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LanceLetter: Google's Storage Deadline; Instagram Likes Control; Intel

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LanceLetter

June 1 · Issue #231 · View online

Stuff that matters.


Written while watching jets fly and burgers fry

The Air Force Thunderbirds were flying high on Memorial Day
The Air Force Thunderbirds were flying high on Memorial Day
What to do with all those photos
I’m trapped. Google Photos has been my go-to image (and video) storage option since it was Picasa and now…well…I’m stuck. The most complete archive of my images lives there and even though June 1 marks the date when Google will start throttling my storage, I don’t see any option except for staying.
You may be able or simply want to choose otherwise, moving your images to Amazon or Microsoft or a local NAS. I don’t want to do it.
The reality is, there still isn’t a better image search on the planet, and shuttling my gigabytes of data to a lesser option is not appealing.
What people may not realize about Google’s quality options is that even the compressed ones are still good. According to Google:
  • Photos are compressed to save space. If a photo is larger than 16MP, it will be resized to 16MP.
  • You can print good quality 16MP photos in sizes up to 24 inches x 16 inches.
  • Videos higher than 1080p will be resized to high-definition 1080p. A video with 1080p or less will look close to the original. Some information, like closed captions, might be lost.
Up until June 1, this was the unlimited storage option. Now those decent-quality images and videos will count toward that 15 GB limit. Still, I wouldn’t choose Google’s “Express” storage option:
  • Photos may be compressed to use less mobile data. If a photo is larger than 3MP, it will be resized to 3MP.
  • You can print good quality 3MP photos in sizes up to 6 inches x 8 inches.
  • Videos higher than 480p will be resized to standard definition 480p. A video with 480p or less will look close to the original. Some information, like closed captions, might be lost.
To prepare for the inevitable, I began the process of cleaning up my Google Photo storage (and other Google storage areas that now count toward my 15 GB total) in an effort to free of space and stick with this platform.
Google Photos helpfully identifies videos and other photos that can be compressed to a lower quality to save space. Unfortunately, it doesn’t show you which ones, it just gives you the option to do it. I, apparently, can free up 1.3 GB of space by doing it. I think I will.
I can also buy another 100 GB for $1.99 a month (Side note: It was 15GB when I looked at it in the morning but changed when I refreshed. 🤷‍♂️), which isn’t terrible, but I am already paying Apple $9.99 a month for 2 TB and Microsoft One Drive $99.99 a year for 1 TB. Where does it end?
Do people judge me for my likes?
I can now hide my Instagram Like count on a per post basis from everyone and myself. Instead of a number, I see a name or two who liked the image and, if there are more, “and others.”
Instagram added this feature because of the sometimes-toxic nature of social media and the pursuit of likes. They didn’t remove like counts altogether because, apparently, it’s too ingrained in the culture of the platform.
I’ve tested the feature on a few of my posts but, by and large, I don’t think I have enough likes for it to matter. However, even if I did, I don’t think I’ll ever hide them. For me, likes do serve as a validation of my content. It’s how I know people are engaging at a slightly deeper level, and not just scrolling past my posts.
There is, as I see it, no shame in giving and receiving likes. They’re like little pats on the back, a tiny nod that says, “I see you.” Why is that a bad thing?
On the flip side, I guess I have to wonder how people who strive for greater and greater like counts feel when the algorithm is no longer their friend and instead of 2,000 likes, they get 100 or 10. That, I guess, can be demoralizing and no one’s mental state should be tied to the number of Instagram likes they get.
I guess that’s the point of this new tool; it lets us make the choice. Are you strong enough to weather the vagaries of Like counts? Do the numbers make you smile or anxious, wondering why you didn’t get more? Now, at least, if you get a little too tied up in the pursuit of likes, you can take control by turning them off.
But I bet you’ll soon be turning them on again. Just a hunch.
So much power
News started flowing out of the Taiwan-based Computex show almost as soon as it opened overnight. AMD revealed new chips and that it’s powering the gaming rig inside Teslas and Intel unveiled its 11th Gen processors.
The latter marks an important milestone for laptop operations, bringing 5GHz speeds to more portable devices. It’s not the first time laptops have hit 5GHz, but these energy-saving chips should help bring blazing speeds to more thin and light laptops.
The news reminded me of how far we’ve come since the days of 50Mhz 486DX chips of the 90s. They were followed not by the 586, but by the Pentium, which marked Intel’s first foray into trademarked CPUs. Back then, we assumed Intel would just keep changing the numbers. Over the weekend, I noticed how, in an effort to give a futuristic burnish to the plot, Tom Cruise’s first Mission Impossible film (1996) mentions that the technology they’re trying to crack uses the “686” chip, something that never arrived.
ISS takes a hit
If you’re wondering how the International Space Station avoids all the space junk whizzing by it each day, I have some bad news for you. It doesn’t.
The station’s luck recently ran out as its robotic arm took a hit. Good news is that whatever smacked into the arm (leaving a small hole in the insulation) missed the living space and didn’t break the arm. Even so, it’s a reminder that the station is constantly at risk. I hope someone figures out how to create a space sweeper to get rid of all that dangerous junk.
Thanks for reading
Stay well
Talk soon
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