TECHNOLOGY: Amazon Dash Wand shows you how much Amazon cares about anything

Hello,

Amazon is constantly evaluating our product and service offerings to best serve our customers. As of today, Dash Wand devices are no longer supported. You can still use Alexa to add items to your Shopping List, add groceries to your cart, reorder items, and more with any Echo device or use the Alexa feature within the Amazon App and the Alexa App. Learn more about shopping with Alexa.

If you wish to dispose of your Dash Wand device, please find more information about the Amazon Recycling Program here. Before disposing of your Dash Wand device, you can easily deregister it by visiting your account’s “Manage Your Content and Devices“ page and selecting the “Devices” tab on Amazon.com or in the Amazon App. Then, select your Dash Wand and press “Deregister.”

Thanks for being an Amazon customer. We hope to see you again soon.

Sincerely,
Amazon Alexa Shopping team

# – # – # – # – #

Still think they should have bought it back!

—30—

TECHNOLOGY: AMAZON disappoints again!

FROM AMAZON

Hello,

Amazon is constantly evaluating our product and service offerings to best serve our customers. Beginning July 21st 2020, Dash Wand devices will no longer be supported. You can still use Alexa to add items to your Shopping List, add groceries to your cart, reorder items, and more with any Echo device or use the Alexa feature within the Amazon App and the Alexa App. Learn more about shopping with Alexa.

If you wish to dispose of your Dash Wand device, find more information about the Amazon Recycling Program here. Before disposing of your Dash Wand device, you can easily deregister it by visiting your account’s “Manage Your Content and Devices“ page and selecting the “Devices” tab on Amazon.com or in the Amazon App. Then, select your Dash Wand and press “Deregister.”

Thanks for being an Amazon customer. We hope to see you again soon.

Sincerely,
Amazon Alexa Shopping team

# – # – # – # – #

Well la de dah.  You fools who liked and used it are just out of luck.  We gave you your 15$ as a credit on your first order.  So just go away!

After my expereince with “Subscribe and Save” and more recently their bait and switch on shipping date, Amazon has really slipped in my book.  

Wonder when WalMart will get their act together and compete with them?

—30—

TECHNOLOGY: Big Tech needs to be broken up to preserve “free speech”

*** begin quote ***

Facebook heads lobby group to push “Big Tech” as essential to free speech narrative
 
Silicon Valley is gearing up for a fight with regulators and Facebook is taking a leading role in the formation of a new lobbying effort to spin the narrative in Big Tech’s favour. Called “American Edge”, the group which hasn’t launched yet 
 
“argues that Silicon Valley is essential for the U.S. economy and the future of free speech…The group’s splash page, which went live on Tuesday night, defines the project as: “…a newly formed bipartisan coalition dedicated to the proposition that American innovators are an essential part of the U.S. economic health, national security and individual freedoms.”
 
Read: https://www.forbes.com/sites/rebeccabellan/2020/05/13/facebook-helps-launch-pro-tech-group-to-combat-silicon-valley-regulations/
 
Hold that thought….
 
Youtube deplatforms anti-lockdown epidemiologist and Bitcoin halving ceremony
 
Over the course of the Coronavirus pandemic the Big Tech platforms have been particularly aggressive in deplatforming any content that does not conform to the “official” narrative.  Youtube defines this in particular as anything that does not reflect WHO or CDC directives. 
 
So it was no surprise to learn that  Youtube’s latest hit was on controversial epidemiologist Knut Wittkowski, who had a video on Youtube, with over 1.3 million views, criticizing the lockdown and advocating for a herd immunity approach.
 
But the Bitcoin halving ceremony?  Yes.  YouTube deplatformed Cointelegraph’s live-streaming of the Bitcoin halving ceremony while it was in progress.
 
“Cointelegraph had a full day of programming lined up for a livestream that covered Bitcoin’s third block halving on May 11. The agenda mostly went off without a hitch — fintech luminaries like Tim Draper, Roger Ver, Meltem Demirors and many more shared their time and opinions with Cointelegraph editorial staff over the course of a livestream that lasted just under seven hours.
 
But the stream was blocked and deleted six hours and 42 minutes into a nearly finished program, locking more than 2,000 viewers out of our coverage.”
 
