I own an Amazon echo and love it mostly but do have a couple things I wish they would implement:

  • Slow Voice Pickup: some people have speech impairments that would call for this.  Others like me talk too slow when we’re trying to enunciate.  Obviously this would have to be an option because making it detect slow speech would make it less quick.
  • Reprise Resume:  when listening to spoken audio content it becomes muted after the Hey Alexa call and all while you’re talking to it.  It would be nice if there was a way to resume the content at a second before you made the Hey Alexa call.  I haven’t used Audible so this may already be a thing on there but it would be nice if there was an option to make it work like this in Bluetooth mode (though I’m not sure if Bluetooth control gives you the ability to scrub what you’re playing).
  • More album navigation commands: for example if you wanted to go four tracks ahead you could say “Forward 4” or something like that and a play from the beginning command.

After searching for hours trying to figure out why the WordPress WYSIWYG code editor TinyMCE kept changing my PHP code I came upon a thread that was a somewhat helpful.   Basically it let me set TinyMCE’s configuration in the WordPress theme which is great for all kinds of things, like if you want more HTML tags in your posts.

What I needed to do however was get TinyMCE to not touch my code when it was inside PHP code or the insert_php shortcode.  To do that I had to modify the protect option in TinyMCE.  Then I had to create a JavaScript regular expression to exempt certain blocks of code from TinyMCE’s parser.  Below is the code I came up with, just add it in the functions.php section of your WordPress theme:

function schema_TinyMCE_init($in)
// more things modifying TinyMCE can go here

// for PHP tag and insert_php shortcode (JavaScript regular expressions)
$in['protect'] = "[
return $in;
add_filter('tiny_mce_before_init', 'schema_TinyMCE_init' );

It’s got room for improvement, the line breaks don’t always line up correctly.  For the <?php one for some reason you need to put an > on the first line.  So for example the opening line of code would be  <?php  //>   after doing this the editor doesn’t touch the line breaks.

With the knowledge of JavaScript regular expressions you could do things to exempt all kinds of code, not just PHP.

This was tested on WordPress 4.5.3, your mileage may vary for versions further from this.

I just created a plugin based on this you can access here.  Please note that you cannot use the plugin and this fix at the same time.

Your iPhone or iPad will become a lot less useful when they don’t get the latest version of iOS.  This is because a lot of times apps have minimum iOS requirements for their new versions.  So for example my 2010 vintage 4th generation iPod Touch can’t get the latest Skype app because it requires iOS 8 and I can’t upgrade it past iOS 6.  The biggest upgrades subsequent iOS devices are getting is the (often) doubling of their RAM.  For example the 4th generation iPod touch had 256 MB of RAM where the 5th generation one had 512 MB.  Similar RAM upgrades are present in the iPhone and iPad line as well.

Newer versions of iOS often require more RAM and this means that some old devices (particularly when RAM has doubled twice after two cycles) will be dropped off.  So if you are planning on buying an iOS device, my advice would be look at how much RAM it has relative to the other iOS devices on the market.  For example, the iPad Air 2 has 2 GB of RAM verses the iPad Air’s 1 GB so I’d say the iPad Air is much more future proof.  Same with the iPhone 6s which has twice as much RAM as the 6.