DoubleClicks.info About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

April 17, 2017

2017-17-20 Show Notes @ WSVA

Tech News

BIG news (April 3, 2017) as Android is NOW the world’s most popular operating system as it overtakes Windows

Android has now overtaken Windows to become the world’s most popular operating system, according to data from Statcounter. Looking at combined usage across desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone, Android usage hit 37.93%, narrowly edging out Windows’ 37.91%.

“This is a milestone in technology history and the end of an era,” commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. “It marks the end of Microsoft’s leadership worldwide of the OS market which it has held since the 1980s. It also represents a major breakthrough for Android which held just 2.4% of global internet usage share only five years ago.”

First, and more trivially, Statcounter only measures Internet-connected devices, which will exclude a small number of desktop PCs used for specialist tasks. Second, and more significantly, Windows still dominates PCs, both desktop and laptop, with an 84% share.


Congress just obliterated Obama-era rules preventing ISPs from selling your browsing history

Rules preventing internet providers from selling personal information, such as customer browsing histories, will be repealed, following a vote in the US House of Representatives this afternoon.

The Republican-led House voted 215-203 in favor of repealing the rules, implemented just a few months ago under the previous Obama administration.

The bill has been met with considerable controversy and anger from privacy and rights groups, for fear that internet providers, like Comcast and Verizon, would be able to gather and sell data about your browsing history to marketers and other companies, including information on where customers are, as well as information about customers, such as financial or health status, and what people shop and search for.


For internet privacy, a VPN won’t save you

…Congress voted to gut proposed internet privacy rules set out by the outgoing Obama administration that would have prevented your internet provider from selling your browser history to advertisers. President Donald Trump signed the bill a day after, making it law.


General Amazon Scams

Ron's personal Amazon scam
  • Know What Amazon Won’t Ask
  • Review for Grammatical or Typographical Errors
  • Check the Return Address
  • Check the Website Address
  • When in Doubt, Go Directly to the Amazon Website
  • Do not “Unsubscribe”
  • If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is
  • Report Spoofed E-mails to Amazon

The Tile App
Where did you leave your phone, wallet, keys, purse, etc.? The tile can help. You can add the small “tile” to most any item, then use your phone to track it with Bluetooth technology. Did you misplace your phone, no problem use one of the tiles to find your phone.

Prices start at around $25 and go up for the more you buy.

Click here to watch how it works.


Have a great month everyone! The podcast was not available this month, so hang in there for next month.

Thanks for reading.

Ron

March 20, 2017

2017-03-20 Show Notes @ WSVA

Welcome back for another month of the WSVA radio talk show!  I hope you enjoyed it if you were able to listen this morning at 9:00 am ET.  If not you can listen to the show here.

These are a couple of the major things we mentioned today.

Have at ‘em.

Tech News

March 20, 2016

5 Technologies That are Making Farms Smarter and More Efficient Than Ever Before

  • Wi-Fi-connected crops
    A modern farm typically has electronic sensors distributed throughout the field that can monitor for different conditions; in some cases the gadgets send data to an on-the-farm server or to the cloud
  • “Liveware” gene editing
    Gene/DNA edits can make some plants more resilient to climate change, consume less water and increase yields, etc.
  • Robot farmers
    The rapid pace of development in self-driving cars is also happening on the farm. Self-driving tractors and robots are becoming more common as a way to control payroll costs by automating time-consuming tasks done by humans. This doesn’t include even more harvesting which has been done mechanically for years.
  • Eyes in the sky
    Mapping technology (along with other uses) is a vital part of data-driven agriculture, and getting those maps is easier and more cost-effective than ever before thanks to the explosive growth in drone technology.
  • Wavelength management
    Urban and vertical indoor farming is becoming more popular, giving growers of specialty crops ways to produce year-round regardless of outdoor weather conditions. But one challenge has been helped by now being able to provide the ideal wavelengths of sunlight that optimize growth in cramped indoor spaces.

