Sunday, October 26, 2014

What does this say about our society?

This is irritating. Can someone explain why this is the top story in Top Stories?

Can someone explain why it is even a story?

There are so many more important things than some celebrity's appearance in the world. I'm not certain why this even rises to the level of a story, let alone a "top story". Let's hear about something "real" going on in the world, not some speculation whether this actress or that actor had work done.

OK, I really DO know why this is a story. People are more interested in this "fluff" than they are in the important things in the world. They would rather read about some celebrity -- most of which are basically useless -- than they would about situations in Africa, or even at home.

Relegate it to the lifestyle page, if you must, but don't call it a top story.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Tablet Place -- Old Eyes

One of my devices is a Dell Venue 8 tablet. Here is the setup. The tablet, of course is the Dell. The mouse is a hype bluetooth mouse. The keyboard is a Brookstone folding keyboard. And the glasses are Beyond Reading glasses. It's has proven to be a pretty good set up for consuming and even creating content.

The tablet runs Windows 8.1 and is in essence, a miniature laptop. Because it runs Windows, I find that the mouse is essential to my experience. Although the touch features do work on the tablet, I run enough "desktop" applications in my use that I find the mouse makes things better. It's battery operated and goes a long way on the batteries. It gives me the precision I need on the small device, especially with my touch-challenged fingers.

The keyboard is another necessity for creating content like this blog. It folds in half and is rechargeable. It does a good deal of time between charges and can easily last several days with my usage. Although I can use the on-screen keyboard, I find it less than adequate on this and other devices. This keyboard can also pair with my cell phone in case I want to go extra tiny. The feel is not as adequate as a regular keyboard and I can't type as quickly as I can on a laptop or netbook, but it works adequately for the use.

The last component are the glasses. I have just purchased these and they give me three ranges of magnification for my tired old eyes. Although I like the tablet, I find that the type is often just too small -- like trying to read the instructions on the pill bottle. These glasses give me the magnification I need to make things better. I actually see pretty well up close for consuming content, but, I don't see all that well when I use the keyboard or put the computer on the table.

And, speaking of the table, you need one to use the complete set up. The tablet case stands up the device, but it can't hold the keyboard. This makes a flat surface an essential component of content creation.

So what do I think? All=in=all, a pretty good set up. I sometimes think I should have gone with a larger tablet with a keyboard,but, for the cost, I am reasonably satisfied. Since I consume more content than I create, this set of tools is quite sufficient for my use.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Technology? Barbie? Say What!?

Of all the places on the web that I visit, Pinterest is probably the most confusing for me. Can anyone tell me what Barbie has to do with "Technology"? That's the section I was looking at and here it was. I csn maybe understand a robotic Barbie or a machine to clone Barbies, but Barbie without makeup!? What does this have, even remotely, to do with "technology"?

Oh well I don't visit this site often and, now, maybe less.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Why do I care?

I went to Bing news (yeah, I and saw what was there. The question about the highlighted items is, "why do I care?"

Just because someone is famous, do I really care what they think? This lady comments crassly on fashion, after all. What possible news worthiness is her opinion on international politics?

And why does the number of people viewing something affect it's news worthiness? Looking at the reality television that is popular, I don't have a great deal of faith in the judgement of most people.

OK, I'll turn the rant off now...

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Trending News?

So I'm looking at Bing news (yeah, I know...) and I see this...

Why do I want t know this? Just because other people are reading something doesn't mean it's something I'm interested in. I'm not part of the herd. I can think for myself. Sheesh...

Sunday, June 22, 2014


So this morning, I'm thinking about the morning...

What "places" do you visit when you first get up? My routine has changed and involves places on the Internet and devices rather than newspapers or other physical things delivered to the house.

Do you check your e-mail; look at Facebook, Google+, Twitter or other site; or check your work e-mail? How has your routine been affected by technology? What device do you check first. Do you turn on the television, listen to the clock radio, or check your smart phone?

I'm sure the "places" you are in the morning has changed over the years. I know mine has. One a weekday, for example, I first look at my work phone -- yes, the fact that I even HAVE a work phone is a change. I'm on-call and want to know that things that ran overnight actually ran. It's a cursory look, but it IS the first thing I do. I get my news, almost exclusively from the web. I don't turn on the TV in the morning mainly because I get up earlier than the rest of the family and don't want to disturb them. On a weekday, I'm a "quick our the door" kind of guy and don't spend any time at home before going to work. On the weekends, holidays, and vacations, I spend more time -- again, on the Internet.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Circle of Shopping...

