Lottery Post Journal

New Microsoft Surface 3

I've been a huge fan of Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 ever since it came out last August.  I purchased one of the Intel i7 models, and it was able to successfully replace my laptop, just as Microsoft claimed it could.

It's an incredible computer/tablet.

Now Microsoft has come out with the Surface 3 (note the word "Pro" missing), which is available for pre-order, and ships in early May.

I was at a Microsoft store in the mall today, and Microsoft has a bunch of the new Surface 3's that you can play with in the store.

All I can say is wow, they have done it again.  The thing is a perfect replacement for an iPad, as the size is very similar, and it's extremely light-weight -- and silent, due to the fact that it is fanless.  And it starts at $499!

While the Surface Pro 3 does offer the ability to be just a tablet when you remove the keyboard, the new Surface 3 is that tablet you can just chuck in a bag to read a book someplace, and easily lounge around on the couch and surf the Internet on.  The fact that it is so light and portable makes it even more amazing that the thing is a full Windows computer also, able to run anything that a desktop PC can run.  And the screen is spectacular -- great colors and better than HD (1080P) resolution.

Now, I love Apple hardware, particularly the iPad and iPhone.  But the thing I hate about Apple products is the operating system.  I really dislike how Apple forces you to use everything within their "walled-off" ecosystem, and if Apple doesn't specifically allow something on their devices, you're out of luck. 

You have some music on your computer that you want to put on your iPhone or iPad?  You practically need to be a rocket scientist to get it into iTunes and then synchronized onto your device.  It's great for Apple, because it "forces" people to buy their music through Apple's store, but not so great for users who want to be able to use what they already have.

So the fact that Microsoft is starting to make really terrific products that can match (and exceed) what Apple has out there is great news for me -- one step closer to living Apple-free!

64-bit version of Google Chrome finally available

Google has finally released a 64-bit version of its Chrome web browser.  Also included in the latest release is improved font rendering, meaning that text appears much crisper, especially on high resolution displays.

They do make it a little tricky to upgrade to the 64-bit version though.  It doesn't automatically upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit.

To do it, you need to re-install the browser, which is not as bad as it sounds.  Here are the steps:

  1. Go to the Google Chrome download page for 64-bit Windows
  2. Download and do the install (pretty simple)
  3. Restart the browser after the install is complete
  4. After restarting, to verify that you are running the 64-bit version, click "About Google Chrome" in the main menu, and you should see the version number as "Version 37.0.2062.94 unknown-m (64-bit)"

How wolves changed an entire ecosystem

This video, less than 5 minutes long, is pretty incredible.

http://www.flixxy.com/how-wolves-changed-an-entire-ecosystem.htm

Switching back to Internet Explorer

After using Google Chrome as my daily Web browser for the last few years, I'm now switching back to Internet Explorer, at least for a while.

Chrome is a fantastic Web browser, but as of the past few versions, something is wrong. 

I always keep many tabs open, because during the day I constantly need to switch to various Web pages.  It's part of my work stream.

The problem is that Chrome seems to have developed some memory problems -- or something like that.  I have gotten to the point where I need to restart the browser at least once a day, just to "clear out the gunk".  I restart the browser and all of those dozen tabs or so are running snappily again.  And then they start slowing down until I need to restart again.

So it's back to IE.  I'm now using IE 11 running on Windows 8.1.

IE11 has most of the features that I love about Google Chrome.  Mainly the ability to automatically syncronize bookmarks, settings, and tabs between computers.  Plus at this point it's just as fast as Chrome, and it supports most of the same modern Web standards -- so you won't have to be left in the stone ages anymore.

And now that I mention syncing bookmarks and such, I should mention that's one great feature about Windows 8.1:  complete intergration of SkyDrive (which has recently been renamed to OneDrive).  What a great service.

Everything is setup to be able to automatically save to the "cloud", which is like an extra hard drive attached to your computer, except it's stored on the Internet.  So you never need to worry about losing your documents in SkyDrive, because Microsoft automatically backs everything up.  And because it's stored in the "cloud" you can access all of your files on any computer instantly.  The IE11 Web browser uses SkyDrive (OneDrive) behind the scenes to automatically syncronize all your bookmarks, settings, tabs, etc.

So I guess we'll see how this works out.  Who knows, maybe I'll be back on IE for a few years.

Mitt Romney the front runner for 2016? I hope so!

He may have lost the 2012 election, but I am still as firmly convinced today as I was back then that Mitt Romney has the potential to be a truly great US president.  It would be rare to see a candidate come back for another run after a general election loss, but in my view it would be most welcome.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/mitt-romney-is-the-2016-republican-frontrunner-20140130