Read: https://nypost.com/2020/05/16/youtube-censors-epidemiologist-knut-wittkowski-for-opposing-lockdown/
 
And: https://cointelegraph.com/news/youtube-cancels-cointelegraphs-btc-halving-livestream-for-being-harmful-content
 
(Yeah, Big Tech is essential to free speech my ass. I can’t believe I’m actually pulling for the DoJ to break all these parasitic quasi-monopolies into a thousand little pieces.)

*** end quote ***

Given the hard Left spin of Big Tech, it’s unlikely that anything will happen.

That being said, it’s time to use the corporate tax code to keep all Corporations “small”.

A long time ago, I said that the corporate balance sheets should be limited to 999,999,999.99.

Apply a flat tax on everything over that amount!

—30—

TECHNOLOGY: Bought a new EUFY P1 scale

Since I moved from New Hampshire I never unpacked a lot of stuff. One of which was my Aria scale. Since I shifted from FITBIT to an APPLE WATCH 4, it’s obsolete for my purposes.

The EUFY scale has it’s own app. The install and start up procedure was somewhat easy. Only had to do it twice. It didn’t connect via bluetooth the first time.

Now it’s working. We’ll see if it helps.

—30—

TECHNOLOGY: Can this germ-zapping robot really kill the coronavirus?

Whereas similar companies use pulsed mercury UV devices, Xenex touts their unique pulsed xenon UV technology, which is more efficient and environmentally friendly than the former method, the company’s CEO Morris Miller told Crunchbase News last month.

Source: Can this germ-zapping robot really kill the coronavirus?

# – # – # – # – #

Interesting in that could this be the silver bullet for disinfecting anything?

Price has to come down before regular individuals can buy one.

— 30 —

 

TECHNOLOGY: Blur’s “Masked Cards”

What are Masked Cards?

Masked Cards are unique, disposable, private credit cards created in the amount you specify. They are real MasterCards that function like a pre-paid gift card that you create on the fly as you shop. Use Masked Cards whenever you’re uncomfortable giving out your real card information.

Source: Blur

# – # – # – # – #

​I’m trialing this as a way to keep autorenewals from autorenewing.  For a 100+$ per year, it MIGHT be an effective solution.
So for stuff I am keeping forever, I’ll just give them my permanent card.  For stuff that I am not (i.e., websites; domain names; software subscriptions), I’ll use a masked card.  Since there is a small handling charge due to card processing fees, I’ll have to run two distinct lists (i.e., stuff on the permanent card and one for the masked cards).
SO I’ll report back how it worked out.
YMMV
Of course, I’m interested in any feedback you have abut this.
— 30 —

TECHNOLOGY: Italian engineers help coronavirus patients by harnessing snorkel masks for CPAP machines | Fox News

Speaking with Fox News, Romaioli said that Favero proposed an idea: making an “emergency ventilator mask” by modifying a snorkeling mask that was available to the public. The teams contacted Decathlon, the French sporting goods retailer, about the Easy Breath Surface Snorkeling Mask. Isinnova said that Decathlon immediately provided the 3D computer-aided design for the mask, so the engineers could easily evaluate what modification could be made.

Source: Italian engineers help coronavirus patients by harnessing snorkel masks for CPAP machines | Fox News

# – # – # – # – #

Some smart engineers make every CPAP machine a ventilator.

Great work!

— 30 —

SERVICE: Exchanging for private info like passwords, account numbers, proof of identity, and such!

USEFUL FOR PRIVATE INFO LIKE PASSWORDS, ACCOUNT NUMBERS, PROOF OF IDENTITY, and such!

https://keybase.io/

If someone clicks that link, they’ll be invited to join an encrypted chat with you. Even if they haven’t installed Keybase yet, it will work. So post it anywhere.

Signed,
https://keybase.io/reinkefj

— 30 —

SOFTWARE: Boeing skipped a software test on Starliner before its aborted launch in December | Daily Mail Online

According to NASA, the aerospace company didn’t perform a full ‘end-to-end’ integration test of the software designed to automate maneuvers after the craft is launched into space.

Source: Boeing skipped a software test on Starliner before its aborted launch in December | Daily Mail Online

# – # – # – # – #

Boeing is not having a good 12 months.

Someone cut one corner too many … again.

Wonder how many heads will roll?

Will this be like an auditor having Enron on their resume?

Could be career equivalent of the “kiss of death”.

