November 28, 2014

My Bright Idea #19 - Google Messaging, Calendar, and Other Features

My Bright Idea #19 - November 28, 1014

Google Hangout (Google's messaging and video chatting app) should become more like a super version of iMessage, by managing all SMS, MMS, and Hangout messages, and have the video and audio sharing features added.  Besides a possible rename to something like "Google Messaging" or "GMessage" the app should include the management of regular text messaging to gain more customer usage (if you look at iMessage's implementation, most iPhone users have it set-up).  The Google messaging app should be available on both iOS and Android devices, as well as, in Chrome and desktop software.  Again, this will increase customer usage.

The purpose for better integration on multiple platform is to add additional features for users already using Google's other apps.  One example I imagined is a smart recognition feature that automatically creates suggested calendar events from the content of text messages.  A text like, "Do you want to go see a movie tomorrow?" could create a possible calendar event for the user to review (similar to iMessage's manual ability to create calendar events from keywords like "today" or "tomorrow").  The event could be added to a "Suggested Events" section of the calendar app or be accessible right in the messaging app to confirm as a calendar event.  Additionally, subsequent text that may include other information about the movie, such as which movie, the time and location, could be added to the "suggested calendar event".  Friend(s) involved in the text (such as group texts or mentioned within) could automatically be added as suggested invitees.  Once the event is confirmed, all invitees who choose to accept then have it added to their own calenders.

The messages could also (with permission granted by the user) be reviewed by Google's server to add related content suggestions like where a particular movie is playing or where tickets can be purchased.

Additionally, the Google Calendar App could be updated with other social features, such as, the option to share certain types of events with certain groups (say from your Google+ Circles).  With a feature added to select particular calendar 'event types' in the creation of the event, a particular event could be shared with a select group(s).  A "Social Events" calendar event, for example, could be shared with your "Friends Circle" so they know about upcoming movie nights or dinner parties.  A "Work" calendar event could be shared with your "Coworkers Circle" so your daily schedule could be used for scheduling other work events or meetings.

Additional management of your Circles should also be added to the contacts in your Gmail, for easier access and modification.  Or a Google Contacts/Address Book App and/or website should be created for managing all a user's contacts, groups, circles, etc.  All features should have management capabilities from either the messaging app or the calendar app, with integration with all other Google Apps.

November 26, 2014

Why I Love Thanksgiving More Than Other Holidays

There are so many people who trash Thanksgiving for various reason.  Some attribute it to the taking of land from the Native Americans, while others post things like this.  Anyway, I love Thanksgiving more than other holidays because of a few F-Words.

1.  Food.  Of course this tops my list because I love to eat.  I love to mix my mashed potatoes with butter and gravy along with my buttery and salty corn.  I love brown sugar and butter mixed with yams to make sweet potatoes (slow and low simmer style).  I love homemade rolls with more butter.  Maybe it's the B-Word, BUTTER.  Turkey is okay too, but it's not really about the turkey.  Later, I love the pumpkin pie and a second round of all the fixings.  And maybe even later, I'll have a third round of the fixings.  And don't get me started on the leftovers on Friday.

2.  Family.  I actually do love my family.  The annoying ones are fun to watch and silently judge.  I'm such an ass, it doesn't bother me when they demand their way.  The loved ones I get to be with and enjoy.  The funny ones make me laugh and laugh along with my humor.  I just love family.

3.  Football.  There's always a game or two on Thanksgiving (or three this year).  What's great about the role football plays is how it prevents awkward silences.  It keeps things moving throughout the day.  Whether it's that time after the family sports competition or between meals or desserts, there's always a game on somewhere to break-up those times where we all run out of things to share with our family.

4.  Freedom.  This F-Word is a stretch, but it stands for the freedom in Thanksgiving to just enjoy the day without the stresses tradition brings in other holidays, where gift giving is required and expected.  Thanksgiving beats Christmas out in my holidays ranking list because I don't have to work on gift ideas for everyone I'm going to see.  The freedom to just enjoy the day and the people and the nourishment is what I love about Thanksgiving.

So here's my point:  ENJOY THANKSGIVING.  Be thankful for food, family, football, and freedom.  What more can we all be thankful for than these things.  What a great holiday.  What a great time of the year.

(For my Christian friends worried I'm not thankful for God's provision and in love with Christmas because we can celebrate Christ...settle down ya zealots.  The Father and Faith are also F-Words.)

November 17, 2014

Gymkhana Seven and the 2015 Shelby GT350 Mustang by Ford

Although Ken Block heads DC Shoes, and I'm not a fan of the company anymore after their poor handling of our shoe issues (times three, as seen in the tweet below), he is an amazing driver.
I've posted other Gymkhana videos, but this might be my favorite.  It features a super modified 1965 Ford Mustang, with all wheel drive.  Some of the highlights of the video include a reference to the OJ Simpson chase, the Los Angeles low-rider scene, the concrete river, and the Hollywood sign.  Check it out.

This is also a cool day to post this video, because the 2015 Shelby GT350 Mustang by Ford was announced.  See the picture above or watch the video in Ford's tweet below.

Thanks Ben, for the alert to the Gymkhana video.

November 11, 2014

Due To Time...Twitter vs Jimmy the Gun Site

I used to enjoy blogging...a lot.  I loved sharing my finds and expressing my thoughts.  But these days I just don't have the time.  Instead, I use 140 characters to share and express.  My Twitter feed is really where all my time and effort is spent now.  It's quick and easy.