Category Archives: Uncategorized

The top 10 things I love and hate about iOS 10.


Disclaimer: this list only contains seven – I repeat SEVEN items. I know there is “click” value to this title, but I genuinely planned on doing ten things and got bored. But the title stays.

I, like many of you, immediately upgraded to iOS 10, when it dropped.

I was initially impressed, because it was all shiny and new. But now that I’ve lived with it – let it marinate, as it were – I’ve got a more informed perspective.

And I will now bestow upon all of you, my thoughts.

Here are the top ten (ahem) seven things I love and hate about iOS 10.

The (f*#!ing) lock screen. iOS 10 should have come with an onboard Rosetta Stone. Real talk. Navigating these new screens requires some form of advanced degree. Instead of maintaining the intuitive gestures we’d come to know and love, iOS 10 presents a slew of new button presses, sequences, swipes and gestures to access and unlock things that just weren’t there before. I’m sure I’ll get used to it, but for now, negatory. 👎🏾👎🏾

Chat. I’m a little ambivalent about this new chat ‘window’ that opens when you’re responding to texts. Sure you can respond to texts without opening the messaging app – like you could before. But now your stuff is all on front street with this big ass indiscreet overlay. No buenos. Give me back my drop down – and privacy! 👎🏾

Alerts. iOS 10 comes kitted up with new beeps, whirls and chirps providing sonic feedback for your taps, swipes and scrolls. I was quite tickled posting this opine from my iPhone as I listened to the little ‘pops’ of my typing. Well done Apple. Well done. 👍🏾 👍🏾

Power drain. Apple, you’re killing me with this ridiculous power consumption. How we avoid Samsung battery meltdowns is beyond me. No it’s actually not – because it’s an Apple and we don’t do that. I digress. Wait…did you notice how I said “we” and I don’t even own the stock. OMG am I sheep? Whatevs, battery life is seriously compromised with this update. I find myself charging it literally all the time now. And I’m a let-it-run-down-all-the-way-to-preserve-battery-life kind of fellow. So I know I’m not tripping. 👎🏾

Home. I’m not really checking for how much more I’ve got to interact with the home button to get shit done. I used to be able to wake my phone and go right to my apps. Now I go to a lock screen of no inherent value. It’s just a blocker. Sure I can now open to the camera by swiping left, but in one step more and I can be there swiping up from the bottom of the screen. 👎🏾

Making phone calls. How the hell do you end a call? I used to able to tilt the phone, see and end an active call. Now ending calls is like trying to solve a Rubix Cube! If i navigate away from my call, good luck finding that screen again. I mean WTF. Am I the only one? 👎🏾

The camera app. Although I’m not checking for he new lock screen, I am checking for how you’re able to open directly to the camera by swiping the lock screen to the left. Truth be told – I’m a budding cinematographer and actually like this. I’ve shot a few home movies, which I’ve compiled on YouTube for your viewing pleasure. Please enjoy my opus.👍🏾

Now that I’ve waxed eloquent about my likes and dislikes, what do you think about iOS 10?

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Don’t be a dummy! The value of QA

qa

Do you remember those Hanes commercials, where the underwear was inspected by inspector 12?

The point of those commercials was that before those underwear protected your man package, someone decided that they met some established standard of quality to bear the Hanes seal.

If a thread were out of place, if the sticking was off, if the color was wrong, that pair would have been rejected.

Hanes was giving its customers a glimpse into the world of quality control.

The world has changed a lot since then, but the concept of quality control has not.

It has actually made the leap from physical good to digital ones.

If you’ve every built a website, mobile site, mobile application, micro site or kiosk, then invariably part of the process involved subjecting the product being developed to some form of testing.

In the digital space, we refer to this testing as quality assurance testing or QA.

QA is a way of preventing mistakes or defects in manufactured products and avoiding problems when delivering solutions or services to customers.

During QA, the developers ensure that the product that they’ve developed meets all the criteria established at he beginning of the development cycle.

Essentially, you’re running your website, mobile site, app, kiosk – your product, through it’s paces, confirming that it performs correctly, logging defects and passing those defects to the development team for remediation.

