Lazysupper

Koenji, the world and elsewhere


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Lenovo Yoga 910 Battery Is Disappointing AND Phenomenal [Updated]

Just 5 days ago I posted the Internet sucks in large part due to the sea of bullshit reviews on affiliate link farms we consumers must wade just to get an honest fucking review.

One would hope that “real” sites (ie: those we expect to have legitimately critical reviews) were not so desperate they find themselves stooping to the level of the disingenuous bottom feeders at Purch Group (ie: Top Ten Reviews and their ilk).

As a consumer, I expect professionals who receive piles of free laptops, consoles, cameras and countless other gadgets to review, to actually review them. I guess I live in a dreamworld. I mean, I always knew there was some payola going on in every industry to some degree. Like that movie reviewer at some daily paper in Ohio who gives the latest box office bomb 5 stars. But I thought they were easy enough to identify.

In the market for a new laptop, I’ve started looking at 2-in-1’s or hybrids or whatever you want to call them. All those shiny new devices trying to mimic and improve upon the Microsoft Surface. One of the essential specs for me is excellent battery life. Therefore, I was a little surprised when I read two reviews of the Lenovo Yoga 910 on two (arguably) reputable tech review sites.

The first review, by Kevin Lee (@baggingspam) at Techradar, informed me that the Yoga 910 has “disappointing battery life.” It was listed one of the three main cons in his pros & cons list.

The second review, by Joel Santo Domingo (@JoelSD) at PC Magazine, informed me that the Yoga 910 has “phenomenal battery life”.  It was listed in his Pros column and a key point in his “bottom line”.

Obviously, the same battery cannot be both amazing and shitty. Battery life is not an Adam Sandler film. It’s not subjective. It’s fucking measurable. So one of these guys is either very bad at his job or he’s full of shit and on the payola train, and not so different than the assholes at Top Ten Reviews.

I guess I should have titled this post Why The Internet Sucks: Part 2.

 

UPDATE:

Or… I could have titled this post Why The Internet Doesn’t Suck.

No more than 2-3 hours after my post and tweet, one of the reviewers (Domingo at PC Mag) had replied to me on Twitter and clarified the discrepancy. He pointed out that Techradar had reviewed the 4K version of the Yoga 910 while he had reviewed the 1080p version. (Lee and PC Mag liked his response, letting me know that everyone had at least acknowledged my concern.)

I appreciate the quick response. But a word of advice to professional reviewers:

If you are reviewing a product and there are two versions of the product, you should make it very clear that there are two versions and clearly indicate which version you are reviewing. Both articles barely made any mention of this, hence my confusion.

The PC Mag article states “a standard 13.9-inch 1,920-by-1,080-resolution (full HD) IPS touch screen. (An option for a 4K version boosts the price of the Yoga 910 up to $1,499.99.)” halfway through the article and makes no other mention of it.

The Techradar article does mention the 4K screen a few times, once on the first page and a twice again on the second page. In their spec sheet it is listed as UHD (Ultra High Def) rather than 4K, something that may not be clear to the average consumer.

I scoured the articles looking for differences/typos and completely missed the bits about the screen. So that’s my bad. Mostly. (I’ll take 80% of the blame.)

It would have been very simple for the articles to be titled Lenovo Yoga 910 (1080p) Review and Lenovo Yoga 910 (4k) Review, especially when the different models have quite different performance results.

When I’m in the market for new tech I like to read as many reviews as possible. I scan them looking for the germane, I don’t digest every word as though I’m reading Faulkner or Fitzgerald. Clarity is key.

That said, the one thing I’ve always like Twitter for has been customer support. Somehow I’ve often found it more effective than official customer support channels. Perhaps because it also allows companies to slip a bit of marketing in with their support.

 

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Why The Internet Sucks

The Internet is full of invaluable information. It is also full of valuable information. And useless information. And misinformation.

I’m not talking about the Fake News that is on the tip of everyone’s tongue as though it’s some great revelation. (I guess for a lot of people it is.) The news has been full of shit since CNN went 24/7. I’m talking about ratings and reviews.

By now, everybody know that most Amazon reviews are bullshit and bought in bulk, typically from some typing pool in Southeast Asia. With books (mainly ebooks), it’s gotten to the point that reviews and ratings on Amazon are utterly useless. Especially, but not exclusively, in the self-published arena.

Then there are the “product review websites” that claim to be there to help consumers make informed decisions about their purchases. They are nothing more than link farms aimed at getting as many affiliate click-through purchases as possible.

