Mike Elgan2013-06-05 19:20:27
Greatest invention ever for lazy alcoholics.

The DropCatch is a wall-mounted bottle opener with a built-in magnet to catch the falling cap. 

It's on Kickstarter and they're having no trouble raising money. 

  • 850 plusses - 113 comments - 267 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-12-30 04:50:46
    Android In the Car gets real at CES – reports.

    Google and Audi plan to announce at CES January 7 a partnership to build in-car dashboard systems based on Android, according to a new report in The Wall Street Journal.

    Here are the other ways Google is driving rapid adoption of Android in car dashboards. 


  • 1014 plusses - 105 comments - 168 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-11-22 18:43:06
    Why 'smart light bulbs' are awesome.

    A regular lightbulb tends to come in one color and one brightness level. But now new LED bulbs promise to become any color and any brightness at any time you like. And best of all, they can be controlled by the phone in your pocket.

    The most interesting thing about smart bulbs is that software companies can make all kinds of interesting applications to control them. For example, imagine a virtual flash application that replaces the camera's flash on your phone. You could set it to suddenly brighten all the bulbs in the room with white light at the moment you take a picture.

    Another likely app idea is that you could take a picture of a page in a magazine or somebody's actual home and essentially tell your lightbulbs: "Give me this lighting or color scheme."

    The bottom line is that smart bulbs turn lighting into an app. And with apps, anything is possible.

    Here's my piece about smart light bulbs, featuring the one product you can buy now in time for the holidays and two more promised for early in the new year.

  • 916 plusses - 160 comments - 203 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-04-05 20:20:17
    Captain Puerto Rico!!

    Reshared text:
    LOL!!! #captainamerica #marvel #epicfail
  • 981 plusses - 58 comments - 204 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-16 20:43:20
    Worst child's Christmas gift ever.

    Props to Reddit: http://i.imgur.com/OhonH.jpg )
  • 775 plusses - 264 comments - 237 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-21 06:21:45
    Why Google+ is the best place to send video via email.

    Good email services play videos right inside the email message. For example, if you send someone a simple YouTube link, and they're a Gmail user, Gmail will display a thumbnail of the video which, if clicked, plays the normal-size video right there in the message. 

    Nice! But there's a better way. 

    If you paste that same link into a Google+ post, address it to your friends' email addresses and hit send, they get video with benefits. 

    For starters, the video is displayed initially full size -- no thumbnail. 

    It shows a thumbnail of your G+ profile picture. 

    And there's a comment box below. If one of your friends types a comment, they'll be able to do that right in the email message. And you'll see the comment on your post. 

    (BTW, here's the Jerry Seinfeld video shown in the picture, in case you're interested: http://youtu.be/itWxXyCfW5s )
  • 787 plusses - 119 comments - 294 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-08-12 12:10:17
    Oh, great. Now there are ducks on Mars!

    I told you earlier about the "rats of Mars" -- extraterrestrial rodents spotted by conspiracy theory types in NASA photographs. Well now they're seeing ducks!

    Unlike Earth ducks, the ducks of Mars live in caves!

    The existence of Mars ducks is great news, because it means any future astronauts building a colony on Mars can look forward to all the foie gras they can eat -- and well beyond the reach of PETA. 



  • 785 plusses - 265 comments - 228 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-03-01 22:59:51
    Why I'm not unplugging.

    Today at sunset, we're all supposed to unplug for 24 hours. It's called the National Day of Unplugging. 

    Screw that. I'm not unplugging jack squat. Here's why. 

    Organizers say the purpose of the Unplugging is to "start living a different life: connect with the people in your street, neighborhood and city, have an uninterrupted meal or read a book to your child." 

    I don't want to live "a different life." I was born in the 1960s. I spent most of my life "unplugged." Yet I'm young enough to understand what being "unplugged" means. It means ignorance, wasted time, wasted opportunities and being a prisoner to time and place.

    I've travelled all over the world, and have seen how the majority of people on this planet live -- unplugged. If only they could afford Internet connectivity, their lives would be transformed for the better. 

    I'm supposed to "connect with the people in my street." But why are people in my street better than the people in my circles? They're not. What kind of narcissist believes that people physically near me deserve special attention?

    The unplug movement assumes we're all prisoners of connectivity. I don't know about you, but being connected has set me free. It lets me go anywhere, work anywhere, live anywhere, and yet stay in constant contact with my sons and my family and friends. 

    By all means, unplug if you want to. As for me, I'll unplug when I'm dead.

    What I really want is more connectivity. A LOT more. I want faster speeds, and cheaper satellite data and longer battery life. I want to be able to connect from the middle of the Sahara and the top of Kilimanjaro and the middle of the ocean. I want to be "plugged" 24/7 and 365 days a year. 

    What about you? 

  • 824 plusses - 213 comments - 225 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-01-05 21:43:40
    Why Apple should stop making iOS apps.

    When you open a new iPhone and boot it up for the first time, you’ll notice that Apple has already installed a bunch of apps for you.

    It’s a great idea, because it lets you use apps right out of the box. Even the newest, most confused user can tap on an app icon and start trying various things.

    Here’s the problem: Most users don’t replace the default apps with third-party alternatives. They mostly use the apps that came with the phone.

    And this is why Apple should stop making apps: The default Apple-made apps are giving iPhone users a second-rate experience.

  • 870 plusses - 360 comments - 126 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-11-05 05:03:09
    Google launches Helpouts!

    Google's eagerly awaited Helpouts was just officially announced! https://helpouts.google.com/

    The idea is to use Google+ video hangouts for connecting people who need help with stuff with those who can provide it. The help takes place live and one-on-one. 

    You can search for the kind of help you need, then choose who helps you based their fee, and also on qualifications, which you determine via ratings and reviews. It comes with a money-back guarantee.

    From the helper side, the Helpouts system will launch a thousand small businesses, which people with skills can do from anywhere. 

  • 415 plusses - 56 comments - 540 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-02-11 22:11:37
    FoxNews.com accidentally uses a picture of a lesbian wedding for article about 'how to choose a husband.'

    Best of all, the article was posted with the headline: "To Be Happy, We Must Admit Women and Men Aren't Equal." The editors failed to notice that the bride and groom in the picture were equally female.

    Bottom line: Any of you gals out there looking for advice on "how to choose a husband" might not want to consult FoxNews.com. 

  • 839 plusses - 264 comments - 184 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-05-19 02:11:23
    What is a Google+ post?

    It's very simple for me: A G+ post is either a conversation or show and tell. 

    I use G+ heavily for private conversations with family and friends. And those are something else. 

    But when I post publicly, I'm starting a conversation or showing people something or both. But mostly it's about the conversation. 

    I use Friends+Me to automatically link to my Google+ posts from Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. The link takes them back to the G+ post. 

    One prominent tech writer complained on Twitter that I referred to a story, but that instead of linking to the story from my Twitter post, I linked to the G+ post, which he considered an intermediate step requiring another click to see the story I mentioned in my tweet.

    But I don't post in order to find stories for people to read. I'm not a news service.

    My tweets, Facebook posts and Linkedin posts are just invitations for the people who follow me on those services to come have a conversation about whatever the post is about. 

