Tech Tidbits

Tech tidbits - news during the pandemic slowdown

As we enter into the twentieth year third month of the global pandemic, technology news has slowed down as much as everything else. There aren’t many things to tell you about! Here are a few bits of tech news that have caught my eye in the moments between bouts of weeping about the dismantling of our democracy – pandemic shortages, VR and Half-Life Alyx, the latest phones from Google and Apple, Comcast upgrades, and more. […] continued

Read more

Spotify Unwrapped 2019: My Top Ten List Is 260% Better Than Last Year

Spotify - Bruceb Top Ten 2019

Spotify has launched its annual Spotify Wrapped website, where you can look back on your year of music listening, including your top artists and top songs. You’ll find a new playlist in the Spotify app with your most-played songs from 2019. It’s the end of the decade, so Spotify also includes a list that shows your top songs and artists for each year that you’ve been on Spotify, as well as your favorite artist of the decade. […] continued

Read more

Listen To Your Computer: New Read Aloud Options In Outlook, Word

New read aloud options in Outlook, Word

When you’ve finished talking to your computer, you can sit back and listen to it instead. Microsoft has improved the speech features in Word and Outlook for Office 365 subscribers, so the computer will read documents and messages out loud with more natural inflection and pauses. It’s still mechanical but it’s better mechanical. […] continued

Read more

How Microsoft Became Uncool And Lost Touch With Consumers

How Microsoft became uncool and lost the consumer market

There was a time when Windows was cool. A long time ago, people lined up to get new versions of Windows when they went on sale. Maybe not quite the numbers of people outside of Apple stores at the height of iPhone madness, but still – Microsoft was pretty cool.

When the iPhone was released in 2007, Microsoft began its long decline with consumers. […] continued

Read more

Peeking Behind The Scenes At Spotify & The Music Industry

Spotify, streaming music, and record companies

Spotify and Apple Music have helped the music industry recover from a disastrous decade. Here are a couple of interesting perspectives on streaming music – a look behind the scenes at the relationship between Spotify and the music industry, and a thought about our shift to streaming music.

Let’s call them “record companies.” […] continued

Read more

Tales Of The Unknown, Volume 17: Chrome Remote Desktop

Chrome Remote Desktop

Google Chrome is a web browser. I kind of vaguely knew that it could do other cool tricks.

I stumbled on a pretty amazing Chrome app that I’ve been overlooking for five years. Sometimes it seems like Google is having all the fun with new technology.

With Chrome Remote Desktop, you can control a Windows or Mac computer remotely from almost any other device: another Windows or Mac computer, a Chromebook, an iPhone or iPad, or an Android phone or tablet. […] continued

Read more

Spotify Daily Mix: Better Playlists Through Algorithms

Spotify - better playlists through algorithms

If you’re a regular Spotify listener, you’ve got to check out the new Daily Mix playlists!

Before we get to that, start with the advice: if you listen to music, you should have a paid Spotify subscription. For $9.99/month, you can play just about anything from the entire history of recorded music on demand. […] continued

Read more

Google Duo And Communication Overload

Google Duo - simple video chat

Google introduced a new app for video chats last week. Google Duo makes one-on-one video chats as easy as possible, with nothing required except a phone number and someone on the other end who’s running the app or willing to install it. Google Duo doesn’t even require a Google account. Setup takes only a moment, and once it’s set up it literally requires only a single tap to start a call. […] continued

Read more

As Ignorable As It Is Interesting: Increase Productivity With The Sounds You Won’t Hear

Ambient music - as ignorable as it is interesting

“Ambient music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting.“ – Brian Eno, liner notes for Ambient 1: Music for Airports (1978)

Ambient music and sounds can increase your productivity. Here are some apps and music selections that might be the best thing you’ve ever ignored while you’re getting work done. […] continued

Read more

Spotify Is Creating A Personalized Mixtape For You Every Week

Spotify - Discover Weekly personalized playlist

Each week, Spotify creates a personalized playlist with thirty songs on it, tailored specifically to my taste in music. I’m starting to look forward to my “Discover Weekly” playlist on Monday morning, knowing that it will have a lot of names I’ve never heard before and a lot of music that I like very much. […] continued

Read more

Not All Technology Bubbles Are Expanding

techbubbleburst

 

Technology news has been a bit negative recently. The death of Windows Phone got the most attention last week but Apple and Samsung have their own problems, and there are many other companies and products that are either failing or not living up to expectations. Here’s a sampling of the dark side of recent technology news. […] continued

Read more

Getting Started With Android: Reading & Listening

Amazon Kindle - Android app

Previously:
Getting Started With Android: Office 365 Mail

The OnePlus One phone has given me a chance to explore the world of Android apps. Here are some of the apps that I’ve been using for the last couple of months for reading and listening. Some of them are specialized but perhaps you’ll get an idea for an app that might work for you. […] continued

Read more

Bluetooth Takes Center Stage

bluetoothlogo

Bluetooth has been around for more than ten years powering our phone headsets but not much else. Now that we’re using phones and tablets as our primary technology devices, Bluetooth is turning up everywhere.

Bluetooth is a special kind of wireless signal designed to work over short distances. Frequently you’ll see references to a range of thirty feet but the reality is frequently far less. […] continued

Read more

Spotify Is The Best Way To Listen To Music

spotifylogo2

Technology is causing another shift in the way we listen to music. There’s no right or wrong answer but Spotify has some advantages over many of the other choices.

Background

A quick recap of how we’ve listened to music over the years.

•  Baby boomers started with vinyl LPs. Cassettes were the mobile alternative in the 70s. […] continued

Read more