Changes With Google Images



Searching for Images is Easier

If you loved research back in College, you must have come across Google Scholar – a version of Google laying emphasis on research papers. Today, we have another Google variant, Google Images – a tool by Google that we people use to reverse search images.

You want to share a funny meme that you saw today but can’t remember which site it was on. Type into Google what text you can remember and it will do its magic…on a PC.

Mobile is a little different, though. Performing a reverse image search on mobile devices is limited, as stated in this post:

How To Use Google Images

Simon / Pixabay

First, you cannot do a traditional reverse-image search with the standard Google app or via on mobile browsers like Safari or Chrome. The camera icon won’t show up in the search bar (pictured), so there is no way to upload an image for a reverse search on mobile.

But the Chrome browser app for iOS and Android does support a reverse-image search workaround. When you have the image you want to search, hold your finger on it until a pop-up menu appears; pick “Search Google For This Image” at the bottom. Note: This will NOT work in the Google app or other browsers (not even in Safari).

If for some reason this doesn’t work, you can also select Open Image. Then copy the URL, go back to, and paste in the URL—but that’s adding extra steps.

With either method, the results of a reverse-image search then appear, with lots of options to narrow your query, such as finding animated GIFs, clip-art equivalents, or looking by the color scheme used in the original image.

See more here:  How To Do A Reverse Image Search From Your Phone

Image Recognition Software

Google is making commendable efforts towards intelligent image recognition with Google’s cloud platform. Using Cloud Vision API, developers can classify images into categories which be used to find where a given image originated from, allowing metadata to be built, and analyzing and integrating images.

Another option for image recognition and the non-developer community is the app called Goggle. It was released in December of 2009 as a way to identify images without needing a text-based search.

Ironically, it was removed from the Android operating system in 2014 because of a lack of use, but at Google I/O 2017, Google Lens was announced that has similar functions as Goggle’s, but instead it using Google Assistant.

Apparently, Goggle is still in use, as seen in the demonstration with this video published in February of 2017:

Using Google Images For Any Browser

1. Head over to using your favorite browser.
2. Click the grey camera icon to the left of the search text box.
3. You can either upload a local image or link to it. (On a computer, try the drag and drop feature, you will love it)
4. You will be directed to the normal Google search result page.
5. Click/tap the images tab. Right-click/hold the thumbnail to view a higher resolution version of the image. You can then save it at this stage.

Even easier, using Google Chrome browser:

Image search on Google

Simon / Pixabay

1. Find an image you’d like to reverse search on any website.
2. Right-click / Hold the image. Choose “search Google for this image”

In mid-February, there were some changes with Google Images. The View Image button was removed, mostly to make it harder to steal images. With View Image, it opened up the photo in a window by itself.

This update frustrated users but I’m sure those in the photography/graphics industry rejoiced.

You can still download an image but first, you have to go to the Visit button, which takes you to their website. Not only does it appear to be an effort to stop people from “borrowing” photos, but it also drives traffic to the website where the image is found, giving the owner a chance to show ads or entice a purchase.

Helpful Addition to Image Search

With this, Google made searching for related images easier by adding tags to the image that include where it is published and the title of the picture. The following post discusses this feature further:

Google Images is the incredibly useful tab on Google searches that lets you look through images relating to your search term. Last year Google improved Images by adding badges to each result that highlighted the type of content the images were from. If the image comes from a recipe it now has the word recipe written on it so that you know that clicking on it will take you to the recipe of whatever it is that you’re looking at. Google is now looking to extend this functionality even further, adding more information to the tag that shows up with image results. Google is starting to add captions to Google Image results.

That captions that Google is adding will offer users a little more context about the images that they’re looking at. Captions will include the title and where the image is published.

Read more here:  Google Images Is Even Now More Useful

There are additional options that save time instead of opening a browser each time you need to perform an image search. There are a few good apps that let you take pictures and search through them. One choice is Veracity.

Let’s say you’re interested in a given art piece at the museum. Upload a photo to Veracity and it will display links to web pages containing that art piece. You can then learn more about that item. There are many other similar apps offering the same functionality.

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SXSW Conference 2018 – What’s New?



Why Is This Year Different

If you are part of the emerging technology scene, you are probably aware of the SXSW conference that happens annually in Austin, Texas.  SXSW (South by Southwest) is a festival in mid-March filled with technology, music, film, and interactive media, showcasing big-name profiles and celebrities from all genres, locations, and walks of life.SXSW Conference 2018 - What's New?

The event has been part of the Texas landscape for quite some time. It was first held in 1987 as a local music event with the expectation that a handful of people would attend; however, over 700 showed up and it instantly created a stir.

History of SXSW

To provide some perspective on the longevity of SXSW, in 1987:

  • Email was called electronic mail and was mostly used by colleges and the military.
  • Landline telephones had a rotary dial.
  • The Boombox was how you listened to CDs.
  • The cost of an Apple Macintosh computer with 128 KB’s of memory was over five thousand dollars.

