The Samsung Galaxy S6 and signal issues

I upgraded to the Samsung Galaxy S6 a few weeks ago (from the S5) mainly because I really liked the slicker style of the phone, compared to the plastic and cheap feeling S6. The phone is definitely well made, has a wonderful camera and some cool features (I particularly enjoy the wireless charging), however there has been a major issue that makes the phone nearly unusable.

I find that my phone is constantly getting an incredibly weak signal in places where I previously had a strong LTE signal. At random times my phone will go from LTE to 4G, to E and to no signal at all in a matter of seconds. Once this happens I’ll have zero signal for a very long time (as long as an hour!). I try turning on airplane mode and turning it back off and at times my phone will try to get a 4G signal but even if it says 4G or LTE I still can’t connect to the internet or send messages. I’ve tried restarting my phone, and again I still don’t regain a signal.

Yesterday I even tried a factory reset (against better judgement as getting my phone back up and running was a pain, especially since it made me factory reset my Gear S watch as well) and it didn’t help at all.

I’ve found reports of many other users experiencing the same issue across all of the major carriers, so I know this isn’t just an AT&T issue. I’ve also read that many have contacted customer support and haven’t really been helped, though some report being told it’s an issue on Samsung’s end that could be fixed with an update (let’s hope that’s true!).

I haven’t contacted customer service yet myself, but if this persists I’m definitely going to give them a call this week to see what’s going on.

Have you experienced these issues on the Galaxy S6? Have you found any way of fixing it?

How Yelp convinced me not to check out The Counter in Meridian

So when I’m looking to check out a new place to eat (or shop / drink etc.) the first place I usually check is Yelp. It’s incredibly useful to read other people’s reviews and to discover whether people tend to react positively or negatively to a business.

One such business I wanted to check out was The Counter, in Meridian. I had heard they have some pretty tasty burgers, however Yelp seems to tell a different story. The business has a 2.5 star rating after 54 reviews, so wasn’t off to a good start in the first place. However, the business owner’s response to one review in particular really rubbed me the wrong way.

The Counter Meridian

The tone of the business owner in this response does not come across as professional at all. Upon reading this response I decided I would not even give The Counter an opportunity to disprove its overwhelmingly negative reputation on Yelp. The owner also copy and pasted a rebuttal to several negative reviews, which comes across an impersonal attempt to save face.

So congratulations John H. of The Counter, you have succeeded in making me not want to frequent your restaurant. Heck, based off the Yelp reviews alone I probably still would’ve given the place a shot, but now I’ll never set foot in the place.

Brunch at Fork and coffee at Java Hyde Park (Boise)

This past weekend Vanessa and I checked out few great Boise food destinations that we had often heard about but never got around to going to.

On Sunday we rode our bikes downtown to have brunch at Fork and it was well worth it. First of all the Sunday morning ride was pleasant and we were able to get nice outdoor seats right as we arrived.

Fork Boise brunch

It was nice enjoying breakfast downtown and I think weekend brunch at Fork is going to become something of a tradition for us. The coffee and food were great, I enjoyed Market Breakfast (over hard) and Vanessa had the Fork Benny and both were delicious! I highly recommend having brunch at Fork if you ever have a late start to your day on the weekend.

On Monday morning we rode over to Hyde Park in the Northend to check out Java Hyde Park. We usually just end up going to Starbucks, but we decided to try something new for our morning coffee. The ride was pleasant and we were excited to get some coffee and baked goods. The first thing we noticed was just how packed the place was. All of the outside seating was occupied and the line was out the door and down the stairs! I’m not sure if it’s always that packed or if the holiday had something to do with it. Either way it was worth the wait! I got the Bowl of Soul mocha and a cherry turnover and we walked up to Camelsback park to enjoy our coffees.

Java Hyde park

I highly recommend picking up a coffee from Java Hyde Park and walking around the area as you enjoy it. The Northend is a really neat area of Boise and I highly recommend hiking the trails in Camelsback Park as well!

The Witcher 3 makes Dragon Age hard to return to

Dragon Age Inquisition talking

I was, like most people, incredibly excited when Dragon Age: Inquisition was released last Fall. As much as I enjoyed it, however, I never got around to finishing it. After awhile the whole idea of having to grind boring missions to get enough ‘Power’ to advance to story started to get on my nerves. Before too long I stopped playing Dragon Age altogether, after getting something like two-thirds through the game.