Most of these sites are fairly obvious to spot, especially if they long URL’s peppered with hyphens, something like w*w.the-best-bluetooth-adapters.com. But, of course, the Fake Review Sites have had to up their game. They’ve gotten better at masking the smell of their bullshit.

The mother of all Fake Review Sites, Top Ten Reviews, makes a great effort to look credible. They put “real-looking” content on their sites, but you’ll never find a recommendation to NOT buy something. Every product they review fits the bill for someone. (Unfortunately, a couple years ago the Top Ten Reviews parent company acquired Tom’s Hardware, a once good site.)

To make matters worse, Google, the Internet’s convenience store, puts these Fake Review Sites front and centre like candy in a point-of-purchase display. It gets harder and harder to find genuine, critical reviews when the Internet’s vanguard, skipper and bully is pushing fake ones down our throats.

Yesterday, I did a Google search for “best bluetooth adapter”. The top result, out of almost 8 million, was a website I’d never heard of before. So i clicked to see what they had to say.

It was a very simple blog, but had a clean layout and appeared to have real content. But it didn’t take long to realize the content wasn’t real at all. It could very well not even be original content, given the prevalence of text spinners nowadays. There is even a WordPress plugin that spins someone else’s content into “your own”. This is the State Of The Internet today.

Looking at this website’s selection of best bluetooth adapters, it was #2 that sounded the alarm bells. After a recommendation for Plugable (a “real” company), it then recommends an adapter from Costech. I thought Costech, hmm. I’m not too familiar with them. There’s a reason for that. I left the following comment on the site, but (unsurprisingly) it was not approved.

This article is disingenuous at best, a scam at worst. Costech is NOT a real manufacturer. There is no such thing as a “Costech adapter”. It is simply an online company that buys buckets of USB dongles off some OEM on Alibaba then has “Costech” printed on them. I reckon this entire website is nothing more than page after page of articles pointing to any and all products on Amazon trying to scrounge together revenue through affiliate links.

I’m not looking at the past through rose coloured glasses. There have always been advertisers peddling their products everywhere and every chance they get. At sporting events, at the cinema, on television, on the side of the highway, in magazines, in newspapers, in movies, even at schools. And trying to come across as authentic and genuine is nothing new. Those actors with “not an actor” below their fake names in infomercials have been around for a very long time.

This is just a rant. It’s up to the individual to separate fact from fiction. It’s up to the consumer to identify bullshit. It would just be nice if there wasn’t so much bullshit to wade through.

Hopefully, someone with more technical prowess than myself will create a browser or plugin that blocks out the bullshit. Because Google certainly doesn’t care. Bullshit is their bread and butter.


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Trump Is A Tornado Of Political Cognitive Dissonance

 

 

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Donald Trump is like a tornado of political cognitive dissonance, sowing destruction on (and pissing off) both sides of America’s political doppelganger dichotomy. Of course, this comes as no surprise, as he is truly a political outsider. He’s no more a Republican than Bernie Sanders is a Democrat. But both men were cognizant enough to know that there are only two roads to the White House. And no, one of them isn’t Pennsylvania Avenue. As the old joke goes, the American political system has one more party than the Soviet Union.

This is one reason there is such a backlash against him. Even with all of his supporters under the elephant’s flag he still has a vast number of opponents and detractors. Granted he has already started replenishing the swamp he promised to drain and long ago cozied up to the soulless suits at Goldman Sachs. But he is still implementing (or killing) policies, programs and agreements that must have rooms full of red ties steaming and screaming like a first year feminist at a campus rally.

I loved and hated two things he did on the same day last week: he killed the world-fucking TPP and green lit the world-fucking Keystone XL. In a political system—an entire society, in fact—anchored in an obdurate heap of two-sided issues, he is checking off items in both columns. That’s like Obama being pro-gun. A Democrat cannot be pro-gun. They must be pro-gun-control. In the same way, Trump should be pro-TPP. (Hell, even Obama was pro-TPP, further reinforcing this fake dichotomy. Two sides of the same coin, for idiots to toss and follow.)

Bernie and The Donald agreed on about half of the issues during that ridiculous reality-TV show America calls an election—they just disagreed (often greatly) on how to tackle them. He’s a narcissistic, dangerous bigot who’s probably going to leave office under impeachment or in a body bag, but at least he’s chipping away at a rotten system that needs to die.


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America’s Cock Has Come

All of America and most of the world bellowed “Holy fuck!” in unison on a Tuesday night this past November. In unison but not unified-both sides in shock. One group ecstatic, the other devastated.

