Android 5.0 has been highly anticipated; fans of Google's operating system have been speculating for months about what it would be like. Hell, people have even been wondering what the name may be. You see, Google sticks to an alphabetized convention using tasty treats -- Cupcake, Jellybean, KitKat -- you get the idea.
Android 5.0 is the letter L and after much wonder, the name is revealed -- Lollipop. I guess you could say that the new version of the operating really sucks, eh? Actually, it looks quite incredible and the new version furthers Google's lead over Apple's iOS from a features perspective.
Creating content for YouTube is actually very hard and takes a long time to edit and upload. Even a simple-looking unboxing video can take hours from start to finish -- sometimes longer if you cut yourself opening the box and have to treat a wound. It is very disappointing to have your content removed for copyright issues, when you haven't actually violated anything. Even worse, it can be an impossibility to successfully dispute the bogus claim.
Today, many YouTube content creators were inconvenienced and upset by take down requests from an apparently overzealous company called "Marketly", acting on Microsoft's behalf. You see, all of the videos were Windows related, but not all of the removals were warranted. Of course, like all controversies, it has already been given a name and hashtag of #Microstopped.
A company's "cool-factor" can vary wildly, but one has not yet lost its magic -- Google. Sure, privacy advocates decry the search-giant's long reach into the lives of many, but that is what makes the company's products so endearing -- Google needs that data to know you. It is the customized and tailored experiences that create a bond between the user and Google.
The biggest bond, however, is Android; the mobile operating system has been wildly popular, bringing Linux to a user base that no one thought possible. People are fans of Android, unlike any other operating system before it. Hell, people collect plastic figures of the mascot; that is dedication. We should soon be experiencing the final version of Android 5.0, which will have an "L" code name. Will it be lollipop? Lemon meringue? Well, today Google releases a cool video, which has fun with the Android 5.0 name.
Google voice search is awesome; I use it every day in the car or at home. If I want to know the weather, I just ask and it tells me. It helps me find the phone numbers for my favorite pizzerias and Chinese food restaurants, and when I am lost, I just say "take me home" and it does!
Like I said, it is awesome, but apparently, teens are using it more than adults. According to a new Google study, 55 percent of teens in the USA are using voice search; these young people are often the barometers of the next big thing. The search giant should be elated that this important demographic is embracing voice search; however, the study does not only include Google, but also Apple's Siri and Microsoft's Cortana.
October is one of my favorite months; I get to wear a hoodie, drink pumpkin spice lattes (PSLs) from Starbucks and enjoy Halloween. Sure, I am far too old to trick or treat, but that does not mean that I can't get into the holiday spirit. I go pumpkin picking, carve jack-o'-lanterns, and give out candy to kids that come to my door.
When I was a young man, I did dress up for Halloween, but we were usually too poor to actually buy costumes. I recall one year that I dressed up as a SilverHawk, a popular cartoon in the 80s. My mom put aluminum foil on my head and sent me out with a pillow case for candy. In hindsight, I probably looked insane, but in my mind, I was a SilverHawk. Today, Google announces the top 10 Halloween costumes as per search trends.
Everybody has different needs, so it is impossible to say one operating system is better than another. Sure, you can state which OS is best for you, but someone else may have a difference in opinion. In other words, whether you think Windows, OS X, Chrome OS or any Linux distro is the best operating system, you are right.
While I prefer Windows for heavy lifting, I use my Chromebook regularly for light use, such as writing, and trips to Starbucks. Unfortunately, Chrome OS has become synonymous with low-cost and portability, causing people to discount it for home desktop use. Actually, there is a segment of Chrome devices called Chromeboxes that are designed for the desktop and can excel at many things. Today, I am looking at the Acer Chromebox CXI (4GKM) to see how it performs as a home desktop PC.
One of the greatest benefits of living in a free country such as the USA is the ability to vote. Even in this country, we aren't far removed from a time where women and non-whites were not allowed to vote -- an embarrassment. With that said, a bigger embarrassment is people that do not vote at all. Don't get me wrong, people have the right not to vote, and it is sometimes discouraging to always choose the lesser of two evils, but when you think of the people that fought and died for your right to vote, it is almost a slap in their face to not do it.
If you don't feel you have enough knowledge about the candidates, that is understandable; there are far too many distractions, such as Walking Dead, Twitter and working very long hours. Between work and media consumption, there just is not enough time to research election details. Today, Microsoft wants to make it easier for people to learn about the election with the all-new Bing Elections; a one-stop hub of information.