Now that I’ve been playing The Witcher 3 I started to wonder if I should dive back into Dragon Age again, especially while waiting for the save game glitch to be fixed. Last night I decided to do just that, and give Dragon Age another try.

It didn’t take long to realize why I stopped playing in the first place. I needed 30 Power to advance the story, and I had 10. Therefore I just picked a random place and started running around the map knocking out missions, closing rifts, etc. I spent an hour just grinding through points on the map with hardly any dialogue or anything to keep me interested in the story.

One mission was particularly annoying. Rocky Rescue in Emprise du Lion completely crushed any desire I had to continue playing Dragon Age. In the mission you have to run around a quarry fighting Red Templars and freeing imprisoned villagers. The problem is there’s a small cutscene that plays every time you have your rogue open a prison cell. It takes at least five seconds with a fade to black before you’re given control of your character again. Having to sit through this seven times was excrutiating.

Dragon Age rocky rescue

It took about twenty minutes, if not longer, to complete this mission which grants you only 2 Power (or 4 considering you’re likely to complete ‘Red Captors’ in the process) which means I still needed 16 Power to advance the story. During my time in Emprise du Lion I managed to net 10 Power while spending about an hour to and hour and a half running around the world completing random, hardly exciting tasks.

My time with The Witcher 3 so far has been much more enjoyable. The open world is more captivating than Dragon Age’s, and most of the side missions so far have been much more enjoyable, featuring unique characters and dialogue throughout. The combat is also much more enjoyable, and all in all Dragon Age feels more like a lonely MMORPG where you hold down RT and grind pointless quests while The Witcher feels like a refined, epic RPG that promises to be enjoyable for hours to come.The witcher 3 scenery

I’m looking forward to seeing where else The Witcher 3 will take me. It’s been a beautiful experience so far!

Trying to avoid The Witcher 3’s save glitch on Xbox One

The-Witcher-3-Wallpaper

If you haven’t heard, those playing The Witcher 3 on the Xbox One have been susceptible to a nasty glitch that can make your saved game unusable. If you fall victim to the glitch you can no longer save your game and will have to start over from the start (or possibly a previous save, though you’ll still likely lose hours of progress).

It seems the glitch is caused by putting the game into suspend mode and then trying to resume it later. I use suspend mode all the time, and it’s incredibly convenient. Luckily I hadn’t used the feature before I found out about this glitch yesterday.

Since then I’ve been playing scared. I feel like I’m constantly looking over my shoulder, just waiting for the game to screw me over. So far I’ve managed to avoid running into the glitch, and hopefully I stay safe until it’s patched.

When I finish playing I save the game and then quit to the menu of the game. From there I hit the home button and then manually close The Witcher 3 (select it, press start and select quit). I’ve also been keeping multiple save files, though I do that with most RPGs anyway. Hopefully this process keeps my save files safe until the bug is fixed!

Have you been hit with the glitch? Are you avoiding playing until it’s fixed?

Why is The Witcher 3’s text so small?

So I just started playing The Witcher 3 this morning (on the Xbox One) and one thing is really bugging me. The text is so darn small I can barely read anything from the couch without having to lean forward. Not a good design choice at all. It might be acceptable on a PC where you’re close to the screen, but the text in The Witcher 3 is way too small for consoles (on a 47 inch TV).

Is the small text size bugging you too? I feel like I’ve missed so much information already because I really haven’t felt like squinting to read the text. Hopefully it’ll be patched soon!

Saw ‘5 to 7’ this weekend and it was wonderful!

5 to 7 movie poster

 

This weekend I wanted to do something different. Although I really wanted to see Mad Max and Pitch Perfect 2, I instead decided we would go to The Flicks in Boise, which is a theater that specializes in “independent, foreign and art films” (as described on their website).

I watched trailers for the movies that were showing this weekend and immediately fell in love with the trailer for 5 to 7 .

The film lived up to the trailer wonderfully. It was a beautifully told story in which just about every scene is shot wonderfully. I was particularly wowed by a scene in which the two main characters walk through as the camera zooms very slowly in on them. It almost appears as if they aren’t moving at all, but the ever so slight movement of the camera captivated my attention and it was a beautiful scene. I also truly loved the use of color in the film. It’s as beautiful to look at and helps to set the mood throughout.

5 to 7 central park

Anton Yelchin (whom you may recognize as Star Trek’s [2009/2013] Chekov) plays his character incredibly well, and has wonderful chemistry with his co-star Bérénice Marlohe. The film provided plenty of laughs and was heartwarming overall, though it was at times melancholy as any great love story is.

