Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality

It's been awhile since I've posted about coffee but this study is too good to pass up. The conclusion of Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality by the New England Journal of Medicine states:
"coffee consumption was inversely associated with total and cause-specific mortality. Whether this was a causal or associational finding cannot be determined from our data."
In other words coffee is good for you. They can't seem to pin it down but people who drink coffee are less likely to die from a wide variety of issues.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

An Open Letter To Bell Mobility

Here is my unedited email I've sent to Bell Mobility today to complain about how they treat customers. Honestly, if any company out there is giving you good customer service you should praise them to the tops of the mountains. I really loved the fact that Samsung replaced my phone out of warranty last year but we'll see what happens this time around.


In a nutshell this is my problem. I have a Samsung Galaxy S Captivate and it is stuck in a reboot loop. It boots up the Samsung screen and then you get the flash stylized S screen then reboots. This sequence continues to repeat itself until I pull the battery out of the back of the phone. I had this problem occur last October while I was attending a conference in San Francisco last year. When I got back to Ottawa and phoned Bell the representative told me they could do nothing as the phone was one week out of warranty. I don't want to even get into the debate of signing people up for 3 year contracts when the physical device won't last the three years. That is for another rant. Luckily Samsung was able to step up and provide me a replacement phone for which I'm eternally grateful for.

Now here we are 6 months later and the problem has re-occurred. I know this is a Samsung problem with their phone but where Bell has fallen down is in their response to helping their customer resolve the problem. I shouldn't have to go to Samsung to resolve this issue. I have a business relationship with Bell, I pay Bell $100 a month for my phone/data service not Samsung.

When the problem occurred last night I was in the Carlingwood Mall here in Ottawa. I went to the Bell store where two customers were being waited on and two more were in line in front of me. After waiting 10 minutes I decided to go get my haircut and come back to see if the line has lessened. Fast forward 15 minutes to which I returned to the Bell store and the same two customers were at the front counter and the same two customers were in front of me. I then waited another 15 minutes before I got to the front counter where a representative could help me.

Going in a knew the rep would not be able to fix my phone. My alternative solution was to purchase a micro-sim card and have my current number activated on that card. The cost would be $5 for the micro-sim, no biggie, but $35 to activate the SIM. Seriously!?! I'm not trying to game the system here, I just want to be able to use my service on another phone while I send my busted Samsung off to be fixed. Thanks for being so unhelpful.

I really feel that Bell missed an opportunity to make an existing customer happy and possibly if good customer service was provided convince me to switch my home phone/internet/TV to Bell.

Anyway that is my tale of woe.

Simon Mac Donald


To be fair here is the response from Bell.


Hello Simon and thanks for the email.

Every phone you purchase comes with a year manufacturer’s warranty and you have the option to purchase the phone insurance at $7 per month at the time of purchase.

If you wish to activate your old phone, please purchase the sim card at any Bell store, if you haven’t yet, and I will go ahead and apply a credit for $35 in order to waive the activation fee.

Please let us know when you would do this and the mobile number in question, as well as the type of equipment being activated.

Thank you and have  a great day.

Bell Twitter Support.


and finally my email to them.


Sure, I will take you up on your offer to waive the $35 activation fee. My cell phone number is xxx-xxx-xxxx, I will be activating an iPhone 4 and I probably won't be able to get to this until I get back from San Francisco late next week. In the mean time I'm using a different phone that doesn't require a micro-sim.

Just because I can't resist. Wouldn't this have been better if the customer agent at the Bell store have offered to waive the fee? To me that would have been better customer service and I wouldn't have taken to the internet to complain. Rather I'd have praised Bell for making the transition easier.

Simon Mac Donald


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Speaking Engagements

Over the next few months I'll be making the rounds doing my Adding Speech Recognition to Your Android Applications presentation. If you've ever wanted to see someone attempt to entertain and inform a crowd and not worry if they are crashing and burning then you'll want to pop by and see me at:

  • AnDevCon III - San Francisco, May 16th
  • Ottawa Android - Ottawa, June 20th
  • OSCON - Portland, July 18th
  • PhoneGap 2.0 Day - Portland, July 20th (To Be Confirmed)
If you are going to be in or around those cities on those dates ping me on twitter and we'll see if we can arrange a meet up.