Google: Everything from Cradle to Grave?


As most people who know me know, I don't own a smart nor feature cell phone. I do have some "mobile" devices in the family though including two B and N Nook HD+ tablets (one running stock B and N firmware and the other CyanogenMod), a Amazon Kindle Fire HD, and a 1st gen iPad. Just so you know, the iPad was given to my younger son as a gift by a friend of ours who bought a newer iPad.

Some might also know that I'm not a big fan of Google. When they were just starting out and were an underdog, sure... they were great... but the years have passed and now Google is the king of so many things... and they are first an advertising company... because that's where about 80% of their revenue comes from... and they are gathering so much information in so many different areas about so many people... I just find it scary. That isn't to say that I'm paranoid or am a privacy freak. To the contrary... hey I have my address, phone number and email address in the footer of every page on this here website, right? Anyway, I was on Google+ for a while but decided to delete my account... and have been trying to ween myself from as much Google as possible. I use Duck Duck Go for my searches, I avoid using Google online services... but yes I do have a gmail account (I don't use much). I have a YouTube account and as a result a Google+ profile was created for me but I don't use it... although I do occasionally get "notifications" from people who want to add me to a circle or something... ARGH! I do use Google Voice to talk to my parents long distance on my land line.

Anyway... while I'm not that big of a Google fan, I do try to keep up on what they are doing. I would feel more comfortable if Google was broken up into a handful of independent companies... rather than them doing everything. As you probably know, Google has an annual developer conference called Google I/O and this year it was last week and lasted two days. There was a lot of stuff covered but who really has about 3 hours to watch the keynote? Here's a good summary video for those who want the core distilled for them. For some reason the video omits the virtual reality stuff and Google Cardboard... but I'm sure there will be more on that later.

I guess it is now later because here is a video showing some Google Cardboard V/R info.

But wait, there's more. Isn't there always more? Here's a video that does a good job showing Google Wear.


Playing with a budget 7" Android Tablet


Nextbook 2Nextbook 2I'm visiting my parents in the city of my youth... and it just so happens that my mother has a 7" Android tablet. She has had it for a while but hasn't used it. It was given to her by my younger brother. My mother is 74 and as you would expect, not very good with technology... so she has asked me to figure out how to use it and to write her up some instructions. Ok, I'll give it a try.

To some degree, I too have been written off by the current generation as too old and set in my ways. In August I'll be turning 48 and I have to admit, and as anyone who knows me can attest, I have been somewhat unfriendly to much of the newer technology in the last few years. Should this really be a surprise? I mean, I use Linux, right? I don't have a smart phone... I don't regularly carry a cell phone... and I'm not fond of tablet computing. I have written a little bit about tablets in the past and to me they are primarily freedom restrictive devices.

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