Galaxy Nexus? Lolwut?

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You may know about the long lasting line of Google’s special Google Phone called the Nexus. There was originally the Nexus One, then the Nexus S recently. Both of these were manufactured by Samsung, but Samsung’s name wasn’t really placed on it – just on the very bottom of the product pages.

But Samsung has taken a different approach this time – They’ve released a new Nexus phone that they are calling the Galaxy Nexus, following their popular like of Galaxy S phones.

Other than the new name, the Galaxy Nexus follows Google’s standard path of some great upgrades.

As far as hardware goes, it’s just like the Nexus S – but better. The Galaxy Nexus features a slimmer body, more vibrant screen, and a very nice camera – although specific megapixels are not supplied.

But the real upgrades are in the software. The Galaxy Nexus features the purest of pure Android 4.0 – which is a nice relief considering all other phones in the Galaxy S line are skinned by Samsung, causing them to be painfully slow and unresponsive.

Among Android 4.0′s new features (other than the painfully idiotic name of “Ice Cream Sandwich”) are Face Unlock, which allows you to unlock your phone with face recognition; Android Beam, which uses NFC to send websites, photos, contacts, and more to other phones; and your usual fixing of extra eye candy.

The Galaxy Nexus doesn’t have any pricing or supported networks, however a bit is given away with the following line:

Galaxy Nexus runs at 4G (LTE or HSPA+) speeds

Verizon is the only provider that currently has an LTE network, which means that the Galaxy Nexus will be on Verizon for the first time.

I’m definitely excited for this phone, and anyone in the Android market should definitely look at this phone.

How-to: Hack the Apple Smart Sign

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My friend Amit and I set all of the Smart Signs to GMG!

If you were recently at an Apple Store, you may have noticed their new “Smart Signs.” These are iPads that have information about the Apple product you’re looking at, however these iPads are locked in the smart sign mode. The iPad’s physical buttons are embedded into the plastic stand, and the home button has been disabled.

Sources say that there is a “secret gesture” that gets the iPads out of this mode, but after a ton of online research and asking many different Apple store employees, I still couldn’t figure it out.

So I went the easier way – I had to figure out a way to push the buttons.

I pushed as hard as I could on the edge of the iPad’s bezel, and this activated the lock button in the top right and locked the iPad. The plastic of the stand pushed against the button, so I wouldn’t be damaging any of the inside contents.

After I successfully locked the smart sign, I turned it back on and I was greeted with the lock screen. However, after unlocking the iPad I was returned to the same Smart Sign mode. Darn.

So instead of just locking it, this time I held down the bezel and got the “Slide to Power Off” slider. I swiped across, let it shut down, then held down the bezel to reboot it. (Check out the video at the end of the post for more detailed instructions.)

Tada! The iPad booted into its normal mode, and I was able to open the default applications and such. Unfortunately, the Home button is still disabled – so if you open an app, you won’t be able to get out of it without rebooting the iPad.

While we were at it, my friend/helper Amit decided to help me out and assisted me in setting every smart sign in the Apple Store to Good Morning Geek. Because the home button was disabled, the customers either had to browse my site or scroll up and find the URL bar. Also, the screens are set to never turn off – also handy!

By the time we were done, an Apple Store employee came up to us and nicely said “Would you guys please stop messing around with the smart signs?”

In the end, it was really fun. I tried to jailbreak it with jailbreakme.com, but that site is blocked – :(.

So if you’re ever in an Apple Store and want to either a. Annoy the employees or b. Show your friends a cool trick, this is a pretty fun and easy hack.

I hope to eventually find out the actual gesture, and after trying everything I could possibly think of, it must be fairly complicated.

The Impact of Customer Service

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Customer service makes a big impact on how people look at your company. Here’s two examples of personal experiences with customer service – one bad, one great.

The Bad

Recently, my sister’s MacBook had a little breakdown. The trackpad stopped working.

I knew how to fix it, I just take it apart and switch out the trackpad. So now, I just needed to get the trackpad.

I found a site on like called Mac Parts Online. I clicked on my sister’s model of MacBook, then clicked on the trackpad. It redirected me to a shopping page, where I then ordered the trackpad.

Upon arrival, I found that it wasn’t the correct model of trackpad. This trackpad was for an aluminum MacBook!

I went back to the site and looked for an email address or phone number. I found a contact page and over the course of a week sent them messages three times. I never got any response.

Eventually, they started responding. After some arguing, they regretfully accepted it for a return. On top of that, I had to pay a 25% restocking fee.

So first, your site misinforms me about what product to get, then you don’t reply to my messages, then you finally accept it for return, and charge me 25%?!

I know I won’t be shopping here again. Ever.

  • Website was misleading
  • Slow response
  • Unfriendly Customer Service
The Great

I was recently looking around for some photography gear. I found a site called Photojojo, full of a ton of different nicknacks and photo related toys and supplies.

I found a lens called the Diana+ that I was really interested in. Upon reading the description, I could tell this was going to be fun.

Simply attach the plastic lens and its adapter directly onto your SLR’s body (Nikon or Canon) and shoot away. With one part Diana camera (old school lo-fi plastic) and one part modern DSLR you’ve got yourself one mighty fine recipe for unconventionally amazing photographs.Finally! A way to re-invent your style while kicking it digital with the hip kids and their plastic cams. (And for future reference, Thomas Kinkade = not hip).

