Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

Google Tag Archive

271

March 6, 2015 • News

Microsoft and Google Need Couples Counseling

If I had to break down my online presence by companies, I’d say I’m split between Microsoft and Google. Microsoft Onedrive is my main backup, and OneNote is just awesome, while Google handles my email, calendar and contacts. My jump from Windows Phone to Android was easy, but as Clinton Fitch points out, it’s because …

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February 24, 2015 • How to Do It Yourself!

In an Emergency, Use Siri to Call Poison Control!

Siri (or Cortana, or Ok Google) often get dismissed as gimmicks, or something you use for driving or otherwise using your phone hands free. My wife Sarah, however, can attest to a situation where Siri was an absolute hero for our family — Sarah used Siri to call Poison Control during an emergency!

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February 10, 2015 • News

Why I Don’t Use Dropbox

When I first started storing backups of photos and key files online, I signed up for Dropbox and free 2GB of storage. It became quickly apparent that was far too small, but I was too cheap to pay $100 to jump to the next level. Instead, I started using Microsoft Skydrive, now OneDrive; as of …

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January 16, 2015 • Reviews

A MacBook/iPad User’s Take on the Toshiba Chromebook 2

This post about the Toshiba Chromebook 2 has been a long time coming. It isn’t because I don’t like the machine. I do. Rather, it has taken time because I tried to see how it might fit into my workflow. I’ve come away from the experience impressed by what Google and Toshiba have done. Still, …

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October 15, 2014 • Editorials

Google Announces Nexus 6 – Too Big? Too Expensive?

Google today announced their widely anticipated Nexus 6 Android flagship smartphone. They  unveiled two additional devices – one a Nexus 9 – a 8.9″ IPS screened tablet sporting 8MP rear camera, 1.6MP front camera. The other a Nexus Player featuring apps, games and more for your TV. Both the tablet and smartphone will run the latest version …

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July 15, 2014 • News

Google’s Floundering Social Network Rescinds Real Name Policy

Google’s swing at a social network – Google+ – has just made a big about-face in their much despised real name policy. When the network went live in June 2011 there was a major struggle with users wanting to choose whatever name they wanted and Google insisting on real names only.

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July 15, 2014 • How to Do It Yourself!

Ingress for iOS Released: 10 Things New Players Should Know

Google’s popular multi-player online game Ingress was finally released this weekend for iOS. The game began as a beta on November 15, 2012, and until now it had been limited to Android smartphones. Ingress is basically an electronic game of capture the flag (aka portals)  between two sides (aka factions) – Enlightened (green) and Resistance (blue).

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May 12, 2014 • News

Google Hangouts Finally Offers Muting for Incoming Voice Calls

I love Google Hangouts. I think Hangouts is the best free group messaging service I’ll never convince most of my family and friends to use. Until today I had one major problem with Google Hangouts when used inside Gmail; because I also use Google Voice, every incoming call would ring in my Gmail Hangouts. A new …

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319

May 4, 2014 • Editorials

I Just Filled Out a Google Glass Survey, And …

When the option to purchase the Google Glass Explorer Edition was made available to me, I jumped in with both feet — completely disregarding the fact that I was paying $1500 to be a beta tester of roughly $80 worth of electronics (as it turns out). Dan bought in, too, and then we both decided Glass wasn’t for us.

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324

May 4, 2014 • News

Audrey Hepburn Is One Glamorous Google Doodle

Today, Audrey Hepburn would have been 85 years old; to commemorate, Google has released a doodle in her image. A gifted actress, international style icon, humanitarian, and one of the most beautiful women ever, Audrey’s life was cut short by appendiceal cancer at 63. What better way to celebrate her life than to do something kind for …

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April 12, 2014 • Editorials

Google Wallet – Could It Be About the Paperless Receipt?

I requested a Google Wallet card recently.  As you may know, this is Google’s second major push to get you to adopt their payment service which now operates both through a card and your Android phone. The first attempt focused heavily on paying by phone (aka tap-to-pay). That failed due to not enough capable terminals …

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369

March 13, 2014 • News

Storage Wars: Google Slashes Storage Prices to 50% of OneDrive and 75% of DropBox Costs

Google  announced  it has reduced pricing for supplemental storage for its Google Drive (As well as Gmail and Google+ Photos which both draw from the same storage bucket). Whereas the monthly fee for 100 GB used to be $4.99, the new price is $1.99/mo.

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288

February 8, 2014 • Gear Bits

Google+ Gets HDR Scape and Zoom Editing

Google’s ubiquitous social network Google+ gets a picture editing update which allows for adding high dynamic range (HDR) effects to a single image, with a single click. HDR Scape is currently available in the Snapseed apps for Android and iOS and today you can use it in Google+ by editing a photo and clicking HDR SCAPE …

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February 3, 2014 • Editorials

Has Google Voice Been Left for Dead?

An article this morning mentions a service which blocks annoying robocalls. These calls are mostly illegal and advertise dubious services. I regularly receive robocalls to create or enhance a web site that I could have done myself for free. Why hasn’t Google Voice implemented a solution blocking these? Is it because Google Voice is (all …

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January 30, 2014 • News

Lenovo Buys Motorola from Google for $2.91 Billion, Your Thoughts?

Today we got confirmation that Google sold its money-losing Motorola handset business for about $3 billion to Lenovo. Google bought Motorola for $12.5 billion a couple of years ago, then sold off the set-top box unit and now the handset division. With the sale Google retains many of the valuable Motorola patents it sought initially.

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January 26, 2014 • Rants and Raves

Google’s Achilles Heel: It’s All About the (Multiple) Accounts

If any company wants to go right for the jugular with Google, they should focus on the poor experience of using multiple Google accounts. Google has struggled since inception to get this right. Multiple accounts  kinda work — but only intermittently and awkwardly; add the desperate prompt to create a Google+ account for every email, …

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282

January 20, 2014 • Gear Bits

Here’s How Google Apps Users Enable Send and Receipt of Email via Google+

There’s been a lot of discussion about a recent decision to allow Google+ users to send Gmail directly to another Google+ user via their online profile. This new feature allows strangers to send a single email to any Google+ user (provided they have not disabled the option) without knowing that user’s email address.

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January 15, 2014 • Editorials

2013 Was The Year of the Chromebook – Did You Get One?

If someone suggested to me a year ago we would be looking back at data showing that more than 21% of laptops sold last year were Chromebooks … I would have laughed heartily in their face. I mean, to me these were pretty much netbooks that only run a browser. Yet that is the reality …

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December 10, 2013 • Gear Bits

GazerGlass Adds 1500mAh to Google Glass’s Puny Battery

One thing I love about my Google Glass is that it takes better hands-free video than anything else I’ve seen. One thing I dislike is that in under 40 minutes of shooting video, without some kind of external battery pack, Glass’s battery will die. For $50, GazerGlass adds a 1500 mAh battery to the skinnier Glass …

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December 10, 2013 • News

GPOP Makes Wearing Your Google Glass Even More of a Spectacle

When I ordered my Google Glass, I stuck with the relatively boring Charcoal (black), and I’ll admit that there have been times when I wish that I’d been a little bit more adventurous with my color choice. Now I have no regrets, because GPOP has $9.99 Glass skins that can make my spectacles appear as …

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312

November 25, 2013 • News

PhatPad has (Google) Drive

Gear Diary has written about PhatWare apps on a number of occasions, including here, here, here, and most recently, here. One of their best known products is PhatPad, a note-taking app that features handwriting recognition. I’ve used PhatWare products, including PhatPad, off and on for years. I’ve always been impressed with the quality of its handwriting recognition.

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