Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sudden Drop in Battery Charge

Recently my Android-based Samsung Galaxy tablet has been experiencing major drops in battery charge overnight. Apparently, similar issues have been occurring on Apple devices as well. What is causing these drops and how do you rectify the problem?

Many Apple users have been complaining their iPads, iPhones and iPods are suddenly losing power without warning. Some users report complete power loss in as little as 4 to 6 hours after a full charge. The latest iOS appears to be susceptible to the WiFried bug that causes Internet connection losses and other sporadic issues. Coincidentally, the problem I am experiencing on my Samsung tablet also began to occur when I upgraded the OS (operating system).

When I first purchased my Galaxy 3 tablet, it was great. I could charge it once a week and browse through several Flipboard magazines each day. Then without warning, I started to experience major drops in battery charge for no apparent reason. I have tried changing my device settings, closing all apps and uninstalling apps that update too frequently. After finding others are reporting similar problems, I considered reducing my screen brightness as a possible solution but this still would not explain major drops when the screen was inactive. Finally out of frustration, I turned off automatic app updates. I now suspect when I updated the OS that more frequent Android security updates and possibly Chrome updates are responsible for the shorter battery life.

Robert Haskell works for Haskell New York Inc. ( and is an occasional guest writer on Consumer Thoughts.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Ethics of Pet Trade

Although I do have serious reservations about the size of bird cages and fish tanks that are provided even in the best of stores and home environments, at least PetSmart and Petco have reframed from selling cats and dogs. It's a step forward but the thought of a bird not being able to fly more than a few feet is quite sad considering what a great gift flight is. Unfortunately, we often think more of ourselves when we purchase such pets that should be free.

As a child, I had a fish tank. Looking back, I feel sorry for fish that have to swim around a million times in circles because there is nowhere else to go. Even the largest tanks don't seem to be adequate these days in my mind for the smallest of tropical fish. Nevertheless, this is the world we live in. We teach kids it's okay to entrap animals for our amusement and confine them to depressing small environments all their lives. But it's alright, as long as we're happy I'm sure that hamster doesn't mind being so bored that it has to ride the wheel ten times a day to break the monotony of its jail cell.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Trouble Extends Beyond Anthem Insurance

After a massive data breach involving the exposure of critical customer information for Anthem Insurance customers, I did a quick search on Google to see if they were affiliated with my insurance company. This is what came up:

Being a Horizon Blue Cross customer, I found this quite troubling. Even more disturbing is the potential number of victims as reported by NBC News - 80 million! That's roughly 26% of the US population. Fortunately, the breach did not affect all their customers. Nevertheless, those that were affected may very well be susceptible to identity theft as social security numbers were among the captured information.

Companies Holding Back Green Movement

The green movement though still alive has hit quite a few snags along the way. Recently I switched to a new healthcare provider that has a website so slow that it is almost impossible to use. When logging in, they try to get you to go paperless by disabling paper mailings. While saving trees may be a great cause, the truth here is that they are trying to save money on postage and reduce their overhead. As much as I would like to oblige, it is paramount that they correct the bottleneck before I will consider releasing them of their burden. Read more here.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Less Wasteful Backups

Part of the reason why Internet costs keep going up is because of the incredible wastefulness of the way companies maintain their backups. Theoretically, if you just recorded the common settings of programs installed on a server, there would be no need to actually back up terabytes of data if those programs were available on install disks (such as a recordable CDs, DVDs, etc.). This would reduce ISP costs and even provide a way to restore backups significantly faster.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How Important are Product Safety Labels?

Consumer product safety warnings are put on labels and in manuals for a reason but how many of us bother to read them? After all, who doesn't know how to change a light bulb? Unfortunately, that kind of thinking can cause a fire if the light socket cannot handle more than a 60 watt bulb but you installed a 100 watt bulb! Likewise, other common safety precautions are often ignored and some with dire consequences. Read more here.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Just What the World Needs

Groundhog who has not read
the Robert Haskell blog yet.
A blog dedicated to making the world a less scary place to that oversized rodent on Groundhog's Day. Okay, maybe the world doesn't exactly need another blog but one more won't hurt. For the latest babbling and rants, check out: