Motorola's custom Moto X Texas facility to close before end of the year. Disappointing news! I wish the "assembled in the USA" on my Moto X stood out more.#

Steve Gibson's research on the end of TrueCrypt #

10 Pro-Gun Myths, Shot Down. How is this problem different than tobacco? Why do you think the health in this country is getting worse, not better? Who stands to benefit from the status quo? (Hint: follow the money) #

RoboCop Day' to be celebrated in Detroit Tuesday. Is this good or bad news? I am not sure whether Detroit would want to own the picture the movie RoboCop paints.#

Phil Collins performs live for the first time since retirement - in a school band. I wonder how many kids knew who Phil Collins was before they started practicing his music? #

Sunrise Comes To Android And The Web. I love cross platform apps. With the release of Sunrise for Android, I now can use the same calendaring app on all of my personal computers, be they smartphones, tablets, notebooks or tablets.#

The Idolatry of God by Peter Rollins, Chapter 1.#

Chrome now blocking extensions not on Web Store I've created an extension that I use on my Chromebook to run Fargo in a Window, and I wonder whether that will stop working some day. If so, I think Google needs to provide a way for users to make "apps" out of web sites.#

Amazon war with Hachette over ebook profit margins intensifies. I am starting to think about buying eBooks from B&N again due to this unsavory practice by Amazon. #

Cliq - Smartphone cases — Kickstarter. Interesting case that adds hardware buttons to smartphones that have NFC radios. Available for the Moto X.#

Jackson Wu: "Westerners tend to talk about personal identity based on one’s differences. However, there is another side to identity–– how we are similar to those around us."#

Cubby Blue: "They beat San Diego 5-1 last night which is always nice since every time I see a Padre the room falls away and it's suddenly October '84 and I hate Steve Garvey all over again." Or the ball going through Leon Durham's legs at first! #

"Subscribe" to OPML Lists in Fargo. An even quicker/dirtier approach is to simply copy the link to the OPML file, then go in to Fargo and click File, Open by URL and paste the link in to the dialog. The approach described in the link shows how to save the links to the OPML files to an outline. It looks like it will work real well with the script for reading RSS feeds in Fargo that Jeffrey wrote about yesterday.#

Google Updates Chrome Browser to Version 35. I got back some of the features I lost on my Chromebook when I had to power wash and revert to the stable channel. Happy to have app launcher folders and Ok Google hotword back.#

The Web App Is Here. I tend to go through To Do apps because I never seem to find one that I can get in to using. has hung around the longest, mainly because of the Moment that is scheduled to occur every work day morning and nags me to plan my day. I totally get the explanation for the web app in this blog post, I see a larger screen as a little easier for moving tasks around within the app.#

Fargo works great in a web browser on larger screen computing devices. The arrow pad helps make it easier to use on tablets and smartphones, but it is not ideal. What I wish I had was a native Android app that worked with the OPML files that Fargo stores on Dropbox, but the kick for me personally is that it would support files encrypted by Fargo. #

I would use the "Fargo" app on a smartphone and tablet to manage personal information, not for writing blog posts, which is why I want the encryption support. One of the basic problems with all of the To Do app services I've used like is that they don't encrypt data at rest, so any information in my To Do file is at risk of being compromised. If the data was encrypted on the device before sent to a storage service like Dropbox, then I would be more comfortable using it for work and personal information.#

The other feature I would like is the ability to send items to my linkblog (this site) like I do with the bookmarklet today. Sometimes I read information on my phone that I want to share here and the only way to do that is to save the tab, then open the tab on my desktop to push it over to this outline. #

My guess is that the only way to get my wish is if I wrote the app, but I am not a programmer. I doubt that there are any, or many, Android or iOS apps out there at read and write OPML files, but I really ought to start there.#

The new Surface Pro can’t be a laptop if it doesn’t come with a keyboard — GigaOm.#

