Let’s Chat about Linux

So most people are probably Windows and Mac people.  Most likey putting the Linux camp into software nerds use because they like to make things complicated.  Welp, is that really case?

So I was running Windows 10 as my primary setup.  I dab here and there in Linux (Ubuntu), but never really considered it my primary machine.  My Media server running Plex is built on a Ubuntu mchine but it just sits there in the closet doing it’s thing don’t really use it much unless something needs to be updated or tweaked.

So long story short my Windows install…well…just stopped booting.  Not sure why and I tried all my tricks in the book to fix it (I used to do Desktop Support), but no bueno. So the next thing was to freshly install windows.  Then I thought to myself….hmmm…and why not try this Linux thing full time.

So I did, installed the newest version of Ubuntu, hit up the blogs and went to the races.  My experience?  Well it was great!! The software is mad stable, fast and basically works pretty darn good.  Sure there are some creature comforts one may miss in Windows but nothing that is a show stopper.  In addition feel like a damn nerdy hacker when I am trying to install stuff from the terminal window.  Yes, I know. Below is my desktop I finally came up with which looked pretty clean to my eyes.

Screenshot from 2017-05-29 13-24-30

The thing which I realize, is that we are in the age of Mobile and Cloud.  Which means as long as you have a browser your pretty much good to go with all the major stuff you need a desktop for.  Plus it’s free.  I am truly liking this, it is a nice change and lines up nicely with my Android loving stating of mind.  I suggest anyone who is willing to give it a shot.

Shoutouts to the OMG Ubuntu crew as their blog is a life saver giving me all sorts of interesting and great ideas to make this switch painless.

Until next time, I’m out.

Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself

My name is….

Nahhh, let me not screw up that epic Jay-Z line. I don’t have bars. Hahahahaha.

​I’m a grown ass man.  Yes that is right I use a cliche to reinvent my blog yet again. Sure it is not catchy or life changing, but lets get real, this is just a blog.  

In a realer sense many things have changed since I have blogged last and many things have not.  For starters I have 2 wonderful boys I am now responsible for, and honestly that changes a lot.  What hasn’t changed…well…I am still a tech fanboy, and I love gadgets, cars, fashion, and shoes.  Yeah it is a weird mix, but I am a nerd, and nerds are allowed to have weird mixes.  Thank you very much.

Work is work, you don’t need the gritty details but I’m still in the same place just with a little more responsibility and a little more paper for my pockets. That however helps to counter act how much cash it takes to raise to boys. 

Finally my beautiful wife is as beautiful as the first date we met. Brotha needs to keep up. While the babies take up almost all of our time we are still going strong and I humbly thank God for that. 

So, what’s next?

That for whatever 2 people are reading my scratch is the million dollar question. This blog was always meant as a way for me to get my thoughts out to whoever cared to read them. Simple as that. While I have grown husband, father, and son, I hope that growth will eminate in the words that I infuse to this screen.  This ain’t suppose to be poetry or some new thought provoking exercise on a particular topic. No. This is me and not about you. Lol..that was rude huh?  Well in the words of David Chapelle, “I keep it real!!!!” let’s hope it doesn’t go wrong. 

Anyways, before I start to ramble off. Welcome to HeCareth, The Blog.

What If…..Google Preempts Apple

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Photo: Photo Credit: Adrian Maciburko, “Google Time Concept”

So We all know that Samsung tried to preempt Apple with their Galaxy Gear watch. We also know how that worked out, at least at the initial release. It is better, but still needs a ton of work.

So everyone, and I mean everyone is in fever pitch anticipation for the “iWatch” It is being described as revolutionary, a game changer, innovative, basically the best thing since slice bread…and Apple has not even said they are making one.

So here is my theory. What if Google Preemps Apple in the watch Aspect, Here is my logic

1. Google purchased WIMM in like 2012 or so. So watches have been on their mind for a while. I think they have been working to perfect wearables in that X Lab of theirs for a decent period of time, longer than Apple I might add.

2. Google also has Glass. I feel glass is not only an experiment about “Eye Wear” but an experiment about what is the best way to show information at a glance. The API for glass was also renamed to from “Glass” to “Mirror” API and I think this is because this same API will be used in all wearables

3. Google is a data driven company. Wearables are all about having the right data/information at the right time. It is what we are missing in a watch. Not just notifications, or health information, but the right notification at the right time Google has showed us that with Google Now, they understand this, and as a company driven on data they are steps ahead of what any other company is doing.

The rumors. Now we all know a rumor came out at the end of last year that Google was in production of a smart watch. Then poof nothing happened. This was right around November. I think Google saw what they had and was like the hardware is not up to snuff we can do better. So they were like….

1. Divest Motorola as Google already has the Patents anyway, and Motorola is killing the bottom line. This will open up some space for a major non Mobile hardware acquisition. But who….

