Monday, December 28, 2015

Alternative WiFi

With their new Kindle Fire 7 5 tablet, users are asking what to do about getting Wi-Fi cheaply.

There is free Wi-Fi in the public areas, of course, but sometimes it is unreliable, and it is not available free  in apartments here.

Indeed, it costs $$ to provide the necessary hardware, along with the monthly fee, and even then may not be reliable. If there are problems you need to go out and hire an outside consultant at $100 per hour or more.

It is sort of like if you were served bad food in the dining room, it would be up to you to find out why and correct it.

A so called hot spot is an alternative. This device connects directly to cell towers without a router and Wi-Fi access point and without installation expense.

The Freedompop hotspot costs $80 with no contract and inexpensive plans.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Amazon Innovates

We are all accustomed to regular physical product innovations from Google and from Apple, though a bit less so from Amazon.  That may be changing with an innovation from Amazon worthy of Apple.

I am very hopeful about Amazon's development of Echo, essentially a computer without screen or keyboard. You talk to it and it talks back.   

It is, after all, crazy to need run back and forth to your suitcased size tower with keyboard to do all your stuff.

The smartphone has already proved that we need our computer device everywhere and at the center of what we are doing.

That is the direction in which we are going with Echo.

I am hopeful that the Echo will open up new connectedness and functionality for those seniors who have vision and mobility problems, even if someone with good vision needs to assist.

Now, Amazon has gone even further.  

Amazon has taken another step forward by adding some of the Echo capability to its Fire TV stick.

The basic voice input feature of Echo, called Alexa, is being extended to the same Fire TV stick which brings internet media to your TV.

Now, that same Fire TV stick comes with voice input to accomplish a multitude of tasks via voice. That even includes such tasks as turning appliances on and off.

All this moves the computer to the center of our activity where we need it most, especially for seniors with limitations.