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Michael L.

5 Level 5 Contributor
  • 66 Reviews
  • 415 Helpful Votes
  • 1 Thank You

Experience: Computers & Technology, Entertainment, News

Member since April 2007

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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.


museums, music, movies (in no particular order)

66 Reviews by Michael

I probably wouldn't bring my bag to a formal business meeting, but it's a great looking everyday bag to use at cafes and the office. I've had mine for 6 years already and it still feels like new. It's definitely more durable than any other bag I've owned in the past. It just reeks of coffee from all the time it has spent in the coffee shop!
I have known Marcelo for over seven years and have worked with Centraldev on many projects for our company. Centraldev provides access to a talented and affordable pool of engineers down in Argentina. I have always been happy with the way they manage their projects and the overall quality of their work.

Marcelo is an excellent communicator and always responds very quickly whenever I reach out to him. He is also very fair and goes out of his way to make sure his clients are getting a great return on their investment.

Centraldev prioritizes the long-term satisfaction of its clients, which is why I have returned to them over and over again. I highly recommend them to any company that is considering outsourcing some or all of their engineering projects.
Kickstarter is a innovative micro-patronage site which connects aspiring
creatives to those who want to be more involved in endorsing interesting
projects. The way it works is that individuals who conceive of a project but do
not have the money to pursue it or don't want to bear the financial risk can
submit their idea to the site. Donors can then see the projects and decide to
donate as much or as little as they want to support one they find interesting.

The artists benefit from seeing how viable or interesting their idea really is
before they decide to follow through on them. And the donors typically get a
memento or are somehow incorporated into the project. For example, one project
involved a women sending a postcard from around the world every day for 365
days. If you donated to her cause, not only did you help out financially, but
you provide one of the 365 addresses and in turn receive one of the postcards!

Projects have ranged from new restaurants, world travel, movies, and even open
source social networks. The homepage organizes the projects into different
categories so that they are easy to browse and each project shows how much money
is required and has been raised so far. I praise Kickstarter for helping reduce
the friction around true innovation and creativity.
I've used this service several times now. Basically, they give you a quote online and the mechanic comes to your house or office to service your car. No more dropping off the car at a garage and being stranded without a ride for several hours.

Each time I've used the service, the mechanic has been super friendly and very knowledgeable. One time, he was able to fix my problem in a mere 15 minutes and I was able to get half the fee refunded to me. I've been impressed so far with their customer service and the costs have seemed very reasonable.
While out ring shopping with my girlfriend, she saw a ring she liked, but I knew I could improve upon the design. I looked at various custom jewelers, but Brilliance seemed to have the biggest selection and most transparent design process. I was slightly skeptical since they were strictly an online business, so I called them up and was put in touch with Jonathon Ohayon. He blew me away with his depth of knowledge, experience, and honesty. I immediately felt comfortable enough to lay down the $200 deposit to get the design process started.

The way it works is that once you put down the deposit, you begin working with their designers to come up with the exact design that you want. You can send in drawings, images, or written descriptions and they send you back computerized renderings for you to provide feedback. This continues back and forth for as long as you want, until you are completely satisfied with the design, and then it goes into production which takes about a week. They will even send you the diamond ahead of time for inspection before they mount it in the setting, although I didn't take advantage of this option. Finally, when the ring is ready, it's shipped to you overnight with a beautiful black box, the certification, and a professional appraisal.

I was extremely impressed with every aspect of the process, including the introductory call, the iterative design process, the customer education, the diamond selection, and the final delivery. I was very demanding, but the team that worked with me was always patient and enthusiastic. When it came time to choose the diamond, Jonathon gave very candid feedback on what he thought would look nice and what he thought wouldn't work. And once you're close to your final decision, he goes out of the way to confirm that the stone looks great in person.

The whole process took a little over a month, but mostly because I was so specific with what I wanted. The end product was amazing and turned out even better than I had envisioned from the renderings. I gave it to my girlfriend this past weekend and she thought it was absolutely perfect! If anybody needs a custom engagement ring made, I have to recommend Brilliance for their amazing level of professionalism and quality.
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.
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.
A very impressive eye wear company selling amazing products for a really good cause. Everything is top notch, including their designs, their product quality, their customer service, and even their website. I just can't say enough good things about Warby Parker:

1) Very trendy frames and prescription lenses for only $95 (yes, $95)
2) A website that allows you to try on frames virtually by uploading a photo
3) Allows customers to try up to 5 different frames in 5 days with a pre-paid return shipping label
4) 30-day satisfaction guaranteed return policy
5) Donates a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair sold
6) Works with non-profits to promote third-world women entrepreneurship

There's really no reason to ever buy expensive designer glasses again. Who knew a company could literally make the world a better place at the same time as providing you with the latest in trendy eye wear?
Google's latest attempt at creating a true social network to compete with Facebook, and also their best. The interface is very slick and cleaner than Facebook's. The standout features are: (1) ability to arrange all your friends into and share content with smaller groups or "Circles", (2) ability to do group video chat up to 10 people in "Hangouts", and (3) deep integration with Picasa for photo sharing with a very fast and intuitive interface. I'm still learning all the features and I'm sure they'll improve a lot over the next few weeks, but so far I've been very impressed!
Very simple and easy-to-use website for ordering contact lenses. And best of all, very cheap -- you typically get free shipping on orders over $99 and there are coupons for at least 15% off all over the internet. After your initial order, re-ordering just takes a few clicks. I've ordered from here a few times already and am a happy customer.
On a lark, I recently decided to take a speed reading class, where we were taught simple techniques such as sub-vocalization (supressing the voice inside your head as your read) and getting your eyes used to reading batches of words at a time. Both techniques run counter to a person's natural reading habits and we were given uncomfortable exercises to help unlearn our old ways of reading. Eventually, I was able to get my reading speeds up to 700 words per minute from 400 words per minute, so I'm convinced this stuff actually works.

