Category Archives: testimonial

Project Fi and it’s (lacking) trade-in department

A few months ago I wrote a(n admittedly weak) review of the Project FI phone service from Google. There’s an aspect I didn’t touch on which could and should be seen as a factor with people adopting the service — or a lack there of. It’s their trade-in service.

Yeah, theyIt’s not uncommon that someone can’t cover the entire cost of a new phone and a trade-in is vital for getting a new phone (and to join the ProjectFi network,a new phone is vital). Limited market for trade-in’s kill that option too easily. For others, like myself, they’ve held onto and utilized phones that were major names and brands but were old-old-old by smartphone standards. The option to trade in with ProjectFi isn’t there.

Take a look for yourselves at the Project Fi trade-in page. While there are plenty of major bands (Apple, Google, Huawei, LG, Motorola and Samsung) and models covered by major companies, there are too many not covered, such as the older model phone I was out to replace when I joined Project Fi.

Even without credit being scored to a trade-in smartphone, it’d be nice to have the option. Why? Tech recycling. You shouldn’t just htrow out technology like this! Making it more difficult to do the deed (recycling) is encouraging a negative environmental impact.

Being a very major business (Google) and having a company in the telecommunications market automatically puts you in competition with other majors in the industry. For Project Fi to only take in a percentage of phones (or be willing to) handcuffs them and limits the company’s availability to the asses. Damn shame…. There are more people out there who don’t go wild on phones unless they have WiFi coverage. The Project Fi WiFi-first for data/streaming has saved me (and many others) a lot of cash. It’d draw changes at other majors via competition.

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My mobile hosting experience with Project Fi so far

I left Verizon Wireless in a huff this spring. I’d been on the service since 2011 or so on one of their plans for the deaf which knocked down the standard monthly price to just under $60 but charges for any and all calls that your phone makes. Add to it the number of voice mails that I received and what it would cost for a person to review them… It was an annoyance, as was forced-on-me apps by the service. I won’t list a data-cap complaint because I did not tend to use my Samsung Galaxy S III for web browsing or social media / data heavy apps; TXT/SMS, photography and offline apps were more useful for me and using Wi-Fi was a work-around with data anyway.

It was because my Galaxy was aging that I wanted to get out and move forward. I was reminded by my older brother that Google has a mobile entity of its own called Project Fi. I had two friends tell me they used Project Fi and it worked for them – utilizing Wi-Fi for data knocked down prices. The prices were there already seemed low enough: $20 base rate (phone + TXT/SMS) and data at $10 a gigabyte… And money saved from unused data each month. It sounded like a good chance to take… Continue reading

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My Quest for Glory

I’ve been re-playing the old Quest for Glory games from Sierra Online the last few days. The redesigned Trial by Fire from AGD Interactive, Wages of War and Shadows of Darkness. So I’m really re-living my love for the game.

Re-living it so much that I took the Famous Adventurers Corespondence School’s Admissions test:

My name is Forge of Armongaar and I am a Paladin.

Paladin Shield

What kind of Hero Are You?

The odd thing was that with my love for the game, I wanted to finisht eh series and re-play the fifth and final game of the series: Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire.

After I installed it and played for a few minutes, I couldn’t believe how much I hated it.

The three previous games I had played (I skipped the original game, but the design I am about to talk about holds true for that game as well) were graphical/art driven adventures. Dragon Fire, however, is a bridge game for Role Playing Games in general. Everything is developed in computer-animated 3-D… Not the quality you would see if you were playing a MMORPG now, but a very early version of such interfaces.

I just wasn’t satisfied with the product, which I had played before, this time around. Not after playing the other adventures back-to-back-to-back. I expected the cartoonish 2-D fun and instead I got early 3-D boxiness that just didn’t fit in the overall scheme.


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Soda Popping

Financial bubbles have burst all throughout the financial industry. The two that come to mind first and foremost when I think of financial bubbles bursting are the tech bubble of the 1990’s (when IT and the World Wide Web were all the rage for scheming and dreaming on Wall Street) and the housing bubble, which is part of why we’re in this current financial mess that we’re in.

But has anyone noticed the Soft Drink bubble?


It seems like just 2 years ago, you could get two 12 packs of Coca-Cola products or Pepsi Cola products for five dollars (at least on sale). Now? At times, a single 12 pack of Coke or Pepsi alone could cost five dollars. Give or take.

Beverage Spectrum reported in April 2008 that the culprit was the rising cost of corn:

Millers derive high fructose corn syrup, the number two ingredient for most soft drinks, and ethanol, the number two ingredient for gasoline, from the same yellow kernels. The cost of those kernels jumped in the last few months after congressional efforts for energy independence collided with the fallout from a volatile stock market.

