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"Murphy was an optimist!"

Otterbox Defender for iPhone 5 or 5s Precoffee Unboxing February 1, 2014 1:55 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Of Interest, Reviews
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The Snugg – iPhone 5S Bamboo Case Review November 15, 2013 7:20 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Of Interest, Reviews
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Disclaimer: This is not a paid review; however, The Snugg provided the case to me for review.

Snugg, founded in early 2010, specialises in the retail of high quality, form fitting cases for the iPad, iPhone and other recent tablet devices as well as unique gifts such as Wine Aerators, Beer Pong Tables and Virtual Laser Keyboards.

TheSnugg has provided an iPhone 5S Real Bamboo Wood Case for review (also available at Amazon).

A real Bamboo, wooded case from The Snugg. Built specifically for the iPhone 5S, with cut-outs tailored to fit buttons, switches, speakers and the new lightning charger port.
Created from highly sustainable bamboo wood, this is a product to be proud of. It’s durable, handmade and gives an individual finish to your iPhone 5S.
The case is fitted to your phone in two interlocking pieces, making it easy and quick to install and ensuring it locks onto your phone in a Snugg, form fitting fashion.

The Snugg is a simple yet effective case. It is two pieces of shaped bamboo which accommodate all the buttons, speakers, charge port, camera and flash, and headphone jack of the iPhone 5s. The case is smooth…no rough edges. It is beautiful. The two pieces fit snuggly around the iPhone and has a felt pad on the inside to protect the back of the phone. I give The Snugg a high recommendation for an elegant phone case.

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Dear Lifestyles August 8, 2009 8:43 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Of Interest, Reviews, Sex, Touchy Subjects
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lifestyles_skynI’d really like to review your product but right now my 4 year old child makes a better contraceptive than your Skyn condoms. Help me figure out how to get him to sleep in his own bed and your product sales might go up.

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Movie Review- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen August 5, 2009 9:06 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Of Interest, Reviews, TV / Movies
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Having some free movie tickets about to expire inspired me to take my 13 year old and his best friend to see Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (official movie site). Review? All I can say is it had motorcycles*.


*Update: Someone said their were robots in this movie. All I saw was Megan Fox.

Actual review? I enjoyed the movie. The action was great. I didn’t think the CGI was as confusing as the first Transformers movie. Contrary to what I read, I felt it had a decent plot. My biggest problem with the movie was the unnecessary, overly used toilet humor. The number of sexual jokes and use of sexual elements bordered on uncomfortable. At one point I distinctly questioned my judgment in bringing the two 13 year olds and felt badly for the audience members with the much younger children. Recommendation: rent it from Netflix or Redbox.

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In yesterday’s mail August 1, 2009 10:54 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Hardware, Of Interest, Reviews, Sex, Technology, Touchy Subjects
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The Stigma

Apparently there’s some stigma around bloggers, particular mommy bloggers, doing product reviews. There shouldn’t be. I understand the stigma’s origins. The stigma comes from those ridiculous pay-per-post services where the participants are encouraged to write shining reviews in return for the product and/or money. They are disingenuous. The advertiser is not paying for the post. The advertiser is paying for search engine ranking. The 200 people who read that paid post, or even if it was 10,000, are not going to pay for the cost of the advertising. What pays is when someone searches for the product and the multiple paid posts have given credibility and ranking to the product in the search engines. As a matter of personal choice, I do not participate in pay-to-post programs.

Should product reviews be on a blog? Absolutely! The Internet is a reflection of the real world. In the real world, if I try a product I like, I will probably tell others about it. If a company wrongs me, I will warn others. It is only natural to extend that to the Internet. Some bloggers will even ask companies to send them products. They have the audience and clout to get this benefit. Reviews don’t have to be positive. The catch is that if you get a reputation for giving negative reviews, no one will send you their product. Mike Arrington recently accused Leo Laporte of Twit.tv of getting a pre-release Palm Pre in exchange for a glowing report and Leo took great offense.

I have products sent to me. I’ve had the best intentions of reviewing them but never have. Until someone starts BlogHim and lets us daddy blogs have cat fights over swag, I think I’ll accept products for review. Joan Goldner, a wonderful person!, sent me The Busy Body Book when my Covey planner had run out and I forgot Cathy’s birthday. I never posted a review of The Busy Body Book but it remains one of my favorite organizers despite being a Covey fanboy. I’ve been calendarless for 2009 but am just about to order a Busy Body Book. Read about it on their blog.

Yesterday’s mail

IDE to SATA adapter and LifeStyles Condom

Yesterday I received two products: a bidirectional IDE to SATA or SATA to IDE Adapter and a LifeStyles premium polyisoprene Skyn "closest thing to wearing nothing" condom with Excite female stimulating gel. I’m looking forward to reviewing both of these products! The adapter I ordered from Hong Kong for $4 which included free shipping. It comes with a circuit board, power cable, and a SATA cable. I recently tried to buy a SATA cable locally, just the cable, and it was going to cost me $20 plus tax! The condom was a surprise and comes with a survey asking for feedback on the Excite female stimulating gel. I think I’ll be able to find a volunteer to help me fill out that survey (pseudo related note: We bought Watchmen last night). Now I’m off to plug a cable into something.