My boys just graduated from high school and my wife has been spending time trying to find clothes for them for the graduation and college. The kicker--they refuse to go to the store to try things on. So what do you do? Shop online.

She has spend literally thousands of dollars on purchases -- we have twin boys, so two of everything -- and, completing the circle of shopping, I have taken back literally thousands of dollars of clothes.

I am on a first-name basis with at least one clerk at a brick-and-mortar store because of my returns and the UPS guys know our house pretty well. Through out this entire experience (yes, we actually found a couple of "keepers") I have observed some things.

First, we shop at online retailers associated with brick-and-mortar stores in our area -- JC Penney, Macy's, Old Navy. This makes returning merchandise easier as they are a short drive from home. It seems much better than having to repackage things to return to online only retailers. Brick-and-mortar stores replaced by online only operations? I sure hope not. They should be augmented by online operations.

Returning things to these retailers was easy. The ease of this helps the retailer by making us more likely to use them again in the future. It can even help the physical store. On more than one occasion, I have picked up something else at the store while returning something from the online component.

Keep up the circle and retain the physical stores to make returns easier.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Recent "Place" Updates

So my Dell Venue 8 upgraded to Windows 8.1 and I didn't really know for sure. After a long "don't stop your computer..." session, I did see some minor differences. For example, when I went to the top of the application to drag it closed, a bar appears which allows me to click the "X" in the right rather than dragging to the bottom, but that's about it for now.

The performance does seem to be a bit better than it was also. But, I'm not really sure about that. I still like the Dell and, in general, am OK with Windows.

On my netbook, Ubuntu upgraded to 14.04.Much like Windows, I haven't seen much change. Now, admittedly, I don't do a bunch of customization on the system, so I may not be getting the "full benefit" of the upgrade. Performance on the underpowered Acer is OK, however for what I do, so I'm happy with that upgrade also.

I think, here, I should mention something about my philosophy about computers. I don't use them for the operating system. The operating system is a home for the applications that I run. It needs to get me to the applications and stay out of the way. That's it. It's OK, if it looks good and works elegantly, but, I don't do ANYTHING there except start the applications I'm interested in. And, oh yeah, it needs to connect to the Internet and the devices I want to use. It needs to do this as consistently and with as little mucking around as possible. In this way, I think that Apple has it together. Don't bother me with configuring, running jobs or whatever, just do it. When I want to print, find the printer and print the page--that's all.

Both systems seem to have it together in that respect, so I'm OK with them.

Well, now that I know what operating systems I'm using, perhaps I'll have more to say about them later. Right now, they are out of my way and I'm doing my thing...

Friday, April 18, 2014

Don't Fence Me In

If you are going to build a tool, app, service, don't fence me into your environment. Yeah, I know you want all the advertising profit you can get. But, let me do what I need to do and your profits will be even larger because I will use your products more. Let me copy text and images. Let me "share" to other services, not just those you own. Nothing is more frustrating than being restricted by the tool or service I will do what I want even if takes more effort to do it, so you might as well make it easier for me to do it using your tools. It will only increase my use of your system -- are you listening Microsoft, Google, Apple?

I want to blog, comment, post like I want to blog, comment or post, not the way you want me to, and I will choose the tools, apps, and infrastructures that best let me do this.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Duh, income, what else?

What Will Drive Consumers to Shop Online in 2014?

Read more:

I saw this infographic today and my first thought was that people need the income to shop ANYWHERE. They need good, dependable jobs. Giving money to the rich won't work. Fancy marketing plans won't work. Supporting the middle class so they have decent incomes creates wealth in an economy driven by the consumer...period.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Why is this Top News?

What is wrong with our society when this is "top news"?

I use News360--in general a very good news aggregator--but, can someone explain why this article is in the section "Top Stories". OK, it's a picture of a pretty, famous woman in a small swimsuit, nothing particularly wrong with that. But, what makes this a "Top Story" over news which affects me and the world more?. Why is it in that category? Put it in the "Celebrities" category, that way when I want to know about the vacuous lives of the super-rich and famous, I can go there and see just how pitiful my life is. But, give me stories in the "Top Stories" which have something to do with the "real" things which are happening in the world. It's no wonder that people in the U.S. know more about the intimate details of the lives of actors than they do about geography or world affairs.