Hulu Has A Hit With Battleground

I just finished watching this 13 episode series in less than a week and I already cannot wait for a second season. This show follows the Wisconsin Senate campaign of State Senate Deidre Samuels in a documentary like fashion (think “The Office”). But unlike the other shows of this medium, there is actual interaction between the camera crew and the ones being filmed.

The writing is pretty smart and the characters are rich and 3-dimensional. Even the main character, campaign manager Chris “Tak” Davis is flawed. I even think it’s reminiscent of “The West Wing”. And it’s a Hulu exclusive. The question is, will this warrant a Hulu Plus subscription. For me, right now it’s still a no. If they have two or three more shows like this I may rethink my current stance.

Fortunately for me, “Battleground” is currently available for free on the Hulu website; otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to view this show in the first place and appreciate its brilliance. Definitely give this show a chance. It’s only 13 episodes after all.

Back On The Android Bandwagon With My New HTC One X

I know I know. I said I wasn’t going to go back to Android anytime soon. And yet, here we are and here I am.

I felt that all the stars were aligned for me to make the jump back to Android. Between the HTC and Samsung models there are very few differences that make one more compelling than the other; except, for a few intangibles thanks to my phone carrier that made my choice much easier.

Both devices are just 16GB models on AT&T (though the Samsung phone does have an expansion slot). For me, that leveled the playing field. What gave the HTC the edge was that it still has the free Dropbox storage promotion attached (25GB with HTC, 50GB with Samsung with qualifying carriers) and of course, it just has a better overall design. Lastly, it was only $119 on Amazon Wireless (about $135+ with tax).

So here I am with my new phone typing out this blog entry with the new SwiftKey 3 keyboard and I’m loving it. Already put my iPhone back on Gazelle (it actually went up in value from the last time I got a quote), and I don’t believe I’ll be looking back.

I Suck At Social Networks

I recently reactivated my account on Twitter (yet again). I keep hearing how people are better informed because of this network so I decided to try to use it as a newsfeed, like a more real-time version of a rss reader. Of course this only works if I follow just news accounts and other accounts that catch my fancy and not follow people who I would normally follow on say FaceBook. I’m sure there is a more social way to use Twitter but I’ve not found a way to do it (it’s one of the reasons I’ve killed my account so many times). Which brings me to a realization: I suck at social networks.

Then again I’m not really good at socializing to begin with. When I’m not at work socializing with customers or work associates, I’m home doing non-socializing forms of recreation (reading, listening or watching some form of media). At least that has been my main form of recreation for the last year. The only exception to this are the few social casual games I play on my phone thanks to Zynga. I have been going out to comedy shows a lot less and staying home a lot more. I guess I’ve become a bit of a social recluse and I guess I’m ok with that.

It seems I’m more comfortable spending my time escaping into mediums of fiction rather than meeting new people or making more social connections. I only have enough time to just do random status updates and lurk through my various news feeds/timelines/streams to get an idea of what’s going on and then I log out and go on about my day (or at least that’s the only time I’m willing to divulge). Then again, another reason I don’t seem to updated my accounts much is that I don’t do much besides work and then go home. There is only so many times you can post that mundanity.

Oh well, how about you? How do you use your social networks? Do you get more out of Twitter than just a news feed function? Let me know.

So Grateful for LastPass

With recent news about how LinkedIn got hacked, I’m sure most of us became concerned about our password safety online. I for one, do a bit of a half-ass job of making sure my accounts are safe. I come up with one difficult password and then use it on all my important accounts and then a really stupid easy one for my social network accounts (I mean who’s going to hack my FaceBook, right?). It seems every year or so another site is getting hacked and passwords are getting released. So far I’ve been very fortunate in that my accounts haven’t been hacked yet. At least not to my knowledge.

This last news story was the final bell toll that made me decide to take this issue a little more seriously. It can be a bit of a pain to come up with a multitude of random passwords, try to memorize them and if you want to be extra careful, change them every month or so. I am definitely bad at remembering things as it is. Thankfully, with LastPass this isn’t an issue. Just come up with one master password (you might want to change this every so often to be more secure) and let LastPass generate and save all the other random passwords for the rest of your online accounts.

I’ve known about LastPass for a number of years and didn’t think to use them until now. What’s more, they also have mobile apps so you can bring all your passwords with you on the go, with a $12 annual subscription (why keep an insecure text file lying around?). Thanks to LP, within the past few days, I got all my important accounts and social networks taken care of. I’d say about 80% of all my online accounts are done and the remaining 20% are sites I haven’t visited for a year or so which makes me feel pretty secure. I’ll definitely get to those in time but for now I can breathe easy.