Here’s more on the history of the South by Southwest Celebration:

That same year, a small group of people in Austin, Texas began a series of long discussions about the future of entertainment and media. The meetings were in the offices of The Austin Chronicle, and participants were sworn to secrecy. A fundamental opinion shared by the group was that the local creative and music communities were as talented as anywhere else on the planet, but were severely limited by a lack of exposure outside of Austin.Austin Texas

Music was the uniting factor, but the group had a catholic taste for art and ideas. Inclusiveness and reaching for new things were core values. The solution being discussed was an event that would bring the outside world to Austin for a close-up view.

As the key ideas were formed, recognition grew that Austin was not the only city where this was an issue. For a local event to bring the world to Austin, it needed to have value everywhere. A name was sought that was not restrictive in its concept.

Finally, in October of 1986, the announcement of the first South By Southwest was made. The SXSW group expected initial resistance from the locals, but it was quite the opposite. Almost everyone wanted to be involved. Resistance would come later.

See more here:  SXSW History Intro

Events at the Festival

SXSW Conference 2018 started on March 9 and runs through March 17. It isn’t just your typical tech conference, with a wide range of topics and formats, including:

  • Book Readings
  • Book Signings
  • Demo Listening Sessions
  • Featured Speakers
  • KeynotesParty at SXSW
  • Meet Ups
  • Mentor Sessions
  • Pitch Events
  • Podcast Stage
  • Round Tables
  • Solo/Dual/Panels
  • Workshops

There are appearances by politicians that receive a lot a publicity, such as this year’s discussion by Jake Tapper and Bernie Sanders on March 9, 2018.

Another powerful event was two days ago on March 11 with SpaceX & Tesla CEO Elon Musk and film director Jonathan Nolan.  This Q&A session deliberated everything from artificial intelligence to colonizing Mars to self-driving cars.

Most of the conference presentations are at least an hour long and replays can be found on YouTube. This video is a teaser for SXSW 2018 does a good job of highlighting the various genres that are included.

Are Big Tech Companies Falling From Grace?

From the information I have read, it sounds like this year’s conference has a different tone than previous years. Technology and social media aren’t as beloved as they were a few years ago.

In fact, on the first night’s lineup, Facebook reps and other big names were grilled on how they have handled some important topics as of late, such as fake news and their monopoly on information and media being distributed.

According to USA Today, the backlash being received by the tech world has been dubbed with its own name – techlash. The USA Today article went on to say, “The rapid growth of Facebook, Google and Amazon has fed fears that these companies control too much of the information that gets shared and, in Amazon’s case, the goods and services consumers buy.”Advances in Technology

Reining in the sheer amount of information and data that is sent out digitally every day is an overwhelming task. in addition, getting a grip on the people using technology for the dark side of the web that is hidden in obscurity makes you realize it’s a good thing that individuals are willing to call out the big hitters with all the control.

As the SXSW name indicates, we are still in the Wild West of technology, with artificial intelligence and machine learning in the early stages of their growth. What we envisioned as a Sci-FI movie not long ago is quickly becoming a reality.

Technology is very influential in our lives, so asking the prominent leaders in the industry to be more responsible and transparent is a recurring theme at this conference and worldwide.


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Onsite SEO vs Offsite SEO



Which SEO Component Is More Important?

onsite seo vs offsite seo

geralt / Pixabay

Online advertising has become a major component of today’s marketing strategies. If your business doesn’t have a digital presence, you are losing out on tons of potential customers.

As of 2017, seventy-one percent of small businesses have a website, according to  This is imperative considering a website is the foundation of your online existence.

Assuring that your site is mobile friendly is also critical for building an online brand considering 77% of people in the United States have a smartphone and 62% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last 6 months.

When building your online visibility, there are two optimization aspects that have to be considered:  onsite SEO vs offsite SEO.

Onsite SEO refers to optimizing both the content and HTML source code of a page whereas offsite indicates inbound and outbound links from other sources on the web as well as other external signals.

More About On-Page SEO

They are both a piece of the online puzzle, but if your on-page isn’t done correctly, your site won’t show up for the keywords that are important to your industry.

Here is more about onsite optimization:

On-Page SEO

FirmBee / Pixabay

Beyond helping search engines interpret page content, proper on-site SEO also helps users quickly and clearly understand what a page is about and whether it addresses their search query. In essence, good on-site SEO helps search engines understand what a human would see (and what value they would get) if they visited a page, so that search engines can reliably serve up what human visitors would consider high-quality content about a particular search query (keyword).

The ultimate goal of on-site SEO can be thought of as attempting to make it as easy as possible for both search engines and users to:

  • Understand what a webpage is about;
  • Identify that page as relevant to a search query or queries (i.e. a particular keyword or set of keywords);
  • Find that page useful and worthy of ranking well on a search engine results page (SERP).

