Tag Archives: cloud links

Technically Speaking: Stories of the Week – April 22

Each week we scour the internet to find the best stories on technology, digital living and news of note. This week features a coat that acts like a girlfriend, a bracelet that displays texts and social media updates, and futuristic dressing rooms. All that and more in this edition of Mozy’s Technically Speaking.

Say Goodbye to Dressing Rooms–New Technology Sizes Customers in Seconds

Say Goodbye to Dressing Rooms

Now showing up in more and more department stores throughout the United States, sizing stations use technology to determine what clothing will fit their customers. Customers walk into the round compartments with clear sides (normally located directly in the center of the floor near the racks of clothes and other displays) hold out their arms, and get scanned by a laser tracker. According to NDTV Gadgets it only takes about 10 seconds for the station to give the customer a personalized shopping guide with sizes, styles, and brands that would fit them best. Currently sizing stations are in 30 shopping malls in the U.S., with Bloomingdale’s being the first to use them.

Google’s High Speed Internet Coming to Austin, Texas

Google Fiber, a high-speed Internet that runs 100 times faster than the average broadband connection, is now coming to Austin, Texas, says Mashable’s Samantha Murphy.  This announcement comes a whole year after it was announced the service would first be available in Kansas City, Kansas. Google says it plans to have homes in Kansas City connected starting in mid-2014. What city will be next on Google’s list?

LED Smart Bracelet Displays Texts, Social Media Updates

Texts and social media messages can now appear right on a person’s wrist with new the new technology of LinkMe. Michael Seo of TechCrunch reports that LinkMe, a single chrome ring that slips around the wrist, connects to a users smartphone via bluetooth and incoming texts and social media updates scroll along the outside. The inventors are attempting to raise $100,000 on Kickstarter to fund their project. A LinkMe can be purchased on the site for $99.

Single? No Problem. This Coat Will Make You Feel Loved

Girlfriend Coat

A group of Japanese students have invented a coat that serves as a girlfriend substitute. Yes, you read that right. This coat hugs men who wear it and even whispers sweet nothings into their ear. According to CNET, the Riajyuu Coat features a belt around the midsection and motors on the back. The motors tighten the belt and squeeze the person wearing it so it feels like they are being hugged. A set of headphone lets the wearer listen to a woman’s whispers. It’s not being sold in stores, so for now lonely men might be stuck with the task of finding a human partner.

Twitter Working on New Music Feature

There’s been a lot of buzz this week about new music project being develop by Twitter. Clues around the web have led experts to believe that Twitter is introducing a music feature that will recommend songs and artists based on who each particular user follows, reported Ben Sisario of The New York Times. It’s still unclear, however, whether it will be accessible on the Twitter website, or if it’s a different website altogether. Right now, there’s a website set up with the Twitter logo and “#Music” appearing on the page. There is an area to login but it says “coming soon” next to it. For now music fans will just have to take a wait-and-see approach to finding out what Twitter has in the works.

 

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Technically Speaking: Stories of the Week – March 18

Each week we scour the internet to find the best stories on technology, digital living and news of note. This week features an art exhibit displaying Pac-Man and Tetris, a 5-year-old spending $2,500 on an iPad game in 10 minutes, and Google Glass going for a new look. All that and more in this edition of Mozy’s Technically Speaking.

Museum of Modern Art Exhibit Showcases Classic Video Games

Retro Video Game Exhibit

Playing Tetris and Pac-Man were a huge part of growing up for some people, and now some are actually being considered pieces of art. (Apologies if this makes you feel old.) PC Mag reports that 14 video games have been chosen to be showcased in the Museum of Modern Art’s Applied Design installation as part of a 100 object exhibit representing contemporary design. Also included with the video games are 3-D printed chairs and an app that culls data from the National Digital Forecast database to render a living portrait of the U.S. wind landscape. Video games being displayed include Pac-Man (1980), Tetris (1984), Myst (1993), SimCity 2000 (1994), Dwarf Fortress (2006), and Portal (2007).

Grounded for Life? 5-Year Old Racks Up $2500 in Ipad Charges in Just 10 Minutes

Note to parents: don’t leave your 5-year old alone with an iPad–even if it is just for a few minutes. A story out of Warmley, England this week is that a child asked his parents to play with the iPad for just a few minutes. He wanted to play the game Zombies vs. Ninja, reports CNET’s Chris Matyszczyk. The parents didn’t think anything of it. The game is free (at least up front) and it would occupy their son for the time being. The problem: while the game is free to play, there are several add-ons, like weapons, that you can purchase to give your character a boost. Well, the young boy decided he wanted quite a boost for his character. So much so that he spent $2,500 on the game in 10 minutes.

