Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Too Awesome A Picture Not To be Shared

Just a quick picture share from Brazil: behold the beauty of this Triple BK Stacker & Cheddar fries with a Double Whopper with cheese in the background! As this meal earned me the Foursquare mayorship of the Burger King joint in Guaruja (SP, Brazil), I can safely assume that I am the Burger King Of The World.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday Burger Sunday Brazilian Edition

As some of you might have guessed, I currently am on vacation in
Brazil. It already broke my heart last week not to be able to
participate in the usual Sunday Burger challenge, so I had to do
something about it this week. As desperate times call for desperate
measures, I give you this picture taken at a McDonald's joint located
on the Imigrantes highway. I stopped there on my way to Guaruja, a
world famous destination for Burger lovers with its Burger King
restaurant located right on the beach!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Prepaid iPhone Plans In Brazil

As I am spending this Holiday season in Brazil, you can only imagine that I did some research in the area of prepaid sim cards with unlimited data. The best thing I came up with was Tim Brasil. They sell prepaid cards for R$ 10 (around US$ 5), and you can buy additional credits in grocery stores by increments of R$ 6. Data connections are charged R$ 0.50 per day for unlimited usage, though speed is capped if you use more than 10 Mb in 24 hours or 300 Mb in 30 days. Voice call prices are kind of hard to understand but basically if you call another Tim number or make a local call to a landline, you will be charged R$ 0.25 per call no matter how long you stay on the line. Calls to other carriers are more expensive and charged by the minute (R$ 1.39 per minute if I got that right).
Using a jailbroken iPhone with MyWi works with the aforementioned plan and there are no APN settings to tweak. Since Tim won't sell microsim cards under that plan, you'd better bring a sim card cutter along if you plan on using an unsimlocked iPhone 4.
You may also want to check the sim card you're buying as some don't allow 3G connectivity. Only Tim owned stores seem to be selling those. Resellers don't (and unfortunately I could not find a Tim owned store where I am located)!
It is a no brainer for me as the 300 Mb that I'm probably gonna use in the next 2 weeks will end up costing me less than R$ 25 (= US$ 12) with some phone calls and text messages included in that price. If you compare this to an estimated charge of € 4000 (€ 13/Mb) by Orange France for the same usage, it looks like the best deal ever!

Please also note that you'll need a CPF number to buy a sim card (so you might ask a Brazilian friend to go to the store with you)!

If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment and I'll be happy to help.

Fine Food Up In The Air

As much as I like to criticize France, I must admit that no other airline, in my experience, serves better food in business class than Air France. Admittedly, my French taste buds might be biased but still, any serious frequent flyer should at least give AF a chance! The food almost makes up for the hassle associated with flying AF. Well, that's at least what I told myself up in the air while enjoying my meals, just until I reached my final destination, only to realize that my checked-in bags hadn't made it all the way to Brazil. Fortunately, this came as no surprise to me as I am quite used to this as a top-tier AF frequent flyer!
Anyway, as to the pictures above:
1) Starters: Foie Gras & Salmon with Nicolas Feuillate Blanc de Blancs Champagne: awesome!
2) Entree: Beef Fillet with Bearnaise sauce: the meat was delicious though a bit overcooked.
Cheese: well, you just gotta love it!
3) Dessert: Speculos flavored ice cream & grapes. Coffee. I'm still waiting to be served the Pear Eau-de-Vie that I ordered (and was not offered as it unfortunately is the case too often with AF). I'm confident AF planned to serve it upon the delivery of my bags at my in-laws in 3 to 4 days!
4) 2nd meal: Grisons meat for starters, Beef as main course and Orange for dessert. Once again, a very good meal though my meat was once again a bit overcooked.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Das Unheimliche With A Vengeance

Every once in a while, my mind drifts away and ends up thinking about patients that I haven't seen for a long time, wondering how they are now doing and if I ended up being of any help to them. More often than not, these patients tend to call or show up at my practice in a matter of weeks. I must say that their timely appearance always triggers a feeling that Freud best described as "Unheimliche" or Uncanny in English.

