This is an oversimplification, but Chrome OS is a Linux distribution that serves one purpose -- to run the Chrome browser. Chrome apps then run within that browser. This enables the apps to run on any operating system that can run the Google browser. Essentially, Chrome OS can run from within another operating system by way of the browser.
Back in July, Google released Chrome launcher for Windows 7 and 8. This allows users to interface with the Chrome OS launcher from the Windows taskbar. Sadly, this was a Winows-only affair. Today, Google announces that it is bringing the Chrome launcher to Apple's OS X. In other words, Chrome OS and apps are invading Mac.
Fedora is my favorite Linux distribution. Sadly, the next release, version 20, has been delayed until later in the month. This news has ruined my holidays -- it is like Santa Claus gave my computer coal.
However, the owner of Fedora, Red Hat, announces some news to brighten my spirits with the first beta release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7. IT professionals should stock their mini-fridges with Red Bull -- the future of enterprise Linux is now.
Android fans are very particular about their devices. For many, a Nexus device is the only way to go. After all, Nexus devices are usually the only way to run pure Android and get fast updates. However, what are you to do if you want the pure experience, but don't like the current offering of Nexus devices?
Google remedied that dilemma earlier this year by releasing Google Play Editions of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One. These phones run pure Android rather than the skinned versions by the handset manufacturers. Today, LG announces that its LG G Pad 8.3 is the first-ever tablet to be designated a Google Play Edition device. Will it be a Nexus 7 killer?
I swear, I'm not an Android "fan-boy"; I am not committed to any platform. However, I am a fan-boy of something -- technology. When the first generation of Android collectibles were released, I snatched them up because they were technology collectibles. They are cute and make great conversation pieces. Quite frankly, it is probably as close to art as I will get. I have since collected about thirty of the little figurines.
Every once in a while, the official retailer, Dead Zebra, will sell limited editions of the Androids that sell out pretty fast. A few days ago, I caught wind that limited-edition Android Christmas ornaments would be released on December 10th at 11am. I created a calendar reminder in Outlook to be sure I wouldn't miss out. However, ordering them proved rather difficult.
Google's Chromecast has been wildly popular, mostly due to price. At $35, it is extremely affordable -- something to appreciate in a bad economy. If you aren't familiar, it is a small HDMI dongle that enables audio and video streaming from Android, iOS, Windows, OS X and Chrome OS.
However, one of the knocks on the streaming media dongle has been a lack of apps for mobile devices. Sadly, at launch, it only supported Google Play, YouTube, Netflix, and Chrome. Today, Google announces that the inexpensive device is getting ten new apps. In other words, if you still need to buy Christmas presents, the $35 Chromecast just got a lot better and should be on your shopping radar.
In the midst of the Snowden leaks, computer users are feeling very violated. After all, a personal computer is personal -- we want to feel that our data and privacy is secure. Microsoft says it best by saying "people won't use technology they don't trust".
While children may tout the educational features of tablets to fool adults into buying them, the truth is, no kid wants to use a tablet for education. It's simply a ploy to obtain a new toy on which to play video games and watch movies.
Sadly, some adults are actually responsible and enable these educational features on the device. To the dismay of children across the globe, Amazon announces new educational options for the FreeTime feature on the Kindle Fire line of tablets. In other words, learning is going to severely impact the playing time of Angry Birds.
If you've been on a bus or subway lately, you probably observed many people consuming the news on a mobile device. However, this is not a new phenomenon. After all, 20 years ago, you would see people consuming the news on-the-go too -- just in paper form.
While the medium and method of consumption has evolved, on-the-go news can still improve. Today, Google announces that it is improving its news service in mobile browsers. Sadly, Windows Phone users are getting the shaft again -- it is an Android and iOS-only affair.
Phishing scams are a blight on the internet that will never be totally eradicated. If you aren't familiar with the term, "phishing" is when someone attempts to glean information through means of impersonation. Sending you a message purporting to be from your bank for example. Try as we may, this crime will always be a part of life. However, there is no reason that the risk of these dangerous emails cannot be decreased.
Since 2004, various groups have been slowly developing authentication standards, in an attempt to thwart these malicious messages. Today, Google has some great news -- the standards are working.
I'm returning my PlayStation 4. It's a shame because I love it very much. The games are wonderful and the streaming video capabilities are very useful. However, I simply cannot trust the PlayStation Network. The old saying is "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me". After the first PSN hack, I should have known not to trust it. But here I am in 2013 with a PlayStation 4 -- shame on me.
Today, I received an email from Sony that says, "the Sony Entertainment Network team routinely monitors for any irregular activity, and if such activity is detected, we may sometimes reset passwords of affected accounts to protect consumers and their account information. Your account password was recently reset as part of this process". Oh my. Surely a call to Sony will give me more details right? Wrong.
When Windows 8 was released, it blurred the line between the desktop and mobile operating system. Sure, not everyone loves the one-size-fits-all UI philosophy of the OS. However, it has sparked some interesting computer designs such as convertible laptops.
The most unique design has been the combination tablet and all-in-one. In other words, the computer is a tablet, with a battery, that can be docked on a stand as a desktop. Today, Acer announces that it is releasing one of these types of computers -- the Aspire Z3-600. However, rather than come with a dock, it has an integrated kickstand. In typical Acer fashion, they are delivering a lot of value for your dollar.
As Christmas approaches, we start to be bombarded with images of a fat jolly man (no, not me). He is of course, Santa Claus -- the bringer of toys and cheer. Since we live in a very materialistic, commerce-focused world, corporations are looking to take advantage of Mr. Claus' image. After all, the image is royalty free.
Google and NORAD used to be partners in the Santa-tracking business. However, that relationship soured (like milk left out for Santa) and the USA and Canadian installation partnered with Microsoft instead. Not to be outdone, Google announces that not only is it too offering tracking of Mr. Claus, but also an interactive Santa Village filled with games and animations.
In August of this year, the USB 3.1 specification was completed. This was very exciting news for USB fans. Yes, there are fans of the connector. After all, USB can connect everything from mice and keyboards to hard drives and card readers. Quite frankly, how can you not be a fan of it? Today, the USB consortium announces a new connector -- type C.
"The new USB Type-C connector, built initially on existing USB 3.1 and USB 2.0 technologies, is being developed to help enable thinner and sleeker product designs, enhance usability and provide a growth path for performance enhancements for future versions of USB. This supplement to the USB 3.1 specification is anticipated to be completed by the middle of next year", says the consortium.
Last month, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 were launched within a week of each other. As gamers around the globe snatch up the consoles at a furious pace, real-life productivity for gamers is probably at a record low. Surely, parents and wives everywhere are urging their children and husbands to get fresh air, do their homework and get a job.
Sadly, these pleas are falling on deaf-ears, as the gamers are entranced in their next-generation video-games; especially owners of Microsoft's console. "We are seeing incredible usage from our engaged fans who have purchased Xbox One with more than 50 million hours spent on Xbox One games and entertainment,” said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of Strategy and Marketing, Xbox.
My first computer came with a 13-inch CRT monitor. It was enormous, heavy, and flickered -- probably the reason I wear glasses today. When flat-screen LCD monitors started becoming affordable, I bought one post haste. However, It was only this year that I achieved a 1080p display; the awesome 27-inch AOC e2752She. While I thought I was on the cutting-edge of technology, apparently, I am not.
Today, Dell announces the availability of two new 4K monitors. If you aren't familiar with 4K, it is considered Ultra HD or 3840 x 2160 resolution. In other words, it has four times the pixels as a 1080p display. Yeah, it's that good.