Power Wallet

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My favourite new daily accessory is the Power Wallet from The Photojojo. It’s a super functional faux-leather wallet/clutch that has a built in battery for charging my phone.

 

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Inside it came with instructions and an adapter for my iPhone 5S. The battery can be charged by plugging the USB end to your computer or Apple blocks. On full charge, the wallet can charge around 1 and a half iPhones to full.

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The phone fits right in when you are charging it so you can use it as a mini clutch. There are also many slots and sections for coins, cash and cards. Now I’m ready for a night on the town without my phone dying on me!

Why I Won’t #CHOOSETAXI

choosetaxiBefore I begin, I want to start up by informing you that I have no affiliation with Uber whatsoever. I am however enraged by the #ChooseTaxi campaign recently started by Co-Op Cabs, a taxi company.

Essentially, the campaign is fear mongering people away from UberX, Uber’s car-sharing service. The campaign is directed towards women (there are apparently going to be ads in public washrooms), telling them that it is much safer to ride licensed cabs.

I’ve become a frequent UberX rider (I’ve also ridden black cars in the past) and all of my rides have been pleasant. The drivers are always friendly, or silent if I’m not having a chatty day. As a 20-something-woman who frequently rides alone, I have never feared for my safety. Everything is tracked: the route you take, the licensed plate of the driver, the driver’s name. You can even choose not to hail certain drivers if their rating does not satisfy you. They can also choose not to accept you as a passenger if your rating (which you actually can’t view publicly) isn’t up to par.

The same can’t be said for regular cabs. We’ve left items once in them and had no idea how to trace cabs after the fact. A cab drive once threatened our safety by playing the tambourine driving. I pulled a bottle of vodka from under the passenger seat of the same driver. I’ve had cabs refuse to pick me up because I wasn’t going far enough (so I was stuck at Sound Academy) and drivers that risked friend’s safety so they could use an ATM in a very unsafe location because they do not want to take debit (when most cabs have the capabilities to).

The bottomline for regular cabs never seem to be the customer. They are always about the money first. When waiting for the bus, I am frequently honked at by cabs who think that honking at me would drive their business. The first few times were scary as fuck. It was the same kind of feeling I felt when strangers honk and whistle from their cars. It does not make a girl feel safe. Just because a cab is licensed does not mean they are safe.

I am writing this post because I want people to be informed. I want them to make choices based on their own experiences and not because propaganda tells them to sway a certain way. We only read about the few negative stories worldwide about Uber involving assaults, but you have to remember that Uber is a billion dollar worldwide brand. What we don’t realize is that there are probably a thousand times more of these incidents in regular taxis because they don’t have a big enough brand. Or their stories are never told.

I for one have made a choice and won’t #ChooseTaxi.

Why I Moved To Adobe Creative Cloud

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For the first time in 10 years, I bought a legitimate and updated copy of Adobe Photoshop. In the past, I’ve always had either versions that came with cameras or less than reliable versions I’ve downloaded from the internet. I decided to subscribe to the photography package that includes Adobe Photshop CC and Lightroom 5 for $10/month.

Even though people criticized Adobe’s move to the Cloud I found many advantages:

$10 month is affordable. In the past, each iteration of Photoshop would cost like $500. Even previous copies of Lightroom costed around $200 on it’s own. At $10 a month, this would only be $120 year. I feel that the only people who complain about this pricing are people who’ve probably never bought it in the past.

It will always be the most updated copy. For $120 year you can always have the most updated version instead of forking up more money to own a piece of software. People need to let go of the idea of ownership in software.

There are some awesome upgrades from CS6. Camera shake reduction, smart sharpen, perspective changing are some unique advantages to the Creative Cloud software.

The option to save things on the cloud. Each subscription comes with 20GB in Adobe’s Cloud so you can always have your projects on hand. There are also mobile apps that allow you to continue working on your devices.

It can be installed on two computers. When you buy a Creative Cloud license you can have it installed on two computers regardless of operating system, so you don’t need to worry about buying the right discs.

It’s convenient and safe.  No more disabling updates or using dodgy practises to change a computer’s registry which can affect the longevity of a computer. 

For the price of one less burger a month, I can have the best photo editing software out there in my arsenal.

Recently Used Emoticons

IMG_0868In the age of technology, emoticons are just as important in conveying a message as words. I decided to share my most recently used ones. They generally also reflect my most popular ones.

They seem to reflect my personality quite a bit as well as current events.  I like food (which explains the pizza, burger, chocolate and bread) and I am a happy and excited person (face and hand signs). It also looks like I was wishing people a Happy Chinese New Year illustrated by the goat and celebratory things beside it. I’m also a person not afraid to be a little inappropriate (poop, and air poof representing fart).

What are your most recently used emoticons? And what do they say about your surrounding life? I’d love to know!

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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