Category: Google

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Monkey Business

I don’t drink alcohol anything, and yet share shot of a brewery truck parked outside the Lafayette Hotel on March 3, 2019. Why is that? Oh, I feel crappy tonight; let’s blame the umpteenth  SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 variant—because everyone does for the slightest sniffle. I suspect strain of the common cold. But what’s the drama in little `ol that?

Anyway, to obviously minimize time before keyboard and screen, I looked for something easy to share but hopefully meaningful. The Featured Image comes from Google Pixel 3 XL as reminder about the photographic heritage of forthcoming—and brazenly leaked—Pixel 8 and 8 Pro. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 56, 1/2900 sec, 28mm (film equivalent); 3 p.m. PST.

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Remembering Moto X

A decade ago today, Google released Moto X—a classic smartphone by every measure that matters. Two years earlier, the search and information giant initiated a $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility, which would manufacture the Android. Months following the initial launch, I bought the Developer Edition and loved it.

Moto X promised so much: American assembled in a Texas factory; made-to-order, with custom color and other personalization options; simple, straightforward online ordering, tight integration with Google services; voice activation and commands. Nothing like the device, the purchasing experience, or truly hands-free operation existed in 2013.

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Remembering Nexus 7

Ten years ago today, July 26, 2013, Google released the Asus-manufactured (second-generation) Nexus 7 tablet in the United States. I almost need say nothing more than share headline to today’s Android Police story by Zachary Kew-Denniss: “10 years ago, Google launched the 2nd-gen Nexus 7, and no tablet has captured its magic since“. Dek: “An elegant tablet from a more civilized age”. Ah, yup. (Oh, check out the tech site’s way-back-when unboxing video.)

To be honest, I was enamored with the first iteration released the previous year, too. But the second checked all the right boxes: Android version maturity, balance, price, size, specs, supporting services, and utility. The thing felt good to handle and use, and Google smartly marketed the device as a tool for family and school purposes (great marketing video; click through). Apple couldn’t come close for communications, informational utility, virtual assistant capabilities, etc. etc.

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The Caustic Costs of San Diego Housing

Some posts need little explanation, because the numbers so clearly speak for themselves. Based on a report from a Chamber of Commerce, the median annual income in San Diego is $66,536. The median monthly rent for a one-bedroom residence (presumably apartment): $2,543. Based on a “rent-to-income ratio of 30 percent”, the yearly salary necessary for that same flat: $101,720. Ah, yeah.

That’s an income shortfall of $35,184. Stated differently, that median one-bedroom costs $30,516 over 12 months. And that ignores other intangibles that jack up the cost of living. How much? San Diego ranks No. 1 in U.S. News World Report’s list of the “Most Expensive Places to Live in the U.S. in 2023-2024“. Hell, what an honor!

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My Pixel Tablet Turnabout

Let’s recap: In December 2022, my wife and I decided to wildly change computing platforms; we wanted freedom from Apple. On the 8th, I ordered Surface Laptop 5 for her and Surface Laptop Studio for me from Microsoft Store. Hers: 13.5-inch touchscreen (2256 x 1504 resolution); 12th-generation Intel Core i7-1255U processor; 16GB RAM; 512GB SSD. Mine: 14.4-inch touchscreen (2400 x 1600 resolution); quad-core 11th-generation Intel Core H35 i7-11370H processor; 4GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics; 32GB RAM; 2TB SSD.

Two days later, I ordered Galaxy S22 and S22 Ultra direct from Samsung. Both smartphones arrived on the 15th. Storage: 256GB for her; 512GB for me—both free, double capacity upgrades during the manufacturer’s holiday promotion. Unexpectedly, in mid-February, I traded up for the spanking new S23 Ultra. What stayed: Both our iPads, as I waited to see what new tablets Google, or perhaps Samsung, would bring to market this year. Recap over, the rest of the post explains what happened and why.

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This is Not a Selfie

Google Photos presented a seemingly self-portrait taken eight years ago today. I was buying new eyeglasses and when trying on frames took pics to text my wife for her opinion. I wouldn’t have cataract surgery that replaced my natural lenses with implants for another year. Meaning: At the time of the Featured Image, I couldn’t see well without my spectacles. That explains why the smartphone is in focus, rather than me.  I couldn’t tell the difference.

