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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

[Video] Mercedes Benz CLA Review



TESTING

1. Golf Clubs
2. Garage
3. Coffee Cups (2)
4. Driving and Comfort
5. Looks

Thanks to Bernie Moreno of Mercedez-Benz of Burlington and Craig Meece of All Brand Autos for arranging the test drive.

Read more about how this test drive happened:

Buying a car. I just want someone to care.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Hollywood Must Stop Making Monster Movies. It's Horrific!

It always amazes me when huge CGI monsters appear to annihilate a city in apocalyptic movies these days.

When watching these blockbusters in the theatre, it's sometimes asphyxiating. It leaves me with a bad feeling. Heading out to the lobby for a drink of water is just a Band-Aid solution. What's really needed is a big time break. Putting the brakes on the whole situation, like an “X” car, at a red light will help deter the cataclysmic and catastrophic effects of being closed in a dark theatre.

The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred on January 28, 1986, when Space Shuttle Challenger (mission STS-51-L) broke apart 73 seconds into its flight. It was chaotic. Curt Cobain could have written a song that condemns the Corvair-like crippling design of critical systems, making the shuttle a dangerous deathtrap. It was debilitating for loved ones.

One does not need to see some monster decapitating someone is a movie to understand that there's a defect in the Hollywood movie making process. The defective plot lines and bombs producers choose to detonate, disemboweling they depict, enfeebling the viewers is evil. Seeing someone be eviscerated, buildings being made to explode promotes a failed and flawed movie making process.

Genocide is too strong a word, ghastly, grenadelike, grisly, and gruesome might be better choices. The Hindenburg disaster showed us that hobbling the design process could lead to horrific outcomes. An impaling, inferno, of Kevorkianesque death would be preferable to the lacerating, life-threatening, potential safety implications.

When you are in a theatre and see maiming, malicious behavior, and mangling by, maniacal, mutilating anti-heroes never before seen on screen it leads to a potentially-disfiguring, powder keg, problem seeded into the theatre goers mind.

Don't get me started on the over use of a rolling sarcophagus (tomb or coffin) in film.

This has got to stop for the safety, safety related consequences, and serious implications that it presents.

Spontaneous combustion is startling and suffocating leading to suicidal, terrifying thoughts of Titanic proportions.

Please, don't let unstable directors turn into widow-maker writers of words or phrases with a biblical connotation, you’re toast it this continues.

Based on The 69 Words You Can’t Use at GM:
always, annihilate, apocalyptic, asphyxiating, bad, Band-Aid, big time, brakes like an “X” car, cataclysmic, catastrophic, Challenger, chaotic, Cobain, condemns, Corvair-like, crippling, critical, dangerous, deathtrap, debilitating, decapitating, defect, defective, detonate, disemboweling, enfeebling, evil, eviscerated, explode, failed, flawed, genocide, ghastly, grenadelike, grisly, gruesome, Hindenburg, Hobbling, Horrific, impaling, inferno, Kevorkianesque, lacerating, life-threatening, maiming, malicious, mangling, maniacal, mutilating, never, potentially-disfiguring, powder keg, problem, rolling sarcophagus (tomb or coffin), safety, safety related, serious, spontaneous combustion, startling, suffocating, suicidal, terrifying, Titanic, unstable, widow-maker, words or phrases with a biblical connotation, you’re toast

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Review: Gillette Fusion Proglide Razor with Flexball™ Technology





Buy on Amazon.com: Gillette Fusion Proglide Manual Men's Razor With Flexball Handle Technology With 2 Razor Blade Refills

Disclosure: Review Unit, Amazon Affiliate

Buying a car. I just want someone to care.

I'm thinking about buying a new car.

One that I'm interested in is the new Mercedes Benz CLA.

Casey Neistat's video make it look like a fun car.



I contacted my local Mercedes dealer asking for a test drive.

I exchanged emails, and they told me that they'd contact me when the CLA was available.

I got a few, "Are you still interested?" emails over time. Auto generated.

Then I never heard back about the test drive.

