Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Battery Changing Can Drive You to Drink!

Unfortunately, every homeowner is required by law to have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. We wonder how many actually change the batteries regularly. We sympathize with the ones who don’t, because (a) they are on the ceiling (or up high on the wall) so you have to climb onto a ladder or stool and stand perilously, (b) even the best-organized homeowner is likely to have a mixture of makes and models of these detectors so the ladder-climber may have to guess whether the detector is removed and replaced by turning clockwise or counter-clockwise, and (c) when s/he tests the detector the sound is deafening.

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.

Chinese Have Different Notions About Truth and Ethics: Part 2 – Lying and Cheating

Different countries have different standards of honesty. This isn’t just idle chatter. A study found that the Chinese to be the most dishonest, and Japanese and British the least dishonest. Other Truths”(at high prices!) and “Get Rich Cheating: The Crooked Path to Easy Street (Chinese Edition)”. Interestingly, Twitter says China’s Coronavirus lies are OK. A Chinese woman paid $6.5M after her daughter got into Stanford. Steve Saleen lost his racecar design and intellectual property to China.

Chinese Have Different Notions About Truth and Ethics: Part 1 – Mysterious Seed Shipments

The Chinese do not have a reputation for being generous in business transactions. So if they are giving away seeds for free, recipients (and the authorities), should be suspicious. These seeds are being shipped worldwide, are often labeled as other goods, and could be part of a “brushing scheme”. There also is a possibility that the seeds include ones that are species that are poisonous or that could crowd out worthwhile species, which is an ancient biblical parable.

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.

When It Rains It Pours

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.

Password Security IS a Laughing Matter

Anyone who has opened an account has run the gantlet of questions that are used in the event of entering its password incorrectly. (We deplore the use of passwords so when we are forced to create them we use some variation of “dumb idea” or “dongle” (a dongle is a small device able to be connected to and used with a computer, especially to allow access to wireless broadband or use of protected software).) In our case, we have had to provide the answers to such questions as “Who was your favorite elementary school teacher?”, “What was the model of your first car?”, or “What was your mother’s maiden name?” Most recently we had to provide several answers to such arcane questions that we laughed. Fortunately, this is such a widespread nuisance that it has resulted in some humorous suggestions.

Donald Trump is Being Hoisted with his Own Petard

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.