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Derek Ross
You can't fake passion.
You can't fake passion.


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My wife's book is now available on Amazon:

In 1992, nine-year-old Katie Beers was kidnapped by a family friend and locked in an underground box for 17 days. Katie has now come forward to tell the story that created a national media storm as reporters uncovered the truth about her pre-kidnapping life of neglect and sexual abuse and the details of her rescue. She shares how this experience and the recent death of her kidnapper, John Esposito, has affected her life. Despite the horrible reality of Katie's days of being chained in darkness, the kidnapping was, in fact, the climactic end of a tragic childhood and the beginning of a new life.

Katie has been traveling around the country the past two years keynote speaking at various child advocacy and victim events, motivational and inspirational speaking venues, and of course various media outlets.

My wife's book, Buried Memories, is a NYT Bestseller. This is the new and updated version that includes new chapters such as life after Buried Memories.

For those that do not know, part of the reason for the new book is sadly because the original book publisher completely screwed her and I over, stealing thousands of dollars from us (essentially victimizing a victim, awesome huh?). The book has been released with a reputable publisher and we couldn't be happier with the change.

Thank you so much for the share and the kind words +Virginia Poltrack. Katie and I appreciate it :)
So I really struggled with how to word this post. Let me start by linking to this book-

I met +Katie Beers​​ before I knew about this book, about her story. I liked her immediately, and in fact, just thought she was a GREAT person. The kind of friend that when you meet them for the first time, you walk away thinking to yourself, "I really adore that person, I'm so happy to have met them!"

Then I learned a bit about this story, and ordered the book. And I was floored. To say she is an amazing person and survivor is an understatement. Basically, I was completely blown away and have a new found respect for someone I already held in really high regard. Katie, thank you for sharing this. You're amazing, and deserve every happiness. I'm really proud to call you a friend 💗

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What a time to be alive. Checking for updates now actually checks for updates!
One thing I haven't seen the tech press notice is that the button in Settings to check for an update actually works now. If you're running a current Google Play Services, you shouldn't need to sideload an OTA or flash a system image just because you're impatient...

How does this interact with the gradual rollouts of new releases, you ask? When a device checks in because you've specifically asked it to, we flag that this is user-initiated and so you're not subject to the usual limitations. So even if we're at 1% rollout and 1% of users already have the update, if you manually check you'll still be offered it, even though a background check at the same time wouldn't.

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Why Google Assistant optimized Headphones are a big deal
So if you've used any Bluetooth headphones before, you probably have a 'call' button. Long pressing on that button on recent versions of Android would trigger Google Assistant. So that's not anything particular exciting. These headphones do a lot more than that though.

My personal favorite feature and why I prefer these headphones over all my others is the VUI (Voice UI) around reading and responding to notifications. While regular notifications will play their chime just like on normal headphones, these headphones can detect messaging notifications and will instead read the name of the person (super important context usually missing). From there, a simple tap of the button will read the notification out loud (this works with any notification!). For messaging notifications, you also get the chance to reply, directly from the headphones by holding down the button. No having to say 'ok google' or have it transcribe a few extra second at the end. The 'push to talk' model is surprisingly nice on headphones.

Even when there isn't a notification just coming in, tapping the Google Assistant button is so much more useful. Besides bringing up any notifications you may have long since missed, I've also gotten Google Assistant driven suggestions like the time to leave for my next calendar appointment.

And I think something that is underrated by people who have Android devices, but these features also work when connected to iOS devices through the Google Assistant app on iOS. I wouldn't underestimate how impactful that is for iOS users who previously haven't had the ability to use anything but Siri on headphones.

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#MadeByGoogle is expanding. Google seems to be fully committed to their Pixel / hardware division.

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Google and HTC deal official

The Google and HTC deal is official, it's just not quite what we were expecting. Google isn't buying HTC outright, à la Motorola; instead, Google and HTC have signed an agreement to send some of HTC's employees over to Google, while HTC gets a $1.1 billion cash infusion. The deal also includes a non-exclusive license for HTC's intellectual property.

This should definitely bolster Google's still growing hardware division.

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It's starting to look like Google / Alphabet may acquire HTC's phone business

This could be huge and allow Google to expand upon the Pixel line. This brings an entirely new meaning to the whole #MadeByGoogle initiative.

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Nest has something, hopefully exciting, planned for tomorrow. Home security maybe?

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Andromeda OS might be real, but it's not a merging of Android and Chrome OS, it's Windows. Hah.

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+Droid Life is on fire right now. Here's the Pixel XL, which for some reason doesn't come in Kinda Blue. $849 for 64GB. $949 for 128GB.

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A $49 Google Home Mini? I'll take two.
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