Company Allows Users to Watch Commercials to Save Money

The company Hitbliss, which sells streaming movies and television shows much like Netflix, has developed a new idea for how customers can make payments: watch ads in place of paying your bill. According to Forbes, this could be the future of ad-supported content. On Hitbliss users have the option of paying for a movie or television show or watching 30-second ads to build up credit on their account. Most of the time customers are able to watch a movie or show after viewing approximately a minute or two of commercials. Or they can just skip the ads and fork up the dough. Which would you prefer?

Can Google Glass Become Fashionable?

Can Google Glasses Be made Fashionable?

There is a ton of hype in the tech community around the launch of Google Glass, a new invention that allows people to always have the Internet within their line of sight–all they have to do is wear a pair of glasses. These aren’t your ordinary glasses though; they come complete with a battery, a computer processor, and a tiny screen. Realizing it’s probably not the most fashionable look out there, Google has reached out to Warby Parker, a startup known for selling trendy eyeglasses, says Clair Cain Miller of the New York Times.

Stressed about Having to do Taxes? Try One of These Apps 

It’s the time of the year when most people are either working on their tax returns or paying a professional to do it for them. Thanks to the evolution of technology, doing your own taxes may not be as difficult as you think. Jeff Reeves of USA Today goes over the top five apps for getting taxes done. And the best part? Some of them are free.

 

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Technically Speaking: Stories of the Week – March 1

Each week we scour the internet to find the best stories on technology, digital living and news of note. This week, we have Google going retail, t-shirts going biometric and a 3D printer helping a child overcome disability. All that and more in this week’s edition of Mozy’s Technically Speaking.

5 Year Old with Disability Recipient of “Robohand” 

Liam and his Robot Hand

A 5-year-old boy born without fingers was the recipient of a new robohand this week, thanks to new technology and a remarkable collaboration. The robohand, “an open-sourced device built with customized prosthetic fingers,” according to Mashable’s Camille Bautista, was built using 3D printing. The duo that created the device live across the world from each other (one in Washington state, the other in South Africa) and used Skype to communicate and share ideas.

Coming to a Shopping Mall Near You: Google Stores

One of the companies you’re used to seeing all over the web may soon be all over your local shopping malls as well. Venture Beat reports that Google plans to launch its own retail stores just in time for the 2013 holiday season. The move could be considered an attempt to compete with Apple, which currently operates 400 stores in 12 countries, according to the article. The Google stores will feature the company’s products, like the new Chromebook, and will also have employees offering technical support, similar to what Apple does.

President Obama Urges Schools to Focus More on Technology

President Obama mentioned technology in his State of the Union Address last week, saying that he would like to see schools “meet the demands of a high-tech economy.” The President suggested that schools focusing more on technology—and subjects like science, engineering, and math—would be rewarded. While exciting people who have been pushing for more coding to be taught in schools, implementation may be an uphill battle. According to Forbes’ Anthony Wing Kosner, schools face challenges such as a lack of computer science teachers and time in their current daily schedules.

Under Armour Working on Technology for Touchscreen Tees

Technology and exercise have become fast friends. Smartphones are now valuable devices for workouts, as several apps and features have emerged to help motivate and keep track of miles, time, weight, and more. But what if you didn’t need your phone at all? If Under Armour’s vision comes true, all of that technology might be available right on a person’s arm—in the fabric of the shirt they’re wearing. Ryan Gearhardt for Mashable writes that, while the idea hasn’t been perfected yet, the company is hard at work on developing “wearable” technology, or touchscreen shirts.

 

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Cloud Roundup and Links of Interest – June 26

Retina MacBook vs. PC Laptops: The Battle Begins

At its recent Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple introduced the MacBook Pro with Retina display, its latest laptop. This appears to confirm that Apple will eventually merge its Air line with its MacBook line, a move long expected by Apple watchers.

Now that Apple has taken the wraps off its next-generation device, where does that leave the rest of the PC industry? PC World asks, “Can Apple’s new Retina MacBook Pro rain on the PC laptop or Intel’s Ultrabook parade? Or will Apple, once again, inspire another flood of PC clones as it did with the MacBook Air and the ensuing Ultrabook onslaught?”

Ultrabooks and other Windows-based laptops headed your way in the coming months are bound to be interesting once Microsoft releases the touch-friendly Windows 8, expected in October. Read more about it here.

Being More Productive With Mobile Tech

Businessman on mobile phoneThere’s no doubt mobile technology has changed our lives and the way we communicate. But it’s also a great way to keep ideas from fading away forever. ZDNet’s James Kendrick writes about the importance of having a mobile device handy at all times, and the benefits of being able to capture that great idea before your attention is pulled in another direction.

“Mobile technology plays a major role in my work, as it lets me capture ideas when they occur no matter where I am. Gadgets have evolved to be powerful information capture tools and also make content creation easy,” writes Kendrick.

“In the not-too-distant past many ideas would end up lost, but no longer. I grab information as it becomes available, and I use it to lay the groundwork for writing projects whenever a few minutes presents itself. I can leverage mobile tech to maximum effect, no matter what gadget I am holding.”

