Google and Amazon Need to Get it Together

Let’s start this out with a disclaimer; this is an opinion/rant. Do with it what you will.

We all know there is some stiff competition between the two Titans; Google and Amazon. But can they please get over their back-and-forth bickering already? It is costing their users like you and me a lot of missed entertainment!

About the time Amazon started selling their FireTV devices, they decided stop selling Google products that it saw as direct competition. At the time, this included Google’s Android TV devices and has grown to include their Google Home Smart Assistants. Amazon has even gone so far to not just exclude these devices from its search results, but actually display THEIR devices instead! Note the search results for “google home”:

In an act of apparent retaliation, Google has pulled its YouTube service from availability on Amazon devices. Quid Pro Quo, eh Google? This has gone back and forth several times, with occasional arrangements bringing the massive service back to Amazon devices briefly, at best.

Let’s face it, a LARGE number of us consumers are regularly using and subscribing to BOTH Google and Amazon services. And it was AWESOME to be able to switch from watching music videos on YouTube to catching up on Sneaky Pete from my Amazon FireTV. Now, without workarounds, that is no longer as easy as it should be.

And one thing that really doesn’t make sense to… While voice-controlled home assistants like Google Home and the earlier Amazon Echo devices could be considered direct competition, Google has nothing to compete with the screen-toting Amazon Echo devices like the Echo Show and Echo Spot!

Even if/when they do, wouldn’t it make sense to give some leeway and come to an agreement which allows users of those Amazon Devices to use their YouTube service? Sure, Amazon bitch-slapped Google by not selling their hardware, but as you know, Services = MONEY. And by eliminating the customer base that uses Amazon devices like the Echo Show and Echo Spot (as well as the millions of FireTV and Fire Tablet users), Google is essentially punching themselves in the DICK by loosing out on that large group of people who could be using their service.

On the flip-side, you can FIRE up the Google Play Store (pun definitely intended) on your Google devices and enjoy any of Amazon’s services you want; Prime Video, Prime Music, etc. So apparently Amazon recognizes the importance of having their services available to users of non-Amazon hardware. Too bad Google hasn’t come to that same understanding.

I really just don’t get it….

Can’t we all just get along….and get YouTube back?

Living with Eero’s “Fast, reliable WiFi” (or, my experiences living with Eero WiFi the past year)

About a year ago, I decided that the new wave of “Mesh Wireless” devices was the way to go. I bought into the hype behind being able to “blanket your whole home in fast, reliable WiFi” that so many of these brands seemed to be offering. After doing my research, I settled on the Eero units due to bandwidth issues some users had experienced with the Google WiFi units. At the time, there were only a couple other options (Netgear being the main competition).

I started my adventure spending $350 on a three-pack of the original Eero Pucks. It was on sale at Best Buy so I thought I was getting a great deal. Initially I thought I’d just use them as Access Points in conjunction with my nice Netgear Nighthawk router. Unfortunately, it took a lightning strike the night before so I succumbed to an Eero-only setup.

At first, all went well. Aside from one of the pucks having trouble pairing, I eventually got all three placed and connected. According to the Eero App, my placement was spot on. For the first few months, it did seem that I had fairly worry-free WiFi. I do confess, I really like the App and all the functionality it offers.

However several months in, the facade started to show cracks. As you can see, at this point I have added additional Eero extender units (Because somehow it takes all 5 of these to reliably cover my 1500 sq. ft., single-level house corner to corner). One day my Internet connection just stopped. I was out of town and using my Plex Media Server on the regular. While streaming Deadpool for the fourth or fifth time, it just stopped working. I realized I could’t ping my server so I grabbed my phone and fired up the Eero app.

Okay, I thought, that’s cool. It just needs a reboot for some reason. In the back of my mind I recall some advertising mumbo jumbo about how rebooting your router would be a thing of the past with Eero. While pondering that thought, I clicked the “Manual Restart Required” button.

Oh. So there was an update available for the Eero. Is that what caused the issue? No…couldn’t be that! So I waited patiently….and BAM!

So now I have to physically unplug it and plug it back in….Trust me, the irony is not lost on this guy. But guess what? I’m not home! I’m hundreds of miles away!  Fortunately, my wife was back home so I called her to walk her through this process. Anyone who has worked in IT knows what it’s like to talk someone who is less tech savvy through anything on the phone.

Eventually we got the Eero unplugged and plugged back in so I tapped “Next” in the App. Now it proceeds to have us go to each of the other Eero units and manually restart them, on by one, in turn, until finally, after the last one……

Hallelujah! Finally our Worry-Free WiFi and Internet has been restored (now that the Eero has completed its updates). What a hassle, but if this is uncommon, I can deal with it. Although had nobody been home I would have been hosed for three days until I got back.

Fast Forward to TODAY………

I’ve had to go through the above scenario one more time in the past 6 months (because there was an update for Eero again, and again it caused my Internet to drop). And now, today makes the THIRD time this has happened in the past year. Only thing is, today, instead of it completing that “Restarting Network” step above, I get this beauty:

So here I sit, for the third time in a year, away from home and having my wife jump though hoops to try and get our “Fast, Reliable WiFi” up and running again. We have gone through this process three times, including trying to reset the cable modem, with no luck. I have reached out to Support, but it’s Sunday. Who knows how long this could take? And my wife is at home, stuck with no TV since we use Internet to stream live TV with Philo TV. (I’ll be writing a shining review for that service soon….really, it’s amazing).

I’ll report back if and when we get to the bottom of this. Currently I have $500+ invested in this Eero setup and I feel like I would have been much better off going with another system. I may still end up doing so….

Improving on the Tablet Install in the BMW

To update my previous post (here), I have done a little more work on the Tablet mounting. I purchased a nice hard snap-on cover for the tablet:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00903HAL0/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Then I glued it into place using a large L-bracket and some high-quality adhesive.
Here’s how it looks from the Front:
Note: I did have to grind back some more plastic in the mounting bracket to allow the tablet cover to sit as close to flush as possible.
Then, I just put it back in the dash like it was before. Here’s a shot of it holding the tablet nice a snug in the car. Now I’m just waiting for the Double-Din Bezel I ordered from Germany. (I broke down and ordered it since I wasn’t happy with the way my homemade one turned out.)
Cheers!

Ransom Video from Conformists Union of Non-Thinkers

Folks, we have some dire news. Earlier this morning we received this chilling video from an Apple-loyalist group calling themselves the Conformist Union of Non-Thinkers. It has become apparent that Steve and his Minions Sheeple “followers” have a much more far-reaching grasp than we had previously hoped.

What you are about to see may be disturbing for some viewers. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

Apple Bites Back

This video was sent to the Drunken Tech Blog staff anonymously, a few days after Josh, the quirky host of “DTB News” went missing. Be warned, this video is disturbing and should not be viewed by anyone with a soul. The video may cause worry, but rest assured that we know Josh is on his way to freedom, and after a few days to heal up, fix his mowhawk, get some Guinness, and have some time with his Ubuntu Machine, he will be helping the fans get their nerd on again with DTB News.