Monthly Archives: February 2014

When you’re amazing it shows. Ode to a professional gangsta.

You're packin' a mean piece o' steel, Mister.

You’re packin’ a mean piece o’ steel, Mister.

I know when you read the title of this post, you thought, “Oh here he goes again!”

And on a normal day you’d be right.

I would absolutely be talking about me.

Heaping mounds upon mounds of praise on myself, crowing about how great I am at everything I do, and how the world hangs on my every word.

But today, not so much.

You see, today I’m going to heap praise on someone whom I consider a professional gangsta.

Who, I might add, bullied me into even writing this post.

Listen to me when I talk, y’all.

G.A.N.G.S.T.A.

Her name is Dianne Ramlochan.

And she’s not to be trifled with.

In the almost two years that I’ve known her, she has impressed me as one singularly bent on getting her way.

It’s her way or the highway.

Perhaps it’s the only child thing.

Who knows.

But whatever Dianne wants, Dianne gets.

Case in point, I don’t usually “friend” co-workers and professional colleagues on Facebook.

I like to keep my virtual personal world separated from my real professional one. Ya’ dig?

We can be LinkedIn, and you may get a trickle of the virtual real me from the incomprehensibly-difficult-to-disconnect Facebook/LinkedIn nexus.

Can someone pleeeeaaassssseee tell me how to decouple this bullshit?

But by and large, you’re not peepin’ my personal shit online unless you’re digging.

Somehow, though, Ms. Ramlochan managed to Jedi mind trick me into waiving that work-professional life separation.

Don’t you know I friended this heifer?

And she’s following me on Twitter.

She famously quips about how if ever she can’t reach me at my desk via landline, email, mobile phone or text, she’ll “tweet” me.

Tweet me?

How are you going to be tweeting your project manager?

Have you ever heard of anything so ludicrous?

But that’s this chick.

To her credit, when I met her, she had just been hired to the team of one of the illest executive dudes I’ve come across to date.

No nonsense Anthony McLoughlin.

This dude was like Miles Finch from Elf – except a lil’ taller.

Point was, you didn’t eff with Anthony.

If you did, it was your ass.

And D worked for this dude.

Trial by fire is all I can say.

But then Anthony left for the West Coast, and Ms. Ramlochan inherited his fiefdom of projects, vendors and responsibilities.

And turned us all into her vassals.

20140228-172129.jpg

What it felt like to work for Dianne.

Overnight, we went from watching Dianne do all Anthony’s dirty work, to having to do Dianne’s dirty work.

I still get cold chills thinking about the day Dianne took over…

Homegirl is relentless.

RELENTLESS.

She had one word you never wanted to see come across your email.

“Unacceptable.”

That’s all she’d say.

Unacceptable this.

Unacceptable that.

Unacceptable the other.

Unacceptable, and cats would gets to steppin’!

Chills.

But we worked it out.

And in the process, she pushed through a few apps, next gen mobile web, iPad kiosk update, a couple of mobile web and app-specific pilots, and a tablet web project.

She had help, of course (=your’s truly), but it all went down under her watchful eye.

And now, she’s leaving the nest – where she truly learned to abuse fly – to new shores.

Those of Saks Fifth Avenue – heaven protect you (said in a whisper).

To leave a wake of psychologically traumatized victims forge new trails.

Anywho, on the last day of our professional lives together, I bid her adieu in the best way I know how.

Memorialized in my blog.

There, D. I’ve made you famous.

PS Congratulations on your new job!

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2 Comments

Filed under branding, digital advocacy, technology, work

XYZPDQ and other common courtesies people fail to observe.

Ya smelt it ya dealt it.

Ya smelt it ya dealt it.

Lets start off with a simple poll today, shall we?

If you answered ‘Say “excuse me.”‘ you’re not a savage. Stop reading here.

If you answered anything else, read on.

Most likely, if you’ve ever been the offender described above, self-preservation and the avoidance of shame won out over common courtesy.

