Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Free iPhone 4 Cases - Summary (FIXED)

Here are the available iPhone 4 cases you have all been hearing about.  I have attached the photos captured from the application and the retail price if you were to buy them on your own.

The Apple iPhone 4 Bumper $29.99 – Expected shipment 3 - 5 weeks.
The most minimal of them all.  This one is just a rubber ring that wraps around the edge of your iPhone 4.  It is NOT a “case” by standard definition.  It does NOT cover the back of your iPhone which has already been proven prone to scratch even though it has the class on the back now as well.  Keep in mind the white is NOT part of the case.  That is the white version of the iPhone 4 which is currently unavailable.  It is important to note that the nice things about this minimal case are that it keeps the antenna protected from interference.  The buttons are built into the case too which is really nice.

Incase Snap Case for iPhone 4 clear $24.99 – Expected shipment 3 - 5 weeks.
This one has yet to be created or featured on the manufacturers website.  I fear this one may take longer to ship than the others.  I personally like this one and may choose it because it keeps the iPhone looking very much like what the artists designed it to look like.  It also has easy access to the earphone plug and dock connector.  Anyone who moves their iDevice around to any number of different docks and devices will find this very convenient.  If you have a cover or mirror shield on your phone this may also be nice since the rubber type cases tend to rub with the edges of the plastic covers wearing them down and eventually ripping them off.

Incase Snap Case for iPhone 4 clear $24.99 – Expected shipment 3 - 5 weeks.
This case on the surface looks very similar to the one above but there are a few things that concern me.  First of all the cut for the camera and flash come VERY close to the lens and flash.  This can be a problem since the flash light will reflect, possibly ruining your picture.  This is only a render and not a photo of the actual product however and this may change.  Something to watch out for.  Also the rubber type cases tend to wear down and “loosen” after continuous removal for docking and cleaning.  It may be hard plastic but you can’t tell from the images.

Belkin Shield Micra for iPhone 4 clear $24.99  – Expected shipment 3 - 5 weeks.
This one is VERY similar to the Incase Snap Case but it doesn’t appear to the have the separation access at the top and bottom.  Also the plastic looks a little thicker which could be good or bad depending on your taste.  It also looks like it has a sharper edge than the rounded Incase.  I added a cropped selection of the two for comparison.  Both are reliable brands.

Griffin Motif iphone 4 diamonds/smoke $19.99 – Expected shipment 3 - 5 weeks.
This one is a very interesting blend of two different styles of phones.  It looks like it MAY have a hard plastic feel but it could also be flexible rubber but what is different about this one is that it has a typical opaque design with the diamond texture but it is still a little clear.  Very nice at first glance but the plastic comes very close to the flash so beware.  I’m betting on a flexible rubber feel though by the looks of the arching on the top and bottom.

Griffin Reveal Etch iPhone 4 – Black/Black Graphite $24.99  – Expected shipment 3 - 5 weeks.
This one could potentially be one of the most eye catching of the bunch.  It looks like some kind of fabric though it it is actually “etched” polycarbonate.  (AKA plastic)  I intentionally increased the contrast on the second side image so you can get a good look at the overlaid buttons which could be unresponsive and not nearly as nice as the integrated ones in Apple’s bumper.

Speck Fitted Case – Black Tartan $29.95 – Expected Ship 3 – 5 weeks.
This one I have confirmed is a fabric-backed panel which I find very interesting and could imagine would feel super comfortable in your hand.  One thing I do not like however is the fact that this model adds a very noticeable curve to the edge which makes your new iPhone 4 look like last year’s 3Gs.  Petty I know but part of what sells the product is the design and its distinguished new form factor.  (One which will invariably be copied many times over in the coming year.)

Speck PixelSkin HD iPhone 4 – Black $29.95 – Expected shipment 4 - 6 weeks.
This particular shell has a very rugged look.  I’m worried by the button overlays.  They don’t look like they would be easy to press and the speaker and microphone holes look like they would be more of an obstruction than anything.  Forget about docking this with the plastic so close to the dock connector.  Even the earphone connector looks like it will be a tight fit with the larger plugs.

