Nest’s Lost Opportunity

Ron Amadeo at Ars Technica outlines the sad path that Nest has taken since acquisition by Alphabet/Google. It’s mostly a tale of lost opportunity, since at this amazing moment the future of home control in the new internet of things world is being mapped, and the window is closing for those who want to be main players determining the strategy and driving the direction.

With Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft all putting hubs forth Google had to respond and Nest really missed that boat. (Just as Microsoft missed an earlier Internet of Things opportunity years ago by not putting much into their Home Server efforts.)

We are at a huge convergence – now¬†is when our cities and homes go automated, intelligent, robotic, and context aware. There’s a huge wave to ride there for able surfers, and Nest appears to have wiped out.

Invitation to Google Voice

Woohoo! I’ve gotten my invite to Google voice, which means I can try out / beta their new voice service and let you know how it goes. I will apply by asking for a new phone number that will ring or not ring all of my other numbers, depending on how I set it up.

It looks pretty good, with the service essentially being a cloud based network queue and voicemail point for all of my phones that also does voicemail and other services. I’m going to experiment as I go and let you know what things are good, and what could use improvement.

I thought I better start taking the first step towards cutting free entirely from location based telephony, since at some point in the future many of us will have several IPV6 addresses that substitute for phone numbers, and eventually all “phone” calls will convert to video calls anyway.

On Google Books & The Settlement

On Google Books & The Settlement

Not many are aware of the breadth of the Google Books initiative, or the controversies it has created. I became aware of it from reading Vernor Vinge’s “Rainbow’s End“.

Here’s Google’s Alexander MacGillivray talking about the service, the legal challenges, and the settlement.

This makes it worthwhile to get a library card again, there are many out of print books that I want to read again.

Thanks go to the Berkman Center for the session.

Bing Live

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Microsoft’s new search engine, Bing is now live. I’ve tried it a few times with mixed results, it is pretty and does have new features however.

The good news is that Microsoft and Bill Gates have been busy buying into regional news outlets and small town papers the past few years, which means when you are looking for the local immediate source for a hot news item they may have it sooner.

In the recent slaying in Arkansas, AP had one story out the first day, but initially it was very thin on information; searching Bing brought me immediately to the local station where they had much more story and some video, while google and yahoo did not have the link. This is important to us newshounds.

When searching for the Tiller shooting, there were many more links in the Google “wall of mud” search, but it was a chore going through them for the pertinent and not just repetition of what was already out. Bing provided a link to pitch.com, which had a picture of the car and arrest of suspect. So pluses for that.

Now the bad news: you do get fewer returns with Bing, but they are quality. You also have to hit “more” and drop down if you just want to sort for news, a step you don’t have with Google since “news’ sort is in their header.

The video below from John4Lakers covers most of the new features

I’ll be making more comparisons in the future as I continue to try out Bing vs Google.