Sunday, October 13, 2013

review: Gillette Groomer with Power Razor (is worth having in your shaving kit)

To help me prepare for "Movember", Gillette sent their Fusion ProGlide Styler 3-in-1 Men's Body Groomer with Beard Trimmer to me...

During the month of November, being designated at "Movember", men begin the month clean shaven...then grow mustaches throughout the month.  The purpose is to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues.  Men can register at

I let my beard grow out a bit, and then used to styler to see what kind of results I should expect.  To take the pictures I used a HTC One.

The styler is a waterproof Braun-engineered Power Trimmer that allows for trimming, shaving, and edging.

To begin, I used attachment #3...

...and then, in error (because I originally intended to use attachment #2), I used attachment #1...

Attachment #1 left my hair long enough that I needed to edge the bottom of my mustache so it doesn't dangle below my upper lip.  I'm lazy, and don't want to need to do that.  I like having stubble, and after using the styler with no attachment...I am VERY satisfied with the outcome and have the length I like.

Sometimes I don't shave for weeks, and my hair grows long enough to clog most multi-blade shavers.  The Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler/Groomer/Trimmer makes it easy for me to thin my beard, and then (if I choose to) shave with the included Gillette Fusion ProGlide Power Razor.


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Before you produce a product, watch-out for the CPSC...

In this instance, it seems as if the Consumer Product Safety Commission is nothing but a very big bully...


August 31, 2013, on page A11 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal,
 with the headline: What Happens When a Man Takes on the Feds.

Craig Zucker... the former CEO of Maxfield & Oberton, the small company behind Buckyballs, an office toy that became an Internet sensation in 2009 and went on to sell millions of units before it was banned by the feds last year.

...a vindictive U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission that has set out to punish him for having challenged its regulatory overreach...

..."The commission's saying that because as CEO I did my duty—didn't violate any law, was completely lawful—I am now the manufacturer individually responsible"...Mr. Zucker will have to defend himself in the Maxfield & Oberton recall case to its conclusion at the administrative level before he can challenge the individual-liability holding on appeal.


Kids swallowing more magnets since 2002: study | Reuters


CPSC's Attack On Corporate CEO More Dangerous Than Rare Earth Magnets?

CPSC is trying to warp well-established legal doctrine in its pursuit of Mr. Zucker.  In order to hold him personally liable, CPSC would have the court *both* ignore the corporate form for unprecedented reasons *and* trample the traditional understanding of the responsible corporate officer (RCO) doctrine.  Millar and Biszko note that the former move “rais[es] questions about whether other individuals involved in product safety decisions—especially those who disagree publicly with initial Commission decisions—could face exposure to personal liability if they resist a voluntary recall request.”

This is not a criminal case, and thus doctrines of criminal liability are not applicable

No violation of law has even occurred...

Selling magnets is not a public welfare offense; it is not a clear and obvious offense, but rather a seemingly acceptable commercial activity

Mr. Zucker would be at jeopardy for more than a misdemeanor; although criminal charges are not sought, the recall costs that the agency seeks to force him to pay personally might well exceed the misdemeanor fine level acceptable without a mens rea showing

Mr. Zucker quite obviously did not have the requisite mens rea.  He co-operated with the agency’s initial warning label requests and even obtained a letter from the agency’s general counsel allowing him to continue selling.  At no point did he sell in the face of a final determination that his product posed a ‘substantial product hazard.’ pursuing a goal in this case that could be far more dangerous: an agency freed to rule by whim and able to exceed its statutory mandate with impunity.



CEO Craig Zucker talked to Fox Business News...about Buckyballs' fight to stay in business, and about standing up to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Craig Zucker on Fox News' "Your World with Neil Cavuto"
...CEO Craig Zucker...battle with the CPSC...

...Tennessee Representative Blackburn grill Chairwoman Inez Tenenbaum about the CPSC's actions against Buckyballs.

...CEO Craig Zucker spoke to the CBS This Morning show about...the CPSC.

Craig Zucker debated the Consumer Federation of America's Rachel Weintraub on CNBC...


Friday, August 2, 2013

Those who are hungry deserve to eat...

[In an effort to highlight what I believe to be the important information from the program, I have edited the transcript...]

The Faces of America’s Hungry

on Moyers & Company… “A Place at the Table”


...the House of Representatives wrestled over a farm bill because members of congress continued to fight over how many billions to slash from the food stamp program...they got the farm bill through by stripping food stamps out of it completely, to be voted on some other day...again we heard all the clichés about freeloaders who are undeserving of government help, playing the system and living large at the expense of taxpayers. This movie, “A Place At The Table” breaks those stereotypes apart and shows us that hunger hits hard at people who work hard to make a living...

