Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday Morning Observations

Today is my day off, and I'm trying hard not to be bitter about spending the morning in the doctor's office with Dean, whose sore throat is now so bad that he can barely swallow. I'm trying not to be bitter because on Saturday when he had suffered from this for the first two days I expressly recommended going to see a doctor. But, like asking for directions, men do not typically like to do this until all else has failed and they are literally in the middle of nowhere.
I was at first surprised by the number of people in the waiting room- this being a recession and all, I assumed that people would be dragging themselves into work no matter what to avoid even the impression that their offices could function without them. But I noticed that people were taking and making calls like no one's business. I guess being sick these days only means a change in location, and not that the hustle takes a break. I also noticed a lot of signs that referred to smaller, lesser known health insurance plans which may be as a result of purchasing insurance during times of unemployment.

Sent via BlackBerry Bold

Skype for Blackberry Coming Soon?

The pipes are abuzz with news that Skype will be releasing a Blackberry client in May. Skype for mobiles for me is one of those things that's nice to have even though I don't use it very often. The Skype for Windows mobile has been on just about every WM phone I've ever had and I've made less than 5 calls on it in all those years.


Sent via BlackBerry Bold

Friday, March 27, 2009

Last one to the Fartin' Party

After months of hearing about iPhone users spending obscene amounts of money on fart apps through iTunes, curiosity finally got the better of me. Yesterday Crackberry had an app giveaway and I scored myself a copy of the Ibeefartin application. I waited till I got home so Dean and I could enjoy the sweet sounds together, and I must admit that we giggled like schoolgirls through each fart. Its a fun way to amuse yourself for a few minutes, but I'd never drop money for something so silly. Especially when you can hear those sounds for free if you really apply yourself ;)


Sent via BlackBerry Bold

Monday, March 23, 2009

I.T. Guys Get no Respect


There, I said it. In most companies, the IT guys get the least amount of respect, thanks, or acknowledgement for their vital role. Its no wonder that over the years, many IT guys have adopted a "You're dumb, I'm not" stance. How would you feel if a CEO making millions of dollars a year called you into his office every time he needed a new Outlook rule added? I'm not in IT by a long shot, but I've done my share of snickering at dumb questions (and yes, there is such a thing as a dumb question). I worked with someone years ago that would press the pause/break button on her keyboard before she went to lunch-Because it said break.
This thread over at Crackberry was one that got me on this little soapbox, because tech support guys are commiserating over where they get office space in their companies. The gist is summed up perfectly by Sito:

I think companies still think IT department work space as a low priority in managment mind set. The management assumes IT people are a bunch of nerds who live in their mom's basement thus they assign us the worse office space in the whole building. The janitor even have a nice air conditioned office while I sit in boiler room like Igor the hunch back of Nortre Dame.

No respect at all. To all the IT guys out there: thanks for all your hard work! We couldn't do it without you!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Letters from the Cleav

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Daylight Savings Time....

Did anyone else have an issue with the time change for daylight savings last night? I was counting on my cell phone to do that time change automatically at 2am last night when it was supposed to…but it did it sometime between the hours of 8pm-11pm while I was re-watching Lost season 1 on DVD and I wouldn't have noticed an hour disappearing during that, (since when I watch Lost I've been told I get lost on a desert island myself). So when I went to bed my cell phone clock was already ahead one hour and I didn't know it..but I kinda suspected it because it was an hour ahead of my alarm clock already...BUT because I'm constantly abusing my alarm clock when it goes off and accidentally press buttons all the time when I snooze repeatedly, I thought there was a possibility that my alarm clock was wrong also. So I made my alarm clock an hour ahead of my cell phone and would see in the morning if they matched up...(keep in mind that this means I unknowingly turned my alarm clock 2 hours ahead for daylight savings)...so then when my alarm goes off this morning and the clocks don't match, I was too delirious from having weird dreams about being late for work due to the questionable times to really investigate this so of course I just snoozed it and went back to sleep. Then when I woke up at 6:45am (supposedly) I looked outside and it looked too bright...and I thought that we would have darker mornings now...so I got a little suspicious that it was actually 7:45am and I would be an hour late for work…but I jumped in the shower and thought I would figure it out when I got out. Since I still haven't turned on my cable I couldn't check on the tv so I turned on the radio, but the only station I get is Z100 and they were in the middle of a never-ending phone-tap so I just continued getting ready, with a steadily growing knot in my stomach since there was a good possibility I was supposed to be at work right then. So I left my apartment, still confused, went outside and walked to the train, staring at people as they walked by, looking for any hint of familiarity in their faces to see if I usually see them in the morning…but of course that was a stupid plan because I normally don't look at anyone I pass because I hate everyone in the morning, specifically fellow-commuters. Now I'm starting to get really anxious to get on the train and see the digital clock they have in the train where they list the stops... now knowing my typical mass transit stories, I wouldn't be able to see the time for some list of reasons...but I did...and it was 7:57am...I thought "phew, what a relief, I'm running late, but only the normal 10 minutes, not 1 hour and 10 minutes" - then I find a seat, close my eyes, and begin hating the guy next to me for hitting me with his briefcase.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pocast! Mobigasmic 004

