Tag Archives: Google

Virtual Tourism

It’s no secret that I love to travel. See new places, experience different cultures, try different food and so on. At the same time I have to balance this against the ever increasing cost of air travel, hotel costs, tourist taxes and what have you.

But at a conference in Frankfurt a couple of years ago, one of the keynote speakers was Dr Robert Ballard who is a oceanographer and devotes his life to exploring the depths of our oceans . His big claim to fame is that it was he who discovered the wreck of the Titanic.

He talked about how technology now enabled him to explore deeper and for longer than ever before. By using robots backed up with high speed data communications, instead of flying out to a ship somewhere in the Pacific Ocean and then spending 2 hours slowly descending in a submarine to spend just 2 hours exploring before spending 2 more hours trying to get back to the surface without getting the bends, he can now do his exploration from the comfort of a university campus on the mainland.

Continue reading Virtual Tourism

Insync : Another GDrive Pretender?

The mythical GDrive! There has been talk of such a thing coming to Google Docs for many years. Indeed at one point Google admitted they had such a thing days away from launch before deciding that the future of document storage didn’t revolve around the legacy drive and folder structures anymore and was killed off.

Even today, there are many who claim that Google have again revived GDrive and that once again it will be with us in a matter of weeks. To be honest, your guess is as good as mine.

Which brings us to a neat service called Insync. Continue reading Insync : Another GDrive Pretender?

It’s Official! Google Is Making Me Stupid

Well I guess we all knew this but recently published research by Betsy Sparrow, Jenny Liu and Daniel M. Wegner for Science Magazine entitled “Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips” (snappy title isn’t it) confirms what we all feared.

Google is making us stupid!

So the science bit goes a little like this.

Our brains process information in various ways however when presented with a new piece of information that the brain expects to be able to access from an external source at a later date, instead of remembering said information, it remembers where to find it and in 2011 that means one thing. The Internet!

So people are actually using Google as their own personal memory banks. An extension of their own brains without being conscious they are doing so!

Or in science speak:

The advent of the Internet, with sophisticated algorithmic search engines, has made accessing information as easy as lifting a finger. No longer do we have to make costly efforts to find the things we want. We can “Google” the old classmate, find articles online, or look up the actor who was on the tip of our tongue. The results of four studies suggest that when faced with difficult questions, people are primed to think about computers and that when people expect to have future access to information, they have lower rates of recall of the information itself and enhanced recall instead for where to access it. The Internet has become a primary form of external or transactive memory, where information is stored collectively outside ourselves.

So the full research can be found over at Science Magazine (sorry but you need to subscribe to download the very long and detailed research paper) but it really does appear that without us realising it, our own brains have been moving to the cloud as well.

So are our children destined to just be a collection of meta directories on legs? Do you think Google can find a way to monetise this phenomenon? Will Google take over the world (and our minds)? Do you want fries with that?

ScanDrop :: Software Review [UPDATED 23rd Jan 2012]

[UPDATE – 2nd January 2012]

It would appear that OfficeDrop have now changed their strategy a little and that there is no obvious free version of the ScanDrop software for Windows on their website.

They have however introduced a free tier to the main OfficeDrop application so it is quite possible to use that for your storage of scanned paper documents. Clearly on the free version there are limits on storage, file sizes and so on but then again, it is free.

The annoying part however is that even though there is the claim that OfficeDrop has Google Docs integration, this feature is still conspicuous by it’s absence. Evernote is supported however.

For me, where my online storage is built around Google Docs, this simply doesn’t work and even the paid for version doesn’t address this.

So if you are looking for a Scan to Google Docs solution, I am afraid this is no longer it.

I am leaving the original review below just in case anybody is interested


For a long time, I have tried to live in a paperless world especially when it comes to filing away letters, statements and receipts. For many years I have scanned directly into Microsoft OneNote and have been really happy with the result. OneNote provides a repository that can be searched, tagged, browsed and so on and makes finding documents again very easy.

Continue reading ScanDrop :: Software Review [UPDATED 23rd Jan 2012]

Apple Hasn’t Killed The Hard Drive Market Just Yet

There has been a lot of talk in the press this week about the new Apple iCloud announced at the Apple WWDC.

But it is this article in the Register that prompted me to comment.

Has Steve Jobs killed the consumer hard disk industry?

Now this article goes on about how if all your documents, music, contacts etc etc etc are in the iCloud, you won’t need terabytes of local storage thus the comment about the demise of the hard drive market. Continue reading Apple Hasn’t Killed The Hard Drive Market Just Yet