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Articles by larry

Repost: Rain Machine is a watering controller that knows the weather

April 17, 2017

Rain Machine controller by Larry Magid On a rare San Francisco Bay Area rainy day, I drove by a house whose automatic sprinkler system was watering the lawn, even though water was falling from the sky. It’s a colossal waste at a time when California is suffering from a four-year drought. Thanks to the Rain Machine, that can no longer happen at my house. To begin with, we no longer have a lawn. [...]

Showoff — a magnetic mount that turns your phone into the ultimate selfie machine and a poor man’s GoPro

April 13, 2017

Forget those geeky selfie pictures where you hold your arms as far away from your torso as they’ll stretch or those  much maligned “selfie-sticks.” Instead, consider investing $29.99 in the ShowOff, a magnetic phone mount and Bluetooth remote control that lets you use your phone to shoot pictures from across the room. Actually it’s for more than just selfies. The company [...]

Windows 10 Creators Update. How you can and why you shouldn’t upgrade right now

April 11, 2017

Microsoft is out with the new Windows 10 Creators Update and, from what I can tell, it’s an improvement. But that doesn’t mean you should be the first on your block to upgrade. First, if you go through the normal process, chances are you won’t be offered an upgrade right away. Microsoft is rolling it out gradually and not everyone will get an invitation to update within the next [...]

New deals make cord cutting more attractive

April 6, 2017

I’m not about to predict the imminent demise of cable TV and satellite services, but a couple of recent announcements are sure putting pressure on them by making it easier and, in some cases, more affordable to cut the cord. AT&T just announced that it’s including free HBO with its highest tiered unlimited data plan while Amazon said that it will start streaming NFL games to customers who [...]

Facebook uses technology and people to thwart ‘revenge porn’

April 5, 2017

Revenge porn, when someone shares an intimate image of another person without his or her permission, is an awful practice, which often causes significant emotional distress.  And that’s true even if the image was taken with the consent of the person but shared without permission. In a blog post, Facebook’s Global Head of Safety, Antigone Davis, cited a data that “93% report [...]

New HP Laptops for Business and Pleasure

April 4, 2017

At first glance, both of HP’s two new convertible laptops look a bit like the Spectre X360 convertible laptop that I wrote about when it came out last fall. But glances can be slightly deceiving Continue reading at [...]

How to use cash at Amazon

April 3, 2017

Amazon is now accepting cash. No you don’t scan the cash with your phone’s camera. Instead you print or download a code that you take to a retailer who will scan it. You then hand over the cash and it’s added to your Amazon account. You can get that bar code here.  See the graphic be;pw  for the current list of retailers, including the CVS, the national pharmacy [...]

Podcast: NAMLE’s Michelle Ciulla Lipkin on media literacy as antidote to ‘fake news’

April 2, 2017

Fake news is in the news but it’s more a symptom of a common tendency to believe things that aren’t necessarily 100% true. And, as Michelle Ciulla Lipkin, executive director of the National Association of Media Literacy Education told Larry Magid, it’s not always black and white.  Still, many people aren’t fully aware of how to vet the news and information before them and can be prone to [...]
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