Why will Siri not remember my relatives?

My brother got the iPhone 4s a few weeks before me… when he utilizes the voice recognition software built into it, called Siri, all he has to do is say… “text my brother what are you up too”… and Siri creates a  text message to Tim (me) saying “what are you up too”… it remembers his relation ships so it knows who his brother, wife, mother, etc. are… However when I got my iPhone 4s I would say “text my brother hello”… because my phone is new, Siri would ask something along the lines

“who is your brother?”

I would reply “Matt”, and Siri in return would say

“would you like me to remember this?”… and of course I said

“sure” and Siri would reply in her most devious voice



The problem I was having though, was that she was not remembering Matt was my brother… even though I told her to remember it countless times. I finally figured out the reason and though I would post it here for others incase they are having the same problems and decide to google it.


My situation was that my email runs off of Microsoft Exchange (which for those that do not know many many corperations use for their email  servers… which also links up to my own calendar and own set of contacts stored on my exchange server that links with my iPhone. The problem is that default exchange contacts only has association fields of manager and assistant…. and you can not to my knowledge easily create custom association fields like “wife” or “Brother” in my case. So once I figured that out the solution was easy… I simply went to my contacts on my phone… browsed to exchange contacts… and deleted the contact for my self…. then i created a new contact for my self, but instead of doing it with all my other contacts on my exchange server… the one for myself resides souly on my iphone… not related to my exchange server. Now that I have a new contact of myself on my phone I can use any of the association or related fields pre=programed…or even create new ones…


The easiest way to do this after you create the new contact on your phone, rather than through your exchange server is to just call up Siri and say… So and So is my Mom… or whoever and whatever relationship you want Siri to remember. Cmmment below if anyone has any questions.


The Portfolio… do I even need a papper version

I have not updated my professional portfolio in 5 or more years, and upon deciding it is perhaps time to do so I found myself asking the question… “Do I even need a portfolio on paper”

In an age of conference room computer access, and tablets… I say no, and here’s why.

The first reason that comes to mind is the size… as the feature picture shows… they can get quite large if you intend to bring originals… to the point of absurdness… Working with the construction industry for some larger projects its not unheard of for sheet sizes to get up to 48″X36″ for working documents… not to mention some artwork or master plan ideas (at least by me)… that are drawn at a similar large scale…

So we have been long in the age of digital scanners, and hence that is what most people did with large format drawings that need to become more mobile… the problem with scanning and re-printing at a reduced size is that sometimes the details that made the original lager version of the work so “grandiose” are lost in the reduction.

So you could bring in the originals in a large portfolio case as shown above, but think of how that looks to the people you are presenting it too. I don’t care what the laws say you can or can not hire an employee for, when you go to an interview you are selling your self as well as your capabilities and ideas.

Think of what the potential portfolio viewers are thinking when they see you for the first time and instead of seeing the confident, suave yet energetic future employee… they see you walking into their walls and struggling like you just came in from the marina with the sail of a portfolio you have…

Now think if they see you walking in with composure and not wrestling anything, but carrying a sleek piece of technology that says this person is already adept at the future… having the best of both worlds, your work is small enough to handle, yet with technology can be zoomed in and out of various detail with ease.

That’s how I see my future presentations of my work, and that’s why I’ve decided to not modify my paper portfolios of decades past, but instead investigate the presentation of my work digitally, both from the web and from a more portable tablet.

So I bought a couple of new domains and I plan to start developing one… so far its been a pain, not because of the digital translation, but because I am not a computer engineer by trade, and I’ve had some difficulties with my Linux server hosting multiple websites… but I think I worked out most of the bugs and plan to start actually building the site now the foundation of its interface is somewhat worked out.

As the site gets closer to launch I’ll release the domain names here on goolier.com, which will remain my blog, with the new site simply holding my professional portfolio only.

google adsense is sometimes non-sense

I have Google adsense running on my site. They generate the adds you see in the far right…

The concept is pretty easy… I set up an account with Google… I tell them what size adds I am willing to have on www.goolier.com … it auto generates the code so I can paste it right into my website template.

