The local Walgreens uses the default Windows XP wallpaper as art pieces near their pharmacy areas.
This is a personal and professional blog by me, Brad Bice. I've combined all of my opinions, reviews, technical learnings and other writings and ramblings into one stream of consciousness. Thanks for stopping by!
The local Walgreens uses the default Windows XP wallpaper as art pieces near their pharmacy areas.
Okay campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties ‘cause it’s cooooold out there today!
On a frigid February 2nd, we celebrate one of my favorite non-holidays — Groundhog Day! This year’s results, appropriately posted by AP_oddities:
Climate change has most certainly had an effect on Punxsutawney Phil’s sleep cycle over the years, as he’s only not seen his shadow for 13% of the 131 years he’s been coming out of his hole. Sad!
As always, I’ll be watching Harold Ramis’ and Bill Murray’s excellent Groundhog Day movie tonight. Bing!
The only part of the State of the Union Address that I watched or heard was the part where he was booed (via CNN.com), and I’m a happier person for it.
Paying any more attention to him than is absolutely necessary — especially when he’s reading prepared statements — is a waste of my time and temperament. I don’t need that angst in my life.
I’m seeing what seems to be an exponential increase in people watching TV shows/Movies/YouTube videos while riding the train or bus lately.
Are most people downloading this content to their device before watching it? Or obliterating their data plans?
For those that are downloading at home before heading out: it harkens back to Netflix of old, where you had to receive TV seasons on DVD, one or two discs at a time. Finish those, and you have a lonely (and at times agonizing) wait until the next disc arrives. Or in current times, until you reach a suitable WiFi network to download more content.
It also makes me wonder how people have allocated their device space for this content, when it seemed that the popular complain was devices filling up.
I’m a daily user of Twitter, but it has some problems. Luckily, there’s hope in an alternative: Micro.blog.
I love using Twitter on a daily basis for my topic-specific news and to follow interesting people on the web. I make the most of the mess that is Twitter by sticking to a few specific methods:
Follow people, not companies — I’ve had much more “success” on Twitter following specific individuals (not celebrities) of whom I respect their opinion, mostly without too much of an agenda.
Use lists — My main Twitter timeline is an ever-updating mess waterfall that upsets my compulsiveness. Lists are focused, topic-based groupings that allow me to catch up on specific categories one at a time.
Stay away from Twitter.com — I can’t stand promoted tweets or non-linear timelines. I use Tweetbot on iOS and macOS to prevent this and also for the vital synced timeline position between devices.
Sticking to those points helps me actually enjoy reading the content on Twitter. However, the company itself has proven to be pretty horrible in how they organize and conduct their business. They don’t really seem to respect their users, they don’t utilize a logical business model, and they won’t ban hate groups or other offensive content.
Unfortunately there aren’t many or any alternatives. Definitely none as popular. App.net was a promising venture that acted as an ad-free Twitter alternative. It ultimately failed due to low engagement and a failed business model.
Micro.blog is the latest player in the space, and the simplicity and model of it has me excited. It’s a free micro-blogging service, that encourages users to feed content from their own blogs to their timelines. Users can also pay nominal fees to host a micro-blog or to cross-post content to Twitter and Facebook (I’m paying the $2/month for this).
I’m hoping that this will take off and that the owner has some higher standards for rules around content, and that he maintains the simple business model.
I’ve redesigned and re-launched my website multiple times. Let’s go again!
Many of us feel bad about our personal websites. Me included. We keep meaning to make one, improve what's there, or burn it down and start over. We are busy. Afraid. Overwhelmed.— Jen Simmons (@jensimmons) December 20, 2017
Well, let's do it. Maybe over the holidays. Maybe after, in the New Year. #newwwyear
Inspired by years of frustration of having my content fragmented across multiple websites and social networks, and the timely tweet above, I’ve spent the last few months pulling together this new project.
I’ve finally come to a place where I’m happy enough (but still embarrassed) to deploy my work-in-progress redesign and reorganization of my website. However, I can’t release my baby into the wild without some caveats:
Perfection is the enemy of done
This is a work-in-progress, and it’s meant to be. There is a lot going on in this simple personal website that I’m not happy with, and a lot I want to improve and add on to. However, if I wait until I’m absolutely happy with what I have, I won’t ever publish it. This includes:
With that said, I’m happy enough to push this live and start publishing content to it. Any Twitter posts will hopefully be mirrored here, except Retweets. If you don’t know what that is or don’t read Twitter, then you’re missing a lot and nothing all at once.
One point of all of this is to combine my personal and professional-facing websites into one. I don’t need two, no need to put on a business face or anything like that. Might as well push everything together and make it simpler on myself.
Thank you for reading, please stop by again (or add my feed to your device or feed service), and follow me on Twitter for update notifications and other stuff. Yay!
(Also, if you’re wondering about the “After Hours” title of my blog, it’s a name I’ve wanted to do something with for a long time. I’ve always been a night owl, and have historically stayed up late and worked late and actually do most of my best thinking and work at night. I’d like to parlay it into a brand of sorts maybe, given the right ventures and opportunities. If not, it’s a fun blog title that gives a little spice to my thoughts and ramblings.)
Today was one of the most highly anticipated of the now legendary (and infamous, in some circles) Apple Events in recent years.
I have taken the time to watch these events every year since 2007 and the introduction of the original iPhone (which at times involves some strategic lunch planning or side-by-side windows on my computer at work.) I was pretty excited to see all of the new offerings, though I had been spoiled by the leaks over the weekend of all of the specs for the new iPhone.
Leaks aside, it’s always enjoyable to witness Apple make their spectacle of a presentation and take in all of the products, personalities and atmosphere. This time was no exception, as the Event emanated from the newly-built Steve Jobs Theater on the grounds of Apple’s brand new campus, Apple Park.
Here’s some annotations from the event, with my opinions:
I’m glad this event is over and that we can now dig into these products as well as software offerings like iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra. And we’ll see how hard it will be to actually get my hands on an iPhone X. I’m assuming I’ll be lucky to get one by the end of the year.
At first I went in and changed the setting for the iPhone 7 home button to unlock my phone by testing my finger on the Touch ID sensor. It more closely resembled how I used my iPhone 6s with the mechanical home button.
Now, after a few weeks of use, I have reverted that setting, requiring a “push” of the button to unlock the phone. This is because I use Notification Center much more now. I pick up my phone, it lights up thanks to “raise to wake”, and I swipe right to see my widgets. Weather, appointments, sports, etc are all there.
Resting my finger on the button bypassed the lock screen to quickly for me to access Notification Center. This way I can decide on the fly which direction I want to go.
It was perceived by me and many others as a strange decision by Apple at first to make this behavioral change to the home button, but now I understand why, and agree with the reasoning.
After eight months of contracting/freelancing, I have accepted a position with Cars.com as a Visual Designer.
I’ll be working with the Visual Design and Interactive Design teams to create working prototypes of new functionality and website layouts. These may be used in user testing and other facets.
So far the company is very large and intricate but everyone has been very welcoming. It will be a struggle for a while to catch up with the inner workings and the approximately 1500 people across two floors of the downtown-Chicago office, but it keeps things fresh.
I’ll also have a new area to explore in the Loop, having never really spent much time down there apart from being a tourist.
Thanks to everyone who has been supportive over the past eight months while I struggled to pay my share of the bills, answer questions about my job and live up to expectations. Thanks especially to my wife Natalie, who has had nothing but patience with me (with a few “we’re going to be ok, right?” moments here and there) as I was picky over finding a new job and at times deciding that I should continue to make very little money by working for myself.
I’m looking forward to seeing where this takes us!
After a great year working with Medtelligent and Panopta, I’ve moved away to begin working on projects on my own.
This summer I’ve worked mainly with Agency EA, an experiential and event marketing agency. With them I’ve worked on digital brochures for both GE/Synchrony and Hilton, as well as a new website for Agency EA themselves.
In between projects I have been exploring full-time and contract opportunities. I am looking for a great fit with a growing company and a good team. I’ve also updated my resume page, which can be printed directly from a browser.