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3 Reasons Why You’ll Need To Pry the Smartphone Out of My Cold Dead Hands

November 23, 2015 | By | No Comments

I remember getting the first iPhone in 2007 and having people actually follow me on the street just to see it live and in colour.  It seemed really strange at the time but it was a sign that technology had dramatically shifted forever.  There were some skeptics in the beginning of the era of touchscreen and a non flip phone but Steve Jobs persevered anyways and look where we are now.



Ah, first gen iPhone. Were we ever that young?


Smartphones Are Too Much Fun

Working out is my personal hell.  I despise every second of it so anything that will distract me and make it easier is something I’ll gladly jump on. Smartphones come in handy because I can load it up with horrible music and surf the web while pretending I’m anywhere but on an exercise bike.  As much as I adored my old Nokia 8890, my iPhone 6 is so much more useful.  My wonderful Nokia was featured in a Backstreet Boys video, it was still rather useless compared to phones of today. Smartphones today all look alike whereas the earlier phones had some personality and differentiating features (and Nokia had the best UI).  I enjoy scrolling through Instagram when I’m in a waiting room somewhere or checking up on my shark Einstein to make sure he hasn’t eaten anyone.  I can kill hours just surfing the net because it’s the greatest source of entertainment ever and it’s in my pocket.

My favourite cell phone!

My favourite cell phone!

Most Useful Device I’ve Ever Owned

Remember the days (yes, I know how old this makes me sound) when you had to have coins for the parking meter?  Dashing inside a store to get change and then running back out to your car to put the money in (in the rain, it was always raining)?  Those were NOT the good old days for sure.  I love being able to sit in my chair at happy hour and add more money to my parking meter when I get a text from Pay by Phone alerting me that my time is running out. This is the type of technological advancement humanity has been waiting for.  This convenience and simplicity makes having a smartphone something I can’t imagine giving up willingly.  

Another benefit of a smartphone is vast amounts of information at my fingertips.  For example, when I’m cooking and I forget what’s needed in a recipe I can just pull it up on my phone and continue without getting the cookbook.  Plus, my bookshelves thank me for not being loaded down with things I’ll never read.  My old TomTom GPS was great but nothing compared to Google Maps.  The simplicity of not needing to pull over and root around in my glovebox for the GPS is something I never thought would be a big deal but after using directions on a smartphone, it’s a touch of convenience that I appreciate.  Plus, my old GPS would mysteriously turn on in the glovebox and I’d hear an Australian man’s voice suddenly start talking while I was driving alone and it scared me half to death on several occasions.  

Terrifying when it came alive in my glovebox and spoke to me

Terrifying when it came alive in my glovebox and spoke to me


Ever been stuck in traffic when the venti Starbucks vanilla bean frappuccino with 2 shots of espresso (seriously, try it) you just finished suddenly hits you?  I’ve been forced to pull into Le Crocodile (thanks for your hospitality!) and throw the keys at the valet while running into the establishment to use their washroom.  Luckily, Charmin has heard my screams and created an app that will show me the nearest washrooms and the cleanest (some even have pictures!).  THIS is what technology and smartphones have done to make our lives easier.  I’m never giving up my phone because then how will I find the nice washrooms?

No guarantees Charmin will have fancy bathrooms like this one

No guarantees Charmin will have fancy bathrooms like this one

Improves My Life

Before Google we had to argue and use our brains (gasp!) about trivia and debate who was right or which actor was in a certain TV show or movie.  Now we don’t need to ever think, we can just look it up and save ourselves 20 minutes of arguments and lost friendships.  Smartphones: friendship savers since 2007. To be fair, because we have gotten so bad about this, my friend Erin has implemented a “no Google rule” to some of our debates so we’re forced to figure things out the old fashioned way.  I’m fine with that because I know the answer is in my pocket when we need to look. Plus, I can be wrong and no one will know for sure…  

It's almost like they know me..

It’s almost like they know me..


When I was a university student I had my fair share of car repairs and nothing made them more stressful than being stuck somewhere in the dark, without a phone. With a smartphone however, I can look up VW manuals and find out why the coolant light might be on or what type of oil the car needs.  Huzzah! I am now a mechanic!  More importantly, I am able to search for the nearest repair shop, check their reviews and make an informed decision.  

Nothing to see here!

Nothing to see here!



