Category Archives: Google

How to Choose Cloud Storage for Your Photos

The cloud is the most practical and secure way to store your photos. You’ll have continual access to a digital backup of your memories. You also won’t have to worry about overloading your hard disk or your smartphone. With cloud storage, you can share your photos as well, but providers also give the option to set privacy restrictions. They have state-of-the-art resources to keep them encrypted for you. There are certain features you need to look for in a cloud storage provider. Here are some of the top ones reviewed, both paid and free.

Tips for choosing cloud storage

Cloud storage is great for those working from home and sharing documents. It’s also ideal for backing up your photos. There are several key cloud storage features to look for when choosing a cloud storage provider. Cloud services come with an app so ensure this is compatible with your brand of smartphone or tablet. Not all providers are free, but they will offer a certain amount of space before you need to sign up for a subscription. 

Generally, all providers accept JPEG files Certain providers will allow you to upload different types of files including TIFFS, RAW, and video or music files. Before signing up with a provider, it’s a good idea to calculate how much space you’re realistically going to need and for what type of files. This way, you can work out whether it’s worth paying for a subscription or not. If storage is becoming an issue for you, you also have the option to delete duplicate photos from your smartphone, this article explains how to do it, https://backlightblog.com/delete-iphone-duplicate-photos. It’s up to you whether you decide to move your photos to the cloud.

Top cloud storage providers

There are several big names in cloud storage and Google, Microsoft and Adobe all have their own version. Other top cloud storage providers include IDrive and pCloud. Here is a quick review of each. 

IDrive

IDrive is great for photographers who use multiple devices and are concerned about security. It’s a very reliable cloud storage provider and has an excellent security rating. Your photos are protected by biometrics and you can set up face recognition for accessibility across all devices. The free plan allows a maximum of 5GB which can fill up quite quickly, depending on the number of photos and other files you have. If you need more space, you can upgrade to a yearly subscription. IDrive is user-friendly and fast. It also has features such as syncing photos and robust reporting tools.

pCloud

pCloud is ideal if you want to store files of various types. It’s not free but the provider offers a unique lifetime subscription for a one-off payment of £159 for 500GB or £309 for 2TB. There are also monthly plans available. pCloud provides state-of-the-art encryption and only the user will have access to their accounts, not even the company’s administrators. You can store any type of video or image file including RAW files, and you can share your files with up to four family members or your business. You can essentially send and receive large files to and from anyone. pCloud is a Swiss company and follows Swiss data laws, they also use first-class safety measures.

Google Photos

Google Photos offers storage for photos and videos and each Google account comes with up to 15GB for free. Google Drive is set up for file sharing and it’s easy for multiple users to access and edit files. It couldn’t be simpler to use although it isn’t the most stylish of platforms. It is, however, fully compatible with other apps as part of G Suite and can be synced with any devices and cameras with WiFi access. You can also top up your storage for as little as £1.59 per month for 100GB. The great thing about Google is that it also uses machine learning technology to label and archive photos, and makes suggestions to you based on your history and preferences. It uses metadata which allows you to find pictures easily based on date and place, and in general it’s very quick and convenient to use. 

Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft OneDrive provides a similar cloud storage service to Google, but is an integrated part of the Microsoft Office package. It is possible to use Microsoft OneDrive as a standalone deal, however, which is free up to 5GB and then £1.99 per month for up to 100GB. The other Microsoft Office apps aren’t included in these packages, so it depends on if you need them or not. The full Microsoft Office 365 starts at £5.99 a month. Microsoft OneDrive is easy to use and can be accessed on unlimited devices. While it’s not solely designed for photographers, it’s still a safe and convenient place to store your pictures. 

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud is more specifically aimed at photographers, professional and amateur alike. This does, however, mean it’s a little bit more expensive than other more basic cloud storage providers, but there are more advanced photography-based features such as stylish image libraries and editing options. Adobe offers a free trial for those interested and the basic photography app starts at just £9.98 a month. You can upgrade this to include all the Adobe apps for £49.94, which is a good deal for those with a passion for photography. Adobe Creative Cloud is compatible with Windows, MAC, Android, and iOS and you can upload all types of files from any device. 

The cloud storage provider you choose depends on what you’re going to use it for, how many files you have, and which type. If you’re an experienced photographer or you want to develop your skills, Adobe Creative Cloud has more photography-based features. If you’re on more of a budget and simply want a backup of a few family photos, then a basic free cloud storage option is probably more suited to you. Upload and protect your memories on the cloud today.

The Gadget Man – Episode 119 – Technology to look out for in 2019

Another year passes and as we move into 2019 we can look forward to another year of unstoppable advances in technology.

