I’m leaving Google.
Oh, not completely. I’ll still use Google for searches and maps. I’m not crazy.
But I’m extricating myself from the Google walled garden as much as possible.
It’s about simplicity.
Some people have privacy concerns about Google, which collects more information about us than any other single data collector on the planet. Google has smart people working very hard to mine that data and use the conclusions to present ever more targeted advertising. That doesn’t worry me very much. My life is simple and open. Targeted ads aren’t creepy. In my view, since we’re going to be shown targeted ads anyway, it would only be a good thing if they were better – targeted more precisely based on better data. […] continued
Google Street View is one of the wonders of the world. I know you normally would never use your computer to kill time browsing the Internet but really, you should spend an hour looking around the world to discover what the Google Street View team is doing.
Google Street View is the feature of Google Maps that gives you a street-level 360-degree view driving up and down roads all over the world. When you drag the little man from the upper left on Google Maps, roads that have been photographed turn blue. Drop the man onto one of the roads and the display shifts to the panoramic photos. […] continued
Google has achieved a rare distinction: it has now launched not one but two of the strangest, most pointless products in the long history of stupid tech products.
Last year Google introduced the Nexus Q, an orb-shaped streaming media player designed for living rooms. It had an unbelievably small set of features that did not match anyone’s habits in the real world, combined for some reason with a high price tag that made it bizarrely unappealing in almost every way. The reaction was so vicious that Google shipped almost none of the odd balls. Within three months it was listed as “out of stock” in the Google store; Google gave up that fiction and declared it “no longer available for sale” a few months later. […] continued
You can type web searches into the address bar of your browser and get the same results as if you had typed them directly into Google.
This is an old trick but it’s not well known – and it’s incredibly useful. I type search terms into my browser all day, without the extra clicks that would be necessary to go to www.google.com. (Or www.bing.com or one of the others, but really it’s Google searches we’re talking about, right?)
The address bar is at the very top of the browser, where the web address of the current page appears. In Internet Explorer, it looks like this. […] continued
Previously: Clash Of The Titans: The War Of The Ecosystems
Google did something evil.
It will get undone shortly, but the fact remains that Google directly attacked a group of consumers for no reason except to gain a competitive advantage by making their life more miserable.
Sometime last week, the Google Maps web site became inaccessible from Windows phones. If I browse to http://maps.google.com on my HTC 8X phone this morning, I am redirected to the main Google web page – no warning, no explanation.
It was the result of a deliberate change by Google specifically directed to Windows Phones. Google attempted to deny access to a web site for anyone using a device that Google disapproved of. […] continued
If you have a new Android phone running the latest version of Android (“Jelly Bean,” Android versions 4.1 or 4.2), you can turn on Google Now, one of the most interesting and forward-looking smartphone apps available on any platform.
I don’t have a Jelly Bean phone, so I’m relying on news reports, blogs, and comments by knowledgeable tech journalists. My impression is that Google Now is useful but still limited and unpolished. That’s okay. You can still learn quite a lot from it about how companies hope to keep you in their ecosystems and what data mining might do for you in the future. […] continued
Season’s greetings! I hope you all get lovely new technology for the holidays and have a wonderful time poking and clicking and pinching and zooming!
I’ve been looking ahead to 2013, trying to guess what will fill our time in the technology world next year. Here are some of the things that are coming, in no particular order.
War has broken out.
Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon have been building walled gardens, ecosystems of services that work best if you have multiple devices on the same platform. Example: once you buy an iPad, it is far more likely that your next phone will be an iPhone, because you’ve become familiar with how iOS works, and because the Apple ecosystem will make the two devices work together.
The walls around the garden have mostly been used to keep you inside, buying more devices on the platform where you started. […] continued
Gmail was down today for most users for at least an hour, with Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Play and some other Google services remaining down for another hour or more. A side effect: attempts to access Google services during the outage was causing Google Chrome to crash.
Microsoft Office 365 mailboxes went down for five hours on November 13, following a brief period the previous week when mail delivery was slow.
Let’s catch our breath for a minute and do a quick recap of where things stand as we head into November.
Windows 8 is becoming available, at least as an option, on new computers from the major manufacturers. At the moment everything is in transition, so you might run into something like the order page this morning for a Dell Inspiron 14z Ultrabook, which says in boldface “Dell Recommends Window Pro 8” and then does not offer Windows 8 as an option. (You’ll be able to upgrade new Windows 7 computers to Windows 8 cheaply or for free, if you choose.)
Desktop computers have not changed dramatically but the selection of notebook computers is overwhelming and different than you’ve seen before. […] continued