Surprising Number Of Americans Would Chop Off A Finger To Stay Online Ouch

Americans love the Internet. Some love it so much that they’d rather chop off a finger than stay offline forever, according to a new survey.

In March, 2016, researchers at AT&T asked over 2,000 Americans what they’d give up to stay connected, and people admitted that they’d part with some pretty essential things. Their answers, which are meant to be more fun than scientific, illustrate the extent to which the Internet has become a nearly indispensable feature of modern life.

A full third of respondents said they would sacrifice a digit. Another third said they’d ditch their sense of taste. More than 15 percent of the people surveyed said they’d forgo human interaction before ditching the Internet, and nearly 20 percent said they’d give up love.

Over half said they would allow a stranger to die if it meant holding onto their Internet connection. And a measly 35 percent said they would give up the Internet if doing so would allow them to cure cancer.


EU authorities demand changes from Facebook, Google, Twitter

Social media companies Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc and Twitter Inc will have to amend their terms of service for European users within a month or face the risk of fines, a European Commission official said on Friday.

Germany, the most populous EU state, said this week it planned a new law calling for social networks such as Facebook to remove slanderous or threatening online postings quickly or face fines of up to 50 million euros ($53 million).


That is all for today see you next month at 9:00 am on WSVA, April 17!

Ron

February 20, 2017

2017-02-20 Show Notes @ WSVA

Welcome back, do to holidays, job changing and a variety of other things I have not had the show for a couple of months.

But today you may relax, we are back. Listen in at WSVA’s podcast and enjoy the show now.

Enjoy!

Tech News

February 20, 2016

FORBES: Google’s Chrome Browser Crushes The Desktop Competition In 2016 and keeps crushingA seismic shift occurred in the way the world browses the web in 2016. Google’s Chrome browser supplanted Microsoft’s Internet Explorer as the world market-share leader in desktop browsers. That’s a genteel way of putting it. “Google crushed Microsoft as Chrome dominates the desktop browser field” gives a clearer picture of what happened.

The market share numbers reported in this article come from Net Applications’ Net Market Share Report which measures unique visitors from approximately 40,000 global websites. Net Applications weights their results using the CIA’s internet traffic by country data. This reduces distortions caused by differences in a country’s percentage of global internet use and the percentage of its users captured by the websites Net Applications monitors.

IE remained the global market share leader until it fell into a virtual tie with Chrome in March 2016 when IE held 39.1% and Chrome had 39.09% market share. After that it’s been all Chrome. IE began 2016 with a 43.82% share and ended the year with 20.84%. In January, Chrome held a 35.05% share and it rose to 56.43% in December. The pattern continued in January of this year with IE falling to 19.71% share and Chrome rising to 57.94%. Game over.

Edge usage grew in 2016 but not nearly enough to offset IE’s loss. Edge began the year with 3.07% share and ended it at 5.33%. Almost all of the people who abandoned IE moved to Chrome.


Google Search a Specific site
Search for specific words or phrases on only one site and any site you know the URL to. Just type in Google like this –
“potatoes” site:wsvaonline.com
– with the quotes.


See you next month on March 20, 2017. Listen up!

August 15, 2016

2016-08-15 Show Notes with WSVA

Filed under: WSVA Show Notes — Tags: , , , , , , — Ron @ 11:17 am

Welcome back to the site for the podcast and show notes from today’s show.

Tech News

OK, Google: 160 valuable voice commands for Android

Android has actually had a robust voice command system in place for ages — and the number of things it can do for you is expanding all the time.

In fact, Google may be preparing to unveil a newly rebranded and even more conversational version of its virtual assistant later this year, but you don’t have to wait to start making the most of your mobile device’s listening smarts.

