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COMPLEX: 9 Reasons I’m Sticking with Blackberry

12 Apr

The timing for this article is perfect. I’ve been trying for years to land an article in COMPLEX; it’s my favorite magazine after GQ, because of how engaging both their online and print content is, and how well they convey their brand and serve their audience. Coincidentally, the day that COMPLEX published this, I switched over to Sprint and gave my soul to Research In Motion for another two years. The article I’m linking to here is a list I made of both realistic and comical, irreverent reasons why I’m sticking with my Blackberry for even longer.

BTW, readers, let me know: is the comedy here clear to you all? Or does it seem like I actually enjoy having to reset my phone all the time, and that I really think Brickbreaker (which I don’t play at all, lmao) would be a better game than Angry Birds?

Anyway, CLICK HERE to read “Mobile Manifesto: 9 Reasons I’m Sticking With Blackberry.”

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Is the Blackberry One of the Worst Ideas of the Decade?

22 Dec

In a simple-yet-effective series called “Worst Ideas of the Decade,” writers at The Washington Post teamed up to chastise the worst concepts of the last 10 years.  The entire list is on point – highlights include the torture memos, world-is-flat movies, and prosperity gospel – but one inclusion that may confuse a couple of my fellow addicts is the Blackberry. They’ve got their reasons, though:

The modern BlackBerry, which dates to 2002 (a two-way pager by the same name came to market in 1999), has evolved into something sleek and handy and almost discreet. Using it is like taking an electronic cigarette break. The problem is, we’re all e-mail chain-smokers now. Anytime a moment opens up, we fill it with e-mail.

The BlackBerry starts by infiltrating your morning. Then e-mailing replaces reading on your commute. Next you have it under the table at meetings; surely no one notices your thumbs clicking. Finally, it winds up at your bedside.

I actually heard a story about an exec who lost a lucrative deal, because his constant blackberry tapping during a meeting peeved the person who would have signed off on it. And I know I’m not the only one who sees mirages of the red notification light beeping on his device when there aren’t any new messages coming in. So I’ll be the first to admit that despite the device’s usefulness, Blackberry addiction can be harmful at worst and annoying at least. And to Washington Post’s credit, the article also highlights other smartphones like the iPhone and Palm Treo as culprits.

What do you guys think?

[via The Washington Post]

Miles Davis Tribute In-Ear Headphones by Monster

23 Oct

One of the reasons that I’ve always preferred over-the-ear headphones is that they give more freedom to have interesting designs (for evidence, see many of Skull Candy’s products, and ubiquitous Beats By Dr. Dre headphones). But Monster went all out with this new set of limited edition in-ear headphones, which pay tribute to jazz legend Miles Davis. Aesthetically, they’re gorgeous: the contacts are 24-karat gold, the blue cable is fly, and the side of each earbud has the silhouette of Miles Davis’ trumpet-playing body and signature. Icing on the cake: each set comes in a numbered box, and a case with plush blue velvet – a nod to the case that Miles would keep his trumpet in. Each set also comes with a 50th anniversary set of Davis’ seminal Kind of Blue album, which includes two CDs, a DVD, and a 24-page booklet.

The specs are still there, by the way.

Purchasers of Monster Miles Davis Tribute headphones will enjoy a variety of extras that will significantly enhance the personal listening experience. … In addition, Monster provides multiple sizes of its new high performance “SuperTip” eartips that offer superior noise isolation, while improving the overall performance by preventing sound leakage. The key to the effectiveness of SuperTip eartips is a patent-pending engineered material that provides a secure custom seal to help eliminate unwanted noise. The end result is astoundingly clean, tight audio response and great-sounding music that can be listened to without fatigue for hours and hours.

Finally, Monster’s innovative cable management system features a convenient designed on-cable slider and clip that keeps weight off the headphones so they stay snug in the user’s ears. The debut of Monster Miles Davis Tribute headphones is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to improve the quality of the portable audio experience.

