Aereo Launches in Boston Area, Streamlines Pricing Plans

Live TV streaming service Aereo launches in Boston today, with plans to launch in the Atlanta area next month. The controversial service, which started in New York City, is scheduled to expand to 22 markets by the end of this year. The Atlanta launch will reach 55 counties across Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina. Additionally, Aereo has announced a simplified pricing structure that eliminates the previous $1 daily and $80 annual plans. Continue reading Aereo Launches in Boston Area, Streamlines Pricing Plans

New Products and Updates: Google I/O Kicks Off Tomorrow

Google’s I/O developers conference kicks off tomorrow with a three-hour keynote from the Moscone Center in San Francisco. During the three-day event, the company is expected to announce an update to its Android mobile operating system and an updated version of its 7-inch Nexus 7 tablet (and possibly a new 11-inch model), while there has been speculation that Google may also unveil a new smartphone from Motorola, a new design for Google Maps, new Chrome features and more. Continue reading New Products and Updates: Google I/O Kicks Off Tomorrow

Will ORBX Codec Turn the Web into Platform for All Apps?

Mozilla and rendering firm OTOY have developed a new codec that is designed to stream cloud-stored apps, video content and more directly to browsers. The JavaScript-based system opens up possibilities of running native PC apps on any connected device, purchasing and protecting content without DRM, and embracing HTML5 rather than relying on proprietary or legacy plug-ins. The creators also see it as a means of combating piracy.

Continue reading Will ORBX Codec Turn the Web into Platform for All Apps?

Tech Giants Battle to Control Evolving Mobile Experience

According to the Wall Street Journal, there is no doubt that the smartphone is the current, dominant computing device. Just consider the numbers: Nearly 700 million smartphones were shipped worldwide last year, according to Strategy Analytics. That’s nearly twice as many PC shipments. And it was only a few years ago that PCs were atop that statistic. Now people are using smartphones for a wide variety of functions. Continue reading Tech Giants Battle to Control Evolving Mobile Experience

Google is About More Than Just Search and Smartphones

While Google is best known for its powerful Web search engine, Android mobile operating system and acquisition of YouTube in 2006, it also offers lesser-known, but impressive services. From exploration to academia to art and much more, Google’s online products and services aim to inform users, improve lives and make them more secure. Business Insider lists 11 Google initiatives you may never knew existed. Continue reading Google is About More Than Just Search and Smartphones

Google Reveals Mobile Strategy with Android Restructuring

Google announced that Andy Rubin, who has overseen the Android mobile operating system since 2004, will step down from his position. The announcement is the latest development in Google’s broad master plan for mobile. In Rubin’s place will be Sundar Pichai, the current head of Google’s Chrome Web browser and Chrome OS project, suggesting a future union between Android and Chrome. Continue reading Google Reveals Mobile Strategy with Android Restructuring

Google Takes Next Step to Dominate Retail with Acquisition

Google’s purchase this month of Channel Intelligence, a data management platform for retailer inventory, suggests that Google has plans to become the dominant player in global e-commerce. In the U.S. alone, that market is already worth $186 billion. The $125 million deal will not only impact Google’s ad business, but underscores the company’s strategy to work its way into the retail market, starting with e-commerce websites. Continue reading Google Takes Next Step to Dominate Retail with Acquisition

Will Google Look to Compete with its Own Retail Stores?

According to 9to5Google, an “extremely reliable source” has confirmed that Google plans to build standalone retail stores in the U.S., with major metropolitan area flagship outlets opening in time for the holidays by the end of this year. The goal is to get new Google Nexus, Chrome and other upcoming products into the hands of customers, similar to the approach taken by competitors Apple and Microsoft. Continue reading Will Google Look to Compete with its Own Retail Stores?

Disney and Google Launch Stunning Immersive Chrome Project

Google and Disney have teamed with UK app and Web developer Unit 9 to launch a Chrome Experiment to promote Disney’s upcoming film, “Oz the Great and Powerful.” Wired describes it as “Hollywood marketing machine meets tech evangelism in the future of online storytelling.” The project illustrates “the sort of immersive experiences possible when using Web technologies such as WebGL, CSS3, WebAudio, WebRTC, and other HTML5 tools.” Continue reading Disney and Google Launch Stunning Immersive Chrome Project

Tim Bajarin Details Top Six Tech Trends Expected in 2013

Industry analyst Tim Bajarin offers his perspective on the leading tech trends we can expect in the coming year. Bajarin, who has been writing an end-of-the-year prediction column for 23 years (and says he has been “reasonably successful”), predicts some interesting developments, including: Augmented Reality going mainstream, increased consumer attention for Google’s Chromebook, a new interest in hybrids and convertibles from IT managers, a dramatic increase in mobile malware, and more. Continue reading Tim Bajarin Details Top Six Tech Trends Expected in 2013

Browser Evaluation: Is Google Chrome Superior to Internet Explorer?