See the original post here:  What is Onsite SEO?

I’ve followed the teachings of some amazing SEO specialists, but Brian Dean is one of my favorites. Not only is he an expert, but he also explains things in terms that are easy to understand.

On-Page Content Ranking Factors

Creating content for your website is a big part of onsite SEO. Whether it is for the pages on your website or for your blog, this relevant content helps to attract users as well as informing the search engines what your site is all about.

Some of Brian’s top considerations for on-page optimization are seen in this video:

In short, for SEO-worthy content, Brian suggests to:

  • Use short URLs
  • Use plenty of LSI Keywords (terms that relate to your primary keywords)
  • Longer Content Ranks Better
  • Optimize Your Title Tag for SEO and Click-Through Rate
  • Include External and Internal Linking
  • Maximize Site Speed
  • Include Multi-Media

Keyword Research for SEO

Keyword research

Wokandapix / Pixabay

Before any of the title tags, links, or URLs are created, you have to do your keyword research. Most people understand that keywords are basically what a user would type into search when looking for something online.

The problem is that some keywords with high search volume are difficult to show up for online. These terms are almost impossible to rank for without spending a lot of time and money. (Examples would be trying to rank for “SEO” or “Computers”.)

Other mistakes are trying to optimize for too many keywords or for terms that are irrelevant to your products or services. You have to research keywords before choosing the best options for your company, which requires figuring out the keywords your competitors are using in order to outrank them.

Here’s more about how to research your keywords:

Step 1: Make a list of important, relevant topics based on what you know about your business.

To kick off this process, think about the topics you want to rank for in terms of generic buckets. You’ll come up with about 5-10 topic buckets you think are important to your business, and then you’ll use those topic buckets to help come up with some specific keywords later in the process.

If you’re a regular blogger, these are probably the topics you blog about most frequently. Or perhaps they’re the topics that come up the most in sales conversations. Put yourself in the shoes of your buyer personas — what types of topics would your target audience search that you’d want your business to get found for? If you were a company like HubSpot, for example — selling marketing software (which happens to have some awesome SEO tools … but I digress 😉 — you might have general topic buckets like “inbound marketing, ” “blogging, ” “email marketing, ” “lead generation, ” “SEO, ” “social media, ” “marketing analytics, ” and “marketing automation.”

Make sense?

Step 2: Fill in those topic buckets with keywords.

Now that you have a few topic buckets you want to focus on, it’s time to identify some keywords that fall into those buckets. These are keyword phrases you think are important to rank for in the SERPs (search engine results pages) because your target customer is probably conducting searches for those specific terms.

For instance, if I took that last topic bucket for an inbound marketing software company — “marketing automation” — I’d brainstorm some keyword phrases that I think people would type in related to that topic. Those might include:

marketing automation tools how to use marketing automation software what is marketing automation? how to tell if I need marketing automation software lead nurturing email marketing automation top automation tools

See more here:  How To Do Keyword Research For SEO:  A Beginners Guide

Mobile Devices

fancycrave1 / Pixabay


Another way to find great keywords is by using Google Trends. It offers topics that are popular and on the rise.

Honestly, though, search engine optimization is an ever-changing environment that takes a long time to learn and become proficient. We have been studying it for over 5 years and continue to learn new aspects of it every day.

You can check your SEO score on our website for free to see how your site rates. We are happy to discuss the results with you to improve on any areas that need help.

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Vero App – A Rising Star



Semi-New Social Media Platform

Vero is an app that has big aspirations. It was founded by a Lebanese billionaire and a movie financier, and their plan is to take on the big social media giants.

Vero - New Social Media Platform

geralt / Pixabay

It was conceived because of users increasing annoyance with ads and controlling algorithms being enforced on sites like Facebook and Instagram. Launched in 2015, Vero asserts itself as an ad-free “social network that lets you be yourself.”

What’s The Attraction

As recently as one week ago, it wasn’t showing up in the top apps. However, over the weekend, its popularity exploded. This post explains more:

The company’s manifesto says: ‘Most social networks reduce everyone to a friend or a follower.

‘This encourages us to only share the parts of our lives we think are the most interesting.’

The biggest difference between Vero and other networks is the fact that the items on Vero users’ feeds show up in chronological order.

Additionally, Vero charges fees for users unlike social media giants Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.

Read more here:  What Is Vero?

The Vero App is new enough that it is still experiencing glitches. Ironically, it isn’t really all that new, but it has had such recent influx of users, including artists and celebrities, that the servers are having trouble keeping up.

Some people complain that it isn’t very easy to navigate and that it crashes, forcing you to restart the app. Some feel that requiring a phone number in a beta app is too intrusive.

I was able to download the app, although many people have hit a wall when trying. It asked a lot of questions about preferences, but when I finally got to the point where I could post something, it timed out.

