Google Nexus Stronger Than Apple iPad?

Google Nexus is the first tablet designed to compete against the Amazon Kindle and Apple iPad.  It is extremely light (336g) and thin (10.9mm). Small enough to hold it in one hand at only 7 inches as well as put it in your pocket but large enough to compete against other tablets. BUT! Is it tough enough to stand up to the Apple iPad?

If you are not familiar with the Google Nexus it recently came out (but is now currently out of stock). It comes with a lot of features for less than $200. Built by Asus, the tablet is designed with a 1200 x 800 HD backlit IPS display with 216 pixels per inch onto the screen. It utilizes a micro-USB port and 3.5mm headphone jack. Inside, the Nexus sports a magnetometer, an accelerometer, a GPS chip and a gyroscope. This chip and gyroscope is timed well with Google Maps’ new offline mode for navigating when there isn’t Wi-Fi around.

However, the biggest feature and the reason why this tablet already has sold out is the Android Jelly Bean update standard for all Google Nexus tablets as well as the Tegra 3 processor and 1GB of RAM. Google Nexus is sold in both 8GB and 16GB.

A test was conducted between the Google Nexus and the Apple iPad to see which tablet was stronger. The categories: Drop test and Water test.

In the Drop Test the Google came out the champion with no scratches to the screen whereas the iPad suffered considerable screen damage.

In the Water Test Nexus was again stronger being able to function after being submerged in the bathtub filled with water. The iPad also functioned after the dunk test, but lost all sound capability.

Now we know that the Nexus is physically stronger we will soon find out from users if the Nexus surpasses the iPad in functionality and features.

I have heard a lot of chatter that people are enjoying the features and functionalities of the Nexus, its petit size has also drawn a lot of users. Apple has addressed that issue by announcing a mini iPad (at around 7 inches) to roll out in 3rd or 4th quarter.

What are your thoughts? As an iPad user, will you make the switch? For those of you who already have an Nexus what do you think of it?

 

 

 

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Twist – Automatically Tells People When You’re Running Late

Do you hate it when you arrive on time but your other party is late? Or you are the one running late and feel terrible that you are making your other party wait? A new app called Twist has just arrived to solve that problem. This location-based app is able to notify friends, family or colleagues when you are going to arrive at a specific location.

Twist offers a very simplistic tool to accomplish multiple tasks:Track a person’s location, get directions, share photos, send messages, get venue and weather details. However, where this app really stands out is being able to eliminate the “where are you?” texts or “what time are you coming” texts and phone calls by showing that person’s location as well as ETA. This provides users to utilize the time wisely. This is also very useful when you are running late to a meeting and have to send texts apologizing while speed walking or worse driving to the appointment location. With Twist, it sends it automatically for you, even if the recipient doesn’t have the app, they will send the notification via text or email. Now that is nifty.

How Twist Works:

First you create new journeys called “Twists”. Enter an address or name of the place that you are heading to, choose your friends you want to share the twist with and specify the means of transport (car, bus, foot, bike). There are many adjustments like whether you want your friends to receive a departure notification, an arrival notification, location tracking, or all three. Of course it is not complete with the ability to share your “twist” on Facebook or Twitter.  After you have create a Twist, it will estimate how long your destination will take you. Once you start on your journey the background location tracking will actually start as it knows when you commence your trip.

As I mentioned above Twist also comes with the ability to share photos and get access to Yelp reviews as well as Google Street views of your destination. Everything on Twist is private, shared only among your friends on the particular Twist. I think the photos are a nice touch, if you are going on a long trip.

Twist is Free to download currently only available on IOs. I like its ease of use and how relevant it can be for those that arrive late or early. However, I think an even cooler feature would be to be able to locate your friends without having to enter in a Twist and know when they are going to arrive. Like Google Latitude with an ETA estimate.

What are your thoughts on this new app? Would you use it instead of texting or calling when late for a meeting?

 

 

 

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Building a Website – If a Child Can Do It, Why Is It So Hard?

Websites are becoming so easy to do that even a child can create one. And many have. But how about the other greater percentage of the population that are no longer children. Building a website can be confusing and overwhelming. In addition, when we decide to make the plunge to create a website we have to pay upfront fees and then learn afterwards, often experiencing buyer’s remorse because we realized that we could have gotten a better deal if we had only known what to do beforehand. This is a true story, as I have a friend that came to me yesterday telling me she decided that she wanted to buy a website but had no idea what to do afterwards. I gave her some advice and helped her out because I felt so bad that she spent over $200 for a contract on a website domain name and hosting service.