...Kristi Jacobson, one of the film’s directors and producers...Mariana Chilton...teaches public health at Drexel University and is director of the Center for Hunger-Free Communities. She’s also founder of Witnesses to Hunger...

...a rancher and a police officer in Colorado, each struggling to make ends meet. Believe it or not, they have to rely on the charitable food programs sponsored by the church of a local minister...

ADAM APPELHANZ in A Place at the Table:
About a month ago we had three officers, including myself, but however, due to budget constraints we’re now down to just me...I haven’t received a pay raise in four years and what I used to spend on a month in groceries now gets me about two weeks.

I have utilized Pastor Bob’s food bank...The stereotype of food banks is always for the unemployed or the disabled, people that can’t go out and get a job. That’s not always the case. Sometimes in life you just get to points where you need a little extra help.

JOEL in A Place at the Table:
Ranching is a...lot of work...But the way the economy and everything has gone south, I have had to go find another job out of the house. So I work on the ranch from 7:00 in the morning till 3:00 in the afternoon and then at 3:00 in the afternoon till 11:00 at night I go down and clean the school.

...Your kids is the main one and that’s part of the reason I did take a second job, is so I can help buy groceries and put food on the table for my kids.

BILL MOYERS: So, a cop who doesn't make enough money to meet all of his food needs and a cowboy who has to take two jobs to help feed his children...

KRISTI JACOBSON: Sadly they're not the exception, in fact they're very representative. When we were making this film we traveled all over the country and again and again met people who were working and trying to make ends meet but were not able to put food on the table...

MARIANA CHILTON:  ...the press and our legislators have a certain stereotype about who's poor and who's not and this concept of the deserving poor...

...They're often working two or three jobs. Sometimes they'll have to work under the table in order to make ends meet, trying to find side jobs. They're hustling really hard.

And I see the police chief, I see the cowboy who's also taking on that second job. What I see is common among then is a loss of dignity in the work. You can actually work full time and your family is still hungry? There's a very big problem in this country that we are not valuing hard work like we used to.

MARION NESTLE in A Place at the Table: If you look at what has happened to the relative price of fresh fruits and vegetables it’s gone up by 40 percent since 1980 when the obesity epidemic first began.

In contrast, the relative price of processed foods has gone down by about 40 percent. So if you only have a limited amount of money to spend you’re going to spend it on the cheapest calories you can get and that’s going to be processed foods. This has to do with our farm policy and what we subsidize and what we don’t.

MARIANA CHILTON: Hunger and obesity are both forms of malnutrition.

...not getting the right kinds of nutrients for an active and healthy life. If you go back to the definition of food insecurity it means having enough food for an active and healthy life. So when people think about hunger they think, "Oh, it's just not enough food." But actually food insecurity which is a much broader term, much more precise, captures that type of experience where families don't have enough money for healthy and fresh food so they will, in order to stretch their dollar, they'll spend it on soda or on foods that have very high calories. Because they know that their kids are hungry, they have to be able to stretch their dollar in order to fill their own tummies and the tummies of their children.

They know it's not healthy, but they're just trying to figure out what the immediate, the immediacy of hunger. So they eat lots of high calories, salt, sodium. Those are the kinds of things that are not good for an active and healthy life. It's another form of hunger. So you can look at people who are overweight and obese and think maybe they don't have enough money for food, maybe they're anxious about where their next meal is coming from.

BILL MOYERS: You say in the film that there are 50 million people, one in six who are food insecure, who do not have enough good nutrition to thrive.

KRISTI JACOBSON: It's shocking that here in the wealthiest nation on earth we have this many people who do not have either access to healthy foods or nor can they afford it...look at why we have such a large problem, a big problem here in this country.

BILL MOYERS: out of every two kids in this country at some point in their childhood as I learned from your film will be on food assistance, one out of two?

CBS NARRATOR in Hunger in America: ...In this country, the most basic human need must become a human right.

JOEL BERG in A Place at the Table: The 80’s created the myth that A. hungry people deserved it and B. well we could really fill in the gaps with the charities.

JANET POPPENDIECK in A Place at the Table: And so we had a proliferation of emergency responses, soup kitchens, food pantries moving from literally a shelf in the cupboard of the pastor’s office to an operation with regular hours.

LARRY BROWN in A Place at the Table: Something changed during that period of time. There developed this ethos that government was doing too much and more importantly, the private sector is wonderful and let’s feed people through charity.

