QA Graphic
February 24, 2019

Apple Maps Store Information

Apple Maps Store data is not always reliable.

Apple Maps has a rough start on iOS. It shipped with IOS 6 back in 2011 and had some well publicized problems. Things seems to have been fix and the application has seemed to be reliable.

However this weekend I noticed another flaw in the company details section. When checking for the hours of American Girl in Natick on a Saturday night - Apple Maps said the business was closed at 6 pm.

We were eating dinner next door to American Girl and noticed people coming in with American Girl bags - was the store still open?

We we checked the American Girl website and discovered that it closes at 9 pm on a Friday night.

I doubled checked Apple Maps and it does say 6pm. I then checked Google Maps and saw they had the correct closing time for American Girl.

Here???s a side-by-side comparison:

i Phones Screen Shot

Lesson Learned

Don???t trust Apple Maps for business times - this isn???t the only local business that had the incorrect times.

When it really matters used the company website to find the right time. Only use the maps apps as a general information.

February 17, 2019

First Amazon Purchase

Do you recall your first purchase?

Do you remember your first Amazon Purchase? My first Amazon purchase was on February 13, 2001.

I found that information when I was going through the mail on my old Powerbook laptop. It's one of the oldest emails that I have on the computer.

Here's the copy of the Amazon confirmation that I got:

First Amazon

The thumbnail images didn't show up when I enabled the Internet on the laptop. (Not surprising!)

Here are the current prices:

  • Set Your Voice Free is now selling for $37.44 (Used from $6.07)
  • The Millionaire Next Door paperback is now selling for $11.52 (Used from $3.75)
  • Photoshop 6 Down and Dirty is now selling for $26.71 (Used from $1.99)

Looks like the Set Your Voice Free by Donna Frazier was the book that has the best appreciation.

February 10, 2019

American Auto Shield Phone Calls

Reviews of American Auto Shield who wont stop calling me.

Have you been getting calls about your car warrantee being expired? Chances are its from a reseller of American Auto Shield or Car Shield.

Recently, they have been calling me a lot, trying to get coverage of a vehicle that I don't even own. In the latest call, the operator sent me a copy of the contract. Glad they did because there's no way I would have signed up for them.

American Auto Shield Van

Read Real Customer Reviews

When you talk to a salesperson on the phone, they will tell you to make a decision right then. The reason is that they don't want to discover reviews online. Here are a couple of review websites that offer some insights on consumers services:

Interesting that they do have a good review on the Better Business Bureau website.

One thing I notice is that they never tell you the name of the company on the call - until you ask. I wonder why is that?

Six Practical Questions to Ask

  • What's the process for the first time that I may need coverage?
  • Will I need to provide a Federal Odometer Statement before signing the contract? If not, why would I need one if I should need to cancel the contract?
  • If I decide to travel across the country, and something happens how do I find an approved garage to fix?
  • What is the waiting period before the policy goes into effect, does it start today or when I received the material?
  • What happens if I decide to join Uber or Lift? Would my car be classified as a Commercial vehicle?
  • Can I read the terms and conditions of the contract before I make any payment decision?

January 27, 2019

Not all secure sites are safe

Just a friendly reminder...

Just because a website is marked as "secure" it doesn't mean that it is safe to enter data.

Case in point is this site: it seems like a legitimate site but it's not a safe site. Think it???s real? See what happens when you click on the "Forgot Password" link. In Chrome or Firefox, you're alerted that the site is suspicious.


This site was found searching for OWA - Outlook Web Access. It???s so easy to think that it???s real.

Today???s Lesson

Make sure the site you are on is the right site, change your password frequently and make sure you have unique passwords on all the websites you do use. This way if your password is compromised you don???t have to worry about changing passwords on multiple sites.

January 20, 2019

Netscape Welcome Email

Netscape Email that started the Internet Revolution

This is it. Here???s the email that some say launched the Internet Revolution. Marc Andreessen first public announcement that Netscape is now ready for public beta.

From: (Marc Andreessen)
Subject: Here it is, world!
Date: 13 Oct 1994 07:57:12 GMT
Organization: Mosaic Communications Corporation

Mosaic Communications Corporation is making a public version of Mosaic Netscape 0.9 Beta available for anonymous FTP.
Mosaic Netscape is a built-from-scratch Internet navigator featuring performance optimized for 14.4 modems, native JPEG
support, and more.

You can FTP Mosaic Netscape 0.9 Beta from the following locations:
* in /netscape
* in /pub/net/infosys/Mosaic-Comm
* in /Netscape
* in /Netscape
* in /packages/Netscape
* in /pub/misc/netscape
* in /pub/pc/win3/winsock/ (PC only)
* in /mac (Mac only)

Please make sure to read the README and LICENSE files.

