2nd Screen Blog Posts

  • Inbox by Google

    Published May 28, 2017 ·By Chuck Parker

    I’ve been trialing Inbox by Google since January. Previous to that I was a devout Apple / Mac / iPhone mail user. I was often conflicted between the features that worked well (VIP group, for example) and how poorly the features worked with Gmail (using…

  • Revisiting AT&T vs. T-Mobile

    Published April 8, 2017 ·By Chuck Parker

    I have had about 6 month to experience T-Mobile both here in LA, around major cities in the US and Canada and in London (see my blog for the the switch experience).  The entire time I have done this, I have had an AT&T phone with me (I know, s…

  • Getting up to speed on AI

    Published January 9, 2017 ·By Chuck Parker

    For the last 8 months, I have been an avid reader / listener to just about every decent book, podcast and TED talk on the subject of artificial intelligence.  During discussions about AI, I often get the question, “What would you recommend I read …

  • Apple Music vs. Amazon Music

    Published December 30, 2016 ·By Chuck Parker

    I have written about the “slide of Apple” a few times over the past 18 months (search issues, Siri bugs, etc). But I never thought I would see my once coveted Beats music service fall by the way side.I wasn’t looking for a new music service. In fact, w…

  • AT&T vs T-Mobile

    Published November 20, 2016 ·By Chuck Parker

    I had been an AT&T customer for many, many years. The whole family shared a large data plan and we often used their international data packages on our frequent trips to London and Cabo. But recently, despite my many efforts to reduce data cost…

  • The new @Amazon #EchoDot

    Published October 23, 2016 ·By Chuck Parker

    I bought the first generation #EchoDot when it came out. Had to buy a Bluetooth speaker to go with it (not much savings vs. a full Echo). I found a consistent hum on the speaker side and the travel use case was pretty much a failure (took it to a few h…

  • Amazon Alexa vs. the Amazon Dash

    Published July 24, 2016 ·By Chuck Parker

    I got the the Amazon Dash in several branded buttons when it first came out last year. It was an interesting experiment but as time marched on, I would say it is not really much more efficient than picking up the phone. I have had plenty of occasions w…

  • Siri keeps getting worse

    Published July 22, 2016 ·By Chuck Parker

    Am I the only one who thinks the voice enabled assistant has continued to get worse over time?When I first started using Siri years ago, my biggest complaint was her inability to understand what I said (esp in a car) and therefore having to repeat myse…

  • My Experience and Views of Tesla Autopilot

    Published July 19, 2016 ·By Chuck Parker

    While I feel like anyone who has tried to read a balanced version of the media several weeks after the story broke can read the facts for themselves (example here), I felt compelled to give my friends and colleagues a perspective and some first person …

  • Traveling with Streaming Video

    Published July 18, 2016 ·By Chuck Parker

    So far the best experience I have had is the Amazon FireTV stick. I recently had the occasion to be in 105+ degree Phoenix and then London for a few nights with family. No matter how good the pre-home entertainment release content from the hotel is, it…

  • What the heck is #PokemonGo?

    Published July 11, 2016 ·By Chuck Parker

    Had an interesting experience this weekend that reminded me of geocaching a few years back. My teenage son and daughter, their friends and even my neighbor were all enamored with #PokemonGo on their iPhones. An augmented reality game, it allows them to…

  • The Tile – finding your lost keys solved

    Published March 20, 2016 ·By Chuck Parker

    I experimented with the Tile last November to see how small (or big) it actually was and how effective it was at finding lost keys or other items. I was impressed enough that at Christmas I gave a number of them out as stocking stuffers and secret…

  • Apple Music finally arrives for Sonos

    Published February 11, 2016 ·By Chuck Parker

    Many of the tech blogs today raved about the arrival of Apple Music for Sonos. While I will admit the UI and UX are good, I can’t help but feel incredibly frustrated by Apple and what seems to be a more common trait of theirs: mediocrity. I am a b…

  • The WiFi enabled Video Doorbell by Ring

    Published November 29, 2015 ·By Chuck Parker

    I had been meaning to try this device for quite sometime, but it’s predecessor (the Bot) had too many issues to justify an install. I looked high and low for an alternative and then this summer Ring deployed their newest product (now called “Ring”).I w…

  • The new Amazon FireTV Stick

    Published November 28, 2015 ·By Chuck Parker

    My new and improved FireTV stick arrived this week. I wanted to test a few things with this $39 device (includes Voice remote) including its Wi-Fi performance, the voice remote itself, the new Alexa functionality, the new iOS app, it’s “Instant Start” …

