Rotten Apple, iPhone SE review

by,

Suzanne Coleman

 

For years I have wanted a new iPhone and a couple weeks ago I finally got one.  I bought the new iPhone SE in the rose gold 64 gigabytes.  I was really excited when I got it in the mail, finally, after waiting for about three weeks; the stores were all sold out.

When I opened it up, it came in a beautiful white box with a raised image of the phone on it, and all the text on the box was in the rose gold color.  Nice touch Apple.

I opened the white box and liked the way the phone looked, for the most part.  The problem started though, when I turned it on.  I immediately found the screen very glaring and difficult to look at, in fact really difficult to look at.  I went into the settings after I was able to activate the phone and adjusted them for contrast and other vision options under the accessibility feature, it did help, but not enough.

I also had issues with the phone after about 12 hours asking me to reenter all the data from the very beginning, starting with the white screen with the Apple on it.  According to the Apple Store staff, that was not supposed to happen.  The other issue I noticed was that the phone was rattling, but when I asked the Apple Store staff about that, they said that that is the auto-focus on the camera.  

I tried to give the phone a chance.  So I tried the video out, and after recording for five minutes my phone got extremely hot which made me concerned.  The main reason I bought the phone was for video and photo, especially macro photos and high-quality video, as this is something that I do as a pretty serious hobby.

What did the video look like?  I tried out the “60 fps 1080 p video” and wasn’t very happy with it.  I was videotaping a bird as it was flying, and I was moving the phone as I filmed it, to follow the bird’s motion.  I had two major issues with this.  First of all, the results were not 60p 1080.  The camera did not properly capture the number of images.  The video was very jerky, the images were not smooth.  It seemed more like i than p.  The moving birds’ wings were only showing at a few positions on the video instead of a smooth motion which I get using my 30p 1080 iPod touch 5.  The other issue was that when I moved the camera to follow the bird, the camera couldn’t keep up with the data and the background image became pixelated.  This has never happened with the 30p iPod and is unacceptable.

On the plus side, the images had good resolution; they were very sharp for the most part.  The video result had a much higher resolution than on the iPod for distant images (but not for macro, tested later).  Also, the brightness of the image on the phone while filming was great.  The exposure values were good, though there were some issue with over-exposure.  

Then I switched to 4K video to try that out (supposedly at 30p).  When I went to play it back on my iMac in iPhoto it was terrible, the video image was jerking as the video panned slowly to the right.  When I tested it again by playing it back on the phone, I did not notice this jerking, so this may be a software issue with iPhoto.  I’m also running an older version of the OS which may be the issue- though you would think that they would have updated the software to properly handle 4K. 

Also, when I first connected the iPhone SE to my iMac, iPhoto went crazy and kept flashing back and forth between different screens.  This was very disconcerting.  After I disconnected the iPhone and restarted the computer it seemed to be ok.  When I re-connected the iPhone the next time, it did not do this.

Then I went to try the camera for still images.  The images were OK, they were not outstanding at all.  Next, I used the macro camera and macro video.  In one case the video was good, but in another it was poor.  The camera was ok for macro pics, but not outstanding.   It did not measure up to the iPod in this area.  The macro video was also not able to properly depict the motion of  a moving subject (running carpenter ant).

Since my main interest was the camera and video capabilities of the phone, I decided that this was not the right tool for me.  Plus, its overall cheap-seeming construction and components were not worth the price at all.

I went into the Apple store and I was able to return the phone without any issues within their allotted time frame.  I am pretty disappointed in the quality of the phone, having both hardware and software issues.  And with the company for not properly identifying these problems before releasing the phone to the public.  But this has been their M.O. for quite a while now.  I think there are some deeper issues that need to be addressed at Apple.

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Apple Watch Sales

by,

Suzanne Coleman

Well, Apple is keeping us in suspense again.  After they sold out of all the available Watch units on the first day of sales this past Friday, at least a few people (myself included) have been wondering, well, “HOW MANY DID YOU SELL?”  Apple hasn’t said even a peep about that, yet.

With the sell-out occurring in the first 10-30 minutes of availability (depending of which article you read), I’d guess they had to sell 3-5 million units.  Now mind you, this is an educated guess only.  I just read an article which noted 1.2 million possible units were sold, but only to US buyers (“Investors’ Business Daily” and “Fortune”).  Extrapolate that to the world, and I think you’d likely land in my estimated range of sales.  Just imagine how many will sell AFTER the first 24 hours?

Were all of those naysayers (not sure what their problem is, but they seem to have one) wrong?  We’ll soon find out.  Stay tuned!

