Google Expands Access to its Educational VR Field Trip App

Google has released a beta Android app for its Google Expeditions Pioneer Program that allows educators to bring their students on a virtual reality field trip. The VR content includes immersive educational experiences in locations such as Machu Picchu, Mars, the Great Barrier Reef and Buckingham Palace. Students use Google Cardboard headsets to view the content while the teacher can use a tablet to guide their students through the location and monitor where each student is looking. Continue reading Google Expands Access to its Educational VR Field Trip App

Fossil’s New Smartwatches Mimic Design of Analog Watches

Some traditional watch companies are taking a different approach to the wearables market than the tech companies that have joined the competition in recent years. Instead of manufacturing smartwatches with all of the bells and whistles of today’s smartphones, traditional watchmakers like Fossil are making wearables that look more like traditional analog watches. These devices only have basic fitness tracking and notification features, but they may be the key to helping wearables go mainstream. Continue reading Fossil’s New Smartwatches Mimic Design of Analog Watches

Verizon Plans to Test 5G Network Technology in U.S. in 2016

Verizon is already developing a 5G cellular network, the next generation of wireless technology following 4G LTE. Chief financial officer Fran Shammo says the company plans to launch the first 5G network in the U.S. Verizon hopes to begin trials of the 5G network as early as this year, but the technology probably won’t be widely available until 2020. Verizon says the 5G network is different from the LTE network because 5G is designed to accommodate demands of the Internet of Things. Continue reading Verizon Plans to Test 5G Network Technology in U.S. in 2016

Study: Marketers Losing Billions to Fraudulent Online Ad Traffic

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) recently conducted a study that found that marketers are continuing to lose money to bots, the computer programs that create fraudulent Web traffic by mimicking human Web browsing habits. Despite efforts to inform marketers about the dangers of bots, the level of fraud remains relatively unchanged from the previous year. The authors of the study estimate that companies could lose more than $7 billion globally this year because of it. Continue reading Study: Marketers Losing Billions to Fraudulent Online Ad Traffic

Gartner: Overall Spending on CE Devices Projected to Decline

Market research firm Gartner is forecasting a decline for CE device spending in 2016. While end-user sales are expected to inch up less than 2 percent this year, overall spending on devices like PCs, tablets and mobile devices will decline, according to the researcher. This decrease, the first since Gartner started tracking the market in 2010, is largely due to the falling price of phones. In markets like China, consumers are opting for basic models of smartphones rather than upgrading to higher-end devices. Continue reading Gartner: Overall Spending on CE Devices Projected to Decline

Facebook Sports Stadium Hosts Live Game Stats, Commentary

Facebook launched a new section of its website devoted to live updates from big sports events. The Facebook Sports Stadium is a combination of live game data from Sportradar, play-by-play updates, and commentary from both verified experts and regular Facebook friends. This new sports hub is designed for sports fans to use while they are watching games on television. Currently, many of the social conversations surrounding live TV events are taking place on Twitter. Continue reading Facebook Sports Stadium Hosts Live Game Stats, Commentary

Uber is Bringing its New Meal Delivery Service to 10 U.S. Cities

Ride-hailing service Uber is expanding its new meal delivery service to 10 U.S. cities in the coming weeks. People in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Austin, Washington DC, San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, Seattle and Dallas will be able to order food from dozens of local restaurants through a dedicated UberEats app and have an Uber driver deliver the meal. UberEats will have longer hours of operation than Uber’s existing lunchtime-only food delivery service in these cities. Continue reading Uber is Bringing its New Meal Delivery Service to 10 U.S. Cities

Valve Upgrades to 100Gbps Internet Ports For Gaming Traffic

Valve’s popular Internet gaming platform Steam hosts some of today’s largest online games. “Dota 2” alone has more than 870,000 concurrent players in a single day. To keep up with the increasingly heavy traffic, Valve is working with Level 3 Communications to install a network infrastructure with 100Gbps Internet ports. Standard game downloads are generally about 10 to 40 gigabytes, but because the site averages more than 10 million concurrent players, massive bandwidth is necessary. Continue reading Valve Upgrades to 100Gbps Internet Ports For Gaming Traffic

