I know I know….it’s been so long you forgot that once upon a time you subscribed to this but yet like most repressed memories I have come back to the forefront of your mind, granted this is a thought most are likely to decide to forget and go backwards but wait before you hit the unsubscribe button just remember you subscribed at least the one time and at least give this one last read or at least for this year which comes once every one to two years depending on how many drinks + thoughts I’ve had that evening.

I’ve moved in my career from all kinds of CE (Consumer Electronics) to phones to printers and laptops back to phones and now as a branded salesman. Now if I’m honest the most rewarding in my life has been phones because you get to help the consumer choose the device that they use at least 14 times on their day to day life and that is rewarding on an honest human level because when that guest/customer interacted with you; you determined what that persons life at least on a minimal level was for two years.

To me that was a responsibility that I did not take all that lightly, yes at the end of the day I would wait for you to come in and hopefully I could not only show you what you came in for but I could also fit you into a new cell phone no matter the limited selection I had to work with. I always went to make sure the customer would get some kind of improvement on their lives and at the same time minimize the return rate that I would receive. I did this not only for the customer to be happy but now I have reached my main goal to make sure that I would not receive a return on a product I sold. I became so good at it that after just over a year selling 5+ phones per week at Staples (Proud that I could do that at a company that just helps businesses and not consumers) I only yielded one single return in the time maybe it was consumer guilt for buying a phone at Staples but I’ll take a win when I can get it. Bragging aside I managed to turn a conversation about ink for the business that sent their top lackey out for ink into buying a phone for them and I got to get to know them on a personal level and use what I needed from them to sell a product I needed to sell to maintain my own personal quality of life. Is that the most ideal form of living no but it’s what I do.

I cannot stress enough that your job is to sell but if you actually help the customer who did not suspect you would actually can help them you have done your job properly. By actually helping the customer you break a barrier and the customer will open up to you this allows human communication between the two people and by doing so you can do one or two things…one being that you have helped a consumer finding and meeting a need they came in for and two things being you can help both you and the consumer to meet both of your needs, you need to sell an item so that you can maintain your live and they need a service you provide. Always remember that!

This would be a great time to note that I haven’t mentioned a picth because that is you and that is yours but most importantly it’s how you combine the unique entry into what the came for and what you have to show how they go hand in hand if it’s a typical retailer and they need a product introduce the app your store has and locate it on yours and offer to put it on their phone if you work at a kiosk and they need directions help them with that request and still offer to show what you have because you can never assume you will not meet a need at a later time. I’ve had countless customers come back because they have needed a service I sell. The most time waste guest may become a paying customer.

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Phones and Simplicity

I work in retail sales as many who have read my previous posts know and I sell consumer electronics in all shapes, sizes and flavors and this has given me a great deal of insight to how the regular non nerdy person views technology. They do not care generally speaking for specs a device has like how good is the processor on a computer or phone that is actually the number one overlooked detail despite how hugely important it is I can tell someone about how the computer has an i5 processor and the clock speed and they will look at me like I’m speaking Russian. Generally as a rule of thumb I only state what the processor is and explain to them that it is faster than the one on the other computer they were looking at and give as simplistic an example of how that affects the way they use their computer based on what they tell me they do with a computer. This approach works overall and the same can be said for cell phones but overwhelmingly the people who buy phones care about three things about their next phone purchase. 
1) Who makes it (Apple, Samsung and HTC etc)
2) How good is the camera 
3) The size of the phone

Number one is huge if the person is someone who is more into fashion than functionality and will generally only be looking for an iPhone and nothing else, thankfully nearly everyone who sells phones carries the iPhone and long gone are the days where the salesman could not sell it because his employer did not have apple’s permission to sell the phone. Unfortunately for myself the company I work for does not carry the iPhone and we are still forced into turning people from iPhone’s and to android and windows phones. 

Number two works across the platforms and no matter who you choose you end up with a great camera IMO so long as you get a flagship device and not many people want to get a low end phone especially if they are going to be locked into a contract for two years. The iPhone has a great camera the S4 same story and very true with the Lumia 1020.

