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We now offer Tech Tutoring

Sometimes, your stuff isn’t broken, slow or have anything wrong with it.  But due to a lack of knowledge a phone or laptop becomes intimidating or downright confusing.  Fear not though.  The folks at Bendy Computers now offer tutoring.  For $20 an hour, we’ll come to you or a mutually convenient location and tutor you on the top tech out there.  But do yourself a favor and book an appointment while it’s on sale for $15 for an hour for a limited time only.

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We have discovered what the word “Covfefe” means, and it’s slightly tech related…

On May 31, 2017, Trump sent out a tweet that read, in its entirety, “Despite the constant negative press covfefe”. It immediately went viral, becoming a staple of trump jokes.  The tweet was retweeted over 127,000 times, and liked more than 162,000 times, making it one of Trump’s most popular tweets in months, as people speculated on the meaning of covfefe. Six hours later, Trump deleted the tweet and posted an alternative one, asking people what they thought covfefe could mean.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, we now have an answer for you.

The Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement Act (COVFEFE Act) is a bill introduced into the United States House of Representatives in 2017 (on June 12), during the 115th United States Congress.The bill would amend the Presidential Records Act to preserve Twitter posts and other social media interactions of the President of the United States, and to require the National Archives to store such items. U.S. Representative Mike Quigley, Democrat of Illinois, introduced the legislation in the wake of Donald Trump’s routine use of Twitter. If the bill were enacted, it would see US law treat US presidents’ personal social media accounts (such as Trump’s “@realDonaldTrumpTwitter account) the same as “official” social media accounts (such as the “@POTUS” Twitter account).

 

So, there you have it, it relates to a law that was never passed that the president tweeted about.

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My thoughts on Xfinity mobile

Xfinity mobile is a great mvno to go with.  They combine the power of Verizon’s LTE network with Xfinity’s 19 million and counting wifi hotspots to give you great coverage at a great price.

They have byod, device financing at no interest, and both high end devices like the Samsung note 10 and low end devices like the moto e5.

There is no need to sign into each and every xfinity hotspot as you travel, and handoff from wifi to cellular is acceptable in my opinion.

The carrier supports wifi calling and e 911.

The only catch I could find was you have to have Xfinity home internet to get the service.

You can drop the home internet later, but you will have to pay a line access fee of $10 per line.

You have two options for data. By the gig for as little as 12 dollars or unlimited for $45 as of this writing.  Insurance for phones is $12 a month, and with phone theft on the rise I reccomend it.

If you buy an eligible device and port a number, you can get a visa gift card for $250, which would indirectly reduce the cost of your phone by allowing you to pay off some of it.  However, it takes 16 to 18 weeks to arrive in the mail.

All in all, a great product and I’ll post my thoughts again on it in 30 days when I can really test the coverage and my note 9.

 

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Facebook’s cryptocurrency has a trust problem

From the beginning, cryptocurrency was about trust. The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that’s required to make it work.  The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust.

Now, that power is in Facebook’s hands. This morning, Facebook announced an ambitious new cryptocurrency called Libra, to be managed by a group of tech and financial companies including Facebook alongside more conventional banking companies like Visa and Mastercard. It’s a hugely ambitious project, basically Facebook’s take on bitcoin. On a technical level, Libra is broadly similar to bitcoin and Ethereum: it has the same semi anonymous transacting, wallets, digital addressing, and the same support for smart contracts and independent apps. In theory, it’s everything good about cryptocurrency, only bigger and faster.

But while Libra plays at decentralization, it’s still a Facebook project. Facebook employees designed it. Libra wallets will be embedded in Facebook apps like Messenger and WhatsApp, which means Facebook products will be the primary way people experience it. Using Libra means trusting Facebook, which is a hard sell in 2019.  In the most basic terms, using Libra means trusting Facebook. If the project succeeds, it could mean the end of the decentralized era of cryptocurrency.

