Jeff Reifman http://jeffreifman.com Lookahead Consulting, Seattle, Washington Sat, 21 Feb 2015 22:05:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Hunger, Hope, and Healing: A Yoga Approach to Reclaiming Your Relationship to Your Body and Foodhttp://jeffreifman.com/2015/02/21/hunger-hope-healing-yoga-approach-reclaiming-relationship-body-food/ http://jeffreifman.com/2015/02/21/hunger-hope-healing-yoga-approach-reclaiming-relationship-body-food/#comments Sat, 21 Feb 2015 22:05:40 +0000 http://jeffreifman.com/?p=4206 Discounted through February 24th: Use offer code HHHPC14 at Shambala. One of my most inspired yoga teachers, Sarahjoy Marsh, has a book coming out this week. It’s called, Hunger, Hope, and Healing: A Yoga Approach to Reclaiming Your Relationship to Your Body and Food. I’ve trained with Sarahjoy for the past several years. She’s been a huge inspiration to me, helped ...

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hhh-coverDiscounted through February 24th: Use offer code HHHPC14 at Shambala.

One of my most inspired yoga teachers, Sarahjoy Marsh, has a book coming out this week. It’s called, Hunger, Hope, and Healing: A Yoga Approach to Reclaiming Your Relationship to Your Body and Food.

I’ve trained with Sarahjoy for the past several years. She’s been a huge inspiration to me, helped me heal and influenced my path and my writing. Her teachings have been helpful to me and she shares many of the same concepts in her new book.

Hunger, Hope and Healing is oriented to help people heal their relationship with food:

“Yoga philosophy and practice are increasingly being used therapeutically to help people overcome disordered eating patterns—like overeating, food addiction, and stress eating—and the resulting emotional distress they can cause. Sarahjoy Marsh offers a program using yoga to address food-centered behaviors and body image issues. She illuminates the nature of addiction and offers a methodical approach to recovery that is neither dogmatic nor rigid; rather, it is compassionate, hopeful, and deliberate.

Full of clear, empathic advice and photographs of the step-by-step practices, this book will help alleviate the isolation that people with food-oriented issues and body image problems feel; offer strategies for changing the behaviors; and give clear guidelines about the processes of recovery and the development of new life skills.”

You can also browse the book below:

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Un-truthful Carrier: Ten Lies T-Mobile Told Me About My Data Planhttp://jeffreifman.com/2015/02/21/un-truthful-carrier-ten-lies-t-mobile-told-data-plan/ http://jeffreifman.com/2015/02/21/un-truthful-carrier-ten-lies-t-mobile-told-data-plan/#comments Sat, 21 Feb 2015 08:31:20 +0000 http://jeffreifman.com/?p=4182 Update: T-Mobile Help says, “We do need to allow for some time for this ticket to be worked before we can take the next steps. In reviewing the account, I did see that your usage is not yet over 3 GB for this month, and that your data stash was added on 1/26. It does seem very odd that we’d show you being ...

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Update: T-Mobile Help says, “We do need to allow for some time for this ticket to be worked before we can take the next steps. In reviewing the account, I did see that your usage is not yet over 3 GB for this month, and that your data stash was added on 1/26. It does seem very odd that we’d show you being throttled without the usage to support that, and it’s my hope that this ticket will help provide us with more insight into what’s causing this. I’m going to follow up in your account on the morning of the 25th.

Last June, I wrote a post called “Yes, You Can Spend $750 in International Data Roaming in One Minute on AT&T” which quickly went viral. In it, I mentioned my plan to switch to T-Mobile which led to this tweet by T-Mobile CEO John Legere to his 250,000+ followers:

It turned out that AT&T was rolling up data traffic in time-based intervals that frequently combined U.S. and International usage. Then, they fraudulently demanded that customers pay for an international pass to have their data plan reactivated.

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Unfortunately, now it’s TMobile that’s having trouble tracking data; it seems to be related to the rollout of their new DataStash promotion. Just like AT&T, they’re blaming the customer. Here’s what happened.

data by monthIn January, I noticed that I’d exceeded my 3 GB data plan for the first time after five months of using less than 3 GB of data. I called in to learn of my options and had one of the best customer service experiences I’d had in a while. The tech acknowledged that T-Mobile had a bug affecting some accounts that failed to reset the data usage. He said the only way to fix it was to set my phone to unlimited usage in January. He told me to use as much data as I wanted in January and he set an account note to switch it back to 3 GB for February.

