Google Now Refunds Airfare Price Drops

from the desk of Rich on Tech

Happy Friday!

Some of you might know I grew up in New Jersey, but can you believe I never went to Brooklyn as a kid? It’s now a hotspot, and in the past two years, I’ve been there 3 times for Apple and Samsung events. Go figure.

Anyway, I was there last week for Samsung’s Unpacked event where they unveiled the new Note 10, then I bee-lined it to Las Vegas, where I celebrated my wedding anniversary and a friend’s birthday. Fun stuff.

Lots and lots to tell you about this week, so let’s begin!

Hands on with the Galaxy Note 10

Will Samsung’s latest phone cause you to go green bubble? The Note 10 is a powerhouse, packed with a giant screen, three cameras on the back and better integration with Windows (and Mac) computers. For the first time, there are two sizes: big and bigger.

I’m currently playing with my review unit, so if you have specific questions for me about it, just hit reply!

Watch my KTLA segment for all of the basics you need to know about the phone, which goes on sale August 23 starting at $950.

https://ktla.com/2019/08/09/hands-on-with-samsungs-new-galaxy-note-10-models/

Neighborhoods turn to license plate cams

You’ve heard of people installing video doorbells, but some neighborhoods are taking crime fighting to the next level with special license plate reading cameras.

They install the cams on private property and the cellular-connected cams snap a picture of every car that drives by and logs the license plate.

This all goes into a database the neighborhood can access to search for cars in a variety of ways - new cars that haven’t been seen before, trucks, motorcycles, etc. It’s like a Google search of every car that enters your street.

Privacy-minded neighbors have the option to opt-out of having their plates logged and the info is scrubbed from the cloud every 30 days.

https://ktla.com/2019/08/05/flock-security-license-plate-reading-cameras-neighborhoods-fight-crime/

Google will pay you if the price of your airfare drops

Google has added a handy travel feature: a flight price guarantee.

If you book a flight through their travel website and the price goes down, they will refund you the difference. There are stipulations - the flight has to be marked with the guarantee and the offer is only for a limited time (at least for now).

So why is Google doing this? For starters, they want people to book flights through them, since they make a commission. Also, they are so confident that their algorithms know when a flight is at it’s cheapest, they’re probably not expecting to pay out much.

https://ktla.com/2019/08/14/new-google-features-podcast-search-maps-ar-live-view-flight-price-guarantee/

A giant car vending machine

If you live in Southern California and have been wondering what the giant car structure is off the 405 in Westminster, wonder no more!

It’s Carvana’s latest Car Vending Machine. It holds 30 cars ready for customer pickup and stands 8 stories tall.

Carvana buys and sells used cars online - they say less overhead means their prices are about $1500-$2000 cheaper than the competition. Usually, they deliver your car to your door, but you can also pickup the car through the giant machine (which no doubt saves them time and money).

Plus, it’s fun for you to see your car come tumbling down the vending machine. Just kidding, I went inside and it’s a very graceful procedure to retrieve your car and deliver it to a drive off bay.

Personally, I’m saving up for a Tesla… Carvana might just be the way I go to save some money when I’m ready to buy used.

https://ktla.com/2019/08/16/carvana-car-vending-machine-westminster-california/

Use a mouse with iPhone in iOS 13

This video I posted caused quite the commotion. I was researching tips for my new book on the iPhone and came across the fact that you can use a mouse with Apple’s new mobile phone software.

Before you get all bent out of shape, remember, this is an accessibility feature and it actually might be quite useful on the iPad. It works there, too.

Finally! You’ll be able to use a mouse with your iPhone in iOS 13 (no joke)
August 12, 2019

Listen to my podcast, Rich on Tech

In this week’s episode:

Google adjusts the software on Nest cameras so you can no longer turn off the status light; Smart ovens seem to have a mind of their own; British Airways tries in flight VR; AT&T and T-Mobile fight robocalls; Lime scooters now display on Google Maps. Listeners ask about the MacBook battery recall, Visible phone service, HomeKit security cameras and converting VHS to digital.

Special Guest (and my boss) Jason Ball joins us on the show. He is the News Director at KTLA-TV and host of the News Director’s Office podcast.

Click the link below to listen, or click this magical link on your phone to open the show in your installed podcast player: https://wavve.link/richontech

https://ktla.com/2019/08/16/rich-on-tech-nest-cams-are-less-sneaky-special-guest-my-boss/

Odds and Ends

Google sent out a software update to Nest cams so you can never turn off the status light for privacy concerns. It will now blink if someone is actively viewing the camera’s livestream.

A startup is creating 3D printed manicures that last for weeks and look perfect.

New technology for the deaf helps them virtually “see” sounds.

A guy thought it would be funny to get the license plate NULL, now he just gets all unassigned parking tickets sent to his house.

Come see me in person!

That’s going to do it! Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend.

Don’t forget to hit that heart below on your way out if you enjoyed anything you found in this newsletter!

Rich

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