Bytes: What’s new in tech
Google will back up your computer
Google Drive is about to get a lot more useful, said Jacob Kastrenakes in TheVerge.com. Starting June 28, you’ll be able to use Google’s file storage and syncing service to back up your entire computer. “Instead of files having to live inside of the Drive folder, Google will be able to monitor and back up files inside of any folder you point it to.” That might include your desktop, your documents folder, or just specific files. Those backups “will very likely” count against users’ Google Drive storage limit, which caps free accounts at a relatively small 15GB. But the expanded backup feature could give Google Drive an edge on file-syncing competitor Dropbox. “There have been requests for Dropbox to add something like this for ages, and it’s yet to get around to it.”
Not ready to shell out for an Apple Watch or a fancy new DSLR camera? Best Buy will let you rent one out for a test spin, said Jason Del Rey in Recode.net. The big-box electronics retailer is rolling out a new “try-before-you-buy” program this month. Shoppers on BestBuy.com will be redirected to the company’s partner, Lumoid, where they’ll be able to rent devices like cameras, audio equipment, and fitness trackers. Customers will earn about 20 percent of the rental price back in Lumoid credits, which they can use to buy the item outright, often at a discounted price. Many shoppers already “use their own makeshift rental method,” buying items and returning them later. “But for higherpriced items, a $50-a-day rental may win some of these people over, especially those who don’t have cash to lay out.”
Yahoo is dead, long live Yahoo
“So Yahoo, the company, has bitten the dust,” but what does that mean for your Yahoo account? asked Mike Snider and Edward Baig in USA Today. Apparently, not much. Verizon, which recently completed its $4.5 billion acquisition of Yahoo, is in the process of combining it with AOL to create a new media brand called Oath. But with as many as a billion people still using services like Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Finance, Tumblr, and Yahoo Sports, the Yahoo branding isn’t going away. Instead, Oath will be the corporate “umbrella” presiding over more than 50 Yahoo and AOL products. That means no changes to your Yahoo mail account or Yahoo fantasy sports league, though the company has asked users to change their passwords after hacking attacks compromised more than 500 million accounts.