So I have been putting off making this post since the creation of this blog. Mostly because I have all the words to fill it but I reallllllyyyy didn’t want to do all the link finding and fact checking. I honestly think I’ll just post the rant while the passion is there and at another time follow-up with silly things like… facts.

So you may or may not know it, but for being such a technologically advanced country we are consistently being put over a barrel and taken for our internet. We aren’t even the top 10 of best internet speeds in the world.

This can be related to a myriad of problems.

  • Other countries are just establishing methods for connecting to the net therefore can adopt the most recent technology. We have had internet since the days of dial-up and are slowly upgrading technology with has a cost to dig up old lines and place in new ones.
  • With new legislation if internet providers upgrade one area of the nation they are being pressed to upgrade the rest of the nation. Having to upgrade technology for the whole country (including middle america) will cost companies more than the profit they would receive from it. More rural areas don’t have the populations to promote sales and services of new technology but are being left in a “dark age” which only drives away from people moving there.
  • There is a competitive market in other countries which drives down prices and promotes technological dog-fighting. It also offers more options for the consumer to get the internet connection they “want” instead of what the company is willing to offer them.
  • The average household doesn’t realize they are being screwed on pricing. They take their bill at eye value and since there is no better comparison you pay what you owe.

So we have high bills? This is America we make the extra revenue so we can pay for more premium services right? (cough healthcare cough) But our services aren’t even premium. Companies aren’t even providing the services that they advertise. Recent studies have shown the major disparities in what companies offer and advertise.

But how do we as the consumer change any of this? Well that is a hard shot in the dark. We can attempt to support the smaller ISP providers popping up locally or even regionally. But most of these companies buy their bandwidth from the larger providers anyways. Cell phone data plans were getting to a point where you could live without a major provider but with every company now putting download limits and caps you can’t cut the cord just yet.

With streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify taking over the net and increasing download rates across the nation we will need quick internet reform before we too fall into a “Dark Age” of internet progression. 1gps downloads are obtainable now and not at the exponential prices being offered. The paltry services being given such as “Road Runner Lightning” show that the companies understand a need for change but it seems nickel and diming the consumer is more important than actual progression.

A lot of these issues are presented in recent Net Neutrality arguments but that is such a clusterfk that it will probably never pass any sort of legislation in a viable matter that helps the consumer. So right now I’m at a loss for words. I would like to open this up for discussion on the “how” we can make this better. Any tricks people have used to stop feeling sodomized by their bill every month?

 

 

We are (Android) Family

Posted: September 26, 2011 in Editorial, Tech, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

So earlier last week marks a momentous occasion in the world of TRS and Damien Enterprise in total. For the first time since inception (cue sideways wall walking) my entire family is now using the same mobile platform. We are all now using Android OS. This group includes sister and brother-in-law (Fyrestata and PathToAtaraxia) brothers (Rolenquin and Needsnaming) and Mother as well. This is added to the massive circle of friends that have been migrating over as well. This means quite a few things to me more than just brand recognition.

G2XG2Optimus MGravity

 

We are now all part of the smartphone generation. All of us have data plans and can access the internet on a whim. No longer is anyone left behind without access to their email, pictures, updates to social networks, calendars and more.

Droid Does

The little green men have attacked

 

Since we are all on Google’s Android I have inter-connectivity. When I find something I like I can easily share it with everyone and have them experiencing it within moments. A hot new application that solves some headaches? A fun game to relieve some stress while you’re waiting at the doctor? A better use of homescreens or weather application? These are all done with a few clicks of a button. I have even downloaded a problem application to live troubleshoot. Never before have I had this ability. Its like having my own personal focus group. At this time I am thinking of how to integrate technology to make the most trivial of family events more efficient and sometimes more fun. Using Gmail and calendar I can send an invite for a family dinner that pushes to everyone’s phones and even sets a nice calendar (with reminder). I’ve even taught my mom how to use the lovely on-board navigation. Now when I get calls for directions it’s as simple as getting them into the application instead of being a desk side version of Onstar.

