Sunday, December 30, 2018

Google Location History Heat Map

I came across an article on lifehacker that explained how to create a heat map from your Google Location History.

I can't add much to the article but I'll try.

When I went to Google Takeout I requested my "Location History" to be archived and to e-mail me a link. I never got the e-mail. I went back to Google Takeout and to "Manage Archives" and downloaded the archive from there.

Then when I went to Location History Visualizer, it took me a while to find where to create the heat map. This is the direct link.

Here's my result.


Sunday, December 23, 2018

Canada Roaming Bonus

When I started my planning for our trip to Quebec City I researched what I needed to do with our AT&T phones.

I realize now that it was silly but the first thing I did was to call AT&T and ask them.

Their recommendation was to upgrade to their unlimited everything plan and almost double my plan cost.

When I asked them about the $10 per day choice they said the I could do that if I really wanted to but I should upgrade to their unlimited everything plan.

I politely hung up on him and continued my own research.

What I found is an unadvertised offering called Canada Roaming Bonus.
AT&T is now offering a Canada Roaming Bonus much like the Mexico Roaming Bonus. It offers, like the Mexico package, unlimited voice/text while in Canada and 1 GB of data per month. The kicker is it you have to call the AT&T Rententions department to have it added to each line. The regular first line Customer Service Reps can not add it to your line(s). I know its available to Mobile Share Value Plan members. Not sure about other customers.

Make sure to add the $0 cost International Roaming to your plan at the same time.
Oh, and it's FREE. Wonder why the representative didn't offer me that?

While you're talking to the Retentions representative, ask them if they can bump up your data. They bumped my plan by 5GB for free.

Here's what shows up on my bill:
Canada Roaming Bonus - Includes 1 gigabyte of data in Canada; data overage is $20 each additional 1GB. Unlimited text sent from Canada and unlimited talk from Canada to the U.S. and Canada. Talk from Canada to other international destinations will be billed at standard international long distance rates. Pay-per-use rates apply for all services in all other international countries. For more details, visit 
And this is full speed LTE, not 2G like some other carriers.

The Canada Roaming Bonus worked perfectly for me in Canada. I did have to enable data roaming once I got to Canada. Don't forget to turn it off when you return.

You can't beat the price.

Cross posted from here.

Sunday, December 16, 2018


Do you remember how Microsoft Office has a clipboard manager that stores a history of your copied strings?

Well, now Windows 10 1809 has pretty much the same thing.

You do have to turn it on by going to Settings / System / Clipboard. In the "Clipboard history" section, move the slider from "Off" to "On".

Then select and copy as usual.

Then if you want to paste from your copy history, press Windows key + V. Find the clip you want to paste and just click on it.

If you want to paste the last clip you took, just press Ctrl + V as you're used to.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Night Sight

The camera on Google's latest Pixel 3 smartphone introduced "Night Sight" capability in the Camera app. Initially it was available on only Pixel 3s but has trickled down to all Pixels with varying capabilities.

But Android is a community of hackers. Almost immediately this new Camera app was cross-ported to several other Android phones.

Of course my current Essential PH-1 was one of the ports.

I've installed a couple of the ports. Here's a comparison of a photo taken with the OEM Essential camera app and a port (AeroZero_P3_GC_6.1.013_ABC_2.apk) of the Night Sight camera:

Why have I installed a couple of the ports?

Well, honestly they're still a little rough around the edges.

For example, the Essential PH-1 lets you set an app to launch on a double-press of the power button. Typically that is set to the camera app. On the first port of the Night Sight camera that I tried would prompt for additional permissions when invoked with the double-press of the power button.

The second port I tried consumed a lot of battery and wouldn't take photos back to back while is was doing HDR+ processing. The delay due to HDR+ processing may be normal but I hadn't run into it before.

Current status is that I have a Night Sight camera app (GoogleCamera_6.1.013.216795316-debug.apk) installed but it is not my default camera.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

PayPal Preapproved Payments - Update

This is an update to an old post of mine but it is worth repeating from time to time, especially in this season of online shopping.

Recently we bought something from Wayfair and used PayPal to pay for it. We selected to use a debit card as payment to PayPal. We thought that was relatively safe as Wayfair wouldn't have access to the debit card and could only process that one transaction.

How wrong we were.

My wife was subsequently buying something else from Wayfair and chose to pay with PayPal. The checkout went smoothly. Too smoothly.

She noticed that even though she had chosen to pay with PayPal she had not been prompted by PayPal to approve the charges.

That was odd.

While the charges were acceptable giving Wayfair the ability to process charges and debits against her checking account without our approval is not what we had intended.

It turns out that a during the previous purchase from Wayfair that was paid for with PayPal, Wayfair categorized the PayPal transaction as requesting an agreement for automatic payment approval.

This wasn't obvious as we approved the PayPal transaction at the time.

And PayPal doesn't make it easy to find these agreements on their site.

Here's how to find them.

Login to PayPal as normal.

Then up in the top right is a little gray gear (1). Click on that.

On the next screen scroll find "PAYMENTS" (2). Click on that.

There will be a section of "Automatic payments". Look down and find "Manage automatic payments" (3). Click on that.

You'll get a list of "Automatic payments". Click on "Show active". You may need to click on "See more" to get the entire list.

Click on each merchant in the list. On the next screen click on "Cancel" if you want to cancel this payment agreement.

A little bit of advice, don't cancel "iTunes and App Store".

This verges on sneaky, both on the part of the merchant and PayPal.

And while I have your attention on PayPal, go read this.