Friday, March 29, 2013

I am Invited!

I was invited to be a Google Glass Explorer.

Meaning, Google will let me buy a Google Glass before the general public.

Apparently I just have to come up with $1500 and go to New York to pick them up.

Hmm, how can I swing this?

Family Tech: The Tech Support Scam

I don't think anyone reading this blog would fall for this, but alert your less tech saavy family and friends that Microsoft will never call them to tell them there is a virus on their PC.

There's a scam apparently that's been going around for a few years that could cost users money, control of their PC and time.

The Family Tech for March 21, 2013 covers it.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Google Now to Evernote Too!

I wrote here on March 23 about my delight the first time I made a Google Now voice note "Note to self:" and how Google Now prompted me to send it to Gmail or to Google Keep.

Previously the only option was to send it to Gmail.  I have a Gmail filter to send any "Note to self" emails on to my Evernote account.

Now a post by Whitson Gordon alerted me that now Evernote is included in that option.

Evernote did not appear on my list options before when I made a note with Google Now.  I wonder if it is not a new capability added by Evernote when they released Version 5 for Android about that time.

On my Android phone I went to Settings, Applications and brought up the record for Google Search (which is really Google Now).

Then I scrolled down and touched the button Clear Defaults.

Then I went into Google Now and made a voice "Note to Self".  This time the option box had three choices: Email, Keep and Evernote.

I went ahead and chose Evernote.

The note to self appears in my Evernote transcribed!  Unfortunately the audio file does not appear to go to Evernote.

When I used the forward to Gmail, then a filter triggered forward to Evernote, the audio file went into Evernote.

Having Google Now send to Keep did send the audio file.  Hopefully, that is something that can change in the future.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Google Keep and Google Now

I find Google Now's voice capabilities useful on my Android phone.  I recently struggled to get it working on my Samsung Galaxy S3.  If you have an S3 do check out my post on the topic.

One thing I often do while driving is touch the Call button on my Bluetooth earpiece to invoke Google Now and then say "Note to self" and then say an idea I've just had, or a task I want to remember to do.

Until this week, Google Now would send that as an email to myself.  From there I would make use of that note when I got home, perhaps creating an event in my Google Calendar, or a task in Google Task or whatever.

If it was just a note I wanted in Evernote, a filter I had created in Gmail automatically moves all emails with the subject containing "Note to self" to Evernote.

Wednesday evening I installed the Android Keep app on my phone.  I guess I didn't make any Notes to Self on Thursday, but I did on Friday while driving home from work.

At the next light, I looked on my phone safely nestled in its dock, and was astonished to find a dialog box asking if I wanted to complete the action with either Gmail or Keep.  Before it had automatically used Gmail without asking.

I chose Keep as the light changed.

When I got home, I checked.  The note and an audio file recording of my command were in Keep.

Further, I've tested this and it appears in Keep instantly.  Before, Google Now had to email to me, then the filter forwarded the email to Evernote, and Evernote had to sync with my Evernote app on my phone before I could call it up in Evernote.

Evernote still overwhelms Keep in capability, but the scrappy new kid just scored a point.

Google Keep - An Introduction

Two things I am most passionate about in computing is Evernote, and Google services.

I've been a passionate user of Evernote since 2008.  I even wrote a book about it.

And I've been a user of Gmail, Google Drive , Calendar, Tasks, and Voice.  Those all are in my default set of tabs that load in every time I start up, yes, Google Chrome.

So it is with mixed feelings that I introduce Google Keep.  Keep is Google's new tools to store random bits of information.

It was released just this past Wednesday as both a web app, and an Android app.

I first wrote about it in three posts on my blog that supports my book.  There I wrote three posts of interest to Evernote users.

The first post was a simple announcement of Keep.

Then remembering the recent closure of Google Reader, I wondered, and I found others were too, if we could trust Keep to stick around.  No point in putting all our information in it, only to see Keep disappear in a few years.  I wrote about that.

Then it hit me.  When I first started to understand what Google Glass was going to be able to do, I thought what a great input tool it would be for Evernote.

If I had followed that thought through the first time I had it, I would have predicted either the creation of Keep, or Google's acquisition of Evernote.  I wrote about that too.

My loyalty remains with Evernote.  Not only does it have the power I want now (Keep is a toy compared now to Evernote) but of course, Evernote has my Notes; over 15,000 of them.

 But...I know Keep is going to iterate fast and become pretty powerful.  I am going to keep a close eye on it, and write about it.  I'll do that writing here, not on is for products I've written about in an e-book, and that is Evernote.  Ideas from Mark Stout, this blog, is more for my inquiries into new technology, and Keep is definitely that.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Family Tech: Consolidating the Family Photos

Many cameras in the family, all taking photos of the same event.  How do you consolidate the photos?

One method is discussed in this Family Tech column.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Google Now on the Galaxy S III

I save this blog for my geekiest posts and haven't been doing much geeky things lately; instead concentrating on more technology for the family issues in my column.

Although I have started doing a bit more geeky things in the column, with How-To support on its blog, like the recent column on consolidating a families photos from their many camera phones, to one place.

However, I just worked out something geeky, and wanted to document it here for others that might search for a solution in the future.

When I first bought my Galaxy S III (I'll call it the Galaxy S3 here too for searching purposes), it did not have Google Now on it.  So I started using Samsung's own S Voice.

When Jelly Bean made it to the S3, Google Voice became available.

However, when I click the button on my Bluetooth earpiece, it was S Voice that came up.

One night I decided to sit down and solve that problem, thinking it would be relatively easy.

I did find some good resources, but some bad ones too, and even with the good sources, had to find a tip in yet another place to make it all work.  So I thought I'd write my own post.

To make Google Now appear when you click the button on your Bluetooth earpiece :

  1. Go to Settings, Application Manager.
  2. Choose the All tab.
  3. Choose the S Voice application.
  4. Touch the Disable button.
  5. Download from the Google Play Store, the free Bluetooth Launch app.
  6. Run that App.
  7. In the Google Search section, choose

This part I found on a few websites, but the part I still  had to do was :

  1. Go to Settings, Sound
  2. Check to the box in Touch sounds.

After doing this, when I touch the call button on my Bluetooth earpiece, Google Now appeared on the screen.

Update 03-18-2013 15:15 EST : Then say "Google" to have Google Now accept voice commands.  Thanks Haley Bunselmeyer for drawing that to my attention.

To make Google Now appear when I press the Home button on my phone, I needed to download the free app Home2Shortcut from the Google Play store.

Under Settings in that app, set the Home>Home key to the Google Search app.

Let me know in comments if this does, or does not work for you.

And once you have it working, check out all the voice commands you can give Google Now.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Family Tech: Your ISP is watching

Your ISP may have started watching your downloads, and if they feel you are downloading copyrighted material, they might cut your internet speed down, yet charge you full price.

This is the topic of Family Tech for March 7, 2013.  

Friday, March 1, 2013

Family Tech: Time to check your anti-virus and backup

Are you so enamored of your phone or tablet, that you've ignored your PC?

This week's Family Tech column discusses the need for anti-virus and backups.