Friday, July 10, 2015

Google Looking For Redemption With Google Glass For Enterprise

I guess the Science Fiction-esque future that Google Glass suggested in its ads is a little bit further ahead of us than Google realized. Google Glasses were all but a huge consumer flop. The general public just wasn't ready for goofy-looking, augmented reality glasses.

But that doesn't mean this product is dead, at least not yet. According to a recent FCC filing discovery, 9to5Google revealed the next version of Google Glass. This edition will be geared towards applications that are used in the enterprise space, leaving out the novelty consumer-oriented functions that were featured in the first "Explorer Edition".

The "Enterprise Edition" Google Glass is said to sport a larger prism display for a better augmented experience. This serves as an attempt to minimize eye strain many early glass users complained about.

Additionally the Enterprise Edition will drop the Texas Instruments processor for an Intel Atom processor which will be faster and have better battery life than existing Android Wear smartwatches.

While the Explorer Edition often overheated or ran out of batteries, Enterprise Edition promises to run cooler, even with the additional external battery pack Google is experimenting with.

The last thing cited in the report was a super-fast 802.11ac Wi-Fi with dual-band support for 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless channels, meaning even faster video streaming.

Google's decision to shift their Glass strategy towards enterprise customers is a huge, but intelligent shift. Yes, Google, assisting with specialized medical, law enforcement, or even business applications seems more important than letting consumers play virtual reality games.

Content originally published here

Monday, June 29, 2015

Crytek's CryEngine Embraces Linux

Linux gaming is starting to catch on and build up some momentum. Following in the footsteps of Valve’s Source engine, Epic’s Unreal Engine 4, and Unity 5, Crytek's CryEngine supports Linux. This also means that it will have support for SteamOS. This also means that it will be way easier for developers who are currently making games on these engines to add support for Linux.

Even with this, developers will still have to go a little out of their way and do some work in order to add Linux support to their Steam games, so every game that comes out won't have it. So don't get your hopes up on that. But either way, there will be a lot of titles coming out in the future and the technology will become more widely adopted. It reduces the effort needed by a lot.

This might not be huge news to all of the indie game players out there. Smaller companies might not want to invest the extra time into adding support for Linux, but for the huge, new AAA games the cost of porting them to Linux goes way down, and because SteamOS is a really promising, big new platform, it's starting to look like a much better idea to these big gaming companies. When the core engine of the game already supports that platform, everything else is pretty simple because all the hard work is already done.

On top of all that, engines that already support Linux should get a huge improvement in the quality of ports. Some of the Linux games currently on Steam use a lot of Windows coding and Direct3D, which makes performance a little bit problematic for Linux users. This new change will mean that developers can do away with whatever tricks they were using to make Windows code run (badly) on top of Linux.

Content originally published here

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Avago Acquiring Broadcom for $37 Billion

According to Avango Technologies, they are ready to buy out Broadcom for a whopping $37 billion. That is a huge amount of money that you could probably buy anything you ever wanted with, and Bloomberg says it is the biggest tech deal to ever be made. Avango said that after the deal is done, the combined worth of the companies will be $77 billion.

The new company is going to be called Broadcom LTd, and it will be headed by Hock Tan, the CEO of Avango. Right behind companies like Intel, Samsung, TSMC, Qualcomm, and Micron, Broadcom would be the 6th largest semiconductor company in the world.

Many people don't really know about Avango, but they started out as a division of Hewlett-Packard before they split off into their own company years later. And everyone is pretty familiar with HP. Avango specializes in offering products for wireless communications, wired infrastructure, enterprise storage, and industrial applications. Broadcom is mainly known for their chips for communications devices and for their video solutions. They also make the chips for the popular Raspberry Pi computers.

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The chip industry has already been privy to big moves like this. Just a couple of months ago NXP announced that it was planning on acquiring Freescale for just under $17 billion. It's too soon to see how the chip industry will be affected or what's to come from this new acquisition but as soon as details drop you'll find them here on A Computer Blog.

Content originally published here

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Google Holding Ubiquitous Computing Summit This Fall

The Google I/O developers conference is what most people look forward to from Google every year. Even though that event has already come and gone, that doesn't mean there isn't anything left to look forward to from the company for the rest of the year. Google just announced that it will be holding a Ubiquitous Computing Summit this fall in San Francisco, California.

Just basing an idea off the name of the event won't get you anywhere as it isn't very descriptive. But the event will focus on the idea of making it easier to use software across a lot of different devices and form factors. The idea is that software should be universal across different things like smartphones, tablets, TVs, smartwatches, a car, etc....

On the developers end of the idea, they are trying to make all of these devices run the same universal software without having to change any of the code. A Google developer has also said that the summit will also focus on working on context-aware apps that will know which device is running them, where it is running them, how it is using them, and all kinds of other stuff. It is pretty interesting. They are now working on setting up guidelines for developing the software as well.

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The idea isn't so new. Google has been talking about doing this type of thing for years now. All of the different versions of Android, like Lollipop and Jelly Bean, were all said to be steps toward unifying the Android experience across all of the different devices. Over the past year, Google has brought together all of their Android development kits for all of the different form factors. Even Microsoft is jumping on the bandwagon, and they are making Windows 10 to run not only on PCs, but on all of their smartphones and tablets, and even on the Xbox One.

The Ubiquitous Computing Summit doesn't have an exact date yet, just that the summit will be held this Fall in San Francisco. But as there is more information surfacing, you will be sure to find it here.