I’m enjoying helping everyone set up their phones. Letting them know which applications I love (and hate) and finding ones that suit their needs the best. It is the beginning of another much longer journey but at least everyone has started it now. I can already see as each person interacts with their own version of the OS what they like and what they would change and what they want more out of their phone. It is really taking the cellphone out of the communication and more personal technology. I think it is a step in the right direction for all of us. A step that I am not going to be backpedaling anytime soon.

I wonder I can get them all group chatting?

So last Wednesday 9/7/2011 I had the pleasure of being an attendant of a “Free Cee-lo Green Concert” with a friend of mine. I am always weary of the word free these days especially when a company is promoting such as free. As we get to Hard Rock Live at Universal I quickly come to the conclusion that this is going to be some sort of spectacle.

Marketing 101

Samsung + AT&T presents... your next four hours in marketing

I was unaware of the “Summer Krush” campaign until I had entered the doors and boy was I going to get a lesson tonight in marketing. Quickly I became aware that this event was going to be used to promote the Samsung Infuse 4G (Exclusively at AT&T) as the MC of the evening reminded us about every 30 minutes and probably 50+ times during the evening.

Infuse 4G

I wanted to take a drink every time they said the whole spiel

So it’s a marketing event. That’s cool. They had little kiosks everywhere featuring the phone and accessories as well as games you can get on Android. They had a neat set of displays that showed the phone could be connected to an HD display so you could game on a big screen. Angry Birds was prominently featured. They had swag of all sorts from shirts, cups, cap stick, and various other nonsense. I am fine with all of this. In fact I think this is a great way to get a captive audience to view a product they never would have cared about educated about a product. It helps to know I am interested in changing careers to marketing in the near future so I am always interested in spectacles such as this.

They even had something I had heard about in tech blogs but never seen in person. They had a live-feed Twitter wall. Two projectors on each side of the stage displayed a very Matrix-esque mesh of current Twitters that had mentioned @SummerKrush. This is another great marketing ploy as it not only got people to use Twitter to promote their concert and thus their product to all of their respective audiences, but they offered prizes for random tweets they would show. The wall was a great idea and I think a lovely party favor. People tweeted random nonsense just to get on the wall. At first you could tell the monitoring was strict and only the most devote “Please @SummerKrush let me win a ____” but as the night progressed and the marketing team started hitting the sauce more racy tweets such as “I wanna grope this girl in front of me @SummerKrush” and more showed up on the board. It provided mild entertainment in what we would soon realize was a much longer ride than we invested in.

But wait... there's more

I swear they kept letting people in until there was no floor space showing

They really packed the house for this one. They had two lines outside. One for people who had signed up for this event prior (and thus were emailed tickets instead of requesting them from the site) and then the people who had just printed them off from the site. We waited outside for a good 45 minutes after doors were suppose to open it even started raining. Whatever it’s a free concert going to work through the small faults regardless. Little did we know that Cee-Lo wasn’t going to hit the stage until 10:10. So we sat as a captive audience while their MC pimped AT&T being the most wonderful network and this phone being the second coming of Christ himself. They even gave away a guitar and phone to people from the tweet wall. All the while we got top 40 Billboard Pop hits dating back to 2000. It felt very much like a high school prom with more drunk under age kids than I care to be near and their creepy chaperone parents.

They made no mention on when Cee-lo would get on stage and sort of shrugged off any mention that he was even playing that evening. A lot of the crowd feared we had been suckered and Cee-lo would “mysteriously” not be able to play that evening. The tweet wall humored up as they couldn’t control the influx of “I don’t care about phones or guitars WTF is Cee-lo!!!” posts. I can attest that I even mentioned them to get this point across.

As all hope was lost the curtains finally opened at 9:45 to show a filled stage with plenty more AT&T/Samsung promotions. The band had yet to even do a sound check as a few of the roadie crew scrambled around the stage. I’ve been to plenty of concerts and maybe it was me but no one of the crew seemed anywhere near concerned about the ability of the equipment they just needed it setup so they could play and get the hell out of here.

Finally after 10 Cee-lo finally hits the stage

IMG_20110907_220525

I am very happy that he did not phone in his performance. It is very hard to tell how artist will perform at these promotional events as the crowd is normally not their “fans” and they are paid at a far different scale as if they were touring themselves.

