Over the past few months, Google has been incredibly active. The company has had comical auction bids, several rounds of product closures, as well as a visual redesign of current products and launches of new products. This has all been since co-founder Larry Page's return to the company in an attempt to make Google profitable and relevant again.
The latest Google product to fall victim to the redesigned interface is Google Reader. This one won't just be a refresh to make it look like the rest of Google - there will be a lot of features removed, and some new ones added. On the list of things going is: friends, Reader sharing and favoriting (starring). You also will not be able to share subscriptions with friends (partially because friends are going away). All of these features will be replaced by integrations of the Google + brands; the +1 button and Google+ social networking.
How does Google plan to handle the inevitable objections? Hit the break ot find out.
We all know that the era of hard drives is coming to an end, replaced by the quicker, more power-efficient solid state drives. Between a technology shift and a number of conspiracies and scandals, Samsung and Hitachi have decided to close up shop on their hard drive businesses and sell them off to the competition.
The problem here is that the competition is few and far between. In fact, as of right now, there are only 4 companies manufacturing hard drives: Hitachi, Samsung, Western Digital and Seagate. Because of this, Western Digital has agreed to purchase Hitachi's business for $4.3 billion and Seagate will pickup Samsung's business for $1.375 billion. Clearly the, now, big 2 believe there is still enough of a market to shell out a combined $5.675 billion to lock-in the industry.
Why would they spend the money instead of just letting these guys fail? Hit the break to find out.
Isn't your new HDTV exciting? All of those 1920 pixels of amazingness makes watching television and movies fun again, right? Well, I have some news for you that you should NOT tell to your TV. The ITU Study Group on Broadcasting Service has announced that thye have come to an agreement on most of the specs on what Ultra High Definition Television (UHDTV) will be.
In case you haven't been following the UHDTV discussions, UHDTV is the equivalent of a 33 megapixel photo. When compared to current HDTV, which is the equivalent of a 2 megapixel photo, the picture will have more than 16 times the precision. The added pixels will make for higher clarity, for sure, but will also make the possibility of high-quality glasses-free 3D video a reality, since 3D requires more pixels than standard video. It should also allow for wider viewing angles.
When can we expect to see this in action and when will it be widely accepted? Hit the break to find out.
I would imagine that by now everyone has heard about Apple's iPhone 4s, and its acquired voice command software, Siri. Siri has been such a hit that Android developer Dextra has released a new app for Android entitled Iris. The company obviously has a great sense of humor because the name is an anagram, which stands for Intelligent Rival Imitation of Siri and is, itself, Siri spelled backwards.
All of the fun being poked at Apple aside, the software itself is a lot more fun than Siri. While Iris may not be as productive, she certainly can hold a conversation like no other artificial intelligence, Smarter Child included. Rather than trying to schedule an alarm when you say something, Iris will respond with appropriate conversational responses. For example, "How much wood could a woodchuck chuck" results in "A woodchuck could chuck as much wood as a woodchuck could chuck obviously." Even her response to "Who are you" is met with a joke about Siri.
Sure, using voice to do calculations between cities and such is fun, it is definitely not the productive, useful system that Siri is. If you have an Android phone and enjoyed interacting with Smarter Child and his friends on AIM, give this app a try. If you're looking for something to be productive, however, you might want to look elsewhere.
If you do try it out, let us know your favorite conversation in the comments section.
From their announcement of a possible IPO a couple of months ago to looking for a new suitor, Zynga has been trying to expand from being just the "Facebook game company." This week, the company decided to officially say that it will be transitioning into a self-sustained machine that will no longer be tied as strongly to Facebook as it was before. Instead, Zynga will start to sell its line of games straight to online or mobile platform users.
With an IPO that could make the company worth $20 billion, Zynga is looking to directly impact the 230+ million monthly users who play their games on Facebook. We have more on Zynga's "it's not you, it's me" attitude after the break.
Given the prolonged economic downtown the U.S. has been experiencing since 2007 it comes as a surprise to me that a Lithuanian company called Etronika not only seems to have their mind on their money and their money on their mind but also wants to make money fun, like Monopoly, by associating it with Kinect for the Xbox 360.
At CTIA, the International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications, this week, Etronika showed off their new Kinect banking application by demoing that it can do all the things you would expect a banking application to do: like transfer money between accounts, view statements for credit/debit cards on file, pay bills, monitor exchange rates and the like. They also showed that you can transfer information from your Xbox 360 to your smartphone with the flick of a wrist... pretty cool. Check out the attached video to see for yourself how Etronika might have single handedly solved the U.S. financial crisis.