I can use my smartphone to check the weather, read the news, buy Starbucks, turn on my Hue and a million other things.  I don’t want to go back to the Dark Ages of cell phones where Snake was the only game that I could play and I was unable to confirm if Aaron Paul, Bryan Cranston and Dean Norris all guest starred in the X-Files (they did!).  Being connected all the time means I get to choose when I want to plug in.  If I don’t want to answer emails, then I don’t.  A smartphone gives me the tools and freedom to decide what I want to do.  I prefer having the option of standing in a store and price checking something on instead of going home to look online. Smartphones make our lives more seamless.

Hi Hank!

Hi Hank!

4 Underrated Mobile Apps That Will Improve Your Everyday Life

November 18, 2015 | By | One Comment

Uncrate iOS or Android

Have you ever found yourself wanting some shoelaces that could start a fire or an underwater drill? Well, look no further because Uncrate has those and plenty of other things that I desperately need in my life. The website is great but the app is even better.  The app is clean, easy to use and has the greatest collection of random stuff you never knew you wanted.  The categories of stuff range from technology, to an umbrella that fold backwards and fancy aged bourbon. There really is something for everyone at Uncrate and you can easily fall into a blackhole of time just scrolling through their offerings and marvelling at the randomness and brilliance.  With Christmas coming I can imagine this app will be getting lots of use.

I need this so badly. Uncrate, you can read my mind

I need this so badly. Uncrate, you can read my mind

Songza iOS or Android

For years I’ve told family and friends that if I suddenly get hit by a bus, the first thing to do is throw all my electronics into the ocean, forever keeping my shameful music taste a secret.  Luckily, because of Songza I can keep fewer playlists on my phone and use the streaming service instead.  Plus, I don’t need to download every horrible 90’s one hit wonder that comes into rotation on my favourite playlists.  The glory of Songza is being able to choose music based on your activity or mood.  For example, when I want people to think I’m sophisticated I bust out the “Instrumental Jazz Cocktail Hour” because it’s non intrusive and doesn’t have singing which I find distracting in jazz (feel free to yell at me in the comments).  When it’s just me, I’m more of a “Never-Ending 00’s Hits” kind of gal. One feature I LOVE about Songza is that it keeps track of your favourite playlists and songs so that you can easily pull them up and then download them later.  Also, Songza can be streamed online in addition to their Android and iOS apps.

I'm too ashamed to show you my own playlists so here's a generic one

I’m too ashamed to show you my own playlists so here’s a generic one

Waze iOS or Android

Waze keeps popping up in my daily life so I figured it was a sign.  It first appeared in a Fast Company article, then Aziz Ansari name dropped it on his new Netflix show Master of None (brilliant, I highly recommend it).  So, I bit the bullet and downloaded Waze to see what all the hype was about.  I was driving to North Vancouver from downtown on Saturday so I figured I’d test out the app for you, dear reader.  It was amazing!  It was all real time information regarding traffic jams, construction, and other goings on so I could stealthy maneuver myself to avoid the danger zones. Now, one feature I would love would include a heads up on speed traps.

I avoided that sewer like a pro

I avoided that sewer like a pro

Pinterest iOS or Android

I know what you’re thinking. ‘Pinterest is NOT underrated’ but hear me out before you laugh. Pinterest is synonymous with Bridezillas, hell bent on picking out decorations and mason jar designs that will express their individuality.  This misguided thinking is exactly what kept me off Pinterest for years and the only loser in this equation was me.  You can search ANYTHING on Pinterest and find it.  You can find food guides to Italy, stunning architecture, technology and so much more.  One of my favourite things to do on Pinterest is look at clothing because when it comes to matching outfits and pulling pieces together, I’m pretty hopeless.  After getting my leopard jacket, matching escalated to a new level so I knew it was time for Power Clashing.  Since I had no idea where to start so I consulted Pinterest.  Luckily, Pinterest was waiting for me with open arms and I can consult it like the Matrix’s Oracle.  

See? You can find anything on Pinterest

See? You can find anything on Pinterest

Honorable Mention

GasBuddy iOS or Android

Super simple idea but it’s brilliant and very useful.  I put my postal code in and check out the gas prices on a list or map format.  I don’t need to log in or create an account if I just want to look at prices without contributing anything.  It’s not the greatest UI but it’s functional and simple which I appreciate.  

Look at all that cheap gas!

Look at all that cheap gas!

Facebook’s fbStart Seminar: Couldn’t Get off the Ground

November 12, 2015 | By |

At 14 Oranges, we integrate Facebook with many of our client’s projects so when we heard that Facebook was making an appearance here in Vancouver, we were excited to check it out. fbStart is a new program Facebook is rolling out that encourages Startups and App developers to use their tools.