Since seeing again a former patient usually means they are not doing well, I now tend to dread those times when I think about patients.

So, are my thoughts responsible for my former patients not doing well or can their pain somewhat trigger my thoughts? Unfortunately and more realistically, I have to assume it is just a coincidence!

Still, can you believe that a patient I last saw four years ago and thought about last week showed up this morning at my practice?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Burger Sunday Holiday Season Edition: The Best Of Two Worlds

To celebrate the coming Holiday Season, I made a special burger tonight featuring the best of two worlds: the beauty of the Burger from the New World & Gourmet ingredients from the Old World. I must say that this simple looking burger was fabulous. The combination of Pepper Mustard, Foie Gras, Truffles and Meat was just perfect! YOU SHOULD ALL TRY IT.

Of course, I had to have a regular burger to establish a baseline for my comparison. So here's a closer look at my meal:

I wish to thank all my friends that joined the Sunday Burger Challenge tonight. Many thanks to Steph & Typedown in particular!

More to come next week! Stay iTuned!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cheating On Adam Richman With Fast Food Sushi

Many thanks to @Sebastien_Lopez for forwarding this great video to me. I must say my allegiance to the Great Adam Richman & Man Vs Food is now in jeopardy. The concept of mixing fast food with sushi seems, to me, like the greatest idea mankind has ever come up with (way ahead of Quantum Physics, Psychoanalysis & General Relativity). I can't way to get home and try this as it might bring balance to the force of the Sunday Burger Challenge.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Orange France: YOU SUCK

I, candidly, called Orange France Customer Service this morning in order to activate one of their Data Roaming Plans. As usual, the plan I chose ended up being activated right away although I had asked to activate it on a specific date. Upon my second call to fix this, I was promised everything would be taken care of, only to realize later on that the person I talked to had done nothing. My last contact with them resulted in Orange telling that due to the fact that they had made a mistake, my Data Roaming Plan could not and would not be activated at the date that I originally asked. That's it. No apologies and no attempt to fix their original mistake.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday Burger Sunday December 2010 Edition

In my ongoing quest to reach Burger Xanadu, I am proud to present to you tonight's attempt at Burger Heaven! These burgers tasted as good as they looked! I used the usual ingredients: Onion, Tomato, Iceberg Lettuce, Bacon, Ground Meat and Hellmann's Mayonnaise. What actually set these burgers apart was the use of Louisiana Gold Horseradish Pepper Sauce and Gouda cheese. I used the latter in an attempt to add a good dose of absurdity to my recipe just because I will soon connect through Amsterdam on my way to Brazil. What better way to memorize a travel itinerary than with the composition of a hamburger? Encoded in the other ingredients are the date and time of travel, seat reservations and the answer to the question of life, the universe and everything.

Who needs a flash drive when they have a burger?

The Viber Effect: Resistance Is Futile

When it comes to VoIP apps on the iPhone, there are many options available. The same can be said for Instant Messaging apps that mimic text messaging without a fee. As a new VoIP app named "Viber" was announced recently, I found myself reluctant to install it as I already had at least five alternatives on my iPhone. And here I am today, talking about this app that I ended up downloading yesterday. When it comes to communication apps, usability and looks aren't necessarily the most important things although that's what would jump in mind if you were asked out of the blue. The thing is that it's all about what your friends use. And when it comes to Viber, it looks like they have a winner app. I, indeed, received so many invites from friends to install it that I ended up doing it!

I must say this app is well executed, fast and efficient. And you gotta love the "à la" Whatsapp no registration needed process as Viber uses your phone number to identify you (and verifies it by sending you a code via a text message).

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Is Project Magazine The New Wired?

