Why is it called “Bluetooth”?

screen-shot-2016-10-22-at-8-54-30-pmBluetooth technology gives us a wireless connection within a short distance. Small speakers and many headsets, for example, often use Bluetooth to connect with our iPhones and iPads. But, think about it. This wireless technology isn’t blue. And it certainly doesn’t resemble a tooth ….. so …… ?????

The answer is that Bluetooth technology is named after a Scandinavian King.

Of course.


….. What????

Back in the 1990’s, the technology world was looking for a way to unite various devices with a wireless system. This meant uniting devices made by different companies.

(Note the key word: UNITE)

One of the inventors of this wireless technology just happened at the time to be reading a book about Vikings. He learned that the 10th century King of Denmark, King Harald Bluetooth, was famous for uniting Scandinavia.

Ahhh…… there we go. They were inventing a uniting technology. King Bluetooth was a famous uniter.

And so they cleverly called this new wireless connector “Bluetooth”.

One more thing: The Bluetooth symbol? It’s King Harald’s initials, in ancient Scandinavian Runes.


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Unwanted Phone Calls? Try this……

screen-shot-2016-10-08-at-9-09-01-am My daughter-in-law does a lot of her work through her iPhone. Unfortunately, she has recently been receiving a great number of spam calls and of course these are unwanted, annoying and distracting.

So …. what to do?

We found a work-around, and I think it’s good enough to share. (I’ll be sure to report back later to let you know if this actually works for her over time.)

The fix she tried is this:

Settings > Do Not Disturb > Allow Calls From > All Contacts

So, basically, she is using the Do Not Disturb function 24/7 on her iPhone, and this setting will only allow calls from numbers that are currently in her contacts list.

Problem solved?

We’ll see!

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No Earphone Jack in the New iPhones


You recognize the picture above as the bottom edge of your iPhone. Way over on the left is the place where you connect your earphones. But say goodbye to that spot ….. it’s gone in the newest model.

The rumor has been around for a long time. And now that rumor is confirmed. The newest iPhone (the 7) will be released with NO earphone jack. The iPhone 7 will be earphone-jack-less.

Huh? I am an earphone jack user. When I walk for exercise, I am connected to my iPhone with my earphones. I have not gone wireless (outside of the house) …. I still connect the old fashioned way.

Although I will not be getting the iPhone 7 (my 6 plus is a wonderful phone), and so I personally don’t have to fret about the change …… it did make me wonder about the whole switch to no-jack. What? How?

I realize that many folks connect to their phone through a wireless connection (bluetooth). So for them, this is a non-issue. But what to do for those of us who still go the “wired” route?

If you are getting the new iPhone, you should know that you will be getting new earphones packed with your phone. These will plug into your iPhone, but in a new connecting spot. You will plug these earphones into the CHARGING port of your phone. Obviously the connector end of these new earphones is specially made to fit into that spot.

Happily, you have another thing packaged with your new iPhone, and that is an ADAPTOR for your old earphones. If you have a set of earphones that are dear to you, you can still use them by plugging into the adaptor, and then plugging the adaptor into the charging port.

So it’s really ok…. but this is a change that will require you to bring that little adaptor with you for plugging in your favorite earphones.

And don’t lose it. A new one will cost you $9.00. 😯


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A Useful Tool to Help You Choose Your Next Great Read

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 7.24.14 PMAs much as I love to read, I must admit that I hate the feeling that I get when I FINISH a great book. It’s kind of sad to close the cover on characters you love (or hate), and a plot that kept you thoroughly engaged. The book ends, and the hunt begins. The hunt for that NEXT great book…….

I usually get my next book from one of several sources: a friend’s recommendation, a Goodreads bookshelf that matches my interests, or any one of the books that are “waiting” for me on my own Kindle bookshelf.

I recently discovered ANOTHER source, a website that lists books for you that are similar to the one you love!

As soon as I stumbled upon this site, I typed in some book names to see what kinds of suggestions it offered.

I was pleased with the results.
For example, I entered “Pillars of the Earth” and was delighted to see a list of books generated within seconds. Happily I can report that there were several books included in that list that I have already read and can absolutely agree that they belong there as suggestions for similar books. There were others listed that I haven’t read, and so, (🙂 happy time!🙂 ) I now have more books to explore.

If you are a reader, I think you’ll enjoy giving this a try:
(you don’t have to register or sign in to type in the title of a book and get a list of ‘similars’)


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How to QUICKLY find the Customer Service number you need

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Is it my imagination or do companies work hard to make their customer service number just a teeny bit hard to find? I remember over the years searching through instruction manuals, and dragging out a magnifying glass to examine the small print.

These days it’s more likely that you’ll find yourself clicking through pages of websites, and drilling down in search of that elusive number.

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Try this:

Just go to Google.

Type in: the company name and the words ‘service number’

For example: Sony service number or Amazon service number

and “Poof”!!! A box should appear with the number. You’re on your way to talking to a human!

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The Newest Craze …. Pokemon Go

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 3.03.13 PM I’ve been debating whether or not I should address this phenomenon in this blog. I decided not to mention it. Just a silly game (I thought).

And then, this morning I went to our local library. There is a big concrete area in front of our library, an area used for festivals, holiday decorations and concerts. As I walked through it, I was astounded to see many (MANY!!!) folks wandering around the area with their phones in front of their faces. What a sight. And so, for all of you (us) of-a-certain-age folks who don’t know what’s going on with all these zoned-out phone-holders, I thought I’d best sum it up here on this blog.

If you have anyone in your life under the age of 35, just go ahead and ask them. Chances are they are playing, and if not they will certainly know all about it.
It’s Pokemon Go, and it’s e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e.

What’s it all about? Well, it’s a game that you do out in the world (rather than on the couch). It’s kind of a combination GPS geo-caching thing / scavenger hunt / video game, all rolled into one.

If you’ve ever participated in geo-caching (THAT I’ve done!), you’ll find it is fun and strangely addicting. You learn of a ‘prize’ hidden at a coordinate, and you locate that spot with your phone’s gps. Geo-caching is like a treasure hunt, with a gps treasure-map.

Pokemon Go yanks this up a notch or two. Just as in geo-caching, you go out hunting for particular spots, but this time the prizes are virtual little Pokemon characters. They aren’t “really” there, of course, but if you get yourself to the appropriate coordinate, and look THROUGH the app on your phone, you’ll see the critter. And then you ‘catch’ him with a ball.

This screenshot shows you what a player sees. YOU …. the you without the app….you just see a tree. The player, looking THROUGH the app on their phone, sees this little orange fellow.

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Got it? There’s not much more. Except you want to catch as many as you can. The more you catch, the more you rise through the levels. After that it gets more complicated than I care to learn. (Something about fighting if you’re high enough in the game.)

So now you know. Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll see them. Pokemon Go players are everywhere. In parks, downtown, most public areas. You’ll recognize them as they intently walk with their phones right in front of their faces. Sometimes they’re in a group. Surrounding….. nothing (to you). But they see a critter. Crazy, huh?

Although I can’t address this first hand, it seems all consuming. There have been reports of people being injured as they are completely distracted staring at their phones. Even while driving. Yes. You read that right. Even while driving.

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If you want to know more about this game just google “Pokemon Go”. You’ll learn everything you want to know.

And if you want to try it yourself, you can download it from the iTunes store. It’s free.

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