Category Archives: GMG Tech Talk

The GMG Readers Spoke And We’re Listening- Changes Based On Your Feedback…

Many readers (and some of our own contributors) had made comments that the long scrolling posts sometimes are annoying, especially if that particular type of post is not one that interests that particular reader.  I get that it could be an annoyance to some who want a perfect blog reading experience.   The amount of time and energy our contributors put into their daily posts is really remarkable, especially considering that all of their time is donated.  Most of the music and food posts are very very long arduous tasks to complete and of course they are so detailed that they take up a lot of space and scrolling time.

In reference to Sista Felicia’s posts, having step by step visual photos of each process in the creation of a dish on a pretty much daily basis is a gift.  If you look back she hasn’t pimped her book in almost a month while providing a ton of detailed recipes, cooking tips, home decoration projects, bird feeder projects, ect, ect, ect.  Now that being said, I understand that if you could care frickin less about recipes or home decoration projects, then scrolling through her long posts about those subjects could be a minor annoyance. 

So my friend Bill O’Connor had sent in some code that we were trying to figure out how we could use to truncate the longer posts like the recipes and the music posts so that it would lead with a teaser and then include a link below the teaser photo which, when clicked, would open the entire post for those who DO want to see the recipe in it’s entirety or view the entire Gloucester music daily lineup.

The code that Bill had sent wasn’t working but it got me to thinking that there must be a way to truncate these long posts.  So I went back to my early days of creating the blog and when I wanted to change the way the blog was presented I’d research the blog help forums for days on end til I’d found a solution.  Lo and behold it was there, in the help section-


Writing & Editing

Splitting Content » More Tag

You can truncate your blog entries so that only the first part of certain posts is displayed on the home and archive pages. When you do this, a link will be placed directly after your excerpt, pointing the reader to the full post.

You can find the More Tag button in the first row of the visual editor toolbar or by pressing Alt+Shift+T:



So now Felicia’s recipe that might have consisted of ten photos and text in between each photo, or Joann Souza or Peter and Vickie Van Ness’ music schedules, can be presented in a much cleaner fashion of one or two photos and give the ability for those people who crave those longer detailed posts a way to view them in entirety while the readers who would just assume skip over them,a much easier time scrolling past.

So when you see the “Continue reading” link at the bottom of a post, you know there’s much more to that post which you can access when you click the link.

I hope you know we aren’t complacent and are always striving to make GMG the best it can be.  And part of that is listening to constructive criticism and acting when I feel it’s in the best interest of the GMG community.

Thanks for reading.  I am honored that you have taken the time to look at our blog out of the bajillion of options that are out there on the internet for you to click on.  We won’t stop trying to bring you the very best content we can and earn your viewership loyalty.

Have a great day

Joey Smile

Thanks to Bill O’Connor as well for leading me down the right path as well

Have You Installed The New National Grid Power Outage App for your Android or iPhone?

From the Google Play Store-

National Grid


This FREE National Grid storm app allows electric customers to report and check the status of their power outages. Customers will also be able to access important safety tips, view storm related press releases, view outage maps and access social media. Through this tool, we will also provide regional alerts and updates during storms.


and at iTunes-

National Grid


Update: Amazon Offering Chromecast for $30 Black Friday Plus $6 In Google Play Store Credits! Poll- Has Anyone Here Cut Their Cable and/or Land Line Phone?

Just saw that Amazon is offering the Chromecast for $30 for Black Friday Today and giving $6 in Google Play Store Credits making the Chromecast an absolute no brainer steal stocking stuffer-  Here’s the Deal At Amazon

For $30 this is something that will have huge impact.  I freakin love mine!



My guess is that anyone under the age of 30 either laughs or looks puzzled at why anyone would pay for a Land Line telephone or cable.

Reading the last couple years about online services like Hulu for $8/mo and Netflix for $8/mo there are whole slews of great television programming for tiny fractions of what you pay for traditional Comcast cable.

Yesterday I got the $35 Chromecast which plugs into the HDMI port on the back of your TV.  It allows for wifi streaming Television programming from your smartphone or tablet of Netflix or Hulu Plus programming to your TV.