Podcast 003

Today's Podcast Highlights:

-Must Have applications on my Bold (BerryBuzz, QuickLaunch, SocialScope, Pandora, Podtrapper, Facebook 1.5)

-Palm Pre
-iPhone 3.0
-Living in the Cloud
-Multimedia on Blackberry

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pandora for Blackberry


Pandora for Blackberry, originally uploaded by lulugirl896.

Hurray!
While Blackberry has had a really great Slacker radio application for a long time, its really Pandora that I've been wanting to get ahold of. I use it in my office and on my home computer and have my stations configured to exactly how I want them, and its great that I'll now be able to listen to those exact stations on my Blackberry Bold!
Use your blackberry to navigate to http://pandora.com to download the player OTA. And sadly, no love for Storm users.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Chaos at 'America's Next Top Model' Audition in Manhattan

Now, let's see how Tyra Banks can make this all about her....I give her 5 hours.

The Art of Mobile Web-Browsing

Browsing the web on a small screen is not fun- not even on the iPhone which admittedly is one of the better experiences out there. No matter how much flicking and scrolling you can do, it never matches the convenience of a nice, spacious overview that also happens to be legible.
Back when I had a Treo 600 on GPRS speed I developed a great list of wap sites that I could browse and get a dose of info that was light on scripts and high on entertainment- in fact I spent most of my time back then on the TreoCentral mobile site. I also discovered The Onion and BBSpot through their mobile versions.
Its a habit that has served me well- the last 2+ years on Windows Mobile has been a better experience than most since I have never actually tried to load a full version of a website on Pocket Internet Explorer (ouch!). Over the years I've become adept at spotting forum links to wap sites and spotting mobile-friendly sites. I don't need to view the same sites on my phone that I can read on my desktop- I need short bursts of info with text heavy, image light composition.
Try to compile a list of mobile sites to digest on your phone, rather than browsing full sites, and you'll find it a much more enjoyable experience. And one that you're likely to do more often!


Sent via BlackBerry Bold

Lenovo Yoga Netbook


The Lenovo Yoga Netbook looks to be one of the coolest Netbooks that I've seen so far. It looks like a cross between the HTC Universal and a laptop, but in a much sleeker body. If this were slightly smaller, I could see it giving the Touch Pro 2 a run for its money!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Facebook 1.5 for Blackberry Now Available

Maybe not official, but you can head over to Crackberry forums and get a leaked copy!


