tech that moved from my bag to my pocket

One of the things that have been the case for me for a long time is I use my cell phone a lot. Back in the original Pocket PC phone days, I had a lot of add ons. I still have a lot of adds on for my iPhone. Back in the days of the PPC phone, I traveled. I can tell you that, for the most part, I had between 2 and 4 hours of batt3ery life. When you are stuck on a phone and listening to music, that didn’t work, so back then, I also had a media player. I added a kindle at one point in the mid-2000s as well. Now, everything is on two devices: my iPhone and my iPad. But I still chase add ons. I realize that, for the most part, when it comes to technologies, I tend more towards the outlier.

But there are some interesting technologies that you use with your phone. Mosure is a digital measuring tape that connects to your phone. It allows you to measure something and store it on your phone quickly. ARRIM is a device that allows you to take a picture of a space and convert that picture into an Augmented Reality view. Finally, the last one for today is FLIR, FLIR lets you take a thermal image of a space. The reason for the conversation today is something I often get questions on, why do I need these things. The easy answer is honestly; you don’t. But, many things are now available on your cellular device that changes how you move around.

  1. A few years ago there was a portable television you could take with you on trips. Now, you can use your cell phone for that.
  2. I used to carry a portable GPS and a portable media player for my music and my directions. Now my cell phone does both of those things.
  3. I used to carry a portable Sirius receiver. Now, I can use the easy application on my smartphone.
  4. In the days of a PPC phone, the concept of having voices translated wasn’t even an option.

Things have changed. While most of you will not ever have an AR scanner like ARRIM, you may add a 360-degree camera to your phone. You may no longer use the magnetic stud finder but instead use the wonderful Walabot product (it shows you what is on the other side of the wall). You may not ever use a FLIR device, except, if your house is cold in the winter and hot in the summer. You may use an infrared camera to see if you need new Windows. The funny thing is, I used to carry a bag filled with the adds one for my phone. Now, it all fits in my coat pocket.

You may never use any of these things. But someday if you have to go to the phone store, and you see one of these devices, you will be able to tell the salesperson why you don’t need it. I know what it does, I won’t ever do that!

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video editing and Laser Engraving

In the past three years, I have backed two different laser engraving projects. One, Snapmaker, I’ve participated in both their crowdfunding campaigns. It is much more power and precise laser engraving tool and will be in my hands around May of this year. However, I also have been playing with a smaller laser engraving tool (LaserPecker), and while I am not ready to convert once of Alex’s drawings (that is our goal from the end of 2919 to create a laser engraving of one of Alex’s pictures). I can tell you that so far, the smaller, less powerful laser is interesting. I have burned a couple of coasters (literally, one looks terrifying and nothing like what was printed.)

Laser engraving is interesting, and many people use it for a variety of things. Fancy trophies are often laser engraved. The Snapmaker 2, can do laser engraving on class. The smaller laser is more suited for easier to etch on materials (such as felt, cardboard). I will once I get to the place where the quality is better to share some pictures of the laser engraver. The smaller unit uses cell phone software, so that is very interesting overall. The larger Snapmaker has to stand alone PC software.

Another product I backed a long time ago and haven’t reviewed yet is the Video editing TourBox. It is the type of editing (dial) that my wife used to use when she was doing videos in the advertising world — the editing of videos when my wife was starting to transition. Her first two or three big videos for her customers were done via analog SuperVHS or ¾ SP systems. The analog dial is used in the video editing suite, or now software. It allows you to move the video forward and backward. Most of the videos I make now are for training. I, on occasion, do family video edits, but not very often.

I will do formal reviews of both later, and this is more an update on new tech that is available!

I used to do reviews a lot more often when I first joined Virily. I’ve reviewed my first 100 posts in the past few days. I probably had ten reviews. I have moved from reviews a little, in the sense that I tend to be using things that most of you don’t even consider. I will be doing these two reviews only because these are both things that I feel like most of you would at least find interesting!

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of scam calls

I got a really interesting call yesterday. It was a spoofed number. Spoofing is basically what a demon dialer does. A demon dialer is a software package that dials numbers constantly. Back in the day, you would if you weren’t a good person, use that to find modems. But now, it is used by sales and scams to find actual numbers. The way it works is it replaces the actual number they are calling from with a number from the area code and prefix as your phone. In my case, it means the call comes up 240 or 301, the two areas codes I use.  99 times out of 100 I don’t answer calls that I don’t know the person. But in this case, my cell phone rang, and the number was close to my wife’s number.

