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Americans Balking at Buying Smart Home Devices
January 13, 2021
Smart devices, the cornerstone of the home of the future, can't seem to capture the imagination or open the wallets of a large number of Americans. Some 46.7 million broadband households aren't ready to buy a smart home device, according to a survey released this week by Parks Associates, a market research and consulting company specializing in consumer technology products.
Virtual CES
January 11, 2021
This year, due to COVID restrictions, CES is all digital. Let's talk about what you'll see at the show, and what might make an event like CES work better virtually. I used to teach a class on how to put together tech events, and I'm pulling out my old notes for this. We'll close with the product of the week, a monitor launched by Dell that is focused on video conferencing in the new normal.
Cut the Cord to Trim Your TV Viewing Overhead
January 5, 2021
For the majority of consumers, cutting the cable TV cord is a mixed bag for a variety of reasons. The big misconception is that you will drastically lower your cable bill. That is not the case unless you can also pickup free TV reception from an antenna. Otherwise, you will need to use a video streaming service to help lower your costs.
FTC's Zoom Deal Signals Commitment to Security Enforcement
December 29, 2020
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is making good on a resolution to strengthen its enforcement of security deficiencies occurring in e-commerce transactions. The agency's recent action involving allegations of improper activities by teleconferencing provider Zoom Video Communications is a notable example.
Qualcomm's Powerful Preview of 2021's Premium Smartphones
December 7, 2020
Qualcomm last week launched its Snapdragon 888 platform which will show up in premium phones next year. This promises to take the high-end of Android smartphones to levels of performance they've never seen before. Let's talk about what is coming to market in Android phones -- and likely iPhones -- next year, because you've got to believe Apple watched this launch and is now furiously working to create similar functions.
Snap's Spotlight Ups Ante on TikTok With $1M Daily Fund for Top Videos
November 24, 2020
Spotlight, a new short video service launched by Snap on Monday, is set to take on the leaders in the space. Moreover, it has pledged to prime the creative engines of Snapchatters making videos by divvying up a daily pool of US$1 million for the day's best content. Many Snapchatters will earn each day, and those who create the top Snaps will earn the most for their creativity.
A Momentous Week for 4 Tech Vendors
November 2, 2020
Powerful events and product launches by Cisco, Lenovo, Microsoft, and Qualcomm promise to make our future brighter. From more effective courts and legislators, to flexible and intelligent robots, to tools we can use to improve remote productivity, to validation that our justice system works -- last week was remarkable.
Apple Finally Reveals 5G iPhones ... and HomePod Mini
October 14, 2020
Apple has refreshed its iPhone product line with four new models, as well as a downsized version of its HomePod smart speaker. All of the new iPhones are built around Apple's blazing fast A14 Bionic chip, support all flavors of 5G wireless connectivity, and are protected by a Ceramic Shield that protects the phone from damage after a fall four times better than in previous models.
Applying AI to Bring a 'Better You' to Video Meetings
September 7, 2020
The fact is that people tend to judge us by our appearance. For a lot of folks on video calls, that appearance has degraded sharply this year. Wrinkled clothing, no makeup, partial beards, hair on men down to their shoulders, and work locations that are sloppy, dingy and dark. These all have become everyday experiences on video calls. A few vendors recently showcased new tech to address how we look and sound in online meetings.
Credential Harvesting Attacks Take Aim at Video Meeting Apps
August 27, 2020
Users of video conference tools should be aware of the growing risk of impersonation attacks. Cybercriminals are capitalizing on the exponential increase of users turning to Zoom and other platforms to collaborate across work and friend networks. Researchers have identified attacks stemming from Australia, Germany, the U.S. and elsewhere.
Amazon Gives Alexa App a Makeover
July 29, 2020
Amazon's Alexa mobile app has a new look. The company on Monday introduced an updated version of the app that aims to give users a more personalized experience and moves all third-party "skill" suggestions off the main screen. The app is being rolled out this month for iOS, Android and Fire devices, and should reach all users by the end of August.
US Cloud Gaming Subscriptions Target $3B
July 22, 2020
Consumer interest in cloud gaming could boost annual subscription revenues to nearly US$3 billion, according to Parks Associates. There is renewed interest, the research firm's report noted, in gaming services that can stream over the Internet and deliver games to multiple platforms without downloads and without taxing local processing power.
Tech Products That Make It Easier to Stay Home
June 15, 2020
Being locked up at home can drive people a little nuts. Several technology products have been particularly helpful while sheltering in place, making this semi-forced timeout feel less like a punishment and more like something I could endure. The Atmoph Window 2, for example, looks like a picture on your wall, but inside the frame is a connected 27-inch 4K display that is tied to remote cameras.
How Will Retailers Survive This Time of Crisis?
June 9, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic will be one of the defining events of our lifetime. The economic consequences will last years and forever change consumer behavior. Over the last 30 years, experts have been studying the slow burn of consumer adoption of new technologies. Never have we witnessed adoption rates accelerate to the degree we saw in the last 60 days in e-commerce and video-conferencing.
Google Aims to Secure Voice Purchases Through Match Feature
May 28, 2020
Google has undertaken a pilot program for Voice Match. A limited number of users can use the tool with Google Assistant-enabled smart speakers and smart displays to make in-app digital purchases on Google Play, or to make purchases from restaurants that enable food ordering through Google. "Many folks used to Google Assistant will take advantage of this convenience," said tech analyst Ray Wang.
From Hobby to Career Path: Tech-Savvy HS Sophomore Learns by Doing
May 22, 2020
What started out as a hobby to feed his passion for technology has turned into a business for Skyler Ficklin, operator of the QuitZoom website and iSkyler YouTube video channel. Ficklin, stuck at home while his Ohio high school is closed due to COVID-19, spends his days and nights completing online learning assignments to end his sophomore year. Then he diverts attention to hands-on activities.
