Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? Thanks to the always enlightening Judie Stanford for posting this pic – I couldn’t resist making a post just to try out the headline formula.
Over a year ago I bought an Evernote Jot Script stylus by Adonit, and while it had excellent build quality, I could never quite get it to work right. I chalked it up to the fact that I must be holding it wrong or some other issue, and it slowly fell into disuse. Prompted by a friend I recently pulled it out and found evidence online that a very small number of users actually had the same problems that I did, and that there may have been a manufacturing defect in a small number of first-run units. I had pre-ordered my Jot Script the day it was announced, so I figured I’d look into it.
Long story short, after an email of troubleshooting and a video I made with my phone to show the problems I was having, Adonit’s customer service sent me a new stylus that works PERFECTLY AS ADVERTISED. I’m pretty psyched! Thanks Adonit for covering something even after the warranty period had technically expired. I’ll be a repeat buyer now for sure!
As regular readers of this blog know (Hi Nate… and maybe 1-2 other people who’ve stumbled in the door from time to time…), I collect badges, including name, store security, and Geek Squad varieties. About a year and a half ago, I posted on a counterfeit Geek Squad badge that I’d come across, and at that time I invited former or current Geeks to fill me in on anything interesting going on in the world of Geek Squad badges. Today a reader sent me some interesting information, and a few photos I’d thought I’d share.
First, before I share some interesting badge info, I’ll share the new badge finishing process. If you look at my badges, you’ll notice I don’t show the back of them. This is because… well… it’s the back – who wants to see it?!? But it turns out the backs tell an interesting story. Here is the back of an old style badge, the Pre-2012 Blackminton badge that is well known to collectors.
Now take a look at the counterfeit badge back
It’s hard to see the differences, but you can tell a slight lack of countour, due to the lower quality. Interestingly, a few months after my article, a Twitter user tweeted myself and Robert Stephens taking credit for the fake, claiming he had made it using a CAD tool. If that’s the case, it may be that his fabrication process, not being based on a mold, had some imperfections.
Anyway, as I’ll detail below, post-2012 badges have a radically different back:
Quite a shift from the Blackminton style, although given the wear scenarios discussed in some of the internal documentation provided to me, it makes sense since overall Geek Squad appears to be favoring a “pocketed” badge more than a worn. The flat back design is popular with LEOs who will carry their badges in a case as opposed to on a uniform.
The front of the badge remains largely unchanged post-2012:
You’ll notice I’ve sanitized the image to protect the identity of my source (the images are used with permission, however I don’t want anyone getting fired!). Obviously this looks a bit less defined than the older style, but is more consistent with a pocket-able badge.
Now for some interesting information on the badges. Previously you had to be a Geek Squad agent in certain positions in order to get a badge. In 2013 and into 2014, the rules were changed along with the badge design. Responding to what was considered an “outdated badge process”, Geek Squad Management decided to change the requirements to: 18 cumulative months in a geek squad role to earn the first badge, and six consecutive months in a role for any subsequent badges. Given the high turnover in retail, these benchmarks make a lot of sense.
Along with the changes come a massive reduction in badge titles. Gone are the “friendly” titles like “Double Agent” or “Deputy Counter Intelligence”. Now all badges will have one of 6 titles: Autotech Agent, City Agent, Covert Agent, Field Agent, Precinct Agent, & Agent Defender. This change was done to reduce the number of “one-off badge titles”, which should prevent employees (“agents”) in the same position having different badge titles.
Further documentation provides justification for the newer look, addressing criticisms that the “new badge was worse quality than the current badges” by explaining the quality level is the same, the badges are die struck and have a “hand relieved antique patina”, and has jewelers lacquer applied to it for protection. New badges are 65% copper, 18% silver, and (ominously) 17% miscellaneous.
So there is your Geek Squad Badge update (for the 1-2 other collectors on the planet). I’ve noticed a few of the newer styles rattling around eBay as of late, and may pick up one or two at some point. I don’t want to get into a Pokémon style “Gotta Catch ‘em” all mentaility though!
Thank you to my source for providing the photos and information below (If he/she would like to be named, I’ll gladly put his/her information here)!