How To Use Vero

This video gives more information on using the Vero App:

The first 1 million people to sign up for Vero are given lifetime free access, so I guess I made it into that elite group. Once it has reached its limit on free users, the annual subscription cost is expected to be fairly reasonable…but at this point, no one knows how much.

Vero is committed to a “no ads” philosophy, so the funding is going to have to come from a different source. The biggest attraction is that there is no algorithm filtering your posts.

Finding Friends and Connecting

You can let the app look for people you know that already use the platform or you can search for people randomly. It lets you follow people and connect with people, the first being from a distance and the second more intimate.

Here is more about connecting with others on this new social media platform:

First up, you’ll need to find some friends to share your posts with. Thankfully, the app does that automatically when you first sign in – looking through your contacts list and finding people that you might know.

Mobile Apps for Social Media

stevepb / Pixabay

So you can get to adding those. The app will ask you how you know those people – whether they’re just an acquaintance or a close friend – and you should click on the circles that apply. This is important because Vero works something like the way Google+ was supposed to, arranging people into different groups and then allowing you to share more or less with each of them.

Not everybody needs to be your friend. If you just want to follow someone – if they’re famous, for instance, or an artist you admire but just want to be kept up to date with rather than befriend – you should only click the “follow” button and not the “connect” one, so that you’ll stay up to date with all of their posts.

Find the original post here:  Vero: How to Use the New App that Combines Instagram, Facebook, and More

As I mentioned, I tried to make my first post and it failed…three times. I was finally able to share my first music post, but not without some extra effort. It may be a while before Vero becomes a Facebook killer, but it seems the world is tiring of the mainstream platforms that want complete control.


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Is Cryptocurrency The Investment Of The Future?



What Is Cryptocurrency

One of the biggest global phenomenon since the age of the Internet is cryptocurrency. Even though this concept is not understood by the average human, most financial institutions, government agencies, and well-known software companies are aware of their importance in today’s economy.

Is Cryptocurrency The Investment of the Future?

jaydeep_ / Pixabay

Cryptocurrencies got their start by accident. The inventor of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, wasn’t planning to create digital money but in 2009, he announced the first successful decentralized currency.

Typically what we are used to with electronic money and paper currency is a central depository and central server that keeps record of the balances. What Satoshi did, which everyone thought impossible, is to achieve a consensus without a central authority.

The Role of a Currency Miner

Here is how a cryptocurrency miner creates coins and confirms transactions:

Let‘s have a look at the mechanism ruling the databases of cryptocurrencies. A cryptocurrency like Bitcoin consists of a network of peers. Every peer has a record of the complete history of all transactions and thus of the balance of every account.

A transaction is a file that says, “Bob gives X Bitcoin to Alice“ and is signed by Bob‘s private key. It‘s basic public key cryptography, nothing special at all. After signed, a transaction is broadcasted in the network, sent from one peer to every other peer. This is basic p2p-technology. Nothing special at all, again.

The transaction is known almost immediately by the whole network. But only after a specific amount of time it gets confirmed.

Confirmation is a critical concept in cryptocurrencies. You could say that cryptocurrencies are all about confirmation.

See more here:  What is Cryptocurrency: Everything You Need To Know [Ultimate Guide]

Miners are the individuals who maintain the safety, integrity, and balance of the ledgers. They are members of the general public who use high-powered computers to validate transactions and add them to a ledger with timestamps.

Using a blockchain, the list of records are linked and secured, and each transaction between two people is recorded in an open, distributed ledger that is verified and permanent.  There are over a thousand types of cryptocurrency and most are similar to the original Bitcoin, but some newer options seem to have the potential to be even more powerful.

If you feel like the idea of mining for cryptocurrency is confusing, you aren’t alone. This video attempts to provide a beginner explanation of mining cryptocurrency:

Using your electricity and PC to generate cash sounds pretty good:  a set-it-and-forget-it type scenario. It’s like making money while you sleep…everyone’s dream.

And using a calculator to make sure your operation is going to be profitable makes sense, too. If your computer, electricity, and graphics processing cards (GPU) required to run your system outweigh the profit, you need to reconsider your alternatives.

Risks of Investing in Digital Currency

However, there are some definite risks of investing in cryptocurrency. The assets are more volatile than traditional forms of investment, hackers are more interested than ever in digital currency, and you can’t forget that legally you have to pay taxes on your profits.

This article provides pointers for this new frontier:

Cyber Criminal and Hackers

TheDigitalArtist / Pixabay

Always verify a Web wallet’s address, and don’t follow links to an Internet bank or Web wallet. Before sending, double-check the recipient’s address (at least check the first and last characters), the amount being sent, and the size of the associated fee. Write down a mnemonic phrase that allows you to recover a cryptowallet if you lose it or forget your password. Keep a cool head and make informed decisions when crypto-investing, and don’t panic or hurry. Always remember that crypto-investment is very risky. Do not invest more than you’re ready to lose at any moment. Diversify your investments. Use cryptocurrency hardware wallets. Run high-quality antivirus protection to protect the devices you use to access cryptowallets, trade on crypto-exchanges, and so on.

