Of word processing and stuff like that there…

Today is one of those technology lapse days. A day when I struggle to find a topic, where I can dive into a technology concept and shake it until it loses some interesting fact, some small nugget of what could be.  I should probably get together a list of potential topics and save them for later. That way I have potential backup columns. Right now, as you can probably tell by now, I don’t have that list, and I don’t have a topic for today.  I really should do a better job of storing future stories for days like this.

In the past, I would spend a blog column focused on numbers. Or I could do another Indiegogo is a failure column.

I could dive into some interesting developments in the drone world. But, I am working on something in that space and won’t go there now.

Instead today I am going to wander Open Office. I’ve used Open Office for a while, currently running 4.1.5 on a couple of my computers. I will say the biggest difference from MS Office to Open Office is the overall size (roughly one gig for MS Office). Open office is a much smaller download.

I use Google Sheets, Docs, and Open office frequently as well as Microsoft Office. I don’t have massive problems in moving between the three. I will say that unique formatting in MS Office doesn’t translate well.


of great ideas and the bandwidth to share them!

I have been working on an idea for an implementation of technology that is new for me. In part because I am a geek, in part because that is what I love to do with my spare time. I spend a lot of time reworking my home network, that isn’t as much fun. That is more out of trying to keep the network functional. With six adults living in the house right now, of whom four are avid gamers, there are a lot of packets coming into and out of my home network.

Add to that an IoT/Edge person, and suddenly you see bandwidth is like a good scotch. You sip it, not gulp it. Sadly games, IoT devices, smart appliances and work computers like to gulp not sip. They like to suck down massive amounts of whatever information they need, quickly. That is why I use the find box, which allows me to shut off the interest connection of any one (10 or 1000 if I had that many) devices.

Fingbox, by the by, also tells you what people are doing on the internet. Not spying and forcing people away from what they want to do. Rather informs you of the categories and risks the users are considering. You see the internet to quote the twins is a den of inequity. They say that and then wonder why I give them a quizzical look. If it is so bad, I think to myself, why the heck do you spend so much time online?

The information will arrive soon. It will slip into the world one night, and suddenly be there. For now, it is still far away sipping scotch and waiting for the rest of us!


projection is so easy now…

Many years ago in Cincinnati Ohio we had two TV’s in our house. One was a 48-inch rear projection TV in our family/playroom. The other was a larger 60 inch TV in our home theater. Well, it was supposed to be a living room, but we made it into a home theater. I truly do not miss the old wired speakers that we had in that home theater all those years ago. We had wires running all over the room that was buried under the carpet along the edge of the walls. The sound was OK, but honestly the sound you get from the wireless speakers today

The concept of television becomes interesting then to now. The images quality from the SD days compared to now, the HD days is incredible. Speakers that I have talked about before have also improved. The funny thing is that content hasn’t changed. It has, however, expanded significantly. I would love to say the expansion of media has created more good content, but I think the good content is a constant, the bad content seems to be the part that increases.

Now your phone has a better screen than that long retired SD TV the kids used to watch. Most phones made in the past three years have near 4k displays. That old SD display on the kid’s TV wasn’t even anywhere near HD. Still, I miss that old TV. The reason for this is I read an article in one of the grounds I am an member of. The person talked about having the internet on your TV. It was a very simple article focused on displaying your computer on a TV. It only dove into the easy way (direct), but now you can do so much more. Samsung TV’s have integrated screen sharing. Chromecast and Microsoft TV allows you to connect to and share your screen. Apple TV and the Amazon FireTV also provide that service. Or you can get a Prijector, which will allow you to allow any device to connect to your TV or projector. The possibilities are endless now when it comes to displaying content where you want it!


The utter failure that is Indiegogo (and some other cool tech)

  I find myself wondering from time to time, about the why of things. I learned in a class long ago, that why drives what and how. In that concept is an important thing for me, why is the reason you do, what and how is the delivery. It is easy to stand back and note that someone else isn’t delivering their what and how the way you would. But you don’t have access to their why. Sometimes why people do things means they do them differently.

My daughter and I spent a lot of time researching and evaluating scanners before we decided on the Epson Perfection scanner. We probably spent many more hours researching than we needed to, but our goal was to reduce the amount of time required for our family history project while having the media flexibility of scanning pictures and slides. The why drove what and how going forward and well one of the reasons why I am talking about that today.