Hands-on: Using Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 as a laptop—on my lap. I think the fundamental question about the Surface 3 is, are the benefits of using it as a tablet strong enough for one to tolerate its weaknesses as a a laptop? As I read this article, I am thinking, "just buy a notebook or a Chromebook!" #

Net Neutrality FCC Proposal is a Dumb Idea, Forbes Says. The problem is that the extreme capitalists of our day act is if though monopolies don't exist or aren't a bad thing. The railroad tycoons would have never been broken up, and we would still have Ma Bell.#

What it really is about is keeping the Internet a free market. In other words, if you support Net Neutrality, you support keeping the Internet a free market so that any person with an idea, people like Mark Zuckerberg and Evan Williams, can become successful.#

The people who oppose Net Neutrality are the people who are already making tons of money from the Internet and its use. As often happens with monopolies, the people and companies who make it to the top of the mountain want to stay at the top at any cost. The most natural response for these companies is to use whatever means is possible, be it government regulation or anti-competitive measures, to keep competition away. The purpose of the Sherman Antitrust Act is to control these "natural" actions by such companies.#

Competition means that those at the top of the mountain might not get every possible dollar out there, and more importantly, competition means that consumers (read you and I) benefit by getting either better products and services or lower prices.#

The reality is that for all practical purposes there is no competition for providing homes and businesses with fast access to the Internet. While there are exceptions, in most homes you may only have two options for Internet access: cable or DSL. DSL is not considered by most to really be fast Internet access. Frankly, two options does not provide competition and is for all practical purposes a monopoly.#

Others oppose Net Neutrality because they don't want any U.S. government regulation on the Internet. The problem as I see it is that the establishment of "fast" and "slow" lanes on the Internet, which is what the companies at the top of the Internet want, is itself government regulation. You are going to have regulation here, no matter what, the real question is, will the regulation benefit the majority of citizens of the United States or will the regulation benefit the minority of citizens who have already become rich from the Internet. #

If it were me, I would change the slogan/title from "Net Neutrality" to "Keep The Internet A Free Market." The Internet has made all our lives better because it is a bizarre, not a cathedral. #

Stop and think about how we have all benefited because everyone has equal access to highways, to electricity, and to phones, all of which are highly regulated so that they benefit citizens. Could you start a shipping company if only the corporate shipping companies could afford to pay to use the interstate freeways? What if you could only afford to have electricity in your business or house for three hours a day? What if you couldn't afford to have a phone line?#

The Internet is the first utility of the 21st century, and we seem determined to forget lessons of the 19th and 20th centuries. It is the free market, for now. #

Mobility Digest: "The Surface Pro 3 is meant to be an aspirational product. It isn’t meant to be common place or even the best seller. It is meant to deliver a premium experience for users who create in the visual medium." In other words, Microsoft is trying to beat Apple at its own game. The problem, in my opinion, is that doesn't help Microsoft meet their stated objectives.#

Close the books on another snowfall season in Keweenaw County 340 inches this year, compared to 314 in 2013. The last significant snow fall was on May 16. The last significant amount on the ground, where it was measured, was May 14, which is actually earlier than in 2013 when snow stuck around until May 19.#

Gmail for Android update rolling out with new features I got this update on my Moto X yesterday, but couldn't figure out what the new features were. Whenever you get new software there ought to be something that tells you what is new.#

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 Sings A Better Tune, But In A Frequency Only Few Can Hear.#

Tigers to debut live automobile mascot race at Comerica Park. On one hand, cars racing makes sense. On the other hand, they are boring when compared to presidents or sausages.#

$929 is a lot of money to spend on a computer.#

BGR: Microsoft Surface Pro 3 pricing: Still way too high. I agree with Boy Genius, and go beyond, all the Surface tablets are too expensive. At these prices, I find it hard to believe that Microsoft is serious about making money from the Surface. It feels to me that what Surface really is, is the tablet that Microsoft engineers designed for themselves. I don't think justifying the price by claiming the Surface Pro can replace two devices is going to impress the market.#

Alpha Software’s AlphaRef Reader is a general purpose system for reading reference material on a tablet computer or smartphone.#

