It’s Time: An Apple Watch (Mini) Review

Let me preface this with a question: Can Apple really sell anything as long as it has its logo affixed to it?

More “professional” photographs.

More “professional” photographs.

The Apple Watch, in a sense, is the first new product launch since Steve Jobs. There has been a lot of doubt surrounding Tim Cook and whether or not he can lead Apple to a future just as bright (or maybe even brighter) than if Steve was still with on this earth. Though Steve Jobs is depicted as a self-centered, egotistical, control freak, he had a knack for being a brilliant businessman, having a keen sense of good versus bad design, and the ability to stretch the limits of current capabilities. Given all those qualities that made him into a unique human being, the world was given the iMac, the iPod, and the iPhone – three consumer electronic devices that changed the very history of technology for the better (or to some, for the worse).

Continue reading →

How I Read The Web With My Kindle

Photo by Joseph Chang

Photo by the magnificent Joseph Chang

I once bought a book called How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading, which I probably found in a recommendations list from HBR or related site which inspired me to pursue literary greatness after reading its seductive title. Alas, I barely made it through the second chapter with my full faculties intact despite the visceral assault of boredom levied upon me. I think it’s time for a chapter to be written for the modern day reader.

The reality is that 90% of my reading is comprised of articles published on the web. Reading a book from beginning to end is a challenging committment. That’s like reading 30 feature-length articles from The New Yorker in succession! I certainly couldn’t pull that Olympian feat off.

If I had to re-write that ill-fated reading excursion to mirror my web reading habits though, this blog post would be it. Enjoy.

Continue reading →

PlaceboCast 18: But can it bend?

iPhone-6-pair10

Undeterred by the Fire phone’s abysmal sales, Amazon has unleashed a flurry of new hardware gadgets including its fascinating new home personal assistant, Echo, and the Fire TV stick (aka Match Stick). How will these products fare and who builds better hardware products: Google or Amazon?

As always, thanks for listening and have a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday.

Continue reading →

PlaceboCast 17: Rocky Yosemite

Yosemite-Preview

In this edition of the PlaceboCast, we find out firsthand just how much unfinished work Apple has before Mac OS X Yosemite’s official public release. But with Joseph’s magical audio technician-caliber abilities, you won’t notice anything amiss with this episode. Speaking of Joseph, check out his band’s debut album, Your Call EP.

As always, thanks for listening.

Continue reading →

Securing your MacBook: Going Beyond Tinfoil

fence

How do you secure the data on your portable computer from thieves, without having to chain your computer to a concrete slab?

I have just the answer.

Disclaimer: The methods I outline here are nowhere near foolproof. Always keep the possibility of theft in the back of your mind when you leave your gadgets unattended.

Continue reading →

Adventures of a First-Time TaskRabbit

taskrabbit-logo

About a month ago, I received an email from TaskRabbit – a company that lets you outsource small gigs to people in your neighborhood.

Thank you for your interest in joining the TaskRabbit community! We are currently inviting a select group of applicants to complete their applications and become a Tasker. Complete your application today to join our high-quality community of neighbors helping neighbors.

Intrigued I submitted an application, including the personal information required for a background check and detailed explanations about my humble skills such as computer support, online ecommerce (Certified eBay GrandMaster), and usability testing (Is this even on?).

Continue reading →

PlaceboCast 16: This Phone is on Fireeeeeeee

amazon-fire-phone

Today, Amazon lifted the wraps from their much-rumored smartphone, the Fire Phone. Make no mistake, this phone was built for Amazon Prime subscribers. Firefly could be a shopper’s ultimate companion, with the ability to quickly identify nearly 100 million items in the real world. Jeff Bezos just hopes you won’t be pointing it at a new iPhone in six months.

As always, thanks for listening.

Continue reading →