Third is phone size. Overall though the iPhone people will get the iPhone no matter what it’s the android people who that matters for and the market is perfect for them and you get a range of sizes to choose from. 

I’ve probably said this before but my daily driver is the HTC one and it to me is the perfect phone and I say this as a former iPhone user because sense just lacks the bloated feel and takes me far enough away from the vanilla android feel that it almost feels like a different os all together but you still know it’s android. With the release of the One 2/One+ or whatever they call it (I’m hoping they call it the one²) it promises to be exciting.

Recently I broke the double dip case that I’ve been using on my phone for a long time and went caseless and to be honest it scared the hell out of me because the phone while metal feels slippery and I did not want to drop it but consistently felt as if I was going to. I went to best buy to get a new case and couldn’t find one that wasn’t rubbish or too expensive to justify with the new one coming and the next program from at&t intriguing me a little bit. So I decided that a backup phone may just be the best route for me to go and bought the Lumia 520 for not much more than most of the cases. The funny thing is I was very surprised about how good the windows phone OS is in daily real life usage and it’s very capable for a cheap throw away kind of phone. It has a micro SD card slot so I think not only will it become my backup phone but also my mp3 player. 
I also really like the way that it communicates with my other devices (Laptop, Surface and Xbox) which just makes it feel brilliant and I can see why the apple people only buy apple products I used to think it was for uniform but it seems like the way these devices can communicate with each other it just feels like simplicity at it’s finest. 

Does this mean I’m going to trade my flagship HTC for the cheap windows phone? Absolutely not but it may mean in a year or two when the operating system has had enough time to grow and gain enough traction with developers I very well may end up with a windows phone as my daily driver. 

So what is your backup device or have you thought about getting one for some reason or another? 

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In Honor of the Doctor Who 50th

I am an avid Doctor Who fan and like many others I’ve been getting ready for the special and curiosity does get me every few months or so and I start looking up how much of the science fiction in the show could be possible in theory. Although I may not be able to have my place be any bigger on the inside anytime soon much to my chagrin but I have found some relative fun in this post I found. Link is in the footer but here is the text. 

Good news, Doctor Who fans! A pair of physicists have proposed a spacetime geometry where Doctor Who’s TARDIS would actually be capable of traveling both forward and backward through space and time. This kind of spacetime could actually exist in our own universe, meaning the TARDIS — if such a craft was ever created — might actually have a scientific leg to stand on. In fact, given the scale of the universe, some semblance of the Doctor and his TARDIS might already exist, somewhere out there in the great wide expanse.

The research paper (Traversable Achronal Retrograde Domains In Spacetime — yes, really) was written by Ben Tippett and David Tsang of the Gallifrey Polytechnic Institute and Gallifrey Institute of Technology. The institutions don’t exist, but the physicists are real — and Tippett was the physicist who brought us the Unified Theory of Superman’s Powers back in 2009, if you remember that. In the paper, Tippett and Tsang propose a spacetime geometry where retrograde time travel (traveling back up your own time stream) is possible.

The TARDIS bubble explainedA spacetime geometry is when spacetime — i.e. the fabric of the universe where everything has happened, happens, and will happen in the future — is arranged into a certain shape. This is a very complex topic, but put simply, space consists of three dimensions (X, Y, Z), and time adds a fourth dimension. Spacetime tries to find a mathematical model/setting that accounts for scientific theories, such as general and special relativity. As such, there are lots of different proposed spacetime geometries — the most famous of which are Euclidean and Minkowski space, which are the mathematical settings for general and special relativity, respectively.

To allow for retrograde time travel, you need a spacetime geometry where the time dimension curves around, back in on itself. When spacetime is convoluted in such a way — it’s called a closed timelike curve (CTC) — you can theoretically hop from your current space and time to another point in space and time. (A lot like a wormhole, actually — which, incidentally, is exactly what that “time vortex” (pictured above) at the start of every Doctor Who episode is.) In Tippett and Tsang’s paper, from what I can tell (I am not a physicist), the TARDIS (spacecraft) creates a Traversable Achronal Retrograde Domains In Spacetime (TARDIS!) bubble — a bubble consisting of a closed timelike curve — and then uses that to travel around space and time with reckless, bow-tie-and-tweed-wearing abandon.