Read more here:  Problems and risks of cryptocurrencies

Minor errors in documenting information are one thing, but cybercriminals are a whole different aspect, with no system of insurance. Banks are required to insure the money you invest, but not so with cryptocurrency.

Using your central processing unit (CPU) with a GPU card along with other peripheral equipment to solve mathematical equations, which in turn earns you money. is a fascinating and alarming concept, all at the same time. Just as with any investment, you need to study it extensively.

If you need advice on optimizing your business for today’s digital world, contact an online marketer Denver for more information.





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Content Marketing – Is It Still King?



Changes In Content Writing

Content marketing has been around since well before the internet. Historically, content marketing practices by brands began to grow in the late 19th century as a method for attracting potential customers with valuable content.

Content Marketing - Is it still king?

geralt / Pixabay

The idea was that companies could focus on the needs and interests of their customers, rather than pushing product purchases, with publications such as magazines, booklets, or newspapers. Eventually, radio came along in the 1920s, changing marketing from the written word to audio, and commercial advertisements were born.

By the mid 20th century, television became the new craze for marketing your content and products, followed by the digital age dawning in the 1990s. Today’s content marketer knows that the initial philosophy of engaging viewers with valuable information is still crucial, but with the onset of mobile devices and capturing micro-moments, getting your message out is a whole new beast.

This article from Think With Google discusses how Adidas changed their marketing strategy to fit with today’s fast-paced global world. After realizing they were falling behind, they re-evaluated their global game plan and came to this conclusion:

To get this little revolution started, we had to come to terms with three new realities.

  1. The consumer is in command.
  2. The consumer needs to hear a single voice.
  3. The cultural shift this requires is intense.
Consumer is in Command

geralt / Pixabay

The consumer is in command

Direct-to-consumer and wholesale buyers and merchandisers used to dictate the trends in our world. We controlled our launches and rolled them out in each country at our own pace. But now, consumers shape the trends. In our case, sneaker and lifestyle blogs have gone mainstream globally and social influencers have proliferated. We have a core set of advanced consumers and fans who drive interest in our products, innovations and storylines.

The speed is relentless. In the past we could introduce a new line of shoes and nurture its growth in a measured period of time, region by region. We called the shots. But now, thanks to mobile, the information spreads so quickly across the globe that we run the risk of having unsatisfied consumers if the hot new product isn’t available in their market. We’ve had to shift from local launches to global launches, which affects everything from supply-chain coordination to our marketing programs and publishing strategy.

Learn more here:  Empowered mobile consumers led Adidas to a cultural revolution

Solving individual needs and problems and doing it all in a seamless, user-friendly approach is what today’s consumers are looking for. One way marketers reach out to engage their viewers’ attention is by writing regular content via their blog.

Less Shared Content

For businesses, the art of blogging has grown by 800% over the last five years, according to TrackMaven. The problem is that social media sharing has gone the opposite direction, down 89%.

In other words, companies are writing longer posts more often, but they aren’t being shared as much among their social communities. People tend to share posts that stir their emotions, so if your blog isn’t written in a way that evokes certain feelings, your work is less effective.

Writing and curating content isn’t easy for most and takes a decent time commitment. There are a number of tips that can help increase your share-ability and writing speed, and who better to explain this than Neil Patel:

It is hard to make every blog article touching or humorous, but if you just relax and write from your heart, it comes out in your post.  As the above article from Think With Google mentioned, a company needs to align their philosophy with one single voice or mission.

If you sell workout shoes, then focus on stories that inspire and motivate the people you are trying to market to. If you want to teach people how to knit, become an expert on the subject, find your voice, and make it entertaining to those that share your passion.

Let Me Entertain You

The video by Neil Patel addressed some of the same key points as this article, but this post by Entrepreneur offers some great pointers for writing appealing content that your audience will want to share:

2) Entertainment. In a study conducted by Jonah Berger, author of the popular book Contagious, he looked at almost 7,000 New York Times articles to assess which got shared the most. He found that

Entertaining Content Evokes Emotions

Photo-Mix / Pixabay

positive news was more likely to go viral. Most people like to be the “bearer of the good news” rather than a “Debbie downer.” He also found that content that elicited high-arousal emotions such as delight, astonishment, excitement, awe, anger, frustration or anxiety got shared more than one that evoked low-arousal or deactivating emotions such as sadness.

Another study conducted by Ipsos showed that 61 percent of online sharers share interesting things; 43 percent share funny things and 29 percent share content that is unique.

Takeaway: Create reactive content. Write content that triggers positive high arousal emotions. Make sure that your headlines evoke curiosity and awe. Include stories as they can make any piece of content engaging, memorable and shareable.

