Support SaysBrad
  • Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams
    Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams
    Artic Silver

    If you’re having problems with your Adonit Jot capacitive touch stylus or Hex3 Jaja, you can improve its performance and reliability with careful application of thermal paste! For more on this, check out my capacitive touch stylus how-to fix-it guide. Months later (Sep 2013), my styli are still performing great!

  • Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
    Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
    Klear Screen

    I use this cleaner for my iPhone, iPad 3, iPad mini and MacBook Pro. It’s great all-around and won’t mess up the oleophobic coating on iOS device screens.

  • Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint pressure sensitive stylus for iPad - Black
    Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint pressure sensitive stylus for iPad - Black
    Adonit

    Adonit Jot with Pixelpoint, works with a lot of new drawing apps on iPad.

  • Klear Screen's iKlear 8 oz. Pump Spray Bottle 7351-IKHP, Others, Electronics & Computers
    Klear Screen's iKlear 8 oz. Pump Spray Bottle 7351-IKHP, Others, Electronics & Computers
    Klear Screen

    The stuff I use to keep my iPad screen nice and clean!

  • Cosmonaut: Wide-Grip Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
    Cosmonaut: Wide-Grip Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
    Studio Neat

    Awesome capacitive touch stylus created by Studio Neat. Great guys, great product. I use mine every day! Bradtastic Approved.

  • Adonit Jot Pro Stylus for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Other Touch Screens (ADJPG)
    Adonit Jot Pro Stylus for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Other Touch Screens (ADJPG)
    Adonit

    Adonit Jot Pro is an awesome capacitive touch stylus for iPad & other tablets.

  • Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Walnut
    Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Walnut
    FiftyThree

    Even if you consider yourself a casual doodler or note-taker, you’ll love this well designed stylus. Built for Paper by FiftyThree, the iPad app — however, many other apps support Pencil.

My Amazon.com Wish List
If you’re looking for an app, need personal or corporate branding, marketing material, an illustration, logo, sketch or design — there’s a Brad for that!

Friday
Jul172015

Playing Texas Hold'em Poker Online in Nevada on WSOP.com

River set for Sixes full of Aces vs Fours full.

I’ve been playing live and online poker a lot more than Video Poker recently. The main reason is really simple: higher expected value. The EV from great Video Poker games is about 101%, that is, for every $100 bet, one can expect $101.

Live/Online poker offers much better value — especially if your opponents suck. There’s still a luck factor, but that’s greatly mitigated by skill. If you make better decisions than your opponents, you’ll make money long-term.

Unfortunately (and recently), the WSOP.com NV poker software has been a bit of a slot machine.

More than 90% of the boards were paired, two-paired, contained 3+ flush cards, or a combination of flush and pair.

While the “support” staff at WSOP.com insist that the game is fair, that the RNG is tested and “guaranteed,” the hand history shows a statistical improbability that’s very difficult to accept.

It’s not just a series of 10-30 hands — and it’s not normal. I’ve played for about two months online, and it’s only the past few days that this anomaly has occurred. I played at different hours of the day, on multiple tables, and experienced this phenomenon.

Seven hands in a row on two tables, the flop was paired — like a flop of King-King-Four or 557. This makes for huge hands… monsters. Flushes dominated by Full Houses. The occasional relatively dry board would still have 3 or 4 connected (straight) cards.

I took screenshots of the hand histories and sent them to WSOP.com — of course I get the standard response. It’s somewhat hard to believe that they would tweak the RNG to produce wet aka dangerous boards on purpose to increase their rake (monster hands against other monsters = huge pots = higher rake), but it’s harder to believe that this string of cards is “random.”

More likely would be a glitch or hack that has caused strings of three suited cards flopping, mixed in with paired boards and the rare occasional dry board. Not that they’d admit to this.

And I’m not writing this because I’ve suffered losses; choosing my moments carefully, I’ve been able to capitalize on a few monster hands. Many shared on my Instagram.

I have taken a few hits on ridiculous river cards, however.

Screenshot 2015 07 17 01 58 44

It’s more that, for legal (Nevada, and a few other states) online poker to succeed, it must be fair. I’ve played more than one-thousand hands over the past two days, and the same pattern persists; a pattern that did not occur before. The paired boards and single suited flops came at around the mathematically expected rate.

This aberrant series of hands has changed how people play the game. More pre-flop all-ins and chasing, calling down big bets with very bad (expected) odds because it’s just inevitable that the board will pair on the turn or river, just like the last 5+ hands… and it does. People are calling pot-sized bets on flush draws because the flushes occur at much higher than the expected rate.

