Backing up files is one those New Year’s resolutions/good intention things that we all think about, but often don’t get around to doing. Despite the multitude of options available, it never ceases to amaze me every time I hear someone lament lost Word docs, photos or the like.
It's precisely that sort of disaster which World Backup Day 2014 aims to help users avoid. To drive the point home, the website cites some statistics -- 30 percent of people have never backed up their files, 113 phones are lost or stolen every minute, 29-percent of disasters are caused by accidents and one out of every ten computers is infected with a virus.
Rdio is already partnered with Shazam, the app that allows you to identify that song you're hearing and are dying to know -- on the radio or TV, it can’t help with the one stuck in your head. That app hasn’t been invented yet, but I personally hope it is soon.
Now Rdio announces it has expanded the partnership beyond previous bounds. Until now users of Shazam could add songs they discovered to a Rdio playlist. Now customers of the app will be able to add any song to that list.
Internet is a basic human right, or so the United Nations tells us. To that end, companies like Google are testing such solutions as balloons to bring access to remote locations, while others are using alternative measures, such as satellites.
Facebook is going a bit further, apparently. An announcement from Mark Zuckerberg made me check my calendar to be double sure it wasn’t April 1st. The CEO details the experimental work being done by the company’s Connectivity Lab. "Today, we're sharing some details of the work Facebook's Connectivity Lab is doing to build drones, satellites and lasers to deliver the internet to everyone", Zuckerberg states in a Facebook post.
Invitations have been hitting email inboxes today for an Amazon event, even as Microsoft was busy holding its own show. The invitation hints at what is coming, though it does not come right out and say exactly what to expect.
For now we know only one thing, the subject – "Please join us for an update on our video business". The company frequently updates its Prime video library, partnering with an increasing number of studios. These can be a big deal, depending on the movies and TV shows that come along for the ride, but the announcements have always warranted nothing more than a blog post. In other words, this is something bigger.
It doesn’t come as any real surprise that more video is being consumed on alternative devices. With a growing amount of choice from services like Hulu, Netflix, YouTube and others, our video entertainment no longer requires a TV.
According to a new study conducted by Deloitte, the younger portion of the Millennial generation, those aged 14-24, now consume the majority of their video through alternative devices -- computers, smartphones, tablets and gaming devices.
Social media is frequently the first victim of internet censorship when nations begin attempting to lock down citizens. We have seen these efforts fail time and again. Turkey has been no exception during the past week -- Twitter was blocked, and users flocked to change DNS settings to Google, though that has now also been locked out.
Twitter, for its part, has filed legal action within the country, in an effort to have the blockade lifted and give a voice back to its users, including dissenters of the current government. Now the company details its current efforts in a blog post from Vijaya Gadde, general counsel for the social network.
Students are sometimes in need of breaks on prices, as school eats into the time required for a job. To that end, many software and hardware makers offer discounts to allow those we consider our future to be able to attain what they need in order to get through classes. But that isn't all that's required, unwinding with some entertainment is also sometimes necessary.
Now Spotify wants to help out, offering discounts for students. The service has announced it is cutting the price in half, slashing $9.99 down to $4.99 for college students.
Roku seems to be on a recent roll of sorts, adding many new options, or channels, to its popular set-top box. But, this is an increasingly tough market with competition from Apple and Google, as well as smaller contenders like WD. So getting more deals is in the best interest of the company, but also benefits the customers. Now Roku announces Yahoo Screen.
What is Yahoo Screen? It's a video service that provides clips from top US comedy shows. You’ll find the best moments from such top-rated titles as Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show, South Park and The Colbert Report.
Apple has rarely been first to market with a product -- it did not build the first MP3 player or tablet, but it does have a history of revolutionizing those markets, as it did with the smartphone. There isn't anything wrong with stepping into an existing market and bringing along fresh and innovative ideas. In fact, it has worked out quite well for the company over the years.
However, more recent history shows that Apple can also lose the markets, as both tablet and smartphone have fallen behind rival Android, which entered the scene later. Openness plays a part in this -- a multitude of devices to choose from, along with more customizable options, is a big deal when compared to a closed system with one device released annually.
When it comes to technology, many things are personal. Some prefer an iPad, while others opt for an Android or Windows tablet. The best thing is choice, and there is no shortage of that on the market -- in fact, the amount of new products amounts to sensory overload.
Oddly enough, few things are more personal than a mouse. That seems an odd item, but it rings true -- there are ones that are travel-size, while others are designed for the PC gamer and offer a dizzying amount of buttons. There is the standard model, the wireless USB and the Bluetooth. The options are almost overwhelming, though the average computer user likely just opts for a standard size, wired USB model -- probably the one that came with the computer.
The home theater environment continues to evolve. We have set-top boxes from the likes of Google, Apple and Roku, along with gaming consoles, Blu-ray players, DVRs and Smart TVs. All are capable, in one way or another, of getting more media into the home. But a move to consolidate through the TV would be welcome, at least to me.
One of the biggest forces behind-the-scenes in the Smart TV world is now Opera, which is frequently thought of in the web browser world. But the company has a thriving app store system for this, and it now announces adoption by RCA to release panels to the US market.
The gaming industry continues to move forward. While consoles and PCs are still popular platforms, mobile has become a growing force for game developers, with smartphones and tablets providing the perfect platforms for casual touch-based entertainment. The market becomes a bit more crowded today, as one more major name jumps into the ring.
Yahoo announces a new Games Network that will feature classic titles that it hopes will spark interest and nostalgia. It comes in two parts, really, because it is also for developers who wish to distribute new titles.
Nothing on the internet is safe these days. Even point-of-sale systems in stores we regularly shop in can be accessed and stolen from -- witness Target to name only one recent high profile example. However, when it comes to computers, some users see Apple as more secure. While that may be a result of simply being less targeted, there is also nothing that the company can do to protect people from themselves.
Security firm Netcraft, which boasts customers that include British Telecom, Microsoft and Cisco, has detailed a sneaky new attack. EA, the popular game maker, has had one of its servers compromised so it can host phishing attacks that target Apple IDs.
Thanks to the likes of College Humor and Funny or Die there is no shortage of comical entertainment on the web these days. The former has got laughs before with a video showing what the web would be like if Google were actually a guy, and now it follows that success up with a sequel.
The new video contains the expected humorous search queries from everyday people, as each gets a turn to enter the office and pose a question. However, this time the comedy troop has given things a more modern twist.
Pandora is one of the grandfathers of the streaming music service, and it has remained one of the better deals among paid music apps. Granted, being a radio-only service limits the capability and, therefore, the potential price that can be charged, but many customers find that it's quite useful and all they really need.
Now Pandora is being forced to raise prices. Even though the increase is minimal, the service is making it as painless as possible for loyal customers -- in fact, completely painless. The current subscription cost for One (unlimited and ad-free) will rise from $3.99 to $4.99 per month beginning in May, but those who already have a One account need not worry, as things will not change for them.