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Samson Meteor M2 Speakers


App Pick - Financial Calculators

Apple Makes iWord Available for Windows Users

If you just can't get enough Apple software and yet find yourself stuck on the Windows platform, there is good news. Apple has just announced that they are making iWord available for pretty much everyone through a web browser. You'll need an iCloud/Apple account of course, but once you have that, you'll be good to go. It works pretty slick and is Apple's (solid) attempt at taking some of the Office Online limelight away from Microsoft.

Now that Apple has made the service available to a wider audience, anyone can now create an Apple ID straight from the browser on the iCloud website, which then gives the user access to the productivity apps iWork offers, namely Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.

Source: Neowin, Apple

Star Wars vs. Star Trek

While this video doesn't have much to do with technology, it has a lot to do with nerds and geeks. Alex Luthor as put together a great mash-up of Star Wars and Star Trek scenes and makes a movie trailer where both worlds collide. Very cool stuff.

 

Sony's Big Game List for 2015

No matter if you like Sony or not, they do have some pretty good titles. They've also just posted their planned release list for 2015 online and it is a might big list. They have a whole list of titles for the PS4, PS Vita and yes, even the PS3. Take a look and if you don't have a PS4 already, this list may make you retink that non-purchasing decisioon.

The list is a real monster, comprised of games across PS4, PS3, and PS Vita. The usual caveats apply. Development schedules sometimes shift, so this list can (and will) change as the months go by. But we’re planning to keep this updated all year long to reflect any changes, so feel free to bookmark it for future reference.

Source: PlayStation Blog

Windows 10 Phone Technical Preview

Microsoft has announced the first build of their new Windows 10 Phone mobile operating system and if you are brave enough (or curious enough) and want to be one of the first to give it a shot had on over and join Microsoft's Insider Program.

Currently the Windows 10 Phone Technical Preview is available for the following phones:

  • Lumia 630
  • Lumia 635
  • Lumia 636
  • Lumia 638
  • Lumia 730
  • Lumia 830

Some of the new features you can look forward to in this new version of the Windows 10 Phone OS are:

  • Full-size Background Image for Start: We believe phones should be intensely personal – so we’ve added another option to customize the start screen with a full-size background image.
  • More Quick Actions in Action Center: We’ve increased the number of quick actions available to you. Windows Phone 8.1 has four programmable quick actions – but with Windows 10 you also get an expanded view that can now have up to three rows.
  • Interactive Notifications: Notifications are now interactive, allowing you to take action directly like dismissing an alarm, or seeing images for maps. For example, for text messages, when the toast pops, you can quickly reply inline via text or voice.
  • Significantly enhanced speech-to-text capability: You can talk to virtually any data field you choose. Your words show up as you speak them – and punctuation appears automatically.  This feature is smart enough to understand when to use ‘two’ – the number — instead of ‘too’ as in ‘also’.
  • More powerful Photos app: From your very first launch, Photos will show the aggregated set of all your local photos and all your OneDrive photos

Candy Crush Saga had a good 2014

Candy Crush Saga has been a prime example of a "freemium" game that lets you play for free but if you want "extras" you can pay a couple bucks. In 2014, Candy Crush Saga brought in $1.33 billion dollars from in-app purchases which makes it one of the top games of 2014 and the game has now brought in over $3 billion dollars during its lifetime. I'm sure other gaming companies are taking notice and chances are good we'll see a Call of Duty: Candy Crush title coming along soon. The Guardian has more on this story. 

Quarterly spending on mobile game Candy Crush Saga fell steadily over the course of 2014, but its players still spent $1.33bn (£865.2m) on in-app purchases for the sweet-swapping hit.

Analysis by the Guardian of publisher King’s latest financial results, as well as previous filings, reveals that Candy Crush Saga’s “gross bookings” – the term used to cover spending by players – totaled $1.04bn in the second half of 2013.

Google working on Apple Pay competitor

I guess you could file this next story under the "of course they are" section. 

Google is reportedly working on an Apple Pay competitor that would use the NFC function on Android devices to let you pay for your purchases much like Apple Pay. Google is calling their system "Plasco" and from the little information available sounds a little bit like Google Wallet 2.0. This really isn't surprising that Google wants in on this market as much like Apple Pay, whoever provides the payment method gets to take a cut of the total price tag which could make huge profits if your system becomes the payment system of choice. Tom's Guide has a few more details and I'd bet we will probably be seeing much more about this in the near future.

Who needs to tap your phone to a checkout terminal when you can simply say your initials. Sure the iPhone 6 has Apple Pay's tap to pay, but Android is getting Plaso. According to a new report, Google has begun testing this new mobile payments system to rival Apple's NFC-based Apple Pay platform.

Facebook adds "legacy" contact

One of the biggest questions facing Americans these days is "who is going to look after my Facebook if I die?". Well, worry no more, Facebook has added the option to add a "legacy contact" that will be able to pin messages to your timeline, add friends, and change your profile picture once Facebook receives notification of your death. This contact will not be able to read your private messages or post on your behalf. This option probably doesn't get that many people excited, but I guarantee there are a few that are genuinely worried about what will happen to their Facebook account when the are gone. TheVerge has the story.

Facebook is putting its users in control of what happens to their accounts after they die. Starting today, users in the US will be able to chose to have their accounts deleted after death or grant another person on Facebook permission to manage an account on their behalf. Facebook calls this person an account's "legacy contact," and users will be able to choose that person through the website's or app's security page.

Android App Pick - Fraction Calculator Plus Free

We have just posted up another Android App Pick of the Week and this week we are trying to get better at math with the Fraction Calculator Plus app. This is a great app if you have to do some complicated fractions and don't have time to figure it out the long way. Take a look and remember that this is probably not okay to use during 4th grade math.

App Pick

 

Enjoy!

Is Google's time at the top nearly over?

I found this article over at the NY Times which asks the question, is Google's time at the top nearly over? Obviously staying at the top is difficult for any company in any industry, but the competition in the technology market is on a whole different level of difficult and we've seen titans like HP, Yahoo, Microsoft, and BlackBerry relinquish their seats on top as companies like Facebook and Google soared past. Obviously the top companies normally don't disappear but have to adjust to life in the middle (or sometimes bottom) of the market. I don't think Google is going anywhere soon, but this article asks some interesting thought-provoking questions and includes a great quote:

“I’m not saying that Google is going to go away, just as Microsoft didn’t go away,” said Ben Thompson, a tech analyst who writes the blog Stratechery. “It’s just that Google will miss out on what’s next.”

Thoughts? Feel free to post in the forums or tune into Weekly Tech Update next week where this just might very well be a topic of conversation.

How Cortana Made the Jump from Master Chief to Windows 10

If you've played Halo at all, you'll know that Cortana is the AI that was developed for Master Chief and was useful for saving the world from the Covenant. If you wondered how the heck she could make the jump from Master Chief to Windows 10, Microsoft has the details on that.

 

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