So…who’s getting me these for Christmas? Buy them online, and it’ll be $399.99 well worth it! (wink)

[via Street Level by-way-of Kuhvet]

Gadget Buyers: Cop What You Like, Not What’s “Hot”

22 Oct

The world of technology is great to run along with as far as staying up to date, but it’s impossible to keep up with financially. Unless you’ve got stacks on deck ©T.I., you’ll have empty pockets if you cop the latest gadget every time it comes out. So when you’re buying something like a cell phone, a computer, or a digital camera, cop what you believe will be the best fit for your needs. This is something I’ve known for a while, but I had to remind myself about it upon the release of the new Blackberry Bold 9700, pictured on the right above and described in the video below.

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Sunday Sentiments (8-16-09)

16 Aug

What’s up? Just got done working out. It was my first session in about three months, so calling me rusty would be an understatement – especially when my exercise grind was never that efficient in the first place. But along with helping me get back in the groove, walking on the treadmill today was also helpful because it gave me time to think. I tend to be reflective on Sundays in general, so I figured I’d start a blog series: Sunday Sentiments.

  • I’m not a fan of reality TV at all, but recently, I’ve found some of these shows more interesting than usual. I’ve been watching “Teen MTV Cribs” once in a while, the “Run’s House” spinoff, and I even lasted through 10 minutes of “Tiny and Toya.” I haven’t been attracted to the drama that many other fans of reality TV love so much, though. Instead, I’ve gotten a bit envious of seeing these people live their everyday lives in such an apparently satisfying way. Granted, the kids in “Teen MTV Cribs” aren’t going to be grinding as much as an adult would, because they’re children. But these people are having fun, man. Fishing, recording music, and just doing things that they love on a regular basis. My life is somewhat similar, because I’m blessed to be doing what I love, music journalism, for a living. I’m not making as much money as I should be, though; not as much as these people on TV. I’m not saying that I need a reality series (or maybe I am, *wink*), but I need to step my game up to make more money while doing what I love. I’ve been getting more lately, but I need to keep progressing.
  • Which brings me to another point. While I still get a thrill out of journalism, I think I’ve found a new love: working with people. As a journalist, I normally interview people and simply tell their story or idea in a way that’s digestible. But after a few amazingly productive meetings, I’ve realized that it’s also enjoyable to help them formulate those ideas from scratch. Journalism is the challenge of taking something that’s already there and putting your own spin on it; making something into something more. But the idea of making nothing into something is just as good, so I’m going to pursue projects like that more.
  • Blackberry Messenger is hilarious. It’s got the casualness/hipness of AIM or Facebook, but it’s on the personal level of a phone. So while asking someone of the opposite sex for their phone number may automatically come off as flirtatious, asking them for the Blackberry PIN is like asking someone for their ultra fly business card. And it’s also funny how Blackberry users have some sort of bond just because of their devices – it’s almost like how everyone who has a Burn Rubber New Era fitted cap seems like they’re part of a cult.
  • Speaking of Blackberrys and exclusivity…I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t one of the super early Blackberry users. But I definitely got my first – the Blackberry 7250, with Verizon Wireless – as a pseudo-business user before all the new bells and whistles like a media player, camera, Wi-Fi capability, and other applications were available for it. That being said, do any other longtime Blackberry users feel sort of peeved that Blackberrys are ubiquitous now? Having a Blackberry in your hand or on your waist used to be a clear sign that you meant business; now, high schoolers are tapping away on their Curves and Pearls while ignoring their trigonometry teachers. But I guess that Research In Motion deserves the expanded success after making great products for so long, and being able to successfully crossover to a bigger market.
  • I’ve said this before, but being around driven, successful people really does a lot for me. Not only does it motivate me to be like them, but it also gives me the opportunity to find elite, like-minded clients. Some of these new people I’m working with, I admire them so much that working with them goes beyond simply being a paid job (though that definitely gets handled, no question). It’s the equivalent of a rapper collaborating with artists that he either grew up listening to, or he watches TV in awe. You’ll be seeing even more interviews with people that I respect, now; not only because I respect their grind enough to document it, but just so I can pick their brains enough to actually work with them. My homie Phella said it the best: “I’m about those who want to make history, and have fun doing it.” I’m super grateful for the people I’ve already interviewed: Rik Cordero (Part 1Part 2), Amanda Diva (Part 1Part 2), Smack!, the Rosenthal Brothers, and others.