A simple spacetime diagram

If all that sounds a bit too complex, the same physicists have also published The Blue Box White Paper, which attempts to explain their TARDIS bubble in layman’s terms. The above diagram, for example, demonstrates a simple two-dimensional spacetime.

So, there you go: All you Whovians out there can now tell your friends that the Doctor could actually exist in our universe. In fact, given the sheer scale of the universe — how big it is,how long the universe will exist for before it dies, land the number of habitable planets — it’s fairly likely that Time Lords actually already exist. Or will exist in the future.

Now read: The downside of traveling quickly through space and time: Annihilating whole star systems when you arrive

Research paper: arXiv:1310.7985  – “Traversable Achronal Retrograde Domains In Spacetime” [Free PDF]

Follow this author, who is related to the writer of an episode of Doctor Who, on Twitter: @mrseb

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Hello Again!

It’s been a really long time since I’ve been here, not so long that it feels like a graveyard but looking back at old posts they seem to have the potential for fossilization in the near future. 
I haven’t left the tech realm at all but I haven’t been talking about it on the internet at all really and the reason for it is that it’s been my job to talk to random people and tell them all about how wonderful the new gadgets are and that they should buy one. 

I relocated from Texas which is where I lived when I did this blog and it feels like a very long time ago and from what I can tell the only thing I have posted since the relocation is just a post of the ten android apps I think people would like, I kinda lazily threw a softball post out there and to no surprise hits spiked for a moment and fizzled and dropped but I didn’t want to talk apple anymore or Samsung for that matter. I don’t like the fan-boy ideologies that seem to happen in the tech world. I would like an iMac this is true but not a macbook or an iPad just the simple desktop would be nice. I’m not a gamer and even though if you look at my desk you would not believe me I like it to have a clean look and an iMac would help me with that. I’m a music junkie again iMac fits the bill better than even the desktop I built for myself some time ago. 

My cell phone is a HTC One why? It’s simple, user friendly, fits well in the hand, good looking, great camera when I don’t need to use a zoom, 15 hour battery and does whatever I ask it to do without lag when I want to do it. To me it’s the best phone out there but that is the best FOR ME. My fiancee has an iPhone and I actually got her to get an S4 she liked it but it wasn’t what was best for her simply put it was too much phone in a bunch of different ways. Too many features she didn’t need or even know existed. So we went back to the iPhone for her. 

My tablet is a surface, that’s right a surface and I drooled over it when it was shown for the first time because of how attractive of a device it was and I love the thing for my day to day life and I wouldn’t trade it for an android tab or even an iPad. Does it have all of the apps that are out there? not by a long shot, is it light? no. how is the touch cover? can be pretty annoying to be honest and I avoid using it to write anything lengthy. See all of the flaws it has I don’t really care because it does what I need it to do every time without fail and I always have it in my messenger bag when I leave because it works as a tablet/computer hybrid better than the other options for what I want to do.

The point I’m trying to make is give everything a chance to win you over and base it on your needs. I’m a salesman by trade and once I moved into the consumer electronics sector I’ve found out that I’m pretty damn good at it because I have no distinct loyalty to any brand but more importantly I listen to the customers and can safely help them discover what they actually need.

Some people will not buy something if it’s not a certain brand and to some extent I get that but I simply suggest with the holidays being around the corner keep the simple fact in mind that the best gift you can get someone no matter what especially if it’s in the CE category is get them something that fits their needs not something shiny they can show off for a month and then find it collecting dust or ending up on craigslist. If they are brand snobs go for it but if they aren’t they will thank you for it in the end.

Quick side note I’m actually happy enough with my devices that even though new generations are coming out I don’t have any desire to upgrade the surface or the phone however there is one thing I would like to upgrade and that is my Xbox so if anyone out there really really likes my post today and is feeling especially generous the Xbox one is on the top of my Christmas list but I promise I’ll try out the PlayStation 4 to make sure I’m getting what’s best for me. 😛

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Great Free Apps For Your Nexus 7 or 10

So you got a new tablet and picked an android one (good for you too) or you are receiving it as a holiday gift but now you don’t know where to begin with what apps to get so Here is my top ten free apps for android tablets. I know everyone has a top ten list for these things but I feel that I have some contributions to add since I use mine as a desktop computer replacement. All links are in app names

1) AVG AntiVirus for Android

Since the Android 4.2 update apps are now scanned for being malitilous in the play store itself but like with a computer you can never be too safe especially if you sideload your apps.

