Google Drive gets out of the bag

There have been rumors about Google Drive – Google’s cloud storage service. Today, Google has finally unveiled Google Drive. It stores your files on the cloud and syncs them across all your devices. Windows, Mac and Android apps have been released and the iOS app is due in a few weeks. Google Drive offers 5GB of space for free and charges for additional storage. Google Docs have now been merged into the new Google Drive, so all your docs are in the Drive and the Google Docs editor has been embedded into the Drive web application.

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Microsoft hit the nail on touchscreens

Microsoft Research just released a video showing the lag on capacitive touch screens. I noticed the same when I bought my ASUS Transformer Prime last month. Tablets today have about a 100ms delay which you can notice if draw a swirly line at a fast speed. This can be annoying if you are trying to do drawings with some precision. Microsoft highlighted the difference when the lag was lowered to 50ms, 10ms and 1ms! I think this is the right direction to focus on before companies continue working on throwing tens of cores on a small processor.

Click on “Continue reading” to watch the video in action.

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Google Play released as a unified marketplace

Google just announced Google Play, a unified marketplace for content ranging from Movies, Books and Music to Apps. It allows purchases to be made through a web browser or an Android device and is accessible through all other devices instantaneously using a Google account.

All Android devices running version 2.2 and up should see their Android Market updated to the new Google Play soon. Google has also announced a “7 Days to Play” sale in Google Play. There are also 25¢ App of the day and 49¢ Apps section in Google Play.

Visit Google Play now!

Are we getting closer to Quantum computing?

Computers are fascinating. Today, we use it for all our personal and work needs. They are also present in a lot of devices in different forms. Besides a personal computer and a smartphone, computers are present in everything from a television set to a car. Since computers have a lot of applications, we need more powerful computers as we advance into the future. We have made exponential progress in speed and performance since the Pentium computers but we are soon going to hit a limit where we cannot produce faster computers due to constraints of Physics. That’s where Quantum computers come in.

Quantum computers harness the power of atoms and molecules to perform tasks. This gives the ability to process information much faster compared to our current silicon chip based computers. Quantum computers have been under development for quite some time but we soon might see quantum computers produced for consumer needs. University of Bristol’s Center for Quantum Photonics has developed a photonic chip that paves the way to programmable quantum processors. What does this mean? It just means we are getting closer to the future of computing.

Press Release: University of Bristol

Google Wallet in action

Google has released its wallet on the Nexus S 4G on Sprint in the US. The product will roll out on other carriers and devices soon. The initial version of its Android app looks very promising even though it is incomplete and will undergo a lot of development. It allows users to add credit cards (or use Google’s prepaid MasterCard) and add loyalty and gift cards for various stores (the current version only has American Eagle). When you make a purchase, it would first use the gift card balance, then pay the balance with a selected (or default) credit card. It should also scan the loyalty card automatically though this has not yet been tested.

Here is a video of Google wallet in action: [Engadget] A week with Google Wallet

Windows 8 Developer Preview released to all

Microsoft had unveiled Windows 8, its next generation operating system for PCs some time ago. Today, Microsoft has released a Developer Preview version of Windows 8 so that developers can take a glimpse at what Microsoft has in store. This time, Microsoft has released it onto the web so that anyone can download it without having a developer account for signing in with a Live ID. The download page just went up and according to the twitter stream, thousands of people have already begun downloading.

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Mac OS X Lion is out of its den

Apple just released Mac OS X Lion in the AppStore for $29.99. It comes with a bunch of new features like Mission Control (the new Expose), Launchpad (an application launcher) and updated Mail, Address Book and iCal apps. It also brings the iOS experience to the Mac with no more scrollbars and a new look-and-feel.

If your internet is too slow, you can take your mac to the Apple Store and download Lion there. If you need it on a USB drive, then you will be able to buy it in August for $69.99.

For server users, Lion Server is available as an application for OS X Lion from the Mac AppStore for $49.99 with a host of services like Address Book, iCal, Mail, Podcast, Time Machine, VPN and much more.

Spotify US: First Impressions

Music streaming service Spotify has finally launched in the United States after much anticipation and waiting. Spotify is a music streaming service that lets you search for songs and play them on the air. Its much like Grooveshark, except this one has got some nifty features. Spotify has three packages. Spotify Open is a free package offering 10 hours of streaming every month and a limit of playing the same track up to 5 times. Unlimited package offers unlimited listening without ads and travel option (which means you can stream from other countries besides the UK and the US) which comes at a price of $4.99/mo. The Premium package comes with Spotify on your cell phone which lets you stream to mobile devices such as the iPhone and Android.  It also boasts enhanced sound quality and has offline listening. This one has a steep price tag of $9.99/mo. Let’s see how it performs with competition like Pandora, Rdio, Grooveshark, Slacker Radio and a bunch of others in the space.

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Google wallet – where the future of NFC lies

NFC or Near Field Communication, has been catching a lot of heat. There are ventures by groups like BlackBerry and Bank of America or Google and MasterCard that are working on NFC solutions. So what is NFC? Its a way of electronically transmitting data (payment information in this case) to a receiver or the POS (Point of Sale) system used in stores.

It is true that our smart phones are taking care of our lives by providing networking, connectivity and convenience at our palms. It is the device of the future that holds our life, right from personal data to important work documents. The next step is replacing our wallets. Google seems to be taking a major step with its new offering of Google wallet.

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Yahoo! kills its Buzz

Yahoo! has announced that it is killing yet another product. This time its Yahoo’s Buzz. Yahoo launched Buzz a few years ago when Digg was a popular means of social news discovery and sharing. As social sharing has bottled up into social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, people are not actively using sites like Digg. I feel this is just a soical media transition. Yahoo has decided to pull the plug on April 21st 2011. Here is their announcement:

Yahoo! Buzz will be discontinued as of April 21, 2011. As of this date, you will be unable to access the Yahoo! Buzz site. This was a hard decision. However this will help us focus on our core strengths and new innovations.

We appreciate your patronage.

The Yahoo! Buzz Team

Social media is an evolving field and we will see many attractive services be born, live a long life and die… As of now, RIP Yahoo! Buzz.