You allowed others to suffer in silence and confusion, rather than providing them the solace of directing their anger towards your malodorous (and forthright) ass.

But imagine if we lived in a world where no one observed niceties.

Where you were left to fend for yourself.

No “Gesundheit” when you sneezed.

No “Good morning” when you entered a room.

No “May I help you?” when you walked into a store.

No “Excuse me” when someone bumped into you.

Imagine a world of savages.

Has anyone ever said “XYZPDQ” to you?

If so, you were eternally grateful for the intervention, I’m sure.

What’s XYZPDQ?

A response to an oft repeated faux pas by many, that’s what.

It’s the acronym for “examine your zipper pretty damn quick.”

In other words, your fly is down. Zip it up or risk further embarrassment.

To be accurate, it should be EYZPDQ, but it doesn’t quite flow off the tongue.

But that’s besides the point.

The point is that every once in a while, strangers behave in ways completely at odds with our disconnected society.

We’re a society of people who mind their own business and don’t care to intrude on the personal space of others.

Even if it means allowing them to suffer shame in silence.

Think about the last time someone told you you had food in your teeth.

Or that you needed a breath mint.

Or that your shoelace was untied.

Or your toddler was walking into traffic.

Okay, that last one was me. But I had four kids with me at the time and only two eyes.

We’re often surprised when acts of decency are shown to us.

The kindness of others shouldn’t surprise us in the least.

But they do.

Why?

Because we live in a world of selfish bastards. That’s why.

The concept of extending common courtesies, like holding a door, ceding the right of way, excusing ones self after a bodily emission, or a simple “thank you” after a kind act, are pleasantries long dead in today’s society.

Excluding yours truly, of course.

I’m the consummate gentlemen, raised by genteel parents, who understood the importance of being polite.

But the rest of you savages, would more likely cut someone for looking at you the wrong way, than ask “may I help you?”

I’m always struck by the way people respond to my acts of decency.

I recently gave up my seat on the PATH to an obviously pregnant woman.

You would have thought I’d opened up my chest, cut out one of my lungs, and implanted it in her open chest cavity saving her life, the ways cats were staring at your boy.

Seriously? Move on folks, nothing to see here.

It just goes to show you that the common courtesies and simple acts of decency we should take for granted are not that common.

So what’s our takeaway for today?

Don’t pass gas without excusing oneself?

Not quite, but close.

Always be courteous to others.

A simple act of kindness goes a long way.

2 Comments

Filed under opinion, rant

Why the acquisition of WhatsApp is bad news. Facebook is the devil.

Facebook acquires WhatsAppFacebook is the devil.

So I’d be wary of anything the devil does.

Clearly a company that started off in a college dorm and became a multi-billion dollar company in the span of ten years must be in league with the devil.

If not the devil himself.

How else would you explain Facebook’s meteoric rise to the top of the social media food chain?

Sure, they’ve got millions upon millions of users.

Sure, they extract a pound of flesh from advertisers to hawk their wares to Facebook’s captive audience.

Sure, their IPO netted them a gazillion dollars.

But damn!

Enough is enough!

If you’ve been paying attention, startups on Facebook’s roster are batting zero.

Case in point.

Let’s look at the giant’s appetite over the past decade, shall we?

  • Connect U – shut down
  • Friend.ly – shut down
  • Gowala – shut down
  • Lightbox.com – shut down
  • Face.com – defunct
  • Threadsy – shut down

Suffice it to say, not all acquired companies fare well under Facebook’s oppressive thumb.

And these are just the more public purchases that Facebook has made.

There are scores of others too obscure to mention, scattered across Facebook’s post-acquisition landscape.

Facebook claims that WhatsApp will continue to operate independently, but their track record doesn’t paint a convincing picture of post-acquisition bliss.

And while, Instagram, Branch and Friend Feed are still thriving on-going concerns, who can say when they will cease to please the devil and have their heads lopped off?

Facebook is a fickle beast, no?

I’m just saying.

I use WhatsApp.

I like WhatsApp.

Unlike most of Facebook’s crap, there are no distracting ads or mindless drivel mucking it up.

