OGIO No Drag Mach 5 Backpack

Here are some useful reviews of the OGIO No Drag line of motorcycle-themed backpacks.

The Mach 5 is their flagship of the No Drag line which includes the Mach 1, Mach 3, and aforementioned Mach 5.  Each model adds some more advanced features such as better material, more rigid aerodynamics, extra pockets, etc.

Ogio No Drag Backpack Overview & Buying Guide at RevZilla.com

OGIO Mach 5 Vs Kriega R20 Backpacks

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Android: Choppy Bluetooth Streaming Fix

When I commute to work I spend half my time listening to the radio (NPR only) and the other half streaming music or podcasts from my Samsung phone to my stereo via Bluetooth.  I’ve noticed severe choppiness in the streaming lately, and even though I could tolerate it for a while, it was quite disruptive to my passengers so I finally gave in and searched for a fix.

Conditions

  • Pioneer AVIC head unit
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
  • AT&T LTE connection
  • Spotify (music) or Stitcher (podcasts)

The most effective fix I’ve found had to do with Clearing the Phone’s Cache Partition.  I did it yesterday and have had clear, uninterrupted streaming since.  Think of the Cache Partition to be your phone’s Temp Folder which uh … caches files to speed up access in some apps. It’s similar to your PC’s Temp folder. (There’s actually another /data/dalvik-cache directory but that’s too complicated for this post)

Procedure

Short

  1. Go to the Android Recovery menu, Wipe Cache Partition, Reboot

Detailed

  1. Turn your device off.
  2. Press and hold both the Volume Up and Home keys, then press and hold the Power key (so you end up holding all 3 keys)
  3. When the device beeps/vibrates release only the Power key
  4. When you see the Android Device Recovery Menu you can release the other two keys.
  5. Use the Volume keys to navigate to Wipe Cache Partition and use Power key to select it.
  6. Use the Volume keys to navigate to Reboot system now and use Power key to select it.
  7. The device will reboot and you should notice better Bluetooth streaming performance.

True Blood: Season 7 – 3/4 Season Recap

… and now for a brief pause while we turn our attentions away from Gaza, Ukraine, Ebola, etc …

Well, to say that TB has “jumped the shark” would be an exaggeration as TB has, more accurately, lackadaisically moseyed up to the shark, put its hands up and declared “mehhhh”.

True Blood, which has always been a half decent (meaning…half good, half crap) show overall, has developed an extreme case of senioritis.  In knowing that season 7 will be its last the show’s writers/producers have pretty much phoned in the entire pathetic story line, script, and action sequences. Previously we have at least been entertained by story arcs that have dealt with interesting characters (Russell Edgington, Godric) and conspiracies that have kept us semi-intrigued during and between seasons with some edgy cliffhangers after a well-paced season.

Right now I cannot think of a single story line in season 7 that is interesting – meaning…I actually give a crap about how the story progresses or concludes.  The characters are either dead, dying, or on their way out – mentally and existentially. The worst part?  I don’t care any more. Even the steadfast duo of Eric and Pam are waning and whining. Before this season they could have well had their own spin-off show detailing their decades of adventures but at this point … whatever.

Vampire shows have always had an “entertainment multiplier” augmenting their surface intrigue with complex and interesting back stories – the real power of many strong shows like Lost (and even Blade: The Series…which although was decent had back stories more interesting than the main show. True Blood has the most mundane flashbacks of Bill back in his pre-war years as a fresh-faced whelp courting his soon-to-be-dead-wife-and-kid.  He might as well be flashing back to churning butter or eating biscuits as nothing really happens; there’s not too much character development; and no one cares.

The showrunners have made it clear that they want to have every character just fade out of existence like Marty in Back to the Future rather than go out in a wet, chunky splat like most vampires in the show have done. The only thing that could make this season more ridiculous is for Sookie to leave Bon Temps on a quest to find herself and meet up with Dexter the Lumberjack in Alaska….zzzzzzz

ROI: Babson Beats Harvard for Best Bang-for-the-Buck!

Here is a great article which references this week’s Money’s article ranking Babson as Best Bang-for-the-Buck college in the US…the best quote from this article would be:

“M.I.T., Stanford and the California Institute of Technology are all in the top 10. But so are Brigham Young, Harvey Mudd College and Babson College. Babson is a business-focused institution in Massachusetts that most people have probably never heard of. According to Money, it’s the No. 1 college in America.”

In my experience on the west coast barely anyone, outside of east coast transplants and people who are looking into, or have graduated from, business school have ever heard of Babson – this will be our key marketing challenge for the next generation of graduates.  Right now, as a graduate of the 3rd San Francisco cohort of Babson’s MBA program, the main marketing channel seems to be word-of-mouth referrals.

Building a Better College Ranking System. Wait, Babson Beats Harvard?

Cabin: iPhone Battery Case with MagSafe-like Connector

HEVO Labs has just come up with a great accessory for the iPhone which addresses its most annoying/weakest feature – the %$#! Lightning port which is used for power & data.  It’s an Apple-only “standard” which I admit is nicer than there clunkier 30-pin port but

I honestly wish them the best of luck but there’s a reason why no non-Apple hardware manufacturers have developed any “Magsafe-Like” power adapters for either phones or laptops because Apple would sue the pants off them.

This a great idea though – to have a minimalist, aluminum-bodied 2200mAh battery case, that converts the Lightning port to a magnetically connected charging port.  This magnetic feature allows clean connectivity to their own docking stand and charging cables without the risk of physical wear & tear/damage that the traditional Lightning or MicroUSB ports have.  It combines the ease-of-use of wireless magnetic induction (popular on some Android) and the speed

Cult of Mac Article

Apple Magsafe US Patent

They state some of the Risks and Challenges include logistics and manufacturing but I think their biggest threat to success is Apple’s penchant for litigation against supposed IP violations – the L in the PESTLE analysis for you MBA nerds.  Apple neither licenses the Magsafe connector nor the patent which means…they’ll be hoarding and suing anyone that poses a threat. So with that big threat looming on the horizon I’m both curious and worried for the Cabin system.

One Cool Thing: School or Pool?

Infographic showing where families’ priorities lie with the majority of home buyers opting more to pay a premium for the schools of their choice than for certain luxury amenities like a pool/spa.

This supports the current pricing trends in areas with the highest ranked schools (Cupertino, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Los Altos) where purchase prices can be up to 25% higher than original list prices!

Smallpdf – Compress, Merge, and Split PDFs Online

If you’re like me you work with a LOT of documents in both soft and hard copy. Although the world is becoming more and more paperless some of us still have to deal with hard copy documents which need to be (e)signed, manipulated, and scanned back into different electronic distribution systems – email, contract systems, etc.

Working with PDFs, although a great format, gets pretty messy quickly.

I have used PDFSplit! many many times as it lets you break up large PDFs into smaller files – imagine you scanned a dozen documents into one PDF file and wanted to process it all later – that would be the best use case for PDFSplit!

I just came upon a situation where I scanned a series of consecutive docs but needed to reorder them. This is where I found Smallpdf – another great online PDF tool which allows you to do the following:

  • Compress
  • JPG to PDF
  • PDF to JPG
  • Merge PDF – you can view in Page Mode and rearrange pages
  • Split PDF
  • Word, Excel, and Powerpoint to PDF

Basically you drag and drop a PDF file into the web app and begin manipulating from there.  There is a File Mode and a Page Mode.  Page Mode allows you to visually reorder pages which is very convenient.

If security is a concern Smallpdf states that the files you upload are kept on their servers for only an hour and no backups are made so that’s some good reassurance.