Apr 14

Google I/O Lottery Winners Have Been Picked

Google has officially announced that they have started to notify the people that submitted their applications for a chance to attend the annual Google I/O event that is coming up at the end of June and won the Google lottery. As well as notifying the winners, they have also started charging the winners for their tickets today. The Google I/O lottery finally started last week on April 15th. It was delayed a little bit, as it was supposed to start at the beginning of the month. It was a short lived, people only had from April 15th to April 18th to submit their information. But, if you has already decided that you were going to enter for a shot at being able to attend the conference, then it was more than enough time to take care of business and get yourself signed up.

The tickets for the even were priced at $900 for developers and regular attendees, and $300 for students of accredited schools with a proper ID. Charges have already started hitting the winners Google Wallet accounts. The Google I/O conference will be held at the Moscone West in San Francisco, California, where Google is known for holding most of their events. Rumors have started that their big speeches and announcements will be centered around Android Wear, Google Glass, and a possible new Android build that has been rumored for some time. At every event, we always expect to see some new Android devices, or a new version of the operating system, but this year could be a lot different with the world of wearables expanding at such a fast pace.

If you have been selected to be able to go to the event, or if you haven’t checked yet, make sure you check your Gmail account and your Google Wallet account. If you were selected, then your account has likely been charged, or will be very soon. This huge, two day event has always been a wonderful and exciting time for anyone interested in Google products and for professionals to interact and network. This year is sure to be one of the biggest and best Google events to date. If you were not selected, there will be many different online streams covering the whole thing, so make sure you tune in. You can also be sure that there will be lots covered right here, so make sure you check back!

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Apr 14

Google Is Now Offering Chrome Users Remote Access To Their PC’s Desktop On Android

How many times has this happened to you? You are driving to work and remember that the really important file that you needed for your presentation is still on your home computer. There is no way to access it without turning back, going home, and being late to work. It is arguably one of the most horrifying feelings in the world. Forgetting a flash drive. Leaving something un-transferred from your home computer. Thankfully, Google has come to the rescue this morning. Nothing says “that was close” like remote access to your home PC. That’s right, now Google is offering remote access to your computer via a special application.

The new app from Google is called “Chrome Remote Desktop App for Android” and does exactly what the name describes. You are granted remote access to your PC or Mac via any Android device, whether it be your mobile phone or tablet, it doesn’t matter.

Google recently launched an app like this, Chrome Remote Desktop, which was essentially a screen sharing service. It gave access to your desktop via other Chrome browsers not on your personal computer and other Chromebook users. This new mobile version is basically an extension of the main version.

The new mobile version, much like its big brother, needs a companion app to be installed on your desktop or laptop. You can find both the helper app and the mobile app within the Chrome Web Store. The apps work with Windows XP or higher, Linux computers, and even Apple OSX 10.6 or higher. When you’re installing the helper app, you’re installing it as an extension to Google Chrome and any other Chrome-based OS. Once you have your app installed, it’s all smooth sailing from there. You can open the app and get access to any computer you may need, as long as there is Google Chrome installed on the computer as well. Manage your computers, search for files, send files. Literally whatever you may need, your home desktop will be right there on your mobile device.

This usable Android app was bound to come sometime, as there was a working version of it out this past January. The only downside of the app usage back then was that it HAD to be compiled via source in order for it to work. Don’t worry iOS users, our version is coming soon as well. Mind you though, it’s a little bit further back than this app obviously, but it is coming.

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This new app service is essentially a more consumer-focused version of Amazon’s Workspaces software. Unfamiliar with this? It’s basically the same thing as the new Remote Desktop app from Google. The Workspaces software is geared more for business though. It grants access for any employee needing access to their work computers. The software also isn’t device sensitive. Should you be on your iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac computer, Andriod Tablet, Kindle Fire, or whatever, you can access your work computer. There were obviously specific goals in mind for Amazon upon implementing this software, mainly to make their tablets seem a bit more suitable for business use.

This new app is perfect for any kind of disaster you may have involving leaving files at home. It doesn’t even need to be just for the common businessman. Say your child left a file on the home computer. They can get access to it via their Android mobile device and then send it off to themselves. The fact that it is only Android device limited is a bit disheartening, but again, the iOS version is coming. Hopefully it will allow access via Apple mobile devices when it comes out as well.


Apr 14

Registration For Google I/O Is Now Open!

If you are a developer or fan of Google products in general, it’s time to get excited. Google IO is right around the corner, and registrations for 2014 are now being accepted. Google IO takes place in San Francisco at the Moscone West Convention Center on June 25th and 26th. If you are one of the people who is able to get out there and has a spare 900 bucks laying around, you can go ahead and sign up right now!

