Category Archives: Technology

Information about technology updates and other fun tech tid bits

Fame-Magazine Articles Technology

Tech Update: Curved Smart Phones Coming Your Way

If the rumors are true, Apple is behind the curve this time in unveiling to the world “first” the next greatest addition to smart technology. According to Techcrunch.com, “Apple is said to be working on two curved display iPhone models” as it’s next big release in the later part of 2014. Since the last Apple release of the iPhone 5s and 5c, started a precedent of launching two devices at one time, it is only natural they do it again, and bigger!

Samsung launched its Galaxy Round  with a curved display on October 9, 2013 beating one of its competitors, LG, to the punch. LG then followed up with the release of the G Flex on November 12, 2013 in South Korea.

photo credit: google.com

Samsung Galaxy Round features a horizontally curved screen while the LG G Flex flaunts a vertically curved screen, though both are said to deliver a more comfortable grip and fit.

 

Photo Credit: google.com

Yes, both Samsung and LG have released a curved smart phone this year back to back (to be released in the US early 2014). But how many people will really go for the idea until Apple “gives the okay” that it truly is the latest tech innovation since the first Macintosh Computer was introduced?

Inquiring minds want to know, “What is Apple going to do to make this “curved phone” fad the “next big thing?”

 

Apple is known best for its simplicity and accessibility for its consumers. Their new product has to be something that will set them above the ranks once again.  It is rumored that Apple will also add a larger screen size with better touch screen sensors that are more sensitive to the owners touch pressure and what they may want. But will it also follow in the footsteps of LG and have a self-healing back panel? As much as we all drop our phones this would be a plus for all of us. Forbes.com made a good point when reminding us what the curved screen really means for Apple. They said, “Apple will be transferring its screen technologies from LCD to OLED (organic light emitting diode)” this is something that CEO Tim Cook once described as “awful.” This is a big step for Apple in terms of keeping brand integrity while trying not to fall behind in the tech harvest as the years progress.

Curved phones provide consumers with a flexible phone, very similar to the “original” home phone curve. The new design also helps users save money in the long run. For those of us who drop our phones or let our children drop our phones by accident, a curved phone would yield and unbreakable phone. Even if it means we may have to put more money initially into the device, it may prove useful down the road…What do you think?

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New Media Journalism Technology

Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT)

BYOT with 2nd Grade at Fayette Elementary School from Amanda Golden on Vimeo.

Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) is a program that is taking education to the next level. This program allows students to bring their own devices to school to use as a part of their educational journey. Fayette Elementary School in Fayetteville, Georgia has just officially launched the BYOT Program this past Monday, November 11, 2013. So, the technology specialist Regina Yeargin has her hands full going around to all of the classrooms to ensure they have the understanding needed before bringing their device to school. For example, students must fill out a form with their parents for permission to use the devices at school. But the next step is crucial for those who will eventually bring their own device to school. They must have their parents go to the school website to "register"the device by serial number and type. The final step is on the teacher; teachers must give the students the final word on when they can bring the device into the classroom. This multimedia story shows a quick lesson in BYOT with a 2nd grade class on what to and not to do with their devices.

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Fame-Magazine Articles Technology

Tablet for Two? The Digital Dining Experience

Popular Restaurant Chain, Chili’s Grill & Bar, to introduce Tabletop Tablets as permanent fixtures on tables in all locations in the coming year.

Image credit: Brinker International

With technology on the rise in the world, there was no surprise when I read this article on entreprenuer.com about the future of restaurants being digitized in the near future. All 823 U.S Chili’s Grill & Bar Restaurants will soon be home to many Tabletop Ziosk Tabletsby early 2014.  The 7-inch tablets will be used to order from the menu, pay for meals and even games (at a cost) for the kids to play while they wait!

Will these new tabletop dining pieces have an effect on the many Chilli’s Restaurant employees?  A spokesperson for Chilli’s says “Ziosk tablets are a tool to help team members create an even better guest dining experience – not replace them.” Customers can expect to still be seated by the same hosts and hostesses they’re used to seeing a their favorite location and have a better overall dining experience.

Image Credit: Google.com

It’s a win-win for both the company and the consumers. Not to mention, customers order 50 percent more with the Ziosk Tablets. The customers will receive a faster more efficient dining experience by being able to order meals and drinks when they first arrive. Of course, the alcoholic beverages will still require an ID before your first drink; but after that you would be able to order on your own. Faster, more efficient service provides plenty of free time to enjoy conversations with family and friends.

