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Each week, Rick joins his buddy Sully to talk tech on the Limpert Tech "SullyCast on Radio 105.7, formerly TalkRadio 640 WGST

Thursday
Nov062014

My Appearance on WGST's "The Sully Show" 11/7/14 - Tech News of the Week

News topics:  Rick and Sully look at some of the top tech stories of the week...

Have a listen:



1. Larry Page Reorganizes Google

He is stepping back from day-to-day product roles to focus on longer-term projects. Sundar Pichai will take the day-to-day slot (he currently runs Android and Chrome, having risen very fast through the ranks). Fascinating to watch how the founders at Google, Facebook and Amazon try to redeploy themselves and restructure their companies to maintain the pace of innovation within vast organizations.




2.  An Update to the "MARTA: On the Go" app

Atlanta's official MARTA app gets and update.
What's new?
- Bug fixes
- Real time data now available
- Bus alerts

As always get all of your connecting route information, scheduling information and weekend rail service notices.

 
3.  The growth of free Wi-Fi is transforming life in Africa  

In Africa, the trend is towards providing citizens with free Wi-Fi in order to boost economic activity and education, in line with McKinsey’s projection that if internet penetration grows in the same way as that of mobile phones on the continent, it could contribute as much as 10 per cent – $300 billion – of the continent’s total GDP by 2025.

The provision of free Wi-Fi is becoming a continent-wide trend. In Kenya, the county of Nakuru is offering residents free access through a partnership between the State House Digital Team and the county government, at the reported cost of US$2 million.

Rwanda’s Smart Kigali initiative provides designated free Wi-Fi hotspots around the capital. The Murtala Muhammad Airport Two (MMA2) in Lagos provides free access for passengers through a public-private partnership, while Nigerian operator Visafone has launched a free service for its customers in stores across the country.

However, South Africa is way ahead of the rest of providing free access to citizens, with both the public and private sectors assisting in rollouts across the country. Free hotspots are so widespread that a website has been set up to display all the free hotspots in the country.



4.  Starwood Hotels Is Making Room Keys Obsolete

No more room keys at Starwood properties. Your smartphone can open your room.
Starwood is introducing a new app-powered, keyless entry program. In other words, your smartphone is now your key.

The process is wonderfully simple. After downloading the SPG app (it's for reward program members only, but that's free to join), guests can check-in up to 24 hours before their stay, and they're given a Bluetooth key to enable the keyless entry feature. Then, when they arrive, the guests bypass the check-in desk at participating hotels, go straight to their room, and use their smartphone to unlock the door.

Hotels included would be Sheraton, Westin, W, Aloft, etc



 

5.  Beats Music comes to Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines® (NYSE: LUV) is giving Customers a new reason to pack their headphones! Beginning today, Beats Music is providing a uniquely curated music experience onboard Southwest Airlines WiFi-enabled aircraft.

Customers accessing Beats Music onboard have an opportunity to listen to wide-ranging music programming in pop, rock, country, and other genres to hear fresh new artists and the hottest songs, which are handpicked by Beats Music expert curators.  Accessing the service inflight is on the house and includes a library of hundreds of playlists. Not sure what to listen to, but feel like Jet-Setting with your BFF to Pop? The Sentence offers a continuous playlist just for you, customized by your response to four questions about location, activity, surroundings, and musical preference.

"Southwest connects our Customers to what is important in their lives, and in this case, it's music," said Kevin Krone, Southwest Airlines Chief Marketing Officer.  "We continue to enhance our onboard offerings to remain current as our Customers' needs evolve, and with the addition of Beats Music on our entertainment portal, we're doing just that."
 

Friday
Oct312014

My Appearance on WGST's "The Sully Show" 10/31/14 - Tech News of the Week

News topics:  Rick and Sully look at some of the top tech stories of the week...

A Halloween edition of Rick on "The Sully Show"

Have a listen:



1.   It was "National Teen Driver Safety Week" and October is safe driving month

Rick attended the #SafeTeen event at Six Flags two weeks ago, where he go to see new technology from Straight Talk Wireless.

And he got to drive the test track with Indy Car Racer Scott Harrington and see a cool new product -

Safe Driver Car Connection, a new device from Straight Talk Wireless that monitors everything the car does as a new driver gets behind the wheel and disables incoming calls and texts when the car is in motion.  Parents can track the results right on their smartphone

Also "parents are the key" to teens driving safely.

 

2.  YouTube is going to offer a paid subscription service


YouTube is moving ahead with its plan to offered a paid subscription service that would allow viewers to skip the pre-roll ads, YouTube senior vice president Susan Wojcicki said last night.
The option is "near term," Wojcicki said during Monday's Code Mobile conference in California, according to The Wall Street Journal.

"There are going to be cases where people are going to say, 'I don't want to see ads,'" according to Wojcicki, who took over as YouTube's top exec in February.



3.  Hungary - the first country to tax internet traffic

Uh oh

The Hungarian government has announced a new tax on internet traffic: 150 HUF ($0.62 USD) per gigabyte. In Hungary, a monthly internet subscription costs around 4,000-10,000 HUF ($17-$41), so it could really put a constraint on different service providers, especially for streaming media. This kind of tax could set back the country's technological development by some 20 years — to the pre-internet age.