Fargo 1.59 provides an option to turn off the background images. To my surprise, they have grown on me so decided to keep them. #

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Specs and Features. It's heavier than my third generation iPad, which I think is too heavy to hold in one hand for any length of time, and way heavier than the iPad Air. Yes, it's lighter than a Macbook Air, but while it can replace a laptop, people are going to hold it like a tablet.#

Empowering people to do more, be more. Unifying theme across Microsoft. Mobile first, cloud first? #

Why hardware? #

Want to build experiences that bring together all of Microsoft's capabilities to build the mobile first productivity experiences.#

Not interested in competing with OEMs, goal is to create new categories. #

Microsoft didn't go to the Apple school of product launches where you let the product speak for itself. Too much effort being spent trying to convince me they have a better product. #

Surface Pro 3#

12 inch screen diagonal. #

Microsoft says increasing the screen to this size is critical in order to be able to do more with the tablet.#

I'll have to hold this in my hands to be certain, but my first reaction is that it is too big.#

3x2 aspect ration#

9.1 milimeters thin; thinner than the Surface Pro 2#

Weighs 800 grams#

Microsoft claims that when you pick up the tablet it feels light.#

Lighter than a Macbook Air. Of course the Macbook has a keyboard in what looks like not much thicker than that Surface Pro 3#

Heavier than my third gen iPad, and much heavier than the iPad Air. #

Kickstand bends into many levels#

Appears to try a portrait orientation, given the Windows button is at the bottom in portrait orientation and of course looks odd when holding the tablet in landscape.#

"The tablet that can replace your laptop" The question is, do people think of tablets as a replacement for laptops? This point of view is why Windows 8 is designed primarily for landscape orientation.#

Docking station. Do people think of tablets as replacements of desktops?#

Touch cover has a larger track pad, and supposedly thinner. Emphasis on using on a lap. Changed the way the touch cover attaches to the tablet, Microsoft claims this makes the tablet in "laptop" mode to be more stable.#

The tablet in portrait orientation looks as large as a legal pad. #

The pen is not a stylus. It feels like a pen. Larger, heavier. #

Handwriting recognition, demonstrated on an app for the New York Times crossword puzzle.#

Click the pen, turns on the tablet. Write, click the pen again and what you wrote is saved to the cloud. #

On sale tomorrow. Starting price $799. Core i3, i5, and i7#

No Surface Mini. My first reaction is that a $800 price tag is too high, so Microsoft is probably not going to get my money.#

While the Surface Pro 3 is definitely better than the Tablet PCs of yore (see the background image), there still remains the question, is this what people want? Will they buy it at that price?# - Canadiens' Price to miss rest of conference final Tonight will be telling. If the Canadiens don't win tonight, I don't think they'll win the series. Price has been the best goalie in the playoffs.#

Is This Office Touch for Windows? I like the examples of digital inking for annotation shown in the screen shots in this article. #

Can Microsoft Turn Digital Ink Into a Key Advantage for Windows and Surface?#

Marlins Release Carlos Marmol – MLB Trade Rumors. Is it the end of the Marmol? He cost the Cubs a lot of wins last year.#

Google patents smartphone/notebook computer duo - SlashGear. Patents don't always turn in to products.#

Computerworld: "Microsoft has lost more than $1.2 billion so far on its Surface tablet business, an expensive experiment that makes tomorrow's revelations of new hardware an important milestone for the "devices" side of its corporate-refashioning strategy."#

Kit Kat begins rolling out for the WiFi-only Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 I was beginning to wonder whether my Note 8 was ever going to get another update. #

Detroit Tigers run into plane troubles, don Zubaz I don't know what's worse, that they wore those outfits or that they were available to be worn.#

Real Personal Computing: Yahoo News Digest Is Nice.#

Ten years ago today Randy Johnson pitched a perfect game.#

It has not been a good week for my fantasy baseball team. I have three big bats (Jay Bruce, Mark Trumbo, and Josh Hamilton) out of my line up and I have been trying to hold on until they get back. #

