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World's Best Employers, 2019

RankEmployer
1Alphabet
2Microsoft
3Red Hat
4Apple
5SAP
6Costco Wholesale
7Contemporary Amperex Technology
8Cisco Systems
9Neste
10Amazon
Source: Forbes

Alphabet was number one for the third year in a row. Amazon was number ten despite criticism of its employment practices.

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Google Pixelbook: Two Years Later

I have both a 15-inch MacBook Pro and a Google Pixelbook. About the only thing I cannot do on the Pixelbook that I can do on my MacBook is my photography.

I use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop along with DxO Nik Collection 2 and Topaz Labs software for my photography. Although the Pixelbook will run the Android app versions of Adobe apps, the Android apps are not nearly as powerful as the desktop versions of these applications along with the non-Adobe software I use with the Adobe software on my MacBook. DxO and Topaz Labs have amazingly powerful software that works superbly with the desktop versions of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.

What I love most about my Pixelbook is that it works with almost no maintenance. I bought the Pixelbook in October of 2017 and it runs just as well after more than two years as it did the day it arrived. I have long had a G-Suite account. I use Google Drive, Google Docs and Google Sheets. All my documents are available to me as long as I have an internet connection. I can also store enough documents on the Pixelbook’s 256 GB drive to get me through periods when I am offline, say on an airplane.

From time to time, the Pixelbook will prompt me to restart it for an update. That literally takes less than five minutes and I am back up and working. The Pixelbook’s battery life is great and charges quickly. The Pixelbook will run much longer than my MacBook Pro without a charge. Furthermore, the Pixelbook has a touch screen, which I like and use. I find touch screens on laptops convenient and useful.

I now use my MacBook Pro almost exclusively for my photography. I have three external hard drives connected to my MacBook. One hard drive has my images. A second external hard drive backs up my images with ChronoSync in case I have a hard drive failure. And a third drive has a Time Machine backup of the contents of the internal SSD on my MacBook. In addition, I backup both my internal SSD and external hard drives to BackBlaze. This seems so old fashioned compared to the Pixelbook’s cloud storage which allows me to go anywhere with a small, nice to use computer.

A few days ago, my MacBook started showing the spinning beach ball. The Finder revealed that OneDrive was the culprit. I uninstalled OneDrive and reinstalled it. The problem persisted. The fans on the MacBook were running full blast. So I uninstalled the OneDrive app again and left it off my machine. My MacBook went back to normal. Nothing like this has ever happened on my Pixelbook.

My MacBook Pro has essentially become my digital darkroom. If Chrome OS ever gets to the point that it can handle my photography, which involves the processing of large RAW images, I would gladly switch over to a Pixelbook full time. For writing, spreadsheets and web browsing the Pixelbook is now my device of choice. Having all my images in the cloud would be a dream come true. Today that’s expensive if I use Adobe Creative Cloud. I reckon the price of cloud storage will decline over time and Chrome OS will get more powerful.

What about the iPad? I like the iPad for consumption but not for creating content. I know the iPad is now powerful. But I like a real keyboard for real work. The Pixelbook’s keyboard is great. It’s hands down better than the keyboard of my 2018 MacBook Pro.

And if I need a new Pixelbook, I just need to login and I will be back in business. Setting up a new Mac has gotten much easier but still takes much longer than it takes to get up and running with a new Pixelbook.

I think the future of Chrome OS is bright.

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Feedly Pro+ Uses AI to Filter RSS Feeds

I rely on RSS to keep up with the news and have used Feedly for years. Feedly has a new service called Pro+ that uses artificial intelligence to improve the relevance of what you see on the service. It also allows you to follow Google News and Twitter feeds. A lifetime upgrade costs $99. I am giving it a try. I’ve tried many RSS readers after the demise of the Google RSS Reader in 2013 and always come back to Feedly. On iOS, I use it with Newsify which brings in full text articles.