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Paul van Dinther
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Years ago I dismissed Apple's IPod as an MP3 player because I got totally confused with the weird syncing stuff in ITunes.

Now with Android I am starting to lose the plot too. "Contacts" is already highly convoluted and confusing as I have no idea where what information lives or comes from. I avoid linking Google+, Facebook etc because that confuses me even more! Here I was thinking that all my contacts live in my GMail Contacts list but I am not sure about that anymore.

Enter "Photos" The same thing is happening. Before it was relativly simple. I have my phone and I keep photos on the SD card. Then it was possible to automatically back them up to Google+ but I already used Picassa to manually back them up. I even face tagged every one of the thousands of photos I have in Picassa. Of course in Google+ none of those tags are there and somehow Picassa becomes an album in it's own right.

Are you still with me? I am not even sure I am.

Enter the New Google Photos. Yet another app claiming to make my life easier but doing the exact opposite. Now it can find some of my photos but only a fraction. Now more then ever, I have no idea where the photos are kept and I am starting to worry because I'd hate to lose them.

Recently my Galaxy S5 finally upgraded itself to lollypop and with that a new Gallery app. Looks ok and it features a people tag feature similar to what I used in Picassa. Of course it forgot about all my hard work in Picassa as well. But although Picassa exists in the gallery as a web album, it doesn't get scanned for faces even though that is turned on. To add insult to injury, the stupid thing keeps forgetting the faces I tag and comes back with "?" icons on the faces I have tagged several times over.

Then there are all the hundreds of duplicates. somehow new photos end up in Picassa album as well as elsewhere in the gallery driving me crazy.

I might start now about calendar but I think you get my drift. I feel I am losing control over my data and with every clever app that feeling gets worse!

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New youtube app. Whose stupid idea is that! All that wasted space in red! Really! Fire the bastard that approved that. Crazy shit. God awful. Yuk.

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3 years ago I wrote Tourmaker. A browser based precision camera animation tool that is fully based on cubic splines. It is capable to produce mathematically exact camera positions following a spline that is editable in real-time. The output is a long list of camera positions for each movie frame. It can even do camera offset for super high-res surround videos with resolutions as high as computers are capable to handle.

I also wrote GEMovie a few years back but refined it a bit as I currently have a museum visualization project that requires stupid high quality video footage. Movie maker in Google Earth Pro is hopelessly inadequate.

GEMovie Talks to Google Earth pro by sending UDP data packets that setup drive the Google Earth camera. Then it waits for a one second after which it sends a key press to Google Earth CTRL ALT C  which causes Google Earth to copy the current screen to the clipboard.

GEMovie then detects the fact the windows clipboard changed and saves the image to a file with a sequential file name.

Finally I use FFMpeg to compile the image sequence into a video. The result is stunning and unfortunately. I can't show it to you. :-(

OK, one single frame then ;-)

It is so cool that software I wrote ages ago, suddenly becomes relevant. But it is such a pitty that come December all this stuff will become useless when Google Earth plugin will no longer work.
3 Photos - View album

So...clever Android smartphone... Maybe you missed the concept of Phone because phone functionality seems to be forgotten and isolated from the rest of my smart phone.

When I call a business and they don't answer, why don't you offer information about opening times and alternate contact methods. You know... useful stuff, rather than you trying to tell me yet again where my house is while I am only 3km up the road.

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Seriously Google, after telling you many times before, I can remember how to get to my work! I go there every day and I don't need navigation help.

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Transition from KineticJS to Pixijs looks like a good idea. Here is the dialKnob control for you to try. It should work on any browser including Touch screens.

Tap/click and hold to drag the knob around. You can drag outside the control area which makes adjustment easier. Double tap/click to center the knob.

Please let me know how it works for you in the comments.

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Sigh, despite hundreds of dialer apps for android I can not achieve this simple task on android:

When I am driving a noisy vehicle I want to dial one single specific phone number when I press my bluetooth headset button. This needs to work while the phone screen is off and locked.

Very simple. Once number to dial. NO screen interaction at all. Ideally I don't even want the screen to turn on.

Forget Tasker, Home2 shortcut and many other apps, they are all half baked and full of limitation.

I don't want voice dialers as voice isn't picked up properly, especially with my accent. Besides most voice dialers require the screen to be unlocked.

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Chromecast turns off my TV (Kinda)

Absolutely love Chromecast. Today I discovered Chromecast will turn on my TV and correct HDMI input port when I start casting. Very nice!

But why didn't Google build in some form of "OFF" function? That idle backdrop slideshow feature is annoying as the TV makes me look every time the picture changes. At least let me turn off the slideshow feature.

However I found a workaround. I solved this by creating a Google+ album with two un-captioned black pictures in it.

By customizing the backdrop to only show personalized photos in this new album I get rid of the annoying picture changing and show a near black screen with only some faint gray text at the bottom. Only the cock (that can't be turned off) changes on this dim screen. Almost perfect.

Not sure what feature in this TV causes itself to switch off but after a certain amount of time, the TV knows the picture has not changed enough and the TV switches itself off. Probably some burn-in protection.

It is a cludge workaround for a feature that should be painfully simple.

Chromecast should allow backdrop to be turned off and after a timeout it should simply send a switch TV off signal via HDMI and then turn off the HDMI output until a request to cast is received again.

Maybe it is an American thing to leave the TV on 24x7.

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Chromecast keeps amazing me. Just found out I can install a chromecast extension for the chrome browser and cast browser content or even your entire windows desktop to your chromecast device.

However, what I am looking for is an application that runs on Windows and acts as a cast receiver similar to the hardware device I purchased from Google.

What I want to be able to do is to chromecast from my phone and display the content on a windows computer. After all, I am not always at my TV and I have plenty other big screens in the house hooked up to computers.

Does anyone know if this is possible? and how?

What a genius device Chromecast proves to be. Picked one up in a local store and it exceeds all my expectations.

It does everything I always wanted to do with media. Music, Google plus, photos, Pandora and even Netflix!

One missed opportunity is the fact that the chromecast device always sends a signal to the hdmi port. If it would not do that, my TV would automatically switch input.
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