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Lewis McGeary
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Lewis McGeary

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And then I saw that +Kirill Grouchnikov managed to get a shout-out for #pixelpushing  in the new +Udacity android tutorials and I was all like...
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Lewis McGeary

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New Google app for +spotlight stories  looks like they'll be selling them too, permissions include in-app purchases, and one story is "Free for a limited time".

Also https://plus.google.com/117163798369335201473/posts
Immerse yourself in a world of storytelling made just for mobile. Engineers...
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I am lost Lewis. What does this do?
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Lewis McGeary

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60 years ago, Albert Einstein died.  His brain was removed before cremation, ostensibly for study.  And then it disappeared.  Until I found it, over 20 years later.  Here is that story.


https://medium.com/backchannel/yes-i-found-einstein-s-brain-c3834429e4d5
Sixty years ago, Albert Einstein died. But for his brain, it was the start of a long, looney and unseemly journey. Here’…
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Lewis McGeary

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The frustration of Drive storage expiring

I thought I'd share my experience so far having reached the end of the 100GB +Google Drive storage plan promo that I got with my Chromebook. I'll be listing a number of annoyances here, so the TLDR is-it's a bit of a mess, in my opinion- informing the user, letting the user download data to free up space, and paying for storage all have issues.
Here goes:

Notifying the user

I recently checked my Drive storage allowances, so I was aware of when my 100 gigs would expire and that I would then be over the limit. Had I not known, +Google have not gone out of their way to tell me. I have had no email, and no notifications on my Android device.

If I manually check by opening up Drive on Android or on the web I can see my storage limits in the usual place to see that I'm over, but there's no warning message to draw attention to it.

If I go to regular gmail on the web there's a warning banner at the top to let me know that I will "soon be unable to send or receive emails until you free up space or purchase additional storage." though there's no indication of how long "soon" is. I actually normally use the newer +Inbox by Gmail which doesn't show this message, neither the Gmail nor Inbox android apps show any message

If I check the storage using the Chromebook Files app, it tells me I have 16,384 PB left. That's a very generous amount of storage, but I don't think its accurate!


To pay or not to pay

So there are two options going forward(well, 3 if you include just waiting until my emails get blocked). I can get rid of files from Drive to free up space, or I can pay for a storage plan; both are a bit of a problem.

Getting a load of stuff out of Drive isn't working very well

On the Gmail banner warning mentioned earlier there's a link for guidance on freeing up space, but it only tells you how to delete things, it doesn't cover if you want to download copies of stuff before you delete it...that's the tricky bit. I tried downloading a large folder which would bring me well under the limit, this didn't work, a couple thousand of the files couldn't be included in the zip file. The error message on Drive didn't elaborate, I found out elsewhere there's a limit of 2GB at a time, so I'd need to go in and do individual subfolders separately. sigh. Next I tried using Google Takeout, to get a copy of all of my Drive data. I couldn't sit there while the whole thing downloaded, the first couple of times I came back to find an error, the latest time I was there as it got to the end of the download: 3 seconds...2seconds...1 second...Failed - Network timeout
Next I'll try downloading the Drive app for Mac to see if I can easily get offline copies that way, fingers crossed.

And finally...

I could just pay up for a storage plan. A 100GB storage plan is pretty cheap really, but I have a bit of an objection, which is relevant to those of us not living in the US. Storage plans for some reason are charged only in US dollars, my bank will charge me for making a payment in a foreign currency, I will actually pay more to my bank each month in charges for making the payment, than I'll be paying to Google for the storage. Let us pay in the local currency, like we do for apps and music and films! Why not Drive?