But just two weeks into my February plan, my phone went over 3 GB again and data usage began to slow. I was a bit suspicious and finally called in again today. I was greeted with one of the worst customer experiences I’ve had in many years.

I had to speak to three different customer support representatives: the first overseas, the second a U.S.-based tech specialist and the third his supervisor.

The Ten Lies T-Mobile Told Me About My Data Plan

Here are the ten lies they told me during the course of the more than hour long call:

1. The first two reps told me that there was never a bug affecting data usage. Eventually, the supervisor acknowledged that yes there had been (as I’d been told in January) but that it had been fixed.

2. They said maybe it was my fault – that I just didn’t realize how much data the iPhone 6 uses despite having had it on my account since September 2014 with four consecutive months under 3 GB.

3. They told me my phone had slowed because I’d already used my 3 GB plan data and 3.5GB of my 10 GB data stash (which activated at the end of January). But their website showed this was clearly not the case.

web-meter

What the T-Mobile Website Showed

Perhaps he mistakenly was combining the plan data and data stash usage (3.45 GB) but he continued to repeat that it was 3.5 GB from my data stash. Still later, he told me I had used up 6.5 GB of my data stash.

4. Then, they told me their website usage data was up to 3 days behind. When I told them that the website was already including most all of the data from today (2/20), my call was at noon, he said it was up to 24 hrs behind.

feb220

Data usage on 2/20 from T-Mobile Website during the call

Here’s what it says tonight:

tonight

and

tonight-and

5. Then, they told me that my entire data stash was gone because when I switched plans from Unlimited to 3 GB, I lost my data stash – ignoring my pleas that their January account tech had made the plan switch to fix the bug with billing in January.

6. They told me there might be a problem with my iPhone which they would help me troubleshoot. I told him I was hesitant to begin troubleshooting with someone who was quoting me statistics that didn’t reflect the reality shown on their website.

7. Then, the supervisor told me that perhaps I didn’t need to worry about this because the plan would reset tomorrow on the 21st because it’s a short month, not on the 26th as it always has. Here’s what the website showed:

billcycleends

What The T-Mobile Website Showed

8. Then, the supervisor told me my phone has only been using my DataStash (not my plan data). Again, the website:

plandata-stashdata

9. They told me that my phone has been using up my entire DataStash over the past several months. The DataStash didn’t begin until late January.

10. And perhaps the last lie came at the beginning of the call, a voice said the call would be recorded for quality assurance. The jury’s still out on that one.

The Issue Remains Unresolved

data-unavailThe issue remains unresolved. I have an open ticket with T-Mobile. One example of my downgraded data access showed up during the call – simultaneous phone and data usage was atypically blocked (see right). Even if I am over my plan data and into my DataStash, my data access shouldn’t be slowed or have reduced functionality. T-Mobile describes the DataStash as “10GB of Free 4G LTE data.”

There is a possibility that my data usage naturally increased in January and February but given what the January technician and the supervisor today said about the bug with data tracking, I’m still skeptical. And, of course my data increased in January because I knew I had unlimited data. Here’s a chart of my data by day from July to February for reference.

data by day

It also remains a bit frustrating to me that the carriers are allowed to bill you for data amounts without actually having to show you the URL endpoints related to each data packet. They say it’s for privacy – but perhaps it would be more clear for them to say, “We don’t think we can secure that data well enough to keep it private.”

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Most Frustrating iPhone Touch ID “Feature”http://jeffreifman.com/2015/02/19/frustrating-iphone-touch-id-feature/ http://jeffreifman.com/2015/02/19/frustrating-iphone-touch-id-feature/#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 23:36:43 +0000 http://jeffreifman.com/?p=4175 Clearly as we rely more on our devices, their security is more important than ever. But in the case of Apple’s iOS Touch ID hardware, I cannot understand for the life of me why Apple’s made security more paranoid than I will ever be. Every single time you switch off your phone, you’re required to log in with Touch ID again – ...

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Clearly as we rely more on our devices, their security is more important than ever. But in the case of Apple’s iOS Touch ID hardware, I cannot understand for the life of me why Apple’s made security more paranoid than I will ever be. Every single time you switch off your phone, you’re required to log in with Touch ID again – even if it’s just seconds later.

If you’re using Touch ID on iOS, this may be the most annoying screen you see repetitively throughout the day:

The Most Annoying iPhone Touch ID Screen

The Most Annoying iOS Screen

The problem is that Apple has turned off the option to delay screen lock when Touch ID is turned on. Below, on the left are the passcode lock options you see when using a numeric passcode. On the right, there are no options when Touch ID is turned on.

