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Critter problems in the garden

I think I have a critter problem in my garden...

(link to video)



Pretty nifty, huh? When you search Google, you can now view some search results in 3D and augmented reality

I searched a T-rex and chose to view in 3D and then view it in my (garden) space.

I'm not sure if this has a practical library application (is there a way to work it into programming? fun video for the library's Facebook page?), but I'm sure we'll be seeing more and more of this sort of VR/AR available.

To embed the video in the post on the TechBits blog, I uploaded it to my Google Drive account, shared it, and used select bits of this webpage to find the embed code.


Spotting Neowise

A lot of people have been talking about the comet “Neowise” lately.  The comet is 3 miles wide and is made of ice and dust.  My family has been using the SkySafari phone app on an Android phone to spot the comet the last few nights.  The app is great at helping amateurs find objects in the sky.  You can download the free version of SkySafari to your phone through the Google  Thumbnail_Screenshot_20200723-134128_SkySafari Play Store.  There is no need to download the paid Pro or Plus versions.

The Neowise comet is supposed to be closest to Earth Thursday night.  If you want to use SkySafari to locate the comet, follow these steps:

  1. Download SkySafari from Google Play Store.
  2. After it downloads open it.
  3. The first time you open SkySafari, you will need to allow permission to access photos, media and files for the app to work.
  4. Next, you will need to allow SkySafari to access the device’s location.  I set it to allow only while using the app.
  5. The app should be open now, press Search at the bottom.
  6. Select Brightest Comets in the list.
  7. Select NEOWISE.  For now, it is located at the top of the list.
  8. At the bottom, click Center.  This will show the current location of Neowise.
  9. At night, take your phone outside and point up towards the sky in a Northwesterly fashion.  Move the phone around until Neowise shows up on the screen.

Office365 Predictive Text

The one time I wanted predictive text to work it didn'tOffice365 text prediction isn’t quite as good as I’d like it to be. I don’t know if it was an update or if I somehow activated text prediction in Office365, but sometime in May or early June, it appeared out of nowhere. I disliked it so much that I had to find out how to turn it off. Even though it accurately predicted the text I was trying to type about 95% of the time, it would still cause double letters or double words about 99% of the time. I would spend more time angrily retyping words than I was saving by having the text prediction in place.

If you’re in this situation and are as frustrated as I was, follow these quick and easy steps to getting your life back in order.

  • Click on the Settings menu, which is the little gear icon.
  • On the bottom of the menu click “View all Outlook settings”.
  • Click on the “Compose and Reply” tab and scroll down to near the bottom.
  • You will see “Text predictions” uncheck it and click “Save”.
  • Also, feel free to browse around the other setting to see if there is anything else you can turn off that’s been annoying you.

I’ve had it turned off for a few weeks now and I couldn’t be happier. Then I thought I should write about this and perhaps I should give it another chance because maybe it was me… it wasn’t, but then again, it never is. I’m in complete agony over how horrible this is and I’m going to turn it back off as soon as I’m finished writing this sentence.

How to right-click with no mouse

Computer-mouse-outline-no-mouseRight-clicking the mouse button often gives you a pop-up menu with more options. This menu is contextual and the options given are based upon where you right-clicked. So what happens if your mouse breaks and you can't right-click. Thankfully Windows has a universal keyboard shortcut that does a right-click wherever your cursor is located. The key combination for this shortcut is Shift + F10.

There are other keyboard shortcuts available, so if anyone is interested in these just leave me a comment. If there is enough interest I will write more about these in my next post.

Image from ClipartPanda.com

Twitch and Discord

Twitch-3372590_1280What do you think of when you see those two words? Did you think of public libraries and programming? I didn't! I recently attended the ALA Virtual Conference and as I was browsing through the program options, I came across this one: Twitch & Discord in Public Libraries: New Opportunities for Adult Services.

Until I read the description of the program, I didn't know that Twitch is a streaming platform and that Discord is an online platform for communication and collaboration. The speakers, Lorin Flores and Michael Dunbar-Rodney, are from San Antonio Public Library and shared how they and other libraries are using Twitch and Discord in their libraries for adult programming including online workshops, book clubs, gaming, and more. Their presentation included some emerging best practices as this is a really new space for libraries.

You can find out more about Twitch and Discord in libraries by visiting the Libguide that Lorin and Michael created and are continuing to update. In addition to their presentation slides, there is a large list of references for you to visit. American Libraries blog posted an article recapping their presentation, too.

Have you used Twitch or Discord in your libraries? We'd love to hear about your experiences. Please share in the comments.

*Image from Pixabay