Cars in the Cloud!

Mercedes ©

Mercedes “mbrace 2”

Mercedes-Benz Apps

Creating a truly networked vehicle, mbrace2 offers not only open internet access, but special versions of popular apps — including Facebook, Yelp and Google Local Search — designed specifically for in-vehicle use. And because it connects the car and the “cloud”, the system can be upgraded whenever new software and applications become available.

Do we really need this? A “nag-screen” popping up about some advertised food-chain, while we’re trying to navigate 6 lanes of traffic… In the snow…. While we’re talking on the cell phone… And arguing with the kid in the back seat!!

Have we taken this whole cloud idea and gone too far? I say yes. We can no longer escape it. With government bills that could potentially censor the internet (S.O.P.A.) coming at us faster than we can keep up, and the constant need to have some kind of a screen in front of our faces 24/7. No, the robots aren’t going to ever rise up and take the planet from us, because we will die of boredom, and stupidity long before that can happen.

English: UK flagship McDonald's restaurant.

Those of us who don’t die in a fireball will get so sick of seeing the same 10 “targeted” Google ads EVERYWHERE we go, that we’ll destroy our electronics and opt for a life living off what’s left of nature. When the screen pops up to tell you about a restaurant, it won’t be for some new Chinese place, it’ll be for the McDonald’s that you know was there since 1973. Why? Because McDonald’s will pay to make sure you see their nag screen before Sho’s China Wok.

Google’s ads don’t work the way they’re supposed to anyway. Back in October, all I saw were ads for games I already owned, or had already pre-ordered. Can you guess what I see now? Sony Vaio ads. Not just any Vaio though, but the very same model I bought. The same laptop I did a review on. Does Google think I need two of them?

Combine that with a smaller internet experience due to YouTube and Flickr being shut down over copyright crap with the usual suspects, and we will ALWAYS see the same results in our searches. Search for laptops, get info on the one you already bought, from the manufacturer’s website. No independent reviews, because that could be construed as infringement, or at least called as such because the company didn’t like what you had to say.

Person using cell phone while driving.

We are driving ourselves off the electronic cliff people. Wake up and smell the real roses. There are times when you SHOULDN’T have internet access, and one of those times is when you’re driving down the road!

Picture all the rich teenage girls; driving down the road, and one of their friends makes a Facebook post to the tune of: “OMG!!! Bobby kissed Tina!!” How do you think that is going to end when she’s driving 80-mph on the loop?


The Google Complex

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...via CrunchBase

I’ve noticed a lot of buzz online about the whole Google+ “improved search” controversy.

I don’t care if twitter feeds are shown in my Google results, in fact, I prefer that they are not. Twitter can be a crowded place, with many stupid thoughts, from stupid people. I don’t care what Joe-Bob the McDonald’s drive-through-guy thinks about global warming, because he probably doesn’t even know why it snows, let alone what chlorofluorocarbons do to the ozone. When I search for “global warming” I want a result from a lab, university, or community action group, who HAS to have their facts straight. Not just an ignorant, biased, blurb summed up in less than 140 characters.

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...via CrunchBase

You want to make me interested in Google news? tell me they are going back to their roots, and stripping all the extra crap out of it. I know that will never happen though. So, when it comes to this whole Google vs Twitter drama, I say it doesn’t matter one lick. Google gets picked on because they are the biggest player on the web right now, and because they often times bring it on themselves.

When did Google become complicated and annoying?

Do you remember the old days? The days when Google was just a search engine. When you typed in a search request, and got results. When it all “just worked.” It’s ironic that Apple is now the champion of simplicity, rather than Google.

English: The logo for Apple Computer, now Appl...via Wikipedia

I remember when Apple was just a niche company whose products I only had to deal with at school. Now, one of Apple’s biggest advertising slogans is “It just works.” And it does! I have an iPhone 4S, and had the 4, 3G, and original iPhones. I own a MacMini (though, I admittedly almost never use it.) I have tested Windows Phones, Androids, and keep coming back to the iPhone. I keep coming back because it just works. It works without asking me to try 50 different app stores, or learn new ways to navigate depending on the device you happen to be using, or to risk having virus-like apps.

Through that testing I have knowledge. When I was asked what phone I recommend, other than the iPhone, I was able to say “Samsung Galaxy S.” I was also able to tell that person what to look out for in the way of trouble, and how to avoid/fix it. I don’t have to impart that knowledge for an iPhone… Unless it’s a jail-break question. The very thing that makes Android such a pain to deal with at times is the openness of the app stores. If there’s one advantage to Apple’s closed approach, it’s reliability. We can argue until we are blue in the face and not agree which mobile-OS is actually better and still never agree. The fact is, they each have features I love, and features I hate, but the “simple reliability” factor keeps me coming back to iOS.

English: iPhone 4 comparion to the iPhone 4S.via Wikipedia

Some will see this as Apple “Fanboyism” but in reality, I use: Gmail, Windows 7, Google Chrome, Facebook, and iOS. I use whatever I feel is the best thing for the task at hand, which unfortunately means I still use Google search.