Google to kill Google+ early: April instead of August

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Google+ is closing 4 months earlier than previously planned.

The company announced today in a blog post that they found another bug (separate from the bug they used to partly justify the social network’s closure in the first place).

The new bug impacts more than 52 million users.

As a result, all Google+ APIs will close down in 90 days and the site itself will close to consumers in April, rather than the previously planned August closure.

Note that you can export all your Google+ content using the Google+ Exporter.

The only bad thing about getting Google Fi is giving up Google Voice

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You can use Google Voice or you can use Google Fi, but you can’t use both. I just bought a Google Pixel 3 in order to move off AT&T and onto Google Fi fulltime.

(We used to use Google Fi using my wife’s account, but only as a WiFi hotspot while traveling abroad.)

It’s kind of a bummer, because Google Voice has a few features Fi doesn’t.

Pizza with extra grasshoppers


Amira and I stumbled across a pizza joint in Mexico City serving a variety of toppings, including grasshoppers! I had to try it!

Grasshoppers, specifically chapulines (from the Nahuatl word chapolimeh), have been consumed in Mexico for millennia before the Spanish era. They’re often eaten in traditional ways, like roasted and flavored with chiles.

You can find grasshopper foods all over the Roma neighborhood in the Cuauhtémoc borough of Mexico City, which is also where I ran across this pizza joint.

The grasshoppers weren’t “good” to my palate. But they weren’t bad, either. (The worst part of this pizza was the crust, not the insects — tasted like it was made from Bisquick or something.)

The worst part of eating grasshoppers was that Amira wouldn’t kiss me for the rest of the day.

Anyway, I just wanted to try it. When in Roma…

Mexico City has a three-day internet meme museum #museodelmeme


We happened to wander past today something called the Meme Museum, which turns out to be a pop-up museum that opened yesterday and closes tomorrow.

The museum, which is housed on Mérida Street, in Mexico City’s Roma Norte neighborhood, shows historic memes, some of which are re-created live by performance artists.

The museum is free, and the place had a line of millennial hipsters all the way to the end of the block. Amazing!

I think my phone might be scratched by September

My new Pixel 3 arrives this week. I’ll be retiring my iPhone.

My iPhone is in good shape because I’ve always used a case for it. However, the screen has been exposed for the last couple of years, and it’s covered in scratches.

That’s why I intend to use a screen protector for the Pixel 3.

Buying one on Amazon was eye-opening. So many of the reviews contraction each other. The positive reviews saying the negative ones are fake, and vice versa.

But the strangest thing I encountered was this product, which has over 1,100 reviews and over 3.5 stars. Sounds pretty good. But the ship date is September of next year. Helpfully, they allow you to pre-order it.


Word of the moment: "pause-vertising"


Advertisers have found a new place to drop ads: on your video when you hit the “pause” button.

Hulu and AT&T (which owns DirecTV and U-verse) plan to introduce “pause-vertising” next year.

Sounds annoying, but as long as you can stop the ad by hitting “play,” it’s better than those pre-roll video ads you can’t stop until the timer runs out.

Why Fi?


Google targets Google Fi at consumers and families. But it’s even better for business.

Google this week changed the name of the service, but more importantly, it announced that Fi is available on 84 additional phones, including iPhones. (The iPhone support is in beta, according to Google.)

They also recently announced an option to turn on VPN support for all connections, both cellular and WiFi.

This combination of features makes BYOD a little better for businesses. Maybe a lot better. Read my whole column here.

How to cheat at selling apps on the Apple App Store

David Barnard wrote this scathing and detailed analysis about how some developers game Apple’s iOS App Store. And he blames Apple.

Anybody know what this is?

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Anybody know what this is?

It's a gated stairway on the corner of Santa Monica and Normandie in L.A. (technically, Hollywood).

Is this an entrance to the old subway they built 90 years ago? (Additional info: There's an identical one on the other side of Santa Monica Blvd.)

UPDATE: Here’s the answer, provided by the L.A. Times via Julian Gomez in a comment below.

How to get ready for the new threats that come with 5G

Over the next few years, the pace of business will accelerate exponentially. 5G will enable the future enterprise technologies everyone is predicting and waiting for: fleets of self-driving delivery trucks, virtual and augmented reality, and a world of enterprise Internet of Things deployments — systems that will define an era that the World Economic Forum termed the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

But do we understand the 5G security threats to come? Here’s what you need to know.

Trump administration says Trump deregulation will kill, sicken and impoverish Americans.


President Donald Trump is a dishonest and corrupt moron. But professionals in the federal government are still capable of rational analysis.

In a report covered by the Los Angeles Times, various agencies have released analysis and prediction about the cost to America of Trump’s deregulation programs.

According to these various agencies, Trump’s policies will kill 1,400 more Americans from increased air pollution, raise medical bills and increase student debt by $50 million.

Trump’s cutting immigrants off from Medicaid and other government safety net programs will increase malnutrition among children and pregnant and breastfeeding women, according to the government.

Trump’s policies will also lead to “increased rates of poverty and housing instability; and reduced productivity and educational attainment,” according to the Trump administration.

But don’t worry! The billionaires will be fine!

Was Andy Williams on crack?


Surprisingly, the answer is: no.

The 1963 Christmas song, “It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” has some strange lyrics.

No, I’m not talking about kids “jingle belling“ (can’t picture that) or “gay happy meetings” (I CAN picture that, but my picture probably differs from Andy’s.) I’m talking about sections of the song where Christmas celebrants anticipate Christmas activities to come:

“There'll be scary ghost stories, and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago.”

Nobody tells ghost stories at Christmas. Or do they?

The song was actually written for William’s TV show by Edward Pola and George Wyle. They were referencing a widely practiced tradition during the 19th Century throughout the English-speaking world where people used to tell ghost stories on Christmas Eve.

Nowadays, the closest thing we have to to Christmas-oriented ghost stories is watching “A Christmas Carol” on Netflix.

The question is: Should this tradition be brought back?