California Chrome wins Preakness Stakes. Two down, one more to go for the Yooper's horse.#

California Chrome's road to Triple Crown goes through U.P.#

Happy bicentennial, Norway!#

Coming to a Microsoft Surface near you: Cross-platform inking. I am probably one of the few people who likes writing by hand on a tablet. #

Twitter / NHL: And then there were four teams. I think it will be Canadiens vs. Kings in the Stanley Cup final. Candiens win. Price gets the Conn Smythe. #

Teemu Selanne likely bids adieu. I am sad to see Selanne retire, he has been a great player for many years, and I think has been as important to the Ducks as Steve Yzerman had been for the Red Wings. Perhaps more so, given that the Ducks are a much newer team with no real history. Now Selanne is that history.#

Apple vs. Google patent suits are now over. Why? I am trying to figure out what's in it for Apple to stop what they have been doing. They have plenty of cash on had to pay the lawyers, and I don't feel their law suits have damaged their business. Perhaps some big shareholders have stated they are fed up. #

on faith: "Critics who insist that Pope Francis should “stick to doctrine” and stop talking about inequality conveniently ignore that responding to the cries of the poor is a fundamental doctrine of the church." #

Feds fine GM $35 million maximum penalty over delayed ignition switch recall. Shouldn't the Feds be paying some of this fine since they owned GM while this issue was going on? I scheduled the recall appointment for our HHR today and was told by the dealer parts are taking four weeks to arrive.#

How The New York Times lost the internet I think The Times should hire Dave Winer. It appears he has invested more energy into fixing the Times than the people who work at the Times.#

Brewers at the Cubs this afternoon, the only afternoon game in MLB. With temperatures in the 40s, I would rather play an afternoon than a night game. Two good pitchers are going at it.#

The 26-15 Brewers and the 13-26 Cubs have almost the exactly inverted record. The difference is, while everyone is surprised by how good the Brewers are doing, nobody is surprised by the Cubs' record.#

Android Tips Tricks: Speed up Chrome for Android with this tweak.#

What if Jeff Samardzija became the first All-Star pitcher without a win? - Cubby-Blue.#

How to use Google's Chromecast in a hotel room I ran in to this issue using Chromcast on my last trip. My solution, just to test, was to use my smartphone as a wireless access point. For the price, it's worth picking up one of these little routers.#

Project for Public Spaces: "There is an important and significant correlation between how attached people feel to where they live and local GDP growth."#

The date title is correct. Yipee!#

It's mid May, so why is the furnace running?!#

LoopWallet Android App Now Available as First Universally Accepted Mobile Payment App - MarketWatch. The catch is that you need a hardware fob to actually make payments, and it would seem to me the fob is easier to lose than a physical wallet. It doesn't seem very convenient to me.#

Fleksy looks like an interesting keyboard for Android. I am going to try it out.#

Why Comcast data caps are bad: Cord cutters will get punished.#

Chrome Build 36 Has An Annoying Bug. The bug prevented me from succeeding at my test of using a Chromebook as my only keyboard-based computing device during a recent trip. The moral is to not rely on beta or developer software for a primary device. Duh! The good news is that resetting a Chromebook to "factory default" condition, which Google calls power washing, is a quick and painless procedure. The key enabler is storing all your data in the cloud. #

A new version of Fargo has been released that may fix the date rendering problem.#

Another test. I added siteTimeZone of "-4" to the linkblog outline. Left the computer on Central Daylight Time. Let's see what happens.#

Date is correct. Next step is to change computer back to Eastern Daylight Time.#

Ok, changed the computer to Eastern Daylight Time. What happened?#

The date title stays correct after adding siteTimeZone -4 to the outline. I wonder what will happen tomorrow?#

I am back home and the date title issue I have been dealing with has returned. The computer is switched to Eastern Daylight Time. I am now testing after a switch back to Central Daylight Time to see if that "fixes" the problem.#

Happy Mothers Day! #

Like magic, this site now has the correct date rendering for each day's head. Not sure how this was fixed, but I am happy!#

