Ethan

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So far Ethan has created 26 blog entries.

Video Games: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

This week I’m going to take a look at a technological phenomenon that has affected nearly everyone my age and younger – video games. I was with some kids the other day and wanted to introduce them to the games I grew up with – you know, the classics; Super Mario Bros., Tetris, Zelda… It was an interesting, and surprising, thing to watch. While these kids regularly entertained themselves with their mom’s smartphone, playing games that consisted of zero long-term skill (ie: popping bubbles), they couldn’t seem to muster more than a minute of attention to give to a game as simple as Super Mario Bros.  They became frustrated and quit almost immediately. I was baffled. When I was a kid, I was glued to the television when Super Mario Bros. came out.  It offered just the right amount of challenge to keep me playing.  My hand-eye coordination [...]

The Future of Technology and Online Extortion

Life continues to be awesome and wonderful here in Hawaiian Paradise Park.  It’s the time of the year when our lilikoi vine just rains down fruit.  Super yum! I’ve been absolutely slammed with website work and online marketing efforts, with multiple product launches currently underway.  The upshot is I have enough really cool work to keep me busy until next century.  The downshot is I’ve been sitting in front of a computer screen for most of my life lately.  I was, however, stoked to start work on a tile job with my good friend the other day – boy does it feel great to get out of the office and use my hands for something other than mousing and typing!  I just love fine craftsmanship, whether it’s building websites or building homes.  And having the luxury of doing both is a dream come true.  Lovin’ it! Moving on… Online Extortion [...]

Love and Gratitude … and Thunderstorms and Surge Protectors

I hope you've had a great week! This week Shannon and I celebrated our EIGHTH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!  And as I reflect on my life I am filled with immense love and gratitude. We decided to take Monday off and go enjoy the day together.  I’m so thankful my life allows me to create my own schedule.  The luxury of waking up each day and deciding what I want to do with my time is truly a blessing. So anyway, we went to the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden just outside Hilo and it was AMAZING!  We ended up buying the annual pass because, after spending an hour and a half walking through the gardens, we knew we’d be spending a lot of time there.  The place is just incredible.  It felt like Alice in Wonderland and Avatar rolled into one.  The variety of tropical plants and trees there was simply unbelievable, [...]

Instant Gratification and Website Construction

I hope you are well and thriving! Life continues to be a wondrous adventure here on the Big Island, with two hurricanes passing by us last week, and lava dumping into the ocean right down the road.  What a crazy awesome place we live in! Meanwhile, I’ve been spending too much time in front of my computer instead of out in the sun!  But I appreciate every minute of it.  I could be sitting in a cubicle!  And I’m just a 30 minute ride away from breaktime with a snorkel in my mouth! So anyway, part of what’s been keeping me in front of the screen lately is the huge amount of website construction I’ve been doing.  I’m currently building nearly a half dozen websites at the same time! And that will be the tech topic for today: building websites. Buildin' Websites It wasn’t that long ago when I was [...]

The Responsibility of Awareness / Cell Phone Radiation

Welcome to the first issue of the new and improved newsletter!   I turned 35 last week and I’m excited to be kicking off this next chapter like this.   My intention with these newsletters will be to inform and entertain – ultimately for the purpose of empowering each of us.   I believe positive change generally starts with awareness.   Awareness will be a continual theme throughout this newsletter - I believe awareness is both a right and a responsibility we all carry. So let’s start with some techie stuff first. Techie Stuff Speaking of awareness, did you know that cell phone companies are required to publish how much radiation their phones emit?   It’s true, it’s call the Specific Absorption Rate, or SAR for short.   There’s a lot of confusion and conflicting information about whether or not wireless emissions (from cell phones or other wireless devices) are [...]

Rotten Apple

In my last newsletter I alluded to the folly of buying Apple products.  This week, without reservation, I’m going to cite my reasoning behind this inflammatory statement.   To be clear, my experience with Apple products is limited.  I’ve been using PCs for well over two decades now, and I’ve only taken the time to get to know the Apple line over the past 10 years or so. It all started for me like so many others – with an iPod.  I didn’t actually go out and buy one, rather I was given one at a tech tradeshow.  It was one of those tiny little microscopic ones and I’ll admit; it was pretty cool. But to use it I had to use iTunes.  So I reluctantly installed iTunes on my high-end PC.  It was a total disaster.  Problem after problem after problem.  Like serious mess-up-your-entire-music-collection-then-stop-working-after-an-update kind of problems.  I’ve since [...]

How to Buy Technology that Doesn’t Stink

Last week I gave you some tips for making your computer last.  This week I’m going to share some advice on making good computer equipment purchases that will help you when it comes time to buy new gear. One thing that really bothers me is planned obsolescence – the idea that products are intentionally designed to fail after a specific time.  In my opinion, nowhere is planned obsolescence more present than in technology.  This is true for several reasons, and they are: It’s easy to hide because people believe that technology’s lifespan is inherently short and becomes outdated quickly People’s expectations of how long something SHOULD last have become pathetically low New technology comes out which seems to suggest the old technology is no longer useful …and the list goes on The fact is, technology companies have intentionally made products last a shorter and shorter amount of time for one [...]

Making Your Computer Last – Part 2

Last week I promised to give you some tips for making your computer last longer, and run better.  So without further ado, here they are: Always use a good surge protector on all electronic equipment.  Only use surge protectors with a high “Joule” rating – I suggest somewhere around 1,000 joules or higher.  A low joule rating means the surge protector won’t be able to suppress big power surges, will wear down more quickly, and won’t protect your equipment sufficiently.  It’s also important to note that surge protectors lose their effectiveness over time and should be replaced every two years or so.  Almost everyone receives “dirty” power from the power company and this is a major cause of electronics degradation.  If you want to be absolutely sure your computer is getting clean power, purchase a line conditioner (usually around $50-100).  A decent surge protector runs about $20 and is well [...]

Making Your Computer Last – Part 1

Have you ever noticed how your computer seems to get slower and slower over time, and develop more and more problems as you use it? For most computer users, this is the common experience.  We buy a computer, it runs like lightning for a while, then it starts to slow down.  And within a couple of years, it seems like it has to grind away to get anything done at all. So why is this?  And what can you do about it? Well, there are a number of reasons for this and there are some things you can do to help (and some things you can do that SEEM like they might help, and actually make things WORSE – I’ll come back to this.) When you get a new computer, it’s usually not too cluttered up with garbage files.  I say not “too” cluttered up because every major computer manufacturer [...]

Can How You Feel About Your Technology Affect Its Function?

Turns Out it Can. And now for something completely different. A while back, an experiment was performed at Princeton that proved that our thoughts can actually affect electronic devices. Sound crazy? It turns out there’s solid evidence to support the claim, and scientists are just starting to unravel the complex world of quantum mechanics. Now I’m not going to attempt to explain quantum mechanics in my weekly newsletter, but suffice it to say; the field is absolutely fascinating and reveals some amazing truths about the universe we live in.  It’s definitely worth taking some time to dig into. So anyway, back to the experiment - They started by putting a robot that was programmed to move around completely randomly into an enclosed rectangular area.  It would move forward a bit, pick a random degree to turn, make the turn, then travel forward some more and repeat the process.  The pattern [...]