Thursday, September 11, 2014

Apple Pay and Wallet versus the Old Credit Card Swipe

Apple's big news day was yesterday. iPhone 6 now and an iWatch finally. I have yet to see anyone wearing any smartwatch. I had seen the Samsung Gear watch a couple of months ago when I was in the local Sam's Club. I studied the packaging and the features listed but I was not interested in wearing a watch on my wrist again. It's been over a decade or two now since I have worn a wrist watch. I don't miss the untanned and white stripe on my left wrist. I have to say that I do like the styling of the watch that Apple has put out. Mostly the screen though and what you can see on it. I'm not too keen on the strap itself or whatever you want to call it. I don't think I'll be wearing an iWatch any time soon as I am a fan of Android. I have seen Android come up from the bottom and take over IOS as being in the majority now even though there were a lot of naysayers along the way, I knew it would only be a matter of time. So, on the subject of wallets. I have installed the Google Wallet and have linked it to my bank account and added in a loyalty card. But, in the information for this wallet it states that there are three phones that it is not compatable with and mine was one of them. I will take it with a grain of salt as I know that sometimes information is not updated. So, I will have to just try it out the next time I am at one of those credit card terminals that have the NFC or near field communication readers at the top. You've seen them I'm sure, kind of a blue looking clear plastic thing at the top of the terminal. Now, be assured that a lot of these have never been used and I won't be surprised if I go to use one that it is not activated and the clerk will know nothing about it. I only have to make sure my NFC is turned on before approaching the register. But, here's my point with all of this. The only thing this technology is going to save me is the space in my old leather wallet. No plastic cards to carry around. But, how much time will it take to get the phone app running and make sure I have the correct card that I want use all set to wave across the NFC reader? Maybe we'll have to get used to getting this all ready before it's our turn at the checkout. From what I have been reading of late is the U.S. will be turning to the chip in a card credit card sometime later next year. All the merchants will have to change or upgrade their terminals to accept the new chip cards. Who knows what is going to work best but the NFC better get going or it might be last to the race and end up the loser. Which do you propose to use?

Monday, June 23, 2014

BITCOIN and everything you can do to get in on this exciting new technology and monetary system!

My last post was back in January. I just have not had anything organized in my mind to talk about much less the focus power to put anything in words lately. Pre-occupation with material things is the reason and I will not get into them here. If you have been watching the news you have come across this Bitcoin thing. What the heck is it you may ask. I came across something about it way back now around March of 2013 I think it was. Maybe it was 2012, I just cannot remember now for sure. But, here is the thing. If I had bought some of these Bitcoins when I first got excited reading about it, the price was $113 to $115 each. Over the year the price has been volatile to say the least. It soared to over $1,100 or $1,200 at one time and I thought this was just incredible. I missed the boat as usual with things like this as I procrastinate too much. My problem is I try to get other people interested in stuff that I discover in order that they too might share in my journey of discovery but more often that not they do not take the plunge either. So, I end up being a teacher and never get involved myself. Now yesterday I read an article where the founder of the Xprize has converted some of his gold into Bitcoins. This man is a forward thinking person who has a lot of followers. He has had much success in his life and probably will continue to do so. It is people like this that excite me and motivate me to think that I too can do the same as them if not on a smaller scale maybe. I think we all have it in us but we just do not have the confidence first and the knowledge secondly to take us there. More perhaps on this man later. For now I am going to post that there is a page on called, support. There one can find the many links to just about everything there is to do or know to get involved in Bitcoin. One thing that I have been wanting to do is get into mining. Mining bitcoins with a computer can make you free money. How much and how fast depends on the power of your machine and more specifically, the GPU or video card in your rig. As I have delved deeper into this bitcoin thing this is what I have discovered is the secret to mining. Most say you can be more profitable by joing a pool. I have read some forum posts that say mining on your own does well too. I would like to try each soon to see for myself what does best. In order to do this I would like to set up two computers with each doing one or the other. Another option I have tossed around is to pay a hosting service to use there virtual servers to do the mining but the question is, will it pay the rent. I have not been able to come across any forum posts or discussions where anyone has offered their experience with this but I did discover one node was using a virtual host near me. I feel that time is of the essence now as the governments have been digging into this and trying to figure out how to regulate it and control it but it is a tough road ahead for them from what I have been reading. Many online retail companys are now beginning to accept Bitcoin for payment. This tells me that there is belief in this new currency system and they are serious about making it work. I had registered myself with a Bitcoin address to send and receive payments but have never tried it out. Here is my address if you want to send me some of your bitcoin to help further my cause here to enlighten the people of this planet: 1BKkQWFGAvseLQZ9e7oTvxLFrohA1zQCyk Okay, have I got you interested? I believe it is time to get on this bandwagon now before you are the last one and who knows what will happen by then. Will our current dollar currency be in down the tubes? Will there be a race to buy into bitcoin and transfer all monetary assests into it? Time will tell of course. For now I would not put all my eggs into one basket of course but we can start with a few at a time and see how it goes. I just saw an article today where Expedia is now accepting Bitcoin. It was not too long ago that I got a Tiger Direct email and they had started accepting Bitcoin. More and more businesses will get into this and you will begin to start seeing ATM machines that provide bitcoin transactions. My last word here today. All along the time I have been researching this bitcoin it has came to my attention that a bitcoin transaction can take some time to confirm. Upwards of twenty minutes was the last I had read about. Nodes in the system is what does the transaction verifications. The more nodes there are the faster the transactions can be verified is what I understand. One has to be award that the more people who are making transactions can slow the process down if there are not enough nodes joining the system to keep pace. My internal spirit of helping out is begging me to set up a node to help out. I could use one of the two computers that I plan to test the different types of mining that I mentioned previously as a node. I think this is going to be exciting if I can just get going on this. What about you? All comments appreciated!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Weather and Your Own Personal Weather Station on Weather Underground

Find more about Weather in Tampa, FL
Click for weather forecast
Do you like the weather? Recently I have been checking the weather a lot here in sunny Tampa Florida. Only to try and find out in advance if I need to cover my three outside plants that are sensitive to a freeze. One is a banana plant and the other two I cannot remember their names even though the neighbor who gave them to me a few years ago, has told me more than once. So, I did cover them all for the second time this year, yesterday. I think the next few mornings were are on a freeze watch so I will take no chances. You see the banner at the top showing the current temperature here near me at a neighborhood nearby. The temperature comes from a PWS or Personal Weather Station that someone has set up. If you do a search for Weather Underground or just input those words together with a dot com at the end you will see a whole different world of weather than you more popular Accuweather or Intellicast weather sites. At Weather Underground you have individuals who have spent money on their own weather stations and take the time to set up a web page where the data and history is recorded for anyone to look at. I have been interested in this for several years now and from time to time I keep coming back to it. One of these days I will find the money to buy one of those Davis Advantage Pro units. For some reason I just want my own weather station so I can check the weather any time from my phone or tablet or from the desktop and from anywhere. How cool would that be? Very cool. I end this post now and hope that maybe if you are interested you will check out the weather from a different angle than you normally do. Stay warm! Here is a link to Davis Weather Products