Beverage manufacturers have seen those costs passed on to them. Food Business News reported in early April that HFCS cost an average of 18.65 cents per pound, up from an average of 15.7 cents at the same time last year. That’s a 19 percent increase that’s causing financial pain for beverage companies. And that pain will likely travel down the supply chain into the cooler case.

But with the falling prices of gasoline (and the decreasing amount of driving by Americans) there is no fall in soft drink prices… Or Corn futures for that matter.

Another quirk is… well, no one is talking about it. Costs were up all over last summer, but how they’ve failed to fall back down is bothersome. What ever happened to the old addage “fast nickel as to a slow dime” when it comes to selling a product? It creates demand, it stimulates production and it stimulates the rest of the economy – laborers, producers, consumers, etc.

Pepsi new logo

For the record, you can get cheaper packages of Pepsi — though you will only get eight cans as to 12. But Marketwatch’s Matt O’Hern pointed out the glaringly obvious last October:

Pepsi claims higher prices for energy and food combined to raise expenses by 11%/ They’re betting the 8-pack will appear as a better value to consumers. Who does Pepsi think they’re fooling?

The 8-pack might be easier to carry around, but that’s where the “value” ends for me. I’m used to paying about $3.50 to $4.50 for a 12-pack, $10 for three 12-packs during specials. I just paid $3.50 for the new 8-pack at Publix, which shows that Pepsi is out of touch with the average shopper.

Even his cited numbers that he is used to are high, as they’ve become a recent feature of the increase to soda (pop, softdrinks, whatever you want to call it). But that’s a bit besides the point, the fact is that the “fast nickel to a slow dime” is being applied here — with less value for the “lower” cost.

So when is this Corn-inspired Soft Drink bubble going to burst? And how painful will the fall-out be for that?

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"The Natural" is the surest way to waste money

I’ve bought from Pizza Hut a total of 2 or 3 times in the last year with thanks to them raising prices and fees and the dropping of quality in their pies. I used to be a regular but now get better quality and better costing pies from other major chains and even the local neighborhood joint around the corner from where I live.

But on Friday, I decided to mix things up and ordered online once more from Pizza Hut, requesting “The Natural” medium pie (costing the same as what a large pie from other competitors would)…

And this proved to be the biggest waste of money I’ve spent on pizza in years, and the only contradiction to the saying “bad pizza is better than no pizza” that I have ever literally encountered.

Service wise, I could complain about gas fees still being $2.50 from Pizza Hut (hell, I will: drop your friggin’ fees, will you?!! Gas prices are DOWN!) but with an early delivery, there really was nothing to complain about… Until I actually tasted the pizza.

Now, I’ve spent money and time on DiGornio’s Harvest Wheat frozen pizza’s, I’ve wasted money on lower quality frozen brands without “Natural” tied to it’s name, I’ve pissed away cash on ingredients to make my own pie at home….

What I tasted mirrored upon the latter — like a home made pizza, made by an amateur with the quality of the cheese and crust to match. All for the low-low cost of $12.57 (plus 2.99 for a 2-liter bottle of Pepsi). That’s 15.50 for a home-made-quality pizza with a bottle of coke… Oh, plus tip.

A cardboard quality crust with a cheese that seemed straight from Kraft…

Suffice it to say, I’ll be spending my money on other pizza options in the future. I’m a regular with Domino’s. Jet’s Pizza is going to start offering online ordering soon… You can’t beat the Little Caesar’s pizza deals… And of course, DiGiorno’s pizza is a fantastic option compared to the ultra-convenience and shitty quality from Pizza Hut.

I realize that some pizza’s don’t get baked properly… But with a crappy cheese layer and a cardboard crust, the Natural was a crappy, crappy pie and I would have been better off sticking with their regular fare.

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what to do, what to do…?

So, the contract for my Blackberry 8700g and my Tmobile account comes up for renewal at the end of September. For two years I’ve been pretty much happy with what I’ve gotten (sans a few aggravating moments here and there). I’m wondering if I should simply renew? Renew and replace my blackberry with another model? Or perchance I should jump ship?

My blackberry is worn, the trackwheel is functional but barely — and tends to stick when scrolling through web pages or my menu. Real pain in the ass to deal with if I am trying to browse the web or just navigate applications on the Blackberry desktop menu. Then you have the fact there is no camera built in like just about every other cell phone or handheld out there and it seems just a little to antiquated.

So if I upgraded the Blackberry and Kept T-Mobile, I’d likely switch from the 8700g to the Curve. The interface seems straightforward like the 8700 and what not. No big learning curve (no pun intended). There’s a built in camera and what not. Bells! Whistles! But not bleeding edge.

The other alternative is for me to let the contract expire and go with another carrier with another device. Of course, the IT device right now is the iPhone and only one carrier has it — American Telephone and Telegraph. Unlike T-mobile, AT&T doesn’t straight out offer people in circumstances like myself a data-only package. No, in most cases you have to buy a standard package with the iPhone even if your hearing does not leave you capable of utilizing the phone itself on the device.

