Friday, January 30, 2015

Who's Money Is It?


That’s right. Every single U.S. dollar belongs to the citizens of this country. We print money so businesses can use it. Billionaires feel special because they believe they own billions of our dollars. Money is a strange invention. It is only worth something as long as we collectively believe it is valuable.  


If you use iTunes, don’t fall for this phishing email;
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That was sent to one of my Yahoo email accounts that is not in anyway associated with an Apple account. That “Click here to verify” is the clincher. If I had clicked on that I would have invited a world of malware to infect my computer.

If you receive an email like the one above, do not click, forward or reply. Delete it.

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I picked up one of Google’s Chromecast dongles at Best Buy Thursday night. I was curious to see how it compares to Apple TV.

It was easy to set up and I discovered that the USB port on my TV is a power source for devices like Chromecast. The dongle uses my Wifi network to bring programs to the TV set like Apple TV, but with some differences.

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Another beautiful Redding Sunset

One big difference is Chromecast isn’t a stand alone source of programs like the ATV. You must use your smartphone or computer to select and control programs. Apple TV shows Menus on your TV that you can select from using the included remote.

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The raven

Both units will mirror what you have on your computer, tablet, or phone. That comes in handy because you can wirelessly watch and listen to stuff from your computer on the big screen of your TV.

But not everything. Chromecast will stream from Chrome, Android, and selected sites like Netflix, but ATV can stream anything on your computer. Still one has to consider the price one pays for the best Apple TV experience: It is absolutely awesome if your household is fully Apple equipped.

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Friday flowery treat

Picture quality is different with ATV than Chromecast. The ATV picture is rich with color and density. Chromecast is more industrial feeling; Dialogue is clipped and sometimes too tightly compressed to hear the musical tones of words, and the picture is urban gritty like college student films and 60's photographs. (Not that that’s a bad thing)

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Thursday early evening moon

The main reason I wanted to try Chromecast is because my ATV is sensitive to electrical fluctuations like the microwave, the relays that turn the A/C on and off, the electrical appliances in nearby apartments and other electromagnetic disturbances. It will stop, lose audio or freeze when certain electrical devices click on and off.

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Bird and Mount Lassen

The Chromecast device stuttered a bit for the first few minutes, but seemed to settle down when I watched parts of a few movies, The Daily Show, and YouTube on Thursday night. However, I demonstrated it to Margaret Friday and the motion stuttering and audio clipping became so annoying I had to turn it off.

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Brave blue flower

I may try a newer Apple TV, just to see if one that is not 6 years old will be less affected by fluctuations in the electrical field. My neighbor Jo Anna got a new ATV and she doesn’t seem to be having any trouble enjoying a smooth stream of video imagery.

So that is my first impression of Google’s Chromecast device. It is easy to set up, it will provide more programming than cable or dish and all for the onetime cost of $35, (as long as you have Wifi and a computer or smartphone). An Apple TV device costs $85. You will need Wifi, but you don’t have to have a computer or smartphone.

I will keep experimenting with Chromecast and let you know if I have overlooked some feature that will make it smoother and richer looking on my TV. It is amzing to even be able to fiddle with all this technology. I feel very fortunate.

Today’s Video;

Looking Closely

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