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TheBolt

The official blog of Abt Electronics & Appliances

Posts Tagged ‘microsoft’

Technologist Tuesday: Technology Forecast

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

josh davis-technologist

Welcome to the Abt Electronics technology forecast.  I’m your Technologist, Josh Davis.  There’s lots of change in the air so let’s get to it.  We’ve got a massive eruption of new Google product and software on its way from Mountain View, CA.  The new OS 4.4 Kit Kat will really hit the Smartphone and tablet industries hard.  You’ll also see the excitement of the new LG Nexus 5 Smartphone & Asus Nexus 10 Tablet last all throughout the week and into Tuesday.

Come Tuesday we’ll have a 99% chance of a new iPad series announced alongside the new Mac OS 10.9 Mavericks  and maybe even a sprinkling of new Macs.  The fog Apple’s announcement cast should clear just in time for those that bought their just released Microsoft Surface 2 & Surface 2 Pro tablets.  However, just when you think this technology typhoon is going to give, Nikon’s new D610 and Asus’s Transformer Book T100 are going to appear all throughout the country followed by a seriously needed and much anticipated update to Windows 8.  You can expect to see a great deal of sunshine and smiling faces when Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 (free for Windows 8 users) brings backs millions of start buttons on PCs across the country.  Right when windows users feel the warmth of familiarity, a front of new Windows hardware will sweep across the nation.  A slew of Nokia & other company Windows phones and tablets will be on all our radars.

And now, your extended forecast: November should start off with heavy amounts of preorder customers receiving their new Fitbit Force bands, HTC One Max & LG’s new G2 Smartphones.  Still within early November, Apple’s new products will temporarily flood the market followed by frustrating availability conditions prior to holidays and possibly lasting into January.  Meanwhile, Microsoft’s new Xbox One and Sony’s new PlayStation 4 will be the talk of the town.  These systems haven’t seen a refresh for 7-8 years!  We can all most definitely expect large scale parental fighting spread like wildfire across the US deep into the holiday shopping season.

You’re umbrellas are going to have to be made out of cash to weather this storm.

Good Luck,

The Technologist

Technologist Tuesday: Consumer Cloud

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

josh davis-technologist

Ironically, the sources of all cloud-based services are giant data centers plastered to the Earth.  However, the obvious “cloud” element to these services resides in their wireless capabilities.  Do you own an iPhone, Android or Windows phone? Do you have important information stored on your home computers?  If you do, Apple, Google or Microsoft and many cloud based backup companies offer you a grocery list of cloud services.  These cloud-based services have come a long way.  Massive updates in the last few months have really pushed them to new limits.  Knowing your Smartphone’s cloud based service options and picking out a cloud based home backup service are two good simple ways to take advantage of the mighty cloud.

Smartphone Cloud Service breakdown(Apple/Microsoft /Google)

Apple’s iCloud Core Services: 

icloud

 

The Good:

  • Photo Stream is an amazing and fully automated solution for ensuring your pictures easily flow among all devices and can be shared.  Also, the sharing quality is better than most big software photo companies.
  • Contacts, Calendars, Notes, Reminders & your iCloud.com Email sync seamlessly throughout your Apple hardware

The Bad:

  • If you’re Apple ID doesn’t end in “icloud.com” then you’ll find some limitations to this service.  Notes & Mail primarily (however, it’s usually not a big deal as there are ways around it)
  • Also, This system is just fantastic if you have all Mac product.  Throw a PC with Outlook into the equation and it starts to get sloppy

The Ugly:

