Category Archives: Technology

Sadhvi Asks: What is “Labor Day” Anyways?

SADHVI & BELLO
SADHVI & BELLO

We had some friends over yesterday, and I had to find out if anyone knew what Labor Day was for.

They were all under the age of 30, and they didn’t know. One laughed and said it was a day off – Ha Ha! And so it is for many of us.

At one point, at the end of our brunch together, the smart phones were taken out to “share” some things, you know, funny YouTube clips, and the latest and greatest “app’s” for doing things that you can just as easily do without one.

There is one app that if you hold your finger over the place where you look to take pictures, you can get your heart rate.
Who cares?  Then they were asked which were their favorite games, and the energy level went up in the room.  Games. A toy in your pocket or bra.  Nice.

BTW “Labor Day” is:
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country
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Share it – maybe the meaning will go viral, and it won’t have anything to do with the internet, just maybe it will just make a lot of people informed, and no one will know about it except the ones that got it.

What else? I’m thinking about getting a new car, and all of them have this capability to plug your smart phone into it, and VOILA, you get to hear and talk and speak without having to hold the phone.  I know, this has been around for a while, but now they say, it really works.

I guess I am too connected to a computer with work to want to be connected in a new and questionably better way.

When you think about it, isn’t a smart phone just another computer?

It certainly is not a phone, cuz it turns out that most people I know don’t use it as a phone. No, mostly they play games on them, or visit porno sites.  I don’t know why I was surprised to find out that most internet activity is about sex in some way or another.

Or they “text” or type short snippets of grammar to communicate with someone that is usually a family member, like their mother or father.  And the mother or father has to text, they say, in order to communicate with their children.  And since it is hard to type on a leeetle teeny pad, the smart phones came along, and the iPad’s, to make it easier.  Hmmm.

I have one friend my age who is no longer comfortable speaking on the phone; she said it makes her nervous. She only likes texting and emailing.  Nice.  She doesn’t like to interact in person any more. Awesome.  I hope that we can get her to loosen up in a month or so when we have the annual get-together!  Karen, I hope you are reading this.

I just love my flip phone, and will try to get the same one on eBay, which is where I was gifted the last one (thank you Sandesh).  I am not ready to become number and dumber holding something with a name that is supposed to make me feel cooler and “smarter”!

Ok, I hope you have a good day off, maybe you were able to sleep in like we did; kind of like a lazy Sunday, only it’s Monday – LABOR DAY!

And maybe you will think about how today is the day to be thankful that THE WORKERS of this country got together and fought for better working conditions when what was normal were sweat shops and minors working.  Kind of like how it is in China right now.

I will go relax on a hammock outside and read a book.  Not on Kindle, no, one that I can hold and touch and feel.

Oh, and check out this clip below.  I really feel like the girl who is trying to relate.  It made me happy in a way to see that she was not over 50!

Alley Girls: A Good Thing to Support

This was sent recently to Oops 50 from Left Brain Productions, and, as a former manager of a tech startup, I got very excited by it. I hope you will check out the video and think about supporting this very worthwhile project!  

We at Left Brain Right Brain Productions are reaching out to you in the hopes that you are able to help us out by spreading the word about our project. Any help you can provide in spreading awareness is much appreciated.

Favor to ask – we have a lot of projects going on, but there’s one we had to share.  We just launched a new series called “Alley Girls.” It’s a scripted show about women in tech startups, and it’s going to be awesome!  We announced the series at an event in NYC last week, and have a great Kickstarter video.  We need your help to spread the word, and have pasted a sample of what we’re sending to some folks.

1.  “Alley Girls” is a project I’m supporting about women kicking ass in tech startups – visit http://bit.ly/alleygirls, watch the video, and if you like what you see, pledge $1 or $10 to the project
2.  Please share with 1 friend – we’re trying to get as many women supporting Alley Girls as possible!
3.  Like the project on Facebook:  facebook.com/alleygirls

Thanks for your support!

Will Good Customer Service Ever Come Back?

   
ANNICE

The past ten days have been a nightmare – at least electronically and mechanically.  It wasn’t bad enough I switched from AT&T to Verizon, but Mercury had to be in retrograde.  If I had known where Mercury was roaming, I never would have attempted such a switch.  Before entering Verizon Hell (I mean store) I prepared a checklist of concerns to discuss with the sales person so my switch would be seamless.  Those issues were:

Can I keep my email address?
Will I lose my contact list?
Will it be cheaper?
Will your miraculous jet pack (hot spot device) work throughout the entire house?
Does it work just like the AT&T modem and router?
What about my Apple id account?

At first, when the sales guy didn’t know the answer, he called his boss over who confirmed everything the sales guy said.  So, after about two hours and two new iPhones, (I was still using the original one) we took the bait and switched.  Now, I won’t bore you with details but every one of my concerns came to pass – in the negative.  By the way, this is on their website:  My Verizon At Your Service.

First thing to come to pass was losing my E-mail address and there was no way to get it back from AT&T since my sales guy disconnected my account before migrating the address to Verizon.  However, if I were a child molester with a record, some geek in the company would know how to get it back as would any entry level geek at the FBI.  And, the jet pack only works on computers within a 30 ft. radius so we had to purchase a “fusion tower” and a wifi device for my husband’s pc downstairs.  Every time we complained about a problem,  “Ka Ching”, we needed another device to fix it – for only $69, and so forth.  Of course, we only found all this out after talking to Tech Support at home and running back and forth to the Verizon store four times resulting in my having to take time off from work.

