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Category Archives: Technology

The Apple watch EKG function

Apple released a bunch of software updates yesterday — 10.14.2 of Mac OS; 12.1.1 of iOS; and 5.1.2 of watchOS. The updates for the iPhone and the Apple watch enable the long-promised EKG function on the Apple watch 4. I’m going to guess that thousands of people who’ve never seen an electrical graph of their […]

The eternal elegance of good technology

The signal strength dial on a Collins 75A-4 receiver, circa 1952 Uh-oh. This is a nerd post. Every so often, I have a maintenance day for my collection of obsolete technology. Stuff gets dusted. Stuff gets turned on and exercised. Batteries in portable devices get charged. Little fixes gets done. These things are like pets. […]

Kirby vacuum cleaners

A Kirby Avalir vacuum cleaner Sorry again, non-nerds. This is another nerd post. Though we’ll also talk about Kirby’s business practices. I had not been inside a pawn shop in probably 50 years. Nice people don’t go into pawn shops. But I was waiting for the oil to be changed in my car, with a […]

Using the Apple watch in fringe areas

Sorry, non-nerds. This is a nerd post. Technology companies these days assume that everyone, everywhere, has fast Internet and good cell phone coverage. In rural America, that is not the case. Millions of us have been left behind. In the 10 years that I have lived here in the woods, things have gotten better. But […]

Apple Pay? Yes, you should …

When I first heard about Apple Pay a few years ago, I assumed that it was nothing more than a play by Apple to insert itself into the lucrative credit card transaction business and extract a cut. To some degree, that’s true. But, as far as I can tell, Apple gets only a meager 0.15 […]

Some nerd talk about gasoline

The gas station nearest me actually has what I need. Liberals don’t generally talk much about gasoline. Conservatives do. But I’ve done some reading up on gasoline during the past few days, so let’s have a bit of liberal-oriented nerd talk about the technicalities of gasoline. Both for fuel efficiency and the life of your […]

Guilt tripping at 41 mpg (or less)

My 2017 Fiat 500 Pop I am a tree hugger, and I confess a terrible moral failing. I love cars. It was back in the 1960s, as a teenager, when I developed a Jaguar fetish. Having one as the family car would have been as impossible as having the moon. But even in the American […]

Episcopic illumination

Two letters of the word “LIBERTY” on an American 25-cent piece, magnified 60x Two years ago, I wrote a post, with photos, about my Nikon Model S microscope. People who are Googling for this classic microscope often find my post, and it has been quite popular. In 2016, I did not have an “episcopic illuminator” […]

Apple’s 1987 “Knowledge Navigator,” and Alexa

My opinion is that Alexa and Siri are useless. Last week, I met my first Apple HomePod at a friend’s house. Siri was a total idiot who knew nothing and who kept getting things wrong. I feel sure that HomePod buyers shout “Siri, stop!” much more often than they say, “Hey, Siri.” It was like […]

Robots and inequality

Amazon’s new automated store in Seattle. Source: Wikipedia Trump voters and consumers of Fox News are having the time of their lives these days, glorying in how their big man is sticking it to liberals, immigrants, and brown-skinned people. They actually feel safer, now that a con man is in the White House who feeds […]