The path to your why in technology is often critical. For me, it often sees what I can do with the things that are available now. It isn’t about cutting corners, but it can be. The end game for me is as a technologist I am into new. As a person, I have always pushed the edges of possibility. It does often cause me to trip and fall from time to time.

I spend a lot of time talking about the great products that come out of chasing the possible. I don’t mention some of the epic failures. 19 times I have backed a project on Indiegogo that was a rip off from the minute I paid. Why? The creators had no intention of building anything. I have missed on quite a few things, but like coaches, all tell you if you don’t swing you will never hit the ball. I keep swinging because I’ve hit the ball quite a few times so far!



Cool Tech Wander, iPin, measure once, always have it with you!!!!

1000 is the number it shows me when I go to the Posts section of Virily. How many posts have you made, 1000 is my answer. I had 1000 posts on Niume and more than 3000 posts on WordPress before joining Virily. I post a lot. I am also closing in on 100,000 virils since joining!

The first couple of posts I made here on Virily were about boats and boating safety. I haven’t posted a boater safety post in a long time. I am due and probably will with the new boating season upon us. I cannot tell you how many accidents can be avoided by simply not doing things that have an impact.

O, one of the things I often do is measure things. I carefully write down the measurements and take them with me to the store to get the lumber needed for the project I am trying to do. Virtually every time I lose the piece of paper. That means ultimately I have to guess the measurements. I don’t know about you, but in more than 30 years of doing projects at home I have never guess the measurements correctly after losing the piece of paper I had written them on. I cannot tell you how excited I am for the new laser measurement market. iPin is a company I have backed in the past on crowdfunding sites. Now, they are helping me with a measure once, store on the phone, go to the store and because I would lose everything without my phone, I have the measurements!

I truly wish I was better at measuring. The tool might soon be shipping that will help me get there!

Now if someone would come up with an integrated high powered flashlight and laser pointer that also had a battery to add power to my iPhone, I would buy it tomorrow. I use laser pointers all the time. I am always looking for a good flashlight. It would be a match made in heaven for me!!!!



5 things limiting content producers on Virily!

First of all, two really quick things. There is a lot of frustration in our community with the overall direction. But as a community, we pull together. I gathered the top four concerns and issues that we, as writers and content creators on Virily have with the site today. I am sharing them with the community and with the editors of the site. I hope everyone understands that sites like Virily are extremely difficult to build, maintain and improve. Not that I am in any way saying that the complaints of writers aren’t valid, they are. There is no real easy way to do some of the things the Virily site does.

As the writers of Virily, we would love to continue to improve the site. The three issues we are sharing today are the ones that are impacting the writers, readers, and creators of content on the site. We wish Virily to be widely successful, and because of that, we would love to contribute and help grow the site!

  1. The site is very slow, and in the past month has been offline numerous times. In fact, one of the complaints on the share I made of the original improve Virily post on Facebook was that two different people couldn’t connect to Virily to add their comments.
  2. Once content is published and available we would like to have an edit button. Only visible to the content owner, so that if we desire to make changes, we can. We accept and understand that means the content may have to be re-reviewed by the Virily team. We would like the option!
  3. Communication! As writers and content producers here on Virily we are communicating. We would love to have more open and direct communication with the Virily team, giving us heads up about outages, issues, planned changes and in general just talking about what is going on.
  4. Clear explanations of the various levels, Badges and so on would be wonderful.
  5. Finally a clear defined easily consumed description of how much Virals are worth.

The goal is to help Virily improve. There are other issues, but the ones listed above are ones that impact or would provide significant value to a number of the content creators on the site.

The poll (with the first question broken into two questions) is also live. I will share both the poll results and the list above (and any additions) with the editors. Thanks all for the contributions to date! Just click the embedded link for the Poll!!!


Virily Fan!

the future of advertising…

I have a really good friend that on occasion sends me their musings. By musings, I mean the odd things that come to them as questions. They share the questions, and we trade emails for a while about the question. About a week ago, they sent me an email asking me to consider “what is the future of advertising.” We discussed the concept of locational or location specific advertising, literally, you drive, walk or boat by a specific location, and you receive a specific advertisement based on that location. Advertising in specific locations is done today via Bluetooth. Eventually, I suspect the carriers will sell location data to organizations that would allow text or SMS messaging as well as Bluetooth messaging.

All of that resulting in about 30 emails over the course of 8 days. This morning it hit me, the worst case scenario for the future of advertising. Something that when I thought of it, it made me shudder. It made me nervous just to think about the possibility. First off there are legal issues that will hopefully prevent this potential new worst-case scenario from happening. Privacy and other laws that would force the advertiser not actually to do this.

