Why is the Colorado Springs Gazette’s website so annoying?

 

Update: Although The Gazette did not respond to an email I sent shortly after publishing this article, it appears the bug has been fixed.

Don’t worry, this is not a dig against the Colorado Springs Gazette itself but I do find a hidden “feature” on their news site very annoying.

So, I was doing research on Comcast’s Customer service (or lack thereof) and I ran across an article posted on the Colorado Springs Gazette website about Comcast’s contract being up for renewal in their City.

I have no problem with article itself but when I pressed CTRL + F to search for a quote, it suddenly opened a video that went full screen my PC.

After a few tests we discovered that it only happens when the site first loads and a user presses the F key in Safari, Chrome and Firefox and the issue isnt only limited to PCs running Windows, it also happens on Apple computers. Now if you press the ESC key to exit out, the video window takes up the whole tab which makes it impossible to view the original article again without refreshing the whole page as you will see below.

gazette_fullpage2

The issue isn’t just with one particular article, it appears to be on every article that was tested except for the front page.

What remains to be a mystery is if this is a feature or a bug or just a buggy feature but we will be reaching out for comment from the company and post an update if they respond.

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Is the Pebble Steel smart watch worth it?

pebble_watch

 

I know this review is a bit late since the watch was originally released in January 2014 but since this is the first smartwatch that I’ve ever owned I decided to give it a quick review.

It all began after a restless night when I decided to check out slickdeals.net and I saw a listing for an open box Pebble steel that was only $50 after coupon code on CowBoom.com, even though the watches were quickly being scooped up I was lucky enough to fight through all the lag, bugs and errors and finally get one with a silicon band.

Fast forward to about a week later I found the package which contained my watch safely tucked under my doormat.

pebble_box

The watch itself came in a small cushioned box with only a USB charger cable, I have to say that for a used/open box item it was in remarkable shape, it did not have any nicks or scratches that I could see.

At first glance the gray monochrome screen surrounded by a thick black border was kind of off putting and kind of cheapened the device in my view but the device felt well built, durable and sturdy which is rare because many manufacturers often look for the cheapest materials to build with. I’m confident that If you dropped this watch or bumped the wall it would operate without any problems.

It came fully discharged so I wasn’t able to test it right out of the box but after a quick charge I was able to start it up, set up the pebble app on my android phone and get connected fairly quickly, almost immediately I got an alert for an new email that was sent to my gmail account. The vibration is certainly noticeable but pleasant.

I was also impressed by the amount of apps and tools that are available for it like the digital compass watch face and Pandora radio app that lets you control the phone’s volume, pause the player and see which song in playing, although since the screen is so small its nearly impossible to see the full name of the song playing but even with this issue, the screen is easy to look at in direct sunlight and at night you can activate the light by just shaking it.

The built in light itself is hardly noticeable if you’re not looking directly at it so you probably don’t have to worry about it distracting others in venues like theaters.

The battery life seems to be what I expected, I fully charged it on Friday and as of 3 days later the battery life is at 30%.

Even though the watch is very durable, unfortunately there are major cons that ruin the device for me. There is an issue with horizontal lines randomly showing up across the screen and also random disconnects from my phone, this was kind of an inconvenience when I was out exercising over the weekend and I had to manually reconnect with the watch via an app on my phone.

Keep in mind when the device is disconnected you won’t be able to receive alerts or get updates (ie temperature updates) until you manually reconnect and there is no option to reconnect from the pebble itself back to the phone..

At this point it is only worth $50, it’s nowhere close to being worth the $165 they’re asking for in my opinion but if you’re looking for a simple yet very durable smart watch that isn’t always listening for commands, doesn’t have a camera built in, doesn’t log your vitals and doesn’t constantly transmit large amounts of radio waves through your wrist, this is the device for you.

You can check out other gadget reviews at livingwithloxone.com

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LAPD, Uber deliver double whammy to 3 unsuspecting Uber drivers

 

Uber Los Angeles Front page

Los Angeles based Uber drivers Roy Freeman, Michael Chadwick and Sid Lomeli had their cars impounded and now have arrest records thanks to a recent undercover LAPD sting.

With violent crime up in the City of Los Angeles one has to wonder why a group of detectives and officers within LAPD are spending City time and resources arresting Uber drivers.

At the very least they could have used their discretion to give them citations, an arrest seems to be unwarranted and overkill especially if this was a first time offense.