Touch ID Require Passcode Screen

Touch ID Require Passcode Screen

It’s possible, even likely, that I don’t understand the intricacies of Apple’s device security requirements or the scenario that changing this might open up to having my privacy violated. However, I can’t think of one. This seems to me an example of a product designer wanting to showcase a cool hardware feature by requiring that you use it all the time.

Touch ID is fast but it’s not instantaneous. If I close my phone or put my phone in my pocket 100 times a day, that’s 100 times I’m faced with the annoying Touch ID delay – even if I’d just had my phone open a moment ago, seconds ago or minutes ago. Apple, my life is just not that scary; I’m just not that paranoid.

The alternative I guess is to train myself to leave my phone on when I put it down or put it in my pocket. That’s just odd.

It’s a testament that Apple’s designed a device so essential to my everyday activities that I turn to it hundreds of times a day. But, please give me back the choice of having security timeouts with Touch ID or explain why you’ve taken this away.

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The Mac Equivalent of iPhone Kill Switchhttp://jeffreifman.com/2015/02/11/the-mac-equivalent-of-iphone-kill-switch/ http://jeffreifman.com/2015/02/11/the-mac-equivalent-of-iphone-kill-switch/#comments Wed, 11 Feb 2015 22:18:16 +0000 http://jeffreifman.com/?p=4159 Interesting stories today noting a drop in smartphone thefts with emergence of kill-switches. The Mac equivalent of the iPhone kill switch is setting a firmware password on your laptop or desktop. After having my laptop stolen in 2014, I wrote this popular post: How to Secure Your Mac From Potential Theft

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Interesting stories today noting a drop in smartphone thefts with emergence of kill-switches. The Mac equivalent of the iPhone kill switch is setting a firmware password on your laptop or desktop.

After having my laptop stolen in 2014, I wrote this popular post:
How to Secure Your Mac From Potential Theft

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How Seahawk are you Seattle? Sorry, not much.http://jeffreifman.com/2015/01/24/seahawk-seattle-sorry-not-much/ http://jeffreifman.com/2015/01/24/seahawk-seattle-sorry-not-much/#comments Sat, 24 Jan 2015 19:54:40 +0000 http://jeffreifman.com/?p=4140 I don’t really understand the attachment of Seattle’s notoriously fair-weather fans to the Seahawks. I thought it might be useful to review for you all how little in common you have with your beloved Seahawks. Sorry, it’s not much. The average Seahawk earned $1.26 million in 2014, you, not so much. The average salary for men in Seattle is $89,445 and for ...

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The Average Seattle Male and Russell Wilson

I don’t really understand the attachment of Seattle’s notoriously fair-weather fans to the Seahawks. I thought it might be useful to review for you all how little in common you have with your beloved Seahawks. Sorry, it’s not much.

The average Seahawk earned $1.26 million in 2014, you, not so much. The average salary for men in Seattle is $89,445 and for women, it’s $65,612. These players are the city’s 1%. Instead of rooting for them at games you should chant in protest: “We are the 99%” (you’re not the 12s).

Seattle is the fifth whitest city and getting whiter; we’re 69.5% white and the Seahawks are 70.4% African American.

Read my full story at GeekWire:
How Seahawk are you, Seattle? Sorry, not much

 

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The Easiest Way to Install WordPress: Now Even Betterhttp://jeffreifman.com/2015/01/09/easiest-way-install-wordpress-now-even-better/ http://jeffreifman.com/2015/01/09/easiest-way-install-wordpress-now-even-better/#comments Fri, 09 Jan 2015 22:47:11 +0000 http://jeffreifman.com/?p=4124 Some of you may remember my WordPress Quickstart offering. It’s an inexpensive, performance optimized installation of self-host WordPress that takes just a few minutes to activate. I’ve enhanced it now with a broader array of pre-installed themes and plugins. The WordPress Quickstart is the fastest, easiest way to launch a new WordPress site of any kind. This Quickstart is also performance optimized with Varnish ...

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Themes included in the self-host WordPress Quickstart

Themes included in the self-host WordPress Quickstart

Some of you may remember my WordPress Quickstart offering. It’s an inexpensive, performance optimized installation of self-host WordPress that takes just a few minutes to activate. I’ve enhanced it now with a broader array of pre-installed themes and plugins. The WordPress Quickstart is the fastest, easiest way to launch a new WordPress site of any kind.