See the other tips here:  The 7 Secrets to Shareable Content

The idea that excitement enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm holds true with social sharing. If users see a post that has been shared a lot, they are more likely to share the info as well. If possible, use share buttons that provide the number of times a post or image has been shared.

Don’t be afraid to take a stand about your fundamental convictions and causes you believe in. You will inspire your readers that feel the same way, and they are more likely to pass on something they feel passionate about.

It does take practice to become good at anything, but if you don’t like writing your own content, hiring a professional content writer might be the answer.

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Intel’s New Vaunt Smart Glasses



Fashionable Smart Glasses

When Google Glass became available in 2013 for $1,500, many people were in awe of the concept but it also received a lot of criticism. On one hand, it offered a way to display information in a smartphone format that is handsfree with voice commands.

Intel's New Vaunt Smart Glasses

geralt / Pixabay

However, the glasses looked geeky and there were safety and privacy concerns. A number of companies have developed their own wearable computer glasses since then, but none have really caught on. Unless you are purposely wearing glasses that are made for virtual or augmented reality, which would probably be for a short-term time period, most people aren’t interested in putting on a goofy-looking pair of glasses as part of their daily routine.

Until now…

The new Vaunt glasses made by Intel are normal looking and light. They have a plastic frame and weigh less than 50 grams, but the way they work is completely different from previous smart glasses:

The electronics are crammed into the stems and control a very low-powered, class one laser that shines a red, monochrome 400 x 150 pixel image into your eye. Critically, the glasses contain no camera, eliminating the “big brother” vibe from Glass and other smart glasses.

Vaunt is mainly aimed at giving you relatively simple heads-up notifications. Intel says that the glasses are more stealthy than a smartwatch, allowing you to check notifications while doing other activities. In one demo, it showed that you could see a person’s birthday and other pertinent personal info while you’re chatting with them on the phone. The motion sensors can also detect whether you’re in the kitchen, for instance, and give you recipes or a shopping list.

Read the full post here:  Intel unveils smart glasses that you might want to wear

Low-Powered Laser Light

The laser shining into your eye is something Intel anticipated would be a concern. We’ve long been told not to shine a laser pointer directly at anyone’s eyes, so it makes sense that people might worry about the same from the Vaunt glasses.

According to an interview with The Verge, Intel claims that the device is a class one laser, so very low powered. The display isn’t even visible unless you are looking directly at it.

This video from The Verge offers a complete breakdown of Intel’s new Vaunt smart glasses:

The applications for such a device a limitless. From notifications such as the time to GPS directions to text or email alerts, the wearable device could be quite handy and discreet.

But take it a step further into the future and the potential medical uses, such as heart rate and blood sugar monitoring, would make tracking your health easier. Or how about facial recognition and foreign language translation?

It is fun to think about the applications for this kind of technology, although it would also be hard to deal with them in an educational setting to prevent cheating on exams. You would have to embrace the tech and use it to your advantage in the classroom.

Connecting With Your Smartphone

Because it is initially meant to do basic notifications, with no camera or speaker, the battery life is much longer than with Google Glass. Vaunt will pair with your smartphone, connecting via Bluetooth:

Bluetooth technology

josemiguels / Pixabay

Overall, Vaunt isn’t so much a standalone device as a new way of interacting with your existing device… most likely your smartphone. Think of it like a display: your desktop PC is still a PC even if you don’t plug in a monitor. But it’s a lot easier to interact with when you can turn on a screen and look at the user interface. Your phone already has a screen, but it’s not that useful when it’s stuffed in your pocket. Vaunt is an always-on screen that can show a subset of information from your phone without your having to do anything special.

See the original post here: Intel Vaunt smart glasses coming this year (as a developer preview) 

The cost hasn’t been announced, but they plan to launch an early access program for developers later in 2018 for the purpose of creating more third-party apps and experiences for the platform before it’s released to the public.

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How Soon Will We Have 5G



What is a 5G Network?

The next evolution of wireless networks is coming soon to a phone near you.

What is 5G technology? Replacing 4G LTE, it offers incredibly fast wireless connectivity and data transmission.

How soon will we have 5G

Coyotechnical / Pixabay

Representing fifth-generation wireless broadband capability, it has the potential to replace cable internet providers and the capacity to handle advancements in technology with IoT, such as a continuous stream of data for automated homes, wearables, and self-driving cars.

How much faster is it than 4G? According to Hubert Da Costa at Cradlepoint, a leading provider of cloud-based wired and wireless WAN networking solutions:

“5G Wi-Fi connections are set to be about three times faster than 4G, starting with 450Mbps in single-stream, 900 Mbps (dual- stream) and 1.3G bps (three-stream). So, whilst we are already starting to see a huge growth in IoT and smart devices, 5G’s speed and capacity will enable an even more rapid arrival of this connected future.”

