My 2 cents on the Comcast-Time Warner Merger

Comcast has been touting the fast that “Rival” Time-Warner does not compete with Comcast in any zipcode, so merging the two companies would have no impact on the number of provides in a given area.

My question is how can two multi-billion dollar companies, in the same market, not actually compete in any geographical area?

If we look at any other industry, there is overlap. Cell phone providers, fast food restaurants, taxi services, department store, airlines, and the list goes on and on.

The answer can only be collusion. The companies have an agreement to stay out of each other’s way and reduce competition in the agreed-upon territories This is a business practice called “Dividing Territories” and its quite illegal.

The merger will probably go through due to the MASSIVE amount of money that the telcom have spent on congress.

With all the news of the new Net Neutrality regs, and the recent comcast-netflix deal competition in this market is paramount. Reducing the players is a bad move, even if they aren’t competing with each other.

+Google Fiber save us all

Originally posted

Sync and Backup your files with +Google Drive

Sync and Backup your files with +Google Drive

Back up your files. Do it right now, I’ll wait. 

Back?  I have yearned over a method of not only backing up my files, but also keeping my computer and my wife's computer is sync. I have maintained our music, she has maintained our photo collection, both of us have documents folders littered with out of sync files, and dropbox folders riddled duplicates of files maintained elsewhere.

Our data was a mess. My backup routine consisted of dragging and dropping folders to and from a portable hard drive. It took too long and I avoided doing it, pain and suffering were only a matter of time. Lucky for me, I decided to do something about this before it disaster struck.

Recently, I have been using my server and an FTP based sync client to backup my files and sync to both computers. It works, sorta,  but its slow, the file change detection is lacking, and multiple FTP sessions cause lot of errors.

I really like Dropbox and Google Drive for syncing files, both sync files almost instantly, but extra space on the services is expensive. In addition, you have to deal with your data residing on a /username/Dropbox or Google Drive folder rather than its cozy, system specific folder. This breaks a lot of programs if all pictures aren't in /username/Pictures.

A couple weeks ago Google announced a major price drop for storage on Drive, 100GB for $24/year, compared to DropBox’s 100GB for $99/year. First problem solved. 100GB would be enough to store and sync all of my photos.  Sharing folders on Google drive is easy and the native client will keep our folders in sync with the cloud.

I signed up for the plan and copied my pictures folder to /username/Google Drive. It took 3 days for the 86GB of data to upload, but mere seconds to share the entire contents with my wife. We both have all of our photos at our fingertips, where ever we can login. We also get the photo benefits of Google+. After the upload and the subsequent download to the was finished I noticed something. While I was using 91.2GB of 110GB of my new space, my wife was only using 5.8GB of 100GB. I double checked and the shared folder of 86GB of Pictures was present on her drive and syncing to her computer. The shared folder doesn’t count against her quota! I can’t find a good source to confirm this, best I can do is a Google FAQ page I immediately added our music folder to her Drive and shared it with my account. 

Now down to the dirty filesystem stuff. 

On my wife’s Macbook Air it was couple of commands in terminal. CAUTION: this method deletes the current folder, backup before you continue.

These commands create a symbolic Link that points to the folder in Google Drive and resides at the user folder. I would have preferred to drop a symlink into the Google Drive folder, but currently Google Drive doesn’t support this yet.

sudo rm -rf ~/Music/
sudo rm -rf ~/Pictures/
ln -s ~/”Google Drive”/Music/ ~/Music
ln -s ~/”Google Drive”/Pictures/ ~/Pictures

I just deleted the current user folders, then
mklink /d c:\users\UserName\Music\ c:\users\UserName\Google Drive\Music\
mklink /d c:\users\UserName\Pictures\ c:\users\UserName\Google Drive\Pictures\

Thats all there is too it. I’ve also moved my Dropbox folder into my Drive folder because I still prefer the auto-upload feature on Dropbox over Google+. Having the Dropbox folder inside of Drives also lets me manage all my mobile photos easily with Google Drive.

I can still use my automatic FTP server solution to back up and back up to a portable drive, but now it only needed on one computer. I have 5 copies in at least 3 different physical locations of all of my precious data.



We are excited to announce a new project from ATAP, something that we have been working quietly on over…

Wow, The next moonshot. 


