Monthly Archives: March 2017

Olympics Go Live – PyeongChang 2018

The biggest threat that faces NBC every other year during the Olympics is: Spoilers.

And with social media abuzz at every medal and record breaking attempt, it makes it hard for NBC to get people in front of their TVs for their primetime coverage.

But PyeongChang 2018 is going to even the playing field for NBC. With a 13-hour time difference (from the East Coast) the primetime coverage will be the launch of a new day for the Olympics and be able to show off great coverage Live.
This likely also means that the Today Show will be able to cut to live “local Primetime” events.

Meanwhile, in previous years they have done a primetime show live on the East Coast, and then aired it later (in local primetime) across the country. But this time it’ll be shown live across the country…8PM Eastern, 5PM Pacific.

And similar to last time, the Olympics can be found on any and every channel owned by NBC and their mobile platforms.
Last summer was found as wide ranged as NBC, NBCSN, USA and CNBC.

Video Game Hall of Fame Finalists

The video game Hall-of-Fame opened in 2015 with a hall that was headlined by Pac-Man, Pong, and Super Mario Bros, and rounded out by Tetris, Doom, and World of Warcraft.

A year later The Sims, The Oregon Trail, The Legend of Zelda, Sonic the Hedgehog, Space Invaders, and Grand Theft Auto III were added to the prestigious list.

And on May 4th they will announce this year’s inductees, but for now they’ve just announced the nominees, and if it were up to me here is the Class of 2017:

  • Pokemon Red and Green – This is the only one that was nominated before, both in 2015 and 2016, and was the start of a generation of outstanding video games
  • Windows Solitaire – We’ve all been bored and opened this one up, even when we didn’t know how to play (at first)
  • Tomb Raider – Had a greater reach than just video games, leading to movies starring Angelina Jolie in the lead role
  • Mortal Kombat – We all remember when we successfully executed that finishing move to perfection and buried our opponents
  • Donkey Kong – Barrel rolling gorillas remind me of my time spent in the Congo
  • Wii Sports – This was the first game that really changed the “Human movement video game” world, and the start of a great YouTube era of “people throwing controllers through their televisions”

The remaining six nominees are:

  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Halo: Combat Evolved
  • Myst
  • Resident Evil
  • Street Fighter II
  • Portal

Now if previous predictions are an indicator, you can successfully say that I will be wrong on all six of my picks.

Google Assistant

Google Assistant is now rolling out to more phones, replacing the typical Google search bar and voice commands.

With that in mind, here are some tips and tricks to try with your fancy new tech toy:

  • “OK Google” – Those two magic words will wake it up and bring the assistant to life.
  • Go thru the settings and customize it to your favorite sites
    • Home Control: Connect that smart house to your Assistant so that she can flip those switches off as you go to bed.
    • News: Sort through which news sources you trust most, and which ones you want to hear from more frequently.
    • My Day: Let Assistant know what to include in your daily summary.
    • Shopping List: This feature utilizes Google Keep
  • All valid practical commands for Google Assistant:
    • Play Bohemian Rhapsody on Spotify
    • Watch Family Guy on Netflix
    • Did the TrailBlazers win last night?
    • Wake me at 8:15
    • What time is my flight?
    • Call Prince Al-Waleed (must have the Prince’s number in your contacts first)
    • Show me pictures of my car
    • Take a selfie
    • Turn on flashlight
  • Bored? Let it entertain you, just say “I’m bored” and it’ll provide the following (or you can ask for them directly):
    • Tell me a joke
    • Play a game
    • Play trivia
    • What have I got in my pocket?
  • “Sing Happy Birthday” and she’ll do it in the right tune…no more Aunt Edna croaking it out.
  • Have some fun and tell Google Assistant: “I’m feeling lucky”

EasyPay Xpress MetroCard

One of the downsides for having a MetroCard in NYC is that people need to wait in line to refill them…or they swipe and it says the dreaded “Insufficient Fare”.

But none of that should be a problem if you subscribe to “EasyPay Xpress”. The card automatically refills when it drops below a certain level, and you still get the 5% bonus that standard users get.