As a side note, the Hungarian government's budget is running at a serious deficit. The internet tax is officially expected to bring in about 20 billion HUF in income, though a quick look at the BIX (Budapest Internet Exchange) and a bit of math suggests a better estimate of the income would probably be an order of magnitude higher.


4.  Verizon Announces The Motorola Droid Turbo With Battery Super Powers

Motorola and Verizon are announcing the Droid Turbo, a new Droid-branded smartphone with a focus on super fast charging capabilities.

Verizon claims the phone can get eight hours of battery life in 15 just minutes by using a special turbo charger sold with the phone. And beyond that, a fully charged Droid Turbo promises 48 hours of battery life. Obviously, this is going to differ based on use.

The company says that they can accomplish this with a massive 3900mAh battery (for perspective, the Galaxy Note 4 packs a 3220mAh battery) and smarter software to use battery as efficiently as possible, as well as charging it as quickly as possible.

The Droid Turbo has a 5.2-inch “Quad HD” display, comes XLTE ready, and sports a 21-megapixel camera capable of capturing 4K video. Under the hood you’ll find the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor and 3GB of RAM. And, considering the longstanding relationship between Droid and Android, the phone is running pure Android with just a few special Moto “experiences” that lay on top, including smart gestures.

The phone comes in 32GB and 64GB versions, with options for black Ballistic Nylon, Metallic Black or Metallic Red.

The 32GB model starts at $199 on contract or $25/month with Verizon Edge, and the 64GB model goes for $249 on contract or $27/month with Edge.

Verizon is also offering a handful of deals for this device, waiving all activation and upgrade fees and $100 for any working condition trade-in during purchase of a new Droid Turbo. All of it is available starting on October 30.
 

5.  US movie industry bans Google Glass, other wearable devices at all cinemas

Google Glass and other wearable devices are now officially off-limits in the cinema.

On Oct 29, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) announced an update to their joint policy to prevent film theft in theatres, prohibiting recording by users equipped with Google Glass or other wearables in theatres.
The update “was made to fully integrate wearable tech into the rules following a joint meeting of NATO and MPAA theatrical anti-piracy teams,” the lobbying organisation said. The announcement was made at ShowEast 2014, NATO’s annual industry confab in Hollywood, Florida.

The issue, while it hasn’t cropped up much, has prompted Hollywood to act. This January, a man who was wearing a Google Glass headset during a showing of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit at an AMC Theatres location in Columbus, Ohio, was questioned by agents from the Department of Homeland Security about whether he was illegally recording the film.

Here is the is full statement from the groups:
“The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have a long history of welcoming technological advances and recognise the strong consumer interest in smart phones and wearable ‘intelligent’ devices. As part of our continued efforts to ensure movies are not recorded in theatres, however, we maintain a zero-tolerance policy toward using any recording device while movies are being shown. As has been our long-standing policy, all phones must be silenced and other recording devices, including wearable devices, must be turned off and put away at show time. Individuals who fail or refuse to put the recording devices away may be asked to leave. If theatre managers have indications that illegal recording activity is taking place, they will alert law enforcement authorities when appropriate, who will determine what further action should be taken.”
 

Tuesday
Oct282014

My Appearance on WGST's "The Sully Show" 10/24/14 - Teh News of the Week

Rick joined Sully from Macon this Friday, where he is the media coordinator of the women's pro tennis tournament that is going on all week.

Rick and Sully talked about :

1. Apple Pay

2. What is coming new for the Starbucks app

3. Internet trolls.

 

Wednesday
Oct152014

My Appearance on WGST's "The Sully Show" 10/15/14 - Tech News of the Week

Rick and Sully doing the segment a couple days earlier this week. Sully is broadcasting from the Mellow Mushroom. Rick is at his home office.

Have a listen:

News topics:


1.  AT&T GigaPower coming to Sandy Springs and part of Atlanta

AT&T announced today it will extend its ultra-fast AT&T GigaPower network to the City of Atlanta and the City of Sandy Springs. This all-fiber network delivers internet speeds up to 1 gigabit per second, and is AT&T’s most advanced TV services to consumers and small businesses.

In addition to Atlanta and Sandy Springs, AT&T also announced today that it will deploy the AT&T GigaPower network in Decatur and Newnan to meet the growing demand for ultra-fast Internet.  The network enhancements will enable residential and small business customers to have access to the fastest Internet speeds available from AT&T.

“As a city that prides itself on creating a favorable environment for investment and innovation, I am happy to see AT&T bringing its ultra-high speed fiber network to the City of Atlanta,” said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. “This is a great opportunity for our residents, businesses and visitors, who all stand to benefit from this new service. The City of Atlanta is one of the fastest growing tech hubs in the United States and a hotbed for entrepreneurial activity.  U-verse with AT&T GigaPower service will complement this engine of economic growth and help pave the way for future opportunities,” stated Reed.

