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Sunday, May 1, 2011 @ Auction Now is available for sale to the highest bidder at Sedo. Listing @ Sedo

This domain WILL BE SOLD at auction as the reserve price has been met. 

The auction for will conclude on May/05/11 @ 05:51 AM Eastern Standard Time.

Update: sold for $510.00 at auction, I transferred the domain name upon Sedo's request that weekend and then verified that the funds had hit my account by May 12th, 2011.  Although I find the winning bid unusually low for such a valuable and trending domain name, I am glad to have the sale.  Sedo is a great place for quick domain name sales when both parties are on the ball.

The blogger blog address has been changed to

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Life with a DroidX: Avoiding Spam

Life with a DroidX has been much richer, easier, more fun.  Ever since I got one I have been so much more organized that I can't actually believe that I ever got along without one.  But it is also a great deal more spammy  (I absolutely hate Ad Mob).

One thing that has always confounded me is that the Apple iPhone commercials declare that you can multitask as you use the phone as a phone to talk.  But I have been doing this with my Android device as well, so I fail to see why Apple makes it seem like they are the only smart phone to offer this, and why Google allows this misconception.  Is there something you can't do while using your phone as a phone on the Android platform?  If so, tell me what it is.  I'd like to know.  I'm confused, my DroidX multitasks well.

I have downloaded quite a few applications for the android.  Many of them I like.  Some I check out and delete. 

Because I have downloaded so many apps, it seems that I actually do have to reboot the phone once a day.  Otherwise, it may reboot itself.  I would think that this would be the result of a memory leak, so I have to review what is always running on my phone.  One of these background apps must be causing a problem.  The DroidX was very reliable before I started piling all the apps on.

The thing is, I now have so many apps that it's hard to tell which ones to get rid of first.  I do try and keep them all updated, but I am actually quite sick of free apps that originate as ad-free apps requiring a manual update because they now want to show advertising.  I hate spam.  I will pay for a good app because I like to support developers who do a good job as long as the price is reasonable.  But when free stuff starts showing ads I quite honestly get pissed at the developer for spamming me at all.

It's one thing to provide an ad supported version of a paid app for free, but it is totally another situation when you provide a free application that suddenly starts showing ads that are smashed against some often used button that you access a great deal within the program.  With touchscreen technology, my big clubby fingers are constantly just barely missing the nav button I need and seeing an advertisement for something I don't need.  Furthermore, some advertisements are downright sickening or even pornographic. 

This brings-up an interesting fact, that I would not dare give my son a DroidX (or any other Android device) because the advertising is often extremely offensive to me, and believe me, I can cuss like a drunken sailor if I can get away with it when my vim is riled up.

I am a graphic designer, web designer, brand expert, and online marketer.  I do a little bit of affiliate marketing as well (not much, but I do keep my hand in it in case anything ever takes off).  You would think that I understand everyone wanting to advertise, since I am essentially a glorified ad man.  But I find it intrusive and insulting.  I think the ads are deceptive and the PPC is accidental based on my own affinity for the spam.  So it's real hard for me to understand why anyone would advertise on a little smart phone.

Despite all the spam, I am finding great enjoyment with my DroidX since I am deleting all the ad supported crap as soon as I see it.  But I have downloaded so many apps that I haven't actually even run all of them once, either.  Life interupts.  Things happen and then it takes a while for me to get back to it.

My best time killers are paper toss and the angry bird games.  But I don't usually get the opportunity to play games, only when waiting for my son to get out of school or finish his sports or swimming lessons. 

Don't ever expect the advertising crap to stop anytime soon, though.  Google is an advertising company that invests in marketing platforms.  Blogger is a marketing platform for Google.  Google is a search engine only in disguise because actually it is just a platform to show ads.  In fact, this very means of ad delivery is what corrupts Google's search algorithm, because it needs to accommodate its ad network.  Even Google Groups, Google Sites, GMail, Blogger and YouTube, all Google properties, are just ad delivery platforms.

I honestly haven't seen this spam problem with the iPhone.  Maybe there is no such problem, as Apple isn't an advertising platform.  Yet, the Apple has a whole set of other issues due to the fact that the iOS on which it is based is a closed proprietary platform, and Apple takes a huge cut of everything which drives up costs significantly.  Although its interface is exceptional, the cost is prohibitive and the control that Apple excersizes over the platform is exclusive and absolute. 

So, I guess if anyone wants to avoid all the advertising, they will want to avoid the Android platform altogether.  And this then does disqualify the youth from having these devices because the ads are so offensive and devious.  Furthermore, even though advertising partners can block ads and advertisers can block the displaying of ads on specific sites, absolutely no one has the ability to block specific advertisers, which is actually extremely inappropriate oversight by Google considering that anyone with an android has to have a dang google account in the first place.

And yet, there is one exception.  You can root the phone and install an ad blocker.  The problem here is that rooting the phone will void your warranty.  But no more spam?  That might be a good trade.  Even though I delete almost all the adware apps I get and pay for or register the exceptional stuff that I find, I still loathe seeing any kind of spam, even as a glimpse by accident.  I know that I am going to consider it, for sure. 

I'll probably wait just a bit before I do it, though.  When you root an Android phone, you wind-up losing all your apps and data on it.  Which means I have to be absolutely sure that absolutely everything on it is backed-up before I go though that process.  And it may take a bit to research all that I need to do to make sure that's done (done completely and done right). 

