Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Tim Cook Receives the 2017 Free Expression Award

Tim Cook, CEO Apple, Inc.
Tim Cook receives the 2017 Free Expression Award in Washington D. C. from Newseum on April 18th. I think Tim Cook personifies this award and his thoughts expressed at the ceremony (see links below for notes) are something we should all take to heart. One quote I would like to repeat recorded by MacRumors (and others):
"We know that these freedoms require protection," Cook said of First Amendment rights. "Not just the forms of speech that entertain us, but the ones that challenge us. The ones that unnerve and even displease us. They're the ones that need protection the most. It's no accident that these freedoms are enshrined and protected in the First Amendment. They are the foundation to so many of our rights." 

I have posted other review links here.


Since discovering the Newseum, and for what it stands, I find this award should have been noted everywhere. I read a lot of news and either missed this or it wasn't covered as greatly as it should have been. 
The Newseum is an interactive museum that promotes free expression and the five freedoms of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, while tracing the evolution of print and electronic communication from earliest days of the United States to the technologies of the present and the future. 
I believe that we should all be actively concerned about the free expression and the five freedoms of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. There are those today that would like to take some of them away or at least block them out. 

As an outcome of this I am now very much interested in Newseum and discovered that it's principal funder is the Freedom Forum which led me to learn about the Freedom Forum. 
The Freedom Forum was established July 4, 1991, under the direction of founder Al Neuharth as successor to a foundation started in 1935 by newspaper publisher Frank E. Gannett. The Freedom Forum is not affiliated with Gannett Co. Its work is supported by income from an endowment of diversified assets.  
The Freedom Forum, based in Washington, D.C., is a nonpartisan foundation that champions the First Amendment as a cornerstone of democracy, and is the principal funder of the Newseum and Newseum Institute.
The Newseum's modern seven-level, 250,000-square-foot (23,000 m2) museum is located at 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, in Washington, D.C. features 15 theaters and 15 galleries. And again thanks to Wikipedia for this description, picture, and location.

Always Learning.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Surface Pro Onscreen Keyboard Needs Update/Replacement

I really do like my Microsoft Surface Pro 4 however the keyboard is useless when attempting to use this device as a tablet.

After years of having a swype like keyboard (whether its Swype, Google, or some facsimile) on Android or Apple devices this Surface Pro onscreen keyboard is just not the best it could be. I would rather do my writing on my Android phone and then copy and paste it into my blog than use this dumb tap-tap-tap onscreen keyboard.

Actually the Microsoft Office 365 apps on the Android phone are really pretty good and I do start a number of Microsoft Word documents on the phone and then clean them up on a Windows device. Perhaps Microsoft's new connection to Samsung could bring this about.

Please note (and stated many times in the past) I am a keyboarder. I learned to type in the 50's (1950's that is) and, at one time, exceeded 70 to 80 words a minute. And yet I can be faster on a swype like keyboard - almost like taking shorthand (there is a memory test).

I know there are others out there who agree with me as I see it all the time on one of those Community Boards on Microsoft, which I suspect no one at Microsoft reads.

I have often wondered how this, so last decade, onscreen keyboard is maintained. My thoughts are thatit is IT and perhaps Engineer's who do not do much writing, or only use this for coding. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Field Trip–A GREAT App for Fun, Learning, & Trips

Field Trip was first published in 2012 by Niantic, which, at the time, was part of Google. Field Trip at Google PlayAs shown in Wikipedia:

Field Trip, a location-based mobile app which acted as "your guide to the cool, hidden, and unique things in the world around you.

My wife and I have had Field Trip on our phones for a number of years and use it when we travel or just out for a drive and wanting to know the interesting places where we are. Pull out the phone, access Field Trip, and start reading, not while you are driving of course.

We have a deal; I drive and Pat reads Field Trip.

Recently we were driving on some small roads outside of Mason, OH and as we came down one hill and went across the Little Miami River there was this very large, not used anymore, old brick and concrete building. As I went over the small bridge and around the building there were other buildings and we became fascinated. Before I was too far away my wife was reading me the history of the Peters Cartridge Company in Kings Mills, Ohio. This place was added to the National Register of Historic Places in October of 1985. Great history. Field Trip on iTunes

It is fun when you are driving off the beaten path and see something of history – generally it is in Field Trip. Here is part of what it says at Google Play Apps.

Field Trip can help you learn about everything from local history to the latest and best places to shop, eat, and have fun. You select the local feeds you like and the information pops up on your phone automatically, as you walk next to those places.

One note of caution: When you are working or just busy, turn off Notifications, it will alert you to everything you drive or walk by.

I have used it to discover the background of older area’s of cities like Indianapolis and Cincinnati as well as many other places.

We highly recommend the app and it is free on Google Play Apps or iTunes.

I might add that Niantic Labs are also the people that developed Pokemon Go.  

Monday, February 20, 2017

Love My Microsoft Ergonomic Desktop

Just purchased a NEW Microsoft Ergonomics Keyboard and Mouse and it really does add comfort to typing - if we have to type. I know today a number of people use voice and I have yet to jump into that method of writing. I pause a great deal and the next thing I know the voice receiver has stopped. I like to think as I work/type and the keyboard just makes more sense.