Like all the previous generations, 5G will be significantly faster than its predecessor 4G.

This should allow for higher productivity across all capable devices with a theoretical download speed of 10,000 Mbps.

See the full post here:  What is 5G? Everything you need to know about 5G


geralt / Pixabay

5G Wireless Is Coming

It seems like 4G LTE just came out as the new and improved network. Considering that 1G was developed in 1980, 2G in 1990, 3G in 2003, and 4G in 2009, in the big picture, the advancements have happened rather quickly.

Most networks are shooting for 2020 to have 5G in place, but there are a couple of big names that are going to roll it out later this year. Verizon and AT&T have both announced that 5G will be available sometime in 2018.

Lower latency is also a critical factor in managing all the connected devices in our world. Latency refers to the delay before the transfer of data begins, and with certain situations, such as with a self-driving car, it could spell disaster.

This video provides an overview of what to expect with 5G speed:

Beamforming Technology

One of the terms used in the above video about 5G networks is beamforming. What this means is that the signals can be focused on areas where there is more data traffic, resulting in much more efficient data delivery.

By directing the traffic where it is needed, the cellular base stations are also able to reduce interference for other users in the vicinity. The next post offers a more technical explanation of beamforming:

Cell service and beamforming

USA-Reiseblogger / Pixabay

Beamforming can help massive MIMO arrays, which are base stations arrayed with dozens or hundreds of individual antennas, to make more efficient use of the spectrum around them. The primary challenge for massive MIMO is to reduce interference while transmitting more information from many more antennas at once. At massive MIMO base stations, signal-processing algorithms plot the best transmission route through the air to each user. Then they can send individual data packets in many different directions, bouncing them off buildings and other objects in a precisely coordinated pattern. By choreographing the packets’ movements and arrival time, beamforming allows many users and antennas on a massive MIMO array to exchange much more information at once.

Read more here: 5G Bytes: Beamforming Explained

With 5G technologies, the strategy is to build a wireless network that can handle future smartphone users, self-driving cars, and smart homes will rely on every day.

What will happen to satellite dish and cable companies? 5G will definitely put pressure on their earnings, so they’ll either have to adjust to that model or become extinct.

Companies that study trends and immerse themselves in the newest technologies will be the survivors of the new world.


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Why is Netflix so Successful?



The Influence of Streaming Video

The rise of Netflix has been nothing short of amazing. The subscription-based video-on-demand site is producing loads of binge-worthy original content and continues to grow by leaps and bounds, adding more than 8.3 million new subscribers from October through December 2017.

Why is Netflix so successful? Some feel as though the answer is their social media presence with viral content.

They recently increased the price of their subscriptions and still exploded past their own growth expectations. According to stock analyst John Janedis with Jeffries & Co, Netflix is grabbing a big share of the social spotlight compared to other networks or cable television:

New Netflix original shows generated an average of 30 percent more mentions on Twitter when compared with new shows on network or cable television, he said, recommending investors hold Netflix shares, setting the 12-month price target at $141, a 6.6 percent downside from Tuesday’s close price of $153.08.

“Management has tied the outperformance of original programming to periods of higher [subscriber] growth, which continues to be the biggest driver for the stock on a quarterly basis,” Janedis wrote in a note on Wednesday. “If NFLX’s platform is more conducive to producing ‘viral’ content, this could be a sustainable advantage over traditional media platforms as well as other digital platforms with less scale.”

Twitter activity can gauge the future success or cancellation of original programming, Janedis said. Following the second season launches of “The Get Down” and “Sense 8,” two Netflix original series, marked declines in social media activity preceded each show’s cancellation.

Read more here:  A secret to Netflix’s success: Social media

Netflix started out as a DVD rental and sales site in 1997, where you chose a video online and it came in a red envelope. They purposely chose a business model contrary to Blockbuster, using a flat-fee of unlimited rentals without due dates, late fees, shipping and handling fees.

In 2007, they morphed their product to an online streaming service, allowing customers to download movies from the net. Their foresight was extraordinary, and one key to their success was their extensive personalized video-recommendation system based on ratings and reviews by its customers.

Fast forward to the present, and their membership continues to expand, with a full head of steam going into 2018:

Video On Demand

Disney pulling its content from Netflix in August 2017 was not a big surprise. It comes at a time when video streaming is where the money is. In fact, statistics show that fewer people are going to the theater to watch a movie.

According to a survey by Nielsen, young people between the ages of 12 and 24 are where the biggest numbers are dropping for moviegoers. They prefer to watch shows on their own schedule and skip the expense of the movie theater.

Video on demand is the key, and Netflix has the right formula. Not only is the movie industry hurting, cord cutters are choosing to cancel expensive cable subscriptions.

What is the cost of a Netflix subscription since their price hike?

