Google

Should Google Be Limited In HOW They Evolve Search?

I have been thinking quite a bit about HOW to address all of the ‘stuff’ flying around about Google, Google +, ‘search your world’, Twitter, Facebook, and a partridge in a pear tree … because in some ways things seem very clear but in other ways not. So what I decided was to drop a couple of ideas and then open it up for everyone to discuss. First off, let us start with the baseline assumptions. First: Google has a monopoly in search. Second: Google’s search monopoly is a ‘natural’ monopoly. (more in a minute) Third: Google sees search as…


Android in 2011: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times

You would think that with close to 50% of the smartphone world now using an Android phone, looking back at 2011 would be a uniformly positive experience. Yet it is not – in fact, it is easier for me to draw up a list of very negative things than an equally list of positives. Of course, some will say ‘that is because you hate Google and Samsung and Android and never say anything nice about them’. Am I critical? Certainly … but I believe I am just pointing out things too many folks gloss over – ironically the same folks…


Amazon Reminds Google … ‘Um, We OWN This Whole Mega-Deal Thing’ …

I should have known better than to rush into buying music on Google. As I say repeatedly, they have the absolute worst music service bar none. Yet that old siren song of ‘great music, low prices’ lulled me into not checking Amazon. BIG MISTAKE. On Google I got the music, can play it on my PC or Android phone, and download it one … track … at … a … time. And THEN manually import it into iTunes. And THEN fix the FUBAR MP3 info and tags, because Google can’t even manage that 2002 level of technology. Had I gone…


Samsung Hits Another Advertising Home Run with Google Nexus Commercial

I had already written about just how great the Samsung Galaxy S II commercial was a couple of months ago, but at the time Apple and Samsung were in the midst of the ‘copy me, copy you’ spectacle and so I wrapped it around a tongue-in-cheek accusation of copying. Certainly Samsung has learned that the macho specmanship approach of Motorola has a very narrow appeal, which shows very well in this new ad as well. The upcoming Nexus has gotten some very positive early looks, and should be a big success for Samsung and give a great look at the…


So … How Do YOU Feel About the New Google Reader (& GMail) Design?

Over the last couple of days, Google has released updates for Google Reader and GMail. Each has a new UI, and has further integration of Google +, as well as the removal of Buzz. In the case of GMail, it is mostly about a visual overhaul, as noted on the Google Blog here are the main features: – Streamlined conversations – Elastic density – New HD themes – Smarter navigation – Better search In the case of Google Reader the changes are two-fold: the removal of ‘Share’, and a visual overhaul. To say that the reaction to removing ‘Share’ was…


Lessons Learned from a Week of Road Tripping

Sarah and I have had a busy summer, but the big finale was definitely this past week. We started out Labor Day weekend, where we headed to Virginia, before returning to New Jersey for a day and then heading to Maine for a friend’s wedding. Lots of travel, lots of packing, lots of gear. What did we learn? Read on to see our hard-earned lessons and tips! Technology: Let’s start with travel gear. I opted to travel light to VA since we were driving to Richmond, then Virginia Beach for a race, then back to Richmond and then finally home….


Rant: Google + Updated to Support iPod Touch, but PLEASE Don’t Tell Me It Has ‘iPad Support’ … It Doesn’t!

Yesterday the Google + iOS app was updated, with the following changes noted: – Huddle settings – Aggregated circle add notifications – iPod touch & iPad support – Performance and stability improvements So … they are claiming iPad ‘support’? What does that actually mean, anyway? That it will install and be a minimally functional app that looks and performs terribly? Well, if that is the case, I guess they are correct. When I think of ‘support’ I look to the iPod Touch version, which looks like this: These are the identical screenshots, yet offer VERY different user experiences. The iPad…


Gear Diary Video Round-Up

  Last week saw us post a larger number of videos than ever. In them we took a first look at the AT&T Status phone running Android 3.2.2, Carly talked to us about the benefits of Chromebooks and why they might be a great choice for you and we launched not one but two contest/giveaways. Missed any of them? Well we’ve gather all of them together along with links to each post… Gear Talk: iPad 2 Case Roundup  Read It! Judie’s Orbino Padova for iPad 2 Has Arrived: Here’s a First Look  Read It! Gear Giveaway: Judie Attended Intel’s Upgrade…


Quick Google Tip — Multiple Account Sign-in

Several months ago, Gear Diary’s email switched to Google Apps. As a result, I learned about a pretty neat Google trick — multiple account sign-in. Effectively, it lets me be logged in at my primary email address on one tab and have my Gear Diary email opened and signed in on a separate tab. Helpful, but not earth-shattering. However, in the last few weeks, I’ve had two different people flip out with excitement when I taught them this trick, mainly because their schools and businesses have switched to Google Apps. Both of them thought they were stuck signing in and…


A Gear Diary Quick Tour of Chromebook

It is easy to forget in the flood of Android tablets that Google has another operating system in their quiver-Chrome OS. It has been maligned as “too late” and dismissed as just another netbook option, but it is so much more. If your primary work is in the cloud, especially Google services, and you’re looking for a fast computing option with great battery life, hold off on that tablet purchase. First, watch my quick Chrome OS overview video, then consider this: for $499 you can have a Chromebook with WiFi and 3G. Plus Verizon and Google will throw in MB…


Google Takes First Steps Towards Attacking Amazon

Looks like Google Books is taking some tentative steps towards being more than just a hobby. The folks at Google have fired a shot across the bow of Amazon, B&N, and Kobo by partnering with iRiver to offer an ebook reader with integrated Google Books access. According to the Google Blog: We built the Google eBooks platform to be open to all publishers, retailers and manufacturers. Manufacturers like iRiver can use Google Books APIs and services to connect their devices to the full Google eBooks catalog for out-of-the-box access to a complete ebookstore. You can also store your personal ebooks…