Google ATAP originally shared:
We are excited to announce a new project from ATAP, something that we have been working quietly on over the past year.

As we walk through our daily lives, we use visual cues to navigate and understand the world around us. We use our eyes to observe the size and shape of objects and rooms, and we learn their position and layout over time almost effortlessly . This awareness of space and motion is fundamental to the way we interact with our environment and each other.  We are physical beings that live in a 3D world. Yet, our mobile devices assume that physical world ends at the boundaries of the screen.

The goal of Project Tango is to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion.

Our team has been working with universities, research labs, and industrial partners spanning nine countries around the world to harvest research from the last decade of work in robotics and computer vision, concentrating that technology into a unique mobile phone.  Now, we’re ready to put early prototypes into the hands of developers that can imagine the possibilities and help pull those ideas into reality. 

What if you never found yourself lost in a new building again?  What if directions to a new location didn’t stop at the street address? Imagine playing hide-and-seek in your house with your favorite game character. Imagine competing against a friend for control over physical space with your own miniature army.

We hope you will take this journey with us. We believe it will be one worth traveling.  To find out more, and apply for a development kit visit

The future is awesome. Let’s build it together.

— Johnny Lee, and the ATAP Project Tango team


On Motorola and Google

On Motorola and Google

There are lots of opinions flying around with the Motorola-Lenovo sale.  They vary from "Google Loses" to "Google is a Genius" Just a few:

I’d like to expand the thinking a little. When Google bought Moto in 2011 the Android ecosystem was under attack on several fronts.  First the patent wars were at their height with lawsuits filed all over the world.  Second, fragmentation was getting out of control with the introduction of Gingerbread, Honeycomb, and Ice Cream Sandwich all within 2011 and the OEM struggling to keep up.  The monolith of Samsung was rising and threatened to fork Android and turn it into a bloatware nightmare, close its devices to the community, or drop Android entirely. While Samsung thrived the other OEMs; HTC, Motorola, Sony, and LG struggled.  Something drastic needed to be done if Android was going to survive.

So in August 2011 Google bought Motorola Mobility, a struggling OEM with a knack for releasing dozens of mediocre phones per year.

Immediately after purchase the patent wars slowed down to a low burn (Only recently reignited by the RockStar Consortium).  Some could argue that the Moto patents weren't worth the price tag, but I respond by saying it cannot be measured.  No one can track the amount of lawsuits that were not filed due to the Moto patents.

Google stripped Motorola down.  They cut around 60% of the head count to around 2,300, sold off the set top group, and focused the mobile group.  In 2012 Motorola released at least 24 devices, by 2013 that number dropped to 8, 6 of which were already in the pipeline before the sale to Google.  The remaining 2 devices, The Moto X and Moto G were the real prize.  They showed the OEMs and consumers that not only could an Android device be well designed, updated in a timely fashion, and  appeal to a large market, but it could also be done cheaply and without intrusive customization.  It may not have been the greatest seller, but it took an OEM on the verge of failure and turned it into a company that has a chance at success.

Google reached out to OEMs and launched Google Play Edition devices in May 2013.  Flagship devices from HTC and Samsung without a skin, sold unlocked directly to the consumer.  Nothing but Pure Android.  It expanded to include Sony, LG, And Motorola device by the end of the year.  All the GPE devices have been updated to KitKat mere weeks after the OS’s release.

Days ago Samsung stuck a deal with Google to cross license their patents further solidifying a patent defense.  Samsung also agreed to dial back their customizations and exclusive apps, a sign that the GPE program could be rubbing off on the OEM.

Lenovo does one thing really well.  It sells to businesses.  According to NPD, Lenovo sold 23.3% of all personal computing devices in the US for 2013.  The vast majority of those to businesses.  Imagine the reactions when they are presented a solution for mobile devices that would cost up to 50% less than current models, be supported under the same framework as their work stations, and function with little to no customization.   Motorola could be in position to not only survive but thrive.

Google is playing a chess game.  The Motorola acquisition, restructuring, and subsequent sale are just a few of the moves.  But in those moves Google had accomplished three very important tasks.   They have establish a large and solid patent portfolio as well as cross-patent agreements, they reduced fragmentation of the Android ecosystem, and they re-established a struggling OEM.