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Michael L.

5 Level 5 Contributor
  • 67 Reviews
  • 418 Helpful Votes
  • 1 Thank You

Experience: Computers & Technology, Entertainment, News

Member since April 2007

  • Reviews

    67

  • First Reviews

    48

  • Thank Yous

    1

  • Fans

    6

  • Profile Views

    11,350

Review Distribution

About Me

I am interested in the development of new technologies and how they can benefit society.

How I Can Help

I have a background in computer science, business, and internet technologies.

Interests

museums, music, movies (in no particular order)

67 Reviews by Michael

7/11/08
If you're addicted to your blackberry... - This is my favorite site dedicated to all things blackberry. It was started by one of my best friend's childhood schoolmates and has grown into the premiere destination for blackberry users. The site publishes the latest news and updates in the smartphone market, and supports a vibrant forum community. I particularly like their reviews.

Kevin, the community manager, was one of the first people to get his hands on the highly anticipated Blackberry Bold, which should be coming out later this year. Apparently, he paid an arm and a leg on eBay to purchase one of the three that were available. You can read the review here:

http://crackberry.com/blackberry9000

This phone looks incredible and in my opinion will be hands down the best phone out in the market! I'm not sure when it will be released to the public, but in the meantime, I'll just have to keep getting my crackberry fix by reading about it on this site.
6/12/08
Mesmerizing artwork based on visualization of human systems - Aaron Koblin, most well known for his "Flight Patterns" piece, has built up a very impressive body of work on his website. This site showcases many of his data visualization masterpieces, constructed from complex software programs and very large data sets.

Among my favorites are Ten Thousand Cents, in which ten thousand people were asked to draw a sliver of a one hundred dollar bill. The finished product shows the power of independent collaboration and also includes graffiti from frustrated contributors!

http://www.tenthousandcents.com

I also like The Sheep Market, which Aaron created by paying 10,000 people 2 cents through Mechanical Turk to draw a sheep facing to the left. Each sheep drawing was recorded and you can watch how they were all individually constructed:

http://www.thesheepmarket.com
7/11/07
why are there no other great sports sites? - why is espn so dominant in the sports space? every guy i know watches sportscenter and refreshes this website every five minutes at work. but is there not another website for sports info? and don't say cbs...
2/15/18
This is a neat site that reports on fake and fraudulent campaigns on GoFundMe. With the rising popularity of crowdfunding, charitable sites like GoFundMe have become the easiest place to contribute to a cause. But scammers have also taken advantage of these platforms to steal money from good samaritans through fake campaigns. GoFraudMe monitors reports of fraudulent campaigns from social media, local sources and direct donor reports, and then publishes them for everyone to see. It's a great way to double check a campaign before making a donation.
1/22/13
Ordered the Olympus Tough TG-1 camera from these guys and was very satisfied with the experience:

1) Price at Tri-State Camera was $60 less than what it was being offered for on Amazon. I usually purchase from Amazon because of their Prime 2-day shipping, but even after selecting the 2-day air option from Tri-State, I was saving a lot of money.

2) I needed the camera before going on vacation and because I had ordered it right before MLK weekend, I wasn't sure I was going to receive it in time. I called them up and found out that, sure enough, it was going to get there one day too late. However, the manager I spoke to, Al, told me he would overnight it for no extra cost and personally guaranteed that I would get it in time.

I got the camera as promised right before my trip, in perfect condition. You just don't get service like that anymore these days from most online retailers. I highly recommend these guys and look forward to buying more stuff from them. You just can't beat the price and the customer service at Tri-State Camera.
3/17/12
Simply the best place to manage your NCAA tournament brackets. The interface has improved greatly over the past few years, making it easier now than ever to fill in and track your picks. When filling out your bracket, the site allows you to pre-populate your choices with expert picks, public consensus picks, or any of your previously completed brackets. It literally takes about 5 seconds and two clicks to get a respectable bracket up and running.