As someone who grew up in a lower middle class family in the suburbs known as Long Island, there were two places I spent a lot of time shopping with my mom -- Cheap Johns and Kmart. While the former has since gone out of business, the latter still stands. Actually, the fact that it is still operating is surprising -- don't get me wrong, it is an OK store, but Walmart has lower prices and better selection, even if the overall experience is poor. Once Walmart opened in my area, many people ditched Kmart -- the store famous for its "blue light specials". Heck, if someone wants to step up to a nicer store than Walmart, they'll likely head to Target nowadays -- sorry, Kmart.
Unfortunately for Kmart, it now shares something other than low-prices with Target -- malware and data breaches. Yes, today Kmart announces that its payment systems were breached, and debit and credit card numbers have been stolen. Should we be worried?
As a Linux user, I understand the pain of using it exclusively on the desktop. Sure, you may find that a Linux distribution does everything you want, until it doesn't. Life is known to throw curve-balls, and new needs and wants often come along to spoil the party. Oh, a new obscure piece of hardware has been released? Sorry, no Linux support. Oh you want to watch Netflix? Sorry buddy, Linux is not welcome -- or is it?
Actually, starting today, Netflix is now compatible with Linux; well technically, only Ubuntu and only on the Chrome browser. Still, the open source desktop community is in need of a win, so I'll chalk it up as one. Despite the narrow availability, Netflix is here -- fire up that System76 laptop and get watching!
There are quite a few computer manufacturers nowadays, and many of them release products of varying quality. However, there is one that seems to consistently produce computers that are extremely well-built and functional -- Lenovo. Not only do the manufacturer's laptops and tablets have great build-quality, but the designs seem well thought-out and innovative.
One of my favorite product lines from Lenovo is Yoga -- multi-mode computers that can be transformed into different form factors. Today, the company unveils the Yoga 3 Pro, ThinkPad YOGA 14, Yoga Tablet 2 and Yoga Tablet 2 Pro.
HTC knows how to make a great smartphone. The HTC One M7 and M8 are very popular for having solid build quality and best in class speakers. Unfortunately, while the phones are great, the camera has been lackluster. Don't get me wrong, the photo quality is passable but has lacked compared to other flagships, such as Apple's iPhone and the Galaxy S5.
Today, HTC takes the smartphone world by storm with the selfie-focused HTC Desire Eye and a dedicated action camera, called "Re". Believe it or not, the manufacturer is actually releasing a standalone camera that can interact with both Android and iOS devices. Unfortunately, the Nexus 9 that the Android community has been waiting for was a no-show.
Back in the day, people thought they could get rich from .com domain names. As a teen, I remember spending hours trying to register the names of popular companies in hopes of squatting and reselling. Unfortunately, I never found anything good, and never flipped a domain for millions.
What's really sad is when a website has to choose something like .org because the .com they want is taken. It is hard to take a website seriously when it isn't an organization and uses .org. Well, if you own a business in New York City and the .com domain you desire is taken, you may be able to register .nyc instead.
I am a very patriotic American; my love for my country is unending and unwavering. However, nothing is perfect and no entity is without mistake, including the United States Government. Sure, there are times when being transparent is not possible, such as telegraphing military movements -- soldiers should never be put at risk. With that said, American citizens arguably deserve full transparency on other things, such as government requests that can impact their privacy.
Twitter is trying to be as open and transparent as possible; however, the US government is blocking that desire. Previously, the company talked the talk, saying "we are weighing our legal options to provide more transparency to our users". Today, the social network walks the walk and sues the government, fighting for the right to be open with its users -- free from government intervention.
Going to the movies is one of my favorite things; however, the crowd can make or break an experience. A film is art and deserves respect, regardless of the nature of the content. Whether I am seeing a slapstick comedy, cartoon or serious drama, I demand silence and for children to be kept under control. Sure, I am sounding a bit cranky, but the reality is, movies are very expensive and I am not interested in overhearing phone calls and having kids run up and down the aisles.
Seeing a film aside, finding one to see can be quite the ordeal too, especially when out with a group of friends. No one can ever decide on a theater, film or showtime, so the end result if everyone on their smartphones arguing as they look for movie times. Today, Microsoft announces a new way to find movie times using Bing. While it may not settle an argument over what movie to see, it should at least help the situation.
While many people into technology spend their days languishing on the couch or vegetating in an office chair, others live active lifestyles. In fact, many people would identify themselves as being "extreme" by doing activities such as skydiving, rock climbing and parkour. However, people also work extreme jobs, like working in the sewers, construction or law enforcement.
If you are somebody doing an extreme or hardcore job, the average tablet won't cut it for you. Extreme people need extreme technology and today, Samsung announces the availability of its hardcore Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 8 inch tablet. It is a slate designed for people that work dirty jobs and need it to take a beating. However, it may meet the needs of people that have extreme hobbies too.