Happy bookish birthdays (4 December) to…

December 4, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (4 December) to…

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :)

Shop ’til you help! :)

Happy bookish birthdays (December 3) to…

December 3, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (December 3) to…

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :)

Shop ’til you help! :)

Happy bookish birthdays (December 2) to…

December 2, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (December 2) to…

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :)

Shop ’til you help! :)

A Day in the Life of a Kindleer 2019

December 1, 2019

A Day in the Life of a Kindleer 2019

This is one in a series of posts which I write about once a year. I do this primarily to give my readers some ideas they might use to get more out of their devices. I also think it’s interesting to go back and look at the previous ones, to see how much things have changed…the biggest device (at AmazonSmile: benefit an non-profit of your choice by shopping*) change this year is probably the introduction of the Echo Auto . Okay, let’s start a typical weekday in the Life of a Kindleer.

I wake up between about 2:00 and 3:00 AM…sometimes closer to 1:00 AM, sometimes a little later (but I haven’t slept past 4:00 AM in years). As I explained before it’s not from an alarm or anything, it’s just my habit. I’ve had it checked out medically, and it seems to be fine. Asleep at about 9:00 PM, up at about 2:00 AM…that’s between five and six hours usually. I also may fall asleep out on the couch maybe around 7. I don’t fall asleep during the day, by the way!

When I wake up, I pick up my now discontinued Kindle Fire HDX 7″ (that’s been my daily use device for something like six years now). Last year, I was using it as my nightstand device, but I now have an actual clock. One reason is that the small clock I have has two USB ports on the back, which is handy for charging my phone and my Fire. I’ve also taken to wearing a sleep mask…worth explaining why.

Amazon now has this feature you can use with Alexa: Guard (Free Alexa Guard may save your home…and lives). It alerts you if it hears particular sounds (a smoke alarm, breaking glass). We leave it on all the time. However, while it is on, there is a white circling light on our screenless echo devices…all the time. If I woke up in the middle of the night and saw that, it would really wake me up for the duration. I (reluctantly) left the Echo Dot unplugged in the bedroom for a while, but I missed it too much. I tried burying it under enough things to hide the light, but I worried about it’s ability to hear me. I did write to Amazon about it, but as far as we know, we still have no way to have Guard on and the light off.

I get it. Ordinarily, Echo devices only listen for their “wake up words”, and with this on, they listen for other things. However, I’d still really, really, like the option to not have the light! In the meantime, I figured the easiest thing was to cover my eyes instead…hence the sleep mask.

It’s a lot easier to slip the mask up and take a look at a clock than it would be to slip the mask up, pick up the Fire, and check that.

I also pick up my Galaxy S8, which is next to the bed, too…face down. It’s there as a back up. There is an alarm set on it for 5:00 AM, but I never use it…I let it go off, mostly as a reminder that it’s getting to that point in the morning. It used to be because my Significant Other was going to leave then, but my SO has retired since the last time I wrote one of these.

I go in the bathroom and do some wake-up things. On my Fire, I start my morning

Flipboard (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

read. That’s a big part of my morning, not just for myself, but for flipping articles into my free Flipboard magazines, including the  ILMK magazine at Flipboard.

I also use my Galaxy S8 before I come out: I check WordPress for comments on these blogs, Twitter (I’ve gotten to be a lot more active on Twitter in the last year, including with my #1TweetExpert). I use the amazing Dark Sky weather app (not available through the Amazon Appstore)…remarkably precise and accurate, and worth $2.99 a year, and start checking my local news on the

ABC 7 News San Francisco (at AmazonSmile*)

app. I can also flip from there…many places I go allow me to flip. The ILMK Flipboard magazine has tens of thousands of viewers and is at more than 60,000 stories. The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard magazine is well over 200,000 stories…it has a broader scope. Our dogs’ Butterscotch Chaos and Friends magazine has over 100 followers. 😉

I use the Alexa app on my phone to turn on the family room light. I’d stopped using Alexa for the lights for months, because my Wink hub had died. However, I got lights that work, and now use them again. One reason for that was for the safety of having lights turn on and off when we are not home.

Next, I head out to the family room…and one of the dogs gets off the bed to come with me (I love hearing the dog do the shimmy, then land on the floor). The other dog is often already in the family room. They aren’t as habit-based as they used to be as to where they sleep, though.

Our

Echo Show (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

is also in a sort of sleep mode, but still displays the time. I think it senses I’m moving around out there and wakes up. 🙂 I glance at it. I really like what shows up on the display: the first event on my calendar, the weather, but also headlines.

