Tag Archives: google

Google Glass Review: Functions and Flaws

There has been a lot of hype over one of Google’s latest gadgets – Google Glass. The multi-billion dollar company never fails to create huge excitement around their products, which is evident in this case by their impressive video trailer “How It Feels [through Glass]”

It’s easy to get really excited about Google Glass after watching something like this. The song alone almost makes you want to go ski-diving and start living a fuller life.

However, since Google Glass became available to more ordinary folk (at a price tag of $1500), several videos have since surfaced that highlight the inherent flaws in this technology. A Google Glass review by Engadget mentions some of these shortfalls.

Google Glass Review: Functions & Flaws

Google Glass Review - Sergey Brin (image: news.cnet.com)First and foremost, there are MAJOR concerns about privacy. Google Glass wearers could be filming you while in the bathroom or recording your daily movements. Stalking would be taken to a whole new level.

It is also not mentioned that Google Glass requires a wireless connection to your smartphone (which comes at an additional cost). Users have also reported that battery-life is really only a few hours and that the device needs to be charged often via a micro USB.

Functionality also seems to be quite limited with this early edition of Google Glass. You can’t browse webpages or make use of any apps at this point. What Google Glass does allow you to do is check weather forecasts, take pictures and videos (and share these), do basic searches, read and reply to emails or messages, hang out on Google+, get directions, tell you the time and respond to voice prompts. I’m sure there are a few more functions of Google Glass, but at this point, it is essentially a low-end smartphone for your face.

There’s no doubt that Google Glass will evolve into something more impressive over time, but it is also most likely that credit for this will be due to non-Google developers and rather users of the technology – a cheap and effective method of outsourcing. But at least Google has planted the seeds for a possible future behind a screen.

Article originally posted on cDs Global Blog

 

Control of your personal data online (infographic)

INFOGRAPHIC: Control of your personal data online

I’M not usually a fan of these ‘shocking’ infographics as it’s quite difficult to check their sources and verify the information contained within. But as someone who receives scam emails via Gmail on a regular basis, this one seems more or less accurate (or at least believable).

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SEO Secrets: with love from a WordPress snob

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SEO SECRETS: What you likely know already but will read anyway

Yes, it’s another damn article on SEO secrets. I’ve been pondering this one for a while, but thought I might be able to add 1 or 2 useful SEO tips to the thought-pool.

For starters, I don’t consider myself as an SEO guru or pharaoh, as I believe anyone can teach themselves how to do good SEO. It’s not overly complex and shouldn’t be thought of as such. It merely takes practice and a willing attitude.

Note: This SEO guide is largely intended for bloggers who use WordPress

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Does the Internet impair our ability to concentrate?

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ARGUMENT: The Internet impairs our ability to contemplate and concentrate for long, sustained periods of time

AN ex-colleague of mine (Ryan Calder) started an interesting debate about the Internet on Facebook. He was asking whether or not people thought that the Internet (and cyber culture in general) impairs our ability to concentrate. Some of the comments were quite interesting.

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DialMedia Deals Free Smartphone App

Free smartphone app alerts you of nearby deals

Targeted advertising has always been the major goal of advertisers, who have to try damn hard these days to grab our attention. Amassing a target audience has lead to abuse in the past, such as the selling of personal info to 3rd parties.

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Hackerspaces and the evolution of the public library

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HACKERSPACES: What might the public library evolve into?

GOOGLE has announced that it will be digitising a further 250 000 books from the British Library. This is in line with Google’s mission statement to “make all of the knowledge contained within the world’s books searchable online” as part of its Google Books service. Google has already scanned around 13 million books worldwide through partnerships with over 40 libraries. This recent endeavour is predicted to take the company three years to complete.

As part of this new agreement, the texts, pamphlets and periodicals that will be scanned were published between 1700 and 1870 and are out of copywrite. The digitised material will all be freely available online through Google Books as well as the British Library­’s 19th Century Books app compatible with tablet PCs such as the iPad. Readers will be able to view, copy, and share all the digitised texts for non-commercial use.

In an article published on the Guardian­ website, president of the Royal Historical Society, Professor Colin­ Jones, says: “There is no doubt that the digitisation of this unique material­ will greatly benefit the research process. Academics are increasingly using new technologies at their disposal to search for innovative ways of investigating historical material to enable us to probe new questions and find alternative patterns of investigation. Digitisation gives us the freedom to not only do this quickly and remotely, but also enhances the quality and depth of the original.”

There will always be arguments, perhaps moments of reminiscence, over the value of reading a hard-copy book made of paper versus reading an e-book using a digital device. But what will this move towards digitising published books mean for the public library­? Can anyone honestly say that they have made regular visits to their local library since their university, or even school days?

The existence of public libraries today has largely depended on community support and attendance. According to Wikipedia, the formula to get funding was simple: demonstrate the need for a public library, provide the building site, annually provide 10% of the cost of the library’s construction to support its operation, and provide free service to all. It can be argued that the need for public libraries is fast dwindling due to the ever-growing presence of the Internet. So what might replace the public library?

Hackerspaces, hackerspaces and more hackerspaces!

What has emerged, at least in the United States and Europe, are smaller scale centers for learning, funded and operated by groups of people with collective interests. Hackerspaces, Fabrication Laboratories (Fab Labs) and TechShops have been sprouting up in just about every state in the U.S. according to a blog called makezine.com

“There are hundreds of hackerspaces that have appeared, almost overnight, around the world. From my re-collection over the past decade, the ones in Europe were really appealing. Many makers were travelling around the world, and eventually word spread. Now, just about every state in the U.S. has one, and most large cities have hackerspaces.” — http://blog.makezine.com

The concept of a hackerspace sounds really appealing and seems like a productive and worthwhile civic building for any city to fund. Hackerspaces are membership-based operations that generally consist of tools, workshops, computer networks and people with common interests. Members share rent for the building(s) utilised as well as resources and information that they have accumulated.

“A hackerspace or hackspace … is a location where people with common interests, usually in computers, technology, science or digital or electronic art can meet, socialise and/or collaborate. A hackerspace can be viewed as an open community incorporating … machine­ shops, workshops and/or studios­ where hackers can come together to share resources and knowledge. Many hackerspaces participate in the use and development of free software and alternative media and can be found in infoshops or social centres.” — http://blog.makezine.com

Fab Labs and TechShops

TechShop (photo: IEEE.org)The Fab Labs that have emerged are similar to hackerspaces. They can be thought of as small-scale workshops that create products that are generally limited to mass production.

TechShops, on the other hand, are commercial ventures that provide all the tools and equipment needed to make almost anything. They are also funded by membership but go further by offering classes and workshops and provide members with access to a library of tools and equipment, instruction, as well as a community of creative people.

The author of makezine.com Phillip Torrone, explains that TechShops are designed for everyone, regardless of their skill level. TechShops are “perfect for inventors, makers, hackers, tinkerers, artists, roboteers­, families, entrepreneurs, youth groups, arts and crafts enthusiasts, and anyone else who wants to be able to make things that they dream up, but don’t have the tools, space or skills.”

So in considering the role that the public library can or should have in the future­, it may be useful for members on the city council to consider the value that hackerspaces, TechShops and Fab Labs have to offer in educating future and current generations. Perhaps public­ ­libraries could provide this space to fill the void as more and more books go digital.