Saturday, September 6, 2014
Good technology never comes cheap, at least that's the standard these days. Looks like Oculus Rift is trying to change all that.
According to Palmer Luckey form Oculus team, this VR device could cost as little as $200, this is definitely a bargain, considering for that much money you can't even buy a decant smartphone. Of course this is all far from official news but people can hope this will be true. Or at least somewhere around the the selling price.
Right now not much is known about Oculus Rift, the company recently bought by Facebook. Nobody knows the date this gadget will hit the stores and be for sale or what does it cost to manufacture the device. Who knows will Facebook be loosing money on such a low price tag. Other companies have been known to put a device on sale with a certain loss, just so it can become popular so they can earn money in latter years. Just look at Microsoft and the first Xbox.
Right now Facebook is talking about Oculus Rift as a gaming device, that's OK it should have games on it. When it was gathering founds via Kickstarter it was announced as a gaming gadget. But honestly we all known that the potential of such a device is far beyond just gaming. Sure it could and probably will revolutionise the gaming industries which will never be the same again.
But it also has the potential to change and improve a lot of areas in our everyday life's. Form the way we learn, the way we communicate, watch movies and TV series, the possibilities are endless. Common Facebook make this happen, don't just use this device for social networking and putting adds in front of our face.
Friday, September 5, 2014
Wait, what? YouTube is actually getting a virtual Tip Jar. When you say it like that it makes no sense what so ever, but this is actually a cool feature that could help allot of channels.
It's currently one of the most popular sites on all the Internet and owned by Google. YouTube as a site is completely free, you can register for free and you can watch videos for free. Then whats the problem? Well if you want any quality content then to create it takes money. Only way you can earn money on YouTube is by adds on the channel, what requires a lot of views.
This is where the Tip Jar comes in handy. There are a lot of channels that are just starting and need founds to grow and become mainstream. So if you like a certain channel you can give them some money, $1, $5 or whatever you like. Nice feature, and why not, if you can tip the waiter for being nice, you can also tip a channel for giving you some content that you enjoy watching.
Tip Jar is not mandatory on YouTube, you may see it on some channels and on some you want. It's their choice, they can add it or ignore it. On the ones that have it, you will see an icon in the top left corner of the video. This service was announced earlier this year and now it's slowly going live.
Right now the Tip Jar is only available in U.S., Japan, Mexcio and Australia, soon coming to more countries. Google also takes 5 percent from each tip and donations go through Google Wallet.
So far there haven't been much reaction to this feature, after all it is optional so most of the people will just ignore it. But then again some channels could be surprised of how many people will be willing to give money for some content they enjoy. I mean just look at Kickstarter and all the projects that were founded by ordinary people. When a lot of people come together and donate a few dollars each, it racks up to a nice amount.
Just wish they call it something else then the Tip Jar. It's OK for a start but common Google you can find a better name for this feature.
Thursday, September 4, 2014
Microsoft earlier announced that they will introduce new Lumia smartphones at IFA Berlin on September 4. So September 4 is here, Microsoft went on stage and what did we get. Three new smartphones that's what, each with different special features.
First the Lumia 735. With the front facing camera of full HD 5-megapixel wide-angle, so you can guess this is the selfie phone that was rumored for a while now. The other features are 4.7-inch 1280 x 720-pixel display with "curved glass", 8GB of storage, 15GB of free OneDrive cloud storage, micro SD on which you can add 128 GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and a back camera of 6.7-megapixel. Expected a better back camera for a Lumia device, but this is a selfie smartphone so will see how this new trend picks up. The cost will be somewhere around €219.
Another smartphone is Lumia 730. It is very similar to the 735 model but it doesn't have 4G LTE connectivity. What it does have is a 2 SIM slots. So you can have two SIM cards at the same time. This is a feature that is lacking on almost all of the smartphones. Why? It's a pretty neat feature, lot's of people have to carry two smartphones, this kind of devices could prevent that. The price will be somewhere around €199.
And the main smartphone we been expecting and been hearing the most rumors is the Lumia 830. It is packing 5-inch 1280 x 720-pixel display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3, 1GB of RAM, 15GB of free OneDrive storage, up to 128 GB of expendable storage, 3 high-performance microphones, Qi wireless charging and a back camera of 10 MP. Really disappointed in the back camera, by the leaked photos we were expecting at least 20 MP. However wireless charging is a nice feature, nice to see that in the mid range smartphones. Price for this smartphone will be €330.
Of course all three Lumia phones are running Windows Phone with the latest 8.1 version. Microsoft didn't talk that much about their operating system, this event was mostly about introducing new smartphones and some new camera features.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is headed to China, the worlds most populated country and one of the markets that is on the rise. Absolutely logical decision to visit this certain economy. Let's just say that isn't the case this time. It's not about expansion, more about preventing disaster.