At the end of the class, our instructor told us about Spreeder, a free online application which allows you to enter any text you want to read faster and then flashes the text back to you at a configurable rate. Not only is it a great way to quickly get through the latest article your boss told you to read, but it's also a great tool to hone your speed-reading skills from time to time. Definitely worth giving a try if you're looking to increase your daily productivity.
One of my go-to recipe sites -- whenever I need to know how to cook a particular dish or am looking for something interesting to try out, I come to this site. With its vast collection of well-documented recipes and high quality pictures, it's a great way to expand your repertoire as a cook.

Cooking for Engineers is the personal recipe collection of Michael Chu, an engineer who has invested a lot of time making his favorite dishes accessible to others online. Because of his background, the site is targeted toward a more analytical audience and features step-by-step photo-accompanied instructions, precise measurements, and cooking timelines. I've tried several of his recipes and have found them all very easy to follow. The recipes themselves are pretty good too, which is a credit to Michael's growing credibility as a talented chef.
This is an interesting-ish site which aggregates trending sports topics and news into a single feed. I still enjoy going directly to 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.
Very cool site for "moving" music across the web. Soundcloud lets you upload, send, share, and download music. Although geared towards aspiring artists hoping to share their music, the site makes it very easy for casual users to receive tunes from their friends, browse or play hosted files, and download the ones they want. The embedded player is simple, slick, and customizable. There is also no limit to the file size you want to upload to the cloud! Definitely worth checking out -- a much neater, music-focused alternative to rapidshare or dropbox.
Well written and trendy blog mostly about the dining scene in several major metropolitan cities: NY, SF, LA, Miami. Also discusses nightlife activities and bars, but what I like best about it is its broad coverage on local events and food-related news. The blog definitely targets the self-proclaimed "foodies", but is also careful to uncover new interesting places that might appeal to a more mainstream audience. Just one look at its list of top restaurants shows a refreshing balance between up-and-coming venues and the usual perennials of the culinary elite.
I've been using Mozy for several years and consider it one of the best online storage providers out there. There are many alternatives in the crowded online storage space, but Mozy is operated by EMC, a world-class leader in commercial storage and networking solutions, which automatically gives it a lot of reliability and credibility over smaller startups.

What I like most about Mozy is its easy-to-use client. You can use it to specify which files or directories on your computer to back up or restore, as well as when you want an automatic backup to occur. I have mine set at 2am every night, so when I wake up every morning I am welcomed by a reassuring message saying all my data has been backed up and is safe.

The only drawback (and I believe this to be true of all online storage solutions) is that the initial backup or restore takes a long time (several hours or days, depending on your connection). But once you cross that hurdle, all subsequent updates only take a few seconds, since it only updates new or changed files.

I used to use an external hard drive for all my storage, but even that crashed on me and I lost years and year of irreplaceable memories / photos. Now I don't trust any physical device and only rely on the cloud. Since I switched to Mozy, my computer has crashed and been wiped clean several times, and each time I have successfully used Mozy to restore all my files. It's been a lifesaver and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is serious about truly safeguarding their data.
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.
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.
Hilarious site featuring a guy who responds to ads on craigslist with no intention other than to infuriate the other party and later post the conversation for public entertainment. Some of his pranks are slightly offensive, but I personally find them ingenious and very creative. Definitely worth checking out whenever you want a quick laugh.
GlobalPost is a fairly new online news website providing very high quality international news for the internet. Started by Phil Balboni, it's mission is to "redefine international news for the digital age...with a decidedly American voice." As traditional news outlets founder and foreign media bureaus close all over the world, GlobalPost runs a lean operation by hiring individual global correspondents in over 50 different countries.

Having followed the site for some time, I've been impressed with their coverage of international events, but more so by the quality of their reporting and writing. I particularly like their video features and opinion pieces. GlobalPost just seems to be heads and shoulders above most other mainstream news sites out there today.

Michael Has Earned 415 Votes

Michael L.'s review of Digitally Imported earned 4 Very Helpful votes

Michael L.'s review of FareCompare earned 13 Very Helpful votes

Michael L.'s review of CNN earned 5 Very Helpful votes

Michael L.'s review of David Michael Bruno earned 5 Very Helpful votes

Michael L.'s review of ESPN earned 4 Very Helpful votes

Michael L.'s review of Spreeder earned 7 Very Helpful votes

Michael L.'s review of Mugasha earned 2 Very Helpful votes

Michael L.'s review of Cooking For Engineers earned 6 Very Helpful votes

Michael L.'s review of Mozy earned 4 Very Helpful votes

Michael L.'s review of earned 4 Very Helpful votes

Michael L.'s review of Mayhem.cbssports earned 3 Very Helpful votes

Michael L.'s review of Tristate Camera earned 2 Very Helpful votes

Michael L.'s review of KickStarter earned a Very Helpful vote

Michael L.'s review of Meme Generatorr earned 5 Very Helpful votes

Michael L.'s review of YourMechanic earned 34 Very Helpful votes

Michael L.'s review of HappiestBaby earned a Very Helpful vote

Michael L.'s review of Google Plus earned 7 Very Helpful votes

Michael L.'s review of Warby Parker earned 3 Very Helpful votes

Michael L.'s review of Walgreens earned 10 Very Helpful votes

Michael L.'s review of ElderGadget earned 3 Very Helpful votes

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Michael Has Received 1 Thank You

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

“Solid Points.”

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