Hands-free Task Management with Todoist & Amazon Echo


If you use Amazon’s Echo device, you can now create new tasks, add items to your shopping list, and manage tasks with just your voice – and have all of that synced instantly with the superb Todoist task management app.

“Alexa – what’s left on my to-do list today?”

I just said that to my Amazon Echo and she replied and listed 3 tasks that still need to be done (and will now be moved to tomorrow)

“Alexa – add yogurt to my shopping list”

I said that to the Echo next, and in very near real-time that item was added to my shopping list in the Todoist app.

Alexa Shopping List in Todoist

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CloudMagic Adds Calendars for Exchange & More


CloudMagic, by far and away the best Android email app, has added support for calendars in a recent update.  Specifically, it has added calendar support for Exchange, Google Apps,and Gmail.

This is a great new addition to an already stellar app for use with Google and Exchange email accounts. For now, there’s not much choice in terms of calendar views, but I expect that will soon improve as the app is very regularly updated. You can create events and RSVP to invites from the app already though.

I’ve written before on why CloudMagic is such a great Android email app; I’ve been using it for years to stay on top of both personal and work email and it’s a real joy to use.

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Today’s Best Headline, Ever: Drunken pranksters cause road havoc with a Giant Triceratops on the Isle Of Wight

Triceratops in Road

OK, this may well be my new favorite headline ever, ever, seriously ever. Even better than the college girl driving to school in a Barbie jeep.

Motorists have been confronted with a giant triceratops blocking the main road through Godshill, Isle of Wight.

ITV Meridian reports ‘It’s thought alcohol may have had a part to play in the prank, after the dinosaur was moved from its regular home in the garden of a fossil and gem shop.’

Honestly, they had me at Triceratops. Throw in alcohol and shenanigans – we’re golden.

Via: The Poke

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Nexus 6P Benched, Due to Bluetooth Issues

Moto X Pure

I was lucky enough to be able to buy two great Android smartphones last year – the Moto X Pure (Or Style outside the US) and the Nexus 6P.

I’ve found both phones excellent to use, though my time with the Moto X Pure had been shorter – because as soon as the Nexus 6P came out I was all over it.  It was love at first sight with the Nexus 6P and that love has endured over 3+ months of use.

But … recently I’ve had one major issue with the Nexus 6P which has been bad enough to send it to the bench and swap back to the Moto X Pure. The issue is with Bluetooth disconnects. Frequent disconnects that caused me problems at work and at play, so to speak.

The Nexus 6P would disconnect from the Bluetooth speaker in my car multiple times per day. It would disconnect often from my Bluetooth headset when streaming music via Spotify at the gym. The deal-breaker came when I recently found a smart watch that works well for me, the Huawei Watch. Android Wear on the Nexus 6P was disconnected from the watch far more often than it was connected.

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In a World Full of Bad News, A Panda-Themed Hotel

Panda Hotel

It’s hard to read or watch news these days.

Except when it’s about a Panda-themed hotel. Like this one,called Panda Inn – where everything from the room decor to the staff are Panda themed.

That’s a little slice of happiness, or maybe a Panda -sized bundle of joy. Check out more photos and a link to book a room at Fubiz.



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Microsoft Testing Underwater Data Centers, Can’t Wait to See the Error Messages


Here’s a crazy sounding new initiative by Microsoft, as reported by The Verge:

This morning, Microsoft unveiled Project Natick— an ongoing research project into subsea data centers that could be both cost effective and environmentally friendly.

If this comes off it could be a fantastic source of comical new Microsoft error messages. Server down due to shark attack, data center outage after being eaten by a giant squid, and so many more possibilities. All with some Microsoft error message creativity thrown in.


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Good to See: Spotify Videos to Android First

Spotify Video

Last week Spotify rolled out a major new feature for their music streaming service – videos. In fact quite a decent range of video content – from sports shows from ESPN and others to news and comedy, and videos in 10 categories.

Not earthshaking news. What makes this interesting is that the new feature landed on Android before iOS.

That’s a cool thing to see. Nothing against iOS, I just think Android more than deserves to see some apps and app updates come its way first.

