If you’re into Google products, as a sort of digital will, you can set up Google Inactive Account Manager in case of your demise. After a set number of months of inactivity, it will give access to someone of your choosing.
I’m re-watching Deep Space 9 and noticed this guy as a character. I looked him up because I know he’s been several different Star Trek characters…five, apparently. Data’s mom (Fionnula Flanagan) has played three characters. Anyway, it got me curious as to who has played the most characters in Star Trek. The Star Trek wiki mentions five actors who’ve played seven characters each; Enterprise’s Degra guy, DS9’s Brunt/Weyoun/Enterprise’s Shran guy, DS9’s General Martok guy, Enterprise’s Admiral Forest guy and DS9’s Kira’s dad guy. Honorable mention to Babylon 5’s Lyta who played many uncredited Star Trek roles and was also a stunt woman. Who knew?
Microsoft just announced the free Visual Studio Dev Essentials program:
Things that caught my eye:
• Pluralsight training video site (6-month subscription)—(Available through December 31, 2015 or while supplies last)
• Azure credit ($25/month for 12 months—coming soon)
After running for a little while with Windows 10 on our PCs at home, the most annoying problem is Windows 10’s insomnia. It loves to wake up. I run powercfg -lastwake or powercfg -waketimers to see what’s waking it up and it’s almost always Microsoft’s Update Orchestrator Reboot. Try to disable wake timers on that scheduled task and Microsoft will just re-enable it. It even wakes my wife’s laptop while it’s closed, which can’t be good as far as thermal issues. I see other people out there are having the problem too. Hopefully Microsoft fixes this issue at some point so you don’t find your PC awake every single morning?
I’ve had several SD card adapters that have been sitting on a shelf for some time. Turns out the metal pins on SD cards get pretty corroded just sitting out in the open. If they came with a case, keep them in there.
Google Play I’m Feeling Lucky Radio thought I’d enjoy Michael Jackson singing in Spanish: “Todo Mi Amor Eres Tu” (“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” in Spanish). I must admit, it does have me giggling. I have no idea how it’s trying to figure out my tastes, though. It’s doing a pretty bad job of it.
We just went to Colorado Springs/Denver for a week. Had a great time. Helping to keep up on wi-fi security on the trip was Freedome…a VPN with a 2-week free trial…cause you don’t wanna connect directly to open wi-fi.
May Bug Museum – a great little bug museum with all kinds of specimens I’ve never seen
cog railway up to Pike’s Peak – rode a train all the way up to the top and found marmots, ice, and freezing winds…28 degrees in August
Cave of the Winds (warning: auto-playing video) – nice cave to tour through. Paved and great for kids. They have a terrifying ride where you can pay to swing out over a cliff…which we didn’t do for some reason.
Garden of the gods – Giant jutting rock formations…conveniently placed right in Colorado Springs
Fargo’s – great Victorian-style pizza place with balcony, employees in old clothes, self-playing piano, balcony…all packed tightly with lots of people
Rocket Fizz (chain) – A neat soda/candy store with all the independent sodas and candies you can think of. The clerk recommended the bug barf soda. I chose something else.
Garbanzo (chain) – Mediterranean food…can’t go wrong!
Rosemount Museum – Late 1800s mansion in Pueblo built by a family that owned a bunch of banks. Also, the locals pronounce their town as “Pieblo”….what?
Miramont Castle – A mansion built into the side of the mountain in Manitou Springs…a 42-room mansion built for a Catholic priest and his mom. (Life is hard?) Manitou Springs is already a tiny cramped tourist town to begin with, but we accidentally ended up in the middle of the Pikes Peak Marathon where super-runners go up and down the mountain)
Axum Ethiopian Restaurant – We got a bunch o’ stuff and enjoyed it.
Denver Aquarium – A nice aquarium with divers, touchable exhibits, a flash flood, etc.
Elitch Gardens – big amusement park…fun for kids and all
The Wizard’s Chest – Great geek store with board games, figurines, toys, and costumes. It was like being inside Amazon.
Old Chicago Pizza (chain) – Big thick Chicago-style pizza. Tasty and all!
Museum of Nature and Science – A museum so big that we unfortunately didn’t even have time to see it all. We saw the new mythical creatures exhibit. I can picture the pride-swallowing that had to happen to have exhibits of made-up creatures just to get peoples’ attention. It was fun for kids anyway. We also saw an entire exhibit on poison. That was different.
Ikea – Vanessa finally got to visit an Ikea. I recently got The Stanley Parable…a PC game…I think it might actually be an Ikea simulator…endless rooms in various configurations. The kids were getting kinda bored, but did enjoy the Swedish desserts in the cafeteria at the end.
Casa Bonita – Can’t go to Denver without going to the famous Mexican restaurant with cliff divers. The food is bad so we just got nachos…but hey…cliff divers in a restaurant.
Did you know that, more and more, you can just talk to your computer to do things?
Historically, computers have generally been difficult to use. But they’ve recently gotten easier…you can often talk to them now. So get out there and say “OK Google, Hey Siri, Hey Cortana” and see how many phones and computers you can get to respond at once. You can’t get everything accomplished by talking yet, but it’s pretty impressive sometimes.
On an Android phone or tablet, you can tap the little microphone button and say things like “navigate to Smiths”, “set a timer for 15 minutes”, “remind me to water plants in 1 hour”, “note to self: buy milk”. Similarly, you can click the Microphone at google.com while using the Chrome browser. You can also set these up to respond to you saying “OK Google”.
On iPhone 4S and above, you can hold the Home button and talk to it. (I think you can also set it to respond to “Hey Siri” or just hold it up to your ear too, assuming you have that set up.) Then you can ask it, “how do I right-click in OSX?”. (I never get tired of that joke.)
And now Windows is getting in on the game with Windows 10. Once you get things set up in Windows 10, you can just say “hey Cortana” and say things like “start calculator”, “play music”, or “show me pictures of dinosaurs”. For some reason, it doesn’t respond to, “shut down”. I wonder why?
If you update to Windows 10 in the next year, it’s free. This assumes that you have a laptop with a mic, a headset, or some other kind of microphone. This won’t work if you have no mic. Once Windows 10 is installed, click the little search bar in the lower left and set it up. You might have to click the little microphone icon down there and set that up. You’ll also need to set up voice activation by going to the start menu and typing Cortana to go to Cortana settings. Enable the “hey Cortana” feature. Once you do this, it’s pretty funny to say “hey Cortana” in a room with many PCs.