One of the best pieces of advice we ever got was: "Read the comments following a review." Not only are they enlightening, they're entertaining.
Take the screen-protector review we read at HowToGeek.com. The reviewer said he couldn't get a screen protector on his iPhone without a massive bubble under the surface. So he bought one at an Apple store for $40 because it came with free installation. We see his point. We've never installed a screen protector without leaving bubbles. But in the comments, the readers dumped all over the reviewer.
One guy said this is "not your ordinary dumb, this is some special kind of dumb. I call it 'iDumb.'" Another pointed out that you could go to a mall kiosk and pay $20 for a screen protector. If they don't apply it right, they give you another one for free. A third pointed out that many Android phones come with their own screen protector. Or you could buy three for around $12 on Amazon and mess up two of them.
Who even needs a screen protector if you have a phone case? Doesn't gorilla glass do the trick? The consensus is that if your phone is older than five years or you go to the beach a lot and let sand grind into the surface, then you may need one.
We thought our friend Leota was texting us on Facebook Messenger. The message said: "I'm so glad to see you online. Want to connect?" We said sure, and the next thing we knew, we got an ad from Publisher's Clearing House.
It sounds like a spammer had hijacked her account. If this happens to you, go to Facebook on your computer, tap the triangle in the upper right and click "settings." From there, choose "Apps and Websites." If there are any apps you are unsure of, check the box next to them and then click "Remove."
A MATTER OF TRUST
TrustedNews is a free extension for users of the Google Chrome Web browser. It tells you whether the site you're on is misleading or not. We tried it on sites on both ends of the political spectrum. On the right, Fox News, RedState and Breitbart News Network were labeled "biased" but National Review, New York Post and The Washington Times were "trustworthy." We searched in vain for a left-leaning site labeled untrustworthy. Mother Jones, The Nation, The Progressive and others were said to be reliable. Could the TrustedNews extension itself be biased?
According to a University of Missouri Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute survey, the most trusted news sources in the U.S. include The Economist magazine, public television, Reuters and the British Broadcasting Corp. The least trusted are BuzzFeed, Breitbart and social media. The survey polled 8,278 people who read news online from 28 U.S.-based organizations. The respondents leaned toward the liberal side of the spectrum.
It's so expensive to send flowers or gifts to someone in the hospital, we rarely do it anymore. But we've just discovered you can use Amazon for that, and get free shipping too, if you're a Prime member.
Joy used it to send a $7 sleep mask to a friend at a hospital, something sorely needed for afternoon naps. It made a much better gift than most things. All she had to do was send it to the person, in care of the hospital, with the room number included in the first line. It works for flowers, too.
BEFORE THE INK DRIES
A reader wonders what to do to prevent printer ink from drying up in less than a year. If you don't print often, the ink clogs.
Fix a dry cartridge by running the printhead cleaning option, which is described in the manual. If that doesn't work, try dipping a cotton swab in warm water and pressing it on the part of the cartridge where the ink comes out.
StinkyInk (stinkyinkshop.co.uk), a helpful site, notes that if the ink dries frequently, you should get a better printer, the kind where the printhead is built into the ink cartridge. That way, when the printhead dries up, you just replace the cartridge, with no risk of damaging the printer.
A reader writes: "I'm an 80 year-old man and I've had a bellyful." He's referring to tech support over the phone. "They can't understand me because I'm a dinosaur when it comes to computer lingo. And they're imitating squirrels when they talk." We've noticed it too. Sometimes Joy calls tech support for her friends, since otherwise they'd have no clue how to follow the instructions.
We find it easier to use online chat on company websites, rather than talk on the phone. At least you can read what they're saying. If in doubt about the help you're getting, hang up or start a new chat session. You'll usually get someone else the next time.
Bob and Joy Schwabach can be reached by email at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Business on 03/23/2019
Print Headline: Reading comments after reviews enlightening, entertaining