Which Cloud Service Stores Your Photos?

I use Flickr, Google Photos and Amazon Prime Photos. The first question that may come to your mind is the following: –  Why do you need all three? The short answer is – you don’t.  So here is the back story.

I joined Flickr in 2003. The cost is $24 a year for 1 TB (over 1/2 million photos) The main reason that I still use Flickr is the social connection to their worldwide photographers.  You can use Flickr for free with limited storage and advertisements.

Amazon Prime Photos comes free with your annual Prime Membership ($119 per year). Like Flickr each photo is automatically saved to The Cloud and you can conveniently check your photos using a smartphone app.

Google Photos is totally free and has unlimited storage. The free version does not keep you original resolution. So be careful if you erase the original. The cloud storage looses some resolution.

Which one is the best?

Each of the services has their pluses and minuses. If I had to choose one it would be Google Photos for the following reasons:

  • Free
  • Super simple to use
  • Best photo editor
  • Automatically puts tags based on the GPs
  • integrates with the Google platform of applications
  • Did I mention free unlimited storage.

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Skills You Had Before The Internet

Pop Quiz CTL Subscribers. Put on your thinking caps and name a couple of skills you needed before the Internet and having a smartphone in your purse or pocket.

  • Spelling – I can remember being a decent speller. Now I just ask Google or Alexa to spell a word.
  • Arithmetic – With a calculator on every phone you can just type in or better yet just say “Ok Google add these numbers”.
  • Maps- remember looking at a printed map for the directions . If you’re born before 1990 you may have never looked at a physical maps
  • Libraries – This one is very sad for me because libraries and physical book stores were always a wonderful trip for me. Now a student can wait to the very last minute to do their assignments
  • Writing printed (non email)  letters. The image of being a college freshman just flashed in my head. Coming down to the collection of dormitory mailboxes and getting that letter from home was a cherished experience.
  • Typewriters. Taking a typing course in High School was a big bonus in searching for material now.
  • Photo Albums:  The skill of filing has totally been replaced by digital photo albums and tags.

Summary: Although my life style and my ability to find information has greatly improved with the Internet. I think these are some of the down sides that have affected me.

  • My handwriting has deteriorated. I don’t even enjoy writing.
  • I am thoroughly addicted to my smartphone.
  • My patience for listening  is at an all time low.
  • I am too easily distracted.

What skills have you lost since the Internet is so much a part of our lives?

 

6 Things You Didn’t Know Google Photos Could Do

Google Photos is my “go to” app for shooting, editing and storing photos on my smartphone and in The Cloud.  The following six items are taken from the Kim Komando Show. 

  • Find your adorable pet pictures
  • Search by picture icon (i.e. partner, son, best friend)
  • Create a slideshow movie
  • Animation – Select “Assistant” in Photos, choose “Animation,” and then select anywhere from two to 50 photos and let Google create a fun animation from the images.
  • Build a photo book
  • Google Drive – Sync your Google Drive with Google Photos by heading to your settings and turning on the Google Drive option. Now you can see and edit photos and videos from Drive right in Photos.


 

End Of The Year Musings – 2017

Here I am sitting in front of my computer on the 3rd rainy afternoon in a row. No complaints about the rain since the river was at an all time low just a week ago.

The following are six major themes in tech and in my life in 2017

  • Voice – Our household now has an Amazon Echo and 3 Dots. The primary use is for music. Other uses include timers and research. For example last night while watching a movie it  was as simple as saying, “Alexa, what is the capitol of North Dakato (BTW, it’s Bismarck)
  • Photo Editing-  I now shoot 100% of my photos on my Nexus 6 and only use 3 editing tools (Google photos, Prisma, Snapseed) Prisma now has HD printing and creates framable art.

  • Food Delivery – Cuenca now has several food apps. The one that is primarily used is Megabite. Its a pleasure when you are tired to go to the app and have your favorite cuisine delivered by motorcycle in 15 minutes.
  • Smartphones – The major flagship phones (i.e. Samsung, Apple) are now $1000 fully loaded. I decided to hold on to my Nexus 6 for another year because it has a great camera and a superb screen.
  • Streaming TV in Cuenca – We still have our older versions of Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV. We mostly watch Netflix and seem to be watching more series on Netflix.
  • The Cloud – My computer is the only Apple Device I have left. I use Google, Amazon and Flickr to back up my photos and other media.
  • Fish Monger- As I am writing this post I can hear my wife on a Skype call with a friend saying the following” Lenny is no longer my 5 letter help word in tech”. All he cares about is selling his fish”. Not totally accurate but pretty darn close.  The fish business has taken off in 2017 and I look forward to supplying Cuenca with the best Salmon in Ecuador.

Happy New Year to all my friends and subscribers who read this blog.

What Would Life Be Like Without The Internet (Part 1)

The initial sobering thought is that you would not be reading this post if there were no internet. The thought of  LWTI (Life Without The Internet) came to me in sort of a wave of experiences. The front edge of the wave led me to admit sometimes I use my smartphone and its connection to the Internet to avoid human contact. Yes, if I am restless at dinner or a Poker game, I take out my phone and check email or scan world headlines. Every time my phone vibrates I take it out, often interrupting an ongoing conversation. In short, I am addicted to the stimulation of the Internet.

What was life like before the Internet?

  1. Communication – There were F2F meetings, often requiring time- consuming travel to meetings. There were long distance phone calls. There was snail mail. In the 1960’s, I can remember patiently waiting in my college dormitory post office to find out if my family’s care package shipped 10 days ago had arrived today.
  2. Banking -Ah, the days of standing in line to make a deposit or to pay a vendor. It was licking a stamp on an envelope and mailing the bill to the provider of your services.
  3. Libraries – Walking to the library and hoping that the reference book you needed for your report was available and paying the library fines often.
  4. Movies – As a child, Saturday afternoons were special for my bother and me. I fondly remember going to a matinee where admission and popcorn for the both of us cost less than a dollar.
  5. Employment. There was no such thing as working online. You dressed for work. You commuted to work. More often than not you worked from 8-5 and commuted home.
  6. Television. For the first 18 years of my life there was one T.V. in the house. We watched together as a family and of course there was no streaming, Youtube or viewing on a tablet or smartphone.

Was life slower, better, more enjoyable before the Internet? For my grandchildren there are no comparisons. All of their lives they have experienced Email, Google, Facebook, iPhones and ordering from Amazon and receiving their products in the same day.  They don’t know the meaning of film and typewriters.

Could we exist today without the Internet? Does the child growing up in the Internet age lack personal communication skills? Do we as adults keep our personal communication skills sharp?

In Part 2, I will discuss a need to return to some of the skills we had before the Internet.

 

How To Master Google Photos

It’s no secret that I like to take photos. I now take all my shots using my Nexus 6 smartphone. My go to app is Google Photos. Today I found an exceptional post by the Verge

How To Master Google Photos

There are a lot of great takeaways. The three best for me are the following:

  • SEARCH IS THE KILLER FEATURE
  • FREE UP STORAGE ON YOUR PHONE
  • SHARED ALBUMS

What else do you do with Google Photos?