Beyond these features, I've found this site to have the quickest updates, best standings board, most customizable options for managers, and overall the cleanest interface. Highly recommended for a site you'll be glued to everyday for the last three weeks of march.
4/7/11
A website that discusses technology for baby boomers seems like a great idea, but ElderGadget falls well short of executing on that vision. I am assuming that this site is modeled after engadget, based on its name and layout, but after a few minutes browsing the site, I was very disappointed by the quality of the content and the depth of the reviews. Most of the product reviews simply list out specs and product features, with no commentary on how it might be particularly well suited for seniors. The site also offers brain games and cartoons for the elderly, but I find them a bit patronizing. Perhaps the most useful features are the how-to guides which explain things like getting on to the internet or changing your computer settings. All-in-all, a very poorly designed website which doesn't do a good job of truly catering to the audience for which it was made.
Quickish.com
3/3/11
This is an interesting-ish site which aggregates trending sports topics and news into a single feed. I still enjoy going directly to espn.com to browse news articles, but Quickish is a great place to quickly get the most current sports headlines across the web.

I like the minimalist interface which makes it easy to browse, but still provides interesting contextual excerpts. But the most value comes from the fact that it aggregates content from many different sources and is partially curated by editors in (almost) real-time. Also, it's really neat to browse a particular topic of interest, since you get a good variety of headlines and differing viewpoints.

More customization would be a natural next step for a site like this, but for the general sports fan, this is a great resource. I'll be checking it frequently before the Madness begins and before my next draft.
2/5/11
I just went through the free trial of Carbonite to see if it was any good compared to my current online backup service, Mozy. Online storage and online backup solutions have come a long way over the past few years and there are a lot of new players in the field. So when Mozy decided to up their prices, I started looking for a new alternative.

The interface for the Carbonite product is pretty neat -- it's very simple and it puts a little icon on each folder or file to tell whether it is backed up, waiting to be backed up, or not set to be backed up. I also like their scheduling options, which lets you set as many scheduling rules as you want. Lastly, this is one of the few online backup services that still supports unlimited storage.

What I don't like about Carbonite is the fact that it will not back up certain types of files. Who are they to tell me which files can and can not be backed up? If I want to back up some random system file on my computer, why can't I? In my opinion, an online backup solution should as closely mimic using an external hard drive as possible, but just be more secure. Otherwise, what's the point and why should I spend so much more money? (You can get a terabyte of external storage for roughly the same price as one year of online storage.)

Another issue is that for the free trial, it does not automatically back up your music files. So I will have to repeat the same days-long tortuous process once I actually sign up for the service. Finally the deal breaker -- in order for Carbonite to back up video files, you have to manually select them one by one. Are you kidding me? I have a ton of tiny video files spread across a bunch of different folders, and that would take me hours. I guess I'll keep looking for another service...
7/31/10
Musicovery is a really fun and neat music discovery site which stands out because of its innovative interface. The site separates its music into "Mood" music and "Dance" music. To help figure out what type of music you want to hear, it presents a grid with two axes which represent two musical attributes. For "Dance" music, the axes are Dance and Tempo. For "Mood" music, the axes are (Dark -> Positive) and (Calm -> Energetic). You can click anywhere on the axes to get the perfect blend of both attributes. For a good time, try alternating between Dark and Calm to Positive and Energetic.

I really like the eclectic assortment of music this site plays for you. Most other music discovery sites seem to stick to a particular genre, but with Musicovery, you will get George Gershwin right before James Brown, simply because you wanted happy, energetic music. Brilliant! For the purists, there are also controls to filter the music by genre and decade.
6/18/10
This is the official site of the Yes Men, the two activists (Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno), who play pranks on corporate behemoths to help raise awareness of important social issues and social responsibility. You can read all about their high-profile hijinks on the site and they are absolutely hilarious.

My favorite is where Bichlbaum poses as a representative from the National Petroleum Council at Canada's largest oil conference and proposes in his keynote speech to make oil out of the humans who died as a result of their industry in the first place. http://theyesmen.org/hijinks/vivoleum

The site has recently been redesigned and now, in addition to links to their books and movies, includes a frequently updated blog and the new Yes Lab, which helps others perform similar activism-focused pranks on their own. It's good to see them leveraging new media to spread their ideas and increase their influence.

This is a great site to support the Yes Men, learn about the evils of corporate greed, become more active in social issues, or just have a good laugh.
6/9/10
I wouldn't consider myself a very spiritual person, but I do enjoy spending time on this site. Gratefulness.org promotes the ethics of grateful living and uses it to inspire not only personal growth, but positive changes across the world. I have sent many friends to this website when they are feeling overwhelmed or depressed. They have all been surprised by what just a few minutes of reflection can do.

