I never thought I'd want music coming out of my glasses. Then Anker sent me their Soundcore Frames. Sweet.
I love being able to hear all the sounds swirling around me while listening to music on my walk, including birds chirping, friends talking or cars coming. I wish others would wear the Frames too. At my old apartment building, which is 95% students, I'd have to wait while they pulled out their earbuds whenever I started a conversation in the elevator. With the Frames, they would be able to hear me easily.
Setup is minimal. Connect the Frames to your phone wirelessly by going into Bluetooth settings on your phone, and you're done. They'll turn on automatically when you put them on your head and shut off when you take them off. Voice commands allow you to answer or reject phone calls. These worked great in my tests. But the skip-song or volume up-or-down commands didn't work for me. I had to use my phone for those.
The instructions could have been clearer. At first I thought I had to get music through the Soundcore app, which has a limited selection. But tech support, which is great, told me that anything I can listen to on my phone will automatically play through the glasses. So far, I've enjoyed Spotify, iHeart Radio, YouTube, Audible, and NPR. They all sound good.
Available for $200, Soundcore Frames come in nine different sunglass styles and one clear, from soundcore.com. I'm going to add my prescription to one of them. Unlike other smart glasses, there's nothing dorky about their look. Out of 10 styles, three of them, including the clear frames, allow you to add a prescription.
I saw a stain on my clothes in my latest photo. Removing it was as easy as waving a magic wand, available from a free website.
Cleanup.Pictures lets you erase objects or people you don't want in your photos. As soon as you brush over the spot and let go, the object disappears. Besides the stain, I removed a background image from a photo of a baby playing on the beach. It worked great. You can change the size of the erasing brush to work on smaller or larger areas.
ART ON THE WEB
On a rainy day, the web can be better than an art museum. Go to wikiart.org and type in the name of an artist or art movement. I searched for Winslow Homer. When I scrolled down, I saw a bunch of his paintings. After choosing one, I clicked again to expand it. Then I clicked an arrow to move through a slide show. His stuff looked great on my tablet and computer. So did Maxfield Parrish's.
WEB PHOTO REMOVAL
If your child's picture comes up in a Google search, you can remove it. First, search on Remove Images from Minors from Google Search Results to go to Google's support page, or look up the easy-to-follow instructions on Mashable.com. Basically, you have to submit the web address of the image, the web address of the Google search results page, and fill out a Google form.
A friend brought over the DVD for the movie "The Mask." But my DVD player was on the blink. That's when I found out you can cast a movie from a computer file to the TV. Previously, I'd only used Google Cast to bring over movies from the web.
To start, convert a movie disc to a file. It's easy with the free VLC media player from videolan.org. From the "Media" menu, choose "Convert/Save." Now click the "Disc" tab and click "Convert/Save" again. From there, choose an MP4 option that has "TV" in it.
When the conversion is finished, you can watch it on the big screen. Launch the Google Chrome web browser and click the three vertical dots in the upper right corner. Now choose "Cast." Select your TV from the list. After that, click the arrow next to "Sources" and choose "Desktop." Voila! Your movie is on the TV. All you have to do now is hit "play" on your computer screen. From there, you can pause the video, or go back and forward.
Unfortunately, it doesn't work with every movie. It worked with "The Mask," "Wodehouse Playhouse" and my "Animusic" video, but not with "Terminator" or "Mon Oncle."
"During the past year my inbox has been inundated with ads that once would have been considered Spam," a reader wrote. "Should I ignore & delete unopened or should I bother to 'unsubscribe'?"
According to Sophos, a leading security company, you should never tap "unsubscribe." That tells the sender the email is both active and in use. However, it's much worse to go to a spammer's website. That gives them a chance to install malware on your computer.
In Gmail, Yahoo and other email services, you can mark anything as spam or block it. To block it, open the email and click the three dots above and to the right. Then choose "block." Yahoo has an option to automatically delete all the emails the sender has sent so far. West Elm Furniture, this means you.
If all else fails and your inbox has more junk than regular mail, check the "select all" box, then uncheck the few emails you want to read. Click delete for all the rest. With Gmail and Yahoo, the spam folder automatically deletes itself every 30 days. In AOL, it's only five days.
Joy Schwabach can be reached by email at email@example.com.