Well, my interest in March Madness waned as soon as the Jayhawks lost, but that doesn't mean yours has. There are a bunch of games you can use to get your basketball fix on without the pesky going outside and exercising, provided you've got an Android phone. It's an easy way to entertain yourself during your bus commute.
Well, they're trying, but the reviews don't sound hopeful. It's very hard to beat a simple, $35 device that lets you stream from a variety of sources. It's not there yet, but I can see it becoming my default streaming player in the near future. That's a near future that includes the release of a PlayOn app.
The device I think has the best chance of "beating" the Chromecast is the Roku, and it already had a head start. Roku seems to be the choice for newer models of smart TVs announced at CES. The Google TV platform was pretty much dead, although there are still a few models out there. No company was making major announcements about new devices.
If you want one good reason why Google is going gangbusters expanding Google Fiber, look at this article on what just happened with Comcast and Netflix and how casually they slip in the mention that Google was already paying the cable giant. With net neutrality dead for now, Internet services will potentially have to pay cable giants for access to their customers. Don't expect the situation to get any better if Comcast is allowed to merge with Time-Warner.
One alternative is to actually go out and build the alternative, which is what Google is trying to do with Google Fiber.
Well, Android-ish. The once-great company ditched its own operating system and has recently put most of its eggs in the Windows basket, and this isn't really much of an exception. According to the report, Nokia will ditch the Google elements and insert Windows instead, such as Bing search instead of Google. Android is extremely modifiable. Samsung's latest offerings seemed to be Android phones wearing a Windows costume as well.
Did you take advantage of the sales on new Android phones? Is your old phone getting a bit bloated? Deleting apps is easier than it used to be, but unfortunately there are still apps you can't easily delete. This is one reason why some people still root their Android phones. Google sells a developer version of the Moto X specifically to allow rooting (and with no warranty.)
Google is officially rolling out the new version of Google Maps. It was met with a lot of criticism. Some of it was just because new things on the Internet are always met with skepticism, but some of it was perfectly fair. The old version of Maps had plenty of cool hidden features, and not all of them made it to the update.
One of the interesting things to develop out of Google's research on images is the ability to not only search for images but search by images. It's the difference between, "show me pictures of poison ivy," and "what is this plant growing in my back yard?" Trust me. I've known a few people who wish they'd been able to do the latter and instead were Googling, "What does poison ivy rash look like?"
Google indicated that they wanted to expand their Google Fiber experiment to nine more metropolitan areas (34 cities total.) That's not an announcement that they will expand to those cities. Just that they're interested in the idea. There's still plenty of room for the existing infrastructure to be expensive to work around, rights-of-way laws to be inconvenient, or legislative attempts to ban municipal broadband efforts. It's uplifting to see that Google's efforts weren't limited to a city or two and then abandoned.
I don't actually live in a Google Fiber area. I live in a suburb of Kansas City that isn't part of the Google Fiber coverage area yet. However, I have plenty of friends and relatives who do now have Google Fiber access, and they tell me the experience is like the scene in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy wakes up to discover the world is now in color. I may have to shop for a new house.
Just two years after purchasing Motorola and releasing the first true "Google phone," Google is selling Motorola to Lenovo for about 10 billion less than what they spent on it. There are a couple of big reasons for this. Having an in-house phone company made other Android phone makers nervous. With good reason. It's quite the balancing act to not seem like you're competing with yourself when you're both making your own hardware and licensing the operating system. Motorola, meantime, was not going to become the next Apple, and the Moto X was not the next iPhone. As much as Google makes noise about being happy with the sales, Motorola's hardware business has been bleeding money.
However, there are plenty of good things Google still got out of this deal. They kept most of the patents, which was really all they wanted out of the acquisition in the first place. One of the problems Google had with Android is that it had a rather small patent portfolio, which left it vulnerable to lawsuits. Google could have completely destroyed the hardware side of Motorola and still been better off with the patents.
Even if Larry Page hadn't said anything about it in his announcement, I wouldn't worry that Google is leaving hardware. Google still has the Chromecast and Google Glass. They just bought Nest. They still have a skunkworks making new ideas that we haven't yet seen.
No, I'm not talking about being a self-publisher, although my library of self-published books is growing. I usually send my independently purchased books to my Kindle, but if you're not a Kindle reader or you don't want to bother converting EPUB formatted books into Mobi, you can also upload your books to your personal Google Play library.