Saturday, 28 December 2013

Lenovo Yoga Tablets

Lenovo's aggressive pricing shakes up the Android space ...
Yoga Tablet 8 and Yoga Tablet 10I really like the look of these new Android tablets from Lenovo. Currently available directly from Lenovo Australia for $314 (8") and $359 (10") including GST and delivery!

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 and 10: Unique design on a budget (hands on) | ZDNet:

Streaming music takes off

Some background to the music streaming revolution ...
Music streaming has certainly taken off in the last couple of years. This short article explains some of the reasons why.

The joy of streaming music - Technology - The Retriever - University of Maryland Baltimore County:

Google self-driving cars

Google self drives cars are now a reality ...
The pod on the car roof is the LIDAR unit which is a combination of six lasers and multiple radar. This analyses all objects in the immediate vicinity and then combines this data with Google Maps to provide fully functional software called Google Chauffeur that can drive the car anywhere including drive-in takeaways and drive-in banks!

Google: self-driving cars safer than professional drivers - Cars:

Protect Facebook accounts

Something for Facebook users to be aware of ...
Two factor authentication is now  more common since applications like Dropbox and Google started to offer it as a way to improve your account security. Now Facebook has launched a similar system.

Protect your Facebook account from hackers with two-factor authentication - Computerworld:

Friday, 27 December 2013

Google+ jumps to 540M

Here comes Google+ - watch out Facebook ...
I am seeing more and more articles about the reducing popularity of Facebook. Maybe Facebook is going to go the same way at MySpace. Google+ could become the next "flavour of the month" in social networking! 

Google+ popularity jumps with 540M monthly users - Computerworld:

Best small tablets

Always interesting to see what makes "the best of" ...
Google Nexus 7 (2013)My choice would be the Nexus 7 without hesitation!

Best small tablets - Tablets:

Devastating new malware

Watch out for this malware ...
As per the advice in the last paragraph, keep your OS and Antivirus software up to date. Keep you important files backed up and don't open email attachments from people you don't know!

Devastating new malware: pay up or lose your files - Security Software:

Tablets grow 53% in 2013

Interesting growth statistics for 2013 ...
So Android is top of the heap for all devices at 38%!

Tablets shipments to mushroom by 53% in 2013 - Computerworld:'

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Bits & Pieces Community

A Reminder ...
For those readers who do not use RSS to notify them of posts to this blog, it is a good idea to join the public Bits & Pieces Google+ Community and that way you will get notification from Google+ that I have posted new items. You can also add comments to my posts or post your own thoughts.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Best Android smartphones

Overview of the best Android smartphones ...
Samsung Galaxy Note 3Always interesting to see which smartphones get a mention!

Best Android smartphones - Smartphones & PDA Phones:

Remote PC access

Microsoft launches mobile apps for remote PC access ...
May be of interest to some! I actually use the Android TeamViewer app for this purpose.

Microsoft launches iOS, Android apps for remote PC access - Mobile Apps:

Best Tablets

An overview of the currently available tablets ...
Google Nexus 7 (2013)A wide choice that should satisfy every need!

Best tablets - Tablets:

Whirlpool goes to Cloud

Another 30,000 employees move to the Google Cloud ...
Whirlpool has decided to maker the shift to Google Apps taking 30,000 employees.  I like the comment   " ... the decision to switch to Apps was also driven by people's familiarity with Google's online services in their personal lives."

Whirlpool CIO says Google's consumer-driven innovation led him to Apps - Computerworld:

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Windows 8 uptake stalls

Windows XP at 34%, Win 7 at 51% and Win 8 at 10% ...
Microsoft should be worried when you consider that after the same 13 months, Windows Vista was 8.9% of all Windows platforms!

Windows 8 uptake needle sticks as growth stalls - IT industry, net applications, Microsoft, Windows, software, operating systems - Computerworld:

Chrome lifeline for XP

Good one Google ...
Google throws Chrome-lifeline to Windows XP usersThere will still be, at very least, tens of millions still using Windows XP in April 2014 so this is a good move from Google. Windows XP users should abandon Internet Explorer on Windows XP PCs in favour of Google Chrome.