I really loved the Google-branded, Motorola-made Nexus 6. I still have one in the closet that belonged to Mom before she died. One of my sisters has another that belonged to her twin (also passed away). Yeah, both devices came from me.

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Bob Dines Korean

I remember this meal. My father-in-law wanted to eat someplace different. We ended up at a Korean restaurant somewhere along Convoy Street in one of San Diego’s commercial Asian areas. But I don’t recall why we were thereabouts, being far from the places closer to his apartment and where he preferred to eat. Good guess: Tax preparation with his financial advisor, which office is located a short driving distance from where he ate.

The Featured Image—from Motorola-made, Google-branded Nexus 6—catches Bob as he looks up at some distraction. Seconds earlier, he was engrossed in the bowl’s contents. Vitals: f/2, ISO 310, 1/17 sec, 26.6mm (film equivalent); 2:54 p.m. PDT.

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A Little Friend Returns

Our daughter’s recovery companion is a little Japanese chick, likely purchased during Comic-Con 2010. She gave it to her best friend years ago; he returned it when she was still in critical condition. Yesterday, our girl left the hospital about 40 minutes shy of 30 days. She has moved on to facility for rehabilitation, which will be the subject of a future post.

For now, the Featured Image is the topic. You can disbelieve me, but this one comes from Nexus One—composed as shot and in no way edited. Vitals are incomplete, but the date is there: July 23, 2010, 1:22 p.m. PDT.

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Our Daughter’s New Smartphone

From my perspective, the police violated our daughter’s Fourth Amendment protections when seizing the iPhone 13 Pro that she inherited from me as a 2022 Christmas present. The story: Parents of the household where she visited handed over the device when asked. But it wasn’t theirs to give, nor the cops to take. Our only child couldn’t, and so didn’t, authorize the seizure. Justification: A sergeant, and later detective, told me they sought evidence of a crime against our daughter, the victim.

Law enforcement’s fishing expedition deprives the device’s owner as she recuperates from a double stroke caused by oxygen deprivation and prepares to go to an acute rehabilitation facility sometime soon. She wants her iPhone, and the detective doesn’t respond to my calls. We even had tentatively scheduled a meeting whereby we would discuss possible passcodes to unlock the device. That was before our girl made massive strides unthinkable the day of the proposed meetup to which he didn’t show.

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Lose Something?

I do not recall taking the Featured Image, presumably from a laundromat that my wife used to frequent in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood. In January 2010, we owned the same smartphone, so metadata can’t confirm whom. However, sixth of the month means me.

About that device: Nexus One, Google’s first of many mobiles. Do read my first three stories (sequentially presented), following the device’s debut. They accurately analyze what the mobile meant for the future of contextual computing, particularly around search and voice: “Google Takes Ownership of a New Mobile Category“; “Nexus One Foreshadows Google Mobility That Could Get Ugly for Apple and Microsoft“; “Google’s Superphone is Super Surprising“.

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The Overlook Remembered

Twice we have shared the view from the Madison Avenue overlook in University Heights—2017 and 2021. The Featured Image gives glimpse from 2013. Yep, 10 years ago. Click the links to the two other musings; do compare the photo from the more recent of the pair with the one above.

You will see: Where once was a college is now a massive condominium complex. San Diego politicians can’t authorize the building of enough unaffordable housing. Why is that? Homeless encampments bear too much resemblance to refugee temporary housing—tent upon tent upon tent—seen in (other) countries besieged by natural disaster or war. Well, they give high-rise tenants living in high-cost flats something outside the window to look at.

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Android and Me: Back to @Work

With a sigh of resignation, I handed the shipping box containing Galaxy S22 Ultra to the guy behind the FedEx counter, today. The smartphone is headed to a Samsung facility—fulfillment of my trade-in commitment. The manufacturer already credited the (expected) vaue to my purchase of successor S23 Ultra.

Considering that I only possessed the now older model for about two months, and because of otherwise overall intrinsic value, letting go was a bit challenging. Sentiment also weighed into my reluctance. The S22 Ultra marks my return to Android, after a long hiatus.