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Last weekend, I got that familiar blue screen of death on my PC laptop, you know that blue screen with a bunch of cryptic lines of words on it that tells you your computer just crashed and everything you were working on was for naught. I have been getting these at least once or twice a day on my 3-year old Windows 7 HP Laptop and frankly I had got sick of it. so I put it out there on Facebook that I was ready to move back to the Mac after 17 years in the PC world and waited for replies. everyone who responded told me to go for it. Not one person said they regretted going for a Mac. so I went for it. Here’s my story so far on why I’m switching from PC to Mac with a bit of a twist at the end.
Right now I’m waiting for my MacBook Pro to arrive and I’m pretty excited. When I was in school some twenty-five years ago I got a Mac SE. it was mandatory since my campus was wired and it was a Mac campus. I got another four years later, staying on the Mac platform until the mid-1990s. I was pretty gung ho about the Mac, an Apple fanboy if you will. But then business school came a calling and I found that I couldn’t use my Mac for group projects and excel spreadsheets and so I switched. I started out with Dell and stayed with them until 2006 outfitting myself and my family with Dell computers. That’s when I moved to Acer, outfitting my wife, my wife’s school and my mother with Acer products too. I then switched to HP in 2009, moving my wife, her school, her mom and my mom with me again. Apparently, I am the tech guru in our family.
Anyway, all throughout this period, I still had my Apple products to use and network: iTunes, the Airport Express, my wife’s iPhones, her iPad, my many iPods, but just not the Mac that I used to love before I became a PC ‘drone’. Now I am ready for the move back and it’s interesting what a different perspective it gives me. in the old days, I used to go into the Apple stores in the cities I lived in – new York and DC – just to see what people were doing, what Apple had to sell, and what kinds of things were happening in the non-PC world. Basically I was a voyeur. I wasn’t really there to buy anything because I was a PC guy. OK, I bought a few iPods and iPod accessories but I never had an iPhone or a Mac so I wasn’t in there to shop. I just liked the customer experience Apple had to offer and it made me long for my Mac days of old.
Now that I am a prospective Mac owner, I look at each of the products a bit differently, going around thinking, "I could buy that". This is a totally different Apple Store experience for me and I like it.
So I’m switching to a Mac because it’s a better product. It’s more expensive, yes. But, like with other Apple products, it’s well-designed, reliable and it comes with a whole support, customer focus and retail shopping experience that is pleasurable, almost fun. I won’t miss Best buy for the equivalent PC experience, let me tell you.
Why am I telling you this story? I’m thinking about Apple and it’s fading dominance in the mobile space despite this great user experience and wondering how my own user experience fits in. As a PC user I used to hate how Apple tried to tie me into the iTunes/iPod platform. I had to have an iPod to sync with iTunes and I had to have iTunes to sync up an iPod. and Apple would regularly mess with my music files, renaming them without my knowing. it drove me crazy. I swore I would never let Apple or any other company (think Microsoft or Google) have that kind of control over my (electronic media) life. But here I am drawing myself deeper into the Apple ecosystem. Yet Apple is losing share in its most profitable part of that ecosystem, the iPhone.
- Samsung Widens Handset Market Share Lead Over Nokia, Apple – WSJ.com
- Android is Winning | TechCrunch
I’ve said it before, but Apple is one company going against an army of 100s. How can they expect to compete? If network effects and sunk costs are a factor and they definitely are – think developers and apps – then adoption rates have to matter. to me, it’s Betamax/VHS or PC/Mac all over again. Betamax was in the worst position because it started out losing, Mac had a better position relative to the PC and iOS has (had?) an even better position relative to Android. But the lesson is clear: developers, makers of content, and distributors like platforms with economies of scale, ones that can reach a lot of customers with as few logistical hassles as possible. And we, the customers, DON’T like to buy stuff – videos, DVDs, mobile apps – and make it obsolete 1, 2 or 3 years later.
Mobile is a land grab right now. People like my mom complain to their sons about how complex their phone is when they go out and buy an Android phone on their own. they make their sons figure it out for them. But they go and buy the damn phone anyway. and they use that phone too. and then they’re sucked in… for life – or at least the next 5 to 10 years. Do you seriously think my 82-year old mother is going to switch away from Android? seriously. not any more than she is going to leave AT&T. Sunk costs, my friend. After all, that’s why AT&T plied my mom to Android with the free phone to begin with.