I've just purchased the first issue of Project Magazine on my iPad and must say Me Like It! Granted, it shares a common look and feel with Wired Magazine but it is a bit more aimed at a mainstream audience than Wired. Checking out the cover page animation is absolutely worth the price of the first issue! And you gotta love the idea of an iPad-only magazine!

Dunhill Wants Your Wallet To Go Biometric

Is this just another Luxury Wallet? Well the answer is Yes and No. This beautiful wallet is a luxury item priced at US$ 825 but it sets itself apart from the competition by implementing a nice geek factor: Biometrics. As a matter of fact, only the touch of your fingerprint can open it. In my book, this makes the Dunhill QGK0169 a must have. You can even pair it with your bluetooth phone in order to receive an alarm should this precious piece of technology stray away from your immediate vicinity!

I'm still trying to figure out what Biometroc refers to in the product description though. Maybe something even cooler?

Note: I wish they mentioned how many credit cards this wallet can hold.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Disappointing Nasa Conference In 11 Hours

Nasa recently scheduled a conference on Astrobiology that will take place today at 2pm EST. Rumor has it that despite leaks claiming they will announce evidence of Extra-Terrestrial life, they will merely focus on a discovery that showed that some micro-organisms are capable of using arsenic instead of phosphorus as a means of storing and using energy (think "ATA" instead of "ATP"). This finding is nevertheless very interesting as it paves the way for new approaches in the search for extra-terrestrial life.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Burger King On The Beach In Brazil

View Larger Map

I'm really looking forward to my Christmas trip to Brazil. Among other things, I'll get to spend a week in Guarujá, SP which is a very nice city by the Atlantic Ocean in São Paulo state. It may not be known to tourists but it is a popular destination for Paulistas (São Paulo residents). Guarujá may qualify as heaven on earth as its largest shopping mall "La Plage" located right on the beach is home to a Burger King! Sea, Burger & Sun: The Perfect Holiday combination. Another way to put it would be: A Burger King in a shopping mall with a French name in Brazil!

Stay tuned for more (Burger) pictures when I get there! Until then, feel free to wander the streets of Guarujá on Google street view!

Psychiatry 101: Misconceptions About Psychiatric Disorders

It seems the media and perhaps the collective unconscious carry many misconceptions about psychiatric disorders. As a psychiatrist, it often is very difficult to explain to people that what they believe is absolutely wrong as I've heard so many times that they'd rather believe what they see on TV than a highly trained professional. Notice that I chose to illustrate this post with a picture of Freud who wasn't, contrary to what most people believe, a psychiatrist: he was a neurologist!

So here are a few facts that everyone should know:

- Antidepressant medicines aren't addictive. 90% of them do not have a sedative effect. Anti-anxiety medicines and sleeping pills are, on the contrary, addictive. Antidepressant treatments are long treatments. In most cases, they have to be taken over at least a six-month period and sometimes up to five years or more. This is to prevent relapse and it is very important. More than half of the population will stop taking their treatment when they feel better. This is a mistake and it will lead to relapse.

- Multiple Personality Disorder (or Dissociative Identity Disorder) and Schizophrenia aren't the same thing. As a matter of fact, it seems everyone believes that patients suffering from schizophrenia have multiple personalities. This is wrong. Multiple Personality Disorder is classified amongst dissociative disorders which are considered a form of neurosis whereas schizophrenia is a psychosis. Dissociative Identity Disorder is mostly found in North America, it is a culture-dependent disorder (meaning it will only appear in some cultures as long as people believe it exists... Hollywood certainly played a role in the advent of this disorder in North America).

- Patients suffering from schizophrenia aren't dangerous. Serial killers aren't schizophrenic. They're usually either psychopaths or perverts.