It’s probably more likely that you’d be dealt two Royal Flushes in a row in Video Poker (approx. 650,000:1 odds for one dealt Royal) than for these community cards to appear as often as they have.

Hopefully, things go back to normal. I’ve dropped down in the microstakes because at the moment, I just don’t really trust the software and RNG. I’d quit completely except for the fact that I can still win a little money playing these insane games.

I really hope that other players screenshot their hand histories as well and that someone at WSOP looks into this issue… otherwise, I think a lot of people will drop out. Just because Nevada Gaming has certified their RNG at some point and WSOP audits their payouts doesn’t mean that the system is unhackable or error-free. At the moment, WSOP’s “guarantee” of their RNG is practically meaningless to me and numerous other online players.

Wednesday
Jul082015

The Secret Source logo design

Just thought that I’d share these. Playing with clipping masks.

Tuesday
May052015

Status Update

Hey everyone.

Thanks for checking out my little blog here. I know it’s been extremely neglected; honestly, I’m just not into technology like I was.

Part of that is changes in my personal life, but a big portion of that is that I feel like new technologies just aren’t revolutionary anymore. Some software is pretty good, but the hardware just doesn’t feel life altering anymore.

The iPhone and iPad were both life-altering for me, but new iterations and the new unstable iOS just haven’t impressed me. I don’t see anything out today that would make a significant change in my life. Some of the stuff on the horizon looks very promising to me… unfortunately, nothing from Apple is on that list. It really feels like the magic died with Steve.

Prior to the first iPhone, I switched from a Palm Treo to a candy bar Sanyo phone without a camera or games because it was super light and had a substantial talk time. I was still using landlines as well. The iPhone changed so much for me.

The original iPad seemed like a uselessly large iPod Touch — damn was I wrong about that. The iPad affected how I interact with the internet and create art. It changed how I dealt with emails and allowed me to connect with people even when I was extremely sick (months).

The first capacitive styluses (styli?) revolutionized art creation for me, and the pressure sensitive ones doubled my tablet drawing abilities. The new ones are exciting, but they just don’t seem leaps and bounds better. Each has tried to be an improvement, but reports of accuracy issues plague each. I know what my Intuos Creative Stylus (one) and Pencil can do, how they’ll perform, and I know that they’ll perform accurately. Assuming my iPad works. (More on that in a bit.) I don’t know that about the new stuff, and it just doesn’t seem worth the gamble. (I live in Reno, NV — there are other ways to do that.)

The MacBook Pro Retina put power and a fantastic screen onto my lap. Light, fast and sleek, it was a nearly perfect notebook for me — something that was a true desktop replacement.

The new stuff doesn’t strike a spark with me. Faster? Yes. Better in-general? Of course. Dynamically different? Hardly.

The Apple Watch? Maybe after a few generations. It’s nothing that I need or even really want. For a few days I thought that it would be fantastic, but I don’t see what it’d do for me that my iPhone 5S doesn’t already cover. It’d just weigh down my wrist.

Perhaps if iOS performed better for me, I’d have more faith in the Watch software. Each iOS iteration seems to make older Apple devices perform worse. My phone locks up, lags and crashes almost every day. My iPad? Nearly nonfunctional. Perhaps that’s how they’re going to convince me to buy a new one come Fall. The old one will just freeze up on the lock screen and won’t allow me to draw; so I’ll be forced to upgrade. That’s pretty shitty.

The only Apple technology that I’m somewhat interested in at the moment is a (possible) new Apple TV. Why? Because mine (current ten) crashes a lot while watching Netflix and Hulu. Again, a shitty reason to upgrade: because you have to — the current one stops working.

Not done with blogging.

So I’ve been writing about other things, controversial things. Political and social things. Everyone will admit that America and the rest of the world has serious problems, but people vehemently disagree on how to solve them. Heck, people don’t even agree on what the problems are.

I expect that when I start posting this stuff in earnest, it will have to be at a different site, it will draw out trolls and disgusting comments, death threats and the like. My intention is to stimulate honest dialogue and debate on issues, and I hope to get some of (or mostly) that, but people have a tendency to say awful and evil things on the internet.

It’s really just an exaggerated form of what’s happening in the “mainstream media” (TV, major news sites); more insults and rhetoric than reasoned debate and solutions. I expect (and appreciate) that from regular people (if there is such a kind) pundits, not politicians. Opinion pieces should be challenged by other opinions, and solutions should be challenged by alternative solutions — but that’s not really what’s happening.

