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 news (7)

Tuesday
Jan052016

Thoughts on 2015 and Beyond

Another year flew by.

I keep thinking about what to say about 2015, but can’t think of anything honestly positive and pithy. Was it a great year? It was definitely a roller coaster year, individually and collectively.

Personally, I started doing a lot of different little things; online poker (No Limit Texas Hold’em cash games and some tournaments), Hearthstone, more consulting… of course there’s still design work. I’ve settled into Reno, NV and have developed a sort of a routine here. I’ve been thinking about streaming and talking about games a bit more, I’ve been a bit more involved in magic. I’ve been working on a lot of new projects.

Collectively, 2015 was a mixed year. Donald Trump took over US politics like a WWE Superstar and started bitchslapping everyone. I’m not a supporter, but politics has never been more entertaining. SpaceX did what was seemingly impossible. Islamic terrorists killed a bunch of people and the media took notice. Sort of. (Boko Haram is still operating under the radar, enslaving, raping and killing people in Africa.)

The world feels more intolerant than ever. I get that the world tends to always get better while people always think that things are getting worse, but I’ve never felt more disconnected from people with opposing views. It’s as if, worldwide, the culture has shifted toward outrage and extremism and discussion has become anathema.

I don’t see a lot of two-way communication between opposing ideologies. Unless it’s mudslinging and character attacks. Everything is a soundbite or a YouTube clip. Facebook is just an echo chamber, with unfriending and unfollowing occurring over “micro aggressions” and statements perceived as “intolerant.” We’re teaching younger people about “trigger warnings” and we’re communicating with emojis more frequently than words. I don’t like the censorship — especially self-censorship.

I get that people don’t want to feel offended when interacting online, but it seems like people are being offended too frequently… and frankly, that’s offensive!

As a society, we’re asking people to apologize for every flippant or off-color (wait, is that a microagression or racist?) remark. I wish people would stop it. Stop asking, and stop apologizing. Deal with it.

Also, I don’t believe that people are as offended as they say they are — I think people just want something to be angry about. It makes me want to say more “offensive” things more often, and I know I’m not the only one. Thus, the divide increases…

Really, I’m not sure what to write about here anymore. I haven’t been particularly interested in technology. Though I wrote about it quite a bit, this was never really a politics blog. There have been a few new apps that I think are pretty cool, so I could share those, but I haven’t found myself inspired to write about tech. It doesn’t seem fun. I’m not sure what Says Brad is anymore.

However, I am interested in relaunching bradtastic.com because although tech products haven’t really excited me, some things on the web have. There are a lot of little things that I find that I think others would like to see, too. So I’m working on that.

I want the site to look modern, so I’ve been sorting through a bunch of video clips that I can use for a background and have been collecting interesting links to share, I’ve been writing little articles about things that I like (and why). And, I think I can distill everything down to five or six categories.

Frankly, I’m tired of just posting everything at facebook. I’d rather have my own dedicated spot. And without a website that I feel really compelled to update, I forget about things like Pinterest. Once I have a site that looks and feels good, I’ll probably want to chime in about tech again, too.

All that said, I think 2016 is going to be a great year.

I’ll finally be able to share some of the projects that I’ve been working on for months, and new stuff keeps springing to life. We’re amidst a new political cycle and everyone is going to crank up the speakers and stoke the flames.

To end on a tech note, if you have a Mac, get Ulysses if you don’t already have it. It’s an indispensable app, and likely the best writing app ever made.

Sunday
Dec082013

Black Friday Thoughts

Note: began this entry last week. Been exhausted. :-(

Thanksgiving was the day after dinner with my parents, so I was pretty tired. We started to say what we were all thankful for but the conversation sidetracked, and never refocused. With the FLOTUS' suggestion in mind, we spoke about ObamaCare and politics... but I won't get into that here and now. I'm truly thankful for two wonderfully supportive parents and the relationship I have with my family now. Also, although we give each other a hard time, Stephanie does a good job taking care of me and reminding me to eat. I forget about that sometimes when I get involved in a project or, well, sleep.

It hasn't always been easy or fun, but I don't think I could get by without them and their support. Disability really sucks like that. Thank you. And a shoutout and thanks to all of the wonderful internet people — hopefully you know who you are. Your generosity, kindness and encouragement, thoughts and prayers are cherished and appreciated. I hope you have a great, merry Christmas! (...and a happy New Year!)

Now to Mainstream Sheeple Consumer (yes, very bleak—err, black) Friday thoughts.

I really miss Steve Jobs.

Mostly in an abstract way; it's not like I knew him personally, but insofar as a man (or woman) can be known by their great works and contributions, it pains me greatly that his direction and insight is no longer a constant.

Although Apple might honor and carry his legacy through their refinements and further developments of his breakthrough products, they've lost their prodigal navigator and are thusly adrift. It's impossible for me to know whether or not Steve would've allowed the iPad mini to exist, but I cannot fathom his acceptance of iOS7 on it.

