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March 22, 2016

Another Two Bite the Dust

Google told the world on February 12 it will no longer support, wait are ready for it? 

If you said, "Picasa" you got it right (picasa.google.com).  Now I will not yell too loudly about this one since I was not a big Picasa lover.  It seemed a little convoluted to me; however, many people love(d) Picasa and are very upset to see it go. 

Picasa logoPicasa is/was an image viewer for organizing and editing digital photos.  And yes, it was named after Pablo Picasso and blended with "mi casa" ("my house" in Spanish) and "pic" for pictures.  It was also linked to the cloud so that you could share your photos online with the world…if you wished. It was originally created by a company named Lifescape in 2002.  Google purchased it in mid-2004. 

As of March 16, 2016 it was removed from the web and is no longer "downloadable."  If you downloaded the file before then, you may keep the installation file and install it at any other time. In addition, Google will be archiving Picasa Web Albums data at a later date while encouraging those users to convert to Google Photos instead.  That means that if you still have Picasa you will not be able to upload to the Web Albums in the future since they will be gone.  It also means that Google will not continue to update it for security and other features.  

So, goodbye Picasa, I knew you well… a little bit.  Google is providing a new application called, "Google Photos" (photos.google.com) which rolled out early last summer.  This is the replacement which is lacking a few of Picasa’s features.  One big plus is that if you keep your uploaded photos to HD quality of 16 megapixels (MP) or less per photo, you have unlimited storage.  With higher quality it will use your Google Drive storage limits as did Picasa. 

Copy.com logoNow here is a discontinuation that really bugs me.  A great application that I have supported willingly over the past several years is Copy (copy.com) by Barracuda.  It is similar to Dropbox for storing any files on your computer in the cloud.  It is a great backup solution which would allow a user to start with 15 GB of space (13 GB more that Dropbox).

Well guess what Barracuda announced February 1st?  You guess correctly, it will be shut down as of May 1, 2016.  They commented, "…our business focus has shifted, we had to make the difficult decision to discontinue the Copy and CudaDrive services and allocate those resources elsewhere."  

There is no replacement with that much free space.  Basically Barracuda says put your files somewhere else.  Right this minute I am still a big Dropbox supporter ("rd.dblclx.com/use-Dropbox" for extra start up storage).  Of course, who knows what the future holds?

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

January 12, 2010

2009 Links in Review, Part 2

Today we get to see part two of the 2009, Double Click review.  Sit back, relax and browse the web for the sites that interest you.  As always, if you prefer clicking to typing please visit the DoubleClicks.info site and read the column later the same day it is published in the paper and actually click the links.

Here they are in their order of their appearance with short descriptions if needed.

  • WalMart.com and Costco.com, these need no explanation; although, I wrote about their specific ability to print your vacation photos online.
  • Picnik.com, an online photo editing program.
  • Picasa, a site where you can download a photo organizational tool to edit and store digital pictures but you can also upload them to Picasa online to create photo albums.  (Our vacation photos shortened, http://bit.ly/lJgaF)
  • Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows, an excellent blog about MS Windows products.
  • MSNBC news & information site
  • CrossWalk, a Christian study, blog, information site, etc.
  • RonDoyle.wordpress.com, my boring blog which is pretty much in no way related to my columns.
  • WordPress.com & WordPress.org, two sites for creating your own blog (There are differences between the two.)
  • Hulu.com, an online site where you can view movies and many current TV shows for free.
  • Firefox (mozilla.com), today’s best internet browser (in my opinion).
  • Microsoft Office 2007 discount (TheUltimateSteal.com), the entire MS Office program for students at a much discounted price of $59.95 (as of the date I wrote this…it may not last long).
  • Bing.com, Microsoft’s new online search engine.
  • Google Earth, a great mapping application.
  • MMTaskbar, extend your task bar across multiple monitors.
  • Desk Drive, allows a desktop icon to appear when you plug in an external drive, including thumb drives.
  • MS Live Workspace & Google Docs, two similar but different free online file storage sites.
  • Google Chrome, Google’s internet browser.
  • Evony, free online role playing game.
  • Gutenberg.org, Audible.com & Podiobooks.com, three online books sites which have text and/or audio books for free and/or a price.
  • Medicalert.org.
  • Go to My PC, a site that allows you to login to your home/work computer from another location.
  • Team Viewer, similar to above but free and not as stable.

I hope you have found the two "Year in Review" columns helpful!  Don’t forget to keep those emails coming in 2010.

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