Everything coming to Netflix in April – with trailers

April 1

Gremlins

Schindler’s List

Richard Pryor – Live &Smokin’

Tropic Thunder

April 4

Louis C.K. 2017

Chewing Gum – Season 2

April 6

BFG

April 7

Dawn of the Croods – Season 3

The Get Down – Part Two

Win it All

April 8

Kubo and the Two Strings

April 10

Documentary Now! – Season 2

April 11

Kevin Hart – What Now?

April 12

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow – Season 2

April 14

Sandy Wexler

Chelsea – back for season 2

Mystery Science Theater 3000 – The Return

April 15

Homeward Bound – The Incredible Journey

April 21

The Prestige

The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show – Season 4

Girlboss – Season 1

Bill Nye Saves the World – Season 21

Tramps

Sand Castle

April 22

The Great British Baking Show – Masterclass Season 1-3

The Secret Life of Pets

April 25

Disney’s Queen of Katwe

April 27

Las Chicas Del Cable – Season 1

April 28

Casting Jonbenet

Dear White People – Season 1

Small Crimes

 

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Deal – Samsung Chromebook Plus for only $419 – Plus a $20 Google Play gift card

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One of the most interesting and innovative Chromebooks, the Samsung Chromebook Plus, has gone on sale at both Best Buy and Amazon for $419, plus once you get it Google will give you an additional $20 in play store credit.

Here are the deal links

AmazonBest BuyGoogle

Making Microsoft great again

It seems as though Microsoft is waking up

Over the past decade, Microsoft has seemed to be asleep at the wheel.  They are constantly late to the game on just about every technology advancement.  The features that they had which separated them, seem to have fallen on the back burner or have been killed off completely, (windows media center, cough cough).  They have been able to generate excitement around certain hit products like the Xbox, but that customer hype doesn’t seem to be present by users of the Windows operating system. Confronted with major competition, Microsoft is facing the reality that they need to either get with the game or watch their empire become slowly eroded by others who seem to be innovating faster.

Bogged down and bloated

In my opinion, Microsoft OS’s biggest downfalls are a poorly maintained OS and the inability to take control over applications that tend to take over most system resources. Windows XP was a light, well loved operating system. It ran even on the most minimal of hardware…but then came Vista, the big bloated mess that started people’s disenchantment with the windows operating system. Vista was an attempt at beautifying the Operating system, but instead of lean code that enabled the computer to shine they did just the opposite, resulting in a bloated OS that only ran decently on the most powerful PC of the time.  Since then, with each iteration of Windows they have fought to streamline the OS and have finally gotten back to a good place with windows 10.

The Competition

Once upon a time, a machine with Microsoft OS was the very best in computer processing. Now it seems as though a PC is just something to buy in order to get the job done. Where Windows lacks in customer enthusiasm, their competition has been happy to excite their disenfranchised users. Apple came out swinging with commercials painting Windows as a lame business machine. This has translated to Apple taking most of the high-end Windows PC market.  This didn’t seem to affect Microsoft too much. Most of its sales consisted of sub-$1000 PCs so it didn’t effect their bottom line to a great degree.  Just as Microsoft settled in to their low to middle of the range market, a newcomer started making waves.  Out of the blue, Google’s new OS started to catch on and was rapidly taking the low end of the market.  Googles Chrome OS is now evolving and targeting Microsoft’s main users with the introduction of application support and a more robust and advanced operating system.

Expelled from the smart phone market

The smart phone market is another example of a competitive space in which Microsoft failed to see and follow the trends until it was too late. Once a leader in the smart phone world along side blackberry, Microsoft didn’t see the future coming.  When the first iPhone was released in 2007, Windows mobile market share was at an all time high achieving 42% of all smartphone sales. Fast forward to the present day where they account for less than 1% of the market. Time and time again Microsoft has found that their efforts were too little too late.

Manufacturers just don’t innovate

To be fair, Microsoft isn’t the only one to blame for the stagnation of Windows.  It seems to me that with very few exceptions, the manufacturers of PCs have dropped the ball by producing uninspired, half baked, cheap, plasticy, junk. Every year the same old machines are spit out and quality doesn’t often seem to be a focus. Finally in 2012, Microsoft showed the world what a modern PC should be with the introduction of the Surface.  Unfortunately, at that point they had a bigger problem on their hands in the form of Windows 8.  They showed that quality hardware mattered but the next step was to fix the problems with the operating system.