And does it matter if HTC or Motorola makes any money? That’s a clown question, bro. C’mon. They’re churning out shed loads of inexpensive and well-distributed product. and that’s getting people hooked on Android, just like it got people hooked on VHS or PCs. does it matter if they’re profitable if they’re driving platform stickiness? Design and user experience only takes you so far. By the way, if you’re Apple, it’s irrelevant how much money HTC makes – just like its irrelevant how much money Packard Bell and Gateway made. all you know is they’re sucking in customers that could be yours and you have to decide whether to drop your prices to compete. and that’s bad for your bottom line.
That’s what’s happening right now. Tech Crunch is right: Android is winning. They’re winning ugly, yeah. But they’re winning.
Facebook is a great place to meet and seduce hot women. Lots of them. It’s not even as complicated as if may seem once you arm yourself with the proper information. The first thing you need to figure out is what do you actually like and what kind of women do you want to attract. Knowing what you want is the first step. Most guys make the mistake of either spending all day on Facebook and being unable to pick up the signals from girls that are interested, or they are chasing women that are not interested. that is why their relationship status keeps on saying single for years.
Here are a few essential things you need to know when it comes to picking up girls on Facebook:
#1 – Your Profile is Your Marketing
What you are doing on Facebook is selling. you need to sell yourself to women. when I say sell yourself, I’m talking about good marketing. some girls may take a look at your profile, and they can usually decide within seconds whether they would even accept your friends request, let alone go out on a date with you. you need to learn how their mind operates first and foremost. take a look at your profile – what’s missing in it? what are your weaknesses? The first thing she sees is your profile, before you exchange one sentence, she sees your profile. that is where everything starts, or finishes. Learn how to create an attractive profile, everything else is easier from there.
#2 – Hungry dogs don’t eat
I know this may sound too direct, and it is. if you act like a hungry dog, desperate to be with someone. You’ll get nowhere. It’s not attractive at all. It’s just desperate and lame. So before you even try to talk with a girl on Facebook, think about what your actions speak. Even though Facebook is in a virtual world – still, you HAVE actions. And your actions will always speak louder than your words. So look at your actions, and make sure they are not desperate.
#3 – stop being negative
There are too many guys out there that are throwing out their negative energy on their keyboard. stop doing that. you shouldn’t argue with people on Facebook. Especially not with women you don’t even know yet. Facebook is like a big spying mechanism. Most of your actions can be seen by other people, so watch your actions – because women will judge you by them. A negative person is usually negative because things aren’t going the way he would like them to go in his life. And that is not an attractive guy. you can learn how to seduce girls on Facebook, you just need the right information and some practice.
What on earth is going on at Apple and Facebook? did Google bribe the companies’ brand management teams to destroy their credibility, coolness and trustworthy factor in one fell swoop?
I’m talking about the recent Apple commercials showing an Apple Genius helping a series of befuddled middle-aged men and Facebook’s decision to enter the online gambling market.
Facebook–a company slammed regularly over privacy violations, and running a service where it’s vital to build and nurture trust among its users. this doesn’t gel with online gambling. when I think about Internet blackjack I picture pop-up ads, blinking banners, and a group of slick hair Mafioso sitting in the Cayman Islands where their computers are going ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching, as people lose money and get infected with malware.
Facebook’s earnings report disappointed the market, and there are questions about where new revenue streams will be, but online gambling? Reeks of a desperate way to get money.
I’m a fan of Facebook and haven’t had any big concerns with how they have used my data. In short, I’m an ideal user for the company. Yet this move toward online gambling rattles me. Facebook wants to share my information with Adidas? whatever. Let Intel turn my pictures into a virtual museum exhibit? great! might provide data to an online gambling site? NO.
It’s a slippery slope from online gambling, to pornography, to selling Viagra knockoffs. How frantic is Facebook for money? All those millions spent addressing trust and privacy issues–undone by a decision to chase gambling revenue. this seems so astoundingly obvious that there must have been internal debate about whether to pursue this route. If only we could understand what drove their decision.
