Meeting Notes - 2 June 2015

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Meeting Notes - 2 June 2015

Post by bdahm on Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:13 am

CM Geeks - Notes

No free lunch - We’ve heard this expression time and again. It’s true. It’s equally true here. We don’t charge anything for our meetings, perhaps on the philosophy that you get what you pay for. Be that as it may, the River Market is providing us with a place to meet every week. They are providing us with parking, a projector and a screen and even a sound system for our videos. All they ask in return and all we ask in return is that you purchase something from the menu, even a cup of coffee or a soft drink. Information wants to be free; Food is something else. For those who may have eaten or are not hungry, a tip for the wait staff would be appreciated.

Coming Soon to a Desktop Near You
Windows 10 is arriving earlier than most people thought, available as early as July 29 for those who preregister. Most Windows users in the group indicated that they would be upgrading. And why not, since it is free to those having a legal copy. For those who don’t it will cost $119 for the Home version and $199 for the Pro version. Anyone wanting to upgrade to the Pro version after installing Home will have to shell out an additional $99.

It should be pointed out that this is will be the last full Windows release. From here on out Windows 10 will be upgraded, probably with point releases such as Windows 10.1 etc. 

As with any major release some expressed a wait and see attitude. There are, no doubt, going to be lots of bugs, and many prefer to wait for the first “patch” before jumping in. This is particularly the case for people who use Windows in a production environment. I suspect that the reason for the registration is so that Microsoft can roll out Windows 10 in a relatively orderly way without crashing its servers. 

Google Photos Enters the Arena 
Last week during the Show and Tell, I demoed some of the new features of Flickr, which included a new smartphone app and uploader, and enhancements to its web interface, which allows for editing of photos on-line. These upgrades complimented an announcement made some time ago that Flickr was giving 1 TB of free space for storage of photos. 

Although the web interface is a little clunky and not very intuitive in some functions, once one learns some of its quirks, it is fully functional. 

At Google I/O just a week ago, Google rolled out Photos, their new photo/backup app for the smartphone. Just as with Flickr, the app automatically uploads all your photos for on-line storage and retrieval on all your devices. Google, however, upped Flickr one, by offering unlimited free space for photos less than 16 Megapixels in size. If your photos are greater than that you can choose 15 GB of free space. 

I found the Google interface, both on the app and on the desktop to be more fluid and intuitive than Flickr. It’s certainly going to give Flickr a run for its money. One of the things it does, which I haven’t found that impressive, is offer an Assistant function, which animates, creates collages and does special effects on photos it analyzes. 

So why is Google doing this? Out of the goodness of their hearts? To compete with Apple and Yahoo (Flickr), DropBox and some of the other on-line photo storage sites? The other question one has to ask oneself is whether you want to turn all your photos over to an advertising company. Google is famous for using keywords in Gmail to served ads. Could we see the day when Google serves you ads based on what it sees in your photos? I wouldn’t be surprised. If you think Google already knows too much about you, you may want to go with another option.

If you do decide to go with Google Photos, you can find the iOS app in the Apple App Store. Android users will find it in the Google Play Store. Here is a link to the app which you can download and install on your desktop or laptop to grab photos on those machines or on external drives.

David Pogue, who has himself been recently acquired by Yahoo, does a good comparison, which should help you decide which of the two fits your bill. I am trying out both right now to see which one works best for me before I decide to upload 25 GB of archived photos on an external HD.

And with that I’m declaring it a wrap. Remember the next three weeks will be round table type meetings.



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