Amazon’s Kindle Is Too Complicated and Greedy

Kindle instructs customers: “From the left panel on the Home screen, tap Books, Newsstand, or Audiobooks, or tap the icon from the app grid or carousel to view specific content in your Kindle Library. Tap a title to download it to your phone. Note: Content already downloaded to your phone will have a checkmark on it.”  This is TOTALLY USELESS!!!  Per my wife: Instead, tap on the upper left-hand corner, then tap on the three lines there.

Then, if you want to buy the book, Amazon’s software gets in the way again. HOW STUPID!!!  My wife is a very capable iPad user but even she can’t outwit Amazon’s dopey setup.

Launch the Kindle app on your iPhone or iPad. Tap Library to see all of the e-books in your Amazon library. Tap the book you wish to download onto your device. When it’s finished downloading (it will have a checkmark next to it), tap the book to open it.

We wanted to purchase the Kindle book “None of My Business” by P.J. O’Rourke, but instead, Amazon sold us a vocal version. Huh??!! And we wanted to purchase the Kindle book “Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy Book 1)” but instead Amazon sent us (Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy Book 2)”.

It took us considerable time on the phone with Amazon’s Customer Service to straighten out these messes and get refunds. Shame on Amazon!

Electric Cars are Revolutionizing the Automobile Industry

Although there has been some form of electric cars for several decades, recently the quest for lower-cost transportation and—for environmentalists—the pursuit of alternatives to fossil-fuel has led to the growing popularity of electric cars. The leader today is Tesla, and its founder Elon Musk, who has just campaigned using the medium of “Battery Day”. He is in lockstep with California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, who is joining a dozen-plus other countries in prohibiting sales of gasoline/diesel-fuel-powered cars. For this to occur, there will be a need for a lot more electric car charging stations and more standardization. Although the new law appears to exclude current cars on the road and ones that will be sold before the deadlines, owners of cherished models will be able to retrofit them with electric motors.

Chinese Have Different Notions About Truth and Ethics: Part 3 – Government

Thus far, the current economic cold war between the United States and China is like a children’s’ snowball fight. If it were adults fighting, one would think they would have learned from the previous cold war. At least the U.S., with a relatively recent history of gunfighting, should know how to avoid shooting itself in the foot, as it seems to be doing these days with President Trump’s threat of banning the WeChat app, which is likely to hurt sales in China by companies such as Apple, Ford, and Walt Disney. And Trump’s forcing Chinese companies listed on American stock exchanges to comply with American accounting rules could trigger hacking of the November 3 presidential election. And last, but not least, is the continuing hijinks of Huawei and corralling of it by the USA.

If You Don’t Succeed at First Try, Try Again

Innovation isn’t always pretty in the beginning. Just ask Elon Musk. But he had a vision about electric cars and solar panels. In the early days of Tesla, there must have been many moments when he wondered if he would succeed. In particular, he sacrificed quality to achieve the quantity of cars. But now, even with the shutdown of the California factory, Tesla’s shipments were higher than expected.

First Steps for Driverless Vehicles

For at least the last two decades people (almost always male) have been tinkering with a wide variety of designs of self-driving cars that they have been dreaming of starting at least two decades earlier. The tinkering continues to be a very challenging pursuit. Finally, in early 2020 there was a modest step forward, in the form of autonomous grocery delivery vehicle from a low-profile company named Nuro that met the requirements of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But it will take a lot of time before there will be vehicles with performance and creature comforts similar to cars driven by human beings. Perhaps those vehicles will initially be permitted only on freeways or well-defined streets and roads.

A Car is a Personal Computer on Wheels

Computer on wheels

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.

The founder, CEO, and president of online retail company Amazon, Jeff Bezos has been the world’s richest person since 2017 and was named the “richest man in modern history” after his net worth increased to $150 billion in July 2018. He may not be personally responsible for using data about third-party sellers on the Amazon platform to develop competing products. But people he has hired are responsible for such actions.

Broadband Infrastructure Upgrade Needed

The need for sheltering at home has forced people to do their jobs as well as other activities (e.g., shopping) from home. And even the people living in sparsely-populated areas need the speed and volume of broadband. We were aghast not long ago when the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai initially voted against upgrading to broadband. He has now changed his mind, saying “Broadband is critical in modern American life. Especially when it comes to innovation, the Internet has leveled the playing field.” Not surprisingly, the bureaucracy of the federal government is the villain.

Can Facebook or Other Social Media Reduce Your Productivity?

We have never had a Facebook account, because we perceived it as a time-waster, fun for people who didn’t have day jobs and accepted the occasional scandals and the fact that their memberships had made Mark Zuckerberg outrageously wealthy. But more recently people have realized not only how much time they had wasted but also how depressed they were and how many impulse purchases it had caused. Although some people want to make sure they don’t miss out of what’s happening, and others actually use Facebook as part of their job, on balance people agree that Facebook does reduce their productivity. And a 2015 survey of people who have to make decisions found that 86% of them believe that social media are not useful. Social media companies like Facebook are a poor substitute for personal meetings.  Zoom and similar alternatives are better for taking care of people that are not present.