Typically QA testing involves making sure that at a threshold level, all the component parts are there: home page, navigation buttons, header, footer, menu, shopping cart, etc. and then making sure everything works the way it’s supposed to.

So during QA, testers run through test cases or test scripts to make sure your product behaves properly following the “happy path” as well as when users do something completely unintended.

If they encounter something anomalous, they test again, to see if they can replicate the error they’ve just observed – and if the can, they log the defect by providing the exact steps to reproduce the error, so that the developers know what to look for.

Logging a defect involves detailing the starting point, the exact steps the tester followed to trigger the error, the expected and actual results.

Often that defect log will include a snapshot (or snapshots) of the actual observed error.

Once the developers review the defect, confirm that the issue is not just a one-off caused by a poor network connection, tester error, a source issue (for example a mobile site generating the same issue as the full site) or something wholly unrelated to the product being tested, they get to work on resolving the defect.

When the problem has been solved, they’ll pass it back to the QA team for validation of the fix. If everything checks out – the fix passes. If not, they’ll send it back to the developer with additional notes about what they’ve observed.

This process continues until the issue is resolved (or until the developers determine what blockers must be removed in order for the issue to be resolved – because sometimes the issue may lie elsewhere).

If there’s a ‘green light’ the fix (or fixes) is/are passed from the development environment (QA) to the client (for user acceptance testing) or live (depending on the severity of the defect in question and internal protocols for resolving live defects).

No one cares if your website or app looks great if it crashes.

In fact, there’s a whole world of QA testing which is devoted to trying to break your website or app.

Because people aren’t always as smart as we give them credit for being.

And websites or apps don’t always perform the way they’re supposed to.

So QA ensures that you don’t put out anything that you would want to put your seal of approval on.

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Go back to school already! A top five list

back-to-school-heroNow that summer is in full swing, weekends are invariably full of the obligatory beach trips, pool days, and the incessant banter of children seeking to be entertained.

For all the sleep away camps, trips to see the grandparents and efforts to get rid of distract our kids, they always seem to be underfoot.

As parents, suffering the assault of that which we have borne, our thoughts inevitably turn to the one thing that brings us all solace: back to school.

For all our suffering, we know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

One day, in the very near future, these miniature clones will be cast from our homes, refrigerators and wallets, tucked safely behind the walls at institutes of higher learning.

And as the day of our liberation approaches, we shouldn’t bask in the glow of that warm thought too much.

There’s work to do so that our hellions are prepared for that momentus day.

So here are the top five things you’ll need to prepare your kids for back-to-school.

1. Backpacks – I don’t know about your kids, but by the end of each school year, my kids’ backpacks look like they’ve been on the losing end of a catfight. They’re usually dirty, with holes, broken zippers and often, petrified food. Getting new backpacks is a priority, especially if you want your future meal tickets to look the part of eager schoolchildren and not homeless hobos.

2. Laptop computer – my teenage daughter has been on a campaign to get a laptop computer for the past two years. As she enters the eighth grade, she may finally get her wish. Laptop computers are a must for teens seeking a bit more independence than the community family computer affords. And it removes any excuse they may have for not doing their homework. Just make sure you’ve got good spyware installed.

3. Cellphone – when each of my kids turned ten, they got a cell phone. It was a simple Metro PCS LG nonsense, but it was their entre into the world of digital connectivity. Now having a cell phone is more than just a means of communication with one’s parentals, it’s a social norm. And we can’t have our children ostracized because their the only ones without one!

4. Lunchbox – or should I say food transportation unit. My older kids are loathe to actually carry anything that actually resembles a lunchbox. For them, gone are the days of the square tin with a handle. Replaced by Goodbins, and various other ergonomic, compartmentalized food receptacles. While the older kids opt for the good old brown paper bag, the younger two are still happy to tote an old fashion lunchbox.

5. Hugs – what start to the school year would be complete without your obligatory hugs? One day they’re going to go off and not come back. So hug ’em while you got ’em! The summer’s no over yet!

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Posting on the John. Your status update can wait you nasty bastard.

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Have you ever been in a public bathroom stall and overheard your “neighbor” tapping on their mobile phone, holding a conversation or playing a game?

