Featured Photos

Baseball Hall of Fame - 8/23/11

Featured Video

Avery's QuEST Project - It's Healthy!

House Construction

The Completed Home Renovation

Home Renovation - Complete!

Our House Construction Photoblog

RSS Feed

Tech Talk

« Previous Entries                    

Best & Worst of Tech – 2011

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

‘Tis the season for “Best of” and “Worst of” lists, I guess, but I found these lists from CNET pretty thought provoking:

The Top 5 Tech Winners of 2011

5) The Amazon Kindle Fire
4) The MacBook Air
3) The iPad 2
2) The iPhone 4S
1) Motorola Droid Razr

The Top 5 Tech Disappointments of 2011

5) Electric Cars
4) iCloud
3) Chrome Books
2) 3D TV
1) Non-iPad tablets

Read beyond the break for my thoughts on these items, as well as the embedded CNET Videos…

Read the rest of this entry »

Categories: Tech Talk | 3 Comments »

The New York Times – Charging for Free Content

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

In case you haven’t read about it yet, the New York Times changed their online access policy, by offering what they’re calling digital subscriptions. Here’s how it works:

If you are a home delivery subscriber of The Times, you will continue to have full and free access to our news, information, opinion and other features on your computer, smartphone and tablet. International Herald Tribune subscribers will also receive free access to NYTimes.com.

If you are not a home delivery subscriber, you will have free access to 20 articles (including slide shows, videos and other features) each month. If you exceed that limit, you will be asked to become a digital subscriber. On our smartphone and tablet apps, the Top News section will remain free of charge. For access to the other sections within the apps, we will ask you to become a digital subscriber.

So, twenty articles per month for free, after which you have to pay to read. But wait, there are a couple of small caveats:

Categories: News and/or Media, Tech Talk | 5 Comments »

Calling out the .com in familygreenberg.com

Friday, February 18th, 2011

My buddy Jeff Porten name checked me (domain-checked me?) in his TidBITS article yesterday, so I figured the least I can do is respond with some thoughts of my own.

First of all, if you’re here visiting from TidBITS, welcome! Have a look around. Stay awhile. I’ve got this really cool Photoshop celebrity contest going on called Brain Celebri-teasers which could always use some fresh faces. And while it hasn’t appeared that way lately, I do occasionally write, you know, WORDS.

Now that we’ve taken care of the formalities, on to Jeff’s topic about top-level domains (TLD’s). He speaks of the .nxt conference, at which various marketing people are trying to convince the world that hershey.candy would sell more chocolate bars than hershey.com. He then asserts that most people surf the web with Google these days anyway (even finding www.google.com using their Google search bar), making the TLD an anachronism of that ancient animal known as the “90′s Web.”

I don’t disagree with him. Owning familygreenberg.com

Categories: Tech Talk | 5 Comments »

Seriously, Apple? Daylight Saving Time?

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

You would think that by 2010, all of our smart phone manufacturers would have figured out Daylight Saving Time. I mean, maybe not the really old phones – the ones that were built back when sundials were still all the rage (i.e., the 1990′s), but the modern ones should be OK, right?

Turns out, a small, little-known phone manufacturer called “Apple” still hasn’t gotten it quite right:

Apple iPhone users in the United States must . . . remember to delete and then reset their phone’s alarm clock — otherwise they may be an hour late for work on Monday morning.

A glitch in the iPhone’s operating system will cause recurring weekday alarms not to ring on time on Monday morning because of the end of Daylight Saving Time, which occurs at 2 a.m. on Sunday in the United States. The phone’s alarm app doesn’t recognize the time change and will ring an hour late if users don’t go into the program and manually reset the alarms.

Users who depend on the iPhone to wake them up should create one-time alarms specifically for Monday morning, said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Harrison. “We suggest customers set non-repeating alarms for now and reset after November 7 to resolve the issue,” she told CNN.

Later this month, Apple will release an updated version of its mobile software, iOS 4.2, which will permanently fix the problem, Harrison said.

I’m not sure what’s more embarrassing – getting Daylight Saving Time wrong in your operating system, or releasing a fix for it a couple weeks after it’s needed.

Maybe the guy in charge of Daylight Saving Time was the same guy in charge of keeping the iPhone 4 prototype under wraps…

Categories: Tech Talk | 4 Comments »

Geek humor

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Here’s one for my more techie friends. If you don’t understand this, trust me – just move on…

The warning message that Microsoft PowerPoint gives you when you open a presentation from a SharePoint site:

Woah, dude…. Check out that PowerPoint deck. Like….totally awesome, man……

Categories: Tech Talk | 1 Comment »

ISBS Review: The Apple iPad

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

When Apple’s iPad first came out, I wrote this:

As things stand today, if someone were to buy me one as a gift, I

Categories: Tech Talk | 13 Comments »

How People Found Me – January-March, 2010

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

And now, another installment of the irrationally popular, “How People Found Me,” in which I highlight some of the Google queries that resulted in people clicking through to I Should Be Sleeping. In today’s epside, we begin with:

1) Bizarre Billy Joel Queries

I’ve written about Billy Joel a fair amount in these pages, so I attract an eclectic array of search strings. For example:

billy joel doesn’t like to clean kitchen Well, for a guy who doesn’t like to clean up, he sure has a knack for ensuring that he lives alone, huh? I guess he could always hire a cleaning service

Categories: Tech Talk | 3 Comments »

Should You Buy an iPad?

