Google Babysitter

It [Android Wear] takes advantage of Google Now to give you relevant contextual information as you’re traveling through your day—restaurant reservations, transit schedules, plane tickets—all displayed on your wrist.
– Wired

Where does this end, does it tell you who to date and when to take a shit. How much hand-holding do we want? When do you get to live, you know, on your own as an adult human?

Waiting for a Dell

Line outside the Microsoft Store waiting for the $99 Dell Venue Pro

The line outside the Scottsdale Microsoft Store at 8:30 AM. Waiting for the $99 Dell Venue Pro. The line was about twice as long as this and would have been longer if there wasn’t an employee letting people know that all the Dell Venues they had were already sold to people at the front of the line.

I should have gotten there earlier.

The Second Amendment

“I’m not going to pass judgment on whether armies should exist, but I would prefer to not spread and democratise the ability to fight war to every single human being.

– Eric Schmidt

Oh, sorry, he was talking about drones, not guns. How I could I have mixed that up?

No Words

I have no words for how appalling The Verge’s Back to School 2013: The Verge buying guide is. If this isn’t paid product placement… I have no other explanation.

This article is total flim-flam which is not only a disservice to their readers, but so base that it’s offensive. All gloss, no content. This embodies all that The Verge isn’t.

Dear Verge,

If you value your readers or your own dignity, next time you want to highlight three types of students and profile what technologies they are using, please use actual students with real budgets and needs. Preferably third and fourth year students who have lived through school and have experience.

Google Screws Up Google Apps for Business

Executive Summary

Google wants me to:

  • Convert from a yearly to a monthly payment cycle for my Google Apps for Business account
  • Stop using its own Google Checkout service which is still “technically” active (but it’s not)

In order to achieve these to goals, Google suspends my Google Apps for Business account. I can not access my email, calendar, drive, and talk.

I update my account without knowing how much I’ve been billed, or what the terms are, yet my services are still deactivated. I manually reactivate them and they eventually appear to be enabled, but I still can not access them.

Full Story

I woke up this morning to discover I could not access my Google Apps for Business email account. That’s my business email, so it’s kind of a big deal. When I check from my smartphone, I get an error both from the built in email app and Google’s Gmail app that my user name or password do not match. That freaked me out a bit, I instantly worried that someone had hacked my account.

I log onto the email account I use as my admin backup address for my Google Apps for Business account. There I find an email from Google saying:

Your Google Apps for Business subscription for jamesfryer.com has been suspended due to payment failure.

What the hell! I remember getting a notice from Google a few days ago that my billing term was coming up for renewal, but it cheerfully reminded me that my account was set to “Auto-renew”. So no worries, right? I mean, they would tell me if anything was amiss with my billing info, right? Well, no, they didn’t. Instead, the just suspend my account. MY BUSINESS ACCOUNT! The account I use to communicate with PAYING clients. Holy crap, Google! What is this, Amateur Hour?

I follow the link in this email to my “subscription management page” where I’m not told that my credit card is out of date, but rather that Google is “moving your account to a new billing cycle.”

Google Apps for Business suspends my account

Say what? Google suspended my account so it could force me to a monthly rather than yearly billing cycle? Also note that the terms of service are not actually visible (viewed in the latest version of Chrome – 28.0.1500.95).

Also, today is August 2nd, 2013, yet Google is telling me it will apply the remaining credit for my account ending July 28th, 2013. Huh?

But hang on, what’s this, “We need you to update your billing information, because Google Checkout is no longer a payment method.” Oh gosh Google, thanks for letting me know. Maybe next time you could tell me that before you suspend my account? And didn’t Google tell us that it was “retiring” Google Checkout on November 20, 2013? That’s nearly four months from now!

OK fine, Google, you win. I’ll pay now, just give me my email back! Oh, you’re not going to tell me how much you’re billing me, or what exactly the term is, OK, fine, you win again. Can I pay now please? Hey, that was easy, I paid and Google gave me immediate access to my Google Apps for Business account! Yea! Oh wait, so why can’t I access my email? Nope, not on desktop or mobile. Hmmm….

Oh, I see, Google has deactivated all my Google Apps for Business services. OK, well I guess I can just reactivate them. I think. There’s nothing on the services configuration page to confirm that any changes were made and when I go back to the user overview page, all services still appear inactive. So I try again, and again, and again… Finally at some point the services appear to be active (all green!). Ah, but I now see the notification that it might take up to 24 hours for these changes to take effect. What the shit, Google! Who the hell runs this company?

It’s now two hours later and I still can’t access my email (or my calendar, or my documents). Guess I’ll just take an early weekend. I wonder what’s happening to emails my clients are sending me?

Being Inside a Webpage

Putting aside how this changes porn, this is really cool:

“The idea of navigating a webpage with Glass seems like it could introduce some challenges, but Google seems to have worked out a decent control scheme. Scrolling is accomplished by sliding your finger forward on the touchpad to scroll down. You can also zoom in (or out) on a page’s content by sliding two fingers forward or backward. But what about just looking at the website? Google has pulled off a neat trick here. With two fingers placed on the touchpad, you simply move your head around to pan.

Google Glass gets full-on web browser, new hands-free functions in monthly update – Chris Welch

Thoughtful Thinking

Damn it, this is so simple is makes me feel profoundly dumb:

“The military looked at the bombers that had returned from enemy territory. They recorded where those planes had taken the most damage. Over and over again, they saw the bullet holes tended to accumulate along the wings, around the tail gunner, and down the center of the body. Wings. Body. Tail gunner. Considering this information, where would you put the extra armor? Naturally, the commanders wanted to put the thicker protection where they could clearly see the most damage, where the holes clustered. But Wald said no, that would be precisely the wrong decision. Putting the armor there wouldn’t improve their chances at all.”

Survivorship Bias
– David McRaney