You may have even been the offending neighbor yourself.

Whatever the case, I find the use of mobile devices on the latrine…gross.

I mean really?

Is using the toilet so devoid of excitement that you can’t do it without some form of entertainment?

Are you just so concerned that you might miss some oh-so-important Facebook status update, that you can’t possibly put your phone away?

Is getting a new high score on Candy Crush just that critical that it can’t wait until you’re not on the bowl?

Okay, okay. Sure you can play a game of Solitaire, or read email or surf the net while you’re voiding your bowels – what else are you going to do?

But what happens next?

Huh? Nasty boy?

I’ll tell you.

You put the phone down. Wipe you ass or vajajay. Pick your phone up. Leave the toilet.

Maybe you wash your hands.

More often than not, you don’t (because you’re a nasty muthafucker).

But even if you do, trace amounts of your fecal matter, and a lil bit of pee, is leaving the bathroom with you – on your phone.

And you’re probably handling your shitty phone to coworkers and friends, having them scroll through baby pictures, watch your ice bucket challenge or type in their phone number into your contacts.

And now, they’re contaminated.

Thanks, you cretin.

It’s not bad enough that Ebola is ravaging Africa, you’ve got to add your filthy two-cents, spreading cholera.

And why? All because you text while you shit.

So do us all a favor, when you go to the commode, leave your phone at your desk.

And if you must take it with you, keep some disinfecting wipes handy.

Or better yet, just stop being nasty.

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Don’t be a jackass! Read before you comment (or repost).

jackass

File this under “rant.”

Has this ever happened to you?

You wake up, pick up your iPhone, open the Facebook app and start reading through your feed.

The first thing you see is an image of Morgan Freeman (or some other celebrity) with the caption “RIP”.

rip_morgan_freeman

You admire Morgan Freeman, feel a fleeting sense of loss, and reflexively “like” the post.

Or how about this?

You’re on the train commuting to work.

Your friend’s timeline includes a post about KFC using biologically engineered chicken with a graphic image of a skinless, four-legged fowl.

Does KFC use genetically modified chicken

A visceral feeling of disgust overwhelms you and instinctively, you “share” the article he posted, adding “The FDA has to stop this!”

Or perhaps this?

Skimming the headlines of your favorite online rag, you come across a compelling article title, like “Taco Bell warns employees against directly exposing skin to food.”

Taco Bell warns employees not to touch food

Alarmed, you comment, “I can’t believe that anyone would do this!”

Nothing wrong with any of these fairly common occurrences, right?

Wrong!

The problem with your reactions to each of these scenarios, is that the information you liked, shared or commented on, was false.

Morgan Freeman is not dead.

The image of KFC’s genetically engineered chicken is an internet hoax.

The Taco Bell article was in The Onion.

I’m sure that this has happened to all of us at least once (if not multiple times).

You happened upon something that, at first blush, seemed plausible, but upon further examination was a crock.

We’re not gullible, but how do we find ourselves in this position?

Are we daft?

Simple-minded?

Stupid?

No.

We’re just lazy.

Think about it.

Do you actually read the full articles you find in your feed or simply skim the titles (or look at the picture) before “liking”, “sharing” or commenting?

No you don’t.

Like most people, you just skim.

You see a compelling image on Facebook and respond automatically.

You read a controversial article title or comment to a post and just react.

Instead of mining the article to gain a substantive understanding, you’re content with the superficial sheen of knowledge.

And you comment, repost or share without context or perspective.

And what do we do in response?

Do we read the article our friends have posted, re-posted, liked, or commented upon?

No.

Most likely we’ll add our ignant (aka “ignorant” for my Ebonically challenged readers) two cents to the fray.

There have been a spate of articles recently discussing the prevalence of “blind posting” (I believe I’ve just coined a phrase).

Blind posting refers to posting, reposting, liking, sharing or commenting without reading the article first.

The issue with blind posting is the rabid dissemination of inaccurate information that quickly goes viral.

Or, worse still, is the advocacy of a position that you don’t truly support.

Actually, the worst thing is that you look like a jackass.

Don’t let social media turn you into a jackass.

Read before you post.

