Google Glass Is Making A Surprising Comeback

In 2015, Google took glass off of the market due to a lack of interest and low sales. There are still many Glass users however, and most were pleasantly surprised when the headsets companion app got an update recently.

The MyGlass companion app that connected a smart phone to Glass received an update as part of Google’s plan to start using the headset as a part of it’s “Glass At Work” program.

However, other than the original “Glass Explorers” group that still owns Glass, don’t expect to see everyone walking around wearing Glass. Google has it’s sights set on the private workplace for this next push.

Google To Stop Scanning Your Gmail

By year’s end, Google will stop scanning your Gmail folders in order to deliver targeted advertising.
According to their blog post, “This decision brings Gmail ads in line with how we personalize ads for other Google products. Ads shown are based on users’ settings. Users can change those settings at any time, including disabling ads personalization.” Google has maintained for years that users can change their privacy settings at any time and still use the service.

Google has come under fire for years for forcing users to give up privacy in exchange for the popular service. Microsoft has even created ad campaigns that directly attacked Google for their scanning tactics.

Many privacy groups are excited for the change of position by Google.
“Whilst it could be seen as closing the stable door once the horse has bolted, there is no doubt that the end to the intrusive and frankly creepy process will be appreciated by a great many Gmail users,” said Renate Samson with Big Brother Watch.
While this is a win for privacy, it’s important to note that Gmail messages will still be scanned by Google to provide AIP (Artificial Intelligence Powered) “smart replies” and malware protection.

YO, what’s up?

YO, what’s up?

When I first heard about this app called YO, it didn’t really spark my attention at first. But after seeing that this app has climbed from the bottom to the top 50 most downloaded apps on iTunes, I immediately became interested in what the fuss was about.

YO has even outranked social media giant Facebook’s latest installment, Slingshot. On Kickstarter.comYO has raised over $1 million in funding from investors for this project, which is a large amount considering what the app allows you to do

YO is in incredibly simple way to communicate with friends without saying much. You simply download the app onto your smartphone create a username, invite your friends, and you’re on your way. Once your friend has accepted your invite, tap on their username and send them a YO. You can’t send pictures or texts, so there’s no need to worry about spelling mistakes, leaked photo’s, or unintentional flirting.  The app available for both iPhone and Android users for free.

 

Googles $1 Billion Satellite Initiative

Photo via YouTube

Google is about to launch a $1 billion project to bring internet access to the most remote parts of the world where it is impossible to set up fixed broadband or cellular towers for mobile data. Over ⅔ of the worlds population has no access to internet and Google is trying to change that number by sending up 180 compact-sized satellites into space. The project builds on Googles last effort Project Loon, which is a balloon powered internet provider.

The Project Loon balloons travel around in the stratosphere and uses wind currents to move around. Unlike Loon, the satellites will travel close to the earth and will be controlled by engineers through the use of beams here on earth. Google is not the only company that is employing satellites, Facebooks CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post “We’ve been working on ways to beam Internet to people from the sky,”. Zuckerberg has teamed up with several tech companies to develop a droid, but no detailed specs have been released since.

 

Google’s Driverless Car

Photo via Youtube.

 

Imagine driving a car without the constant worry of watching other drivers or your speed limit. On average 33,000 Americans die from auto accidents each year, which is something that Google believes can trim that number by using sensor technology that reacts to movement faster than humans.

 

On May 27, Google announced that it plans to release 100 autonomous vehicles that will begin testing this summer. The new Google smart car will travel at a top speed of 25 mph and will contain not a steering wheel, gas pedal, or a brake pedal. The thought of having zero control over your car may make some of you uneasy, but don’t worry Google has been testing driverless technology for years with Toyotas, Lexuses and other cars with cameras and sensors. The car may not look as luxurious as a Lexus, but the round frame serves a purpose. The car has virtually no blind spots thanks to sensors that monitors the entire car.Google said that the car can detect objects up to 200 yards in all directions and will adjust the speed accordingly along with making turns. Google didn’t specify how the car navigates exactly, but that the user would simply type in a destination on the dashboard screen and let the car do its work. The new smart car isn’t available on the market just yet, but Google is working hard to produce a car that will appeal to all consumers.