Well, it was close but off by one number.

In a cursory look, I thought it was my wife, so I answered the phone. “Hello?” I said.

There was a silence and then a click. I knew a demon dialer was occupying the line. “is this Mr. XXXX, XXXXX?” the voice asked.

“yes, it is,” I answered.

“We are calling you about activity on your bank account, sir.” The voice said.

Hum. The funny thing is they didn’t say what bank just that they were calling about the activity.

“I am sorry, what bank are you from?” I asked.

There was a pause, “ I represent XXXX XXXXX bank, sir.”

Interesting. I don’t have an account in that bank. Also, when the bank calls, they never say represent. Represent is a word that means something different!

I hung up, and I also added the number to my blocked numbers list. The thing they are looking for is me giving them my account number and any passcode. Here is an interesting situation. If you have a passcode on your bank account, they, for the most part, will ask you for it. But the account number, they will never ask for that. They will ask for other ways they can identify you.

The sad reality of scams is that they are out there.

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growing views

For those of you who know this already, my apologies; for those that don’t, I have looking at ways to increase the views for everyone here on Virily. Increased views mean that Virily makes more money, and we all continue our happy world! One of the things that I have been doing is going back and looking at old posts that I made, and a few first posts shared with me by other authors (a huge thank you to all of them). I do love going back and reading and commenting on those old posts! When I read a post, I share that post on Facebook or Twitter. Sometimes both if I find the post resonates with something that I enjoy. But mostly one or the other for the share.

Here is my proposal. Or perhaps my guarantee.

  1. If I read your post and I will comment. I will not comment on posts of authors that don’t comment on my posts. I tried that two weeks ago, and it helps me keep my reading list shorter. (also I do reserve the right to not reads posts that make me uncomfortable).
  2. I will share the post on twitter.
  3. If you reply to my comment
  4. I will share your post again (if it is more than 24 hours between my comment and your comment, I will share it again on twitter, otherwise the second share will be Facebook).

The goal is simple, and I want to help every gain views. Views are important here on Virily. They pay the site (Google AdSense), and then the site pays us.

I am limiting my reading to no more than 30 posts a day. It is a lot of time in the morning for me currently, and I really can’t spend more time than that.

I am going to start this program tomorrow! The first thing and early in the morning!

I am also doing a couple of other ways to improve views projects and will share that information later.

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The reality of securing humans!

One of the things I often talk about is security. But security is an interesting thing. Today, let’s talk about human security. I am making the people around you a little safer.

  1. Do you have a Carbon Monoxide detector in your house?
  2. Do you have a smoke detector in your house?
  3. Do you have a flammable gas detector in your house?

All three of these very simple and often inexpensive devices are human safety devices. If you got on a boat, know where the life jackets are. Better yet put a life jacket on!  We must keep humans safe.

My father installed seat belts in our new car in 1967 — two years before new cars were required to have them. My dad used to make us wear seatbelts. We had so many friends and so many peo0le that didn’t make you wear your seatbelt. It was something, my father, as a scientist, was worried about. Take a fragile human, and stop a car from 60 to 0 with nothing holding that human in place. The high-risk situation, so dad said wear a seatbelt.

Carbon Monoxide has come up in the news a lot in the last couple of years. Many times Carbon Monoxide poisoning ruins vacations for people. The reality is that Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer. It is odorless and colorless.

Smoke detectors are critical. Many new apartments and houses include them. Battery and wall operated are optimal (in case the battery dies, the wall operated will still work.

Finally, adding a gas leak detector. If your home is heated by natural gas, it behooves you to have a gas detector in the house.

I am going to end with one more safety tip. Do not plug surge protectors into surge protectors. The generated heat is greater when you do that, and you increase the risk of fire.

Be safe online; be safe at home. The life you save may be that of the person next to you!

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i love weather stations (and old Virily Posts)

One of the things I’ve been doing is wandering some of my old posts. It has been interesting to see some of the things that I posted a couple of years ago. One of the things I still talk about is home weather stations! I talked about my first post and shared that link a couple of days ago. I am going to share old posts from Virily for today because it is interesting to me. In part, you can see the many short comments that used to be allowed. The other thing with the older posts in many cases is the reality of inflated views versus comments.