  • My first week with Tesla AutoPilot

    Published October 25, 2015 ·By Chuck Parker

    First of all, let me say right up front – this is definitely still BETA. Keeping your hands on the wheel while driving 75 mph is definitely a requirement.  My first impression is that AutoPilot is currently driving like a teenager–over correcting…

  • My 4K living room update (10 months later)

    Published October 17, 2015 ·By Chuck Parker

    In December of last year (2012) I finally wrote up my 4K experience and the result wasn’t pretty.During that time, content was only available from either the Samsung hard drive that came with the TV, or Netflix, Amazon and MGO apps on the Samsung TV.&n…

  • Apple Pay in the UK

    Published September 17, 2015 ·By Chuck Parker

    In the last 4 days I have used Apple Pay here in London more times than I have in the U.S. in the last 4 weeks. When I was last in London in July, hardly anyone took Apple Pay as it had just launched. But this week, largely thanks to Verifone taki…

  • How a flat tire made me love #Tesla more

    Published September 10, 2015 ·By Chuck Parker

    I had a slow leak in one of my tires over the weekend. Filled it up, but two days later it was back down to half of the right pressure. I was anticipating a nightmare challenge to get this fixed the day before a long trip to Europe because there is NO …

  • The Apple Watch after 3 months

    Published August 23, 2015 ·By Chuck Parker

    I have to say first that I am an early adopter and “tester” of most gadgets – and many of them don’t pan out, but the Apple Watch is on the right path.I was a Kickstarter backer of the Pebble. Loved it for a long time and upgraded to the Pebble Steel. …

  • MacBook Air Battery issue — easy

    Published June 2, 2015 ·By Chuck Parker

    I took my 2011 MacBook Air to Apple Sunday and was told I would need to surrender my laptop for 5 days for them to fix the battery. FIVE. The tech said replacing it was easy.  So I took the challenge–I went home and ordered a replacemen…

  • Pebble stumbles

    Published May 31, 2015 ·By Chuck Parker

    I have had a Pebble Steel watch now for nearly 2 years. I was an original Kickstarter backer of the first model. I am a Kickstarter backer of the Pebble Steel Time model (ships in July, plastic one already shipping). However, since their late Marc…

  • Tesla 6.2 Update arrives

    Published May 29, 2015 ·By Chuck Parker

    I was all excited this morning when I saw the update notification. I was hoping for autopilot as a delivered feature. Not nearly so exciting. Primarily an update around charging planning (ie to reduce range anxiety) and minor updates to improve bl…

  • No Ubers in Vancouver

    Published May 9, 2015 ·By Chuck Parker

    I had the awkward experience of taking a taxi to the airport last night. First I had to ask if the taxi took credit cards. Then I had a horrible drive experience while the taxi driver yelled at some of the other drivers in traffic. Then when I went to …

  • Traveling with the Amazon FireTV Stick

    Published March 25, 2015 ·By Chuck Parker

    We headed off in our annual skiing trip over Spring break this year and I thought I would try bringing the Amazon FireTV Stick with me. In previous years I brought along the our Apple TV, but that was difficult to disconnect from the home entertainment…

  • Rebooting your Tesla

    Published March 8, 2015 ·By Chuck Parker

    A few days ago I noticed a few anomalies with the music system. At first I thought it was an encode error on some of the TED talks I was listening to, but it started happening on other news and music as well. Then when I put something in the Nav system…

  • How low can the Tesla battery go?

    Published March 6, 2015 ·By Chuck Parker

    While not really on purpose, I had the opportunity tonight to run the Tesla down to 3% tonight (9 miles of range). The alerts in both the Nav system and the energy console were helpful. Was very happy to see the battery drain at the predicted rate in t…

  • 2 Weeks with Tesla’s Traffic Aware Cruise Control

    Published February 15, 2015 ·By Chuck Parker

    I have to admit – it was not easy getting used to letting the car slow down for me as I approached other cars on the LA freeways.  I think the mistake I made in the beginning was keeping the “relative distance” setting quite low (ranges from 1-10,…

  • Tesla Software Update 6.1

    Published February 1, 2015 ·By Chuck Parker

    I still can’t get over the concept that a car gets regular updates to improve features. Like Preston Tucker from 67 years ago, Elon Musk is definitely changing the industry for the better by delivering monumental changes. I got notified Friday eve…

  • The Culver City, CA SuperCharger and my first "real" commute in LA traffic

    Published January 6, 2015 ·By Chuck Parker

    Much different than the Hawthorne SuperCharger experience. 12 bays in a mall parking lot just off the 405 near Culver City. Easy access. A short walk to the mall yielded lots of opportunities for coffee, food, etc. However, the best part of today …

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