In one of pastor Jeremiah Wright’s now infamous sermons rightly rebuking his homeland, he offered a dire warning, long-since obvious to those of us living in the RoW. Referring to a speech given by Malcom X almost 40 years prior, he again cautioned that America’s chickens were coming home to roost.

And although those chickens seem to have taken the long way home, they are finaly due to arrive tomorrow. Not in the form of bus bombs, Kalashnikovs, or passenger planes. A terror attack would be too simple. It would not live up to the grandiosity and pomposity that have been feeding and fattening this idiom for the past five decades.

The chickens are no longer coming. The chickens are here. And they have set their beady little eyes on the biggest roost in the land. The Oval Office. And tomorrow it will be handed over to their leader, the biggest cock of them all.

Congratulations America. You deserve it!

trumpchicken


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Merry Conditional Christmas … Please Disregard If Not Applicable

merryfuckingchristmas

I effectively quit Facebook a little over a year ago (Oct 20, 2015 to be precise). Effectively, but not completely. I stopped posting updates to my wall and stopped commenting on others’ posts, pics, etc. But as very few people followed me in my return to email–not that I went Jerry Maguire on them or anything–I still need to use its messaging, lest I stop contacting friends and family altogether.

When I go back, I try to be as quick as possible. Kind of like sneaking a quick peek at a nice skirt walking by. I open the main page, immediately scan the top row of icons and determine whether there are any messages or new contacts. Sometimes I click on the little globe icon to see if there’s any activity from “important” friends–but generally not.

And sometimes I get sucked in. Something catches my eye and my quick peek becomes a glance which then becomes an ogle. Before I know it, I’m sliding down that rabbit hole greased with the idiotic comments and clickbait that got me to abandon the blue and white digital cesspool in the first place.

Yesterday, Christmas Day, I went to check messages and deliver a few good tidings and seasons greetings to friends. Something caught my eye on my news feed. A very long-winded “Merry Christmas” full of qualifiers. So I scrolled own and saw another. Then another. And more and more and more.

Many people were posting something to the effect of “Merry Christmas! But Only If You Celebrate Christmas. If You Don’t Then, Sorry, Please Just Ignore This.” My evangelical atheist friends had to qualify theirs with: “Although I Don’t Believe in God, I Wish Those Of You Who Do A Happy Holiday Season.”

If you want to say “Merry Christmas” say “Merry Christmas”. People know who you’re talking to. Your Jewish friends aren’t going to hate you. Your Muslim friends aren’t going to get offended. And your Atheist friends… well they’re probably exchanging a few gifts anyways.

When Ramadan roles around, nobody says “Happy Ramadan… but only to my Muslim friends.” Muslims don’t add qualifiers to “Ramadan Mubarak” and Jews don’t offer conditional “Happy Hanukkahs”. No one really gives a shit if you say, write or sing “Merry Christmas”. Unless you’re writing it in the snow. On the hood of their car. With your pee.

This is not a rallying cry for that Bill O’Reilly and Fox News rubbish about the War On Christmas. People just need to stop being such annoying pussies and have a little faith in others. After all, it’s Christmastime!


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Owning Time

The deathbed regrets of the rich or famous or otherwise successful are by no means mysterious, revelatory or exclusive. Even my friends with kids in their late teens or twenties lament the same regrets. More time with family, with children, with loved ones, with oneself. Less focus on money, more attention to living.

It’s been a rainy week in Tokyo, but I rode to physio anyway. There was only a 50% chance of rain for one hour this afternoon. Riding home from physio i got stuck in the middle of it. A torrential downpour struck out of nowhere, albeit not unexpectedly.

Rather than race home, I pulled my bike over under the covered front steps of an office building and sat down to wait it out. Salarymen ran by on the sidewalk, in and out of the building, rushing to some meeting, or at least pretending to. Running through the rain on someone else’s clock.

Time is the single greatest thing in life. Untouchable and ephemeral, almost ungraspable, time is the only thing man cannot capture or alter or pervert. Finite and infinite at the same time, it can only be allotted or wasted. It can be stolen but never truly claimed. 

Life’s greatest imperative is to disallow others to rob oneself of one’s most valuable asset. Time.


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Without a Phone

Fortunate to get a seat, I sat down on Tokyo’s crowded morning Marunouchi train. An habitual double-checker, with my bag in my lap, I performed a quick inventory of my daily gear. Tablet, check. Manuscript, check. Charger, check. Ear buds, check. Phone… dig, dig, dig. Pat front pocket. Pat shirt pocket. Pat back pocket. Rummage through bag again. No check. I’d forgotten my phone.

My initial panic lasted but a minute or two before I began running through my day in my head. Were there calls I needed to make? Photos I needed to share?