The next time you visit Chili’s Grill & Bar, think about how all of the changes will be of service to you. In an interview with National Restaurant News, Edithann Ramey the Vice President of Marketing for Chili’s stated that Chili’s is “a place where people come to connect and spend time with each other.” With these tablets the customer “can control their own destiny” thus making the dining experience more enjoyable for everyone involved!

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Fame-Magazine Articles Technology

Elegantly Simple: iOS 7

Photo Credit: Google.com

iOS7 is a new operating system unveiled by Apple on September 18 at 1pm. It takes the old operating system a step above the rest by simply simplifying the usability of it.

Taking away the elements that were; “in the way” and brightening the retina display to make it more appealing was just the beginning.

Apple has added several more built in applications and even changed the look of the old apps! Some of the new updates brought about new features like Control Center, AirDrop for iOS, and smarter multitasking.

“It  makes the things you do every day even easier, faster, and more enjoyable,” says Apple. The typography has gotten slimmer and the design has gotten more awesome!

The new security features in iOS 7 make it harder for anyone who’s not you to use or sell your device. Once my device powered back on last night to have me finish the set up, I was asked to create a passcode. This passcode is supposed to make it harder for someone to get a hold of your device without permission.The best security feature by far would be the Find My iPhone, iPad, and/or iPod application. If someone were to steal your device you can remotely track it, lock it and “delete” files from it. The good part about deleting the files is that with your Apple ID you can get them right back when you log in with your ID and passcode on your brand new device.

I played around with it a little last night on my iPad; at first it took some getting used to for me. When first turning on after the initial update I noticed the main screen had a few additional applications than before and even the ones that were there before had a more elegant appearance. Brightly colored yet simple at the same time. The notepad that used to resemble the normal yellow legal pad is now a clear, crisp white pad with no lines. The calendar looked “simpler” as well. There was much more space to see what event was on which day.

iOS-7-App-Store-Apps-Near-Me-002
Photo Courtesy: Google.com

The App Store was also a bit more sleek this go around. There was an additional category at the bottom of the screen called “apps near me.” Naturally I was curious so I clicked it. Basically it’s the Genius category times two, it’s a mix of apps based on your previous apps with a twist. Apple now asks your location to see what apps people in your area are using!

For instance, the color popping bubbles of the new Game Center used to be green and look cluttered. Now,  the colored bubbles resemble conversations and keep track of who is where and on what game. So I can keep up with my friends playing games like Candy Crush and Temple Run!

Overall, I think the iOS 7 was one of the best updates Apple has created since the creation of the IOS. For a full list of the newly added features and how iOS 7 can benefit you visit Apple’s webpage.

 

 

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Fame-Magazine Articles Technology

Shhh… Twitter’s Going Public

IPO-Minh-UongThe-New-York-Times
Photo Courtesy: Google.com

It was not a secret that in 2006 when Twitter Inc. was founded by Jack Dorsey and Dick Costolo  that the company would be “private.” The social networking and micro-blogging website, that allows its users to express themselves in 140 characters or less, was only interested in selling its stock internally to other members of the company and its investors, privately.

Now, Twitter Inc. has officially tweeted that they’ve “confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO…” In minutes the news was re-tweeted over 2000 times! With both good and not so good comments on the news it leaves many to wonder what will come of Twitter when this IPO is really on the table officially.

Photo Credit: politico.com

According to an article on Politico.com Jeff Chester stated that when Twitter goes public, “Twitter’s new job will be to please large advertisers and help them better use social media to target consumers.” Those consumers being all of the twitter users! Twitter will have to cater to the big companies by supplying them with our information so they can advertise to the individual liking of its users. Chester goes on to say that; “Twitter will need to re-examine its privacy policies to make sure users have complete control of their information when it relates to their finances, health, children, ethnicity, etc.” Meaning just like Facebook it could end up that you choose to give them the rights to your information for advertising purposes.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the side ads on Facebook that supposedly are based on what I like. It’s a distraction and not to mention it’s creepy that they have gathered information based on my Internet usage AND the information provided to them by the social networking site.

There isn’t much information about this “confidential” filing since it is protected by the new JOBS Act until three weeks before it plans to start the official public offering. But this was only the first step in the IPO process which typically takes three to six months, but can take longer.

