YouTube w/o Ads …. for a Fee. Meet YouTube Red

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 7.47.42 AMOn October 28, Google will be launching YouTube Red for your iPhone and iPad. YouTube Red will cost you $12.99 a month. ($9.99 for Android devices)

So what is YouTube Red? Here is what you’ll get:

* Ad Free YouTube videos. (Those ads are pesky …. but is it worth $12.99 to eliminate them? Not for me.)

* The ability to download videos and watch offline. (Now, THAT is quite excellent. But still… $12.99?)

* The ability to have YouTube videos run in the background while you use other apps.

* Included is free access to Google Play Music.

Learn all the details, here, on the YouTube Red Faq page.

Apparently, Google is also planning some of their own programming for release on YouTube (following the winning examples of Netflix and Amazon).

It will be interesting to see if this takes off. It sounds expensive to me (compare Amazon Prime at $99 a year to this Google service which will cost you $158.99 a year).

Personally, I have Prime, and love it. YouTube Red does not tempt me even a tiny bit.

But I’ve been very wrong before:
(conversation with son in the late 80’s:
“look Mom, I can leave a message on the internet and someone will answer it.”
Me: “why on earth would anyone want to do THAT?”
) :shock:

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 10.17.31 AM

An Update about Updating to iOS9…..

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 7.00.00 AMSo ……. I still have not updated to the next iOS system. And for those of you who are not techy, and happy enough with the way your phone is working, I recommend that you wait a bit longer, too.


Well, apparently, as usual, there are bugs. But a few of these bugs are a bit more challenging than the typical variety of inconvenience. THIS time, your iPhone could crash during the install (requiring a full restore :shock: ) and another “helpful” change is messing with people’s data plans.

Interesting, too, was the impact of this update on this blog. Usually gets about 500+ hits a day. Suddenly, after the update was released, the daily hits nearly doubled. I could not understand why, but I did see that most of the hits were landing here because of a search for turning off game center pop ups. Apparently that is another issue with the new update …. a very pesky pop up.

I’m going to wait a while longer. I have done a full restore before (more about that on another blog post to come) but I would certainly rather avoid a full restore, so…… waiting.

Bottom line: For me, and the rest of you regular folks who like to USE your smartphone, but NOT tinker with it, I suggest you do nothing right now.

Yes, I am going to wait a bit longer to update, and to Gina, Mona, Trudi, et al. …… if you haven’t done it already, I suggest you wait, too.

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 10.17.31 AM

“Words of Astonishment” don’t cut it for the new Apple sales numbers

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 3.15.47 PMI tried to think of “words of astonishment” to adequately express my …. uh …. astonishment at one of the numbers that Apple released this week.

“Holy Cow!” << not strong enough

“Holy Mackerel!” << sounds like a flashback to decades ago

“Good Heavens!” << too tame

“Holy Smokes!” << ( interesting sidebar: lots of these phrases contain the word “holy”.)

“Great Caesar’s Ghost!” << I think this comes from Perry White of Superman fame

“Goodness Gracious” << wayyyyyy too calm

I give up.

I can’t find a phrase to adequately express my astonishment.

For what, you ask?

For this astounding fact that Apple released a few days ago:

(read slowly, now, to digest this, fully)

For the last quarter (that’s THREE MONTHS), Apple sold 34,000 iPhones an HOUR.


That’s 34 THOUSAND iPhones EVERY HOUR!!!

I just can’t get my head around that number. :shock:

If you have any words of astonishment that suits …. I would appreciate it. :)

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 6.01.13 PM

How to Turn Off (the evil) In-App Purchases

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 6.49.05 PMAlmost two years ago, I blogged about turning off in-app purchases, after a child in the UK racked up a whopping bill of $2500.

Since many folks have recently subscribed to this blog after (probably) getting a new device for the holidays, I think it’s time to talk about this again.

First, my rant. Bluntly, I think in-app purchases are (usually) evil. It’s a model designed to get you to pay more and more just to finish whatever it is you are doing. In-app purchases often appear in games, encouraging you to acquire extra powers or lives or turns or whatevers. In the heat of the moment, many normally-sane people find themselves wracking up charges for…… well, lots of nothing.

