The Fifth Generation Odyssey

Yea, so about that three car seat issue, looks like the Fifth Generation Honda Odyssey might still be the clear winner vs. a Tesla Model X. Maybe it’s time to trade-in our current Fourth Gen!

Takeaways: 40 more HP and an overall better ride.

Current issues include the Rear Entertainment System (RES) as mentioned on the Odyclub Forums.

side note: a friend at our daughter’s school has a Tesla Model X and just also bought a new 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Limited. Why? Better rates, 0% and deals as always on an American car. I’d still go Honda but that’s just me.

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!

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.

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!

Snipperclips Will Be My Second Game on the Switch (Maybe My First)

The solutions I came across were never obscure, but I can’t say enough about how gratifying it is to solve a puzzle with someone I just met without some notification beforehand telling us what we have to do to progress, even if the solution is so easy a caveman could do it. It absolutely elevated my experience with the game and I hope to God Snipperclips developer SFB Games doesn’t include those types of hints in the final product.

Because I pre-ordered Zelda on Amazon as well as 1-2 Switch, when I pick up my Nintendo Switch tonight, I will NOT have any physical games. I did order them for "Day Of Delivery" but in essence, who knows when that will be tomorrow. So, when I power up my Switch tonight and most likely download sometype of HUGE patch, Snipperclips will most likely be the first game that I execute on Nintendo's latest and greatest.

And, if you DID order or plan on grabbing a Nintendo Switch, supplement that internal 32GB drive with some Samsung Evo Plus 128GB MicroSD goodness! This one even comes with a USB 3.0 Ultra High Speed MemoryMarket Dual Slot MicroSD & SD Memory Card Reader!

Zelda's Nintendo Switch

As a “Zelda”-playing machine, the Switch works well. Nintendo is selling the latest chapter of its Hyrule saga, “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild”, as a launch title alongside the system. With its gorgeous cel-shaded visuals that look like something out of a Studio Ghibli movie, the game is impressive. But at times, the Switch has trouble handling so many enemies and effects on the screen at once.

In terms of size and scope, “Breath of the Wild” dwarfs previous titles and makes the world of “Fallout 4” look like quaint region compared to the expansive continent of this reimagined Hyrule.

It's quite an expensive game at $299.99 + $59.99 but here's hoping for the a future pleathora of releases and continued "fun-factor!" Mario Kart 8 Deluxe up next on April 28, 2017 and much more!

Splatoon 2 & Super Mario Odyssey both tagged for December 29, 2017, which, I know is so far away, but Snipperclips is going to be downloadable on Friday!

And if you're with Amazon Prime, all those games I mentioned above are 20% off when you pre-order. Best Buy might price match but I know that Gamestop cannot.

BioLite's New CampStove 2

Taking my family camping last month was amazing. With another trip on the horizon, charging our iPhones and iPads ahave become essential. I carry Anker's PowerCore which has done beautifully for a day or two but today, with the ability to charge your portable devices and burn wood AND a larger lithium battery, Biolite presents you their new CampStove 2 = WIN WIN!

The award-winning BioLite CampStove's latest upgrade features 50% more power, an integrated battery, and an updated LED dashboard for improved control and feedback. Burning only wood, the CampStove 2's fan creates a smokeless fire that can cook meals and boil water in minutes while turning its heat into usable electricity. Compatible with the KettlePot and Portable Grill, cook up wood-fired meals and charge devices using only the sticks around you.

If you're all about minimalist get the things you carry, this is a new essential!

"Unaffected" Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Still Catches Fire

Green said that he had powered down the phone as requested by the flight crew and put it in his pocket when it began smoking. He dropped it on the floor of the plane and a "thick grey-green angry smoke" was pouring out of the device. Green’s colleague went back onto the plane to retrieve some personal belongings and said that the phone had burned through the carpet and scorched the subfloor of the plane.