For almost a year now I’ve been Todd Ogasawara’s regular guest / cohost on MobileViews Podcast (available on the web, iTunes, and wherever fine Podcasts are found). Realized I don’t really talk about this often on my own blog so consider this a friendly reminder. I may also start posting a link each week to our new episodes (when I remember). It’s a chance to hear Todd and I prognosticate on subjects we have large backgrounds in, as well as subjects we’re not entirely qualified to discuss but still do!
you only see the lock if you select at the top the network users or network group
I’m going to rant about an Apple Design decision, but it has nothing to do with any i-device of any kind. It’s purely around the Mac OS X Server 4.0 App that’s used to configure a Mac acting as a network server. The app’s never been that great, but this really steamed me.
A bit of background: On a computer, you have user accounts. These users are considered “local” because they only exist on that computer. Servers can provide “network” accounts, which can be logged into from anywhere. Apple provides this through an open source implementation of LDAP named OpenLDAP.
When you go to administer users, you find the following screen:
Looks pretty easy – I should be able to click on any of those users and reset their passwords. However clicking on any user (local or network) and selecting the box at the bottom shows a variety of options (like Change Password” Grayed out). Hmm…
So I did some digging around and found the link that I quoted at the top. Apparently by some divine force you should just know that if you select “Local Network Users” from the drop down at the top (instead of “All users”), a magic little lock will appear that lets you authenticate as a directory administrator (i.e. the person in charge of network user accounts) and THEN you can access those options.
Now I get that you can’t access those options before you authenticate – but geez Apple – could you give us a frickin’ hint? Maybe a box that says “Authentication Required”, or the lock icon is gray unless we select a network user? Something other than a magical appearing/disappearing lock!
While I bought an iPhone 5 2 years ago when it was released, I only recently started using, and enjoying, the Apple Earpods that came with it. They’re decent low-cost headphones, and I like the volume rocker / built-in mic. What I was confused on, though, was the carrying case. Specifically, how to get those little pods back in properly. I watched a few YouTube videos, which basically started with “Put the headphone jack on the upper right, start winding around, and when you get to the control / earpods, lay them in…”
Ladies and Gentlemen, that is the worst suggestion I’ve ever seen. You always end up with slack cable, and never a perfect fit. Then tonight I ran across this article and realized… You can just put them in Pod First.
Basically start with the pods in their correct places, coil the cable around until you place the rocker switch in (Placing the other pod’s cable below it) and then wind it up. No excess slack. No problems. No time consuming “lining up”. And… it’s just common sense.
I’d love to say that it’s because I’m tired I never figured this out, but I’ve used these off and on for a few months now… and just never thought to do the winding in reverse!
Back in the day (“the day” being 5 years ago), I used to use Windows Live Writer to compose updates for my blog(s). Loved it. Then I switched to a Mac, and Microsoft more or less abandoned Windows Live Writer. Now I’m trying a new piece of desktop software for blogging named Blogo. We’ll see if this gets me writing more. No idea, but I suppose I will get at least 1 post out of my $14.99 investment: This one.
So far the interface looks pretty clean, and easy to use. I worry I might miss my thousands-of-customizable-widgets thing on my generic WordPress installation, but maybe ditching those is a good thing. This actually reminds me a lot of the WordPress app on iOS – simple, clean, easy to post.
So perhaps a new chapter of blogging on JonWestfall.Com is upon us. Or more than likely, I’ll still stay busy, and forget to blog!
Again WordPress SEO stopped my posts from being publicized to Facebook. Deactivated it and posts went through. Activated it but turned off Open Graph (In Social Settings) and it went through. Now I’ve re-enabled Open Graph and we’ll see if this goes through!
(And it didn’t, so I disabled Open Graph. We’ll see how long it behaves)
For reasons I’ll never understand, the WordPress Jetpack social plugin that’s supposed to be able to publish my stuff everywhere (i.e. FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google+) sometimes doesn’t want to publish it to the network I get 70% of my traffic from: Facebook. Not sure what that is, but I’m back to the old grind of deactivating plugins trying to find out why. This post will probably go to FB, simultaneously helping me (by fixing the problem) and mocking me (by fixing the problem) at the same time!