The Extra Mighell - April 24, 2020

Technology and Other News, Among Other Things

Welcome to issue #3 of The Extra Mighell! A quick explanation for new readers - my last name is pronounced “Mile,” so hopefully the title makes more sense now.

The links here represent the stories of the past week that I found interesting or noteworthy but had no time to cover on the blog - that’s why they’re “extra.” Enjoy!

On to the news….

This Week in Coronavirus

Google has put together an amazing page showing Coronavirus Search Trends, showing how COVID-19 is being searched around the world. It’s a fascinating and disturbing look into what people are thinking about.

On the hopeful side, there are a lot of people who are coming up with new ideas to fight, track, treat and cure COVID-19. At the Coronavirus Innovation Map, you can learn what’s being done all over the world. Hopefully, some of these ideas just might wind up making a difference.

Microsoft has launched a “plasma bot” that allows users to self-screen to determine whether they qualify to donate their plasma as treatment for patients with COVID-19.

Scammers are already sending out fake text messages telling people they came in contact with a COVID-19 patient. Don’t click that link - when the tech is ready, the legit messages will come from government agencies. [WJLA]

Online Meetings

Blue Jeans is one of the online meeting services used by law schools and state bars, and this past week Verizon bought it. The big question: will it simply absorb the company for its tech and talent, create a Verizon-branded meeting platform, or leave it alone? [Wall Street Journal]

The number of sites offering Zoom backgrounds seems to multiply exponentially each week. If you haven’t grown weary of new backgrounds, here are a few worth trying:

This article by The Verge that The Jury is Still Out on Zoom Trials raises some good points we all need to keep in mind, but misses completely those places (Michigan, Texas, for example) that are doing a pretty good job of handling online hearings and trials [The Verge]

Productivity

Office 365 is now officially Microsoft 365, and consumer subscriptions are now available. [The Verge]

Trello users should find something useful in these 10 Trello Tips Guaranteed to Make You More Productive. [PC Magazine]

And if you’ve never heard of Trello, it’s an awesome task manager displayed in Kanban Board format. To learn more, check out What is a Kanban Board, and How Do You Use It? [How-To Geek]

My friend Jeff Richardson was a guest on the latest episode of the Texas Appellate Law Podcast, where they discuss using an iPad as an appellate lawyer.

New Gadgets of the Week

More new phones this week! Motorola, whose phones I once used exclusively, is back in the flagship phone business with the Motorola Edge Plus, a phone that deserves attention [The Verge]

Apple rolled out its Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro this week. Most critics found that it’s heavy, very expensive for a keyboard ($299), and is the best way to turn an iPad into a laptop. [The Verge]

And if you want to spend about half of what you might spend on Apple’s keyboard, the Logitech Combo Touch is the magic keyboard for everyone else. [The Verge]

New Apps/Tools

(each week I’ll feature some brand-new apps for your consideration - some will make it big, some will fail big, but you could say you were there when they debuted!)

Are you a Facebook Messenger user? Now you can access your Messenger conversations everywhere you are, as Facebook has rolled out desktop versions of Messenger, available in Windows and Mac versions.

I have always wanted the ability to create tables in my Gmail messages. Now with Gmail Tables by cloudHQ, I can.

If you or your firm/company uses Slack, check out Enso, a mindfulness bot whose notifications are designed to reduce stress.

Fun and Games

Now you can watch Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, YouTube, and Amazon Prime videos with friends no matter where they are, using the Vemos extension for the Chrome browser.

If you happen to be looking for some stock drone video footage for your presentation or website, VReel offers some amazing, if somewhat pricey, videos for purchase.

Jackbox Games offers a collection of mobile games that you can play with family or friends using Zoom.

Does anyone use screensavers anymore? If you do, this ZOOOOOM.US screensaver with people joining a meeting on your computer screen is just the screensaver for our times.

This little girl on TikTok is all of us right now.

Finally, because sports are hard to come by these days:

See you next week!
— Tom