Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

So we went to Office 365 and at work. Fine. I hate the changes in the 2010 apps. The Excel interface is ridiculous and causes me to click about 800 million more times than before. My tennis and golpher’s elbow love that because clicking the mouse that often doesn’t cause me any more pain or anything like that </sarcasm>

But its the phone part that kindof bugs me. First off, hooking my phone up to the email server so I can get work emails anytime and anywhere seemed straightforward. Put in username, put in server. check. But then I get an error saying it needs to change security settings. I blindly say OK because I just want it to work. First thing I notice…..it doesn’t work still. It never changed what it needed to and still doesn’t work. Well, because I was at a conference I was able to try it about 1000 more times. Still nothing. Great. This sucks. But maybe not getting work emails is a blessing. For fun I try to access webmail through the browser which also fails miserably. Damn or Score! Depends on your perspective.

This morning my phone is slowwwwwww. (not entirely an uncommon occurrence) So I reboot it. Oooo looky! 2 email envelopes in the notification bar! Well one is my normal personal account but the other is work! Woohoo! Oh wait……it says something about security settings needing to be changed for my work account.  Hmmmmm. OK, so I select it to set settings. Oh wait. WAIT just a darn minute Microsoft. You want my settings to be set to WHAT to be able to get email to my phone? Really??????? Here, I’ll just post a picture.

So…..let me get this straight. With Gmail, Zimbra, and every other mail I’ve ever used, the mail app in Android was enough. You can just push email to the phone!

But……with Microsoft’s new brainstorm, all of the sudden Mail needs to be able to have the ability to:

Erase all data: Erase the phone’s data without warning, by performing a factory data reset

Set password rules: Control the length and the characters allowed in screen-unlock passwords

Monitor screen-unlock attempts: Monitor the number of incorrect passwords entered when unlocking the screen, and lock the phone or erase all the phone’s data if too many incorrect passwords are entered

Lock the screen: Control how and when the screen locks

 

WTF? Really? Seriously? You want that much control over my phone…my life….for flipping email? EMAIL. It is EMAIL. It does NOT need to have Device Administrator privileges. Exactly how does the Mail app having the ability to Factory Data Reset my phone allow me to get TEXT EMAIL to an app that already exists and works freaking well with Exchange already!

Sure. More than likely nothing bad and scary is going to happen. It is certainly not in anyone’s best interest if mail just goes around resetting people’s phones, screwing with their passwords or not allowing screens to lock. But it could happen. Coders get tired, sleepy, some are new and quite frankly not very good at it. Mistakes happen and wonky code gets into a baseline. And crap happens. That’s why there are permissions! To protect us as much as possible from really wonky code. BUT why o why does this only pop up when we need to connect to Microsoft email. Is Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated in charge because it just feels so evil!

Bite me Microsoft, just bite me. I’m seriously thinking if people need me that bad we can engage the “Can you hear me now” philosophy and make a call.

 

 

Dear Victoria’s Secret

Posted: April 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

I like your store. I like your clothing. I really love your coupons. I mean really love them. I adore the gift cards I get monthly for free undergarments and especially now you can get any color! So when I saw the phone in survey for a $10 coupon on my receipt, I thought sure!

OK. Should only take a minute, right? RIGHT??? I answered a ton of questions, and when I finally got to where I could just speak my experience into the answering machine, I thought “WOW, I’m finally done.”. Nope. Seemingly not even close. “How many people were in line ahead of you.” I press 0.  “Please listen to the whole question. (pause) How many people were in line ahead of you.(pause) If zero, press zero.” I press zero. “PLEASE listen to the whole question. (pause) How man” *click*

Do you want to know why survey responses are low? Because, for these kinds of surveys on receipts, they are low. It’s because you make it such a royal pain in the behind.  Keep sending the free undies but don’t expect me to call in again. (yes, I could do it online, but I was in a kitchen cleaning mode and thought it would take a minute. and writing this has clearly made it more than a minute)

CFLs, really? No thanks.

Posted: January 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

I did no scientific experiments.