On the other end of things.. companies pay Google to advertise their company’s products on the internet… they’ll develop ads to display on various websites, Google will give the owner of that website money for traffic generated to the companies products through that website… easy… makes sense for all parties involved…

well… not so much… you see I had Google Adsense running for about six months…. then all of a sudden it stopped generating ads on my site… meaning I was not making any money… I went to my Google Adsense dashboard and everything seemed to be fine… the only thing that stuck out was that my payments were on hold.
I put them on hold manually for no real good reason… besides the fact that i don’t make much money through my small site and thought it might be better if I just put the payments on hold until i collected more of a hefty sum to collect…

you would think Google would not mine this as they are still getting paid by the various companies and not having to pay me my share for the moment…well you thought wrong…

So I did not know this at the time because I manually put my payments on hold, but even if they were not my payments would not get to me because of a few “check list” items Google needed. Basically they need to verify that the physical address of the business associated with the website is real. So I went through a form online where I enter my phone number and then they call it and i have to record the pin to enter it into… the mailing address form the physically snail-mail a postcard with a pin on the back for me to re-enter into my ad sense dashboard… once I did these two things my ads were being generated within 20 minutes.

In an age of electronic identities and wallets why must we still fall back to colonial methods of payments… I don’t know the answer, but I’m not necessarily blaming Google…. just venting. I am sure it has something to do with some old mandate / law by some archaic branch of the US Government. What I am blaming Google for is why they had to stop generating ads for my ad slots… they were still going to get paid for them by the companies, and they did not have to release any funds until I updated their forms anyway… which i am sure all the IRS cares about…

sometimes the easiest things that makes sense get convoluted by third parties to make non-sense I guess. Oh well…. just wand to share the story to bitch out loud and hopefully help someone else if they have the same situation and can not figure out why their Adsense ads are not generating properly on their websites.

FCC To Regulate TV Commercial Volume

Sick of watching some dialog enriched television program that goes to a commercial 450 times louder than the TV show you were watching… Now that I have a baby, who often falls asleep in the living room while my wife and I watch the news, I certainly do!!!

Well good news for those in the US… seems congress finally agreed on something… and that is they are pretty f’ing sick of the loud commercials too… so they finally passed a Bill, that is to be signed into effect by Obama sometime in the coming weeks, that will require advertisers to limit the volume of their commercials. According to the Wall Street Journal, “The Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation, or CALM, Act requires TV advertisers to ensure their ads don’t play at a volume louder than the proceeding TV program.” Once in effect, the FCC will regulate the new law, but give advertisers up to a year to comply fully. This will give advertisers use some time to get used to a new fancy pants technology that will alter their sound to be no louder than the average sound of the program it follows.

I’m skeptical as I don’t know the details to this “fancy pants technology”, but I am also glad that this is at least a step in returning to sanity, while my television is on in my homestead. If you think about it, it will help the advertisers too, making a win win scenario. They don’t crank the volume now to annoy people, or to even get a tad bit louder than the program your watching. They most likely do it so they are not any lower of a volume than the next commercial after or before their slot… What its forcing most couch potatoes to do though is hit mute when there is a commercial break, which does not do anything for the advertiser’s clients who are paying them big money for people to listen to their television add. Hopefully this Bill will set a benchmark that will prevent people from jumping on the remote to hit mute before the baby wakes up.

