Category Archives: Off-Topic

Beyond Meat Burger Review: Hopefully You’ll Give It A Try Too

As a resident of North Los Angeles, it’s impossible to complain about a lack of access to great foods, specifically delicious burgers. There’s just one problem, the traditional meat option for burgers is beef. That’s all well and good until you start reading stuff on the internet that makes you worry if your love comes at a cost greater than the menu price.

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Why Do Apps Still Require Wi-Fi?

Remember when 4G was such a buzzword that carriers decided they could interpret the meaning however they felt most marketable given their network abilities? The meaning boiled down to the same essential idea: get apps and multimedia faster onto your phone and post pics to social networks instantly to better serve your audience. The dream was users would have the same mobile experience away from their ample home Wi-Fi connection.  

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LAX: Now Home to Kogi BBQ

Chef: Roy Choi

If you live in Los Angeles, you may have noticed the food scene upping its game over recent history. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone as the diverse demographics are conducive to not only a wide variety of culinary palettes, but one of the biggest perks perks of living in a melting pot are the fusions of complementary flavors that push the boundaries of dishes you thought couldn’t be made better.

I used to in Santa Monica and was lucky enough to benefit from the food truck trend. If you head over to 31st and Ocean Park, you’ll see a variety of trucks serving anything but run of the mill food offerings from gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches to curry cheese fries. If there was a man to thank for the explosion of trucks that shattered the notion of mediocre food from roach coaches, it’s Roy Choi, and what could be better than his delicious food having a home at the Los Angeles International Airport?

In more recent media, if you’ve seen (and drooled while watching) the movie Chef, you’ll see why the residency makes sense. Any airport can have a McDonald’s or Starbucks, but bringing Roy Choi’s famous Korean taco fusion to the masses sends a bold message that Los Angeles is more than a home for sports teams, insufferable traffic, earthquakes, and the entertainment industry.

So if you’re looking for a reason to get to the airport earlier or dread layovers, maybe your next traveling experience will be more memorable after a bite of Kogi BBQ.

Source: Eater


Star Wars Parody Music Videos – And Another One – All About That Base.

So, if you haven’t noticed in your Facebook stream, there is a new music video parody of Meghan Trainor’s All About That Bass. presents Team Unicorns’ Star Wars Parody, “All About the Base (No Rebel)”

Meghan Trainors original song is already pretty catchy with it’s beat and lyrics.  Team Unicorn continues that with their take.  And maybe, I’m being too factoid nerdy but their lyrics are a bit off.  In the repeated chorus, they say:

“The emperor said don’t worry about the size. He says, “It’s not like it’d be blown up twice by the same Jedi”

And I could be wrong, but I believe Lando destroyed the Death Star the second time.  Luke was in the middle of a father-son battle with an Emperor audience. So mild continuity issue with that. Other than that, pretty entertaining and otherwise, good lyrical playfulness.

Of course, this isn’t the first and it won’t be the last of music parodies to Star Wars franchise.  It’s been a while, but Galactic Empire State of Mind is still rattling in my brain.

A journey through phones or how I fell in love with T-Mobile

Full disclosure: I’m a T-Mobile shareholder    . So here’s why:

My first phone was a little Nokia running on Cingular (now AT&T). I was a junior at college (let’s just say this was around 2002) studying telecommunications at Cal Poly Pomona, so it’s appropriate I learned more about the wireless industry’s early efforts at bringing consumer cellular phones to the masses through some actual hands-on experience.

There wasn’t much to this phone, Nokia 3390. I could play Snake, make calls, and text as long as I managed  to keep track of my usage.  Likewise, there wasn’t much I was looking for. Broadband was not an option for me when I came home on weekends to do homework. My dealings with high speed browsing was confined to my wired LAN connection at school.


In my mind, Nokias were king of the hill before smart phones became big.

As time went on, I came to expect internet connections wherever I went. I convinced my parents to get cable internet at home and there was no looking back since. Just like my desktop browsing speeds, Cingular (now AT&T) was offering customers a faster mobile experience. And just like the humble days of dial-up service, the wireless industry was tempting to earn more customers through all you can eat service.

Believe it or not, there WAS a time when dial-up services counted bytes too. Can you blame them? They were trying to maintain service levels and also grow. The same happened with the wireless industry except for slightly different reasons.

