Consumer Reports on Cars They Haven’t Even Driven

Consumer Reports released reliability scores on Thursday for a number of new cars, many of which they haven’t seen yet, like the new Kia Stinger. The organization gave the Stinger an “average” score, basing this in part on drivers’ experiences with current Kia models. CR gave the same score to the Tesla Model 3, which they have also not driven, prompting a lengthy, angry statement from the automaker, who has contended for some time now that CR has singled them out for bad coverage. CR has emphatically denied the charge.

Fake reviews and scores shouldn’t even be allowed. It’s ridiculous reporting and scoring. Consumer Reports really hurts their credibility with acts such as this. It’s like saying, based on the past models, the new iPhone 11 is great!

No City Name Chargers

Giving L.A. a second NFL team is like giving Miami a second snowplow. Nobody asked for it, nobody wants it and nobody knows what to do with it. Spanos has said publicly that he hopes San Diegans still support their Chargers and will drive the 120 miles to L.A. You might as well ask your first wife to pay your second wife’s car payments. San Diego has too much self-respect to do that.

Yup, not more than 1 minute this year have I watched an NFL game. Just don’t give a poop. So SD Soccer City!!!

Ring Protect Launches Dramatically Undercutting Nest

Now Ring is announcing its own product, called Ring Protect, and it’s deeply undercutting Nest on price. The base unit costs only $199 and includes a single door/window sensor and an motion detector. Additional door/window sensors will sell for $20, and additional motion sensors will sell for $30. That means you could outfit 10 windows and five rooms just for the price of getting started with Nest’s system.

This is a stellar deal which forces me to reanalyze my entire projected home security system. Nest is an amazing ecosystem but it is far too expensive compared to the alternatives.

A Small-Screen iPod, an Internet Communicator and a Phone

This comparison is apt: the Watch is effectively stealing usage from the iPhone. At first it took alerts, timekeeping, and basic messaging away. Now it’s taking basic phone calls and music and maybe maps.

It’s fitting therefore to remember how the iPhone was launched; as a tentpole troika: A wide-screen iPod, an Internet Communicator and a Phone. Today the new Watch is a small-screen iPod, an Internet Communicator and a Phone.

Succinct point. Have I bought in? Yes but only on the Apple Watch Series 2. 

Let the Banner Fly!

Disgruntled Chargers fan Joseph MacRae bought a banner to fly over the stadium in Carson to send a message to Dean Spanos about how much San Diego fans detest the move to L.A.

Recently, Spanos tried to stop it by contacting the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and requesting a temporary flight restriction (TFR) for game days.

However, the FAA only grants TFRs for stadiums and arenas that hold 30,000 or more, and since the StubHub Center capacity is under 30,000 -- the Chargers announced a sellout at 25,386 during their game with the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday -- the FAA will not grant the TFR.

Just too much awesome not to link back to!

Austin Mann and Apple’s new iPhone 8 Plus

After shooting 100 portraits or so, I can easily say Studio Light is my favorite of the effects. It emulates a gold bounce card as if it is just outside of the frame, bouncing nice warm light into the face and eyes of the subject. It does a nice job of making the face subtly pop from the rest of the background without doing anything too dramatic.

If there is one feature that I am excited about on the new iPhones, it’s Portrait Lighting’s new Studio Lighting. Every year Apple really does come up with features that do make you want to upgrade.

If you’re a photographer of any kind, they say the best camera is the one in your pocket. There is no excuse for anything less than the iPhone 8 Plus (at least until the new iPhone X comes out in a month and a half.)

iPhone 8 Plus Camera Review

The Apple iPhone 8 Plus is the best-performing mobile device camera we have ever tested. Its overall DxOMark Mobile score of 94 sets a new record, beating out the 90 points for both the Google Pixel and the HTC U11, as well as the 92 that its sibling iPhone 8 just scored. Its Photo score of 96 is also a new record, blowing past the Pixel’s 90. For Video, its score of 89 is among our highest, but tied with the HTC U11 and slightly below the Pixel’s 91. Of course, the Pixel is nearly a year old now, so it makes sense that Apple’s new flagship is breaking new ground.

The king returns as the best of the best.

LA Galaxy Sells More Than LA Chargers

StubHub Center holds 27,000 and the Chargers, who are in the midst of their absurd “Fight For LA” campaign, couldn’t even pack the damn place. Bear in mind, in San Diego there would have been a minimum of 45,000 people at that preseason game and probably more.

Awesome article. Sorry I don't wish failure on the team, but the owners can go lose their monies. The tweets from Jeremy Trotter are even funnier.

https://twitter.com/JimTrotter_NFL/status/896922460343255041

The Country Club Barbershop - Rancho Bernardo

When it comes to a barbershop, it's all about leaving happy. The Country Club Barber Shop takes it to a whole new level of precision and care. Besides the amazing feel and design of the shop, they offer beard trims, clean cuts and shaves; providing complimentary refreshments to all age groups is just another plus. The comfortable couches and atmosphere make it a great place to hang back as well. It's very inviting and I would highly recommend it.

Sidenote: I will admit, making an appointment using their online system on either my laptop or mobile phone is a drag. Far too many drop downs and extra screens. Just my $0.02 but design should be as simple as time, date, service. When you come upon Step 5 ( yes, there are seven total , you type in your name, phone number (should be automatic recogniztion and not necessary to put in the country), and e-mail, you then get to select three preferred barbers. If I have one, and one only, it doesn't let me proceed since all fields are "Required." I can select the same barber all three times and still get to the next step, but once again tedious. Payment screen can be omitted since you're paying locally anyways and that is the only option there at least when proceeding through the Rancho Bernardo location.

Maybe an updated system would entail: If the "preferred" barber isn't on the date you chose, then maybe it shouldn't be on the dropdown. In all honesty, maybe just clicking the barber you want, up pops up their availability and you click go.

With a multitude of barbers in San Diego, many are priced at the $12 - $15 mark. The Country Club starts at $26! Coming in twice a month can really add up but once again, the precision of a straight blade for detail, the abbreviated machined shoulder massage and not to forget the complimentary drink might just make the extra $13 worth it.

All in all, I had a great experience and was cut at my slotted appointment. I was happy with the results and and have already booked my second visit. Here are the before and after. Be prepared though as it's not your quick 15-30 minute cut but more around 60 minutes!

Except for the before and after photos, which were taken from my iPhone 7 Plus Front Facing Camera, all images were shot using my newly acquired Sony A7RII paired with the Sony FE Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 55mm F1.8 ZA. Check out what DxOMark said about it!

Splatoon 2 is My Third Nintendo Switch Game

With “Splatoon 2,” Nintendo doesn’t rewrite the formula. It doubles down on the core experience and expands the ways to play. The developer continues to give fans a curated experience, rotating stages every few hours. In Ranked Battle, players can participate in contests with other rule sets, such as splat zones, tower control and rainmaker.

For dedicated competitors and their teams, there’s even a League Battle, which requires friends and a commitment to a 2-hour session.

You read it here. I'm just looking for playability and fun factor especially since skipping the massively successful game OverWatch. I needed something more portable and I'm hoping this is it. I also have never played Splatoon 1 or the beta for 2. Should be fun!

Get it now for $47.99 on Amazon with their pre-order price guarantee!