On Episode 296 of The Waves of Tech, we dive into some recent tech news related to Google Picasa shutting down, the latest from Google Photos, Senate approval of a permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, free online home estimators, and a Comcast outage that angered thousands of customers. Sit back and enjoy another mixed bag of tech topics from Steve and Dave and be sure to share your comments with us on social media and our website. Enjoy the podcast and continue to ride…the waves of tech!
Google will shut down Picasa this spring
In 2004, Google purchased Picasa to compete with other tech companies and win over some new users. After a 12 year run, Google will be shutting down the once popular and still utilized photo management application. Photo management became a real issue in 2004-2006 as point and shoots grew in popularity and many of us had smartphones with cameras. With their release of Google Photos in June of 2015, it was only a matter of time before Google did some spring cleaning. No fear everyone, Photos is easy to use, easy to transition to, and more intuitive than Picasa ever was.
As an alternative to Picasa, of course Google is recommended Google Photos and we cannot agree more with the search engine giant. Photos has an Assistant feature which allows automatic backup, file management, time-stamped inventories, built in photo editing options, “stories” creation, and more! If you’re looking for a great photo management application that is simple to use, stress free, and user friendly, Photos is your best bet. Remember, Photos will also let you open up some of that space taken up by photos and videos on your phone.
The Senate re-approved a federal bill that makes the Internet Tax Freedom Act permanent for the foreseeable future. The bill, in its essence, does not allow companies and ISPs to charge a fee to access the Internet (zero cost, ease of access, equality). In addition, it reinforces the pay-no-federal-tax for goods and services purchases online. Despite the billions and billions of money spent online, the federal government is staying hands off for the very far future. But don’t forget, your home state may require taxes to be paid, either during the checkout process or during tax preparation.
Many of us are interested in the relative value of our homes as we look to either sell, rent, or purchase a new residence. And many of us are interested in the value of high scale homes in Beverly Hills, the skyline of Manhattan, the sprawl of Atlanta, and the hills of Washington. With free online home estimators, such as Zillow, Realtor.com, Homes.com, and Epprasail, finding the value of your home is simple. Plus, these sites offers additional information in the form of median age, nearby property values, local schools and districts nearby, unemployment rates, and so much more. Get lost for a few hours exploring these sites and learn about your community or even your future community.
Comcast customers took to the social media pipelines to announce their frustration with a near 3-hour communication breakdown earlier this week. Outages were reported and confirmed from various spots around the nation. As Comcast hurried to repair the network issue, redirect feeds, and manage the outage, customers continued to report and speak their angered minds. Let’s be less quick to complain about outages and be understanding that outages do occur on a regular basis for so many tech companies. Comcast had the issue resolved and restored service to all it’s customers in just under 3 hours.