it was instead was a dot of glue.

So I tried again, pressing harder into the surface as I moved it along the surface.

Just a dot of glue at the start point.

Tried again, going more slowly this time. Same result.

I re-read the instructions on the packaging. Yup. Press hard, go slowly. Doing that. Why is it not working? ARGGGG!!!

So instead I finished the project I was working on by using dots - lots of dots. Like this:

Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot.

It says on the package it is "easy to use". That is BS. This product was a pain in the royal behind.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Portable USB Hard Drives

I just purchased a 1 TB portable hard drive at Best Buy. The brand and model is WB Absolutely's "My Passport Ultra".

The 1 TB blue version. Also available in red and grey. But not black or white. WTH. (You can get a black one, but only if it is the 500 GB version.)

I could have purchased different makes and models that are 500 GB, 2 TB, 3 TB or even 4 TB versions but I only needed 1 TB... So whatever.

What I found interesting (asides from the prices of the product and similar products) was the warranty... Which included a binding non-class action agreement in the warranty. Meaning if you ever lose your data and try to sue the company, then the company refuses to go to court on a class action basis and you can only sue the company on an individual basis.

Uhuh.

What this tells me is several things.

#1, Some purchasers in the past expected the device to work perfectly on a permanent basis. (I hold no such illusions. I fully expect this device to break eventually - likely sometime 5 years from now. By which time I will have transferred any important data to a different device.)

#2. That aforementioned purchasers not only sued for lost data as a class action lawsuit but evidently must have won their case against WB.

Which I find funny.

Below are photos of the various models and several different manufacturers.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Gear Books Series

Looking for a good series of books to give someone for xmas, birthdays, etc?

Well if the person you are giving the books to likes historical fiction then I recommend the series by Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear.

I have been giving a family member for the books for years now and they LOVE them so much they keep asking for more. The book series has like 20 books in it.

The photo below is more for my record keeping so I can keep track of which books she already has.

Thrifty Wedding - Make your own cake decoration

We recently went to a wedding in which the bride and groom had done something amazingly cute and thrifty with their wedding cake. They made the decoration for the top of the cake themselves using large wooden clothes pins.

So yes, you could spend $50 - $300 on a very expensive decoration for the top of the cake.

Or you could just use some creativity and decorate it yourself.

People at the wedding thought it was so cute they were taking photos of it.

Stuff My Neighbours Throw Out (Part 1)

Honestly, I think my one set of neighbours have yet to hear of craigslist or kijiji.

Why? Because they throw out a lot of nice stuff.

Furniture. Paintings. Exercise / Sports Equipment. Appliances. Electronics (computers, laptops, tablets, phones). Bicycles / Skateboards.

Most of the time the things they throw out disappears pretty quickly - I am not the only one grabbing stuff they set on the curb. I almost wonder if they have a webcam set up to record people taking the stuff... And they put so much nice stuff out there that you have to wonder "Why are they throwing this out?"

So finally I have decided to dedicate some posts to just the things they throw out. (I was even tempted to start a whole new blog titled "Stuff My Neighbours Throw Out".)

Like these slightly used ice skates they threw out (see photo further below). Put on new laces and have them sharpened at Canadian Tire and they would be practically brand new. Total cost of sharpening + laces = less than ten dollars.

Earlier today I spotted a perfectly good (no damage whatsoever) large picnic basket they tossed out. Looks like it had been used once or twice before they threw it out. If it is still there when I get home I will snatch it and put it in the garage. I don't know when I will use a large picnic basket - I might end up using it for target practice for fun.

Now I can understand when people throw out a sofa. But what about when they throw out a leather couch with no damage on it. Maybe the dog peed on it. I don't know. Whatever. Even if there was a rip in it or a smell, hire someone to rip off the old leather and replace it with new. Silly to throw out a sofa like that.

Or the bicycle with the flat tire. Seriously. Inflate the tire. Patch the tire if it had a hole in it. Purchase a new tire if necessary.

People throw out really nice stuff sometimes. It boggles my mind.

Xmas Wish List - A ROBOT VACUUM

This year my xmas wish list is building upon several big ticket items designed to make life easier around the house.

#1. Roomba Robot Vacuum (see further photo below).

Honestly, for the $300+ for a robot vacuum, that is well worth the convenience of not having to vacuum with an old fashioned vacuum any more. The prices of robot vacuums have dropped a lot recently and they are now very economical.

#2. Countertop Dishwasher - because my kitchen is too small for a conventional dishwasher.

Note - In addition to taking up less space, countertop dishwashers are also more water and energy efficient and also work well in the cottage, RV, etc because they take up less space, and use significantly less power and water. Which means you can easily run one using solar / wind with battery system or diesel generator. And you don't need a plumber to install one. Size wise they are about the size of a microwave.

#3. Robot Dog that Fetches Shoes

Okay technically I made this up, but what the heck. This really should be a product on the market. The dog should come with some sticker tags, you attach the tags to different things you want the dog to fetch - and the dog is programmed via voice command of the owner(s) to fetch various items.

Rover, fetch my shoes.

Rover, fetch my laptop.

Rover, fetch the TV remote control.

I can even see military, police and security applications of such robot dogs. GuardRover, K9-Rover, MarineRover, etc. Hollywood would probably make a movie based off the concept of a robotic dog... Like the old Short Circuit movies, but canine-esque.

#4. Voice Command Remote Control

Honestly, why hasn't this already hit the market?

No more searching for the remote control. You just say commands for what you want the TV or whatever to do.

TV Pause
TV Rewind 30 Seconds
TV Skip Commercials
TV Record
TV On and TV Off
TV Lock Parental Controls (plus password)

The 3rd option alone would be a big money maker if you had programs recorded and you could auto skip the commercials.

My cellphone has voice command on it. Why not the TV?

Samsung Galaxy S 5 - contract price drop?

According to the photo I took at a booth 2 days ago (Sept 2nd) the cost of getting a Samsung Galaxy S 5 has dropped. Time for the various companies to get into a bidding war before Xmas comes.

If you want to get a better price, wait for the weeks before Xmas (Black Friday etc) or wait until the Boxing Week sales.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Alberto European Texturize Gel

By Charles M.

So my girlfriend awhile back didn't like that my hair was messy the one day so she bought me a 200 mL bottle of Alberto European Texturize Gel - Styling Putty.

A product I would never normally buy.

But whatever, she bought it. She put it in my hair.

And yes, I will admit it works.

I also admit she forced me to write this review. Consider this review to be under duress.

The product does work - and it works very well.

But I will caution you: A little is a LOT! It only takes a little of this stuff to get your hair to behave properly.

The first time I tried using this stuff I used too much and it made my hair all crunchy and stiff. So the piece of advice I will pass on is USE IN SMALL DOSES. You don't need to use a lot of it. A tiny amount goes a long way.

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