Google Smartwatch

EvLeaks, well you guessed it, is leaking information about Google’s Smartwatch. The smart watch will have 1.65 inch LCD screen with a screen resolution of 280 x 280 pixels. The device will have 512MB RAM and 4GB of internal storage. Based on an artist’s rendering, Google may offer two designs, round and square. I say, go for the square one because every screen I’ve seen and known is rectangular. It will be very odd to see a round LCD screen.

smartwatch

Prime Membership to $100

Amazon’s prime membership just went up to $100. Personally, I don’t have a prime membership. I don’t really shop at Amazon that much. Maybe, about 10 times in a year. It’s a lot less now. I don’t shop that much enough to warrant spending that much money to save money. I’m not a movie watcher either, so I’m not really missing anything. I’m ok with Netflix $8 per month. Lately, I have been considering of not shopping at Amazon because it has gotten more expensive. Not only they apply sales taxes now, but the number of items that come with free shipping have gone down. I’ve bought items before from other online retailers because it was free shipping and they didn’t charge me sales tax. That’s Amazon loss.

Google Street View on the Colorado River

Now, you can go down the Colorado river using Google street view. Well, that takes the fun out of it. Anyways, Google is making the whole experience of going down the river available to your desktop. With just a few scrolls of your mouse, you can drift down the Colorado without ever lifting a finger. You can complete the entire river experience in a matter of minutes at zero cost, and without ever getting out of your chair. I just wonder if they will still call it Street View? Shouldn’t they be calling it River View? Next on the line is the Riverwalk in San Antonio, except that people faces will all be blurred.

Google 100GB for $2 Per Month

Find a 100GB of storage online for just $2 per month. Chances are you won’t. Because there aren’t any. You won’t find any better deal than what Google is offering. At least for the moment. What a great deal! Google just lowered the price of their cloud storage from $5 to $2. If you want a 1TB of storage, you can get it for just $10 per month. If you want to upgrade, just go to Google’s Drive.

google-drive-logo

32GB SD Card for $16

I got myself an excellent bargain earlier today. I picked up a Polaroid 32GB SDHC card at Frys for just $16. It’s rated with a Class 10 performance. I plan to use it on my Nikon D90 DSLR camera. With 32GB, I should be able to take 9456 photos at 12 Megapixels, and about 430 minutes 720p HD videos. The 16GB card I was using on my camera will now reside on my Raspberry PI. I can’t wait to get that going, so I can add more apps on my Raspberry.

32gb

The Cloud File Sharing Race

Who is winning the cloud storage race? The list is long and distinguished. Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, OneDrive and Box are the big five. Ubuntu One, Amazon Cloud Drive, Sugarsync, Hightail, and OwnCloud trail a list of lesser-known or perhaps lesser-used services. In terms of popularity, Dropbox still heads the list, mainly since it is the early innovator. iCloud leans heavily on Apple’s products. Google Drive is gaining market share.

In terms of my experience, I use Dropbox most of the time when sharing or transferring files. However, when creating new documents, I use Google Drive exclusively because the tools are there. When security is a concern, I tend to use OwnCloud. I do have OneDrive, iCloud, Ubuntu One, but I use them sparingly. Do I need more? Probably, not. I think having more than three services is overkill, but it’s nice to have options.

What’s your favorite? Who do you think is the best? Who will survive and who will not?

Windows XP Is Still Sting Hanging On

Microsoft is trying hard to get people to move off from Windows XP. It just doesn’t seem to be working. It’s falling on deaf ears. Interestingly, there was a slight increase in Windows XP use. Microsoft plans to drop Windows XP support April 8, meaning there won’t be anymore bug fixes, security updates, etc. Microsoft plans to use pop-up reminders after April 8.

The lesson to learn from all of this is, it is difficult to kill off a very successful product that still makes up 30% of your OS business. It’s going to take some time. The reality is, they may not all come back. In some cases, Users have found better alternatives in the form of our devices such as tablets and smartphones.

I imagine small businesses still have some old systems are still hanging around. If they haven’t moved them, there’s probably a good enough reason why they still run on Windows XP. There are many legacy systems that still run on Windows XP. Upgrades means they will break. But, then again, I can’t imagine businesses ignoring all of these warnings all this time.

So, I won’t be surprised if only a small portion of the 30 percent upgrades to newer Windows OS.

BookBook for the MacBook Air

Are you looking for a laptop cover for your MacBook Air? TwelveSouth has a laptop cover called BookBook. It looks like an old book. I mean a really old book. It’s made of genuine leather. It has a hardback case with a strong spine, with reinforced corners for impact protection, extra padding, and your laptop is kept secured by a zipper. Did I say it looks like a regular book? I guess it’s worth repeating. It’s a good disguise. It looks like you’re carrying a book instead of a laptop. The only gripe I have is, it’s a bit pricey for a laptop cover. It looks like a really nice, elegant antique book. That’s the draw. If you really want it, just be prepared to dish out $80 bucks for this item.

bookbook

Upgrading ownCloud

Are you looking for a Dropbox alternative? Try ownCloud. Dropbox and ownCloud are both free as well as a paid service. The main difference between the two is that you can run ownCloud from your own server. Like Dropbox, you can access ownCloud from your browser, desktop or smartphone. The ownCloud server software runs on any server, mine runs on Ubuntu Linux, and it doesn’t require special permissions.

The latest version is ownCloud version 6. I was still running on version 4.5. So, the following instructions will upgrade your ownCloud to the latest version on the Ubuntu server. If you have large amounts of data, it would be wise to backup your ownCloud directories. If you don’t have many files, you can opt for a clean install.

Go to your ownCloud directory.

cd owncloud

Delete everything except for data and config. You will most likely need sudo to delete your files. I opted for a clean install, so I deleted everything.

ls | grep -v 'data\|config' | sudo xargs rm -r

Download ownCloud. Since I did a clean install, I went up one directory level.

cd ..
wget http://download.owncloud.org/community/owncloud-latest.tar.bz2

Unpack the tarball. It will create a new directory ‘owncloud.’

sudo tar xfj owncloud-latest.tar.bz2

Give it write permissions. By default, the owncloud files are owned by nobody. So, you might see an error message saying it needs write permissions to ‘owncloud/data.’ I changed the ownership of the files to Apache, which is www-data.

sudo chown www-data:www-data -R owncloud

Access ownCloud by opening up your web browser and going to your ownCloud URL. If you did a clean install, you will be asked to create a new admin username and password. Otherwise, enter your former credentials. Finally, download the desktop clients as well as the mobile apps and install on your devices.

Synch your files and have fun.

Engenius ENS202ext Outdoor AP

I installed a couple of Engenius ENS202ext Outdoor access points for a client the other day. The range on these AP’s are extremely good. The device operates at 400mW Transmit Power. It has two omnidirectional antennas rated at 5dBi each. They can be replaced with even a higher gain antenna. It supports 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi standards running at 2.4Mhz. The maximum data rate is 300 Mbps. Each SSID can be tagged to a separate Vlan and they come with the EZ controller which is a free download. The Engenius ENS202ext Outdoor AP currently sells for under $100.