2) File Manager HD

Just as you would use Astro for your phone to browse your files File Manager HD is a tablet optimized file browser and manager and always a great add

3) Google Voice/Talkatone

This app combination will turn your app into a fully functional phone for free so as long as you have a wifi connection you will have a backup phone.

4) News360 Tablet

Set up a custom news feed for what you want to read and it keeps learning what kind of stories you like to read as you go so you always have relivant news for you and is a great Flipboard alternative

5) Sketch Free

I’m not an artist by any stretch of the imagination but my girlfriend is and I downloaded this app for her to play with and see if she would like it (I keep trying to get her off of her iPad and get a nexus) and she fell in love with the app and will grab my tablet whenever she wants to draw now

6) Megatroid

Amazingly fun old school arcade shooter along the lines of megaman and metroid (hence the bad name) but you have unlimited levels and a seemingly unlimited amount of replay-ability

7) Zombie Swipeout

Think fruit ninja but with zombies. Hack and slash your way through zombies for 90 seconds and compete with your friends on facebook with weekly tourniments and in this game it’s encouraged to hit the bombs just don’t kill the good guy

8) Watch ESPN

You must have an account with a cable company to use this app (or at least a close friend with one). Watch sports or sports center from the couch while your significant other watches what they want on tv and end the argument of who watches what

9)TED Talks

Countless hours of mine are used watching these lectures and I always learn something new and insightful

10) Google Sky Map

This is stunning and free and a must see for your tablet. Map the sky and aim your device to see the constellations in your current view even if you are looking at the ground you will see the stars under you

Do you have any must have apps for your tablets? Feel free to share them in the comments section!

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Do you have an iPhone and take the bus?

If so apple may have forgotten about you and today’s release of iOS 6 has people chomping at the bit to update their phones and those who rely on public transportation are weary to update and I can’t blame them in Houston I used Google maps everyday of my life to get from place to place on the bus/rail. If you are looking to update your phone the hopstop app is a great little app to help you move around no matter what city you call home. You can download it from this link http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCQQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fitunes.apple.com%2Fus%2Fapp%2Fhopstop-for-iphone-subway%2Fid303217144%3Fmt%3D8&ei=TS1aUIHzNKje0gH9vICwAw&usg=AFQjCNGCRZuYYKQXRLgmKhV70sRVJEz4lw

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Iphone 5 vs s3 argument

Invalid! The spec wars are alive and well now but it’s already annoying everyone and I’m sure fan boys included. Samsung didn’t waste any time jumping on the new iphone 5 even after they got slapped hard for blatantly stealing apples patents and designs and paying a hefty fine.


Apple fans were quick to respond with a version of their own


Personally both of these are ridiculous especially the second one. It’s been forced and whoever made it probably hurt apples case. Let’s make this really simple. 1) I have large hands and I just measured to be sure and my hands are 7.5 inches from tip of middle finger to base of my palm so lets say man sized hands. However I think your hand should not be smaller than your phone and if it is you look a bit silly. 2) “is this really a feature?” stop being stupid 3) can you actually tell you are missing 27pixels per inch between the two phones. That’s it I’m done listing where apple fanboy is being an idiot. Here’s my real point on these phones, they were both designed for women I think and yesterday I heard people on twit say the iPhone is like a piece of jewelry and they are right but so is the s3 when thinking about it. I will not be buying either of these things when I replace my current iphone.. I actually use Google maps a ton on my phone and won’t upgrade to ios6 and I don’t like skinned android either (Samsung stop it!) 4.1 is a very stable and solid android build and actually made me like android but only in a nexus or Google genuine build not skinned clunky crap. Enjoy the fight fan boy this is my next phone and this really didn’t take a genius


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