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The Anti-Green – Catalogs [Comment]

Last week I posted The Anti-Green – Catalogs; which was triggered by receiving a catalog from B&H Photo Video, the day that article posted I received the following.


I appreciate the sentiments in your post although I am disappointed to see “Comments are closed.”

B&H regrets your dissatisfaction. At the same time we have many more customers thanking us for sending our useful resource book than otherwise so we have to presume it is not time for us to discontinue print publication. While I understand your sentiment, and agree we need to maintain a sustainable world for our children, I also recognize that other customers of ours have alternate perspectives.

Henry Posner
B&H Photo-Video


While I don’t allow comments on my BLOG posts, I do provide a contact mechanism (which Mr Posner used), and I’m more than happy to provide space for any reasonable rebuttal…

I’m happy that B&H Video Photo has many customers that thank them for their printed catalogs (at least some of those catalogs might actually be received by someone who doesn’t immediately throw them into a recycle bin, or worse) — but I’ll underscore that they send them to EVERYONE that’s ever done business with them rather than allow people to select whether or not they desire the catalogs (or any other mailings).

I’ll stand by what I said in my original post…

My feeling is that companies that do not believe that they actually represent a value to consumers are the companies that are quickest to force a subscription to any type of mailing list.  Companies who believe they offer something consumers want understand that consumers will come back and they don’t need to destroy the environment in order to attempt to promote future purchases.

Apparently I’m not the only one who took a moment to comment on getting a catalog they didn’t want here’s a forum thread on the topic “Unsubscribe from B&H’s forest felling catalog“, which happens to includes the post.


henryp
May 05, 2010 at 07:27 PM

First, I apologize to those who received more than one book and to those who opted out but received books anyway. There are a variety of possible reasons why, but suffice it to say we won’t send you what you don’t want if at all possible.

I want to thank the OP for posting the unsub link. Very thoughtful and much appreciated. The unsub link has been tweeted and retweeted repeatedly (more than once by me). I doubt Twitter needs it again. 🙂

Anyone who got multiple books – please send me the individual alpha-num codes via email (NOT PM) and I’ll forward them to the list maintainer. An example of the code is JC1026#####.

Having read a lot of “why do they bother” stuff here and elsewhere, the answer is because more people want them than don’t and they do get used. People circle stuff with ballpoint pens, highlight stuff with those yellow markers, fold down page corners or tag pages with post-it notes and tear out pages and post them on the refrigerator.

We want to keep our mail list to folks who really do want them and appreciate your help to keep our list clean. Thank you. FWIW, the whole thing’s online here.

Henry Posner
B&H Photo-Video

PS Recycle, don’t discard!


Here is B&H Photo Video’s catalog unsubscribe link — but notice it doesn’t take the catalog number on the label, but rather wants to collect personal information…

Microsoft Live Essentials 2011

Late last week Microsoft pushed out Microsoft Live Essentials 2011 as a “critical” update…

I don’t ever recall a new version of a piece of software being labeled as a critical update; and perhaps there was some security flaw found in the last version of Microsoft Live Essentials that Microsoft felt wasn’t fixable, or perhaps they just wanted to have people downloading an update that probably few will really want.

The only part of Live Essentials that I use is Windows Live Mail; so I can’t really speak to the rest of the pieces — but my first impression was that I’d be moving to a different email program soon, very soon.

Everything has changed, and menus you need to setup the program (it only copies some of your setting from the previous version) are buried deep, and in confusing places.

Additionally this isn’t just an email client any longer; it’s moving closer and closer to what Outlook is rather than what Outlook Express was… and to me that’s a shame.

I really can’t imagine most people have a surplus of screen real estate to comfortably accommodate all the eye candy and glitz that Microsoft has wasted time and energy into putting into Live Mail when they could have fixed some of the bugs (actually a bug that I reported during the beta over two years ago is still in even this version — I guess the kids in Redmond just don’t know how to keep a scrollable window in the same place after a change… and now rather than putting you at the top of the scroll you’re at a random location — so it looks like someone tried to hacked a “fix” in, and didn’t bother testing it… as seems to be all too true of most software these days).

My advice is don’t take the update… just continue using the version you have now until Microsoft forces you to upgrade; and if you don’t need the Hotmail/Live mail interface afforded by the Windows Live Mail program, consider one of the other free alternatives.

US Postal Service

I just dropped off some US Postal Service Form PS-1500s at the post office down the street, and have to relay a “funny” (maybe sad is a more appropriate word) episode…

The postal clerk said she’d never seen these forms before and went into the back to get her supervisor (who refused to give me his name).

He told me that the post office didn’t do “that”… and ask me where I got the forms, I told him the USPS web site (the people in line laughed, and that didn’t make him particularly happy).  Then he insisted again that the post office didn’t do “that”… and I ask him why the post office would have forms for something they didn’t do (and again I got laughs from the line).

He agreed to take the forms, and I reminded him that throwing them away would be a violation of postal regulations… he told me to get out of his lobby (presumably that would make him the station manager).

I’ve filed complaints with the US Postal Board of Governors before (and I just fired off another), but I always find complaining to my Representative, Senators, and President (all at once – which I’ve done as well) creates enough inquiries that the complaints is actually taken seriously.

I generally expect bad service at the post office, and it’s always amusing that the post office and quote postal regulations left and right when they benefit the post office… but few postal persons know anything about postal regulations that benefit the consumer.

