consumer awareness

Verizon Wireless RAZR M smartphone

I originally started this piece out comparing the shortcomings of my aging Droid to consumer expectations. From apps that test my patience to a horribly performing Motorola phone’s camera.

But in my research, I discovered the phrase “Planned Obsolescence” in regards to smartphones. And suddenly I stopped comparing and started getting a bit aggravated.

Wikipedia’s entry on the subject says “Planned obsolescence or built-in obsolescence[1] in industrial design is a policy of planning or designing a product with an artificially limited useful life, so it will become obsolete, that is, unfashionable or no longer functional after a certain period of time

So I am going to start this piece with most of my original text and we’ll go from there.

Droid, Samsung or iPhone? The Camera Itself Could Be the Determinant!

After a ton of consideration and suffering with my own cell phone, I believe my next phone will NOT be a Motorola (Lenovo owned) Droid. If for anything else, the raging *! excuse for a camera that is part of my Droid phone. That, and this oddly growing sluggishness my phone’s apps are demonstrating in some of the simplest functions.

My phone is almost two years old so I am going to presume that new apps and OS updates are responsible for the terrible performance my Droid demonstrates. From the OS intermittently taking up to several seconds to respond to any screen touch to the camera that is spiraling ever downward in catching those perfect moments we all try to snag.

To help my Motorola phone I have been rebooting it at least a few times a week to clear out its memory for a bit of a marginal performance improvement.

When I have issues with a product, I’m not always the first to speak up. It is only when I start seeing other users having the same issues that I start to wonder if there is a systemic issue going on with a product. Sure enough, I know several people with my same set of issues and or symptoms with their own Droids. Hmm.

Some of the problems I am experiencing include…

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Google Maps Old Zoom Control

What in the world is Google doing with their Maps App? As far as I can tell, one thing they are doing is making the app way too dangerous for anyone to use it while a lone driver is trying to navigate the world.

Disclaimer: As it is, Google’s Maps app is pretty awesome with tons of useful features and functions. With that said…

I am not sure if you have noticed or not, but as the maps app gets better features, it is also changing in such a way that is making it very non-user friendly. Or more specifically, more dangerous to driving users. That is, if you are using it as a guidance tool from inside your moving car.

Which by the way, Google Maps is no longer safely possible to use from within my vehicle.

My first gripe started a long time ago when Google removed the zoom in/out button(pictured above) that used to reside in the lower right corner of the map.

As a driver, that zoom button was invaluable for a safe operation of using. But now if you need to operate the map zoom function, you need two fingers. And if you need two fingers to operate the map, then you need your second hand to hold your phone. Hence, they’ve made the zoom function a two-handed process. Not to mention how sometimes when you are trying to two-finger it, something magic happens and the look angle on the map changes to an angled views instead of a “look straight down” view.

One of the most recent updates of late has made the maps feature even slightly more useless or driver dangerous to me.

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Learn From the GREEN ACRES Dog Boarding Tragedy

July 3, 2014

After reading about this Green Acres tragedy where 20+ dogs died from heat exhaustion, I got to thinking about how you can protect yourself and your beloved furry family member from possible situations like this. To be honest, it can be pretty hard to ascertain what or who is a good boarder for your pet. […]

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How To Fix A Garmin 110 Blank Screen [Consumer Fix]

June 29, 2013

The other day I was plugging in my Garmin 110 to charge it. I saw the Garmin logo, then the screen went blank. Blank, blank. Nada. A dead screen and nothing was responding blank! Yikes! What will I tell the wife when she comes looking to use it? In my desperation, I scoured the web […]

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Beware Fake Charities During National Disasters

May 21, 2013

During the Boston Marathon horror, it didn’t take long for the despicable element of our society to pop up with fake charities. When people need the help, and good people around the nation step up to lend their support, the last thing we need are terrible trolls on our society stealing money for those who […]

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McAfee Security Scan #Fail – If It’s Free, It’s Probably Useless

December 2, 2012

When something gets loaded up on your PC as a secondary install (for free), that doesn’t always mean you get the benefits from that program that you think you’re expecting. At times, the name of the application can mislead you, like in the case of this McAfee Security Scan. It should be named Useless, Won’t […]

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I Received an MSNBC-Looking SPAM Email: Beware!

