On Computers

'Pocket' app saves, stores articles, pictures for later viewing

Pressed for time or feeling sleepy? "Pocket" is a free app for saving articles and pictures to look at later. The app is available for Windows, Macs, phones and tablets. That's everything but billboards.

To get started on your computer, go to GetPocket.com and install it. If you use Firefox as your browser, it comes with it. Once installed, you can click the tiny picture of a pocket in the upper right of your screen anytime you want to save an item for later viewing. To find the stuff you've saved, click on the pocket and "view list." It might also save whatever you're looking at right at that moment at the same time, but live with it.

So the app starts with an empty list of things to read. If you don't have anything saved yet, click the "recommended" list for some pre-selected articles. There was one from The Guardian titled "Owning a Car will Soon be a Thing of the Past," and another from The New York Times on "Why I Almost Fired My Doctor." (Bob feels the same way about his doctor.) Lots of stuff there. All in all, it's a handy thingy.


A reader writes that an email bounced back to him as undeliverable. He immediately wondered if he should have capitalized the "A" in the address. We wondered, too.

In Gmail and nearly all other email providers, capitalization makes no difference. You can send a test message to yourself to prove it: try typing your name in the address in all caps (capitals). Viola, it goes. If you don't use Gmail or one of the common providers, however, it could make a difference. Whatever you put before the "@" sign, such as JoeDoe@whoopi.com might matter. But anything you put after the "@" sign doesn't. You could write it WhOOpi.com if you wish. If you're in doubt about what or when, don't capitalize anything.

We tried to find out why our reader couldn't make contact with the person he was writing. After a little digging (so to speak) we found out the recipient was dead. At least there was an obituary for him; so that was kind of an indicator. (As film director Carl Reiner commented in an interview recently: "Check the obits every morning. If you're not there, have breakfast.)


Freelancer.com checked almost half a million job postings on its site to find the ones most in demand.

Number one was for people familiar with Adobe's InDesign software. This is used to create layouts for magazines, newsletters, books, brochures and posters. Next in demand were people who knew how to use 3D Design, Creative Design and HTML5. Jobs in 3D Design are up 29 percent, and many are in education. Jobs for people who know grammar were 12th in demand. We've noticed that.

There are also a lot of jobs for those who know how to program the Arduino board. This is a cheap (like $35) pocket size computer invented in Italy, and Bob recently bought one for Joy. In September, the World Maker Faire brought over 90,000 Arduino enthusiasts from 45 countries to the New York Hall of Science. (We weren't there.)

Demand for jobs in HTML programming is growing because it's the replacement for Adobe Flash, which Adobe is killing once and for all in 2020. (Steve Jobs hated it.) HTML jobs surged 22 percent to 9,980.

Bitcoin topped Freelancer's "Fast 50" report on emerging skills, up 82 percent. Cryptography is up 59 percent. Microsoft jobs are down 41 percent. Pinterest jobs are down 35 percent, Twitter jobs are down 27 percent. Google Plus jobs are down 35 percent.

Website management and business card creation are in the top 10. Demand for jobs in Arabic is up 11 percent. For more information, Google "Freelancers 50 Fastest Moving Jobs."


We sign in to our Android phone by tracing a pattern. Like most people, we chose something simple.

The person next to us at the grocery store could probably guess our pattern with a quick glance over the shoulder. According to a study by the U.S. Naval Academy and the University of Maryland, 64 percent of participants could guess it on the first try with barely a glance. Eighty percent could guess it if they got two chances. By contrast, a personal identification number (PIN) was guessed by only 10 percent on the first try, and 25 percent after many tries.

You could use your fingerprint. Joy eagerly registered her fingerprint when she first got her Android phone. It worked great at first, but later was hit and miss. The key is to register more than one finger. After re-registering all five fingers, they were all usable for unlocking the phone -- most of the time.


Plume Air Report is a free app for Android and iPhone from PlumeLabs.com. It provides a daily, monthly and yearly rating on the pollution level in 430 cities.

Beijing has a 208 number and the comment "extreme pollution." Worcester, Mass., gets a seven. Little Rock is 33; Los Angeles, 37; Phoenix, 53; Orlando 37; Mexico City, 113 -- on the day we checked around. These numbers fluctuate day to day. Winter is often higher because the cold air just sits there. You can get government reports from EPA.gov/outdoor-air-quality-data.

If you want to walk around the neighborhood and examine pollution street by street, they sell a device for that, called the "Flow." They're taking pre-orders now, with deliveries expected next summer.


Drivers use their cellphones in 88 percent of trips, according to ZenDrive, a San Francisco startup. That doesn't count cellphones mounted on the dashboard or built into the car, so the figure is likely well over 90 percent. Traffic deaths nationally were on average 102 per day last year; 37,461 for the whole year.

Bob and Joy Schwabach can be reached by email at bobschwa@gmail.com and joydee@oncomp.com.

Business on 11/04/2017