Roundup From Google Developer Conference Of News Advisors Care About
Thursday, June 28, 2012 00:22
While advisors don't care so much abiout Google's developer conference, it did include some releases you should know about. Here's a summary of the big news you need to know.
Glass Steals Shows. In an over the top publicity stunt, four skydivers wearing Google Glass glasses jumped from a plane and landed on the roof of the Mosconi Center. Google Glass live streams everything you see, so viewers saw the world as a parachutist, then as a cyclist, and a man scaling down the side of the Mosconi Center. It’s must-see TV. But I’m not sure there is a product here. Streaming live video by strapping a camera to my head is totally doable now. Google Glass means the camera is embedded in a pair of glasses, which is nice because the glasses are unobtrusive, but that’s not as spectacular as the notion of streaming live video of everything we experience. Training videos suddenly become easier to create. The glasses are currently only being sold to developers at $1500 apiece.
2.New 7” Google Nexus Tablet. Google unveiled a new 7” tablet that costs $249 with 16GB and $199 with 8GB of storage. Manufactured by Asus, it runs on the latest version of Google’s Android operating system, Jelly Bean, and is a direct competitor to the Kindle Fire. With a 1280 X 720 display, it offers near-field communication so it can eventually replace your wallet, and an iPhone Siri-like voice recognition app.
Nexus Q Media Streamer. This is a cool looking black orb that streams music and other media from the Web to your music system or TV. Apple TV does this for about the same $299 price tag. The difference is that Apple TV streams from your PC or tablet to your TV or music system, while Google Nexus Q does it from the cloud. That means anyone at your party can be given DJ control or add songs to your music queue.
Dell today started selling the XPS 14 and XPS 15, following up on its release of a 13” version in March of the XPS 13, and these two new models released today are likely to generate praise. For advisors looking for a Windows laptop that can replace a desktop, either of these new machines are a good candidate.
An XPS 14 with a 3.0 GHz Intel i7-3517U quad-core processor, 8GB RAM, 512GB solid state hard drive, 64-bit Windows 7 and 64-bit Office Professional costs $2,800 — and that includes a four-year service plan.
About 18 months ago, when I purchased my Sony Vaio Z, which is a pound or two lighter and has a 13.3” screen and a 256GB solid state drive, it cost $3,000 with a three-year service plan. In comparison, the Dell XPS 14, provides a solid state drive twice the size, a faster processor, and an extra year on the warranty.
The XPS 14 represents the first of the desktop-replacement laptops as powerful and portable as the Sony Vaio Z.
In an incredibly thorough review of the XPS 13 in March, Sean Hollister on The Verge said that new Dell model did a lot of things right, but criticized the machine for three things: display, somewhat disappointing battery life, and a lack of ports or adapters. The XPS 14 appears to address all three of these issues. The XPS 14 has two USB ports and an SD card slot, claims up to 11 hours of battery life, and includes a 1920 by 1080 display.
The design of the XPS models is Mac-like. Dell copied the tear-drop shape and curves of the MacBook Air. Less than an inch thick, it sports Gorilla Glass, and a 1GB NVIDIA graphics adapter.
Looks like the XPS 15, which offers up to 16GB of RAM, is also a contender. In fact, if you need a computer for video editing, the XPS 15 is a better option than the XPS 14 because it can be configured with 2GB video adapter and twice the RAM of the XPS 14. Unfortunately it does not have a solid state hard drive.
Either Microsoft is going to rebound now and end the mediocrity that has marred its reputation for over a decade or it will see a continued drop in market share to iOS and Android tablets and smartphones, which appear to be overtaking computing.
While Microsoft totally dominates desktop computing, the switch to mobile smartphones and tablets is changing how we access information and its stranglehold on computing is weakening.
Microsoft two years ago said it would have an answer to Apple’s soon after the first iPad was launched. The first iPhone had already been launched by then, of course, and Microsoft's dominance was being questoined for the first time.
The Verge reports that Microsoft’s ability to deliver a credible iPad alternative is in question, just months away from the release of hardware using Windows RT, Microsoft's operating system for tablets.
At question is whether Microsoft’s OEM business model can produce hardware as good as iPads from Apple, which makes both the hardware as well as the software for its tablets.
“Whether an OEM, like Nokia, steps forward within the next few months to produce a winning Windows RT tablet with great battery life, hardware, and industrial design, remains to be seen — but Microsoft is clearly positioning Windows RT as the choice for iPad competitors,” says Tom Warren at The Verge.
Warren infers that Microsoft may not be on plan to meet its goals and cites a dearth of OEM manufacturers as evidence that Windows RT is not catching on with hardware makers.
“Seeing a lone Windows RT device announced at Computex, we question whether OEMs are serious about Windows RT as a tablet operating system, especially with Microsoft now pushing a desktop / Metro hybrid for its more traditional x86 machines,” says Warren.
A 2880 x 1800 resolution, a casing measured at just 0.71-inch thin, you'll get up to 16GB of RAM, NVIDIA Kepler GT 650M graphics, up to a quad-core 2.7GHz Core i7 processor, a maximum 768GB solid state drive, and a promise for up to seven hours of battery life. For well-heeled advisors who want to edit their marketing videos and presentations, this is a good machine.
You don't need a powerhouse computer unless want to edit videos or webinars and use them in marketing and blog posts. But for a hands-on advisor who is successful and wants to communicate directly on the Web to clients and prospects using video, this is a good investment.
It comes with Final Cut Pro, which is the best software ever for video editing and was simplified last year.
So, even if you only use this machine to create your own vidoes once a quarter, you'll still get huge value.
As a geek who does webinars and makes videos from them, this looks like a good deal to me.
The new MacBook Pro will start at $2,199 for the 2.3-GHz quad-core i7 processor with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage, CNET says.
But if you're using it for video editing, you may want to go for the additionall RAM and solid state drive storage. No word yet on the exact cost of customizing it but it will likely push up the price $3000. That's $3500 with a service plan and tax.
A small start-up that makes home monitoring systems for the elderly is allowing them to stay at home even when they may be fragile or lack motility. The system consists of a number of motion sensors as well as a weight pad (to see when they’re sleeping) and a panic button that notifies the authorities and kin if there’s something wrong.
According to TechCrunch, BeClose monitors sleep patterns, movement, and even weight. If grandma is not getting out of bed or leaving the house too little or too much, you know.