 

Lenovo Unveils New Chromebook N20 & N20P [VIDEO]

Photo via YouTube Screenshot

Lenovo recently announced the release of two new Chromebooks, the N20P and N20. Both models come with features such as the updated version of Chrome OS, an 11.6-inch monitor and an 8 hour battery life. The only downfall is that Windows apps will not work on these books-including Microsoft Office. But the books will offer a program that is similar to Microsoft Office, Google Docs.

The Chromebooks are designed for optimal performance,security and portability. Chromebooks can be used online or offline to listen to music, edit pictures, and stream movies or TV shows. The books use a “Cloud Drive”, which means that all data is stored using online remote servers. The internal storage is 16GB, but google “Cloud” offers an additional 100GB and will automatically back up your files. In short, your files will be protected from malware and viruses since there is no data stored internally to attack.

While the N20 is more like a traditional notebook, the N20p offers a full 300 degree rotating screen which props up for easy watching and typing. The added touchscreen makes switching from one website to another faster and easier. Starting price for the N20 starts at 279$, which is great for students and workers on the go!

 

Is Facebook Still Poised To Be The #1 Social Media Platform For The Future? Some Say Yes, Others Say No

In recent weeks a study was released stating that (according to Google trends), Facebook could lose 80% of its users between 2015 and 2017. The research was done comparing the decrease to that similar of a disease, which fades as people become immune.

Everyone remembers their old MySpace accounts and how addicted they were to those. Now, most people either have no MySpace account or have not even logged into that account in years. At the time, everyone thought that nothing could replace their beloved MySpace. Now, there are many contenders for the top spot of “web sharers”. Google+TwitterInstagramPintrest, and that’s just to name a few. While the latter three are not geared as much towards a Facebook style, Google+ is a very powerful and increasingly popular alternate.

The thing about studies is that it all depends on the quality of data that is being analyzed. Garner Marketing research firm director Brian Blau says that the quality of the research seems “suspect.” If the quality of the research is correct, this paints a grim future for Facebook. You can see by the constant rollouts of new features and the ever unpopular changes to their algorithm that Facebook is doing their best to try to remain popular and profitable.

Facebook, in response, also created its own parody study trying to debunk the Princeton study. Data scientist from Facebook, Mike Develin stated that it served as a “fun reminder that not all research is created equal.” Based on similar data showing a decline in the searches for Princeton the Facebook team predicted “will have only half of its current enrollment by 2018, and no students at all by 2021.”

But, all kidding aside. Facebook will need to focus on making their users and brands that use the platform to reach their followers and customers happy to insure a prosperous future for the company and social platform.

 

Google’s Motorola Line Purchased By Lenovo For $2.91 Billion [VIDEO]

When Google purchased Motorola, it was losing money hand over fist. Google saw potential in the brand and began the process of rebuilding the integrity of Motorola. First, it discontinued the Motorola ‘dumb’ line. The use of more intuitive software and less gimmicks has been a hit since the release of the Moto X.

Lenovo has been making big waves in the smartphone market, but to this point has kept its sights off of the United States. With this aquisition, you can bet that they will begin to shift their focus when it comes to their lines of smartphones. When you look at the purchase price you will see that Google is taking a giant bath on this deal. They are selling to Lenovo for $2.91 billion only 2 years after purchasing the company for $12.5 billion. That is a huge loss.

While Lenovo is purchasing the company, it’s more of a partnership. Google will still retain the vast majority of patents including “current patent applications and invention disclosures.” This will be an ongoing relationship with Google.

You can bet that all eyes will be on the next line of Motorolas that roll out with Lenovo driving the ship. Lenovo will use it’s current brand of smartphone in the markets where they are already doing very well and bring the Motorola brand to the United States. In markets like China, they may market both.

