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Messages - Mike D. aka jmiked

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Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: Airline Laptop Ban
« on: June 04, 2017, 09:19:41 pm »
Seems to have been a few laptop battery fires lately.
Problem is, would you rather have a laptop catch fire in the cabin....or in the luggage compartment, out of sight, where it could cause a disaster?

I think I heard today on the news this week that last year (or in the last year) there were half a dozen airline luggage compartment fires allegedly caused by batteries igniting. That's scary.

Anything Else Amazon / Re: Chrome browser problems
« on: June 02, 2017, 09:12:51 pm »
I conceded defeat and went back to Firefox.  :)

If you really need Flash on our Mac, the best way to keep it updated is to go into the System Preferences, and down in the Other section, click on Flash Player. Go to the Updates tab and click on Allow Adobe to install updates. That way you will get updates automatically from the correct site. Then you can keep updated and ignore any requests from bogus sites.

Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod...) / Re: iOS 10.3 update
« on: May 31, 2017, 12:08:12 pm »
On the other hand, having just got a notification from Apple that someone had tried to reset my password on one of my two Apple accounts, I can't recommend Apple's two-factor authentication scheme. It's way too complex. It took the better part of 90 minutes to get everything reset. At several points, I was reduced to guessing what they wanted me to type into a field. There's a place where they give you a long code to type in, but if you type it in as shown, it won't work. You have to leave out the dashes. But they don't tell you that. And then on older systems, when you type in your new password, you have to type in a code after the password (only the first time). But do you leave a space between them or not? They don't tell you. I got it working, but I couldn't tell you if you have to include the space or not.

Gmail's solution is much more straight-forward. So what if Google scans all your messages, calendar, and contacts looking for ways to sell you stuff. You don't have anything to hide, do you?   ;D

Not Quite Kindle / Re: Happy birthday, Betsy the quilter!
« on: May 31, 2017, 10:02:17 am »
Happy birthday, Betsy! This calls for chocolate! And cake! ;D

Anything Else Amazon / Re: Alexa vs Siri and Google Assistant!
« on: May 30, 2017, 09:04:09 am »
Oh, I found it. It was already listed in my apps listing - Voice Search.

It's not exactly the same. Voice Search (VA) is the precursor of Google Assistant (GA). GA has a few (not many) things that Voice Assistant won't do. VA has been around for years. Google has rebranded it and put out press releases to call attention to it, and it's working.

I am loving the Bill Crider books. I am on book 4 and that is all my library has online for the Kindle. I will have to purchase the rest from Amazon but they are only $3.99 so that is not bad and so very worth it for me. Does anyone have any suggestions for similar books. I love the characters and the humor that is in the books. Thank you so much for the recommendations.

Crider also has the 5 volume Truman Smith P.I. series, which is roughly similar in tone. Also, Patrick McManus has a 6 volume Sheriff Bo Tully series which is similar.

Anything Else Amazon / Re: Alexa vs Siri
« on: May 28, 2017, 10:30:51 am »
Is Google Assistant available for Android phones? I'm not seeing it listed in Play Store.

Neither did I. It may have to come with a phone that it works on.

Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: New 2017 Model?
« on: May 28, 2017, 10:23:12 am »
I'm not really very interested in any hardware improvements over the Voyage. The place the Kindle needs drastic improvement is in the software. It really needs to allow more customization of the text appearance, since publishers are so daft at formatting. It wouldn't hurt if they allowed user corrections of typos, also.

Anything Else Amazon / Chrome browser problems
« on: May 27, 2017, 12:04:03 pm »
I'm trying out (for the umpteenth time) the Chrome browser, and ran into a problem: It won't display any books in the "My Content" screen. It will show all in the devices and settings tabs, but no titles in the My Content window. All other content from this and other sites displays correctly.
Any thoughts?
FWIW, I'm using an older version of Chrome (49) on an older laptop Mac. Newer versions of Chrome won't install on my machine.

Anything Else Amazon / Re: Alexa vs Siri
« on: May 27, 2017, 09:45:09 am »
I have a standard test that I ask of  all of the personal assistant devices/apps such as the Amazon Echo, Siri, various Android apps, etc.
 "Convert 40 miles per gallon to liters per 100 km."
 The Amazon echo doesn't understand the question. At least Siri understands the question, but pulls up a webpage listing places I can go to get conversion information. Not very helpful. Most Android apps didn't understand the question, either.

Last week I installed Google Assistant (GA) on my iPhone 6 and asked it to do the conversion. It instantly gave me the correct answer: 5.88 liters per 100 km.

I realize that this is only one data point, I need to do more exhaustive testing. But I take it as a good sign.

I have one of the original Echoes and a Dot. The Echo really doesn't do a very good job of background noise rejection, frequently I have to mute the TV in order for it to understand me (it's two feet away on a table beside my chair).

Siri doesn't yet connect to my home automation devices, but the Echo/Dot does. Siri could even control my home entertainment system if I could ever get around to getting the hub controller.

Just tried this: "When is the next Doctor Who episode on?"
Siri: "Hmm. Let me check the iTunes store for that." Then it offers to set up family sharing.
Echo: "Sorry, I'm not sure."
Google Assistant: "May 27, 2017: The Pyramid at the End of the World." This is correct.

And this: "When does the Tour de France start?"
Siri: "I didn't find anything for "*"" Tried this several times, same result.
Echo: It told me it was in progress (it isn't) and gave me the start and end dates for last year's race.
Google Assistant: "2017 Tour de France will begin on Saturday, July 1, and ends on Saturday, July 23." Correct.

I think we have a winner. Too bad the Assistant on the iPhone requires you to launch an app. I'm going to assume that the Google Assistant is the same software that the Google Home device runs. If it weren't for Google Home not supporting my home automation system, I'd buy one.
I'll obviously be using the GA a lot more in the future on my iPhone/iPad.