Facebook hosted an evening event last Tuesday at The Hive downtown to share some information about the latest and greatest of their offerings and how app developers and startups can benefit from taking part.

If you haven’t heard of the Hive before it is a collaborative workspace located next door to Lighthouse Labs. Facebook had arranged for catering including beer and wine so the event was way better than I expected (free wine is my catnip! – kirsten)

Facebook sent up around 7 Facebook employees from Seattle and the Bay Area which included a range of engineers and managers. One of the staffers asked me about my ‘little red flower’ (snerk – kirsten) as she noticed lots of people wearing them and since she’s not from Canada, had no idea what they were for (this makes me want to watch Saving Private Ryan – kirsten).

Matt from Facebook did most of the speaking starting off by welcoming us and giving us a bit of an overview about what they were going to cover. The presentation covered three topics:

  1. FbStart program

As mentioned above, fbStart is a program geared at startups and app developers. This program provides them with lots of free tools and direct support from Facebook engineers. Some more info on fbStart can be found here and here

  1. The Facebook SDK

Matt went on to discuss the Facebook SDK and specifically some of the newer features. These features include: a sharing dialog via the native FB app, a message dialog via native FB Messenger app and FB login plus its use in your apps.  

One of the more interesting parts to this topic were the ideas Matt presented on growing your app. Matt talked about deep linking back to your app from ads ensuring you target specific audiences to specific areas of the app.

Another topic that was definitely of interest to the startups in the room was advertising through Facebook. Matt recommended using using a video or a series of photos because they drive more conversions.  The room got excited when they mentioned FREE Facebook ad credits when you get accepted to the FbStart program.

Matt went on to discuss some more detail on Facebook Ads, specifically focusing on how advertisers can create custom audiences though very specific targeting of truly accurate demographics.

Matt handed the mic over to another Facebooker, this time an expert in the Facebook analytics platform.

  1. Facebook Analytics

One of the most interesting and slightly scary things I learned at this presentation was that if you have the Facebook app installed on your device, app developers can track user demographics (that’s normal – kirsten). The user data is anonymous to the developers but the very detailed demographics information available to the developers can allow them to create very targeted ads or content. Facebook advertisers can then create a custom lookalike audience using analytic statistics for testing purposes.

Most of the other analytic features seemed very similar to Google Analytics and aren’t really worth delving into.


Matt was back at the mike for the Q&A section which actually was one of the most enjoyable parts of the evening. During the mingling portion, there was an informal Q&A session as well, which gave us all a chance to ask some more detailed questions and schmooze with him.

Please enjoy a few paraphrased highlights of the Q&A session.

Q “What percentage of the applicants to the fbStart program are accepted?”

A “Let’s put it this way, the most likely reason you wouldn’t be accepted would be you didn’t fill the form out correctly.” (this is true for life – kirsten)

Q “Is there a way to implement 2 factor authentication with” {something or other…}

A “Facebook Login implements 2 factor authentication. So use Facebook login and you are using 2 factor authentication”

Q “With the Lookalike audiences, are you able to see what info specifically is being used to create that audience.”

A “No” (well then..- kirsten)

Overall I feel like the fbStart program was a good idea and Facebook was on the right track taking it to the streets so to speak. That being said, the presentation itself just didn’t have the required substance or detail to make it the hugely successful event that it could have been. Facebook advertised Parse in its intro to this event but there was no mention of it and when a question was asked about Parse, they simply shrugged it off saying they didn’t have anyone from Parse there. Strange, because that’s part of the reason I attended.

I felt like I got a salad course with the promise of dessert, but someone forgot to include the steak and potatoes. Fingers crossed they improve the presentation for the next cities because there’s a lot of value in the content.


Need a Change from Watching Paint Dry? Try the James Bond Mobile Game!

November 5, 2015 | By |

For me, James Bond will always be Pierce Brosnan.  When they were choosing a new Bond, I still 100% believe that Clive Owen was ROBBED of the 007 title and Daniel Craig is still and will forever be unworthy. There, I said it (are we fighting now?).  Clive Owen’s BMW films, especially the brilliant one with Madonna were essentially his audition tapes (tell me these aren’t gold!). He was charismatic, sassy, charming and had the overall suaveness that’s critical to Bond.  Daniel Craig comes off as none of those things – instead he seems surly, cold and looks like your aunt’s boyfriend who wordlessly stares at you across the Thanksgiving dinner table while handing you peas.  I’ll pass on the peas and you, Daniel Craig.