Generally, all hell breaks loose at registration time and people rush to buy up the super-limited amount of tickets that are available. It’s a dusty trail full of bad times, disappointment, and crying. But, this year is a little bit different. Instead of getting your hopes up and then being crushed, Google has put together a type of system that is kind of like a raffle. You sign up and submit your information between today and Friday, April 18th, and Google will randomly select applicants to be able to purchase passes and attend. The process is completely random, and although your hopes may still be crushed, knowing that you have the exact same chances as everyone else eases the pain a little bit more. Make sure that you have money ready, because if you get picked, your Google wallet will be charged immediately. Tickets are non-transferable once they are issued to you.

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To get in, you have to be at least 15 years of age. Anyone under the age of 18 will be required to show a signed parental consent form or have a parent or guardian with you when you check in. Anyone who is a student or staff member at an accredited high school or college can get a $300 discount on their ticket, but you will be required to show a proper school ID along with the standard form of identification required for everyone to have at the Google IO checkin. If you don’t bring your ID, they won’t let you in at all, and no refunds will be given. If you do need a refund in advance, the cut-off date is June 1st.

If you aren’t one of the lucky people to win this Google lottery, or you simply don’t have the funds to attend, you can always catch up on all of the live streams and recorded videos that will be coming out of the event. There will also be tons of news and updates posted on the web during the event, and I’m quite sure that a lot of it will even be covered right here. Until then, you can hype yourself up and get ready by checking out all of the cool stuff on the Google IO website.

Apr 14

Zebra Technologies Has Just Bought Motorola’s Enterprise Unit For $3.45 Billion In Cash

This business world can tend to be a bit ruthless. Anyone who watches the news or keeps up on the stock market will tell you that. Many of the worlds largest corporations have seen their share of stock increases, bankruptcies, and buyouts. Obviously there is usually a reason behind. Most of the time, a larger company will come and make an offer to the owner of the company to either merge, or take on the company while still maintaining its name and identity. Usually the company that is being bought will have to be suffering in terms of sales for another company to take notice and/or for the company being bought to agree to the terms of the contract.

As of now, that is exactly what is happening to Motorola. When you hear the name of that company, you probably think of the Motorola Razor phone’s. Mainly due to the fact that it was the iPhone back in the day. In terms of social status at least. Zebra Technologies has decided to buy the Motorola enterprise unit of the company, for a very nice $3.45 billion… in cash.

If you’re unaware of what Zebra Technologies specializes in, they work in anything involving kiosks, barcodes, receipts, RFID printer, and basically any other type of business supply like that. The company administers special tracking technology for large name companies around the world. Anything from helping companies like FedEx and Amazon keep track of merchandise shipped, to developing tech that helps track human statistics for athletic training purposes. Zebra Technologies claims that it creates technology that allows for customers to “take smarter actions”and are able to “provide greater visibility into mission-critical information”. While, yes, Motorola has recently been more involved with the tablet market instead of the many of their other mobile devices that they are more known for, have also sold barcode scanners as well. Since barcode scanners are one of the many business tech supplies that Zebra Technologies specializes in, it would only make sense for the company to buy the enterprise unit to expand the business.

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Even with the expanse in business, one would think that Motorola was still able to maintain itself for a bit longer. There had to be another reason for the acquisition of the company right? Well here is where things may start to make more sense. All of the technologies are a part of  something called the “Internet of Things”, or IoT. The IoT is essentially a way to keep track of all of the physical merchandise that companies ship out by networking and connecting them through the internet. Back in 2013, Zebra Technologies launched a separate unit of business specifically designed to help businesses become more acclimated to the use of IoT to improve business productivity and operations. The unit was called Zebra Zatar. Since Zebra Technologies is directly involved with the Internet of Things, and all of its products help maintain the IoT’s stability, taking on Motorola’s enterprise unit may make more sense seeing as how they are involved with barcode scanners, which help keep track of physical goods for companies.

This wasn’t the first time that Zebra has bought a company with straight cash. This past December, Zebra took on, and bought Hart Systems for $94 million in cash as well. Hart Systems provides a cloud based inventory management system used by business to help keep track of stock. Again, also the perfect way to keep the IoT in line.


