Jim’s WebLetter for 10/1/16


Well, last week we were enjoying a week off in the mountains and in particular, Waynesville, Asheville, Hendersonville and surrounding area.  Our goal was to do as little as possible while taking in the scenery and we were successful, for the most part.  The thing about driving in North Carolina is roads bend around and flow up and down and for someone who is used to driving in the flatness of Florida, it took a little getting used to.  I’m just glad we had Google Maps on our phones.  The new and improved App gave us spot-on directions to everywhere we wanted to go and even gave traffic reports of congestion in our travels.  

Now Google has announced that the “OK Google” hotword triggers hands-free voice commands in Maps itself.  If you want to give it a shot, make sure you’re on the latest version of Google Maps and the Google app. Then hit the three-dot menu button followed by Settings, then “OK Google” detection and enable “OK Google” during navigation.

You can ask things like “When is my ETA?” “How is traffic?” and control your destination by saying “Avoid tolls” and “Show alternate routes.” Commands for texting, calling, and playing music work as normal.  And hands-free voice commands are definitely important, as even a split-second of paying attention to your phone is a lot of distance when it comes to traveling at 70 MPH.  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Maps

Been on Periscope lately?  Twitter’s live video streaming service just announced some new discovery features to make its web portal to the world more useful. Taking a page out of the aging but still successful broadcast TV playbook, Periscope is offering up sets of “curated channels.” Some are hashtag-driven, like #Music, #Food, #Art and #Travel.  Those will be updated whenever some goes live on Periscope.

Other sets of channels will focus on current, planned events, like the presidential debates, and the last category of channels will be created as breaking news warrants. That’s for things like the recent protests that took place in Charlotte, which took place while we were in North Carolina at the time.  Digging into the latter groups of channels will reveal both live broadcasts as well as completed videos that you can replay.  Scrolling over a video will start a preview that you can watch, and clicking it will launch the full recording.

But if you’re the kind of person who wants to kick back and see what kind of crazy stuff people are chatting about at any given moment, Periscope’s redesigned website is as good a choice as any.  https://www.periscope.tv/channel/master-casters

That’s it this week.  Have a great weekend and may God bless you and keep you safe.