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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Apple Care: Empowered to actually do so

Posted on November 30, 2011 at 11:55 PM Comments comments (5)

Before I disappointed virtually the entire Twitter-verse by buying a PC instead of a Mac, one of the more vocal, “You’ve just GOT to buy a Mac for the love of all that is good and holy!” proponents was one Matt Scott. One of his many – and I do mean MANY – reasons that I should join the Mac cult-of-personality was that their service and support – Apple Care – was so amazing.

Of course, computer t...

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The movie copying law-breaking conundrum

Posted on November 28, 2011 at 6:20 PM Comments comments (425)

There’s a scene from The Simpson’s where attorney, Lionel Hutz, is prepping Marge for some court trial. (I think it is the one where Homer is suing the Old Sea Captain for not getting his promised all-you-can-eat seafood buffet. “Arrrgh! Twas a beast more mouth than man!" )

Marge says, “All I did was tell the truth.” And Hutz – in classic Phil Hartmann brilliance – says, ...

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Truth in Billing

Posted on November 22, 2011 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (1)

I dealt with an issue last week that seemed to ultimately boil down to an unwinnable, lose-lose outcome for me. I could either dig in because I was right, or give in to appease a customer. And afterwards while going over everything and having a reflective, “What can we learn from this?” moment, I’m still not totally sure. While I was reminded of the importance of some things that I should have already known and should have done, the ultimate R...

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Black Friday's video race to extinction

Posted on November 21, 2011 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (1)

Black Friday – the annual shopping rite of passage where stores drop pricing on certain items to ridiculously low, way-below-cost levels in the hopes that you’ll come in and they can entice you to buy something -- *anything* -- else that they can actually make a buck on – is just days away as I write this.

At some point, Black Friday became pretty much an electronics gladiatorial event, where stores try to one-up one ano...

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How to NOT apply for a job

Posted on November 17, 2011 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (3)

The job market is tough right now; I totally get that. If you’ve got a job, you’re probably pretty thrilled about it, and are doing what you can to hold on to it; no matter how dark and dusty that coal mine you work in happens to be. And if you don’t have a job, you’re probably pretty highly motivated to go out there and get one. Or, join a local Occupy protest. You know, whatever you think is the best choice for you.

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The utter perfection of The Idea

Posted on November 16, 2011 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Will: Yeah, but this girl is like, you know, beautiful. She's smart. She's funny. She's different from most of the other girls I've been with.

Sean: So, call her up, Romeo.

Will: Why? So I can realize she's not that smart, that she's f***in' boring? Y'know--I mean...this girl is like f***in' perfect

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You want to pay me? For my opinion?

Posted on November 12, 2011 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I have opinions. Lots and LOTS of them. And the range of topics covered are as random as they are reaching. And not always conforming to popular opinion. (“Popular opinion” in this case defined as Dana.) Usually these pearls of wisdom are freely given and totally unsolicited. I just can’t help observing other people’s businesses or just their daily lives and thinking of ways that they could do whatever it is they’re doing better. “You ...

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Jane DespEyre or Occupy Brighton Street

Posted on November 11, 2011 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (1)

Rumor around the Sciacca house is that I’ve been totally Bogarting the Netflix queue lately. I mean, sure, the latest batch of films MIGHT have included things like Captain America (liked the long, backstory opening, but it just kind of plodded alog), Of Gods and Men (holy CRAAAAAP was this thing stunning in its capacity to bore! What about “historical drama relates the ordeal of seven French Trappist monks in the mountains of Algeria who are ta...

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Can technology actually encourage UN-green behavior?

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (5)

Many tech writers – myself included – have written about how the magical wonders and powerful power of automation can transform otherwise ignorant, soulless and bent-on-destroying-the-planet homeowners into green, energy conserving, happy, cookie-making elves. We’ve waxed poetic about how every kWh saved somehow means another field of Fair Trade coffee beans magically springing up in a new, evergreen Colombian field and also accounts for ...

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Blue Bottle Coffee: Searching for the Tears of God

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (2)

Several years ago, I stumbled across a post -- it might been on Gizmodo -- about the world's most expensive coffee maker. I was fascinated by it and went out hunting down videos and information on just how this magical fusion of precision, splittling-the-atom level machinerey and old-world artisan craftsmanship of that blind guy from Kung-Fu worked. It was called a Siphon Bar. As you can imagine with a coffee maker that costs upwards of $20,000, there are gonna be a ton of thes...

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One woman's journey from Mac to PC and back again

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (6)

A couple of months ago I went through a bit of a tech upgrade dilemma; it had become time for me to buy a new laptop. My old HP had served me well for about 3 years, but after a running faceplant, sliding down the street tumble in Atlanta and a scalding coffee bath had taken their toll, I decided that with CEDIA mere days away it was time to splurge and get a new computador.

Computers are not something I really know, however, so before b...

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Will new tech kill anamorphic lenses?

Posted on November 1, 2011 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (4)

For many home theater aficionados -- including 26 of the 29 projects up for the 2011 Electronic Lifestyles awards -- the height of awesometopia is a media room with an anamorphic lens equipped front projection system. You know, just like what they use in the big time movie theaters. What with the popcorns, and the ringing cell phones, and the barely-making-an-attempt-at-whispering conversations going on all around you and that mystery thing that gets stuck to your shoe. As I ha...

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