RIP Google+ and other Services


Episode 1581

A Sad Week in Google, as Google killed off a ton of services this week. Google+ closed down. Google Chromecast Audio was discontinued. The InBox in Gmail is now gone. Leo was really sad that Google+ never really grabbed the kind of attention from users that Facebook has. The sad part is that Google+ was very popular with photographers since images posted weren't as compressed as other social media sites do. They could upload uncompressed, or hi-resolution versions. But no more. 

What's a good small camera that gives professional results?

Episode 1112

Bruce from Irvine, CA

Bruce is a bush pilot in Alaska. He's looking for a good digital camera that's better than a point and shoot, but not the size of a full DSLR. Leo says the best point and shoot right now is the Sony RX100. It's not cheap at $800 for the MKIII, but it has a 1" full frame sensor, an f1.8 24-70 zoom, and it's tiny. So it's easy to use and provides professional results.

Privacy Was the Topic of the Year

Episode 1043

As 2013 comes to a close, Leo says that privacy, or the loss of it, should be viewed as the topic of the year. As the NSA has spread its reach further into our lives, even the major tech companies have taken out a huge ad campaign to say "stop spying on us." But there's also some nice things about a lack of privacy. Google has created Auto-Awesome Movies, a year end movie of all the photos posted to Google Plus. Leo says it's a great document to show the year, but it's also a horrendous invasion of privacy.

Can I change my Google+ name?

Episode 1003

Dennis from Glendale, CA

Dennis wants to change his Google ID into a nickname. Leo says it's not possible to do it natively. There are some "name shorteners" that will let him do it, but it's far easier to just use a URL shortener like Bit.Ly. He should get his Google Plus link, copy it, and then go to Bit.Ly. He can input the link, give it his nickname, and that's it. Then he can give people that link.

There is another URL shortener designed to be used more with Google+:

How can I allow friends to add photos to my albums on Google+?

Episode 977

John from Michigan

John wants to be able to allow friends to add photos to his albums on Google+. Leo says he isn't sure if that can be done at the moment because Google is in transition at the moment.

One thing he can do is create a public folder on PicasaWeb. Unfortunately, that's going to end soon, which is too bad because Picasaweb is full of features that Google+ doesn't have.

How can I get my business undeleted from Google?

Episode 973

Vincent from Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Vincent has a service area business, noticed a significant drop in business, and discovered that it was a problem with Google. Apparently, when Google activated Google+ and migrated data from Google Maps, a lot of these businesses had been deleted. Unfortunately, he has found that Google is apologetic but doesn't seem to have a solution. Now his business doesn't show up in Google Places anymore. This is a big issue because Leo says if a business isn't showing up in Google, it pretty much doesn't exist online.

How can I keep my photos private on Google+?

Episode 968

George from Venice, FL

George isn't thrilled that Google+ is taking over Picasa and posting them online. Leo suspects that Google plans on phasing out PicasaWeb in favor of Google+ posting. Leo suggests going over to PicasaWeb and marking his pictures private. When he goes to, he'll be sent to Google+ initially. However, there will be a link to go back to PicasaWeb and he can then set all of his images to private.

Why are the videos I've recorded to YouTube suddenly showing up in 4:3 format instead of 16:9?

Macbook Pro

Episode 967

Shawn from Detroit, MI

Shawn has been using the camera on his MacBook Pro to record and upload to YouTube. However, recently it's gone from 16:9 to 4:3. Leo says that it could be the software that Shawn is recording from. He's been using the recording utility with Flash. It sounds like this is a known bug in that Flash utility, so Leo recommends using iMovie for recording.