Content originally published here

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Interest in Big Data Increasing

Big data, as we know it, hit the scene in about 2001 so it is nothing new. Companies have been gathering this data for years, but recently there has been an explosion of interest in it like it's a brand new thing. This is mainly due to the fact that there are now new ways of analyzing the data.

Big data started out as a way to store a ton of information, but now it has transformed into something where companies are trying to use it in any way they can to benefit from it in different ways. So here is a list of a few reasons why this is happening.

1. Unstructured data is now readily available

Unlike traditional business insight that analyzes structured data, big data focuses on the unstructured data. This includes emails, videos, photos and posts on social networking sites. Millions of photos get uploaded to Facebook, millions of tweets go out every day, and businesses can use this information to understand their customers better. This helps with suggested sales and such.

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2. It has become incredibly cheap to store huge amounts of data

Unstructured data is becoming more pervasive, but tools like Hadoop, which is an open-source framework for storing large scale data, have developed so much in the last ten years or so. These type of tools underpin data processing for some of the worlds largest businesses with the most amount of data to store. It can take care of unstructured data way faster and way cheaper than the generation of tools that came before them.

3. Not only is it now cheaper to process all of this data, but companies are getting usable information out of it

Retail stores are really taking advantage of big data right now. You might ask what they are getting from it. Good question. They are using customer loyalty cards to gather information. This is a really good way to figure out what they sell and what to stock. Like for example, they might not stock a whole lot of low cost generic food brands... But if they see that their customers who spend the most at their store tend to buy it, then guess what they are going to stock more of? Low cost generic foods.

Loyalty cards and even debit cards really give a huge insight to each individual customer. There was a huge story about this last year actually. A Target customer got really mad when they sent his young daughter coupons to buy baby clothes. Because of the things she was buying, when they processed the data, it seemed like she might be expecting a baby soon. It seems like kind of a mess up on their part, but it's actually really smart overall.

4. Big data analytics could lead to productivity gains in four sectors

If big data analytics go mainstream then retail chains and manufacturing companies could see a huge increase of $325 billion to their annual GDP thanks to increased efficiency. Healthcare and other government services could also see a ton of productivity gains as well, as much as $285 billion in the next five years.

5. Big data analytics saw a huge increase in venture capitalist funding in the last 12 months

Venture capitalists have started to check out the possibilities with big data analytics as well. In the last year alone, they have invested about $1.37 billion into different companies. This is an increase of 217% above the last period. This is because big data is now enterprise ready, analytics tools are open to pretty much anyone and can be used very easily, and all of the analyzing can be done in real time.

Content originally published here

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Microsoft Reveals Every Version of Windows 10

Windows has not yet decided to give us an exact release date for Windows 10 except the fact that it will be some time in the summer. But, they are revealing all of the different versions of the operating system that will be available when it is done. They are calling Windows 10 Home the "consumer-focused desktop edition". This is the one that is going to come installed on most of the home PCs and laptops, and it is going to have pretty much all of the neat features, like the new Edge browser, Hello face recognition, and all of the built-in universal apps. There will also be a "Pro" edition like the versions before that will come with a bunch of business software and the ability to connect to domains and take advantage of the business updates for Windows.

With the release of Windows 10 across all the different platforms like PCs, smartphones, tablets, and the Xbox One, Microsoft is also renaming the Windows Phone. The new name is officially "Windows 10 Mobile". It is going to have touch optimized versions of Office and support for a new Continuum for Phone feature. This is going to support phones and small tablets that are less than 8 inches in size. There is also going to be a version of Windows 10 Mobile called the Enterprise edition that will be designed for big businesses to license the operating system on smartphones and small tablets.

Those are the main editions that are going to be coming out, but on top of them there will be a few others like Windows 10 Enterprise, Windows 10 Education, and Windows 10 IoT Core for smaller gateway devices. In total there are 7 different editions of the operating system for a bunch of different devices. Since this is going to be the last version of Windows and they are just going to build on it from here on out, we can also expect to see huge updates and different additions some time around fall of this year. And from there on out, who knows what kind of sweet updates we will see.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

New Ways to Store Big Data on Azure from Microsoft

Azure is going to have a new data warehouse service. It's called a "data lake" service that is going to store a huge amount of data and give the option of running an "elastic" database that can store sets of data that vary in size. Scot Guthrie, Microsoft Executive Vice President of the cloud and enterprise group, unveiled these new services at the companies Build 2015 conference in San Francisco.

The Azure SQL Date Warehouse is going to be up and running later this year and is going to give companies a way to store petabytes of data. This will allow the data to be easily consumed by data analyzing software like Microsoft's Power BI tool for data visualization, the Azure Data Factory for data orchestration, or the Azure Machine Learning service.

One thing that makes this data storage service different than the rest is that it has the ability to adjust to fit the amount of data that actually needs to be stored. You can also specify exactly how much processing power you need to be able to analyze the data. The service builds on the parallel processing architecture that Microsoft developed for its SQL Server database.

This new cloud service is made for companies and organizations that need to store massive amounts of data so that it can be analyzed by different analysis platforms like Hadoop. It could also be super useful for Internet of Things systems that might create huge amounts of data. The amount of data you"ll be able to store is absolutely endless. So you can see how this would be helpful. There is literally no limit.

The company also updated the Azure SQL database service so that customers can pool their Azure database and reduce their storage cost and prepare for new activity. This means that you can  manage your storage at a lower cost.

All of this is going to be very useful for running public-facing software services where the amount of space used can fluctuate a whole lot day to day. With most services like this, you'll generally pay for your peak storage space no matter how much of it you are using at the time. This means that you can cut your costs, probably in half, and literally only pay for exactly how much you are using at any given time.

Content originally published here