An up-to-date listing of mirror sites can be obtained at any time by sending email to
Subject to the timing and results of this beta cycle, Mosaic Communications will release Mosaic Netscape 1.0, also available
free for personal use via the Internet. It will be subject to license terms; please review them when and if you obtain Mosaic
Netscape 1.0.

A commercial version of Mosaic Netscape 1.0, including technical support from Mosaic Communications, will be available
upon completion of the beta cycle. Contact us at for more information.

Have fun!

Marc and the gang,

December 23, 2018

Ready Post Packaging Tape

Save money and buy Packing Tape in advance.

One thing that I learned this Christmas season is to buy packing tape in advance, especially if you're going to be mailing any packages.

This is because if you forget to bring packing tape to the post office - you'll be paying a bit of a premium for packing up Priority mail packages. There's no reason to pay the premium if you plan ahead of time and bring tape in.

Pricing / Description on Ready-Post Tape

Here's the information about the tape that is available at the post office.

Ready Post Packaging Tape cost $3.49
Description: Clear Tape 1.88 in x 800 in

Amazon Options

There are a couple of options on Amazon that should be good solutions for next year:

Note To Self

Don't forget - set up a reminder.

This year, I set up a reminder for the first week of October to order some packing tape for Christmas. This way I can plan in advance, so when we bring gifts to the post office, I can just tape them up and not have to buy the tape at a premium price.

In addition, I added some notes to the reminder on what I would do differently "next year." For example, it's better to plan to finish shopping well in advance instead of waiting for the last minute to buy and find things.

December 16, 2018

What Do Different Colors Mean

Jens Review has a great breakdown of which each colors mean

Picking the right color is essential to get the attention of the audience. Understanding the color meaning goes a long way to picking the right colors.

There are lots of websites that have good information, but recently Jen Miller over at Jen's Reviews did an extensive study of color meanings and their symbolism. It's a great reference read on understanding the reasoning to use certain colors.

Jen Review Colors

Five Things I learned from Jen Review's Color Meaning Story

  • The report reviews 10 colors: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Pink, Black, Brown, and White.
  • You'll learn about the positives and negatives meanings of each color.
  • The Red Sox colors are the color of Red - love and roses and White: the color of all things good.
  • Blue is considered the most popular color probably because Blue is all around us - the earth is made up of 70% of water. It also means trust, which is why you see companies like Microsoft, Facebook, and Twitter use it in their logos.
  • One of the colors is the color of power - find out in the study.

Great Read!

The study is a great quick read - only 2,500 words. It's a great read when trying to pick the perfect logo or trying to decide on the best background for the flyer that you're sending out.

Why trust this study? Jen Review is a great site with a lot of practical information. The writers on the site are experts in their fields. The editorial team features for Olympians, doctors, doctors and more. Content is written by experts and has been featured in many publications because of the quality of content and the content is constantly updated.

October 28, 2018

SmashBurger Fries Size

Smashburger Fry Size seems a bit weird

Is SmashBurger cheating customers?

Earlier this month I took my daughter to Smashburger to enjoy her favorite local Gluten Free cheeseburger. We arrived after spending a day at the Acton Discover Museum and didn't have much for lunch, so she wanted a regular Classic Smash and Fries. She told me that the kid's meal wasn't good enough because she was hungry.

I placed our order: Two Classic Smash (One with Gluten Free Bun) and one with Large ClassicSmash Fries and one with regular fries.

When the order arrived I was a bit surprised and asked the server to confirm our order, and he repeated exactly what I order. The number of fries didn't look that different between the two orders. So I decided to take a picture before we started eating.

Gluten Free Regular_tx

Large Smash Fries_tx

What's Going On?

The Regular Fry looks the same as the Large Fry. There doesn't seem that much of a difference. Here's a copy of the receipt to prove that I ordered correctly.

Smash Burger Receipt


I didn't want to make too much of a deal about the number of fries between the order, as it appears that the server confirmed the order. Afterward, I thought I should have said something since it's very visible that there's very little difference between a large and regular fry size at Smashburger.

In past visits, I do remember a large order of fries being a lot of fries. So I was expecting more fries, but we haven't eaten at Smashburger in a while, so I figured that the distribution might have changed. But there should be a visible difference between a regular and large.

If you're going to Smashburger, and eating in, see for yourself and see if there's a difference between a regular and a large.

