Posted in FYI

Google Home & Artificial Intelligence

hand-1571849_1920I started writing this post innocently enough just to report on the  newest tech gadgets that are available and have become ‘useful’ in assisting us with our ‘day-to-day’ chores. Those of you who follow tech4boomers know that I pretty much give you the pros and cons of the ‘experts’ advice about new devices.

As I think about these newest, ‘cute’, robotic gadgets, I am reminded about 2001: A Space Odyssey and the famous HAL 9000, the spaceship’s computer, which is capable of speech, speech recognition, automated reasoning,  and a host of other capabilities. For those of you who don’t already know, HAL 9000 malfunctions and decides inappropriately to kill the astronauts!  Yes! It’s a pretty scary film, much more so than vampires, zombies, etc. At least you may be able to handle vampires when the daylight comes.

Have you thought about how much we humans rely more and more on artificial intelligence devices to ‘help’ us out? I don’t know the last time I even looked at a map to get me somewhere, and the truth be told, in most cases if Siri takes me in the wrong direction, I am pretty much lost – LOL.  I started wondering: what are humans doing about paying attention to their increasingly all-purpose uses of  Artificial Intelligence? Continue reading “Google Home & Artificial Intelligence”

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Fake News Savvy

fake-1909821_1280Recently the phenomenon of FAKE NEWS‘ has generated an upset among social media users and the press.  However, we can admit that ‘fake news’ has been around for many years.  Tabloids represent the first iteration of ‘fake news’. Stories about celebrities, with their faces prominently placed on the front page of the papers available at the supermarket cashier line have been noticed and read by many of us lined up to pay for our groceries. These ‘news’ stories are notorious among celebrities who have been known to sue these Tabloids for their ‘fake’ stories.

♦ Supermarket tabloids are particularly notorious for the over-the-top sensationalizing of stories, the facts of which can often be called into question. Source: Tabloid journalism – Wikipedia

I searched the www for information on how to identify ‘fake news’.  Use the sources below for guidance. And, for more perspective, some of you may want to look at the information on so-called “Satirical News” as well. Continue reading “Fake News Savvy”

Posted in FYI

Best Tech Gift Ideas

canstockphoto7515092 You don’t have to spend a fortune on a cool tech gift. We have some real deals for less than $50.
Source: 13 Must-Have Tech Gifts Under $50 – Slideshow from PCMag.com

Shopping for a gadget-obsessed friend or family member? Tech gifts are some of the most popular and sought-after gifts out there, yet many electronic gifts come along with a big price tag. But if you’ve written off any and all devices this year because of the fear of sticker shock, you might think twice after seeing our editors’ creative picks.
Source: Cool Gifts for Tech-Lovers | Real Simple

♦ With holiday approaching, everyone is getting into the holiday spirit.  While you are busy getting everything ready for the holiday, here are 8 free Christmas apps for kids. Most apps are good for all ages to enjoy, hope they bring joys to your home in this busy holiday season. Source: 8 Christmas Apps for Kids That Cost Nothing | iGameMom

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Happy Holidays !

Posted in FYI

Text Message Savvy

senior-textingDeveloping technology skills can be challenging for many of us. However, these everyday skills are necessary tools to assist us.

Texting has been around since the 1990s, nevertheless, it may still be difficult for some of us to comprehend how to use it.

GCF Learn is a free computer training website, which I urge you to visit for help.   Click the links below for guides on how to text.

  • Introduction
    You’ve probably heard people talk about text messaging, or texting. Text messages are short messages (usually 160 characters or fewer) sent from one mobile phone to another. It’s similar to instant messaging, except that you won’t need to log in—you’ll just send messages directly from your phone.Typically, texting is not free, although your mobile carrier probably offers service packages that include a certain number of texts per month (or even unlimited texts).
  • If you don’t have a texting plan, you’ll generally be charged whenever you send or receive a text message.  Source: Text Messages Tutorial at GCFLearnFree
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Passwords Reinforced Again & Again

enter-1643453_1280If you are, or have ever been, one of the millions of email users or credit systems users,  and your password was compromised, then you already know this is a worthwhile cause for concern. That is to say, we can not have too many suggestions for protecting our passwords and personal information when using technology to apply and store them.

As always I am looking for articles on the www or other places, which I think are important enough to focus on at tech4boomers.  Here we are again with yet another consideration regarding Passwords. Such is the case with some of these apps (below), which claim to be our newest answers for helping us with the on-going dilemma of password infiltration.

How can you create strong passwords: strong, and “remember-able” the same time? An article by Kit Eaton discusses extensively the following apps:

  1. Dashlane – Free for iOS and Android. This app can automatically update passwords, and is compatible with many websites. It also checks if the passwords you create are hacker-resistant.  It comes with a built-in browser to protect your banking  online. There is an upgrade available for $40/year.
  2. Keeper – Free for iOS and Android.  This app has an automatic generator. You can file your passwords and other information in folders. You can also use your Apple Watch and Android Wear, which lets you login uses these devices.
  • Some favorites in this category are: 1PASSWORD, LASTPASS  and KEEPASSDROID.

You can read the details at Source: After You Strengthen Your Passwords, Here’s How to Store Them – The New York Times

 

 

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Stress Less with Technology?

subway-1565684_1920I admit that it sounds like an oxymoron to some of you that the use of technology may help you to de-stress.

However, recently I read an article with some great suggestions about how to de-stress when you’re commuting to your daily job, or to other activities. For example, listen to podcasts, audiobooks, meditations.  Check out these really super suggestions and use them to create less stress during your day.

Click the picture below to read the article at LifeHacker.com by Alan Henry.

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Back to school technology list

mobile-phone-1333636_1920

It’s that time again when we are overwhelmed with questions about what to buy for the new school year, or maybe you need some new technology devices for yourself. I have learned over the years when purchasing equipment for my family, or myself  to check with another knowledge base other than my own :).  I am a fan of searching the www for ideas on what’s new according to some of the experts: students and New York Times Personal Tech, Brian X. Chen. This is a summary of what I learned: MacBook Pro is preferred for use with a traditional keyboard and Google Docs/Google Presentations.  These apps  are available through the web.laptop-1209008_1280

  • For students who have digitized textbooks a tablet may be preferred.  Tablets are easier to use for reading.  In addition, Microsoft Excel and Word is used with these Tablets.
  • The type of devices to buy may also depend on the student’s field of study. Science students may best be served with a laptop, which can handle multitasking more efficiently.
  • Design and liberal arts students may find tablets a better ‘fit’ for their field of study.

Here are some suggestions for equipment:  $899 Mac Book Air.  Tablets: $599 iPad Pro, $499 Microsoft Surface 3.  As for SmartPhones, checkout Apple iPhone 6s, or Samsung Galaxy S7. Take note Apple could release a new iPhone soon. And, do not forget to buy a battery pack.  Suggestion:  $20 Anker’s PowerCore Slim 5000.
There are many more suggestions in this article you may want to check, such as Audio Accessories, and Coffee/Food gadgets for your college students.  Source: Off to College? Maybe These Devices Should Go Along – The New York Times