• USA TODAY tech columnist Jefferson Graham hosts the Talking Tech video and audio series for USA TODAY, seen and heard on USATODAY.com, Facebook, Stitcher, TuneIn, iTunes and SoundCloud. He's also an accomplished portrait photographer and jazz guitarist.
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Review: Google Wifi easy to install, improves network

Subscribe to #TalkingTech on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/talking-tech/id658291823?mt=2​

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. – If you’re having issues connecting to wifi in the house, you might want to take a look at Google Wifi, a product that aims to eliminate those pesky dead spots in the house.

Google Wifi, which sells for $299, consists of 3 little round devices. The first one connects to your Internet router–the others are spread throughout the home, and plugged directly into the electrical outlet.

The product was first released last fall, but if you’re listening in the United Kingdom, it’s just about to launch there as well.

What I like about Google Wifi is two-prong. First of all, it works. It eliminated dead spots and made Internet access speedier and more reliable throughout the house. Second of all, it was drop-dead easy to set up.

I had feared tinkering with my internet was going to weaken the signal, so I had held off on opening the box for awhile. But the installation couldn’t have been smoother.

I plugged the first unit directly into the router, downloaded the companion app, which walks you through the installation process, and then went around the house, installing the other two units in strategic places.

I turned on the TV, and the streaming channels that had seemed pokey and almost unwatchable the night before, were now running as well as cable TV.

The drawback, for any of you listening, is why should you have to spend any money to improve the Internet we’re already on the monthly hook for. Because unless you live alone, in a small apartment, you’re sharing your signal with others, and everybody wants to be online at the same time, with the best signal. So your solution is to either grin and bear it, or spring for one of these mesh wifi systems.

Have you tried Google Wifi or any of the competitors, like Eeero or Linkys Velop? What are your thoughts? Let’s chat about it on Twitter, where I’m @jeffersongraham.

To listen to audio, click here: https://soundcloud.com/jefferson-graham/review-google-wifi-improves-home-network​

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50 Million thanks to #TalkingTech podcast fans!

Fifty million thanks to everyone for listening to my #TalkingTech podcast.

50 million downloads for the #TalkingTech podcast

The latest download stats for the #TalkingTech podcast, per our SoundCloud RSS feed,

We crossed the latest milestone last week, with an episode about how Apple snapped the Workflow app into its library of apps. (The app offers shortcuts for simple things like ordering pizzas, Ubers or churning our texts to let the wife know you’re en route.)

The #TalkingTech Roundtable @YouTube Space LA

With 1,097 podcasts under our belt, we began doing the #TalkingTech podcast in 2014, at first to run the complete un-cut audio from our video interviews with celebrities (#TalkingYourTech) only to find that listeners enjoyed the short #TalkingTech burst of news and reviews. (And occasional lusts about the latest photo gear.)


With Mayor Eric Garcetti in the front seat of a self-driving Volvo

So we’ve been at it ever since, with seven days a week of daily editions.
Some of my favorites:
–Taking a good look at Amazon’s Alexa coming to the iPhone and discovering–wow–poor maligned Siri actually was more useful.

–Ordering a bunch of flowers for Valentine’s Day, and letting you know who was best–Bouqs, BloomNation or BloomThat.

–Interviewing my son about why he ditched Macs for Windows.

–Five crashes later, what I’d learned about operating drones–true news you could use.

–And the annual turkey list is always fun–the worst of 2016.

We usually record the show every morning, except on Thursdays, when we do three for the weekend, which we publish on Friday. So far in 2017, our top cities are New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston and Portland, with the obvious countries–US, Canada, UK, Australia and the non-obvious–Japan. Our most listened to podcast of all time had 130,000 listens–an interview with the founder of Joymode, an app for ditching your stuff and renting it instead.

Readers–as we go forward, please leave your reviews on iTunes and let us know what topics you’d like to hear us cover.

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Hawaii vacation videos – from land and sky

The sign said “No drones allowed,” but we only saw it in one location during a recent trip to the islands of Hawaii and Kauai.
Elsewhere, our drones were welcome during a visit to paradise in the Pacific. Enjoy the vacation videos produced during the holiday–on the DJI Mavic Pro, and augmented with land footage on the DJI Osmo gimbal, GoPro Hero 4, Sony RX10II and iPhone 7+.
The Big Island


Joshua lieberthalMarch 9, 2017 - 4:14 am

In your recent article on cutting the chord costing as much as cable you missed an important fact.
AT&T charges more for internet if you don’t also subscribe to cable with them. Specifically you loose out on unlimited internet which means you will pay far more for internet if you are streaming video.
Could cost a lot more to cut the chord. I for one have cable but don’t use it because my streaming services just work better. I keep cable because it keeps my internet hill down.

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When drones attack!

In the Los Angeles USA TODAY bureau with an out of control drone from Yuneec, the $399 Breeze, and another drone, the Hover Camera Passport, which was acting nice.
Watch me try to keep up with the Breeze, which had a mind of its own the day we shot this.

The drone sells for $399, but sometimes has a mind of its own.

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