Tell me this isn't Bond material!!

Tell me this isn’t Bond material!!


With the upcoming James Bond film 007 Spectre, it only seemed fitting to try his new mobile game.  The movie is being panned in the UK so I hope that the game is better than the film.  Suit up!

James Bond: World of Espionage iOS or Android

This game started off on a very high note because it loaded quickly and effortlessly.  The iconic James Bond music started up right away and it was glorious.  Ralph Fiennes appeared on the screen to give me my mission and then I got to pick another agent to work with.  The main action was very simple and I felt like my hand was being held throughout the whole mission.  As a non-gamer I appreciate a little hand holding but my gosh this was nuts.  The whole screen was essentially grayed out except for the button that you were supposed to press.  With no user control it took a lot of the challenge out of the game and left me thinking “that’s it?” which is probably what most Bond girls think after dealing with James Bond anyways.  On the topic of the girls, a certain look is expected but they were stereotypically scantily clad and quite porny.  Felt very cheap but it’s also clear what demographic Glu Games is chasing and I’m not it.  However, I did enjoy that I could send taunting messages to my opponents when I won, but that wasn’t enough to make up for the whole game being rather soulless.  

Maturity, thy name is Kirsten

Maturity, thy name is Kirsten


Bond has some of the best gadgets of any movie franchise and none of them seemed to be involved in the game.  The Aston Martin’s that have been used are stunning and didn’t even make an appearance.  Every James Bond movie has a car chase and dramatic fight scene but this game neglected those fun features.  The UI was quite crowded that it borderlined confusing because there was so much to look at.  The in-app purchases were soooo freaking expensive!  Some purchases were upwards of $50!  That’s insane for a mobile game!  Those pirates at Glu Games were NOT getting my money.

See this car? It's not in the game

Great car, right? Then why wasn’t it in the game??


At best the James Bond mobile game was underwhelming, at worst it was offensive.  No one is that dumb that they need user control to be so minimal that it’s comical.  Hansel and Gretel were laughing at the breadcrumbs this game left for users.  There were no car chases, detective work or even decisions to be made by the user in the game.  It now makes a lot more sense why this mobile game was quietly released and most people don’t know it exists.  

Symbolic representation of the James Bond game

Symbolic representation of the James Bond game


In order to cleanse my palette from the abysmal James Bond mobile game I decided to download a ‘suggested for you’ app that iTunes recommended because of my Bond download.  I chose the treasure “Sniper X with Jason Statham” because it couldn’t be worse than Bond.

Sniper X with Jason Statham iOS or Android

You guys, we are now living in a world where freaking Jason Statham has a better mobile game than James Bond.  Black is white, up is down! Let me have a peek outside to see if the world has ended…… Nope, we’re still here, so I’ll continue.

Seems legit

Seems legit

As soon as the game starts Jason’s totally cheesy narration made me laugh.  With his 294 Transporter movies it’s hard to take him seriously but his small role in this summer’s Melissa McCarthy movie “Spy” was pure gold because he made fun of himself relentlessly which is the fastest way to my heart.  The missions in the game are hilariously narrated in a really intense Jason Statham type way that will crack you up. I loved the simplicity of this game- it was a first person shooter that identified targets and was fast paced.  Also, since I was on Jason Statham’s team, it’s not surprising that I didn’t have to work too hard to win because I’m not a particularly great shot and I didn’t die once.  I leveled up in the first few minutes of playing which was great for my ego and moving the game along.  Since I got to blow up a tank and snipe people in the head, I thought this game was marvellous.  It was simple, fun and perfectly matched my expectations for what a sniper style game should be.  The Jason Statham game is the perfect blend of silly and fun but moves along fast enough to be engaging.  James Bond on the other hand was boring and didn’t meet expectations for a legendary franchise that prides itself on car chases, fight scenes and cool locations.  Point to Jason Statham (I can’t believe I just typed those words…)

Now the only thing I need is Jason Statham to narrate the minutia of my daily life.

That level of intensity is always hilarious

That level of intensity is always hilarious

05 Nov


Nexus 5 to Nexus 5X Notification Sound Transfer

November 5, 2015 | By |

Just got a new Nexus 5X and set it up last weekend. To my surprise, all the notification sounds I was using on my Nexus 5 had changed even though they had the same name. I started googling around to see how to transfer them and didn’t find any single article on how to do so, so I decided to take upon myself to provide some instructions. I also promise that you won’t need to root your device or do anything that requires more geek brain cells than you currently have.

