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How Christmas is Killing Spring

It is getting to the point where if you like new technology you can take the first half of the year off. All the technology companies want to release their products right before the Christmas holiday, which means that the first half of the year is completely ignored. Christmas is killing Spring.

Christmas Doesn’t Really Matter

Sure, Christmas is the biggest buying season, but that is more because that is when all the new stuff comes out than because people give out gifts. If everything was released in March, people would buy just as much of it at XMAS time. They would also buy it in March, so they could get it when it was still cool.

Tech companies mistrust consumer’s ability to buy things any time of the year, but I assure you it is there. Are you trying to tell me that if Apple released the iPhone 5S in March that they would sell less of them than if they released it in October? Come on, get real. People would buy the iPhone even if all you could do with it is look at a steaming pile of dog crap. It is just that simple.

Spring is an Opportunity for Someone

Some energetic company is going to swoop in and realize that there is not a soul in sight when it comes to spring announcements. They will release something then and have the news cycle all to themselves. This is a huge opportunity, because technology is really all about mind share. If they can grab the headlines for the first six months of the year, they win. And they make the rest of the tech industry look like a bunch of Santa Claus loving fools.

Think about it, if Google released their flagship Nexus device in the spring, instead of the fall, they wouldn’t have to compete for news headlines with Apple’s iPhone and iPad announcements. Sure there is room for both, but tech blogs are like sponges. If there is a whole bunch of stuff to soak up, it soaks up a little of everything. But if there is only one thing to soak up, it fills itself up with that one thing. Bad analogy, but hey.

Conclusions

The reason why this is an issue is that I’m bored. We’ve went through 5 months of nothing. CES was boring, and there hasn’t been any other major announcement. Facebook has tried, but Facebook sucks. Now we get into the summer months and there will be a total overload of news and devices as companies ramp up for the holidays. Spread this crap out, it will be better for everyone.

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Bnnr

Why Google Glass is a perfect play by Google

Google Glass is the best thing Google has done for many reasons. It is much more important than their Android OS and no one even knows it yet. Why google glass is a perfect play by Google begins with the fact that they have first mover advantage. But it goes far beyond that, it spiders into everything Google and that is why it can become their most important venture, if it is done right!

Google Glass like iTunes has first mover advantage. There are no competitors in the market yet and what that does is allow Google to develop their 1.0 product and perfect it long before anyone gets a clue and joins the party. It is a huge advantage for them because when the device does become more popular and competitors appear Google will already have a huge head start. I compared it to iTunes because iTunes existed long before the iPhone, iPad, App store, etc. ever came about. It was just yet another media player. This afforded Apple the time to work on it, implement and get things working while having it work on Macs and Windows. Then when the mp3 craze hit and iPods became a craze it became the gateway to media and a way to control the device. The iPhone, iPad and app store then just increased the place iTunes plays in the complete package.

Now think about how Google Glass will tie into all of Google’s enterprises. It will allow the person wearing it to use Google’s search engine whenever they have a question or quandary. Google will have images from all over the world with Exif data. Images that can be incorporated into Google Maps for up to the minute data of locations. Apps developed for Goggle Glass will tie into the Android ecosystem enticing developers to push the platform further. The glasses will enable users to use all of Google’s services without effort. It will have the same effect as buying apps or music for 99 cents in iTunes. The low price makes the purchase an afterthought and that is what makes it so easy to shop. In the same way the ease of use of Google Glass will make the use of Google services an afterthought.

There will be some hurdles though, the first of which will be society. The possibilities of being recorded at anytime will call privacy into question and that is a very big hurdle. There might be indicators of when the glasses are taking a picture, recording video and/or audio. However hackers will quickly and easily be able to remove those indicators I’m sure. Then as with anything else there is always as much use of it for less than moral things as there will be for the use intended. Use of the device by voyeurs, spies and not to mention the criminal element will demand systems in place to counteract those possibilities if possible.

