Lyft Line

I tried Lyft Line the other day, and I am less than impressed.

Lyft Line is the ride-sharing car-pooling version of Lyft where you share the car with other people.

The problem that I have is that they give an estimate on your arrival time, based on not picking up any more people. But as soon as more people get added on it jumps 10-15 minutes, and continues to do that as the time grows.

Now I understand that this will happen as they bring more people into your ride, but I feel the estimated time should be more precise.
For example, if it’s going to take 20 minutes to get to my destination, tell me it’ll take 30-40 to take into account any pickups you may add. No one will complain if you get there too early.
Instead they tell you 18-23 minutes, and then it just starts jumping until you get there 40 minutes after the original estimate.

In New York City their algorithm clearly needs to be replaced. Whereas in other cities they may add in people within a 1/2 mile of your current route, in NYC that is equivalent to a 10-20 ride difference.
New York needs to be handled as a time difference. If it’s within 7-15 minutes of your route they add it in.
This would allow them to give a more accurate estimate of arrival before your trip.

While this method may not be good for their bottom line, neither are unsatisfied customers who can’t work on the assumption that “my 20-minute estimate is now an hour once you’ve driven me one mile in the wrong direction (which is 25 minutes in NYC)…”

FIFA 17 Update

It’s been eight months since I reviewed FIFA 17 and it’s time to look back and see how it’s holding up.

Presentation and Graphics have not faltered since day 1. I have spent hundreds of hours on it, and never hit a glitch or bug in the system.
They added ‘goal review’ to the game, but I have only seen it tried once or twice, and never has something been ruled a ‘goal’. While it would be too scripted to happen, and it would be something that they would overuse if they tried to push it…it would be kind of cool in a big situation to have a goal overturned one way or the other.

I enjoy playing this game over the long term, compared to something like Madden or NHL, because it is just so simple.
15 minutes in and out, no thinking of which passing play I need to run, just a formation and timing.
I don’t have to worry about my ‘goalie having an off night and letting in easy goals’ or ‘the wind blowing a perfect pass slightly off course’. Sure those are all ‘part of the game’, but sometimes you just want a mindless break from reality to play a video game.

When you play a full season, keep your team healthy, play well and smart start-to-finish, you’ll just have an enjoyable time.

As for The Journey mode I mentioned last time: I played it, and it was a lot of fun. Taking a player from childhood through the Championship is rewarding, especially as you build out friendships and rivalries.
Madden is adding Long Shot to their game this year, which is a similar idea, and it may actually give people a reason to pick up the stale franchise again.

Dear Editors on Daily Mail

Dear Editors on Daily Mail,

Just kidding. There are no editors on Daily Mail.
From the headlines to the blurbs on the front page, and the stories to the gossip pages, the site is riddled with misspellings and errors.

Factual errors, simple spelling mistakes, and a lot of things that are easily fixable if someone just read things over once before they posted (or just ran something like AutoCorrect or Grammerly before posting).

ABC7-NY recently added a “Report A Typo” button on the end of every story. Clicking it will open your email with the subject “Report a typo” and fills out the text with the story headline and link.
While it may seem a bit lazy, it is an extra (hundred) set of eyes to keep an eye on things and make sure everything going out is correct.

So Daily Mail, maybe hire an editor or two….or just turn your site into a wiki and let the readers correct the mistakes.

Samsung Galaxy S8 #Review

It’s been more than two months and it is finally time to review my Samsung Galaxy S8.

For starters, it was a nice changeover from the Moto X to the S8. That is not to say there is anything wrong with the Moto, but change is good after a while.

The phone is sleek, slim, and feels fantastic in the hand. The graphics are a step up on just about every device out there, with the edge-to-edge screen and most pixels per inch of any device on the market (as of launch).

Most people’s largest concern is the “smudging of the camera while using the fingerprint reader”. I haven’t encountered this issue for a few reasons. For starters, I only use the fingerprint reader when using Samsung Pay, but more importantly, I don’t use the reader as my standard unlock function. I have ‘trusted devices’ to take care of that, including my smart watch.

The processor is fast and handles everything at lightning speeds, with no phone lag, and the expandable memory is always a much-appreciated bonus on these phones (although it should be standard at this point. I’m looking at you Apple).

Meanwhile, the Samsung credit card payments via magnet strip is a much appreciated, undervalued, feature.

It’s amazing how quickly I forget about the extra button on the side. I never touch it, never use it, and Bixby is a forgotten afterthought to me. Samsung should’ve held off on it until they nailed down all the details, instead they forced it out raw, and just handed out a dead fish on launch.