Seton Hall University Offers Lumia 900s to Give ‘Freshmen Experience’

Seton Hall University is going the extra mobile mile with an unusual initiative. It’s paired with AT&T and Nokia to distribute units of the popular Lumia 900 LTE Windows Phone to new incoming students in the class of 2016.

University faculty say the phones will help students have 24-7 access to Microsoft’s Office suite. They say the phone giveaway will provide a “more engaged and integrated learning experience,” according to DailyTech.

The phones also include an exclusive piece of content called the “Freshmen Experience”.

Something like a mini-social network, the feature “adds customized social media integration and direct communication channels with [students'] freshmen peers, peer academic advisors, housing information and roommates.”

 

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Cloud Roundup and Links – April 16

Is Cloud Computing a Green Giant?

Many companies have already found that cloud computing can cut their IT costs. A new report found that cloud computing has another benefit to bottom lines: reducing energy costs.

As reported on Greenbiz.com, CDW’s fourth annual Energy Efficient IT Report calls cloud computing a possible “game changer” that’s playing a growing role in energy efficiency.

For the report, CDW surveyed 760 people working in private businesses, nonprofits, schools and governments. Of these respondents, 62 percent agreed that cloud computing is an energy-efficient way to consolidate data centers.

Workers’ Tunes Sucking Up Bandwidth at Work

When Procter & Gamble shut down some access to the Internet, it wasn’t to keep employees from playing around on Facebook or crafting personal emails on company time.

Instead, it was to get them to quit sucking up the company’s Web bandwidth by listening to music and watching movies.

The company told its 129,000 employees they can no longer use music-streaming site Pandora or movie site Netflix at work.

“We are one of the more lenient companies in terms of providing access to the Internet, but there are some sites which don’t serve a specific business purpose — in this case, Netflix and Pandora,” spokesman Paul Fox said in an email, according to CNN.com. “They are both great sites, but if you want to download movies or music, do it on your own time.”

There’s a Tax for That

Responding to Vermont’s business sector uproar against a tax on cloud computing, the state legislature’s Ways and Means Committee approved a bill that would take the extraordinary step of refunding $1.9 million in sales tax revenue.

According to the bill, cloud computing is defined as the use of “pre-written software run in underlying infrastructure that is not managed or controlled by the consumer or a related company.”

Vermont already taxes the sale of pre-written software when its purchased at a store or downloaded from the Internet. And the tax department contends that cloud computing is also taxable.

 

 

Cloud Roundup: Cloud Computing Expected to Produce 14 Million Jobs

Analyst firm IDC released a study March 5 revealing that spending on cloud services will produce nearly 14 million jobs worldwide by 2015. IDC, however, said the numbers are the result of adoption in the private sector rather than in government. The U.S. government’s slow adoption, even as agencies are encouraged to consider cloud computing first for all new IT investments, is largely due to security concerns, according to Washington Business Journal. The report reiterated what many have already predicted: The federal government will seek out private IT cloud services, which bring enhanced security by not commingling data with other customers, and reserve the more open public clouds for less risky applications such as email, Web portal development and collaboration.

Workers: Give Us the Cloud

A report released by Gartner March 5 claims workers will circumvent traditional systems to access cloud services if their employers don’t provide these services. Many companies are using a hybrid model for their IT, with some applications remaining in-house while placing others in the cloud. The ease-of-use and functionality available in some of the newer cloud versions of traditional solutions, however, is enticing for many employees, according to CloudPro. “IT organizations that do not match the request for IT as a service run the risk of internal customers bypassing the IT organization and consuming IT services from the external cloud, thereby placing the company at greater risk,” said Chris Howard, managing vice president at Gartner.

Cloud Computing’s Impact on India

As companies continue to adopt cloud-computing practices, more than 2 million jobs are expected to be created in India by 2015 because of this, according to an IDC study commissioned by Microsoft. “A common misperception is cloud computing is a job eliminator, but in truth it will be a job creator, a major one,” Chief Research Officer and Senior Vice President John F Gantz of IDC said.

Job growth will occur across continents and throughout organizations of all sizes because emerging markets, small cities and small businesses have the same access to cloud benefits as large enterprises or developed nations, Gantz added, according to NDTV.com.

A Clouded Terminology

InfoWorld’s David Linthicum sounds off on what, exactly, cloud computing is and how the term is often misused and over-hyped in a recent blog post.

Linthicum says cloud computing is “so widely defined, and thus so vague, that providing a crisp definition is nearly impossible. More disturbing, there seems to be an increasing overuse of cloud computing concepts as saviors for all past IT mistakes.”

He says “the concept of cloud computing is about the ability for organizations to stop solving all IT problems by themselves. It’s certainly about sharing resources, such as storage and compute services, but it really should be more about sharing solutions and pushing risk out of the business.”