… Remembering to update the page. Was asked today to take on additional web management duties at DSU (We’re making a push to have up-to-date contact information for everyone). Not a big deal – the contact system is very functional and takes very little time to update. It’s a push to de-centralize updating it, which makes a lot of sense, as long as people are on board. It is hard to find an organization with a “vibrant” web page that has decentralized administration of that page. Yet it’s even harder to find a large organization that can devote people solely to web updating. The classic conundrum: updating web pages tends to be a NIMBY issue (not in my back yard!) Everyone agrees it needs to be done, no one likes to do it. Hopefully as the bar gets lower and lower in terms of ‘hassle’ (i.e. modern CMS’s do a great job of making it easy to publish / update things), we’ll get rid of the 3 year old webpages that should have been updated last month.
Colleagues of mine have looked at the interesting relationship between anticipating a favorable event (Savoring) and lumbering up to an unforable event while forlorn (Dread). And I can attest to experiencing both of those emotions. Thankfully today it’s the former, not the latter.
The earliest rumors of the Apple Watch date back to 2012, and as a smartwatch geek (My first smartwatch was the Timex Datalink 70 (then a 150) back in 1996), I’ve been waiting ever since for the newest and greatest wrist accessory. Not much happened from about 2000 to 2008, with only the Microsoft Spot Watch being the only real contender for much of that time (Before Microsoft axed it). But as of late, we’ve been lucky with the Pebble (which I have the Kickstarter edition of, as well as the Pebble Steel that’s currently on my wrist), the Android Wear watches, and now the Apple Watch.
Hopefully tomorrow afternoon I’ll place the Pebble in my watchbox and try on my Apple Watch. Until then, I’m in Smartwatch Savor mode.
Recently I’ve found myself writing comments on other people’s posts and then deciding at the last moment not to post them. Obviously it’s a good idea to always read over what you intend to say before you say it, and it’s usually at that point that I realize that what I’m about to say isn’t as much helpful as it is selfish. How can one be selfish when virtually commenting? It’s really easy – it starts with the “Oh yeah, I do that too!” feeling.
For example, friend A posts that they’re thinking of trying a new restaurant, and you feel a sense of comraderie since you’ve also eaten at that restaurant (or eat at new restaurants too). You rush to post something like “Yeah, I love that place – I stumbled upon it a few years ago and really liked it”. Then it hits you – that’s an absolutely useless comment. All it does is tell the person that you agree with them, and that you did what they propose first. A better response? “Yeah, I love that place. The chicken marsala was good, and the salads were unique – not just a standard salad you could get anywhere”. Now you’ve given some actual information – a mini review – and held off the urge to say “I did this first!”. Your friend finds your comment useful, as do others, and it doesn’t sound like the internet equiviliant of the old message board mantra “Me Too”.
My goal is to try to add more substance to my comments and less selfish boasting. I’m sure I’ll fail multiple times in the process, because talking about oneself is so easy to do, we do it without thinking, but at least I’ll be making the effort!
Saw this just now via MacRumors – a wonderful note that our friends at Oracle have decided to bundle the Ask.com toolbar (an invaluable tool if there ever was one) with the Mac version of Java (as they’ve done with the Windows version for some time)…
For years, Oracle has been bundling an Ask.com search toolbar with Java for Windows, relying on what some call deceptive methods to get users to install the add-on to their browsers. Now, the company has extended its adware strategy to Java for Mac, according to ZDNet.
Thanks Oracle, now this is another thing I get to think about next time I have to install Java on something. The question is – are you really hurting for cash so badly that you need to bundle things like this in? And for that matter, are large companies really getting that much money from this stuff.
Wait… of course they are… otherwise they wouldn’t do it. Oh what a stupid sad maladjusted state of affairs. Friendly PSA folks: Watch your install wizards closely!
Why should professors care that VLC is back? Because it’s awesome for playing back video files on an iOS device – making it invaluable if you teach by projecting your device using a cable or by AirPlay to an Apple TV or AirPlay server. The best part? Simply connect your device to your computer, go into iTunes and choose the device, and then navigate to VLC in the apps list. You can then add/remove video files directly, making it a breeze to load up several clips for one lecture, then remove them and load up several more for another lecture. I prefer this over the built-in tools (i.e. Videos, Music, Podcasts app) since I’ve found all of those to have sync issues at times. Plus it’s nice to isloate your teaching content from your personal content.