Yet another hurdle will be the need for people to talk to their devices. Whether asking questions, searching for things or dictating an email. There are already digital assistants that respond to voice, Siri and Google Now are just a few. Yet like the first bluetooth headsets most people still feel uncomfortable using them in very public places. The stigma of talking to yourself still exists along with the fact that private and personal things would need to be said instead of written. Things that people may not want to be public knowledge but perhaps like privacy, which is in a very different place now than it was years ago due to social networks and other online services. The whole attitude about talking to our devices might change and maybe Google Glass is the thing to push that shift. If that happens we might just end up knowing a lot more about each other more than we care to know in some cases.

If Google is able to market the glasses properly and get over the hurdles it has great possibilities. Schools would be a great place to have Google Glass for each student. It could eventually enable students not to take notes but instead to listen to the teacher/professor during class. The glasses’ OCR would pick up the written material on the blackboard and transfer it to a document while the student listened to the lesson. Then talk about an easy way to catch up on missed classes students could just borrow the video from a friend and share the electronic notes. The possibilities are just endless, malls could have their layout in a code that would be scanned by shoppers. Then when you need to find a store it’s as simple as looking it up or asking the glasses for directions. Shopping in a store and need to know the price of an item just scan the tag. These things for the most part are available now in more rudimentary ways. The best part for Google is the company will become the purveyor of all data!

This is why Google Glass is a perfect play by Google. But it will all depend on how it is handled so Google better hope they don’t drop the ball on it’s development and roll out. How we react to Google Glass depends on the user experience, how it is advertised and how accessible it is to customers aka price. So I guess we will just have to wait and see how it plays out in time.

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GFiber

Google Fiber everywhere

You have inevitably hear about Google Fiber by now. It has launched in Kansas City, will be expanding to Austin Texas and was announced to be heading to Provo Utah.  Google Fiber is using Google installed fiber optics to bring internet and TV service at Google says 100 times faster. The hope is that Google would eventually step into the ring as an Internet Service Provider(ISP) and bring Google Fiber nationwide. However many posts have been written about the enormous cost it would take and also the roadblocks and hurdles Google would face to take on such an endeavour. However there is a way that there could be Google Fiber everywhere.

Well at least here in North America. The problem is just one word “Greed” but you’ll understand more about that when we get into it. It will take many billions of dollars to bring Google Fiber to all the cities in North America. A huge cost even for Google but if you think about what fiber and that 100 times faster internet means there is a way that it might happen. The recent talks of the new video game consoles Sony’s Playstation 4 and Microsoft’s XBox 720 or whatever it will be called brought up a very interesting idea. The idea that games would be streamed to the consoles making a fast and stable internet connection a must. Then if you think about the topic of streaming music like Matt Weber imagines again Google Fiber would make it a more attainable goal.

Google might not have enough money on their own to tackle this project but if they roped in Microsoft, Sony and some of the other big companies who stand to gain from Google Fiber. Then it could very well become a reality and along with it crazy internet speeds that would enable gaming consoles to stream games like butter. The North American market is huge for video games and since the casual market and mobile devices have gained in popularity gaming consoles are not what they once were. So they stand to gain in a very big way from having Google Fiber in as many places as possible. However like I said the problem is going to be greed. When you have so many big companies in one venture it will undoubtedly lead to them arguing over who gets a cut of what. Parties will threaten to go to the existing ISPs who will be shaking at the thought of Google Fiber. That would be the huge monkey wrench that smashes the possibility of innovation and advancement and that’s too bad.

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Google+

Google+ Has Nearly 360 Million Users

If you were trying to get a buzz on what social media platform is most popular, it’s likely that you would guess that Facebook is clearly number one, with Twitter gaining ground from the second spot. In fact, you’d likely claim that Google+ was a complete failure. It turns out that Google+ is currently the social media platform in second place, with 359 million active users.

It’s a wonder that Google is able to boast such high numbers. It’s likely that a large chunk of users are just Android phone owners who use occasional features such as the +1 link on many apps and web pages. Google has been working on integrating all of their services such as Google Maps, YouTube, Gmail, and Google+ for the past couple of years, which was all a part of the original vision for Google+. It was supposed to offer connectivity to nearly every web service that we use, but Facebook has become so integrated with other sites that nobody really looks for Google+ integration other than Google themselves.

Speaking of Facebook, they have now passed 700 million active users.

