Last week, I got a 65″ Hisense H8F television for $255 – 64% off retail price. I’ve often waited a few days on Amazon and gotten the item I was shopping for at half the price. In 2014, I flew cross country from Seattle to New York for £52.69 (about $88 USD at the time) – and the return flight was in business class. I made more back in frequent flyer miles than the cost of the flight. How do I find these sorts of deals? Deal alerts. You can too!  Creating Deal Alerts There are a few sites out there that make looking forRead More →

I like using the Disqus comment system here (and as a commenter myself elsewhere). It’s used across many blogs, so you don’t have to individually register with all of them, and comes with some built-in spam filtering as well. Once it’s installed in WordPress, it overwrites the built-in commenting system, but not perfectly – the comment count still shows the old, now defunct, system.  I finally corrected this using a plugin that allows Javascript code snippets to be pasted in directly through the WordPress dashboard in seconds. Super easy, and now, comment counts will display accurately here!  If everything I just said made your eyesRead More →

But wait, there’s more! If you order today, we’ll throw in a versatile six-in-one kitchen tool! No, not really. Still, this simple life hack is pretty exciting for book nerds like me. I recently learned that Google Docs contains its own OCR capability. OCR stands for optical character recognition, which is a form of computer vision that can translate images of text into actual text documents that are editable. This saves a tremendous amount of data entry time, since you don’t have to retype a document if you have an image of it.  This means there’s a very simple way to digitize your own books,Read More →

I “cut the cord” and canceled cable over ten years ago, and I’ve rarely missed it. I wrote an article here about getting TV service for my family, and they’ve been pretty happy with it for everyday use, local news, sports, and so forth. But I’m reading an increasing number of news articles forecasting doom and gloom because of the fragmentation of streaming services, and I think it’s really easy to remain stuck in an old mindset and miss the opportunities these new platforms offer.  Content does keep spreading out, and will continue to The Witcher has been a smash hit on Netflix since itRead More →

My family has been using YouTube TV for about 4 months now. Overall it’s been a positive transition, and a huge cost savings. There have been a couple of positive announcements since signing up. First, several of the networks holding out on fast forward/rewind capability for recorded programs relented, so now every recorded show allows FF/Rewind/pause. (Personally, I never experienced this, but it’s a good change.) Second, PBS is coming to the network at some point, for the first time ever on a streaming platform. Great news, and good to see that the platform is evolving for the better over time. Interface YouTube TV looksRead More →

I’m behind on posts and have some updates to publish soon – a drive from the Bay Area to San Diego along the coast, as well as my 3500 mile cross-country trip from California to New York. Since I’ve arrived here I’ve been kept busy helping my parents with some home renovations, but I did want to make a quick post since I convinced my family to cancel cable and switch over to streaming services. I’ll give a quick update and feedback from their perspective. Cable TV is expensive! My parents are retired on a fixed income, and every time my Dad paid the cableRead More →

I love gadgets. And yet, despite being knowledgable in tech, I still get frustrated from time to time with problems that just seem to get in the way of enjoying them. If a lover of tech like me gets annoyed, how much worse is it for people who aren’t tech savvy and can’t solve the problems? Do you find yourself sometimes hating the technology that’s supposed to make our lives simpler and does the opposite? Recent examples: Roku Premiere+ Video and Audio Issues Last week I upgraded my Roku so I could take advantage of 4k content (specifically, I buy streaming movies on Vudu, and their UHDRead More →