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Friday, March 13, 2009

Good to be Back Home

If you've followed the sidebar of Mobigasmic, (or follow me on Twitter) then you know that I was away for most of this week on a business trip to San Antonio. It was about a five hour drive (my CFO drove) and my first thought when I found out about the trip was what Tech I'd be taking.
My Blackberry Bold was the indisputable champion of this trip- the battery lasted through 15 hour days with ease, the GPS got us where we needed to go when the Nuvi standalone unit in the car failed to find satellites, and I enjoyed Slacker radio during all my showers in the hotel. One neat trick I discovered was the 'My Location' feature in Weatherbug; as we drove through Texas, it was easy to see our coordinates on the GPS units, but it wasn't so easy to figure out what town we were in. Using Weatherbug, I was able to get a lock on our location, the name of the town, the weather and a view of the nearest Traffic-cam. In fact, I loved the feature so much that I used screenshots of the view from Weatherbug and posted them on TwitPic to track my progress.
While at the conference I saw many different phones being used- most were Blackberrys, although I didn't see another Bold, a handful of Samsung Rants (I think) an iPhone or two (with very nervous owners who were perpetually on the hunt for power outlets- teehee) and a Motorola Q9 with a wicked hump for the extended battery. Quite a distance from where I was sitting I noticed someone taking a picture of a business card, but I couldn't be sure what the phone was and if in fact they were scanning it into Worldcard Mobile.
I also brought along my HP Mini and I was pleasantly suprised to pick up a free WiFi signal. And since I only use my Mini for surfing, I wasn't overly concerned about it being compromised (although I did take all the normal precautions). I was able to have a video call on Skype with my guys at home, and that was a special treat for me. Its the first time I've been away from home that long and I really missed them a lot.
Overall, this trip was really good. All my toys and tools behaved as they should, I never ran out of juice, and I had everything I needed right at my fingertips at all time.
But of course, the best part of going away is coming home. Walking into our home felt wonderful, and I gladly put all tech away for the evening and spent a great night catching up on what I missed while I was gone. One of the most touching parts of our reunion was when we asked Seth if he thought Mommy should go on another trip. He leaned in close to my face, and waved a tiny little finger at me and said "No,no,no!" in the same voice that I tell him not to touch something. It made my night.



Sent via BlackBerry Bold

Monday, March 9, 2009

Latest OS Update for Bold

I downloaded and upgraded to the latest OS for the Blackberry Bold which is .247 and have been hugely impressed. With relatively heavy use today, including a half hour of video, an hour of talk, with SocialScope connected and heavy browsing my battery is now in its 14th hour with about 22% remaining! Program memory is at 31mb which is fine considering everything I have going on. Very happy with this one!
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Confessions of a WinMo to BB Convert

It seems I'm not the only one who has been seduced by the Blackberry Bold and lured away from Windows Mobile. Evan Lazer tells the story of his conversion on the Crackberry Forums:

So, up until last week, I had been an almost religious user of Windows
Mobile cell phones. Before that, I used Palm OS phones, and before that, well I
don't even remember. I never considered getting a blackberry, though I've used
friend's blackberries and know the features.

I had the Samsung sgh-i530
clamshell, the Sch-i730, the motorola Q, and various other palm phones. The
common thread here, besides the Moto Q (which was so bad I got rid of it after a
week), was the presence of a touchscreen. I also CANNOT live without a physical
QWERTY keyboard.

Most recently, I had the Palm Treo 750 for ATT, which
has a touchscreen, and was upgraded to Windows Mobile 6.1. I loved the phone,
kept it for almost a year (longest I've owned a cell phone), and especially
liked the touchscreen. However, the phone had some browser issues and required
daily resets. It also lacked wifi and GPS (very annoying) Last week, I finally
damaged the phone severely and had to get a new one.

I walked into the
ATT store, and after spending no more than a minute walking around, asked the
sales rep. for a Blackberry Bold.

The decision itself may have been off
the cuff, after all, I had only used my father's Blackberry Curve a few times.
Moreover, I was worried how I would get along without the touchscreen. I loaded
my contacts into my SIM card, took a deep breath, and powered off my Treo for
the last time.

I walked back to my car, which has Microsoft Sync, and
decided that my first test would be to pair the phone. The process was a breeze,
and Sync even loaded my address book for the first time, allowing me to do voice
dialing. It was at this point, as I tried out my browser and other settings,
that I realized I didn't miss my touchscreen at all. The precision of the
trackball and menu structure made a touchscreen unnecessary and in many ways a
hindrance.

Once I got home, I completed my transformation into a
Blackberry addict by downloading almost 20 apps in the space of an hour, then
upgrading the OS to .237.

Do I miss the Treo, or Windows Mobile in
general? My main concern was multimedia, as I like to watch Slingplayer mobile
on my phone. In this regard, the sling version for blackberry is excellent, and
the Bold's screen is, simply put, fantastic. My other concern was web browsing
capabilities, and in this regard, both the BBerry browser, and Opera mini crush
Windows Mobile's IExplorer, in terms of usability and stability (though not
always speed).

The high availability of applications for Blackberry
equals or exceeds that of Windows Mobile, which was a genuine surprise to me.
Further, while I was worried that Blackberry OS would be too "simple" compared
to WM, I have found that in fact, the KISS principle makes Blackberry far more
efficient of an OS, not to mention a stable one.