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I will teach myself to code. A 90 challenge.

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Last week, I signed up to learn coding with Thinkful.

What’s Thinkful?

Thinkful is an online school where you can learn web development and coding.

The cornerstones of the Thinkful model are curriculum, community and mentorship.

One of my people, Ian White, had posted something on his Facebook page about learning to code in 90 days.

And I was immediately intrigued.

Learn to code in 90 days?

Where do I sign up?

I’ve always played around on the periphery of coding – managing web, mobile and app development projects – but never actually coded myself.

Well, that’s not entirely true.

I did have a DOS/ASCII class in high school.

And I’ve messed around in the code on WordPress for a couple of sites I’ve developed over the years.

And one of my friends did create his own web platform Upl1nk, which I made a few pages with.

But I can’t say that I actually know or am conversant in any programming languages.

So I’m a little excited to get started.

Now this isn’t your ordinary 90 day challenge.

For one, I’m paying for the Thinkful course.

For $300 a month, I can learn the ins-and-outs of front end web development.

The course is broken up into modules, and there’s an online curriculum, which, if you follow strictly, will allow you to complete the course within the prescribed time frame.

There is nothing to preclude you from completing the course in a shorter span of time, of course, but it’s all about pacing and comprehension.

Mind you, Thinkful isn’t all self-study.

You’re assigned a Thinkful Mentor, who you chat with (via Google Hangouts) once a week for 30 minutes.

And if you get stuck or need help, Thinkful has a host of online resources and links to loads more, like StackOverflow.com, to get you straight.

What’s more, Thinkful has taken advantage of Google Plus, creating a community of coding newbies, like your’s truly, as a sort of coding support system.

At this point, I’m about five days in and loving it.

I’m on my first module, Unit 1: Structure and Style with HTML and CSS, and I’m almost done.

I’m soooo lying.

I am not almost done.

I’m about 40% done.

Truth be told, I’m very a little behind where I’m supposed to be.

I didn’t actually look at the syllabus after I enrolled.

I sat back waiting for my mentor to call me to get started.

Completely ignoring the flood of emails from Thinkful, welcoming me to the course and setting me on the path to get started.

I thought they were a bunch of marketing drivel you get after you give up your email, so I kinda tuned out.

By the time I got my head out of my ass and checked in, I realized I was several days behind.

Yes. I know. I’m a jackass.

I should have been more diligent.

Cut me some slack.

It’s my first online self-study course – what did I know?

Point is, I’m chugging right along.

I’m all syntax and structure, and I’m starting to get it.

If you’re interested in learning how to code, there are a host of other self-study courses out there, besides Thinkful.

Many of the lessons in my course come from Code Academy, which has a really good learning interface.

And I’m sure that there are others.

For the time being, though, I’m sticking with Thinkful.

And I’m confident that when my 90 days is up, I’ll be a front end coding fool.

No. I’m not going to assault you with updates along the way.

Yes I am.

But don’t worry.

It will only be the cool shit I’m really proud of.

At this point, you would have seen that I was adding a bit of code to show off, but since WordPress is an HTML platform, all my lovely code was hidden.

I know. I’m a dork

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Are you a Selfie Master? The art of the selfie.

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard of ‘selfies.’

Selfies are simply pictures you take (and post) of yourself.

What started off as a way of capturing yourself in the moment, in the absence of someone else to take the picture for you, has transformed into a global phenomenon.

It’s so serious that selfies now have their own Olympic Games (of sorts).

The Selfie Olympics started this week and they are over the top.

Peep #SelfieOlympics on Twitter if you want to keep up with them.

Folks everywhere are taking selfies.

But there are folks out there, who have mastered – MASTERED – taking selfies.

Veritable Selfie Masters.

What makes them masters?

One glance at their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feeds, and you’ll know that they take taking pictures of themselves seriously.

You know when you’ve encountered a Master.

Their pictures contain the tells.

Look for the eyes.

Sometimes wide-eyed. Sometimes, narrow slits. Sometimes opened just so.

But always with a ‘come hither’ expression, regardless of width.

Check the mouth.

Sometimes smiling. Sometimes serious. Sometimes with puckered lips.