I have not done fancy math to figure out the best and worst paths to take.

I trusted what I’ve been told, read and heard about these things.

I just used them.

I really hate Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs, now more than ever.  But only because my experience has kind of stunk with them (and sure, there are tons of you that will tell me I got a bad batch, a few times, or I did something wrong, but because I only have my experience to go on…..I don’t really care.)

So these goofy looking things are supposed to save me loads of money.  They are supposed to essentially last forever!  Or at least some massive amount of time.  According to energystar.gov, the goofy looking CFL bulb they:

  • can save me > $40 in electricity costs over its lifetime
  • uses ~75% less energy than their incandescent counterparts AND they last up to 10 times longer
  • produces ~75% less heat, so its safer to operate and can cut energy costs associated with home cooling.

I’m not at all comfortable with these things here and their mercury content.  I think we’re going to find a large majority of people tossing these lovely things right into the trash and filling the landfills.  Why?  People are lazy.  People like convenience.  People don’t want to have to research and guess what the heck to do with these things.  And last year when I toured the recycling center I don’t remember once, not one time, any mention of these things.  Old electronics, yes.  CFL bulbs, no.  Nothing.  When I look at recycling bins placed in various locations, there are ones for paper, plastic, newspaper, office paper (funny, how there aren’t any for glossy except at the Ronald McDonald House…I used to do drives and then haul the glossy mags there to help lessen their costs any way I could).  Heck now you can even see compost bins throughout Penn State’s campus.  But what I don’t see are bins for these things.  I go to Best Buy and can recycle my printer ink cartridges or old phones right there at the door.  But last I looked, nothing for these bulbs.  As much as you can say “it’s against the law to throw them away” that’s where a large portion of these things will end up, law or not.  And I suspect the police are trying to fight larger crimes like murder and reckless driving to be diving in everyone’s trash.  Did you know AA batteries aren’t allowed to be thrown out in regular trash?  I didn’t.  That was news to me this year when I was told by someone.  But do you think people even know what to do with the 800 million we go through, more if you have kids and their toys that chew through them faster than I could chew through a Hershey bar?  Doubt it.  Like I said, the recycle bins at the community center or scattered in public places I’ve seen don’t ask for them.  Paper, plastic, cans, glass. That’s about it.

But all of that aside, I needed money. (still do)  I need to save money, lots of it.  Especially now.  So in an effort to make some changes to ensure that my goal of less money leaving my account was realized, I invested in some rather pricey CFL bulbs.  I opted to take the route of replacing the incandescent bulbs as they died and I had just experienced that moment where a bunch burn out right around the same time.  They seem to be in sync like that, probably because they were all put in at the same time.  My first high-priced purchase of a multi-pack proved to underperform, big time.  I grabbed a large package from Sam’s Club and they are the kind you need to turn on and wait a good hour or two until they warm up so that you can finally see in the room.  Right then and there I decided this CFL thing was a dim idea.  But as luck would have it, many died and the ones that didn’t got distributed to the more obscure locations in the house, like the crawl space, which is actually the WORST place for a CFL b/c if it should break, which is a very real possibility given the number of incandescents we broke in there, there is absolutely NO way to clean it up. No way to get the mercury out of the gravel.  But given that the choice is being taken away from us we shall just have to deal with mercury running down our head or back as we navigate the storage area and mercury living in the gravel.  The upside?  Hopefully it will kill any ants or spiders that happen in there.