So you’ll forgive me if I think that Facebook’s acquisition to WhatsApp can’t possibly bode well for me and countless other WhatsApp users.

Sure, the creators of WhatsApp are making out like bandits, but who gives a fuck about them?

My misgivings are not without merit.

It’s happened before.

It can happen again.

I predict that Facebook is either going to scuttle WhatsApp completely or turn it into some ad-laden behemoth that I won’t want to fuck with.

With a track record like their’s, the devil Facebook is not to be trusted.

7 Comments

Filed under apps

Why the rumored iPhone 6 gives me wood.

Concept art courtesy of Minyanville.com

Concept art courtesy of Minyanville.com

I’m a sucker for anything Apple.

It’s true.

I readily admit I’m a fanboy.

Mind you, I’ll still hate on some crappy Apple shit (i.e. “flat design” of iOS 7).

But my first reaction upon hearing about some new Apple this-or-that is usually one of unbridled enthusiasm.

It should come as no surprise then, that my heart palpitations started when I heard the latest Apple rumors.

What Apple rumors?

The iPhone 6, of course.

That’s right.

Let it sink in.

iPhone. 6.

The Chinese are simply the worst at keeping secrets, and as a result, we’ve been privy to all Apple’s so-called secret developments for years.

Think about it, which iPhone release haven’t we known about well in advance?

9 times out of 10, when images of prototypes, spec sizes and talk of technology acquisition rumors start swirling about, and the source of these rumors is Chinese, you best believe it’s true.

Its no wonder, then, that folks are posting up their theories of what the latest iPhone will or will not be, with unmitigated zeal and images to back it up.

You’ve got pictures of the casing? Really? C’mon China!

Your’s truly is no different.

Like I said, I’m an Apple whore.

Anywho, with the iPhone 6, Apple will supposedly go where no iPhone has gone before: the land of the phablet.

If the rumors and prototype photographs are to be believed, Apple is working on the next generation of iPhone, that will be bigger, stronger (as in more durable) and faster than anything they’ve ever created.

When I say bigger, Apple wags speculate the screen will be somewhere between 4.7 (the current size of the 5s) and 7.9 inches (the size of the iPad Mini).

Size comparison chart courtesy of MacRumors.com

Size comparison chart courtesy of MacRumors.com

Whoa.

Screens that size will put Apple directly up against it’s Galaxy and HTC rivals, which have already dropped large screen phones on the market.

The claims that Apple will be introducing a more shatter-resistant screen lifts many a heart.

We’ve all witnessed (or experienced) the spiderweb cracks with Gorilla Glass.

Lord knows you’ve got to protect the screen like it’s an eggshell or risk slicing your fingers on an intricate lattice of cracks.

Apple’s acquisition of sapphire technology, points to a desire to make the next generation phones more durable.

As usual, there are claims that the next iPhone will last longer than it’s predecessors.

Even with the new lightning charger, the iPhone 5s’ battery dies notoriously quickly.

The next generation’s quad-core A8 or an evolved A7 should mean more power, better energy conservation and a longer battery life.

Other tantalizing rumors for the iPhone 6 include an improved camera (or at least enhanced capabilities), a thinner profile, wireless charging, and an updated OS (iOS 8).

I could go on ad nausaem, but I shan’t bore you.

MacRumors and TechRadar.com (among others) do a far better job detailing the minutiae, and I’m more of a broad strokes sort of fellow, ya know?

In any instance, I’ll be keeping an eye out for more information and sneak peeks of the device as the Fall (?) 2014 release date approaches.

And if you see me in the streets, and notice a slight bulge in my nether region, “no” I am not happy to see you.

I’m probably reading another article about the iPhone 6.

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Filed under iPhone, technology

De La Soul for free! Happy Valentines Day! UPDATE!

Rappers Real Names. Courtesy of http://aminorfactotum.wordpress.com/

Rappers Real Names. Courtesy of http://aminorfactotum.wordpress.com/

I was originally going to publish a scathing expose on online dating as an ode to Valentines Day.