Yahoo! Finance charts, unreliable

the UGH

by,

One Frustrated American

 

When will Yahoo! ever get its act together again?  I mean, it’s been years now of messed up e-mail, finance, and news sections.  I wish I got paid $100 million to manage a company that badly.  Seriously, that would NEVER happen under my watch.  If you’re hiring, call me.

For the last few days Yahoo!’s financial charts have been showing highly inaccurate after-hours data.  Either not updating as trades occur, or for the past two days, showing numbers that are off by 10%.  I mean, learn your decimals programmers!

And not only do they fail to properly program their functions, they don’t test them, and they refuse to take customer feedback.  Like Hello!  Stupid, just plain stupid.  The best way to know your product is to LISTEN to your customers, not ignore them or send them around in circles so that you don’t have to listen to their complaints about the problems with your product.  I mean, where am I?  What country is this now?  Geez.  I guess their board of directors is only concerned with the stock price.  That will be interesting to follow if and when the market does deflate…

It would be nice to be able to rely on one of the big internet companies we have here in the United States these days.  They’ve only had, what, like 20 years to get their act together?  Yeah… again, hire me…

Yahoo! is not alone in this.  E-Trade has problems with its website too, and they don’t make corrections after they are given direct, specific feedback on the issues.  Not a good sign.  They are overdue for hiring an analytical consultant, like me.  Call me, and watch your value grow.

Who do you use for your info and have you found them to be reliable?  Let us know in the comments section below.  It’s kind of a big deal, you know?

 

 

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Empire Gossip: Last night’s episode, OOoo the Drama!

Empire Gossip, framed

by,

Suzanne Coleman

Ok guys, so what did you think about last night’s episode?  Pretty dramatic huh?  🙂  So much went down…

You know when they showed the preview last week of Cookie and Lucious MAYBE kissing, I was like, oo-ooh, do you think they will?  But then last night…  Haha, ok, well they certainly didn’t hesitate to get back to business now did they?

I think it’s good, sort-of…  It’s obvious that they have a real connection.  But I think it’s also obvious that he really hurt her in the past, and what the hell was that?  So to be letting him back in now, that is probably going to be a big mistake for Cookie in the future.  I mean, he already showed her what he thinks of her while abandoning her for SEVENTEEN YEARS while she was in prison!  Hel-lo girl!

I think a lot of the women out there know it can be hard to let go of that true love from your past, especially if there is real chemistry, even if he was an ass.  But, hopefully as we get older, we grow and learn from those mistakes and don’t let them happen again.  Right girls?  Um, Cookie?

Now on to some BUSINESS!  Does anybody else think it’s obvious that Cookie will be the one who gets to run Empire in the end?  I know, last night kind of made it more obvious, but it has seemed that way to me from day one.  She is IN CHARGE!  She is the smart one, she knows how to handle people, she knows her music and her artists, and she is clearly a great speaker, as we saw in the episode last night.  All good skills to have to run what is really HER company after all.  And let’s face it, not one of her sons has the skills to do it.  Even combined they don’t.

There is one thing that Cookie isn’t good at, and that is trusting the people she should.  That bit last night about Elle really bugged me, in SO many ways.  Elle worked hard to get clean from heroin and then Anika (what a FREAK) dopes her to get at Cookie to make her look bad.  I mean, seriously, SICK.  Felonious-sick.  And when this happens Elle TOLD Cookie she was clean and Cookie could see that she was clean, I mean, you could tell that Elle was on board with staying clean and working hard, so then why did Cookie just turn away from her so easily?  She sticks by “her man” after all of the crap he has pulled, but the person who has worked hard for her and shown her loyalty, Elle, she just blows off in a second?  That kind of bad decision-making might just turn around and bite her.

I hated to see Elle stabbed in the back like that, not only by her supposed supporter, Cookie, but also by Cookie’s damn jealous rival, Anika.  The show made it look like one of the security guards (I think that’s who that was) might have seen what happened, so hopefully it will come to light that Anika is evil, and Elle can get back into the business she is so good at, singing.

And Anika?  Anika needs to go.  To jail.

What do you think?

 

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_______________________

America Today…

What we saw happen on wall street is what is happening in the rest of America.  We are no longer a people concerned about right and wrong, ethics, customer service and satisfaction, reputation can be bought, companies can close and reopen under another name.  No one expects to have the products they buy actually function or arrive in great condition anymore.  Recently reviewing my larger purchases over the last 10 years or so, I realized that over 70% of them had to be returned due to damages or dysfunction.  Customer service was often a nightmare and human English-speaking assistance was very hard to come by.

