To give you a general idea of how pervasive and dangerous the smartphone culture is in America, the top-selling Apple iPhone smartphone app in America is Pokémon GO, an augmented reality smartphone game that encourages people to violate private property laws by invading private property to catch Pokémon characters that exist in the game, but not in real life.
Pokémon GO and other augmented reality games set a dangerous precedent for private property rights in America.
The makers of Pokémon GO, Niantic, have a clear goal in mind with their game: violate the private property rights of Americans, then convince politicians to repeal private property rights to benefit players of the game. Private property rights are as American as apple pie and Chevrolet, and it would be a travesty if it private property rights were eroded with the same tactics that ridesharing services like Über and Lyft have used to erode local control over public transportation matters.
I call for Congress and state legislatures to ban augmented reality games.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: The author upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10. Features on Windows 10 may vary from computer to computer.
For nearly a week, I’ve been using the new Windows 10 PC operating system on my laptop computer, having recently upgraded from Windows 7.
Is the Windows 10 perfect? No, as it’s virtually impossible for any computer operating system to be truly perfect. However, it’s a good operating system, and I’m going to give my 100% honest thoughts about it.
I initially had quite a bit of trouble getting the Windows 10 upgrade program to work, as it wouldn’t fully initialize for some reason. However, a day or two after the July 29 release date, I finally got the upgrade program to initialize.
Once the upgrade program initialized, it didn’t take as long as I thought it would for me to install Windows 10, only taking me about 40 minutes or so (I expected it would take 2 hours or more).
I find the Windows 10 operating system to be, in general, very functional. There are many apps that I find to be very useful (although app quality varies wildly from one app to the next), and I also like the new start menu design.
The new Microsoft Edge web browser that comes with Windows 10 is far better and easier to use than the old Internet Explorer browser that came with previous Windows versions.
Having upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10, the apps that I installed on Windows 7, but not all of the ones that came with Windows 7, still work on Windows 10, so Windows 10 has at least some level of backwards compatibility.
The Windows Store feature is fantastic, including clearly displaying whether or not a particular app is free (I only download apps that are free to download on my computer).
The notification sidebar works great (including notifying me of new emails), and, if the new notification sound gets annoying for me, I can turn on quiet hours to get the computer to stop playing sounds every time there’s a new notification.
Starting up and shutting down the computer is somewhat quicker for me on Windows 10 than on Windows 7. This is especially the case in regards to shutting down the computer.
When Windows 10 starts up, it brings up the lock screen instead of the login page (for me to use Windows 10, I have to enter my Microsoft Account password). In order to bring up the login page, I have to use the mouse or touchpad (I have a touchpad on my laptop itself, and I also use a USB wireless mouse) and drag the lock screen upwards to get to the login page. Obviously, I would prefer that the login page be the first thing that comes up at startup instead of the lock screen.
I’ve had minor issues with some apps on Windows 10, most notably needing to use the Ctrl+V keyboard command for pasting text to where I write blog posts on this WordPress-based blog on Microsoft Edge and having syncing problems on the Mail app.
The Cortana intelligent personal assistant feature isn’t all that great, mostly serving as a voice web search for me. For example, when I ask Cortana to do a unit conversion of some kind (miles to kilometers, etc.), instead of bringing up the Calculator app (which, in Windows 10, is fantastic and includes a great unit conversion feature), it brings up a Bing search, and Bing is absolutely awful when it comes to unit conversions.
Asphalt 8: Airborne – This arcade automobile racing game is absolutely fantastic, with great graphics and several different types of racing (such as regular races, drifting, elimination, infected racing). Unlike a lot of racing games, Asphalt 8 works great with a keyboard. While Asphalt 8 is free to download, and much of the game can be played for free, some items in the game require money to be unlocked.
Microsoft Solitaire Collection – This card game is actually five games in one, as it has five different forms of solitaire: Klondike (regular solitaire), FreeCell, Spider, Pyramid, and TriPeaks. Again, there are some features of this game that require payment, although the game is free to download, and many features of the game are free.
Fresh Paint – Unlike the traditional MS Paint, which is included in Windows 10 (at least on my computer), Fresh Paint is designed to simulate painting artwork on canvas, without the mess of actually painting artwork on canvas, and it does a very good job at that. You can save pictures as JPG or PNG files, so, if you want to send someone who uses an older version of Windows a Fresh Paint picture, they can view the picture you sent them, although they can’t use Fresh Paint themselves. There are some features that require payment, but the download is free, and the core features of the app are free.
Character Map – In addition to the old MS Character Map (which is still available on my computer), there’s also a character map app produced by Motile Bytes. The Motile Bytes-produced Character Map has a couple of different features that make it better than the old MS Character Map: First, it allows you to create a list of favorite characters (which works best if there are characters that aren’t on your keyboard, but you commonly use for whatever reason). Second, it looks snazzier than the old Windows Character Map. This app is absolutely, 100% free!
I’ve enjoyed working with Windows 10 in my first few days with the new operating system. On a scale of -10 (worst) to +10 (best, I’ll give Windows 10 a +7.
Eric Compas, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and his wife, Lori Compas, have developed Current, a water quality data gathering device that the Compases bill as less expensive and easier to use than other types of water monitoring devices designed for use in lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water that are currently on the market:
While Eric is the only one who speaks on camera, it sounds to me that the narrator whose voice is heard at the beginning and end of the video is Lori, but I’ve not been able to confirm that. Additionally, where Eric is clearly the primary inventor of the device, both Eric and Lori have been actively involved with its development, so I’m going to credit both of them for their invention.
The Compases have recognized three main problems that they see with current water quality monitoring devices: First, water quality monitoring devices currently on the market are overly expensive. Second, the data that water quality monitoring devices currently on the market provide are not easy for even some experts to interpret. Third, with water quality monitoring devices currently on the market, it takes a lot of effort to gather data.
With Current, water quality data can be gathered from a canoe, kayak, or other similar type of boat, or, alternatively, from a fixed location in a body of water. A mobile phone app is used to guide the user of the device through the data-gathering process and upload the data to a server. Current maintains a cloud service that people can subscribe to and access data that has been gathered by users of the device, state government agencies, and federal government agencies. The data also includes maps and charts that illustrate the water quality data gathered.
I hope that this new water quality data gathering device is used widely and makes it easier to monitor the quality of the sources of water that we use to drink, bathe with, swim in, clean with, and so on. More importantly, I’d love to see federal, state, and local government agencies start using this device on a large scale, especially if it saves taxpayers money and makes it easier for public officials and the general public to understand water quality better.