Apr 14

MacBook Air Rentals For Traveling Business Professionals

When it comes to the perfect travel companion laptop, you’d be hard pressed to find a product better than Apple’s MacBook Air. The MacBook Air is Apple’s thinnest, lightest and most portable laptop to date (as its name implies) and is easily carried in a satchel bag, backpack, laptop bag, briefcase or suitcase. MacBook Air rentals are perfect for the on the go business professional, especially one who is looking for a device that is both lightweight and powerful.

The MacBook Air itself is less than an inch thick, making it the thinnest and lightest laptop on the market today. But just because it’s thin and light doesn’t mean that it’s less powerful than your standard laptop. Quite the contrary actually. Apple’s MacBook Air features the latest generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, which allows for faster processing performance (up to 2.5x the previous generation). In addition to that, the MacBook Air also features Intel’s HD Graphics 3,000 processor, which delivers a much improved video playback experience.

Aside from the power on the inside the outside of the MacBook Air also has great external features. A multitouch trackpad that recognizes unique gestures is included along with a backlit keyboard, all flash storage, long lasting battery and a webcam.

Rentacomputer.com offers a lot of laptop rentals to mobile businessmen, trade show vendors and convention goers, though MacBook Air rentals are among the most popular. MacBook Air rentals allow you to have all the convenience and technology of a MacBook Air without the commitment of buying one. Renting a MacBook Air allows you to use a MacBook Air as long as you need it and then return it so you don’t waste a lot of money on something you may not need indefinitely.

Rentacomputer.com also handles every single facet of your MacBook Air rental. When you inquire about a rental all you have to do is decide which one you want, where you want it delivered and when you need it. Once you decide that, Rentacomputer.com will handle all the rest. RAC will make sure that your MacBook Air is delivered precisely where you want it and have it set up and waiting for you (if you so desire) by a local technician. In addition to that, that technician will also offer customer support for your entire rental period.

Once you’re done with your MacBook Air your technician will pick up your rental and return it, meaning you literally do not have to worry about any of the logistics whatsoever. All you have to do is show up and use your MacBook Air to your heart’s desire.

If you are looking for the most portable and powerful laptop on the market then you honestly can’t beat the MacBook Air. And if you are looking to use one for your next business trip, convention or trade show then renting one from Rentacomputer.com is the perfect solution. Inquire about a MacBook Air rental from a professional Tech Travel Agent at www.rentacomputer.com or by calling 1-800-7368772.

Apr 14

We May Soon Be Able To Fully Charge Our Mobile Devices In Less Than A Minute!

It may be one of the worst feelings in the world. Some might even say it’s scarier than watching the latest horror movie. We’ve all been there before. Typing that really long text message to someone, all while hoping that 1% or 2% will be enough to send the text without our phones dying. It’s happened way too many times than I can to remember. Our phones, tablets, and other mobile devices use a lot of battery life. Some activities will drain the battery a lot quicker than others obviously. If you are constantly streaming video or updating your Facebook and Twitter accounts, then obviously your mobile device is going to lose its battery life pretty quickly. There is no real way of stopping that aside from upgraded batteries from the company. Charging our devices may be a different story however.

Imagine the ability to have your phone or tablet die and NOT freak out. Doesn’t that sound amazing? We live in a world where our smartphones and tablets may as well become additional appendages to our bodies. We need our phones to survive these days. They are our life lines to the internet, our closest friends, and our families. While some may see a dependency on technology, the fact remains that you can walk down the street and even see some of the elderly using iPhones. There’s a reason for this. The landline is all but dead. We live on our phones. We live on social media. We live through texting. As sad as that may seem, it’s a fact. Because of this, we constantly need our phones or tablets charged. It’s all based off of connection and communication with others. One student from California, now a freshman at Harvard University, has been working to make something that may give us all a bit of comfort.

One Eesha Khare is using her intellect and Intel powered devices to help create a super capacitor charging device. By working with nanotechnology, Eesha has been able to create a carbon fiber with particular metal oxides that allow for a larger surface area to be covered when a device is hooked up to charge. This is smart people talk for, “This device is going to charge your other devices really, really, really fast”. How fast you may be wondering? Try less than a minute. When I charge my iPhone from death, it normally takes at least a solid 2 hours or more for it to reach a full charge. With Eesha’s new device (which is still currently in the developmental process), we may soon be able to charge our phones in less time than it takes to listen to a song. With as much as connectivity is important to us in our daily lives, having this device may become a necessity to us.

Eesha came up with the idea when her phone died, needed to contact her parents, and then had to learn to use a payphone. Needless to say, this is a prime example of how we take technology and its connective purposes for granted.

