S3E14: Big Tech Monopoly and The Great Resignation

Podcast The Big Tech Monopoly and The great ResignationChapter 1

Big Tech Goes to Washington

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/06/11/antitrust-legislation-curbs-silicon-valley/

So are Big Tech companies like the monopolies of old? The House is looking at five different bills in hopes of regulating Tech companies.

These bills while not naming specific tech companies would attempt to enact several requirements:

  1. A company can’t recommend their products above their competitors. Example: Google couldn’t on purposely suggest their Google Cloud storage over say Dropbox or another cloud storage competitor. Or Amazon suggesting their Amazon Basics brand batteries over Duracell. Also Apple would not be able to force developers to use their App store. It would also potentially force Microsoft to allow other options besides Teams be tied into the Office platform so Zoom or Slack could have one click options inside of Office
  2. They could set the bar higher on mergers. Meaning if Google wanted to buy say Twitter, Google would have to offer a lot more evidence that buying Twitter wouldn’t harm consumers.
  3. It would allow people to download and delete their data so they can do whatever they want. You can already download your content and even delete it but are you really deleted?
  4. It may also mean that Facebook and What’sApp have to break out, Google and YouTube, and Amazon’s store and their Cloud Services. 

All of these things have positives and negatives but would majorly disrupt our Internet lives. Are these tech companies too big? Yes but they also provide a lot of benefits. 

The winner in all of this, my vote, The Lobbyists. Tech Companies during the 2020 Election spent $124 million in lobbying and campaign contributions. Tech companies spent more than oil companies ( a group that has been the biggest spenders in the past). Last year Facebook and Amazon were the biggest spenders.

Chapter 2

The Big Resignation

https://www.axios.com/resignations-companies-e279fcfc-c8e7-4955-8a9b-47562490ee55.html

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/06/remote-workers-burnout-covid-microsoft-survey/

Surveys are claiming between 25 and 40% of workers say they will quit their current jobs if their current employers require them to return to the office full time. While a survey is well a survey and it shows perhaps what people hope or wish for, do you think people will really leave their jobs if it requires them to return to work? You would think people trapped at home for the last year would be tired of seeing their loved ones day in and day out but it has a lot of people thinking about work-life balance which until the pandemic sent a lot of us home we didn’t know it was a real thing. In fact we thought it was as rare as a Bigfoot sighting. So what do you think? If you were lucky or unlucky enough to be able to work from home, do you want to stay there? What about those folks who had to go into work day in and day out because there wasn’t any other choice, work, get paid, feed your family. Some companies are looking at this as a win-win (I love those business phrases like that) as they shrink their office spaces and sell open space for top dollar in this overheated real estate market. And folks are finding they don’t have to stay in the same old city to work if they can work remote. I know a guy who is living in Germany because the job can be done from practically anywhere. But it also means employers can find job candidates who are just about anywhere so you don’t even have to be geographically close to apply for a job.

Chapter 3 

Choose your own adventure

Do you want to hear about Twitter’s subscription service or Microsoft Windows 10 Support going away? 

Twitter Blue subscription service coming soon

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/03/twitter-blue-paid-subscription-service-launches-with-special-features.html

So for approximately $3.99 a month you will be able to subscribe to Twitter Blue. It will let you Undo a Tweet. Wow, we could have used that during the last presidency, manage Bookmarked content, and change your Twitter icon. Plus you will get some support from Twitter’s support team. 

Microsoft has announced in 2025 they will no longer support Windows 10. 

https://beebom.com/windows-10-sun-valley-21h2-update/

Why? Because Windows 11 is coming soon okay, since you are my friends I can tell you. It comes out October 2021. June 24 Microsoft will officially announce Windows 11 (which is technically Windows 10 21H2 but who’s counting) also aka Windows Sunvalley as opposed to Stardew Valley. The next version the interface gets rounded corners (actually just go look at MacOS Big Sur and well a lot of what Apple already does Microsoft is playing catch up with). Also we will get a floating start menu because well, why not. And it gets easier to reach settings from the tray for Sound and Network so you don’t have to fiddle around so much. All good things right?

That is this week’s show. If you would please Like and Subscribe. Hit that bell so you will know when I am causing trouble online.

S3E11:Google Photos Unlimited is GONE

Google Photos Unlimited Is GoneS3E11 Google Photos Unlimited is dying. These are the show notes for the podcast. They are not word for word what the podcast contains but I try to keep them pretty close. 

Chapter 1

Starting June 1st, Google Photos Unlimited option is gone. If you are like me, you have been using Google Photos to backup your photos on all of your devices (yes it works on iPhone and iPad as well as any PC/Mac or Android device. But the feature is going away and Google is going to rename its High Quality storage feature (which basically compressed and downscaled your images) to “Storage Saver”. In case you didn’t know you get 15 gig total storage with Google. That means your Gmail, your Google Docs, and your Google Photos only have a grand total of 15 gig. So if you get lots of big attachments in your email, you may be eating up all of your storage.

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You can go to this link to see what your storage situation looks like:

https://one.google.com/storage

So everything you have uploaded before June 1st is your freebie but after June 1st, everything you upload counts toward that 15 gig limit. So you will have to decide “do I want to upload in Original Quality (meaning full size) or Storage Saver?”, which is compressed and downscaled. 

