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Kuberg Start: update

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

So, I picked up the Kuberg start in late November as a Christmas/birthday present for my son who turned 3 a couple days before Christmas.
That means it sat hidden in my house for a month before I was able to let the kids ride it.

Well, now that they are riding it, they are or have become rather intimidated by it. You see, the bike has a potentiometer that allows an adult to set the top speed of the motorcycle, and this feature is one of the key selling points of the bike. This feature rocks, until it doesn’t. The bike that I have is setup or was setup by me for about a 3mph top speed. Reasoning that the kids would not have any WT or WFO moments early on in their biking careers. At least that is the reasoning. It would also allow them time to learn how to back out of the throttle and even use the brakes (handbrakes on the Kuberg -front and rear. The rear is unusable as the pull is extremely difficult, the kids cannot even budge the lever using two hands!). Again, the reasoning is sound, but when you have a faulty component -and I assume it is the potentiometer that I used to adjust the speed, -or it is flaky, it is not such a nice feature.
Imagine riding around at 3 mph for 10-20 minutes, getting confident in accelerating and slowing the bike, steering, etc. When all of the sudden the bike starts accelerating up to 10 or 12 mph. This is not something a 3 year old knows how to handle, and it is something that I would not be able to handle on my full size bikes with far greater power. But for a new rider that is trying to learn the ropes of motorcycling, to have a bike behaving in this manner is best described as scary.

Kuberg US is attempting to resolve the issue, even sending me a new potentiometer from a 2014 model, but the 2014 is not the same as the 2015 and the parts are not interchangeable. This means that there are no parts in the US for the 2015 bikes, and I no longer have a bike that is safe for the kids to ride.
I may return the bike under warranty and purchase an OSET 12.5. I have effectively had this bike for 2 weeks (the Christmas holidays) and not been able to let my kids ride it as originally planned. And the warranty period is about to expire shortly…hmm, what to do???
I will update shortly.

Groupon commentary (short rant)

Friday, September 7th, 2012

I have used Groupon a few times now, and thus far my experiences are less than stellar.
It is the most recent handling of a purchase that has me riled up. It is not so much that I was unable to get a refund, but that my reasoning was totally ignored as evidenced by their response. I plainly stated that I purchased a groupon that looked like a great idea, only to find that even with the supposed $500 value, the price STILL exceeded standard pricing for equivalent businesses. So calling it a deal is clearly an accurate statement –if you are the vendor in this particular case. Of course, I have not tried to advertise or sell on Groupon so I do not know if they make a good margin, but I have to assume that it is this margin that they are trying to protect in this case, which does not bode well as a business practice and means that I have been “warned”.
This coincided with another issue regarding car detailing, where the detailer could not be found. Apparently, the detailing business had been sold and the new owner must have closed up shop…as the shop location no longer existed and the phone had been turned off. Luckily, and no thanks to Groupon, I had the email address of the original business owner and was able to get a refund. Now, I caught this sorta early, so perhaps Groupon is handling this properly for others that might find the same thing. As such, this is not a Groupon issue either as they cannot be expected to know in advance whether businesses intend on honoring their commitment or not, but only goes to show that the Amazon business model is far preferable to the Groupon model.
I am not sure if businesses will like this or not, but I am seriously considering contacting businesses using Groupon to see if perhaps I can deal directly with them on these deals. With the advantage being twofold, you get to sorta “pre-screen” a business before departing with your money, and the business get the opportunity to keep any fees they might have had to pay out in the first place.
Basically the rest of the message from them was that I could give my Groupon away as a gift…but if the cost including the discount is out of line with normal pricing, then you are simply passing on the burden to someone else (why would they still want to feel obligated to overpay?.

Technology -ATT

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

I now have the Samsung Galaxy Note and am 95% certain I have the phone of my dreams. I say certain as this thing will mow through a battery at times. This is especially true when travelling for work and using the phone for navigation… I now carry a car charger with me and I have found that depending upon the car charger being used, you can still lose charge, but at a reduced rate when running navigation. Typically I have GPS, Bluetooth and WiFi (I never turn WiFi off) on while in the car, as well as I keep the screen active. If that battery could last me into the second day on a single charge, this would be the ticket. As it is, you cannot really use it on an airplane as the screen consumes so much power that even a short 2-3 hour flight will suck 60-80% of your battery if you choose to play games or watch videos or simply tinker with the phone. BUT! I did just purchase a New Trent Battery pack (5000mAh) on daily steals mobile today, so will be evaluating that shortly to see if it will help with the battery situation on the Note, plus I have a spare battery that came with a dock that I purchased that I keep in my bag as well. I will have to provide reviews on those in the future.

Example of battery usage from Screen

Example of battery usage from Screen

Other than being a great phone for doing just about everything that you can think of, I still have my share of issues with ATT (maybe unreasonably…). I was tempted to leave ATT, but I wanted this phone which is only available on ATT…AND I did not wish to lose my unlimited data plan –whether I use it or not. I have heard that ATT will throttle high users of data, but I have not noticed anything like that, but then I cannot seem to access my data usage from my phone either, so I cannot tell how much data I might be pulling with this phone. I do not imagine that I am using much since I am on WiFi all day long, and even at home. I have noticed that ATT 4GLTE is not nearly as nice as my wife’s Verizon 4G. Hers simply smokes…being much faster than our home WiFi. –she is on a Droid Bionic, which she does not particularly like, preferring the iPhone experience and simplicity instead.