  • Although only 13 percent of Internet users have chosen Google Chrome thus far, Digital Trends makes a compelling argument why the browser may be a step above competitors such as Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera.
  • The author believes Chrome is a leader in speed, compatibility and Web page rendering — and credits the V8 JavaScript engine for the browser’s superior performance.
  • “Chrome remains the unchallenged performance leader. Peacekeeper browser benchmark scores for Chrome are much higher than they are for other browsers — in fact, when compared to IE9, the latest version can almost double Internet Explorer’s score.”
  • The post includes tips for installing Chrome, understanding the interface, helpful shortcuts, bookmarking and downloads, security and privacy settings and more.
  • “It’s an impressive suite, and generally better than what other browsers offer by default,” suggests Digital Trends. “But some of its biggest advantages — such as its speed — are only apparent after using the browser for a few minutes.”

Convenience vs. Security: Google Chrome Syncs Multiple Browser Profiles

  • Google announced this week the beta release of Chrome, which “enables users to sync different accounts across multiple computers,” reports ReadWriteWeb. “This allows more than one person to sign into Chrome on a shared computer and have access to all their browser data. It also enables one person to have different Chrome profiles with different email addresses, e.g. work and personal, that can all be accessed from any computer by logging in.”
  • Chrome already syncs personal settings such as bookmarks, extensions and passwords to a user’s account, but the new beta “makes it possible to use multiple Chrome accounts on any copy of the browser.”
  • Google acknowledges this feature provides convenience at the cost of privacy.
  • The Google blog notes that it “isn’t intended to secure your data against other people using your computer,” since “all it takes is a couple of clicks to switch between users.”

Google Announces New Dart Programming Language for Web Apps

  • Google unveiled an early preview version of its Dart programming language this week, which engineer Lars Bak of the Dart Team describes as “a class-based optionally typed programming language for building web applications.”
  • Bak writes on the Google Code blog that Dart has three design goals: 1) “Create a structured yet flexible language for web programming,” 2) “Make Dart feel familiar and natural to programmers and thus easy to learn,” and 3) “Ensure that Dart delivers high performance on all modern web browsers and environments ranging from small handheld devices to server-side execution.”
  • Google has made its language and preliminary development tools available as open source via dartlang.org, with code the company suggests will be “executable via a native virtual machine or on top of a JavaScript engine that translates Dart code to JavaScript,” reports The Next Web.
  • According to Google: “This means you can write a web application in Dart and have it compiled and run on any modern browser. The Dart VM is not currently integrated in Chrome but we plan to explore this option.”

Google+ is Google Itself: Social Network will be Identity Platform

  • Google intends for Google+ to become an identity platform for its other services such as Android, Chrome and YouTube to develop an “understanding of who you are,” Brad Horowitz, VP of product told Wired magazine.
  • “This comes on the heels of comments that Google chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt made earlier this year about how Google+ was intended to be an ‘identity service’ for other projects and services that the company either had in place or was planning to launch,” reports GigaOM. “It wasn’t clear exactly what Schmidt meant by those remarks at the time, but putting them together with Horowitz’s comments, it sounds like Google wants to make Google+ the central repository of everything it knows about you.”
  • GigaOM compares Google’s desire to “aggregate as much as it can about you and your interests via all the services it offers” to Facebook’s recent improvements in accumulating data through social apps and “frictionless” sharing.
  • The article contends that “all of this social-activity data and these ‘social signals’ are crucial information that Google needs not only to make its search better — since socially-influenced search is becoming a larger and larger part of how people find things online — but to make its advertising more targeted as well. Google’s giant market share in online advertising has been built on the back of its understanding of ‘intent’ when it comes to search, and without access to the Twitter firehose and Facebook’s walled garden, Google has to effectively create its own sandbox for social activity.”

Google Releases Chrome 14 with Native Client and OS X Lion Support

  • Google recently announced that Chrome 14 offers a number of interesting new updates as well as 32 bug fixes. The new revision to Chrome went out to users of the Web browser just before the weekend.
  • “One such update adapts Chrome to the Mac OS X Lion scroll bar style that appears when scrolling up and down the page,” explains Digital Trends. “Chrome is also now compatible with Lion’s full-screen mode.”
  • Among the other new features: browser updates that automatically download and install, a new Web Audio API that allows developers to mix sound sources within a three dimensional space, and Native Client support that allows developers to run C and C++ Web apps within a secure part of the browser.
  • And Digital Trends reports additional changes are on the way: “While testers in the Chromium channel are already playing with Chrome 16, the next version of the popular Web browser will bring more end-user upgrades than Chrome 14. The most significant upgrade within Chrome 15 are three options at the bottom of a new tab. When a new tab is launched, users can switch between most visited sites, apps and bookmarks.”

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