In the United States, there are 4 major competitors: Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. At some point they all realized they could move from unlimited service pricing into tiered pricing. Pay less for less or more for more. It felt like a horrible step back considering the wireless technology was only getting better. We were getting to a point where cellular speeds were getting faster than the slowest DSL packages available for homes and then this happened.

I was still on AT&T and luckily grandfathered into an unlimited 3G plan. I was a happy camper browsing Facebook and uploading mobile pictures from my phone at the time (some Nokia/Windows Mobile).

I didn’t get my first true smartphone experience until I got an HTC Magic. Luckily, I was evading AT&T’s more expensive unlimited plan by using an unlocked phone from Canada (Rogers). But this was not a sustainable option, especially if i wanted a phone with proper 3G bands that didn’t break the bank (I always calculated the cost of a new phone against the increased data plan premium). I loathed the thought of renewing a contract with AT&T due to all the negative experiences I had trying to finesse the lowest possible phone plan. I was in a family plan with 4 other family members and it was a relatively low cost per phone.


Nexus S (i9020A)

After countless minutes on the phone with AT&T trying to maintain a grandfathered plan, I gave up and went to the next best thing: a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that ran on AT&T’s network for a lower price. At this time I was really only interested in 3G speeds without the worry of hitting a data cap. I was wrong.

This is where the freedom of being off contract came to light. I wanted to stick with AT&T’s network but hated the price it came with. I decided to try T-Mobile’s prepaid plan. By this time I was using an iPhone 4s and ready to try T-Mobile even if it meant I was only able to get 3G service using refarmed PCS band (1900Mhz). They were also late to the LTE game but I had read they were going to roll out 4G service aggressively.

This was it. I learned to fall in love with my carrier again. After coming to terms with my love for iOS, I decided to go for a 5s. While the 5 eventually supported T-Mobile’s AWS LTE, I decide to the 5s would be worth the wait, especially since I would be paying for one at full retail cost (I hate financing).

Months later, I am SO happy with my service. I get great speeds, hotspot ability, wifi calling, international text/data, and HD Voice.


Samsung Blaze gave me first taste of really fast HSPA+

The ability to hotspot is a game changer. If you’ve ever been on a vacation, you know one of the worst realities is that not every hotels provides complimentary wifi service. Having hotspot ability included is fantastic because you’re never limited to enjoying fast internet on your phone. You can using your tablet and with decent LTE or HSPA+ service, you can even cast video on a Chromecast.

Last month, I used 13 GB of data. Most of this happened while on vacation in Texas for a week. You can’t even get service like this from AT&T/Verizon for 80 bucks a month.


I went back to an HTC because Samsung doesn’t like making metal phones

While Sprint (I also hold a few shares) is also another unlimited carrier, their CDMA phones are not as easy to travel around the world with. They’re also harder to resell after since most of the world doesn’t work with their handsets (in their defense, this is getting better although they still have a wacky policy towards true unlocking where phones are allowed on other domestic carriers). While the international data coverage by T-Mobile is pretty limited in speed (think EDGE), it’s great to be able to text folks back home. I eventually broke down and picked up an all you can eat data prepaid SIM from 3 while in England earlier this year. Of course T-Mobile unlocked my phone prior to the trip, making this a viable option.

But…. it’s not all sunshine and roses though. T-Mobile still has to work on their coverage. If you’re going to Big Bear or driving through any rural area, chances are you’re not getting great speeds or even coverage at all. Even inside buildings T-Mobile struggles to keep up with the big dogs at times. That one drawback SHOULD be getting better with the rollout of 700MHz A-block service. Think Verizon’s building penetration coverage since they also run on 700MHz.


Using an unlocked One X gave me my first taste of LTE on T-Mobile. It had to go due to various frustrations with the software.

If you still aren’t convinced you should follow John Legre. He’s crazy in a good way and I love that he runs T-Mobile.

The Mayans had it wrong… 2014 is the real 2012

The new trailer for our latest iteration of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is out… I won’t link you to the video itself, because it would just drive up the number of views. But Michael Bay has managed to do it again, take something from my childhood and completely ruin it for the new generation, and me as well.

2014 has two Michael Bay “films” in it. I think the Mayans were wrong and 2014 is the end of the world as we know it.
We’re getting a new live action Ninja Turtles movie and the Dinobots are going to be introduced to Marky Mark and the Funkie Bunch, and by the Funkie Bunch I mean the Autobots. While Mikey Mike has already ruined the Transformers for a whole new generation, why must he continue his rampage?

