Thursday, August 25, 2016

Amazon’s responsiveness is very good but you must be aware.

There is a NY Times article this morning, “Subscribe and Save on Amazon? Don’t Count on It” and it is a thought provoking writing.

AmazonWe buy from Amazon often however we do not actually subscribe to any ongoing products. We do buy our coffee regularly from Amazon. What I discovered is that the people who sell through Amazon can have many varying prices for the same product. I suspect Amazon does not discriminate between it various seller’s.

When Amazon sends a notice to re-order we have found it often comes from a different supplier and the price can be (and is often) quite different – sometimes actually higher. Before purchasing I review all the other prices from various seller’s.

In many ways I think of Amazon as a Mall; the sellers meet all the quality criteria to sell via Amazon however Amazon cannot control their price.

Recently we purchased an item from Amazon that was to be supplied by a seller via Amazon. We order the product by name and at price A. When the product arrived the packing list said it was exactly as ordered however the physical product was not.

The product received was as good as what we wanted so we would keep it but in research the product received was less than price A, which we paid.

We wrote Amazon detailing the complete issue and within 45 minutes we received an email and the credit had been applied.

FANTASTIC Customer Service. And that is what we are after.

We have been customers of Amazon for 10 years and Prime members for a number of those years. We thoroughly enjoy the service. I have not had to write often but when we do we get a response.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Tesla's fatal Autopilot accident: Why the New York Times got it wrong - TechRepublic

Tesla's fatal Autopilot accident: Why the New York Times got it wrong - TechRepublic:

I think I'll go with Tech Republic on this one. Actually I don't think the NY Times likes technological changes or Elon Musk and Tesla for that matter. Hmmm....I think there was a prior article regarding Tesla that Elon Musk rebutted with facts. But then that's me.

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Samsung’s OS Tizen on Watches - Next Phones?

The following is a personal opinion (as is all of my writing).

Galaxy Note 4mI have been very happy with my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and because of that I purchased a Samsung Gear 2 Classic running Tizen – not my best choice. I suspect I should have gone with an Android OS on a watch.

The Samsung Gear 2 Classic is a really great watch, it runs well and look good. I like the way you access apps and get information, the bezel is fantastic; however, and it is a big however, I cannot get my favorite Android app’s.Gear 2 Classic Keep for one is missing and that is an important app. There are others that are missing as well.

Now I read in 9TO5GOOGLE; “Report claims that Samsung is considering moving all of its devices to Tizen”. Time to rethink all of my future plans.

I really like my Android OS and running on the Samsung phone it has been really great. This is not my first Samsung phone. There are app’s that I like which are available on the Android OS but not on the Samsung Tizen and I doubt if they ever will be.

On another note; I do not believe that 4 App Stores can run well, Microsoft is having that problem at #3 and Samsung is not even near Microsoft.

Samsung makes great hardware however their app selection is just not the same as Android or Apple (hmm yes, that is alphabetically correct – An before Ap), and yes, Microsoft.

Music is one place where they are not up to speed. Apple with their music, Google Music, and now Amazon is doing very well. Being an Amazon Prime member I use their music a great deal and I have an app on my Android device and I believe it is available on Apple devices. I have used an iPod for years – not switching to Milk (Samsung’s music app). 

Perhaps my next purchase will send me back to Motorola and I just might look at Apple – they make a great watch and I can use all the Apple and Android app’s (I have an iPod and iPad).

Microsoft watch? Hmmm…….I wonder if they will run Android app’s?

I think Tizen is an up-hill battle for Samsung.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Life In The World of Free WiFi

Stopped into my favorite McDonald’s to use my Hotspot and the power outlet. Well what to my wondering eyes should appear?

blog-promotion1A lady, with computer, had taken the 4-Top next to the outlet and that was OK. Wait a minute. On second look she had put her computer bag and a drink cup on the 2-Top next to her so no one would sit at this table. Now the power outlet it out of range.

I have to assume she has a government position and this is secure use of her computer in a public place. NSA – No Space Available.

Conspiracy theory. She is well dressed however in black. A gentleman comes in, sits down,and they talk. Now is she getting a report from a clandestine agent? Or is she hiring a hit man to do in her husband? Hmmm…..I like the hit man theory.