Five Best Raspberry Pi Cases.#

The MINI JAMBOX by Jawbone is probably the best gadget for traveling that I have bought in the last two years.#

My goal was to get through this entire trip without having to take out my Macbook Air, but that has not gone as planned. I have found that for some reason, the Chromebook is long loading some pages. I suspect that there is some type of issue between this "version" of Chrome and the hotel's Internet service provider, Time Warner Business.#

During my drive yesterday I listened to the GigaOm Chrome Show and learned about the Sunrise calendar app for Chrome OS. It looks like a nice app that I am hoping I can use to consolidate a couple Google calendars for viewing on my Chromebook. Unfortunately, I couldn't get it to load an additional account on the Chromebook.#

Sunrise does have documentation regarding an issue with adding second Google accounts, but it wouldn't even add Facebook. The account add page would render, so I took out my Macbook Air to set up the additional accounts.#

Now, the issue could be caused by the fact that I am using the developer edition of Chrome on this device, but I now have some doubt about the viability for only traveling with this device.#

While I bought the Chromecast right when it was available, I had not even tried it until this evening. I guess I had not been too motivated to use it, even though we bought a new TV that has HDMI ports many months ago.#

Of course, Chromecast is not really designed to be used in a hotel, rather, it is set up to work on home networks where you provide the network SSID and password to connect to the network. In the old days of hotel WiFi, they gave you the SSID and password when you check in to the hotel, but now days most hotel WiFi networks broadcast their SSID and use a web page to authenticate and connect to the network.#

The problem is that there is no way to access a web page from the Chromecast. To set it up, you can establish a point to point connect between a laptop and the Chromecast, but Google did not see fit to provide a way to connect to a hotel WiFi and then transfer that connection to the Chromecast.#

My solution was to use the portable hotspot feature of my Moto X, and connect my Chromebook and the Chromecast to that WiFi network. By doing this I was able to update the Chromecast software and try out the basic features. I've Chromecasted a tab and the desktop on my Chromebook, and although there is some lag, it is certainly usable for presentations.#

I Chromecasted a tab to check out, and then I went to YouTube and Chromecasted a video to see the full effect. When I get home, I will connect the Chromecast to our TV and do some more experimentation. Long term, I plan to get a new monitor that has HDMI inputs and use the Chromecast with it, our Samsung TV has plenty of apps for me to use.#

For the price, I think the Chromecast is very worthwhile having. If I traveled more frequently, I would consider buying a travel WiFi router and with that I think I would be able to use all the features even in a hotel room.#

Lake Michigan Tour 2014 is under way, earlier than normal because this year I am making a quick trip to Menominee to visit my mom on Mother's Day. Another difference for this trip is that I drove all the way to Marinette rather than stop at Manistique.#

The trip went really well, the weather was very nice with sunshine and blue skies the entire way. It was pretty cold at the Mackinac Bridge with 49 degree temps and a brisk wind. Definitely not the weather to be wearing shorts as I was wearing.#

A note for those traveling north on I-75 from Detroit. Construction just south of the Zilwaukee bridge started last year continues, and you will be sent on a detour via I-675. A bigger construction issue looms near Pinconning, with barrels and signs set up for what looks like nearly 10 miles of construction to start soon. I have a feeling people traveling "up north" this summer are really going to dislike construction season this more vehemently than other years.#

Brandan Robertson: "Christians have never meant to be the ones in power. In fact, history shows us that anytime Christianity is given a position of power and influence, it quickly departs from the Gospel of Jesus — because a Christianity that is given worldly power is not Christianity at all."#

Joshua Luton: "But that’s not how God rolls. God (the creative voice of love) calls, and you (creature) are invited to respond. Repentance and forgiveness are practices you’ve been given to orient your life more fully to the end for which you were created: life with God."#

Last week when Motorola put the Moto X on sale for one day, I pulled the trigger and ordered one using Moto Maker. While I wish I had selected the darker green for the back, I've otherwise have been very happy with the Moto X. #