Before you start, here is what you will need:

  1. A Nexus 5X connected over wifi or data
  2. A Nexus 5 connected over wifi or data
  3. A dropbox account (note that Google drive or others could do) and the dropbox app installed on both phones. Login to your dropbox account on both phones. Now we use dropbox and wifi/data to transfer files on and off devices mostly for 2 reasons. 1. The Nexus 5X comes with a USB-C connector and I can’t find a USB-C to USB-A cable to be bought anywhere. All sold out or coming soon. My iMac doesn’t see my Nexus 5 when connected over USB for some reason.

And now the steps

Step 1 Getting the old files off your Nexus 5

  1. To transfer the sounds off your old Nexus 5, you need to access the /system/media/audio/notifications folder on your device. I’ve tried a few file manager apps and settled on the aptly named File Manager (not to be confused with the dozen other apps also named File Manager).
  2. Once you have File Manager installed, you need to make your way to /system/media/audio/notifications. Best way to do so is to click the little home icon at the top and then make your way to the folder.Screenshot_20151105-071240
  3. Once you are there, you will see a list of .ogg files which are the notifications sound files. Find the one that you would like to transfer. You can tap on it to hear it to confirm it is the one you want.
  4. Do a long press on it so that a little dialog comes upScreenshot_20151105-071421
  5. Select the Send option and then select “Add to Dropbox”. Select a dropbox folder and click Add.
  6. Wait a minute or so for Dropbox to do its synchronize.
  7. Go onto dropbox and rename the file to use a different name. I simply append “Old to the file name. So OldAriel.ogg for example.
  8. Migrate over to your Nexus 5X and start the dropbox app. Find the file you just put there Screenshot_20151105-074815
  9. On the right hand side, you should see a little down arrow. Tap on it
  10. Scroll (pan) down and tap the Export option and select Save to device. It should default to the Downloads folder. If not, make your way there.
  11. Tap Save
  12. Now for some reason File Manager doesn’t handle copying files to the Notifications folder properly. Likely a permission issue. You need to use this File Manager. Complete fluke I found this out actually.
  13. By default, that app presents a nice UI which doesn’t help you do much. Tap the hamburger menu at the top left and select Internal Storage
  14. Navigate to /root/sdcard/Download
  15. Find the file and do a long press on it until the list shifts to the right and the file has a checkbox beside it. Screenshot_20151105-073936
  16. Tap the dot menu at the top right and select Copy To
  17. Tap on Internal Storage
  18. Navigate to /root/sdcard/Notifications folder
  19. Tap OK. The file is now saved there.
  20. Go to your settings apps and select notifications sounds.
  21. You will now see two files with the same name. One of them is the stock notification, the other one will be the sound you just copied.
  22. Enjoy.

I Scared the Crap Out Of Myself with Halloween Mobile Apps and Games so You Don’t Have To

October 28, 2015 | By |

When I was a kid my favourite show was the X-Files (can’t wait for the reboot!) and I still remember the most terrifying episode, appropriately called Home, about the inbred mutant freaks that murdered townsfolk.  Seriously, this episode was so scary, reruns have actually been banned from the network.  This was the first time I ever remember actually being genuinely petrified and subsequently convinced myself that I would be murdered to the strains of Johnny Mathis’ song from the episode. Since then, I have not really been a huge fan of being scared, but I LOVE Halloween.  The most frightening thing for most Canadian kids is picking a costume you can wear over your jacket or snowsuit and or flashing people to show them what you’re dressed as, but that never diminished my love of trick or treating.  Another Halloween-must includes watching Hocus Pocus because that movie is gold.  If you don’t love Bette Midler belting out ‘I Put a Spell on You’ then I feel sad for you.  So now, since I’m old and don’t need my amazing McDonald’s pumpkin pails (we had them all!) and can’t run around the neighbour’s yard collecting candy, I am stuck getting my Halloween jollies from mobile games and apps.  Let the spookiness commence!

They must be downloading mobile games

They must be downloading Halloween mobile games


Scary Draw App (iOS)

My first clue that this app was pretty lame should have been the lack of reviews and feedback on the iTunes store.  There was nothing scary about this app, and it certainly is not for all ages.  Anyone over the age of 5 would probably not find any excitement or value in the app.  I couldn’t draw a straight line so I’m removing my lack of artistic abilities from the equation, but it was still meh.  The functionality wasn’t great, the UI wasn’t easy to use or logical and on an iPhone my finger basically took up the whole screen.  I didn’t care enough about the app to try it on my iPad.  One particularly annoying feature in the app was that you had to watch a 5 second ad in order to delete your artwork.  That was the stake through the heart of this app for me.  The only things scary about this app were its dullness and my horrible drawings.