What's Going On With Oracle?
May 14, 2020
Oracle appears to be undergoing a kind of resurgence during the coronavirus crisis. Financial analysts are saying nice things about its ability to pay dividends even in tough times. Its technology, which always has been good, is seeing an interesting uptick. All of this is buffing the company's image after years of, yes-but responses from the market.
Microsoft Covers All the Bases With Impressive Surface Lineup
May 7, 2020
Microsoft has introduced a slew of new products, including the Surface Go 2, the Surface Book 3, Surface Headphones 2 and Surface Earbuds. Both the Surface Go 2 and the Surface Book 3 come in consumer and corporate versions. "The two products are very different," noted Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. "The Go 2 is a high-value product -- the Surface Book 3 high innovation."
Google Meet Aims to Head Off Zoom
May 4, 2020
Google is integrating its Google Meet videoconferencing application with Gmail, and it already appears as an option in some users' accounts. It is making the service available to everyone for free in the coming weeks, on the Web and through mobile apps for iOS and Android. Users will be able to start or join Meet videoconferences from within Google Calendar as well.
Facebook Gaming Powers Ahead With Live Streaming
April 21, 2020
Facebook has launched a free standalone app for creating and watching live video game play on Android devices. Some 700 million users already engage in gaming on the platform, but with its dedicated app Facebook is locking horns with the leaders in the market -- Amazon, Google and Microsoft. "Live streaming was a growth opportunity before the pandemic," noted Strategy Analytics' Michael Goodman.
Cosmos: Possible Worlds Fires Up Hopes and Dreams
April 20, 2020
Humans may be wanderers by nature, but in the year 2020, with planet Earth overrun by a pandemic, most human activity has come to a shocking halt. Perhaps one of the best things for a wandering race stuck at home is an opportunity to look outward -- to thought-travel into the boundless universe and dream of grand and sweeping possibilities. That's what Cosmos: Possible Worlds offers.
Zoom Boosts Security With Pick-Your-Route Feature
April 15, 2020
Zoom's paying customers will be able to choose the region they want to use for their virtual meetings. Paying customers will be able to opt in or out of a specific data center region, although they won't be able to change their default, which for most customers is the United States. Zoom has data centers in the U.S., Canada, Europe, India, Australia, China, Latin America, and Japan/Hong Kong.
Government COVID-19 Responses: 3 Massive Mistakes, 1 Huge Success
April 6, 2020
People don't trust their governments for a good reason. Governments lie to them regularly. In the ongoing COVID-19 event, we in the U.S. initially were told that there was little risk. The first 15 people who came to the U.S. with the virus soon would get well. We were advised to go about our day -- and many people did. They got on planes, departed for cruises, and went about their lives.
How to Turn an Old Android Device Into a Cool, Useful Gadget
April 2, 2020
What do you do with your old Android phones or tablets? That question usually prompts three tired answers. You might trade them in for a new purchase. Or you could resell them on eBay. Probably, though, you will just stuff them in a drawer as emergency backups. Better options exist, however, that would let you continue to get value from your aging devices.
Zoom's Soaring Popularity Is a Double-Edged Sword
April 1, 2020
As the coronavirus pandemic worsened in the U.S., Zoom Video Communications offered free access to its videoconferencing platform and demand skyrocketed. "Zoom has quickly become the de facto for teleconferencing during the COVID-19 pandemic," said James McQuiggan, security awareness advocate at KnowBe4. "A lot of organizations are using it to keep in contact with their employees."
3 Things the Tech Industry Could Do to Mitigate Pandemic Problems
March 16, 2020
We are up to our armpits in COVID-19, also known as "coronavirus," concerns. While the technology market could be devastated by it, there are several things tech players could do to mitigate the damage. Aside from having people work from home and stand six feet apart, the industry could take several innovative steps to mitigate the first manageable pandemic in the world's history.
Twitter Tiptoes Into Battle to Curb Social Media Misinformation
March 10, 2020
Twitter applied its "manipulative media" label to a deceptively edited video showing presidential hopeful Joe Biden saying, "re-elect Donald Trump" -- the first time the service enforced rules adopted to control synthetic and manipulated media. The flagged video was posted to Twitter by Dan Scavino, White House director of social media, and retweeted by the president.
COVID-19 and the End of Daily Life as We Know It
March 9, 2020
We apparently have no immunity to COVID-19, and a vaccine likely is around 18 months away. It takes a while to change human behavior, but if we go a full 18 months or more with people working from home and avoiding places like malls, big box stores, and other areas where people congregate -- like offices and events -- it will force a fundamental, permanent change in the way we work and interact.
The Virus and Podcasting
March 7, 2020
The coronavirus scare is working its way through the economy -- even affecting CRM. At this point some vendors are canceling events rather than taking the risk of having thousands of customers, press and analysts descend on a city, swap microbes through the air for a few days, then go home and likely further spread the microbes, some of which could be the virus.
Study: YouTube Achieves Some Success at Hobbling Conspiracy Theories
March 3, 2020
YouTube's efforts to reduce the spread of conspiracy theories on the platform appear to be bearing fruit. YouTube "significantly reduced the overall volume of recommended conspiratorial content," three researchers wrote in a study from the University of California, Berkeley. The team spent 15 months studying 8 million recommendations from the platform's next-watch algorithm.
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Which of these topics being featured at CES 2021 interest you most?
5G & Internet of Things
Advertising, Entertainment & Content
Automotive Technologies
Blockchain / Cryptocurrency
Esports / Sports Tech
Health & Wellness
Home & Family
Immersive Entertainment & Gaming
Product Design & Manufacturing
Robotics & Machine Intelligence