When I heard the car was available, I emailed in again, and got back email address not found.

So I contacted the dealer, and found out that the internet rep had left.

That's a failure of their marketing system.

I'm STUCK IN THE FUNNEL.

So they assigned me to someone else.

They were not so bright. I emailed asking what happened to the last rep and what models support Apple's CarPlay.

They replied:
She is no longer with the dealership and decided to explore different options... I am not sure what CarPlay is? Is it some sort of iPhone app?

If I was that rep, I'd know what CarPlay was. And if I didn't I'd GOOGLE IT!

Then that rep left.

Then they assigned me to someone else, and they keep bothering me with automated emails, and phone calls that sound like they are from someone who just woke up with a hangover.

I emailed telling them not to contact me anymore.

I gave up.

Then I saw a tweet this AM after I tweeted about seeing a CLA on the street.



A new Mercedes Dealer is coming to Boston.

So I contacted the new dealer's president, on twitter, who's dealership isn't even going to be in Massachusetts until next year.

He tweeted back right away!



That's great service.

UPDATE:

I'm getting a CLA delivered to my house for a test drive on Friday.



That makes me happy.

Update:

I got a test drive.

[Video] Mercedes Benz CLA Review.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Samuel Adams Brewery - Nano Brewery Tour


Nokia Disclosure:

Photos taken with Nokia Lumia 1520. CC BY-NC-SA Thanks @NokiaUS for the review unit.

Affiliate Link.

tech, nokia, lumia1520, microsoft, windows phone, review, teamlumia

Dunkin' Donuts Mobile® App on Windows Phone?

I'm reviewing the Microsoft Nokia Lumia 1520 Windows Phone.

One thing it does not have is the Dunkin' Donuts Mobile® App.



I like to use that app to pay for coffee in the morning with my regular phone, an iPhone. But I'm exclusively testing out the Nokia Lumia 1520 to see if can do everything I'm used to doing with my iPhone. Well, it can't run the Dunkin' Donuts Mobile® App, but there is a workaround.

Bring up your payment screen on your iPhone or Android device, and take a screenshot. Then email that to your Windows Phone.


Image: Payment page with QR code. Don't use this QR code.

Then save that image.

I saved it under favorites.

Then when paying, have them scan the QR code on that image. I tested it today and it worked fine.

Note: It's also a good way to pay on iPhone or Android when the Dunkin' Donuts Mobile® App fails to open or load the card.

Nokia Disclosure:

Thanks @NokiaUS for the Nokia Lumia 1520 review unit.


Affiliate Link.

tech, nokia, lumia1520, microsoft, windows phone, review, teamlumia

Monday, May 12, 2014

Samuel Adams Introduces Growlers at the Boston Brewery


Nokia Disclosure:

Photos taken with Nokia Lumia 1520. CC BY-NC-SA Thanks @NokiaUS for the review unit.

Affiliate Link.

tech, nokia, lumia1520, microsoft, windows phone, review, teamlumia

Friday, May 09, 2014

Microsoft Nokia Lumia 1520 Review. It's not an iPhone, but it's not an iPhone!

Microsoft Nokia was nice enough to invite me to a three day experience in the Boston area to get to know the Lumia 1520, phone as part of Team Lumia. In return for participating, they asked that I share any content created over the three days with the hashtag #TeamLumia.




LUMIA 1520 SCREEN

I've had my 1520 for a while, so I didn't need much guidance, but I enjoyed learning about new to me features when appropriate. Like a suggestion to try a panorama while at Fenway Park. A perfect time and place to try that feature out.


FENWAY PARK PANORAMA

You tap the screen to start the panorama,a nd hold still, then a little circle shows you where to move the camera too to take the next shot. Very slick.

I also used the feature after the event at the Museum of Fine Arts for a concert.



Also, although I did not shoot much video, learning about the (4) microphone came in handy after the event, when I had the opportunity to shoot a video of a live band. Impressive.



So after using it for a few days, here are the Pros and Cons:



PROS

SIZE
I really like the size of the Lumnia 1520. So easy to read and bright.