Video Streaming

geralt / Pixabay

Netflix has increased the price on two of its three subscription tiers. The midrange “Standard” plan that allows users to watch content on two screens at once has been bumped from $9.99 per month to $10.99 per month. The top-tier “Premium” plan, which allows for four simultaneous streams and access to higher-resolution content, has been upped from $11.99 a month to $13.99 per month. The basic plan that offers single-screen streaming remains at $7.99 per month.

Netflix Streaming Monthly Subscription Plans See Price Hike

Competition from Disney, Amazon, Apple, and others streaming services may loom on the horizon, but Netflix isn’t showing any signs of slowing.


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iOS vs Android operating systems



Which Mobile Operating System Is The Best?

Almost 80% of people in this world own a smartphone, but the division of people who use iOS vs Android operating system is like choosing between Republican vs Democrat. There’s an invisible line drawn and most people don’t float back and forth across it.

iOS vs Android operating systems

TeroVesalainen / Pixabay

Smartphones are the center of our digital lives and most people feel lost without their phone nearby. According to Kantar Worldpanel, the latest stats I could find (August 2017) show that in the US, Google’s Android is currently winning the race with 63% of the market and iOS at 35%.

One big discrepancy in the number of people using iOS is because it is proprietary to Apple products, where Android allows their operating system to be on any number of different devices. That makes it more difficult to analyze the two options because it is like comparing Apples to…Robots. 🙂

This post from Forbes provides more insight on iOS vs Android operating systems, starting with a quote from Google VP Dave Burke:

“There are now 2 billion monthly active Android devices globally,” he wrote. “This is an extraordinarily humbling milestone — and it’s the largest reach of any computing platform of its kind.”

Android operating system

gfkDSGN / Pixabay

That is an amazing number, and it is extremely impressive.

Just a bit less amazing but also impressive is that over a year ago, Apple announced that there were more than one billion iOS devices in active use. Since that announcement in January 2016, Apple has sold more than 260 million iPhones alone, according to publicly-released sales figures. (Note: iPads also run iOS, and would bolster that number additionally.)

Add the two billion Android devices Google announced today with the one billion iOS devices Apple announced 15 months ago — even ignoring the almost 300 million more iOS devices Apple has sold since then — and Apple has a third of the mobile devices running either stock Android or iOS in operation today.

Surprise: Google Reveals iOS Market Share Is 65% to 230% Bigger Than We Thought

iPhone users in particular are devoted to their beloved iOS, but there are some valid reasons. At the top of the list are the simplicity of upgrades, backups, and ease of transferring your phone data to a new phone. Since iOS is under the Apple umbrella, the process is managed flawlessly.

On the other hand, the Android operating system is much easier to customize, allowing you to use the apps of your choice. On an iPhone, the apps are locked down.

Android also has notification lights for texts, emails, etc. without actually opening the app to see them. This open source system also groups notifications at the top of the screen, where iOS displays everything individually and has no notification lights.

It is interesting to listen to an unbiased opinion of which is the better operating system; however, that isn’t all that easy to find. The narrator for this video has a pretty good grasp of both phones and their advantages/disadvantages:

Considering all of the benefits of each operating system, it mostly comes down to familiarity. People get comfortable using a piece of software, and change isn’t always easy, especially if you aren’t particularly tech-savvy.

I did find an article that coaches you on how to switch your iPhone apps to Google or Microsoft, so there are ways to work around keeping your iPhone intact but still using the applications you prefer.

The Bottom Line

One of the biggest differences when comparing iPhones/iOS to any that use the Android operating system is the cost.  Even though there are Android flagship phones that are in a similar price range, their costs vary drastically.

However, for the iPhone series, the expense is significantly higher. Depending on storage and other factors, most iPhones start out over $500, with the new iPhone X costing $999 at the lowest price point.

This post sums up the differences in cost:

Cost comparison for smartphones

geralt / Pixabay

Some, such as the Samsung S7 and the Google Pixel, are every bit as attractive as the iPhone 7 Plus. True, by controlling every step of the manufacturing process, Apple makes sure iPhones have great fit and finish, but so do the big Android phone manufacturers. That said, some Android phones are just plain ugly.

Part of the reason for this is that Apple makes nothing but luxury phones. There will never be a “cheap” iPhone. If you don’t want to pay top dollar for an iPhone, your only choice is to get a used one.

Decent Android phones can go for as little as $100. Are they good looking? Not really, but they do the job at a fraction of the price of an iPhone.

iPhone vs. Android: Which is better for you?

One problem with purchasing an older iPhone was highlighted in the news this week. Apple apologized for an update that slowed down earlier iPhone versions, which some thought was a ploy to encourage individuals to purchase a newer version.

To make up for it, they offered a cheaper battery replacement.

Ironically, all iPhone peripherals are way higher than any universal Android phone options, so a lower priced battery is still probably way more than an Android battery. Always walking a fine line between the bottom line and keeping their software proprietary.


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