Now to Apple…a company arguably built on its image of being cool, easy-to-use, and inspiring. (Note to Apple-bashers, I’m not saying these qualities are true, I’m talking about perception.) the recent series of ads shows Apple customers as idiots, the Genius as a patronizing jerk, and leaves the viewer with feelings of awkwardness and failure. In one ad a guy has been ripped off, in another the wife-in-labor is used as a punchline, and another focuses on a man who forgot his wedding anniversary.
All of us will be or already are “middle-aged”. these commercials show that in Apple’s world, the middle-aged male is an inept Phil-like character from Modern Family. to the younger folks it’s pointing out, “Hey kids, your dad is buying Apple”. Gone are the Think different images, the runner hurling the hammer into big brother, and the humor of the PC versus Mac guy. In its place is a vision of Best Buy, soccer moms, and suburban strip malls. they were commercials aimed at making you buy a computer. did their own staff forget that they’ve never been about hawking computers? Apple’s success is from selling a lifestyle.
Gambling and middle-age. this is the MySpace-ing of Facebook and Dell-ing of Apple.
It goes without saying that Facebook has the responsibility to protect a huge number of users—900 million to be exact. but how, exactly, does it go about doing that? The Verge has an interesting look at the behind-the-scenes hidden security measures that are routine for the social network, but that we don’t often think about. it seems to be looking out for the average user, though what Facebook is doing with your data itself is a completely different story.
One of the ways Facebook protects you is by keeping tabs on your username and password. it scans sites like PasteBin weekly to make sure hackers aren’t dumping people’s credentials.
And what about those hundreds of links you probably click on Facebook each week? the site is keeping an eye on those, too.
Another measure Facebook takes is stripping every user of their referral URL when they click one of the two trillion links posted to Facebook every day. In other words, when you click a link on Facebook that takes you to an ESPN article, ESPN cannot see what Facebook page referred you to its site, and instead sees something like “facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2F.” These “sanitized” URLs prevent external websites from using personal information against you.
Facebook also keeps a watchful eye on bad practices referred to as “likejacking” and “clickjacking.” if it suspects something is actually spam, it will give present you with a pop up that asks you if you really want to like it before you actually hit the button.
Additionally, Malware is an obvious concern, and Facebook has a page that identifies renegade sites. but if you’ve been infected, Facebook will set you up with McAfee’s Scan and Repair software.
But what about all the friend requests you get? some of them are fake, and Facebook is actively filtering them.
When someone friends you on Facebook, that request doesn’t always get through to your inbox. Facebook employs a complex algorithm to decide the likelihood that you know somebody, and whether or not to push through a friend request or file it as spam inside your “See all Friend Requests” folder. In real life, this would be like the government stopping random people from approaching you in a public place and saying hello. if these people message you, their messages will go to your Other Messages folder, a place most people don’t explore.
Facebook definitely has a responsibility to its users, and now that it’s public, it’s got a serious financial obligation to hold onto them, which means security is an obvious concern. which means it has to keep those hundreds of millions of users coming back, and to do that, it has to make them feel safe. And though Facebook is protecting you from outside threats, you also have to wonder who is protecting you from Facebook itself. [The Verge]
Image by west.m under Creative Commons license
If your Peoria children are anything like mine, they love to spend time on the computer. Instead of hopping on their bike and zipping over to 84062 to talk to their friends they would rather email or Facebook them. When I was growing up in Groveland, we used cans tied together with yarn to communicate from tree house to tree house and as far as mail went we used good old snail mail.
My name is Adam Paul Green and this is my blog where I advocate for Peoria children’s health and talk about Xocai Omega Squares. Today we will discuss the importance of teaching our Illinois kids safe habits to govern their computer time to help prevent injury. Peoria parents and caregivers need to regulate children’s computer usage. Moderation is the key. My kids would sit in front of the computer all day if I let them, but we set the timer for 30 minutes and then it is time to choose another activity, like enjoying the Peoria sunshine. by taking breaks the muscles used while computing are able to mend and repair themselves so that they are less likely to become injured.
Kids need to vary the ways they operate the computer so that different muscles get used. Instead of manipulating a mouse for every command, teach them to use a touch pad. Many Groveland software stores sell voice activated systems which allow kids to switch up how they work at the computer to allow different muscles to work. Encourage your kids to take breaks to stretch and even shut their eyes for a few moments.