Instead of a machine writing this, there’s a real person writing and not just filling out a form description made by some manufacturer in china.

As you may have read, it works on Canon and Nikon SLRs. But what about my NEX-5? I have a nice NEX-5, but it doesn’t take Canon or Nikon Lenses.

So, I thought, I could just get a Nikon to Sony adaptor and I’ll be set! I’ll put the Diana+ Lens in the nikon adaptor, then the Nikon adaptor onto my NEX adaptor.

But there was one potential problem with this – would there be a problem because the lens would be two adaptors away from the CCD in my camera?

To answer this, I turned to Photojojo. I found their contact page quite easily, sent them a message, and within a day they responded.

Hey there Max!

I can’t say for sure since I don’t have your camera or that snazzy Sony to Nikon adapter to test it out, but best I can tell I think that setup would work great!

I don’t think the extra distance will make much of a difference and that combo of adapters is your best chance of using Diana lenses on your camera so I’d say give it a shot!

If I’m totally wrong and it doesn’t work for ya we’ll take the Diana Lens and Nikon adapter back easy peasy!  (Just be careful to keep all the packaging together and don’t rip the boxes when you open them if you can help it).

Hope this helps!  If you have any questions, I’m just a keyboard away.  And once you get it all set up please let me know how it works for ya (and feel free to send me some pictures too! – I love seeing what folks come up with!)

 –

Julieanne

Silly Putty Enthusiast and

Photojojo Customer Support

Upon reading this email, I just wanted to hug the person who responded. They talked to me like I was their best friend in the world. They were nice, personal, helpful, and still professional. They also said that I can refund it, and the way they used very personal language like “snazzy” and “easy peasy” just made me know that I was an appreciated customer. This is customer service.

I then proceeded to order the lens, and I then got a shipping notification. It said that I could watch my order come on this “Shiny new page.” I clicked on the link, and here’s the page I got:

 

Look at that. It even gives me a little picture showing the package on it’s way to California. They used really cute language, like saying the went out to the “photojojo tree”. Every little word of this is spiced up and makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

  • Easy to use site
  • Personal yet still professional language
  • Quick, helpful, nice, personal response
  • Easy return policy
Who wouldn’t want to shop here?!
Why
We all buy things online. But whenever you buy something that you can’t use/try out immediately, there’s always a risk – it might not work, it could be broken, it could be the wrong model.

If we can trust the site, then we are far more comfortable with taking that risk, as if it were to ever happen that there was a problem we know that the site will be helpful. Machines can’t really manage returns, and when the person on the other end is mean and nasty you don’t even want to bother trying to talk to them.

That’s why with Photojojo, I want to order from them a ton of times just so I can get their snazzy emails that make me feel so nice and fuzzy and warm and happy and unicornaliscious. (See what I did there? Seems like something Photojojo might say.)

If you own a company, Customer Service should be your first priority, followed by quality of the product. After all, what’s the good of a great quality product – with the wrong part number that can’t be returned due to your awful customer service? You’ll end up like Mac Parts Online – with dissatisfied customers who will definitely not return.

Do your best to be a Photojojo – Be professional, personal, and make people want to talk to you, not just need to talk to you.

RIP Steve Jobs

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Yes folks, the long feared day has finally come.

Steve Jobs, Founder and CEO of Apple Inc, is dead.

He’s been very sick for a long time, and recently also stepped down from his position at Apple. He was able to turn a couple of guys in a Palo Alto Garage into the worlds largest company, with funds clocking in over the US Government’s.

Steve Jobs was a truly revolutionary man who will be remembered in the endless world of technology forever.

For this event, Apple has changed their homepage to a tribute that looks something like this.

Upon clicking the homepage you get this:

RIP Steve Jobs.

Apple Announces iPhone 4S – Where’s the innovation?

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Look familiar?

Today, Apple announced the iPhone 4S. It’s so simple I can say it in a single sentence.

The iPhone 4S features a better camera, A5 processor, Sprint support, another antenna, and a voice assistant. 

That’s it.

The better camera is 8 megapixels which is capable of recording 1080p video, and the other aspect of the new camera is an additional lens and a wider aperture.

The A5 processor is dual-core and can run things quite a bit faster.

Apple decided that the iPhone needs two antennas to make calls – one to transmit and one to receive. After all, one antenna just doesn’t seem to do quite well on other phones…?

Last but not least there’s Siri. Apple bought this company a while back to create a fancy digital assistant, and my have they succeeded. Siri can understand what you say and create reminders, events, schedule meetings, move meetings, reply to text messages, find restaurants, and more with just your voice. I think it looks pretty cool – but there’s one question that I can’t seem to find the answer to: will it be available on the iPhone 4? If they only have it on the 4S it will really just be a letdown. After all, the iPhone 4′s hardware is definitely capable of handling that kind of processing pressure, and I don’t think Apple should use its software as an incentive to get the hardware.

This leads me to my next point – where’s the innovation?

With the last iOS announcement being the iPad 2, this leaves me wondering what Apple is thinking. The iPhone 4 was completely revolutionary compared to it’s predecessor. The iPad was completely revolutionary compared to it’s predecessor as well (there was no predecessor). But with the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2, I feel like Apple is having a hard time thinking of something revolutionary to release.