The amount of network and cable shows that are available through these two services are astounding and way more than I’d ever be able to watch.

The one thing that you don’t get is local cable which admittedly is a big deal for a lot of people (not for me though and I suspect not for a lot of younger people who laugh at the idea of being tied to the exorbitant cable tv package plans).

I used The Chromecast with Netflix yesterday.  It took me less than two minutes to set up and was set up in three crazy simple steps.  I mean so easy my mom could figure it out.

I was always skeptical of these things because the video streams wirelessly from your internet and I figured that the picture would be compromised but the picture was insanely clear.  The show I watched was crystal clear.  I could pause and resume using my iPad as the remote and watch without commercials.  And it remembers where you left off watching a show and you can pick it up watching it on your iPad, smartphone or on your TV.

So if you buy the $35 Chromecast (one time purchase) and sign up for $8/mo Netflix and $8/mo Hulu Plus.  You could completely kick your cable bill to the curb.  Of course you still need internet service.

As for local cable channels which I recognize is hugely important to some people there are still OTA (over the air) antenna sold that will pick up local channels.  I don’t know how effective they are and I’d love to hear from people that have gone this route.  These over the air antenna are smaller and sleeker and look like mini sculptures-

Here’s an example of one of these OTA antenna, the Mohu curve-


So if you can pay $35 once for the Chromecast and $16 a month for Netflix and Hulu Plus and $52 for the Mohu Curve which gets you local OTA channels and after that one initial outlay you’re only into it for $16 a month.

To me it’s a no brainer because I get my news on the internet.

Click here to read about Chromecast

Click here to read about the Mohu Curve

Do you know people who have eliminated home phone line and/or cable tv in favor of cell phones and/or streaming tv services like netflix or hulu plus?

A sneak peak behind the scenes

If you went to The Slide Brothers concert we presented on Saturday, you hopefully had a good time, but had no clue as to last-minute scrambling that went on.  That’s because everyone involved is a pro — and that’s the way it should be.  Today, we’d like to offer a special shout-out to some of the folks whose work made this event happen and let you peek behind the scenes just a bit.

The scrambling began a couple of days before the show when we learned The Slide Brothers were not going to be able to bring a drum kit.  Mike Doyle happened to be at the theatre when we heard this, so he scooted down to Nate’s The Drum Shop North Shore on Rantoul St. and arrived back at the theatre in less than half an hour with a very nice sounding Premier kit in gorgeous white pearl, which you can see in the photo.  Thanks MTD and Nate for making this happen so quickly.

Then, on the day of the show, we discover we need even more gear and everyone in the Michael Thomas Doyle band chipped in to lend The Slide Brothers all that was needed for their stellar performance.  Thanks guys.  You’re real pros.

That performance relied, in good measure, on the expert talents of our sound crew, led by Will Hunt, who spent half of Friday drilling through a brick wall in order to hide the snake.

And on the night of the show, Bill Winn and Bradley Royds gave us absolutely perfect sound — so good that we heard compliments from both performers and fans!

Perhaps the last person ever to get any credit for his hard work is the guy in the light booth, which for this concert — and for Allen Estes, was Inge Berge, whose artistic lighting enhanced both performances.  And when Calvin Cooke (the B.B. King of Slide Guitar) told Inge to raise the house lights for a gospel tune so it would feel more like a church, he obliged gracefully and then returned the theatre to a performance feel with class and style.

You’ll notice that most of these people are from Gloucester and all are from Boston’s North Shore.  We are terribly grateful to live in a place so full of talented professionals!