But if I had to choose between Siri and Echo for home use, I'd go with Echo, as it is always on and controls my lights and fans, and Siri is on only when my iPhone is plugged in (I think later iPhones can be set to always be on, but that doesn't help me).


Anything Else Amazon / Re: Alexa vs Siri
« on: May 27, 2017, 08:44:57 am »
The proper phrase that triggers the timer is to say, "##-minute countdown," or, "Give me a ##-minute countdown." Siri will respond with, "Okay, ## minutes and counting."

I tripped over this little quirk myself a long time ago and was stunned that I couldn't start a simple countdown via Siri. Through some testing, I finally figured out that Siri doesn't know what a timer is, but does know what a countdown is.

One of those silly little quirks that came about because the programmers didn't think there would be that many people asking for a 'timer' as much as a 'countdown.'

I just asked my iPhone 6 "Hey Siri, set a 5 minute timer" and it did it. I think I've always been able to do this.

The OP may have meant "hey Siri, set a timer for 5 minutes" and it does it. It makes more grammatical sense.

Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod...) / Re: iOS 10.3 update
« on: May 26, 2017, 05:20:23 pm »
Two factor authentication sounds like a pain in the butt:

Probably not as much as having your identity hijacked and having thousands of dollars in bogus charges on your credit card.  :)

Not Quite Kindle / Re: What are you binge-watching?
« on: May 25, 2017, 08:46:29 am »
The last few days I've been bingeing on The Murdoch Mysteries (aka The Artful Detective). I've been cherry-picking episodes from the earlier seasons and finding many that I don't remember very well, so it's almost like seeing new ones.

Not Quite Kindle / Re: Roger Moore, 007, dies at age 89
« on: May 23, 2017, 09:04:48 pm »

Not Quite Kindle / Re: Hearing Aid Advice
« on: May 23, 2017, 08:58:23 pm »
Go to settings, General, scroll down until you get to Hearing Devices. I have the Starkey Halo 2 i1600 model. You have to be iOs10 version to use it. The blue tooth has to be on. To control the different settings download the TruLink app.

I have iOS 10, and I found it under Settings > General > Accessibility.

It doesn't work with my hearing aids, though.  :(

Not Quite Kindle / Re: Hearing Aid Advice
« on: May 23, 2017, 01:57:30 pm »
When you triple click on your iPhone, the Hearing Device screen comes up.

It doesn't on my iPhone 6. What settings do you have in the Accessibility shortcut menu? None of them seem applicable.

Not Quite Kindle / Re: Happy Birthday, Carrie (KB site owner)
« on: May 21, 2017, 12:49:26 pm »
Happy Birthday, Carrie!

Not Quite Kindle / Re: What are you binge-watching?
« on: May 17, 2017, 08:27:46 pm »
There are so few recent shows of interest around that I'm binge-watching Poirot. It's been a while since I've seen them, and I can't remember the culprit in most of them.

Not Quite Kindle / Re: Hearing Aid Advice
« on: May 17, 2017, 08:24:09 pm »
Thanks Mike, I will think seriously after reading reviews on Amazon. BTW, Is your model sidekick or companion?

Mine is the HD100 Companion. I don't think the Sidekick is a current product. It wasn't qualified as a hearing aid, just an amplifier. The difference is the Companion being an FDA-registered medical device.

I meant price-wise.

OK, I was just afraid I had inadvertently led you to believe that they were other than serious mysteries.  :)

BTW, if it's of any interest in the future should you decide you'd like to read more of the series but don't feel like plowing through all 66, I have a list of the half-dozen of the series recommended by a classic mystery connoisseur.

On the topic of Nero Wolfe, I think one of the better attempts to bring him to the screen was the 1977 TV movie Nero Wolfe, starring Thayer David as Wolfe and Tom Mason as Archie. It was a pilot for a proposed series, but Thayer's death halted the project. The film was eventually shown in 1979 as a midnight movie. It was based on Rex Stout's The Doorbell Rang. It has shown up on TV several times over the years. It was criticized for being too talky. It also played fast and loose with the events in the novel. I have it on VHS tape somewhere.

The show was recast in 1981 with William Conrad and Lee Horsley as Wolfe and Archie (both poor choices IMHO), and lasted 14 episodes. It died a deserved death.

Wolfe was played in the movies (Meet Nero Wolfe, 1936) by Edward Arnold, who had the advantage of having the approximate build of Wolfe and was a very good actor. A sequel (The League of Frightened Men, 1937) followed the next year with Walter Connolly as Wolfe. I didn't care for his performance. Lionel Stander played a comic sidekick version of Archie in both movies, every bit as awful as Nigel Bruce's Watson in the Homes movies with Basil Rathbone.

More my speed. I bought the first one.

Despite my quote, the books are very much in the Agatha Christie traditional mystery genre and are not humorous or tongue-in-cheek.

BTW, the books were the source of the Mrs. Bradley Mystery series from the late nineties starring Diana Rigg. She was horribly miscast, as Mrs. Bradley is described as 'reptilian', and cackles a lot. I always pictured Margaret Hamilton (the wicked witch in The Wizard of Oz) as Mrs. Bradley.


Not Quite Kindle / Re: Hearing Aid Advice
« on: May 16, 2017, 11:03:36 am »
Mike I assume you ordered direct from SoundWorld.

Yes, I did.

As a life-long mystery lover I can't believe I've never heard of Gladys Mitchell!  Unfortunately the Kindle version of the first book, Speedy Death, is not currently available.  I'm looking forward to trying it when it becomes available again.

It shows as available as both KU and for Kindle purchase for $3.99 when I look at it. Strange.

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