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IBM’s Focus for the Future is the “Cognitive Era”

Monday, February 1st, 2016

IBM logoTechnology is improving in ways that not only allow for IOT, but also makes it easier for us to talk to our devices and appliances. IBM’s focus for the future is the “Cognitive Era” – a term they’ve coined and a market that they are going after. The overall goal is to improve the natural language understanding in IOT products.

Don and Scott spoke with Aylee H. Nielsen, who is a Social Media Execution Strategist for IBM. She talked about some of the partnerships that IBM has with different companies, including Under Armour, SoftBank, and Cognitoys. Some of the new products from those companies are IBM Watson powered devices.

Don Baine is the Gadget Professor and he holds classes at TheGadgetProfessor.com.

Scott Ertz is a software developer and video producer at F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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StoAmigo’s TackApp Gives You a Personal Cloud

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

StoAmigo Logo

StoAmigo gives people a personal cloud with access to their files at home or back in the office from anywhere there’s an internet connection. Todd sits down on the sofa with Randy Creighton, VP Legal and Business Affairs at StoAmigo and talks through some of the background to the products and the key benefits of StoAmigo and the TackApp.

StoAmigo firmly believes in the benefits of the cloud but unlike many other cloud storage vendors, StoAmigo thinks that control and ownership of the data and files should remain with the individual, using storage that is already available. Wherever the information is held, it should still be possible to get to it from all over the world.

StoAmigo brings together storage from multiple sources into an “access anywhere” cloud and key to the ecosystem is StoAmigo’s TackApp which joins local device storage from PC, Mac or Android into the cloud. All the software is free to download so there’s no risk in trying it out.

As expected from a cloud service, files can be shared securely with other people too. StoAmigo takes this a little further than others, providing information on when files were accessed and whether they were viewed or downloaded. This gives even greater control and ownership over the data.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com, and special thanks to our CES partner, StoAmigo. Download and try out TackApp for free for Windows, Mac and Android from the links here.

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StoAmigo Gives You A Cloud

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

StoAmigo LogoRegular patrons of Kickstarter and Indiegogo will know that personal cloud devices regularly pop up for crowdfunding. Having said that, there’s no need to take a chance and wait several months as StoAmigo have created a complete ecosystem that unifies network cloud, personal cloud and device storage. Don Baine finds out more from Richard Stiles, VP StoAmigo.

StoAmigo brings together storage into an “access anywhere” cloud from multiple sources and key to the ecosystem is StoAmigo’s TackApp which joins local device storage from PC, Mac or Android smartphone into the cloud. Accessing the StoAmigo cloud from the smartphone client app, Don is impressed by the speed and responsiveness of the system. Video and music can be streamed instantly, and as expected, all the data is encrypted.

All the software is free to download so there’s no risk in trying it out. For those wanting a dedicated storage device, StoAmigo’s CloudLocker provides an initial 278GB of NAS storage which can be expanded by adding additional USB storage. It’s priced at US$349 but there’s currently $150 off if you’re quick.

Don Baine is the Gadget Professor and he holds classes at TheGadgetProfessor.com.

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CES 2016 Wrap Up Show & TPN Picks

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

The TPN Team present their 2016 TPN Picks to 10 companies that we felt had the best new products at CES 2016. Off the 1000’s of companies booths we walked by these 10 where tops by our team.

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CES 2016 Primer

Monday, December 28th, 2015

Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central gets our CES channels fired up with a primer of what is to come in the coverage department from the 20 team members of the Tech Podcast Network who start preparing to head to Vegas in a couple of days.

Intel Shrinks Down the PC with New NUC Line

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

IntelNucIn a screening at Intel’s suite, the company showed off their latest Next Unit of Computing devices, or NUCs. These super tiny PCs feature the latest Core i3, i5 and i7 Broadwell processors, with some of them even running Braswell chips, all within a 4-by-4 design.

This latest series of NUC has ditches the mSATA storage interface and moved into M.2, allowing for lightning fast read and write speeds to the disk. USB 2.0 ports are also a thing of the past, and the NUCs all feature USB 3.0 ports only. Some of the higher-end models also feature a mini-DisplayPort v1.2 output, giving the ability to connect three monitors to this mini PC. All of this power packed into such a small frame means that it can not only replace your home theater PC, but could easily replace most users’ desktop PCs.

There are three distinct enclosures for the NUC, depending on which processor you select. The two that will be commonly sold are 115mm x 111mm wide and are either 29.8mm or 48.5mm tall. Your differentiator there is going to be whether or not you want to fit a 2.5″ SSD inside the NUC.

What I found most intriguing was the customizable lids that can be interchanged on the NUC. One of the prototypes on display was a Hauppauge TV tuner that was attached to the top of one of the NUCs, allowing full TV capture and playback, built right into the top of the PC. There was also a NUC that wore a lid that had NFC capability built into it, and Intel said there would be another dozen or so lids to choose from in the near future, with hopes that more partners will join in to create other lid styles.

One surprise was saved for the end, and that was the Intel Compute Stick. Donning Windows 8.1 with Bing, 32GB of storage, 2GB RAM and a Baytrail processor all within a device that can fit in your pocket, the Compute Stick can plug into any TV or monitor. Intel looks to sell this extremely compact computer for only $149.

