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.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Samsung Galaxy Note 7–A Bummer For Me

OK so my contract with Verizon is about up and I am ready to think about a new phone. Actually I have been thinking for some time and I had decided (back in July) that it would be the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.

I am currently using a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and was real happy with what I had read about the Note 7. Back in August I talked with Verizon and I did not like the trade-in I was offered so I decided to wait until the contract was up – well it’s up this month however things have changed.

What to do, what to do.

I really don’t have any phone in mind other than the Note 7. I am a Samsung user. I really should say that we are a Samsung family, refrigerator, washer/dryer, 3 TV’s, and my phone. Oh yes, a Samsung Microwave. Add to this the fact that I recently purchased a Samsung Gear S2 Classic. Samsung Pay works on my watch and I love using it.

Samsung Galaxy S7 EdgeWith all of this I am pre-disposed to buy a new Samsung phone but can’t make up my mind. S7 Edge does not have a stylus, bummer.,

After reading “Galaxy Note 7 Vs Galaxy S7 Edge: What’s The Difference?” from Forbes, I suspect the S7 is my best bet – even without the stylus (darn). I have also recently seen that Samsung has been adding some Note 7 features to the S7, read: “Samsung Galaxy S7 gets the Note 7’s Always on Display upgrade”. Samsumg VR

OK Verizon here I come, well maybe. Still have to think – FOBO (Smile).

I wonder if the Samsung Gear S2 will connect to the new Pixel by Google?  I wonder if they, Verizon, will throw in a Samsung VR – that could make a deal.

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.