This Quickstart is also performance optimized with Varnish and W3 Total Cache (W3TC) as described in my popular tutorial; with the quickstart image there’s no need to work through the tutorial step by step.

Here are some of the latest enhancements:

  • Key plugins preinstalled now include all of these: Akismet, Broken Link Checker, Contact Form 7, Disqus Comment System, Duplicator, Google Analytics by Yoast, Google Authenticator, Jetpack by WordPress.com, Mailgun, Official StatCounter Plugin, VaultPress, W3 Total Cache, WordPress Importer, WordPress SEO by Yoast
  • Themes preinstalled now include: MySiteMyWay’s Construct Theme ($35 license not included), Fastr, Launch Effect, Meris, Minnow, Tonal and the standard WordPress themes: TwentyFifteen, TwentyFourteen, TwentyThirteen and TwentyTwelve

Learn more | Order Now for $25

If you’d prefer a managed hosting solution for WordPress, I recommend WPEngine. WPEngine offers economical, high performance managed WordPress hosting for those that don’t want to self-host.

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Amazon’s Seattle Headcount to Nearly Triple in Five Yearshttp://jeffreifman.com/2014/12/04/amazons-seattle-headcount-nearly-triple-five-years/ http://jeffreifman.com/2014/12/04/amazons-seattle-headcount-nearly-triple-five-years/#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2014 07:45:39 +0000 http://jeffreifman.com/?p=4089 Shortly after ‘Amageddon': How Amazon’s culture is taking a toll on Seattle’s future went viral over at GeekWire, Amazon dropped a bombshell. It’s building enough office space to nearly triple its Seattle headcount by 2019. If you like the current dose of Amazon on our city, how would you like two more doses of equal size? Well, it’s coming our way. ...

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Shortly after ‘Amageddon': How Amazon’s culture is taking a toll on Seattle’s future went viral over at GeekWire, Amazon dropped a bombshell. It’s building enough office space to nearly triple its Seattle headcount by 2019. If you like the current dose of Amazon on our city, how would you like two more doses of equal size? Well, it’s coming our way.

During Thanksgiving week, GeekWire and the Puget Sound Business Journal reported that Amazon plans to have 10 million square feet of office space within five years – enough for 71,500 employees (typically, tech companies budget 140 square feet per worker).  In May, I estimated that the company currently hosts 24,669 employees in Seattle, a bit below the current capacity of its existing 4.1 million square feet of office space. That means that Amazon’s building capacity to have 2.9 times the number of employees in Seattle than it currently has.

headcount

To get a sense of what Seattle may be like in five years, consider all the impacts on Seattle I wrote about in “Amageddon” and triple them – don’t worry, the next Bolt Bus to Portland probably still has space.

Traffic and Diversity Nightmares

The two things that most concern me about Amazon’s plans are its impact on Seattle traffic and on diversity:

1. Traffic: GeekWire reported that Amazon says “it needs developers to build 30 new residential buildings in and around downtown Seattle, with at least 200 units each.” Their hope may be that the majority of these new employees will be able to walk and bus to work but I find the scale of proposed growth shocking. Seattle currently has the fourth worst traffic in the nation and there is very little new transit planned to address much of the inner city core or east – west routes. The city and the state need to step up and revitalize Seattle transportation development now.

office-space

 

2. Gender: The best estimates I’ve found for Amazon’s gender ratio in technology hiring is 75% male via Payscale.com, which is also in line with Microsoft’s. Since Amazon refuses to disclose the gender makeup of its technology workforce, I trust this estimate more than Amazon’s 63% disclosure, which represents its massive worldwide workforce e.g. including warehouse workers. So, if you’re already concerned about Amazon’s impact on the gender ratio in Seattle, imagine what two more waves of this level of imbalance will do to the city.

Here’s how Amazon’s projected 2019 headcount would compare to today’s Microsoft and Boeing, which are no longer rapidly expanding:

company

Is This an Amazon Bubble?

Certainly, Amazon could build out the office space capacity and not fill it within five years. The company has a huge backlog of open job positions in Seattle and can’t seem to find people to hire quickly enough. But, given the company is currently under fire for its prolonged failure to turn a profit, one must wonder for how much longer its shareholders will tolerate this rate of expansion.

One future for Seattle is that Amazon succeeds and the city resembles San Francisco. An overabundance of wealthy white males and a colossal traffic mess. Another possibility is a plethora of empty office towers and bankrupt developers that cast an economic shadow of gloom over the city for decades. The former is probably more likely – but it’s clear that the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train of growth which Seattle is ill-prepared for.

 

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