Next, the

Fire TV Cube (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

comes into play. It replaced our Fire TV…and it’s really a big step forward! It doesn’t make too much of a difference early in the morning, but the ability to just ask it to show a particular program and have it do it is great when we are both awake. I use my Bluetooth headphones. I have a 24 hour news app I use, but I’ve also started using the Amazon News App. I predicted that back in 2016 (at least, Amazon News), but as has happened a few times, I’ve been overly ambitious in my estimate about when something might happen with Amazon. It needs one major improvement: shuffling the different channels you choose (at least as an option). I didn’t realize at first that it was just staying on one channel until I manually changed it.

Once I feel like I’m caught up on the news, I watch something narrative (a TV show, a movie). We subscribe to Netflix, Hulu (without commercials…well worth a few extra dollars a month), and Disney+ (I’m watching the Imagineering behind the scenes history series as I write this). I also watch Tubi and Prime Video. Yes, that’s a lot of options, but remember that I’m not watching TV without doing something else at the same time. I’ve had people chastise me about watching so much TV (funny, they don’t say that about reading), so I tested it. I didn’t watch any TV for a year, and got nothing more done. So, I can kid people who say that, and suggest they do the experiment of watching more TV for a year and see if they get less done!

Whenever I’m going to head back for my shower, the more intellectual of the two dogs has a very cute “trick”, and this is my SO’s favorite thing of the day. I say, “Wake up call!” I open the door, and the dog (all 14 pounds) leaps on the bed and vigorously licks my SO in the face!

Eventually, I go back to the bedroom…I do some exercise there and that’s where I get dressed and such. In that room, we have a

Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote (at AmazonSmile*)

and our

Echo Dot (at AmazonSmile*)

I do some more reading while I brush my teeth (which I do for about twenty minutes…I’m pretty obsessive on that).

If my SO has gone to the gym or for a walk, I’ve been having some fun recently having the FTVC play music. That way, when my SO comes home, there’s some theme of music playing. However, that does mean that I don’t use Prime Music at work any more. We don’t pay for Amazon Music Unlimited, so only one stream of music can play at a time (although it could be on more than one device at once). At work, I’ll use Google’s free music…it has some interesting songs, but I can’t get it to just play the artist I want, like I can with Prime Music.

In the car, it’s the Echo Auto, which is amazing! I may listen to the news for a bit, but most often, that’s where I’m getting some reading done, through text-to-speech on the device. It’s so nice to be able to just say, “Alexa, resume my book,” or “Alexa, read my Kindle book XYZ”. I also may listen to Old Time Radio (I’ve been enjoying 2000+ lately, which adapts some classic science fiction authors, among other themes). The Echo Auto also lets us hear and make phone calls, texts, and get directions.

At work, I use our

Echo Spot (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping)

That’s a great work companion! I play Jeopardy while my work computer boots up and I get set up. It’s so much better to be able to read the question (on the Spot’s screen) rather than just hearing…it’s more like the show. I don’t always get them all right, but I’m usually top 1%. I also sometimes listen to my briefing (I’m a bit of a news junkie), set timers, and so on.

On the way home, I may listen to the book more. It depends on the distance (I work different places). I don’t usually start up the book for a short trip. It the trip is going to be at least half an hour, I’ve recently been listening to Old Time Radio. I haven’t found a good Alexa Skill for that, so I use an app on my phone called Old Time Radio Player. I may also listen to the Flash Briefing…and that can last more than half an hour.

At lunch, I’m usually in virtual reality doing floor work…that helps with my chronic condition. I’m coming up on a year since my hip replacement (17 January). That’s been very successful (I spent two to three hours a day rehabbing it at home, once I could)!

When I’m home, we often watch Hulu, partially for competition shows. Counting the weekend, we may also watch Disney+, Tubi, news apps, YouTube, and HBO on DirecTV.  That’s a time I’ll write for sure!

Once I’m actually going to sleep, I read on our

Kindle Voyage (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

I’m still re-reading the original fourteen Oz books.

That’s basically the weekday routine.

At some point on the weekend, I may listen to the excellent

The Kindle Chronicles podcast by Len Edgerly

Hope that helps! If you have questions or comments, feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :)

Shop ’til you help! :)

Happy bookish birthdays (1 December) to…

December 1, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (1 December) to…

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :)

Shop ’til you help! :)

Happy bookish birthdays (30 November) to…

November 30, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (30 November) to…

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :)

Shop ’til you help! :)

Happy bookish birthdays (29 November) to…

November 29, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (29 November) to…

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :)

Shop ’til you help! :)

 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other organizations, begin your Amazon shopping from a link on their sites: Amazon.com (Smile.Amazon.com)

Happy bookish birthdays (28 November) to…

November 28, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (28 November) to…

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :)

Shop ’til you help! :)

 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other organizations, begin your Amazon shopping from a link on their sites: Amazon.com (Smile.Amazon.com)

#WDYTWed: post-mortem continuations

November 27, 2019

#WDYTWed: post mortem continuations

In the more than ten years that I’ve been writing this blog (the first post was August 28, 2009), one of my favorite things has been interacting with the readers.

