Using Microsoft software sometimes is its own punishment. Worse, the punishment occurs randomly. We may have been working along happily enough, but suddenly the software shows a picture (with a promotional comment about one of its products, e.g. its Edge browser) and demands a password. Oh, we think, this is the new way. This way continues for a while, but then it flips back to the previous no-password/no-ad.
In December 2020, Apple gave us many challenges when downloading photos from our iPhones to computers. Then Microsoft decided to add another level of frustration, by making it impossible to locate images that were downloaded from Apple on Windows machines. We reached out to Microsoft Support before Christmas, and we’re not surprised that the information they gave us was useless. It’s a Christmas Miracle that our card was finished in 2020!
We hope that you had an easier time transferring your photos and videos this year. However, it would be great if you could share any problems you might have had with us.
Happy New Year!
(sharing humor and a warning about ordering Google Pizza – from Joke Of the Day)
CALLER: Is this Gordon’s Pizza?
GOOGLE: No sir, it’s Google Pizza.
CALLER: I must have dialed a wrong number. Sorry.
GOOGLE: No sir, Google bought Gordon’s Pizza last month.
CALLER: OK. I would like to order a pizza.
GOOGLE: Do you want your usual, sir?
CALLER: My usual? You know me?
GOOGLE: According to our caller ID data sheet, the last 12 times you called you ordered an extra-large pizza with three cheeses, sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms and meatballs on a thick crust.
CALLER: OK! That’s what I want …
GOOGLE: May I suggest that this time you order a pizza with ricotta, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives on a whole wheat gluten-free thin crust?
CALLER: What? I detest vegetables!
GOOGLE: Your cholesterol is not good, sir.
CALLER: How the hell do you know!
GOOGLE: Well, we cross-referenced your home phone number with your medical records. We have the result of your blood tests for the last 7 years.
CALLER: Okay, but I do not want your rotten vegetable pizza! I already take medication for my cholesterol.
GOOGLE: Excuse me sir, but you have not taken your medication regularly. According to our database, you only purchased a box of 30 cholesterol tablets once, at Drug RX Network, 4 months ago.
CALLER: I bought more from another drugstore.
GOOGLE: That doesn’t show on your credit card statement.
CALLER: I paid in cash…. I have other sources of cash.
GOOGLE: That doesn’t show on your last tax return unless you bought them using an undeclared income source, which is against the law. But you did not withdraw enough cash according to your bank statement.
CALLER: WHAT THE HELL!
GOOGLE: I’m sorry, sir, we use such information only with the sole intention of helping you.
CALLER: Enough already! I’m sick to death of Google, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and all the others. I’m going to an island without internet, cable TV, where there is no cell phone service and no one to watch me or spy on me.
GOOGLE: I understand sir, but you need to renew your passport first. It expired 6 weeks ago.
Facebook’s antics have caught up with it. Facebook’s original objective was to connect individuals with each other. It was a computerized superset of what was known to college students of an earlier generation whose primary use was often to look at pictures of the opposite sex to see if they were attractive and of an appropriate height. It did have addresses but no telephone numbers. And, of course, no email address. As technology evolved, the information was put onto the Internet. And because of the large concentration of college students in the Boston, MA area who were tech-savvy, it was predictable that it would be where this would happen first. Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg co-founded Facebook, which initially dealt with interpersonal communications. And as it evolved people found it useful for communicating among groups of relatives or friends. And if it had continued to play this role, Facebook would not have run into the problems that have caused Zuckerberg to be forced to testify to the U.S. Congress in 2018. But in 2007 the company introduced Facebook Ads, which made the company a lot of money. However, some of the content posted on Facebook seriously offended the advertisers, who are giant corporations, and an increasing number have boycotted Facebook. Even though Facebook is losing these advertisers Zuckerberg cries all the way to the bank.
It seems to us that the POTUS (the President of the United States) should be dealing with the affairs of the state rather than lobbing bombs of various sizes at social media, especially these days. Twitter was historically benefitted because Trump used it so frequently and thus publicized it. But social media is now lobbing their own bombs. Starting on Memorial Day (May 25), instead of inspiring unity, Twitter applied a fact-checking notice to Trump’s tweets on the subject of voter fraud, non-usage of masks, and other issues. Meanwhile, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg refused to take Trump to task, causing a bunch of Facebook employees to use Twitter to voice their objection. Some of Facebook’s larger advertisers, North Face and Patagonia in particular hit him where it hurts.
Apparently the US government is finally getting ready to sue Google for monopolizing online ads. Why is it taking so long? It’s because Google and other large high-technology companies deliver a lot of value-added in products and/or services. Google has been monopolizing the search business for years, and selling ads is how they monetize their search efforts.
Actually, they can count but they cheat. In the early days of our TechnologyBloopers website, we received an email from Google Analytics indicating that we had only 26 visitors during December 2017. But our hosting company Omnis tallied 2523. Why the difference? Might Google have been deliberately counting lower so they could sell us AdWords?
It had to happen. As the tech giants continue to grow, they start to overlap each other, simply because there are just not that many giant markets that they can pursue. In this case, it is Facebook invading Amazon’s e-commerce territory with its new “Shops” e-commerce service. It is useful to remember that a big chunk of Amazon’s revenue comes from third-party sellers. These sellers are mostly small, and they can now set up their own e-commerce on Facebook or Instagram.
Because of CoronaVirus, many people don’t drive very frequently. And AAA is answering a lot of calls from members who are faced with a car that cannot be started because the battery is dead. And experts counsel drivers to drive 20-30 miles at highway speed periodically to top up the charge. But even in normal times, there are a lot of things that could cause your battery to lose so much charge that you can’t start it.
Depending on one’s taste and budget, a car is the fifth most expensive thing one will buy. But because electronic and computer technology continues to evolve, one will get more for one’s money. That’s because more and more of the car is really a computer. The best example is the Tesla; long-term writer/analyst Larry Magid makes the point.