Share those friends and family party photos!

Share those friends and family photos!

You know the deal: everyone shows up at a priceless family party and takes tons of photos, each on their own phone (or worse, for each group shot, 10 different phones take turns at shooting the picture).  Unfortunately, when the party is over, all you end up with are your own photos.

Google is attempting to solve this problem by allowing you to create “shared albums”.  Send your friends a link via email or text and they can easily all add their photos to one place.  Let’s hope this works!


Sharing photos and videos between friends and family after your birthday bash or holiday gathering shouldn’t be difficult. But between the great shots your brother has buried on his iPhone and that friend who keeps forgetting to email you her pics, you’re often left reliving the event through just the photos and videos you took yourself.

Source: Official Google Blog: Shared memories made easy with Google Photos

Improved Google Drive Search is here

Google Drive/Apps users rejoice!  Search is improved. Just click on the dropdown in the Search box and you’ll see lots of new options, including the ability to separate searching of the file name vs. content in the file.

I still wish I could search within a folder only (for those of us still stuck in folder paradigms) but this is a marked improvement. Check it out.


Source: Google Drive Blog: Because it’s gotta be super easy to find your files

Chrome Browser on Android reduced mobile data usage up to 70%

Back in the good ‘ol Internet days of dial-up, a common trick was to turn off graphics in the browser by default and only once you arrived at the desired page would you manually press a button and show all the graphics. (Anyone remember Netscape?)

Well, what was new in the ’90s is once again new in the ’10s.  The latest Chrome browser on Android essentially lets you do the same thing. You’ll not only save on your data plan by not downloading images you don’t really care to see anyway, but in addition you’ll get lightning fast downloads of websites since you’re only pulling down the text.

All we need now is the Macarena playing in the background to give us that complete 90s experience.


Straight from Google’s blog:

Now, we’re updating this mode to save even more data – up to 70 percent! – by removing most images when loading a page on a slow connection. After the page has loaded, you can tap to show all images or just the individual ones you want, making the web faster and cheaper to access on slow connections.

Source: Google Chrome Blog: A new way to save data with Chrome on Android

OK, now you can upgrade to Windows 10

Those who don’t want to deal with all the bugs associated with a new O/S release usually wait until a “point” release, e.g. Windows 7.1.

Looks like we have the equivalent of the 10.1 release and even Microsoft acknowledges it.

Microsoft’s message to businesses is that if they were following the traditional policy of waiting for the first Service Pack or major update to Windows before deploying it, this is it: time to take the plunge.

So if you’ve been waiting to upgrade. Now is the time!

Source: Windows 10 November Update: features, fixes, and enterprise readiness | Ars Technica

Should you upgrade to Windows 10? Wait until 10.1

It’s certainly tempting, isn’t it? Windows is “giving away” a free upgrade to Windows 10.  What do to?

I’ve lived by the “Wait for the point upgrade” (wftpu) advice for years and I’m going to continue following it.

What wftpu means is simply this: all new O/S releases have bugs. Let others work through them and wait for the manufacturer to put those fixes into a point release”  (e.g. Windows 10.1) and then invest your time and effort to making the switch.

So though I do get tempted to upgrade, I’m going to patiently wait for 10.1, and then hopefully the free upgrade will still be available.

Credit to Microsoft for making it easier for us to hold off:

We understand you care deeply about what happens with your device. This is why – regardless of your upgrade path – you can choose to upgrade or decline the offer.

Source: Making it Easier to Upgrade to Windows 10 | Windows Experience Blog

Why we won’t be allowed to drive cars one day

I love driving on big, empty, curving roads. I love racing (on a track).  But commuting? I’d rather have a computer do that for me.

For one, it’s safer. Look at how this [expletive] driver turned right in front of oncoming traffic. It would have been a very bad collision if it weren’t for Tesla Autopilot’s microsecond reaction time which saved everyone.

As self-driving cars continue to demonstrate their superior safety capabilities, don’t be surprised one day if, like Elon Musk said, we won’t be allowed to drive our own cars.

I know I certainly would be in favor of taking away the offending driver’s privilege to drive, that’s for sure!


Chrome now lets you mute a tab and all its annoying sounds.

My biggest pet peeve online is when a background tab suddenly starts playing some kind of video ad (with sound) or even worse, starts playing lousy music.

Your only choice was to mute your whole computer. No longer!  If you’re using the version 46 or greater of Chrome, just right-click on the tab and you can mute it. Yippie!

Now instead of hunting for the mute button on autoplaying videos or looking for the audio player on the website of that restaurant who feels the need for mood music, you can just right-click on the guilty tab, select mute, and kill sound on the entire page.

Source: Chrome now lets you mute individual tabs | The Verge

New flagship Android Nexus phones from Google released

I long switched to iPhone but my wife and others understandably swear by Android phones for many good reasons. If you’re in that category, take a good look at the Nexus 5X and 6P if you’re in the market for an upgrade to your existing Android phone.

The Nexus 5X and 6P are two of the best Nexus devices ever produced. It’s a common line that people say every year, but these are the first Nexus devices that don’t have a huge deal breaker attached to them. Google and its partners have finally nailed two of the things Nexus devices have traditionally been poor at. The camera is actually good—great, even—and can hold its own against the best mobile shooters out there. And the battery life is just as good as any other flagship as well.

Source: Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P review: The true flagships of the Android ecosystem | Ars Technica

If you applied for credit at T-mobile, your identity may be at risk

T-Mobile customers should keep an eye out for identity thieves. The cell service provider said today that the data of about 15 million credit applicants was stolen from credit reporting agency Experian.

It’s always a bummer when you see these kinds of reports. If you supplied your SS# to T-mobile for a credit-type application, there’s a good chance that information is now in the hands of thieves so take appropriate action.

Source: Personal data of 15M T-Mobile credit applicants stolen through hack of credit reporting agency Experian – GeekWire

Best practices on charging your phone (or any lithium ion batteries)



  1. Don’t keep it plugged in when it’s fully charged
  2. In fact, try not to charge it to 100%
  3. Plug in your phone whenever you can
  4. Keep it cool

The full article is linked below. For most of us, #1 is most relevant. Don’t leave your phone plugged in overnight or all day long at your desk.

If you want to keep your smartphone battery in top condition and go about your day without worrying about battery life, you need to change a few things.

Source: The best way to charge your phone – Tech Insider