Thursday, February 02, 2017

TechTalk January 31, 2017

There are so many people talking tech these days it is hard to make heads or tails of what is really worth listening to, what is real, what is advertising... TechTalk is 2 guys in a padded room talking about the tech news that has caught their eye.
Photo by James Piecowye

And more often than not the conversation with Andrew Thomas from Nexa is not only informative but very entertaining.

Here are the notes and a bunch of links we did not get to!

Andrew Thomas is in the house
Next week 2 wireless headphones from Bose to talk about they are totally aimed at the new iPhones


-Kids and space! Beware!

-Starbucks with Alexa
-Namco founder dead!

-how safe is our cloud data? Can we trust it or is it best to just sit it all on a physical machine in our office?

Instagram vs Snap!
Good enough and convenient!

-Apple watch theatre mode, cool idea!
Theater Mode, in short, is the ability to shut off the Apple Watch’s screen and prevent it from waking even when you raise your wrist. It’s different from the Do Not Disturb option that’s been offered on Apple Watch since the beginning, because while Do Not Disturb prevents all notifications from popping up, the Watch’s display will still light up when you move your wrist around. (Update: And the current “Wake Screen on Wrist Raise” is buried in the Watch’s settings.) In Theater Mode, the smartwatch won’t light up unless you physically press on it.
The feature’s name indicates it’s primarily aimed at — you guessed it — theater goers, who by now well know the etiquette around smartphone usage during a show but might still annoy people with their wrist computers. It’s a feature that could also be useful during dimly lit exercise sessions, like a yoga class or extremely cultish SoulCycle classes. That’s all well and great.

Dropbox paper, will it work?
Paper is Dropbox’s latest attempt to court businesses away from Microsoft and Google, or at the very least to encourage companies to pay for Dropbox services on top of what they already use institutionally. It’s part of Dropbox’s ongoing shift away from consumer storage and apps and toward enterprise software that is both more lucrative and self-sustaining. The company shut down its Mailbox email app and Carousel photo storage service back in 2015. In place of its consumer focus, Dropbox has been pouring more resources into Paper and other projects that make its mobile apps and website a place to perform work, instead of a barebones destination for files.
The biggest question now is whether Paper is the transformative product Dropbox wants it to be. Because many organizations do already pay for Office 365 or Google’s G Suite, Dropbox knows that it must play nice with competitors’ products or risk alienating workers who either enjoy using Microsoft Word or Google Sheets or do so out of necessity. To that end, Dropbox Paper isn’t focused solely on creation. It will let you import, edit, and collaborate on a number of other file types from Google, Microsoft, and others.

Can they get past freemium?
Because Dropbox is still existing in two worlds, caught between its old freemium consumer model and its modern business-centered pricing tiers, the Paper and Smart Sync launches have a few stipulations. Paper will work for everyone starting today on mobile and the web, regardless of your Dropbox plan so long as you live in one of the 21 language markets the launch covers today. If you’d like to use administrative features with Paper, you’ll need either a Dropbox Business or Enterprise plan. And if you want to use Smart Sync, it comes free of charge, but only for those business customers and only through its early-access program.

Cool APP idea
Can I Swim Here!
But only in NZ at the moment!



Visual first is the new buzz and it is coming to Journalism more than ever SO, we need to be thinking devices and more.


Googles Bad AD blocking stats are in!
Google said it blocked 1.7 billion "bad ads" in 2016, or more than double what it did the previous year.
Ads that are misleading, inappropriate, promote misleading products or trick users into installing harmful software are generally deemed "bad," Google said. The company also blacklisted ads that were once considered acceptable in 2015.
Payday loans that carry an annual interest rate higher than 36%, for example, were banned from appearing as Google search ads last year. The company was applauded for its move, as the measure was expected to cost Google millions in revenue. Yet digital loan sharks quickly adapted to Google's newfound rule, as many loan companies now offer payday loans with an APR as high as 35.99%.
That means a $5,000 loan with an APR of 35.99% would cost a borrower $13,745 over a seven-year span, which is a common time allotment offered by the predatory loan companies Google is trying to blacklist.
Still, Google said it blocked 5 million payday loan advertisements from appearing in 2016. Scott Spencer, director of product management at Google, said it takes time for the company to adapt to new schemes.
Meanwhile, the company said the biggest trend to come out of 2016 was the rise of "tabloid cloakers," a new type of ad that tries to game Google's system by pretending to be news. One example the company shared was about an ad showing Ellen DeGeneres and aliens. However, consumers who click on ads like this are taken to a site selling weight loss products, for example.
Google said it suspended 1,300 accounts for tabloid cloaking last year. In one sweep, the company took down 22 accounts that were responsible for displaying 20 million cloaker ads over a one-week period.
The company added that it also removed 112 million ads that aim to deceive users into downloading apps or malware, six times more than what it did in 2015. The company said it removed 68 million ads for healthcare violations in 2016, up from 12.5 million in 2015. Another 17 million ads were removed for promoting illegal gambling, Google said.
About 900,000 ads were disabled for containing malware. And an additional 6,000 accounts were suspended for attempting to advertise counterfeit goods, the company said. From November to December, Google said it reviewed 550 sites that were suspected of misrepresenting content or were impersonating as news organizations like CNN. Of those, Google took action against 340 of them for violating its policies. An additional 200 publishers were also permanently banned, Google said.