  • When Apple turned “Mobile Me” into “iCloud” they got rid of idisk.  So now, Unlike Google’s Drive or Microsofts Skydrive, Apple’s data hides inside it’s apps.  Word docs hide inside Pages, Excel files hide inside Numbers, Powerpoint presentations hide inside Keynote and PDF files hide inside iBooks.  Want to save something other than that in your 5GB of storage?  Too bad.  Want to organize your docs into nice categorizing folders?  Think again.
  • 5GB Free total storage for below services
  • Backup:  Cloud based backup system for iOS devices
  • Mail, Contacts, Notes, Reminders & Calendar syncing: affirmative
  • Find My iPhone: Cloud based app to find, message, lock or wipe iOS device(s)
  • Pages, Numbers & Keynote: Cloud based apps similar to Word, Excel & Powerpoint.  Each App is also going to store its corresponding file types. Exa:  you can store your word docs inside the app Pages.
  • My Photo Stream&Shared Photo Stream: Automatic Photo syncing cloud service

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Technologist Tuesday-Football Tech Talk

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

josh davis-technologist

1)      Camera Technology:  Have you seen the techie fight scenes when two rivals are flying toward each other in slow motion and then the camera begins to circle around them?  Well, Thanks to Replay Technologies’ proprietary freeD technology, you’ll see this on the field.  In fact, you may have already seen it in the 2012 Olympics, 2012 PGA Championship and Yankee Games.   If you’re a Cowboy fan or a fan of an NFL team that will visit Arlington Texas’ At&t Stadium, then be excited when a review is needed.  There are 12 Cameras stationed on both ends of that field.  They will be able to provide some pretty serious reviews from the end zone to the 20 yard line.  They use Teledyne Dalsa Falcon 2 cameras that are all synchronized to record a moment from all different angles.  The freeD technology considers this group of 12 4K equivalent cameras acting as one.  The result is the sci-fi ability to re-position your view in ways the traditional cameras won’t.  The data from the cameras courses into a brain room where you have the right staff ready to provide you a quick replay that will definitely impress you.  I polled Abt employees to see if anyone witnessed some freeD reviews in Sunday night’s Cowboys vs. Giants game.  Some of those I asked said they watched some of the game and none witnessed any freeD action.  It would be nice if they used this technology all throughout the game instead of the limited review moments.  https://vimeo.com/66628788     http://vimeo.com/73813078

2)      Protection Technology:  We used to sell Tech21 iPhone & iPad cases.  They use D3O material inside their products.  They were even cool enough to send us a vat of raw D30.  We had a blast.  We wrapped up our thumb and took a hammer to it (just like their videos) and to our amazement, it worked!  This gooey orange stuff is made of molecules that, upon shock, lock together.  They absorb the impact and spread the shock across the D3O.  Today, over 20 sporting good brands have partnered with D3o Technology.  One of these brands, All-Star, already sells d3o integrated Girdles, Shoulder Protective Base Layers, Crash Pads for forearms and Lineman Gloves.  Schutt Sports just created the first sport helmets lined with d3o for baseball and softball.  Perhaps football helmets are next?  D3o goo  On a related note, Professor Vijay Gupta from UCLA has been getting a lot of attention for his shock absorbing polymer.  Hope these scientists entered the NFL Head Health Challenge II.  This NFL Sponsored program is awarding millions of dollars to those that participate in this quest to reduce brain injuries.  Meanwhile, I wish the 2013 NFL season the best of luck handling the average 1600lb force the average tackle brings.

3)      3D TV!: Eye popping amazing graphics flying at your face and changing the way you experience the big game is…….not going to happen (yet).  ESPN 3D channel is apparently shutting down by the end of the year.  Don’t worry though; our 3D favorite Avatar has a sequel that’ll hit the theaters in 2016.   By then we’ll probably have enjoyed a 3d Super bowl.  I’m sure the future will help to ease the burdens associated with broadcasting a live 3D event. Once technology gets us over that hurdle, we’ll see more 3D TV broadcasts.  Meanwhile, we’ll enjoy some really cool 3D movies.

4)      LASERS!  Laser projected First Down lines? Seen at the stadium or on TV could be a laser projected line instead of the old school chain measurement.  NFL still not sure if this is going to be a reality.  Seemed to be a hot topic in January 2013 and suddenly, no one is talking about it.  First Down Laser Systems, LLC seems to  have a positive attitude.  I can hear the sportscaster now, “Ooooh, looks like a close one Roger…Oh Yea!  They’re firing up the lasers!”

nfl lasers

5)      Microsoft & NFL: New Xbox One delivers us a new way to watch the game?  Microsoft and the NFL struck a deal that enables Microsoft to get hands on with how people enjoy the game.  I have a feeling that this will be most important to fantasy football fans.  We’ll see. It does look very cool.

nfl xbox 1

6)      Full Field View:  64:9 720P Ultra-Wide Cameras that can record the entire field at once?  Can you image hanging’ out a bar to watch your favorite NFL team play and instead of a big screen TV there’s a wall of 4 monster HD TVs?  Your team’s end zone is off on the TV on the left and on the 4th TV to the right is the End zone of your opponent.   As silly as that may seem, I’d visit that bar at least once.  Panasonic’s already built this recording beast.

full field view

Da Bears!

-The Technologist

Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2012 Arrives!

Monday, June 4th, 2012

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3 for short,  is the world’s premier trade show for computer and video games and related products. The show is owned by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the U.S. association dedicated to serving the business and public affairs needs of the companies, publishing interactive games for video game consoles, handheld devices, personal computers, and the Internet.

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A $99 Xbox In Every Home, Microsoft Hopes

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

An article from The Verge (citing unamed sources) today announced that Microsoft will be offering a new subscription-based Xbox 360 package. For $99 and a two-year, $15 a month, contract, gamers will get a 4GB Xbox console, Kinect sensor, and a Xbox Live Gold subscription. Customer’s will also be covered under a 2-year warranty, and from what we see, could have access to exclusive streaming content from cable and sports providers.

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Abt @ CES 2012: Microsoft Has Your Files in the Clouds

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Microsoft showed off its internet storage service, SkyDrive at CES 2012.  Microsoft is brings SkyDrive, to iTunes, as well as to the Windows Phone marketplace.  The free app which was launched in December of last year, lets users tap into their web repository to retrieve their personal documents, notes, photos, and videos. SkyDrive is one of a growing list of apps from Microsoft to make their way into the iTunes Store.

Modern Warfare 3: Join the Fight!

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

If you haven’t had the pleasure of playing the newest game to hit the XBOX 360, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, Abt has a great deal for you.  Right now you can get a great bundle pack that features a new 320GB XBOX 360, the game Call of Duty, Modern Warfare 3, and two specially designed controllers.  The system and controllers are designed to look rugged and war-torn with the game’s logo in the corner.  This is a great gift idea for the holidays for that special someone who loves video games, or, yourself!

The Most Innovative Companies

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

FastCompany released a list of the 10 most innovative companies of 2011.  Number one, which should not really be a surprise is Apple.  They have dominated the technological field for the last decade with innovative gadgets as well as excellent upgrades to their already impressive line of technology.

A few other honorable mentions was Samsung in second place for making themselves into a steady source for new technologies, especially 3D TVs and Microsoft coming in 3rd for their World Record Breaking Kinect.

Congratulations to all the companies that made the list.  the full article could be read at The 10 Most Innovative Companies in Consumer Electronics.

Microsoft Kinect Breaks Record

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

The Microsoft Kinect broke the Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest selling consumer electronics device.  Over 10 million since its launch, the Kinect has redefined video games.  Using your own body as the controller, the gamer’s hands, feet and head become buttons on an imaginary controller. If your character needs to kick, go and kick, if it needs to jump or punch, do the same!   So, congratulations to Microsoft for having this unique system “jump” ahead the competition.

Get your Microsoft Kinect at Abt!

Kinect Comes to Your PC/TV

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Microsoft is planning on importing its Kinect technology to their Windows programming.  In an interview with BBC at CES 2011 last weekend, Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer stated that Microsoft “will support that in a formal way in the right time.”  No word on specifically what time, but the technology will be used for easier web and menu navigation.  Full details can be found in Information Week’s article, “Kinect Technology Heading to PCs, TVs.

It seems as if we are just years away from using the same technology as Tom Cruise did in the movie, “Minority Report.”

Image Courtesy of djtechtools.com