Wednesday, October 26, 2016

So many wrongs @linkedin

I think this "no connection" screen on LinkedIn was designed to drive me crazy.  It's an error screen on the LinkedIn app on Android*, but it shows a cord.  Is that a phone cord or an ethernet cable? It's difficult to tell from the plugs.  No, wait, look at the break - that's definitely a coaxial cable.  And all the internets (or is that power?) seem to be leaking out of it, even though it's not connected to anything.  I has a sad.

*Yes, yes, you can technically run Android on tablets and Chromebooks, but they're typically wireless as well.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Making @Starbucks special again

I just unsubscribed from Starbucks' emails. I realized that their emails have made me less likely to go to Starbucks.  (Ironically, this week I was also approached by a recruiter to go work for Starbucks in their Email Marketing division but that's not why I unsubscribed.)

It's taken me awhile to get to it, but for some time now, the Starbucks emails have left me unsettled. Every email is trying to get me to visit more, to buy more. It's all about making a sale.

But that's not what Starbucks is - to me.  Starbucks is a treat, a reward, a special occasion.  Starbucks is the destination at the end of a walk with my daughter.  Starbucks is a mid-point between working in the office and working from home.

It was a Friday tradition when I worked in Pasadena and a Sunday afternoon tradition way back when I lived in Sherman Oaks and was single (coffee, scone, Hollywood Report and Variety and my feet up on the edge of the fountain).  The one in Monrovia that always had drawings from elementary students on the walls was where I met with several other men for a weekly Bible study years ago.  When I worked in Burbank, we used to enjoy walking to the one in the Disney Channel building.  In Tacoma, I had just discovered that Starbucks, a scone and a walk on the beach was a good way to center myself before heading into a frustrating job.  Speaking of, Starbucks and I were born in the most awesome city of Seattle. I even own a few shares and somewhere I have a few of the special Shareholder only cards they used to issue each year (the app has made cards a relic).   Our family still occasionally searches out the "Glenn" commercial on YouTube and sings-along.

I bristle when people call Starbucks a restaurant, especially a fast-food restaurant. It's a cafĂ©.  (If Mr. Schultz himself told me it was a restaurant, I'd politely disagree.)

Starbucks is special.

For instance, from this blog alone...

Its emails did not feel special. It was all about buying stuff, earning more stars.  It felt manipulative, generic and mass marketing. I think that really hit home when they emailed me to say that they wanted me to be one of the first to know that PSL was back.  (It's been a long time since I've had PSL - it was either not memorable or I didn't care for it.)  I figured there was no way that I was segmented into any sort of special list, that they probably just sent it to everyone.  (Also, apparently I have some stars that are expiring, like 2.3.  It seems like stars are really common now, and yet somehow I still have fractional stars. Too complicated.)
But I have a theory - I suspect that I will go to Starbucks a little more now, on my terms, because I want to.  Not because I was told to.  
But I have a theory - I suspect that I will go to Starbucks a little more now, on my terms, because I want to.  Not because I was told to.  If I earn a bunch of stars and get something for free, that's another way I'll be delighted.  If some of my stars expire like some cheap airline miles, I won't know about it and won't be sad that something is being taken away from me.

I am making Starbucks special again.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Stupid Hoaxes

I watched two videos today where people drilled into their iPhone 7s, claiming that was all it took to add a headphone jack to their phones.  Obviously, poorly done hoaxes, but apparently some people have fallen for it.  I kept waiting for them to validate how it worked or give specifics about where to drill and how deep to drill, but they never did.

Here's one plausible reason they could have used: you're drilling into a speaker. You'll destroy the speaker but expose the wiring to allow your headphones to make contact.  And here's a second plausible reason... but, please, please do not actually follow this advice.  But here's how my hoax would go:

Replace the Missing iPhone 7 Headphone Jack

When the iPhone 7 was released, Apple claimed they were making the courageous choice to eliminate the headphone jack in the name of progress.  A recent tear-down by Fixer Squad turned out Apple wasn't so courageous after all - the headphone jack still exists!

Why would Apple do this? The current theory is that next September Apple will unveil the iPhone 7s with the headphone jack. They'll announce that "the people have spoken and Apple listened."  But in reality, it will be the exact same phone with a modified case and a modest bump in memory (and a not-so-modest bump in price).

If you don't want to wait until September to enjoy your existing headphones and you're feeling brave, it is possible to fix your iPhone today.

You'll need a 3.5mm drill bit, a good ruler, a variable speed drill and masking tape. Optional: Vise and handheld vacuum (or a vacuum with a hose and wand.)

Start by measuring 3/4" on the drill bit.  Wrap a piece of masking tape around the drill bit so you'll know when you've reached the proper depth.  You'll be drilling through the case and the plastic plug that Apple has inserted into the headphone jack.

Turn the phone off entirely (very important!!!) and then secure the phone so that it can't move while drilling.  A vise works best, but if you don't have access to a vise, a few heavy books should hold the phone still you're drilling.  Don't use other heavy objects that aren't wide and flat - you don't want them to move or jump and crack your screen.  As a last resort, you could use masking tape to secure it to the edge of a table, but you'll need to be extra careful if you do that.

Look at the bottom of the phone with the screen facing up or away from you.  You'll see the Lightning port in center and a series of dots on either side.  The dots on the right are for the speaker, but the lots on the left are just for symmetry - they serve no purpose!!!

Line your drill carefully with the third dot.  Begin to drill slowly.  You'll see a small amount of metal and plastic come out.  This is natural.  Drill slowly - the headphone jack will guide you once you've broken through the outer casing.  Every 1/4" in or so, remove the drill bit and gently blow across the opening to remove drilled debris. If you've got a handheld vacuum, this will work well to make sure there's no plastic bits inside the headphone jack.

After you've drilled down 3/4" and cleaned out the debris, check to see if the headphones fit snugly into the jack.  If not, you may need to use the drill a little more - there may still be plastic from the plug inside the jack. Insert the jack and while drilling slowly, move the drill in a slight counter-clockwise direction to widen the opening ever so much.  Be careful not to overdo it - headphones that constantly fall out are worse than no headphones at all.

Once the headphones fit snugly, unplug the headphones and turn the phone on.

Wait until the phone has restarted and go into the Settings and tap on Sound.  Then plug in the headphones.  After about 2 seconds, you should see the Headphone settings appear on the menu when it recognizes them.  If you have the iOS upgrade, your iPhone may crash at this point. If so, simply power down the phone and restart and repeat the process.  We expect Apple will fix this bug before any new iPhone with a headphone jack is released.

That's all there is to it.

And remember, don't really actually do this. I'm kidding. This isn't real.