After talking (read whining, bitching, complaining) about these with a friend I gave the things another chance.  I then went to Wal-mart and picked up another economy box (why get one when you can commit to at least a big box, right? I am supposedly going to save money).  I began replacing as bulbs died, again.  They look stupid in my chandelier, but I’m over it.  My house is messy anyway, what’s ugly bulbs in my chandelier.  The downstairs didn’t seem to matter too much.  The right lampshade seemed to counteract the cool hue.  We usually just have a lamp and the TV on anyway and during the day the house is pretty bright so lights aren’t needed.  The real test, was the bedrooms.  I have one of those 3 bulb ceiling fixtures in each bedroom.  In my room, the bulbs tend to last longer in general due to me not spending much time in there with the lights on. If I’m awake I’m usually not in there.  If I’m in there an awake it’s not for a long time, or at least a long time with the overhead light on.  So a bulb burned out.  So in went a CFL and I think I felt weird when it was on.  There was a definite adjustment to the blue hue my room now had.  I feared when I’d have 3 CFLs in, but as of now there was one.  Then 2.  And then I forgot how many are in there as there is a cover on it.  Awhile ago I noticed one of the bulbs burned out, but I had no idea if it was CFL or incandescent.  I ignored it as, like I noted, I’m not in there much.  It didn’t bug me enough to climb up there.  But then, yesterday, another bulb burned out.  Being 2/3 down, it was dark in my room so I took off the cover to at least let the one remaining bulb’s light not be filtered.  I would need to go to the store to get more bulbs, or pilfer from an obscure lamp later.

BUT WAIT!!!!  I started this quest to save money almost 2 years ago.  I’ve changed these CFL bulbs in the house countless times.  I found some that actually lit when given power.  But of the 3 bulbs that are in that light fixture, guess which 2 are dead?

CFLs that didn't last

So this about sums up my biggest issue with the bulbs.  The one that isn’t meant to last does.  The ones that are supposed to last up to 11 times longer, don’t.  The oldest bulb of the 3?  Incandescent.  The only one lit?  Incandescent.  I dropped a bunch of money and the ones that last are the ones that I like better anyway (not that it matters soon).

So I haven’t noticed a significant reduction in my electric bill (actually its been increasing but that seems to be pesky rate increases.

They probably do use less energy, I can’t prove it but I believe it.  But they do not last, in my experience, 11 times longer (or even 1 time longer as the bedroom light case is for me.)

They do, in fact, produce less heat.  BUT, I kinda liked the dual duty that my lamps put out heat.  I don’t live in the south.  The seasons in PA are often joked about that they are winter, holy hell its cold winter, less winter and super hot I think the majority of my use of the heat pump is for heat and not cooling so any help with that is, well, helpful.

Also…..you can’t make cakes and cookies in an Easy Bake Oven with these things which is why, I’m guessing, Easy Bake Ovens are being phased out by the easy bake put in your microwave kit.  Sad.

Lots of good information here, like, when changing your lightbulb, always use a drop cloth, and, if you do break one, open the window EVERY TIME you vacuum before you do it, during and at least 15 minutes after.  Wonder how good that is on the heating bill given its winter so much of the time.  Fun times. http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/cfl.asp

Yes, we need alternative energy sources that are clean.  I am not anti-green.  In fact, I’m very pro-green.  But I’m also not made of money and am tired of tossing money in the trash and tired of storing dead poisonous bulbs.  Guess I could bust them open, grab the mercury and make thermometers. (kidding)  And now that I’m sure they are inadequate I will save packaging and receipts so I can ship them back to their manufacturer every single time they die.  Why?  Because I like my money and I don’t like advertising promises that don’t come true.  I’m tired of being taken advantage of and want what the box promises.  And next time, I’m calling out brand names.

Bang Bang Shoot Em’ Up…

Posted: October 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

….the party never ends. (and now I have Skid Row in my head)

Well, it does when the credits roll. This weekend was quite long after 2 days of grueling GRE prep courses so as soon as I was sprung from today’s class I high tailed it to Target, made a return and noticed that I could make a movie! It was 5:05. The next one started at 5:10 and I could make it. It wasn’t my usual comedy or drama. None of those love story (“horror flicks”) for me, or real horror ones either for that matter. The movie du jour…. The Expendables. I didn’t know anything about it. I barely skimmed the description in my Movies app for Android on the phone (handy app by Flixter…I use it a lot to see movies, theaters, times)

I pretty much checked that it wasn’t horror or sappy and the time.  Heck I didn’t even watch the trailer.