I think it’s time for wine. Just sayin’……

The weekend in coming and that is a good thing.

Advancing Technology of The Personal Assistant

This morning my friend, and collaborator in the future, Franz Dill (The Eponymous Pickle), sent me an article on a Kickstarter project by the company Pebble. The article: Pebble’s New Core Competency is Alexa, is a very interesting read.

I am fascinated with the oncoming world of personal assistants and it cannot get here fast enough. In the process of reading this my mind drifted back to the early 80's and personal computing when I had the same thoughts. There was a point when I began to tear out of the newspaper (and magazines) anything that related to personal computing. My thoughts at the time were; the more ad's and articles the more prevalent this technology would become. The more people read about it the more they want to see it, they more they see it the more they want it. So ad's, articles, and announcements like this, are paving the way for acceptance.

As I see it beginning with the 80's this rate of acceptance is getting faster and faster. I do not find anyone who rejects the personal assistant as readily as they did the personal computer in the 80's or the Internet in the mid 90's. I believe that we are in the fast track lane of personal assistant development and now instead of years we are talking months and, who knows, maybe weeks. Overtime it will be quick (and painless) and we all strbkcoffeewill be talking to our watches, key rings, maybe even our coffee mugs in the morning. Hmmm…..they could be listening.

Have a GREAT DAY!!

UPDATE: In just reading a Computerworld article I thought I would pass along that link. Very interesting. These three virtual assistants point the way to the future. I am interested in Amy – she could be very powerful.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Current Personal Technologies and Me!

beach052016Just finished vacation and had a great time. While on vacation there were plenty of times when today’s world of PA’s (Personal Assistant’s) were both used and at the same time left a desire for more.

History: The first time I ever used the term PA was with a Palm Pilot. I thought this was the greatest device that I could make notes with, what a wonder. Now the term PA can include AI (Artificial Intelligence) that can hear what we ask and can return information based on it’s knowledge gained of us. 

Back to the vacation.

First is the travel area and it does not deal with PA as much as I would like.

We used Google Maps (on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4) to plan our tripSamsung note 4 and once in the car connected the Bluetooth to receive the Navigation information. I added music through the phone (Amazon Prime or Google Music – I use both) so that we could enjoy our long trip.  As soon as we got onto the highway I set the cruise control and it wasn’t long until I was bored.

I do have podcasts that we listened to and if I had a digital Audible book  we could have listened to that. We can control what we want to hear better today than at anytime in the past and it could be a learning experience. 

I am also ready for Self-Driving Cars. We were on the road for about 11.5 hours and I could have used much of the time more effectively even if it was having a great conversation with my wife without driving distractions. We could have read books or magazines, or just sat back and relaxed. Sadly the return trip was about the same. I could drink coffee and talk however I always had to have my hand on the steering wheel and focus had to be on the road ahead. I sure would jump right at a proven Self-Driving system.

One really interesting item in our travels; the GPS, knowing our route and destination, would have text messages sent to our phone (or watch) noting upcoming traffic issues – accidents, construction. If needed we could have changed our route. The watch is another great device so that you can quickly glance at the watch to see what is happening; email, text message, confirmations, phone calls, it’s all there.

After we arrived at our place of stay (really nice and on the beach) I took out Tap (Amazon’s portable Echo device), checked the weather, and played some music. Each morning, once showered, I would check my Flash Briefing on Tap, then get the weather, and from there we could plan our day. All information was automatically location based unless I asked for something other. 

While on vacation I could connect back to the condo to look in on things. I had lights set for on and off back at the condo and I could check the security.

All in all it was a pleasant trip and a really nice vacation with a wonderful group. We enjoyed ourselves and out PA. If there is something I am looking forward to it’s more services automatically handled by the PA; making the reservation, ordering the Pizza (can do that with Alexa however it is coded for home), asking for area attractions. I am looking forward to the auto that not only tells you that you are low on gas but recommends the next gas station for fill up – based on your personal preferences.

The same could be said of asking for nearby restaurants. The current PA knows your preferences and makes all recommendations accordingly and can make the reservations when decisions are made. It, the PA, will have the phone numbers and information required to make that reservation.

Ah yes, at first there was some trepidation about security but alas we have passed that abyss and now are leaping head first into the wonderful world of PA with AI….