GloucesterCast 10/27/13 With Guest Toby Pett and Joey Ciaramitaro


GloucesterCast Podcast Taped 10/27/13 With Guest Toby Pett and Host Joey Ciaramitaro

Topics Include: Controversial Boston Pro Sports Officiating,Sista Felicia Makes It Official, Rotary Trivia Night, Chad Konecky, iPad Air vs Microsoft Surface Pro,Reminder To Vote In Local Elections

Topics Include: Controversial Boston Pro Sports Officiating, Sista Felicia Makes It Official, Rotary Trivia Night, Chad Konecky, iPad Air vs Microsoft Surface Pro, Reminder To Vote In Local Elections

Search Questions I Get


Could you please tell me where I can find the promo you ran about my new book.  I’ve been looking through today’s GMG and I can’t locate it.
Barry Stacks


Go Ahead Click The Google Search Button.  Please.  I know you have it in you.  I just know it can’t be that difficult to grasp that there is thing on the interwebs called Google that actually allows you to find things that may be posted about a certain subject you may be interested in.

If you have a thing against the word “Google” and it sends shivers up your spine perhaps you could try Bing.

Googlephobia- the fear of using a friggin search engine to find something on the internet.


I swear to Christ I get 3-5 of these questions a day.  Every day.  It’s maddening.

On top of being able to search anything on the internet there’s also a Good Morning Gloucester Search Engine.  I swear it’s there.  I promise

actual screen Shot of Good Morning Gloucester Home Page below

You can go to the homepage here-  Bookmark it for easy reference.  The search engine is in the top right corner.

You can use it to search.  I promise you won’t get herpes or anything.  It’s been tested.


Should I be a tech reporter or should I be a tech reporter?

When Apple announced it was coming out with a cheaper plastic version of it’s iPhone I panned it saying that people that are buying iPhones don’t want inferior products.  They want the best and are willing to pay for it.  I suggested that instead of offering a lower cost iPhone that they should have introduced a mega iPhone that was even more costly and you would have seen iPhone fanatics tripping over themselves to buy it at double the cost.

You can read my original article posted on  September 12th here

iPhone 5s and 5c and What I Would Have Done If I Were Apple

Posted on September 12, 2013 by Joey C


Now low and behold the Wall Street Journal is reporting sales of the cheap iPhine 5c are slugginsh and they are slashing orders for them from manufacturers-

WSJ: Apple Is Slashing Orders for the iPhone 5C

Don’t believe on-line reviews unless you know the reviewer personally — or it’s GMG

SocialMediaYou’ve probably guessed that this was happening right?  Companies who want good reviews create fake ones on Yelp, Citysearch, Yahoo, Google, Kayak — even Facebook & Twitter.  Well you’re right. It’s called astroturfing.  It’s gotten so big that you can now hire companies to write and post fake reviews for your product or service.  You can even get them to write fake bad reviews about your competitors.

There’s a very interesting article in today’s New York Times about a crackdown on astroturfing that exposes several companies, including Main Street Host, which is one of those companies people hire to write fake reviews.  Main Street Host even went so far as to condemn astroturfing on one of their own blogs, while at the same time they wrote their own fake reviews about their own services, prompting this line from the New York Times article, “Faking reviews often begins with faked reviews of the company faking the reviews.”  You just can’t make this stuff up!

So, if you want to know the truth, stick with GMG.  No fake reviews here.

Now did I get this right or did I get this right? People who buy Apple products aren’t looking for the cheap version, they’re looking for the best version available.

Posted by Joe Rossignol at 9:37 am

Apple Cites ‘Incredible’ Launch Day Demand for iPhone 5s

iPhone 5S FrontIt appears that Apple is having yet another successful iPhone launch day, with the all-new gold iPhone 5s facing the biggest constraints thus far.

“Demand for the new iPhones has been incredible, and we are currently sold out or have limited supply of certain iPhone 5s models in some stores,” an Apple representative told AllThingsD.

Estimated shipping dates for most iPhone 5s models have been pushed back to at least 7 – 10 days worldwide, with certain models not shipping until October. On the contrary, there remains more widespread availability of the iPhone 5c in all colors through most retail channels.

The cheaper plastic 5c is readily available while the upscale top of the line iPhone 5s is getting backed up and limited supply.

Now if they would just listen to me instead of offering the cheaper version, they should have offered the super no-compromises version which includes a larger screen, more memory and a larger battery and charge $400 for it and watch apple freaks from all over line up half way to China to buy one and in the process probably win over a bunch of android fans who would have liked a larger phone which previously had only been available on the android platform.


