Our Danish niece loves her Google Chromecast, a $35 gizmo that can beam movies from your smartphone to your TV and opens the way to video services like Netflix. Unfortunately, the whole world has already written about it, so here’s something new from Apple TV.
Quite a few people seem upset over the possibility that their online activities are being tracked by the government. Yahoo acknowledges they have answered around 13,000 tracking requests from the feds in the last six months, and Facebook and Microsoft have similar numbers. Google’s “Chrome” browser has an “incognito mode,” but warns that you could be under “surveillance by secret agents.” (Can you imagine what a boring job that must be?) Mozilla Firefox has denounced government tracking and offers add-ons, such as “DoNotTrackMe,” to cover your embarrassing parts. In an upcoming release, they’ll block the most intrusive tracking cookies by default.
In case you’ve been wondering about the coming of “Google Glass,” let us clear the view. Google Glass is the latest in eyewear. Some call it “Google on your face.” So far the only users are a group of beta testers willing to pay $1500 for the privilege. We’re tempted to call this new product “Google Glasses,” but unlike a pair of glasses, there’s no glass, only a tiny viewer (very tiny) attached to one side of the frame. A small receiver (very small) attaches to the glasses frame and projects a display onto a tiny (still very tiny) screen in front of one eye. It not only displays incoming data, you can ask questions and send messages. Google Glass […]
We were surprised to see the photos we just took with our smartphone were immediately available on Google+, a social network much like Facebook. Google’s new “Instant Upload” saves your photos and videos in a private space on Google+. Click the “share” button in Google+ to make them available to anyone, or limit viewing to your friends. If you don’t already have Google+, you can get it at Plus.Google.com. Google+ lets you upload an unlimited number of photos in standard size (2048 pixels); at full resolution it limits you to five gigabytes of storage, which is free. Video storage is unlimited for videos of 15 minutes or less. The default for photos is full resolution, but you can change that […]
Joy lost her Samsung “Galaxy Relay” smart phone. She chose it initially because it has a tiny slide-out keyboard. But that proved awkward to use, so last night we faced the loss of the old phone and went out and bought a new Samsung Galaxy S3. Very nice.
Americans watch the most online videos but haven’t been buying Internet-connected TVs. According to NPD Display Search, only about 20 percent of TVs shipped in North America connect to the Internet. Ours doesn’t either, so we bought a Google box, which lets us watch PBS extras and plenty of other shows. It costs $150. If you feel like going big-time, LG sells an $1100 model that responds to voice commands: if you want the History Channel, you just say so.
We never liked the name “Hotmail,” Microsoft’s cloud-based email service. So we were glad when they recently changed the name to Outlook.com. Now Microsoft is reporting that a third of new users are ex-Gmail users. In a survey, Microsoft found that users like Outlook’s cleaner design, spam blocking, and the ease at which you can share photos and Office documents.