But, somehow, always inviting.

Peep the pose.

Sometimes with their head thrown back. Sometimes bent slightly forward (with generous cleavage). Sometimes in repose.

But always beckoning you closer.

It takes work to master the selfie.

It doesn’t just happen by accident.

You’ve got to be committed.

Learning to hold your camera or camera phone just so takes practice.

Getting that smile that looks genuine, and not rehearsed, requires dedication.

Keeping your outstretched arm from being in the shot, and appearing to have had the picture taken by someone else, is high art.

Selfies are an art form.

There, I’ve said it.

Selfies are an art form.

Think about it.

Do you look good in every photo you take of yourself?

Be honest.

No. You don’t.

Know why?

You’re not a master.

Admit it.

You aren’t committed.

I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t take a good selfie to save my life.

No matter what I try, my forehead is always too big, or shiny or enveloped in shadow.

Don't stare at the top of my forehead. You may go blind.

Don’t stare at the top of my forehead. You may go blind.

Even with my best efforts, my hairline is too scruffy, unkempt or appears too far back on my head.

Am I mad because my hairline appears to be receding?

Am I mad because my hairline appears to be receding?

If I’m conscientious or not, my clothes look disheveled, ill-fitting or dirty.

Why do I have a picture in my 'man-jammies'? Anyone?

Why do I have a picture in my ‘man-jammies’? Anyone?

Generally, when it comes to selfies, I end up looking a hot mess.

It’s not like I don’t try to take a good picture.

Shit, if I’m really honest, I take dozens – dozens of shots, trying to get just the right angle or perspective.

I rarely succeed.

I end up looking like a cow in a fisheye lense.

But that’s just me.

Alas, I am not a Selfie Master.

Perhaps one day, I will have mastered the art of the selfie, and will join their storied ranks.

For now, I’ll just suffer through self-photographing mediocrity.

What about you?

Are you a Selfie Master?

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Facebook, you’re slipping. An Infographic.

As articles start piling up on how little Facebook really means to people anymore, I felt it apropos to share a little project I’ve been working on for a week.

One of my friends really digs infographics, so as a way of enticing them to read my blogs, I’ve dedicate this post to an infographic on Facebook.

More specifically, I’ve created an infographic on the types of people on Facebook.

Now my survey isn’t really all that comprehensive, and I’m sure there are loads more weirdos on Facebook I could stereotype, but I think I’ve captured quite of few that will resonate with you.

Enjoy!

What kind of Facebooker are you?

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My daughter has a crush. Time for “The Talk.”

Do they sell these at Walmart?

Do they sell these at Walmart?

Today, I got a text message from the wife that made my blood run cold.

No one was hurt or killed.

It was worse than that.

My daughter has a crush.

Some little knucklehead calls himself liking Asha Ming – and the feeling is mutual – much to my chagrin.

The moment I’ve dreaded since my daughter was first born is upon me.

Mind you, the wife told me that my son has a crush too, but who cares?

Why is my daughter’s crush the thing of nightmares (and not my son’s), you ask?

I’ll tell you.

Two months ago, she received a present from the ovary fairy, and my son is still shooting blanks – that’s why.

What would have otherwise been cute, something I would have laughed off, has transformed me into someone contemplating critically injuring a 12 year old boy.

I. Am. Not. Playing.

As I sit on the train home, I’m practicing what I’ve got to tell her about boys.

That’s right, I’m prepping for “the talk.”

I used to tell people how I’d handle the first boy who came over to the house to take Asha Ming on a date.

It involved me shirtless, with a pair of machete tucked into my waistband, a cloud of ganja smoke encircling my head and a screw face scowl gritting on the hapless youth with the misfortune of darkening my doorstep with his presence.

As time passed, I realized that I would have to soften my approach.

I would only cut every other boy who showed up at my door.

That still seemed too harsh.

Then it hit me.

I’ll just tell her the truth.

Boys want your cookie and once you give it to them, they’re ghost.

They’ll tell everyone you gave up your cookie and that you’re easy or a slut.

And if you don’t strap up, or if the jimmy hat breaks, you’ll be knocked up or get a venereal disease.