My previous posts on the subject-

iPhone 5s and 5c and What I Would Have Done If I Were Apple

Posted on September 12, 2013 by Joey C

In light of the recent iPhone releases of the 5c and 5s a poll for iPhone users or potential iPhone users

Posted on September 16, 2013 by Joey C

In light of the recent iPhone releases of the 5c and 5s a poll for iPhone users or potential iPhone users

I’m fairly confident that we can all agree that smartphones of today including Apple’s iPhones and the high end Android phones are incredible marvels of innovation, productivity and communication powerhouses.

The iPhone is a great phone, the android powered Samsung Galaxy s4 is a great phone, bottom line, end of story.

Not here to debate which is better.  What I would like to know from current iPhone users is what features you would like most to see in the next version of the iPhone or were you most disappointed weren’t included in the latest iPhone release.

I contend that instead of a cheaper iPhone made with plastic parts like the iPhone 5c, a larger iPhone with more screen real estate and a larger longer lasting internal battery would bring larger numbers of people upgrading to that iPhone or converting from Android.  I think there are a huge number of power users and gamers who don’t care about having the lightest slimmest phones, they just want a performance beast with more real estate on the screen.

I’m not discounting the benefit of small and light, all I’m saying I think there’s a whole other segment of the market that would happily give up small and light for large and without a care in the world about having to not get through a day on a battery charge.

In the comment section on this post please share your thoughts about what you would like to see in the next iPhone or additional model to complement the current iPhone.  Even if you’re not an iPhone user I’d like to hear your thoughts about the larger heavier phone with longer lasting battery and more screen vs smaller lighter phone with a battery that may not get you through a day.

I’m not trying to convince anyone that one way is better than the other- for some people they just want the most unobtrusive, smallest, lightest phone they can carry, for others maybe having a larger screen means you can read and see things a little better, for others not being able to get through a day without charging their phone might drive them up a wall.  Fortunately there are many options in phones out there which push each manufacturer to get better and better.

I personally fall into the camp where I favor a larger phone and longer lasting battery but for someone that hardly uses the multimedia capabilities of their phone a smaller phone might be a better fit for them.

For size comparison- Samsung Galaxy s4 on the left and current version of the iPhone on right.

Samsung Galaxy s4 size vs iPhone Size

iPhone 5s and 5c and What I Would Have Done If I Were Apple

I’m am an apple product fan.  Huge fan of the iPhone and the iPad.  I own a first gen iPad and still use it. Even though I am an android phone user I can still appreciate Apple hardware.

Every product refresh they make they include great enhancements but I think there is one move they have yet to make but I think would be an absolute monster boost to their sales.

A larger iPhone to me would be a monster hit.  As a Samsung Galaxy s3 user I really appreciate the extra screen real estate and I appreciate even more the ability to strap on a cheap aftermarket battery to the back of my s3 which triples the battery life. 

I believe there are many people out there that want the smallest and lightest phones they can get but with the sheer computing power available on today’s smartphones they are being used more as portable computing machines and I think there is a distinct trend with people who want larger phones to be able to hit the keys easier and navigate easier, see videos more clearly, ect, ect ect. 

Although I recognize that Apple will probably never let you open up your iPhone or add a micro sd card slot for more memory a larger iPhone would mean more space internally for a larger high capacity battery.  If there’s one thing that sucks about a smartphone for a power user it’s the amount of life a battery on a small phone has.  Bigger phone, bigger battery.

For me the ability to get many different android smartphones with detachable backplates allowing for huge batteries and larger screens are the difference and why I’d recommend an android phone over an iPhone.  But if I was a casual non-demanding smartphone user it would probably be iPhone.

The success of the Samsung Galaxy Note which is basically a Samsung Galaxy with an even larger screen shows there is big demand.

I don’t agree with Apple’s tactic of offering a low cost iPhone either with the 5c and it’s plastic parts.   Apple has always been synonymous with unapologetic top grade hardware and premium pricing.  people were and are willing to pay for it knowing they are getting the best hardware without ever questioning it. 