Having said that I would prefer, on my tablet, to have a swype like keyboard and Microsoft seems to be delinquent in being able to provide that wonderful capability.

I have used a keyboard device since 1953 when I had to take a typing class in the 9th grade in Junior High. It’s been awhile. Those old Smith-Corona’s, Remington’s, Royal’s, and Underwood typewriters were amazing devices. You developed finger strength ‘pounding’ the keys.

Over the years, I have had the wrist pain, the fingers with arthritis, and have discovered ways to ease the discomfort. For some this is more than just discomfort. I believe one of the major injuries is carpal tunnel syndrome, and it can be very painful.

Actually; "Proper ergonomic design is necessary to prevent repetitive strain injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders, which can develop over time and can lead to long-term disability." This from: Wikipedia, Human factors and ergonomics.

One of the best ways for me is to use a Microsoft Ergonomic keyboard. I have also discovered that a small mouse can lead to discomfort with my hand so I now have a larger Microsoft Sculpt Mouse.

Over the years, I have only purchased many Microsoft Keyboards and Mouse (mice?). They have always worked well and I believe have helped me to continue typing without finger and wrist issues. .

The keyboard mentioned above has an internal label which states it is for the Surface Pro however the ads at both Microsoft and Amazon show it as Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop. I have actually set this one up with My HP Envy 15T  and it works like a charm.

The keyboard is light weight and the slope of the keys always works well for the way my hand lies on the keyboard. On a regular keyboard, you must turn your wrists outward at an angle to work effectively, if you are used to that GREAT, I don’t like it. The back part of my palm rests on the pad of the keyboard and makes it very comfortable to type. Microsoft does provide a riser for the front of the keyboard that attaches on the bottom magnetically.

If there is a downside to these wireless keyboards it is the fact that the USB wireless connection (transceiver) is not easily replaced – if it really can be. You mess up the USB and throw the keyboard and mouse away. I have done this twice. One I bent and could not fix, the other, recently, fried in the computer. The computer is fine but the transceiver is not. Once that transceiver goes you throw away the keyboard and mouse and that can get expensive.

I have included a 3 year old review from CNET of the the identical Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard that I purchased. One caveat is that you can find this keyboard many place however the price will change. I searched for the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop Keyboard &
and found the price to range from $80+ to $129.95, best Price so far is Amazon and that is where I purchased it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

"Microsoft CEO Nadella: AI should augment human workers" and I agree with Sataya Nadella

However which worker will AI be assisting? AI, as defined in Wikipedia, "is intelligence exhibited by machines." There are those workers who can and will use these 'Intelligent Machines' and there are those workers who will not be able to use the 'Intelligent Machines' - those workers could be replaced by these 'Intelligent Machines'.

We have all been created Equal with regards to Rights (although that is called to question by some) but we were not all created Equal with mental acuity.

The more the worker has to monitor 'Intelligent Machines' the more intelligence the worker will need and some (many) may not be capable.

What do we do then?

Microsoft CEO Nadella: AI should augment human workers, not replace them - TechRepublic:

'via Blog this'

Friday, December 30, 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016

Comment on the Samsung Gear S3 Coming Out.

Right up front you should know the Samsung Gear S3 watch, which is beginning to roll out (South Korea  currently) runs on the Samsung Tizen Operating System. It’ good but…..

Gear 2 ClassicI ‘was’ a happy user  of the Samsung Gear S2, I had some small issues that occurred between the Tizen OS and the Android OS. The Android OS is the operating system for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 that I had at the time.

At issue was the fact that some Android app’s (example Google Keep) did not function well on the watch – actually not at all in my case. There were other app’s but I became enamored with the Samsung Pay app and so it made up for the other lacking's.

Fast forward, I had been going to trade in the phone at the end of the Verizon contract for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 but alas that was not an option. While in the Verizon store we (my wife and I) looked at the Motorola Z Force (she having a current Moto watch) and it was pretty cool. Size was right for me and there was a “DEAL” – so we went for the Motorola Z Force, and now both of us are using the same phone.

While in the Verizon store I used the Samsung Pay app on the watch to initiate the purchase of our new phones, everybody smiled and the watch was a hit. 

After leaving the store, happily with our new phones, I went to pay for lunch with the watch and it did not work. Of course I had to think/wonder/discover why not.

This brought about an “A Ha!” moment.  Enlightenment at it’s best. The Samsung Pay app will not work on the watch without having a Samsung phone connected.

I am always looking to learn and this was one of those times, I wanted to pass along my experience.

I like the watch it’s just too bad that some aspects of the watch won’t work unless you have a Samsung phone, and plan to always have a Samsung phone – or at least as long as you own the watch. Sounds like a closed system, hmmmm….

My next watch will run the Android OS, you can bet on that. Android Pay works very well thank you, and I will bet that it will work on my watch one day.

Have a Happy Weekend.