LIVE TILES
Live tiles is a very cool feature, allowing you to see in real time, updates to the underlying apps, like stock quotes.


LIVE TILES ON HOME SCREEN

PINNING TO THE HOME PAGE
You can pin from inside of an app, so for example, in twitter, I can PIN one of my twitter lists to the home page, and go directly to that section of twitter, instead of having to click around to get there.

BATTERY LIFE
The battery life is MUCH better than the iPhone.

HERE DRIVE APP
The driving directions app is very nice. You've got lots of voices to choose from including a Surfer Dude that was fun, for a while.



CAMERA
The camera is very good. I used the Nokia Camera app in automatic mode and got some great shots. Nokia Camera also has manual mode which lets you control exposure to fix, for example, a bright backlight.

COLOR POP
Built in to Nokia Camera is the Color Pop feature. It turns your color photo black and white, then you touch whatever parts of the image where you want the color to be visible. This is fun.


Perrier

AUTO


MANUAL


INSTAGRAM SELFIES
Instagram selfies are not mirrored when saved. I problem that Instagram refuses to fix on iOS.



CONS

The Cursor
When you put your finger down to insert the cursor, it flies in ABOVE the text. That's not right.

MENUS
In some apps, like Nokia Camera, to get to a feature you have to drill down menu options. One example is switching to a selfie camera. Takes too many steps. It's easily fixed though.

NOKIA CAMERA
After you take a photo, you can't get to edit mode. You have to go to your camera roll to open up another app to edit with, like Nokia Creative Studio.



NOKIA CREATIVE STUDIO
In the BLUR tool, the focus object and radial+tilt shift difference between the object infocus and the background is too severe. There needs to be an adjustable gradient. Instagram had this same problem at first.


Image: focus object and radial+tilt shift

STOP BEFORE:

Image: Stop Sign shot in manual mode

STOP AFTER:

Image: Stop Sign edited with radial+tilt shift. Needs finer gradient.

THE CASE
The case I was using, puts the selfie camera at the bottom left, while the camera control is at the top right. That's not ergonomic.

iPHOTO
In order to import into iPhoto, I have to use the Windows App. iPhoto knows that I connect a phone, but it never recognizes it.

NO YOUTUBE CAPTURE
My favorite shoot, edit, and upload program right now is YouTube Capture. Wish it was here.



I had to answer a few questions after the experience. Here are a couple:

Are you more likely to recommend Nokia Lumia to your friends and family as a result of your exposure to the product?

Yes. I would say that the 1520 is a smartphone that I could recommend. I'm still going to review it vs the iPhone some more, and though it is lacking in some apps, since the event, I've forwarded my iPhone to the 1520 and have been using it exclusively. For someone who is not tied to the APPLE environment, it could be a good choice. Especially for those with poor eyesight. My iPhone seems SO small now.

Based upon your experience with your Nokia Lumia at this event, how likely are you to switch to a Lumia phone?

I've used the iPhone for so long, I've invested in a wealth of apps that I enjoy using. Especially photo apps. the Lumia has some nice alternatives, better in some instances too, but I need to take a closer look at what photo apps I really love.

Also, NOKIA doesn't have a Dunkin Donut Perks Mobile App on Windows phone. That could be a deal breaker! ;-)

When you see 'Available on the APP Store', for iPhone and 'Get it on Google Play', for Android, it makes you wonder how many more apps are not available for Windows Phone.



Nokia Disclosure:

Photos taken with Nokia Lumia 1520. CC BY-NC-SA Thanks @NokiaUS for the review unit.

Affiliate Link.

tech, nokia, lumia1520, microsoft, windows phone, review, teamlumia

[Video] St. Lucia play ELEVATE at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston via RadioBDC

I was lucky to be able to see St. Lucia play an acoustic show at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston courtesy of RadioBDC.

The entrance to the Museum gives an indication of what's inside:



This guy is cool:



I've seen him in LA. I think he flew here.