I intend to try and offer both. I don’t see much point in saying, “well, that policy won’t work,” if it isn’t followed by “here’s what will.”

It takes a lot of time and research to formulate a cohesive and coherent commentary; creative viable alternatives to current proposals is tremendously more challenging.

It will take time and practice; I don’t expect my early works to be gems. I’ll probably make new enemies, but I think it’s worth it — and maybe I’ll make a few new friends.

And I’ll still write about technologies when something comes up.

Tuesday
Mar312015

Website Issues

It looks like I’m really going to need to do something about this site. Not getting accurate anything, and just loading the editor is a bit of an issue. Maybe because it’s an old version.

Wednesday
Mar182015

Says Brad Logo Concept

I’ve been thinking about creating something simple to replace the SAYS BRAD atop this site.

I haven’t figured out how to color it, or even if I really like it, but I wanted to create something simple and clean, since most of what I design isn’t. It’s an S that looks something like $ with the bar in the center, but it can also be interpreted at SB — two letters connected in the center.

Maybe I can turn it into an Apple Watch face. Something that I don’t need on something that I don’t need… but kinda want.

Tuesday
Mar102015

Thoughts on Apple Watch and MacBook

Thoughts on Apple Watch & the (new) MacBook

Do people still wear watches?

In all seriousness, I know that people do. I used to — but that was years ago. Simply, why wear a watch, that may or may not be accurate in timekeeping, when I have a smartphone with smart time? I’ve grown accustomed to checking my phone for the time when necessary. Yes, the process is slower than glancing at one’s wrist, but I don’t live a life that requires me to (nearly) instantly and frequently know what the time is. My guess is that that’s true for most people.

Of course, the Apple Watch does a lot more, but is it worth it?

But hey, it’s Apple, right?

Well, I might’ve bought into that logic when Steve Jobs was still at the helm, but the Apple isn’t ripe anymore; it’s lost its luster, and there’s some mold growing on it.

iOS 7 & 8 have had serious issues. Crashes, storage problems, battery life issues, WiFi connectivity issues, lag… in pursuit of doing more and looking prettier, Apple has killed the best feature of the iPhone and iPad — responsiveness.

My iPad 1 & 2 never felt slow. Swipe, open or close an app — it all felt instantaneous. iPhone 3GS felt that way, too, even after a new generation replaced them. Everything since has been disappointing; in particular the iPad mini and iPhone 5S. It makes me hesitant to buy a new Apple mobile product because it feels like I’m paying full price to beta test.

Form > Function

Stylish and slower. That’s the new Apple way, apparently. The new MacBook looks fantastic. Super thin, color options, streamlined everything.

Except now it has only one port (plus headphone jack), USB-C. So if you need to charge the notebook and use USB, you’re SOL unless you pay for an adapter. No more MagSafe power. The onboard processor isn’t likely to remain fast for very long. Also, instead of 720p (pseudo-HD), the new MacBook has a 480p FaceTime camera, a disappointing concession likely made to keep the screen ridiculously thin.

In total, the MacBook looks like a design ahead of its time; when the component manufactures catch up, I’m sure the super thin and light notebook will shine, despite its drawbacks. But right now, it’s like a concept car; visually stunning but impractical — perhaps too radical — for the current market.

And I see a similar thing with the Apple Watch — to an extreme.

The Apple Watch is an expensive toy.

I really wanted to like the watch. The concept is interesting and admittedly, I was excited when it was announced. Unfortunately, technical limitations and FDA rules and restrictions keep it from being the device that it should be.

Granted, I haven’t personally seen or used one yet. I admit, when I first heard about and saw the iPad keynote, I thought that that device wasn’t a great idea. So wrong about that. I’d like to be wrong about the watch, too… but that seems far less likely.

Tech reviewers and journalists have tested the device and only a few are really excited for it. Several mention feeling confused and underwhelmed, unsure of what the device offers for its price point. Several mention that the apps seem to load slowly and that the UI and buttons seem unintuitive.

It’s also a bit ironic that Apple convinced us that we need (want) bigger iPhone screens, only to turn around and essentially say: those screens are too big to be truly usable, what you want is a tiny one.

So the question for consumers is: are you willing to spend $349 - $17,000 for a wearable gadget with less than 24 hours battery life that does less than your iPhone and does it slower?