For information on PS-1500 and taking control of your mail box, see my previous post:

Summer Solstice 2017

June 21 2017 04:24  GMT

Moto g4+ and g5+

moto_g4+_g5+

The Moto G5+ is the current version of the Moto G line; but how does it stack up against it’s predecessor the Moto G4+…

The differences…

The G5+ has a 5.20 inch display, a 2GHz octa-core processor, and ships with Android 7.0 (there are various models with different RAM and storage configurations); plus has a metal back.

The G4+ has a 5.50 inch display, a 1.5/1.2 octa-core processor (four cores at each speed), and ships with Android 6.0.1 (there’s an OTA Android 7.0; and there are various models with different RAM and storage configurations).

There’s, a slight difference in physical size (because of the screen size), and stylistically some minor differences in the general appearance… but really they are more similar than they are different.

The pluses…

The handset are solidly built, not bloated with useless apps (in the unlocked versions), support a uSD card up to 256GB (though if you’re buying a phone like this I suspect 128GB is the largest you’ll want to pay for at this time), have turbo-charging, and reasonably good battery life (the two have slightly different size batteries).

Accessories, like tempered glass screen protectors, cases, chargers, etc are aggressively priced and easily available.

Both are have been well received by the hacker community, so there will likely be good support for rooting and custom ROMs for the foreseeable future.

The minuses…

Neither have NFC (at least in the North American models), and both have micro-USB rather than USB-C.

The subjectives….

The finger-print scanner is on the front.  Lenovo (Motorola) hasn’t been doing extremely well in this market and have made efforts to move more upscale (so there may not be a Moto g6+ to carry on the lineage).

Conclusion…

From my perspective, if you’re looking for an unlocked handset that is feature rich, with good performance, and won’t break the bank — either of these will do you nicely.  Watch for “refurbished” or “customer returns” and you can find these at about 40% off — making them an incredible deal.

Also, if a handset will last you easily a year — I’d pass on any type of insurance, but at these prices single payment cell phone replacement plans won’t empty too much extra out of your wallet (remember there’s a fee when using the insurance, so figure that into whether just buying a new or having the insurance makes the most sense for you).

 

g4+ specs

Network Technology GSM / HSPA / LTE
Launch Announced 2016, May
Status Available. Released 2016, May
Body Dimensions 153 x 76.6 x 9.8 mm (6.02 x 3.02 x 0.39 in)
Weight 155 g (5.47 oz)
SIM Single SIM (Micro-SIM) or Dual SIM (Micro-SIM, dual stand-by)
Display Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 5.5 inches (~71.2% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels (~401 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Platform OS Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow), upgradable to 7.0 (Nougat)
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8952 Snapdragon 617
CPU Octa-core (4×1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.2 GHz Cortex-A53)
GPU Adreno 405
Memory Card slot microSD, up to 256 GB (dedicated slot) – single & dual SIM models
Internal 16 GB, 2 GB RAM or 32 GB, 3 GB RAM or 64 GB, 4 GB RAM
Camera Primary 16 MP, f/2.0, phase detection & laser autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash, check quality
Features Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, panorama, auto-HDR
Video 1080p@30fps, HDR, check quality
Secondary 5 MP, f/2.2, auto-HDR
Sound Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
Comms WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth 4.1, A2DP, LE
GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
Radio FM radio
USB microUSB 2.0, USB Host
Features Sensors Fingerprint (front-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity
Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
Browser HTML5
Java No
– Fast battery charging
– MP3/AAC+/WAV/Flac player
– MP4/H.264 player
– Photo/video editor
– Document viewer
Battery Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery
Misc Colors Black, White
SAR 1.09 W/kg (head)     1.48 W/kg (body)
Price $179 US
Tests Performance Basemark OS II: 951 / Basemark OS II 2.0: 799
Basemark X: 6380
Display Contrast ratio: 1435 (nominal), 2.582 (sunlight)
Camera Photo / Video
Loudspeaker Voice 64dB / Noise 70dB / Ring 73dB
Battery life

 

g5+ specs

Network Technology GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE
Launch Announced 2017, February
Status Available. Released 2017, April
Body Dimensions 150.2 x 74 x 7.7 mm (5.91 x 2.91 x 0.30 in)
Weight 155 g (5.47 oz)
SIM Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
Display Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 5.2 inches (~67.1% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels (~424 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Platform OS Android 7.0 (Nougat)
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8953 Snapdragon 625
CPU Octa-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53
GPU Adreno 506
Memory Card slot microSD, up to 256 GB
Internal 32/64 GB, 2/4 GB RAM; 32 GB, 3 GB RAM
Camera Primary 12 MP, f/1.7, autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash
Features Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, panorama, auto-HDR
Video 2160p@30fps
Secondary 5 MP, f/2.2
Sound Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
Comms WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth 4.2, A2DP, LE, EDR
GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS
NFC Yes (market dependent)
Radio FM radio
USB microUSB 2.0, USB Host
Features Sensors Fingerprint (front-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
Browser HTML5
Java No
– Fast battery charging
– MP3/AAC+/WAV/Flac player
– MP4/H.264 player
– Photo/video editor
– Document viewer
Battery Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery
Misc Colors Lunar Grey, Fine Gold
Price $229 US