Tag: cloud computing

Read More

Call Me Surprised About SmugMug and Flickr

My preferred, and favorite, photo-sharing site is SmugMug. The family-owned operation is long profitable by defying the Internet’s predominant axiom: Free. SmugMug relies on a solely subscription model, where customers pay, and, as such, doesn’t collect user information for profit nor are there annoying advertisements.

But for the longest time, I haven’t used SmugMug—for what may seem like the strangest of reasons: My art isn’t good enough. The service has matured into a collective of professional photographers, and I don’t feel comfortable keeping my images among theirs (although many of mine remain from the past). I grudgingly use Flickr instead. Instagram isn’t an option, for the same reasons I rebuke parent company, and data-collection whore, Facebook. 

Read More

Microsoft tries to trump Apple

Timing is everything, particularly in business marketing tactics. Surely it’s no coincidence that hours before Apple’s big developer conference, where questions about iPhone’s future and product innovation loom large, that Microsoft announces plans to buy social network LinkedIn.  Oh, the next Xbox reveal is planned to coincide with the WWDC 2016 keynote, too. Hehe, how do you like them apples?

The merger will split tech news and analysis coverage this fine Monday and spill over to tomorrow, robbing Apple of attention it needs now to subdue rising negative perceptions about the future. Global smartphone sales are slowing and iPhone accounts for 65 percent of total revenues. Meanwhile, the fruit-logo company hasn’t perceptually lifted the innovation meter since before cofounder Steve Jobs died nearly five years ago. Apple needs to deliver wow and have bloggers and reporters giggle with glee all over the InterWebs. 

Read More

Apple Lost My Heart to Google in 2015

Whoa, the difference a year makes: On Jan. 1, 2015, my main computing devices were 13.3-inch MacBook Pro Retina Display, iPad Air, and iPhone 6—oh yeah, Apple Watch, joined them six months later. My mainstays at the start of 2016: Chromebook Pixel LS, Pixel C, Nexus 6P, and Huawei Watch. I abandoned Apple and there are no plans to return. I choose the Google lifestyle instead.

I have changed computing platforms too often during the past two decades. From the December day in 1998 when carting iMac out of CompUSA, no matter what the switch, I always returned to Apple products, even after boycotting the company during second half 2012. My last rally was months ago, before giving up Apple Watch, iPad Air 2, iPhone 6 Plus, the 6s Plus (for a single day), and MBP. I don’t expect to ever go back. The allure is gone. 

Read More

Chromebook Pixel LS Review

Nperfect is how I describe Google’s newest, and only, computer. If you’re going to manufacturer one thing, then it should be exceptional, which is the other way I describe Chromebook Pixel LS. The company introduced the original in February 2013, available in two configurations. Twenty-five months later, the notebook refreshed—refined rather than revolutionized—beating Apple to market shipping a laptop with USB Type-C, which brings new connectivity and charging options.

FedEx delivered the costliest Chromebook configuration to my door on Friday the 13th, in March. I ordered the newest Pixel from Google two days earlier, within hours of the laptop’s launch. I use no other computer. It’s more than my primary PC and could be yours, too. This laptop rests at the precipice of future computing, for those open-minded enough to welcome it. This review is purposely preachy, which reasons hopefully will be apparent should you read all 1,800 words.

Read More

Nexus 6 delights the Ears

Compressed audio gives up so much, I am surprised by the fidelity Nexus 6 gives back. Shocked is better word. I ordered the smartphone from T-Mobile on January 21 and received it the following day. As I will explain in my forthcoming review—tentatively planned as an “I love you” post on BetaNews (and here), Nexus 6 is amazing. I haven’t enjoyed using a handset this much in years. The overall user experience is spectacular.

My audio expectations were modest, when first connecting my Grado Labs Rs1e headphones and streaming from Google Music. Soundstage and detail exceed streaming from iTunes to iPhone 6, or—I do not lie—listening to music stored on MacBook Pro SSD. The differences in detail are shockingly apparent. On all three devices, graphic equalizer is not enabled. 

Read More

OK, Google, That was Easy

For my summer “Microsoft All-In” experiment, which also meant for a time giving up Google, I moved my main email domain from Google Apps for Business to Office 365—the latter through my registrar rather than Microsoft directly. I had used the domain on Apps for five years.

The registrar did all the setup for MX records and such, and I expected to do it all for myself when switching back to Apps—that was my experience half-a-decade ago. My how things have changed. Setup was scarily easy—much, much more than expected. 

Read More

Yahoo searches for Itself

Ah, shucks, I missed Yahoo’s 19th birthday yesterday. That’s okay, because 20 will matter more. Yahoo is cloud computing’s elder statesmen, long before anyone used the term. Just a handful of first-wave dotcoms—Amazon is another—are public companies today, making the transition from venture-backed startup with a dream and no viable revenue source ahead.

Yahoo is a warrior. A survivor. A transformer. I use the latter term not to describe a company that transforms industries but one that transforms itself. Yahoo is many things over 19 years—search engine, web portal, and media mogul to name a few. Under CEO Marissa Mayer, the company changes again, but still seeks new identity. Good luck with that.

Read More

Microsoft Has Lost Its Way Part 2

Microsoft has abandoned the fundamental principles that made it the most successful software company of the last decade and ensured its software would be the most widely used everywhere. But in just three years, since 2006, startups and Apple have set a new course for technology and how societies use it.

For Microsoft, this change is scarier than movie “Quarantine.” Without a course correction, Microsoft in the 2010s will be very much like IBM was in the 1990s. That’s no place Microsoft should want to be.

Read More

Microsoft Has Lost Its Way, Part 1

Microsoft has reached a surprising, and quite unexpected, fork in the road to its future. Choices the company makes today and over the next 12 months will determine whether computing relevance shifts away from its products.

The company has abandoned the fundamental principles that made it the most successful software company of the last decade and ensured its software would be the most widely used everywhere. Understanding those principles, and how they shaped Microsoft’s past, are important for understanding what the future might be.

Read More

Google Be Gone?

This weekend, I started then stopped booting Google from my computing life. I like Google products and services, but worry about the company’s potential abuse of power.

On Thursday, on my work blog, I wrote about “The Google Problem” Google’s increasing search and online advertising dominance greatly disturbs. Situation might be less worrisome if Google wasn’t so damn secretive. The company controls large trolls of information, while keeping its own disclosure to a minimum.