Illinois parents should coach their children on the proper way to sit at the computer. Posture is very important and should be loose and inherent, not stiff or unnatural. The habits we teach our Illinois kids will serve them throughout their lives.
Healthy habits for Illinois kids include eating nutritious food and exercising daily. For more information about keeping your kids healthy contact me today.
Anti-oxidant Cacao Distributor Adam Paul Green Peoria, Illinois 84062 801.437.5994 firstname.lastname@example.org X Power Squares Xocai Omega Squares Information from the following online article was used as reference material for this post: “Keeping Kids Healthy,” http://ergo.human.cornell.edu/cukkhinfo.htm, accessed on June 29, 2012
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I am Adam Paul Green, and I am a Peoria-based Xocai artisan chocolate distributor. I joined Xocai in November 2010. I sell the industry-leading X Power Squares and Xocai Omega Squares online and in Peoria, Washington, Mossville, and Peoria Heights. Our valued Groveland customers recommend Xocai Omega Squares because Xocai Omega Squares chocolate cake from Xocai contain acai!.
Winner’s Circle International is also a fantastic X Power Squares home-based business within 53 miles of the Groveland area. Illinois entrepreneurs can supplement their income by cashing in on a high-demand Illinois healthy artisan chocolate market. to learn more about Winner’s Circle International, visit http://adampaulgreen.com/.
Call me at 801.437.5994 to own your own X Power Squares business in Peoria, Washington, Mossville, or Peoria Heights.
The URL for my personal Groveland Xocai chocolate web page in Peoria, Illinois 84062 is http://adampaulgreen.com/. The URL for another one of my 53 Illinois Xocai artisan chocolate web pages is http://adampaulgreen.com/partnership2/. I also have a Illinois healthy chocolate page at http://adampaulgreen.com/partnership/.
Want some great Facebook FarmVille designs? these 2 FarmVille tricks are great to help jazz up your farm a bit.
Facebook FarmVille Design Trick #1: Stacked Hay Bales
Unfortunately, in this great game you can’t stack things on top of each other. However, there’s a cool FarmVille trick that makes it look like they’re stacked
To do this just place a bottom hay bale where you want the bottom of the stack to be, then place 2 more,
each touching one of the top sides of the bale (I hope that makes sense).
Now place one more hay bale not directly in the little pocket created, but actually one up from that.
Because you see the entire bale, its an optical illusion that makes it look like the top hay bale is stacked
on the bottom ones
So this isn’t really a FarmVille trick I guess, just a cool little design tip.
Facebook FarmVille Design Trick #2: the Elevated Farm
Using similar methods to the stacked hay bale trick, you can make your farm appear to have different levels,
The best way to do this is to start with a rectangular fence.
Within that big fence, create smaller cross-fences going across the middle, leaving a bit of room between
the cross-fence and the end.
Now plant trees or bushes in the open spaces, and it will look like there’s several layers to your farm
Again, this isn’t really a FarmVille cheat or anything, just a cool optical illusion.
TechCrunch reports that Facebook will be integrated into iOS 6, just like Twitter was integrated into iOS 5.
Apple and Facebook have been in talks for quite sometime. In fact, according to some reports, Apple had fully integrated Facebook into iOS 4 back in 2010, and was ready to launch the mobile-social fusion when API negotiations broke down.
It looked like Apple and Facebook had patched things up as Tim Cook hinted at the possibility of Facebook integration coming to iOS 6 earlier in the week at AllThingsD’s D10 conference. When he was asked “What is going on between you and Facebook?” by Mossberg, Tim Cook had this to say:
For us, we want to provide customers simple and elegant ways to do the things they want to do. Facebook has hundreds of millions of customers. So, anyone that has an iPhone or iPad, we want them to have the best experience with Facebook on those platforms.
MG Siegler of TechCrunch reports:
It’s important to note that Apple being Apple, something could change in the next week and a half (see again: Facebook/Ping). But as of right now, Facebook is a go in iOS “Sundance”. One thing still being hammered out according to our sources is exactly how sharing will work. Sharing is the other big part of the iOS/Twitter integration, and will be important for iOS/Facebook integration as well. But Facebook is significantly more complicated than Twitter in that there are all kinds of permissions for what you can post where and who can see what. and Open Graph adds another layer of complexity to all of this.