I’ve listened to the dating woes of numerous friends and colleagues, and decided that enough was enough.

I’d get to the bottom of this whole online dating debacle myself, exposing it’s putrid underbelly and convincing online daters that good old fashion face-to-face meeting/dating was the way to go.

I was going to reveal online dating as the meat market it is, fraught with fake profiles and bullshit ‘compatibility’ criteria, to be avoided at all costs.

In fact, I’d created a bogus account on OkCupid and was prepared to blast online dating as a farce for suckers, when I came across an article on OkayPlayer that gave me pause.

Apparently for the next 25 hours (fewer than that at this point), De La Soul is making their entire album collection available for download – for free!

That’s right – FREE.

Gratis.

Sin dinero.

Pas d’argent.

I could go on, but you get the point.

Fuck online dating.

De. La. Soul. Free.

I’m married. I could give a fuck about the dating woes of a bunch of hags.

If you’re not a fan of De La Soul, and the significance of this coup is lost on you, sick a duck and stop reading.

If, however, you’re a fan of one of the most underrated hip hop trios of all time, then read on.

To be down all you’ve got to do is visit De La Soul’s website, complete the form and verify your email address.

wearedelasoul.com

After that, they’ll send you the albums you’ve requested.

De La Soul subscription confirmation

I’m soooo excited that I’ve been checking my inbox compulsively every few minutes.

As I was writing this, I got my email with the link to the albums!

Your Music - from De La Soul

They’re using DropBox as their fulfillment engine and – surprise, surprise – theres too much traffic and they’ve temporarily disabled the links.

The Stakes Is High! and DropBox can't handle the pressure!

The Stakes Is High! and DropBox can’t handle the pressure!

I’ve been clicking them every so often to see if they’ve re-upped the links, but no such luck.

Rest assured, when I get my joints, I’ll let you know.

Oh, and I will (eventually) post my in-depth investigation of online dating.

But in a nutshell:

  • Online dating is not for everyone, only the desperate and lonely.
  • If you’re ugly, don’t even bother, because 9 times out of 10, only cute girls/guys get any play.
  • If you’re a girl, good luck on finding someone who isn’t trying to bang you and bounce.
  • If you’re a dude, you’re going to be matched with 90% kennel, 5% respectable, 5% dimes.
  • If you’re not a dime yourself, expect radio silence from any other dime.

Now, there are exceptions to every rule, but you probably fall in the ‘rule’ category, so take heed.

Happy Valentines Day!

UPDATE: I just got my downloads!

De La Soul downloads

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Filed under music

Techno zombies beware! You will be assimilated!

Walking down the street.

Waiting for the train.

Standing in line at Starbucks (or Dumb Starbucks).

You’ll see them.

Disembodied.

Half-human.

Staring bleakly.

Wide-eyed.

Faces illuminated.

Tapping furiously.

Oblivious to the world around them.

You know what I’m talking about. Don’t you?

You’re probably not even aware that you may one of them.

Zombies.

Techno-zombies to be exact.

What’s a techno zombie?

I thought I made it up, but the Urban Dictionary describes them as follows:

A person or persons who walk through public areas (shopping malls, sidewalks, etc) text messaging on their cellphones, not paying attention to their surroundings.

My definition is a little more expansive.

In my universe, a techno zombie is anyone whose life revolves around their device. Their every waking hour is devoted to an absolute (or near absolute) obsession with their device.

How do you know whether you’re a techno zombie or not?

Simple: answer the following questions.

When you get up in the morning, do you automatically check your phone or tablet?

When you head out the door, do you reflexively check your phone?

When you’re walking to the train or subway, do you frequently check your phone?

When you’re riding the train or  subway, are you checking your phone?

When you’re sitting in a meeting or on a conference call at your job, do you find yourself checking your phone?

At various points throughout the day, do you find yourself checking your phone?

Do you find yourself checking your phone even when you haven’t received an alert, buzz or notification prompt?

Have you ever experienced the ‘phantom vibration’?