The battery is only ‘okay’, with a standard daily usage time, but with quick charge, it is easy to refuel and keep going. It’s only annoying when on the go and not constantly around a port every 8+ hours to charge.

While I will still push the Motorola line of phones on people because price point to quality is greatest from them, I definitely recommend the S8 to anyone willing to drop top dollar on a brand new device.

One Year Goes So Fast – Rest in Peace Rebecca

One year ago today a life was removed from this Earth, and it’s tough to express the thoughts that have ranged inside over the year about it.

When I wrote my post the morning that I found out about it all I promised the following:

But so many of us suffer. So many of us just can’t admit (whether to ourselves or to those around us) that depression, loneliness, whatever you want to call it, is eating away at us.
Making us miserable on the inside, regardless how we appear on the outside.
And I don’t know what the real solution is, but I’m gonna try my hardest to figure it out.

And I am pleased with the strides I have taken over the last year to help those around me and help to break the stigma that exists. I’ve reached out where I thought necessary to friends and strangers, just to make sure they knew someone was there if need be; and just two weeks ago we held an event, attended by over 200 people, and viewed by hundreds more online, in which experts came together to talk to the community and help expound on what most people turn a blind eye to.

But there’s the other side to that coin too. The feeling of emptiness and loss, and I’ll admit that it’s now rare for me to drive over a bridge and not have that fleeting thought of loss, specifically yours.

Rest in Peace Rebecca Wasserstrum, on the first anniversary of your death, as we know that that you are up there looking down helping us through the ups and downs of life.

Sometimes I feel my heart is breaking
But I stay strong and I hold on cause I know
I will see you again
This is not where it ends
I will carry you with me
~See You Again by Carrie Underwood~

As my memory rests
But never forgets what I lost
Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
~Wake Me Up When September Ends by Green Day~

PS. I encourage everyone to watch the panel discussion from two weeks ago, it’s worth the time spent, and as always feel free to contact me if you need an ear to vent to.

Comparing Phones – 2017 Edition

Two summers ago I talked about the predicted rise of Motorola, and I did a comparison of the top phones of the time.

Well, I figured it was time to take a peek under the hood again and see how today’s phones stack up.
To note, I myself have switched over to the Samsung Galaxy S8, but I still recommend the Motorola’s, especially the Moto-G line, to anyone looking for less expensive smartphones.

S2B – Screen-To-Body ratio (Percentage of front of the phone that the screen takes up…more = better)
MP – Megapixel
PPI – Pixels Per Inch (Higher Number means sharper screen quality)

  • Moto Z2 – $500 (Estimate, phone due in July) – 12MP camera – 5.5″ screen/S2B 70.1% – 401 PPI – SD Slot – 3000mAh battery
  • Moto G5+ – $229 – 12MP camera – 5.2″ screen/S2B 67.1% – 424 PPI – SD Slot – 3000mAh battery
  • Samsung Galaxy S8 – $624 – 12MP camera – 5.8″ screen/S2B 83.6% 570 PPI – SD Slot – 3000mAh battery
  • Apple iPhone 7 – $649 – 12MP camera – 4.7″/S2B 65.6% – 326 PPI – NO SD Slot – 1960mAh battery
  • LG G6 – $699 –  13MP camera – 5.7″/S2B 78.6% – 564 PPI – SD slot – 3300mAh battery

I’m going to stick with my conclusion from last time…why would anyone get an iPhone? Among the most expensive options, and lowest on the totem pole in every stat among other leaders… 

Location Based Emergency Notifications

The National Weather Service has pinged your phone with those “DANGER FLOOD WARNING” message one too many times. The same service that they use to let people in a specific area know when there’s an Amber Alert.

So why are colleges and universities so far behind the times?

Last month there was a drive-by shooting outside of Brooklyn College and CUNY sent out a generic text to all Brooklyn College students “stay inside, active shooter”.
But the texts were so vague that they didn’t even say they were from Brooklyn College, simply “stay inside”.
People around the world, who may be current Brooklyn College students, got generic “shelter in place” notifications.

But why should the colleges still be on the text/email alert systems?

Shouldn’t they be able to place a beacon on the campus, which sends out a notification to people within a certain radius, stating “stay in place”?

Or even better, shouldn’t that be standard across America?
When there’s a shooter in Orlando or a car into a crowd in Times Square, there should be an alert within a mile of that site to stay away. And anyone outside that radius, who enters it, maybe their phone would pick up the signal and tell them to turn away.

We know the technology is there, we’ve seen it in action, and it needs to get implemented.