Paying for Quality


The Washington Post

Today, I’ve subscribed to the Washington Post and the New York Times. For me, this is a monumental decision. As a late gen Xer, I’ve never bothered to pay for journalism. At least not for world news. There has usually been a Motor Trend subscription. Maybe ESPN the magazine, but for my world news, I’ve always just read headlines, or used Google News.

When the New York Times installed the great paywall several years ago, I openly mocked them. Why would anyone pay for news? It is everywhere and it is free! The Times should learn to leverage advertising like everyone else, I proclaimed.

However, I’m now a business owner, writing software for Android phones. I have multiple products with multiple business models. Some just have ads, some are paid products and some are a hybrid. What I’ve learned is that not everything fits the advertising model. Advertising works well when the screen time to capital investment ratio is high enough. However, if the app always runs in the background, doing something awesome and unseen for the user? Ads don’t pay for that. Real money needs to change hands to cover such work. I’ve come to realize the same can be said for investigative journalism. If I want in-depth stories that took months to develop, I cannot expect my ten minute read to pay for that. I’ve got to part with some of the hard earned money that others have parted with to pay for my hard work. So, I’m now paying for the news.


iPhone 7 Plus vs. Pixel XL – Round 2

I posted my previous comparison of the iPhone 7 Plus and Pixel XL on Reddit. Not that surprisingly, the people of Reddit weren’t impressed and let me know that I messed this comparison up. It must be my shaky hands! So, I did the same experiment again on Friday. Same location, same time, and this time, my friend took both photos, so the holder of the phone is the same.

Android Pixel XL
Apple iPhone 7 Plus

You can click the thumbnails to download the originals. I won’t crop the images this time, as someone will say that I didn’t do it right. Sure, the angles are slightly different, as this is a real world test, not a scienfic test. I’m just showing that my friends iPhone 7 Plus takes better low light photos than my Pixel XL.

Don Henley – ACL Live

One of the greats! While I’m sad that I’ll never see the Eagles perform, seeing Don Henley in such a small venue as the Moody Theater was something special. As soon as the acapella opening was over, Caroline turns and goes “That alone was worth the $99!”. I have to agree.

I’m not a music critic, but seeing Garth and Don Henley in a six-month span was crazy. Those are once in a lifetime shows. There are bands I’ve seen many times and hopefully many more, but seeing Don Henley’s passion and soul combined with his unique voice was a timeless experience.

My Second T300 Racing Wheel Is Dead!

Just a few weeks ago, I posted about my T300 Racing Wheel being dead. While Thrustmaster still hasn’t repaired/returned that wheel, I bought another one so that I’d have one to use and a spare for the future. Turns out that was a bad idea. The second T300 wheel I’ve purchased has died in the exact same manner, just faster.

As someone with a degree in computer/electrical engineering, I thought, maybe this wheel is sensitive to current fluctuations? So I bought and used a surge protector and a powered USB hub. Nothing was going to take this new unit down! Wahaha. Except, yeah, two weeks later the new unit is also dead. So now I’m out $150 for another motor unit plus $50 for powered hub and surge protector. Fun times Thrustmaster.

However, I’ve learned my lesson. It is time to sync more money my personal budget doesn’t have into this hobby. I’ll let you know which route I go. I know you are on the edge of your seat. 😛

Facebook And Garth

Some of Garth Brooks songs are kinda funny now. “What She’s Doing Now” still holds true, except you could just look it up on Facebook. Then you’d know what she is doing now. (And if Facebook told you who viewed your profile, she’d know what she is doing now is killing you, because you won’t stop viewing her profile)