    Some people who follow me prefer those other services. And that's fine. But I don't want to have four conversations on the same topic. That's why I link everybody to the one conversation. 

    Yes, posts often have a link, and sometimes to stuff I've written myself. But the goal of all these posts is conversation. 

    So what's the value of conversation? To me, it's everything. It's where my ideas and beliefs are challenged, and where I serendipitously discover new ideas and new information by simply engaging with people on the topics we're all interested in. 

    Call it the Google+ University of Awesome. 

    In the process, I also discover new people, and by circling them, more learning. 

    That's what a public Google+ post is to me. What are your posts to you? 
  • 990 plusses - 142 comments - 139 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-06-03 14:12:56
    Memory card sends pictures from your camera to your phone (no Internet required!).

    Remember Eye-Fi cards, which sent pictures from your regular camera to your PC over the Internet? The new one requires neither the PC nor the Internet!

    Called the Eye-Fi Mobi, the card looks and works like a regular storage card, but acts as a WiFi hotspot. You connect your phone or tablet to the card using a free app, and your pictures are constantly moved to the mobile device. 

    The Mobi card costs $50 for 8GB and $80 for 16GB and ships today. 

    I wonder if your regular photos will then be instant-uploaded to Google+ and Auto Awesomed, just like your phone pictures. 

  • 781 plusses - 111 comments - 280 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-06-11 11:42:32
    Wow. Nice wave!

    The video is in slow motion, but still...

    This was taken in Namibia by Benji Brand using a GoPro. 
  • 891 plusses - 279 comments - 135 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-04-18 17:39:22
    The Spanish countryside looks like Windows XP wallpaper!

    On the train from Madrid to Sevilla today, I looked out my window and there it was: The Windows XP default "Bliss" wallpaper. ; ) 

  • 1094 plusses - 110 comments - 86 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-01-13 19:40:07
    Only In China: an unauthorized World of Warcraft- and Starcraft-themed amusement park!

    A theme park in China called World Joyland is based on World of Warcraft. But you'll never hear the W word at the park, nor will you hear any Warcraft- or Starcraft-related jargon. Because the park owners don't have permission or a licensing agreement from Blizzard to profit from the popularity of Blizzard's intellectual property, they call the Warcraft-themed park "Terrain of Magic," and the obvious Starcraft part of the park "Universe of Starship."


    This picture was today's Mystery Pic. Props to +Brian Goodman for being first with the right answer!

  • 803 plusses - 104 comments - 257 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-02-22 16:33:58
    Google phone project could transform smartphones.

    Google got out of the phone business and into the phone technology business. http://goo.gl/4T5LZW

    Google's Project Tango phone has Kinect-like sensors for mapping 3D spaces.

    This can be used for augmented reality with more reality, vision for the blind, real-world mobile video games and more.

    Here are the details behind Google's Project Tango:


    #ProjectTango   #Google  
  • 980 plusses - 88 comments - 154 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-05-09 13:35:37
    Why I'm so optimistic about the future of Google+

    There’s been a lot of speculative chatter about Google+ being closed, killed or at least neglected by Google.

    I'm happy to report that it's not true. All evidence and reason lead to the same conclusion: Google+ isn’t going anywhere. 

    First, I'm going to tell you why people are saying so many dumb and ill-informed things about Google+. And then I'll tell you why I'm super optimistic about the future of G+: 


  • 1027 plusses - 83 comments - 121 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-10 14:36:32
    Say hello to my little. . . pony?

    Just in time for Christmas, someone customized this pistol with My Little Pony branding, for some reason.

    Anyone know the origin of this stocking stuffer?

  • 800 plusses - 257 comments - 182 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-06-05 22:06:18
  • 685 plusses - 164 comments - 294 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-10-09 03:45:25
    Facebook abuses users, lies for money.

    A giant ad took over my Facebook feed today. It said my niece "Liked" AT&T, and the ad hawked deals on BlackBerry phones through AT&T. 

    Why would a 14-year-old girl who doesn't live in the United States "Like" AT&T? 

    I asked her, and learned that of course she never did. (Nor did she even know that Facebook was telling people she endorsed AT&T with a "Like.")

    How is it even legal for Facebook to use a minor's picture and name without their or their parent's permission or even knowledge to make money in an ad and lie about that person, saying that they endorse a product that they never used, liked or approved of in any way? 

    Has anything like this happened to YOU on Facebook?

  • 668 plusses - 167 comments - 301 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-03-24 02:39:58
    Mind blowing: This California tree is 3,200 years old!

    This Sierra Nevada giant sequoia is called the President. It's 247 feet tall and the trunk is 27 feet wide. Here's another mind-blowing fact: The tree is still growing fast, adding one cubic meter of wood per year.

    Here comes the video!



  • 951 plusses - 66 comments - 169 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-12-01 22:34:27
    Why Google wants to ‘can’ your messages.

    What makes Google think users want canned messages?

    Google filed a patent application, published November 19, for algorithmically driven auto-reply.

    As you might expect, the messages aren’t really “canned” in the way that an email vacation auto-reply might be. It’s actually quite Googlish.

    Here’s what Google is up to, and why you might actually love this technology.


    #google   #googlenow   #patent  
  • 927 plusses - 60 comments - 186 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-02-03 23:53:09
    Here's the Internet-only version of that Go Daddy ad.
  • 728 plusses - 366 comments - 169 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-06-16 21:01:16
    Nana the Border Collie can balance anything...
  • 833 plusses - 164 comments - 192 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-02-17 10:05:54
    How to change a tire on a moving car.

    You've heard the expression. Now see it done in real life. 

    This is apparently Saudi Arabia's ill-advised national pastime. 
  • 712 plusses - 186 comments - 256 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-03-01 15:04:45
    Android phone has E-Ink screen, battery stays charged for a week!

    This prototype Android phone demonstrated by Taiwan's E Ink at Mobile World Congress this week is low-rez and and grayscale. 

    But it's cheap, very light and the battery lasts for a week on a charge. 


    This picture was yesterday's Mystery Pic. Props to +Jeremy Robbins for being first with the right answer!

  • 926 plusses - 153 comments - 137 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-10-23 04:24:44
    Great GoPro videos shows some amazing bike skills.

    From the perspective of the biker's helmet, of course. This is rider Kelly McGarry at Red Bull Rampage 2013 doing, among other tricks, a backflip over a 72-foot canyon. 
  • 628 plusses - 72 comments - 354 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-09-26 12:15:19
    What 1 billion Google+ registered users means to you, personally.

    The people who track such things tend to divide humans into three categories: 1) active users; 2) inactive users; and 3) non-registered non users. http://bit.ly/16oui6d

    This 1 billion count claims to tally the number of people in categories 1 and 2. We don't know how many of each. 

    The number of total registered users on Google+ is about to grow enormously, as YouTube users will soon be required to use a Google+ password in order to comment. http://goo.gl/gJaIHB

    So by the end of the year, Google+ will have far more registered users than Facebook or any other social anything ever.

    But all of that is just fodder for discussion in the abstract. What does all this mean to you? 

    First, it's a pretty safe assumption that within a year or two, just about everyone you know will be active on Google+. 

