A Way to Organize Newsletters

Email newsletters are having a resurgence. They have been around forever, but are really being utilized by smaller companies and individuals now. You can get some great content, and all for free.

The problem is, this floods my nice clean inbox. The software for sending newsletter is getting cheaper and easier, but my inbox isn’t getting smarter or better at managing these emails.

I want an app that has a throwaway email address that I can subscribe to different newsletters. The app will organize the newsletters by where they came from and chronological order. I can view them as I want, and save the ones I like. All without taking up space in my inbox.

A Note About Smartwatches

First, I’m not against the idea of a smartwatch. I can certainly see myself wearing one in the future. The problem with current smartwatches is they are being marketed as add-on devices. A device that is a “compliment” to my phone.

A smartwatch need to be it’s own device. A device that I can use without requiring me to carry multiple devices. I often carry around a tablet and a smartphone, but neither needs the other to function. A smartwatch needs to go beyond being a remote control for other device. It’s great that it can sync and interact with other devices, but it can’t require them to be functional.

Being required to carry around multiple devices to get functionality is a terrible design.

Give me a smartwatch that is functional on it’s own, and I’ll be sold.

One Feature Netflix Needs

There isn’t any doubt that Netflix is a leader in the video steaming market. They are changing the way content is consumed and created, and forcing some big companies to change their traditional model (Comcast, HBO, Amazon, etc…). There is a Netflix app for nearly every platform, and it’s surprising to find a person/family that isn’t a subscriber.

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Unified Operating System

Microsoft has recently announced they will be creating a unified operating system. Combining several versions on Windows, including Windows RT and Windows Phone, into a single operating system to run across all devices. This is bring my ideal computer set up closer to reality. I want to be able to have my smartphone (currently a Lumia 1520), connect to a computer/screen and boot into a full desktop environment. I can handle 80% of my work on my Lumia 1520, but there are still times I need a full desktop, or just want to work on a bigger screen.

This functionality was promised with Ubuntu for Android. A project I was very much looking forward to, but no progress was ever made or code released. The project was eventually scrapped and the team left to focus strictly on the Ubuntu Phone.

Here’s hoping Windows truly will pull off the unified operating system and bring the idea of one device to do everything to reality.

Elementary OS

Linux is my preferred desktop operating system. And given the number or great distros available, I test and try out many of different ones. My current, and longest standing set up was Ubuntu running a Gnome 3 desktop. It was a great set up, very minimal desktop, but wasn’t running as fast as I wanted. Ubuntu had a lot of software and packages I didn’t want, and Gnome 3 was more graphic intense than it needed to be. I am the type of user that would rather make my software more efficient, than upgrade my hardware.

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Local Business

I am at the end of a 28 day ordeal with Esurance. And having one of my worst experience with a company in a very long time, I had to share. I will do my best not to have this turn into a rant.

First, a little background. I have been with Travellers insurance since the first day I owned a car. My policy was being cancelled because they no longer offered it. No big deal, they gave me plenty of notice. I managed this policy through an agent, Howland & Sargent (full disclosure, my company, Rivik Media, built the website for Howland & Sargent).

I decide to take this opportunity to shop around for car insurance. Have some due diligence as a consumer, and save some money. I asked Howland & Sargent to come up with a quote, and requested quotes from all the usual companies (Esurance, All State, Geico, etc). Esurance quoted me the cheapest, by a good amount. I asked my agent to review the quote that Esurance gave me. Making sure I was still getting all the coverage I needed at the cheaper price. It all checked out. I was good to go.

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