We live in a world that needs to stay connected. Thankfully Eesha is doing her best to help make that happens. Some battery lives are longer than others, and until this super capacitor energy storage device is able to be utilized properly, it may be a wish idea to invest, or at least rent, tech that holds longer battery life with sustained use.

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Apr 14

So You Want To Become A Google Glass Explorer? Now You Can!… For One Day.

 We’ve seen a few new devices begin to take the stage and cause a bit of a ruckus on the consumer market. Tablets are still going strong, with no signs of stopping. They’ve been high up on the totem pole for some time now, all thanks to the iPad. Now, smartwatches are starting to make the trudge up the tech mountain. With they still have a ways to go before they become anything spectacular, we can expect to see something great in the future for sure. One thing that has been continuously shrouded in mystery, but has had a multitude of people looking into it, is Google Glass. The entirety of the product has been shown in a few different models around the internet, with nothing really set in stone. Soon, however, you may be able to snag a pair to see up close, and use for yourself.

In case you are unaware, Google isn’t blind or deaf. What I mean by this, is that the company has seen just how many people are interested in using their new technology and seeing what it can offer them first hand. It seems as if everyone in the world was completely captivated when they saw the new gadget that Google had in store for everyone. Google event held a selective beta test just to satiate some people’s hunger for the new device. The selected beta team is naturally small with some pretty strict guidelines as well. This is to be expected with such a huge product coming from Google. Even with the beta, there was still so many applications to apply for the beta testing period, that Google decided to do something a bit crazy.

Thursday Google came up with an announcement that has a few people setting their alarms for April 15th. Google’s Google Glass Explorer program will actually be expanded to anyone in the U.S. The “smartglasses” are not yet available for retail yet, but come next week, you’ll be able to purchase your own pair of Google Glass and join the many that are already on their own Google Glass Explorer adventures. Google is reportedly “very interested” in the feedback of those who have not been able to join the Explorer program yet. So their solution is to make their product available with a free pair of shades or glasses frames, for one day only. The offer is slated to go up on April 15th at 6 AM. By going to the Google Glass home page, you can even set yourself up to get a reminder the day that they drop so that you can be sure to get your pair.

Note that Google has made it quite apparent that the spots in its program are pretty limited. It’s all about supply and demand right? Naturally, we can expect to see just about every pair of Google Glass being used in the Explorer program. The only downside is that, much like the way that Google has been secretive about their new product, the program has been kept secretive about how many people will be able to join in on the program.

The sheer number of people who constantly apply for the beta, coupled with how many people will be added to the Explorer program on April 15th, is only proving just how powerful Google’s influence could be. There have been a few videos of what the Google Glass can do already, but now a select few more will be able to experience it themselves. We should hopefully see the full product available later this year.

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Apr 14

An Unexpected Star Might Be Jumping Into The Smartwatch Development Gladiator Pit!

It’s a pretty standard thing to see tech companies releasing new devices. That’s what they do after all. They create, develop, and distribute. They are very good at what they do. Every once in a blue moon, however, we will see a company that typically has nothing to do with mobile devices, or any tech period, jump into the fray. They may develop something completely different than what is popular on the market today, or they may jump in with their own version of what’s currently selling everywhere. Then you have the metaphorical “unicorn”, if you will. When some celebrity jumps into the tech game and does their best to create something to compete with other companies. Wouldn’t you know it? It’s happening right now.

Will.I.Am has been known as well known tech enthusiast, but he has a surprise for everyone. Smartwatches are still trying to make headway with all of the setbacks that have been seen through multiple releases. The first Galaxy Gear anyone? Even with all of the less-than-amazing hype surround most smartwatch releases, the pop music performer and producer has a smartwatch for us all

The new smartwatch shown off by Will.I.Am on a UK talk show had him bragging a bit about what the new watch could do.

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The first was arguably the biggest bragging right. While most, if not all, smartwatches require a phone companion for the device to work properly, his did not. His watch IS the phone. This is where Samsung may want to take some notes from mister Will.I.Am. Upon stating this fact, he proceeded to show the host of the talk show how exactly it happens. A few taps on the device on his wrist and you could hear the tones from all of the number buttons that you would on a normal phone. After he wowed the crowd that way, Will then went on to play one of his songs directly from the watch itself. He said that he works out with it and can even connect it to wireless Bluetooth headphones.  Needless to say, everyone in the crowd was blown away and cheering during the entirety of the showcase.

Here is where things got a little interesting. Will.I.Am made the claim that he invested his personal money into the watch itself, and had it developed with his own money as well. All funding came directly from him to create the new device sitting pretty on his arm. There were a few tweets from the superstar claiming that the release of the smartwatch could be seen around some time in July of this year. Odd to hear as usually rumors of tech are pretty well circulated through the internet super highway.