IMG_20110907_220850IMG_20110907_221145

The audio was atrocious and I couldn’t understand a single word he said during non songs but him and his crew played their hearts out. They played singles from Cee-Lo’s stand alones such as “Closet Freak” and “Fuck You” and happily played some from Gnarls Barkley with “Smiling Faces”, “Gone Daddy Gone” and of course “Crazy” There was even a song or two from his latest album Lady Killer.

IMG_20110907_221531

He rocked an all girl band and came out in all black with a blinged out pistol necklace and a watch that could land a Jet with only its sparkle. I was a little saddened I didn’t get to see one of his many multi-color Mississippi Pimp outfits or even a bathrobe but once again free concert.

IMG_20110907_225148IMG_20110907_225157

I was reminded again that this was a free concert as he says he is on his last song… at 10:45. What? Two hours of waiting for a 45 minute concert? He performs two more songs instead of one (oooh bonus) and the night is wrapped up pretty quickly.

IMG_20110907_222849

This event taught me a few things. Mostly, this is how to throw a marketing event. It was so “inspiring” so to say it got me to write this post about it. Even if I didn’t want to I have helped not only promote their phone and concert series. It also made it so I must now make sure to pay and see Cee-lo next time he comes into town (if he comes back into town) because I really would like to see him perform at full capacity with proper band tuning and instruments. All and all it wasn’t a completely horrible time. It wasn’t the best investment of the 5 hours I spent during the event but for the price of parking at Universal it wasn’t a waste of my money. Would I do it again? No, most likely not. But they did pull me in for this one, which in a marketing world is a win for them.

Ok Google, we get it. You love your Chrome it is your baby and brain child and setting the internet on fire with growing attachment rates by the day. You killed the use of Google Toolbar on other platforms to support Chrome more. You are constantly tweaking and creating add-on’s for your baby like +1 Button for all and Offline usage of Gmail. But I have a question. Why isn’t Chrome a fully tooled Google Experience? I know it is trying to be a browser but as anyone that uses Chrome knows… it can do so much more. You may know that I am an android phone user and one of the main reasons for this is I was already a hearty Google user. I have multiple active gmail accounts as well as Calendar, Reader, Maps, GTalk, Picasa and anything else they have to offer. It was one of the reason why going to Android was so flawless. It imported my contacts and made everything a dream for me.

I can’t do everything on my phone though (no matter how much I want to) and I am not ready to become a Chrome OS user. (though I know some who are making the leap) When I open my Chrome it is pretty much perma-linked to open Gmail, G+, Reader, and now Google Music. I have to log into these sites or some will auto-log depending on the last time I was here. Maybe I am being selfish here but I want the experience to more match what my phone has to offer. When opening a Chrome window I wouldn’t mind “logging in” and during that session all of my Google sites work as such. Also I want the cross functionality that my phone offers. Send to calendar? Send to Gmail? Share in Reader? I want all these at the click of a button. I want Google to be more program than browser interface. I use Chrome more often than any other item on any of my computers. That beats out Firefox, Windows Media Player, VLC, Word, everything. Chrome has my soul!!!

XKCD said it wonderfully with this comic

All I ask it a little more functionality. I want my Google programs to be always present whether I am in the actual website or not. I want with a shortcut key my calendar pops up or maybe even Google music so I can switch song. I want Chrome to be more of an experience than a browser. Maybe it is already there and I have yet to find it. I am more than happy to be lead in the right direction. What do you think is missing from your Google/Chrome/Android experience? What could be added to give a more wholesome experience for you?

I see a lot of content

Posted: August 24, 2011 in Editorial
Tags: , , ,

So I was perusing my Google Reader account (this is where a lot of the content from my fan page comes from) and I was greeted by this banner.

From your 24 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 4,385 itemsclicked 11 items, starred 1 itemshared 208 items, and emailed 0 items.

I was thinking about this today. On average I take in about 100-200 articles a day depending on content. This reduces over the weekend but is made up for heavy Monday’s and Friday’s. These aren’t all skimming (there is a lot of skimming though as a lot of it is repeated) and post them to the appropriate resources. Some items get shared on the Facebook Fan Page some on Twitter. Some never make it farther than just being shared on Google Reader and some go into making blog posts like this one.