Now if you love Google Photos like I do, maybe you want to buy storage from Google.

You can buy 100 gig for $1.99 a month or $20.00 a year and that is probably the best deal for most folks. You can by 200 gig for $2.99/month or $29.99 a year or you can be insane like me and pay $9.99/month or $99 a year for 2TB. And you can share any of these storage tiers with your family and they can backup their computers and their devices to it. 

If you are an Apple family, then you may want to look at iCloud (which only works okay on Windows and isn’t an option for Android) but if everything is all Apple in your house, then iCloud is probably your best bet. You can do 50 gigs for $0.99/month, 200 gigs for $2.99/month and 2TB for $29.90/ month. Ironically iCloud is hosted on Google cloud. Just saying.

Lastly the next option is Microsoft OneDrive assuming you need Microsoft Office. For $99/year subscription with O365 you get 5 accounts each with 1TB of storage and the Full Microsoft Office Suite for your Macs, PCs, Android and iOS devices. OneDrive does not work awesome on Mac but it is good on iPhone and iPad. At least you can just keep snapping pictures and they will be backed up full size. Though you have to open the app for it to backup. iCloud doesn’t have that issue. Google Photos on iPhone/iPad also has to be open to actively backup to your Google cloud. A drawback for sure. You can tell iPhone to default all your photos to Google Photos though and it is easy to work with as you spend a lot more time in the app.

Do you need to stop using Google Photos if you don’t buy in, maybe no. Depends on you and your photo style. Do you need original size images and you take a lot of images? Then the free tier simply won’t do.  But if you don’t take a lot of pictures or if you are mostly happy with Storage Saver versions of your photos, you can get by for a bit. And Google has many great features that are too much to mention in this video and not bore you to tears.

One more option is Amazon Photos. Already an Amazon Prime member, then Amazon Photos offers unlimited photo storage but only 5 Gig of video storage. One of my YouTube videos is 5 gig, so for me that doesn’t work but what if I told you I back up to four cloud services? 

I use iCloud 50 gig tier for $12 a year, Amazon Photos because I am already a prime member, Google Drive as I buy 2TB from them to store nearly everything, and lastly I have Microsoft O365 subscription which gives me 1TB of storage per member of my family. I also backup to an external hard drive. Paranoid often? Maybe. 

https://www.androidpolice.com/2021/05/22/maybe-you-shouldnt-look-for-a-google-photos-alternative/

https://one.google.com/about/plans

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201238

And now Chapter 2

So Google IO, their big product announcement conference and developer fest was last week. As I said last week I would talk about the big announcements. I am such a huge Google Fanboy, but um, well, Google is getting boring. No, seriously. 

So they announce Workspaces which integrate their disjointed products such a Gmail, Meet, and their Office Suite better. 

Google gave up on their WearOS and are merging their effort with Samsung’s Tizen OS to try and create a better Android watch experience. This means Samsung and Fitbit and Fossil will all be using the same OS and they will have to find ways to make their watches different from each other while running the same OS. This was the challenge before but with Samsung secret sauce thrown in, what will Google do with Fitbit. I love Fitbit and one day I will tell you why I no longer Fitbit. 

Google and everybody else is working on their way of making video meetings more 3D by creating 3D models of the person you are talking to so it seems they are right in front of you. 

Next Google will make a way for you to animate still photos, think the crazy nostalgia stuff from the Ancestry sites that make deep fakes of famous people in still photos. Creepy.

Actually the coolest product they announced is that Chrome’s built in password manager will help you change compromised passwords right inside the password manager. I do think that is cool. They announced other stuff, a new Pixel phone, Pixel buds, yada yada yada. Google, you have gotten boring to me. Do something amazing already. Odds are something is baking in their labs that should scare the heck out of us and they will announce it at a later date.

https://www.theverge.com/2021/5/18/22435419/google-io-2021-event-recap-biggest-announcements-pixel-android-12-wear-os-workspace

Chapter 3

This is a short chapter. Apple Vs Epic. The trial is over and in the coming months a verdict will be announced. When that happens, things will get interesting in the Apple App store. Will Apple win or Epic, I think it will be unfavorable for both. If the judge rules against Apple, Google will get its own lawsuits as well, it basically does the same thing as Apple, just not as well. If Epic loses, then consumers’ fates are sealed and we will choose yet not really have a choice, we will have the illusion of choice. 

Chapter 4

From the Not soon enough machine, Microsoft has announced the end of Internet Explorer. If you install the latest builds of Windows 10, Internet Explorer 11 is not a part of it. You can still go and download it (if you must) but it isn’t on there by default. In fact in June of 2022, it will be dead, end of support. Go Download Microsoft Edge. Seriously. It works on nearly every platform and it is using the same browser engine as Google Chrome and Microsoft has added some features Google has added yet to theirs. I am not a Microsoft fan but I have to give Microsoft credit, Edge isn’t too bad. Though on my Mac I have resorted to using Safari again after all these years of only Chrome and sometimes Firefox. 

And that is it for this week. Here is a brain teaser. What if Netflix goes into the video game streaming business? That and all the tech news that is worth talking about on next week’s show. 

Friends Reunion May 27

Thank you so much for listening to the podcast. 

When is doubt, reboot. 

Here is a link to the YouTube Live version of the Podcast