Another benefit of Google+ has been the Google Hangout feature. That is likely where most of the buzz for Google+ has come from over the past year, as that feature has begun to get more and more popular. Twitter is getting a lot of media buzz and is generally more active per user, but it only has 297 active users.

One major benefit with Google+ is that it is the best of the social media tools to find complete strangers who share similar interests. Where Facebook is great at connecting you with people that you know, and Twitter is heavily influenced by connections to celebrities, Google+ connects the world wide web with each other in a way that the other platforms fail to do.

It has been nearly two years since Google+ launched. Despite many claims that there is no value to the service, it still has managed to stay ahead of Twitter for the second largest social media platform on the web. They still have a lot to do before they catch Facebook though.

Source: Business Insider

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Google Now

Google Now Arrives on the iPhone and iPad

Google Now is available for iOS. It comes via a Google Search App update, so don’t expect to find anything for “Google Now iPhone” when you search the AppStore.

The app will work on both the iPhone and iPad, and the app will support many of the features it has on Android.  “The types of Google Now cards available are largely the same on both platforms,” says Baris Gultekin, Director of Product Management for Google Now. What this means is that there are only a few cards not available to iOS users: airline boarding passes, Fandango, and local events.

Other differences between the iOS version of Google now include a lack of notification support, no local calendar integration, and no ability to get to the app via a long press of the home button, unless you are a jailbreaker.

Full review coming soon. In the meantime you can download the Google Search App, with Google Now here.

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Intel Android Notebooks Confirmed

Intel Android Notebooks are going to arrive soon; this news comes from a high ranking Intel executive. Previously we had rumors circulating that Intel would be moving its forces onto another OS, as a retaliation to Microsoft doling resources to ARM chips. There were several reports of Intel powered laptops which would run on Android.

Dadi Perimutter, the Intel chief product officer was the bearer of the news and he spilled the beans while talking to CNET. Just last week CEO of Intel Paul Otellini mentioned that the chip manufacturer would be providing silicon to touchscreen PCs which will cost around $200, although the operating system was not mentioned by him.

Today things got a little bit clearer, $200 laptop which runs on Windows 8 would have been a long shot as Microsoft charges a lot of money for its operating system. Even if they made one such budget Windows 8 device, either Microsoft would have to sacrifice its profits or the hardware would have been really lousy. With Android running the show, the $200 Intel Android Notebook makes a lot of sense. Google doesn’t charge anything for its OS, making it a natural choice for many manufacturers.

Intel Android Notebooks

“We have a good technology that enables a very cost-effective price point,” Perlmutter said. The price of Windows 8 laptops “depends on how Microsoft prices Windows 8. It may be a slightly higher price point.”

The Intel Android Notebooks will run on Intel Atom processors and there is a big chance that they will turn out to be Android tablets with keyboard docks. Although we don’t have confirmation from any manufacturer about the $200 Intel Android Notebooks, so it might be a while before we actually see any such devices. Intel has been making amazing chips for as long as I can remember, and I trust Intel to make the best of the best. I belong to a tech crazy family, my dad and I both are software engineers and while we use our desktop PCs for very different reasons (dad use them for 3D modeling, while I use them for gaming), we still prefer “Intel inside”. If Intel does manage to produce Intel Android Notebooks for $200, I for one will be standing in the launch line.

Source: CNET

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Amazon

Amazon Joins the Advertising Market

Google has been the undisputed king of internet advertising for many years now. With access to our search history, Google has a great wealth of knowledge of each individual they come in contact with. What they don’t have though, is our spending habits, something that would be very important for giving us advertisements on what to spend our money on. Amazon has this information, and they’re not starting to use it.

Amazon has been doing advertising within their own borders so to speak for many years now. They’ve been storing the data on search history within the store as well as what items you buy in order to give you the best suggestions that they could.

Google has been using our information to create advertisements for so long that it has just become an accepted fact. Search results, location, downloaded apps, and other minute details about our lives have only gotten them so far.

Amazon offers a unique position in the advertising market because they know what we’re willing to spend large amounts of money on. Everyone else can find our interests, but Amazon knows what we like to purchase, something that advertisers desperately would want to know.

Although Amazon started outside advertising in the end of 2010, it didn’t really get into the advertising game until recently when it started advertising in mobile devices. Amazon is not only going to be the largest online retailer, but it will soon rival Google with the amount of information that it knows about us.