Netflix Kids Movies On-Demand Watch Instantly

Back in 2008 netflix signed a few distribution deals, one of which is ABC, which owns Disney. Netflix most likely did this because they wanted to expand their online content, and ABC / Disney did this most likely because it is an additional income they would otherwise not receive from online content… After DVD sales and rentals the next market in my opinion is online streaming. Why I am bringing this up in this post you may be asking…well… While Netflix’s online streaming content may not have the latest blockbuster releases (although I will give them credit for continuing to expand it)… With that said, their online kids movie selection is rather quite large, with the latest Disney, Pixar, and other latest releases… If you have kids and a netflix subscription… Check out their streaming “watch it now” section either online thru your computer, or thru a netflix enabled blue-ray player, Xbox 360 console or Roku box on your living room TV with the family… You won’t be disappointed. PS… They also have a lot of the great shows from the early 80’s that my generation grew up with… now my son will be able to marvel at the awesomeness of the A-team like I did growing up… when he’s old enough… ;P

Iphone = Gadget Awesomness!!!

well… I finally broke down and joined my brothers AT&T network so i could get the iphone 4. This is the first apple product i have owned and I must say i have turned to the dark side pretty quickly. After years of purposely avoiding the crowd favorite apple À la carte products, from ipods to ibooks to the iraq i finally got an apple gadget… and I must say it is my favorite gadget to date.

For decades I’ve used windows mobile products for my corporate work email that also doubles as one of my main personal emails. The chunkiness of the windows product in comparison of the iphone user interface is light years behind.
The problem, I realized, was ignoring the fact that apple is an inventive and head of the pack type of company… (that also markets their products extremely well). I was instead hopping ships to companies that would copy apples’ product developments with their own… the problem with this was I was always on the ship in back of the pack rather than the ship leading the way.

For instance… take the zune player, which came out to match the original apple ipod…. which it did pretty well, boasting a few things the original ipod didn’t… like wifi (which didn’t follow through with an internet browser of any sort) and an FM raido (which honestly sucked as far as reception goes regardless of if i was located in rural or urban Boston areas). Overall the zune matched up to the original ipod… but after I bought this new non-apple product… apple comes out with the ipod touch a few months later.The ipod touch was the first of its kind touch screen Mp3 player… perfect for people that wanted to play games, and use apps compatible with the touch interface of the iphone, without having to hop on AT&T’s network or use the device as a phone…

So there i was stuck with the simple zune… sure it was nicer in my opinion than the original ipod, but the ipod touch… no way jose… So i decided this time in getting a new smart phone that i would not wait for the next windows imitation, and although the droid does look like a promising competitor to the iphone, i wanted to hop on the ship in front this time, rather than the one trying to catch up or next to the lead ship… i must say my expectation have been met and i have not put down my phone.

My only complaint thus far (and it really is nit-picking of a gadget geek here) is that the user interface is TOO FRIENDLY… yep… too friendly… this passes the wife test with flying colors (as she got one before, having her contract end with big V a few months before mine did) and i would go as far to say it would also pass the mom test as well… However in apples wisdom to control everything so that the user experience is as smooth as possible, some of the more advance things I would like to do get trickier… for instance… you can not access any of the iphone OS4 files to hack any custom options… easily… for example it is easy to change sounds of text messages and notifications by going to settings > sounds> and change it to what you want.. but to add custom sounds in the drop down box you have to navigate and replace the appropriate file on the phone with ssh protocols… which if you never heard of doing that… its really fun…
anyways… i though i would share my new love of this gadget and my fanboyism of it… look for more posts most likely about the iphoine as well.

Ubuntu nOOb install

So my wife has an old laptop that she was given that was running like old balls… even with a clean install of windows XP. Now she primarily only uses the laptop for checking her gmail account as well as scouring the internet for various recipes and shopping sites, but the little POS could not even handle that. So I decided to install ubuntu for the first time ever and give it a try.

read about what it is and my experience with it after the break
Continue reading “Ubuntu nOOb install”

Becoming an Architect is Ridiculous Craziness


Often, when talking with family and friends, they ask when I am going to get my architectural license now that I am out of college (for the third and final time). Hopefully this post will enlighten them and others to the difficulties and expenses of actually becoming licensed… There is a reason Bill Brady was crazy… i think it had to do with his process of becoming an architect…