Anyway for those of you interested in picking up your free iPhone case all you have to do is download and install an application called iPhone 4 Case Program.  I would post a link directly to the app store but you have to do it from your phone in order to request your case.  You only get one, naturally.  I hope this was helpful.

My opinion?  I’m usually pretty careful with my equipment but I DO put my phone in my pocket.  Those rubber or soft plastic cases seem to collect and possibly even generate lint as they slip into my pocket so I am avoiding those.  That said I’m leaning towards the hard plastic cases.  I like the clear ones because I want to see what I’m holding.  I like the new design and want to enjoy it.  Hiding it in an ugly shell just ruins the elegant lines that Apple Inc. so painstakingly takes time to design.  Since I dock my phone at work, on my bedstand, on my speakers and at my computer…the Incase seems the best bet for me IF it can dock with the shell on.  For my older 3G I had the type that half of the bottom would slip off.  None like that are featured here though they are available.  Some of those designs are even available from these very same manufacturers.  They just aren’t offered like these free solutions.

This blog took me a LOT more time than it should have.  I hope it is useful to someone. J

Friday, July 9, 2010

Electronics - Too Many Updates



This is not usually my most popular topic but I didn’t want folks to think I just abandoned this blog.  At least not willingly.  J  This is what is on my mind and I thought I would jot it down somewhere.  Why not here?


My wife and I have had iPhone’s for some time now.  We like them.  They have really changed the way we do things and they have really benefited our lives positively.  From simple things like traffic detours to the unexpected like quickly and effortlessly splitting dinner bills and tips.  It really is this little applications that make the phone such a great tool.


Most of these applications are free.  After time however when these applications grow in popularity things quickly change.


Apple has enabled the developers to issue software updates to their applications.  As a user, this quickly became a double-edged sword.  The benefit is that the developers have a relatively easy way to push software updates to users.  If the application had a bug that cause it to fail, the developer simply had to submit an update to Apple and upon approval, the update would be offered to them once they sign into the App store or synchronize with iTunes.

Convenient isn’t it?  If only computers would do the same.  Unfortunately this delivery method is more often than not used for greed.  How can I make this outlandish claim?  Well, take a look at a screenshot I took from my iPhone just now.

What are the updates?


1.       A new icon.

2.       Updated advertisements.

3.       Added multi-tasking ability.

4.       Updated advertisements.


First let me explain what this application does.  It is a little app that lets you add tracking numbers of all items that are shipped to you.  You can add DHL, UPS, USPS etc.  Once added you can return to check on your packages and it pulls the data from the respective couriers website to display the packages current status.  It is important to note that all these very same couriers offer that service for free on their own websites which you can access through your phone’s browser.


Now let’s talk about these updates for a second shall we?  #1 adds absolutely nothing to the feature set of the application.  #2 updates ad cross promotion code that the developer mistakenly pushed out.  #3 adds multitasking.  Since packages do not move location every few seconds it is pointless to have this application constantly running in the background.  Even if it did, you would still have to request an update from the couriers website.  A cool but useless update.  Finally #4 adds yet another update to a new advertising format that pays money to the developer that made this data consolidation tool.


If you access these tracking websites often, I will assume if you installed this app then you do, then you can save them as favorite links.  That would save you both space on your phone and the trouble of updating every few weeks.


Ok, now I’m not suggesting that the developers don’t deserve payment for their work.  What I don’t like is that they continue to ask us to pay more for ours in the form of time spent downloading “patches” in the guise of superficial updates and advertisements.  Many developers consider software installation a form of contract.  These updates are a violation of that contract in my opinion of they keep changing the details.


There are other applications that are simply smaller versions of web based applications that are available for free.


