Is it too good to be true?
If you’re only sharing selfies on Instagram, you may need to re-think things.
Have you uploaded your DNA to one of those mail-order kits to find family members? Doesn’t matter if you did or not.
It’s now $40 more than it cost when I first paid for a membership to Amazon Prime. Now that the competition is matching Amazon prices I wanted to know if I’m still saving money.
This was on one of the news days when NOTHING was going on. After making a run at 4 or 5 stories I was told to “just go find a story”. I wound up in a 3rd grade classroom and had a young boy challenge me to a handwriting contest.
Secrets to shooting great video with your smartphone. The last one is for idiots like me.
Don’t be so sure the smartphone your teenager is using is always going to be a problem. A new program is reaching teens in crisis through texts.
Are you thinking about cutting the cord of cable or satellite TV and going with a streaming service like Sling TV, Direct TV Now? There’s a fairly new player in the game that you’re already familiar with to some extent. Google introduced YouTube TV less than a year ago and while it is less popular than the other services, it’s worth a look.
Over the next few posts I’ll compare these services with pros and cons and costs and programming.
YouTube TV, like the other choices, offers some of the popular channels offered by cable and satellite, but not everything. I counted 56 channels which includes Disney, EPSN, most cable news channels, the TBS network of stations and movie channels such as IFC, AMC and FXX. It does not offer Nickelodeon and The Weather Channel.
To access YouTube TV you’ll need a smartphone, tablet or a computer. The programming is streamed to the TV if it is wifi enabled (connected to your home’s wifi router) through a Google Chromecast streaming stick or if the TV is smart, in other words a television set that allows connection to streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu.
The remote control is the smartphone or tablet which I find useful because I’m constantly looking for the remote to my Roku and Amazon Fire Stick. I know where my smartphone is, in my hands usually.
A Google Chromecast device is small and plugs into an HDMI port on the TV. These are around $35 but the price often drops. Like Amazon, Google would like to saturate the market with its device, and most people will purchase one or the other.
As for price, YouTube TV costs about the same as Sling TV and Direct TV Now. $45/ month. Sling TV has a $20 plan which obviously gives you access to fewer channels.
Pros of YouTube TV:
Many of the channels you watch the most are offered.
Inexpensive (by cable and satellite standards)
Easy to use
Up to 6 people can watch TV (different channels too) at the same time.
Includes sports channels ESPN, SEC Network and MLB Network.
Cloud DVR to watch any program any time
Cons of YouTube TV:
Missing popular channels like Weather Channel
Requires Google’s own Chromecast streaming stick
or Chromecast enabled TV
Does not work with Amazon Fire Stick
No 4k programming
How does it stack up with the others (Sling TV and Direct TV Now) I’m going to test all three and let you know.
Old-school meets new-school with smart paper notebooks. Run out of pages? Toss it in the microwave for 2 minutes.
If you’ve been paying attention to your Facebook timeline over the past few weeks, you may have seen an announcement from the social media giant of a new facial recognition feature. The new feature allows Facebook to locate you in any photo or video posted publicly, whether you’re tagged in it or not. You may not even know the picture was taken or who took it.
Facebook and other online companies have been capturing and collecting biometric data such in order to engage its users and encourage more sharing of posts and photos. The biometric data is used whenever you post a picture and Facebook asks if you’d like to tag the people in the photo with the names already attached to their faces.
The new feature will show Facebook users any photos or videos they’re in, even if they’re never tagged.
Last week the new feature appeared on my ‘recent activity’ after someone posted a photo of a large group of people. I was practically hidden in the background but Facebook recognized my face from my profile picture and sent it to me, asking if I’d like to tag myself, ignore it or notify Facebook that it is not me.
Facebook gives the impression that you will begin receiving notifications of pictures, anytime it believes your face is in it. The photos do not necessarily have to be posted by a Facebook friend.
In the announcement (or notification) of the new feature, Facebook said it thinks users will like finding photos of themselves. It also states that the feature will help users protect their own privacy. Rather than search Facebook for your name you can search for your face. If someone is using a photo of you for their profile picture you can report it to Facebook.
Facebook also states the feature can help the visually impaired get an understanding of a photo by using voice to read the names of people in the photos or videos.
The feature is turned off, Facebook says but I have seen reports that some users have noticed the feature was turned on by default. If you want to change (or check) whether it is turned on or off for your photos, go to settings and you’ll see Facebook added a ‘facial recognition’ tab.
Facebook isn’t alone of course in collecting biometric data. Google knows what you look like too. If you’re not sure about that, go Google your name and tap images. You’ll probably be surprised how many photos there are of you posted on the internet.