Google Photo US only features

Google often launch applications that are US only for some reason or the other. Why the Google Photo feature grouping similar faces together is a US only feature I’m not sure, but I assume it’s related to the fact it’s done server side.

If you would like enable the these two features then Techaeris has written about how to enable Group Similar Faces and the new People Naming and Merge features

Google Calendar Birthdays – again

Two months ago I wrote a post about the Google Calendar Birthdays and my annoyance with Google pollution og G+ everywhere and their annoyingly bad address books.

1. Google slits G+ into photo and streams

2. Google comes out with a new contact list.

3. Google Calender now has a setting to ignore google plus birthdays

google-birthdays

.. and this both the web and on android.

Ok, I’m sure my annoyances are not unique to me – but thank you Google for listening for once.

Netgear R7500

My home wifi was in a need of an upgrade. My old Netgear N300 was great at the time it was new, but other has surpassed it in performance and functionality and it seemed somehow misbehave in my network. I had the feeling that if large amount of data was send via wifi it would end up get constipation, which certainly is annoying for routers as well as people.

So my network has been upgraded with a new cousin, the 7500.
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The 7500 does not disappoint on the speed side. It’s certainly a great improvement.
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Google Calendar Birthdays

I use Gmail for my mail needs and they do a very good job at making things useful, but two things they are pretty bad at (actually 3).

1. Google’s address book is pretty bad compared to most other things they have. It’s at least a decade behind in smart and finesse, but since I dot need add and remove people here daily I live with it.

2. The Calender is a part of Google mail and works ok, but they have this annoying bug. They have decided that they know better which birthdays I want on my calender than I do. I somehow can’t get it – I like the idea of smart-you-name-it but mostly it needs training. Maybe I don’t like birthdays because I’m born the 29th of February (you never know). There got to be an option for “that”.

The third thing Google is pretty bad at is G+ – nothing wrong with G+ on it’s own accounts – but in the early days they polluted address book completely with G+ people I follow. It took me hours to clean up. They are btw still there (which annoys me) but they seems to stay out of the way for the most cases. The same for the birthdays above – the G+ people are really my problem. I don’t have a connection with these people to the level that my calender need to be infected with them. Now if I could delete them (mark then as ignored) I would invest the time in doing so – Gmail and Google Calender is free after all.

So while I’m no G+ hater like Brenden Mulligan who find a way out and wrote about how to remove birthdays from Google Calender I do see the evil side of Google shining through.

Google cast for audio

Back in September 2013 I was in the US for work and got myself a Chromecast dongle. You know this neat little thing that sits behind the TV and let you watch internet content on the TV. Way better than the “smart” TV features and I really appreciate using it to watch thing on the big screen.

chromecast

Today Google announced Google Cast for Audio and I’m really happy that Google is not abandoning like they have done with Google TV and Nexus Q. On the other hand the Chromecast concept is a typical Google product – two years down the road it’s still not a full complete product. It’s slow in starting up. It’s often loosing the network and I regularly need to give it first aid by rebooting it or the computer I use for casting from. Sometimes it work like charm and other times it’s stuttering like an old Ford T.
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Munich Marathon

In the year 1987 and I was embarrassed with myself over being afraid that I could not run 4k, so I got myself a pair of running shoes and started the challenge and ran my first planned run – 1k out and back (so totally 2k). I don’t remember any longer how much I walked, but I only know that I keep up the running and only after 6-8 months where I had kept running I suddenly liked what I did.

Four years later I ran a ran a marathon – in Hamburg, Germany, but otherwise I’m kept to maximum a half marathon. Until this year.

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I just finished the Munich Marathon in a very satisfying time of 3 hours and 54 minutes. This is just about 30 minutes slower than 23 years earlier. Not bad at all :-)

SpotVPS

I have now for a few years had a VPS at SpotVPS and while I have a few issue here and there with the vps reboots, their service is second to none. You post a question in their ticket system and they respond faster than you can even imagine. They always resolve any issue right away, no hassle. Kudos to them.

If you need a VPS, go give them a try …

Chrome Cast via Chrome

I got this awesome chromecast thing (picked it up at bestbuy) and wanted to re-broadcast shows to my tv, which I otherwise would watch on the laptop or by connecting the laptop via an hdmi cable.

It works, and the idea is really great. Looks like youtube works really well, but that was not the idea. Re-broadcasting via the laptop sometimes result in a bit sluggish video and blurred pictures. Granted it works, but it is not as good as using the hdmi cable.

My first thought was, well chromecast is over wify – mybe my connbection, but I strongly doubt it as if the a laptop is on the ethernet connection it is exactly the same. So I still like the little dongle, but I’m not sure I will use it much .. I wish it was better in this respect.