One of the things that I have wandered a lot on the technology side here on Virily is home weather stations.

The concept of Micro weather or home weather stations is something I first started chasing when I lived in Indiana. I had an Oregon Scientific indoor/outdoor weather station. The system was two parts, an indoor unit, and the outdoor receptacles. The outdoor piece did wind direction: wind speed, outdoor temperature, humidity, and UV. Many years ago, my station was part of the weather underground, one of the first sharing websites for the weather. Out of that, the concept of Micro-weather has risen. What that is is a grouping of weather stations that share a common application system, and publish their weather data network permitting all day long.

Why would any care? Weather moves in directions, from the east, from the west from the north or the south. Each direction brings different types of waters. In Maryland, whether that comes from the east is likely to have a lot of moisture (east of Maryland is Delaware, but east of Delaware is the Atlantic Ocean). Weather from the south tends to be warmer, and well carry a lot of moisture. Weather form the west can bring winds. The weather from the north is cold. It is often called the Canadian clipper. Overall the what and why of weather is fun. Micro-weather lets you see real-time what is happening in the world around you. You see, the NWS (National Weather Service) in the US and EWS (European Weather service) provide weather for the world. They often have weather stations, but they are more likely to be in the center of a city.

The NWS for where I live in Maryland averages 4 to 6 degrees warmer than where I am. That makes a difference when it is cold! Do you ever go online and check the US model (if you live in Europe) or the European model (if you live in the US)?

Old posts

  1. https://virily.com/technology/micro-weather-systems/
  2. https://virily.com/technology/rise-rude-rise-iot-brokers/
  3. https://virily.com/entertainment/review-indiana-jones-raiders-lost-arc/

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Tech I have been wrong on…

The technology landscape is strewn with failures. I have been looking at some of my old posts here on Virily and remembering things that might have been. I published an article here about the screen as a service. While I am a technologist, I tend to be more on the bleeding edge of technology rather than the consumer market side. What does that mean? It means I often adopt technologies before they are consumer market-ready, and in many cases, never going to be consumer market-ready. It is the concept of picking technology early. In looking at some of my old technology posts, I have missed on quite a few trends, but I’ve also been ½ right on a few trends.

To use a US Sports baseball where did I swing and miss:

  1. SCraaS is the acronym I created for what I called the Screen as a service. I thought that Keecker would be the winner boy was I wrong. The concept of the screen as a service was quickly embraced by the TV manufactures (with air sharing) and the two primary phone OS creators (Android and iOS) Both of the cellular phones support what is now called airplay, or screen sharing. Keecker, as a company, went out of business. It was a great idea, but you can get better, more portable, and easier to use home entertainment systems.
  2. Cloud brokers – when markets mature, they create brokers.  I figured the cloud market was maturing, and cloud brokers would rise. The name was changed (it’s now called Hybrid Cloud). Still brokers, but not at the level, I thought!
  3. Personal digital assistants – I thought Jibo was going to be the answer to this. Fun, interactive, and cool looking. Jibo and the sponsoring company went out of business. Alexa and OK, Google rose by creating small interactive voice managed digital assistants.

Where did I (again baseball) hit the ball

  1. 3d printers, I thought that in fact that everyone would have one, and then I thought they would be niche products. I still think they are going to be Niche products, but now the 3d printer has evolved. They now include laser engraving, 3d printing and 3d carving in the same unit!
  2. Touch computing would be a game-changer. I know many don’t like it, but it is a game-changer!
  3. Bandwidth would remain an issue on the internet. It is, it will be, and 5g will truly fix that.

I want to say that I could put many more Docs was right’s than doc was wrong. Sadly the wrong column is a lot bigger. There are many things that I have looked at that I would take off that has slowly faded from the market.  It is interesting for me to look back and see over the past ten years what some of my predictions have been. I have used the same review rules from my beginning days on Niume, and later Virily. What I have changed in the past three years is I no longer advertise Kickstarter or IndieGoGo campaigns until they are delivered, and I have used them. I also do not review things that have been given to me. I used to a long time ago, but I stopped as it is hard to convince readers that you aren’t biased if you got it for free!

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