Google’s AI Will Call Places For You

This video from Google I/O today is mind-blowing. In it, Google shows off an in-development feature where Google Assistant will call some places to interact with someone on your behalf.

“Google, please make me an appointment for a haircut on Tuesday.” Ideally, I would expect Google to interact with an API that ties into the salon’s scheduling platform but so many places do not have that. In that case, Google could call and naturally interact with someone to place the appointment.

Watching this in action—I’m just amazed.

Venmo’s Defaults

Venmo’s default settings are very uncomfortable. I’ve never used this payment service by PayPal before and, by default, I am friends with all of my phone’s contacts—I opted out of linking to Facebook—and I would automatically make public anytime I exchanged money. Not only to my “friends”, but totally public.

I shouldn’t know that someone I worked with 20 years ago gave someone else money to fix their hot water heater.

Calendar Scratchpad?

My dentist's calendaring program had a "scratchpad" where they could drag an appointment, then find where on the calendar they wanted it, then drag it back into the calendar grid. Anyone know of a Google Calendar-compatible OS X app that has something like that?

Dropping Google Apps

I’ve been using a G Suite/Google Apps/Gmail for your Domain address for a decade at least. Generally, this had been fine for me until relatively recently. I can’t do the following with them:

  • Google Fi
  • Google Fiber
  • Family Sharing for Google Music/Apps/Movies

All in all, it hasn’t been that much of a pain but with Google Fiber, I get 1TB of storage that is attached to an account I don’t do anything with, our Google Music account is tied to a different account than my Google Assistant so “Okay Google play (something)” doesn’t work right and so on.

I’m thinking about consolidating everything to a single Gmail.com-based account and setup Gmail to send as my actual email address.

Anyone gone through a similar process? Ideally, I’d like to lose as little data but will assume there will be some along the lines of playlists, etc.

More blogging and less social media

Entering 2018, I plan on setting a New Years’ resolution of using social media less, and blogging more.

Source: More blogging and less social media

The founder of Drupal, a “competing” CMS to WordPress hits the nail on the head here. I’m planning on doing the same.

I do like that I look up old friends on Facebook. I like it as a directory, but as a content consumption tool, it seldom brings joy to my day. Maybe if it had a filter to only display “life news”—weddings, births, illnesses, deaths, new jobs and the like.

So yeah, here’s to blogging more and owning my own content more in 2018.

Quitting Firefox

The opposite in fact. I've started using Firefox again and found myself cursing multiple times after hitting Meta-Q and quitting instantly. Chrome had a feature to require me to hold down Meta-Q to quit so a quick finger slip didn't kill my work. In Firefox, you can visit about:config and search for browser.showQuitWarning, then toggle it to true. Set as true, it'll warn you before quitting.