Thinking of picking up one of these this weekend, to add to the stylus collection I have. It’s funny how pencil and paper work so well for what they do, we’re still trying to find a good replacement in the electronic age. It’s very surreal when you consider that we spend upwards of $500 to replicate an experience that costs about $0.50 to create on it’s own. Yet I do, and millions of others are as well. Paper may be versitile, but it is messy, unfriendly to trees, and easy to lose. However, we’ve yet to find something quite as easy as a good old pencil and piece of paper. Just last night I grabbed a scrap piece of paper to make a note rather than enter it into my phone. Then I went home… and entered it into my phone when I had more time!
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? Thanks to the always enlightening Judie Stanford for posting this pic – I couldn’t resist making a post just to try out the headline formula.
Over a year ago I bought an Evernote Jot Script stylus by Adonit, and while it had excellent build quality, I could never quite get it to work right. I chalked it up to the fact that I must be holding it wrong or some other issue, and it slowly fell into disuse. Prompted by a friend I recently pulled it out and found evidence online that a very small number of users actually had the same problems that I did, and that there may have been a manufacturing defect in a small number of first-run units. I had pre-ordered my Jot Script the day it was announced, so I figured I’d look into it.
Long story short, after an email of troubleshooting and a video I made with my phone to show the problems I was having, Adonit’s customer service sent me a new stylus that works PERFECTLY AS ADVERTISED. I’m pretty psyched! Thanks Adonit for covering something even after the warranty period had technically expired. I’ll be a repeat buyer now for sure!
As regular readers of this blog know (Hi Nate… and maybe 1-2 other people who’ve stumbled in the door from time to time…), I collect badges, including name, store security, and Geek Squad varieties. About a year and a half ago, I posted on a counterfeit Geek Squad badge that I’d come across, and at that time I invited former or current Geeks to fill me in on anything interesting going on in the world of Geek Squad badges. Today a reader sent me some interesting information, and a few photos I’d thought I’d share.
First, before I share some interesting badge info, I’ll share the new badge finishing process. If you look at my badges, you’ll notice I don’t show the back of them. This is because… well… it’s the back – who wants to see it?!? But it turns out the backs tell an interesting story. Here is the back of an old style badge, the Pre-2012 Blackminton badge that is well known to collectors.
Now take a look at the counterfeit badge back
It’s hard to see the differences, but you can tell a slight lack of countour, due to the lower quality. Interestingly, a few months after my article, a Twitter user tweeted myself and Robert Stephens taking credit for the fake, claiming he had made it using a CAD tool. If that’s the case, it may be that his fabrication process, not being based on a mold, had some imperfections.
Anyway, as I’ll detail below, post-2012 badges have a radically different back:
Quite a shift from the Blackminton style, although given the wear scenarios discussed in some of the internal documentation provided to me, it makes sense since overall Geek Squad appears to be favoring a “pocketed” badge more than a worn. The flat back design is popular with LEOs who will carry their badges in a case as opposed to on a uniform.
The front of the badge remains largely unchanged post-2012:
You’ll notice I’ve sanitized the image to protect the identity of my source (the images are used with permission, however I don’t want anyone getting fired!). Obviously this looks a bit less defined than the older style, but is more consistent with a pocket-able badge.
Now for some interesting information on the badges. Previously you had to be a Geek Squad agent in certain positions in order to get a badge. In 2013 and into 2014, the rules were changed along with the badge design. Responding to what was considered an “outdated badge process”, Geek Squad Management decided to change the requirements to: 18 cumulative months in a geek squad role to earn the first badge, and six consecutive months in a role for any subsequent badges. Given the high turnover in retail, these benchmarks make a lot of sense.
Along with the changes come a massive reduction in badge titles. Gone are the “friendly” titles like “Double Agent” or “Deputy Counter Intelligence”. Now all badges will have one of 6 titles: Autotech Agent, City Agent, Covert Agent, Field Agent, Precinct Agent, & Agent Defender. This change was done to reduce the number of “one-off badge titles”, which should prevent employees (“agents”) in the same position having different badge titles.
Further documentation provides justification for the newer look, addressing criticisms that the “new badge was worse quality than the current badges” by explaining the quality level is the same, the badges are die struck and have a “hand relieved antique patina”, and has jewelers lacquer applied to it for protection. New badges are 65% copper, 18% silver, and (ominously) 17% miscellaneous.
So there is your Geek Squad Badge update (for the 1-2 other collectors on the planet). I’ve noticed a few of the newer styles rattling around eBay as of late, and may pick up one or two at some point. I don’t want to get into a Pokémon style “Gotta Catch ‘em” all mentaility though!
Thank you to my source for providing the photos and information below (If he/she would like to be named, I’ll gladly put his/her information here)!