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Mike Elgan
The world's only lovable tech journalist
The world's only lovable tech journalist


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I'm now doing Mike Elgan Radio through Anchor!

Publishing a podcast on Anchor is super easy. And because it's so easy, I can record a lot more stuff and keep the podcast very real and very casual (which is the original point of Mike Elgan radio).

It's kind of a behind-the-scenes look at what I do and how I do it.

The job of opinion columnists gets me into a lot of interesting conversations with a lot of interesting people. And the lifestyle of living nomadically is pretty interesting sometimes, too.

Anyway, Mike Elgan Radio is back, and I'm doing it through Anchor. Here's where you can subscribe, and I'd love it if you would!


Google Play Music

It's also available on PocketCasts and many other fine podcast outlets.

Also, if you use Anchor you can follow me there, too:

#MikeElganRadio #Anchor


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Playground Global has a playground

Right in the middle of the Playground Global space is this little playground for kids. How cool is that?

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Does Google know Andy Rubin walked out with one of these?

I'm at Andy Rubin's company, Playground Digital, checking out the new Essential phone, etc., and this Big Dog prototype is just sitting there in the lab. (Rubin, who founded Sidekick and Android briefly ran Google's robotics division, which acquired this Boston Dynamics robot.)


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Anybody using Allo on the desktop?

If so, I have a question for you: Does Google Assistant offer suggestions on its own related to a chat you're having with another user (like the phone version does)?

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Which bots, messaging apps and virtual assistants butt into conversations?

Google Allow and Facebook M both eavesdrop on chat conversations and chime in with suggestions or offers to do something.

For example, if you’re talking about restaurants on Allo, the Google Assistant might chime in and suggest a nearby burger joint.

Two questions:

1. What other products do this?

2. What do you think of this idea?

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Me on This Week in Google!!

WATCH NOW (and subscribe):

On the show this week, +Leo Laporte, +Stacey Higginbotham and me!


Any current or former AirBnB engineers out there who worked on their algorithms, please email me:

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This Week in Google!

I'm on the show tomorrow, which starts at 1pm Pacific, 4pm Eastern. Don't miss it! (It's going to be a big one!)


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I've got Canada questions

Canada and the United States are probably the biggest observers of Thanksgiving. I don't know much about the Canadian version.

For example, in the United States Thanksgiving is on the 4th Thursday of November. Because of its proximity to Christmas, Thanksgiving and Christmas together (and New Year's Eve) have fused into "the holidays" foodwise — it's like six weeks of special "holiday" foods.

Is it like that in Canada? Or is the earlier Thanksgiving too early for fusion?

Also: For those of you also familiar with American thanksgiving, how is Canadian Thanksgiving food different?

(PICTURE: This is what +Amira Elgan made for our Thanksgiving dinner three years ago.)


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Smartphones make people distracted and unproductive

(Read my column: )

Silicon Valley is draining away the economy's most precious resource for its own benefit.

OK, I'd better explain that.

The economy's most precious resource is human attention — specifically, the attention people pay to their work. No matter what kind of company you own, run or work for, the employees of that company are paid for not only their skill, experience and work, but also for their attention and creativity.

When, say, Facebook and Google grab user attention, they're taking that attention away from other things. One of those things is the work you're paying employees to do.

As a thought experiment, imagine that an employee who used to pay attention to your business eight hours each day now pays attention only seven hours a day because he or she is now focusing on Facebook during that last hour. You're paying the employee the same, but getting less employee attention for it.

Facebook is getting that attention - and monetizing it with additional advertising dollars. In short, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is transferring wealth from your company to his.

With each passing year, he steals more and more.

Here's more on the problem, and also what to do about it:

#smartphones #distraction #attentioneconomy
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