Google throws Chrome-lifeline to Windows XP users | News | TechRadar:

Best Windows 8 laptops

Good read if you are buying a Windows 8 laptop ...
Best Windows 8 laptops: the top Windows 8 notebooks we've reviewedProvides a good overview of some of the models currently available.

Best Windows 8 laptops: the top Windows 8 notebooks we've reviewed | News | TechRadar:

Microsoft drops RT brand

An improvement but confusion still reigns ...
The Microsoft Surface 2 tablet goes on sale in Australia later this month.Whilst dropping the "RT" from the Microsoft Surface 2 may help with reducing the confusion, I doubt that most consumers understand the difference between the Surface 2 and the Surface 2 Pro - other than the price!

Microsoft dropped RT brand to minimise Surface "confusion" - Surface 2, Microsoft, Microsoft Surface 2, tablets, Surface, Windows tablets - Good Gear Guide by PC World Australia:

Chromebook diaries

For those considering the purchase of a Chromebook ...
The author of this series of articles decided, as an experiment, to use a Chromebook as his sole work computing device for a week. He reports on the issues and his final verdict.

Chromebook diaries: the verdict - Laptop & Notebook computers:

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Given up on Windows?

Is Microsoft Windows rapidly losing its following ...
This is an excellent article written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes and I cannot help but agree with all he says. My only difference would be that I am heading to "browser access to the Cloud" rather than to Apple! Thank goodness the Cloud came along at the same time the wheels fell off Windows!

Why I've all but given up on Windows | ZDNet:

Melbourne's SwatchMate cube

Another great idea comes out of Australia ...
The SwatchMate app and cube.Very simple idea but cleverly designed and executed!

Melbourne mates match colours with smart SwatchMate cube:

Microsoft inventions

It just goes to show that timing is everything ...
How Microsoft invented almost everything (including the wheel)There is no doubt that, in its earlier days, Microsoft was every bit as innovative as Apple or Google. It was unfortunate that they were well ahead of time on so many things!

How Microsoft invented almost everything (including the wheel) | News | TechRadar:

Sunday, 10 November 2013

End of analog TV in Sydney

Less than a month until Analogue TV says goodbye ...
digitaltvswitchAt 9 am on December 3, 2013 Sydney will only be able watch free-to-air TV broadcasts in digital only.

It's less than two months before the end of analog TV:

BSOD hits the iPhone 5s

"Blue Screen of Death" now on Apple iPhone 5s ...
Not the sort of news that Apple wants to hear at the moment!

'Unapologetically blue': Microsoft's 'Blue Screen of Death' hits iPhone 5s - Gadgets & Tech - Life & Style - The Independent:

Skype being investigated

The National Security Agency gets into more trouble ...
The United States NSA seems to be getting into trouble everywhere! Now Microsoft can take the flack for an an investigation into links between the NSA and its newly acquired Skype.

Skype being investigated in Luxembourg over NSA spying links - Computerworld:

Motorola Moto X Review

The new Motorola Moto X ticks a lot of boxes ...
Motorola Moto XThis the first Android phone to come out of the Google/Motorola combination and it seems to have won plenty of fans.

Motorola Moto X Review - Smartphones & PDA Phones:

Lenovo's Android laptop

A new combination to consider - Android laptop ...
Windows laptop, Apple laptop, Chrome laptop (Chromebook) and now an Android laptop. What will be next?

Lenovo shows Android laptop in leaked user manuals - Computerworld:

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Samsung Galaxy Gear

Extensive review of the Samsung Gear smartwatch ...
Whilst other smartwatches are already available, I cannot help think that this one model from Samsung will become a benchmark to which others will be compared. The article gives a good description of what smartwatches are all about.

Review: Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch (SM-V700):

Apple in the post-Jobs world

An interesting perspective from several people ...
Future still uncertain for Apple in the post-Jobs worldHistory has shown that when Jobs was not around Apple started to have problems. I feel that Apple's long term future will be determined over the next 12 to 24 months.

Future still uncertain for Apple in the post-Jobs world:

UN reports Internet connections

2.7 Billion on the Internet only 4.4 Billion to go ...
Africa internetStill plenty of growth opportunity for all the existing Internet services!