Yeah. That’s the ticket.

Leave boys alone or you’ll be a washed up single mom on welfare, living in a homeless shelter, subsisting on food stamps, with the clap.

I’m feeling better already.

By the time I got to Montcleezy, I felt confident I was ready for “The Talk.”

I prepped the wife on the car ride home of how I wanted to tackle the issue, only to learn that my daughter didn’t even want to tell me about the crush.

Whoa!

What do you mean “she didn’t want to tell me?”

The words did not compute.

How is it that MY daughter, the only one of the four that actually looks like me (Chanel I’m still taking your ass onto Maury) doesn’t want to talk to me about some stupid boy?

Doesn’t she know that pa dukes is a PIMP!?

One session with your dear old dad, and you’ll have these boys lining up to give you their milk money!

But it dawned on me that my whole machete-to-the-leg-of-the-first-boy-that-steps-on-my-porch approach is probably a bit…how do you say…excessive.

So as we hit the driveway, I resigned myself to delivering a different message.

In a nutshell, this is what I told her:

1. You’re my baby and I love you.
2. You’re body is maturing and since you’ve arrived at puberty, you’re experiencing physical and emotional changes.
3. Boys your age are also experiencing changes, and starting to notice and pay more attention to you.
4. It’s perfectly natural for you to be flattered by the new attention of boys, but it really shouldn’t be more than that.
5. Even though you’re growing and changing, you’re still a kid, and anything more than being friends with boys, isn’t appropriate at your age.
6. Girls who start coveting the attention of boys (and engaging in behavior to get and/or keep their attention) are setting themselves up to be taken advantage of and lowering their value and self worth.
7. Focus on developing yourself, doing well in school, and when you’re older and have self-mastery, managing relationships with boys will be easy.
8. Don’t ever feel pressured into doing anything that makes you uncomfortable. Resist peer pressure.
9. If you ever have any questions about anything, ask your mother and I. We’ve been there and done that and know infinitely more than your 11 or 12 year old peers.
10. Above all else, respect yourself. If you do, you’ll never allow anyone to disrespect you.

I cried myself to sleep last night (not really, but after all that sensitive drivel I delivered, it seemed like it fit here).

I shoed them out of my room, after answering their questions, confident that I had made my point.

And in case you missed it, here’s the abridged version:

You’re a kid. Be a kid. You’ve got your whole life ahead of you to be an adult, so don’t rush into it.
Crushes, dating, holding hands, kissing, etc., are “grown-up” activities for grown-ups, which you are not.
Don’t listen to your friends, boys or anyone encouraging you to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.
Protect your cookies, once you’ve given them away, they’re gone forever and you can’t get them back.

Any of you parents in a similar position, feel free to use any of this when you talk to your kids.

Or call me and I’ll talk to them.

Class dismissed.

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Google Glass isn’t all bad. If you’re a dork (like me).

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Several months ago, I wrote a post about one of the Google initiatives announced at the developers conference, a wearable computer called Google Glass.

At the time, it was theoretical, and for some odd reason, Google didn’t deem it necessary to either invite me to their developer pow wow OR send me a Beta pair.

Go figure.

But this Monday, a pair showed up at my office and I can confirm, despite the previously reported Yeti-like sightings of Google Glass in the wild (of which I had not witnessed) they are very real.

I could blather on about them, ad nauseam, but the quick and dirty is that Google Glass is an interesting piece of technology that takes a bit of getting used to, but which will go over well with dorks.

Now, I’ll blather on ad nauseam.

To be fair, my assessment of them is based on less than 20 minutes of hands-on testing. There was literally a queue of cats in my office waiting to try them out. So I felt like a hog spending more than a few minutes trying to take GG through its paces. But I made the most of my time and will now share my observations with you.

Because you care so much about what I think.

GG is literally a pair of glasses, with plastic lenses and a small translucent square mounted to the top of the frame of the right lens.

Putting them on is a little weird because they’re not symmetrical. The “fat” side contains all the components, which reside in a wide flat casing, while the “skinny” side is a simple curved metal bar, encased in soft plastic, that clings tightly to your head.

