Archive for April 25, 2012

While I Won’t Be Using Google Drive

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 25, 2012 by itnerd

Google announced Google Drive this week. On the surface, it sounds good. You get 5GB of storage for free. If you want more, you can choose to upgrade to 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or even 1TB for $49.99/month. When you upgrade to a paid account, your Gmail account storage will also expand to 25GB. Great deal isn’t it.

But I don’t think it is a great deal.

Take a look at the terms of service. Scan it and you’ll find this:

When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content. The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones. This license continues even if you stop using our Services (for example, for a business listing you have added to Google Maps).

I’m not a lawyer, but it really sounds like anything that gets uploaded to a Google service automatically gets license to that stuff. So your private files belong to Google. Now I don’t think Google is really that dumb. Though, I will admit that their record on privacy isn’t the best. Still, the company who’s motto is “don’t be evil” wouldn’t be that evil, would they? Seeing as they already mine your data and serves up ads based on that, and  they as I’ve stated earlier, don’t have the best privacy record, you have to wonder.

Google needs to clear this up and do so quickly. However they explain this, they have to do it in a way that puts this issue to bed once and for all. Until then, I will be avoiding Google Drive. I suggest that others do the same so that it sends the message that the rights of users have to be respected.






Hey IT Nerd! Now That You’ve Driven A Ford, Will You Dump Toyota?

Posted in Commentary with tags , on April 25, 2012 by itnerd

Since I reviewed the Ford Explorer not too long ago, I’ve gotten a few e-mails asking me if I’ll dump my Toyota Matrix. To adequately answer that, I’ll have to do a fair amount of explaining.

First, the experience I had with the Ford Explorer was very positive. I loved the vehicle. It drove well. It was well put together. It had cutting edge technology. Clearly Ford builds a quality product. If the rest of their lineup is like this, then I will say that they are an automaker to be reckoned with.

Now over to Toyota. The Matrix that my wife and I own was our first experience with Toyota. But that experience did not get off to the best start as I’ve documented here previously. But since then, I have to report that I have had no issues with the car. None. Zip. Zero. Nada. So that’s a good thing. However, our reason for being gunshy about getting another Toyota vehicle comes from the way we were treated during that unfortunate experience. Customer service goes and resolving an issue in a timely manner goes a long way towards encouraging repeat business.

So with that out of the way, let me answer the question. Will I dump Toyota for Ford? I don’t know for sure, but the fact that Ford reached out to me and allowed me to drive one their vehicles for a week says something about the company. Yes it says that they want to get their name out there as much as possible, and letting a blogger drive a $50K SUV helps with that. But it also says that Ford wants to prove to the world that they make class leading vehicles. It also shows that they know that a positive public image is more than having a Twitter feed and a Facebook page. Now to be fair, I’ve never experienced Ford’s customer service. But given everything I’ve experienced so far, I have to say that my experience so far has left me with the “warm fuzzies.”

Contrast that with Toyota. I am certain that Toyota has read my stories on my experience with the Matrix. Yet I can say that nobody has reached out to me talk to me about it. That’s what I would do if someone took as much effort as I did to document an unfortunate customer service experience with them. Especially someone who’s blog picks up at worst about 1000 hits a day. Perhaps Toyota doesn’t feel they have to do that. I don’t know for certain and perhaps never will.

I do know this. The next time I do look for a car, I will seriously look at Ford. I’ll look at other brands as well. But barring some sort of major change (such as Toyota reaching out to me),  one brand I will not be looking at is Toyota. I really don’t get the “warm fuzzies” from them. That is a major factor in my decision making process.

Am I being harsh or am I on the mark? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.