He said the phone was at around 80 percent of battery capacity when the incident occurred and that he only used a wireless charger since receiving the device.

Running the phone's IMEI (blurred for privacy reasons) through Samsung's recall eligibility checker returns a "Great News!" message saying that Green's Galaxy Note 7 is not affected by the recall.

I'd offload ANY and all Samsung stock as well as do as Mr. Green has; Buy an iPhone 7 or maybe try Google's new Pixel. Maybe there is a reason why Apple does not offer wireless charging or fast charging.

Horween Leather for Your Brand New iPhone 7 / 7 Plus

If you haven't already gotten the e-mail or checked it out, Nomad (one of my favorite anything Apple accessories purveyor) just announced an update to their Horween Leather Case. Now available for pre-order and shipping on October 31, it's by far one of the most beautiful and handcrafted cases I've been privy to own, and to tell you the truth, I'm probably on the train for this one too! =) Get yours for $39.95 for the iPhone 7 or $44.95 for the iPhone 7 Plus.

sidenote: one differentiator I can see consumers having is that the new Apple iPhone 7 Leather Case showcases "machined aluminum buttons that match the finish of your iPhone case." If you want to pay for it, Apple's variation on the leather case will cost you exactly $5 more than Nomad's offerings but it's not Horween, it's "European" but I say, to each his own.

Horween Leather offers an unparalleled blend of quality, consistency, responsiveness, and innovation. Through the years, we have cultivated our experience to offer dynamic lines of leathers. Our products include traditional, old world tannages and techniques, carefully updated with modern applications. Today, our leathers are still made by hand, the same way as generations ago.

 
Beautiful! 

Beautiful! 

 

The iPad Pro

The iPad Pro is without question faster than the new one-port MacBook or the latest MacBook Airs. I’ve looked at several of my favorite benchmarks — Geekbench 3, Mozilla’s Kraken, and Google’s Octane 2 — and the iPad Pro is a race car. It’s only a hair slower than my year-old 13-inch MacBook Pro in single-core measurements. Graphics-wise, testing with GFXBench, it blows my MacBook Pro away. A one-year-old maxed-out MacBook Pro, rivaled by an iPad in performance benchmarks. Just think about that. According to Geekbench’s online results, the iPad Pro is faster in single-core testing than Microsoft’s new Surface Pro 4 with a Core-i5 processor. The Core-i7 version of the Surface Pro 4 isn’t shipping until December — that model will almost certainly test faster than the iPad Pro. But that’s a $1599 machine with an Intel x86 CPU. The iPad Pro starts at $799 and runs an ARM CPU — Apple’s A9X. There is no more trade-off. You don’t have to choose between the performance of x86 and the battery life of ARM.

It's getting to the point that Apple is indeed paving the way for a faster and better experience. If they up the game with iOS X (or whatever they are going to call it) and make it a more viable operating system for the notebook replacement, I can see them conquering the $1200 and lower market segment.

The only thing that sets me back on making this a replacement laptop is that sometimes, Mac OS X has more to offer in terms of shortcuts and various other apps that are NOT for mobile. Jon Gruber also points out a few short comings on using a keyboard without a trackpad. Funny though, I see my daughter (3 years old) try and manipulate my laptop and her little fingerprints are all over my screen. After some frustrations has set, she turns to me confused. 

Austin Mann Reviews the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) for video is hands down the most significant improvement in the iPhone 6s Plus camera upgrade. The 6 Plus has OIS for stills (mainly helpful with low-light photos), but it wasn’t active when shooting a video or time-lapse. Now, with the 6s Plus only (not the 6s), we have active stabilization of all video and time-lapse content and the improvement is dramatic.

The time-lapse piece at the top utilized the Optical Image Stabilization significantly. The ability to create stable time-lapses anywhere, anytime, opens up so many doors. I can't wait to see what everyone creates with this.

If you had any doubts about going with the iPhone 6s Plus, they should all be absolved with Austin Mann's thorough review.