Amazon Echo: The First to Get Digital Assistant Right?

By | Technology | No Comments

I regularly check Amazon for their daily deals and today I was greeted with the introduction of a new Amazon device called ‘Echo.’    It’s an always-on device that actively listens for a prompt to provide you with information.  If you’re familiar with SiriCortana, or Ok Google, then you get how this works.

Amazon’s Echo starts working when you say ‘Alexa.’  By the way, what’s up with the names on these?  This effectively takes Siri, Cortana and Alexa out of the running for names for any potential future daughters for anyone.  I think it would be cool if the user could setup their own ‘wake’ word/name.  ‘Hey Dark Helmet.’  Now there’s a good wake word.

At $199 this is a pretty expensive speaker, but it does include a very interesting feature.  You no longer have to check your phone to answer life’s basic questions, just ask your house.  At the Prime introductory price of $99 this becomes a much more interesting price point.

Better hurry, this is a limited-time, invitation-0nly offer.  Why invitation? No idea.

Amazon Echo


OS X Tip: Hide Current Window

By | How To, Technology | No Comments

I was messing around on my computer today and randomly clicked the OS X desktop while holding down the Option key.  The current window disappeared.  My old way of doing this was to minimize the window using Cmd + M.

It appears that to quickly hide the current window (in most programs) all you have to do is hold the Option key and left mouse click on the desktop.  Window hidden.

If you have multiple windows open then you’ll have to perform this action multiple times with the window ‘active.’  It will not work if you see ‘Finder‘ in the title bar.

I Love Keyboard Shortcuts

By | I'm a Nerd, Software, Technology | No Comments

And I’m not afraid to admit it.  I truly believe that if everyone just learned the two most important shortcuts (Cmd/Control + C = Copy AND Cmd/Control + V = Paste) we’d probably raise our GDP by 10%, people would be happier and global climate change might rethink what’s it’s doing.

But seriously, you need to start using keyboard shortcuts.  Trust me.  It’s awesome.

Which brings me to why I’m writing in the first place, Waldo.  He’s been found and his last name is Bronchart (seriously?).  Waldo Bronchart has created a great tool to learn keyboard shortcuts for Lightroom and keyboard shortcuts for Photoshop.  He even made his technology Open Source so you can create your own keyboard shortcut maps.  I just realized how nerdy this sounds (checking the ‘I’m a Nerd’ category box now).

Check it out.  It’s cool I promise.  Thank you Waldo.

Shooting Video? Buy a Smartphone

By | Photography, Review, Technology, Video | No Comments

Petapixel posted an article today that had Alec Weinstein pitting the Canon 5D Mark III vs. the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. I couldn’t believe it myself, but the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 video quality wins in my opinion.  The sharpness was pretty incredible.  Granted, it was placing 4K (Samsung) against 1080p (Canon); however, what we want is best quality for the best price, right?  Seems fair to me to find the best device for the task. Read More

Lightroom Mobile for iPad

By | Photography, Software, Technology | No Comments

UPDATE: If you’re running OS X then you’re likely pretty peeved at the moment, but here’s a nice work around so you can start using it!

I’m pretty excited about trying this out.  Sure, I need to download the Creative Cloud version of Lightroom to get it to work, but that’s a minor inconvenience considering I’m already paying the monthly fee for the whole suite.  For everyone else, this would likely read as bummer.

The idea is that I’ll be able to edit photos directly on my iPad and then sync it back up with my desktop.  Sounds pretty good.  I’ll let you know you know how it goes.

Download LR 5.4 now and the Mobile app Read More

Amazon Fire TV beats Apple to the Punch

By | Technology | No Comments

Amazon announced the Fire TV today for $99 that competes with Apple TV, Roku and Google’s Chromecast. It plugins directly into your TV and does the regular streaming features that the others do plus featuring Amazon Prime.

Why do I say that it beats Apple to the punch then? Because of the gaming. You can buy a separate controller and play the same games you’re playing on your Kindle Fire. Where are my games Apple? Read More

Free Website Usability Testing

By | Software, Startups, Technology, Website | No Comments

Was reading up on blog posts in Pulse today and stumbled across a site that offers free usability testing with real feedback, from a real person.  Cool.

The site is called Peek and it offers free usability testing of 3 sites each month.  You put in a URL, click Start! and then enter your email address.  That’s it!  The site is in Beta currently so no news on price options in the future.  I have to assume they’ll offer pricing if you want more than 3 sites per month.  This is a great tool for freelancers and entrepreneurs like myself that are constantly launching new sites, but don’t really have anyone (or the money) to do some usability testing.

I’ll let you know how it goes once I get feedback on my 3 sites:, and

Long Tail Keywords

By | Insight, Software, Technology | No Comments

In the world of the Internet, specialization (niche business) has been a growing trend as a way to combat larger businesses.  You may never be able to get the sales volumes of someone like Amazon, but you’ll get dedicated customers looking specifically for your niche product/service.

So why not use the same tactic for SEO?

Read More