The same lack of honor and commitment is seen from labor to professionals.  We read about bought judges, lawyers who don’t do anything for you yet expect to be paid massive amounts of money, hospital systems claiming non-profit status and charging $2 for a gram of acetaminophen!  What happened to honor, ethics, reliability, social responsibility?  I don’t know when or where it happened, but greed overtook humanity.  Now we have to take it back.

 

 

Add your thoughts below.  Have you had similar bad experiences?  What did you do about it?  Why do you think our government doesn’t seem to care about the people anymore?  What should be done?

Beware of the Ratings on Yelp

shocked, baby, face, yelp, warning, beware, ratings, need to know,

Image courtesy of mjtmail on Flickr.

If you haven’t heard of it before, yelp.com is an online rating website for businesses all over the the world where people like you and I can rate businesses as well as write up reviews (unpaid) and have them posted online for other people to see.  As a new user of yelp, I recently found out that the ratings shown for the businesses do not reflect all of the reviews submitted on those businesses.  When you use this site, you need to be aware of this, especially in order to avoid really negative business experiences like the ones I had.  I don’t want to see anyone else put into a bad position when dealing with people who aren’t ethical business people.  No one deserves to have their equipment damaged or to have a business give them a firm quote and then force them to pay more for what they had already agreed upon.

Here’s what I’m talking about.  When I recently reviewed a local business with whom I had had a very bad experience, I noticed that there was another patron who had also had a very bad experience.  But I noticed other reviewers with ok and great experiences.  I was pretty suspicious of the review with the 5 stars, but maybe it was legit.  After I submitted my one-star review I skimmed the business’ page again and noticed a little note at the very bottom of the reviews which said “filtered” reviews.  “Hmmm,” I asked myself, “what is this?”

So I clicked on it, and found tons of one star reviews and a couple of 5 star reviews that had been hidden from view!  What?!  I read through a good number of them and it wasn’t hard to realize that these one star reviews were all very legitimate.  They had specific and applicable details and were all different from each other in complaints and writing style.  And, having experienced the nightmare that was this business myself, I had no problem believing any one of them as true.  On the other hand, the five star reviews gave very little detail and were a bit too complimentary so they may have been fake, but it’s hard to say for sure.

I was a bit concerned about why all of these one-star reviews were being hidden from consumers, so I looked around for answers.  I clicked on the “about filtered reviews” link to see what I could find out.  It says that these reviews are not included in the company’s star rating.  “Why not?” I asked myself, “they are all legitimate reviews!”  I was starting to smell something a bit fishy, and it wasn’t the soup.

So I submitted a question to the company, and they responded quickly.  They said:

“Thanks for contacting us with your concerns.

We try to showcase the most helpful and reliable reviews among the millions that are submitted to the site. Unfortunately not all reviews make the cut, even some legitimate ones. However it’s worth noting that the system isn’t static. It does what it can with the information at hand, and regularly revisits each review as it learns more. As a result, filtered reviews can find their way back onto business profile pages and vice versa.”

After I received this, I felt placated.  “Ahh, ok, they’ve got a system, it’s all under control.”  But I then was prompted to go back to the site and see what happened with my recent reviews, and lo and behold, the two one-star reviews (both very legitimate and appropriate) I had written had both been filtered and placed in the “hidden” and uncounted section of the two businesses’ pages.  “What?!”  Ok, this can’t be right.  So I wrote back to the customer service rep who had responded to me and asked to speak to someone about their filtering system as it didn’t seem to be working properly.  I haven’t heard back.  So much for good customer service.

If their system works as they say, as more information comes in, the businesses’ ratings should be adjusted to reflect them.  That means that the one company that I reviewed which had 37 one-star reviews out of 54 reviews total should have a lower rating than 2.5 stars, and with so many one-star ratings, many more of them (if not all of them) should be placed on the business’ official ratings page and counted.

It sounds like their system may work to filter out fake 5-star reviews, but it seems to be doing so at the loss of keeping the valid one-star reviews.  In reality, it is more important to know about the one-star reviews than avoid some fake 5-star reviews.  I’d take another look at my filtering system if I was working at yelp, and redesign it so it better filters out only fake reviews and maintains the legitimate ones for consumers to use.  The entire point of the site is to (well for yelp’s owners to make money off of free consumer reviews…. but) provide honest reviews to consumers so that they can make good decisions about where to spend their money and where to get the services they need.  Knowing about bad businesses is a critical component of this service.

So I think the important lesson here is that if you choose to use yelp to help you decide whether or not to patronize a certain business, or to choose which business is the best fit for your needs, that you not only read the business’ main reviews but are also sure to check if they have any filtered reviews and to read those as well.  I certainly wish I had done that before I went to use the two businesses that I ended up giving one-star reviews.  It would have saved me a lot of time, money and distress in the end.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to post below, I look forward to hearing what you think.

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