JANET POPPENDIECK in A Place at the Table: We have basically created a kind of secondary food system for the poor in this country. Millions and millions of Americans, as many as 50 million Americans, rely on charitable food programs for some part of meeting their basic food needs.

MARIANA CHILTON in A Place at the Table: ...The churches and the community groups that do hand out food...that’s just a quick fix, that’s for today and tomorrow and maybe for next week. We call it emergency food? It’s no longer emergency food. This is called chronic use of a broken system...

JEFF BRIDGES in A Place at the Table: ...We don’t fund our Department of Defense through charity...We shouldn’t see that our kids are healthy through charity either.

KRISTI JACOBSON: ...despite all the money that's being raised, despite the food drives, despite the proliferation of these food banks and soup kitchens we still have 50 million people who are food insecure. bank directors repeatedly sharing with us..."We can't do this alone. We need government to play its role." Because it should be an emergency food should be complementing government programs that really address the needs of the most vulnerable.

MARIANA CHILTON: ...Food stamps or SNAP it's called, WIC, Women, Infants and Children, school breakfast and school lunch, after school feeding programs. the health and well being of children and adults...their cognitive, social and emotional development is better. We know that they're less likely to be hospitalized.

...these programs we know have a tangible public health impact. There's no research that shows what kind of impact the emergency food system is having. We know that when about 30 million children are being fed every day in this country through school breakfast and school lunch, that is magnificent. And those kinds of programs need to be protected and to be promoted.

MARIANA CHILTON: our research we know that food stamps do help to prevent hospitalizations, they do promote health, it does help. But the...way that the government calculates how much an adequate meal or an adequate sort of thrifty food basket costs is actually inadequate for a healthy diet. So even if you have families that are receiving the maximum allotment, as if they had no other income, they still can't make ends meet.

Representative James McGovern of Massachusetts

REP. JAMES MCGOVERN in A Place at the Table: I lived on a food stamp diet for a week along with Jo Ann Emerson from Missouri. We did so because we thought that the food stamp benefit was inadequate. Most of my colleagues had no idea that the average food stamp benefit was $3 a day.

I had my budget and I went to a supermarket and it took me an awful long time because you have to add up every penny and it has to last you for a week. And so I did it and I will tell you I, I was tired, I was cranky because I couldn’t drink coffee because coffee was too expensive. I mean there are people who are living on that food stamp allocation. And you really can’t. For us it was an exercise that ended in a week. For millions of other people in this country that’s their way of life; every day is a struggle just to eat.

MARIANA CHILTON: Suicidal ideation, so it's thinking about, "Oh, what does it matter that I live?" It's thinking about killing yourself. These are very depressing and stressful experiences to experience hunger, to see your parents struggling with that and to struggle yourself.

...we are developing a whole half of the country overall...are underpaid, undervalued, unhealthy...

Representative, Republican Representative Steven King of Iowa.

REP. STEVE KING: Handing out benefits is not an economic stimulator. But we want to take care of the people that are needy, the people that are hungry, and we’ve watched this program grow from a number that I think I first memorized when I arrived here in Congress, about 19 million people, now about 49 million people. And it appears to me that the goal of this administration is to expand the rolls of people that are on SNAP benefits. And their purpose for doing so in part is because of what the gentleman has said from Massachusetts. Another purpose for that though is just to simply expand the dependency class.

MARIANA CHILTON: ...There is no evidence that the food stamp program creates dependency.

...they're pinning the problems that we have in this country on people who are poor. If you think about people who are poor really-- you have 80 percent of people who are food insecure are actually working. That means their wages are so low that they're eligible for food stamps.

...Let's talk about corporations and businesses that pay such low wages that they depend on the United States government to add money to those wages through the Income Assistance Programs, like SNAP. So because if you take a company like Walmart, pays their workers so low that their workers are actually eligible for food stamps. Who's dependent on the U.S. government? I'd have to say it's Walmart is the welfare queen here.

KRISTI JACOBSON: ...look at how many corporations and agribusinesses are collecting subsidies out of the same government bill, the farm bill.

...there is an ethos in Congress right now that assisting those individuals who need help via the food stamp program or WIC or school meals is big government and is going to put us into debt. But providing subsidies to large agribusinesses and big corporations is just business as usual.


Somehow when we think about helping people who are poor, many of whom are working, it's there becomes this type of societal vitriol towards people who are poor as if they're not us...people who are poor are all around us. Their children are going to the same schools oftentimes. We need to really rethink about who we are as a country, what does it mean to be an American. If you think about one in five of our children living in households that are food insecure, they're just as American as the rest of us, we need to really invest in our own country and who we are.