- "My cousin used to take tons of pills. That is why she was sick". Honestly, do you believe that a physician would prescribe a treatment to make their patients ill? Do you believe that such a treatment would be sold in pharmacies? Do you believe that med schools would train students on how to make people ill? What you usually see is the tip of the iceberg: a relative who is not well and takes psychotropic medicine. Believe me, they would be doing far worse if they did not take any treatment. Sometimes treatments aren't 100% effective and some cases are more complicated than others. We, psychiatrists, as any other physician are not almighty and can't cure everyone. Would you say that a diabetic has high blood sugar because they take insulin?

That's it for today! More to come soon! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

If Hamburgers Were Drinks They Would be Martinis

Homer's (I'm not talking about Homer Simpson!) poems refer to the food and drinks of gods as Ambrosia and Nectar. For us mere mortals & meat lovers, hamburgers might be the next best thing to Ambrosia. In the same line of thinking, Martinis might be the latest human attempt at competing with Nectar. Though very different, Hamburgers and Martinis have a lot in common. They both seem very easy to prepare and some people might be reluctant to consider them as "serious" food and drinks for the connoisseur. I, however, believe that they both are a lot more complex than meets the eye. There are probably millions of ways to prepare a good hamburger and the same goes for Martinis.

Originally, the Dry Martini Cocktail was named Martinez but its evolution over the years led to the advent of the now famous (dry) Martini. Though not popular everywhere in the world (try ordering one in France and you'll be stuck with vermouth on the rocks), it is becoming increasingly known. It looks very easy to prepare but the amount of possibilities make every single Martini a unique piece of art.

There are six basic ingredients to a perfect Martini: Extra Dry Vermouth, Gin or Vodka, Olives, Ice Cubes, a shaker or lack of it and a Martini Glass:

1) Extra Dry Vermouth: you can use half a spoon of it, or just wash the ice cubes with it or just pour it in the glass and get rid of it. Most American bartenders will actually not use it at all.

2) Gin or Vodka: that's up to you. The Original Martini is made with Gin. I like Vodka better though. Keep in mind that there are so many brands of high-end Vodkas nowadays that choosing the Vodka alone can be mind-boggling. As for me, I recommend to use Grey Goose Vodka.

3) Olives: stuffed or not stuffed? That is the question! My preference goes to blue cheese stuffed olives but, once again, it really is up to you.

4) Ice Cubes: Some say that the water used to make the ice cubes or even their shape can change the taste of the drink.

5) To shake or to stir? Once again, there is no definite answer to this question. A shaken Martini will be colder but will have less flavor. And don't forget that some people also argue about which shaker to use! My preference goes to the Boston Shaker!

6) Martini Glass: Make no mistake about it: if you don't have a real Martini Glass then you shouldn't waste your time preparing this cocktail. You can't serve a Martini in anything else than a Martini Glass.

That's it for this Martini 101 class! More to come soon! Stay tuned!

Food Porn & Cheese Bukkake At Their Finest

What better way to represent food porn than with this beautiful Philly Cheesesteak that can be had at Van Dyke Cafe in South Beach, Miami. The cheese Bukkake explosion featured on this plate couldn't be linked to anything else than food porn!

Carnegie Deli's Hot Pastrami Sandwich Review

This Hot Pastrami Sandwich is, without a doubt, the best I've had. Granted I only had 3 in my entire life but still! The juiciness of the Pastrami combined with mayo (yes I love mayo) made this the quintessential sandwich. Carnegie Deli in New York boasts being Woody Allen's favorite sandwich joint and I must say my taste buds seem to agree with his! The place is full of tourists but the Pastrami is worth the hassle! So, next time you're in New York, just go there!

Barton G. & The Nitrogen Martini

Can you imagine a better Martini than this one?

It can be had in Miami at Barton G. if you order the in-Sation liquid nitrogen Martini : Nitrogenized Absolut Vanilla and Rose Petal Nectar Topped with Champagne!

Breakfast Focus

As you might have guessed, the foodist in me isn't indifferent to the beauty and taste of a perfectly executed omelet for breakfast. You are thus welcome to drool over the pictures of a Delano-made Spanish Tortilla above or three-egg omelet below!

