The Extra Mighell - May 29, 2020

Technology and Assorted News, Among Other Things

Welcome to issue #8 of The Extra Mighell, and welcome to my new subscribers! 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.”

I picked a heck of a time to start a newsletter - the tech news has gotten progressively quieter over the past few weeks. Still, there are some good links to explore below.

On to the news….

The Week’s Top Stories

Each week I write a post called the Friday Tech Fix, with a brief summary of the technology news of the week that lawyers should care about. This week there was only one big tech story, as far as I’m concerned: the executive order that, if upheld, may limit the immunity of social media platforms for how they moderate content posted by users. I try very hard to stay away from politics here and on the blog, but sometimes politics comes crashing right into technology, so here we are. These events may turn out to be not much of anything, or may turn out to be huge - it will probably take some time for things to shake out.

Security

Is Google Chrome your web browser of choice? If so, you’ll want to update to Version 83 immediately, and check out the new privacy and security features available. While you are doing that, run a Security Checkup, to see whether you have any outstanding security issues.

Productivity

My mind was blown too - so easy to take a screenshot on your iPad with an Apple Pencil - try it!

Gadgets

For those of you who are Google Nest Hub users - and even if you live in Apple’s world, you really should try one of these great devices - here’s a nice list of Ten tips and tricks for using the Hub. [Android Police]

Public service announcement - although I’m usually a Surface fan, the latest crop of Surface Books got less than stellar reviews. The 15” Surface Book 3 has “more power, more problems,” while the 13.5” version has “modern guts in a dated design.” I’ll pass. [The Verge]

New Apps/Tools

In this section I feature new apps and tools I run across during the week, and I do mean new. Which means I haven’t tried them out yet - but don’t let that stop you!

For several years tech companies like Google have been working to help identify locations that don’t have exact (or any) addresses. Back in 2015 Google came up with Plus Codes, which are simple, easy to use digital addresses based on latitude and longitude coordinates. I don’t know why it took 5 years, but now they are offering plus codes in Google Maps - just tap the blue dot to get a plus code for your current location.

Whiteboarding tool Miro rolled out a new version this past week called Miro Workshops, which adds video chat and presentation functions to an already solid brainstorming/collaboration tool.

Google has added some accessibility features to Android phones, with Voice Access - you can start apps, show notifications, magnify or zoom in/out, and format messages - all hands-free.

Fun and Games

One effect of sheltering in place is the explosion in ways to keep ourselves entertained online. One site to check out is Rona Games, which offers over 60 online games that you can play with friends or colleagues via Zoom. Something for everyone here!

At Poolside.fm, you can head back to 1997 and enjoy some chill summer tunes, while watching a seemingly endless supply of cheesy infomercials.

Finally, this. Yes, this video is 20 minutes long. But stick with it and I promise you’ll enjoy it. You might just come away with a newfound appreciation for squirrels.

See you next week!
— Tom