While many of the technical aspects are similar to bitcoin, Libra breaks from the model in important ways. The currency runs on a permissioned blockchain, which means that only companies in the Libra Association can mine it. It’s a necessary concession to stability, allowing Libra to avoid the power use and transaction lag problems that have plagued bitcoin. But it also makes the Libra Association a de facto central bank, actively managing the currency for stability backed by a reserve of bonds and liquid currency.

Works Cited

Brandom, R. (2019, June 18). Facebook’s cryptocurrency has a trust problem. Retrieved from https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/18/18683867/facebook-cryptocurrency-libra-calibra-trust-banking

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Now taking clients for Web Design

You read that right.  We are now in the web design business, in addition to supporting your normal everyday tech support issues.  For $500 you get the website of your dreams custom made just for you in one month or less, and you get three major revisions.  We’ll use a domain and host you supply, and some content such as video, pictures, and text that you also supply.  Then we’ll add in some stuff that makes sense and makes you shine.

We’ll show you how to manage your website over a screen sharing session, and then let your site go live.  You’ll also get support for things like setting up ads, linking facebook or twitter, getting help with api’s, and more.

Buy today and get your portfolio site, blog, store, or social network off the ground today!

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New limits on support packages

Due to a reevaluation of time to revenue and other factors, from this day forward the $50 on site support will only cover a maximum of 2 computers in one visit to allow more customers to be serviced and to allow our operations to be funded more completely. We have yet to break even on our costs, and see this as a possible area of improvement.

We’re still competitive on price compared to the big chains, it’s just we might have cheapened ourselves a bit too much.

Don’t worry though, we have a 3 and more machine package we have introduced at a sale price of $80 for two months or until market demands dictate the sale end. For twice the price of our two machine package, you would get 3 or more machines fixed. And as always, no physical damages are repaired by us.

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We sold a senior support special today

Today we sold a senior support special to a very lucky lady who needed help recovering her home wifi router password. She also got a much needed pc tune up since her machine was running rather slow upon investigation. All of this, a $50 value for $15 since she was a senior citizen. Disabled individuals and seniors always pay $15 with proper id, that being an mta reduced fare card, or a state id of some kind.

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Google Assistant’s Interpreter Mode is Huge

That’s because Google Assistant is being upgraded, adding real-time translation to Google’s increasingly smart AI voice assistant.

All you have to do is for example say, “Okay, Google, become my Italian Interpreter.” Then have a full conversation with someone who speaks Italian.

Google Assistant Interpreter Mode is a game changer in the sense that you won’t need to be bilingual in order to properly visit places and converse with locals around the world. And there’s no need to boot up a translation app, sort through language selection dropdown menus, or spend time typing in words. It all happens automatically.

Assistant can translate between 27 different languages in real-time so far. That list will grow, but the real expansion that is needed is in device support. That’s coming, too, says Google.

Right now, Interpreter Mode works with Google Home speakers, like the Google Home Mini and Home Hub, but it’ll eventually come to more third-party speakers and even smartphones down the line, according to Google.

Its eventual launch on smartphones is when this real-time-translating Interpreter Mode goes from AI with world-changing potential to a world-changing reality. You need the power of Babel in your pocket, not just when a Google Home speaker is installed at a hotel concierge desk.

Work Cited

https://www.techradar.com/news/google-assistant-interpreter-mode-real-time-translator-ces-2019

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Google’s New Fuchsia OS Will Run Android Apps

Fuchsia is a new operating system that Google is working on to potentially be the successor to both Android and ChromeOS. The OS is supposed to be able to adapt to the size of your device.

There is very little to know about Fuchsia at this point in time, as Google is yet to officially acknowledge its existence.

There isn’t a lot to Fuchsia right now, though. There’s a lock screen, a quick settings section, and a home screen. The home screen consists of a search box at the bottom that lets you search for files and applications on the local storage or on Google’s cloud apps. It will also likely display intelligent cards and suggestions from Google in the future.

