I set up a Harmony Hub with Google Voice and lo and behold, it can only be controlled by me. When others try to give it commands, it complains that it doesn’t recognize them. Well that’s useful.
Hey Waze, maybe merging into heavy traffic and then expecting me to make an immediate left across several lanes isn’t very realistic? Is there a way to turn off superhero mode?
My favorite thing about Google Voice is marking phone calls as spam. “Hi! This is Elizabeth from Resort Rewards Center and you recently…” [click] [Mark as spam] Of course, they somehow have 50 local numbers, but it feels like I’m contributing to something.
I’ve been running Plex on a TS-251 NAS with my ripped DVDs for a little while and I like it. No more digging for the workout DVD to play it. Minecraft server running all the time. Handy.
I think it’s funny that I spent all those years getting cranky when someone would touch my PC screen. And now after having a touch screen laptop, I impulsively touch other peoples’ laptop screens.
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.
I see articles like this and get so excited about self-driving cars. I hate driving. It’s such a waste of my time. (Maybe it’s because I drive a boring 4-cylinder Kia?) I could be doing a thousand useful things in the car, but I’m sitting there in the daily drudgery, fear, and frustration of the daily commute. As this article talks about, the reason it has to roll out so slowly and carefully is liability…none of the car companies want to be the first to be sued in a self-driving car injury or death. I’d still rather drive next to a self-driving car than another driver like myself.
This may go without saying, but don’t try Netflix over your cell connection. I recently tried it for a while because I was amazed I even had enough speed to do it. Before I knew it, my speed was throttled because I was over the 2.5 GB limit. It goes fast.
I got a new game on my phone called Pandora. Pictures of products pop up over your music and you have to find the X as quickly as possible.