Google

Put A Google Home Hub On Your Xmas List

Google Home Hub - the best 2018 home assistant

The Google Home Hub is my favorite home assistant. Put it on your Xmas list, or sneak one under the tree for yourself. If your pictures are stored in Google Photos, then the Google Home Hub is worth the investment just because it is the best photo frame ever. But Google Home Hub stands out for everything else it does, too, so it’s highly recommended unless you are already so deep in the Amazon Echo ecosystem that it doesn’t make sense to switch. […] continued

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Google Knows So Much About You That It’s Creepy, But It Might Not Be An Invasion Of Privacy

Google is creepy but it might not be invading your privacy

The term “invasion of privacy” is distracting us from understanding important issues.

Invasion of privacy is frequently thrown around as a core issue where consumers need protection against tech companies. Apple has made it the cornerstone of its marketing.

The European Union has enacted strict privacy laws for websites that obtain any kind of identifiable information about users. […] continued

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The End Of New Product Announcements

New! Improved! Product announcements are starting to go unnoticed

In the last two months, there have been major announcements of new products by every computer and phone manufacturer on the planet. You don’t know about any of them, do you?

On September 12, Apple put on its annual presentation of new iPhones for hundreds of tech journalists, with the same showmanship that it has relied on since the days when Steve Jobs would take the stage in his black turtleneck and wow the faithful. […] continued

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Something You Know, Something You Have: Better Security With Two Factor Authentication

Extra security with two factor authentication

Two factor authentication adds an extra step to the process of logging into your accounts.

It’s inconvenient.

It makes you safer.

Until recently two factor authentication was only used by techies and high value targets in government and enterprises. The world has gotten more dangerous and two factor authentication has become easier to use. […] continued

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Saving Passwords In Google Chrome Is Better Than Nothing (And That’s A Good Thing!)

Google Chrome password manager

Google has improved the password management built into the Chrome browser. It’s . . . okay! Not bad! Better than nothing, absolutely. Saving passwords in Chrome is easy and kind of secure, as long as you take a couple of precautions that we’ll talk about below.

First, to be clear: everyone should use LastPass or another full-fledged password manager. […] continued

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Security Alert: Chrome Extensions And Notifications Are Being Used For Adware

A new adware assault using Chrome extensions and notifications

Adware has started to turn up again, using Chrome extensions and notifications as a way to display annoying ads and muck up the time we spend on our computers and phones – as if we didn’t have enough to worry about.

In the old days, we installed adware on our Windows computers when we clicked “yes” on the wrong website popup or as unwanted companions to “free” programs. […] continued

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The Samsung Ecosystem: When Technology Is Driven By Jealousy

Samsung ecosystem - no points for originality

Samsung is a global electronics company with hundreds of thousands of employees. It is the world’s largest information technology company, consumer electronics maker and chipmaker by revenue. Samsung sells more smartphones than any other manufacturer by a large margin.

(You think Apple is number two in smartphone sales, and you’re a bit surprised it’s not number one, right? […] continued

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The Microsoft Ecosystem: Evolution And Extinction

Microsoft ecosystem - dead as a dodo for consumers

Microsoft does not have an ecosystem for consumers or small businesses in 2018. There is very little synergy between Microsoft products and almost nothing locks us into Microsoft products when we move from one category to another.

It makes old-timers sad to think of the past, because Microsoft had a successful ecosystem for decades. […] continued

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The Google Ecosystem: You Will Be Assimilated

The Google ecosystem: you will be assimilated

Google is an advertising company. Its incentives are all tied to maximizing engagement with places where you will see ads served up by Google’s ad network. But that has more depth than you realize, driven by Google’s desire to have those ads be more effective and tailored to you than anyone else’s ads, combined with a strong ethical culture and the sheer joy of technology. […] continued

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The Amazon Ecosystem: The Company That Wants To Sell Everything To Everyone

Amazon - the company that wants to sell everything to everyone

Amazon seeks to be the middleman in every financial transaction on the planet. Its incentives are all tied to making customers happy in every context where Amazon can take a small fee as money moves from one place to another.

Since the beginning, Amazon’s mission statement has been: “Our vision is to be Earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.” In the most recent SEC filings, however, that is shortened; now it refers only to “Earth’s most customer-centric company,” without restricting it to sales from the Amazon website. […] continued

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The Apple Ecosystem: Life Behind The Greatest Wall

The Apple Ecosystem - life behind the greatest wall

Apple is a company that sells premium smartphones with very high profit margins. Its incentives are all tied to profits from selling iPhones.

The other products, the iPads and Macs and the rest, are all swell businesses that generate lovely profits. They help reward Apple faithful and lock in users. Make no mistake, though: in 2018, Apple’s single-minded goal is to increase iPhone sales. […] continued

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All Your Loyalties Are Belong To Us: How Technology Companies Lure Us Into Walled Gardens

Technology companies and walled gardens

Five giant technology companies have set up walled gardens full of shiny devices and enticing services. All of us live in their gardens. We’re not completely locked in. We move from one walled garden to another, but each company hopes to keep you within its garden by making its services and devices work better if you stay in its embrace. […] continued

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Talk To Your Computer: Speech Recognition In Windows 10 And Office

Speech recognition in Windows 10 & Office

Microsoft has quietly improved the speech recognition features in Windows 10 and in the Office programs. They’re still not great but you might want to give them a try if you haven’t talked to your computer in a while.

One fundamental truth has not changed: If you are serious about dictating on a computer, there is no alternative to the Dragon Naturally Speaking products.  […] continued

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The Definitive Answer To Which Is Better: An Amazon Echo Or A Google Home

Amazon Echo vs Google Home

The definitive answer to which is better, Amazon Echo or Google Home? Yeah, that’s not going to happen. Forget about it. Just a stupid clickbait headline so this article goes viral and I get a gazillion tweets and Facebook likes and LinkedIn bites or whatever they do over at LinkedIn.

After a couple of years of blanket advertising, you know about Amazon Echo and Google Home devices, right? […] continued

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How To Use Google Maps In Outlook

Google Maps vs Bing Maps & Apple Maps

Here’s a tip for a few select people. Wonderful people. The best people. My people. All of you who use the desktop version of Outlook.

You also use Google Maps, because everyone uses Google Maps. That’s obvious, right? It has become so valuable, so rich, so far ahead of the competitors, that you are doing yourself a disservice if you use anything else. […] continued

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