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Messages - Mike D. aka jmiked

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Not Quite Kindle / Re: Curious About KBoard History
« on: April 22, 2018, 06:25:41 pm »
Yeah, traffic in the Book Corner has gone down drastically since I joined (member #91). If you aren't an author or a word-game player, there's not a compelling reason to drop by here frequently. I also have no explanation for this. It certainly isn't the moderators/board owners at fault. The only alternative I have is the SF discussion boards on Even the mystery group on Yahoo has tanked in the last two years, going from fairly active to one or two messages a month.  :'(


Uh oh. I have been thinking of changing my virus program to Norton and about Dropbox lately. Are the two a dangerous combination?

A couple of months late, but my two cents on this: All the programmers/engineers at the place I use to work before retirement considered Norton to be a virus itself. It introduced more vulnerabilities than it protected against.

Noted security expert Steve Gibson says use the malware program that comes from Microsoft with Windows, it catches as much bad stuff as the others and doesn't compromise your system. And don't click on email links or download programs that purport to run checks on your computer.


Apple is selling the HomePod as a premium compact speaker, not as an advance in home assistants. This has been their story from the start. Siri is at a disadvantage compared to Google Home and Alexa because almost all the interaction takes place on your device (for privacy issues). It isn't sending everything to a server that stores every piece of info about you to turn a profit on. So it is a bit limited in what you can do with it.

I think someone on the interweb has pointed out that the Google Assistant has a similar problem with wood, but of course that fails to get the publicity (if true). It would be nice if Apple started putting a warning label somewhere prominent, though.

The Book Corner / Re: Bill Crider sad news
« on: February 13, 2018, 01:37:33 pm »
Janet Rudolph posted on her blog today that Bill Crider has passed away. A sad day.

Not Quite Kindle / Re: What are you listening to?
« on: February 11, 2018, 08:35:44 am »
This weekend I've been listening to Scotty Anderson, who is sort of like Les Paul and Chet Atkins rolled into one:

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He's an amazing player, and I speak as one who has played that style of guitar for over 50 years and is not even close to that accomplished. Bob Saxton (the older fellow) is pretty good, but he just stops and smiles when Scotty starts improvising fast runs. I'm lucky enough to have their live performance on DVD. This may be the first time these two guys have ever played together.

The Book Corner / Re: Time travel novel suggestions
« on: February 10, 2018, 08:26:42 pm »
Some of my favorites:

The Lincoln Hunters by Wilson Tucker
Year of the Quiet Sun, also by Tucker (this book was a Hugo and Nebula nominee)
The End of Eternity, by Isaac Asimov
The Man Who Folded Himself, by David Gerrold
Dinosaur Beach. by Keith Laumer
The Weapon Makers, by A. E. van Vogt (not much time travel, and if you don't care for van Vogt, then you won't like this either)
The Anubis Gates, by Tim Powers
Millennium, by John Varley
Hawksbill Station, by Robert Silverberg
Pebble in the Sky, by Asimov (minor time travel)
Time Travelers Never Die, by Jack McDevitt
The Big Time, by Fritz Leiber
Time Patrol, by Poul Anderson

You'll either need to change the character set in the app you use for creating your text (or change apps), or type the text directly into the forum software. As NogDog said, this will address the fundamental problem.

I have occasionally seen text on the internet littered with that symbol, and not just for apostrophes.

The Book Corner / Re: Kindle $14.99, paperback $13.39???
« on: January 31, 2018, 09:31:06 pm »
I thought you only have access as long as you maintain your Amazon account. Unlike print books that become part of your estate the ebooks all vanish when you die and your account is closed as I understand it. I could be mistaken though.

IIRC, if someone looses access to an account, then yes, you can't get the books from Amazon storage anymore. I think they will still be on whatever device they were on, and if you've backed up all your Amazon books to a computer, you can still copy them to the Kindle they were registered to and read them. You can't read them on another device though, unless you want to use means that may be against the Terms of Service.

Other (non-Kindle) eReaders / Walmart to sell Kobos
« on: January 26, 2018, 08:31:10 pm »
The tech news site Engadget has announced that later this year, Walmart will begin selling Kobo readers and Kobo ebooks. This is a great thing for people that don't, for whatever reason, want to buy a Kindle. It sounds as if the want to make the whole system easier to use and better integrated. I'm all for it, I like Kobo ereaders, they are much more customizable than Amazon has been willing to let the Kindles be. And they can get the time from the internet via WiFi, which Amazon refuses to let you do.

I might even consider upgrading my 5-year old Kobo Glo.

Not Quite Kindle / Re: What are you binge-watching?
« on: January 26, 2018, 03:10:59 pm »
I binge-watched all 13 episodes of Series "N" of QI the last two days on BritBox. There just hasn't been much new for a number of months that I've been interested in, so I've re-watched older shows I like.

