Showing posts from April, 2010

Mobile Phone Watch Review: Final

Back last September, I reviewed my then-recent mobile phone watch purchase . All in all, it has done me fairly well.  For this review, I'll do a simple pros and cons list, followed by an overall recommendation. Pros It's on your wrist, so it's pretty difficult to forget to take it with you. It's quad band, so you can use it anywhere in the world. It has a camera and plays audio and video. It's a great conversation piece. Everybody calls you "James Bond" when you're wearing it :) But it's all not puppies and rainbows.  There are some serious problems. Cons The user interface sucks .  A lot.  The software is just plain awful and it's difficult to use. The Bluetooth functionality is buggy as hell. The build quality sucks .  A lot.  (see next few points) The stylus fell off within the first few weeks. The latch for the USB port broke after a few months. The band broke today.  This subsequently broke the casing and now it just say

Spring Cleaning and Garage Sales -- Online

Ahh, the fresh smell of spring.  Time to get rid of the old and bring in the new. Inevitably when you start spring cleaning , you end up with a bunch of things you've acquired over the years that you don't really need anymore. When I found myself with a large number of things to sell last year, I did my best advertising everything on Kijiji . I sold most things in the end, but it was a real pain updating and managing the individual ads, marking things off after they were sold. It was also a bit annoying that the site was plastered in multiple flashing banner ads and sponsored links trickily designed to look like regular listings. So I did what any self-respecting computer geek would do, and built my own solution to the problem -- . To be clear, it is not the best place to sell a car.  It is also not the place to look for a home or apartment.  Don't go there expecting to find personal ads or job listings, either. It is not at all like your ty

Why I don't return your cold calls

I return most  business phone calls (and all personal ones).  However -- There is a type of messages that I don't reply to anymore.  It goes something like this: "Hi, this is John Doe from Acme Corp. I've tried calling you several times but was unable to reach you. Could you please give me a call at 123-4567 x890.  That's John Doe at  1 2 3 - 4 5 6 7  x 8 9 0 . Look forward to speaking with you then.  Thanks! " This seems to be a standard template for a sales "cold call."   It's made to sound like it might be a potential client or other important call, but over the years, I've learned that most worthwhile messages include the reason for the call. When I return messages like the above, it is always some random provider trying to sell me something. What I don't understand is why they don't mention the product or service they're trying to sell in the message. Do they think they're being sneaky ?  Do they think they'

Why is income tax so damn complicated?

I don't understand why the income tax system (in Canada and the US) has to be so bloody complicated . Why can't they just tax gross income -- both on individuals and corporations? Instead there are 30,000 rules about what you can deduct when and how. Even the best accountants don't understand all the intricacies. It takes complicated computer software to actually track and optimize your refund. Why are there even refunds in the first place?  Why not just deduct the right amount of tax upfront? Here's the solution: Eliminate deductions and adjust the marginal rates to compensate. It would all be so simple then! So much wasted time and effort.  Argh!  Why, why, why?...