Maximum PC has an article about the best search engine in 2014. It takes a look at three search engines of Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo. It compares the three for accuracy, image and video searches, layout and features, privacy and security. As you might expect, the winner is still Google. If you want privacy, go with DuckDuckGo. Bing still trails Google by a wide margin. It’s a nice alternative.
My phone contract is coming up this month. It’s time to think about the next phone. There are many choices to consider. There is Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus along with its Apple Pay. Then there’s the new Google’s Nexus 6 and the slightly older Nexus 5 model from last year. One thing I am seriously considering is lowering my monthly payments to affordable levels. I’m targeting perhaps around $50 for monthly payments. The only way I can achieve this is to purchase an unlocked phone to go along with T-Mobile’s prepaid plans. So, the iPhone 6 is definitely out of the question. The Nexus 6 is very tempting, but the price tag of $650 is both disappointing and discouraging. So, that leaves me with last year’s Nexus 5. An unlocked Nexus sells for $399. This might be my next phone. I’m still looking around for other options. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.
Email has been around for a long time. It predates the Internet. Google is tweaking how email is displayed to users by adding features which makes it easier to get to the important data. Several months ago, Google added tabs to differentiate social updates and promotions from regular email. With Inbox, Google is adding Bundles, a feature that will group together similar messages, like bank statements and receipts for example. Another feature is called Highlights, which places important emails to the front and center. Inbox also has Reminders, Assists and Snooze. Reminders are pretty much self explanatory. Assists work with reminders to bring out relevant information. Snooze dismisses information in the background. Google Inbox is not available yet to all. You can ask for an invite by sending an email to email@example.com.
HP plans to split its PC and printer businesses into two separate companies. Splitting up a company is nothing new to Silicon Valley. Recently, eBay spun off Paypal. A few years ago, IBM spun off Lenovo, and 3Com spun off Palm. Even HP itself, is a by-product of the HP and Agilent split years ago. Will we see Oracle and possibly Microsoft splitting up its core businesses? It’s difficult to imagine that such a thing can happen, but nothing is guaranteed in the tech industry. Companies have to compete and survive, and they will do anything necessary to generate profits. The bottom line is, companies still need to make a quality product or service that people want. Splitting companies is just an adjustment or strategy to that end.
Years ago, I got tired of Windows for numerous reasons which I don’t have the time to elaborate in this post. Eventually, I switched to Linux. It was new, exciting, and the opportunity to learn something entirely different was fascinating to me. When Ubuntu Dapper Drake came along, I went all in. That was my desktop of choice for a very long time.
After each Ubuntu release, I worked hard to get everything working from the flash player, media, and just about every tool that I needed, just to get the desktop to function the way I wanted to. After several years of Ubuntu updates and fixing the desktop, I got tired of it. It was an exercise I really didn’t want to do every six months.
I switched to the Mac OS because it it’s based on BSD, a Unix variant, which is familiar to me. In some ways, I can get still get down and dirty using the Terminal if I wanted to. The Mac OS for the most part, is a very stable environment. And everything worked at get-go. I’ve been a Mac OS user ever since.