This deal will also free up Google from conflicts with other partners such as Samsung along with shedding a losing handset business. In the long run this will actually increase profit margins for the search giant.

 

Apple Stores Hosting Coding Workshops For Kids Called “An Hour Of Code” [VIDEO]

Screenshot From – Google.com

In order to try to “demystify” coding, Apple stores across the country are hosting “An Hour Of Code”workshops to introduce kids and teens to the basics of computer programming. The classes are 100% free.

Announced on Sunday by Apple, the stores will be participating in the “Hour Of Code” on December 11th. The classes are free and designed to introduce kids to the basics of programming and computer science. The classes are designed for younger kids.

You can make reservations at your local Apple store. This is part of Apples participation in Computer Science Education Week,  a global initiative that aims to teach people of all levels how to write code.

The online courses show how to write your first computer program, an introduction into javascript, and even building an iPhone game.

 

Buying Christmas Gifts From Local Amarillo Businesses – 3 Tech Items That Will Be A Hit

Christmas is just around the corner and we know the shopping season is about to swing into full effect. If you’re looking for something different than the big box store experience, then cat-man-du is your place to buy your Christmas tech items. First and most importantly, cat-man-du is a local Amarillo (Canyon, and Dumas) business. The money that is spent in our stores stays in our community. Second, we pride ourselves on customer service and making sure that when you leave our store that you are completely satisfied with your purchase. We are not just a retail seller, we are a company that wants to make sure that you get exactly what you are looking for.

cat-man-du is Amarillo’s most awarded technology company. Our goal is to make sure that when you leave our business that you not only have the items that you need for business, home, or personal use, but that you know and understand the product. We are not like the big “box stores”. We are not trying to shuffle people through just to make a sale. Amarillo, Canyon, and Dumas have been doing business with cat-man-du for more than a decade and the reason is simple. We offer fair pricing, only the best products and service, and customer service that you cannot receive anywhere else in the city.

Everyone’s Christmas wishlist is different. Tech items are super hot during the holidays and we carry only the best. Below you’ll see three items that will make you the hit of Christmas morning!

Google Nexus 2nd Generation Android Tablet 32GB – $269.99

If you have a techie on your list then you will be needing one of these under your tree. The Google Nexus 7 is the #1 tablet in the country. It has a beautiful HD display and of course comes with the Google Play Store where they can download their favorite apps and games. Not only can you play games, but you can watch movies on Netflix, as well as buy or rent them right from the ‘Movie Section’ of the Play Store.

You can also sync your work and personal email directly to the device as well as your calendar. I have one of the original tablets and it’s the best tablet I have ever owned.

Click here for pricing and to order

Lenovo ThinkPad E535 – $649.99

Lenovo has now become the #1 computer company in the world and it’s no wonder why. They make reliable computers with sleek design. The ThinkPad branding has been part of the tech world since the very beginning. The ThinkPad E535 has everything the your ‘techie’ could possibly need. The 2.5 GHZ AMD processor is fast enough to handle anyone’s toughest tasks. 320 GB hard drive and writable DVD burner built in. This thing comes with plenty of RAM to handle both personal and business tasks.

USB 3.0 Superspeed will make transfering data to this new computer a breeze as well, but remember, we can always handle that for you for a small fee.

Click here for pricing and to order

Lenovo All-In-One Ideacentre – $899.99

This All-In-One computer has super cool design. It has touchscreen interface and Windows 8.0. You can do anything from office work, design, and even high end gaming. Watching movies on this crisp monitor is a dream. 23″ monitor with 6 GB of RAM and 1TB of storage make this All-In-One everything a user could ask for. To top it off it’s sporting a fast i3 processor.

This makes the perfect gift because it is literally plug and play. Take it out of the box and fire it up. It’s that simple. No more mess of wires coming from the back of your machine. Just a clean desk and superfast computer to boot. This machine is definitely centered around entertainment, but can handle any of your computer needs.

Click here for pricing and to order