The Ninja Turtles have gone through many different versions over the years, some better than others, but they’ve survived. The same will happen with this version, we just have to wait it out.

Knowing that… why am I ragging on this new film? Cause “haters be hatin’,” and “I’m a professional cynic, but my heart’s not in it,” and other cliches. Don’t get me wrong, I want to be wrong, I hope I’m wrong… but the evidence points to being horrid.

Previously it was rumored that the Turtles would be aliens, now they’re not? but they have nostrils… all of these things I’m ok with, even the new look of what they’re wearing. But with Bay behind the helm, we’re going to get something with no substance and no soul, which is probably why he cast Megan Fox as news reporter April O’Neil, it’s all going to be just flash and explosions.

The trailer proves all of this, it’s got Michael Bay written all over it, just like he put his stank on the Transformers. Take a look for yourselves, can you tell what goes to Turtles and what goes to Transformers?

Not even this moron knows, and he’s in one of the movies!;_ylt=AwrSbmdQFDtTnUkAlv9XNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE0amthNGVmBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMTAEY29sbwNncTEEdnRpZANWSVAwNTFfMQ–

Why are we entrusting the legacy to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Transformers to this guy? Someone who goes mental because a teleprompter breaks down?

I want to be wrong, I hope I’m wrong, but the stern looks from the real Ninja Turtles says it’s doubtful. SMH

Google Adding Free Trenta WiFI To Starbucks’ Menu

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What happens when one of the largest coffee serving companies teams up with one of the largest cloud companies? We’ll find out soon as Google has partnered with Starbucks to provide free WiFi to studious customers, screenwriters, and techy hobos throughout it’s 7000 stores in the US starting in August.

Providing internet access during natural disasters has become critical as demonstrated by Hurricane Sandy, but Starbucks also has to balance it’s offerings to customers/visitors that enjoy the free service (currently provided by AT&T).

Google claims WiFi speeds will go up 10x in most areas and 100x in it’s Google Fiber areas.

Hopefully neighboring residents/business will be able to reap the benefits of Google’s WiFi coverage while enjoying other preferred brands of coffee.

Source: google

Jim Gaffigan Follows Louis C.K.’s Move, Announces New Special to Be Hosted on His Site

Awhile back, Radiohead decided to do something different. They offered their album, In Rainbows, to fans for whatever price they deemed it worthy. The experiment was a hit. More recently, Louis C.K. decided to host his latest stand-up comedy special and offer it for $5 to fans. The download was DRM free. There was nothing to stop people from freely distributing it to friends afterwards or sharing it with anonymous users via BitTorrent or physical copies. The release was a financial hit and backed by proof presented by Louis C.K. himself. Today, Jim Gaffigan, announced his upcoming stand-up comedy special through his website.

The motives behind independent distribution are easily summed: cut out the middle man and engage fans with a very reasonable price and they’ll be more than willing to buy and make the release viral. Even better, if you tell fans part of the proceeds go towards a great cause, they’ll think of the offering as a bonus. That’s what Jim Gaffigan decided to do by donating $1 from every purchase to The Bob Woodruff Foundation.

Even though independent distribution is the only option for smaller names in the entertainment industry, I applaud Gaffigan and others before and after him for taking this risk and embracing the internet as a dominant distribution platform. It will be fun to see the finished form of this project, as Gaffigan will be self-producing most of the recording.

Jim Gaffigan has been in the comedy game for quite some time. If you’ve never heard his bit on Hot Pockets, you haven’t lived. What makes Gaffigan’s brand of humor even more accessible is that it’s generally family friendly. Using quirky observations and silly voices, this special is sure to be a laugh riot. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him twice and highly recommend you check him out if he’s in your area.


Star Wars Uncut: Director’s Cut

This is beyond words.  Looks like somebody took all the fan made films and compiled them all together into one large movie reenacting the entire movie of Star Wars: A New Hope.  Take a look down below (it is 2 hours in length).

According to the YouTube description: “Finally, the crowd-sourced project has been stitched together and put online for your streaming pleasure. The “Director’s Cut” is a feature-length film that contains hand-picked scenes from the entire collection.”

“In 2009, thousands of Internet users were asked to remake “Star Wars: A New Hope” into a fan film, 15 seconds at a time. Contributors were allowed to recreate scenes from Star Wars however they wanted. Within just a few months SWU grew into a wild success. The creativity that poured into the project was unimaginable.”

For more information go to