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Breaking! Windows Phone Is Dead (Elvis is Too)

Windows Phone

The Verge has pronounced Windows Phone dead., among other reasons citing these numbers for smartphone sales from December 2011 to December 2015:

Microsoft and Nokia have sold a total of 110 million Windows Phones compared to 4.5 billion iOS and Android phones in the same period.

It feels like Windows Phone has been dead for almost as long as Elvis. I think its death roll started when Steve Ballmer laughed off the iPhone back in 2007 and then continued to be blind to the importance of mobile for years after.  Here’s a slice of what he said back in 2007:

“Five hundred dollars fully subsidized with a plan! I said that is the most expensive phone in the world and it doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard, which makes it not a very good email machine …. I like our strategy. I like it a lot….Right now we’re selling millions and millions and millions of phones a year, Apple is selling zero phones a year. …”


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Alert the Tower: Top Gun 2 On the Approach!


I feel the need for … more Top Gun. More speed, more cheese (lots!), more Tom Cruise doing his own stunts. More Highway to The Danger Zone.

A movie where every dude has the coolest name ever. There are no Larrys in Top Gun. Everyone is Viper and Maverick  – Cobra, CrocWeasel, Iceman, Stumpy, Jester, Goose, Bobo, Cougar and such-like.

And it looks like I’ll be getting my wish, according to a Moviephone report and a telling tweet:


Who else is ready for more Top Gun?

Top Image via: Critically Rated

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Recommended: Roundup of Ridiculous Beastly Mobile Phones in Movies

DynaTac 8000X

Mobile phones have come a long way. They used to weigh as much as a healthy toddler and look pretty terrible. Now they’re as thin as a human hair and weigh less than thin air, while packing in more computing power than a supercomputer of just a few years back. They’re not even mainly phones anymore. They are supercomputers in our pockets that happen to make an occasional call.

So it’s fun to take a look back at the hefty beasts that might qualify as ancient ancestors of our pocketable beauties. That’s just what the lovely folks at Flavorwire did with their look at ‘Ridiculously Outdated Mobile Phones in Movies’.

My favorite is the Motorola DynaTac 8000X shown above in the movie Wall Street. $4,000 for that monster that weighed two pounds!

Check out the full list at Flavorwire.

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Nexus 6P: Quick 10 Days Review

Nexus 6P Pretty

As a ‘reformed’ iPhone user, I’ve owned and used a number of great, flagship type Android phones over recent years – from a Galaxy Note 2 to a OnePlus One, a couple of Moto Xs (including this year’s Pure) and a Nexus 6.  The Nexus 6 was my overall favorite and the one that served best as a powerhouse phone for work and play.

When the Huawei Nexus 6P was unveiled back in September, I was more than a little excited to get my hands on one, as it looked like a great follow-up to the superb Nexus 6.  So on the day that pre-orders for the 6P went live I gave my keyboard a heck of a good workout,refreshing the order page what seemed like every 15 seconds, and got my order in within the first 10 minutes.

I’ve had the Nexus 6P for just over 10 days now and have some early thoughts and impressions to share. Here they are, in no particular order:

Love at First Sight

OK, you’re can’t love a smartphone. Well, yes you can actually – but you shouldn’t. But I did anyway when I first laid eyes on the Nexus 6P. It is easily the best looking Nexus phone I’ve seen and used.  My aluminum model looks great and just feels like a cut above in terms of its build quality.

It’s a Nexus phone that draws compliments just about everywhere that I’ve had it out of my pocket – from the AT&T store when I went to get a SIM card put in to local coffee shops and client sites when I’m at work.

My One Fear (about the slightly smaller screen) – Banished

My one worry about getting the Nexus 6P was that I might miss the huge 6-inch screen of the Nexus 6 that I had come to love. That fear vanished almost right out of the box. The 6P’s 5.7 inch screen felt ‘right’ as soon as I saw it, and that feeling has not changed with use.

It’s less wide than the Nexus 6’s display, but it’s just as tall and has an even higher pixel density (518 ppi as compared to 493 for the Nexus 6). The 6P is also a little lighter and feels great in the hand.

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