— 30 —

 TECHNOLOGY: Bring Drug Dispensing Into the Modern Age With Vending Machines | Cato @ Liberty

The technology has been around for a while. Vending machines have dispensed Plan B emergency oral contraceptive—the so‐​called “morning after pill”—on college campuses since at least 2017. Arizona State University and Florida State University installed pharmaceutical vending machines to dispense a wide range of drugs in their Student Health Services buildings back in 2014.

Source: Bring Drug Dispensing Into the Modern Age With Vending Machines | Cato @ Liberty

# – # – # – # – #

I LOVE the idea of the drug vending machine.  I hope we see more of these.

— 30 —

SOFTWARE: Switch from “Doctor Google” to “Doctor Duck Duck Go”

2019-Nov-09

Shocking Proof How Google Censors Health News
https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/11/joseph-mercola/shocking-proof-how-google-censors-health-news/

# – # – # – # – #

​Have to switch from “Doctor Google” to “Doctor Duck Duck Go”?​

https://duckduckgo.com/

— 30 —

SOFTWARE: The app what3words can save frustration and maybe more

2019-Oct-07

Recently went to the Octoberfest at:

Deutscher Club of Clark 787 Featherbed Ln, Clark, New Jersey 07066, United States
///ranged.after.accent

It was mobbed. More than ususal. And, once again, we had trouble finding our firends.

If only, they were what3words Users!

They could have told me EXACTLY where on the property they were.

///making.vest.doctor (or https://what3words.com/making.vest.doctor)

And we would have linked up without the searching.

And, in case your wondering, cell phones were unusable because of poor signal and the loud music.

Argh!

It’s a great tool that EVERYONE should have for that one time when you really need it.

imho

# – # – # – # – #

TECHNOLOGY: Tech whiz-turned-criminal stole $500K in 10 days: officials

A fresh-faced tech whiz used a sophisticated “SIM swapping” scheme to steal half a million dollars in 10 days from more than 50 people across the US — without ever leaving the comfort of his

Source: Tech whiz-turned-criminal stole $500K in 10 days: officials

# – # – # – # – #

That’s why you should NOT rely on a phone for your two factor authentication.

I use AUTHY a free multi-platform authentication program.

https://authy.com/

— 30 —

MACOSX: An upgrade to Mojave 10.14 … …

2018-Nov-29 2254

An upgrade to Mojave 10.14 … …

… … broke my Text Expander forcing an upgrade, BUT … …

… … Suddenly makes my “Time Machine” work?

I wonder why? 

Not that I am complaining, but I hate when “magic” happens.

Argh!

# – # – # – # – #

TECHNOLOGY: Revisionist History Books banned by Amazon, by Michael Hoffman – The Unz Review

Amazon’s monopoly over the sale of books is so extensive that to be banned by Amazon is, in many cases, tantamount to a death sentence for a book. The public ought to know of the shameful tactics of the hypocrites who are so fearful of the radical scholarship for which they have no credible answer, that they must ban the books that contain irrefutable challenges to their sacred dogmas.

Source: Revisionist History Books banned by Amazon, by Michael Hoffman – The Unz Review

*  * * * * *

Do we want Amazon as the arbiter of what books are “published”?

NO!

— 30 —

HARDWARE: Can’t find a better mouse

Wireless Mouse with Nano receiver (Black) An Amazon Brand.

My fiancé needs a mouse; she hates trackpads.  She uses a CHROMEBOOK; as you know I’m a big fan of them.  This mouse just works for us.

p.s., My cockatoo lives it too, unfortunately. But at $10, it’s a lot cheaper than my MACBOOKAIR’s power cable.

— 30 —

 

TECHNOLOGY: How not to implement a Customer facing system

*** begin quote ***

Important news about American Express Gift Cards

Dear Ferdinand Reinke,

A new American Express Gift Card site is coming soon! By June 26, 2018, please log in to your Account to access your saved information and past Gift Card orders. When the new Gift Card site launches, your American Express login credentials will not work, so you will need to create a new login. This new login will not be tied to your American Express Credit or Charge Account.Please log in now to save important account information you may need, such as order history, receipts, saved payment methods or shipping addresses.

Coming soon!
The new site will include changes such as:New Card designs
Option to add a customized message to all Cards
Ability to load any amount between $25-$3,000 on all Cards
Easy reorder
Variable Purchase Fee pricing from $3.95-$6.95

*** end quote ***

I am surprised, as an ex-Amex employee, that this is such a  Customer hostile implementation.

