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.
Dropbox is a free program from dropbox.com, and probably the most popular way to store and/or share large files; they let you store up to two gigabytes for free. But Gmail now lets you insert an attachment up to 10 gigabytes. That’s 400 times larger than Gmail’s previous limit for attachments. It will prompt you to store it in Google Drive. To see all you’ve stored, from the Gmail window, click “Drive.”
We remember when Apple gave free computers to teachers. Now Google offering laptops, called “Chromebooks.” The laptops aren’t free, but at $99 they’re a steal. Unfortunately, every single laptop available has already been requested. But you can go to this page on donorschoose.org to be notified of the next round.
Our favorite device so far this year is the Chromebook, a laptop that is neither Windows nor Mac but uses the Google Chrome operating system. It’s light, it’s fast, it’s half the price of an iPad, and people will know you are on the cutting edge. We mean, if they ask. Samsung and Acer just came out with new versions.
According to IEEE (the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers), the majority of cars will be driverless by 2040. (California just recently approved their use on freeways.) Google’s chief executive, Sergey Brin, says Google will make driverless cars a reality for ordinary people in less than five years
GoogleEarthAnomalies.com lets you do field archeology from your desk. Researcher Angela Micol found four mounds that may be lost pyramids in Egypt. (You know: things get covered up if you don’t dust regularly.) One of them is 620 feet across, about three times the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Samsung’s new $329 “Chromebox” is the first desktop computer to run the new Google Chrome operating system (Chrome OS). We think it and the “Chromebook” laptop could be the wave of the future – which in this business means the next year or so.