I equate coming out with a lower grade iPhone to a brand like Tommy Hilfiger who for a brief moment was competing with the likes of Polo/ Ralph Lauren and then went and sold out and buried there products into discounters like Marshalls and TJ Max.  Forever to be equated with a poor man’s Polo and never will they ever be able to command the premium pricing they once did.

I say instead of offering a cheaper iPhone option that they should have offered a larger iPhone option with a mongo battery and charge even MORE for it.  That would have pleased Wall Street I bet.

.Samsung Galaxy s4 vs iPhone size-



Galazy Note vs iPhone size-


Samsung Galaxy vs Samsung Note size


CATA’s new website helps you get around Cape Ann on your phone


CATA Routes Page on an iPhone (portrait)

No, you can’t use your phone as a magic carpet to whisk you to and fro — not yet, anyhow.  But you can use it to see CATA Bus & Trolley schedules.  You can also get real-time transit directions from wherever you are (assuming you have the phone’s GPS feature turned on) and you can call 978-290-5875, follow instructions and get a text telling you when and where to get the next available bus closest to you.  If you see tourists, be sure to tell them about this — and don’t forget to mention that they can park at Stage Fort Park for FREE and take the Trolley Shuttle to downtown, Rocky Neck and the beaches (see schedule here).  Let’s keep their cars off our roads.

So, does CATA have a new app?  Nope.  It’s better than an app.  It’s CATA’s new website built using Responsive Web Design (RWD for short).

Websites that use RWD automatically reconfigure their display depending on what device you’re using.  One reason RWD websites are better than apps is that you can see the ENTIRE WEBSITE on your phone — and it’s optimized for your particular phone’s display based on how you’re holding the phone when you click on the website.

Here’s an example:  The picture above shows what CATA’s new Routes & Schedules page looks like on an iPhone held portrait (taller than it is wide).  Below is the same page on an iPad held portrait.  Click here to see the same page on a computer (but only if you’re on a computer.)


CATA Routes page on an iPad (portrait)

The top third of this image is what you see on a Droid phone held landscape (sideways).  And when you turn a smart-phone or tablet from portrait to landscape, the website’s design automatically adjusts to the new aspect ratio.

Again, the best thing about RWD is that regardless of the device you use, iPhone, Droid phone, iPad, any other tablet or any computer, you’re getting the complete website — all the info.  And when schedules change, CATA only has to change them in one place and all devices will see the new info automatically.  That’s why Google recommends developing smartphone-optimized websites using RWD (see their recommendations here.)

Pretty spiffy, huh.  WARNING – SHAMELESS PLUG: Vickie and I built CATA’s new website.  That’s what we do when we’re not presenting concerts and keeping gimmesound’s live music listings up to date.

Is It Astounding In 2013 That Someone Would Ask This Question Rather Than Google “Hard Merchandise T-Shirt”?

I got this email last night (name removed as to not embarrass the nice person)-

where can i find t-shirts for the hard merchandise?  cant find it on this place, or im looking in the wrong place.  help me out ok?  thanx


In no way shape or form am I trying to be a prick here.  It’s just interesting to me and I thought I’d share the fact that there are HUGE numbers of the population that haven’t figured out how to do an online search using a search engine.

I mean it had to take more energy for this kind person to type out the email asking where they can find Hard Merchandise T-Shirts than the energy it would have taken to type “Hard Merchandise T-shirt” into a search engine.

So you know they truly don’t understand how.  They’re not being lazy, they just don’t understand that they could Google it.

Here’s a Public Service Announcement for those folks that haven’t figured out how to search for stuff online (an everyday life tool I think you should know about)-

There are other Search engines such as and you can use to perform searches for things you would like information about or products to buy.

I understand that many of you already understand this but if you saw how many questions a day I get with simple questions that can be answered with far fewer keystrokes you would understand that there are huge chunks of the population for which this tutorial will help immensely.