If I was able to predict upcoming tech, I’m happy to suggest that my number one for 2019 will be the folding mobile phone with potential devices from LG and Samsung already breaking cover in various forms.

Both companies have already demonstrated their flexible display technologies and with the Mobile World Congress in February coming up soon, we should expect demonstrations of foldable, rollable or bendable screen tech from these companies.

Artificial intelligence is sure to continue its unstoppable march towards self-awareness (I jest!!), but all the same, we should be seeing multi AI ‘bots’ training directly with each other very soon! Who could forget the Facebook AI bots which invented their own communication language shortly after being switched on! More of this in inevitable, hopefully with the necessary safeguards in place.

The big 3 tech companies continue to advance home-based smart technology with integration into every part of our lives, add to this more AI and who knows what we should expect from the likes of Amazon, Google and Apple.

Holograms are a little way off, but augmented reality is making leaps and bounds with more advanced filters on spectacles providing with illusionary-holographic images a reality soon.

Phone batteries continue to provide us with more and more screen time and further advances in battery and charge technology will give us even more excuse to distract ourselves on a daily basis.

This year we look forward to the beginnings of the 5G roll-outs, giving us impossibly fast download speeds, but also extending decent internet speeds to rural areas of the UK.

Ultimately, we are not about to be overrun by killer robots and 2019 will be bringing some pretty astounding new technology, strap yourselves in and enjoy the ride.

I talked on air with James Hazell from BBC Radio Suffolk about my predictions for the coming year. Have a listen and don’t forget to  Like, Subscribe, Share and Comment and I will see you very soon.

Matt

 

Gadget Man – Episode 108 – Why we should care about what our data is used for?

Facebook MobileFollowing on from the ongoing  Facebook / Cambridge Analytica scandal, I was invited to be a guest on James Hazell’s show on BBC Radio Suffolk. We talked in depth about how social networks and apps are using our data.

Please listen in by clicking the ‘play’ button above. Don’t forget to Like, Subscribe, Comment and Share.

Continue reading Gadget Man – Episode 108 – Why we should care about what our data is used for?

YouTube dumps monetisation of video for millions of creators

I’ve just received an email from YouTube. It informs me and millions of others, that we are being dumped from their advertising program. This apparently is to stop ‘spammers, impersonators and other “bad actors”‘ from making money from their ‘eco-system’.

**UPDATE** 21 Feb 2018

YouTube have emailed again today to confirm the cessation of advertising revenue. The rollout of these changes was documented by Ken Heron on his YouTube channel where advertising was removed from his videos according to his dashboard. Ken meets with YouTube’s new rules and should in fact continue to receive monetisation.

Ken Heron’s YouTube video relating to this change is below

YouTube’s most recent letter confirming removal of monetisation is below. Whilst my Youtube video’s are in no way Studio Quality, they are not SpammyImpersonating anyone or re-uploading video (unless where permission is giving such as SpaceX).

YouTube Confirms Removal of Monetisation
YouTube Confirms Removal of Monetisation

In reality, they are removing the ability for non-professionals to make any kind of money from their advertising platform (I can tell you it is a very small amount).

Big Hitters such as MKBHD and Casey Neistat will continue to reap the rewards of monetisation
Big Hitters such as MKBHD and Casey Neistat will continue to reap the rewards of monetisation leaving the less fortunate ‘potless’.

Simply put, people such as Casey Neistat, Marques Brownlee (MKBHD) and other extremely successful ‘YouTubers’ will continue to rake in millions in advertising revenue, whilst the less fortunate will lose all forms of income from this platform.

Whilst there is nothing wrong with being paid for high quality content, successful YouTube creators also earn massive amounts of revenue from advertising and affiliate links. Basically they continue to get the best of all worlds, whilst the less fortunate get completely cut off.

The Gadget Man YouTube Channel
The Gadget Man YouTube Channel

In all honesty my videos on YouTube make a pittance through advertising, however I also have a Patreon channel. This is a 3rd party channel which many YouTubers current use to make a sensible living through their hard work. If you feel somewhat inclined to support The Gadget Man site and Youtube channel, you can use Patreon to do this. Not only will this help encourage me to produce more content, it will also help towards buying better equipment to produce content.

YouTube is owned by Google who’s corporate code of conduct is Don’t Be Evil.

With this in mind, I would appreciate your support by subscribing to my Patreon channel for as little at $2 per month https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?c=335884

Statement from YouTube 17/01/2018

“2017 marked a tough year for many of you, with several issues affecting our community and the revenue earned from advertising through the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). Despite those issues more creators than ever are earning a living on YouTube, with the number of channels making over six figures up over 40% year-over-year. In 2018, a major focus for everyone at YouTube is protecting our creator ecosystem and ensuring your revenue is more stable.