5 to 7 is love story while also not being a love story, much in the way (500) Days of Summer was. I absolutely loved the journey 5 to 7 took me on and loved the uplifting ending as well. I highly recommend checking out 5 to 7 if you can see it in a theater near you. It’s also available to rent via DirecTV according to gowatchit.com, however I can’t seem to find it available anywhere else (I have DISH, or I’d definitely be watching it again!).

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Watch <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/5to7?src=hash”>#5to7</a&gt; now anywhere! <a href=”http://t.co/M7Gvqlrsr5″>http://t.co/M7Gvqlrsr5</a></p>&mdash; 5 to 7 (@5to7film) <a href=”https://twitter.com/5to7film/status/598970257118601216″>May 14, 2015</a></blockquote>
<script async src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

Lily Camera looks amazing!

Check out this video for Lily Camera, a camera that you simply toss into the air and it’ll follow you while recording 1080p video. This looks like the perfect companion for a GoPro so you can get overhead and first person / action shots. The camera is available to pre-order at $499 and releases in February of next year!

A look at the newer 3DS Streetpass features

Not too long ago Nintendo rolled out some new content for 3DS streetpass users to enjoy. Streetpass is one of my favorite features on the 3DS (or 2DS in my case) so I was pretty excited to check out the new features.

First up is a $4.99 upgrade that adds a couple of features to the streetpass experience.

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 12.10.18 PM

The upgrade allows you to collect the birthdays of the Mii’s you meet via streetpass (in the form of month and day only). When you great Mii’s at your Plaza Gate they’ll now mention their birthday (if they’re sharing that information) and you’re challenged to collect a birthday for every day of the year. At first look this seemed pretty cool, as I thought it would be interesting to learn more about the people I StreetPass with. It would be interesting if the year were included to get an idea of the age variation of all the Mii’s you’ve collected, but I can’t imagine Nintendo including such a feature.

For your $5 what else do you get? Well you can now hold the shoulder button to make Mii’s move faster at the start of StreetPass games, and you can permanently save Mii’s to your VIP room if you want them to stick around forever. Ultimately the $5 purchase isn’t really worth it, unfortunately I got excited and bought it before realizing it wasn’t valuable. I honestly believe Nintendo should’ve included this updated functionality for free and I’m quite puzzled as to why they decided to charge for something that is equivalent to a patch.

battleground z, ultimate angler

Nintendo also introduced two new premium StreetPass games: Battleground Z and Ultimate Angler. They’re $4.99 each or $7.99 if purchased together. Since I enjoy fooling around with StreetPass I ended up buying them together.

The first thing I can say is that both of these games are much more time consuming than Find Mii or Puzzle Swap. So far that’s not necessarily a terrible thing, but I could see the tasks getting tedious in the long run.

In Battleground Z you collect Mii’s who are equipped with a weapon based on their interests (for example a Mii that enjoys playing video games wields a Wii controller as a weapon). You’ll then be tasked with defending an area from a zombie invasion. You’ll be able to find the Mii’s you’ve StreetPassed hanging around and they’ll either join you or give you their weapon to use. Each of the weapons functions differently, however I haven’t yet really needed to collect more than one weapon to finish a task.

battleground z 3ds

I’ve had a decent amount of fun with Battleground Z and I like how it populates leaderboards with those you’ve StreetPassed. I’m not sure how enjoyable the game will be in the long run, but for now it’s not bad.

Ultimate Angler is also a little more demanding if your attention than the other StreetPass games. You’ll collect bait from Mii’s you StreetPass and are tasked with catching certain fish in a given area. Each type of fish is attracted to a different type of bait and you can mix baits to create advanced baits that will attract larger fish.

ultimate angler 3ds bait

ultimate angler 3ds

You cast your line and wait for a fish to bite and you’ll then have to hook it and reel it in. You can reel with the touch screen or by cycling the analog stick (I find the latter to be much easier) and the difficulty of the process will depend on the size of the fish. You generally want to let the line run when the fish is fighting and reel when the fish is resting. If you reel too hard your line can break, however if you’re not making enough progress the fish will escape.

ultimate angler 3ds

Ultimate Angler has also been somewhat enjoyable, but it is quite repetitive and I’m not sure if I’ll end up playing it too much longer.

ultimate angler 3ds

ultimate angler 3ds

Have you checked out the new 3DS StreetPass games? What do you think of them?