Robert Scoble’s “Google, the freaky line and why Moto X is a game-changer” describes the significance of its always-on voice recognition. Under the heading, “the joy of context”:
Moto X is just one in a string of products and services that will bring radical new functionality to users. Examples? Google Now, Google Glass, and the new Moto X phone that keeps the microphone open full-time. The Xbox One, coming this winter, will have a 3D sensor on it so sensitive it can see how fast your heart is beating just by watching your skin.
These new contextual, sensor-based features are game changers and I’m hearing Google has a raft of other product announcements lined up that will turn on even more freaky features. Why? Because the more Google can get you to communicate with your phone, the more context it can slurp up.
The more sensors it can turn on, or put on you, the more it can learn about your intent and your context. Today your phone doesn’t really know that you’re walking, running, skiing, shopping, driving, or biking, but in the future, Google will know that and will be able to build wild new kinds of systems that can serve you when doing each of those things.
Naturally people have a variety of reactions for different reasons. You may find it yawningly predictable, or alarmingly freaky, or something in between. You might not mind Google slurping your data because you gave consent, but be creeped out by NSA contractors wrapping their lips around it uninvited.
But at bottom what’s the motivation behind this push for “context” and “intent”?
I’m writing this blog post on a Chromebook Pixel. In Emacs. On Ubuntu, as a chroot, thanks to crouton.
Why do I have a Chromebook Pixel? Google gave one to every Google I/O 2013 attendee.1
Although I was happy to get such a cool new gadget, I honestly wasn’t sure what I’d do with the thing. I really like my MacBook Pro Retina and wasn’t looking for an alternative. Also, although I love web apps and 45% of my day is in the web browser, another 45% is in Emacs using Racket — what about that?
Recently I wrote about my my Google Reader successor, using rss2email to push feeds to Gmail.
In the month since, I was still running it on my laptop. To make it work best, it should run on a dedicated server. That way, it would push emails even if I’m away from my laptop, and I could read them on e.g. my phone. But before committing to setting this up on Amazon EC2, I wanted to be sure I liked the approach.
Just a brief update about what I’ve settled on as my replacement for Google Reader. I’m using Rss2Email, following the instructions in Turning Gmail into Google Reader.
I tried Feedly, NewsBlur, and Reeder. Each of them wasn’t bad, but each felt “heavy” compared to Google Reader. So W. Caleb McDaniel’s post really clicked with me.
In light of Google shutting down Google Reader and removing feed-following UI in Chrome, it probably can’t be long until they shut down FeedBurner, too.
Although I’m using Google Analytics for this blog, I’m not using FeedBurner. But imagining what feed readership stats I might want, I came up with a short list, and thought about how to get them without FeedBurner.
Via Daring Fireball I found Google, destroyer of ecosystems. Aldo Cortesi writes:
The truth is this: Google destroyed the RSS feed reader ecosystem with a subsidized product, stifling its competitors and killing innovation. It then neglected Google Reader itself for years, after it had effectively become the only player. Today it does further damage by buggering up the already beleaguered links between publishers and readers. It would have been better for the Internet if Reader had never been at all.
What struck me is the obvious search-and-replace: