The mobile landscape seems to be set for the near future. Android and iOS will continue to dominate, while Microsoft will hope to reach respectable market share with Windows 10 Mobile. While there are other hopeful operating systems in this segment, such as Ubuntu and Firefox OS, the odds are not in their favor. With that said, more options are better and I see potential in Mozilla's operating system.
Today, Mozilla announces the launch of new devices running Firefox OS, courtesy of Panasonic. Wait, is Panasonic releasing new smartphones? No. Actually, these are televisions running Firefox OS and they are available now. Whoa. A 4K TV that can run web apps? Sign me up!
Cloud storage is all the rage nowadays, and for good reason -- it is convenient and oftentimes free (depending on capacity). With that said, there are still benefits to physical on-premises storage for redundancy and possible security reasons. For businesses in particular, it can be daunting to trust confidential information and trade secrets to the cloud. I rather like flash drives for operating system installs, such as Ubuntu and Windows.
Today, Toshiba announces two new models of USB flash drive; the USB 3.0 U362 and the USB 2.0 U201. Besides speed differences, the former is retractable, while the latter is very small and colorful. In other words, the company is offering consumers different options and price points.
Candy Crush Saga is one of my favorite games. While some will dismiss it as nothing more than a time-wasting fad, I find it to be a fun, skill-based game, mixed with a high dose of luck too.
Today, Microsoft announces that not only is Candy Crush Saga coming to Windows 10, but it will automatically be installed on the computers of some users. My love for the game is inconsequential. I am not happy that Microsoft is doing this. Quite frankly, it is reminiscent of Apple shoving that horrible U2 album, "Songs of Innocence", down the throats of its users. It is a bad practice, and I hope the company changes its mind.
OK, so you bought a Chromecast because it was super cheap and ultra cute, but you have yet to really utilize it. I get it -- everyone is so damn busy nowadays, that it can be hard to relax and watch TV and movies. Plus, while content availability for Google's dongle has improved immensely, there is still progress to be made.
Well folks, it is time to dust off your little Chromecast and fire up your television, as today, Google announces new content. No, this is not third-rate programming, but top-shelf stuff like FOX and CBS. Yes, you can now "cast" Big Bang Theory -- bazinga!
Aesthetics in technology matters. While I am not a huge Apple fan, I must give the company props for being a trendsetter in this regard. While form should never take precedent over function, hardware should be attractive. I mean, why not?
Today, Linksys announces the RE6700 Wireless Range Extender. While such a thing is normally a boring affair for all but the most nerdiest of nerds, this is different. Why? It is so friggin' cute! Seriously, it is gosh-darn adorable and looks like it has a personality. Most importantly, however, is that the specs are great too.
I am a huge proponent of pushing the limits. The moment you say something is good enough, you have officially lost your way. When DVD was released, I remember being blown away by the quality and convenience, but many friends and family said VHS was good enough. The fools!
Fast forward to 2015, and VHS is long dead, but so too is physical media. Yes, some maniacs still buy DVD and Blu-ray discs, but we all know that streaming is the future. Apparently, no one told this to the Blu-ray Disc Association, as today, it announces the completion of the Ultra HD specification. In other words, 4K Blu-rays are coming. While some consumers may be interested in buying UHD optical discs, the reality is, no one wants to re-buy their movie collection for the 100th time. Am I right, folks?
A common complaint of both Windows promoters and detractors is the overwhelming number of versions, or editions, on the market. The sheer number of SKUs can be maddening, and quite frankly, confusing for consumers.
Many people -- myself included -- had hoped Microsoft would do away with all of the editions, and only have one. Admittedly, having one edition was a pipe-dream, but with all the good moves the company is making lately, I thought two or three editions was realistic. Unfortunately, Microsoft has announced the upcoming editions of Windows 10 and there are a lot. In fact, the number of editions have increased from Windows 8!
Linux is an unstoppable force; well, except on the desktop where it is barely used. While some PC manufacturers, such as System76, sell computers running Ubuntu and other distros, the average consumer will have difficulty buying such a machine in a physical store. The closest they can get is a Chromebook or Chromebox, but I digress.
Some Windows partners, such as Dell, offer Linux-based operating systems as an alternative, but this is few and far between. HP, however, is planing to sell machines in Russia running the Ubuntu operating system. I suppose you could say the company is Putin (puttin') Linux on the desktop there!
Imagine if every time you wanted a Windows computer, you had to buy a Mac, format the hard drive and install Microsoft's operating system. That would suck, right? This is pretty much how it is for Linux users, sadly. If you are a user of a Linux distro such as Fedora or Ubuntu, for the most part -- unless you are a system-builder -- you have to buy a Windows machine, and install your preferred operating system.
What if you want to buy a computer with an operating system such as Ubuntu pre-installed? Enter System76. The company sells computers -- both desktops and laptops -- running the Linux-based Ubuntu operating system. Recently, the company began selling the Meerkat -- a mini computer based on Intel's NUC. I have been using the computer for a few weeks now, with both Ubuntu and Windows 10 and I am ready to share the experience with you.
I find it incredibly frustrating that the world has more than one language. True, there is beauty in different languages, but it is not ideal from a communication standpoint. Not to mention, it makes traveling a chore. When I went to Europe, most people spoke English, but when they didn't, I felt a bit vulnerable -- what if there was an emergency and people couldn't understand me? Scary stuff.
Luckily, technology is bridging the language gap; lessening, and potentially eliminating the barriers between two speakers of different types. While there are many low-level text solutions, such as Bing and Google Translate, the most exciting is Skype Translator, which also works in live audio/video chat. Currently in preview, Microsoft's solution used to require a sign-up to test it -- not anymore. Today, it becomes available to all, including you!
Live streaming video from your phone is such a stupidly genius idea, that many people are probably kicking themselves for not coming up with a solution themselves. While the concept is not new, the innovation of Meerkat and Periscope is their simplicity and ease of use. In other words, sometimes it is the execution that makes something take off.
As far as I am concerned, Meerkat is dead -- replaced by the arguably superior Periscope. Since Twitter owns Periscope, it pulled a wise, yet evil move -- block Meerkat from tapping into the social network. Today, in an odd announcement, Periscope announces that a Twitter account is no longer needed for the video service. Why do I call this odd? Periscope could drive Twitter account sign-ups -- why impede that?
As someone who grew up in the 80's and 90's, I was a huge fan of the sitcom "Home Improvement". If you aren't familiar, the premise was that the father / TV host, played by Tim Allen, would often hurt himself and cause damage in an attempt to get "more power". Yes, he was always trying to squeeze additional power from machines, much like computer enthusiasts and gamers do nowadays.
Unlike the sitcom, however, more power with computers does not have to result in injury, but it does often cause damage to one's wallet. Today, Kingston HyperX announces the world's fastest 128GB DDR4 Memory Kit. Not yet available to consumers, the RAM is insanely fast and will likely be very expensive when it hits the market.
Computers can feel like magic. Not only can they do boring things such as business calculations, but they can do social things too, such as match people together for dating. Hell, many people end up marrying someone they meet through dating websites.
If computers can successfully match two humans romantically, what if they could also match humans to the perfect computer? Thanks to Microsoft Match from Staples, they can. By answering some questions about your needs and wants, this new tool from Staples will tell you which Windows device to buy.
Quality routers are worth their weight in gold as far as I'm concerned. A shoddy Wi-Fi connection is enough to drive you insane. I've bought budget routers that have been absolute nightmares; many dropped connections and needed reboots. Do yourself a favor and buy something from a reputable manufacturer.
Linksys is one of those reputable manufacturers, offering many wonderful networking products. Today, the company begins shipping the EA8500 Max-Stream AC2600 router. What makes this notable? It is the world's first MU-MIMO router to ship to consumers. In other words, this thing is likely to be awesome. Will you buy it?
Your mom's womb was once your home. For about 9 months, you lived inside of the woman rent free, while also siphoning free food from what she ate. Then, you were born, causing great pain and huge hospital bills. Ultimately, you grew up and were probably a pain in the ass for about 20 or so years (probably longer), before moving out. Some of you still live in her basement.
In other words, your mom got a pretty crappy deal. Once a year, however, Mother's Day arrives as a way to thank her for all the hard work. Many of you cheapskates will get her a lousy foot bath from Walmart or a basket of lotion that she will never use. This year, why not buy her something she might actually like? HTC is offering a sweet deal on the RE Camera, including a free bundle of accessories.