As Susan mentioned in December, we’re making changes to address the issues that affected our community in 2017 so we can prevent bad actors from harming the inspiring and original creators around the world who make their living on YouTube. A big part of that effort will be strengthening our requirements for monetization so spammers, impersonators, and other bad actors can’t hurt our ecosystem or take advantage of you, while continuing to reward those who make our platform great.

Back in April of 2017, we set a YPP eligibility requirement of 10,000 lifetime views. While that threshold provided more information to determine whether a channel followed our community guidelines and policies, it’s been clear over the last few months that we need a higher standard.

Starting today we’re changing the eligibility requirement for monetization to 4,000 hours of watchtime within the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. We’ve arrived at these new thresholds after thorough analysis and conversations with creators like you. They will allow us to significantly improve our ability to identify creators who contribute positively to the community and help drive more ad revenue to them (and away from bad actors). These higher standards will also help us prevent potentially inappropriate videos from monetizing which can hurt revenue for everyone.

On February 20th, 2018, we’ll also implement this threshold across existing channels on the platform, to allow for a 30 day grace period. On that date, channels with fewer than 1,000 subs or 4,000 watch hours will no longer be able to earn money on YouTube. When they reach 1,000 subs and 4,000 watch hours they will be automatically re-evaluated under strict criteria to ensure they comply with our policies. New channels will need to apply, and their application will be evaluated when they hit these milestones.

Though these changes will affect a significant number of channels, 99% of those affected were making less than $100 per year in the last year, with 90% earning less than $2.50 in the last month. Any of the channels who no longer meet this threshold will be paid what they’ve already earned based on our AdSense policies. After thoughtful consideration, we believe these are necessary compromises to protect our community.

Of course, size alone is not enough to determine whether a channel is suitable for monetization, so we’ll continue to use signals like community strikes, spam, and other abuse flags to ensure we’re protecting our creator community from bad actors. As we continue to protect our platform from abuse, we want to remind all of you to follow YouTube’s Community GuidelinesMonetization Basics & PoliciesTerms of Service, and Google AdSense program policies, as violating any of these may lead to removal from the YouTube Partner Program.

While this change will tackle the potential abuse of a large but disparate group of smaller channels, we also know that the bad action of a single, large channel can also have an impact on the community and how advertisers view YouTube. We’ll be working to schedule conversations with our creators in the months ahead so we can hear your thoughts and ideas and what more we can do to tackle that challenge.

One of YouTube’s core values is to provide anyone the opportunity to earn money from a thriving channel, and while our policies will evolve over time, our commitment to that value remains. Those of you who want more details around this change, or haven’t yet reached this new 4,000 hour/1,000 subscriber threshold can continue to benefit from our Creator Academy, our Help Center, and all the resources on the Creator Site to grow your channels.

Even though 2017 was a challenging year, thanks to creators like you, it was full of the moments that make YouTube such a special place. Creators large and small, established and emerging, transformed their talent and originality into videos that captivated over a billion people around the world. They made us laughtaught us about our world and warmed our hearts. We’re confident the steps we’re taking today will help protect and grow our inspiring community well into the future.

Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer and Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer”

First Products of the Tech Giants – Play our Quiz!

We all have to start somewhere and so did some of the biggest tech companies. Play our quiz and see if you can guess what their first products were? You might be surprised at some of the answers!

Don’t forget to comment with your score and don’t forget to like and share!!

1257 Miles in an Electric Car – Part 1 – A Plan is Hatched.

Holzhausen’s drawings of the Model S
Holzhausen’s original drawings of the Model S

10th July 2017

I was sitting in my office in Martlesham on the 10th July 2017 chatting to a colleague about Tesla cars. The conversation had started after he noticed the framed artists sketch hanging on my wall.

I have driven a number of Tesla Model S cars in the past from the excitable P85+ to the ‘Insane’ P85D. They are very exciting cars to drive, not just because they are fully electric and pack extremely powerful single gear motors, but because you feel your are riding on the coattails of automotive history, participating in an irreversible shift change in motorvehicle technology. It’s very exciting!

The conversation moved on the the Model X and Model 3, Tesla’s entries in to the SUV and ‘affordable’ markets. The Model X has recently appeared in the UK, the Model 3 is two years away from being available. We continued to chat for the rest of lunch, but the seed was planted.

That evening I wrote an email to Tesla’s press office requesting the loan of a Model X for review. Nothing specific, simply available dates.

The next day I received a reply from Tesla, it’s explained that things were very busy with the Model X, but the 5th and 6th of October was available for a test drive, did that suit? I puzzled for a while, in the past I had been loaned vehicles for a little longer, to give me time to get to know the vehicle, two days seemed a bit short to get a proper review in place. So, I followed up with an email, requesting a little longer.