Some people claim to run iOS7 just fine on first-gen minis. Many others, myself clearly included, believe that the tablet is just too slow for it. It's clunky. Glitchy. It crashes and lags.

It's ruined the mini experience for me. The mini was my favorite tablet, one of my favorite things, even with the iPad2-like specs and unimpressive screen. It gave me the iPad experience that I love on a device that I could use all day — the iPad 3 is just too heavy to hold up for hours. With iOS6, the mini was quick and stable.

It allowed me to create.

iOS7 was deliberately designed to be sleek and minimal — two qualities I don't have an issue with — however, it feels like style over substance. Over-engineered, unavoidable. Apple won't let dissatisfied users go back to 6, and even pushed the update install to devices. It seems like a marketing tactic to throw out at keynote speeches. Almost all of our users are on the latest version of iOS, while Android devices are split between...

Compounding my tablet frustrations are blogging woes.

Squarespace 5 has started getting hit with referral-link spam. At first it was maybe a few a week, then a few a day, now maybe a dozen per day. This nuisance isn't easy to take care of on an iPad, and has obscured legitimate comments, emails, questions... I've got to do something about it.

Sorry for the trouble here but I'll be happy to assist you. We will continue to maintain Squarespace 5 for customers. However, updates and apps that are released in the future will be geared toward the Squarespace 6 platform. – Squarespace Customer Care response

So it looks like I'm blogging on an obsolete platform. Simply move to their Squarespace 6? And perhaps in a few years, they'll grow tired of that, release version 7, and cut support/updates for 6.

I get that things progress and change is necessary for business, but because the systems are incompatible and there's no automatic 5 to 6 conversion tool, it's extra stress that I don't want.

So I've been looking into alternatives. I found two articles particularly informative.

I'd like to focus more on long form content and less on blog design; unfortunately, so many "blogging platforms" (CMS) are setup for full-site management and treat the blog as a secondary item and focus.

Perhaps more importantly (at minimum, of equal importance) is sustainability — Internet immortality. Permanent links. Link rot sucks. Importing and exporting content sucks — there's always loss and errors. That makes something like Posthaven — at least at face-value — very attractive. Their promise, for $5/month is a service that will last forever. I blogged at Vox, played with Pownce, tweeted at Jaiku, shared with Posterous — all gone.

I think my only real reservation with Posthaven at the moment is that I don't like the look, and it seems like there's no choice with that. No templates or themes, or CSS or whatever. Just pure, simple blog — take it or leave it. I don't think it's attractive or very usable. On their site, they indicate that custom design is something that they're working on implementing, so I'll have to keep an eye on it. If you use Posthaven, I'd love to know what you think of it, and how it compares to similar blog only services (like Medium, Ghost, Postagon, Roon, etc).

And then there's this: Web Design is 95% Typography – Information Architects — thoughts from the genius Oliver Reichenstein. I've read his thoughts on typography (I love typography and handwriting), and agree with most of it. It's particularly true for this blog, since I tend to post fewer, write longer (instead of many/short). This theme just looks bad with big type. If only I could work on it from my iPad.

I'm not good with code. I know a bit — enough to understand it when I see it, but I can't use code like I use a pencil (or stylus). I can't wield CSS as a design weapon, and that limits what I can customize on my own. If only I had more time, more years of life.

Squarespace (like many other visually fancy UIs) is difficult to modify on a tablet. There are a lot of JavaScript effects and overlays, menus and some drag-and-drop. Stuff mobile Safari doesn't do well (at least as Squarespace has coded it — I've seen some neat interactive HTML5 stuff on iPad, like FiftyThree's site). I really think that they could do away with all that or offer an in-app option, but alas, the limitations of small company. And they're based out of New York — not my first pick for a business.

My goal, of I can ever manage it, is to write about the tech, games and design that I love, disability and pain management, and politics (local, national, international). I believe that it's important to our first amendment and culture to express controversial and perhaps unpopular opinions, always remaining truthful and forthright. I don't like political correctness and white lies, and I don't want to live in a world where government tells me what I can buy, where I can go, whether or not I can own a gun, airplane or anything else. I don't want to live in a world where creativity and ingenuity is stifled and suffocated under the burdens of taxes, regulations, penalties, local, state and federal ordinances requiring prior authorization and approval, etc...

...but I really, really don't like all the public insults, flame wars, death threats, obscenities and personal attacks hurled at strangers online and elsewhere in our society today. There's an awful tension and hostility and a lot of hate — so I plan on contributing to debates without attacking others or responding to personal insults. I won't instigate persecution and I will report threats (and hate speech, where applicable), because it isn't right or productive. We do not have the right to never be offended, but we do have protection against battery, libel and slander. I encourage debates where people vigorously defend their positions and say "you're wrong," but I condemn the "you're an idiot and you should die" that seems to occur online with alarming frequency. Liberal or conservative, it doesn't matter who's saying it — this type of attack is wrong, and if I see or hear it in the mainstream media or popular blogs, I'll flag it — because I think character is important and people need to be aware of it.