That’s it for today.

Sony Party-Shot = Possible Gadget Of The Year?

8 Aug

People clown me all the time about my love for gadgets and gizmos. (These are the same people that blow up my phone/Facebook/email when they need tech support on anything, but I digress.) I’ll always admit that I like gadgets for the cool factor, but my primary I like them for their utility. For example, my Blackberry Bold (a.k.a. the BLAT!berry) does everything I need it to do to make my work life easier and my personal life more enjoyable: I can answer emails on the go, edit documents when necessary, keep thousands of peoples’ contact information organized, keep track of sports scores, and more. Meanwhile, my Dell XPS m1330 laptop is essential as well: I use it for my work, it has an integrated mic and webcam that I use to videochat with friends or interview artists via Skype, and it’s also an “ultraportable,” making it easier to carry around. And it’s fly.

Sony’s new Party-Shot may be one of the more interesting gadgets I’ve seen in a while. I’m not sure if there already products like this out there with other companies, but I love the idea of this. After plugging a certain Sony camera into it, the device uses Face Detection and Smile Shutter™ technology, motion detection, and intelligent composition to take photos around it. How dope is that? Spend your time actually having fun with your friends at your housewarming party or college graduation open house instead of pulling people aside every few minutes to pose for an unnatural looking photo. Or take photos of your crew meetings without having to digress from the topic at hand. It looks super cool, but the number of ways you can use it are endless. Might have to get something like this once I get my money back up; I’ll cop one of the cameras that’s compatible with it and this all in one swoop.

[via Marcus Troy]

A Tribute: To Pharrell’s Creativity and Appreciation for Art

17 Jun

I’ve always been a fan of Pharrell’s music – whether it’s his N.E.R.D. material, his solo productions and his work with Chad Hugo as The Neptunes, or his underrated solo album In My Mind. (I’m especially a huge fan of Out Of My Mind, the unreleased version of In My Mind remixed by “The Yessirs,” which are Questlove and James Poyser). And after seeing him rock the stage twice with N.E.R.D., I’m convinced he’s got one of the most energetic live performances in the biz. But I’ve mentioned on this blog before that one of the more underrated aspects of Pharrell’s career is his appreciation for art and fashion.

Extravagant clothing, accessories and jewelry have been a status symbol in hip-hop for what seems like forever. But what makes people like Pharrell stand out is that he doesn’t settle for simply rocking expensive gear. He makes sure that every piece he rocks is truly part of who he is by helping design it on his own, but he’ll usually work with a something that’s already out there and tweak it and customize it to his liking. To me, this shows that not only does Pharrell love being creative on his own, but that he also respects the creativity of others enough to where he doesn’t have to start everything from scratch.

I’m a huge gadget head and a burgeoning sneaker/gear coniesseur, and while I’m not big on jewelry, I’ve got a piece or two that tends to turn a few heads. I say this to say that I’m not nearly as enthusiastic about these fields as Pharrell does, but I still respect the hell out of his passion for it. What’s funny is that while I’m not a big fan of his BBC/Ice Cream clothing line, I always find myself falling in love with his other projects. And what’s even better is that he’s encouraging others to hone their creativity by launching ARTST.com, an online community where artists can meet, share and collaborate.

After the jump, I’ve posted a bunch of photos and videos of custom work he’s gotten done on jewelry, clothing, art, and more. I know I’m going to get some flack for this, but I don’t care: dude combines creativity with appreciation, and you can’t ask for anything more.

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Twitter + BoyGeniusReport = TweetGenius.

12 May

As my regular readers should know, my favorite tech blog is BoyGeniusReport. They’ve got the best reviews, exclusive news, and even occassional doses of Hip Hop, and that makes them one of my goto web sites every morning. So when I saw the man behind the site and Dossy Shiobara were collaborating on a new Twitter program, I had to take them up on their offer. Even if it cost $4.99 (this is a limited offer, btw; apparently, it’s going to cost $9.99 in a week or so), while the other programs I’ve seen are free. SocialScope was supposed to be the best one out there, so when I applied for that beta too late, I figured I’d give this a whirl.

