Support SaysBrad
  • (Most Compact 20000mAh Portable Charger) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology
    (Most Compact 20000mAh Portable Charger) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology
    Anker

    This thing, you need. Run your smartphone for days.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards (Pack of 2)
    Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards (Pack of 2)
    Sportsman Supply Inc.

    Playing Cards for your password creation or poker game!

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!

Entries in federal (3)

Sunday
Dec152013

23andMe, SaysBrad 2013, and screw the FDA

 

Dealing with medical problems and disability, I missed out on a lot of things this year. It's easy to just get upset about that — and everything else going on in the world — it's extremely easy to forget how amazing life is and how much technology has changed everything, for almost everyone.

Sometimes, it seems like the Internet is just full of complaints. And cats. Much of it is superfluous, and I've spent some time on this blog trying to point that out to people. But some complaints are valid, and the Internet has given a voice to many who would otherwise remain silent.

I mention this, because the FDA has blocked 23andMe, a DNA analysis company, from releasing medical information related to DNA as part of their $99 mail-order test kit.

Personally, this genetic information could be very valuable; it could tell me if I'm a carrier for the condition that killed my two brothers, why my nervous system responds the way it does and how best to treat my chronic pain, muscle spasms and disability.

I found out about 23andMe because of their Black Friday sale and ordered a kit, only to find out the day the kits arrived, that 23andMe would only be able to supply ancestry related information.

Basically, the FDA is stopping me from seeking affordable advice about my own DNA.

And I'm upset about that.

I've tried to distract myself with technology and blogging, and even managed to figure out how to stop the spam problem that I was having for quite awhile here at Says Brad. I was contacted by a few blog readers, which is super, as well as an app developer (so I'll be reviewing a new note taking app soon).

I found out that the new iPad Air might have some problems detecting and interacting with pressure-sensitive styluses, and read a bit more about the new iPad mini. I'm now reconsidering it as the superior (personal) choice for all-around use, despite the color accuracy/range issue.

I was going to write about testing blogging platforms such as Roon and Postagon, questions and thoughts that I have about pure blogging options Posthaven and Ghost, as well as testing — and my likely move to — Squarespace 6, but it's been hard to focus on with all of the issues I'm having and becoming aware of concerning the Federal government. I want to make Says Brad purely about design and technology (mostly apps and mobile products), but I haven't had the motivation to do anything about it yet.

Perhaps getting this rant out of the way will help. I know that lack of interest and general depression is a byproduct of chronic pain and the medicines used to treat it, and that awareness is usually accompanied by a resolve to push past it and try to do something — anything...

I really put a lot of hope and faith in my DNA results that now, at least anytime soon, won't be able to get... unless I can find some reliable, affordable expert to help me interpret the raw genetic data that I can still get from 23andMe.

Maybe if enough people out pressure on their Congressman (and women), something can be done about the ridiculously backward, prohibitive, abusive and dictatorial federal government and FDA. I don't think that that will happen, however, unless things get much, much worse. Congress is part of the problem — it's systemic, and it's affecting people. Small businesses, individuals, people with medical problems. I don't want government handouts and help. I want them to get the fuck out of the way.

Well.

Hopefully now I can get back to graphic design and the fun stuff. That is, after I stretch and take a few hour's nap. Word of warning: if your health is good and your body works (at least somewhat) as it should, take care of it and don't take it for granted. Chronic pain and disability is a neverending nightmare.


Before Christmas. Happy holidays. Oh, and don't be offended if you don't like or celebrate Christmas, but someone says Merry Christmas or whatever. Just say thanks. Don't be miserable.

Saturday
Jul202013

Orwellian America State of Decay

George Zimmerman verdict; society doesn't like it. They protest in Oakland, it's happening in my backyard and makes me think of a different time, place... George. These rallies take precedence in the media and by the public... what of new, horrible crimes? And child molesters? Many child molesters still on the loose, but the media focuses on Trayvon Martin and public enemy number one.

Some replies like this one from NBA legend Charles Barkley, unheard or ignored, will soon be lost and forgotten.

Dissent is dismissed; opinions against the mainstream — against the Party, against the President — are considered ignorant vitriolic slander, and are tossed like garbage after anger and hate is spewed at the originator.

Enraged and enflamed, mobs demand a street justice solution — the same kind of vigilantism they decry and claim ended Trayvon Martin and began this sad saga in America. New crimes, given token consideration, are quickly forgiven by the media and masses as if these events are expected, a logical consequence of perceived injustice. Excuses made for ridiculous, pathetic violence against bystanders by protestors. Juror threatened after speaking about the Zimmerman trial verdict.

This isn't science fiction. This isn't a new screenplay.

 

This is hate. This is ignorance. This is tragic.

 

This is America.

 

This is our future.

 

Sunday
Jun162013

NSA Needs No Warrants

Rep. Jerrold Nadler has blown the lid off of something big.

Not that I didn't already know this was happening, but now there's confirmation. Naive Americans, oh-so-trusting of big government, believed that there's nothing to worry about — we're just being paranoid. Understand this:

The NSA can listen to your calls, read your email or text messages in secret, without a warrant, and that data is being stored on servers.

 

Also, President Obama could be fucking your liberty. Do you remember that movie Enemy of the State starring Will Smith? Unfortunately, this isn't a movie.

Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell indicated during a House Intelligence hearing in 2007 that the NSA's surveillance process involves "billions" of bulk communications being intercepted, analyzed, and incorporated into a database.

They can be accessed by an analyst who's part of the NSA's "workforce of thousands of people" who are "trained" annually in minimization procedures, he said. (McConnell, who had previously worked as the director of the NSA, is now vice chairman at Booz Allen Hamilton, Snowden's former employer.)

If it were "a U.S. person inside the United States, now that would stimulate the system to get a warrant," McConnell told the committee. "And that is how the process would work. Now, if you have foreign intelligence data, you publish it [inside the federal government]. Because it has foreign intelligence value."

McConnell said during a separate congressional appearance around the same time that he believed the president had the constitutional authority, no matter what the law actually says, to order domestic spying without warrants.

Read the full details at CNET. Be upset. Share it with friends and family. No matter what the law actually says?! It's not that surprising. However, it is horrendous and people should be pissed.

The technology exists, why wouldn't they use it? Why wouldn't someone abuse it?

People are fallible; is it unreasonable to assume that some analyst with an axe to grind would use his power illegally? Maybe about as unreasonable as the IRS selectively targeting Conservative groups (based, in part, on keywords in the organizations' names) for audits and denying these groups tax exempt status, bankrupting law-abiding, taxpaying citizens and costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Happy Father's Day.