The Book Corner / Re: What do you think?
« on: January 21, 2018, 06:29:24 am »
Is it the most famous now? I'd be interested in what criteria was used for that. I'm not arguing that it isn't, but I'd need more info to respond to the question.

Not Quite Kindle / Re: Progressive Lenses?
« on: January 19, 2018, 10:30:02 pm »
I tried progressive lenses years ago. They drove me crazy. I had to keep turning my head to look directly at things to have them be in focus. I went back to trifocals. Even after cataract surgery in both eyes which corrected my astigmatism/vision, I still wear my trifocal frames. The main part is now plain with no prescription (I now have ~20/20 in both eyes for distance) and the two lower parts are for reading and computer use (so I don't have to carry around two pairs of glasses).

But that's just me.  ;D

Not Quite Kindle / Re: What are you binge-watching?
« on: January 15, 2018, 02:43:42 pm »
Currently watching the new series of The Detectorists on Acorn. Acorn produced the six-episode series, so it won't be anywhere else. At least for a while.

Not Quite Kindle / Re: What are you binge-watching?
« on: January 12, 2018, 01:03:23 pm »

I still regret that this series only went the one season. I thought it had a lot of potential. I dig out the DVDs and watch them every so often.

Anything Else Amazon / Re: Echo plus ads
« on: January 07, 2018, 08:19:39 pm »
I used the form on one of Amazon's web pages. It took a while to find it, and I'm not t sure exactly where it was.

Anything Else Amazon / Re: Echo plus ads
« on: January 04, 2018, 08:26:12 am »
Y'all probably should let Amazon know that . . . I'm sure customer satisfaction would be part of their decision making progress.

Oh, I have let them know.  ;D

Anything Else Amazon / Echo plus ads
« on: January 03, 2018, 07:43:01 pm »
From yesterday's Gizmodo:

"CNBC reports that Amazon is in discussions with huge companies that want to promote their goods on Echo devices. Proctor & Gamble as well as Clorox are reportedly in talks for major advertising deals that would allow Alexa to suggest products for you to buy. CNBC uses the example of asking Alexa how to remove a stain, with Alexa in turn recommending a Clorox product. "

I can't speak for anybody else, but the first time this happens to me all my Echo devices are getting disconnected and will likely end up in the garbage bin.

The Book Corner / Sue Grafton R.I.P.
« on: December 29, 2017, 02:37:14 pm »
Sue's daughter Jamie is reporting within the last few hours that her mother has passed away at the age of 77 after battling cancer cancer for several years.

 I'm going to miss her work. She's one of the very few authors that I used to buy the hardcover when it first hit the shelf.  :'(

Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod...) / Re: Best case for iPad 9.7Ē?
« on: December 27, 2017, 10:47:31 am »
Help us to narrow it down a bit.. what kind of case? A shock resistant case that covers only the sides and back? A case with a flap that covers the screen? One that folds back and converts into a stand? On with a keyboard built into it?

There are a lot of choices.

Not Quite Kindle / Re: Nestle leaving the chocolate business!
« on: December 22, 2017, 04:09:12 pm »
There are a number of chocolate fanciers that would say the Nestle has been out of the chocolate business for years.  ;D ;D

But it's sad to see a mainstay drop out.

The Book Corner / Re: RIP Jerry Pournelle
« on: December 21, 2017, 08:18:20 pm »
His column was the main reason I bought Byte magazine. R.I.P.

Not Quite Kindle / Re: What are you binge-watching?
« on: December 16, 2017, 09:32:49 pm »
I started binge-watching Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda yesterday on the Roku channel. IIRC, it was OK until the 3rd or 4th season, where it just fell apart and got lost. I'll probably watch it until then.

Not Quite Kindle / Re: Vegetarian main dish that's actually tasty?
« on: December 14, 2017, 08:29:58 am »
And I take exception to the underlying assumption of the title that vegetarian dishes aren't generally tasty.  :) :)

Not Quite Kindle / Re: Vegetarian main dish that's actually tasty?
« on: December 10, 2017, 05:47:12 am »
Out of four siblings, two of us are vegetarians (I've been one for about 50 years), and we do just fine with all the side dishes at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Once in a while I'll bring along something I've whipped up, but that's the exception.


The Book Corner / Bill Crider sad news
« on: December 07, 2017, 07:39:58 pm »
I saw last night that my favorite contemporary mystery writer Bill Crider has posted a farewell message on his blog and on Facebook. He's been battling cancer for a while and his doctors have advised him to enter a hospice, as they say he has only a short time left.

I know he has been mentioned several times here on the KB. Bill is the author of a 80 or so books in several genres: mystery, western, horror, and YA. We never met in person, but I've corresponded with him via email, have been a Facebook buddy and followed his very entertaining blog for a number of years. He has also been a book reviewer for some years with Mystery Scene magazine.

I just finished a re-read of his Sheriff Dan Rhodes books last month (all 24 of them). These are some of my favorite books.

It doesn't look good for him, but sometimes miraculous things happen.

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