In many ways, Windows
Mobile was a decent OS, though like any OS it had its flaws. The major
difference, though, is that RIM constantly improves their OS, while Microsoft
rarely, if ever, upgrades theirs.

Lastly, it goes without saying that
the Blackberry keyboard is faster, softer, more comfortable and just downright
more awesome than that of any WM phone I have used.

So in retrospect,
one week post-Windows Mobile, post-touchscreen, I can safely say that I don't
miss either of those things. WM was clunky and slow compared to Blackberry OS.
The touchscreen, while useful on a Treo, is not missed on a blackberry, nor
would it be necessary or helpful. I found that I used my Treo in a one-handed
fashion, without the use of the stylus or touchscreen most of the time anyway.
So, the switch over to the blackberry was not that difficult at all.

Of
course, I am still learning all of the shortcuts for the Blackberry, but I can
genuinely say that it is by far the most efficient phone I have ever used, it's
literally a pleasure to use. Just like my Treo, I can see myself using this
phone for a long time.

I love my Bold, it's sleeker (and sexier),
stabler, faster and more productive than even my Treo was. I am now a true
Crackberry addict, and I can proudly say that looking back, I have absolutely no
regrets!

-Evan Lazer


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Sunday, March 8, 2009

If Browsers Were Women...

if_browsers_were_women-s569x1250-12173

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Price of Being an Early Adopter

I know I'm not the only one who is irritated by the iPhone commercials that claim certain things are "only on the iPhone", I mean, I was using Vindigo to find restaurants near me waaaaay before the first gen iPod was a glimmer in Apple's eye. But its not just Apple; remember when the Razr came out, and everyone (read: non-techies) were acting like Bluetooth had just been discovered?
This Andy Rooney-esque rant was brought on by the recent media hype surrounding Twitter. To hear Meredith Viera on the Today show going on about how she "Twatted" (seriously, Mer?) is about the last straw for me. The first significant project I used Twitter for was early 2007 to track our progress as we drove from New Jersey to Texas when we moved. But even then I knew that I wasn't the 'first' to use the service by a long shot.
When it comes to all things tech, I don't like to have what the masses do. One of the things I enjoyed a lot about my time with the Ubiquio 503G was that I never encountered another person who had the same phone. No matter how jazzed up an iPhone is, I can always spot it a mile away. The Bold is on the fence- I see a number of Blackberrys in the wild, but I haven't seen another Bold...yet.
It seems that there are several penalties you pay as an early adopter:
1. If its a paid item, you pay the highest price.
2. Most people have no idea what you're talking about when you try to explain your new gadget, software or service. However....
3. Once everyone else catches on, the vast majority act like its a brand new discovery. Annoying!

So what annoys you the most about being an early/earlier adopter?


Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Rant on CNN.cn

I'm hopping mad. On February 9th I ordered a black bezel with black buttons for my Bold from CNN.cn. I *still* haven't received them and the tracking number they sent me has been stuck since Feb 13th showing that it left Hong Kong. C'mon- this is ridiculous! I don't know where the buck stopped (post office, CNN.cn, whoever!) But I know I paid for goods that I haven't received nearly a month later! My emails to them have also gone unanswered, which is not exactly confidence inspiring.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Monday, March 2, 2009

Cell Phone-Potty Etiquette Lesson


A simple conversation about using mobile phones while in the john led to this story, and it is hilarious. Please do enjoy:




All in all, it hadn't been a good day. Bad traffic, a malfunctioning computer, incompetent coworkers and a sore back all made me a seething cauldron of rage. But more importantly for this story, it had been over forty-eight hours since I'd last taken a dump. I'd tried to jumpstart the process, beginning my day with a bowl of bowel-cleansing fiber cereal, following it with six cups of coffee at work, and adding a bean-laden lunch at Taco Bell. As I was returning home from work, my insides let me know with subtle rumbles and the emission of the occasional tiny fart that Big Things would be happening soon. Alas, I had to stop at the mall to pick up an order for my wife. I completed this task, and as I was walking past the stores on my way backto the car, I noticed a large sale sign proclaiming, "Everything Must Go!" This was prophetic, for my colon informed me with a sudden violent cramp and a wet, squeaky fart that everything was indeed about to go. I hurried to the mall bathrooms. I surveyed the five stalls, which I have numbered 0 through 4 (I write a lot of software) for your convenience:

0.Occupied.

