We like Google’s “Project Fi” cell phone service so much we wish it were available on every phone. Until recently, you could only get it on a Google Pixel or Nexus phone. Now they’re branching out to LG and Motorola.

The price is the best part. Project Fi offers unlimited calls and texts for $20, with each gigabyte of data costing $10. You only pay for what you use. Our bills have ranged from $26 to $36. If you use more than six gigabytes, they cap the maximum charge at $60, the rest is free.  The service itself, despite the Google name, comes from T-Mobile, US Cellular and Sprint, whichever signal happens to have the strongest signal for your location.

If you go abroad, your charges are the same as in the U.S. Starting this year, Project Fi has data coverage in 170 countries and territories. It’s still high speed, even if you’re in a far-away spot like Belize or Myanmar.

One of the new phones you can use with Project Fi service is Motorola’s “moto g,” usually $249 but sold by Google for $199. It has one of those edge-to-edge displays, which looks pretty sharp, and comes with 32 gigabytes of storage. You can add more by plugging in a micro SD card.

The other new phones that work with Project Fi service is two versions of LG’s “ThinQ.”  Now we’re talking expensive, at $749 and $899. You’re paying for better sound quality, faster speeds, a brighter display, a more efficient battery and sharper photos. More info at Fi.Google.com.

Hey, Taxi!

Our friend Betty had never used Uber or Lyft, the ride-hailing services. So we installed the Lyft app for her, sent her off on her maiden voyage and hoped for the best.

Everything went well and the service was half the price of an ordinary taxi. The car was clean and new, the driver friendly, and she got to her doctor’s office much faster than usual. (We have found in the past that regular taxis sometimes take circuitous routes.) On the return trip, she couldn’t quite figure out how to use the Lyft app, so she asked one of the doctor’s staff, and was off again in seconds. (A Lyft or Uber driver sometimes arrives in less than a minute, though you can tap “schedule” in either app if you need to delay it.) The app tells you the make, model and color of the driver’s car, plus their name and license plate, so you should know whether you’re getting into the wrong car by mistake.

To set it up, download either Lyft or Uber from the app store and put in your address and credit card number. If you’re retired, you can list your most frequent destination as your “work” location. That way, it will pop up without needing to be typed in or searched for.

Our friend was surprised that you don’t have to deposit any money upfront, they’ll subtract the amount of the ride automatically. And you don’t have to worry about giving a tip as you get out of the car. They’ll send you a text message to give you that option and allow you to rate the driver. Note: Neither you nor the driver need carry any money.

What if you and a few friends want to share a ride? If you are using the regular Uber or Lyft service, only one of you will be charged. But if you’re using “Uber Pool,” the carpooling service, which is much cheaper, each person will be charged for their seat. The same goes for “Shared Rides” in Lyft. Search on the term “shared rides in Lyft” to see if it’s available in your city; it’s typically just for big cities. This echoes a kind of ride service that is available in many countries and is often called “jitney service.” It used to be available in the U.S. too but that was a sometime thing long ago and far away.


  • Top Tourist Attractions in Every Country.” Search on that phrase to find a map that seems to have been put together by someone who has never been anywhere. They list the top tourist attraction in the U.S. as Central Park, which is nice, but we usually see the top attraction listed as Las Vegas or Disney World. In Russia, instead of visiting the Hermitage in St. Petersburg or the Kremlin in Moscow, they say the number one attraction is “The Church of the Savior On Spilled Blood.” Seems unlikely.
  • 20 Quotes from Children’s Books that Every Adult Should Know.” Search on that phrase to find some good ones. Joy especially like this from Roald Dahl: “If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
  • CryptoCoreMedia.com has fascinating articles about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. We looked at the “List of Crypto Tycoons and How They Became Rich.” The richest is Chris Larsen, founder of “Ripple.” He’s currently worth 59.9 billion. Well, in crypto currency.
  • Rubiks.com has six video tutorials to help you solve the famous “Rubik’s Cube.” The Cube has been purchased by over 450 million frustrated people since it came out in 1974. In other news, an intelligent robot is going to try to solve it in space as part of Space X’s 15th cargo mission headed to NASA’s International Space Station. Boy, does that sound like a gimmicky publicity promotion.

Getting Linked

A reader wanted to share his favorite photos via a link. He wasn’t sure if he needed a blog or a website to do that. Nope, never mind all that stuff.

Though there are several ways to do the share, here’s the easiest: Go to Photos.Google.com and click “upload” to upload any photos that aren’t there already. Then click “create” and choose “photo album.” Mark off the photos you want to include, type in a name for the album, and then click the “share” link to create a link you can send in an email.

After you click the share link, you will see choices, like sending it to one person on your email list, or posting it to Facebook. But if you look in the lower corner, there’s also a choice that says “get a link.” This link can be pasted in an email. Alternatively, you can send all your photos as simple attachments in Gmail. Gmail will automatically create a link in Google Drive, if your attachments add up to more than 25 megabytes.



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