See? Terrifyingly bad artwork

See? Terrifyingly bad artwork


This is a witch hat. Please note why I am NOT an artist


Little Fear Book App (iOS)

What a cool idea for a book!  I loved the whole format and thought it was a really cool idea for a Halloween type app.  Combining a book in a playful and creepy way was unexpected and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.  I loved that as you were reading, shapes would emerge from the page and scary noises would erupt at certain times. The book wasn’t too long, but it was written a little ‘old style’ so it added another level to the ghost story.  Also, the sounds of children’s laughter in the dark is always alarming which was a nice touch.  The graphics were good, there was no learning curve and the story was short.  Great idea, cool format and interesting story.  I’m excited to see the next version of this app.



Forest 2 iOS or Android

This game is every reason why I hate nature.  The sounds of your feet on the ground, the stillness in the air, it was all too real but this time I was getting hunted by a ghost.  It didn’t help that it was dark at home when I played this game and nearly screamed when the ghost girl appeared in front of me.  I was too chicken to watch The Ring when it first came out and I certainly don’t regret that decision.  The controls were pretty easy to learn, although one reviewer suggested removing one control and just using it like a joystick. I didn’t find too much difference so, to each his own.  The graphics were really good and the overall feel was scary and ominous. I couldn’t tell you anything about the graphics on the girl because I was too busy looking away.  

See?! Nothing good can come from this

See?! Nothing good can come from being in the woods at night

forest 2-2

Nope! I’m outta here

Bloody Mary Ghost Adventure (iOS)

I almost gave up on this game because it kept crashing when I opened it. Turns out the game was trying to save me from myself.  When I finally got it working I was all set to finally hunt ghosts and find out which rooms were haunted.  I randomly chose a room and when the door opened a ghost screamed and jumped out at me which was so freaky I ripped my headphones out and had to take a breather until my heart rate went back to normal.  I may have found this game super scary because in elementary school people would turn off the lights and try to conjure Bloody Mary.  To my knowledge she never appeared but it made me on high alert when I went into the bathroom.  The game was really easy to figure out and there were a bunch of rooms to choose from as well as pieces to collect along the way.  The graphics were good and the sound effects really added to the scary vibe.  I loved this game and would recommend it for anyone!

bloody mary

This wasn’t even the part that scared me the most

bloody mary2

I was hoping there would be Bloody Mary drinks inside the house instead

Honorable Mentions

The Abandoned School (iOS)

Cool idea, interesting horror movie style that would work well if I was able to figure it all out. I make it past like one challenge and felt like a hero but couldn’t do anything else.  Good graphics and sound effects but hopefully you’re smarter than I was.

I never made it out of this stairwell

I never made it out of this stairwell

iDrakula (iOS)

I’m not sure why there’s a ‘K’ used in the title so I’m going to make a leap and assume it’s somehow related to the Kardashians (seems fitting for a creature that sucks life from people).  This game was supposed to include text, email and voicemail but since I was too cheap to buy the upgrades it was pretty much just some texts and emails.  Really cool modern Halloween idea that would more exciting if I bought the upgrades.  

I guess Dracula doesn't lock his phone

I guess Dracula doesn’t lock his phone

Haunted Manor 2 – The Horror Behind the Mystery (iOS)

This game made me feel like a complete moron.  I couldn’t solve any of the clues or puzzles even AFTER I looked up some cheats.  I spent way too much time trying to solve some stupid puzzle that involved moving tiles around and the iron bar wouldn’t detach from the gate like it was supposed to.  I completely failed at this and I hope you can do better.

The fence I couldn't figure out how to open

The fence I couldn’t figure out how to open


Halloween is a glorious time of year so you need to take advantage of it by scaring yourself with mobile apps and games.  After you play these games and you can thank me for this super classy “Ultimate Guide to Pairing Wine and Halloween Candy” which your friends can use to coax you off the ground when you’re curled in a terrified ball.  

