Would it bug you if there were ads right there on your phone's lock screen? Get ready. They're coming.
When your iPhone updates to version 16 in September, you'll get ads, along with links to apps and news every time you look down, without tapping anything, according to TheVerge. Some Android phones will get ads as soon as next month, delivered by a lock screen company called Glance. You'll see news, videos, games, photos, quizzes and commercials, all without tapping. The average person glances at their phone 65 times a day. There's gold in them there hills.
FIRE TABLET BEST AT PLANE MOVIES
"I recently flew for the first time in 20 years, and I must say I wasn't fully prepared for what a nightmare flying has become," a reader wrote. "For entertainment, I brought my 15-year-old Toshiba laptop. It was big and bulky. In fact, the computer screen wouldn't open all of the way while sitting on my tray." "How about an Amazon Fire?" I suggested.
The reader currently stores his videos on a 256-gigabyte thumb drive, but these can be copied to a tablet. The Amazon Fire has a slot for a memory card, which can hold up to one terabyte of storage space. You could have 500 two-hour movies on there. Considering the $60 starting price, a Fire is a lot cheaper than an iPad, which starts at $329.
To transfer stuff from your Windows PC to the Fire, plug in your tablet. Once plugged in, tap "Settings" on the tablet, then type "USB preferences" in the search bar. Next, tap "File Transfer." When you're back at your computer, you'll see the Fire listed in File Explorer under "This PC." Click the memory card icon for the Fire and create a new folder for your videos; the Amazon Fire won't let you copy stuff to its folders. Now open a second instance of File Explorer. Drag and drop your movies from the PC window to the Fire window.
For a seamless experience on your Fire, install the free "VLC" from the Fire's app store. VLC will play more file types than the Fire does and makes it easy to find the stuff you just copied to your tablet.
MICROWAVING OLD BATTERIES
Batteries are notorious for leaking into the environment after they land in the dump. But scientists at the Ritsumeikan University of Japan have figured out how to extract precious metals by microwaving, recovering 97 percent of a battery's manganese oxide and zinc. This is 1.5 times more than conventional electric furnace-based heating, though it takes only half the time. More info at en.ritsumei.ac.jp.
A BETTER AMAZON DEAL
Before searching for something on Amazon, try Googling it. Google will show you an Amazon price that Amazon won't.
For example, when a friend searched for a Kit Kat clock, Amazon told him it was $70. When he Googled it, he saw the same clock on Amazon for $60. When I Googled "The Disappearing Spoon," a wonderful book about all the elements that make up our world, I found the paperback for $10 less than Amazon initially showed me on a different page. There was even more of a price difference in the hardcover version.
NEW 3D PRINTER
The Mayku "Formbox" is a new kind of 3D printer that creates molds for your creations. Pour goo into the mold and it hardens instantly. Pop it out like you would a muffin from a pan.
The process is called "industrial grade vacuum forming," which means you have to attach your vacuum. It picks up texture finer than a grain of sand to produce amazing details in the finished product. To make exact duplicates of stuff you created on another 3D printer, place those objects in the Formbox.
You can see it in action by doing a web search on "Recreate nearly any object with a vacuum form-molding 3D printer." Amazon sells it for $599.
To find out if a flight is delayed, do a Google search on the airline and the flight number, such as "United 2002." Alternatively, if you have an iPhone, you can text the words "United 2002." The recipient will immediately see whether you've been delayed.
NEW FOR ZOOMERS
A free app called "Grain" will record your Zoom sessions and save them to a private page online. There had been a limit of three new recordings monthly. Now you get 50 recordings, and you can use a variety of file types, including mp4, wav, and so on.
• "DALL E Mini AI." Google that phrase to find a site that generates art through artificial intelligence. I saw Einstein, roses and sunsets. An Indian reviewer said she saw mostly saris.
• SwoonMeDating.com, a matchmaking site, creates an avatar from your photo and an audio clip from your voice. The idea is to avoid obsessing over selfies and focus on personality. The app also offers ice breaker games.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Amazon Prime members just got one more perk: Free membership in "Grubhub Plus," for food deliveries on orders over $12 from over 100,000 participating restaurants in over 4000 cities. Grubhub Plus normally costs $10 a month. Sign up at amazon.com/grubhub.
In other news, a new Lord of the Rings "Rings of Power" series will debut exclusively for Amazon Prime members on September 2. See the preview on YouTube.
Joy Schwabach can be reached by email at [email protected].