BILL MOYERS: ...the Food Stamp Act...1964...the whole bill was only eight pages long..."To raise levels of the nutrition among low income households and to permit those households with no incomes to receive a greater share of a nation's food abundance"...


Friday, March 22, 2013

AT&T 4G LTE service, Windows Phone, and Galaxy Note

AT&T sent phones so I can try their new 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) service now available in my area of Tucson, Arizona...

I did a speed test with the Nokia Lumia 920 (more about the phone below).

I live outside of town where my signal strength is 1 bar out of 5.  Taking that into consideration, a result from showed a download speed of 2.49 Mbps. But a ping measurement of 197 ms indicated a quality of service that can be considered average compared to I wasn't surprised that my upload speed was 0.06 Mbps.

More about ping tests:

This measurement tells how long it takes a "packet" of data to travel from your computer to a server on the Internet and back. Whenever you experience delayed responses in Internet applications - this would be due to a higher than desired ping. Similar to packet loss, lower is better when it comes to ping. A result below 100 ms should be expected from any decent broadband connection.

However, when I was within the city speeds were 3.23 Mbps down, and 1.11 Mbps up!  That's comparable to most internet services and connections I've used.  Nice...


I have never used a Windows Phone...until now.  I've often wondered how good the operating system can be.  It's much, much better than I expected...

The Nokia Lumia 920 was sent to me.  It's available exclusively from AT&T.

The main screen, named "Start", remind me of's like a long roll of information.  Much different than the interfaces for iOS and Android.  A video that demonstrates the interface on a Nokia phone is available at videos can be found at

I connected the phone to my (Windows 7) computer via a USB cable...Windows Explorer launched, and I was able to browse "Windows Phone".  Documents, Music, Pictures, Ringtones, Videos folders existed.

It has 32 GB of internal storage...on my phone 26 GB were free.

I was offered to "Get the Windows Phone app", but didn't because it was described as the "Windows Phone app for desktop (Preview 3)":  in general, I don't install "beta" or "preview" software on the computer I was using.

According to the User Guide:

page 16
"You can use your phone even with gloves on...switch touch sensitivity to High."

page 20
"...You can use your voice to make a call, send a text message, search the web, or open an app..."

("Call", "Find", "Open", "Text", and "Note" are recognized.  "Press" can be used for the numerical keypad.  And "Save speed dial" to have a number available for that feature.)

Bluetooth, Wi-Fi,  and NFC (Near Field Communication) networking are provided.

page 32
"SkyDrive is cloud storage for all your documents and photos, so you can access, share, or restore
them if need be...

"With SkyDrive, you can access your photos, documents, and more from your phone..."

I was able to stream music from my "Music" folder on SkyDrive...but unable to stream a video saved on SkyDrive in the "Videos" folder.

page 77

" you want to listen to or watch on your phone...Use a USB cable to sync music and videos between your phone and computer."

Like iTunes and Google Play, in the Microsoft Store there is a section for apps for Windows Phone.


I found the following app impressive:

"Nokia City Lens is now HERE City Lens giving you an entirely new way to reveal what’s around you. Simply hold up your phone as though taking a photo, and HERE City Lens overlays the best shops, restaurants and points of interest right on your display. Tap a place icon to call ahead or get more information such as hours, reviews and directions. You can even save a place for later or share it with friends. Tilt your phone and HERE City Lens brings up additional view options like list and map views. No more wandering around for a café. No more looking for street signs. With HERE City Lens, you see what’s around you from your point of view..."


AT&T also sent a Samsung GALAXY Note II.  The screen is 5.5-inches (I like "phablets").  The operating system is Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean).

The phone can use a 32 GB microSD card...and maybe a 64 GB card:  check the documentation, the place you intend to purchase your phone from, and Samsung.

I was VERY impressed with the antennae on the phone.  Where I didn't get a great 4G signal with the Nokia, the Galaxy Note gave me a much better connection.

The S Pen is a stylus.  You can use it to capture screenshots, and then write on them.

S Voice allows you to speak and have the phone dial a number, text a message, play music, and other functions.

NFC (Near Field Communication) allows for data to be exchanged when you touch your phone to a compatible device.  S Beam uses this service to send files to other (compatible) devices...

The phones’s mobile data connection ("tethering") can  be shared via USB, or the phone can function as a "hotspot" (Wi-Fi).

There's Bluetooth service.  And a "Multi Window" display allows multiple applications to be on the the same time.


Using SkyDrive on a Window Phone, I created a (Microsoft Word) document.  Using the SkyDrive app from Microsoft on the Galaxy Note, I attempted to edit the file (which has a ".docx" extension) with Polaris Office...Polaris Office came installed on the Galaxy Note:  there were no major incompatibilities, but I was not easily able to delete a comma within the document.