I quickly received a reply from Tesla asking what my plans were? OK, good question, time to put on my thinking cap.

15 July 2017

My initial idea was driving from Lands End to John O’Groats, but after a little bit of Googling, I discovered that this had already been done in a  Tesla and well documented on YouTube, there was nothing original to achieve in travelling down this this ‘road’.

But wait a minute! Was there? I live about 40 minutes from Ness Point, the most easterly point in the UK. Nestled in Lowestoft, Ness Point at first glance seemed a little unloved. Some thought and effort has been made to build a stone circle, with plaques showing distances to well known points in the UK. It’s quite nice, but the surroundings aren’t that impressive, but it seemed like the obvious starting point for a challenge and wasn’t too far from home.

Now to find the most westerly point of the UK.

Ardnamurchan Lighthouse sits on the most westerly mainland point of the UK accessible by a short ferry ride at Corran and a two hour drive along single track roads across an extinct volcano. There even appeared to be a ‘rapid’ charge point a few miles away at Kichoan Pier, which would set a challenge outside of Tesla’s ‘Supercharger’ network.

The plan was hatched, but it was just the beginning.

Matt Porter
The Gadget Man

Gadget Man – Episode 89 – Star Trek 50th Anniversary – Fantasy Gadgets that are now Reality

uss_enterprise_ncc-1701-aToday we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek which first aired in 1964! Amazingly the series only ran for 3 series before being cancelled NBC. The show was an instant hit with a core group of fans now called ‘Trekkies’ or ‘Trekkers’. Star Trek went on to be shown on repeats or reruns many times over the years.

leonard_nimoy_as_spock_1967
Leonard Nimoy as Mr Spock. Image courtesy Wikimedia

Star Trek went on to spawn 13 motions pictures starting in 1979 with ‘Star Trek – The Motion Picture’ and 5 subsequent televisions series including The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise. As well as the ‘Animated Series’ and a planned ‘Discovery’ planned for 2017. Along with all of this visual entertainment comes an enormous library of novels, audiobooks and reviews and in depth analysis of all of the above, it’s almost breathtaking!

star_trek_william_shatner
William Shatner as Captain James T Kirk. Image courtesy Wikipmedia

Star Trek is now surely etched in science fiction folklore possibly (and arguably) only surpassed in popularity by the monolithic and multi billion pound Star Wars franchise

What makes Star Trek so attractive is it’s almost prophetic vision of gadgets of the future. Today in the 21st century we can make use of gadgets and technology first shown a half a century ago.

From sliding doors, universal translators, natural language conversations with computers, tablets computers, personal communicators, virtual reality to food replicators and more!

So, what do we have to look forward to in the next 50 years?

Well, personally I can’t wait next movie instalment and next years TV series, but moreover, I REALLY looking forward to Warp Drive, Matter Transporters and Interstellar Space Travel.

In the words of Mr Spock (and spoken in the language of Mr Worf:-

qaStaHvIS yIn ‘ej chep

(“Live Long and Prosper” in Klingon)

Earlier I spoke to Mark Murphy at BBC Radio Suffolk about how these devices now form an integral part of our lives, so listen in don’t forget to comment below.

qaStaHvIS yIn ‘ej chep

The Gadget Man Episode 87 – Self Driving Cars / Driverless Cars / Autonomous Vehicles

Self Driving Cars are never far from the news, and last week whilst taking a few days away in sunny West Sussex, I spoke to Mark about what the future holds for Self Driving Cars and Truck Platooning.

Tune in to the audio stream to find out what we had to say on the matter, and whether I think you would will have ‘had it’ if a fuse blows in your autonomous vehicle.

Below is a also a video where Google talk about their dreams of driverless cars and truck platooning technology.

 

 

The Gadget Man – Episode 86 – Tesla Model S P85D – Auto Pilot

The Gadget Man - Episode 86 - Tesla Model S P85D - Auto Pilot
The Gadget Man – Episode 86 – Tesla Model S P85D – Auto Pilot

I have been driving the latest Tesla Model S P85D over the past few days, specifically to experience software update 7.1 and the improvements to Autopilot functionality.

 

Tesla Model S P85D
Tesla Model S P85D

We discussed the technology behind Tesla Autopilot and also the future of autonomous and driverless cars.

 

You can listen to a recording of the stream and find out what we thought.

 

The Gadget Man – Episode 82 – Gadget Review of the Year

Its my last broadcast of the year and I so talk about my top 5 gadgets of the year. Listen to the stream to hear what I thought of the following :-

These are all products I’ve reviewed in the past, so you can click on each of them to take you to it’s relevant feature.