It just seems to me that the vast majority of in-app purchases are simply designed to, uh, ‘get’ you.

If you have children using your devices, you should absolutely positively turn OFF the ability to buy these extras.

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 7.00.17 PMBut I’d like to take this a step further and suggest that all of us boomers do the same. Those in-app purchases are pretty darn sneaky (and getting sneakier all the time). They can pop up and be confusing, and you might find yourself buying something you never intended to buy at all.

I recently downloaded a well-reviewed match 3 game, a Disney product, and was flabbergasted at all the “do you want to buy an extra turn/power/etc” that the game kept throwing at me. I’d MUCH rather pay for a game, and use it cleanly without any hidden costly surprises.

Here is how to turn off your in-app purchases on your iPhone or iPad:

Go to your Settings > General > Restrictions.

To enable restrictions, you’ll have to enter a passcode. Be sure to remember this, because you will need it if you want to change it later.

Once you have enabled restrictions, just slide on down and find “In-app purchases.” Slide the switch to off (not green) and you’ll be all set.


Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 6.01.13 PM

No-Tech Tinsel

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 2.25.33 PMIf you’re looking for a technology related post today on this blog…. you’ll be disappointed.

I can’t resist linking to an article about TINSEL.

Why? you ask? (good question!)

Three reasons:

Reason number one: It is an interesting article about the history of Tinsel. For all of us of a certain age….. remember the beautiful stuff that hung from our trees back in the 50’s? It was heavy, and made the tree look just wonderful. But did you know that that tinsel of yesteryear was made of lead? I didn’t. Whodathunkit. LEAD!!!!

Reason number two: My dear talented daughter-in-law wrote the article. :)


Reason number three: The article includes a photo of yours truly, back in 1950, eating said LEAD tinsel. Yum. It was delicious. :shock:


What Is Tinsel Made Of, And How Has It Changed Over The Years?

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 6.01.13 PM

Thanksgiving = Blogging Break

As Thanksgiving approaches, we often reflect on the many things for which we are thankful. I am so very grateful for every individual in this blogging community. I appreciate each and every reader, and I want you to know that. :)

Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate the day and a Happy Last-Week-in-November for everyone else.

I leave you this week with these directions for cooking your Thanksgiving Turkey.

( I dedicate this to a certain group of friends….. you know who you are :) )

Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 8.19.29 PM

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 6.01.13 PM

Cable or no? What do you do?

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 6.36.13 AMThere are now so very many sources of video entertainment that the options are many.

Netflix, Hulu plus, HBO to go, Amazon prime and others all offer the opportunity to stream your programming rather than connect to cable the (now) old-fashioned way.

( gasp!! Am I really calling cable “old fashioned”? I remember when it was the exciting new alternative to the antennae!!!)

In my house, we are still connected to cable and pay a monthly fee for the privilege. We “bundle.” Cable, internet and a land line phone. The phone, (a now nearly-useless relic) is basically free in the bundle, so we keep that. But if we cut the cable cord, the phone would go, too, and we would only pay for the internet….

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 6.49.49 AMHowever, my husband is a sports fan, and loves to spend his weekends channel-flipping through the football games. This ability is not available through streaming, so we will keep cable until the sports options increase.

We also have a DVR, so we capture programming from all hours, and watch on our own schedule. However, most of the programing we “catch” is also available through apps or streaming.

We do subscribe to Netflix, and stream some of their programs with regularity, and we also have Amazon Prime with more streaming options.

Our television watching habits have changed in that we rarely watch programs as they are broadcast. We never watch “live.” Except for those sports events, we choose our entertainment from the DVR or streaming options.

Now I’m looking at Hulu Plus. They have programming that I know we would enjoy and that is unavailable on the other services. ( UK readers: Hulu Plus has Miranda :) )

But $$ add up. We pay for Netflix, now. I don’t really want to add another $$ without decreasing something else. (and …I must have my Amazon Prime, so that’s not an option to lose :) ).

If it weren’t for the sports, I’d cut the cord. But for now we stay connected.

Hulu Plus is beckoning me, though. Anyone have experience with that service?


What do you do? I’m guessing that older people are hanging on to their cable out of habit and younger folks are cutting the cord.

Care to share?

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 6.01.13 PM