It is my experience that the Microsoft Word Web App is not as "full-featured" as Google Drive:  I was not able to "select all" text in a document...

SkyDrive works better with Windows Phone; Google Drive works better with Android.

A Google Drive app is not available for Windows phones.  Because a SkyDrive app is available for Windows and Android phones, I recommend you only use it  for storage across the two platforms.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Webcam software can cause conflicts

I was using the Logitech Webcam Software (with a Logitech webcam), and was unable to access audio from a microphone plugged into my microphone port.

After various attempts at troubleshooting this issue, and uninstalling other applications I suspected were causing the problem, I noticed in Programs and Features (of Windows 7) a listing for "Advanced Audio FX Engine" from Creative.  I did have Logitech and Creative software installed on the same computer.  It appears that installing the "Live! Central 3" software also installs the "Advanced Audio FX Engine".

My external microphone, which will not work with the Logitech software, will work with the Creative software.

I uninstalled the Creative "Live! Central 3" software.  After being offered the option to restart Windows...I had a hunch I was on my way to resolving the problem.  I restarted the computer, and noticed "Advanced Audio FX Engine" was installed...I uninstalled that...and again was offered the option to restart Windows.

And also now...Sound Recorder is able to record from the external microphone (it would not before I uninstalled the software from Creative).


Monday, March 18, 2013

The 2013 State of the News the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism

“...a news industry that is more undermanned and unprepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones or to question information put into its hands...”

...31 percent of respondents said they “have stopped turning to a news outlet because it no longer provided them with the news they were accustomed to getting.”

...local television stations have increased their reliance on three main topics — weather, traffic and sports.

“...there is less in-depth journalism being produced...”

...Segments about weather, traffic and sports ate up 40 percent of local newscasts’ time...even though this kind of information “is now available on demand in a variety of digital platforms”...

Nielsen ratings show that the audiences for local television newscasts in 2012 declined...

...the three major cable news channels...have become more politically oriented...Daytime programs on cable news increasingly resembled prime-time talk shows...


...during last year’s presidential campaign, reporters acted more as megaphones than as investigators of the assertions put forward by the campaigns...

...31 percent have stopped turning to a news outlet because it no longer provided them with the news they were accustomed to getting.

Men have left at somewhat higher rates than women, as have the more highly educated and higher-income earners...

...CNN was the only one of the three big cable news channels to produce more straight reporting than commentary.

...Daytime programming now resembles primetime, with interviews and opinion replacing coverage of live events and breaking news.

Viewership of local TV was down in every key time slot...Local TV remains a top news source for Americans...the percentage who say they watched it yesterday is dropping — and dropping sharply among younger people.

...improved geo-targeting is allowing many national advertisers to turn to Google, Facebook and other large networks to buy ads that once might have gone to local news media.

...of Americans...72 percent get most news from friends and family via word of mouth...


...a news industry that is more undermanned and unprepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones or to question information put into its hands...the public is taking notice. Nearly one-third of the respondents (31%) have deserted a news outlet because it no longer provides the news and information they had grown accustomed to.

...The government of Malaysia was recently discovered to have bankrolled propaganda that appeared in several major U.S. outlets under columnists’ bylines.  A number of news organizations, including The Associated Press, recently carried a fake press release about Google that came from a PR distribution site that promises clients it will reach “top media outlets.” And recently, journalist David Cay Johnston in writing about a pitch from one corporate marketer that included a “vacation reward” for running his stories, remarked, “Journalists get lots of pitches like this these days, which is partly a reflection of how the number of journalists has shriveled while the number of publicists has grown”...

...Local TV audiences were down across every key time slot and across all networks...Regular local TV viewership among adults under 30 fell...according to Pew Research survey data...the topics people go there for most—weather and breaking news (and to a lesser extent traffic)—are ripe for replacement by any number of Web- and mobile-based outlets...

Nearly one-third—31%—of people say they have deserted a particular news outlet because it no longer provides the news and information they had grown accustomed to...those most likely to have walked away are better educated, wealthier and older than those who did not—in other words, they are people who tend to be most prone to consume and pay for news.

People who said they had forsaken a news outlet were...older than younger, richer than poorer and Republican or independent rather than Democratic...about one-third of Republicans and independents stopped turning to a news outlet...

...CNN is the only one of the three big cable news channels to produce more straight reporting than commentary over all...

In local television, newscasts in recent years have placed an even greater emphasis on traffic, weather and sports...