1.Clean, but Bathroom Protocol forbids its use, as it's next to the occupied one.

2.Poo on seat.

3.Poo and toilet paper in bowl, unidentifiable liquid splattered on seat.

4.No toilet paper, no stall door, unidentifiable sticky object near base of
toilet.

Clearly, it had to be Stall ..1. I trudged back, entered, dropped trou and sat down. I'm normally a fairly Shameful Sh1tter. I wasn't happy about being next to the occupied stall, but Big Things were afoot.

I was just getting ready to bear down when all of a sudden the sweet sounds of Beethoven came from next door, followed by a fumbling, and then the sound of a voice answering the ringing phone. As usual for a cell phone conversation, the voice was exactly 8 dB louder than it needed to be. Out of Shameful habit, my sphincter slammed shut. The inane conversation went on and on. Mr. Sh1tter was blathering to Mrs. Sh1tter about the sh1tty day he had. I sat there, cramping and miserable, waiting for him to finish. As the loud conversation dragged on, I became angrier and angrier, thinking that I, too, had a crappy day, but I was too polite to yak about in public. My bowels let me know in no uncertain terms that if I didn't get crapping soon, my day would be getting even crappier.

Finally my anger reached a point that overcame Shamefulness. I no longer cared. I gripped the toilet paper holder with one hand, braced my other hand against the side of the stall, and pushed with all my might. I was rewarded with a fart of colossal magnitude -- a cross between the sound of someone ripping a very wet bed sheet in half and of plywood being torn off a wall. The sound gradually transitioned into a heavily modulated low-RPM tone, not unlike someone firing up a Harley. I managed to hit the resonance frequency of the stall, and it shook gently.

Once my @ss cheeks stopped flapping in the breeze, three things became apparent:
(1) The next-door conversation had ceased;
(2) my colon's continued seizing indicated that there was more to come; and
(3) the bathroom was now beset by a horrible, eldritch stench.

It was as if a gateway to **** had been opened. The foul miasma quickly made its way underthe stall and began choking my ****-mate. This initial "herald" fart had ended his conversation in mid-sentence.

"Oh my God," I heard him utter, following it with suppressed sounds of choking, and then, "No, baby, that wasn't me (cough, gag), you could hear that (gag)??"

Now there was no stopping me. I pushed for all I was worth. I could swear that in the resulting cacophony of rips, squirts, splashes, poots, and blasts, I was actually lifted slightly off the pot. The amount of stuff in me was incredible. It sprayed against the bowl with tremendous force. Later, in surveying the damage, I'd see that liquid **** had actually managed to
ricochet out of the bowl and run down the side on to the floor. But for now, all I could do was hang on for the ride.

Next door I could hear him fumbling with the paper dispenser as he desperately tried to finish his task. Little snatches of conversation made themselves heard over my anal symphony: "Gotta go... horrible... throw up... in my mouth... not... make it... tell the kids... love them... oh God..." followed by more sounds of suppressed gagging and retching.

Alas, it is evidently difficult to hold one's phone and wipe one's bum at the same time. Just as my high-pressure abuse of the toilet was winding down, I heard a plop and splash from next door, followed by string of swear words and gags. My ****-mate had dropped his phone into the toilet.

There was a lull in my production, and the restroom became deathly quiet. I could envision him standing there, wondering what to do. A final anal announcement came trumpeting from my behind, small chunks plopping noisily into the water. That must have been the last straw. I heard a flush, a fumbling with the lock, and then the stall door was thrown open. I heard him running out of the bathroom, slamming the door behind him.

After a considerable amount of paperwork, I got up and surveyed the damage. I felt bad for the janitor who'd be forced to deal with this, but I knew that flushing was not an option. No toilet in the world could handle that unholy mess. Flushing would only lead to a floor flooded with filth.

As I left, I glanced into the next-door stall. Nothing remained in the bowl. Had he flushed his phone, or had he plucked it out and left the bathroom with nasty unwashed hands? The world will never know.

I exited the bathroom, momentarily proud and Shameless, looking around for a face glaring at me. But I saw no one. I suspect that somehow my supernatural elimination has managed to transfer my Shamefulness to my anonymous ****-mate. I think it'll be a long time before he can bring himself to **** in public -- and I doubt he'll ever again answer his cell phone in the loo. And this, my friends, is why you should never talk on your phone in the bathroom.