Sunday, December 29, 2013

My 2nd day wth t he Dell Venue8 -- a keyboard

This is my second day with the Dell and I'm really pretty satisfied.I have taken an old, cheap portable keyboard and plugged it into the USB mini plug and guess what? It works like a champ. Go figure. I did have to modify the clamps a bit. Well, actually i removed the top one, but now the tablet sits right on the top like a champ. You can see the result at the left. I still have the device in the case that case with it and have it sitting on the keyboard case back. The only small drawback is that you must be on a table or use a lap desk with the external keyboard. Other than that, it's quite usable.

More as I explore use of this tablet.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

I have a new place

Today I bought a Dell Windows 8.1 tablet  My primary reasons for giving up my old Android tablet are

  • Microsoft OneNote
  • Battery life
The Dell has much longer battery life. It also came with Microsoft Office which includes OneNote--one of my favorite programs. I'm still getting it set up so will report back later. So far so good.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Human Race a Minority?

The human race is a minority on the Internet. And no, it's not because your pets have all of a sudden gotten computer-savvy.
recent report published by Incapsula, a company that helps websites manage their traffic and security, examined the activity across several thousand of its sites and found that humans make up less than 40 percent of all activity in 2013. But even though the bots are more active than ever before, that might not necessarily be a bad thing.
Igal Zeifman, who wrote the report, said that while the number of bots is up from last year, it's not all spammers and hackers. "The bulk of that growth is attributed to increased visits by good bots," he said. Bingbot and Googlebot are both good bots that help the search engines find new sites.
I spend a lot of time on the Internet, but, apparently, bots spend more. 60% of the hits to your site are probably from bots. What does this mean? For one thing, unless your filtering your numbers, you can reduce your hits by about half. You also need to account for these bots when you are designing for volume.
It also may mean that you will need to take this into consideration when you are evaluating how "people" actually use your site, since bots will "use" it in a completely different way. If the bot is from Google, Bing, or some other search engine, it's just working its way through your links without regard for any of your sophisticated marketing techniques, link placement, color schemes, etc. You really need to isolate your human visitors to take advantage of that.
Of course, a bot isn't buying anything, so that could affect your abandon rates if you don't account for it.
If you are using some outside service to evaluate your site, then they are probably taking this into account. If you're using your own resources, then make sure that your statistics exclude the known bots. You won't be able to eliminate everything, but you will be able to reduce the impact on your statistics.
Maybe Ray Bradbury was right . . .

Sunday, November 24, 2013

New Tablet?

I have been thinking about getting a new tablet. The Acer A100 I have just doesn't have the battery life I want and it is old and can't be upgraded. But I'm wondering which one to get. I do NOT want to spend lots of $$$ on one, but want one with good battery life and speed. I'm looking at the Nexus or even the iPad Mini (probably refurbished to keep the cost down). In a departure, I have even looked at the Windows 8.1 tablets. One of my favorite programs on ANY platform is Microsoft OneNote and I notice that the Windows tablets come with Office installed which would give me that excellent program in its native format. More as i look to change places.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Need for Speed

The instant nature of the internet drives an apparent need for news to be put up as quickly as possible. Here's a minor example from my morning place. These are two Twitter entries placed right next to each other from different news services. Note the difference in the body count. I know that these types of counts are notoriously inaccurate and that a 10% difference in this case doesn't really detract from the main story. But it is illustrative of larger gaffs in news coverage which can result from this rush to be the first on the net with the story. If your report is more than 17 seconds ago, it's old news.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Where's your FIRST place?

With many of us having multiple social media places where we exist, the first thing we do when we get up is to check a device to see what we've missed when we have been in slumber land. Where is the first place you go in the morning?

Mine is e-mail. I am usually on call for work and have to check my work e-mail. Then I usually do a bunch of morning things, and the next place is my personal e-mail. Maybe it's because I am an old guy that I do this. E-mail is so "2000".

The next place is a crap shoot for me. Somewhat, it depends on the device I'm using. On my tablet, I have an aggregator for Google+, Twitter, and Facebook. I'm likely to use that. If it's the Ubuntu netbook, then I select one-most likely Facebook because more of my community hangs there.

I'm also likely to check one of the news sources that I like next. That's either Feedly (RSS feeds), News360, of Flipbook depending on my mood and, again, the device I'm on. In fact, I might do this first some days. A lot depends on what's going on in the world. These news sources have become my newspaper for the day. If I don't check them in the morning, I'm definitely looking at them at lunch or in the evening. It's also the major reason I look at Twitter. I subscribe to several news organizations just to be able to know what's going on.