I know the reason why it was put on sale is that Motorola is preparing to announce new phones next week. The reason why I pulled the trigger is that I fear the Moto X+1 will replace the Moto X, and I am not sold on the rumored specs of the new phone, particularly the larger screen size.#

I hope the "sale" price ($300) will become the "new" price of the Moto X, but the worst case is that they stop selling the Moto X. While I understand the appeal of a larger screen (the 5 inch LG Optimus G Pro is perfect for my work phone), I personally like a smaller size phone for my daily driver. And it's not like the Moto X is tiny, it has a 4.7 inch screen! #

The Moto X's software features are fantastic! One of my fears is that the features were heavily influenced by Google and won't continue under Lenovo's ownership, which is another reason why I pulled the trigger last week. #

The features I like the most are the Active Display that shows the time and notifications nearly continually on the phone, and Trusted Devices that bypasses the screen lock while the phone is connected via Bluetooth to the devices I specify. With Trusted Devices I don't need to enter the unlock code on my phone when I am in my car, or while I am using my Bluetooth headset. #

I need to write more about the Moto X because features like Active Listening, provide for the type of personalization of computing that I have been blogging about. My hope is that Motorola continues to provide and improve these software features.#

Scripting News: "But the other day I got an email from Flickr saying their API would switch to requiring HTTPS." I think this is being caused by all the big web service providers having to put encryption everywhere because of the latest security and privacy issues on the Internet. The crowd is moving to HTTPS.#

Jack's Winning Words: “A mother is a person who, seeing that there are only 4 pieces of pie for 5 people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” (Tenneva Jordan)#

Google Maps gets offline mode, lane assist, and more.#

I am not excited by the landscape orientation of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.#

Surface Mini – will an 8-inch tablet stop Apple? Rather than thinking of this device as a smaller Surface, it might be better to think of it as a Microsoft's first portrait-oriented tablet.#

Offline Google Play Movies coming to Chromebooks For some, the inability to download moves to a Chromebook to play while riding in a plane, car, or train, has been a reason to not get a Chromebook. Soon, that reason will go away, although the ability to download more media files will put a highlight on another constraint with Chromebooks, which is their relatively small amount of local storage space. How soon will 64 GB and 128 GB SSD Chromebooks become available?#

Google Now retail reminder will keep track of your shopping searches.# Can the Browser-Based Laptops Do the Work of PCs and Macs? I've been really happy with my Chromebook, and frankly when I need a keyboard-based device, it is the one I reach for the most because it is so fast. #

What Do Chromebooks Mean To Personal Computing?#

Microsoft to Launch Surface Mini on May 20. Price is also going to be important. #

I spent a few hours this afternoon at Starbucks, drinking a carmel macchiato and writing. My time there reminded me of college. My favorite place to study in college was the student union, which was usually crowded and not nearly as quiet as the library.#

For some reason, I've always enjoyed being amongst people, not necessarily watching nor participating, just being there. Perhaps my hearing has something to do with it, I am deaf in my right ear and rooms full of talking people blend into white noise. If I am not in a situation where I have to hear, the crowded room can be comforting to me. #

It's a gray day, with the wind blowing making the temperature feel like it is in the forties, so am in a Starbucks. Watching people stream in to this place, I understand how there is a Starbucks in almost every street corner.#

I am having problems with the dates that are rendering on this site. I am writing this on May 2, but the page is rendering it as if today is May 1, 2014. Odd. The last update time stamp at the bottom of this page is also one hour off. I don't know why this is happening.#

Yesterday, May 1, 2014 was the fiftieth anniversary of the BASIC programming language.#

Five Android apps that prolong your smartphone's battery life - CNET. I am trying Juice Defender on my LG Optimus G Pro.#

Decorah Eagles#

Watching earth from space is almost as fun as watching the Decorah eagles.#

© 2014 Frank McPherson.
Last update: Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 1:27 PM.
Yeah well, that's just, you know, like, your opinion, man.