With younger people tuning out local newscasts, there is growing concern that local TV news may be facing some of the financial challenges that have already battered the newspaper industry...local TV newscasts seem to be doubling down on sports, traffic and weather...

...analysis of cable...over all, commentary and opinion are far more prevalent on the air throughout the day (63% of the airtime) than straight news reporting (37%). CNN is the only channel to offer more reporting (54%) than opinion (46%)...

The already considerable amount of time devoted to sports, weather and traffic on local newscasts has risen even higher...four in ten of the newscasts examined here led with a weather story.

...The average evening news story package lasted 141...

...several significant areas of local news coverage have diminished.

...there has been significant growth in several other topic areas. The airtime devoted to accidents, disasters and unusual events increased...

...Attention to health and medical issues...At ABC, coverage increased...

...At ABC, where observers have noted a growing tendency to focus in on softer news topics, coverage of lifestyle and celebrity stories grew...Coverage of crime on the network jumped... CBS, which has publicly declared its interest in focusing on more hard news, the coverage of lifestyle and celebrity topics dropped significantly...the least amount of coverage of any of the big three networks.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

review: Pioneer HDJ-2000 headphones

I heard about the Pioneer HDJ-2000 Professional Flagship DJ Headphones that had "construction robust enough to withstand professional use".  Having destroyed many sets of "cans" during, what I consider, "normal" use on-air in radio stations...and as a D.J. in various nightclubs...I had to try them.

After removing them from the box and admiring in a mirror how good I look, and how good they headphones look on me, I noticed they're very..."light".  Yet, they feel sturdy.  And durable.  Per Pioneer, "This minimizes stress on the head..."

The swivel mechanism allows for the earphones to swing out towards the front of your face.  The headphones can also be swung down, around, and they face away from your head.

The audio cable attaches via a Mini XLR connector.  It's a 4-foot coiled cable, that can stretch to approximately 10 feet.  Attached to an end of the cord is a 1/8-inch plug.  A 1/4-inch screw-on adapter is included.

Pioneer states:  "Low-rebound urethane foam is used inside the ear pads and head pad...maintaining comfort with a snug fit even in long sessions..."  They are "snug"...but not obviously noticeably so.  And "closed", meaning noises outside of the headsets are expected to be minimized.  Yet with "clear reproduction of mid to high sound ranges...These headphones are also suitable for professional use in studios."  I concur.

Using various (software program) audio players, I listened to various very high-quality audio files of varied genres (pop, adult contemporary, funk and soul)...because I have various eclectic tastes.  I was able to notice audio artifacts in some songs I had never before been aware of.  The bottoms were clean...and bass lines not muddy (as some headphones can produce).

Should you ever need, or want to have a spare set, replacement ear pads are available for the HDJ-2000 (they are the HDJ-EP01).

A MONO/STEREO switch allows for when you are using only one earphone to monitor...and/or when you need to check the phasing of audio (when the left and right audio have been incorrectly produced).

The HDJ-CA01 Replacement Cord for the HDJ-2000 is available so you can replace a damaged cord, and/or have one as a spare.

The headphones fold and can be place in a bag that is provided for storage and transport...

If you want something with more protection the HDJ-HC01 DJ Headphone Case is designed specifically for the Pioneer HDJ-2000, as well as the HDJ-1500 Professional Headphones.  It has a carabiner (so you can connect the case to a bag or belt loop).  Inside is a pouch for USB drives and SD cards.

The HDJ-2000 headphones are available in silver, black chrome, and white.

I strongly recommend that, before you waste your money on (any) "Beats By Dr. Dre - Beats", "AKG - Quincy Jones Signature Series", or "SMS Audio - STREET by 50 Cent" consider the HDJ-2000:  the HDJ-2000 have more features.

Also, read:  Some Headphones Amplify Celebrities Over Sound


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Player (4.0 takes on the iPod Touch)

You don't need a "smartphone" to get the services and toys available to them.  And, I'm not referring to "tablets" and "e-readers"...

The early devices I became familiar with that allowed for similar features are personal digital assistants (PDAs):  the Sony CLIÉ, Palm TX and LifeDrive, and the like.

A Samsung Galaxy Player 4.0 was sent to me so that I may review it...

One of the first things I experienced is, because of the size of my hands...I wish they had sent the the 5-inch version:  at times my fingers are too big for the small targets of the on-screen keyboard.

Another reason I want the largest of the players is because, to use a memory card with the Player 4.0, I need to remove the back cover of the unit.  The Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0 has a memory card slot on the top of it.

It has an FM radio receiver...but stations are played in mono...and four of them can be presets/favorites.  Wi-Fi capability is also included.

On the back there are two ports for speakers, and the 3.2 megapixel camera.