In all reality, I probably would even have gone for the girly sappy one if it had been the one at the right time.  But as luck would have it, the Expendables were the one up at the right time.  I was a hair late but still made it in time for 2 previews that I completely missed while I checked in on foursquare.  And then, the tell tale gears  came up on the big screen signaling movie time!

I don’t think I really knew what I was in for.  I should have seeing as Sylvester Stallone starred in it, directed it, was one of the screenplay writers.  I really shouldn’t have been surprised.  And I can’t say that I was when the opening sequence involved a rescue of some guys from pirates.  I did find that I questioned the use of opening credits on the screen when they were actually showing the movie and not some scenery or something with music.  Do they really think I’m going to not watch what is going on in the movie just to read some names?  I’m sure those people being displayed are quite proud of their work, but I couldn’t tell you who any of them were because I was kindof actually watching the movie.  It just seems silly to waste screen space on names, but since I made it a point to watch the movie I guess it doesn’t matter.

There was a lot of guns, a lot of killing.  The banter on the screen between the characters kept it fairly entertaining enough.  There was a girl, of course, and she ended up being the reason for the crew to again head right into extreme danger and save the day.  It did not fall short of your typical good-bad-but-good guys who do bad things for the right reasons and have good hearts guiding them to do the right thing, especially when a girl is involved all the while killing many and fighting while clearly out-manned and out-weaponed.  And of course the machine guns that so easily miss them despite being fired directly at them.

So ya, a great entertaining movie.  Not what I’d call the best movie ever but definitely worth a watch if you need to clear your mind after 2 long days of solid GRE prep combined with being the day before going back to work for another week.  Always good to check out of reality for 1 hr. 43 min. and start my mind over for the week, or at least until I head to the next movie.  Open invitation, who wants to go to the next one 🙂

LIKE ME DAMMIT

Posted: June 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

While picking out software on the computer store’s website I saw this lovely ad to become a fan of them on Facebook!  I would, except I wouldn’t be a fan, I’d be a liker.  And I don’t like the way liker sounds because someone will inevitably say licker kindof like the poor gecko being mistaken for Geico, except this has a whole lotta potential to go somewhere south….. so I’m just not gonna be one.  So people everywhere, if’n you want to be all Facebooky correct, change your wording to be “Like me on Facebook, because if you don’t I’ll think you don’t like me at all, get a complex and have to go on Zoloft… You wouldn’t want that to happen now would you??? So BECOME MY LIKER DAMMIT!”

And while I’m at it….

Posted: June 17, 2010 in Uncategorized

I posted my post.  The Yo attachment post about Gmail telling me to attach the attachment I said I’d attach…..and somehow WordPress thinks a related post that my readers may want to read is……..wait for it………murder.

Bwahahahahaha.  Maybe b/c its Google and we’re all hoping they CRUSH the iPhone and AT&T for the little worthless bugs that they are.  maybe.

Yo, attachment.

Posted: June 17, 2010 in Uncategorized

Ahem, did you forget something?

So this is a thumbs up.  Ya ya there’s that whole “Hey, Google is reading your email” again, but ya, we knew that and happily accept it.  What I also accept is Google’s kind and wonderful way of attempting to do its best to make me not look like an idiot.  Now, as long as I say “I have attached” (which I will ALWAYS SAY now….maybe if I don’t mean to attach something and then pick some random thing to send you) Google will, in the nicest way possible, tell me I’m a moron.  Because not only did they give me drag and drop into the email (no more browsing) I still managed to not exert enough energy or thought into actually attaching the file.  This saves all the people who were receiving the email from having to email me back and go “Dude, you’re an idiot.  ATTACHMENT?????”.  Cuz we all love when someone emails back and says “Where is the attachment, I didn’t get it.” Just say it.  Say what you are thinking.  Say “Yo! Dumbass we are all laughing at you.  You know this was like the MOST important email EVA and you didn’t attach it.”  Ya.

So THANK YOU Google and the Gmail team for making me look like less of a donkey’s rear and at least then if I do, its nothing you could have saved anyway.

I give it 4.99 stars….b/c the error could be more entertaining.