Showing posts with label electronics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label electronics. Show all posts

Easing of Rules: Electronics On Airplanes

I just got back from a conference this weekend in Cincinnati, OH and wasted a whole bunch of hours of my life on an airplane. As usual when traveling, I packed a lot of electronic gadgets to entertain me, connect me and enable me to keep up with the web. I also packed a good old fashioned hardback book, (Ironhorse by the estate of Robert B. Parker). I also was excited to use my mobile app on my Android phone to access my boarding pass, therefore avoiding the stupid security TSA rep, scribbling meaningless doodle on my boarding pass while giving me the evil eye and exasperated sigh for using my phone app.
Anyway, as you know, we earthlings are prohibited from operating electronic gadgets below 10,000 feet cruising altitude in an airplane. This means the time from backing away from the gangway all the way up to cruising altitude, we must shut off our electronics. For many flights, this is at least a half hour of sitting there with nothing to listen to, no pictures to be taken out the window, and no reading to be done.
But not me, I break the rules when they are simply there to annoy me. When breaking the rule does not hurt or offend anyone, I'll do what I want. So, I listened to the music on my ipod. I did have my book to read legally - I don't break all the rules. Nice picture landing in Cincinnati, huh? I only put my phone on airplane mode rather than powering off all the way. OMG you rule breaker! But, really. Wait - its actually quite harmless these days with weaker cell signals and more insulation on planes. Just today, it was announced that efforts are underway in the FAA to lesson restrictions on electronic devices on airplanes.
Expect the rules to allow expanded electronic activity as early as this fall 2013.

Planning for the Demise of Google Reader

With the upcoming death of Google Reader at the end of the month; I've had to set up RSS feeds with another feed reader to capture blog and news updates from hundreds of web sites. I've set up with Feedly, TheOldReader and Netvibes so far and none of them compare to Google Reader. Maybe its just me needing to learn how to use all the features, but they don't all sync or display nicely across my devices - computers, Ipad and smartphone. The problem with Feedly is it requires the use of a non internet explorer browser to view on a computer. This is not an option at my work so I can't view my feeds in the day. On the Ipad and Smartphone it's my favorite though. So, I've settled for netvibes which doesn't require a special browser or downloading software, so I can use it a work - for now, until they block it.

I've noticed I'm viewing my feeds less often since it is not as simple as Google Reader, and that certain deal and coupon sites really are borderline spammers with ten to fifteen posts per day. If I follow 50 deal sites who all post 10 times a day that's 500 feeds. So, I've grouped them together under one tab because they clutter my other feeds. And guess what, I rarely take the time to read them. I simply click "Mark As Read". For a while I will probably continue to do this, but eventually I suspect I'll just delete that tab. One of the greatest benefits of not viewing all these feeds, is that I don't get the temptation to spend money on stuff. It's saving me money to not read those blogs.

Another feature that's nice about Netvibes is that you can set up different "dashboards" where  you can put different types of feeds. I could have one for deals, and one for personal finance and one for news. I have noticed that if I put all my hundreds of feeds in one dashboard it errors out and cannot pull them all. I think it is from the spamming type accounts like news sites and deal forums. These sites send out hundreds of updates a day and netvibes can't seem to handle them.

If you use Google Reader, I would recommend you find an alternative now so you can export your feeds to a new vendor instead of creating them from scratch. You can also download your feeds into a file to be imported later if someone develops a great new reader. However, if you wait too long - Google Reader will be gone and you'll have to start from scratch building your feed list.

There are a couple other apps that I've started to use also, to help capture articles I want to read later. Since I don't really care for netvibes on my smartphone and Ipad I use Feedly. When I see an article I want to read, I bookmark it, or send it to Pocket or Dropbox. I also can send my photos from my phone to Dropbox and then access them on my computers. These sites also have free apps at Google Play and App Store on your phones and Ipads.

This is not a sponsored post, I am simply telling you how I am dealing with the demise of one of my most useful internet applications. It's kind of teaching me not to get too dependent on one entity because they could sell it or get rid of it, and you don't want to lose your stuff. I personally don't trust Google to not end any of their features including Picassa, Drive and Blogger. They are shutting down iGoogle in November which will force me to figure out a new homepage. That will again change how I manage my time on the internet.