Thanks for making it all the way through if you did! I'm not particularly looking for advice(though feel free) just drawing attention to this, as inevitably more and more users will be reaching the end of their plans.
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+Paolo Amoroso​ it's just about what your overall allowance is versus how much you're using.
If you go from 200GB back down to 100 again, then if you're already using less than 100 anyway, no problem, carry on. If you're using more than 100 you'll want to clear some stuff out to bring yourself under your new limit.
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Lewis McGeary

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This is a consistent problem with Google Now when ordering from Amazon. It claims the item is "Available for pickup", but it actually is not, it's only been dispatched and is in transit.
I always get stuff delivered to a locker, so I can only say that for ordering to a locker in the UK, this always happens. The email comes through saying the order has been dispatched, Google Now interprets it as "Available for pickup".
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Ah OK, thanks +Christopher Espejo I'll submit it again in that case.
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Lewis McGeary

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Well...that's what Asus thinks about taking photos with a tablet.
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Lewis McGeary

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Some confusion at +John Lewis about what exactly a Chromebox is...
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John Lewis need to show the Chromebox some love. They are selling the HP for £149 a much better deal than this model, but it still not in my local shop. The Samsung isn't even connected up to try. 😖
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Lewis McGeary

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Potential UK Prime Minister Ed Miliband on Blackberrys:

Host: you had to give up your iPhone because you were so obsessive about checking Twitter and political commentary, is that true?
Miliband: Yeah, the good thing about a Blackberry, I'm going to insult the Blackberry makers here, is that it's harder to do those things.

Edit: The direct timestamp link is https://youtu.be/14Wy4Vh-4bM?t=2m , the embedded video just ignores that and starts from the beginning
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Lewis McGeary

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Well, looks like that's over 1 million Android Wear devices!
CC +Derek Ross​ popping up in my screenshot
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I have 2 gmail accounts :D}
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Lewis McGeary

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Enhancing Glass videos with binaural sound
Hey Glass Explorers, I don’t actually have Glass myself but wanted to share an idea with the community for enhancing the audio side of Glass to give a more immersive experience to videos. Someone out there who does have Glass may be able to run with this.

What is Binaural recording?
For those who don’t know, binaural recording is a technique for recording sound using two microphones, specifically placed at the ears. This could be a dummy head with microphones embedded into it, or a person actually wearing a set of microphones in their ears. The human brain builds an audio picture of the world around us based on subtle differences in the sounds reaching each ear. The idea with binaural audio is that when you listen back through headphones, you’re hearing the sounds that reached those two microphones, ie the exact sounds that reached those ears are played back into your left and right ear, to give a much better sense of being there yourself. The YouTube video attached to this post is a classic example you may have heard before, if not, I highly recommend you put on some headphones, close your eyes and listen to it!

This seems a natural fit to enhance what Glass already does when recording video, enhancing the visual point-of-view it provides with the authentic audio straight to your ears. One could imagine a future version of Glass supporting this, or an accessory to make it possible, but I’m not aware of it currently being done in any way. The reason I’m posting this now is that Sony might just have made this a realistic prospect!

Sony has quietly brought binaural recording to Android
As it happens, noise-cancelling headphones also work on the principle of placing a microphone at each ear, it’s how they pick-up what noise needs to be cancelled. Sony’s latest phones(seemingly the Z3 range) make clever use of this to enable binaural audio recording, the microphones are there anyway for noise cancelling purposes, so Sony also let you use them for recording purposes! Clever Sony.

It struck me that if you have Glass, paired with one of these phones, it may be possible to rig up an app that lets you record a video on Glass as normal, but simultaneously starts an audio recording on the phone using the binaural recording earphones. Then it just needs to replace the default soundtrack on the video file, with the audio file recorded on the phone.

What do you think, do you see any road-blocks to this? It’s not likely I’ll be able to afford to get Glass and/or a new Sony to experiment with this myself in the near future, so I thought I’d put the idea out there for anyone who would have access to these.
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Thanks for reading +Google Glass , good day to you!
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Lewis McGeary

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This is a consistent problem with Google Now when ordering from Amazon. It claims the item is "Available for pickup", but it actually is not, it's only been dispatched and is in transit.
I always get stuff delivered to a locker, so I can only say that for ordering to a locker in the UK, this always happens. The email comes through saying the order has been dispatched, Google Now interprets it as "Available for pickup".
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