  • Enable/disable [battery saver mode] (and other system features, such as mute)
  • Take a photo/selfie
  • Record a video
  • What time zone is [most any city] in?
  • Do I need an umbrella today?
  • Where’s the closest [bowling alley]? (or most any other business)
  • When’s the sunrise in [anywhere]?
  • Set a timer for [10 minutes]
  • Call [anyone in your Google address book], mobile/home/work
  • When is the sunset tonight?

Nintendo’s NES Classic Targets Gaming Geezers

Nintendo ..recently.. unveiled its latest gaming console: the NES Classic Edition, a mini replica of the original home console that can connect directly to a TV via an HDMI cable.

The system features 30 built-in games from the 8-bit era, including fan favorites such as Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Donkey Kong, PAC-MAN and Kirby’s Adventure.

“We wanted to give fans of all ages the opportunity to revisit Nintendo’s original system and rediscover why they fell in love with Nintendo in the first place,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America.

“The Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition is ideal for anyone who remembers playing the NES, or who wants to pass on those nostalgic memories to the next generation of gamers,” he added.

The system, which will be available this fall for US$59.99, will ship with a newly designed NES Classic Controller patterned after the original NES controller. It will include an HDMI cable and an AC adapter.


Historical Software
Did you have an old Atari game console or one of the many others from back in the day? Go to this site and play them again, just like when you were a kid.

This collection contains selected historically important software packages from the Internet Archive’s software archives. Through the use of in-browser emulators, it is possible to try out these items and experiment with using them, without the additional burdens of installing emulator software or tracking down the programs. Many of these software products were the first of their kind, or utilized features and approaches that have been copied or recreated on many programs since.


Ron’s Android App Recommendation
(This app can be found on Google Play from your Android phone,
tablet or viewed on your PC from the link below.)

Google Opinion Rewards

Answer quick surveys and earn Google Play credits with Google Opinion Rewards.

Getting started is easy. Download the app and answer basic questions about yourself. We’ll then send you surveys around once a week, although it may be more or less frequent. You’ll get a notification on your phone when a short and relevant survey is ready for you, and can receive up to $1.00 in Play credits for completing it. Questions can range from, “Which logo is best?” and “Which promotion is most compelling?” to “When do you plan on traveling next?”

Availalbe for Android devices only.


I hope you enjoyed this month’s show. Come back the third Monday of September to find out what is going on in Tech then!

Ron

July 18, 2016

2016-07-18 Show Notes with WSVA

Filed under: WSVA Show Notes — Tags: , , , , , , , — Ron @ 12:17 pm

Lots of talk today so check out the podcast if you missed it. Not many links but lots of information…and of course Jim kicks me around about my reading list (which I have to admit he was correct).

Tech News

Facebook cloning scam can steal your identity

If you’ve noticed people you thought were already your friends suddenly requesting to add you on Facebook, watch out: it could be a scam.

According to multiple reports, a roughly month-long fraud has plagued the social network and stolen vital personal information from users. It goes like this: a scammer re-creates someone’s Facebook profile using their default photo, other pictures and “about” section. Then that individual sends friend requests to the targeted person’s friends list.

By adding your new “friend,” you could instead be letting a stranger get access to your personal information.

Not only that, but the person can also pose as you by recreating your profile, and send messages to your friends and plan get-togethers or ask for money.

Some experts recommend thoroughly scanning a user’s profile before adding them as a friend. Also, making your friends list accessible to only other friends can limit a scammer’s access.

If you notice a request by the name of someone you’re already friends with, you can notify that friend that they’ve potentially been hacked.


Windows 10, It’s Now or Never

Microsoft says after July 30, 2016 Windows 10 will no longer be free. $119!


 

That is all for today, come back in August on the 15th and join in.

Ron

June 20, 2016

2016-06-20 Show Notes with WSVA

Filed under: WSVA Show Notes — Ron @ 11:08 am

Welcome back again this month and in case you missed it listen to the podcast at WSVA today.