UN report reveals most of the world remains unconnected to internet |

Google Boss and NBN thinking

Face of Google Australia and a serious push for the NBN ...
Google Australia managing director Maile Carnegie wants the company to be more involved in Australia’s digital economy future.
I agree with the sentiment that we should be looking at the opportunities that the NBN will allow rather than just keep looking at the costs all the time!

Shift thinking on NBN: Google boss:

Chrome OS inside Windows 8?

Watch out Microsoft, Google Chrome OS from within ...
Google reportedly building a version of Chrome OS to sit within Windows 8This is really getting cunning! I am intrigued as to how this will work!

Google reportedly building a version of Chrome OS to sit within Windows 8 | News | TechRadar:

Kogan Agora HDMI Dongle

Interesting piece of hardware from Kogan ...
The Kogan Agora HDMI Dongle plugs into your TV's HDMI portNot the same as the Google Chromecast dongle but achieves a similar end result.

Turn your TV into a smart TV with the Kogan Agora HDMI Dongle:

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Google's 15th anniversary

Google has made an impression over 15 years ...
It is hard to imagine the Internet without Google and all its services like Google+, Mail, Maps and YouTube - most of them free. This post is brought to you by Google's free Blogger service! I wonder what Google has for us in the next 15 years!

On 15th anniversary, Google is a historical tech powerhouse - Computerworld:

Latest gadget glass

So all glass is not the same it appears ...
Nippon Electric Glass Zero glassAn interesting little article on all the developments occurring in glass manufacturing.

Heat it, bend it, slam it and the latest gadget glass won't break - Computerworld:

Samsung Galaxy Gear

Some say 2014 will be the year of the "smartwatch" ...
The Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch launched in September.They are starting to come out now led by Samsung. Google and Apple won't be far behind.

Samsung Galaxy Gear review: my first day - Telegraph:

Friday, 1 November 2013

Ballmer a few regrets

A multi billionaire, I doubt that he is really worried ...
Outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.It is a shame that during his tenure as CEO, Microsoft missed a few major developments like tablets, smartphones and the ubiquitous cloud!

Ballmer reveals biggest regret at helm of Microsoft:

Apple Maps have an oops!

This shakes your faith in those navigational devices ...
Apple Maps originally offered this dangerous route to the airport in Fairbanks.Well at least it wasn't Tom Tom which is the one I have used in Australia, Britain, US and Canada!

Apple Maps directs drivers to Alaska airport runway:

Belkin's NetCam

Looks like a great way to keep your eye on things ...
belkinnetcam3Don't think I will be able to resist giving one of these a try!

Belkin's NetCam lets you keep an eye on things from anywhere:

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Google launches fire Crisis Map

A very worthwhile use of Google Maps ...
Interestingly this article states that Google Now users for Android and iOS can be alerted of extreme nearby bushfires published by NSW Rural Fire Service.

Google Australia launches bush fire Crisis Map - NSW bush fires 2013, Google Public Alerts, Google Australia, Google Crisis Map - Computerworld:

Microsoft changes XP tack

Good news - Windows 7 will be available for longer ...
I wonder how many Microsoft executives would like to re-run the last few years - maybe with a different story line. After all, this story line is going from bad to worse!

Microsoft puts Windows XP laggards in a pinch - Computerworld:

No skeuomorphism in iOS7

So what has skeuomorphism to do with iOS7 ...
The old and the new: Older versions of iOS featured faux textures (left), while the new version - iOS7 - features applications with much flatter, cleaner designs.The visual change to from Apple's iOS6 to iOS7 is not popular with everyone. 

Farewell felt-green card table, adieu spiral notepad: Apple revamps the furniture for iOS7:

Google wages war on MS Office

Google is giving away more free software ...
There is no doubt about the difference between the business models of Google, Apple and Microsoft. Google makes its money out of advertising - not software, Apple makes its money out of hardware - not software and Microsoft makes its money out of software - nothing else! If Google and Apple continue to give away operating systems and productivity software (read MS Office) there is going to be nothing left for Microsoft - it will have to become a hardware vendor - oh! that's right it bought Nokia and now makes Surface Tablets! 

Google wages war on Microsoft's Office with free iOS, Android apps - Computerworld:

Another flawed Office update

More evidence that Microsoft is losing the plot ...
Microsoft web pageI wonder how many disgruntled users did not resolve this issue by correcting the file association but rather installing and moving to another compatible free product like Open Office!