How much time to parents let kids have on the net?

The majority (76%) of parents allow their child to bring an Internet-connected device to bed and almost a third (32%) of parents monitor their child’s use of the device in the bedroom.
Overall, almost all (90%) parents typically put a limit on how much time their child can spend using Internet-connected devices each day. Here’s how much time children are allowed per day:
  • 48% -- One to two hours
  • 21% -- Less than one hour
  • 21% -- Three to four hours
  • 6% -- More than four hours
  • 5% -- No time limit
Weekends are slightly different, with 12% of parents saying children should have unlimited device usage.
When parents don’t allow their child to take their Internet-connected devices to bed, most (60%) encounter no issues.
To monitor device usage, more than a third (36%) of parents keep the device in their possession and give it to their child when they are there to monitor, while 23% use software to monitor online behavior.
It’s not only parents who monitor their children’s use of Internet-connected devices: more than a third (36%) of children regularly call out their parents for being on their device too much during family time.


These guys are cool!

24/7 Livechat Support

Our Happiness team is now online 24/7 - talk to a REAL person (not just a really sophisticated bot) to get your questions answered! Chat now.


A little Facebook!

Facebook has changed the way it chooses videos to surface on your News Feed, and this new method favors longer clips. The social network explains in its latest blog post that "percent completion" or the percentage of each video you watch helps its algorithm understand what kind of content you enjoy. "If you watch most or all of a video, that tells us that you found the video to be compelling -- and we know that completing a longer video is a bigger commitment than completing a shorter one," the post reads.
Recode says Facebook will continue counting views that last three seconds or less. But going forward, the social network will make percent completion a bigger factor in ranking videos. So, what does that mean for you? If you're an ordinary user, you'll likely start seeing more longer things to watch than before. If you have a Facebook Page, it's worth noting that longer videos "may see a slight increase in distribution on Facebook," while shorter ones "may see a slight dip."
An earlier report about a new ad format now makes a lot more sense. According to Recode'ssources, Facebook is looking to start playing ads around 20 seconds into a video, which could compel publishers to create longer ones in a bid to make more money.

We all love a little shopping!
Now chrome is making it more secure!
Paying bills and shopping online is great, but sometimes it's difficult to tell when the site you're using is protecting your sensitive information. The latest update for Chrome should make that a bit easier. Now, when you're on a site that asks for a password or credit card info and it isn't using HTTPS, it'll be flagged as "not secure" in red type and with a caution sign in the address field. It seems as though Google is using these literal scarlet letters as a way to advance its "HTTPS for all" initiative. Hopefully the shaming pushes more places into action.

We Need the Google Map Parking aid!

A parking difficulty icon popped up in an Android beta for Google Maps earlier this month, but now the feature is officially rolling out. However, there are a couple of caveats. First, the parking warnings are only available in the Android version of Google Maps for now. The new tool will also only warn you about potential parking headaches in 25 US metro areas.
Those areas include San Francisco, Seattle, Miami, Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, St. Louis, Tampa, the DC area, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Houston, Phoenix, Portland and Sacramento. In other words, a lot of the major cities in the US are covered.

Check out this writing analysis program!

Slick Write is a free tool that helps you analyze your writing or that of others. To use Slick Write you can write new text in the provided text editor or copy and paste chunks of existing text into Slick Write's text editor. Either way Slick Write will provide you with an analysis of your writing. That analysis will include typical things like a word count, a readability score, and an estimated reading time for your document. Slick Write will also analyze your use of adverbs and prepositional phrases throughout your document.

New Google doc features for mobile users!

If you frequently use Google Docs and Sheets on your phone or tablet, you may be happy the next time you update the Docs and Sheets apps. As announced this morning, Google Docs for Android will now let you drag and drop to edit images, insert headers and footers, and drag and drop text. The latest version of Docs for iOS will also let you insert headers and footers.

The latest version of Docs for iOS allows you to add page numbers to your documents and change the page orientation of your documents. The updated Sheets app for iOS now offers the option to edit cell border appearance.

2 new Google Calendar features!
Google Calendar's web interface got a helpful update this week. It now includes the same "smart scheduling" features for rooms and times that the Google Calendar Android and iOS apps provide. This means that Google Calendar in your web browser will now suggest a meeting room for you based on the rooms that you have previously used.

The other new feature is a "find a time" tab in Google Calendar. This feature will show you the timezones that your Calendar event guests live in.

It is important to note that these features are available to G Suite users and may take a few days to appear in your G Suite account.

Was thinking what happened to those tiny cube ipods?

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