Based on my experiences with the iPod Touch, the Samsung Galaxy Player is a much better choice for users of Microsoft Windows:  I have never been able to master using Apple's iTunes with (various models of) iPods.  The Galaxy Player uses the Android operating system so the folder storage structure is like Windows.

Recently while riding a bus...I noticed that I was very happy I was using the Galaxy Player 4.0, and not a (7-inch) tablet:  I was seated, with someone sitting next to me...and only had enough room to be able to move my arms to use the Galaxy Player to make a few notes.  If  you use public transportation, I strongly recommend you consider using a Galaxy Player to entertain yourself:  you can read books, magazines, and newspapers on the device.

Other than my notebook computers, I have been using it as my portable communications device:  I installed the Google Voice app and use it to monitor incoming voice messages, and receive and send text messages.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

BEFORE you purchase Microsoft Office...

...look at the information I've collated.


Office Home and Student 2013

    The latest Office applications—Word 2013, Excel 2013, PowerPoint 2013, OneNote 2013
    One user, one PC
    Non-transferable license
    Non-commercial use rights

Office Home and Business 2013

    The latest Office applications—Word 2013, Excel 2013, PowerPoint 2013, Outlook 2013, OneNote 2013
    One user, one PC
    Non-transferable license
    Commercial use rights

Office Professional 2013

    The latest Office applications—Word 2013, Excel 2013, PowerPoint 2013, Outlook 2013, OneNote 2013, Access 2013, Publisher 2013
    One user, one PC
    Non-transferable license
    Commercial use rights

...The Office 2013 software is licensed to one computer for the life of that computer and is non-transferable...

...Microsoft spokesperson Jevon Fark...

"...the Office 2013 software is licensed to one computer for the life of that computer and is non-transferable..."

A single user copy of Office 2013 is licensed to a single machine, not to a single user. Officially: The software license is permanently assigned to the device on which the software is initially activated. That device is the “licensed device”...

...With Office 2013, the retail editions are for one PC, no exceptions.  Your perpetual license is locked to one PC. The new license agreement contains identical language for all three retail editions: “Can I transfer the software to another computer or user? You may not transfer the software to another computer or user. You may transfer the software directly to a third party only as installed on the licensed computer, with the Certificate of Authenticity label and this agreement”...

...With Office 2013, you only get a license for one PC. More than that, the license is tied to that PC -- if your PC dies, for whatever reason, your license expires with it.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Radio NEEDS personality

Throughout my career, I have shared my thoughts regarding radio with those who are involved in broadcasting as well as those who are not.

A five-part column was posted on an industry related website.  I have attempted to edit it to portions I believe are very important to consider.


One program director, who asked both his name and radio group be withheld “for fear of losing my job”...“We’re told by the group PD that our DJs are merely a bridge between the songs.  I don’t necessarily agree, but if I don’t agree, they’ll find someone else who does.”


"Too many people in this business put music above personality and care nothing about presentation.  Radio is an art..."

Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs...the “personality” part of other formats are also very important.

“Depending on format, personalities are either #2 or lower, until you come to rock,” where Jacobs notes, there is a tie for first with favorite songs. “They expect a personality component...As we all know, music is available in a variety of different places other than ‘us.’  Often times, proprietary differences come down to everything else and personalities are a big part of that.”

...Jimmy Fink...

“We have to be local...”

A former disc jockey who worked in several Midwest markets and asked not to be identified since he had just lost his job during a budget cut says, “When I was on the air, year after year we began talking less and less because that’s what our PD was ordered to do by those above his pay scale.  Now I fear after spending almost 20 years in radio that I just lost the last job I’ll have in this business.  Being a DJ isn’t the same anymore.  The word ‘personality’ isn’t a part of being a DJ for a large radio group anymore...”

“You can’t throw DJs away.  You have to work on making the disc jockey an attraction.  The history of radio proves that,” says RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison.  “Just because you immediately assume people have short attention spans, doesn’t mean the DJ doesn’t play a role in holding their attention.  A few well-chosen words, a heavy dose of charisma and a spark of enthusiasm can actually entice a listener to pay their limited attention to an upcoming song that they otherwise might have either burned out on or worse not realize they want to hear.  Personality is not necessarily a tune out.”

Harrison adds...“Music is merely the first layer of a larger cake.  Personality is another important layer of the cake...Disc jockeys can make a difference in the product, if given the opportunity and they can give radio a perceived ‘ownership’ of the music culture as well as a binding tie into the community.  But that requires work – work in the form of directing, coaching, nurturing, scouting and the investment of capital.  Is there anyone with power left in this business who loves radio enough to step up to the plate and do it right?”