Tech News

Ron’s Netflix Account Could Have Been Hacked?! Here is the email I got from Netflix…this one is real.
Dear Ron,

We have detected a suspicious sign-in to your Netflix account. Your Netflix account may have been compromised by a website or a service not associated with Netflix. Just to be safe and prevent any further unauthorized access of your account, we’ve reset your password.

Please visit the login page at https://www.netflix.com/LoginHelp or type www.netflix.com into your browser, click on "sign in", and then click "forgot your email or password." Follow the instructions to reset your password. You will need to use your new password to sign in to Netflix on your devices.

We recommend that you also change your password on any other websites where you may have used the same password. We also want to assure you that your payment information is secure and does not need to be changed. We have more recommendations for how to keep your Netflix account secure in our Help Center.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please visit the Help Center at https://help.netflix.com/help or call us at 1-866-579-7172.

-The Netflix Team


Crime Pays: Ransomware Bosses Make $90K Annually

If crime doesn’t pay, Russian ransomware bosses wouldn’t know it.

The average Russian ransomware boss makes US$90,000 a year — or 13 times the average income for citizens in the country who stick to the "straight and narrow," according to a recent Flashpoint study.

What does a ransomware honcho do for those rubles? Basically, the job calls for supporting and maintaining the malware.

"The software has to be constantly updated so that antivirus systems won’t recognize it as malware," explained Vitali Kremez, a cybercrime intelligence analyst with Flashpoint.

"It’s not a situation where you provide the malware and sit back on a couch waiting for your payments. You have to work on it on a daily basis," he told TechNewsWorld. "The boss controls the source code for the malware."


Australia tests mail delivery drones

If you needed any further proof that drones can be mail couriers, you just got it. Australia Post has successfully field-tested a drone system that would deliver small packages, particularly time-sensitive goods like medication. It was only a closed test this time around, but the move clears a path for trial deliveries to real customers later in the year — this isn’t just a preview of long-term plans, like you’ve seen with other services.


Woman slashes husband’s fingers

According to the police, when Chandra Prakash returned home from office around 11 p.m. on May 4, Sunitha was reportedly busy on her phone. When Chandra Prakash enquired about dinner plans, she asked him to order food from a restaurant, which enraged him, the police said.

An argument ensued and it became intense when Chandra Prakash checked Sunitha’s phone and allegedly found obscene messages being exchanged with her friends. While Sunitha went to the kitchen to avoid an argument, Chandra Prakash followed her and allegedly slapped her. Sunitha then took a kitchen knife and allegedly slashed three fingers of his right hand, the police said.


Australia tests mail delivery drones

If you needed any further proof that drones can be mail couriers, you just got it. Australia Post has successfully field-tested a drone system that would deliver small packages, particularly time-sensitive goods like medication. It was only a closed test this time around, but the move clears a path for trial deliveries to real customers later in the year — this isn’t just a preview of long-term plans, like you’ve seen with other services.


Overstock
"At Overstock.com, we strive to provide our customers with quality products at the best prices possible. All the while, we make all efforts to give them a level of service that they will never forget, making them want to come back for more."

Overstock initially sold surplus and returned merchandise on an online e-commerce marketplace, liquidating the inventories of at least 18 failed dot-com companies at below-wholesale prices. In recent years, it has expanded to sell new merchandise as well. —Wikipedia


MEH
Meh.com
Basically this site offers one item for sale every day for 24 hours only. They are usually deeply discounted but as always buyer beware. They make fun of their own site and other retail sites online. But some of the sales are excellent. — Ron (PS The following is from the MEH site.)

Two or three internets ago, a few of us opened a weird site selling one thing a day, a bit of a side project for our staid wholesale business. It grew and a community formed around it.

We’re the ones dumping this crap so don’t look at us. Maybe you feel like buying something, anything, will help your miserable existence. Who are we to judge?

We have plenty of ways to waste your time. There’s that story, our video, a poll, and a whole community spewing out all sorts of crap in our forum every day.