So now when you swipe it’ll just say “Go” and you never have to wonder if you have enough left for a ride back home.

EasyPay Xpress also gets you deals and discounts across the city. These discounts include:

  • $10 off at Madame Tussauds
  • 25% off at the Star Wars Discovery Center (although if it’s anything like some of their other exhibits, I would stay far away even if it’s free)
  • 30% off at Perfect Crime
  • And MORE

Also, if you lose the card they will cancel the old one and send you a new one with the full remaining balance on it!

NYC Service Request Tracking

So you see something, you say something. You file that 3-1-1 service request for a blocked hydrant, for broken plumbing, for a downed tree, or even that ginormous growing pothole.

You then log in the next day and pull up your service tag in hopes of seeing it updated with some positive result.

But do you ever wonder how many others have filed similar requests (the answer is usually zero) and how frequently your area pretends to care about the laws?

Well, now you can log onto the 3-1-1 Service Request Map and see how things progress on your block.


Amy Schumer’s Leather Special #Netflix

Amy Schumer dropped her Netflix one-hour special, and it’s a flaming pile of junk.

Let’s start off with the title and look: Leather. She jokes about how terrible she looks in it, and she isn’t kidding. But at the end of the day, we do have to spend an hour looking at it, and it’s not flattering.

Her topics are strange and not funny, despite her being funny with similar topics in the past. She tries to make up for it by being self-deprecating, and even that just falls flat.

I used to appreciate Inside Amy Schumer, but something went terribly wrong here. I don’t know if she was just trying too hard or ran out of material…but when she turned it political and into a PSA for gun control, it just seemed out of place.
If she had been funny until that point, I would’ve applauded her effort at bringing around awareness to who can stupidly get a gun permit…but when it’s all downhill, throwing a speedbump in there just makes the viewers go careening into a tree.
She also tried for the “German Jewish jokes”, and whilst Gilbert Gottfried might have gotten away with these, her nonchalant attitude towards the jokes just made them sad.
Even her topical non-dirty humor couldn’t cut the cheese (and yes, you the reader laugh at that, and I just got more laughs (and a lot less money) than Amy did from any normal person during this special).

In all fairness, I did laugh once about halfway thru. Once. A single ‘Ha’. And then nothing until five minutes left.
Strangely she started referencing Alfred Hitchcock and seemingly fell into her comfort zone and things seemed to be righting on this hole-laden dinghy, but just like that the hour was over, and it was too little too late.

All that was missing from this Looney waste of a special was Porky Pig coming out at the end and dropping a ‘That’s All Folks’.

Recently Schumer wrote on Instagram:

The alt right organized trolls to attack everything I do. They organize to get my ratings down. Meeting in sub Reddit rooms. They tried on my book and movies and tv show.

But I hate to break it to her…they may be out to get her, but this is still a terrible piece of television.

Biggest waste of an hour on recent TV, and barely manages a 2 out of 10.

Go aWaze

About a year ago I figured out why Waze didn’t work well for me, but like a glutton for punishment, I always try things again to see what else can go wrong.
And Waze didn’t fail me.

For starters, signing in without Facebook was more of a hassle than it needed to be (and the amount of apps that require Facebook activation these days is ridiculous, but that’s another story), but thankfully I’ve gotten Google SmartLock straightened out for the next adventure.

For a map app, they are pretty bad at giving directions…not offering the shortest or fastest routes. This is proven by actually driving (the same routes I took every day) and was originally given to me by Google Maps, and getting there ahead of their “estimated time of arrival” on the original route.
Now some may argue that “the time changes as you drive”…and I’ll argue with: Google Maps is spot on 95%+ of the time on their initial “arrival time” guesstimation.

On that note, even though they are owned by the same company now, the maps from Waze are super clunky, they don’t look good, and aren’t ideal to look at while driving.
They don’t make it easy to see your future route and are insanely difficult to plan “alternate routes” on, especially since they don’t relay other times to you in the same ways that Google Maps does.

Lastly, they are a major drain on data plans. In three days of standard usage it drained through 50% of the data that Google Maps did in 21 days of usage last month…at that rate it would use 350% of the data that I would use for a normal useful mapping system.