Happy Halloween!

hocus pocus

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started my Career as a Developer

October 21, 2015 | By |

14 Oranges is extremely passionate about creating a better community for developers in Vancouver.  We got together to brainstorm 10 things we wished we’d known before starting our careers as devs and presented it to the awesome students at Lighthouse Labs so they wouldn’t make the same mistakes the rest of us did!  Check out the video for:

  • Pros and cons of small and large companies
  • Tips and tricks for job hunting and interviews
  • Networking
  • Work-life balance and more!

*Start the video at 3:18 to see Shane and Sasan’s grad photos!

13 Oct


Hiring – Part Time Bookkeeper

October 13, 2015 | By |

We are looking for a part time bookkeeper to join our team. You will be helping us with some of our day to day accounting tasks.

Responsibilities May Include:
– Accounts Receivable – create invoices, communicate with customers regarding payments, review receivables for aging accounts.
– Accounts Payable – post invoices, prepare payments.
– Bank reconciliations.
– Payroll – prepare and submit bi-weekly payroll.
– Other general accounting tasks as needed.

Desired Qualifications:
– Minimum 3 years previous experience in a bookkeeper position.
– Post secondary diploma / degree in accounting would be preferred.
– Proficient with Quickbooks.
– Prior experience with Quickbooks Online an asset.
– Exemplary communication skills.
– Good attitude.
– Good aptitude.
– Confident, self starter who can work independently.

The position is part time but can eventually grow into a full time position. This position could be done from your home although visits to our office in Richmond would be required in some cases.

Please send your resume and cover letter in PDF format to with REF 14O-FB15-W

Accounting firms need not apply.

Star Trek Lied To Me: The Wearables Edition

October 9, 2015 | By |

Ever since I watched Star Trek: The Next Generation as a kid, I expected flying cars and teleportation to be real when I grew up.  Some of the wearables and gadgets used on Star Trek have vaguely shaped the technology we use today, but not to the extent my 9 year old heart hoped for.  Wearables have long been promised as the breakthrough technology that will really change how humanity interacts, but I think some major changes are needed before that happens.  Since I don’t know much about technology, but I do know a lot about complaining, I have outlined my thoughts on how wearables should improve.  Apple and Google R&D, please form an orderly queue.  



If You Like It Then You Shoulda Put a Ring On It

Today’s wearable tech can be rather intrusive and not have enough integration into your daily life. Google Glass makes you look crazy so for wearable tech to become more mainstream, it needs to get smaller.  I want wearable tech that I don’t even know is there like an outfit I can control with my iPhone or a ring that will notify me with important updates so I don’t need to have my phone out.  The main purpose for wearable tech is to be seamless and fit in your life.

See? Looks crazy

See? Looks crazy

Did I Stutter?

Personalization is an aspect of wearable technology that is still very much in the development stage.  Siri elicits rage from me like no other technology on earth.  The main time I want to use Siri is when I’m driving or cooking but that seems to be when she goes on strike.  When I’m lost (which is all the time) I want to touch the button and get directions, however I seem to never have the right timing. Here is the usual conversation:

Kirsten: Siri, get directions to home

Siri: Hello Kirsten, what can I do for you?

Kirsten: Get directions home!!!

*Siri has timed out*


I want my wearable tech (Siri, I’m looking at you) to be intuitive enough to not be tripped up because my timing was off by 2.5 seconds. I want wearables to have the capacity to learn (I know this puts us into scary Ex-Machina or Black Mirror territory) and evolve with my patterns and behaviours.  In my fantasy world, Siri will know that when I’m driving outside of a 10 minute radius from my house that I’m probably lost and so she’s ready to direct me home or to the nearest Starbucks.  I’m hoping the new 3D Touch will have solve some of my Siri induced rage but we shall see.

I don't want to piss her off

I don’t want to piss her off

Roomba House Rules

The Internet of Things excites me because of the possibilities to be the most slothful person on earth are endless.  I have a Philips Hue and a Roomba that I ADORE and they are best household items I’ve ever owned.  To really take the internet of things to the next level, I want everything to be seamlessly connected with my wearables- Hue to automatically turn off the lights when I go to bed and Roomba to know the floor is dirty and clean it.  The new app controlled Roomba excites me but my main Roomba complaint is that you have to pick everything off the floor otherwise it will be eaten (seriously, everything needs to be off the floor or you’ll come home to a sad beeping Roomba with something tangled in its brushes).  