Even though it looks imbalanced, remarkably, GG feels right on your face/head/noggin.

When you first put them on, there’s nothing to see because the device is off. So at first glance, it looks just like you’re wearing a tricked out pair of Oakleys.

But once you turn them on, you know, immediately, that these are no bike riding glasses.

To turn Google Glass on, you simply tap the fat right side gently with your finger or tilt your head up 30 degrees.

Yes. I said “or tilt your head up 30 degrees” to turn Google Glass on. Just be careful if you use this method of activation around brothers (Black men, not male siblings), or they might think you’re giving them “the nod” and be offended if you don’t acknowledge them in return.

Turning on Google Glass pulls up the screen, which is projected in space about five feet in front of you. It’s like augmented reality without the helmet or wrap-around visors.

Now, you’ve got to look up slightly to see the screen because the placement of that little square on the frame (which is essentially what generates your projected screen) places it just above your normal line of sight.

You can manipulate your screen and Google Glass’ functions through both voice and touch. You control items on your screen or the menu using your finger along the side or via a set of simple voice commands. I wasn’t able to utilize the voice commands in the brief period I was playing around with it, but the dev who had them said that the voice commands work well (within the range of commands available).

To scroll up or down, back or forth and left or right, you rub your finger along the touchpad on the side of the glasses. Tapping with one finger selects, using two fingers lets you grab and move objects.

There is a small speaker on the section behind your ear, which projects sound, and it’s clear but low. And there’s also a small forward facing camera that shoots pictures and video.

During my little test run, I accessed Google Maps, watched a video, scrolled through a bunch of web pages and (unsuccessfully) tried to use Google Glass’ voice commands.

And outside of looking (and feeling) like a fucking dork – tilting my head up and down, tapping the side of my head, mumbling in audible commands and staring off into space – they’re not that bad.

I was initially prepared to write them off as a novelty, but I just had a 15 minute chat with the dev dude who got them and he actually had a lot of praise for it. I was skeptical until he told me he was is not an Android dude at all, so his opinion was patently objective.

He’d been rocking Google Glass for a week, and as a result, had a slightly more informed perspective than my 15 minute run. But just slightly.

We discussed my assessment and critique of how Google Glass makes you like a dork because you’re always looking up. Beyond that, your virtual screen is projected against the world behind it. So if you’re using Google Glass and you’ve got a funky background (bright lights, lots of traffic, etc.) it takes a minute for your eyes to adjust to all the BS/noise and focus on the screen.

When I gave him my assessment, lampooning its shortcomings, his response was that the field of view is intentionally placed above your line of sight so that you’re not looking at the screen on top of your natural field of view. The point of its placement was to avoid creating a distraction for the user or having to compete with visual background noise.

I had to concede that his argument made sense. And then I kicked him in the shins and cracked on his momma.

But that’s not to say that Google Glass gets flying colors. Google’s got work to do to get Google Glass ready for the major leagues.

A friend of mine suggested that Google Glass would be great for watching porn in mixed company, and while I initially thought that they were onto something, having rocked and witnessed others wearing them, I realized that Google Glass does have some limitations.

For one, there’s the issue of the voice prompts. Dev dude was able to execute several commands fairly easily when it was one-on-one, and when traffic and ambient noise was low. When many of us were milling about, buzzing and cackling, his attempts at controlling Google Glass through voice commands were an absolute fail. And my name “Stephen Chukumba” spoken into Google search, returned “Stephen Takuma” – although it could have been the dev dude’s Korean accent skewing the results.

Next, if you’re looking directly at someone wearing them, you can see the images projected on the small translucent square in front of the lens. Sure, the image is about a quarter of an inch big, but it’s a crystal clear quarter of an inch image, which is clearly not conducive lascivious content viewing.

And finally, even though the volume on the speakers are low, it’s still slightly audible if you’re within a few feet of the wearer. So the grunts and groans of true porn thespians is perceptible but those around you.

Anyway, as I digress into porn, I realize this post has gone on long enough.

My point is that Google glasses is still a work in progress.

Final analysis?

Google Glass is here.

You’ll look like a dork if you rock them.

But if do happen to get a pair, you’ll be a happy dork.

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