The internet retailer has gotten its feet wet over the past several months, and it appears ready to expand their wings as they try to take a chunk of change out of the advertising market. Amazon already makes $500 million a year through their advertising market. Within a couple of years, analysts predict that this number could rise to $50 million.

With Amazon being home to the most important data on how we spend our money, it isn’t surprising that the people who want our money are flocking to them asking for this data. Don’t be surprised if Google gets passed by Amazon sometime this decade for the most powerful advertiser in the world.

Source: Reuters

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the 3 cast

Total Fail – The 3 Cast #117

iOS7 is coming soon. What do we want to see? Also What features will Android 5.0 have? Then we all lust over Google Fiber. That and more on this week’s episode of The 3 Cast!

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Hosts: Matthew Weber, Vincent Hui, Ricky Williams, Paul Shirey

Topics: iOS 7, Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie, Google Fiber

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Handout shows Google co-founder Sergey Brin modelling prototype for new Google glasses on "The Gavin Newsom Show" in San Francisco, California

Google Glass Will Be Out for Everyone ‘Next Year-ish’

Google Glass is a really innovative product, a device which has the potential to change the whole game. That is why many people are excited about the prospect of owning one from themselves. The sheer number of possibilities is staggering; Google Glass will be able to augment us in a very positive way. We can finally become Robocop, just like we wanted to be when we were young. While the internet made the world available on our finger tips, Google Glass will make it so that the whole world is present in our sight.

Although you may be saving money for the eventual late 2013 release thinking “Google will release the Google Glass just before Christmas to cash in the holiday fever.”  But it seems Google may have some other plans in place. While giving an interview to BBC Radio 4’s show “World at One”, Eric Schmidt the executive chairman of Google answered some questions about Google Glass. The Google Glass explorer edition is out now but the final retail version may be a little further down the road. While detailing the potential release of the retail version of the Google Glass, Schmidt said it “is probably a year-ish away”.

Google Glass

Schmidt has not been well known for telling exact dates of product’s releases, but after all the guy is a top gun at the company, surly he must have an idea. A “year-ish” away depends on how Schmidt measures time; it may be 9 months for all we know.  A late release wouldn’t help us much though, as we are already excited about the Google Glass, especially if the rumors about taking pictures by winking are true.  While this is all convenient, I personally think that the Google Glass will defiantly be banned from many countries due to privacy concerns. Even though we are advancing in technology, we as a society haven’t yet refined our ethics to a point where general mass can be trusted with convenient “pervert glasses”.

Source: BBC Radio via The Verge

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Google Now

Google Now Coming to Desktops?

If you haven’t gotten a chance to experience Google Now before on an Android device, you might be in luck. Coders have recently uncovered sample source code for Google Now that suggests it will be coming to desktops soon.

If you’re unfamiliar with the app, Google Now is a voice activated personal assistant that integrates many of Google’s most prominent technologies. The personal assistant will give you all of the information automatically whenever you need it. It is Google’s answer to Apple’s Siri.

You can set the assistant to give you a notification of traffic levels on your route to work every morning at a certain time. You can be informed of the weather automatically. Want to know the sports scores right away? Google Now will give you updates about your favorite teams.

Android users have been enjoying the app for several months, but now Google’s homepage is likely to receive the same integration. It will not only unify every tool that Google offers, but it will do it on all platforms that a user has. This news is likely exciting for people who have been using Google’s tools for years.

This will also help to make searching for information on the web even easier. Instead of basing information solely on past web searches and browser history, searches will be made using all of the data Google has, such as location and email history. These results will help the personal assistant to better know what type of information to give you and at what times.

This does bring up many privacy issues, as it just becomes more and more obvious how much information Google has about each and every one of us. Though we’ve known this now for years, it wouldn’t be surprising to see many consumers protest the use of their personal information, despite it potentially making their life more convenient.

Are you excited for the potential integration of a personal assistant in Google’s homepage? Are you afraid of the privacy issues that this might cause? Have you gotten a chance to experience Google Now on your phone or tablet? Let us know what you think below in the comments!

Source: TechCrunch

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