S7 vs 6S
Forbes says Samsung Galaxy S7 beats the iPhone 6S

Waterproof and much better photos are just two of the many comparisons.


Find Snail Malboxes
Find the closest mailbox to your location, by zip code or map when you need to drop off those one or two envelopes you still use.


Have a fantastic month and see you on July 18th!

Ron

May 16, 2016

2016-05-16 Show Notes with WSVA

Welcome back to today’s Show with WSVA, Jim Britt and me, Ron Doyle.  For those of you that missed it live, here is the podcast for your listening pleasure.

Here are a few of the things we talked about today.  More questions?  No worries contact me here.

Tech News

Microsoft is removing its nagging Windows 10 upgrade notifications soon“Details are still being finalized, but on July 29th the Get Windows 10 app that facilitates the easy upgrade to Windows 10 will be disabled and eventually removed from PCs worldwide. Just as it took time to ramp up and roll out the Get Windows 10 app, it will take time to ramp it down.”


10-year-old boy hacks Instagram and wins $10,000 rewardA 10-year-old hacker from Finland won $10,000 from Facebook after alerting the tech giant to a security flaw in its photo-sharing service, Instagram.

The boy, who lives in Helsinki and was identified only as Jani, found he could delete other people’s comments from Instagram using malicious code, according to Finnish newspaper, Iltalehti.

He alerted the service to this flaw and was paid $10,000 as a reward. Instagram said the vulnerability had been fixed.

Facebook operates a “bug bounty” program that rewards those who report vulnerabilities in its services, including Instagram. Facebook has rewarded more than $4.3 million to more than 800 people under the program since it launched in 2011.Jani plans to spend his money on a new bicycle and a football. According to Facebook’s own rules, he is too young to have an Instagram account, for which the recommended minimum age is 13.


Beverly Hills is creating its own fleet of self-driving carsPicture the streets of Beverly Hills and you probably imagine seas of ultra-luxurious cars piloted by celebrities or their chauffeurs. However, you may have to get used to a new sight in the future: hordes of vehicles with no drivers at all.

The city’s council has voted to produce a fleet of self-driving cars that would provide on-demand shuttle service around town. The system would lean on a city-wide fiber optic network, already in the design stages, to keep these driverless rides talking to the neighborhood and each other.

The first phase of the resolution would have Beverly Hills forming partnerships with autonomy-minded car brands like Google and Tesla, so this would be more of a collaboration than a from-scratch project.


Ron’s Android App Recommendation
(This app can be found on Google Play from your Android phone,
tablet or viewed on your PC from the link below.)
This is one of my all time favorite Google Apps, “Google Keep“.

Quickly capture what’s on your mind and get a reminder later at the right place or time. Speak a voice memo on the go and have it automatically transcribed. Grab a photo of a poster, receipt or document and easily organize or find it later in search. Google Keep makes it easy to capture a thought or list for yourself, and share it with friends and family.

Available everywhere.


 

Ron actually bought this online
Ipow Universal One Touch Installation CD Slot Smartphone Car Mount Holder Cradle

  • Stretchable clamp/bracket can hold up to 3.5 inch wide, rubber pad on clamp can protect your phone not damaged.
  • CD car mount is designed to fit vehicle’s cd slot.
  • Full 360 degree rotation with two ball joints and tilt it for multiple angles – Vertically or Horizontally. Allows you to find that perfect viewing angle with one hand.
  • Easy installation,no need tools to mount your Smartphones front and center in your car and play CD simultaneously.
  • The mount securely keeps your smartphone where you need it most without obstructing your view; Always keep it stay in place.

image

That is the show for now, please come back on June 20, 2016 for the next one.

Keep those emailed questions coming.  I love to answer them and who knows, you may see your question on the DNR or hear about it on WSVA!

Thanks for listening and reading,
Ron

April 18, 2016

2016-04-18 Show Notes with WSVA

Filed under: WSVA Show Notes — Ron @ 9:59 am

Thanks for reading Double Click columns in the DNR and listening to the show here (starts about 15 seconds in) with WSVA radio.  Even more, thanks for the emails with questions and suggestions I get all the time.  They are very much appreciated!