IDE to SATA adapter and LifeStyles Skyn condom

The Review

Here’s your quickie review: The Excite female stimulating gel product..let’s just wow! No, let’s say that twice..WOW! WOW! As for the Skyn condom, anyone with a LATEX allergy who has been horrified by a polyurethane plasticized baggy as an excuse for protection can be happy to know that your polyisoprene condom lives up to its marketing. Not only is it as comfortable and flexible as a latex condom, it truly is almost like wearing nothing.

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The Inheritance Books November 30, 2006 9:02 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Book / Magazine, Of Interest, Publishing, Reviews, TV / Movies
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Christopher Paolini began writing Eragon when he graduated from high school at the age of 15. Eragon and the second book in the Inheritance series, Eldest, captivated me. I shunned responsibility to absorb chapter after chapter. Book 3 is scheduled to release Summer 2007. That will be a long wait! And I will have to fight Tommy for first read. Eragon the movie is airing its trailer now and will be in theaters on December 15, 2006.

Eragon is an epic story of a farm boy’s travels in a land with dragons, elves, dwarves, and humans ruled by an all powerful overlord complete with allegiances, underground resistances, ancient broken promises, and magic. The book is riveting with unexpected plot twists that wrench at your sympathies. I must balance that statement by pointing out at times I felt the story was somewhat formulaic as attempted to guess its direction; however, it never failed to disappoint. I give it a high recommendation and suggest reading the book before seeing the movie.


Google Maps vs Yahoo Maps and Geotagging August 29, 2006 8:26 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Of Interest, Reviews, Technology
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I love Google Maps! I used to use Mapblast and still contend its line directions are the best way to present driving directions. Are Google Maps accurate? Using Sergey Chernyshev’s tool to compare Google Maps and Yahoo Maps, I am surprised to find that although Google Maps has more detail in Europe, Yahoo maps appears to be more accurate in the US (at least in the areas I checked).

I found Sergey Chernyshev’s site while reading Thomas Hawk’s review of Flickr’s new geotagging option. Thomas Hawk is the Chief Evangelist for the photo sharing site Zooomr which makes his review of Flickr so much better. Zooomr was reviewed by C|Net 7 days ago. Geotagging is the practice of associating GPS coordinates with a picture, blog, post, or other information. GeoURL is a service mapping URLs to specific locations on the planet.

Geotagging is unhealthy for the paranoid because placing coordinates on a photo, or blog entry, publishes publically (in most cases) your exact location at an exact time. Some people may decry this a privacy issue (remember, you voluntarily put the information in the public’s eye) or declare it dangerous as "the bad people" could derive patterns in your life and track you down. It may be wise to not geotag your house or neighborhood but in reality does it really matter if people know that on Tuesday at 3:03pm you were standing by a cool statue? Personally, I wish my camera automatically put the coordinates with the EXIF information on the pictures and that the photo services would automatically grab that info. Some cameras do this already.

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ARrrr! Thar Be A Good Pirates Movie Matey! July 22, 2006 10:27 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Of Interest, Reviews, TV / Movies
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Saw Pirates 2 last night. Thoroughly enjoyed it! Despite the 2 movie sized medium cokes I drank begging me to leave at the roll of the credits, I entertained the training X-Men and Cars have put into my children’s heads. Pirates has the most astoundingly long credits I have ever seen! There must have been 3000 names! At one point it was 4, 5 or 6 columns of solid names on the screen. Looked like a joke.

Even people that stayed through half the credits started giving up. But I was pleased we stayed, for indeed, Noah was correct. He said, "Cars was made by Disney and this is made by Disney, so there’s something at the end."


Cars worth the watch! June 12, 2006 8:48 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Of Interest, Reviews, TV / Movies
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Saw Cars (offical site) over the weekend and was very impressed! The storyline has been done before and some of the actors are comically (at least to me) typecast playing the same characters from their other movies but it is great story, unbelievable animation, and a good time. The brothers from Car Talk make a cameo which I found very entertaining since I periodically catch Car Talk on NPR (my favorite NPR show remains Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me).

I found the opening sequence so unbelieveably realistic, for a moment, I questioned whether or not they filmed a real car to start. This movie used 2300 CPU years which means your home computer would have had to be running since 300 b.c. to make this movie; granted, your home computer would have taken much longwe since it probably doesn’t have enough processing power to begin with. Pixar overstressed NFS and had to replace it with SAN.

…the NFS, Brandeau confirmed that it was woefully inadequate for the demands of the new movie. "A gigabyte of memory on our file server heads was nowhere near good enough," he said, adding that Pixar needed something in the region of 32 Gbytes.

… Brandeau and his team found salvation in a SAN. … Pixar eventually opted to replace the NFS with a SAN based on an EMC CX700 box, linked to Dell Linux servers running parallel file system software from startup Ibrix.

For those that haven’t followed, eons ago The Muppet Movie ran jokes during their credits. In X-Men:The Last Stand, the credits started running and the bulk of the theatre left. Those in the know remained seated for a bonus scene after the credits. (I am not issuing spoilers at this time but will advise staying to the very end). Cars (IMBD) did something similar running some footage during credits then it went to just credits and most people left. Cars also has a bonus scene at the very end.

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