So what's your routine?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Tablet Keyboard

One of my places has been my Android tablet, an Acer A100. I have had both good and bad times with this unit, but, generally, more good than bad. Writing has been one of the bad, primarily because of it's lack of a keyboard. Since I took touch typing on an IBM Selectric typewriter (yes, one of those) in high school, I have preferred typing to hand writing. It doesn't help that my handwriting is so bad that even I can't read it much of the time. The on-screen keyboard although OK for single finger typing just doesn't cut it for any type of creative activity. I have been looking for a reasonably priced (e.g. < $99 dollars) keyboard--preferably in a case. Well, I finally found one. It's a MiniSuit Keyboard Stand Case for Google Nexus 7 FHD 2nd Gen (2013). Yes, I know it's for the Nexus 7, but it fits the Acer A100 like it is made for it. It is a bluetooth keyboard that sell on Amazon for $21. That's reasonable, real reasonable. I charged it, paired it with the A100 and it is working great. The case is nice and the keyboard can be folded back so that the tablet can be used without it when you want.I'll write more about it as I get more experience with it.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

OneNote Fixed

With the most recent update to this excellent note taking program, Android tablets broke. Microsoft has fixed the issue and, I must say they have a winner. I am a long time fan of this program and,with the upgrade to the mobile platforms it is really quite nice. It has always been an excellent note taking platform on the PC. The mobile platforms and SkyDrive add a dimension to the system. I'm working on some articles about social media creation using various tools and one which will play prominently is OneNote. Watch for it.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

OneNote still messed up on tablet

I haven't given up on OneNote quite yet for my tablet but it is very frustrating that Microsoft hasn't fixed it yet. I'm resorting to other alternatives, but they just aren't as good. I have started to use my Ubuntu netbook--yes I do have one of those--with SkyDrive to create content, but this post is being written on my Acer A100. I have even considered a Windows 8 tablet or iPad, but just can't justify the cost. More in the continuing saga.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

OneNote on Android Tablet gone to Hell

The last "upgrade" to OneNote failed for my tablet. This sucks since OneNote is an excellent program and the tablet was one place it worked well. Noe Microsoft has screwed that up. It's very frustrating and I'm actively looking for a viable alternative. So far no luck. One thing that keeps me from purchasing a possible alternative is the hope that this is only a temporary glitch. More later. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Reading eBooks

I'm reading books on Kindle (not the device, the app) and finding that books from BookBub are pretty good. I get the free ones as I don't like the idea of paying for them or I check them out of the library. It's working pretty well for me as I can put them on the smart phone and the tablet and work through them wherever I am.

Friday, March 8, 2013

So my parents come into my room unannounced...

Baret Steed is tired of Facebook. She’s had an account since she was 13, but isn’t a fan of the fact that the social network now includes not only her friends, but also her parents, aunts, and uncles. “It’s almost like they’re the only ones on there,” she says. “All your relatives are constantly commenting on your stuff. I appreciate the gesture and wanting to keep up with my life, but it’s kind of annoying.”

Yep. There should be no expectation of privacy on the Internet for kids from their parents.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Working from Home -- Another Place

Since Yahoo restricted work-at-home options for their employees, there has been a great deal of discussion. I like this place for work occasionally as it provides the flexibility needed to make work-life balance, well, balanced. But the bottom line on Yahoo's decision will be whether it is good for business -- read profitable. Since providing this additional place for people to work is primarily a personnel decision and people are expenses, the effect on productivity, retention, hiring, job satisfaction will be the ultimate test of this decision and all the debate in the various places will be moot. One can by cynical and say that this might be a move to get higher-priced talent to leave so that the company can hire H1-B personnel, but I can't make that comment as I have no knowledge. The profit equation will be the deciding factor for Yahoo. You can probably tell that my personal opinion is that it is the wrong decision and I know that, were I looking to change jobs and join Yahoo, this would definitely be a negative factor in my decision.

Monday, February 18, 2013

So do I need pictures?

It seems everyone posts pictures on social media. Admittedly we ARE visual creatures and many of the pictures are of cats, but, I'm wondering, do you read more if there are pictures? Do the pictures need to be relevant? Like, here's my cat.

Not much to do with the discussion, but what the heck, he's funny when he does this. So visual posts have it over just words, even if the words are the important part. More cats, it seems.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dead Android Tablet

My Acer a100 died in its sleep a week ago. Luckily it is still under warrantee, so it's at the hospital in Temple TX as I write this blog. Since that tragic event, I have been using the iPhone 4s from work as a main place. The small form factor is somewhat hampering at times, but, otherwise, things are OK. Waiting to get the tablet back, however.