The key here is really the 1 gigabit speed. If you don’t know how fast that is, here are some examples:
– Download 25 songs in one second

– Download your favorite TV show in less than 3 seconds

– Download an HD online movie in less than 36 seconds


2. Another iPad event is tomorrow 10/16

- New iPads could get announced
- Maybe a bigger iPad,  it's also the 30th Anniversary of Apple coming up

3.  Snapchat 'Selfies' leak

As was feared, Snapchat selfies have leaked. But the cloud service denies it's to blame, fingering an unauthorized 3rd-party service that would download the 'private,' 'self-destructing' naked selfies.

 

4.  114-year-old woman has to lie about her age to sign up for Facebook

Proves you are never too old to use Facebook

114-year-old Minnesota woman has to claim she's 99 to sign up for Facebook, now using FaceTime.  Facebook only allows you to imput agee of 99.


5. The First Black Friday ad of 2014 has been announced

The first Black Friday ad of the year has been leaked! Once again, the first leaked ad is from Harbor Freight! We predicted last week that it would leak today and we were right! Checkout the complete Harbor Freight ad scan and 41-item list of sale items.

Harbor Freight is starting their Black Friday sale at 7:00 AM on Friday, November 28, which is a bit late considering how early some other stores are opening. Still, fans of a traditional Black Friday will appreciate the store opening on Friday and not on Thanksgiving. The sale will last three days from Friday, November 28 through Sunday, November 30.
 

Friday
Oct102014

My Appearance on WGST's "The Sully Show" 10/10/14 Atlantic City and Tech News of the Week

Rick is back home from being in Atlantic City this week. Atlantic City is one of the most active cities on social media

Check them out on the web at www.doatlanticcity.com



·         Facebook – www.facebook.com/AtlanticCityNJ

·         Twitter – www.twitter.com/VisitAC

·         YouTube – www.Youtube.com/DoAtlanticCity

·         Foursquare – www.foursquare.com/VisitAC

·         Instagram – www.instagram.com/DOAC

·         Pinterest – www.instagram.com/DoAtlanticCity
 
News topics:
Have a listen:



1.  Hartsfield-Jackson top-ranked for airport amenities

Free Wi-fi, play areas, walking paths (such as the underground walkway between concourses), water bottle filling stations, spas, automated passport control kiosks, MARTA access, the Plane Train people-mover and a cell phone lot.

The Atlanta airport has interactive charging stations with cameras that travelers can use to share a photo with family and friends via social media while charging their phones.


2. The "Smart Wheelchair"  
or maybe iWheelchair

If you're in a wheelchair, wouldn't it be nice to have your chair automatically alert a caregiver if changes in your heart rate or another vital sign showed that you might be having a problem? And how about helping you rate sidewalks and handicapped parking spaces to help fellow wheelchair users get around more comfortably? Steven Hawking endorses the idea, and the Connected Wheelchair Project, in this short video. This is an Intel project, in conjunction with Wake Forest University, run by student interns. | Besides helping wheelchair-dependent people live a better life, the Connected Wheelchair Project may help prevent Medicare fraud, says Hughes in our video interview with him. Falsified requests for durable medical goods are a huge drain on Medicare's budget. What if a connected wheelchair spent all of its time far from the home of the person to whom it was assigned? That would be a red flag, and investigators could follow up to see if that wheelchair was in legitimate hands or was part of a scam. |

The Connected Wheelchair is still proof-of-concept, not a commercial product. Will it see production? Hard to say. This may never be a profitable product, but Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has said that that this project is an example of how “the Internet of Things can help change lives.”


 

3.  Chrome 38 Released: 159 Security Fixes

If you use the Chrome browser on your computer or any device, get the newest update. It fixes a ton of security flaws.

 

4.  Belkin Router Owners Suffering Massive Outages

If you use a Belkin router at your home or office, you may have noticed some outages or problems over the last week.  Belkin is working on an update they can push to routers to eliminate future problems.


5. Studies Conclude Hands-Free-calling and Apple Siri Distract Drivers

A story at the L.A. Times that echoes some previous research on the relative risks of hand-held vs. hands-free phones by drivers, and comes to an even grimmer conclusion:
In many cars, making a hands-free phone call can be more distracting than picking up your phone, according to a new study from AAA and the University of Utah. In-dash phone systems are overly complicated and prone to errors, the study found, and the same is true for voice-activated functions for music and navigation. A companion study also found that trying to use Siri — the voice control system on Apple phones — while driving was dangerously distracting. Two participants in the study had virtual crashes in an automotive simulator while attempting to use Siri, the study's authors reported. In response, Toyota said the study did not show a link between cognitive distraction and car crashes.

"The results actually tell us very little about the relative benefits of in-vehicle versus hand-held systems; or about the relationship between cognitive load and crash risks," said Mike Michels, a Toyota spokesman.

Meanwhile, many states treat hand-held devices very differently from hands-free ones; in New York, for instance, both texting and talking on a hand-held mobile phone are put in the same category, while talking on a hands-free device is covered only by more general distracted driving laws. If the Utah study is correct, maybe that's backwards. (And some evidence suggests that phone use in cars is not quite the straightforward danger that it's sometimes presented as, despite the correlation of phone use with accidents.)