Sometimes you even lose features originally given to you in these “updates.”  Pixelpipe is a great example.  That application previously let you upload multiple files at a time.  Convenient so you could continue doing other things and not being forced to wait for one file to complete before you started the upload of another.  In the update list it simply stated “Multi-upload update.”  What it really meant was “multi-upload function removed.”  A feature that was integral to what made the Pixelpipe application so useful was removed.  The developer later disclosed that it was a request from the service provider.  Whether the service provider requested that the developer use that vague and borderline deceptive description is still undecided.


Though consolidating these applications into one location seemed like a great idea in theory, in practice it has become more of a hassle.  My internet browser of choice, Firefox, for example can rarely start without reminding of one update or another for any number of add-ons I have.  If I get it on one device, I know I will have to look forward to it on all the computers I use.


So my advice?  If you use a computer or smart phone with applications that work fine there is no reason to update unless they offer some great new functionality that you can’t live without.  Or there is some severe security hole that must be patched.  Most importantly, NEVER update blindly.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Not Meant To Be

I really like to write. I really like to have what I have written be
read. I really like to discuss what I have written with people who
read it.

Every day though it seems like a new obstacle is tossed in my
direction. I don't feel any regrets about the things I choose to
spend my time on. But I can't help but miss the joy and freedom that
comes with jotting down some ideas and discussing them with folks.

First I lost the ability to make the titles, though corny and ugly I
had a lot of fun doing them when my editing software was removed. I
lost the ability to search and add images to make my posts a little
more interesting. I lost the ability to upload images altogether and
now, Blogger has been completely blocked from work. My lunch hour was
the only time I had to blog before and now that is lost.

I do NOT have time to blog on weekends or weeknights. I can't stay up
until 3 a.m. every weekend.

Not a good sign and I am not a happy guy.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Contradiction in Pants

This is a blog I wrote last November but never published. To be completely honest I didn't find it that interesting. Now it is for you to decide.


I have no right to judge another but I will wonder. I am here at work working late with not much to do and I have nothing but that to keep my attention. I have nothing against those that are happily overweight but I must note that fact so you know my description is just that, a description.

I walk back at a leisurely pace from the restroom and every time I do I glance at the people in the cubicles I pass. Each cubicle has its own “limited” style that really says a lot about the individuals that reside in them. Mine for example is an absolute mess. I have at least 5 computers running at once, extra cables and connectors all over the place, multiple calendars, tutorials I am finalizing, floor maps on the walls and stacks of new computers. Your typical assortment of pens, markers and usual office “tools” also resides in my cubicle. At first glance it may screams “haphazard” but if you look closely, there is an order to the chaos. Items are placed perpendicular to each other, ordered and labeled by date and/or placed specifically by order of necessity. You could call it hectic. Busy and anal at the same time. Yep. That pretty much summarizes a part of me.

So lately I have noticed one particular individual. There is this overweight guy who barely fits into his cubicle. The cubicle is not that small, I’d estimate about 10’ X 10’. He’s just a big guy. The first time I noticed him I walked by really fast and he was staring into his Windows Media Player screen saver. If you don’t know what that is, it is a hypnotic LSD inspired barrage of colors that given the right motivation or history could induce seizures or at least flashbacks.

Anyway, I thought it was curious. I didn’t do anything about it since it wasn’t my place to do anything about it. (This time.) A few days later I walked by and caught him sniffing his finger. That’s never anything pleasant.

So as I walked by with a half disgusted but still smiling expression on my face I played back the images of the past few days and got to thinking that this man was quite the contradiction. He is not rare, in fact there are many like him but I’ve never given them much thought.

His cubicle is spotless as is his attire. His shirts in the few times I have notice have always been bright white colored suits, pressed with no creases. Papers have been stacked neatly on his desk and even the dry erase board had a grid drawn on it so the items he added were kept in order. This man was clean. He had hairy arms but his face was always clean shaven and his hair has always been cut trim. Very clean cut. How was he a contradiction?

Well men like him seem odd to me. They are overweight, heavily overweight and they still care about little details and appearance. No I don’t think all overweight people should be slobs or anything but this guy took it to the extreme. He was more annoying about organization than I was and cared so much about his appearance, but not his health. I don’t understand that. I really do believe some people react differently to different foods but to a point. You can get chunky with different metabolisms but not overweight like this man. I remember as a child knowing that men like this existed. My neighbor was one of them. Huge happy jolly belly that overlapped his belt but he was always well dressed and clean.