    Second, it's an equally safe assumption that people you know are already using Google+ and you don't know it. 

    Both these points mean we should all be building up our social networks of people we already know, regardless of whether those people are actively posting public posts or not. That way, as your family, friends and former classmates and colleagues start using Google+, you'll already have them circled. (Social "graphs," as Zuck calls them, take years to build, so it's best to get started now.)

    And third, it's a great idea to use Google+ to interact with people who are either non-registered or registered non-users. (Just add their email address to your circle if they're not registered or if you don't know their registered account.) 

    Just as Lewis C.K. says he's not raising his kids, he's raising the adults they'll become you're not cultivating your Google+ community as it is today, but what it will become in the years ahead. 

    Just a thought. 

    Reshared text:
    Google+ Surpasses 1 Billion Users!
    Look out Facebook, here we come!

    Yesterday it was revealed that Google+ has quietly surpassed the 1 Billion user mark. This is very exciting news-- how could I not create an #infographic  for that?

    I also shared my thoughts on the numbers here: http://dustn.ws/15UmW7Z

    These numbers only represent the number of registered users, as opposed to the number of active users. While the real test of a successful social network is in it's active user numbers, the registered user numbers are nothing to take lightly.

    What are your thoughts on this new data?

    #socialmedia   #evang+   #googleplus   #twitter   #instagram   #pinterest  
  • 810 plusses - 89 comments - 205 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-05-15 23:32:07
    Don't like the new multi-column view? Switch to single column!

    If you don't like Google+ coming at you in two or three columns, you can easily switch to a single-column view. 

    Go to your "Home" stream, click "More" and find at bottom the "Stream Layout" toggle. 
  • 541 plusses - 207 comments - 310 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-01-13 21:06:34
    BREAKING: Google to buy Nest for $3.2 billion.

  • 812 plusses - 118 comments - 179 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-11-06 21:36:31
    Why phone numbers are obsolete.

    It's time to dump phone numbers and embrace person-centric calling. It all might start with Google+.

  • 862 plusses - 111 comments - 140 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-04-12 17:15:58
    'Why your 8-year-old should be coding'

    Really nice piece by +Jolie O'Dell in +VentureBeat about the +Tynker launch. 

    (Now that I've posted this, I'll try to shut up about it for awhile... : ) 


  • 688 plusses - 79 comments - 251 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-03-12 22:15:35
    Wait, Google is working on home mesh networking?
    Google Senior Vice President +Sundar Pichai recently announced a forthcoming wearable computing SDK and said that wearable devices “need a mesh layer and a data layer by which they can come together.” He gave the example of a “smart jacket” as something Google would need to support in the future.

    He mentioned mesh networking again in the context of home automation. When asked about the company’s recent acquisition of Nest, which makes smart thermostats and talking smoke detectors, he said that Nest devices could be part of a “mesh layer” Google may be working on.

    A mesh networking topology is one in which each node in the network can also relay data to other nodes. Mesh networks enable ad hoc networks and also self-healing networks—like the Internet—where a missing, damaged or offline node causes the data to route-around the problem.

    But for the home? This is a truly exciting possibility. Here's why: 


  • 778 plusses - 72 comments - 198 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-05-01 21:53:13
    Smart bike is packed with sensors; networks with other smart bikes.

    A Kickstarter project called Valour wants to sell a line of smart bikes, packed with sensors for safety, convenience and awesomeness.

    For example, it grabs directions from your smart phone, then gives you blinking lights on the handlebars to tell you which way to turn. 

    The handlebars vibrate like an Xbox controller when you're about to swerve into a car. 

    Another cool feature: Just riding the bike charges the built-in electronics. 

    But here's the best part. Valour automatically networks with other Valour bikes, notifying your bike and app of potholes, closed roads and blocked lanes. If your bike is stolen, you'll be notified if the crook rides your bike near another Valour bike. 

  • 789 plusses - 68 comments - 193 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-07-20 19:41:20
    China's empty cities freak me out.

    Here's a Google Images search for several of China's empty "ghost" citities: http://goo.gl/HnfLj

    They're extra creepy because they're not abandoned cities -- they've never been populated. They're brand new. 

    And China keeps building them: There used to be one, now there are 12!

  • 718 plusses - 193 comments - 178 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-12-06 15:07:28
    I'm joining TWiT!

    I'm joining +TWiT as News Director and Lead Anchor of Tech News Today!

    I know, I know! I had a dream job that enabled me to live anywhere in the world. 

    In truth, there aren't many jobs that could keep me rooted in one spot. But if you've followed me for the past few years, you know I'm a huge, HUGE fan of +TWiT as an editorial voice, an entertainment juggernaut and as an organization. 

    I'm incredibly excited to work with +Leo Laporte and TWiT CEO +Lisa Kentzell, the TNT crew +iyaz akhtar, +Sarah Lane and +Jason Howell and the entire TWiT family. 

    So I officially report for duty January 2. In the meantime, I'm going to be moving to (or near) Petaluma and getting ready to join what is easily the coolest technology content creation team anywhere.
  • 937 plusses - 212 comments - 34 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-01-18 20:47:02
    What +John C. Dvorak needs to understand about Google+ and Twitter.

    If Costco were having a two-for-one sale on a nice Bordeaux, writer and podcaster +John C. Dvorak would be first in line. As both a lover of Bordeaux and a savvy financial guy, he wouldn't dream of saying: "No, I just want one bottle, even though two bottles are the same price."

    Yet that's what he does with social networking. And he's not alone. A LOT of people do this. Let me explain. 

    John's podcast, called +No Agenda, which he does twice a week with Podfather +Adam Curry, often talks about the pros and cons of Google+, as they did on yesterdays' broadcast. In the episode (which had a hilarious segment about Google+, by the way -- listen to the link below starting at 10:30 for the Google+ bit), John expressed his preference for Twitter over Google+. 


    First of all, John belittled the value of having a verified account -- this from a guy forced to use "TheRealDvorak" rather than JohnCDvorak on Twitter because some troll is using his unverified name on Twitter.

    Anyway, not using Google+ because you prefer Twitter is like turning down a free bottle of Bordeaux. 

    Why? Because by posting your tweets on Google+, then auto-posting on Twitter, gives you both for the price of one. 

    Personally, I view Twitter as an extension of Google+. I post on G+, and Twitter tweets just happen. I started out doing this to save time. But I got in four months the same follower count on Google+ that it took me four years to get on Twitter. 

    Here's how to auto-post to Twitter. 

    Go to ManageFlitter and sign up for a "Pro" account. (It's cheap.) Then, go to the following link and add the URL to your Google+ profile to auto-post to Twitter. 


    That's it! Now, when you want to send a "tweet," you just do it on Google+. The item is posted here, and also on Twitter. 

    Of course, if you want to exceed the 140 character limit, or post a video or post a dozen pictures, you can just do that without the fascist, arbitrary requirement to cram your ideas into 140 characters of ASCII. 

    Links on Twitter go back to the Google+ post where people can have a civilized conversation, rather than the barbaric @ mention gymnastics required on Twitter. 
    Posting on Twitter and Google+ is identical in terms of effort. The only difference is that posting on Twitter = one bottle of bordeaux and posting on Google+ = two. 