{Joel Salkowitz, the president at Sound Ideas Programming Consultants, is also the founder of “Pulse” and an innovator credited with the creation of “Hot 97” in New York City...}

Says Salkowitz, “Radio is not going away.  There is a slow and steady decline, but there are also more and more choices out there for the listener.  Radio can’t become a jukebox...It shouldn’t always be about the PPMs.”


...The disc jockey may also be heard in numerous markets too through voice tracking, but you rarely hear their name, and if you do, there may not be personality within the product.

“A lot of that is self-inflicted by these radio companies,” says longtime top 40, rhythmic, and dance programmer Joel Salkowitz.  “Resources are not being put in place to work with and coach DJs.  The personality DJ is fading away, and by no fault of their own.”

“...What we did was talk about what was most meaningful to our audience,” says Salkowitz.  “One of our biggest complaints from listeners in the study, and it wasn’t just limited to any one station, is not telling listeners what song was playing, and not talking about what is important to the listener.  You have to talk about what people are interested in.”

...large companies have it all wrong; they won’t listen to what the listener really wants.

...John “Records” Landecker.

“...The DJ used to be the salesperson’s best friend, because we sold the station and the inventory they brought in...”

“...A DJ is a performer...Anybody can read a liner, but can they sell that liner?...”

Landecker also says some stations and companies have forgotten what is fun for the listener.

“...We have things we have to say, have to read...we’re supposed to make it entertaining.  That’s what we’re here for.”

...Kid Kelly states, a great radio talent can make great radio, if they are motivated and dedicated to the craft.

“...most radio stations would become great again and can return to a time when the host/DJ would be considered an asset and not a cost center, and one of the most essential people in the building...”

“The future is solely up to the radio station owners...”

Michael Harrison...

“...Radio also needs to bring back the local personality and the music director, positions that have disappeared and need to be returned.  How can you do this financially?  Find a way!  Cut at the top if you need to. Use that money to restore a local and human element.  These people — disc jockeys, music directors, program directors — they are doing what truly needs to be done during very tough economic times: giving life and meaning to this medium.  And they are absolutely vital to the success of the property.”

Says Salkowitz, “You need to give people what they are interested in. You have to be creative and take chances.  Unfortunately, some would argue that it’s easier to take the path of least resistance.”


...“Shotgun” Tom Kelly...

“ can’t just be talk.  It has to be music – and it has to be live.  My hope is that we can get people back on the air again who are live and local, and DJs have to get involved locally and with your listeners.  Listeners are your customers.  There is no radio without listeners.”

...Jimmy Fink...

“Local will be the savior of the DJs, because people who listen to the radio want to know what’s happening in their own backyard...Companies will have much more success if listeners can become a part of the show, and feel like they are a part of the show.”

Fink also believes that radio stations that simply become a “jukebox” of music will be disregarded by the listener, because that’s something they can already do themselves.

“What’s the incentive for the listener?” asks Fink.  A computer can generate a playlist, and using algorithms expand on that playlist...the human connection – the DJ...Companies can still be profitable, maybe even more so, by thinking local.”

...Joel Salkowitz.

“The role of the DJ has to change.  The music is important, but the DJ must engage the listener, not just read liners...”

...the future of radio “is solely the decision of the radio station owners.”

RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison...“You have to give the listener something more than just continuous music, and it needs to be extremely relevant.”

According to Harrison, “Radio has to be an art form – even information radio.  Radio has to evolve but never to the point of being exclusively utilitarian.  If it doesn’t adhere to that fundamental guideline – keep the art and have a heart — it will lose its specific identity to the vast internet and likely become irrelevant.”

...the DJ has been the person to get us to and through work, the creator of interesting fodder at the water cooler, kept us company during the nights and “third shift,” and made the ride on the weekends more bearable.

According to Harrison, the importance of the disc jockey will not fade away...

“...If radio can begin developing, nurturing and encouraging this unique brand of human being – none of these other audio services will be able to dislodge it from its historical and rightful place on the spectrum of media.  I believe the DJ is the crucial component to the survival of music radio – and the survival of music formats on the FM/AM dial is crucial to the continued health of spoken word radio.  We are all in this together. The job ahead is challenging – but quite simply, if it takes saving the world and all the little niche worlds within it, then that is what we must do to save radio.”

...It will also take brave ownership to adapt to the “personality” of radio, and as Kid Kelly says, “allow disc jockeys to come back to what I like to refer to as ‘essential,’ or one of the most essential people in the building.”

According to Kelly, “If you can create compelling, exclusive, unique content – you win.”