I constantly find myself thinking about future trends and how technology is making an impact on our society. As we step closer to a more digital age, what are the tangible goods that will be an afterthought to generations to come? Payphones are practically not-existent because of mobile devices; Borders and Barns & Noble are practically out of business because of e-books; Even our government mail system is cutting back on delivering. What will be next?
A topic that has been in the crossfire of the media and economist has been the trend of digital currency and the effect it can have on our economy. A company called Bitcoin is making a large push at a more decentralized currency system. Created by an anonymous group of programmers, Bitcoin has strived to make a currency that is easily transmittable through online wallets, secure, and inflation proof; instead of a government controlling the supply and printing more when they see necessary and driving the value of currency down.
To better understand Bitcoin, it’s important to know technically how the process works:
- Bitcoins use peer-to-peer networks to journal transactions and keep a decentralized central authority so that the quantity cannot be manipulated.
- Bitcoins are strings of numbers and letters which are sent through the network and are logged through a “blockchain” which is a shared public transaction log. This system then verifies the legitimacy of the Bitcoin and allows the transaction to take place.
Windows 8 was released Oct. 26 and like many, I was curious to make the switch to the new Operating system. During its pre-release, it had been criticized for many new features like the new tiled centered start screen and removal of the start menu but, after working with it I have grown to like the new user interface. Besides the new UI changes, there have been many significant behind the scenes improvements such as improved boot up speed, search functionality, syncing and security. Here are some of the great features you should know about:
Tiled Start Screen: The tiled start screen allows for ease of access to all your favorite programs and applications. With the Windows Store you can download free/paid apps and run them instantly. It allows you to customize your layout and run them fun screen which allows for a beautiful display. In addition, the screen is optimized for touch-based controls and displays real time information such as weather, email, or news headlines. The initial criticism should be hushed when users make the switch and become familiar with the new display, and even if you aren’t completely satisfied you can make the switch back to your desktop very easily by pressing Win + D.
Decreased Boot Time: Like most, I find it frustrating when my computer takes a long time to start up. The Windows 8 team has found a way to better manage the computer resources and has increased the startup performance significantly. PCMag.com tested startup times for Windows 8 as 17 seconds compared to 38 second from boot. I have also found that it has reduced time to take to connect to a saved network and also has a quicker startup on boot.
For more information on Windows 8, visit there store here. The new OS is available for digital download on their website for $39.99 or on DVD for $69.99.
The Tech Fire’s radio feature discusses Google’s latest prototype, an augmented reality head-mounted display. This new concept is headed up by Google’s X lab where they are rumored to work on futuristic technologies such as self-driving cars, space elevators and other secret projects.
Their latest project, which goes by the name Project Glass has gotten a lot of media attention these days because of its idea to take smartphone technology and turn it into a wearable device.
The project has been in development for two-years by a small team of engineers. The glasses are still in the early hardware and software design stages but, are rumored to have are see-through lens could display everything from text messages to maps to reminders.
They also may be capable of showing video chats, providing turn-by-turn directions, taking photos and recording notes — all through simple voice commands, according to a concept video produced by the company and released on YouTube.
Both the first and second generations iPads proved to the tech world that Apple still knows what we want, even before we knew we wanted it. At first it was subject to extreme criticism, initially the biggest being the name itself. However, there’s no question that in the two years this amazing product has been out for, it’s absolutely changed the way we interact with, consume, and even create all types of media.
Despite it having almost identical features to the iPhone and iPod touch, the iPad proved that simply having the same user experience and touch interface on a bigger screen truly did make all the difference in the world. More room to touch, more room to interact, more room to play, type, etc..the list is endless. Bigger is certainly better here.
My friend had recently posted a link to popular tech blog Gizmodo, discussing Samsung’s newest addition to the world of smartphones, the Note Lightning. Now, upon reading this article (which will be posted here), it seems as though the tech giant either A) didn’t take a strong, steady look at healthy and successful competition, or B) just wanted to get something new off the production lines and into retail stores.
The Galaxy Note Lightning is, well, a bit physically confusing if anything. It has a large screen — larger than most bigger phones — but is still small enough to the point where calling it a “phone” is somewhat reasonable. Granted, it does sport a super AMOLED HD screen…but it doesn’t rely exclusively on touch — at least by your fingers. Remember back in the day of the Palm, where you needed a stylus to use it? Well apparently Samsung though it would be a smart (and frankly daring) idea to bring it back into STYLE! Yes, pun intended. However, this is 2012, and this stylus does more than just touch and click on the screen. Well, actually, the only other function is the ability to take a screen capture of what you’re doing…sorry, but I’m just too excited about that. /sarcasm.