I now depend on this little DroidX for almost everything having to do with my time, calendar, even the little tools I need to get through the day.  I couldn't bear to lose it.  I'm absolutely hooked.  I'm an android addict.  ;)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Getting a Deal on a DroidX

It's been some time since the last post.  That's because I wanted to know what I was talking about, so I wanted to have a Droid before I posted again.  Well, thanks to my beautiful wife Maria, I finally have a DroidX!

A week before Christmas (2010) my wife and I went down to the Verizon store to check out the DroidX and see how expensive it would be to set ourselves up with a couple of them (one for each of us, mine being my Christmas present).  I was pleasantly surprised when she decided to get them for us.

I'll tell you that we didn't pay what they were asking.  We didn't even pay what you could get them for online at Verizon.  It wasn't much of a discount, but we were able to get $20.00 off of the price of Verizon's then running Buy 1 get 1 Free promotion.  Plus they set us up with a life-long 20% discount on phone accessories.  But don't let that foll you, at 20% off I am still paying more than I would at Best Buy for retail priced Motorola factory accessories.  But it's only a penny or two and this way I know my wife won't get gouged if she goes in because she has a question and needs something.

However, it should be noted that we didn't just walk out of there with a couple of DroidX smartphones.  Because I am a little clumsy (the week before I dropped my EeePC and cracked the screen), we wound-up getting a full coverage protection plan on my DroidX.  That's a hefty price tag right there, but it's much cheaper than having to buy a new one.  And I knew I would (and do) use it absolutely all the time.  And this plan replaces the phone no matter how it gets damaged.  So that's a big deal, and because of the 20% discount on accessories, we did load up. We both got wrapsol screen protectors, clear plastic rubber covers, and I grabbed the last case they had that would fit the big screened DroidX.  So it wasn't like we didn't deserve getting a good deal.

I actually wanted to see if I could knock-off another $20.00 to $5.00, but Maria just agreed to their comeback after the sales guy called the manager.  After all, they weren't offering a buy 1 get 1 free deal, and they were already $20.00 more expensive than Verizon was offering them for online.  Originally, we asked for 2 for $150.00.  I still think we could have gotten a better deal by dickering more, but women get impatient when shopping for tech stuff (not shoes, though) and when it became a done deal I had a DroidX, so I kept my mouth shut.

There was another nice feature about getting 2 Droids.  And this deal has to do with the data plan.  We don't actually get a lot of phone calls.  So we did grab the lowest priced family plan.  But Maria doesn't surf much with hers, and she uses her new Dell for all her email.  Plus, I turned on the WiFi so she can always use that at the house when downloading new apps.  So with hers we just got the least expensive data plan.  In doing that, they offered us an unlimited data for about the same price on the second line.  Since I am constantly surfing the web and checking out new apps anytime that I take Max anywhere where he just does his own thing (which is often since I am the primary care provider), this promo works out nice for us.

We didn't tack on any SMS plans, though.  We don't know anyone who texts.  ;)

We are actually used to buy-as-you go phones and have used both Tracfone and Virgin before (take a Tracfone over a Virgin despite how it sounds if you can, they have a better network) and we know that we will be spending in a month for 2 contracts what we spent in a year on a pay-as-you-go phone.  But there are no smartphones available in pay-as-you-go flavors, yet.  I certainly hope that there will be soon, even if we are pigeon-holed into contracts for the next two years.  These Android, iPhone, BlueBerry and Palm smartphones are just simply too good to be exclusive to the privileged and the communication professionals that require them. 

But now that I have an actual "smart"phone, I can't believe that I actually traunted around through life without one.  It's always with me (rarely do I space off taking it along), and it's not just a phone, camera, web browser, calendar, timer, (alarm)clock, address book, calculator, tip calculator and unit converter like my old Tracfone LG, it's a much better one that is also a compass, a level, a flashlight, a little book reader, an emailer, doodler, simple image processor, gallery, 720P Hi-Def camcorder, video player, TV, TV Guide, movie times guide, Blu-ray compliant electronics device remote controller, an entertainment device, a radio, an MP3 player, a voice recorder, a dictionary, an encyclopedia, a gas mileage and expenses tracker, a business card reader, a document scanner, a bar code reader, a comparison shopping guide, a headlines updater, a news reader, a weather update, a recipe guide, a secret journal, a password safe, a jokes keeper, an inspirational quotes machine, a multiple reference guide, a voice to speech blog toy, a deer/turkey caller, a moon phase guide, a farmer's almanac, an air horn, a star map, a NASA image gallery, a hard drive, a file sharing tool, a file downloader, networking tool, an FTP server, a social networking tool, a synthesizer/piano/drums/xylophone toy, a ringtone maker, a morse code teacher and tool, a GPS with turn-by-turn instructions, a ski conditions reporter.... it's even an internet WiFi access point!

Just like the computer, everyone wants one and eventually everyone will have at least one.  You just can't beat these things.  I would be able to scan credit cards if Square would just send me the little attachment I need to do so.

The world is changing, and the smartphone is a good part of it.  I do recommend that kids only use the phone speaker and hold it away and in front of their head as a precaution, but these things are phenomenal!

Well, I hope that helps you get a deal.  You can probably wind-up with a better deal than I had if you are getting a couple of phones.  The same type of dickering should work with just about any smartphone.  Verizon and some of the other players are rumored to be working on cheaper contracts, too.  You might wait a bit for that, but if you can get one now and don't have a smartphone, you should.

The only extra accessories that I have grabbed since we bought these droids is a quick car charger from Best Buy and I am going to also grab a home dock.  A car dock is the only other thing you might need and that would take the place of the car charger.

Good luck getting a deal and happy Androiding!  ;)  -Doug