There are also the other fan pages and products I’m connected or “Liked” on Facebook. There is some carryover in content but Fb tends to provide a lot more local coverage. Twitter provides tons of content but it is heavy carryover or nonsense and my likelihood to retweet something that wasn’t directed at me is slim to nill. I do have to promote reader as a handy RSS reader though. Google has done a fine job and allows me quick access on my desktop, phone, or netbook. How do you absorb your content during the day? Are you a feed-reader? Do you RSS, how so? Read it later? Stumbleupon? I’m curious. Let me know

First off I am not saying you shouldn’t buy this game. Far from it. I will probably be purchasing this  game day of.

This is Ultimate MvC3 it is an update or half-sequel as some would like to call it to Marvel vs Capcom 3 released early in 2011. This game is set for a fall release making for two title updates within the same year. Some of the fans of the series are stating they are “betrayed” by the games release and being ripped off for us of additional content. Capcom states the reason for the additional title launch is due to the 2011 tsunami’s and earthquakes which put a damper on their DLC release window. Instead of releasing the bulk of this content in bundled DLC they decided to make a reduced price standalone game. I for one agree with this tactic. Let’s take a look on current DLC for MVC3

Two enter one leaves

$5 each... you're kidding me right?

Jill Valentine and Shuma-Gorath are both currently being offered for $5 each as DLC characters. I know a lot of people who have bought MVC3 and have yet to pick these characters up. Why? Because why pay $10 for two characters you might not even play as. The community balks that the content of UMvC3 was not included as DLC yet I don’t believe a lot of people realize the cost this would add to their game. Currently there are 12 additional characters slated for the game. At $5 a character that’s $60 right there. I know I’ve spent $60 in DLC before but that was for Rockband which is a completely different story. Just the cost of the characters alone justifies the new disk. Secondly this is a fall release to help cap out the holiday year for Capcom. I wouldn’t really consider this a new release but more of a “Game of the Year addition” plenty of games are using this tactic and I think this is one that will end up helping Capcom in the long run.

Also have we forgot which company we are dealing with here? Capcom for the longest time it was unknown if they could count to 3, let alone 4. With five variations of Street Fighter 2 alone the company went on to spin-off the series in Alpha, Super, Ex, and the Vs series that we are talking about now. It is about selling discs. It is about time Capcom got back into doing so. This is not only for corporate profit however (ok well mainly it is) but the success of MvC or any Capcom fighting game spawns more iterations of the company’s vast portfolio of fighters. Want to see another Power Stone? Or Rival Schools? or even Plasma Sword? Then this is a step in the right direction. It just needs to be watched. Each update should include increased content and feel like an addition to the game or series. The last thing we want is the same game reskinned with either updated graphics or more character colors.

I am excited for UMvC3 it makes it so I don’t have to buy a bunch of needless DLC and I can have everything on one disk. I am slightly annoyed that I will still have to purchase those two characters for completionist sake but the game balancing tweeks and additional content I think will speak for itself. The real question is when can we expect Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 Turbo?

I love my smartphone. It goes everywhere with me. I carry a charger on me at all times including a car charger for those emergency situations where I can’t find an outlet. Currently I’m using a G2(HTC Desire Z)

So preeettttyyyy

Oh you sexie beasto you

I have never been more in love with my phone than I have these days. I update my social media from the phone. I even wrote most of this blog post from it. It is quick, efficient, not without its flaws but a pretty awesome device. I feel naked without my phone. It hasn’t always been this way. It wasn’t that long ago that I could quote myself saying a cell phone is for making calls and little else. You didn’t need all the bells and whistles. I really stayed true to this idea until I was smitten by the Motorola Razr.

So thin so beautiful

So shiny

This is the first phone I ever bought out of design instead of function and stability. I was one of the many ignorant few to buy a Razr day one even with the minuscule pittance of a paycheck I had in those days. I can almost still remember the unboxing. So slick so sexy. The first commercial I saw for it almost made me weep. But with great joy comes great sorrow as my new beauty died. Then broke. Then died. Then broke. Then died again.