On the opposite side of the spectrum are the e-mo’s. They are skinny, young and pay a LOT of attention to their looks but instead make themselves look like dirty slobs.

Strange days.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I'm NOT "Back"

I am proud of the success this blog has had. When I first pictured myself working with it, I had imagined it as an open, public journal. Exactly what I thought "blogs" web-logs were designed to be. I know there is a need and demand for blogs that promote products or people. Little mini-resume's for would be actors and comediennes. That's great. I'm glad they exist.

My little podium here was meant to be haven for public discourse. I didn't set out to become famous, popular or earn any revenue. I slowly found myself though dedicating so much time to it that guilt started setting in. I was spending time here where I should be elsewhere, doing things that will actually benefit my life at work or at home. It was with that intention that I added advertisements as a tiny little incentive for justification.

That didn’t quite pan out since I refused to add anything obtrusive to the site. I did NOT want to cross that line. Now I am here with ideas slowly escaping me and no real time to jot them down. I can no longer do the essay length 2 or 3 blogs a day I was doing some time ago. I will post a few now and again but I’m afraid the days of a constant barrage of nonsense are over.

At least until I hit the lottery or retire. Or both!

For now, I shall continue to post occasionally and respond as soon as possible as always.

(Oh and I apologize about the new comment system, I had no choice. I was getting spammed and I didn't want my readers to be exposed to it in the comment section with fraudulent and dangerous links.)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Online Acquaintances

We live in an electronic era. Occupations and lifestyles change nearly as fast as new technology can accommodate it. Just the other day I was discussing the odd nature of the taboo subject of online relationships with my wife.

I don’t mean “sexual” relationships though I am not excluding them specifically either. I was watching a documentary about a group of guys who play World of Warcraft together. Most of them didn’t know each other personally until they met through the game. They were not exactly young either. From appearance alone I could safely say that they were all in their mid to late 30’s.

Watching it was a little painful. Each one of these guys showed traits that seem downright stereotypical of the older, video game player. It was an honest documentary and will not be the solitary focus of this blog but merely an introduction to the concept of online friends.

Occasionally they expressed concerns over admitted the fact that they met online, there was a hint of embarrassment. Admittedly, I felt a little embarrassed on their behalf as well. This really made me pause. Why? I thought. Why in this day and age do we still feel that meeting someone online is a stigma?

I propose the following arguments.
  • You meet people online by evaluating them first by the way they present themselves, contextually. (As opposed to physically at a bar or club were you or they are most likely inebriated.)
  • You share more of your personal life with them then you would because of the ease of the inherent media sharing capabilities of the internet. (You wouldn’t open your wallet while dancing to show them pictures of your children at a club would you?)
  • You spend MUCH more time conversing with them. (You have access to them every hour of every day through social networks, cell phones, e-mail or even Twitter messages.)

If you introduce someone to your friends and tell them that you met them online, there is always the little bit of suspicion. They must be a weirdo or murderer of some type ignoring the fact that they also spend ridiculous amount of time online. It’s hypocrisy.

If you lose a friend online and feel sad about it, you feel guilty and people don’t really show you sympathy because after all, they weren’t “real” to begin with. Yet if you lose the address of a pen pal you had written to once a year for 20 years then people will cry with you.

Is it because it is new technology that is understood but not yet fully accepted? Is it a concern that some day we will choose it over actual social interaction? Eventually that may be our only alternative to reduce the spread of disease in the distant future but is that what keeps us wary? I don’t know for sure. I imagine that the situation is different for every individual.

One thing I do know is that the best friends I have are online. Some I have never nor will I ever meet in person. What if they are being insincere and are not truthfully representing themselves? Does that really matter? Aren’t friends you have in person just as deceitful as those you meet online or even more so because they do it to your face? Even now, I feel programmed to refer to the offline friends as “real” friends.