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

The folks over at GeekDad have a helpful flowchart to help you decide:

Now that’s some solid logic. ;-)

Categories: Tech Talk | 3 Comments »

If you’re going to do it, do it right…

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Dear spammer,

If you’re going to send me fake e-mail claiming to be from Citibank’s customer service department, you may want to note that Citibank doesn’t capitalize the “b” in their name. Also, you may want to spell words like “security” and “upon” correctly.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Spam Recipient

It’s hard to imagine that people open these files at all (even though I know they do), but if you think your bank misspelled its own name and the word “security” in their security e-mail and you still open the file? Well, then, enjoy your virus. You are beyond help…

Categories: Tech Talk | 1 Comment »

Allright already, here’s my iPad post

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

I have been notified by the blogging authorities that I am in violation of Blog Law #865309, subsection 2, paragraph iii, which clearly states that anyone running an active blog on or about January 27, 2010 must post their thoughts on Apple’s new iPad product within 48 hours of Steve Jobs’ announcement or face severe ridicule in the tech-geek community. Because of my failure to do so, I have hereby been sentenced to provide tech support to my entire extended family at all hours of the day and night for the foreseeable future.

In posting this now, I am throwing myself on the mercy of the courts, in hopes of earning myself some time off for good behavior.

Now, where were we? Ah yes, the iPad. First of all: Wow. Wicked cool. Seriously. I mean, DAMN! You don’t get more Star Trek than that. Come on! Check out the picture to the right – those Personal Access Display Devices (or P.A.D.D.’s) they used on the show might as well have been iPads, and that was back in the early 90′s. As always, Apple gets props for turning science fiction into retail electronics. If the Blackberry was the Tricorder, than this thing is the P.A.D.D..

I suspect a lot of people will spend a lot of time (and a considerable amount of money) gawking at how cool it looks. But eventually, you need to turn it on and actually, you know, use it for something. On that score, at least for now, I’m still impressed. After all, who are we kidding? It’s a 10-inch iPhone/iPod Touch. All those people who insisted they were comfortable watching a full-length feature film on a 4.5″ x 2.5″ screen can finally admit that yes, a 9.6″ x 7.8″ is much, much nicer, thank you very much. Same goes for viewing pictures, playing video games and browsing the web. After all, that “pinch and spread” technology is very cool and all, but reading a content-rich web page would be much nicer if we didn’t have to do quite so much pinching.

There is a new wrinkle here in iBooks, and while the interface is Apple-style cool, there’s the little sticking point of eInk vs. LCD screen. As pretty as the iPad’s screen is, it can’t be as easy on the eyes as eInk, putting iPad at a disadvantage in the eReader category. I don’t think this is insurmountable, though. If people like what the iPad can do, they might accept a slightly inferior eBook reader to avoid buying (and carrying around) two devices. And, as I said in my review of the Amazon Kindle, the other eBook readers don’t even attempt to do what the iPad can do.

That said, if iBooks is the new wrinkle, then the new crease is the presence of content-entry apps, specifically the iWork suite and Mail. That keyboard that would pop up for texting/e-mailing on your iPhone is almost full-size now, and so Apple is placing a (small) bet that people will use the iPad to create content, not just to consume it. Here, I think they wade into dangerous territory. The “wow” factor will fade quickly when you have to get your presentation done, and if Keynote is much easier to use on the MacBook than it is on the iPad, people will revert back awfully quickly. Also, and I know I speak blasphemy here, there’s still the small problem of Microsoft Office’s 80% market share in this space. Those of us who haven’t entered Steve Jobs’ reality distortion field can still plug our iPods, iPod Touches, and iPhones into our Windows PC’s, but there’s no way we’re doing the budget spreadsheet in Numbers, and then sending it to our boss who expects Excel. If they want the iPad to truly replace the laptop, they’re going to need to reach out with the olive branch and get Microsoft to write iPad specific versions of those programs. (No, I’m not holding my breath).

Then there is the matter of what isn’t there. I’m surprised, for instance, that the iPad cannot function as a phone. If you’ve got 3G capability (optional), the iPhone OS, a microphone and speakers/a headphone jack, isn’t phone functionality just another app? Or is Apple suggesting that we buy (and carry around) an iPad and an iPhone? Dubious. Also, I’m reading where Safari for iPad doesn’t support Adobe Flash? Didn’t Steve Jobs tell us we’d have the “whole web in the palm of our hands?” This is kind of like the semi-secret “no, it doesn’t do cut & paste yet” thing with the original iPhones. I’m looking for a flash-enabled browser in the very near future. I’m sure other gotcha’s like this will dribble out once the iPad actually gets in the hands of users, but for now, those are the two that surprised me the most.


As things stand today, if someone were to buy me one as a gift, I’d gladly give it a permanent home in my laptop bag, where it would replace my (old and aging) iPod and probably also my Kindle. It would provide me with a good portable photo frame, video player and web browser, none of which I have today. I don’t think I’d use it for e-mail (except maybe an occasional one-off, blackberry style) and I’m pretty sure I’d never use the iWork apps. For those reasons, if I’m spending my own money, I’d probably save the $300 and buy an iPod Touch, which does OK as a photo frame, video player and web browser, and doesn’t make me pay for all that extra stuff I’d never use.

But that’s today. In the near future, I fully expect someone (be it Apple or a competitor) to take the ball from here and run with it. And if a similar device were to become available for less money, running the apps I’m used to using, and making it just as easy to create on a tablet as it is on a laptop, then I am so there.

One last thing: the name. There are two problems with it. The first is somewhat localized in the American northeast (specifically, Boston) where the word “iPad” and the word “iPod” sound way too similar for everyone’s liking. More globally, though, I join pretty much everyone in the world in wondering if there are any women who work in Apple’s marketing department. Or at least any men who might have remembered this from back in 2006:

Categories: ISBS Reviews, Tech Talk | 9 Comments »

« Previous Entries