We asked AT&T how much it would cost to drop our TV service and just keep the Internet. They immediately offered to drop the monthly charge to $120 from $160. That’s better, we thought, but hardly the best.

Philo TV” has over 45 channels for $16 a month. These include A&E, Discovery, AMC, BBC America, Food Network, History, Travel, Lifetime, Food Network and Nickelodeon.  You can watch them on your computer or your phone. Or, if you want to watch on a regular TV, you can plug in a Roku stick or player, Apple TV, or an Amazon Fire stick. Roku and Amazon Fire are fairly cheap, $28 for Roku Express and $40 for the Fire stick.

Though Philo doesn’t have local channels, you could get those by buying an indoor antenna for around $30. You can try out Philo for free at The nice thing is, they don’t ask for a credit card, just a cell phone number.

Another option is AT&T’s “Watch TV,” free for subscribers to AT&T’s unlimited cell phone service, which starts at $80 a month. It offers 31 live channels, around 15,000 shows and movies on demand and an option to view anything that’s been on in the last 72 hours. The word is they’re going to offer this service “soon” to non-subscribers at $15 a month. We aren’t holding our breath; “soon” is one of those magic words, always changing shape.

Better Searches

Joy argues that the best way to find anything on Google is to type it exactly as you want  it understood. Bob says there are some tricks of the trade worth knowing. For example:

Put in a dash or minus sign to exclude something. Say you’re looking for a history topic but are tired of articles from Wikipedia. Type into the Google search bar: “Teddy Roosevelt –Wikipedia,” without adding the quotes. Use the minus sign on your keyboard. (Note: Put a space to the left of the minus sign but not to the right.) We typed “ -politics” and got celebrity and business news. All right, it’s not a big timesaver, but at least it narrows things down.

Type “related:” (without the quotes) to find websites similar to ones you like. We typed “” and found FuturePundit and ScienceBlog.  Don’t forget the dot com part or you’ll get a different result. We typed “” for a lot of board game websites. Who knew there were so many board games?

Use “vs” when you want to compare foods or anything else. For example, “rye vs wheat” will bring up a comparison. Bob likes rye.

You can also search within a site, which is often better than a site’s own search bar. Just type the site’s name, add a space, and then the search term. For instance: “ indoor plants.”

Google Pay

You can often use Google Pay, formerly “Android Pay,” just by waving your phone at the terminal you see at the check-out counter in the grocery store and other places, though our local CVS wasn’t set up for it. There’s also something called “Google Pay Send,” which lets you send money. Now the two apps are merging.

In Google Pay, tap the hamburger icon (three stacked lines in the upper left corner of your phone screen) and choose “send or request money.”  (You can also use Google Pay on your computer.) There’s a 2.9 percent fee if you use a credit card, but it’s free if you use a debit card. Google Pay and Apple Wallet let you store airline boarding passes, concert tickets, loyalty cards, gift cards and so on. In Google Pay, if you want your friends to pay their fair share, just click on the transaction and then split it up. Other ways to do this are through Venmo or Apple Pay.


App Happy is a place to watch others play video games live.  Who would want to do that? So far, 670 million people.

Want an easy way to share your own game playing and possibly earn money through ads? Mobcrush added an app called “MobCam.” It will let you share your game playing on lots of social platforms at once, including YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Twitter and others. The app also lets you chat with anyone watching. If you get ad sponsors, you can earn $15 an hour on up. Keep on shooting.

You’ll find MobCam for free in the Apple App Store and a free version for Android is expected out later this summer.

The Numbers Report

Here’s what’s hot in the freelance job market: According to the latest report from, it’s data mining, networking technology, web design, and writing. (Bob has noticed that everyone thinks they write well and can sing grand opera. They are mistaken.)

Not hot are jobs related to e-books, Google Plus, Microsoft and app design. According to a study by The Nielsen Company, kids and adults are turning to traditional books, not e-books. With over 2.8 million Android apps and 2.2 million Apple apps, many are questioning the need for more, so that demand is way down. Jobs related to blockchain technology were up 58 percent in the first quarter of this year.


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