In my experience, the racism, discrimination and flaming comes from:

  • people with an intellectually, factually indefensible position — perhaps thusly, they believe that their only option is to end discussion entirely or redirect it from information and ideology to personal attacks,

people so arrogant and/or narrow-minded that they believe that there's no possible way that they can be wrong; thus they are unwilling to even hear or entertain the opposing argument or view — and often in anger, shut down civilized discourse with disdain, using statements ranging from cynicism and snide remarks to outright vile hostility and threats of violence.

Sometimes it's difficult to contain anger, I understand that. But even if someone is wrong — stubbornly so — it would be far better to simply withdraw from dialogue than resort to conversational (or actual) thuggery.

So in the spirit of American Christmas, those are my stresses, wishes and cold-weather! winter worries. And now that I've shared them,

I can get back to blogging about fun stuff like iPad styluses and the joys of iPhone 5S. PLUS: why I won't ever switch from iOS to Android, and why I simultaneously want Android to always be awesome!

Happy December!

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.

 

Saturday
Jul062013

Post-Independence Day Post!

Hey, everyone! Did you have a good holiday? The Fourth of July is a pretty exciting day. Not just for the fireworks — the United States of America is an amazing place, despite all of the crap that goes on.

I've been busy preparing a bunch of posts for Says Brad, controversial pieces, and spent the past few days confirming Squarespace Terms of Service with their wonderful support team to make sure that my content wasn't in violation of their ToS . It isn't, so soon I'll share thoughts on violence and video games, racism, race baiting and the parallels between the Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin.

And of course, that's not all! More about the NSA and their spy capabilities, controversial laws and ways to protect your freedoms, and as always, app and game reviews, art and, well, whatever else I feel like sharing.

For more frequent updates, cool links/videos and artwork, check out my Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook page. (Also: 360/PSN/vita gamers, I'm currently playing Borderlands 2, Soul Sacrifice, and a few others — if you want to play, message rainfault and let me know who you are and how you found me! I'm also on Guild Wars 2, but less frequently this month: Bradtastic.1623)

 

Sunday
Jun162013

Changes to Says Brad


Hey everyone!

In the coming days and weeks, my posts are likely to take a more serious tone. I still have some reviews planned, but there are very troubling things happening in our nation that I cannot ignore. From SOPA to Benghazi to the IRS scandal, Internet tax and NSA surveillance, I don't want to sit idly by while our future is shaped by a hideous distortion of our beliefs and values. Freedom is threatened.

I've been researching and writing about the unwarranted invasion of Americans' privacy by the NSA.

It's a very serious matter and each day, more evidence comes to light. Recent events have given us reasons to be fearful and paranoid; gun control and gun violence, rioting, international affairs and unrest, and the IRS' systematic targeting of conservative groups. And now we learn more about the intrusive nature of a shadowy government agency — and it feels like what's been revealed is only the tip of the iceberg.

Although more serious in tone than my normal content, I believe it's important to create an ongoing dialogue about our government's practices. As a friend recently mentioned, many people probably do care (about the IRS, NSA) but don't know what to do about it.

Stay informed, share the information and your opinions on it. For many people, politicking and partisan memes begin and end with the election. I think we need to hold our elected officials accountable to the high standards they claim to adhere to.

 

Wednesday
Jul112012

Reading on the new iPad

I really enjoy reading Newsstand magazines, news, articles and books on the plethora of stellar iPad reading apps. Specifically, I like Pulse, Readability & Longform, Zinio, Newsify and Flipboard. I didn't really care for reading at length on the iPad 2 because of the eye-strain, but the pixel density on the new iPad Retina display is phenomenal.

Also, 1080p video and 720p HD streaming: fantastic. If you're on the fence about a new iPad, get off. Get one. Seriously, it's life altering in the best of ways.

Keeping this short because I still feel sick. But here's a cool resource if you like strategy games: Pocket Tactics. It's all about mobile strategy games — great content, interviews, and app reviews.

ttyl.

Tuesday
May012012

Upcoming changes

Hi everyone! My plan is to continue to update as usual, despite several personal issues taking up extra time. I've been fortunate last month; made some new friends and contacts, and have a lot to share over the summer.

I'm still trying to adjust to life as it is now — I think attempting to find my place in this world, with a disability, sent me off in the wrong directions and on a few false-starts.

Continue reading for information on upcoming posts, changes to my site and my approach to online media, and some basic thoughts on life. If you're interested in electronic cigarettes (vapor/e-juice) or living in the bay area, read the following and contact me!

Click to read more ...