Another flawed Office update tells users to buy the suite - Computerworld:

App downloads above 102B

The App download figures are staggering ...
So the Google Play Store with over 1 million apps has now passed the Apple Store with 900,000 apps. The download numbers are so large that revenues are over $26 billion for 2013 even though 91% of the apps are free!

Mobile app download tally will soar above 102B this year - Computerworld:

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Windows 8.1 tips, tricks

Here are 20 tips and tricks with Windows 8.1 ...
Windows 8.1 tips, tricks and secretsSo you have decided to take the Windows 8.1 plunge - here are some useful tips and tricks to get you started!

Windows 8.1 tips, tricks and secrets | News | TechRadar:

Windows 8.1 - how to get it

So you want to take the Windows 8.1 plunge ...
This article might finally push you over the line. Then it tells you how to get the upgrade!

Windows 8.1 out, here’s what it brings and how to get it - Gadget Guy Australia:

Windows 8.1 adds new features

This article has doubts  about Windows 8.1 ...
There are mixed views about the likely success of Windows 8.1!

Windows 8.1 update adds new features, but not enough - Operating Systems:

10 reasons for Windows 8.1

See what you get with a Windows 8.1 upgrade ...
10 reasons you should upgrade to Windows 8.1This article might convince you that it is safe upgrade from Windows XP to to Windows 8.1. There again it may not!

10 reasons you should upgrade to Windows 8.1 | News | TechRadar:

Belkin puts eyes in the home

There are many potential uses for this 'pair' of eyes ...
Now there are affordable Wi-Fi cameras that can link to Android apps! Motion detection and video recording included.

Belkin sets up homes with eyes when you’re not there - Gadget Guy Australia:

Tablets to usurp PCs

Decline of PC in favour of tablets and smartphones ...
Tablets to usurp PCs from rusty throne within two yearsI believe that most homes will still have one desktop or laptop PC but it is likely that all other computing devices will be either tablets or smart phones.

Tablets to usurp PCs from rusty throne within two years | News | TechRadar:

Has Apple innovation ceased?

Certainly not the excitement this time around ...
A finger print scanner is hardly new, laptops have had them for years! It certainly seems that the Apple iPhone is running out of ideas.

Why everyone is so down on Apple (post-iPhone 5S) - Gadget Guy Australia:

Chromebook grows up!

Another perspective of Intel Chromebooks ...
I think this will really be a game changer for Chromebooks and cloud computing.

Google's Chromebook enters adulthood, thanks to Intel - Computerworld:

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Intel links with Chrome OS

Intel Chromebooks from HP, Acer & Toshiba under $300 ...
New Chromebooks
Another nail in the coffin for Microsoft? Intel now supplying processors for the Chrome Operating System. Chromebooks have just got a lot more interesting!

Google, Intel cement ties on Chrome OS, could weaken Wintel - Computerworld:

Why Apple is Doomed!

Lengthy but interesting article about Nokia's demise ....
The Nokia unit sales numbers were incredible. Makes you realise that Apple's iPhone is really a "kid on the block" in comparison! 

Why Apple is Doomed (and why Nokia failed):

Sunday, 13 October 2013

New iPhone 5S & iPhone 5C

Good overview of the two new iPhones ...
iphone5c3This is old news now but this article gives a good summary of the two new iPhone 5 models.

Do the new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C offer enough new features?:

Microsoft's fall from dominance

Excellent article that explains Microsoft's problems ...
"Now is the right time": Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.I have read the amazing explanation outlined in paragraph 8 (starts "Microsoft's greatest strength ... ") before but this article so clearly puts into perspective the problems that Microsoft is now facing.

What's behind Microsoft's fall from dominance:

Steve Ballmer's demise

Changing of the guard at Microsoft and a new start ...
More recent news is that the Board is asking Bill Gates to step down as Chairman. Looks like the Board does not want Bill Gates influencing the decision on the new CEO to replace Steve Ballmer!

Blunders lead to Ballmer's demise - Computerworld:

Kill the Windows Phone

An interesting article about future Microsoft directions ...
You may not agree with Ben Thomson's views but this is an interesting (if long) article on Microsoft's options for the future.