If you answered “yes” to four or more of the questions above, you’re a techno zombie.

And I don’t want to hear that you’re always checking for missed calls.

You’re not that important and who actually calls anyone anymore?

You’re checking for a response to that last text message.

Or the latest Facebook post in your feed.

Maybe you just got an alert from the NY Times.

Or someone invited you to play Words with Friends.

Perhaps it was a notification that someone started following you on Twitter.

Whatever the reason, we have become a people inextricably tied to our devices.

Somehow, insidiously, we have slid from a people who thrive on physical interaction to ones who subsist virtually.

We have become the Borg.

Borg 1

Oh, I’m exaggerating, am I?

Check it.

The next time you leave your office, count the number of people walking down the block with their faces buried in their phones.

Walking and texting is so commonplace that one can navigate an entire city block without ever looking up.

Instead of bumping, pinball like, off other people, eliciting “Hey! Watch where you’re going!s” in your wake, people part like the Red Sea, allowing you to pass unaccosted.

Because no one wants to disturb you mid-text.

The next time you’re on the train, observe how many people whip out their devices and remain glued to them the entire ride.

Gone is the polite banter among riders, replaced by mutes, immersed in tiny screens.

The walking dead.

walking dead

Zombie-like we wander, shunning human interaction for virtual pleasure.

Seeking validation in likes, retweets and shares, instead of in the company of other people.

We have lost our individuality.

Subsisting instead, as part of a large undifferentiated mass of eyeballs, to be sold to the highest bidder.

And what is this collective to which we belong?

Who profits from our lack of individuality?

Facebook? The Government? Microsoft? Google? Apple?

Who knows?

We certainly don’t. Nor do we care.

Today, February 11th, is a rally to protest data collection by the NSA.

How many of us will be there?

How many of us are even aware of the data collection practices of the numerous carriers, apps, websites, and online service we happily sign up for?

Which of us actually takes the time to read the Terms and Conditions associated with using Gmail, or Facebook, or Instagram?

When was the last time you opted out of a request by a third-party app to “post on your behalf” when “signing up using Facebook?”

When was the last time you actually turned your phone off or (even more daring) left your phone at home? On purpose?

With all the data collection being done, hackers lurking around every public wi-fi spot, and swiss cheese privacy policies making your every keystroke fodder for marketers, I’m surprised that more of us are not alarmed at our steady decline into digital complacency.

Rather than fighting to ensure that we safeguard ourselves against the insipid practices of Big Brother, we’re checkboxing our way to our own demise.

And we’re taking our kids down with us too.

We happily hand our children Nintendo DSIs, Kindle Fires, PlayStations and Xboxes and wonder why they’re fat, lazy, with ADHD, short attention spans and don’t know how to socialize with their peers.

While my rant today may seem random, it was inspired by my own personal descent into digital oblivion.

The other day, I found myself staring downward, at my iPhone, as I made my way towards the train.

I had become that which I abhorred!

How often had I cursed the wayward walker ahead of me, bobbing and weaving, oblivious to all else but their precious device?

Imagine my shock to find myself the wayward walker.

When I got home, I took and hid all the kids’ electronic devices in the house, and none too soon.

I realized that my children were being assimilated and I was contributing to the their social demise.

Who knew how much longer I had before I was LOLing with my kids via text and ‘liking’ on Facebook instead of hugging and playing with them in real life?

Take this as a cautionary tale, my friends, before you too end up assimilated…

…or crumpled under the bumper of a car.

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Filed under advocacy, mobile

I hate (Facebook’s) Paper. Flipboard, you’re safe.

Disclaimer: I was in a pissy mood when I wrote this. I cuss a lot in this post.
Facebook-Paper-Icon

On Monday, Facebook dropped their latest app, the horribly named “Paper.”

What’s Paper?

Paper is Facebook’s new mobile app which allows users to see their friends’ posts and news stories in a new Flipboard-like style presentation.

Notice I said “Flipboard-like” (aka not original).

Of course, all kinds of folks jumped on Facebook’s dick, proclaiming how great it was and how it was going to revolutionize the way people got their news.

But not me.

I reiterate “Flipboard-like.

Frankly, I was put off by the whole thing.

I’m thinking:

1. Why would Facebook name their app “Paper” when there is already a “Paper” (by 51) a “Paper” (by miSoft) and countless other apps bearing the “Paper” moniker?

2. Do we need yet another Facebook app to get at our Facebook feeds? Isn’t that what the Facebook app is for?

3. Does Facebook think we have nothing better to do with our time than troll through our friends’ news feeds just because the UI looks like a Flipboard?

And “yes” I think in numbered thoughts.

But I can’t really hate in ignorance, so I downloaded their stupid app to allow my hate of all things Facebook to be informed.

Since I prefer to read shit on my beloved iPad, I went to the app store to cop the iPad version.

Typed “Paper” in the search bar and found everything BUT the fucking Facebook app.

There were literally hundreds of apps with the word “paper” in them, none of which were the one I wanted.

Imagine that.

So I went to Safari, found https://www.facebook.com/paper which took me to the iTunes page with the damn app and downloaded it.

The “Details” page indicates that Paper is compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, but is optimized for the iPhone 5.

Optimized for the iPhone 5?

What the fuck does that mean?

Shitty graphics on the iPad.

That’s what it means.

Who wants to look at that grainy shit?

Who wants to look at that grainy shit?

Review Stephen. Don’t hate (yet).

Open Paper up on your iPad and prepare to have your vision blur – or appear to blur due to the grainy, pixelated images you’re presented with.

But shitty graphics aside, what’s up with Paper anyway?

Well, the first thing Paper does is play a little promo – quick vignettes of…well…paper, which resolves to the title page of the app.

Then you’re presented with a three (3) slide tutorial, describing how to use paper: “Do this. Then do that. Then this..blah, blah, blah.”

In short, you create your personalized feed by selecting pre-set cards, which you swipe up to add.

To select a story in your feed, you simply swipe up.

And to read that story, swipe up again.

To go back, simply swipe down and you’re back at the start.

Whoopdee.  

Fucking.  

Doo.

So what’s the big deal about Paper?

Well for one, instead of seeing your entire Facebook feed, you’re reading a curated feed.

Oooooooo!

Next, you’re no longer scrolling down an exhaustive page of updates. You’re scrolling – sideways.

Ahhhhhhhh!

And you can pan photos in Paper, giving a panoramic view of your pictures.

Gasp!

Most importantly, instead of opening a new page, when you select an item, your content fills (or recedes from) the page with a swipe.

Swoon!

As a fan of gesture based navigation, Paper is spot on.

Its very intuitive and even the most dense user could figure it out without Facebook’s loud and heavy handed tutorials.

But what makes Paper different from – oh I don’t know – say, Flipboard?

Aside from the Facebook-specific content?

Very fucking little.

And that’s not good for Facebook.

A quick side-by-side comparison will show you why.

Both Paper and Flipboard offer a tiled layout and swipe navigation.

And while they’re each great on design, Flipboard is far better in overall execution, to wit:

  • Where Flipboard provides unlimited topics for customizing your feed, Paper only provides a handful.
  • Where Flipboard allows you to share content widely with other social media platforms, Paper only lets you share within Facebook.
  • Where Flipboard has iPhone and iPad versions of their app, Paper only has an iPhone version.
  • Where Flipboard emphasizes discovery, Facebook focuses on curation (of their own content).

I could go on ad infinitum, but suffice it to say, Paper isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

And at the end of the day Paper is really just Facebook with makeup on (minus all the ads).

Do you cop it?

If you’ve got an extra 54 MB sitting around on your device – and you’re a chronic waster of time – sure!

Would I recommend it?

If you’ve got an extra 54 MB sitting around on your device – and you’re a chronic waster of time – sure!

Would I recommend it if I cared about you even one scintilla?

Abso-fucking-lutely NOT!

Take the red pill, wake the fuck up and leave Paper alone.

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Filed under apps, iPad, iPhone, mobile

#10SelfieCommandments aka Check Thy Self(ie)

A few weeks ago, I did a post entitled The Art of the Selfie.

The response was overwhelming.

And no, it wasn’t my writing.

Not that my writing isn’t awesome.

But it was most likely due to the fact that the post was selected for “Freshly Pressed” WordPress’ hand-picked selection of eight blogs to be featured on the “Freshly Pressed” page of the WordPress site.

But because it was so honored, that one post was read over 2500 times.

And I got the benefit of hundreds of responses, each with their own perspective about what made a good selfie.

Now my post merely skimmed the surface of the whole selfie movement.

Oh, it’s a movement.

Intrigued by the feedback, I decided to undertake an informal survey of the world of selfies.

And do you know what I found?

Hundreds upon hundreds of selfie fails.

Selfies that failed so horribly, that were so wrong, it shocked me.

Much like the Israelites wandering the desert, worshiping graven images, there are those among us, wandering the selfie waste-land, posting graven images (of themselves).

I realized that these stray selfie sheep needed guidance – shepherding.

So I decided to create a list of do’s and don’ts, to help the selfie-challenged everywhere.

Without further ado, here are the 10 Selfie Commandments.

1. Thou shall selfie thy self. If you don’t take it, it’s not a selfie. Selfies are a first person perspective. It’s a view of you by you. Posting an image of yourself, taken by a third party, no matter how flattering, is not a selfie. #dontfakethyselfie

2. Thou shall never selfie in the buff. Unless you’re a porn actor or actress, an exhibitionist or daft, you probably don’t want the world to see your unmentionables. Keep your clothes on when you selfie. And if being in the buff is necessary to capture some element you intended to share, make sure you photoshop out, crop or otherwise obscure the naughty bits. #dontexposethyselfie

You never - NEVER- want to be this guy.

You never – NEVER- want to be this guy.

3. Thou shall never selfie on the commode. Selfie-fails abound with subjects snapping themselves on the shitter. No one wants to see your dookie or to know that you’re dookieing because you didn’t have the patience to selfie after the poop. #dontpooponthyselfie

That's so cute! She's making a number two!

That’s so cute! She’s making a number two!

4. Thou shall be aware of thine surroundings. Selfies are nothing but a snapshot of context. If you post a selfie, tagged #ballinouttacontrol, and your WIC check or government cheese is clearly in the background, you are #playingthyselfie. #dontplaythyselfie

5. Thou shall preview thy selfie before thou posteth. There is nothing worse than taking a photo, tagging it and posting it only to realize later (after you’ve been memorialized as a selfie fail) that you made a grevious error. #previewthyselfie

Someone forgot to flush!

Someone forgot to flush!

6. Thou shall be in thy selfie. This one is fairly self-explanatory. It’s not a selfie if you’re not in it. It’s a photograph. #beinthyselfie

7. Thou shall respect thy selfie. If your parents, relatives or any elder, who would be ashamed that their child is posting inappropriate images of themselves, is online, don’t post. Block or unfriend them first, and then post your selfie. #shamenotthyselfie

8. Thou shall not be a copycat or covet thy neighbor’s selfie. Imitation may be the best form of flattery, but in selfiedom, unless it’s a meme or a theme (a la #plankselfie), it smacks of desperation. #beoriginaltothyselfie

9. Thou shall not hurt others’ feelings with thy selfie. As the saying goes, if you’ve got it flaunt it. But if you don’t (have it) don’t (flaunt it). Have mercy on the rest of us and keep your dimpled, cottage-cheese saggy ass to yourself. #dontkidthyselfie

Really?

Really?

10. Thou shall not photoshop thy selfie. Selfies are supposed to be spontaneous and candid shots of yourself, taken and shared in the moment. If you’re downloading the image off your phone, touching it up and then sharing it, you’re a fraud and a shame to selfie-takers everywhere. #dontphotoshopthyselfie

I know that I said that there were 10 commandments, but I couldn’t help giving one more…

11. Thou shall claim thy selfie. There’s nothing worse than claiming that a picture that’s been taken of you, was taken by another person. Say, oh I don’t know, by your (non-existent) girlfriend. Pathetic! If you take a selfie, claim it as a selfie.  #dontbealoserselfie #dontfakethyselfie

funny-selfie-sleep-girlfriend-real-imaginary


Did he really not see himself in the mirror before he posted this? Maybe his eyes were closed then too.

So this post was really for shits and giggles, but if there are actually selfie commandments out there, or if you’ve got your own selfie do’s and don’ts, please share!

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Day 7: Beats Music earns a temporary reprieve. UPDATED

UPDATE: Since the writing of this post, Beats Music has intermittently stopped mid-stream on too many occasions to mention, on both the app and the web. While I had report (later in this article) that the fix that they applied worked, apparently, it has not. Verdict, Beats Music has a ways to go before I’d part with a red cent for it. Period.

A little over a week ago I downloaded the Beats Music app and was thoroughly unimpressed with the offering.

While it looked good and boasted a host of impressive features and capabilities, my first impression was that it was a buggy app, plagued with technical difficulties.

And due to apparently high demand created by the buzz of its launch, there was a serious backlog to get registered, which ran completely counter to the instant gratification culture of Beats Music’s target demographic.

Combined with a relatively short trial period, I projected that Beats was a cute idea, but outside of a few chumps who easily part with their dough just to be a billboard for some brand, real streaming music aficionados weren’t going to be swayed by Beats’ technically challenged offering.

A few days later, when my registration was approved and I was able to experience Beats Music, my stance softened.

The interface was fresh. Not as intuitive as I would have liked, but interesting and visually appealing.

Beats Music interface

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With options aplenty, but not so many that you needed a user manual, I was able to dive right in and get my Beats on.

But then those technical glitches reared their ugly heads and ruined everything.

Streams would stop mid-play, buttons would suddenly become unresponsive and all navigation inoperable.

On more than one occasion, I found myself quitting the app and restarting.

By the fourth day of my seven day trial, the app had stopped working completely.

Quite the ignominious start.

But then Beats Music did something that completely erased the maddening frustration of their (what was now a) pretty crappy app, and restored my faith in them.

They sent an email acknowledging that their shit was broken.

The outlined what they were doing to fix it and extended the trial period for another week.

Yeah, our shit broke. We fixed it. Now what?

Yeah, our shit broke. We fixed it. Now what?

Clearly someone at Beats had some customer service home training.

True to their word, their technicians had done something to eliminate the bugginess of their app.

More bandwidth? Redundant server arrays? Better on-device caching? Something.

And as a result, I’ve been able to take Beats for a true test drive.

And do you know what? Beats Music is everything they said it would be.

They’ve got playlists for days , of all kinds, by genre, mood, curator, activity.

There’s a cool, “The Sentence” option that creates playlists from a sentence you configure.

Beats Music The Sentence

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You can mine down into individual artists within a playlist and create playlists of your own.

There’s even a nifty mode that allows you to listen to a playlist offline, that’s created from the playlists and songs you listened to while you had cellular or wifi access.

Although some have complained that Beats Music’s classical selection leaves much to be desired, I’ve taken deep dives into their jazz, hip hop, reggae, world, 90s and rock collections, and have come away deeply satisfied.

My one criticism of the app is that navigating isn’t as intuitive as I’d like.

Once you select a playlist, genre or song, getting back to the home screen takes a bit of maneuvering.

And the playlists, while diverse, are woefully short.

Just when you start to get into the groove, it’s over.

I found myself wishing that each playlist was just a little longer.

But these criticisms pale in comparison to the chasm of woefully deficiency Beats  managed to fill with their mea culpa and update.

For those of your who swear by Spotify, Pandora or any other paid streaming service, I challenge you to give Beats a try.

Now that they’ve got their shit together, you just might be impressed enough to switch.

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Filed under apps, iPhone, mobile, music