General Google

chromecast offer

Good news for anyone that’s bought a Chromecast recently, Google’s got a special offer on. Set up your Chromecast and visit by 31 January 2015 and you can get £15 of Google Play credit! Not bad eh? If you were lucky enough to get a Chromecast in a recent Amazon sale you’ll have got it for £18, so essentially have paid £3 for it with free films/music! Nice.

If you weren’t that lucky, don’t worry, there’s still offers on. I checked my (older) Chromecast yesterday and had 3 months of free Now TV, 90 days of Google Play Music Unlimited and the original X-Men film to download and keep! Nice.

To check it out simply logon to your home PC or laptop in your wifi connection (the same one as the Chromecast), download the Chromecast extension and follow this link

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A potentially disturbing story caught my eye the other day – an article titled ‘Google acquires artificial intelligence firm DeepMind, likely to aid its robotics project‘. Now having only just recently read about how Google had acquired Boston Dynamics (a robot company), I couldn’t help worry that Google might be thinking about building Skynet.

If you watch the videos below, there’s already something thoroughly disturbing about the Boston Dynamics robot designs.

I guess we can only hope that Google’s ‘Don’t be evil‘ philosophy prevents them from building the machines that will lead to the downfall of the human race.


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Google Glass is one of those great inventions, one that might even be well before it’s time. It’s the sort of tech that could potentially change our lives and yet people are already frowning, wringing their hands and generally kicking up a stink about the potential invasion of privacy Glass presents. And that’s what’s really frustrating me – not the fact that I can’t actually get my hands on a pair yet. Yes, Glass is $1,500 for a developer/explorer edition and that’s prohibitive in itself, but it’s the people that are ruining Glass before it even becomes main stream.

The reasons Glass is potentially great (for me) is two-fold:

  1. Hands-free photography in the moment – that is you see something great happening and don’t have to fumble in your pocket for your phone, unlock it, find the camera app, oh no, wait, the moment’s gone. There’d be no more missing those amazing moments with Glass – my son’s first words, my cats fighting, an awesome car that’s driving by, a cool sunset, whatever. Glass opens up a world of photography possibilities.
  2. Heads-up navigation display – Google Maps Navigation is awesome. I’ve always thought so. It’s smart, handy and easy-to-use. But having to look down, sideways or even up to look at my phone screen while driving is impractical and a pain. Having to find a suitable dock/holder for your phone (and possibly replace that every two years when you upgrade) is also an inconvenience. So having navigation right there, just in front of your eye is fantastic.

Alas, both these simple things, that I love (and are the main appeals of Glass in my humble opinion) are exactly the things that people are kicking up a fuss over.

Here’s the highlights:

Pretty disheartening stuff really. Perhaps we can have cybernetic implants instead?

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I work in search engine optimisation, as such the lines between my personal interest and work interests often blur. Mostly because my work is so Google-centered.

For the geek side of me (and Google fanboy) it annoys me when people dismiss Google+ as being ‘pointless’ or something equally as scathing. Saying things like ‘people don’t use it’, ‘no one will move from Facebook’, ‘blah, blah, blah’ – utter nonsense. My Google+ feed is full of plenty of great content. It’s a much better looking platform than the other social networks and things like circles, autoawesome photos, YouTube integration (tentative subject alert!) make it superior.

From an SEO perspective it drives me mad when clients won’t use Google+ for the above reasons (or laziness) because it’s a Google product, therefore it’s logical it’s bound to have some impact on your search rankings.

So Moz posted this whiteboard Friday video that basically makes (and proves) my point.

If you have the time to watch I’d advise you do. Even if you don’t own a business it’s relevant to you.

Google are pushing Google+ hard. You might have noticed. Any Google product you sign up to will force you to have a Google+ account. Gmail? Google+ account. YouTube? Google+ account. Oh, just bought a new Android phone (or tablet)? Google+ account.

And even if you don’t use it it’s still there and you’ll be using Google signed in to it as well. Tracking all those searches and personalising your search results accordingly. It’s genius really. Facebook aren’t forcing you into it. If Google had done this year’s ago they’d have much more data now. They want to beat Facebook at their own game so they can have your personal data, your behaviour, your search interests. All with the intent of selling you stuff via adverts.

Why does this matter? Well, if you have a Google+ account and actually use it to follow people then you’ll notice things from them appearing in the search results when you make a relevant/related search. Makes sense, as you are more likely to trust things from people you follow than from random sources on the Web. What does this mean for business? They need to be on Google+ and to entice you to ‘circle’ them so their posts, pages and sites will appear in your searches higher than their competitors – even if they wouldn’t normally rank.

Food for thought.

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