November 28, 2012

This is a tale of warning of spammers, junk email and outright faked but real looking websites. And don’t try this at home unless you know what you’re doing! – The other night I received an email from what my inbox described as “Daniel W Dishno” from an sbcglobal email address. The cryptic message to […]

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The Slowest Tailor In Menlo Park – A Service Review

October 24, 2012

A consumer experience review of tailor Bob Stankovic, in Menlo Park. The other day my wife and I needed some repairs done to a few clothing items. She, a nice Nike windbreaker with a zipper problem. (It’s odd how we tend to run into zipper issues with Nike products, but this is not the first […]

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Hand Washing And Soap: Is Soap The Critical Component? [Consumer]

October 2, 2012

Is hand washing important? That’s today’s consumer awareness focus. After a number of studies or released reports, the “word on the street” is that hand washing is huge in the prevention or spread of specific germs. That’s a given. But what started this piece was something I read in a science magazine, long before the […]

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This DISH Network Spammers Are At It Again (Cheap Business Tactics)

September 10, 2012

I have to give DISH Network credit. After casting off AMC due to their difference of opinions on carrier costs, they’ve taken a beating. Meaning, if you watch any of AMC’s TV shows like Breaking Bad, Hell on Wheels, etc., you’ve seen the many ads from AMC about how the shows are not on DISH […]

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Walgreen’s May Not Always Be Your Best Price Option [Consumer]

August 31, 2012

Updated below on 9/26/12 with a new price comparison. Today I found a fascinating disparity in my perception of Walgreen’s. I had always “presumed” that Walgreen’s had some pretty good prices. Because of this perception, I never did any price checking on the place. I just trusted. Hence, I went blindly, guided by marketing. Marketing […]

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Has Your Yahoo, Gmail or AOL Password Been Leaked? A Yahoo Voices #fail [Consumer]

July 15, 2012

I came across a piece that says that some passwords were compromised off a database that is associated with Yahoo Voices. It turns out that if you used your Yahoo! Voices account to check your email accounts with, you might be up for the trouble of some evil-doers. But then again, evil-doers would not have […]

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Mindless Drivers, Bike Riding and Getting License Plate Numbers

June 7, 2012

A few months ago, if any of you follow my personal FB account you know I was “hit” by a car while riding my bike through Menlo Park. In terms of “hit,” no, I was not run over or bounced off a fender. No, it was something more insidious. Here’s what happened. Back in late […]

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The Death of a Child Can Be Avoided With A Simple Bicycle Helmet

June 4, 2012

On and off I chat about what appears to me to be the more intelligent reason to wear a helmet while riding your bike. It just makes a wee bit more sense some days. If you’ve been around here for a while, you’ve seen me go on and on about Bicycle Helmet Safety and how […]

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Being A Vegetarian Means Also Being Careful WHAT Vitamins You Take

May 11, 2012

It’s one thing to decide to become a vegetarian. You realize that this lifestyle requires a more focused attention to what nutrients one gets. So one would just think it’s fine to start taking vitamins. It’s basically what everyone says. But if you’re vegan or a very, very focused vegetarian and don’t want to eat […]

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Netflix & Other Low-Cost Rental Venues Cut Hollywood Profits in Half?

April 9, 2012

In the ensuing piece, I talk about the diminishing profit margins of the home entertainment market and that gets me going about the costs of movies…

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Lost Your Tags and Categories? Beware of Your WordPress DOT com Account!!!

March 14, 2012

I learned that when you install a Wordpress.com (WPC) plugin that needs an API and access to your wordpress.org (WPO) self-hosted blog, you might be in for a world of trouble.

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Is Your Personal Data Truly Safe on Your Smartphone?

February 20, 2012

I’m sure you’re aware, but if you’re not, today I chat about some smartphone apps uploading personal data, evil QR code or financial apps with tiny flaws…

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