Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
According to the Washington Post, lawmakers, administration officials, congressional staffers, diplomats and bureaucrats have found something healthy and bipartisan to compete over: the number of steps they walk each day.
Most seem to be wearing the Fitbit fitness counter, others may use Shine or an iPhone Moves app, but in any case, they're all keeping track of how many steps or cycling time they get each day.
Dale and I use the Moves app on our phone and I'm here to tell you checking your daily steps becomes addictive and actually helpful to keep us moving during the day. So many days, we'll walk when we don't have to just to bounce the total up. Fitness experts believe the optimum number of steps should be 10,000 which is harder to achieve than you may think, especially if you have things going on which won't allow walking around. As you can see by the chart in the story, 10,000 is not the typical number of steps taken, it's more around 8000 for active users.
We're fairly fortunate to be living on a 72 acre campus that allows for constant walking as well as owning a dog who likes to get around. In the end, though, these fitness counters really do consume and do make us competitive. Every evening Dale whips out his phone and announces how many steps he had that day. Which makes me do the same. Who had more? Who's the winner?
Monday I had 11,066 which comes out to 5.5 miles. Yesterday only 3500.
How many people will buy the new, huge, iPhone 6? I can't really see myself holding a phone half the size of an iPad up to my ear or worse, having to use earbuds to avoid this. No pocket will be large enough to hold it. The people I can imagine buying it are those who don't have an iPad and want a bigger screen but not the big expense.
Let's be honest. We all dote on our phones a lot during the course of the day. In DC, National Geographic workers laid down a test area. Half the sidewalk is designated for cell phone use the other half is "no cell phones allowed. This way phone users will only be tripping over other cell phone users.
How helpful this will be is anyone's guess. It's just life as we know nowadays. How's that for pragmatism. I just wish people wouldn't be so quick to be looking at their phones while driving.
Lots of tech stories on how to get out from under cable tv with its high bills and lackluster customer service and the most common alternative is said to be Roku and similar streaming video players. With these you can use Netflix for movies, tv shows, YouTube, some sports if you have a subscription.
But what makes me hesitate is the lack of news, most live sports, and the tv shows you get are generally past shows, not the shows being broadcast in live time.
These machines are popular with people who don't care about news and who love movie watching. Maybe I'm wrong and the availability has changed but we're not ready for an entertainment only box just yet.
Late yesterday I was chatting with a local friend about iPhone usage and battery life and some other apple tech things. Did you know you should occasionally check your iPhone's usage to see if the ratio of usage to standby is healthy? Yes you should.
Go to your settings->general->usage and then scroll down to battery life and you'll see the usage/standby ratio. If the numbers are 50/50 you have a problem that needs fixing. It is also why you probably have a battery that runs down faster than it should.
Unfortunately my usage is 50/50 and I have to go through a restore today. When it gets to this point, there is probably software corruption that will rear its ugly head one of these days.
And, you can keep this from happening by doing one simple thing that no one ever tells you: Turn your phone off once a day. Power off completely. This gives the phone time to get rid of the fuzzy bits and recover. If you do not do this, it's like leaving your car idling all night. You might not be driving, but the motor is still running and not in a good way.
The good thing is you don't have to leave it off all night long, according to an Apple genius person, just powering off completely before you put it on the charger is all you need. Yes, the phone will power up when the charger goes on, but just being off that short a time is what the phone needs.
And really, do I really need my phone as a bedroom clock? No. Turn off the phone or you'll be looking at a painful restore like I will do today and my daughter had to do yesterday.
Updated: I think I found the real reason my phone usage and standby times were the same, it was because of my Moves app which is working in the background all the time. Once I turned that off, the two times separated as they should.
Sprint recently jumped into the children's market with a phone it's marketing as one parents can use "to give their child the safety and communication tools they need when they are away from home." The phone is for 5-12 year olds and gives parents the ability to program up to 20 incoming and outgoing numbers. Kids can call those numbers and/or send and receive texts from them. More information about the WeGo at the link.
Judging from how early and easily our grandsons have picked up on how to use various devices, I might agree this could be a good idea and even earlier than 5. Kids seem to be born these days with an innate ability to understand the phones and ipads. And they are just as transfixed by them as adults. Look at two photos taken by each of our daughters over the weekend with both one year olds.
Jake has his thumbs in the correct position and you can see he looked up merely because he was asked to have his picture taken.
And here, Nick didn't even look up so interested is he in the device.
Many media websites are the least user friendly sites on the internet. They're overloaded with information making any single story difficult to find, filled with flickering headlines, moving slide shows, sudden appearances of ads that slowly fill the screen. If you watch their tv news and hear of a story they tell you will be on their website, good luck finding it beyond 8 hours.
For entities that are in the media business, you just have to wonder where their tech minds are. KSDK Channel 5 is one of the toughest to navigate and most days if I go there I eventually just close it out. There's way too much going on. But KSDK's site is so similar to other news sites that it looks as though they all use the same web creation service. KMOV's is better, lots of info but in a way that's fairly easy to navigate.
iTunes now has an app which allows you to take those selfies without having to hold the phone out in front of you. Named CamMe, the app lets you put the phone down in front of you and is activated by hand gestures.
If you are a selfie taker, this may be what you've been waiting for and it's free.
Also, the app WolframApha is a knowledge based search engine which lets you type in or verbally ask a question about anything and the answer will come up. What got me interested in this app yesterday was being able to ask: "What planes are over me right now?" And a list of all the flights by name and number came up. I don't know why this fascinates me but it does.
"Here, inside the caverns of an old Pennsylvania limestone mine, there are 600 employees of the Office of Personnel Management. Their task is nothing top-secret. It is to process the retirement papers of the government’s own workers.
But that system has a spectacular flaw. It still must be done entirely by hand, and almost entirely on paper.
This odd place is an example of how hard it is to get a time-wasting bug out of a big bureaucratic system.
Held up by all that paper, work in the mine runs as slowly now as it did in 1977."