Google Maps’ Unfortunate Mistake

Google Maps is not infallible. It’s been known to give wonky directions, as Sarah and I learned on Sunday when Google Maps mistakenly thought McCarren Park in Brooklyn was in Manhattan. Luckily we caught the mistake before we got completely lost. However, that’s nothing compared to the Google Maps fail for one NJ neighborhood, where they’ve mistakenly indicated the state park entrance is someone’s driveway. According to NJ.com: Since 1987, Gneiding and her husband Michael Brady have lived in one of three log homes found at the end of a quarter-mile long driveway in Clinton Township. The homes back Round…


Google Needs a “Parents” Button

  My parents are reasonably technologically competent. They’re not big geeks, but my dad has an iPhone and my mom has both a Blackberry and an iPad, so they generally are self-sufficient when it comes to computers. However, what should have been a simple installation of Google Earth on their aging Dell set off a chain of unexpected consequences, all because they’ve been conditioned to trust Google and not question instructions. Apparently, when you install Google Earth on a Windows PC, Google asks to install Chrome as well. No biggie, except that in her “just click-through because Google said it…


Google’s Brilliant Tribute to Les Paul, Instrumental Inventor

Mitchell Oke left me a message asking if I had seen Google yet this morning. Of course, he left it last night, since he is hours ahead of me in Australia. I took a look, and he is correct … it’s brilliant. From the Google Blog: The electric guitar brings back memories for me of exchanging riffs with friends and wearing out cassette tapes as I meticulously learned songs. Today, we’re attempting to recreate that experience with a doodle celebrating the birthday of musician and inventor Les Paul. For the next 24 hours on the Google homepage, you’ll find an…


Chromebooks Market Niche Still Mystifies

I’m not sure I understand the Chromebook pricing model. Acer is introducing an 11.6″ Chromebook [Ars Technica] in June, with wifi-only for $350. Samsung’s 12″ model will come with 3G wireless in addition to wifi, and cost $500. I could buy a Gateway dual-core Windows 7 11.6″ netbook today for $330 [Amazon]. The Gateway has 160 GB of hard drive space; the Chromebooks are limited to a much smaller amount of SSD space (16 GB). So, where’s the market for a notebook computer which costs as much as (or more than) a notebook with a known OS? Don’t get me…


Google’s Chrome Ad Is a Tear-Jerker

Ok, maybe it’s just me (and Sarah!) We’re tired, it was a long, exhausting weekend. We were watching TV when the new Google Chrome commercial came on. In seconds we were both a bit teary-eyed. It was sweet. It was dorky. It was really, really brilliant. Yes, instead of taking the obvious path and focusing on specific Google services such as Gmail, it showcases the way memories can be saved. Its message, ” This isn’t about Google Chrome it is about you, your life and the stuff that matters!”


Google’s Reaction to Android Exploits; Conspiracy Theory or Keeping Us Safe?

Original image courtesy of KnowYourCell If you were following mobile news over the weekend you probably saw some reports about Google remote killing some malicious apps that found their way to the market. While most were simply noting this because you may have been one of those affected users , others took some pretty hard jabs at Google for using an exploit of their own to remote into your phone and kill the apps. While this is not far off base, I think some people are taking it to an unnecessary level of conspiracy theory like ideas that Google is…


Google Email Bombs My Inbox

I woke up this morning and had 80 emails. My first thought was that my email had been hacked, because why else would I have 80+ emails over the course of 8 hours??? Then I started reading them, and realized someone at Google “helpfully” opened the floodgates on a Chrome OS beta tester Google Group. The craziest part is that not everyone receiving the emails has a CR-48 netbook. So in addition to 40 emails saying “how do I unsubscribe/why am I getting spammed” and another 20 explaining how to change subscription options in Google Groups, there were a handful…


#1 Reason the Motorola Xoom WILL Fail (But Shouldn’t)

Everyone seems to be freaking out about the recently revealed pricing for the upcoming Motorola XOOM tablet. On the surface that seems silly: the XOOM has a dual-core processor, a 1280×720 10.2 inch touch screen, two cameras (a 5MP rear camera with flash and a 2MP ‘webcam’), as well as the latest Android 3.0 operating system. On paper it seems like the XOOM completely blows away the iPad, but as we have learned with the fictitious Samsung Tab sales numbers, having better specs means little. An article at eWeek lists 10 reasons why the XOOM is overpriced, but there was…


GD Quickie: It’s Getting to be THAT Time of Year

I keep professional contacts with loads of folks in different industries all over the country, and after a couple of years of them being divided between ‘I’m happy to still have a job’ and ‘oh crap, I no longer have a job’ … this is the first year folks are starting to discuss raises. Having talked to several people in the last few weeks I have found a few basic themes: there are ~1% companies like Google who are saying ‘we had a great year – here, have some money’. Then there are the companies that are still struggling –…


GD Quickie: Can You Guess Who Is Buying Google’s Priorities?

When I first heard that Google wasn’t going to auto-complete searches for Bit-torrents and other file sharing methods I was pleased. But then it became clear that it was less a matter of taking an anti-piracy stance, and more about satisfying the corporate interests of those who feed Google loads of cash. So this image was very telling – and it also shows where the priorities are at Google … if you have the cash, you get to set the moral compass. Source: Techi via Buzzfeed