AI Meets Every Day Life

Bing's Chatbot and Quora's Poe are Contrasting, but Useful Tools

By Timothy R. Butler | Mar 15, 2023 at 10:33 PM

Some level of mainstream machine learning has been present in the lives of ordinary folks like you and me since iPhoto first did facial recognition well over a decade ago. Other AI or AI-like tech has become increasingly pervasive, but quite limited. Now, a flood of “experience this now” machine learning is drowning out past years’ “imagine if this were just a bit better” tech. Two tools to utilize such tech are worth your attention right now.

Can We Rewind the Clock to a Better Social Media?

By Timothy R. Butler | Feb 08, 2023 at 10:47 PM

I’ve been on Facebook since 2006 and Twitter since 2009. I decidedly don’t quit social networks because I decide this or that moderation policy isn’t leaning in my political direction. But, as of a week ago, I joined the push for a relatively new alternative social network, Mastodon, and I hope you will too.

Speedify VPN

Promising Service for Improving Livestreams and Video Conferences

By Timothy R. Butler | Jun 29, 2022 at 9:32 PM

Livestreaming is all around us. Between streams on Facebook, YouTube Live, Twitch and the like, alongside ubiquitous video conferenced meetings have become a normal part of life. For the most part, we’ve reached a point this works well… until the Internet goes down and it doesn’t. Speedify is an affordable tool that aims to overcome that issue.

Office 2011: A Suite Well Suited for Macs

By Timothy R. Butler | Jan 08, 2011 at 10:23 PM

So, you received a new Mac for Christmas – you are probably going to want some sort of office suite for writing letters or papers, creating presentations and so on. There are a number of respectable choices out there, including Apple’s very good iWork suite. Nevertheless, Microsoft’s Office has long held the status of the gold standard of suites and its components have a long history on the Mac. In this review we investigate whether it deserves a place on your computer.

A Close Look a OakTree’s Accordance, Part III: Tallying Up the Value

By Timothy R. Butler | Jun 19, 2009 at 5:01 AM

Even after reading the first two parts of this series (Part I, Part II), the question from the budget conscious person may be, “Why not a different program – QuickVerse or even SWORD – that is a lot cheaper?” That is a good question, but one Accordance can easily answer in one word: flexibility.

A Close Look a OakTree’s Accordance, Part II: Advanced Bible Study

By Timothy R. Butler | Jun 09, 2009 at 3:12 AM

In the first part of our Accordance review, I looked at Accordance from the perspective of a user looking to do basic Bible study. Here at OFB Labs we found that it passed that test with flying colors and recommended the $99 Introductory Library package as an excellent choice. But, what if you are a pastor, scholar or other in-depth student of Scripture looking for something a bit more powerful? Is Accordance right for you as well?

A Close Look at OakTree’s Accordance, Part I: Basic Bible Study

By Timothy R. Butler | May 26, 2009 at 6:14 PM

Bible software is a funny category of software. It is the type of software that for many users is not exactly an obvious purchase. The Bible – even in modern translations – can be easily read online for free. Why would someone buy a program like Accordance in a world where the same content can be had for free? Is it worth paying for a Bible program if all one wants to do is participate in a Bible study or do a little personal Scripture meditation?

Shoot Off Some Virtual FireworX

By Timothy R. Butler | Jul 02, 2005 at 3:29 PM

This time last year, we inaugurated the Tim's Gadgets column by looking at Skyrocket Software's excellent Digital FireworX (review) screen saver and stand alone application. Digital FireworX was and is an impressive screensaver that displays the largest collection of simulated fireworks I have encountered anywhere. But, what if it could get even better?

Sim-Fireworks: A Treat For The Fourth

By Timothy R. Butler | Jul 01, 2004 at 7:08 PM

Everyone loves fireworks, right? Well, at least most everyone does. If money and a safe place were not considerations and you were free to produce the show of your dreams, what kind of show would you produce? Would you want to plan it down to the minute details or would you prefer just to select the varieties of fireworks? This fourth of July, what if you could do all of that — on your Macintosh computer? Read on to find out how.