2. Nest. They are really about merging in predictive data to hardware which fits right into what we Google is trying to do with Wearable and Home Automation. Plus they have a good hardware aesthetic Google could use internally for all hardware.

Google started talking to Lenovo right around the time the Google watch Rumors hit. I do not think this was a coincidence, and I would say they were talking to Nest around the same time. I think Google has the software ready and it has been ready, but the hardware is not. I feel Google sent what they had to the Nest team, and they will edit and produce a version 2 that will be introduced at Google I/O. Before Apple has a chance to present their own.

Here is what I expect:

1. The Defining Feature will be Contextual Notifications through Google Now

2. Google will most likely sell this thing for $99 to $150. As it will be an ecosystem market play, rather than a hardware sales play. I think Google will offer bright plastic colors similar to the Nexus 7 for $99 with metal options for $150 and up.

3. The Apps currently available on Glass will be easily ported to the Watch with Google providing API access to Google Now. This will give Google a big head start with developers already using Glass API

4. I believe it will be WiFi enabled and able to work independently on your WiFi network, for contextual Google Now notifications

5. It will also use Bluetooth LE for connecting to your phone for Phone related notifications

6. It will track heart rate, steps, and other vital information. Giving you daily summarizes of your activity in a card similar to the monthly steps card.

I just think, as people focus so closely on what Apple is doing…so much of the writing is on the wall with what Google is doing.

The Smart Driving App Battle

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Guess what? It is not known to many people who follow tech but there is a quiet little battle taking place in the Smart Driving arena.

It is about Automatic vs Dash. Both of these apps take advantage of Bluetooth OBD 2 hardware in your car do give you information about your drive, where you parked, your check engine light, etc…They also give you a driving score based on your habits. Similar to the progressive insurance thing.

Both apps literally do the same thing. With one major difference. Automatic is an iOS first app, while Dash is an Android first app.

In addition Automatic requires a proprietary Bluetooth OBD adapter for $99, while Dash can use any generic Bluetooth OBD ranging from $10 to $100.

Another key difference is focus. Automatic recently rolled out iBeacon capability to their units allowing users to theoretically pay for tolls and parking without getting out the car. Kind of cool. Dash seems to be focusing on the social aspect. I call it the gamification of driving. As with Dash you compete against your friends on Twitter, FB, G+, and FourSquare to see who has the best score.

It will be interesting to see where this goes. Especially with both companies starting their focus on competing platforms.



Wireless Chargers are the Truth

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I bought this Qi Charger for my Nexus 5 to sit next to my dresser, and I must say for $35 it does everything it needs to do.

For anyone who has a Nexus 5 or any Qi compatible phone like a Note or other Galaxy phone I suggest you invest in this thing.

RAVPower Wireless Charger Charging Pad Qi-Enabled USB Charger Phone… http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H9B7ALK/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_xRzYsb0VMRMY1

Why I Don’t Use Bing

Now I’m sure many folks here will say that Bing is great search engine. And for the most part it probably is but, on Christmas even I decided to test what results I will get if I search for Santa Tracker on each site. I wanted to see if either Bing or Google was up to some Santa Tracking shenigans in regard to page ranking…the results are as follows..

Google:

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via i.imgur.com

Bing

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via i.imgur.com

Now to be fair each search engine ranked the Santa Trackers as expected with NORAD before the Google One, but on Bing I got a mess of results mixed in with news and ads. Seriously Microsoft?

The TV Space Just Got Interesting

Today with HBO Go streaming coming to the Chromecast, Google just made one big addition to services with Chromecast capability. Just 4 months ago Chromecast was released and many thought that it would be a non starter after it seemed support was quiet. However now in total Chromecast support is on Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, Play Music, Play TV/Movies, and HBO Go. All this before an official SDK is released which rumors are pointing to December.

That is major. Yes there is no Amazon Instant Video, but with that amount of support I think Amazon will simply feel the pressure especially if they are trying to compete with Netflix.

Hey it has only been 4 months but by next summer I feel not only will there be Amazon Instant Video support. We will have a SDK and a ton of apps with support like Plex, Pocketcast, and other popular apps.

Microsoft This…Microsoft That…

Now I was listening to a Ars Technica Podcast this morning, and it is actually my first time listening to their Podcast. Now I have a lot of respect for the site but I swear tech journalist these days are getting lazy, and their bias are starting to show more and more. With them saying companies are still on Windows 95, and other oddities which do not make sense

The thing I want to harp in is is the consistent bashing of Windows 8 by tech journalist. Windows 8 is not bad. It is different, but it is far from bad. What it is….it is not Mac OS, which I think is where all this bashing comes from. The vast majority of tech journalist use Mac OS as their primary operating system so anything that skews away from that look and feel is sometimes considered sub par. To be fair, Windows 8 is not perfect, and 8.1 added some key improvements, but for the most part I feel it is a nice OS.