Considering that Fuchsia is so different from Android, even on a technical level, it only makes sense to question whether or not the platform will support Android apps. Without being able to support Android apps, Fuchsia may not get a lot of traction. Google would have to convince millions of developers to build apps for Fuchsia devices that probably won’t have a lot of popularity at launch, so it’s kind of a big problem for the company.

So Google is making sure it’s not making the same mistake with Fuchsia that Microsoft did with Windows Phone. Instead, Google built in the ability to use Android apps on Fuchsia. 9to5Google reported that the company is making a special version of the Android Runtime built to run Android apps on Fuchsia.

Of course, considering Fuchsia runs on different kernels and has a lot of technical differences from Android, it’s unclear exactly how the Android Runtime will work on Fuchsia, or whether it will introduce any limitations. That remains to be seen for the time being, though as we get into 2019, we will likely get to know a lot more about Google’s future plans for Fuchsia.

Works Cited

Google’s Fuchsia OS Will Be Able to Run Android Apps. (2019, January 04). Retrieved January 4, 2019, from https://www.thurrott.com/google/196916/googles-fuchsia-os-will-be-able-to-run-android-apps

Early Version of Google’s Fuchsia OS Demoed on Pixelbook. (2018, January 18). Retrieved January 4, 2019, from https://www.thurrott.com/google/150531/early-version-of-googles-fuchsia-os-demoed-on-pixelbook

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Alexa to get a home guard mode

“Alexa I’m leaving.”

That’s all you have to say to activate Alexa Guard, a new feature from that lets your Echo devices use their microphones to listen for trouble, like glass breaking or a smoke alarm going off.  In case something were to go wrong while you were away from home, Alexa would notify you on your phone, along with a sample of the sound that triggered it.  If you are an ADT, Ring, or other home alarm system subscriber, notifying them too is also an option.

If you want, Alexa will cycle your smart lights on and off while you’re away to make it look like you’re home.

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Yep, it works!

With far-field microphones in every Echo device, Alexa is already a pretty good listener. Alexa Guard puts those mics to use by listening for the sound of glass breaking or the sound of alarms when you aren’t home.

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The Guard section of the Alexa app gives you a timeline of events as you come and go — along with the option to replay audio of potential concerns.

If you wanted, you could even broadcast yourself telling the potential intruder that you’re calling the police as a means of scaring them off.

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Alexa can’t call 911

Still as Amazon notes as you’re confirming setup in the Alexa app, “Alexa Guard is not a replacement for an alarm system or life safety devices. Amazon does not monitor Smart Alerts and cannot contact emergency services on your behalf.”

That last bit is really important.  Your Echo device at home hears the sound of your smoke detector going off, and Alexa sends you a notification.  Alexa won’t act on your behalf at this point the way a professional monitoring service would. It’s on you to see the notification and act accordingly.

That said, if you subscribe to a professional home monitoring service through ADT, Alexa will forward those Smart Alerts to them. With Ring, Amazon says that users can request dispatch of emergency responders directly from the Ring app if they are subscribed to the Ring Protect Plus plan. 

And if you’re using an Alexa-compatible home security system that she can already arm and disarm with voice commands, you’ll be able to set it so that happens automatically whenever you turn Guard mode on and off. And if you’re disarming your system, she’ll still ask you for a numerical PIN code before doing so. That’s a touch that saves you from needing to give two separate voice commands as you come and go. Just say, “Alexa, I’m leaving” when you’re walking out the door, then “Alexa, I’m home,” followed by your PIN code when you return.

Away Lighting is smart and simple

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You can use the Alexa app to view a list of the lights Alexa turned on and off during Away Lighting.

Along with listening for trouble, Alexa Guard will let the assistant toggle your smart lights on and off while you’re out to make it look like you’re home.

You can enable the feature with a single tap when you’re turning Alexa Guard on in the Alexa app for Android and iOS devices. Once you do, the app will list all of your smart lights, and include them all in Away Lighting by default. If there are any you’d like left out, just uncheck them.

The feature asks for your zip code when you’re setting it up — Alexa uses that zip code to know what time sunset is in your area each night. Away Lighting will only run when it’s dark out.