Argh!

# – # – # – # – #

CHROMEBOOK: “Planned Obsolescence” or “End Of Life”

One of my beloved Chromebooks — ET101 Samsung — updated the Chrome OS and popped up an “End Of Life” message.

What?

It’s EOL when it dies.

Is this part of Google’s attempt to follow in Apple’s “planned obsolesce” “architecture”?

Personally, if the Chromebook is supposed to be the “toaster” appliance of the computer age, then it should old go “end of life” when it goes to chromebook heaven.  I have toasters that lasted until the lady of the house decided the exterior could no longer be clean enough.  Not my problem, but an example of “Western Electric” telephone handset engineering.  Capable of operating after a flood or a nuke.

I am very upset.

And as if to rub my nose it (i.e., EOL), google helpfully offers me a selection of upgrades.

ARGH cubed!

— 30 —

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5819169/Apple-hits-claims-designs-iPhones-fail-force-consumers-buy-new-one.

‘Planned obsolescence is the craziest thinking in the world’: Apple hits back at claims it designs iPhones to fail so consumers have to buy a new one

  • VP of marketing Greg Joswiak refuted that Apple uses ‘planned obsolescence’
  • In an interview with noted Apple blogger John Gruber, he called those claims ‘about the craziest thinking in the world’ saying the firm wouldn’t do that
  • Joswiak said Apple paid special attention to older devices with iOs 12 update
  • Comments come as Apple gave customers discounts for battery throttling
  • Apple has been charging £25 ($29) for replacements since December

By AARON BROWN and ANNIE PALMER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 19:07 EDT, 7 June 2018 | UPDATED: 19:18 EDT, 7 June 2018

* * * * *

Yeah, right.  I believe that!

–30–

TECHNOLOGY: “Don’t be evil” should be “Don’t be stupid”!

2018-May-23

FROM GOOGLE NEWS FEEDBACK

*** begin quote ***

SM Boyd via Google News Help Forum <news+APn2wQczRBc769E16bjrxQV_s5edMPsyvh1fprm8_RnbkdJmVLGZ-kp7ii-@googleproductforums.com>
3:14 AM (5 hours ago)
to Google

From these posts and many others I’ve seen, Google clearly has NO idea what people were doing with their Google News pages. Google News used to be my home page, but that will change as of tomorrow. I have no use for half of the topics Google THINKS I do, and I have not been able to understand Google’s need to change for the sake of changing over the past few years. It seems as though Google is screwing up their products because “NEW & IMPROVED!!!” is only coming from the GoogleBubble. From all the data I know Google collects, you would think they would know how users are using their products.

To screw up something as basic as a News webpage leaves me wondering if I shouldn’t move away from Google products altogether. Gmail, maps etc. There is never a warning that something fundamental is going to change, it just happens, and users are left wondering how to recover what they’ve set up. I notice Google has demoted the famous “Don’t Be Evil” motto, maybe it’s time for a new one to live by: “Don’t Be Stupid.” They keep shooting themselves in the foot, but the billions keep rolling in, so I guess the actual users don’t matter. Whatever. The internet is much more than Google.

*** end quote ***

Maybe this isn’t the biggest tech blunder since IBM ceded the PC to Microsoft or “No one would want a computer in the home”?

But then again, maybe it is.

I was moving from the Apple ecosystem to Google’s.  Maybe like  other feedbackers, I have to completely rethink that?

Like the last election,  Which is the prettiest horse in the glue factory coral.” Google versus Apple? Gasp, maybe even Microsoft gets in the running?

Argh!

Google, don’t be stupid!

# – # – # – # – #

TECHNOLOGY: End robocalls

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2018/05/13/7-ways-to-finally-end-robocalls.html

7 ways to finally end robocalls
By Kim Komando | The Kim Komando Show

*** begin quote ***

1. Block individual numbers

This feature is available on iPhone and Android, the ability to block specific numbers. Blocking numbers won’t stop every robocall and spammer number out there, but you can at least block the recurring ones.

*** end quote ***

I do this, but it’s just not enough.

When something is free (i.e., no charge to dial a number), it WILL be abused. 

Like SPAM emails from Nigerian Princes.

Need a fractional charge for every call and email. Maybe 100 for a penny?

½ for the transport and ½ for the recipient?

