Cutting the Cable

netflix
When I moved downtown in October, I had no plans to get Cable (or Satellite TV). I felt like I could live without it and now I have convinced my parents to do the same. We no longer pay for the juggernauts that is Rogers (or Bell) to provide us with daily entertainment.

We all thought that we’d miss out on important things like news if we cut the cord. But when was the last time anybody got “Breaking News” from the tube? We hear it first on social media, or read it from the internet. My parents now have an Apple TV & an Asian equivalent of the same thing. We also have a Chromecast. For my own apartment, my laptop is my entertainment center. I caved in and got a Netflix subscription. I learned how to VPN with Hola so I could watch the American show.

Not having a TV has encouraged me to do other things too. I used to have the TV on when I blogged most of the time, but that’s a little bit harder to do when you’re also typing on the same computer, so I don’t. I blog in silence and it helps me pound out content quicker. Now I tend to only watch shows while eating dinner or before bed. Not while doing anything important.

It seems like a lot of people have decided to cut the cord this year. Have you? I’d like to know!

Today I Forgot My Phone

Selfie after being reuinited with phone

Selfie after being reuinited with phone

As I rode the subway to work this morning I realized, I had left my phone at home. It was the worst. I had an uncomfortable empty feeling inside. I kept compulsively checking my pockets throughout the day.

Throughout the day I kept wondering if I was missing calls or important texts from friends and family. The world seemed so tweetable. Everywhere I looked I wanted to make funny commentary or post photos to my online friends. People with misspelled t-shirts, funny dogs, overheard conversations. The catch 22 is that I may not have even noticed those things normally if I was looking at my phone.

The one thing that bothered me the most is that when I was commuting, I had no concept of time. After having a phone, I was no longer wearing watches. I had places to go after work and almost leaned over to look at someone else’s phone to check the time. I thought someone would think I was crazy if I asked them for the time. I mean, who does that anymore right?

Mostly I didn’t know what to do with my hands a lot of the time. I forgot my book, gameboy and my mp3 player had also ran out of battery. At work, I was fine. I didn’t really need my phone and I might have even been more productive since I didn’t need to check it all the time. I did receive a package I really wanted to take a photo of. I ended up searching for “online webcams” (which I don’t recommend doing at work) so I could somehow use the webcam on my work computer. It’s amazing how convenient having a camera on your phone is.

Anyways, I learned that I will never forget my phone again. As nice as it is to be “sort of” unplugged. It creates more anxiety than it is worth for me.

FiiO X1 MP3 Player Review

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A few months ago, I left my beloved iPod Classic on the subway. I then waited way too long to buy a new one and the classics were now discountinued. This left me with not much option in terms of iPods. Spending $300 for an iPod Touch didn’t seem to make much sense since I had an iPhone, while the lower ones lacked enough space to hold my entire library. I then turned to the internet to research affordable high-end mp3 players and concluded that my best choice would be the FiiO X1 player at $99.

I bought it in gold (silver is the other option). You can watch me unbox the thing here:

IMG_6254Inside the tiny packaging, there were a ton of accessories that I didn’t expect it to come with: 3 screen protectors (1 of which is already on the screen); a silicone case; 2 sets of decorational stickers. Oddly enough it does not come with earphones. You also have to purchase a micro-sd in order to use it as there is no internal storage. It supports cards up to 120GB.

IMG_7218The player looks a lot more expensive than it’s $99 price tag. There aren’t that many instructions that come with the machine, but it’s fairly easy to use. Here are two tips for future FiiO owners:

– You must go into the system settings and hit “Storage Formatting” on your new SD card if you wish to use your own SD card reader instead of the cable to transfer songs.
– Every time you transfer songs going to “Update Media Library” in the system settings is recommended as it refreshes all the album information. Otherwise, songs only shows up in the list of all your mp3s.

Besides the above, everything is basically drag and drop. You can drag your entire iTunes library (or whatever library you use) onto the SD card and leave all folders in tact. It plays FLAC, APE, ALAC, WAV, WMA, MP3, AAC and OGG files, with up to 192-kHz/24-bit resolution. I can definitely hear the sound difference. Everything is more crisp, clear and loud sounds don’t clip. I also hear a certain warmness of each artist’s recording setting that I didn’t pay much attention to before.

Album covers display, but only if they’ve been part of the original mp3 meta data. What this means is that if you did the “Get Album Artwork” thing in iTunes, it probably didn’t embed itself in the metadata, but elsewhere.

The battery lasts very long (12 hours I think) and the system preserves it well. The screen automatically turns off after a certain time and it also turns itself off. The buttons take time to learn but really once you understand how to hit enter (centre button) and go back (top right), the rest don’t really matter. $99 is totally a steal for this thing!
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The Strange Things People Search To Get Here

Strangesearch
One of everybody’s favourite things about having a blog is looking through the stats. Specifically, the Google searches that have landed a person on their own blog. Most them here are quite normal. I get a lot of people who were looking for Adventure Time or specific restaurants.

But sometimes searches can be bizarre. Here are a few weird ones:

“Tiana disgrace”

How the hell did this lead you here?

“Asian stereotype”

I like to think I don’t live according to stereotypes

“What dog looks like a lion”

I don’t know. Do you?

“Elmo word”

Tickle me?

“How to draw nash”

Why would you want to draw my boyfriend?!

“Draw something cheat/nash”

Again a bizarre reference to boyfriend.

“I think I’m a hoarder”

That’s nice.

“Stress soup”

I don’t think you really need a recipe for this.

“internet pictures”

This could be anything?!

“What used to be cool”

I’d like to think I am still cool.

Hitting Unsubscribe

unsubscribe

The new year is a perfect time to do some cleansing, to have a fresh start on all the information you receive online. We’re constantly subscribed to receiving an overload of information. Now is the time to delete them. Here’s where you can get rid of some junk:

 

• E-mails: Unsubscribe from e-mail lists of stores you don’t go to, musicians you don’t want to follow or just lists you’ve pressed delete on the last few times. Don’t kid yourself, the one time you unsubscribe, you aren’t going to miss out on a deal you actually want. It’s also a good time to realize what lists you didn’t actually subscribe to. Since last July in Canada, it’s actually illegal to continue contacting someone if they unsubscribe from your list.

 

• Apps: When was the last time you checked your phone to check what that Hay Day notification is saying? Turn off those notifications if you don’t listen to them or better you delete the apps you don’t use.

 

• Social Networks: Is there someone who really gets on your nerves on every Facebook status update? Maybe it’s time to unfriend them, or at least unfollow them. Clearing out Twitter feeds of information you don’t find interesting can make way for things that are more valuable to you.

 

We’re inundated with so much information that it’s important to look back at what we’re subscribed to in order to regain some sort of sanity.