Note: I’m not trying to talk anyone dead-set on buying an Apple Watch out of buying it — it’s your money, do what you like with it. These are just my questions and concerns.

But I’d personally struggle with buying an overpriced first-gen device that doesn’t seem to add much value. If the watch is successful, Apple will inevitably release a Watch 2 that will do more, last longer and operate quicker (actually, I have doubts about the latter). And then a 3 and 4… or perhaps an Apple Watch Air.

And unlike conventional, dumb watches, the Apple Watch isn’t a buy-once, lasts-a-lifetime device. While we may be prepared to drop $200-500+ for a new iPhone every year or two, how many will want (or be able) to add another $350+ to keep the phone+watch combo updated? This in addition to the every 2-5 or so years between computer upgrades and 1-2 years for a new iPad.

Also, if you browse the [Apple Store], you’ll see that the watch bands aren’t cheap, and there’s no way to pick a Watch base model without a band — so if you want to personalize the Watch, it will cost you an extra $50+. Some of the bands are stupid expensive. I get that Apple may be attempting to position itself as a luxury goods brand, but it should be a tech company first.

Apple Watch: Functionality Restricted

Our stupid government has also contributed to handicapping the Watch.

The Apple Watch could have had all kinds of sensors that allow it to essentially offer diagnoses — but it can’t, thanks to the FDA.

It reminds me of [23andMe], a company that offered a DNA test that revealed genetic predispositions for all kinds of health problems (or benefits) for $99 — until the government kneecapped them for not paying up to satiate bureaucrats and cover special interest operating costs. Now their product is far less cool — it gives you info on your heredity.

The FDA would require from Apple boatloads of paperwork and millions of dollars for the watch to do more than give you general wellness information. Their stance is essentially this: we’re too stupid and impulsive to hear the truth about our own condition — an issue also faced by 23andMe during its short-lived battle against the Federal government.

The Apple Watch could’ve likely made preliminary diagnoses for everything from serious neurological issues to a common cold or flu.

That would be an incredible reason to wear it every day.

By simply tracking your normal resting and active heart rate, blood pressure and movements, it could determine when you’re off your game and notify you.

Instead, it’ll tell you how well your run went and when you should stand up at work. Great.

I hope I’m wrong about the Apple Watch and MacBook.

Won’t have to wait long to find out.

Are you going to buy an Apple Watch and/or MacBook, and if so, which model/s?

Saturday
Feb282015

Live Long and Prosper

Leonard Nimoy 1931-2015

Yesterday people were still talking about a crappy photo of a crappy dress. It was frustrating, and I was sad. But not about that.

Leonard Nimoy passed yesterday at his home, and many reacted as I had. Not much to say other than he will live on as Spock in the minds of millions of Trekkers and Trekkers-to-be.

LLAP

Tuesday
Feb242015

More Royals

So after that Royal draught, comes the flood I guess. Unfortunately luck turned really quick after the $2000 Royal, and I've been drawing nothing. It was enough to make me quit for awhile; lost a lot.

So now I'm going to spend more time outside the casinos — and if I do play, it'll be the much lower volatility Full Pay Deuces Wild.

But now that I'm home a bit more, I'll have time to write and catch up on reading.

Monday
Jan262015

Finally, a Royal Flush

A progressive Royal Flush at Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, NV.

After a Royal Flush draught, it's really nice to hit one. There are a number of things that I don't like about GSR — the lines, the parking — but there is a game there that's pretty cool. A progressive Double Double Bonus game.

Despite its high variance, I like playing this game. Maybe more than 10/6 DDB non-progressive. I like the mini-progressive jackpots for Aces, 2,3,4's — I like the excitement of four-of-a-kinds. It's also great that I've been really lucky playing this machine.

Without a four-of-a-kind (4oK), you could lose more than $100 per hour. At a minimum, a 4oK is worth $62.50. If it's a special 4oK (2's-4's, Aces, 2-4 w/ a kicker A-4, Aces w/ kicker), it's worth a minimum $100. The game is more exciting than grinding away to profit $2.50 to $5 at a time.

Unfortunately, the machine GSR uses for this game also has Blackjack and Keno on it, so people are often playing 5¢ Keno on a machine that gives me a good (albeit risky) game.

Yes, there are other places in town to play. But I've never been more lucky at a machine. I know that that luck will likely run out, but for today, despite my cold and broken car (I was rear-ended earlier in the month, still nothing from the insurance company USAA), things are okay.