Let us not forget to mention Johnny Rockets and their breakfast special:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Week-End In Baden-Baden

Some people take pictures of buildings and nature when they go on vacation or out of town for a week-end. As for me, I believe that food pictures are the best way to remember a fine vacation! As I was in Baden-Baden (Germany) last week-end, I wanted to share with the world a few pictures. So, check-out the herring sandwich above and the lovely wraps below.

As for desserts:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Burger Research

I know this may come as a disappointment to my readers but I was forced to cancel today's Homemade Burger Challenge for the sake of research. It appears that I now I have competition in the field and in an effort to up the game, I went back to the basics with a selection of McDonald's sandwiches for me to sample. Make no mistake, this is serious business. I know it's a dirty job but someone's got to do it and as JFK once kind of said: "We choose to do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard".

The Burger challenge is about to get a whole different level! I feel inspired! Stay tuned!

The Wrath Of Ronald

I believe it is no coincidence that I was served this meal right after I strayed from the path. It can't be interpreted as anything else than The Wrath Of Ronald.

Forgive Me Father Ronald For I Have Sinned

For a brief moment following the gustative pleasure associated with
the Star Trek style transportation of this Bratwurst from my hands to
my stomach, I questioned my allegiance to the Almighty Burger. I have
now come to my senses though still shaken by the taste of this awesome

May Ronald McDonald's, The King and Colonel Sanders have mercy on my soul!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Scanner Pro iPhone App

If you sometimes miss having a scanner handy when on the go, there's an iPhone app for that: Scanner Pro! It works beautifully! I have nothing more to add!

Bouygues Telecom France Prepaid iPad Data Plan: #Fail

The French mobile carrier rumored to have the best customer service offers an iPad specific prepaid data plan. You can get unlimited data for a day for €6 and unlimited data for a month for €29.90. The only problem is that their tutorial on how to create an account after purchasing an iPad specific sim card is erroneous at best. Once you have purchased and installed their micro-sim card in your iPad, Bouygues Telecom instructs you to download their iPad app from the App Store although there is no iPad specific Bouygues Telecom app there. There's an iPhone specific app but it is not functional.

The €9.90 sim card gives you 2 days of unlimited data. After that, you'll have to create an account using Safari (as their iPhone app does not exist): any url entered in Safari when connected to the cellular network will direct you to the carrier specific page in order to create an account. The only problem is that it fails every time you attempt to do so. So, you're basically stuck calling their 1034 line where, apparently, nobody has heard of their iPad specific offers. Great for the best customer service carrier in France!

The TV Show The Event Absurdly Explained

I've been watching the TV show The Event and desperately trying to make sense of it. How could Dr. Kerry Weaver be in charge of a group aliens while the deceased US military pilot Alex Prince is now President of the USA? Moreover, how could, Dalia, President Hassan's widow, try and coerce Dr. Weaver's son into betraying her? How could deceased lawyer Ray Fiske be the American President special advisor? So many questions that desperately need to be addressed for me to understand the storyline! Please help!

The Most Depressing Thought Of The Day Courtesy Of The Smiths

This song pretty much sums up life on earth with this sentence about people: "They were born and then they lived and then they died". The full lyrics:

A dreaded sunny day 
so I meet you at the cemetery gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side

A dreaded sunny day 
so I meet you at the cemetery gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side
while Wilde is on mine

So we go inside and we gravely read the stones
all those people all those lives
where are they now?
with the loves and hates
and passions just like mine
they were born 
and then they lived and then they died
seems so unfair
and I want to cry

You say: "ere thrice the sun done salutation to the dawn"
and you claim these words as your own
but I've read well, and I've heard them said
a hundred times, maybe less, maybe more

If you must write prose and poems
the words you use should be your own
don't plagiarise or take "on loans"
there's always someone, somewhere
with a big nose, who knows
and who trips you up and laughs
when you fall
who'll trip you up and laugh
when you fall

You say: "ere long done do does did"
words which could only be your own 
and then you then produce the text
from whence was ripped some dizzy whore, 1804

A dreaded sunny day 
so let's go where we're happy
and I meet you at the cemetery gates
Oh Keats and Yeats are on your side

A dreaded sunny day 
so let's go where we're wanted 
and I meet you at the cemetery gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side
but you lose because Wilde is on mine 

Artefact From The Future

Just a nice artefact brought back from my latest (or earliest?) time travel!

