Anne wants to know why her Chromebook isn't getting updates anymore. And can she keep using it? Leo says that the older your Chromebook is, the more likely Google will stop updating it. But it'll be fine for a while. Chrome is very secure. The issue though will be if your browser is still updated. If your Chromebook is one of the first, and as such, its end of life, then it may be time to get a new one.
Dave has a business and he wants to know if it's worth doing SEO to get better search results on Google. Seems like snake oil. Leo says that there are legitimate SEO companies. But there's a lot of snake oil there, as well. A LOT. And an overly aggressive SEO could actually cause Google to delist him. SO if they make nonorganic suggestions that could "game the system," run away!
Gabe is having trouble logging into YouTube using Steam's Overlay browser. He gets a browser not secure warning. But if he uses a different Gmail account, he can get in. Leo suspects that the Browser is using a format that YouTube no longer supports. It turns out that YouTube has made a change that doesn't support the Overlay Browser. Here's a Steam note on it, and another here.
Pat's Chromebook is old and it's time for her to get a new one. Leo says it will still work, but it won't be updated. However, eventually, it'll stop connecting. It should stay in the specs, but Google says that new Chromebooks will get 6 1/2 years of support. Go to Google's AutoUpdate page here to find out how long before upgrading is needed.
Adam is getting notifications on his Android phone, from Google, asking for his birthdate. Leo says that Google will ask for his birthdate when he signs up for an account, to set age-appropriate settings! But it shouldn't keep asking for it. He doesn't have to give them the accurate birth date. Just make sure it's over 13 years ago.
Companies like Amazon and Google are doing to great lengths to make their assistant voices sound more human. Even going so far as to bring celebrities in to record random sentences and then use artificial intelligence to fill in the gaps. Known as "prosody," the technique is starting to put voiceover artists out of work since a computer can fake recorded sounds that are indistinguishable now from the human voice.
Up in Massachusetts, users of Android phones discovered this week that Google had installed the Massachusetts State app without their knowledge or permission. The app is designed to provide citizens with the latest Covid-19 information, as well as a QR code if you have been vaccinated. Leo says it's not a good thing to force an app, and how easy would it be to forge a QR code anyway? People have always sought to "game" the system, and it's even more so in the age of the Internet.
With five bills before the House, Congress is poised to reign in Big Tech, and a breakup may be required for Big Tech to continue to do business in the United States. The Big Nine - Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Apple, Google, and IBM, plus Ali Baba, Tencent/TikTok, and Babu are so dominant in our society, that Congress is starting to be concerned that Big Tech has too much power, and they may require some of those firms to break up into smaller companies.
Bobby's homework assignments have gone missing from Google Docs. It's a school account using Canvas. Leo says to talk to the IT guy at the school. He did that and the school said to "call Google." But Google doesn't have that kind of support. What would be more helpful is to contact the developer of Canvas.
From Google Photo's Patterns to Fitbit returning under Google Wear, this year's Google I/O wasn't really much to talk about. But Project Starline has some promise. It's a 3D technology where you don't have to wear special glasses. It uses a special light field projector that essentially creates a 3D version of someone on the other side, It promises to make it look like the person you're talking to is right there beside you.