The horror would be targeted ads that activate the camera of your phone or tablet. Why? Because if you don’t watch the ad, it is not as valuable as if you do watch the ad. It isn’t about plays it is about connection. How many people that play the ad, actually watch the ad. Using the selfie camera (I hate selfies anyway, now another reason) to verify you eyes are looking at the screen and therefore the ad. Look I see 10 – 15 ads per day on various devices. Sometimes when playing brain games in the morning. I get these ads when checking my newsfeed or other information online. The reality is I don’t watch 99% of those ads. But today it is the plays, not the interaction they are looking for. Advertising of the future will not only tell you if the ad played but if the person actively watched your ad. Unless of course, we are smart enough to pass privacy laws that protect us from this. The result would be the carrier, or the advertiser paying you directly to access your onboard camera.


to advertise…

improving Virily and wandering some tech

For those of you participating in my fact-finding effort on improving Virily, I will finalize and share the top concerns/things we can do to improve the site this weekend.  For those interested, the following three concepts are the leaders right now.

  1. Better communication between the editors and users
  2. Ability to edit a post after it has been published without the editors having to push it back to the drafts folder.
  3. Speed up the site.

There are a couple of other things that will be included in the first three when I write them up!

On the path to what is next, I am open to technology interests form my readers right now. I spend a lot of time talking about the things I feel like are going to be important, but those are things I see. I would love to hear (in the comments section) things that you feel would be critical for you going forward in technology.

I am also going to dive back into the business reality of understanding the market before you launch. There are some things that companies forget, or rush past sometimes. I want to make sure that people considering leaping, know what they may land on!


tech guy

Kindles, Sonos and electronic books!

I was a very early adopter of the Kindle. I took one all over the world. It is a great product. I still have one. The ability to have my entire library of books in one place is awesome. It allows me not to buy books anymore. Now, I just have them on my Kindle. (I still buy them, but don’t have to have a place for all those physical books!) The amount of desk and shelf space saved by that simple answer is beyond amazing. Around the same time I started using a Kindle, I was also using Audible. Audible is interesting because you can get the same books on Kindle (Amazon owns both). You can read and listen at the same time. For me, I use audible books when I am communicating with my car.

Recently Sonos, a wireless speaker system for your home, released their new Audible play component for the Sonos speakers. You can have Alexa play Audible books as well. I won’t spend any more time on that; it is just interesting to see the various online streaming integration services as they all come together.

Integration is the future of IoT, home automation, and entertainment. I promise!

I use my iPhone as the primary Audible listening device (I have many more books on the Kindle than I used to). For me, the value now is I can listen to my audible books, and read books on my Kindle wherever I am.  Books, words and being able to enjoy both represent something important for me. In part because I have written blogs, books and other things for years. Partly because for a little more than a year of my life, reading was the only entertainment I had. The integration of Mobile to more and more technology is something that I welcome. The future is integration!



The importance improving Virily!

One of the things that I know, remember from my helpdesk days is that the flood of calls about issues was sometimes really difficult. I started in the helpdesk world in the days before high-end phone systems. A phone system allows you to record messages for users (yes, we know this system is down currently). That reduces the number of calls, the noise, the helpdesk has to deal with overall. The fewer calls on the same issue, allows other issues (much smaller call volume) to move forward faster. (The image is of my gifted Rune PeorD, the gift coming from another Virily user Anastasia Vsplyshka.) (the link takes you to the original post on Virily!)

As a technologist, and former helpdesk person, I would like to personally offer to help consolidate some of the technical issues we have here on Virily and present hose (with numbers of users impacted) to the Virily team. This will help them, the editors and technologists of the Virily team to respond to the issues faster. Fewer requests make the responses less and hopefully allow for better interaction between us, the content creators, and the Virily team the content curators.

Based on that, please respond to the issues that impact you the most here on Virily. I will compile the issues, and post them as a technology blog. I will also share them directly with the Virily team so we can start the process of coordinated site improvement. My grandfather used always to tell me “if you ask who owns a problem, it is probably your problem,” I am no longer asking about problem ownership, I am thinking about ways we can improve the situation. Please comment and share the issues you have. I will compile them and to Virily. If I reply to your comment with a number simply note that represents the number of that comment you are (1 means you are the first, 22 means you are the 22nd with that issue).


trying to help!