ON COMPUTERS

Palette.fm helps add a splash of color to old photographs

My black-and-white photos of a 1970s newsroom came vividly alive after I let palette.fm colorize them for free.

All I had to do was upload my photo and watch it fill with color. I couldn't believe how those old days became vibrant.

A friend tried it with his childhood Christmas photos. At first, his shirt came out green instead of blue. Then he tried one of the palette.fm filters, and the true blue came out. But the web browser may also make a difference. In his tests, Firefox did a better job than Chrome or Vivaldi.

I didn't like any of the palette.fm filters, preferring the unfiltered version. The browser didn't matter much, either. But I got slightly better results with Vivaldi than Chrome or Firefox, using my desktop computer instead of a phone. There was only one bad photo: a girl's hair turned green. Overall, color me impressed.

NEW GOOGLE TRICK

Google Chrome has a neat new trick. Now you can see a web page in the main area of your screen, while looking at a right-hand panel with all the links from your latest search.

To try it out, open Google Chrome and search on something like "best potato recipes." Next, click on a link, such as "37 Potato Recipes that are Absolute Perfection." Now look for the colorful "G" in the bar to the right of the website address at the top. Click the "G" to see a long list of search results in a right-hand panel on your computer screen. Now you can hop between links without ever leaving the page.

Incidentally, I tried out one of those potato recipes from my "best potato recipes" search. But instead of potatoes, I peeled and chopped part of a 6-pound uncarved Halloween pumpkin. It was a big hit.

OLD PHONES

Sometimes an old phone has better technology than the newer version. That was the case with my Moto Power G 2021. Its processor is higher quality than the 2022 model.

In a ZDNet article titled "Best Old Phone," they say the best deal for bargain hunters overall is the iPhone 13, which, at $729, is $70 less than the $799 iPhone 14. I don't know about you, but $729 doesn't sound like much of a bargain. They also say the Samsung Galaxy S20 is a better deal for $525 than the newer model. Likewise, the Pixel 6, at $499, is much cheaper than the $599 Pixel 7, and you can submerge it in water up to 4 feet. But my Motorola Moto Power G 2021 beats them all, price-wise. It's only $130 on Amazon.

RECORD PLAYERS

To me, nothing sounds better than a vinyl record on an old-fashioned record player. I really like one I got years ago from Audio-Technica, though I've only used it once to convert LPs to digital. Now those players are much more modern.

Many record players today are Bluetooth, so you can wirelessly connect a speaker or headsets. Some use rechargeable batteries.

The latest from Audio-Technica is a Bluetooth turntable with rechargeable batteries called the Sound Burger for $199. Also recommended is Victrola's $800 Stream and the $250 bluetooth stereo turntable from Sony. These are all belt-drive turntables, as opposed to the direct-drive kind. With a belt-driven model, you have to change the belt every five years or so and you can't spin the record backwards. But who besides DJs cares about that?

I looked at some cheaper belt-driven models that CNET recommends: a DigitNow bluetooth record player for $70, a Victrola VSC-550 BT-BK for $56 and a Udreamer for $51. But all have too many poor reviews for my tastes.

NEW DRONE TECH

If you look up the phrase "A colorful swarm of drones at the tips of your fingers," you'll see 400 drones making patterns in the sky, controlled by the arm-waving of one person. Not only could this replace fireworks someday, but experts say it could be a way to manage semi-autonomous cars and trucks. The swarm show takes place on a field in France with equipment supplied by Parrot Drones.

PUBLISH BUSINESS BOOKS

My brother-in-law used to call a book a "fat business card." That's because writing one of your own can really help your business grow.

Eighty-six percent of authors report business growth after publishing a book, according to the Grammar Factory Publishing Company. Thirty-four percent report doubling earnings. Seventy-two percent got speaking engagements, which reminds me of my interview years ago with the author of "Chicken Soup for the Soul." He was flat broke but selling his books before large audiences made him rich.

I received these statistics from Influence Network Media, whose co-founders say every business expert has a book inside them. They offer virtual chats between would-be authors at authors.influencenetworkmedia.com. It's a small group right now, but that might be a plus.

INTERNUTS

• TheInvestingView.com. Click on "quotes page" to find dozens of great quotes, such as this one from Anonymous: "Money talks, but all mine ever says is goodbye." Or from Yogi Berra: "A nickel isn't worth a dime today."

• "Shopping at Trader Joe's Really Does Save You Money." According to CNET, for example, a basket of 50 items that costs around $150 at Trader Joe's costs around $227 at Stop & Shop, a supermarket chain in the northeastern United States.

Joy Schwabach can be reached by email at joy.schwabach@gmail.com.