Firing on all cylinders

The surface line has become a force to be reckoned with. This, in combination with windows 10, is helping Microsoft to take back some of their high end market share. The surface line shows the full potential of a Windows computer, combining high quality hardware with a clean a simple aesthetic. These PCs are just the beginning of Microsoft making strides to return to the spotlight and get people excited about their Operating System again.

Announced in the fall of last year along with the introduction of their new ultra high end Surface Studio all in one PC (which is aimed squarely at Apple’s user base), was the announcement of the new update coming to Windows 10, called the creators update.  This update is massive and adds much needed and useful features which have been long since neglected in Windows.  A full feature list is available on Microsoft’s web site, but the two main features that are greatly anticipated are the upgrade to Microsoft Paint and an overhaul of gaming in Windows.

Currently, Paint is severely lacking in features, being used mostly for cropping and the most basic editing. With the update, we are told it will be a full featured 3D art studio, giving the user the basic tools needed to create in 2D and 3D.  The second exciting part of this update is the overhaul of gaming in windows. This will brings PC gaming back to the forefront by combining PC gaming with their immensely popular Xbox.  Using the Xbox live back end, you will be able to converse with fellow gamers and seamlessly share content.  In addition to this, Microsoft will also be improving the gaming experience by allowing the computer to more fully use the resources available for each game and by minimizing other programs so that they don’t impede performance.

Conclusion

No longer is Microsoft the sleeping giant. They have woken up and are ready to do battle,hoping to breathe excitement into the souls of all of their users. Excitement is key for the turn around to succeed. In order for this to work for Microsoft, they need people yelling with enthusiasm when they see new cool innovation being released. They need people queuing up to purchase the next greatest thing.  If they can turn this corner and battle the invaders, they just might keep their crown as the dominant Operating System. Who knows…if this works, they might have the clout to reenter the arena of the mobile phone market.

 

Deal – Asus Chromebook C302CA on Sale

Amazon currently has one of the best Chromebooks on sale for $465 (regularly 499).  This brings the price close to the Samsung Chromebook Plus.  In comparison you get a much better Intel M3 processor and double the Storage space (64 Gigs).  If you don’t need the stylus pen of the Chromebook Plus, this might be a better choice.

source – Amazon

2017

5 things I want – Chromebook Pixel 2017

I have had the current Chromebook Pixel for about 2 years and it still runs like new. However, Chromebook trends have changed and I would love the next Chromebook Pixel to take better advantage of these trends. Here’s 5 things I want from a 2017 version.

  1. Tablet with a detachable keyboard – Two examples of this come to mind, the Surface Pro/Surfacebook and the Pixel C.  Both would be good options from a design standpoint.
  2. More Native Storage – Lets get real with storage.  32 GB is no where near enough storeage.  I use a 256 GB SD card in mine as secondary storage.  Lets bump the minimum storage to 128.
  3. An Integrated Stylus – After playing with the Surface and the new Samsung Chromebook Plus, I think a stylus is very useful for many varying tasks, especially if more advanced apps come to chromebooks, ie Photoshop.
  4. Fingerprint Reader – This functionality is coming soon in Chrome OS 58.  I would love to see this on the next Chromebook Pixel.
  5. More Robust Native Google Apps – With the introduction of the new Windows 10 creators update, it would behoove Google to work on their core apps to better compete with Windows and Mac

Over the last few years, Google has slowly added much needed features to the Chrome Operating System.  I would love to see google show off what they can do with the next Chromebook Pixel.

Don’t pay for home phone service…

I’ve been using Google Voice for my home and business phone service since 2011. With this app, you can use a cell phone that is designated exclusively for this purpose, or add a google voice number as a second line to an existing, in service cell phone, like me wife does on her Nexus 6p for her business. I have found that outside of the tech world not many people know about this option, but everyone I tell about it wants to give it a try. If you’re needing a phone line to be used exclusively in a place where you have WiFi, give it a try.

Let google be your free home phone service! I will be using a Nexus 5 for my home phone.