So, today we are back with another podcast and notes from some of what we talked about.

Have a great day and come back next month!

Tech News

It’s 1996: Dole/Kemp vs. Clinton/Gore

The websites from both of the ’96 contenders have been archived online.

There are the links to speeches, interactive games, and information about both candidates policy positions. Plus, a little trashing about each other.

And if you don’t have one you can download bumper stickers, grass roots campaign kits and more!

Dole/Kemp vs Clinton/Gore 1996


YouTube Shortcuts
MakeUseOf.com
To play, pause, forward, or rewind YouTube videos, you can reach for the mouse every time, locate the cursor, direct it to the right button/link, and click — but it’s so much more convenient to tap a single key on the keyboard instead. That’s why you need to know these handy one-key YouTube shortcuts.

  • The J key takes the video backward by 10 seconds.
  • The L key takes the video forward by 10 seconds.
  • The K key allows you to play/pause YouTube videos, just like spacebar does. Sandwiched between the J and L keys, it functions like the Play/Pause button found in media player controls on various keyboards.
  • The 1-9 keys allow you to skip to certain percentages in the video, so pressing 1 takes you 10% into the video, pressing 2 takes you 20% into the video, etc.
  • The 0 key takes you to the start of the video. This works both when you’re playing the video and when you have paused it.

IMDB (Internet Movie DataBase)
Movies, TV shows, most anything entertainment related can be found here. Know of an actor and want to see what else they have been in? Check it out on IMDB.


University of Chicago
Even Universities get Scammed


Scam Busters
Keep up with some of the latest scams for individuals…like you!


That is all for today.  Enjoy reading and listening to today’s podcast and join us again next month on Monday, May 16, 2016.

Ron Doyle

March 21, 2016

2016-03-16 Show Notes

Filed under: WSVA Show Notes — Ron @ 11:27 am

Thanks for reading and listening to the podcast (which should be up later so check back). Read on and have a great day.

Tech News

Countdown to doomsday: Apple, FBI face off in court TuesdayEither law enforcement will lose the ability to thwart terrorist plots, or we’ll be forced to live in a police state. Neither of those outcomes is exactly what you’d call appealing.

But Apple and the US government say those are exactly the things at stake in a court battle playing out in California. The two sides will meet before a magistrate judge on Tuesday in Riverside to make their arguments on whether Apple should build a new version of its mobile software so the FBI can hack into an iPhone 5C used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.


This Hacker’s Tiny Device Unlocks Cars And Opens GaragesTHE NEXT TIME you press your wireless key fob to unlock your car, if you find that it doesn’t beep until the second try, the issue may not be a technical glitch. Instead, a hacker like Samy Kamkar may be using a clever radio hack to intercept and record your wireless key’s command. And when that hacker walks up to your vehicle a few minutes, hours, or days later, it won’t even take those two button presses to get inside.

At the hacker conference DefCon in Las Vegas tomorrow, Kamkar plans to present the details of a gadget he’s developed called “RollJam.” The $32 radio device, smaller than a cell phone, is designed to defeat the “rolling codes” security used in not only most modern cars and trucks’ keyless entry systems, but also in their alarm systems and in modern garage door openers. The technique, long understood but easier than ever to pull off with Kamkar’s attack, lets an intruder break into cars without a trace, turn off their alarms and effortlessly access garages.


Cheatsheet (mostly) for Guys
If you are a geek, or any guy-type that doesn’t follow sports, know how to dress, or how to be cool but want to be able to talk about “stuff”, visit the Cheatsheet.Some recent articles:

  • 10 Things You Need To Remove From Your Closet Now
  • MLB: The 5 Best Starting Pitchers in Baseball
  • 6 Mistakes People Make When Buying a Tablet
  • The 5 Richest Soccer Players in the World
  • 13 Most Popular Tax Deductions You Should Know About

Sploid
OK, Cheatsheet was to make you cooler now something to be yourself. Sploid is full of funny, dorky and maybe interesting information.