Works for me.

# – # – # – # – #

TECHNOLOGY: Web 3.0 — the dWeb — will transform the inet again?

https://medium.com/@matteozago/why-the-web-3-0-matters-and-you-should-know-about-it-a5851d63c949

Matteo Gianpietro Zago
Guinness World Record by creating the Most commented Item in the Web 2.0 history. Founder @ Essentia.one.
Jan 30
Why the Web 3.0 Matters and you should know about it

*** begin quote ***

How will it work?

Like any emerging technology is still being refined. For access to the decentralized web, people will only need a seed. This will be a single asset which enables the interaction with dApps and other services. Individuals will still use a web browser to access the internet, and visually it will be Web 2.0 user-friendly.

On the surface, the learning curve from 2.0 to 3.0 will be gentle. But behind the scenes, the framework connecting users with digital services are markedly different. Transactions are signed and verified manually, to prevent platforms from siphoning away personal information without due cause. Web users will opt in rather than trying — and often failing — to opt out.

  • Instead of Google Drive or Dropbox, we have services like Storj, Siacoin, Filecoin or IPFS technology to distribute and store files.
  • Instead of Skype we have platforms like Experty.io.
  • Instead of WhatsApp and Wechat we have Status
  • Instead of operating systems such as iOS and Android, frameworks such as Essentia.one and EOS provide a gateway to the new web.
  • Akasha or Steemit will play the role of Facebook, the Brave browser will serve as Chrome and Ethlance can take over from Upwork.

*** end quote ***

TECHNOLOGY: Apple’s default SMS app is unavoidable

https://www.popsci.com/microsoft-google-apps-on-iphone?dom=rss-default&src=syn#page-2

How to keep your iPhone but switch to Google or Microsoft apps
Your guide to a new software ecosystem.
By David Nield 6 hours ago

*** begin quote ***

Skype for iOS can take care of all your video calling, voice calling, and messaging needs. However, Apple’s mobile platform won’t allow any app to take over SMS duties, so you’re stuck with its Messages app. Still, the newly-revamped Skype app has a clean look and a comprehensive set of features that includes group chats and group video calls. Your only problem might be getting your friends to use it.

*** end quote ***

Isn’t that an anti-trust violation?

# – # – # – # – #

TECHNOLOGY: iPhones slow down after a year

https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2017/12/20/16803190/iphone-slowdown-is-needed-but-also-a-problem

iPhones start slowing down after a year of use, and that’s way too soon
By Jacob Kastrenakes  Dec 20, 2017, 5:15pm EST

*** begin quote ***

But the big conspiracy has been that Apple intentionally slows down your phone every time a new one comes out, a subtle way of encouraging you to buy it. And now we know that it’s true on some level, even if you take Apple’s word and see this as about preservation and not a sales tactic, since the software update that comes out alongside every phone seems to be what introduces the throttling. Here’s how Apple puts it in its statement describing what’s going on: “Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices.”

*** end quote ***

And, this — planned obsolesence — why I am leaving the Apple family for Android and Chromebook.

# – # – # – # – # 

TECHNOLOGY: ICOs are probably not deserving of SEC regulation; caveat emptor

https://techcrunch.com/2017/12/17/ico-lateral-damage/

ICO-lateral damage
Posted 5 hours ago by Jon Evans (@rezendi), Columnist

*** begin quote ***

The ICO regulators are here, and they’re carrying big sticks.

“Coins or other digital assets issued on a blockchain may be securities under the federal securities laws… tokens were securities as defined by Section 2(a)(1) of the Securities Act because they were investment contracts … An investment contract is an investment of money in a common enterprise with a reasonable expectation of profits to be derived from the entrepreneurial or managerial efforts of others.”

*** end quote ***

Laissez-faire is an economic system in which transactions between private parties are free from intrusive government restrictions, tariffs, and subsidies, with only enough regulations to protect property rights.

We don’t need the Gooferment to “protect” us.

Their only interest is to protect their established interests.

Crypto-currencies do represent a huge threat to the fiat currencies that enable the Federal Reserve System — —  The Federal Reserve Bank is a misnomer. IT ain’t “federal”. It reserves nothing. And, it ain’t a “bank”. It is a private cartel of the elite banks run for their benefit and that of the entrenched politicians. — — to fund the welfare / warfare state.

# – # – # – # – #