That used to happen a lot more. When I started out, I averaged 1,000 new words a day, but in more recent times, I just haven’t been able to do that. I’ve been trying to write more narratives again, but without that, the blog doesn’t tend to provoke many comments…and I miss that. I think my long time readers do, too.

One of those long time readers and amongst my most frequent commenters is Lady Galaxy, who suggested that I write something once a week with the intent of increasing interaction.

It’s a good idea. 🙂

I think the best way to do that is to do one or more polls (which I’ve done throughout the past decade).

I’ve decided to name this series #WDYTWed. WDYT is an internet abbreviation for “What Do You Think?”, and I’m going to do them on Wednesdays. Hopefully, just about every Wednesday, although I missed a couple recently. Good reason, though: a happy family event…

I’m really curious about your reaction to today’s question!

It ties into a lot of things in society, and in the visual arts, as well as the literary ones.

When a creator (an author, for purposes of this poll) dies, what, if anything, should be done to continue the worlds they’ve created?

It’s pretty common in the literary world. Many more James Bond books have been published since Ian Fleming’s death than the original author wrote. Dune, MIddle-Earth, Sherlock Holmes…sequels to Gone with the Wind, War of the Worlds: while certainly, some readers don’t like the idea, they appear to be in the minority and the books can do very well financially and be popular.

The only series I regularly re-read is the Oz books. I read an e-book version before falling asleep in bed: a few “pages” a night. That’s only the “Famous 14” by the original author, L. Frank Baum. However, I have other books in the series by other authors.

I particularly enjoy the ones by Ruth Plumly Thompson (at AmazonSmile*), the first author to wear the post-mortem mantle. Thompson’s Oz books shifted in a lighter direction, with more puns and less slavery and torture (both of which are prominent in Baum’s works).

I’ve also liked some of The Wild Adventures of Doc Savage (at AmazonSmile*). There is a significant difference to those, since they are being published under the “house name” of Kenneth Robeson, rather than the names of the new authors. That’s not hidden at all, and it’s the way the books by primary original author Lester Dent were also published.

Clearly, I’m comfortable with post-mortem continuations.

However…

There is something on the horizon.

It’s starting to happen in movies and TV.

Continuation via AI…artificial intelligence.

“James Dean” will appear in a Vietnam War movie.

“Carrie Fisher” has appeared in movies after dying.

“Peter Cushing” was also in one of the recent Star Wars movies.

That’s not entirely AI, not out of whole cloth…er, bytes. Humans are involved in the creative aspects, and for Fisher and Cushing, actors will also involved.

There has been a lot of pushback online on the James Dean story (Dean would be computer generated).

My response to it is a bit different. The family reportedly approves of DigiDean.

If the family approves of it, why should fans have precedence? Oh, I think we should have a voice, certainly, and we will at the box office (or by whether or not we stream it), but my guess is that Dean would appreciate that the family is still being supported. Well, maybe not James Dean, necessarily, but there are a lot of other actors who would.

Digital author recreations are inevitable. After Stephen King is unable to write works, let’s say it’s at least ten years in the future, there will be software which will analyze all of King’s works and be able to produce something which, at least on the surface, reads like it was written by King. That can be done now, but it will get to be much better. More data helps in a situation like that, and that’s one reason I picked King (along with the popularity). It would be harder to credibly emulate someone who only wrote one short story.

I would think it will be very difficult (but not impossible) for AI to innovate as humans do. DigiKing won’t be likely to surprise with a complete left turn and, say, write a Stephen King regency romance. Writing new contemporary horror with convincing suburbanites encountering something outré? Yes, I think that will happen.

That’s the set up: let’s do the poll.


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get.

:)

Shop ’til you help!

:)

 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other organizations, begin your Amazon shopping from a link on their sites: Amazon.com (Smile.Amazon.com)

Happy bookish birthdays (27 November) to…

November 27, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (27 November) to…

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :)

Shop ’til you help! :)

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other organizations, begin your Amazon shopping from a link on their sites: Amazon.com (Smile.Amazon.com)


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