It is not clear how the Facebook integration will work, but users should be able to post status updates, share photos and videos from Safari, Photos, Camera, YouTube, and Maps. It remains to be seen how Apple and Facebook handle the complexity introduced by privacy controls etc.
Facial recognition start-up Face.com patched a vulnerability in its KLINK iOS app that could have allowed attackers to hijack the Facebook and Twitter accounts of its users, according to Ashkan Soltani, the independent security researcher who claims to have found the flaw.
KLIK is a camera app designed to allow users to easily tag friends in new photos by scanning their Facebook photo albums. it uses facial recognition technology developed by Face.com.
In order to use the app, users need to grant it access to their Facebook accounts. however, the app can also be integrated with Twitter, where it can post messages on their behalf.
A simple vulnerability in the app allowed users to access each others’ Facebook and Twitter accounts, Soltani said in a blog post on Monday, the same day Face.com announced that it had been acquired by Facebook.
The vulnerability was caused by Face.com storing Facebook and Twitter OAuth tokens — unique authentication keys — on its servers in an insecure way that made them accessible to anyone, Soltani said.
With access to users’ OAuth tokens, an attacker could abuse the KLIK app’s permissions on their accounts. this includes the ability to access their private photos and friend lists or to post status updates and tweets in their names.
Since the vulnerability affected facial recognition technology, the privacy implications were significant, Soltani said. an attacker could hijack a popular user’s account — like Lady Gaga’s, had she used KLINK — and build face prints for their millions of Facebook friends. then they could match those in real time to people walking down the street.
“Since this was a vulnerability that could potentially reveal sensitive consumer information, I worked with Face.com, Facebook, and Twitter to make sure it was addressed before disclosing it,” Soltani said.
“We can confirm that on Friday, June 15th, a security vulnerability was pointed out to us,” a Face.com spokesman said via email. “The problem was resolved within an hour after being reported and the issue is now fixed. no users were affected, nor was any private information disclosed.”
From a trading desk in London, Paul Hawtin monitors the fire hose of more than 340 million Twitter posts flying around the world each day to try to assess the collective mood of the populace.
The computer program he uses generates a global sentiment score from 1 to 50 based on how pessimistic or optimistic people seem to be from their online conversations. Hawtin, chief executive of Derwent Capital Markets, buys and trades millions of dollars of stocks for private investors based on that number: When everyone appears happy, he generally buys. When anxiety runs high, he sells short.
Hawtin has seen a gain of more than 7 percent in the first quarter of this year, and his method shows the advantage individuals, companies and governments are gaining as they take hold of the unprecedented amount of data online. Traders such as Hawtin say analyzing mathematical trends on the Web delivers insights and news faster than traditional investment approaches.
The explosion in the use of Google, Facebook, Twitter and other services has resulted in the generation of some 2.5 quintillion bytes each day, according to IBM.
“Big data,” as it has been dubbed by researchers, has become so valuable that the World Economic Forum, in a report published last year, deemed it a new class of economic asset, like oil.
“Business boundaries are being redrawn,” the report said. Companies with the ability to mine the data are becoming the most powerful, it added.
While the human brain cannot comprehend that much information at once, advances in computer power and analytics have made it possible for machines to tease out patterns in topics of conversation, calling habits, purchasing trends, use of language, popularity of sports, spread of disease and other expressions of daily life.
“This is changing the world in a big way. it enables us to watch changes in society in real time and make decisions in a way we haven’t been able to ever before,” said Gary King, a social science professor at Harvard University and a co-founder of Crimson Hexagon, a data analysis firm based in Boston.
The Obama campaign employs rows of people manning computers that monitor Twitter sentiment about the candidates in key states. Google scientists are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to track the spread of flu around the world by analyzing what people are typing in to search. And the United Nations is measuring inflation through computers that analyze the price of bread advertised in online supermarkets across Latin America.
many questions about big data remain unanswered. Concerns are being raised about personal privacy and how consumers can ensure that their information is being used fairly. some worry that savvy technologists could use Twitter or Google to create false trends and to manipulate markets.
Nowhere has big data been as transformative as it has been in finance.
Wall Street is all about information advantage. Every little bit could mean the difference between a bonanza or a devastating loss, and so big data is being fed into computers to power high-frequency trading algorithms — and directly to traders in every way imaginable.
