Archive for February, 2012


Galaxy NoteTechsnoop loves the new Galaxy Note.  The 5.3″ crystal clear screen is a thing of beauty.  While many are split over the size being too large for a phone, I have long become used to using either my bluetooth or speaker so holding the phone to my ear is a thing of the past.

Instead, why not get a gadget that can truly be an all purpose – tablet, pc and phone in one compact device.  And even though the screen is large, the Galaxy Note is slim enough and light enough that it is not cumbersome.

And it has some great apps and features.  The pen gives real usefulness for business functions and it creates handwriting to text and lets you capture screen images and make notes on them to send to friends and business contacts.

Bottom line; the way you use your phone should direct if you will find this device useful.  For those who are “ear chatters”, this will not work out.  But if you use your phone hands-free and need access to productivity apps, this might be your next big thing.

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Well, AT&T has drawn first blood in the “unlimited” data usage wars.  They have started to slow down those they consider “heavy” data users.  FYI, some had used as little as 2.3 GB of data.  When users hit the arbitary target, they are slowed down for the remainder of their billing cycle to dial up speeds, making their “smart” phones useless.

Hey AT&T, talk to Netflix.  I am sure they can tell you how hard it is to win back customers after making an anti-customer business move.  Either upgrade your service lines to handle the traffic, or raise your prices.  Do not crush your customers who have paid for “unlimited” data plans with snail-pace service.  To heap insult to injury, when customers complain, they are told to switch to one of the “limited” data plans.  How in the heck is this an answer to the problem of unlimited service?  Tell the customer to do without or buy an even lower usage plan?

No one buys an iPhone or Galaxy class phone to use 2GB of data per month.  The entire point of a high-end smart phone is to have access to GPS, internet, streaming and other data heavy services.  Slamming a smartphone user with dial up speed service at 2GB is borderline fraud.  You basically have removed what the customer paid for.

Verizon just offers temporary slow downs based on the actual traffic in a given area.  When the lines clear, users are free to surf away.  This allows for peak usage slowdowns similar to cable and DSL internet usage.  Everyone knows there are peak periods just as there are rush hour traffic times.  If possible, customers avoid using the services during peak times.

If you want truly unlimited data service, Sprint is your only choice.  AT&T should consider if the stampede of customers leaving is worth it when placing restrictions on data usage.

Remember Netflix.

Social media takes a hit again with the announcement that a couple with an 8-month old baby were murdered for un-friending someone on Facebook.  While all of the details are not known yet, the couple unfriended a single woman whose father and cousin then went and executed the couple with a gunshot to the head.  While the mother was holding the baby.  The baby was not harmed, but is now without parents over someone being “unfriended”.

Let’s face it.  They weren’t friends at all to begin with.

There is no circumstance where the act of taking someone off your Facebook page should lead to violence.  Social media is a tool to keep up with activities and events of your friends.  With Facebook, you may connect with people you don’t know well, or at all, through the games.  This is an area that Facebook needs to address.  While there are several levels of privacy settings, I personally don’t find them sufficient.

With the level of programming available today, it should be a simple matter to have a completely separate profile for gaming associates who only get game updates and no personal information.  Such a category would eliminate the grey area between actual friend and casual acquaintance.  Since this group would not have access to your truly personal information such as address, age, location and phone, it narrows the opportunity for personal space intrusions.

That said, please take every precaution to customize your privacy settings.  Choose carefully who can see your posts, and personal information.  When in doubt, do not accept the friend request.  True friends do not commit violence against each other.  Treat social media as a large public nightclub.  You have your friends you came with and everyone else is suspect.  Don’t turn your back on them.

Surf safely.

Design Hangover

design hangoverI love designing. The colors, type, shapes, patterns. Linking them together in a way that makes sense and solves problems for the client is great fun.

But, I am worn out by design that screams at me. 16 fonts on a 4 x 6 card and 5 colors is too much. Please, stop screaming your message at me. I tend to throw away any card or flyer that shouts or is cluttered.  I know it’s hard to get marketing into the hands of customers.  But if your customer throws out your message, you just wasted money.

Great design creates interest, not apathy and encourages, not screams.  The day of the hard sell is over.  Social media platforms and DVR has made it all too easy for your audience to tune you out if you annoy them.  The best design has great typography, and is set against complimentary colors and subtle patterns.

The best thing any designer can do is to limit themselves to 3-4 features in any project.  Just because you can do 20 different effects, doesn’t mean you should.  This is hard for designers.  There are multiple tools and brushes and unlimited colors to choose from.  Further, clients often want all the latest bells and whistles for their project.

At this point, the designer must explain the pros and cons of each effect on the desired outcome of the project.  If the end result is not achieved, the design is a failure no matter how beautiful it is.  This guide is true for print and screen design.  We as designers are the guardians of good taste and arbiters of what will work.

Best of all, if you can present ideas that lead to profits, your customers will value you more and send you referrals.

So don’t be afraid to say no to the customer, just be prepared to back up your statements with documentation that shows you care about the customer’s bottom line.

Pass the mochaccino.

Identity CrisisWell, if you have nothing to do, go on over to Google, login as yourself and click this link;

Who Am I?

You might be surprised to find out how Google views you as opposed to who you really are.  According to Google, I am a 25-34 year old male (see stats below).  This may shock and amaze many people, mostly, my parents, siblings, daughter and granddaughter who know me as a well over 35 year old FEMALE.  Google, you got some ‘splaining to do.

Arts & Entertainment
Arts & Entertainment – Comics & Animation
Arts & Entertainment – Comics & Animation – Comics
Arts & Entertainment – Movies – Action & Adventure Films – Superhero Films
Computers & Electronics – Consumer Electronics
Computers & Electronics – Software – Multimedia Software – Desktop Publishing – Fonts
Computers & Electronics – Software – Multimedia Software – Photo & Video Software
Computers & Electronics – Software – Software Utilities
Hobbies & Leisure – Special Occasions – Weddings
Your demographics
We infer your age and gender based on the websites you’ve visited.
Age: 25-34
Gender: Male

Thanks to Little Huss on the Prarie for the great laugh.

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