It will definitely be a quirk we all need to work on. It will take time but I have faith that this electronic medium will be the first great step towards breaking the imaginary boundaries supported for generations by the Babel concept.

Here we all speak the same language. Currently, we argue and bicker but as time goes on I believe we will begin to notice how similar we all truly are.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Remember When? (Updated - 4:55 p.m. 1-20-2010)

I don't mean to sound like I'm tooting my own horn. The ideas I get are completely original but that doesn't mean other folks don't come to the same conclusion. I know and completely acknowledge this. Now simply because I call attention to it and reference my blog I hope you all don't think I'm trying to say "I told you so." I just find pleasure in the fact that other folks agree.  I'm human and glad that others are on the same track.

Remember my blog about modular cars that I posted last year?

Well check this out. :)  Someone has designed it. XDXDXDXDXD

Oh and remember when I wrote the blog titled Closet Bigots?  The one where I said racism was "natural" and came easy to us because our minds just worked that way?
"This is the way we humans in all our wisdom come to grips with that which we do not understand. We classify and categorize.

These virtual files and categories we created helped keep us in line, think abstractly and learn to abide by rules that don’t physically exist. We learned to survive by using our sense of judgment. Prejudice. We need to be able to identify a threat and not wait impotently for the attack first."

Scientific American agrees.
"..information about living and nonliving objects is shuttled to different areas of the brain so as to trigger appropriate reactions. Animals, for example, could be dangerous, 'but you don’t have to run away from a hammer,' he says. The new findings suggest that the wiring system that connects different areas of the visual cortex with appropriate regions in the rest of the brain is innate—it does not have to form gradually based on visual inputs. That means 'the organization of the brain has to be understood in terms of our evolutionary history,' Caramazza notes. Our brain’s structure is such that we can distinguish prey and aggressors from other kinds of objects, and we have retained this structure even as we get 'milk from bottles and meat from the butcher shop.'”

Of course their terminology is a lot more intellectually and topically appropriate.

Monday, January 18, 2010


I've been watching a lot, perhaps too much, of old Japanese movies and animé. The great Seven Samurai being one of them. I'm starting to believe it is getting into my head.

I caught myself slightly bowing to someone when I almost ran into them as I came around a hallway corner at work. :S I don't know how long I've been doing this for. I only acknowledged the realization because I felt awkward at the fact that I was bowing to a Japanese coworker.


I sincerely hope he didn't think it was in jest. I don't want to have to try to explain. "Oh sorry I have just been watching a lot of Japanese film lately and..."

Anyway, I hope you have a better day!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I'm not psychic. I don't know if I believe that people can be. I know that there is a lot that we DON'T know so I can't say beyond any shadow of a doubt that psychic abilities do or do not exist.

That said... I work with many people. Some of which have a pretty shady history. Of those few individuals, two in question have a certain look in their eyes. When I speak to them and see their faces...I feel, I think they are disturbed. Disturbed as one would be if they had murdered someone in the past. Ex-Military.

I've met and worked with plenty of individuals who have worked both for and with the military. Not many have this "look." These two guys have it burned in their faces.

I can't describe it as well as I can see it but I will try.

It almost seems like they permanently have an expression of absolute boredom or disappointment. Above and beyond any typical poker face. Almost like they are dead. But their eyes...their eyes have this intensity that seems as if they are looking for you to turn your back so they can bite you on the neck with their bare teeth.

I would be willing to bet cold hard cash that these guys have killed before even though I don't believe what I "see" is any psychic impression. Does this make any sense to you? Have you seen what I am talking about?

I hope I'm not alone.

Friday, January 8, 2010


About a year and a half ago I posted a blog about taggers and their obvious lack of anything remotely resembling intelligence. Taggers, if you don't already have the unfortunate luck of knowing one, are these idiot children that go around at night and scribble nonsense on walls, street signs and anything that could get them what their ridiculous excuse for a brain understand as fame. They are so dense that it doesn't even click that people can't even read that garbage. Now I'm not talking about territorial gang markings. That's a whole other world of special bus.