After this incident I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be so much easier if there were a simple to read free website guide on how to build and create a website. I’ve come across blogs that try to explain website basics but they inundate you with so much information and so much text. I’m the type of person that wants something easy to read (pictures definitely help) with concise information that I can easily remember and take away with me.

In this free user guide I would want to see step by step the process of preparing and planning for a website and then of course the development and maintenance of a website.

Beneficial topics to discuss in a free guide:

  1. Hosting options – There are so many different types of hosting packages out there, knowing that these different packages exists and determining which package is best for you is vital
  2. Content and Design – I personally know that a bad website can really hurt a business. There are even websites that are dedicated to showcasing horrible websites. Speaking briefly about how the design and content should be organized would help those webmaster who are clueless on how to really engage a visitor through their website
  3. SEO – I think SEO is becoming more important, discussing in a user guide what SEO is and the benefits it provides as well as easy to follow tips to help people get started (because SEO can get super complicated) can really optimize a website and bring more traffic to their page.

These are just some ideas on topics people should be aware of before spending hundreds of dollars on a website package.

If you have any other ideas of helpful tips or topics to be aware of when deciding to build a website, I’d love to hear it!

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Graphene – The material that can repair itself and more!

Yes, you heard me correctly.  Scientists have discovered, among many other amazing characteristics, that this material is able to repair itself with the aid of carbon.

As talked about last year, Graphene is the material of the future. It has been stated that it is the most phenomenal material discovered in science, it is so thin it can be molded into sheets just 1 atom thick, but it is so strong that you can actually pick it up. It possesses the highest density at room temperature, and holds the record for conducting heat. It is also the most impermeable material that not even helium atoms (the smallest atoms known to man) can even fit through.

Now, thanks to a team of researchers at University of Manchester, UK which includes the co-discoverer of grapheme himself, Nobel Prize laureate Konstantin Novoselov, they have found that this material can actually perfectly fill the gaps within its sheets simply by injecting it with pure carbon.

They discovered this when trying to study the effects of adding metal contact strips to the graphene, however, they kept on poking holes, but they noticed that the carbon atoms stuck to the grapheme sheet and not only washed away any other metal molecules but also perfectly aligned in the gaps repairing the grapheme sheets.

That is a pretty amazing piece of material, but that’s not all. Other reports have said that they can use grapheme to desalinate water.  This is much less expensive than the huge desalination plants which costs a lot of money and energy. Thanks to M.I.T. researchers led by Jeffrey Grossman and David Cohen-Tanugi, they are able to do this through reverse osmosis. That means that a graphene membrane would provide well-defined channels that allow water molecules to flow through at lower pressures while blocking salt ions providing drinkable water.

 But if you don’t think that’s not impressive enough, in addition to everything I have just mentioned, grapheme also has the ability to boost artificial photosynthesis. Thanks to the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology,and Ewha Womans University, they have discovered that graphene coupled with a little porphyrin enzyme is highly functional in the visible light spectrum and highly efficient overall, making it the best suited candidate for an artificial photocatalyst found so far resulting in more plants!

This means a lot for the future, there is so many discoveries with this graphene material who knows what else it can provide to pave the way for a more efficient world including telecommunications.

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Work From Home – Telecommunication

I recently came across a forum post about an owner wanting to do away with the office and have his employees and him work from home. He wanted to transition to be as seamless as possible so that even though everyone is working at home, it will still be as easy as if everyone were in the same space. Luckily technology has enabled companies to have this type of lifestyle. I know for a fact that WordPress employees are from all over the world with no office locations.

Although this is a dream for many employees, there are many considerations that need to be taken into account.

How do you manage customer calls?

Usually if you are in an office, when a customer calls, you can easily transfer the call from one person to another since all the phones are on the same system. Unfortunately, it won’t be so simple if employees work from home.  Luckily there are Virtual Switchboard services that can allow the management of incoming customer calls without any hardware or software to install. For example, if you have a customer call your office phone number the virtual switchboard will route the call to landlines and mobile phones based on your specifications, that’s pretty nifty for people that work at home or are on the go. With this type of technology, you can have people from all over the world answering incoming calls.

How do you manage employee communication?

When you are at an office you can just walk over to someone or shout across the hallway to schedule a meeting or talk about daily tasks.  When you work at home, you are dependent on technology. Tools such as Skype, AIM, Conference Calling services and of course emails. These services allow you to conduct distance group meetings and allow you to keep in constant contact with your employees.

