Google announces new Chromecasts, Pixel tablet

Pixel C, Chromecast, Nexus

Earlier this week, Google announced a variety of new devices and services. Here’s my two cents on all the new Google stuff. Chromecasts: Now with audio Google’s released an updated version of the Chromecast. Besides various software (and WiFi hardware) updates, the new Chromecasts will also come in a choice of colors: black, “coral” (red), and “lemonade” (yellow). … Read more

Google’s next Android version will be named “Marshmallow”

Android Marshmallow

Google’s announced that version 6.0 of its Android mobile operating system will be named “Marshmallow.” For years, Google has named its Android versions mainly after various snack foods, all in alphabetical order: Alpha Beta Cupcake Donut Eclair Froyo Gingerbread Honeycomb Ice Cream Sandwich Jelly Bean KitKat Lollipop Marshmallow The news came with the release of … Read more

Google to name its newly-created parent company “Alphabet”

Dinosaurs A to Z

Google announced today that in the name of an organizational effort, it’s putting its various businesses, including Google, Inc. itself, under a new parent company. The parent company’s name? “Alphabet.” The idea is to spin off the businesses not related to Google’s core/primary focuses under a broader corporate umbrella. Google’s stock will keep its current New … Read more

Google plans to unlink Google+ from its services


Google’s recent moves to decouple Photos from Google+ isn’t the only Google+ news. Google announced on its blog earlier today that the search engine giant also plans to unlink Google+ as a requirement for its various other services, starting with YouTube comments. YouTube comment users hated the shift to requiring Google+ for comments, so they’ll presumably be … Read more

A year with the Chromebook


It’s been a year since I bought my Acer C720 Chromebook. Last year, I wanted a more lightweight laptop versus my 15″ HP laptop, which weighs over 5 lbs (2.3 kg). I also was growing increasingly curious about Chrome OS and Chromebooks as an alternative to traditional Linux distributions. Others online, including Heather at, also … Read more

Google+ Photos shutting down on August 1, 2015

Google Photos

Google’s recently spun off its popular Google+ Photos service into the stand-alone Google Photos, without the “+” or ties to Google’s less-than-popular Google+ social network. As such, the search engine giant is shutting down its Google+ Photos apps as of August 1, starting with the Android app, followed by the iOS and web versions. Users … Read more

Google revises Google Play Music, now has free streaming tier

Google Play Music

Google today unveiled a revised version of Google Play Music. Besides dropping the awkward “All Access” name (which was about time), Google Play Music now offers users of its free service streaming audio of various “stations,” just like its $10/month service. Unlike paying customers, the streaming service comes with only six song skips per station … Read more

Google Photos now a standalone service

Google Photos

Google’s been promising for awhile to separate its popular Google+ Photos service from its less-popular Google+ social network. Today, at its I/O developer conference, Google’s made good on its promise: as of today, Google Photos is a stand-alone service. The revamped web service is now online, while updated apps for Android and iOS are also … Read more

How to make a stab at blocking referrer spam in Google Analytics

Referrer spam is a newer type of spam affecting those using Google Analytics to track site statistics. Very generally speaking, it’s traffic from bots that appear in your analytics figures with fake referrer URLs that’re just spam-related sites. The idea of such is to get you to visit the spammer’s site out of curiosity. Some types of … Read more