Much like how Dr. Dre took over the headphone battle with the introduction of his Beats by Dre, we might be seeing Smartwatch by Will.I.Am sooner rather than later. The simple fact that Will.I.Am. was able to show his smartwatch working as an independent phone should be enough to get anyone noticing. He didn’t go into any specs, nor has there been anything heard or talked about over the internet. At least, not yet. Smartwatches are still struggling to make their way to where the tablets have made it, but this could be the jump start that the device has been looking for.

See the video here!


Apr 14

Apple Has Siri? Well, Microsoft Has Cortana!

logo-msFor what seems like almost a decade, Apple has been the leading competitor for all things tech. They’ve done a pretty good job at staying on top and keeping one of their biggest competitors, Microsoft, at bay. It’s not like Microsoft hasn’t made any attempts to compete or even knock Apple off their pedestal. They’ve made some pretty valiant efforts, even when dealing with mobile tech (which Apple is still currently dominating, by the way). The fact that the company has continued to push its own line of mobile products, from tablets, to phones, to laptops and more, says a lot about how hard Microsoft is fighting back. There have been a few things that Apple has been able to stay a leg up on in comparison to Microsoft. For example, our good friend Siri. Siri has been a friend to Apple users since the days of the 4S, but now Microsoft has their own assistant.

Everyone, it is time to meet Cortana. No, not the same Cortana involved with Master Chief and our friends from Halo, but Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s Siri.

Cortana aims to succeed at some of the things Siri has “failed” at, or isn’t that good at. For starters, Cortana intends to develop a relationship with her user. How is this possible, you may wonder? Well, Cortana will actually learn more about you the more you utilize her. Almost like playing an RPG where you continue to level up your character. The more you use Cortana, the more relevant and accurate she will be with your searches.

Siri can post a reminder for you, and that’s all well and good, but Cortana is a bit more personal with you. You can say something along the lines of “Hey, the next time I speak with Jessie, remind me to ask her about her vacation”. At this point, Cortana will make sure to remind you no matter what form of communication you use, as long as it’s done on the phone itself. She works well with navigation also. Need to remember to pick up that wrench from the tool store? Cortana will remind you.

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Ms. Cortana is also a bit better with speech recognition. When talking with Siri, even in dead quiet, she may not be able to understand you. I should know, as this happens to me quite a bit. Cortana can actually pick up on your specific voice even in a crowded room of people and can distinguish it from the ambient noise around you. While her use of certain kinds of punctuation might not be the most keen, the fact that you won’t have to repeat yourself 14 times makes up for it.

Cortana has her own notebook as well. Think of it as an open journal shared between you and her. It’s where Cortana will actually gather her information on you based solely off of things like searches, types of phone usage, and even down to how much time you spend in traffic. This, all in an attempt to make things easier for you, the user.

Some may consider this to be a bit weird, and even I have my speculations. Having an AI assistant learn more about me as I use her sounds cool at first, but may seem a bit creepy as well. Either way, we will find out how well she works when the beta drops later this year with other Windows phones.


Mar 14

Apple’s Idea To Make Texting While Walking Easier

Have you ever been in the middle of an important situation, and had an important text to send at the same time? Sometimes, texting can’t wait. If you have ever been walking and texting at the same time and tripped, ran into something, or made yourself look like a clown in some other way, you’ll appreciate Apple’s new idea.

On Thursday, the US Patent and Trademark Office published a new patent by the name of “Transparent Texting”. The new patent tells of a feature that would capture and display video images of everything around and ahead of you continuously using your phone’s rear facing camera. You would be able to text while seeing everything because the display would be transparent. You would literally be able to see everything in the background while you are texting away.

The transparent screen might also include the little bubbles that display your texts and iMessages so that you can see even more of the environment around you. The text of course, would not be transparent, so you will be able to read just fine.

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This all might seem a little bit ridiculous to you, as it sounds slightly ridiculous to me. First of all, I do know and understand that sometimes there are very important things that can’t wait. But, I never thought that it would turn into this big of a deal. I don’t think that it is completely necessary, as most people have adapted pretty well and have the ability to text while on the move. And I don’t think that people will be able to pay attention to the video or “transparent display” while they text anyway.

Overall, it’s still a pretty neat idea. Even if it isn’t going to be life changing or anything, at least it will look cool and make you feel more important than you really are. Everyone needs a self esteem booster every now and again to keep us going.