AT&T does offer data only, deaf packages for the iPhone but you have to jump through hoops in order to get it. I don’t even want to try to figure out the swing-time it will take for someone in the offices to read over signed documents, proving my deafness, and then approve the data only plan. It’s certainly not user friendly (or enabling) to only offer the application to those seeking them for phone use alone. Some people — even the hearing — would like a convenient, mobile means of surfing the web, texting and utilizing mobile media… All while not paying out the rear end for a laptop that is too bulky to utilize for simple mobile applications.

So as it stands at the moment, T-Mobile looks like it’ll be getting my business again by default. Anyone else have suggestions?

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SMS / TXT — for lack of context, I am done with it

txt 2 luv = STFU

The last post — the video — got me thinking to some of my own endeavors with SMS / TXT messages over the years. I’ve spent hours on multitudes of people waiting for responses, hanging in limbo, hitting highs and lows over anagrams, or perhaps misinterpreting things that are being said or not getting the entire context of the story or getting to talking about anything of substance..

Enough of that shit.

Seriously, one or two messages from people who I normally converse with and share the context of their lives with is fine. Because txt is simply a surrogate while they can’t be in touch with me or I can’t be in touch with them via email, IM or on the phone.

But in certain cases, txt replaces chatting and it’s unhealthy. It leaves you out of the loop in general on people’s lives and you find yourself disconnected from them.

I may be hearing impaired but most people know how to get in touch with me if they want talk. But to keep doing it solely by txt? Sorry, not happening any more.

July 26th, 2008 Edit: I humored someone with this, the same person that sort of highlighted the lack-of-context aspects of txt/sms. Part of me wanted to keep the connection open… And decided to cater to the lazy aspect of said person.

…but that lack-of-context helped kill a long time friendship in the end. Lack-of-context led to lack of information, lack of information turned to lack of honesty and frankness, lack of this turned to disrespect and everything went



In limited use, sms/txt are a great tool. To keep in touch in general, you gotta be fucking kidding me.

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I'm doing something wrong, aren't I?

So I’m on Pandora — I have been here a few times in the past trying to find similar music to what I love as a way to introduce myself to new music.

The problem is more times than not I get introduced to stuff that doesn’t sound at all similar to what qualities I like in a song.

For instance, tonight I started with the Doors and Moonlight Drive — The deep baritone vocal from Morrison, coupled with the trance like bridge section from Manzarek and the jazz style drumming from Densmore make this song a classic to me. Those are the qualities I am endeared to in the music.

What I get are songs that are probably comparable in structure but not too comparable – to me – to what the song invokes with the mood. A song that invokes the pace. A song that simply makes me do a double take that I want to hear again.

I tried You’re Going to Lose That Girl by the Beatles next. Again, the genome project picked up on the structure of the music and not so much the mood that’s set. The pace of the song doesn’tseem to carry over in the suggestions, nor does the vocal harmonies, nor the rhythem bae of the song that doesn’t overstep it’s bounds… But mostly it’s the vocals that are most catchy with the song.

And wasn’t catchy at all with the suggested songs that followed. I know, I am asking for a tough act to follow with bands that can compare to the Beatles or songs that can compare to the Beatles but there has to be something out there. This is a 43 year old song for god sake…

I did have a better time when I tried surfer instrumental rock (Walk, Don’t run gave way to soem great music) but that’s instrumental all the way. That’s how Pandora is supposed to work.

Maybe I’m just too picky with music…? Or maybe I am just doing this wrong.

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Get it DONE

More than a year ago I learned about Trillian 4 — AKA Trillian Astra. I won’t even go into the bells and whistles that are supposed to be part of Trillian Astra but I will give readers the only thing that matters in a testimonial: I’ve been a paying customer for the Trillain Pro IM client since Version 1.5. I love how it integrates IM clients (AOL IM, MSN, ICQ, Yahoo, and all Jabber IM clients including Google Talk) and it’s interface more than any of the IM applications on there own.

That being said, I’m tired of waiting for Trillian Astra to go to Beta or the official release. Tired of reading the development blog that updates too slowly and only talks about the technobable in developing Astra which goes beyond the average user (which I am)… And of course, I’m tired of Trillian 3 Pro. I’m ready for an upgrade.

This was originally due last year and at this rate will not be out until next year… Please, get it done. Get it done, gentlemen.

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Note to self: Your printer is not your enemy

Note to Self: There is a reason why you like HP printers. They’re pretty easy to use if you’re not being bullheaded. They also have never sucked when you have used them.

And of course, it’s a lot simpler to clear paper jams than fidgeting with buttons or trying to rip the paper out. Silly.

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