Google to buy FitBit

Well, this is a bit of a surprise, but not too much a surprise.

Regular readers will know I’m a FitBit user and have been for a few years.

You’ll also know that I’m an Android user, and Linux user.

So I just read this article, about Google acquiring FitBit. I’m curious to see how they incorporate FitBit and whether improve it or destroy it….

https://www.engadget.com/2019/11/01/google-buys-fitbit/

And a Press Release has just been found in my inbox:

https://investor.fitbit.com/press/press-releases/press-release-details/2019/Fitbit-to-Be-Acquired-by-Google/default.aspx

Google’s Catch-22

Not often I post on problems at Google, but this is actually an interesting situation.

https://arstechnica.com/?p=1518703

Google had an outage the other week, and it knocked out several websites GitLab, Shopify and impacted others. Gsuite, Gmail, YouTube were affected, but not down.

There are some interesting lines in this article:

for an entire afternoon and into the night, the Internet was stuck in a crippling ouroboros: Google couldn’t fix its cloud, because Google’s cloud was broken.

Google says its engineers were aware of the problem within two minutes. And yet! “Debugging the problem was significantly hampered by failure of tools competing over use of the now-congested network,”

In short, Google Cloud broke due to congestion, Google couldn’t fix the problem because their tools required using the network that was now congested

LPIC-1 Expiry and Google+

Well, it was due to happen eventually, but I got an email saying my LPIC-1 certification is going to expire in 9 months, and I never got to finish LPIC-2.

Well, maybe I’ll redo it after I got my Kubernetes certifications

Finally while writing this post, I notice that WordPress is now removing Google+ support because Google are shutting it down. A pity really, since I did like Google+ and while it didn’t take off, a lot of the features were in G+ because general use, like Hangouts.

Google/HTC deal is official, Google to acquire part of HTC’s smartphone team | Ars Technica

So Google has officially hooked up with HTC. How do I feel about this? Rather ambivalent, actually. On one side Google is already using their phones (Pixel), but HTC did roll over to Apple a long time ago without standing up to their bullying tactics – something that made me ditch HTC in favour of Samsung (and, tbh, I’m glad I did). However, this link up means Google gets a dedicated team to work on their phones. Whether this means they’ll become a decent competitor to the other devices, remains to be seen.

Source: Google/HTC deal is official, Google to acquire part of HTC’s smartphone team | Ars Technica

Google Chrome : Hatsune Miku (初音ミク) – YouTube

This is an old advert by Google Chrome featuring Hatsune Miku, the Vocaloid virtual singer, following in the same line as Honda’s series of adverts featuring her too. Selling the idea that Miku is a virtual singer, but you can be anything else — Musician, Producer, Composer, etc.
 
(Only found out by some Tweets)
Hatsune Miku, Virtual Singer
Everyone, Creator
 

Remains of the Day: Google Chrome Drops Support for Windows XP

With the roll out of a new version of Chrome, Google is saying goodbye to a few old favorites. Maybe “favorites” isn’t the right word. The browser will no longer be updated to support Windows XP, Vista, and OS X 10.8. Goodnight, sweet Vista, and your glossy menus.

RIP XP. Finally. Although I say finally, but I’m pretty sure some places are still using XP because they can’t/won’t recode applications to support Windows 2000

Source: Remains of the Day: Google Chrome Drops Support for Windows XP

Why Spatial Audio Is Such a Big Deal for Google Cardboard | WIRED

As someone who’s tried Google Cardboard, I am pretty keen to see this happening.

FOR ALL THERE is to love about Google Cardboard, it’s still a bare-bones experience. It’s barely even VR, really. But the cheap, smartphone-based viewer offers the VR-curious an easy window into 360-degree video. Pricier headsets like the Oculus Rift and Sony PlayStation VR, designed for gaming, deliver more than a cool stereoscopic viewing experience. In addition to the immersive visual eye-candy—users can explore virtual spaces, peek around corners, and, using hand-held controllers, interact with digital objects—these sophisticated VR rigs offer truly lifelike audio.

When a monster sneaks up on your left in a VR game, you’ll hear its slobbering tongue lashing at your left ear. When a shot comes at you from above you and slightly to the right, you know exactly where to return fire. When The Edge tears through the opening riff of “Mysterious Ways,” it reverberates around the stadium.

The high-priced headsets from Oculus, Sony, and HTC pack the processing punch to deliver “spatially oriented” audio experiences that consider direction, distance, and environmental factors when creating the soundtrack. Cardboard, powered by your smartphone, can’t do that yet. But earlier this week, the Cardboard team made it a little easier to give the audio in these apps a bit more realism. Asthis blog post from Google Cardboard product manager Nathan Martz outlines, the Cardboard software development kit for Android and the Unity game engine now support spatial audio. This platform update paves the way for Google Cardboard to become something more than a gateway drug to true VR.

Source: Why Spatial Audio Is Such a Big Deal for Google Cardboard | WIRED

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