    It also needs to be said that you get audience MUCH faster on Google+. John has been devoted to Twitter for years, and has a respectable 86k followers. 

    He's barely posted on Google+, and has already gotten into 25k circles. By posting on Google+ and auto-posting to Twitter, John's G+ following would exceed his Twitter following within a year, driving more traffic to his columns, more listeners to his podcast and -- by the way -- more donations to his listener-supported podcast. 

    Why would +John C. Dvorak turn down this free bottle of bordeaux? Especially since the second bottle will grow into the only one big enough to matter. 
  • 762 plusses - 255 comments - 119 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-01-13 15:10:39
    Why most bloggers should blog on Google+.

    Xark blogger +Daniel Conover wrote a piece Friday about why he's turning off comments on his blog: 


    He tells the same sad story that I've seen dozens of prominent bloggers write: Trolls, haters and spambots have taken over their comments, and so they're going to stop allowing people to comment. Blog comments, he writes, turn into "troll ghettos."

    To me, a blog without comments is like a school without students or a concert without an audience. To me, engagement and interactivity with readers is a fundamental attribution of blogging, and really its main benefit for the blogger. 

    Dan reveals in his post that he's very close to the Google+ epiphany, but doesn't quite get there. He writes: 

    1. "The quality of your comments is really a reflection of your online community, not the snazziness of your comment control dashboard."

    2. "Regular people left blogging for social media platforms that far better suited their purposes." 

    3. He posts to Facebook and Twitter where people comment, but he can follow those "not as fully as I can via on-post comments."

    The solution to his problem couldn't be more obvious: Blog on Google+. 

    On Google+, you end up with super high-quality comments, and you don't even need a "comment control dashboard." You go where the people are. And you can have your cake and eat it, too: You can have comments on the post itself, and still have viral social sharing. 

    User accounts are less likely to be anonymous or false. It's easy to block trolls and haters. The community is fantastic. And just like a blog, public posts are just pages on the open Internet. 
  • 827 plusses - 149 comments - 126 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-01-12 15:59:02
    Gesture computing is here! (And it's out of control!)

    As the dust settles over Las Vegas, it's becoming clear that this year's International CES ushered in a new era of in-the-air gesture control.

    TVs, tablets, phones, cars that enable you to control them by waiving, pointing and generally moving your hands in the air were demonstrated at CES.

    As Microsoft proved with Kinect for Xbox 360, gesture control is a wonderful interface that really works. But there's one problem, possibly a fatal one for the acceptance of gesture control: There are no standard gestures.

    Every new gesture-control device makes you learn a whole new "vocabulary" of hand motions.

    Here's my column on why we desperately need gesture standards:

  • 794 plusses - 145 comments - 146 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-09-01 19:25:03
    Has anyone ever eaten gem corn?

    If so, what's it taste like?

    This ear was just harvested by Shannon Taylor. http://sherwoodtaylor.com/?p=1120
  • 778 plusses - 122 comments - 157 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-07-22 16:18:21
    Here comes the high-rez version of the Superman-Batman movie logo.

    I told you over the weekend about the announcement of a 2015 release of the Man of Steel Superman sequel, which will also feature Batman -- and I showed you a fuzzy, grainy snapshot of the logo, which was projected on screen at Comic-Con. 

    Here's the high-rez version. 
  • 775 plusses - 112 comments - 158 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-11-30 07:33:52
    The U.S. Navy's big stealth drone passes major test.

    The U.S. Navy's X-47B drone was successfully tested this week in simulated aircraft carrier conditions. Now they're doing to test it on an actual aircraft carrier. 

    Note that landing a drone of this size on an aircraft carrier is very hard to do, especially since this drone is designed to be controlled not by a remote pilot, but entirely via computer. The drone is constantly fed a high-bandwidth cocktail of data that includes the carriers' exact location, speed and direction, as well as crosswinds at the surface of the carrier. 

    Once the X-47B is deployed, it will transform the Navy's capabilities. Each X-47B can fly autonomously for up to 30 hours, and carry 4,500 pounds of bombs. 

    Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Yeah, this is going to be Skynet's number-one weapon against the human race once the machines take over. 

  • 669 plusses - 212 comments - 176 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-11-07 08:24:32
    Donald Trump calls on Twitter for a revolution to overthrow the government.

    He quickly deleted the tweet; but not before +Wil Wheaton saved it. 

  • 552 plusses - 451 comments - 139 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-01-11 09:39:19
    Who uses Google+?

    GPlusData published analysis on who uses Google+.

    The data, if accurate, invalidates most of the cliches and stereotypes about the Google+ user base. 

    The biggest surprise is that nearly half of all Google+ users are between the ages of 18 and 24, and more than one-third are students. 

    Only one-third of users are American, and only half speak English. 

  • 645 plusses - 143 comments - 220 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-06-08 22:06:15
    The Joy of Tech takes on the Prismgate.



    #prism   #prismgate  
  • 675 plusses - 74 comments - 232 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-10-16 18:27:19
    How Apple and Google became the world's best brands.

    Apple and Google are now officially the world’s two most valuable brands: http://goo.gl/a98nhN

    Apple rose from the #2 spot to #1 on Interbrand's list, edging out Coca-Cola, which has held the top spot for 13 consecutive years. Google rose two places to #2.

    How did a pair of technology companies—whose headquarters are just nine miles apart in Silicon Valley—rise to clobber the likes of Coca-Cola and McDonald’s?

    Here are the seven ways they did it: 


    #apple   #google  
  • 811 plusses - 131 comments - 121 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-06-09 15:18:31
    Why does this exist? Why? WHY?

    +Snoop Dogg: Can you explain this?
  • 751 plusses - 210 comments - 122 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-03-06 09:23:05
    Web site streams the sounds of a coffee shop!

    I have always found coffee shops to be the best places to work. They seem to have the right combination of noise and activity for maximum productivity and creativity, according to science. 

    Now, a new web site called Coffitivity streams the sounds of a coffee shop into your computer to re-create the atmosphere of your favorite java joint!


  • 678 plusses - 130 comments - 200 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-05-31 21:50:54
    iWatch promotional video leaked.
  • 622 plusses - 92 comments - 251 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-11-14 18:47:33
    What Google+ users know about G+ comments that YouTubers don't. (Yet.)

    A popular YouTube user named +boogie2988 posted a rant recently about the new Google+-centric YouTube comments system.

    But here's the thing: His complaints make 100% perfect sense to YouTube fans, and zero sense to Google+ fans. 

    The reason is that YouTube-centric people haven't experienced how well Google+ troll- and spam-filtering works yet. 

    As an example, I'm personally in about 2.8 million circles and post publicly every day. Yet I encounter maybe one troll a week in my comments. (The spammers are mostly taken care of by user flagging, so I don't see them much.)

    This is unimaginable with the old YouTube system. 

    In fact, this post will get a sh*tload of comments, I will demonstrate the power of Google+ comments by asking you to find the personal attacks, trolling, spamming, novels, ASCII crap and all the rest in the comment thread below this post/comment. Do you see it? No, you don't. That's the power of the Google+ commenting system. 