Banks Make Changes to Adapt to Today’s Mobile Technologies

As a growing number of consumers, particularly millennials, access financial services on their smartphones, traditional banks are struggling to keep up with new competitors. Major tech companies, from Apple to Snapchat, have entered the consumer banking industry, along with a wide variety of financial tech startups. Banks like Citigroup have formed new partnerships and departments for developing more mobile-friendly banking services as Americans’ banking habits continue to evolve. Continue reading Banks Make Changes to Adapt to Today’s Mobile Technologies

Microsoft Developing a Classroom Edition of ‘Minecraft’ Game

The building-block game “Minecraft” may make its way into classrooms next fall. Microsoft is planning to launch a classroom version of the game, which will allow teachers to create custom challenges and track students’ progress on their building projects. This new version of “Minecraft” would be based on “MinecraftEdu,” a spinoff of the original game that was sold to Microsoft last year. Microsoft plans to charge $5 per student annually for the classroom version of the game. Continue reading Microsoft Developing a Classroom Edition of ‘Minecraft’ Game

New Roller Coaster at UK Theme Park Utilizes VR Headset

The Alton Towers theme park in the United Kingdom will open a new attraction this spring that combines the movement of a roller coaster and the immersive experience of a VR headset. The ride is called Galactica and it is designed to make riders feel like astronauts. People will climb into the seats, put on the headset, and go on a space journey complete with real g-forces and visuals that exaggerate the movement of the coaster. The “world’s first virtual reality roller coaster” will open in April. Continue reading New Roller Coaster at UK Theme Park Utilizes VR Headset

People Can’t Get Enough of the Peach Social Network App

It looks like the next big thing in the world of mobile apps could be yet another social network and messaging service. Peach allows users to share statuses, pictures, locations, GIFs and songs. People can also like their friends’ posts and send each other emojis. It sounds very similar to every other social networks available today, but due to Peach’s functionality and short-cut feature for sharing, it has caught the interest of early adopters. The app, which was created by Vine founder Dom Hofmann, is growing so fast that it crashed last week. Continue reading People Can’t Get Enough of the Peach Social Network App

Cisco Reveals Unauthorized Cloud Usage Trend in Companies

Cisco released new data that shows some companies may not know the extent of their employees’ usage of external cloud computing services, instead of the employer’s in-house cloud services. The practice of using systems inside organizations without approval is called “Shadow IT.” According to Cisco, there is 70 percent more Shadow IT activity than there was six months ago. Cisco gathered the data by surveying CIOs and running software that could track cloud activity. Unauthorized cloud usage could pose serious security threats. Continue reading Cisco Reveals Unauthorized Cloud Usage Trend in Companies

SoundCloud Strikes New Licensing Deal with Universal Music

Streaming music site SoundCloud will now have access to the Universal Music catalog, including songs from artists like The Weeknd, Sam Smith and U2. The licensing agreement allows Universal Music artists to make money from the advertising on SoundCloud when their songs are played. SoundCloud already has licensing agreements with other music companies, including Merlin and Warner Music Group. The company said it would also introduce a paid streaming subscription service this year. Continue reading SoundCloud Strikes New Licensing Deal with Universal Music

ESPN.com Debuts eSports Vertical Dedicated to Video Gaming

ESPN launched a new vertical on its website to cover all things related to competitive gaming, including news articles, event coverage, profiles of prominent eSports figures, and analysis. The network started broadcasting professional video game tournaments in 2014 and released a special edition of ESPN The Magazine focusing on eSports in 2015. The success of those projects helped spur the launch of the new vertical, which currently covers popular games such as “League of Legends.” Continue reading ESPN.com Debuts eSports Vertical Dedicated to Video Gaming

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