From the stie, “Here you will find beautiful things; awesome photos, illustrations, and videos; design from the future; weird and wonderful happenings; scientific discoveries that may change the world—all the stuff that honestly make us go ‘oh wow, that’s so cool.’ “

How about a few samples:

  • You’ve Never Seen Skateboard Tricks Like This
  • 23 things that weren’t actually in Star Wars
  • What Happens When You Pour Molten Tar on an iPhone 6s?
  • How to Build a Mini Catapult Straight From the Mind of Leonardo da Vinci
  • This Guy Can Solve 3 Different Rubik’s Cube While Juggling Them at the Same Time

Thanks for tuning in and come back next month for the lastest edition of the “WSVA Show Notes”.

Ron Doyle
Double Clicks

February 15, 2016

2016-02-15 Show Notes

Welcome back to the Show Notes to the Talk Show from this morning. Kick back and relax if you are in the snow, rain, sun or wherever.

Listen to the podcast while you read.

Tech News

AT&T jumps into the fast lane with ultraspeedy 5G field trial
5G is coming. Eventually.

The fifth generation of wireless technology heralds a significant speed boost for Internet connections. On a 5G network, you could download the latest "Star Wars" film in seconds, not the minutes needed on today’s networks. Its expected ubiquity will also help connect millions of devices, from lightbulbs to farm gear, allowing them to talk to one another and to you.

Now AT&T has publicly come out with its road map for 5G, which will deliver 10 to 100 times the speed of today’s 4G wireless connections. This follows Verizon’s vow to start field tests this year.

<read more…>


Say Farewell to Google’s Picasa
Google is ending support for Picasa and would love it if you transition over to Google Photos.

Google plans to end support for Picasa and transition users to Google Photos, the company announced today. Picasa, an image-organizing application Google acquired 12 years ago, has seen few updates in recent months as Google focused development efforts on its shiny, new Photos app.

Support for the Picasa desktop album will end on March 15, though it will continue to work for users who already have it installed. Uploaded Picasa photos will be transitioned to Google Photos on May 1.

Originally introduced by Lifescape in 2002, Picasa brought iPhoto-like editing ease to casual photographers on Windows. Google improved the service with its trademark "I’m Feeling Lucky" button, which automatically retouched photos with one click.

<read more…>


Why Google’s self-driving vehicles mean the end of car insurance

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Xerox’s innovation officer Valerie Raburn points to the reams of data Google will gobble, to ask:

Yet consider how all this sifting of auto-insurance rates will position the company: Could Google turn this revenue-generating learning experience into a more lucrative opportunity to underwrite its own insurance policies and displace traditional carriers—especially once driverless cars become a reality?

This broad understanding of how auto-related risks are priced in the competitive market could allow the company to insure tomorrow’s vehicles, or simply roll the cost of insurance into the retail price of Google’s own driverless car once it hits the market.

Raburn’s observation is intriguing, on one hand, because she is probably right:

Google’s massive automobile ambitions, combined with its constant hunger for data, means the company is probably playing a long game that could threaten insurance companies. While this would obviously be unpopular with the insurance industry, it would be a boon for consumers and transport companies like Uber because the costs and headaches associated with insurance would decline dramatically.

The other reason to take note of Raburn’s prediction is because it shows, yet again, how new technologies bring unintended consequences. Specifically, Google’s driverless cars are not only poised to reduce accidents, but could also wipe out a multi-billion dollar industry in just a few years. <read more…>


Arnold’s new game, "Mobile Strike" with an ad from Super Bowl 50.

See you next month!

Do not forget, if you need training, consulting or advice on how to lead a better business see us at Virginia Training and Consulting Group.

Ron

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