How do you ensure the same work ethic will be applied at one’s home?

This is probably the most difficult transition from working in the office to working at home. How to ensure your employees are working, having constant communication is always the key but also milestones for projects so that the employees. Of course use your best judgment when managing your employees from a distance. The increased freedom usually makes them more efficient when working at home.

There are many more considerations to take into account but I felt these three were the most important considerations. Do you have any that you feel should be included in the list? How would you implement a working at home company culture?

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Ouya the Next Generation Console

I hope you are excited as I am. I’m not even a gamer, but I can appreciate what this product is going to bring to the gaming industry. If you haven’t heard about it, don’t be surprised this product only exists as a prototype.

What is Ouya?

Ouya (prounounced like Booyah without the B) is an Android-powered open gaming console designed by Yves Behar, who also designed the One Laptop Per Child laptops.  I say “open” because usually game developers must get permission from the companies behind the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii and pay for expensive development kits to make games for those consoles. However, with Ouya developers won’t need to pass that hurdle. Instead, every Ouya will be its own development kit so developers won’t need to purchase a license or an additional software development kit. And it will be open to all kinds of developers, hackers and hobbyists.  What is even more impressive is this console will sell for under US$100.

I mentioned earlier that this product is not even on the market, as it’s only a prototype. However that won’t be for long. What I find pretty impressive is that Ouya was hoping to receive US$950,000 in 30 days on Kickstarter, which is funding platform for creative projects where people like you and me and investors can donate to a project’s fund, but instead received over US$3 million in over 2 days!!! That is super impressive. According to the Kickstarter blog, the Ouya project raised $1 million in pledges in its first eight hours — making it the fastest Kickstarter project to reach the million dollar mark. It definitely seems like there is a demand for this technology as so many developers are turning away from game console development and more towards mobile and social games. With Ouya, developers are able to come back to television worth game development. It shouldn’t be long before we start to see these consoles in shelves, the scheduled launch date is set for March 2013.

However, even with all this success there is a lot of doubt. Ouya will be equipped a Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal flash storage this is significantly less powerful than the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and even more so next generation games. In addition, with an open source console there is a concern on piracy.  Although there are doubts, it is pretty remarkable that Ouya received more than 24,000 backers in only two days. I guess we will have to wait until March 2013 to determine if this new console will give the traditional console giants a run for their money.

Would you help fund this startup? Do you think it has a chance to make an impact in the gaming industry?

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Pinterest – The Next Big Social Interest

If you haven’t pinned your interests on Pinterest maybe you should. A recent study showed that Pintrest is beating Twitter, StumbleUpon, Bing, and Google in referral traffic. The new data shows that Pinterest’s referral traffic climbed from .85% in January to 1.19% in June. This climb has surpassed Bing at 1.18% Stumbleupon at .96%, Google Referral at 1.09% and Twitter at .92% So what does this mean? Basically that Pinterest is pretty popular with a network of over 200,000 publishers, which reaches more than 270 million people monthly.

There are so many emerging social media networks that it’s hard to get it all straight. With Facebook and Twitter being the Powerhouses, Pinterest might soon take the lead. So I thought it would be beneficial to provide a little information for those that are not familiar with Pinterest.

What is Pintrest?

With a very unique yet self-explanatory name, Pinterest, launched in March 2010 (still in the beta stage), allows users to create and manage theme-based images collected over the internet such as events, hobbies, words of inspiration and pin them to their board. In addition, users can browse other people’s boards to “re-pin” images and “like” images or follow users.  For example if you are looking to plan a wedding you can use Pinterest to organize your vision by uploading pictures that you’ve found and pinning them to your Pinterest board or re-pinning other images to showcase your vision for your wedding thus showing your friends as well as other Pinterest users different wedding ideas. But there is more, if you are a business you can sell your product on Pinterest, buy taking a picture of it, pinning it to your board and having a link to your website. This of course is a great way to gain a wider audience for your business product.

I’ve noticed that there is a shift from connecting to people with text (i.e. Facebook status updates and Tiwtter Tweets) to connect through images. While browsing through Pinterest, I noticed that there are pictures of words and phrases that used to be expressed through regular text. Will blogs soon consist of pictures of blogs in order to connect with people (I hope not)?

In any case, Pinterest is a really interesting social medium, because instead of allowing people to stalk you on Facebook (or vice versa) or spew out whatever comes to your mind on Twitter, at least with Pinterest you can post pretty pictures of things that interest you.

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