Hedge funds are experimenting with scanning comments on Amazon product pages to try to predict sales. Banks are tallying job listings on Monster as an indicator of hiring. Investment firms are conducting computer analyses of the financial statements of public companies to search for signs of a bankruptcy.
why wait for the government to release official numbers on auto sales, home sales and retail sales when the trends could be gleaned weeks or even months earlier by analyzing publicly available data online?
Five years ago, only 2 percent of investment firms were incorporating Twitter analysis and other forms of “unstructured” data into their trading decisions, according to a report by Adam Honore, a research director at Aite, a financial services consulting group based in Boston. By 2010, the share of companies experimenting with this technology jumped to 35 percent. Today, Honore said, that number is closer to 50 percent.
“Big data is fundamentally changing how we trade,” Honore said.
Richard Tibbetts, chief technology officer at StreamBase, a Lexington, Mass., company that provides tools for analyzing large amounts of data, calls it “examining data in motion.” The trick is to be able to find the digital smoke signals amid all the other stuff. Traders who were analyzing Twitter for unusual activity, for instance, were able to get the news of Osama bin Laden’s death and a massacre in Norway hours before the information was confirmed officially, giving them a significant jump on their colleagues.
“The new generation of trader expects to have dozens of tools at their fingertips instead of just a Bloomberg terminal,” Tibbetts said.
Tim Berners-Lee, a founder of the World Wide Web, has become so concerned about the misuse of personal information by companies and governments that he has warned people to be cautious about what they put online. The data sets are so large that they are normally analyzed in aggregate, but privacy advocates worry that information still can be tied to individuals.
Civil liberties groups have sued to stop a U.S. government program that monitors social media data for national security threats, arguing that it could be used to unjustly label people as bad credit risks — or even terrorists — and chill free speech.
Vagelis Hristidis, an associate professor of computer science at the University of California at Riverside, is the lead author of a paper detailing another investment strategy based on Twitter. During a four-month simulation, his approach outperformed other baseline strategies and indexes, including the Dow Jones industrial average, by between 1.4 percent and 11 percent.
“A model that predicts the stock market,” Hristidis said, “can only be successful as long as people don’t know about it.”
Update: This story has been updated to clarify that Facebook for Windows Phone is developed by Microsoft.
The Windows Phone OS offers deep integration with Facebook — better Facebook integration, in fact, than what you’ll find in Android or iOS. But there are still times when a Windows Phone user needs the power of a dedicated Facebook app. And because Facebook doesn’t yet have a phone of its own — though the HTC Status made a clumsy stab at it — Facebook is hard at work improving the social network’s experience on available mobile platforms.
The Facebook for Windows Phone team outlined Tuesday upcoming updates to version 2.5 of its Windows Phone app. The updated app, which is developed by Microsoft, will add a number of features, including the ability to tag friends and locations, delete posts and comments, tap on active links in a post, and ‘like’ comments — a very popular request. The app will also feature an updated photo comments and likes page, and include threaded messaging in the Windows Phone Metro style.
“we read every comment you submit on Facebook, through email, and through the Marketplace, we use them to plan features for releases and we really appreciate all the work you put into feeding back. We’re listening :-),” stated an official Facebook for Windows Phone update (in somewhat fractured English). And listening might be the best plan for Facebook’s mobile strategy.
Nick Bilton of the new York Times recently wrote a story about how both Facebook and Google are struggling in the mobile space. his thesis is that employees are essentially coddled into staying on campus, and therefore rarely need to use their mobile devices like the rest of us “unfortunates” who have to actually step out into “the real world” to find coffee, food and sunsets.
While not everyone finds this argument convincing, there’s no question that Facebook’s mobile apps need attention. In order to compete in the mobile marketplace and stay relevant, Facebook will need to improve its on-the-go experience.
And it looks like Facebook recognizes this — the company updated its Android app late last week and now we can expect a refreshed Windows Phone version coming soon. The Facebook for Windows Phone team did not announce an official release date for the app update, only stating that it is “close to release.”
But will app updates give Facebook enough of a mobile push, or will the company need to release something a bit more grand, like a full-fledged Facebook phone? Or none of the above? tell us what you think in the comments section below.