In July this year Chinese officials raided offices of Microsoft, the accusations were antitrust concerns. Company from Redmond is not known for great relations with the government in China. This country was the last to approve their purchase of Nokia devices department and lately Windows 8 is baned on all official computers in China. Sure China is a very closed country for western companies, but it looks like they really have it out for Microsoft.
From Microsoft no official announcement on this trip that's suppose to happen sometimes in September. China is known for it's share of paranoia so Satya Nadella has to be great at negotiating if he wants to cool things of over there.
It's not like other people are not paranoid about their technology gadgets. I mean just ask the celebrities in Holywood, with this recent scandal about leaked photos, nobody is feeling safe. Anybody can be a target of the hackers or even the government, they like looking in to your personal files just as well.
Another Microsoft mishap happened in China these days. Their division leaked a preview of Windows 9 with some new features, like the return of the start button in your down left corner. The post was quickly removed but with all things Internet related it was spotted and it spread everywhere. Poor Microsoft just can't get it going in China these days.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Surface Pro 3 is an amazing device, in almost every review by any tech website it was praised. So let's get that out of the way. But Microsoft should be aware that in today's market that is not enough.
So far Surface Pro 3 was available in only three countries, United States, Japan and Canada. Now it is available in 25 more markets Australia, Austria, Belgium, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Luxembourg, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Kingdom. That's a total of 28 markets, it's not bad but it's not good enough either.
First of all 28 countries is not the whole world. There are other huge markets that are not included, nor is Microsoft saying when or even if ever the Surface Pro 3 is going to be launched in those countries. If we were talking about some other company they would get a pass for not including all the markets, but Microsoft doesn't. They are an IT giant, one of the largest companies in the world, if they can't hit all the markets then who can. And besides don't they already include practically the entire world in their software business, why not also do that with hardware.
Secondly devices are shipping to slow. OK, they are new to shipping out devices, it takes practice and time to do it right. That's all good, but when you have a great device like Surface Pro 3 you need to get it available for people right away. Otherwise you are giving the competition time to breathe and that is never a good thing.
With this launch Microsoft has reduced the price for the Surface Pro 2 and the device is now somewhere between $100 and $200 cheaper. Surface Pro 2 is still a good device, so this could be a viable option for some costumers. Also an opportunity for Microsoft to get rith of the stocked devices that are not selling the way they expected.
Monday, September 1, 2014
Truly an end of an era, MSN Messenger is shutting down completely. Looks like the logo on the picture is no longer in function.
Microsoft announced last year that they are going to shut down MSN Messenger and now we know the official date. It's going to happen on October 31. The service that was launched in 1999 has been with us for more then a decade now. For a time it was the most popular IM messenger there was, a few years back if you were using the Internet and you wanted to send messages, MSN was the way to go.
These days this IM service has been overruned by other popular services. Skype, Whatsapp, Facebook and many others are the ones costumers mostly use. Not that Microsoft has a reason to be concerned regarding this matter, after all they are the owners of Skype, currently the most popular IM service there is. They paid a big price in the acquisition of Skype, but now it looks like it was worth it.
There are still people that use MSN MEssenger and Microsoft has them covered. Company will give them $2 that they can use in Skype for calls. Not a bad way to get people on your service and stop them from using the competition.
Anyway the date October 31. is the final day for MSN messenger. Everyone that used the service probably has many memories attached to it. It was after all a revolutionary application for the time, for most of the people it was the first IM service witched they used to communicate with friends and family over the Internet. And you always remember the first.
Sunday, August 31, 2014
Financial troubles for T-Mobile are far from over, the fact that there are not doing well is no secret. So far no one was able to buy them, but that doesn't mean they are not for sale.
AT&T was unsuccessfully in purchase of T-Mobile a few years ago, the price was to high for them at the time. Another US carrier tried to buy them earlier this month, this time it was Sprint. They teamed up with Soft bank and wanted to buy T-Mobile. Their reason of backing out of the acquisition was the fact that there is to many regulatory hurdles in the way.
FCC has expressed their concern about the sale of T-Mobile, they feel that the acquisition of this company by another US carrier company will have a devastating impact on the market. They could be right in their statement, joining of the two carriers could be the end for the competition. However Deutsche Telekom, the owner of T-Mobile is not concern with the FCC and is still adamant in their decision to sell.
So are there any other potential buyers? Well none that really matter or that can actually afford to buy this company. Current selling price is $35 per share, this is $5 more then the official current trading price. With this price the total amount goes up to $24.19 billion. Not an easy offer to make by any company. So what's the alternative, if Deutsche Telekom is still insisting on sale, the company could be sold in pieces and that seems like a bad idea all together.
Of course the ones that will suffer the most from the sale will be the costumers. Why? Because ever since T-Mobile got on the US market they are trying to shake things up. Probably the only company with the original approach at this moment, their prices and offers are pretty great. It will be sad to see them go, hope there is a chance they can still turn things around.