Instagram, Facebook, and Deletes

If you post a picture on Instagram, and then share it to Facebook, and then decide to delete it from Instagram, it will be automatically deleted from Facebook also! This is probably due to the fact that Facebook now owns Instagram.

In other words, if you wish to only keep the picture on Facebook, post it to Facebook only in the first place.


Sex, Drugs, and Silicon Valley, per CNN

Check out today – in the Tech section, they are running a series called Sex, Drugs, and Silicon Valley, which purports that having an usual intimate and/or pharmaceutical life helps the tech lords come up with their great ideas. Maybe it does in a few cases – and you know CNN will highlight them, because Mr. Boring Suburbia will never pull in the ratings to satisfy CNN’s sponsors. By the way, did you know CNN is a for-profit company? Wow – so is Subaru for that matter – amazing!

I’m not here to throw stones at these tech people who chose their lifestyles – if that’s what makes them happy, and they don’t push their lifestyles on others, let ’em be. I’d like to see some stats regarding atypical sex and drug use amongst the high-tech community (not just the bigwigs) vs. the population at large. You do need people on the edge (we wouldn’t have the entertainment or fashion industries without them). We don’t need everybody on the edge. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, the people running CNN want to make the news, not just report on it. Their factual news coverage is sometimes very good, but their opinions are stuck in the 1960’s (oh yeah, the Sixties – wasn’t that the name of one of their recent series)!

Pinterest is Picking Pins – a Perfect Pain in the Posterior!

Don’t you love it when an app decides for you what you like? Pinterest is now doing this – when you go to your Pinterest home page, it is now cluttered up with pins that Pinterest picks for you! Some of these are interesting, but they should be displayed on a separate web page – I’d rather only see the pins of the people I choose to follow.

Your thoughts?

Ted and Judy’s Android Adventures: Chapter 4: The Carrier

To use any mobile device as a phone, you must sign up with a mobile carrier (I chose Verizon Wireless, but there are a lot of them out there). Like landline carriers, you generally sign up with some sort of plan. The mobile carriers generally offer their plans based on monthly usage of talk minutes, number of text messages, and volume of data. Many plans allow for unlimited talk and text, and some number of gigabytes of data – some of the plans are not that expensive. Mobile carriers are to wireless communication what Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are to home or work Internet service.

When accessing the Internet via wireless, a lot of data can be grabbed, eating into your monthly allowance. The way around this with a phone or tablet is to look at your data in a location with free wi-fi, such as a local restaurant (many of us have our “office” at Panera or Starbucks). With wi-fi access, the data comes in free, so you don’t wreck your plan budget. Also, many of us have wi-fi-only tablets, requiring wi-fi to access the outside world. Last but not least, if you are using a router at home for networking, wi-fi is built in (in other words, use the Internet on your phone or tablet at will if you are home).

As I’ve mentioned before, apps control everything. Verizon loads several apps on your phone when you sign up for their service. For example, the My Verizon Mobile app controls viewing of usage, your bill, etc.

One annoyance – Voice Mail is not part of the phone app! I had some unread voice mails because I didn’t think of using the Voice Mail app to read them – fortunately, none were mission-critical. I don’t know how other carriers handle this, but with Verizon, you have to check this yourself – unless you want to pay $3 extra for visual voice mail. If you don’t want this extra service, you can still call voice mail like you do with a non-smart phone and it works fine.

Ted and Judy’s Android Adventures: Chapter 3: Apps – an Introduction

The Galaxy S4, like other smartphones, runs apps. What is an app? App is short for application, which is the current terminology for computer program. In other words, it’s a set of digital instructions that your device can understand and execute, to perform a specific task. A device can be anything from the smallest watch-like gizmo that you wear on your wrist, to the giant mainframe computer that helps keep the space station in orbit, to everything else in between.

For the consumer, “app” generally refers to an app that you can call up by touching an icon (that small square picture) on your phone or tablet screen (or on your computer if it has touch-capability). The human-phone interface on Android devices is very heavily driven by apps. Some comments:

  • Tapping an icon on a phone is roughly equivalent to clicking on an item using a mouse on a PC.
  • Tap the Phone icon to activate the app to make a call, pick up a call, etc. Apps also control your contact list, email, calendars, etc.
  • Your Internet browser is an app – since Android is Google, you get the Chrome app with your initial setup, but you can download apps for other browsers
  • From your start screen, you tap an icon called Apps to access most of the apps on your phone
  • To change phone settings, including selecting a wi-fi network, you tap the Settings app
  • You can download additional apps to your phone – within the apps list, you click the down-arrow to get to already-downloaded apps
  • Android Apps to download are available in the Play Store – many of these are free. Stores, restaurants, TV channels, etc., have their own apps. Installation on your device is part of the download process.
  • The cameras, and the gallery of pictures, are also activated by apps. If you want to put pictures on Instagram, a popular photo site, you have to download the app for that.
  • Holding down the button just beneath the screen, lightly for a few seconds, brings up the list of apps that are currently running. Tap “Close All’ to immediately reduce clutter.

Do note that this barely scratches the subject of apps – in general, there are many more apps for an Android device than there are for a PC. Specific apps as appropriate will be discussed in further chapters of this topic.

Ted and Judy’s Android Adventures: Chapter 2: It’s a Phone!

Happy New Year to all my readers – please feel free to spread the word about this blog!

One of the most amazing things about the Galaxy S4 is that it is a cell phone! One can get lost in all the other features, but you can actually make and receive phone calls (and text messages) on this device!

Some nice features:

  • When bringing up the keypad, the phone buttons are nice and large.
  • If a phone number appears on a web page or in an app, you can sometimes click on the phone number and the phone-call app will come up and you can call that number (eliminating the need for cut-and-paste)
  • The contact list was automatically built (being that Android is by Google, it grabbed my Gmail contacts). It also appeared to pull in my Facebook contacts too – in fact, one of my hardest ongoing jobs is removing duplicate contacts, and contacts I would never call or text in real life.
  • The recent-call feature is very nice – you can just click on an item in the list, then call that number.

One gripe – the battery drains down quite often – right now, I am using home and car chargers, but I may add one of those charger packs to our equipment list.

Next up: Apps

Ted and Judy’s Android Adventures: Chapter 1: The Beginning

About a couple of months ago, I finally broke down and entered the smartphone era. After an exhaustive search, and getting a good deal on Verizon service at Best Buy, I purchased the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy S4. This is a very nice phone, with great touch-response and a very attractive display.

Being used to Windows-based PCs, I found this gizmo a but confusing at first, but since a lot of PC apps (formerly known as programs) had gone to look-and-feels similar to phone and tablet apps, the learning curve to get started was not that bad.

One thing I am slowly getting used to is the tiny on-screen keyboard. When you need to type something, you tap the location on the screen and the keyboard pops up. Depending on the app, it sometimes pays to sacrifice screen area to have bigger “keys” by turning the phone sideways. Switching between alphanumeric and symbols is a bit of a pain, too – but – one thing I do like is the think-ahead feature – when you start typing, the device attempts to think for you. For instance, if the last word you typed was “going”, the word “to” may be presented to you as a choice – then you just tap it and the system supplies the separating space, too.

My wife Judy and I are also looking to get a tablet – and unless something odd comes up, that will be an Android, too.