Lifelong Learning

The Irish poet Yeats once said, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” My goal is to learn one new item everyday. It could be a new Spanish word, a new place to explore in Ecuador or learn some new tech trick. Many of my new tech info comes from Podcasts and News Feeds. Below are 3 good ones to listen to.

What resources do you use to extend your lifelong learning?


Siri vs.Ok Google vs.Cortana

Cortana the new voice assistant for Microsoft smartphones is now available on Android phones and will be available for IOS devices later this year. In Feb. of this year I compared Siri with Google Now

Although Cortana gets high marks on Windows phones, the interface is still in Beta on my Nexus and it was slow and not as accurate as Siri or OK Google. Here are my new findings:

  • Different Voices – Siri is the winner
  • Immediate  Voice Activation – OK Google
  • Sense of Humor – Siri for sure –
  • Faster and more accurate findings – Google Now

You can see a good video on he 3 voice assistants here


Your Memory Is Changing – Part 1 of 3

Pop Quiz CTL readers.

  1. What is the capital of Nevada, Cañar, Prince Edward Island?
  2. How many feet in a mile, boiling point of water in degrees Kelvin, fahrenheit, celsius?
  3. Who is the U.S. Secretary of Labor, Prime Minister of Spain, Foreign Minister of Ecuador?

Did you know any of them by heart?  Good for you! Of course you know where I’m going with this. Don’t waster any hard disk space in your brain because all of this information can be found on Google.

The Internet is an amazing tool and is also a prime example of Disruptive Innovation. 60 years ago when I was in 5th grade the answers to the above questions had to be looked up in an encyclopedia. Perhaps you had one in your school library or if you needed this information during non school hours you had to trek to your local library and hope no one was using the “S” edition to find the Prime Minister of Spain :-).

A friend in Oregon sent me this fantastic article on Why Your Memory Sucks  Please read the article because I hope to have a ongoing discussion on:

  • Memory
  • Technology
  • Disruptive Innovation



Even Geeks Need To Wash Dishes

O.K. here is the confession. I would rather have root canal than do a sink full of dishes. That has changed since my wife made me this great birthday present. As you can see from the picture below its a very masculine apron.  Now washing the dishes is no longer a chore.

Sharon is using some interesting techniques to make these aprons. Each apron is 100% cotton and washable and is one of kind and signed by the artist. $20 an apron gets you empowered for dishwashing.

sharon apron lenny apron pepper apron

Google Now Voice Commands

This morning I had an interesting conversation with my tech savvy neighbor. She owns a Google Nexus 5 Smartphone but was unaware of the voice commands that save time and key strokes.

Android phone users can initiate the voice command “Ok Google” and have their phone initiate the following:

  • General Searches (find chicken recipes)
  • Who invented (the telegraph)
  • Post to (twitter, facebook)
  • Open an app
  • Note to self
  • Take a photo
  • Call a contact
  • Create an appointment
  • Show me a nearby Swiss Restaurant in Cuenca
  • Flight status of (AA #1120)

Drippler has an extensive list of Goole Now voice commands here

What are your favorite Google Now Voice commands?


Rock Faces On The Wall

Pop Quiz CTL subscribers. What is the name of the street where the buses go up the hill from 3 de Noviembre and turn on Tarqui. Go to the head of the class if you said “La Condamine”.

I travel on this route 4-5 times a week and look out at the rock wall and see faces in the rocks. Well today I took my cell phone and recorded some of those faces. I edited the photos and uploaded them to Youtube. Enjoy!