    The comment thread you'll see below my post is the quality you can expect in the future after the new system has been in effect over time. 

    I'm going to address each of the concerns raised in your video, but from the perspective of deep experience with the commenting system you're complaining about. 

    1. It doesn't matter if people upload books or movie scripts. It has zero effect on anything. These will sink to the bottom and be ignored, and eventually the trolls will stop bothering. (You can do this on Google+, too, but nobody bothers anymore.)

    2. Google has been very good at knocking down accounts that quickly pop up for trolling and spamming. This is a non-issue on Google+, and will become a non-issue on YouTube as the system has its effect over time. The culture of ASCII swastikas and penises emerged out of the old YouTube commenting system. I have never, ever seen these on Google+ because the tools and the use of those tools isolates these trolls and renders them completely unable to have an impact. 

    3. Again, the horrible trollish comments are punished, not promoted in the Google+ system. People will flag and block and vote them down -- again, over time. Your concern is that ugly comments rise to the top -- the opposite will happen over time. Google+ comments is the cure for this problem, not the source. (And you should block every user who does any kind of personal attack -- you'll never see them again.)

    4. External links are governed under the same system. Abusers will be flagged, blocked, isolated and eventually their accounts deleted. Again, you don't see this stuff happening much on Google+, and eventually you won't see if on YouTube, either. 

    You asked Google to "please, please fix this."

    What Google+ users know that YouTubers don't is that Google+ comments IS the fix and WILL fix all the things you talked about. The system will burn a scorched earth on the trolls of YouTube, and they will eventually find no quarter, get no attention and have no impact. High-quality commenters will grow in influence. Both these outcomes take time. 

    YouTube has the MOST spam and trolls. Google+ has the LEAST. It's not because Google+ people are better -- they're not. It's because the commenting system is better. 

    And here's the irony: YouTube commenting is now even better than Google+ for all these issues. On YouTube, better comments rise to the top and trollish votes can be voted down. 

    The YouTubers who embrace the new system, and actively block trolls, will eventually find their comments with ZERO TROLLS. 
  • 655 plusses - 318 comments - 126 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-04-21 19:31:24
    Tom Cruise movie Oblivion #1 at box office bla bla bla -- LOOK AT THAT PC!

    I need one!

  • 809 plusses - 208 comments - 80 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-04-26 18:35:19
    Why the social networks are falling apart.

    Don't look now, but Facebook, Twitter and Google have a new model for the business of social: http://goo.gl/7L9DyF

    The old business model: Bring the world to a single site, harvest their information on that site and display ads on that site. 

    The new business model: Harvest personal data anywhere you can, then sell ads anywhere you can. 

    That's why Facebook is embracing its multi-app strategy and will announce an ad network Wednesday. 

    That's why Twitter bought Vine and MoPub. 

    And that's why Google will now stop being so aggressive with integrating everything into Google+. 

    Here's what you need to know about the new business of social: 


    #socialnetworking  #google+ #facebook   #twitter  
  • 610 plusses - 89 comments - 255 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-06-29 00:51:58
    The trouble with travel ads.

    Travel ads are often hilarious, because they depict things that look great in a photograph but just aren't going to happen in reality. 

    One example is that they show people sitting on lawn chairs a foot deep in shallow water. That's not going to happen. People sit on the dry sand. 

    The old hammock-over-the-water image looks great. But here's the sad reality: http://youtu.be/Kgx3Vwxtf0Q
  • 838 plusses - 97 comments - 107 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-12-26 19:10:09
    Will the Facebook bubble burst in 2014?

    Everybody uses Facebook because everybody uses Facebook. But what happens when they don’t? http://goo.gl/1GfKug

    Facebook’s position as the leading social network is based on “network effect” - its value in today's crowded social networking world is based entirely on mass participation, just like, say, the telephone system. 

    People don’t like Facebook. The total effect of Facebook’s features, functions and design is strongly negative.

    People love using Facebook because they love the other people who use Facebook. And that’s why Facebook feels like a “bubble” that’s overdue for a collapse.

    Once everybody is no longer on Facebook, the “network effect” is weakened and its value decreases for everyone.

    Facebook is suffering from a quiet abandonment, especially among teens and people in their 20s -- Facebook’s original demographic and the future of all social networks. 

    At some point, a "singularity" will be reached where the network effect bubble will burst, and Facebook will essentially become like MySpace -- the former social leader that hardly anybody uses anymore. 

    The question is: Will the bubble burst this year?


  • 663 plusses - 209 comments - 164 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-08-11 15:36:50
    First Swiss smartwatch announced.

    Behold! The Hyetis Crossbow -- Switzerland's first entry into the smartwatch racket.

    The watch combines an analog watch with an over-the-top, full-featured smartphone. Really full-featured. 

    Under the mechanical hands lies a high-resolution color display.

    The watch connects via both WiFi and Bluetooth and can be paired with a smartphone.

    It has sensors galore, too, including an altimeter, light meter, microphone, thermometer and barometer, as well as biometric sensors built into the band. 

    A 41 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics points out from the 12 hand position. 

    Two rechargeable batteries are housed inside the watch's wristband, and a conventional watch battery inside powers the mechanical hands.

    You configure the watch with a free app or on the Hyetis web site. 

    Hyetis says they're limiting the initial release to 500 units, and it will cost $1,200. It ships later this year, according to the company web site, and will soon be available for pre-order. After the initial production run, the company says they'll start work on a version that will be configurable online like the Moto X.

    So far, this strikes me as a startup with a big idea that's using its limited release to raise funds for the manufacturing. I doubt they'll ship this year, and it's possible they may never ship. Still, it's an ambitious effort. I'll be keeping my eye on this one. 


    A different picture of the Hyetis Crossbow was today's Mystery Pic. Big props to ME for coming up with a Mystery Pic nobody could guess! 


    +Arny Kapshitzer 
  • 637 plusses - 98 comments - 229 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-03-23 17:37:13
    Why I believe the Apple iWatch will have these 6 killer features.

    We learned this week that Google, Samsung and LG are all planning smartwatches. 

    Sony, Pebble, Cookoo, I'm Smart, MetaWatch and Martian already have pretty sophisticated smartwatches available, all of which interoperate with the iPhone.

    You can be sure that 100 Chinese companies will make inexpensive smartwatches that support either the iPhone or Android or both.

    And, of course, Apple is rumored to be working on a curved-glass "iWatch."

    Here's why I believe Apple's smartwatch will have a market advantage: 

  • 656 plusses - 205 comments - 167 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-07-26 21:36:28
    Car company makes stroller with dads in mind.

    The European car company Skoda's VRS Mega Man-Pram features hydraulic suspension, wing mirrors, oversized brake caliper and 20-inch wheels with all-terrain rubber tires.

    Unfortunately, they may never actually sell it. 

    What do you think? To much?

  • 618 plusses - 134 comments - 218 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-05-29 00:39:15
    13 weird things Americans do.

    International Redditors got together and chose the 13 weirdest things that Americans do. Great list, Reddit. 


    #weirdandproud   #america   #reddit  
  • 643 plusses - 192 comments - 174 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-08-17 17:42:48
    How the Moto X innovates 5 new ways to use a phone (and how the iPhone could leapfrog Motorola on 4 of them).