Luxury Travel 101

Everybody wants to indulge once in a while and some are smarter, or let's say more informed than others, when it comes to Luxury Travel. So, here are my best tips as to how to spend as little as possible for as great an experience as possible.

First, you should check Flyertalk out. It is one the oldest and best online community for everything travel-related. You will find forums with detailed and accurate information from seasoned travelers. Whether you're looking for information about The American Express Centurion Card, Frequent Flyer Programs, upgrade deals or budget hotels in Bhutan, you will find the answer there. The community is very friendly and whenever I post a question, I usually get an answer within minutes! I can and must say that Flyertalk has changed my traveling habits and it is, in my opinion, the best information source when it comes to travel. They also organize "Dos" where fellow Flyertalkers meet. There are Dos almost every week on every continent! I've been to some and always had a great time with great people!

If you're 2000 miles shy of renewing your platinum status and need to find a mileage run deal, Flyertalk's mileage run forum is the place to go. I know it sounds crazy to fly just to renew one's status but believe me, many people do it... And I must confess I've done it too.

Thanks to Flyertalk's tips, I've been a Flying Blue (Air France & KLM frequent flyer program) Platinum member for 5 years and I'm now 5 years away from reaching lifetime Platinum status. Thanks again to Flyertalk, I fly most of my long-haul flights in Business class. There, unexpectedly, is a flood of business class deals around. It only takes some knowledge and time to find them. I've come to the point that I see this exercise as a challenge and even enjoy doing it for me, my family and sometimes friends.

Keep in mind that you can subscribe to Flyertalk forums and receive daily email alerts on deals and tips that you might be interested in. Sometimes there are crazy deals: like less than USD 100 for transcontinental flights.

As a demonstration to what I have learned on Flyertalk, here are some tips for travelers based in Strasbourg (France) as to how to find the cheapest airfares:
- Check for fares departing from Strasbourg (SXB), Mulhouse (MLH), Basel (BSL), Frankfurt (FRA) and Stuttgart (STR). Flying from BSL is sometimes cheaper than from MLH although it is the same airport and flight and the crazy thing is that you might also accrue more miles!
- Check different airlines and alliances. Keep in mind not to trust your instincts: flying Air France is usually cheaper departing from Germany than from France. Same for Lufthansa that is usually cheaper departing from France than from Germany (Major airlines try to attract foreign customers with competitive fares).
- Check the same itineraries on different websites or even the same website but based in a different country. Expedia US is usually cheaper than Expedia France for instance. Same for the carriers. You will sometimes find different fares if you check Air France US compared to Air France French or German website. You will find the best British Airways fares on American Airlines website!

The Holy Grail Of All Luxury Travel Questions: How Can I Be Upgraded On A Long-Haul? Simple answer: it is very unlikely that you will be unless you hold top-tier status with the carrier that you're flying. And even so, it is still rare. To maximize your chances of being upgraded: don't ask for it, be nice to the check-in agent & dress smart. There is really no other working tip. Be aware that 99% of upgrades on long-haul flights come when one of the classes of travel is full or overbooked (if Economy is overbooked, the carrier will upgrade passengers to Business class on Premium Economy depending on their status & paid fare).

