HTC One, Twitter and More

There are few interesting headlines in the last couple of  days.

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First up is the most expected announcement. Verizon  is going to exclusive carry the new HTC One M8 for 16 days. From what I have heard on the design they basically rejiggered the M7 adding the Duo camera system and a NFC SIM card. They are so excited about this that they are doing a buy 1 get one free deal…

Netflix is in the news. After all the mutual admiration with Comcast it seems Netflix isn’t quite so happy. Netflix CEO blogged that he would like the FCC to get more involved in the way the internet works. It will be interesting to see how this all works out…

I saw over on GigaOm that Twitter users on iPhones can now tag up to 10 people in a picture. I think that is fabulous but I would love to have that on Android and Windows phones as well. I think this is a functionality that has long been needed in order to regain their social media edge over Facebook!

Just a few stories that I heard and thought you might want to know!

 

The New OneDrive is Launched

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Microsoft has rebranded their great SkyDrive service as OneDrive and has just launched it!

SkyDrive was already a great cloud storage solution that was accessible from all your devices. It seems with this rebranding they kept everything we love. There are a few new features that have been announced with it that sound fabulous!

1) You can now back up your camera roll on all the mobile apps (iOs and Android, finally)
2) If you back up your camera roll with it you will receive an additional 3GB of storage for free!
3) Optical Character Recognition: So if you take a picture of something with words in it and later search for it with that word, OneDrive will find it!
4) You can display your videos and pictures as slide shows on the Xbox One.
5) And last but definitely not least, Co-authoring! So you can literally work on a document with someone else at the same time and it will save all the changes in real time!

I already loved SkyDrive and it seems as if OneDrive can do even more! So go grab your account where you will get 7GB of memory to begin with. Then add your camera roll and you will start with a total of 10GB!!!

(Disclosure: I am a #WindowsChampion so I do things with Microsoft but this post is my opinions and mine alone! There is also a referral link to help me get a little more cloud storage space;)

Pre-CES 2014

Yes, you read that right. There really is a pre-CES here in Las Vegas and I am experiencing it all for the first time. Last night I attended CES Unveiled and the Start Up Debut hosted by Bitcoin. And I am already overwhelmed;).

These were both press only events to show us a bunch of products before the show even opens. There is the gambit of items from solar batteries to 3 D printing/manufacturing to top of the line pinball machines. I saw some great items that I will be covering in further detail later. But here is a collage of some of the interesting products I saw!

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Based on looks alone, what would you like to know more about????

Unleash the Moto X

W​hen Motorola changed their logo it signified more than new marketing! It showed a change in their whole phone design mentality and that is obvious with their new Moto X. I was recently invited to a “secret” event on the Google campus by the ever fabulous Guy Kawasaski (eep!) to get to see this new phone up close!

Before we get to the phone… Can I say how the geeky me was so stoked to meet Guy Kawasaki??!?! There was an audible squeal when I got an email from THE Guy Kawasaki inviting me to Motorola event. This was my first visit to the Google campus so that it totally geek worthy to begin with. When I got to the event I sat next to Kristi Yamaguchi and got a picture with her but it still didn’t beat meeting Guy Kawasaki! Ok, onto the phone.

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The new Moto X design is steeped in the results of multiple studies. Instead of focusing the phone design on solving a specific problem Motorola focused the Moto X on the end user. So they looked at studies on start screens, camera use and even hand size to influence the physical and functional design of the Moto X. There are lots of cool things that this phone will have (no, I haven’t really gotten my hands on it for a full user test yet) but I wanted to look at just a few of the most noteworthy to me.

1)Touchless Control: This phone will be listening for your voice all the time! I could get into the tech on the new X8 system including how 1 chip is a low drain chip that listens but you probably don’t care about that. What you do care about is that when you say “OK Google Now” you then get the phone’s attention and it is there to serve you! Of course you can do standard phone stuff with the Touchless Control (call, text, etc) but you can also activate the power of Google! Including all the normal Googling of facts.

2)Voice Training: One of my issues of using the S Galaxy voice features is that I have to turn off the radio and shush everyone in the car and then hope it works (I have found it buggy). Well, Motorola has worked in a solution to this with the Moto X. It has a 3 step training process so your phone can distinguish your voice among the crowd. I watched this work and I am so excited. No more holding it close (it has a great range too) in order to make sure the phone hears me and only me. I could even set it on the counter away from me while I cook or clean.

3)Active Notification: One of the things the studies told Motorola is that people turn their phone onn and off with in 15 seconds over 50 times a day! They were checking the time or finding out why their phone buzz/beeped/shook. They also found that everyone puts their phone facedown during meetings (and I thought it was just me;). To make our phones work better for us all you have to do is flip the phone to see the time and notifications. If you want you can then unlock it or the screen will just shut back off in a few seconds.

4)Quick Capture: Back to the studies to find out that it takes on average 4.5 seconds to 10 seconds to go from your pocket to being able to take a picture. In order to get that to 2 seconds they created “Quick Capture”.  You start with a specific gesture with the phone as it comes out of your pocket (it is basically a twist) and then touch anywhere on the screen to take a picture. It is that easy. Which means it will be easier to catch those action shots or silly things someone is doing before they realize you have the camera ready;).

5)Moto Maker: Siting the Ikea effect, Motorola is now allowing us all to design our own phone! You can go to the website and start choosing colors. You have 2 choices for the front plate, many choices for the back plate and even accent color choices. They also have custom clear covers you can order plain or with an accent color and even color coordinating accessories from other vendors. You may not walk out of the store with the phone (you can customize in store or at home) but you will receive it with in 4 days! In order to do this Motorola had to change all their manufacturing and bring it domestic. They are the only phone assembled in the United States!