    The Moto X is the phone to beat for Apple. But can they? Will they? http://goo.gl/UAByoa

    Apple rightly defines innovation not in terms of new technology, but new user behaviors. By that standard, the Moto X will be the most innovative phone in the industry when it ships later this month.

    Can Apple beat the Moto X when it announces the new iPhones next month? Here's how I think Apple could beat Motorola on 4 of the 5 new user behaviors that the Moto X brings to life. 

  • 750 plusses - 198 comments - 105 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-06-22 02:17:41
    High school students riot after teachers stop them from cheating on exams.

    High school students taking university entrance exams in the small Chinese city of Zhongxiang went on a rampage after teachers actually tried for the first time to seriously crack down on cheating. 

    The school brought in 54 teachers from other schools to administer the test and set up metal detectors to find electronic cheating devices. 

    They also deployed officials to patrol the area outside the school to catch people using transmitters to beam answers to test takers. 

    As soon as the test was over, a mob of students, parents and others started throwing rocks, with some chanting: "There is no fairness if you do not let us cheat." (The idea is that cheating is so widespread in China that one school not being allowed to cheat is unfair.) Teachers were trapped inside while police tried to protect the school. 

  • 581 plusses - 170 comments - 216 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-12-19 20:46:14
    How to win a ginger-bread making contest.

    Nobody beats Optimus Prime. 

    (Props: http://goo.gl/S47Ihp )
  • 795 plusses - 52 comments - 137 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-01-28 17:46:22
    Here's the sad monkey Iran shot into space.

    Why would they publish this photo? This photo does not advance the cause of Iranian prestige in space.

  • 514 plusses - 427 comments - 141 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-04-14 19:38:25
    Google buys Titan Aerospace!

    Facebook was supposed to be buying this, but Google snapped it up. The company makes solar-powered drones that can fly for five years without landing.

    Details: http://twit.tv/content/google-buys-titan-aerospace
  • 713 plusses - 111 comments - 160 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-11-01 17:35:35
    Just arrived!

    (It's an eval unit.)
  • 910 plusses - 117 comments - 34 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-11-11 17:54:11
    Why Google+ is the best communications medium.

    Personal diaries, letters, email, chat, social networking and blogging were all invented at different times and in different contexts. 

    Because of this, people today have trouble understanding that they're all the same thing -- words and pictures for memory and communication. 

    Google has united all these old forms of communication into a newer and simpler and better one: Google+. 

    Chances are, you see only my Public posts, which in another context would be blog posts. However, my Public posts are only about half the posts I do. 

    I also post what on Facebook would be considered social networking posts or status updates -- personal pictures and news for friends and family. 

    I often post messages addressed to a single person, an alternative to email. 

    And I post a LOT of items just for me -- just to have a photographic memory of my experiences. I call this "lifelogging," but that's just a trendy buzzword that means keeping a personal diary. 

    These are all different things, but only on other sites. On Google+, they're all the same thing: My stream.

    It's all just my words and pictures, listed in reverse-chronological order, plus searchable, addressed to nobody, a few people or everybody. 

    It's not hard to understand. In fact, what's hard to understand is why people allow themselves to be stuck in the old-and-busted ways of communication when something obviously better exists. 

    What do you think? 
  • 630 plusses - 102 comments - 212 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-11-09 23:00:18
    Buckle up: Apple’s next 3 years will be insane.

    In the past three years, Apple has dared to be dull. http://goo.gl/IeCtQO

    During Apple’s very best years — between 2007 and 2010, Apple introduced the first iPhone and the first iPad, two world-changing products that now define Apple and bring in most of its revenue. These products were a shocked to the consumer electronics industry, scrambling the trajectory of the whole industry and refocusing it on Apple’s direction.

    That’s great, Apple. But what have you done for me lately?


    (Pic props: http://goo.gl/ZyBmFD )
  • 716 plusses - 125 comments - 147 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-10-29 07:01:05
    Happy Internet Day!

    Today is "Internet Day." It was on this day, October 29, 1969, when the first ARPANET link was established in California between the University of California at Los Angeles and Stanford.

    By December 5, two more universities had been connected -- University of Utah and the University of California, Santa Barbara.

    This four-node network became the core of today's Internet.


  • 614 plusses - 55 comments - 239 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-04-27 20:43:36
    Who says CDs are obsolete?

    This hotel in Madrid I spotted today is still making good use if them. 
  • 796 plusses - 88 comments - 110 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-04 18:42:10
    The 45 craziest news photos of the year.

  • 544 plusses - 278 comments - 176 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-03-16 19:20:31
    Other phones are getting all the attention, so Apple launched a page to tell you 'Why iPhone.'

  • 535 plusses - 461 comments - 96 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-13 08:16:53
    Three suns appear over Shanghai; everybody freaks out.

    Three suns appeared December 10, visible in parts of China's Shanghai and Jiangsu provinces.

    Actually, it was a "solar halo" that created the illusion of three suns.

    Still, some people started panicking about an apocalypse -- the Mayans were right, that sort of thing.

  • 671 plusses - 173 comments - 141 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-05-23 05:58:42
    The Kinect sensors in the new Xbox One are so crazy good they can monitor your heartbeat from changes in your skin tone.

    This, my friends, is amazing technology. Watch this video and get blown away. 
  • 579 plusses - 103 comments - 218 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-09-30 02:57:55
    Apple is now the world's most valuable brand.

    Coca-Cola has been ranked as the world's most valuable brand for 13 years. But tomorrow, corporate brand consultancy Interbrand will announce that the Coca-Cola brand has dropped to the number-three spot, replace by Apple, now the most valuable brand in the world. 

    Google, which had been the worlds fourth most valuable brand rose to number two. 

    Most of the brands in the top ten are now technology brands like Microsoft, Samsung and Intel. 

  • 634 plusses - 173 comments - 152 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-03-11 19:51:05
    Why I'll never sign another mobile contract.

    I'm done with two-year contracts. In fact, I'm going to pay the early termination fee and get out of my current AT&T contract. I'm going to sell my iPhone and buy an unlocked phone.

    Here's why:

  • 626 plusses - 237 comments - 128 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-01-06 01:59:01
    Would you wear Google Glass if they looked like this? (With prescription lenses)

    These are on display this week at CES from Rochester Optical. 

  • 752 plusses - 197 comments - 67 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-06-19 23:30:47
  • 498 plusses - 216 comments - 214 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-05-25 14:06:22
    What I learned using only Google products.

    As a former Windows and current Apple user, I wanted to understand the full Google platform experience firsthand. So I went all-in.

    Sure, I've used Android devices and even a Chromebook casually before. But I never tried to rely on them full time.

    Boy, did I learn a lot about Google (and Apple). And my opinions on many things have changed. I'm going to tell you the 10 shocking things I learned and how my mobile computing buying and usage have been transformed.


    #google   #chromebookpixel   #nexus4   #nexus   #googlediet  
  • 603 plusses - 109 comments - 196 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-11-28 03:43:24
    Does this give you the willies?

