Lance Cleveland

Toshiba FireTV Can’t Connect To Amazon

The Toshiba 49LF421U19, aka Toshiba Fire TV 49″ Best Buy edition, seems like a great deal. On sale it can be had for well under $300 delivered. For an Alexa-enabled Smart TV with 1080p that is not a bad deal. It should be perfect for the PS4 in the game room and double as the “kids TV” — especially during the upcoming Super Bowl party.

However things aren’t all great with this techno-TV.

After getting the TV booted the first time, listening to the annoying “bing” every few minutes until batteries are put in the remote, waiting or an update to download for 5 minutes, then having to sit through a 3-minute infomercial it was time to use the TV. First step — connect to Amazon.

Except You Cannot Connect To Amazon

Despite retyping my password and email address at least 8 different times using the on-screen keyboard … or about 3,978 remote clicks later — I realized there was a problem talking to Amazon. Despite the video having been downloaded and the software update; meaning the network was fine.

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Microsoft Teams – Link to Tabs Not Content

Using the Microsoft Teams native app on your desktop? It it CONSTANTLY opening BROWSER WINDOWS to get to content within Teams? Yeah, happens to me too.

Turns out there is a way to copy the link to a TAB in a teams project that includes a specially encoded hint to the browser. That hint tells the browser “open this in the Microsoft Teams window”.

Why in the HELL Microsoft has to redirect links to its own content out through an external browser and back in again is beyond me — but at least this trick puts you immediately back into Teams …. until the next click.

Teams Personal Notebook

A place to store the links and info you can never find. I’m using the Teams app on my MacBook and leveraging the “personal OneNote” notebook to keep track of things I can never find in this larger project. Yes, Teams search sometimes maybe works — but it is no Google.

Ethereum Moves Towards Proof Of Stake

As a computer scientist, I prefer the design of Ethereum over most blockchain technologies. It as a significant improvement over older peer computing compensation models. Ethereum is a peer computing network with a fair compensation algorithm.

However it is not perfect. The people behind Ethereum know that and are moving to improve that.

Ethereum 2.0 will be a new blockchain based on Proof Of Stake. Proof Of Stake means the companies adding transactions to the chain must offer some of their currency to be given a transaction to process. If they are caught cheating the system they lose their stake.

Personally I prefer this model for many reasons. The biggest benefit is the reduction in compute power needed to process transactions. Bottom line – it is better for the environment.

I’m hoping this gets done in 2019 and gains a strong following.

Learn more in this detailed article from IEEE.org

spectrum.ieee.org/computing/networks/ethereum-plans-to-cut-its-absurd-energy-consumption-by-99-percent

WordPress.com Video UX Needs Work

For those that are not aware, Automattic and the entire WordPress “stack” have been moving more-and-more toward an all-inclusive SaaS model. At every turn Automattic’s Jetpack and WordPress users are pushed toward creating a WordPress.com account to manage “all WordPress affairs”. With the recent recommended to use the WordPress.com SaaS as a workaround to a partly (ok, mostly) broken video process in Jetpack, the message is clear — WordPress.com will be the hub for all things WordPress.

WordPress.com SaaS dashboard

The problem is the user experience over at WordPress.com needs some work. In many ways it is cleaner and simpler than the somewhat outdated WordPress admin panel many are used to. It also lacks many of the details that have been honed over the past decade to make daily work in WordPress easier.

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