My friend Julie Kramer from Radio BDC introduced the band:



Panorama:



St. Lucia plays ELEVATE at Museum of Fine Arts:



After the show I looked around and visited the Quilt Exhibit.



I like when a museum is nice and lets you take photos without a flash. Note: I had to turn off flash focus assist. ;-)

QUILTS:





Watch more St. Lucia video from MFA: RadioBDC Presents: The MFA Sessions with St. Lucia

Nokia Disclosure:

Photos and video taken with Nokia Lumia 1520. CC BY-NC-SA Thanks @NokiaUS for the review unit.



Affiliate Link.

tech, nokia, lumia1520, microsoft, windows phone, review

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Select Photos from My #TeamLumia Experience in Boston with the Nokia 1520


BEER BOTTLES


CITGO


CRANBERRY JUICE


THE OLD SPOT


SALEM OMEN CANDLES


SALEM WITCHES' CANDLES


Samantha Stevens Statue in Salem Massachusetts.


BLUE vs. GREEN


Nokia Disclosure:

Photos taken with Nokia Lumia 1520. CC BY-NC-SA Thanks @NokiaUS for the review unit.

Buy Nokia Lumia 1520 on Amazon.com.

Affiliate Link.

Seriously? Can a stupid yellow looking Philips LED light bulb throw bright white light?

Call me a skeptic on this one.

I've made it a goal to change out all the lights in my house to LED. I've been doing a great job. I've got some cool LED bedroom side table lights and floor lamps. I've also got some nice outdoor Philips LED flood lights.


Philips A21 Bulb

But when I took a look at these Philips A21 Bulbs, they are described as throwing off a "Warm White Light," but hen you look at them, they're YELLOW.

How could this work?

I decided to replace one CFL with an LED as a test.


THE TEST: CFL vs LED


Bulb in lamp looking all yellow.

BEFORE with CFL:


AFTER with LED:


In daylight.

Wow.

I'm impressed.

Here's what the Philips LED looks like when it's turned on, no more yellow:


Life Based on Three Hours/Day: 22.8 Years.

Buy on Amazon:

Affiliate link


Nokia Disclosure:

Photos taken with Nokia Lumia 1520. CC BY-NC-SA Thanks @NokiaUS for the review unit.

Photos taken with Nokia Lumia 1520.

Affiliate Link.

tech, nokia, lumia1520, microsoft, windows phone, review

NYC has 3 new Breathers

Breather, Peace and quiet, On Demand.

NYC has three new Breathers.



Our Rock Plaza Breathers are in the heart of Midtown. There are great views directly across the street to Rockefeller Plaza, home of the Today Show. Grab a break in the middle of the work day, kick your feet up after some sightseeing, or host a meeting, interview or audition.

As always, all our Breathers are centrally located and easy to access. Every Breather has free WiFi, is safe, quiet and cozy. And remember, your first hour is on us!




Book Rock Plaza 1



Book Rock Plaza 2



Book Rock Plaza 3

Disclosure: I'm an investor.

Touring Salem, Massachusetts with with #TeamLumia


Most photos taken with Nokia Lumia 1520.

Affiliate Link.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

How to add a three-second intro to your YouTube videos

Here's how.

Upload a video, that's 3 seconds or less long, as unlisted.

Then go to your InVideo Programming page.

CLICK add a branding video.



SELECT a video that's under 3 seconds long from those presented.



CLICK SAVE.

APPLY to videos uploaded after a specific date, OR to all videos.



CLICK update.

YouTube will then post a message saying: "Applying bumper. This may take some time to apply to all videos."

Then as it starts working another message pops up:

"Branding intros are currently being processed on 2 videos. Please wait for processing to complete before selecting a different branding intro."

PROCESSING:

Here you can see it processing on my two most recent video uploads.



Here's my example video:



Note: Based on the htime it takes to process, it looks like the intro is actually edited in to the source video, and then re-encoded for web display, vs. being implemented in a playlist mode where intros could be swapped out more quickly.

Learn more at Boost your channel’s recognition using new intro videos.