Click to read more after the break. Continue reading “Becoming an Architect is Ridiculous Craziness”

Verizon Data Plan Confusion with ActiveSync

I set out this afternoon to ask… Can I use activesync with the Verizon $29.99 data plan

Long intro short… most companies that host their own email utilize Microsoft exchange services (a software that runs on your company server)… Verizon changed around their data plans, and made it a requirement to buy a data plan with any smart phone now… rather than pricing the plans on how much data one uses (like they did before) they now seam to price it on what you use it for. One data plan is $30 and the other $45… the difference… the $30 plan description says it will not access corporate email… does this mean exchange server via your phones active sync as well… how do they block this… no outlook work calender… i use my work email for my personal email as well… wtf..? These are some of the thousands of questions i came across.

Good news is after scouring the internet I was able to learn that I can change my obsolete 10MB plan @ 24.99 to the newly introduced “unlimited” web and email plan @ 29.99 from Verizon without extending my contract 🙂 Like AT&T, Big Red says you need their $44 corporate email plan to access exchange, but in fact you don’t… I just changed my plan and I can still access my exchange server, as indicated on the all-knowing interweb forums. Incase you were slacking err… procrastinating I mean, on this glorious Friday afternoon like I am, you’ll might want to know that exchange services/servers can be configured using up to 29 various security policies… from every post I read today…no one running exchange actually sets these up though… perhaps some, or one, of these policies uses a particular data protocol that Verizon can filter out… I don’t know for sure. Some people on various forums had 2nd hand knowledge that said so and so could not access their exchange email without upgrading to the $45 plan.. I think this is bull. For all the first hand accounts I read about, 99.9% of people running exchange services with their employers can utilize the cheaper $29.99 plan and still sync up with their contacts, calendars, and emails they use with their office computer outlook program with their personal phone.

For the most part Gearlog.com confirmed my thoughts on the topic… Verizon and AT&T are playing the stupid people card… if you say you are accessing your corporate email they can charge you as a business account, rather than the personal account you actually might have…. However, unless your phone bill is actually paid through your companies funds, there is no way they can find out, nor stop you from utilizing your phones built in active sync functionalities to communicate with exchange services at your work email system.

What is this twitter thing

So this week I had a few different people ask me to help them set up personal twitter accounts…

it was sort of a coincidence that they all asked me around the same time, and I found it interesting that each one had their own reasons… none of them really knew what twitter was though, just that they heard about it on TV or in marketing magazines and wanted to hop on the twitter band wagon. The motivation to hop on the twitter wagon didn’t surprise me too much… after all, almost every show in TV advertises to follow them on twitter… from Good Morning America to Ellen Degeneres, to CNN Headline news to Ashton Kutcher making news with his twitter page.

So what is twitter? It my opinion it is sort of like a mix between a macro blog and a social network such as facebook or myspace… its not really a replacement for either the blog or the social network… but something different. Its a way to tell people what your doing… instantly… but more than that, for me it is more of a way to follow people and news feeds… getting updates on stories from the people in the story, not just the media writing the story. Basically, if your interested in tweeting its easy, set up a twitter account at www.twitter.com… once your setup you can search for people to follow navigating the menus at the top of the page.. search for your friends, or follow your favorite news feed… or both… I tend to follow more personal feeds of people that are famous entrepreneurs or heads of corporations… I find using twitter in this gets me the news faster than the news people gets it to me… I set my mom and my aunt up with twitter accounts so they could follow my brother as he tweets from his phone, uploading pictures as he tours around the country with his fiancee. I also set up the business manager at my architectural firm with a twitter account, as she read more and more businesses are using twitter as marketing tools along with the social networking sites and she wanted to do the same. Some people just set up twitter to forward tweets to their cell phone and constantly update what they are doing for friends to see and comment. My point is there are lots of reasons to tweet (the act of using twitter)… so sign up if you want to try it… its free, and if its not for you just stop using it.