Interview by Nicholas DiMeo of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Razer Looks Sharp in the Living Room with New Gaming Devices

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

RazerRazer, the hardcore gamer’s favorite peripheral company, has leapt from just the standard mouse and keyboard and is moving into the living room for your entertainment. Whether casual or enthusiast, Razer has something lined up for both of those gamers with their latest products.

Razer’s mission was to bring PC gaming into the living room without needing an expensive and high-end computer. Razer’s newest product, the Forge TV, an Android TV-powered microconsole that allows games, music, movies and PC gaming all from the device. For the skeptics out there, what’s different about the Forge TV’s Android box is the buy-in from developers. Razer is working with top-level game studios to have popular and well-known titles show up on the Forge in order to entice gamers to try out the platform.

Further enhancing the living room experience for gamers is Razer’s PC game-streaming technology, called Cortex Stream. Coming later this year, you’ll be able to stream desktop PC games to the Forge TV at only $99.

Lastly, Razer introduced their newest peripheral, made for the living room, called the Turret. The wireless mouse and keyboard combo will run you $129, and really makes living room gaming comfortable. The lapboard features a magnetic mousepad to keep the mouse from falling to the floor, and the keyboard has anti-ghosting technology to keep your keystrokes sharp and intentional.

Interview by Nicholas DiMeo of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
Welcome to the Eureka! Factory, where great programs, projects, events and creative spaces and places happen!
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Zolt Proves That Great Things Come in Small Packages

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

ZoltIt’s no secret: Everyone, at least once in their life has forgotten a charger or brought the wrong one on a business trip or vacation. What if there was one charger that you could bring that could handle 2 devices and a laptop? And what if the charger automatically knew what voltage and wattage to deliver to the devices? Meet Zolt.

The world’s smallest laptop charger was a 2015 International CES Innovation Award Honoree. Zolt’s ability to charger a laptop and two other devices at the same time is what makes it so unique and truly a product that stands out from the pack.

Zolt comes with a 6-foot proprietary cable that’s the same color as the charger, which comes in an assortment of flavors. It also features the a bunch of different laptop tips that charge almost every device on the market today. Your Lenovo laptop, Apple iPad and any micro-USB device are all on the list of the hundreds of devices in total that can work with Zolt.

Weighing in at only 3 ounces, and available for a special pre-order price of $79, or $99 when launched, Zolt looks to makes its debut sometime in Spring 2015.

Interview by Nicholas DiMeo of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
Welcome to the Eureka! Factory, where great programs, projects, events and creative spaces and places happen!
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Ericsson Changes the Way We Think About Cloud Security

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

EricssonWith the cloud becoming an ever-expanding, highly-vulnerable space, there comes a time where businesses need to start caring about their customers’ data. That time is now, and many companies are working towards building better infrastructure to put customers’ minds at ease. One of those companies is Ericsson, one of the world’s largest mobile infrastructure groups.

Ericsson is taking the charge to make the cloud more safe and secure. By 2020, Ericsson estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices, and a majority of those devices will live in an industrialized cloud system. The problem is that the cloud isn’t secure nor efficient enough to sustain those devices.

Because of this, Ericsson is working on a platform that is highly programmable, highly accessible, highly governable, and controllable, but above all else is secure. The hope is that this work will change the way businesses think about security and the cloud, and the easiest way to explain the concept is to say that we need to build a bigger wall around our data.

Ericsson is just starting with its mission to roll out a better way to authenticate, validate and confirm your data and its transmissions. The ability to forensically prove your data during a breach and after a breach becomes crucial to understanding the severity of the breach, and Ericsson has made a series of acquisitions and partnerships to start to make this possible. If the infrastructure contains governed policies and profiles, the end users can feel safer knowing their data is authentic.

Interview by Nicholas DiMeo of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
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Plantronics Shows Off a Line of Gaming Headsets

Friday, February 20th, 2015

RIGIn addition to their well-known phone products and their music headphones, Plantronics also offers a line of gaming headphones and accessories.

Plantronics RIG is a gaming headset which also offers a desktop mixer. You can bring in 2 audio sources so you can listen to the game and also bring in external sound. If you want to add your own music, you can; if you want to chat on Skype while you play a game on Origin you can. Plantronics has even heard of people using the external audio to bring in audio from a baby monitor – the options are pretty limitless.

Using the mixer, which supports line-in or fiber optic in, the headphones can be used with nearly any platform, including Xbox, PC and PlayStation. With dual microphones, the headset can also allow you to game chat and use the phone at the same time. They are available now for $129.99.

To focus on the PC, an altered version of the headset is also available specifically for PC gamers. Offering a shorter cord for desktop use, plus 7.1 surround sound, PC gamers get a bit of an advantage over their competitors. The mixer does not include fiber optic support or Xbox headset, like its multi-platform partner does. It is available now for $99.99.

Finally comes the simpler RIG Flex. It plugs in directly with a standard 3.5mm plug, meaning you can plug it in directly to a computer, Wii or mobile device. It has lost the mixer, making it ideal for mobile. What it doesn’t lose is the sound quality, build quality and, of course, comfort. It is available now for $79.99.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

Sponsored by:
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.
Welcome to the Eureka! Factory, where great programs, projects, events and creative spaces and places happen!
Follow F5 Live: Refreshing Technology on Twitter: PLuGHiTzLive; Facebook: F5 Live; Google+: PLuGHiTz Live