Furthermore, the whole iWork suite being offered for free is the media making a big deal out of something small. It is not like iWork was crazy expensive ($5-$10) in the first place. What people have to realize is that for the most part College students by a vast majority use MS Office, and for the most part schools have volume licensing agreements to offer it to the student body for free..that includes office on Mac. Businesses by a vast majority use MS Office and many have Office at Home agreements that allow users to buy a copy for 2 computers for $10.

iWork is not cross platform, and will never be cross platform. So it means that everything will be regulated to Mac users who for the most part probably do not use Office like that in the first place. In addition they kind of makes the collaborative features null, unless everyone you are trying to collaborate with has a Apple device, so they have access to iWork in the cloud. Is iWork such a great piece software that because it is free people will now spend thousands on a Mac Book? I think not.

I guess the conclusion here is that as more tech journalist get deeper in Apple’s ecosystem their POVs become skewed to one side, making harder to distinguish what is really bad, and what is really you being to used to Mac OS.

The Verge review of Windows 8 and 8.1 for the most part show that it is no better or worse than it’s competitors and the bashing is simply uncalled for.

Google Should Buy or Invest in Validity Inc

The one thing no one can take from Apple is their ability to make simple things main stream. In some cases they remain the industry leader, and in others the get “out iterated” sort to speak. Anyway the new thing is Finger Print sensors, which are by far nothing new, but all of a sudden they have become more mainstream than ever.

I am sure other companies are working and probably have been working on the same, but I would like to see how Google from an Android perspective tackles this. When you have a physical button it is pretty much obvious how you implement the technology, however a full touch screen is well…different.

So here is what I think. I think Google should do another strategic buy in this space similar to what Apple did with Authentec. The company should be Validity Inc for the Natural ID tech.

While TouchID is purely fingerprint technology Natural ID is authentication technology on three fronts, Finger Print, Voice, and Facial Recognition. Google is already making strides in it’s Facial and Voice recognition technology and have the Validity Inc tech to bolster what they have already done with their Finger Print scanning tech could be the Android answer to Touch ID. In addition Natural ID also has the capability of Multi Factor authentication based on contextual location based and personal information.

You can read more here as Mobile Payments is also covered, but if anything I think it this landscape it would be a very strategic buy for Google.

http://www.validityinc.com/natural_ID.php

http://blog.laptopmag.com/your-next-smartphone-screen-will-read-your-fingerprints-video

The Android Renaissance….What is it?

So AndroidPolice is reporting the Jean-Baptiste Queru (JBQ), the former technical lead for AOSP is going to Yahoo. Now I think this is great for JBQ and good luck to him on his future endeavors.

However, I know many have wondered is Android is in trouble with all these major players leaving, and I think we are on the verge of what happened in the Fall of 2011 with the release of ICS. A “Android Renaissance”. I think the old Android guard was there for a purpose. To get Android to a point that performance and usability issues was no longer plagued the OS. For the most part I think they are there.

I think the new guard under the leadership of Sundar is designed to fine tune the OS, and actually make Android as enjoyable as it is functional. The design language was the first part of that puzzle with Matias Duarte at laser focused. In my opinion features like more integration with Chrome, better messaging, and bettering the TV space is what Android users are missing. When compare to things like iOS or even Windows Phone through the XBox

The Elusive TV Space

The Big one here is the TV space. No one has figured it out yet. Google TV is essentially an Android Users Apple TV, which could be huge, with just a few little tweaks. They are already integrating TV into Google Now, so the pieces just need to come together. I have a Google TV and even with its quirks it is a promising product, regardless of what Nilay says. It just needs work. In my opinion doing the following will put life back into the platform…

 

  • Update the OS to 4.2.2 or 4.3 – This would solve a ton of performance issues, as HC 3.2 kind of sucked. Gogle TV’s OS is going on 3 years old and is in need of a major update
  • Expand the developer platform and toolkit to the TV. Currently Google TV is a platform which can access the Play Store. However, because the devloper toolkit for GTV is non existent and outdated, no one can make a decent looking app. This reminds me of the pre ICS days.
  • Embed Chromecast and Miracast functionality into Google TV – This is a given, and will happen at least for Chromecast. The one thing many Android users envy with iOS users is AirPlay. Chromecast is close but still not 100%. I think Making the Google TV a Chromcast and Miracast player would be major.
  • Release a Nexus Google TV Box – maybe with Sony. We all know Nexus devices work the best for the most part. I think Google should team up with one of their premier players..like Sony and just make a Nexus GTV device. I would Call it Nexus TV.

Yes you might think Google TV is dead, but I doubt it. No one, not even Apple has figured out the TV space. So no reason giving up now. Just like how Google came back and redefined itself in the tablet space with the Nexus 7, I imagine they could do the same thing with the TV. With a new leader at the helm, this might be the time for that change.

I think software and hardware comes in seasons and sometimes you need new blood to foster new ideas, I am actually excited to see where Android goes from here with the new guys leading the pack.