Cats riding Roomba will never stop being funny

Cats riding Roomba will never stop being funny


My mom and brother have Nest but I haven’t gotten one yet and it’s killing me.  Since the weather in Vancouver is just rain and we don’t get the extreme cold that the rest of Canada gets, I won’t know the delight of having a heated apartment when I walk in the door.  However, my brother (Hi Colin!) lives in Ohio so having an apartment that isn’t subarctic when he comes home is a treat (Colin also has an automatic starter for his car which is I am super jealous of).  I want my home to be connected in a smart, seamless way to my wearable technology that makes sense and is tailored to my habits and lifestyle.  When I’m home, my Apple Watch should communicate to the Nest or Hue without me having to touch a button.

Talk To Me Like One Of Your French Girls

Wearables being connected to the things around us needs to be the next frontier of travel and maps.  Last fall when I visited Versailles (how douchey was that sentence?) I waited in line for entry, then again to get a translator ear piece thing because my French isn’t that good anymore.  I abhor waiting in line so if I could have had a wearable device that would have picked up that I was standing in front of a painting of Marie Antoinette holding court and told me about it, I would have paid money for that.  If you’re lost in a foreign country, useful, intelligent proximity features would completely revolutionize the travel industry and make wearable devices more mainstream.  

Please enjoy this crappy photo of me at Versailles

Please enjoy this crappy photo of me at Versailles

Your FitBit Has The Right To Remain Silent

No matter the technical advancement, there’s a little part of me that’s suspicious of where my information is going and who can access it.  With recent hacks and privacy breaches in the news, it’s not unfounded that people would be worried about the latest wearable tech which collects more personal information about you than your bank. There was a guy in the news who’s FitBit was used against him in court for a personal injury lawsuit so there is reason to be careful with what you’re doing.  However, I try not to be an alarmist so I usually just try to get over myself. I only recently added a password to my iPhone so I’m probably not the most secure user of technology. There’s still a long way to go to get many consumers on board with having a device that monitors your most personal details.  There are tons of benefits to FitBits and other wearables but you still exercise (ha!) caution.

Good thing I don't exercise

Good thing I don’t exercise

Resistance Is Futile

Wearable technology seems to be one of those buzzwords that seems great in theory but hasn’t really panned out in real life.  I was super jazzed about the Apple Watch when it came out but as I complained about before, it was useless.  If people are expected to leap at every new Apple or Android offering, the wearable technology needs to be seamless and make our lives easier.  I don’t want to have an aneurysm screaming at Siri when I’m lost after making a wrong turn (yes, I know I should just learn directions).  I want Siri to learn that I always say the full command instead of waiting for her acknowledgment, so she should adjust to my habits.  Hue should be connected to a smartwatch and know I’m falling asleep on the sofa watching Frasier and either turn the lights off or turn them brighter if I tell it ‘don’t let me fall asleep.’  These little details are the make or break points needed for wearable technology to really gain momentum in the consumer sphere.  Currently I have a super cool light system that lets me choose any colour I want and control it with my phone, but aside from my brother, no one I know owns one. Every time people come over they LOVE checking out the colours on Hue or watching Roomba but no one has actually made the leap to buy either one.  

I don't recommend you feed Cheetos to your Roomba

I don’t recommend you feed Cheetos to your Roomba


I want the world that Star Trek promised me!


Don’t Want Your Website to End Up Like Ashley Madison? Get Piece of Mind with the 14 Oranges Semi-Annual Website Review

September 30, 2015 | By |

A website is an essential sales and marketing tool that is the face of your company and the first touchpoint for customer interaction. Websites must to be updated and evolve along with your business in order to maintain a fresh look and keep up to date with Google analytics regulations and industry changes.  Mobile searches have outnumbered desktop searches so ensuring a seamless customer experience on any device is a requirement.   

Every year web standards are updated and new methods to build websites like WordPress are developed.  For example, a site that’s several years old may have lots of HTML code so the website will load very slowly.  New coding styles and updates allow websites to be more secure and load very quickly, so take this into consideration for your website update.  Other features such as social media integration and blogs are more of a necessity than trend, but they can easily be built into web updates.

Waiting several years to update your website can lead to updates costing more money or even a complete website overhaul.  Also, with the recent number of high profile hacks, website security is not something to be taken lightly or ignored.  By making bi-yearly changes and updates to your website, you are keeping up to date with new technology, security and best practices.  Staying on top of your website helps catch possible security breaches, build your brand, increase sales and optimize performance.  Don’t let your competitors get ahead of you.

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Site Snapshot

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CMS Updates

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Plugins would be updated to the latest versions and related bugs addressed.

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Minor content changes could be applied to the website as required to a maximum of 30 minutes.

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