Other noteworthy websites:
- Jaunted: The Pop Culture Travel Guide
- Vacationist: exclusive offers for members
BonVoyou: great deals
- Jetsetters: great deals
- Premium Travel News: Business Class Fare Alerts
- ExpertFlyer: Very useful tools (award availability, fare buckets etc...) for subscribers
- TripTrace: more of a social network travel tool
- Trip Advisor: Great review website
- Yelp: Great review iPhone app and social network
- Urban Daddy: great website & daily newsletter on new trendy venues to discover. They have a cool iPhone app!
- Kayak: Fare Comparison engine
- Orbitz: Travel booking website
- Expedia: Travel booking website

iVoyeur: The Eyes Wide Shut Social Network

Thanks to Urban Daddy's daily newsletter, I was informed yesterday that a new social network for swingers appropriately named iVoyeur (CLICK ONLY IF YOU'RE 18 OR OLDER) was the latest hyped and cool thing around. Urban Daddy calls it the Eyes Wide Shut social network! As I registered, I was disappointed to see that the user could use the password of their choice. I thought "Fidelio" would be the mandatory password for all users and as for a second password... Well, as you know, there is no second password and no real way of redeeming oneself.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

North & South Korea: Study War No More

North & South Korea exchanged fire earlier today and the situation could rapidly escalate into a full global war with China supporting North Korea and the US and Russia supporting South Korea. Please let us all join in positive thinking in order to avoid such a disastrous outcome. May South Korea's giant burger let both sides realize that burgers are better than wars and that all Koreans would be better off sharing a giant burger together. Let them also teach their children to Study War No More.

Troubleshooting FindMyiPhone In iOS 4.2.1

After updating to iOS 4.2.1, I was puzzled to get a "cannot access xxxx@mac.com, pleave verify settings" error message on all my iDevices. As my MobileMe email address & bookmarks were working, it took me a while to figure out why I got this error message. As I soon realized that the FindMyiPhone feature wasn't functional, I began trying to figure out why. After restarting all my iDevices multiple times and checking on the MobileMe website if they could be located, I finally figured out what to do. The solution was actually quite simple as I just went to my MobileMe account settings, deactivated FindMyiPhone and then turned it back on on all my iDevices. I haven't seen the "cannot access xxxx@mac.com, pleave verify settings" since and FindMyiPhone is now fully functional! I hope this will help others!

Monday, November 22, 2010

iOS 4.2.1 8C148 Is Available: Important Microsoft Exchange Information

Apple's just released iOS 4.2.1 for all compatible iDevices (iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, iPad, iPod Touch 2nd Generation, iPod Touch 3rd Generation & iPod Touch 4th Generation). The build is 8C148 which is the one that was released to developers last Thursday.

Microsoft Exchange users, be aware that upon upgrading, it is very likely that the default Contact account will be set to "On My iPhone" instead of your Microsoft Exchange Contacts. Make sure you change it back to Microsoft Exchange Contacts in the settings if you use your Exchange account as your primary contact database. Make also sure to go to Contacts, tap "back" and choose your Microsoft Exchange Contacts to be displayed instead of "All". This will ensure that new created contacts are synced with your Exchange account.

Don't forget to re-enable FaceTime if you're using an iPhone 4 or iPod Touch 4th Generation.

That's it for the tips! I'm now anxiously awaiting the release of the Apple TV 4.1 firmware to try out Airplay!

Apple TV 4.1 firmware update is live!
iPhone 3GS 4.2.1 firmware update isn't the same build than the one that was seeded to developers last week. The build  released today is 8C148a.
All other builds are the same than the ones released to developers last week (8C148)!

The Most Quintessential Word: Sliders

It is clear to me that "Sliders" is the most quintessential word as it relates to both hamburgers and alternate universes. I can't think of any other word to better represent the essence of the universe and the best available food on earth.

Prepaid iPhone Data Plan Deals In France & Germany

For the tech-savvy traveler that doesn't want to spend thousands of dollars on data roaming charges, the best option is to go prepaid when traveling abroad.

