New Year 2017 – Things That Will Disappear

Feliz Año Nuevo a todos. Last year I wrote a post about disappearing technology. In this post I would like to expand on this theme with some more observations.

  • I don’t use any CD’s anymore – My data backups are totally in the cloud
  • Last year I purchased approximately 20 DVD’s. This year it will be half as much since most of my movie watching is Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime.
  • Last year I had 5 remotes for TV and streaming video box watching and now I have none because of the Harmony Hub
  • Last year I used my iPad every day and now I sold it and primarily use my Google Nexus Smartphone
  • Finally I used to use my smartphone and computer for all my searches and now 50% of the searches and all of my music playing are accomplished using Echo, my smart speaker and the Alexa App.

What is disappearing in your life?

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Pick A Favorite Photo Of 2016

Almost everyday I’m taking photos with my smartphone. So when I looked back at Google Photos it was very hard to pick a favorite. So I’m going to let you pick a favorite. The winner will be the one with the most votes.

Go For It. Please pick your favorite and vote on the poll below the photos.  Thanks.

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Favorite Smartphone Apps – December 2016

Last year, I posted my favorite apps Of course smartphone technology changes everyday. Here are some more favorites.

  • Instagram – I enjoy seeing great photos from friends and great photographers. One of my favs. is “jaw dropping_dropping_shots
  • Prisma – superb artsy photo editing
  • Feedly – all my RSS feeds in one place
  • Capital One – best user interface to control your CO account- and now it works with the Amazon Echo
  • Merlin – Interesting facts and trivia from around the world
  • Google Translate – Invaluable
  • Yahoo News Digest – Delivered twice daily. Great graphics and easily digestible news info
  • Alexa – Controls my Amazon devices (Echo, Dot, Fire TV)
  • Kayak – Easily make airline and hotel reservations
  • Pocket – Last year’s favorite but easily my most used app for saving and reading web site information

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Amazon Echo – Alexa, Play My Favorite Music

Thanks to my mother-in-law, Sharon and I are now the proud owners of an Amazon Echo. Ok, hands up CTL subscribers how many of you have no idea what an Echo is.

Amazon Echo is a smart speaker connected via wifi to The Internet. It can do the following very well:

  • Play your music or music form Pandora and other apps.
  • Give you weather forecasts from any place in the world
  • Updated news headlines
  • Voice access to Wikipedia and Bing
  • Spanish Dictionary
  • Timers, Alarms, calendar events, todos
  • Most importantly the Echo through the Alexa app begins to learn your routines

The Echo has over 3000 developers that have skills that can be loaded into the Amazon Clouds. Here are some examples

  • NPR news updates
  • Jeopardy TV game
  • Capital one Credit Accounts
  • Airport Info
  • The Economist
  • The Wall St. Journal
  • Interactive Games

My 98 year old mother-in-law is facing some memory challenges. She lives alone but my brother-in-law is just a block away. She often forgets what day it is and has reminders to take medication as well as important phone number.s

In my next post I will explain in detail how I’m using echo in Cuenca.

Alexa, tell me how to play better poker please.

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What’s Your Favorite App (2016)

I have 209 apps on my Nexus 6 smartphone but according to my memory stats I only use on average about 35 of these apps daily. So here is a quick list of my 7 favorite apps. I have intentionally skipped apps like email, facebook, maps, photos, calendar etc. because they are in everyone’s daily usage. All these apps run on the iPhone too.

  • Pocket – a fantastic “read later” way of saving important data
  • Feedly – a superb “News Feed” App.
  • Merlin – Daily Esoteric news
  • Moves – a great pedometer
  • Prisma – My absolute favorite photo editing app
  • IMDB – great info on movies and tv shows
  • Flickr – Connecting with my photo buddies around the world

What are your favorite apps?

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Must Have Smartphone Accessory

Very early this morning a truck or a bus cut our low lying electrical cable from the street to the house. pulling out the pole and disconnecting our alarm box for the electrical fence. I had to make numerous phone calls to the alarm company, police, electric  company and as it turns out to the landlord because the electric company would not connect the electricity until we had a new pole. Add to the confusion my wife was pet sitting and I was supposed to meet her at noon

Cut to the chase my phone  after 25 phone calls my phone battery was at 15 % at noon. Needless to say without electricity I could not charge my smartphone battery. To the rescue came my Aukey quick charger and within 30 minutes I was at full power. A $20 gadget is priceless during an emergency.

 

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