Uber on its part clearly failed to warn drivers about local laws/regulations which could result in their arrest and while they will likely leave these drivers high, dry and footing the bill in the form of tow yard storage fees, court costs and lawyer costs which will likely mount into the thousands, the company continues to advertise themselves as an Los Angeles based company to both unsuspecting drivers and users.

While you will find various posts about auditionsfood, MADD, PrideLA and the 4th of July, you will not find any mention of this incident anywhere on Uber’s homepage or Los Angeles based twitter page (screenshot) and Uber declined to give media comment on the incident.

Even if the charges are dropped against these drivers, their arrests and possibly booking photos will be listed on various data aggregates like Spokeo and Jailbase.com and since most Uber drivers do this part-time they could lose their primary jobs, face hardship getting future employment and if they only have access to one car, they could lose the ability to get to work/seek employment.

Talk about a double whammy.

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Did Google arbitrarily block several popular torrent sites from Chrome?

As of July 10th 2015 four popular torrent sites appear to have been targeted and blocked from the Chrome browser. When Chrome users try to access the websites they will see a large red “security error” that urges them to click “Back to Safety” to avoid loading the site.

harm

 

Although this move will likely have no effect on die hard users who visit the sites and will only drive them to use other browsers or simply disable Phishing & malware alerts in settings, it does have a chilling effect.

Users trust google to block legitimately dangerous sites but it appears these four sites were specifically targeted because they provide “pirated” content, if Google starts a trend of blocking content solely based on content and not actual dangers then I’m afraid this could be the beginning of a dangerous descent down a slippery slope.

Imagine if in 1998 Microsoft decided to list Google as malicious or dangerous and blocked it from its browser, the effects could have devastating to the growth of that company now imagine if a blog or website was critical of certain activities or actions of Google, a movie company, a politician, etc, could this policy lead to someone at Google flagging those sites as malicious and blocking from the Chrome browser?

The internet should be open and free especially on the browser end and regardless of content it should not be the role of browser companies like Google to police content on the internet. It should be up to the courts, law enforcement and hosting companies.

Piracy itself has played a major role in driving technology over the past decade and has driven major media companies to provide their content online. Without file sharing services like Napster we probably wouldn’t have Spotify, Pandora, iTunes or the iPod along with other companies and services such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go and Amazon Instant Video.

Ultimately people will pirate content regardless of what blocks or laws are put in place, one has to remember that long before online piracy took hold online people were selling pirated copies of movies on the streets. One can only hope that Google will reverse its decision and become a neutral party again when it comes to providing content through its browsers otherwise it will just drive users to find other alternatives which may not be a bad thing.

Update: Google declined to comment on this incident but all four sites have been unblocked from Chrome.

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Microsoft to give 7,800 Mobile employees the boot a year after acquiring Nokia

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (left) and executive vice president of Microsoft Devices Group Stephen Elop share a moment as the deal that brings together Microsoft and the Nokia Devices and Services business closes today.  (PRNewsFoto/Microsoft Corp.) THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED BY PRNewsfoto and is for EDITORIAL USE ONLY**

 

In an email that was later published on Microsoft.com, the company’s CEO Satya Nadella announced the layoff of 7,800 employees which is expected to take place over the next several months with the majority of those layoffs being from the Mobile Division.

The announcement comes weeks before Microsoft is scheduled to launch Windows 10 that it claims will be ‘Last Version Of Windows’ and just a year after it finalized acquisition of Nokia’s phone division back in April 2014 for $7.17 billion.

This will make a total of 25,800 layoffs announced by the company since Nadella became CEO of Microsoft February 2014.

Satya who recently said that its “Bad Karma” for women to ask for a raise, doesn’t seem to have a concise long term plan for Microsoft. Within the past year he seems focused on making cuts to both the company’s product lineup and employees instead of focusing on new technologies to compete with Google and Apple, it is also unclear how his plan of making Windows 10 the last version of Windows will play out in the long term.

Ever since Windows officially launched 30 years ago there has always been buzz surrounding the next version of the operating system, people around the world have always been excited about what the company had in store but since the announcement was made to make Windows 10 the last version, users could lose interest and start looking for other free alternatives like Ubuntu which could be devastating to the already fledgling company.

They have also not been forthcoming to with users on how it intends to officially launch the new OS, while they claim that it will be free for Windows 7 and 8 users to upgrade there have been reports from Forbes and Money Talks News that the free version will only last for 1 year.

 

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