Kill Windows Phone or risk dying, analyst tells Microsoft - Computerworld:

Best Android tablets (Sep'13)

Must read article if you are looking at Android tablets ...
I agree with the reviewers choices of Nexus 7" and Nexus 10". I have never hear of the Ainol Novo 7" and Novo 9"! 

Best Android tablets (September 2013 edition) | ZDNet:

Google's new Chrome apps

Read this and think about the long term implications ...
These new "apps" can be found in the Chrome Web Store - see "Collections" then "For Your Desktop". A good example is Google Keep that was launched some time ago and now takes its place as one of the first Chrome "apps" that runs entirely outside of the Chrome browser - try it!

Google seeks to marry desktop and cloud with new Chrome apps - Computerworld:

Chromebook Advert

Google Chromebook finally getting traction ...
This YouTube advert from Google is quite interesting! Apparently they are now making significant inroads into the schools and it hardly surprising at the price!

Bits & Pieces Community

Bits & Pieces Posts also in a Google+ Community ...
Since the demise of Google RSS Reader, blogs have been harder to keep up with than other social media such as Facebook and Google+. So I have decided to also share my blog posts to a public Bits & Pieces Google+ Community. Clicking on posts in the Bits & Pieces Community will bring you back to the original post here in Google Blogger where I have more control over formatting. If you join the Bits & Pieces Google+ Community (using the link below) you will automatically get notifications when I post new items. This saves you visiting the blog just to see if I have posted anything new. It also means that you can comment on and discuss the posts within the Bits & Pieces Google+ Community which is a better format for this type of discussion. Please remember that the Bits & Pieces Google+ Community is "Public" (same as this blog) and therefore any comments are seen by all members of that Community.

Bits & Pieces Google+ Community

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Tablet sales nearly double

Tablets sales in 2013 more than whole of 2012 ...
ipad4gplanAlready 2.3 million sold in 2013 making a total of 7 million in use in Australia. This must be making a dent in the sale of desktops and laptops!

Tablet sales in first half of 2013 nearly more than whole of 2012:

Win XP's share nose-dives

This is a surprising drop in use of Windows XP ...
Windows XP share chartAs per my last post, there seems to be some statistical fiddling going on here! Other analysis referenced in this article shows a slight increase in the use of Windows XP! Just who are you to believe? The truth is probably somewhere in between. It could also be that users are moving to their tablets and smartphones in preference to their slowing Windows XP machines.

Windows XP's user share nose-dives - Computerworld:

Win 8 better than Vista

Hardly a major claim to fame for Windows 8 ...
Windows user share chartEven then, this is somewhat optimistic. I am not sure how you can count Windows 8.1 when it has not yet been released! Other analytics company, StatCounter, thinks that Windows 8 is behind Vista!

Windows 8 surpasses Vista's uptake rate -- 10 months after launch - Computerworld:

Globalgig wi-fi hotspots

Interesting Internet access option for travellers ...
The Globalgig wi-fi hotspotPrices in this article and the linked review article don't seem to match up but it seems to get a reasonably good review all the same. The dates on the two articles are quite different which might explain the prices and the countries in which it gives Internet access. 

Globalgig to sell wi-fi hotspots in Dick Smith stores:

Thursday, 10 October 2013

New Google Nexus 7

Second generation Nexus 7 looks even better ...
The first Nexus 7 was so popular but this new generation Nexus 7 is even better in so many ways that it is a "must consider" if you are interested in an Android 7" tablet.

Google Nexus 7 launches in Australia - Tablets:

Useful keyboard shortcuts

Now we all need a reminder of these useful shortcuts ...
Always useful to run through these popular keyboard shortcuts every once in a while.

Most useful keyboard shortcuts - Computers: PC, Mac, Laptop, Desktop, Tablet & Monitors:

Win 8 for touchscreens only

This would have saved Microsoft from a lot of grief ...
Why Windows 8 should have been for touchscreens onlyI totally agree with the views expressed in this article. Microsoft could have renamed Windows 7 as Windows Desktop 7 and, in parallel, launched Windows Touch 1. They could have left the desktop out of Windows Touch 1 which is what the rumours were suggesting was going to happen in future releases.

Why Windows 8 should have been for touchscreens only | News | TechRadar: