The Chromebook One Month Later: Tantalizingly Close But Still Feels Beta

Wait. Why Do I Have A Desktop?

This is the desktop on my Samsung Chromebook.

Two things should jump out at you.

1. It’s awesomely reminiscent of Mac OS (but slightly sexier)

and

2. Why the heck do I have a desktop on my Chromebook?

The answer to 2 is that I shouldn’t, but I have to.

As everyone who’s been reading lately knows, I am an unabashed fan of the idea of ChromeOS and Chromebooks in general. A super light, super quick OS that is essentially just a web browser with a file manager built-in? In a world where most users either do, or could if properly informed, spend all of their time in a web browser, ChromeOS is a computing philosophy that feels perfect. It’s certainly the shape of things to come.

In practice the idea mostly holds up. I’ve used my Samsung Series 5 as my primary machine for the past month and, with very few exceptions, it’s functioned exactly as I’d expected it to. Samsung’s claims of an eight-hour battery life have more than held up; I do most of my work from coffee shops and client’s offices and I haven’t had to pack my charging cable once. In fact, most days I get home and still get an hour or two of use out of the machine before I finally see the low battery warning.

Likewise, the Chromebook’s footprint is nigh perfect. I hate the cramped feel of a netbook, but I also hate the weight and bulk of most laptops. The Series 5 straddles the gap between the two quite nicely. It’s almost as compact as a netbook, but the slightly larger screen and full size keyboard make it feel far less like a toy than comparable offerings from ASUS, Acer and Dell.

Web browsing is terrific; the wi-fi radio seems to have a better range than that in any of the notebooks I’ve used in the last year, which means that, compared to my wife’s Macbook on our home wi-fi network, I get far less signal and drop issues. Occasionally I’ve run into the too-many-tabs= uber-lag issues that others have reported, but with every OS update those occurrences happen less and less frequently.

But the Chromebook does have a few failings. And, unfortunately, the areas it fails at are fairly crippling. [Read more...]

Twitbook+ Announces Launch of Revolutionary Social Media Network

UPDATE (9/20/11): There has been a lot of speculation as to whether or not this is an April Fool’s joke. I can assure you that it is not April and I am not a fool. The website http://twitbookplus.com/ was registered in June of 2011 by a company called “MockInt” in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India, according to WHOIS records. As to why there are no other news organizations reporting this story, we are not sure. However most of the information below is in fact speculation.

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MP 113 Google Plus, Real Names vs Pseudonyms, iPad Scam and Building a Brand for Yourself

Peter McDermott, creator and host of Micro Patrol holds discussion with prominent Google Plus users Prisoner, Michael Nast, Susi C Pentico and Thomas Ward. This week the panel discusses the pros and cons of using your real name on social networks versus using a pseudonym, an emerging debate. Also, the panel gives tips on where to buy technology safely and how to prevent yourself from getting taken like a woman in South Carolina who bought an iPad out of the back of a car in a local McDonald’s parking lot. All of this and much more on this week’s episode of Micro Patrol.

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My First Google+ Real Life Hangout

Now many of you have probably met someone from Twitter or one of your favorite blogs in real life. Of course, when you had this first interaction it was probably awkward as you had never had a face-to-face conversation with the person and weren’t sure if your personalities would be compatible enough to carry on a conversation, no matter what the topic.

Having gone to Podcamp 2011 in Nashville, I have really taken a larger interest in social media and connecting on the local level. It is amazing how many people around you share common interests. Of course, there is always that boundary of figuring out how to meet them.

Our culture has a certain set of norms that we are expected to follow. If you are engaging in conversation with someone, no matter how much the subject or person you’re speaking with disinterests you, you are expected to remain in that conversation. The situation only gets worse when you go out with a bunch of friends that are talking about things that either you’re not involved with or do not interest you at all.

Now on the other side of that is the mystery of meeting someone from “the Internet” (read in scary movie voice) that you have only chatted with in text or possibly over Skype. What we have been missing out on is the opportunity to come into contact with like-minded individuals that we would otherwise have a hard time tracking down or bumping into serendipitously.

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Google+ and how Hangouts are Changing my Life

Just over the last few days, not even weeks, I have become very active in Google+. If you’re a frequenter of Google+ hangouts, you very well may have seen me. Whether it is chatting with my good friend +Brad Chasenore from Australia’s Tech Webcast, or watching +Cliff Roth do an amazing job of painting other Hangout participants in a 30-second window, everything I have come across has been completely amazing.

Surely, there have been some things that are less than amazing, like that person that joins your hangout and has 13 children screaming in the background or their television blaring so loud it overpowers everyone’s mic. So, of course, you mute that person and they immediately unmute themselves. Admit it, there are people like that in life that can’t handle themselves in a cocktail party, so don’t sweat it.

The point of this post it to declare that I absolutely LOVE everything I have discovered, the people I have met and the opportunities that have presented themselves since I have joined Google+.

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MP 112: Steve Jobs Looks Ill, iPhone 5 Prototype, Google Plus, Free Webcam Giveaway

This week Peter McDermott discusses a photo in which Steve Jobs looks pretty ill. A sneak peak at the iPhone 5 prototype. A laser keyboard! Can you believe it!? Google Plus for beginners. Our Griffin Technology Mystery Product, can you guess what it is? Also, our Google Chrome App of the Week and a giveaway for a brand new Rocketfish Webcam!

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Google+ Late Night Hangout #1

So a few guys got together on Google+’s new Hangout feature and had a earth-shattering debate. Pay close attention and you can get a chance to win a brand new 2 megapixel webcam from the folks at Rocketfish! Click Read More to watch!

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MP 109: Thunderbolt vs. USB 3.0, Are Internet Explorer Users Dumb?

Peter McDermott, Chief Guru of MicroPatrol.com helps you discover the web. This week, we’ll talk about the difference between Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 as well as a study that allegedly demonstrated that Microsoft Internet Explorer users have lower IQ’s than those of us using other browsers. Plus, preview our Google Chrome App of the Week as well as much much more.
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MP 108: Mac Rumors, Skype for iPad, Griffin Technology & The Tech Buzz

Peter McDermott, Chief Guru of MicroPatrol.com helps you discover the web. This week, learn why a tablet was delayed its release in Australia, how you can get Skype on your iPad and preview our Google Chrome App of the Week as well as much much more. Visit our website, http://www.micropatrol.com/ for show notes and more!
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