The real issue here is that all the people in the store are sales people and believe me, they’ve got that down well.

It's all about the Sale

Verizon, like AT&T and other corporations, just don’t train their staff enough.  The technology is pretty sophisticated and as a consumer, I’m totally at their mercy.  The focus is all about the sale and not the customer’s needs.  Since I was already in Verizon Hell, I decided to raise some of my own, and got a huge credit.

But, like I said to the manager – Why would anyone switch if there was no benefit?  And why would a customer choose to go to hell and back?  I said that very loudly in front of other customers and felt very good about it.

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On Modern, Wonderful Things

I am feeling my age lately.  I know I’m over 50–and, in fact, approaching 60–because I’m starting to sound like an older person sometimes.  Here are some good examples (said to my children): “Can’t you turn that music down?  It’s really hard on my ears!” or “Do you all have to stay up so late?  You’ll just sleep the day away tomorrow!”  Or, even better:  “No, I am really not interested in watching that movie.  It’s incredibly vulgar.”  (I don’t think  I even used the word “vulgar” until about the last 5 years!)

That’s the less pleasant side of my little-old-lady-ness.  But there’s also a better side to it:  I take extreme pleasure sometimes in things that we didn’t have “when I was growing up.”  For instance, I still get a little bit of a thrill every time I use my cell phone in the car when I’m traveling.  I think that’s because I remember the days when I would be in some kind of difficulty and would have to search and search and search for a pay phone to get help!  And I get excited every time we use the GPS to find our way somewhere, especially when I think back on the innumerable times we used to get lost in a new town or city–and when I remember my father’s reluctance to stop and ask anyone for directions or my own inability ever to remember the directions that someone gave me from the side of the road!

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One of my favorite modern things is the animated birthday card you can send to someone you love from a site like Blue Mountain Cards!  I found one the other day that had dogs barking out “Happy Birthday,” with a little Pomeranian throwing things for a loop at the last minute.  It was perfect for one of my older sisters, who just had a birthday–and has a Pomeranian herself–and I had to stop myself from playing it over and over and over again, just for the fun of it!  I have to confess:  I still have trouble believing that people can really make such amazing things happen on the computer.  Check out their site:  they have some great Valentine’s Day cards, too.  Here’s the link for those cards:

http://www.bluemountain.com/ecards/valentines-day

One of my Favorite Card Images

I guess I’ll adjust at some point in the future–at least to the stuff that is around now.  By the time I get that old, however, there are bound to be some new miracles to celebrate.  I heard the other day that they already have fridges that tell you when you’re out of butter and robots that can clean your toilets.  I could get used to that!

 

 

Cars and Their Parts

Annice

I was dreading buying tires yesterday (don’t most baby boomer women feel the same way?) despite the fact that my two front tires were practically bald and my car was due to pass inspection.  And yes, I know, the safety issue is critical.  The problem is, it’s overwhelming and I hate anything to do with cars or their parts.  In fact, if you remember I posted back in 2009 about buying my first brand new car ever when I traded in my 1989 Dodge Dakota pick-up with almost 200,000 miles.  Loved that truck, but I ditched it for my new Honda Fit – thank you Mr. Obama for that cash for clunker deal.

As it turns out, Honda is very clever.  While the Fit is a cheap mass market

Honda Fit

car, Honda has tried very hard to make sure you buy the tires from them.  In other words, OEM (tires), or original equipment manufactured products or components that are purchased by another company and retailed under that purchasing company’s brand name, i.e. Honda.  How do I know this?  The Honda Fit chat room, of course.  I ventured there one late night looking for advice and a bargain.  One smart guy had this to say. “Most stock OEM tires are garbage, and I suggest replacing them with something in a more common size. 185 55 16 is an odd ball tire size that will offer limited choices.  Tirerack shows only 2 choices.  Honda probably figures that most people will get frustrated and go back to their dealers for tire replacement at inflated prices.  I suggest changing the OEM’s out with either 195 60 16 or 195 50 16.  The 60 series tire will offer a softer ride with good handling and traction while the 50 series, though V and Z rated, offers a similar ride as the OEM’s but more affordable tires and brand choices.”

So you see, I need to change them out to 195 60 16 …and I set out to do just that.  I started by calling all my local tire stores to see if they had two said tires for my Honda Fit.  No one had them in stock but all could order them and have them in a day.  All were more expensive than the Honda dealer, so Honda it had to be.  Then, while doing errands yesterday, I saw a store called Discount Tires.

I parked the car, and as soon as I got out, a young smiling guy in a uniform came up to meet me in the parking lot, and asked if he could help.  He ushered me inside, educated me on tires and basically shared the same info the Honda Fit forum did.  He had the tires in stock, and they were almost $40 less than Honda and the local tire guys.

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Twenty minutes later and a cup of gourmet decaf coffee (it was 5:30 p.m.) and I had my new tires.  I wish I could have given my business to the local guys but $80 is a big savings.  Guess I’ll have to spend it in a local restaurant this week-end.