And I’ve gotta admit, I’m enjoying this. As the BGR ads/description states, this definitely captures the essence of the Blackberry more than other Blackberry Twitter apps I’ve used. The other ones – like most third party Blackberry apps I’ve used, actually – utilize the menu key more than anything, but TweetGenius utilizes shortcuts in the same manner that Blackberry afficionados are used to: “C,” the same key used to compose a new email or text message on Blackberrys, is used to compose a new Tweet. “R,” same key used to reply to messages, is used to reply to others’ updates. There’s essentially a shortcut to nearly every Twitter function you’d have to do, and it ends up working really well.

Shortcuts aside, it’s heavy on the features as well: TwitterGenius has everything you need to serve your Twitter addiction, but nearly just as seamlessly as it is on a computer. You can do everything necessary – look at profiles, track conversations between users’ “@” updates, and more – within the application itself, instead of having to outsource them to the Blackberry browser. Can’t find anywhere to access pics in TweetGenius? Go to your photos folder, and click the menu key: TG gives you the ability to send your photo files to TwitPic.com and post them to Twitter.  It’s commendable how they cover all of the bases within the program itself.

And visually, this is slick. The video above isn’t doctored at all – that’s how it really looks. It occassionally takes a while to load in others’ profiles, but the developers have been releasing updated versions somewhat regularly, and that issue seems to have been fixed or improved greatly. But in general, it’s a smooth program: the screens slide back and forth instead of loading regularly, the “poof” of smoke upon updating your status is dope, and even the loading screen is dope visually.

With TweetGenius, Boy Genius and Shiobara make a program that’s just as addictive, user-friendly, and crisp as Twitter itself. Don’t let the fact that it costs throw you off too much – it’s worth the skipping out on a value meal.

To check out TweetGenius, CLICK HERE.

What’s that? Ketchums Is Back In The Blackberry World?

28 Mar

You read correctly, folks. As some of you may know, a stint of unemployment saw my treasured Blackberry 8800 go out of commission. And ever since I’m back on the working scene, I’ve been looking for an opportunity to get a plan popping off with a new provider. Hook-ups at Sprint came and went, and while I’ve still got a couple connections over there that could’ve gotten me cheaper plans, I couldn’t pass this up.

Looks like AT&T saw my Blackberry plight a while ago, and decided to make the decision for me. Yesterday, the company caught a bewildering case of the real and held an unparalleled one-day-only promotion: a free refurbished Blackberry Bold with a new contract. While I’m sure that a lot of people couldn’t take advantage of this because of cell phone plans they’re already signed to, the opportunity fit Ketchums’ situation like a glove. I pounced, and I should receive my new device in the mail on Tuesday, Mar. 31. It seems that nearly everyone in my crew has gotten Blackberrys since mine went out of business, but don’t get it twisted: amidst my circle, I’m still the resident Blackberry guru. Realistic talk.

This blog is to ask all my readers for a couple of things:

  1. Your BBM (Blackberry Messanger) info. Also known as your PIN number. To find it, go to Options >> Status. I’ma be chattin’ it up with y’all ninjas, seriously; that’s my favorite application on the Blackberry, for the most part.
  2. Whoever has the Bold, what do you think of it? Pros? Cons? I’ve already read the Boy Genius Report review, but I’d still like some feedback from people I’m actually cool with.
  3. What’s the best Twitter application for the Blackberry, now? I was using TwitterBerry, but I’ve been hearing that there are better ones.

That’s all for now. But I’m super-geeked about this.

Twitter Fail.

18 Mar

twitter_logo_s

Just found this link online, about someone who literally tweeting his way out of some loot. He got a job offer from Cisco, and upon getting the offer, he tweeted this:

Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.

A channel partner advocate for Cisco saw the Twitter update, and he responded:

Who is the hiring manager. I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web.

Talk about Tweeting a check that ya ass can’t cash.

“You lose!” ©Kanye West

via I’m Not Really A Geek