...well, at that time some brave idiot came out of the woodwork using the anonymous name and tried to insult us all. Never making a single point, in fact at one point conceding to what we were saying and then just flopping. "Granted, some graffiti is ugly and done by kids just wanting to vandalize property, but for fuck sake, shut the hell up."

I won't delve into the details of his moronic complaint (or the irony of his insults "you sound ignorent") because I responded to him here and you can read that if you wish.

Well a year and a half after writing that original post, we apparently attracted another jackass. This time I blocked anonymous posts so this guy created an account to respond with.

It is in the comments of the original post but I will copy and paste here for you all to enjoy. :)

J0Ey.C said...

hey hektik life ...FUCK YOU....and tagging crews stand for graffitti you fucking idiot think you know what gangser rappers are like what the fuck...youl get yur self shot for saying that.. your probaly some old white person......yeah fuck you too iris you guys are nothing but smurks oh yea uhmmmm bloggerette (FUCK YOU)
"taggings UGLY" its not to the kids tat are doing it and you old white people just sit in your house and biuld model cars and shit you fucking faggets and i can tell your white beause you talk shit on stuff you no NOTHING about..... yeah and fuck whoever wrote this shit on this whack ass site......

December 23, 2009 9:14 PM

Then he responds to himself.

J0Ey said...

hectik life is a straight shit talking bitch... you only had a mom growing up huh? hahah or a whack ass white dad hahahhah someone needs to beat your ass you discust me. just go build a birdhouse or whatever old faggets do.

December 23, 2009 9:18 PM


So now I respond to JOEy.C.

"tagging crews stand for graffitti"
No, child, they don't. Graffiti and tagging are NOT one in the same. Know your own history. Graffiti is urban art and tagging is chicken scratch.

"you know what gangser rappers are like what the fuck...youl get yur self shot for saying that"
Oh will I? Because real hardcore gangsters dance right? And make music videos? Real gangsters are in prison. Real gangsters die. Real gangsters don't have products named after them. Your parents must have never taught you to distinguish between fantasy and reality did they? Do you still believe in Santa?

"your probaly some old white person"
Ahhh, and this is the point where you proved your ignorance to me. Racism and ignorance go hand in hand. Assuming that I am white why? Because I know how to spell? That doesn't say a lot about the faith you have in what you call your own "people." No. I am not white and it wouldn't matter anyway because ignorance isn't prejudiced, as you have just proven.

The rest of that original post goes on a rampage of misspelled slurs and cursing. Much like a rabid chihuahua before you kick the little bastard over the fence so I will skim over that section.

In his next post after he caught his second wind, most likely after his weed coughing fit.

"you only had a mom growing up huh?"
What? Is that an insult? Isn't that what happens to poor little ghetto bastards? I guess he was trying to insult me with what he grew up with to know as an embarrassing life. Please, try again. Put some thought into it. This stuff is just making me laugh.

"someone needs to beat your ass you discust me"
Let me guess...you didn't even read the blog did you. You just assumed content from the title. Did you read why tagging is stupid? How it costs YOU money in the taxes that are raised to pay for the cleaning. How it costs YOU money when the property values of your home drop as a result of the tagging.

Perhaps you'd believe me if I told you this way toker. What if I told you that "the man" started this tagging trend? That he and his fat cats up in Washington conspired to make it popular and to glorify it in movies and music so poor folk would ruin their own neighborhoods and keep them poor by not letting their property values stay high and increase as much as other homes in the same neighborhoods.

JOE, all kidding aside. If your response to me telling you that taggers aren't doing anything but making the lives harder on those individuals struggling to make ends meet in our neighborhoods is "FUCKKK YOUUUUU" then there really isn't any hope for kids like you and those of us smart enough to see the truth for what it is will have only one option. Turn our backs to you when we achieve success and turn you down when you come asking for a handout years later.

Good luck moving out of your mother's house, if you're lucky enough to know who she is.