September 30, 2018

How Communities Can Fight Back Against the Opioid Crisis

Tips on handling of the Opioid Crisis

Fight Opoid Graphic

We hear it on the news constantly. The number of opioid-use cases is on the rise. We can attribute this drastic incline to over-prescribed medication, heroin, and drugs such as fentanyl. It's an addiction many individuals may struggle to overcome. However, there are so many things that we can do to assist those in need and help to tackle the issue at hand.

Many states are experiencing extremely high rates of opioid-use related deaths. Some of the highest states, such as West Virginia, North Carolina, and Michigan, see opioid-use rates as high as 35 deaths per 100,000 individuals.

Now is the time to take action to assist those in need. There are several things you can do to make a difference.

Taking Part

Many community groups seek volunteers to assist with their day-to-day activities. For non-profit organizations, volunteers are practically the livelihood of these organizations. Without volunteers, many non-profits across the country would not be able to assist the communities in which they serve. This is why these types of organizations are constantly seeking help from those who live within the area. If you have the time, consider volunteering your assistance! Help needed ranges from manual tasks, to sorting and delivering supplies and tools to those who are in need.


There are so many organizations that can use donations. Without the help of community members, volunteers, and active members, some charities are unable to function. Consider setting aside a small amount of cash each week or month. Use these spare funds to allocate to different organizations within your community who strive to make a difference. With your assistance, these organizations can properly function and allocate resources to assist at-risk individuals in your community.

Become an Advocate

Whether or not you have first-hand experience dealing with some type of addiction, you can still make a positive change. Advocate for positive measures and enforcements implemented that assist with making our communities drug-free. Several youth organizations and charities have been developed over the years to assist with helping to keep our streets safer. Becoming involved with these types of developments can make a positive impact on our society.

Consider spending time educating others of the dangers of opioid-use. Discussing your knowledge with others, and sharing stories and personal accounts can help to educate communities and bring them together. Consider taking a stance against opioid-use today. What can you do to help your community?

September 16, 2018

An In-Depth Look at Some Urban and Rural Collisions

An In-Depth Look at Some Urban and Rural Collisions

Across the nation, there are safety concerns amongst every major road. Whether the concern is derived from the infrastructure, environmental conditions, or even driver behavior; these factors have the ability to impact the lives of everyday commuters across our nation.

To take a closer look at look at some of the auto incidences that take place we look at a state that hasn't seen a deathless day since late 2000. The state of Texas is estimated to have one person killed every 2 hours and 20 minutes with someone injured from an auto incident approximately every two minutes.

Considering the alarming statistic, we look closer as to what particularly is contributing to these types of accidents:

Car Traffic

Leading Contributors in Urban-area Collisions

With higher population comes with a higher risk for collisions. As commuters in highly populated areas flood major roads each day, their chances for an accident comes higher than that of a commuter in a rural area with fewer drivers on the road.

Some of the findings in more populated roads consisted of speeding, distracted driving, failure to yield, and reckless driving. Focusing on the top contributors in these types of areas can allow industry experts seek ways to promote safety by raising awareness.

Remember that driving behaviors that consists of distracted driving doesn't always mean involve texting and driving. Distracted driving can be anything that derives your undivided attention from the responsibilities of the road. These acts can range from eating and driving, letting your mind wander about the stresses that happened earlier in your day, changing the radio, and so on.

Be sure that if you find yourself in a situation where your focus isn't where it should be, take a moment to pull off the road and collect yourself. Your safety and the safety of other drivers must be a top priority for all commuters.

Contributors in Rural-area Collisions

Although there is a high focus on collisions that take place in areas where the population is substantially higher, it is important to consider other types of accidents as it pertains to the safety of all commuters. Some of the most contributing factors found in rural areas was disregarding warning signs at construction locations, distraction, driving without headlights, and speed control.

Although we can see some small discrepancies within two separate types of commuter areas some of the same negative behaviors are still taking place. Noting these fatal driving behaviors, many seek to find ways in which safety can be enhanced on our roadways. Other experts in auto accidents seek ways to visually demonstrate these numbers such as this Texas car accident resource.

Driving, no matter your location, requires a specific responsibility. Abiding by state laws and providing your full attention and mindful ability to ensure that your focus is on the road is a great way to strive for safety. Whether you're traveling or unfamiliar with the state law, educate yourself on what laws you should be made aware of. Avoid any distraction in your vehicle and always drive with safety as the top priority.



Are you looking for new and innovative ways to improve your business? Look no further! In these blog series, we'll be sharing some interesting tips and tricks that can help take your business to the next level. From marketing strategies to productivity hacks, we've got you covered. So, let's dive in and explore some of the most effective ways to grow and succeed in the world of business.

Check out all the blog posts.


SaturdayInternet Tools
SundayOpen Topic
MondayMedia Monday
WednesdayNew England
ThursdayGluten Free