If we can help just one person understand how to perform an internet search that previously didn’t know how I’ll consider this post a smashing success.

thank you for your time and understanding

Joey C

SpamBots- A PSA- Don’t Ever Open Email When It’s Just a Link

I get roughly 2-5 emails a day from people I may or may not have heard from in forever whose email accounts get hacked and the hackers generally send out mass emails from their email accounts that say something like-

Hey check this out-

Really at this point we should all have had enough experience and know not to click on links to sites we’re not familiar with but if you’re not here’s your warning.

Apparently my email account just sent oput a round of these.  Don’t click on link’s in anyone’s email to you that is just a line and a link to a weird site you’ve never heard of.

There’s your lesson for the day

"Letters, E-Mail, Texts — What’s Next?", a podcast episode of "On Point with Tom Ashbrook"

From NPR-

Letters, E-Mail, Texts — What’s Next?

Letters are dead. E-mail outdated. Text messages so passé. What’s going on with how we communicate?

Text messages passe?  Jeeze I’m a huge fan of the simple text message to get my point across in a pinch.

Letters totally dead.  Email outdated?  I’m a dinosaur I guess.

BREAKING NEWS: GMG to be the Boston area’s first Slog (Smell Blog)

Keeping up with bleeding edge technologies has always been Joey’s passion, so it was no surprise when he told me he had already been approved by Google to be the first Boston Area blog to get his smell into their new Aromabase.

Just in case you didn’t know, Google introduced smell search today under the moniker   Google Nose, which has been hailed as the latest scentsation in search — and as you might expect, Our Boy Joey is right on top of things.

We all know that email is for old farts.  Facebook’s already in decline.  Joey’s interviews with people who tweet are all done.  Now it’s time for the next big thing… and here it is:

Watch the video and you’ll see how to get the full aroma of Joey’s dock right at your computer, tablet or smart-phone.  GMG’s new tag My Smell on the Dock will debut next week after the rest of you FOBs  watch the video and follow instructions for getting your smells into Google’s Aromabase too.

Let’s make GMG one of the first blogs to adopt this new cutting edge technology with every post.  Perhaps next year BONS will nominate GMG in their new “Smell” category.  

Vickie and I are doing our part this afternoon.  We’re bringing our smell phones to The Cave’s wine & cheese tasting at 4pm.  With any luck, you’ll be able to get the full aroma from our post tomorrow.

There’s a new website in town

Usually we post about music, but we’re so excited about having launched our latest Web project that we just can’t resist showing it to you.  Just in case you didn’t know, in addition to publishing gimmesound and producing concerts, Vickie and I also design and build websites (see a list of some of them here, but remember, we’re too busy to update our own website, which was built in 1998) and we do Web and social media marketing.

Yesterday, we finished a new website for one of our favorite new local stores, The Cave.  This is different from all other websites we’ve built.  It’s a “responsive design”, which means it optimizes the viewing experience on what ever device you’re using: desktop computer, tablet or phone.  For example, here’s what it looks like on a desktop computer:


Here’s what it looks like on my Samsung Galaxy III held portrait (the way you talk on the phone).

Notice the menu system is completely different and the top heading is centered instead of flush-left.  The Facebook plugin is off the screen in this picture, but you can scroll down to it.  Everything is stacked nicely so you can easily find it on a phone.

If you tap the phone number at the top-right it will call the The Cave.

The photo is different too, but that’s because it’s a slideshow and a different photo was showing when I took this picture.  (This is actually a little more than you’ll see all at once on a phone, but I wanted to give you an idea of how it looks below the photo.)

There are many reasons why you want a website in a responsive design.  Most importantly, you want your site to be easy to use no matter what device you’re on.  And you don’t want to build a completely different site for each device.

This site uses the EXACT SAME HTML CODE for the phone display you see on the right as we do for the desktop version, above.  The difference in how it looks is controlled by one little file called CSS.

This helps your website rise to the top of Google search results and it also makes it easier when you need to change something (like your store hours).  You only have to write content once and maintain it in one place.


Here’s what it looks like when I turn my phone sideways.

Check out The Cave’s new website on all of your devices and see how it looks.

Be sure to go down there on Tuesday and try some of their excellent cheeses and other delicacies.  You’ll be glad you discovered this gem in the heart of Gloucester’s thriving downtown.

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