Google Arts & Culture

On Episode 511 of the Waves of Tech, we are back after a short break to chat about all things technology. Google announced the launch of Google Arts & Culture, a new digital platform featuring numerous museums and artifacts from around the world. Google Photos will soon be limiting storage capacity and will transition users over into using Google One for their storage needs. Customer service continues to be particularly hard hit during the public health crisis and a few stories are shared to illustrate the issues. A former Microsoft software engineer stole millions via their online retail system which landed the individual in federal prison and may result in deportation back to his home of Ukraine.

Google Arts & Culture

Google recently announced their Arts & Culture service, an online platform through which anyone can view high-resolution images and videos of cultural artifacts and artwork from 17 partner museums throughout the world either on the desktop or via their app. The service also includes search capabilities and educational tools for students and lecturers.

  • Netherlands, Spain, UK, USA, Germany, and Czech Republic museums featured
  • The platform offers games, tours, art filters, and augmented reality features
  • Partners also included guided tours and/or welcoming videos to visitors
  • Great opportunity to explore international art exhibits and rooms from your home

Google Photos Ends Unlimited Storage

Most great things don’t last forever. For several years, the search engine conglomerate provided unlimited storage for photos and videos to users of Google Photos. That is all set to change in July 2021 as Google shifts to a payment feature if you exceed 15GB. Google One, the somewhat unknown cloud storage, will be utilized for storage of your photos and goods.

  • Google One pricing – $1.99/month 100GB, $3 200GB, $10 2TB and $150 30TB
  • The push to use Google One is one factor that is forcing the hands of users
  • In addition, 28 billion photos are uploaded daily which could cause storage bloat
  • More options like Dropbox, Evernote, iCloud, and others exist if you wish to not pay

Customer Service in COVID

In two short stories, Steve shares his experience with customer service during the current public health crisis. In some cases, you can expect certain rules and conditions to apply since everyone is trying to stay socially distant and look after the general well being of the populace. But sometimes, company protocols fall short of helping customers when they need it most.

  • Drive through services has become difficult for those with larger profile vehicles
  • Directions to customers need to be more clear, direct, useful, and posted
  • Systems sometimes fail, either it be infrastructure, process, or implementation
  • Everyone is adapting, but some larger corporations should be well ahead of others

Microsoft Employees Pockets Millions

A former Microsoft employee now finds himself in United States federal jail with a 9-year sentence, a directive to pay back $8.3 million, and facing deportation back to Ukraine. Volodymyr Kvashuk, a software engineer, stole over $10 million in store credit via Microsoft’s online retail system and sold it for bitcoin, earning himself a new million dollar home and Tesla.

  • Mr. Kvashuk begin stealing using his credentials, then used his co-workers’ information
  • He denied charges saying he was “working on a special project for the company”
  • The theft calculates out to approximately $13,000 a day over a three year period
  • Microsoft surely will learn was new security protocols to put in place after this event

Resources & Links

Google Arts & Culture

Google Photos

Microsoft Employee Steals $12M

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