This is just my first look at the Moto X and you can be sure I will be posting more as I get my hands on it!!! I appreciate Motorola bringing me out to Google to partake in this fabulous event!!! If you want to see what someone else thought of the even and the phone make sure you check out my friend TerriAnn’s great post on the event over at Cookies and Clogs!

Project Loon from Google

So have you been hearing about Google launching internet service through the skies instead of wiring remote regions? Here is a behind the scenes look and it is a gorgeous look with some Google Glass action too!

Thanks Robyn!

The Death of LucasArts Games

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Just heard some shocking Lucas/Star Wars/Disney news. Disney is closing down LucasArts!

Ok, maybe they aren’t closing all of LucasArts but they are closing the games publishing section which employs something like 150 people! LucasArts is part of the Star Wars empire that Disney acquired fairly recently. They say that they will be going to a licensing model instead of an in house development model.

This was just announced so I am not really sure what all this means but I don’t think I agree with Game Informer when they say that this isn’t surprising. I am surprised because it seems they are just killing games in process rather than finishing them or having them finished by other developers. I agree with something that Tom Merritt said on Tech News Today about how I would have expected it be sold off before I would have thought that they would close it down.

So will this be good for Star Wars as a franchise? Is this a mistake on Disney’s behalf? Since they were already licensing out to other game companies, I don’t think it will be a game changer. I am very interested to see what the effects of this are.

My heart felt condolences go out to all the employees and I hope they all secure new positions immediately!!

Is Google aiming for Evernote or OneNote?

Googlelogo Last week we were all shocked to hear of the impending death of Google Reader, well at least I was;). It seems that the people who are going to be missing Google Reader the most are the power user and we know that Google doesn’t want to lose them so what is the deal? Many of us thought that possibly Google was trying to drive power users more into Google+ but I find it hard to bookmark or save things there.

Then this week…. Google announced Google Keep! This is probably something they should have announced before announcing the closure of Reader;).  It looks like OneNote to me but all I initially heard was that Google is trying to inch into Evernote’s territory. I don’t agree.

OneNotelogoI think that Google is trying to shore up their position against all the new Microsoft stuff. And no, I am not just saying this because I am a Windows Champion;). Not only is there now the new, more mobile Windows 8 but there is a complete complimentary set of apps that goes with. With SkyDrive, the new Office 365, Outlook mail and OneNote you don’t have to really go outside the Microsoft family.  This was previously a market that I think Google had command of but all the products weren’t quite as robust (limited abilities in the Google word processing, spreadsheets, etc).

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So I don’t think that Google was aiming for Evernote really at all. But I think with announcing the killing of Reader has really messed with the power users’ view of Google. Do I really want to get invested and set up something else with them? They may just discontinue it. Lets be honest. Those of us who use Reader use it a lot! I am reticent to set up something as filing system with a new product. They may not get the traffic and just delete it….

So who the fight is between? Google and Microsoft? Google and Evernote? All 3? Who do you think is going to win in the end?

 

(I am a Windows Champion but all opinions are mine and mine alone.)

Marissa Maher, Yahoo, and Telecommuting

I weigh in on all the controversy with Marissa Maher and the famous Yahoo memo. What does this mean for telecommuting and Yahoo. Is Maher a traitor to her gender?

A Look at 2013 CES

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CES (Consumer Electronic Show) was last week in Las Vegas. It is the time when all the companies that deal with technology on a consumer level come out for a huge game of show and tell. Some are things that are here, coming and hope to be coming;). I decided to take just a minute to look at a few of the cool things I have heard about (from home;).

The home show is a huge part of CES! Everyone brings out there concept models to get everyone excited!!! Why all the concept stuff and not just what is coming out new? Because it not only energizes people but it gets developers excited to work with them!

Whirlpool had their fireplace table along with a whole booth of awesomeness including Art Gallery Hoods and a house controlled by smart phone! The Smart Grid aspect (being able to manage your appliances power use is actually supposed to be coming out this spring.

Samsung brought out their smart home set up too that including their T9000 refrigerator with the lcd screen built in. I have already heard talk from someone at Evernote about how they are working the app for it. These devices are nothing now without apps!

Then there is the gadgets! There are toys like remote controlled toys & Lego stuff. There is also lot accessories. Sony showed everyone their new speakers including the bluetooth mobile speaker. IHome showed a ton of their new systems too. Then there are all the other “smart” accessories like the HapiFork that tells you to slow down when you eat and monitors your eating.

And then there are the machines! We already heard about the monitors. There are also the new phones and computers. Even there Microsoft wasn’t a big presence the new Windows 8 machines were a big thing and some of them are actually available now;). Lenovo showed their new machines like the Ideapad Yoga and Asus showed the ginormous 23 inch tablet!!!

There is so much more that happened at CES but these are just a few of the awesome highlights I have seen!!! Maybe next year I will muster another trip to CES and check it all out for myself!

Internet of Things Consortium

The most interesting bit of news that I have heard from CES is about a new consortium that has been formed. It is the Internet of Things Consortium!

According to their website:

The Internet of Things Consortium is a non-profit organization with the mission of facilitating cooperation between hardware, software, and service providers.

There are a variety of charter members that are very interesting like Logitech and PolyControl. One of my favorite KickStarter projects, Ooya, is also on board!!!!  There isn’t a lot of information out there yet but I can’t wait to hear! There was a meeting at CES talking about it but since I am not there I missed out;).