    Reshared text:
    On the edge mountain biking

    #wednesdaynightpic   #mountainbiking   #ridingontheedge  
  • 711 plusses - 131 comments - 118 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-06-28 17:24:41
    Why Android Wear is the new iPad   http://goo.gl/pi6WeA

    It's bulky and awkward. We have smartphones, so it's unnecessary. It's a solution in search of a problem. You can't read it in sunlight. The screen gets all smudgy. It's too expensive. It's dumb.

    That was the consensus "expert" reaction to Apple's iPad four years ago.

    Already I'm hearing the exact same list of complaints about Android Wear watches that I heard about the iPad, and for the exact same reasons.

    And I'm going to say the same things about Android Wear that I (correctly) said about the iPad: Android Wear will be an addictive and massive cultural phenomenon, and its primary benefit is a lack of features -- minimalism is what makes it so powerful.

    But the reason Android Wear is revolutionary, is that it ships out of the box with its Killer App: Google Now.

    Read it all here: 

  • 741 plusses - 133 comments - 98 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-01 09:47:10
    Woman puts a camera on her cat's collar to find out what he does while out of the house.

    Bad kitty! (Hilarious.)


  • 583 plusses - 106 comments - 202 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-05-17 18:15:50
    How Tom Wheeler's FCC plan will wreck your Internet.

    FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is the Michelangelo of lobbyists, and the proposal for net neutrality voted upon by the Federal Communications Commission this week is his Sistine Chapel.

    Wheeler has managed to forward his proposal to kill net neutrality in a country where almost everybody wants net neutrality. He's doing it by exploiting the ignorance, gullibility and passivity of the public, the anti-regulation platform of the political right and truckloads of money from the industry he serves at the expense of the public.

    Let me tell you about the best lobbyist in America: 


  • 594 plusses - 72 comments - 209 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-02-23 22:40:07
    Google’s Nexus Smartwatch: 7 Easy-to-Guess Features!

    Here comes the Google Nexus Smartwatch: http://goo.gl/jwbcW1

    The Wall Street Journal reported today that an Android-powered smartwatch is coming from LG and Google. The Journal’s source said other companies may also be involved, and that the device is likely to be unveiled at Google I/O, Google’s developer conference, which is scheduled to begin June 25.

    According to the report, the watch will be integrated with Google Now.

    The report didn’t specify the N word, but this information reeks of a quasi-reference design product in line with the Nexus strategy. It’s easy to imagine all this as a Nexus-branded smartwatch with all the core attributes of the Nexus lines of phones and tablets. Let’s go ahead and call it the Nexus Smartwatch.

    So what are these Nexus attributes when applied to a smartwatch? Here are seven: 


  • 680 plusses - 70 comments - 152 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-06-04 15:21:41
    Why the Guardian’s ‘Matrix’ analogy fails.

    Nothing much happens in the UK and the country has very little impact on the outside world. 

    At least, that’s the false belief you could come to if you never went to the UK and never learned anything about how the world works. 

    Likewise, if you never visited Google+ and didn’t learn how it really works, you could conclude that the network has “little visible engagement, pretty much no impact on the outside world,” as Guardian writer +Charles Arthur has done in a misleading column recently. 


    There are two kinds of writers who comment on Google+’s “impact”: Those who use it and learn how massive its impact is and those who don’t use it and ignorantly conclude from their own non-use that nothing is going on. 

    Arthur, who hasn’t posted anything on Google+ for two years, makes the classic Arthur Spooner error, which I described here. 


    But that’s an old error hardly anyone is clueless enough to make anymore and it's not that interesting. 

    The second problem I have with Arthur’s post is the whole ‘Matrix’ analogy, which doesn't work. 

    His point is that Google+ isn’t a place you go, but rather like the Matrix is everywhere you go, it’s the synthetic world around us that exists not for our benefit but for the benefit of the machines, a.k.a. Google. 

    He’s referring, of course, to the fact that Google uses Google+ and the Google+ Sign-In to harvest signals from users, and that’s the whole point of the ubiquitous Google social layer.

    Arthur’s is a colorful analogy, but a false and misleading one. Not only is Google+ unlike the Matrix, it’s the opposite of the Matrix. 

    The Matrix was created in order to pacify humans so their energy could be harvested to power the machine world. Every human was given a virtual reality life in exchange for being exploited by the machines. 

    The artificial world of the Matrix was stuck in the past. The world of Google is doing the opposite -- driving forward at a rapid clip. Instead of giving humans a fake version of the old world, Google makes its living by giving humans a better real world, one that didn’t exist before. 

    We can pay for and have this advancing technology, or we can not pay for it and not have it. 

    If we pay for it, there are three basic models: 1) payment for service; 2) tax and spend; and 3) advertiser supported service. 

    Advertiser-support for cloud services is morally superior to other means of monetization. The reason is that payment is voluntary and unevenly applied. 

    The vast majority of Google users don’t pay for it in any way. They are simply the beneficiaries of empowering free services that are paid for by other people. 

    A minority of wealthier users are paying for everything because we buy stuff and therefore advertisers pay Google to reach us. 

    This represents a massive transfer of wealth from rich to poor, whereby a small number of people -- by simply being served with ads that hawk things we want to buy -- pay for services that are completely free to anyone in the world with an Internet connection. 

    If Google charged, say, $20 per month to use all its services, the world’s poor would be left behind. No Google Search. No voice-based search for the blind or illiterate. No Google Books. No Google nothing. 

    That’s the alternative to advertising. 

    All those harvesting of signals simply drive better relevance in advertising -- to show me ads for clothes and gadgets and services that I really want to know about, rather than advertising to me weight loss pills and tampons. 

    Google's model has no other purpose than to do a better job of helping me get what I want, both in better services and better advertising. And in the getting, I pay for Google to empower a billion people with free services. 

    Does that sound like the Matrix to you? 

    By slamming the concept of the signal-enhanced contextual advertising model, Arthur is implying that there’s a better way. So I would like to ask Arthur directly which is the better model: 

    1. No improvements in cloud services because nobody pays for it. 

    2. Government taxation and bureaucracy creating cloud services that would be as bleeding edge as the post office. 

    3. Paid services, which would put the world's most powerful tools beyond the reach of the world's poor majority. 

    4. Irrelevant advertising that shows people random products and services they don’t want. 

    Arthur’s Matrix analogy is simply a bad one because it doesn't fit the facts. 

    And besides, unlike the Matrix, Google+ is optional. 

    You can decide that ignorance is bliss, opt out and remain completely ignorant about it -- as Arthur has done. 


    #googleplus   #thematrix  
  • 594 plusses - 111 comments - 183 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-04-19 23:50:17
    Photosphere from my hike today.

    Love the new Google Camera app. The best feature isn't blur. It's Photosphere! (Click on the photo to see it in full glory.)
  • 777 plusses - 94 comments - 76 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-03-01 23:39:23
    Iceland tests meat pies for horse meat; finds no meat at all.

    Concerned about the horse meat scandal in Europe, Iceland officials started testing locally available meat products. Surprisingly, they found one brand of beef pie contained no meat of any kind.

    The larger issue is not about meat, horse or otherwise. It's about the food industry, which cynically believes that as long as the consumer believes he's getting what he thinks he's getting, it doesn't matter what he's actually getting.