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  1. go to voice.google.com, sign in to your gmail account and select a phone number.  I created a new email account for the family, so that my personal email account was not available for anyone to use.screenshot-2017-02-21-at-10-24-53-am
  2. Use an Android phone you have lying around or if you don’t have a new enough one available, an inexpensive one will do.
  3. Start fresh – wipe and reinstall the operating system.wp-1487701140346.png
  4. Log in to your gmail account.wp-1487701145053.png
  5. Download the google voice app from the app store.  Make sure it is the official Google app and not one of the many third party ones.wp-1487701135257.png
  6. Make sure all apps are up to date via the play storewp-1487701116955.png
  7. Open the app and sign in.
  8. Enter the cell phone number linked to the account.wp-1487701113197.png
  9. Set google voice to use for all calls.wp-1487701108219.png
  10. Get the hangouts dialer – This is necessary to make calls via google voice.wp-1487701130115.png
  11. Open hangouts and make your first call or text.wp-1487701210597.jpg
  12. For now, hangouts is the best way to interface with google voice but google has been updating the google voice app and may at some point replace hangouts for calls.
  13. Get a durable case – because kids drop stuff.

The Chromebook Pixel is not dead after all!

Looks like Google is still working on the Chromebook Pixel line, they just aren’t sharing anything about it at this time.  I hope this means that we will see a Chromebook Pixel Tablet at this spring’s upcoming Google IO.  Like I have said before, it is important for Google to lead with the Pixel line to show what their operating systems can do, just like what Microsoft is doing with their Surface line.

 

 

No new Chromebook Pixel this year?

In a report by techcrunch.com, Google is not planning on bringing back the Chromebook Pixel Laptop this year.  They sat down with Google’s senior vice president for hardware, Rick Osterloh, and he said “we have no plans for Google-branded laptops.” Maybe it’s just me being optimistic, but I’m hopeful that they have no plans for a Google branded laptop this year because they are going to be releasing a Google branded Pixel Chrome OS tablet.

Update: Never say never! Osterloh sent us this additional comment after we published: “Regarding the future of Google-branded laptops (whether called Pixel or not), I should clarify that we don’t have any plans to discuss at this time.”

Get a free Chromecast, when you purchase a Google Home

The Google store is running a great deal, when you buy a Google Home and a Chromecast.  Just add both items to your cart and Google will discount your total by 35 bucks giving you the Chromecast for free.

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source – Google Store

Whats coming to Netflix in March

Here is what is coming to Netflix in March

March 1

Angry Birds Season 2

Blazing Saddles

Chicago

Deep Run

Dirt Every Day Season 1

Epic Drives Season 2

Friday After Next

Head 2 Head Season 2

Hot Rod Unlimited Season 1

Ignition Season 1

Impossible Dreamers

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park III

Kate and Mim-Mim Season 2

Know Your Enemy – Japan

Kung Fu Panda

Let There Be Light

Memento

Midnight in Paris

Nacho Libre

Nazi Concentration Camps

Roadkill Season 2

Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane

Singing with Angels

Sustainable

Slumbs of Beverly Hills

The Craft

This Is Spinal Tap

Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny

The Lost World: Jurassic Park

The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress*

The Negro Soldier

Thunderbolt

Tunisian Victory

March 3

Greenleaf Season 1

March 4

Safe Haven

March 7

Amy Schumer: The Leather Special

March 8

Hands of Stone

The Waterboy

March 9

Thithi

March 10

Buddy Thunderstruck Season 1

Burning Sands

Love Season 2

One More Time Season 1

The Boss’ Daughter

March 13

Must Love Dogs

Million Dollar Baby

March 15

Disney’s The BFG

Notes on Blindness

March 16

Beau Sejour Season 1

Coraline

March 17

Diedra & Laney Rob a Train

Julie’s Greenroom Season 1

Marvel’s Iron Fist Season 1

Naledi: A Baby Elephant’s Tale

Pandora

Samurai Gourmet Season 1

March 18

Come and Find Me

The Vampire Diaries Season 8

March 21

Ali & Nino

Another Forever

Evolution

Fire at Sea (Fuocommare)

March 23

How to Get Away with Murder Season 3

Welcome to New York*

March 24

Déjà Vu

Felipe Neto: My Life Makes No Sense

Grace and Frankie Season 3

Spider

The Square

The Most Hated Woman in America

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

March 25

The Student Body

USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage

March 26

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

March 27

Better Call Saul Season 2

March 28

Archer Season 7

Jo Koy: Live from Seattle

March 30

Life in Pieces Season 1

March 31

13 Reasons Why Season 1

Bordertown Season 1

Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life Season 1

Dinotrux Season 4

FirstBorn

Five Came Back

GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling

Rosewood Season 1

The Carmichael Show Seasons 1-2

The Discover

Trailer Park Boys Season 11