I find the articles in the practices section particularly well written and deeply impacting. It's amazing how reading about and developing an appreciation for something as simple as water can really change your perspective and affect your mood for the rest of the day -- http://www.gratefulness.org/p/index.htm

Can living a more grateful life really change the world? I'm not sure, but I do believe we will all be happier individuals if we learn to better appreciate the things we so easily take for granted in our lives today.
6/7/10
I was hanging out with a good friend of mine the other day and noticed some really bad ass rings on her hands. They were silver and black, very large, in a really exotic design. I asked her where she got them and she said three words: Bad Ass Jewelry. Enough said -- check it out. They sell everything including necklaces, pendants, bracelets, and earrings for both guys and girls. Really neat, edgy stuff!
9/18/18
I tried the Peloton for the first time at a friend's place and was skeptical at first. I'm not a big cyclist, so I had a hard time understanding why anybody would pay thousands for a bike + a monthly subscription fee. But I actually enjoyed the experience.

The bike is much more compact than I expected it to be. The screen is fairly immersive and the trainers in the videos are all very attractive and motivating. The workout my friend chose for me was very difficult, but went by quickly. I liked getting the immediate feedback on my heart rate, speed, and output. At the end of the workout, I was able to see how I performed relative to others, review all my summary stats, and could barely walk. I'll need to try it again when I'm in better shape!
7/31/10
Great site for those interested in the art of presenting visual data in a way that is interesting, memorable, and visually appealing. Maintained by David McCandless, an "information designer", this is a site dedicated to the latest and greatest ways to present data. And while it features a steady stream of masterful infographics from all around the internet, my favorite thing about the site is the fascinating bits of random knowledge you can learn from just a few seconds of browsing around.
6/7/10
This is one of the few New York Times blogs I find worth reading. Nicholas Kristof is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who cares more deeply about social issues than any other journalist I can think of. Having traveled extensively and lived all over the world, he has developed a profoundly unique understanding of the world and human life. His blog covers a wide range of development issues, including health, human rights, education, and civil war. This is a must read, if not for the reason of becoming more engaged / involved in some of the most pressing issues of our time, then at least for its ability to put the happenings of our own lives and the things we take for granted into their proper perspective.
Mugasha
5/24/10
I usually listen to Digitally Imported, but Mugasha is what I stream at work now. Mugasha has put together a very impressive set collection from most of the top DJs (Armin van Buuren, Ferry Corsten, Tiesto, etc.) The interface is great -- the player breaks up the sets into individual tracks so you can see the title and the artist of each song, and also jump around. For each track, it shows how many people have listened to it and how many people liked it. And if you find one you really like, Mugasha makes it really easy to share it with your friends or purchase it on iTunes.

I do have two small complaints about the site. First, the collection is very trance-heavy. There isn't much progressive house yet, so you'll be disappointed if you're looking for your favorite Sasha or Digweed tracks. Second, the music player is embedded into the website, like Pandora, so you have to keep the browser / webpage open for the music to continue streaming. If you forget and start browing around, your song gets cut off. By contrast, Digitally Imported allows you to stream directly to Windows Media Player or Winamp, so you're free to leave the website to do other things.

Aside from these minor issues, the best and most important thing about Mugasha is the music. Two words: Tiesto ClubLife. Enjoy!
5/11/10
Customer service is top notch -- I found out that my mother was out of town for Mother's Day and called them up the day before to see if I could switch the order. I was able to switch the delivery date to the following week for no extra charge (even though I was using a discounted delivery rate for the holiday). Customer service representative was very friendly and accommodating.

One caveat -- prices are a bit hefty, especially when compared to going direct to local florists. But they do deliver on what they promise and the flowers have always turned out great in my experience.
5/3/10
Most people are already aware of Google's auto complete feature, which tries to guess what someone is searching for based on aggregate data from previous searches. But what most people don't realize is how useful the feature is for conducting societal research.

For example, to see what guys most want from their girlfriends, just type in "how do i get my girlfriend to" and see what pops up. Change "girlfriend" to "boyfriend" to compare the results -- the differences are both hilarious and slightly depressing.

AutoCompleteMe is a site dedicated entirely to the auto complete feature, based mostly on what interesting suggestions ordinary people stumble upon while performing their own searches. What turns up is an entertaining and sometimes insightful look into the zeitgeist and eccentricities of today's society.
TMZ
7/13/07
best celebrity gossip site! - always has the most recent breaking news that no other news site can get! this site is as good as it gets... i love it!

Michael Has Earned 418 Votes

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rogerh180
Should-Use-A- D. thanked you for your review of WikiLeaks

“Solid Points.”

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