Beautiful differed

Why you no love me no more

This is how I was introduced to the vicious cycle of new technology. My Razr died about 8 times during its stay in my life and only 2 of those were accidents caused my me. During this time I watched as the Razr was introduced to new versions and upgrades as my bladed beauty was replaced time and time again with warranty replacement. T-mobile got to know me by first name after a while until it got to the point where I became sick of the whole ordeal and switched to the Samsung t629. This was a lovely phone by comparison. The operating system was simple but efficient the call quality was excellent and it introduced me to the slider motif. This phone had a nice little life and I managed to fill the mini-sd card so much I had to buy a bigger one. It was a good phone but this was the dawn of texting and T9 just wasn’t cutting it anymore. Once my contract was up for renew I switched to something more my speed.

T-Mobile Shadow

Enter the new Challenger

The T-Mobile shadow introduced me to the half keyboard and my addiction was just getting ramped up in the cell phone arena. This phone was perfectly marketed to me. I wanted more power but I didn’t want the clunky un-fun blackberry like devices being offered. It had mobile internet, email, and many other perks (including wi-fi) that I would grow to love and increasingly become addicted to. It got bogged down by apps and since it was a Window’s phone I’d have to reset the damn thing five times a day but I loved it. I never knew how many emails I would write while exploiting free wi-fi (I wasn’t going to pay for data) The keyboard made me fast and efficient at it. I also got my first taste at a GPS-like navigation which always died but the idea would stick in my brain forever.

This phone also connected well to my computer. I could easily transfer over pictures, music, and movies with a few clicks of a button. I was able to sync my contacts and even download updates. I could feel the next step already as this phone’s mana seeped into my veins. I needed more and I needed it soon. This one’s contract couldn’t end quick enough as I watched the ongoing battle with the iphone murdering Blackberry and talks of a new Google operating system in the works. I eagerly awaited updates and what would T-mo offer me to get another new device that I didn’t really need but becoming more of a lifeline than I ever would imagine.

2nd time's a charm

Hello Moto

I know what you’re thinking. Didn’t you learn anything from the Razr experience. No, no I didn’t. I feel right into Motorola’s grubby little hands with the Cliq. The G1 was outdated by the time I wanted to join team Android and the Cliq seemed to be the shiny new thing that could solve all my problems. Also it had a full keyboard. When my Shadow died momentarily I borrowed a friends Sidekick 2 and realized how inefficient my half keyboard was. I should have known something was off with my Cliq when I first got it but ignorance is bliss. I got all the nuance of the smartphone revolution and all the bells and whistles of social network integration. It was a great life until I realized Google likes to update their products… A LOT. My Cliq was quickly left in the dust as Moto decided it would focus its attention on its Droid line. I saw many of the features I desired (Looking at you navigation) being added in additional updates while my Motoblur lagged behind the competition. I waited for what seemed like forever all while being immersed in options I now take for granted. I didn’t even notice how attached to my email, facebook, RSS, maps, and mobile internet I had become. It wasn’t until my Cliq took a fatal fall (months after its 2.1 update) and cracked the screen that I realized the bind I had put myself in. I dusted off my Shadow and tried to use it again as new. This was not going to work. It was slow, and almost barbaric. All the form function and design I had gotten use to (albeit slow as dirt) was gone. Where were my applications. Where was my f-n Angry Birds!!!

Swaaaaaaaakkkkkkk

I waited forever to play you.. Only to hate you soon after

I had become an Android addict and learned that I desperately needed to satiate my fix. I held out for what seemed like forever but finally broke down for my birthday and bought myself the G2 I am using today. I can’t say I will ever go back. The cell phone game has changed. They did what all good technology should. They made me need something I never needed before. They made me crave and desire something that I had no use for. My phone almost does more work than my computer and it is almost toe-to-toe with my Netbook in data usage. Each week brings me a new application to try out as it integrates into my life.  Last week was the Google Music Beta, next week I may be able to park my car with it (ok maybe a few more weeks than that) It makes me wonder what is to come. What new device can they add to the phone to make it smarter. I remember when I hated touch screens and now I can’t live without mine. I still loath touchscreen keyboards but one day I am sure that too will pass. Are you part of the smartphone revolution? Are you reading this from your phone right now? What was your first taste? Do you think you can go back to the Nokia 1110 for a week? I know I can’t. I am happy here. Can’t wait for the next upgrade.