The best deal in France if you have an unlocked iPhone is to buy a prepaid "SFR La Carte" sim card. They have a €24 plan valid for 20 days with unlimited data and €10 calling credit.

One of the best deals in Germany is blau.de which offers a €9.90 plan with 1Gb of data valid for 30 days or a €19.90 plan with unlimited data valid for 30 days. Blau sim cards can be purchased in supermarkets and can even be activated while roaming outside Germany!

How To Avoid Paying For Wifi Internet Access In Hotels

Last week, I wrote a post on how to avoid paying outrageous data roaming charges on your cell phone bill. This week, I'm writing about how to avoid spending a ridiculous amount of money for wifi Internet access in hotel rooms. In fact, many high-end hotels charge a lot of money for wifi Internet access (it can be up to 30 euros per day in France). An easy way to circumvent that problem is to subscribe to a 3G Internet access plan using either a 3G USB key or a portable 3G wifi router such as the famous Mifi router or a Huawei router for instance. Portable 3G wifi routers have the advantage of creating a mobile hotsport everywhere you go and allowing usually up to 5 devices to connect to them at the same time. This can be handy if you're planning on using multiple computers or a computer and an iPad or even an iPhone.

Subscribing to such a service in your home country can save you a lot of money. But it gets even better when you're abroad as many carriers now offer prepaid data plans. So, for a little bit more than what you would pay for a device + plan at home, you can get a 3G USB key and a month of relatively unlimited data (from 2 to 6 Gb depending on the country) for usually less than USD150 with no contract or commitment. When you do the math, it's a lot cheaper than paying for in-room wifi Internet access if you're gonna stay in a hotel for more than a week. I tested this myself last year on a 3-week trip to Australia where for less than AU$ 250, I purchased a Telstra USB key with 6Gb of data for 30 days. This saved me a lot of money and worked in remote areas where hotels had lousy dial-up Internet access but great 3G reception!

An even smarter thing to do is to use an old unlocked iPhone 3G (or buy one on eBay). After jailbreaking it and purchasing the MyWy Jailbroken application for USD 19.99, you'll be able to use your phone as a Mifi router. Hence, you'll be able to use any iPhone compatible prepaid data plan with your computer(s), iPad(s) and even other iPhone(s) by using this jailbroken iPhone 3G as a mobile wifi Hotpsot. Be sure to pack extra batteries as intensive use can drain the iPhone battery in 2 to 3 hours. Nevertheless, this solution totally rocks! Be sure to check if the carrier you plan on using allows such use beforehand though.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Bagel Sunday

Should I ever be transported to an alternate universe where Hamburgers are replaced by Bagels and Bagels by Hamburgers or vice-versa or the opposite, this is what I would have on Sunday evenings!

More info on how to get your hands on the bagels pictured above here.

Social Media Gurus Aren't Psychologists

Everyday, I read so-called Social Media Gurus expressing their thoughts and ideas about the psychological impacts of social media on people. Believe me, there is a lot of crap that has been said on this subject. How can these people think they have any kind of knowledge in Psychology? Most of them are Business School graduates. As far as I know, their training has nothing to do with Psychology or Sociology. So how can they make us believe that what they're thinking or saying is relevant? They are certainly good at developing a business and coming up with new ideas but when it comes to figuring out the profound psychological impacts of their inventions on people, they'd better let professionals deal with it.

Would you consider asking a psychologist or psychiatrist for financial advice? I guess not. So how can we ask entrepreneurs their take on psychology?

In the same line of thinking, many financial analysts talk about the psychological factors involved in the recent global financial crisis. I'm surprised that nobody has ever thought about asking a psychologist or psychiatrist about that. Once again, I wouldn't dare proclaim myself an expert in law or finance, so why would anyone think that they have any knowledge whatsoever in Psychology when they have never studied it?

Being rich or successful doesn't grant oneself instant total knowledge about everything. It, however, seems that most journalists think it is the case. Isn't it absurd?