    We need to start turning the screws on the food industry  Because they're screwing their customers, and in far worse ways than horse meat in Taco Bell and no meat in beef pies. 

  • 586 plusses - 170 comments - 158 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-04-07 17:51:29
    Forget Facebook Home. I want Google+ Home!

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook Home this week, a layer that sits on top of Android that gives primacy to Facebook messaging, pictures and, eventually, advertising. Facebook Home is a great idea (for Facebook). 

    But I have a better idea: Google+ Home.

    Google should create something that works a lot like Facebook Home — that puts Google stuff on top of anything else that’s happening on the phone as a layer.

    Google+ Home would be a gazillion times better than Facebook Home because Google is a gazillion times better than Facebook.

    Who else wants Google+ Home? 

  • 793 plusses - 113 comments - 54 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-14 14:53:47
    Here's another reason why eBooks rule....

  • 674 plusses - 109 comments - 128 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-09-17 00:56:35
    Typical iPad fanboys...

    Syrian opposition members use an iPad to fire a homemade mortar in Jobar, Damascus, yesterday. They could really use a ruggedized case. 


    Props to +Rashed Alrashed. 
  • 512 plusses - 156 comments - 202 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-01-08 12:27:44
    Meet Diego-San, the newest animatronic robot!

    Hanson Robotics collaborated with researchers at the University of California at San Diego to create this boy robot they've named Diego-San.

    The face was built by Hanson Robotics, and the body was built by Japan's Kokoro Co.

    Diego-San can see with HD cameras in his eyes, and uses artificial intelligence software "modeled on human babies" so that he learns. 

    When this thing grows up, he's going to control Skynet from a bunker. 


    Anyway, a photo of Diego-San was one of today's Mystery Pics: 


    Props to ME for coming up with a Mystery Pic nobody could guess!
  • 487 plusses - 185 comments - 204 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-11-13 13:30:33
    Under-appreciated YouTube change: Comments elevated to post status.

    The most astonishing change in YouTube comments is barely discussed, which is that "Also share on Google+" is the default setting for comments. For people who leave this option checked, the video commented upon is posted on Google+ with the user's comment as the body of the message. 

    For example, this post you're reading now is just a comment on +iJustine's YouTube video. 

    Doesn't that make YouTube videos a gazillion times more viral? 
  • 740 plusses - 162 comments - 57 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-17 07:56:07
    Facebook to launch teen sexting app.

    Facebook reportedly plans to launch a direct competitor to Snapchat. 

    Snapchat is a phone app that lets users send a picture that self-destructs after a few seconds. It can be used for legit purposes, but mostly it's used by teenagers for sending inappropriate pictures -- without getting grounded. 

    Snapchat is not about sexting. It's about getting away with sexting. 

    The app is massively popular among high school students and Anthony Weiner types, and Facebook wants a piece of the action. Allegedly.



  • 546 plusses - 244 comments - 138 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-11-25 16:41:50
    FDA bans 23andMe test kits.

    It appears that the medical-industrial complex has finally ordered its flunkies in government to stop people from knowing about their own DNA. 

    The FDA thinks that your genes are none of your business. They belong to the corporations that charge by far the highest healthcare costs in the world. 

    The FDA ordered +23andMe to immediately stop selling their saliva testing kits. And why? They say it's because it could lead people to seek out the wrong medical treatments. 

    The medical industrial complex works like movie theaters -- they can't charge $5 for a bag of popcorn if you bring your own. The medical industrial complex can double their prices only if they have a monopoly on healthcare. The FDA's 23andMe crackdown is part of a larger effort by the government to eliminate alternatives to America's family-crushing, economy-destroying healthcare costs. 

    The last thing the medical industrial complex wants is informed citizens with insights into their own genetic information. You're supposed to be a dumb consumer of medical services, blindly obeying your doctor (who has been pressured and paid off by the drug and medical equipment companies to maximize costs). 

    You'll notice the FDA is doing nothing about the looming antibiotics disaster or the 100,000 Americans who die each year from prescription drugs. Those are highly profitable for the industry. 

    But allowing people to know about their own health? This is what the FDA thinks demands urgent action. 

    If the FDA were honestly concerned about the threat of wrong treatment, they would have instead banned +23andMe from revealing or sharing information about the specific diseases they claim to be concerned about, and allow the company to offer results on both the majority of the information they share about disease, and also information about ancestry. 

    What they clearly want instead is to financially cripple companies that are informing people about their own health. You can NOT bring your own popcorn into this theater. 






  • 403 plusses - 159 comments - 263 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-11-30 14:08:43
    North Korean archaeologists discover unicorn lair. 

    If you thought the hermit kingdom couldn't get any more unhinged, the country's Academy of Social Sciences has recently "reconfirmed a lair of the unicorn rode by King Tongmyong, founder of the Koguryo Kingdom."


  • 509 plusses - 173 comments - 188 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-05-31 19:25:09
    New York City in 1939... in color!

    I love seeing color photographs and video from times that are normally captured only in black and white. 

    This rare footage was captured in 1939. Color really brings that era to life and makes it seem more recent, doesn't it? 

    Props: http://gawker.com/heres-some-extremely-rare-color-footage-of-new-york-ci-510706981

  • 621 plusses - 64 comments - 168 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2012-12-01 04:49:07
    TV news anchors report TV show location as real plane crash.

    Once they find out it's a TV shoot, they try to blame the people filming, as if it's the responsibility of news subjects, rather than news journalists, to make sure the news is accurately reported. 

    Sigh. What would we do without the TV news? 
  • 598 plusses - 159 comments - 139 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-06-19 13:50:20
    Texas pastor says if congregation members will help pay for his helicopter repairs, God will send them a car.

    New Light Church pastor Bishop I.V. Hilliard told Houston, Texas, parishioners that if they each donated $52 each for replacement blades for his helicopter that God would reward the action with car repair or a new car.


  • 320 plusses - 304 comments - 238 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2014-02-01 22:46:50
    Wow! Awesome.

    Props to +Robert Headley 

    Reshared text:
    3D Webcam
    Indiegogo campaign to build a prototype robotic webcam that mimics the movements of an Oculus Rift, potentially the first domestic visual telepresence device.
    More Here: http://prsk.nl/1eEI6a6
  • 693 plusses - 37 comments - 129 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-08-07 14:05:59
    Gadget charges your phone with fire and water.

    A product called the FlameStower converts heat from any kind of flame into electricity for charging any rechargeable USB device, including a smartphone, by first heating water. 


    A different picture of the FlameStower was today's Mystery Pic. Props to +Jim Lian for being first with the right answer!

  • 473 plusses - 101 comments - 232 shares | Read in G+
  • Mike Elgan2013-12-08 23:13:35
    I want my NTV (yeah, that’s Nexus TV).

    A brand-new subscription news site called The Information published a story this week saying Google would launch a product within the next seven months called Nexus TV.

    I believe and hope the story is true because I’m rooting for Google in the TV space. Here’s why.


    #nexustv   #googletv   #google  
  • 775 plusses - 94 comments - 49 shares | Read in G+