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9/16/2019 Taking Google on the road

I've had some issues with Google but I'm still stuck using them for a lot of things. For example, in our new van. It didn't come with a built in GPS. Actually, I'm fine with that since, from my experience, built in car GPS systems tend to be rather lacking compared to stand alone models. I could take the GPS out of our other car, or buy another one, but the van has Android Auto, which lets me hook up my phone to access Google maps, stream music, etc. Actually, it's kind of weird how it all works. I can connect my phone via Bluetooth to stream music and send and receive phone calls and messages. Or I can plug it in to get the full Android Auto experience which includes using Google Maps for navigation. Though there's some weird inconsistencies between the two. For example, when connected over Bluetooth, the car works with both text messaging and Facebook Messenger but not What's App. However, What's App works just fine if the phone is plugged in. Also, over Bluetooth, I can use the car's interface to select any track from my music library (well, sorta; it chokes a bit and only manages to load the first couple of dozen albums) and, when playing, it shows the track name, artist, album, art, and song length. But when the phone is plugged in, I can only select recently played music and playlists (to access anything else, I need to use the phone itself) and, when playing, it doesn't show the album name or length. Not to mention that, when I have the phone plugged in, it still needs to connect via Bluetooth as well for some reason.

Then there's Google Maps itself. While I didn't notice it in the past, after using Google Maps several times to go to the same location, I've realized that, unlike a regular GPS, it doesn't consistantly follow the same route from point A to point B. I assume it changes things up to try and avoid traffic (it does have much better traffic info than the regular GPS). I suppose that can be useful, but I'm not sure that frequently getting rerouted onto back roads is always a good thing.

Anyway, just random musings. For the most part, I like Android Auto, some weird design issues aside. I'll keep using it as long as Google doesn't start giving Google Map blacklists of businesses it doesn't want people to visit (with some of the stuff that's come out about them lately, it could happen).



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If you like what you see why not toss me a couple bucks to help support the site? You can use the Paypal button on the left or you can drop me an e-mail if you want to send cash, checks, or money orders. I'll also accept gifted games on the Nintendo eShop, PSN, and Steam.
The more donations you guys send in the more cool stuff everyone gets during the following month. If total donations for the month are $25 or more you get commentary on a set of twenty of old strips! At both $50 and $75 you'll get two new Timmy Tonka strips! And at $100... Well, you'll see.
There's also the special long term bonus which will come when the mystery goal is reached.

9/13/2019 Food and traffic

The Kickstarter for Aurora's Nightmare is slowly making progress, but has a long way to go if we want to reach the goal by the end of the month so be sure to tell your friends.

I went to the Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore yesterday. I've written about it before so I won't go into detail. But it was fun and I found some cool products. And then I got stuck in traffic for nearly three hours on my way home because of road closures. That was considerably less fun. Though hey, I was driving our new van so it was comfortable and I had plenty of music to listen to. So it could have been worse.

Anyway, have a good weekend!


9/11/2019 Never forget

It's been eighteen years and I still clearly remember that morning. And it's probably better that way. History shouldn't be forgotten, not unless we want it to happen again.


Pokémon and all related images and trademarks are copyrighted by Nintendo, one of my favorite games companies who would certainly never waste their time by trying to sue me. Especially since I'm protected under the Fair Use Rule of the United States Copyright Act of 1976. Aside from that the actual site content is copyrighted by me, Josiah Lebowitz 2003.