So, it’s likely we wont see any Twitter Stock for sale until early 2014.

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Fame-Magazine Articles Technology

A Little Class With Google Glass

First published at FAME Magazine by Amanda Golden

Photo Credit: google.com

Google has it all. From Google Wallet to Google Hangouts, they are truly cutting the into the next level of our technological society. Now, Google Glass, their newest device,  is a classy pair of glasses with a mini computer attached to it. This lightweight wearable computer is the next hot item that all the Techies and Trendsetters will be wearing in the next year.

Fully packed with apps for a variety of users, Google Glass has  a lot to offer. Don’t worry if you do not have a Google Wallet account to purchase apps because if you have Google Glass, you will have tosign up for that account to utilize the full range of what this product can do. Coming in colors like Charcoal, Tangerine, Shale, Cotton, and Sky consumers will have a lot to choose from.

But where are the lenses? From what I have seen each of the 5 color options are lens-less. Thus giving consumers the option to wear them as is, or customize their wear by adding the glass-less frame to their own corrective lenses or sunglasses even.

There is no official release date for this classy new trend, however there are very few available right now. Only a few Google Glass Developers and contest winners who were able to drop $1500 to test them earlier this year.

My question is, although these are very classy glasses by Google; aren’t you at the least bit worried about your privacy? Google Glass is run by Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. These capabilities allow them to record events photograph people and search for various items. What if they record you while you are out and about without your knowledge?

Luckily, according to the glassreport.net , “it [Google] opted to block facial recognition on the Google Glass product.” That would have been another can of worms (not to mention lawsuits) waiting to happen.

I’m curious to see how you feel abut this Hot Tech trend coming soon.

Let’s Chat.

Check out the Google Glass Class BELOW!

Google Glass Class from Youtube

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New Media Journalism Technology Toddlers and Tablets

Privacy Settings on Facebook: Protect Yourself by Thinking Twice

Photo Taken By Amanda Golden
Photo Taken By Amanda Golden

Former student of Fayette County School District, Chelsea Chaney, is currently suing the school system for 2 million dollars.

Chaney reports on WBSTV that she “didn’t give permission for her photo to be used.” Her attorney, Peter Wellborn stated “their idea that putting something on Facebook gives them a license to steal it and Carte blanche to do with it what they did is wrong ethically, it’s wrong morally and it’s absolutely wrong legally.”

When one signs up for social media networking sites like Facebook they are, according to Facebook Privacy Settings, granting them the permission to use any and all information posted publicly to the website. Though you will still own all of the photos and information posted it is suggested on Facebook that one must, “always think before you post. Just like anything else you post on the web or send in an email, information you share on Facebook can be copied or re-shared by anyone who can see it.”

One element of a Defamation claim in Georgia according to Digital Media Law Project is “a false statement about the plaintiff.” Chaney also reported that next to the photo was the title “Once it’s there, it’s there to stay” during a district wide seminar that was dedicated to informing people of the risks of social media. This was “embarrassing” to Chaney according to the report made on WSBTV this past June.

Another former Fayette County School District student, Justin M., feels that “it doesn’t matter, as soon as she put it on the Internet it became free game for anybody”; including employers. Mr. M. also mentioned that people should read the privacy settings of these social media settings, people can see your information whether you give them permission or not because “you put it out there for them to see.”

His advice to youth of today is to “Be informed. Understand what you are doing when you put that information, that picture or you’re putting that video or whatever post up. What ever you say can be used against you, not only in the court of law but for getting a job, losing a job, losing a friend, or even a family member; because it is in the free market, in the middle of the internet, anybody can access it.”

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Fame-Magazine Articles Technology

New Devices Falling From the Apple Tree this Fall

 New Devices Falling From the Apple Tree this Fall 

Apple sent out an invitation to its latest event to be held September 10, 2013 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. This long awaited event will be held at the Apple Campus in Cupertino, CA with several invited guests.

photo courtesy of macrumors.com

It is reported that this event will unveil the newest iPhone(s); yes two new iPhone’s will be falling from the Apple tree this fall. The iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C will be in our hands and hearts in less than a week; are you ready?

According to macrumors.com, the iPhone 5S is the updated version of the iPhone 5 we already love, but the iPhone 5C will be the more cost affordable iPhone that I have been waiting for. A cheaper model would work just as well with the same operating system; but the make of the product is reported as having colorful plastic shells. Following suit of other companies with lower costing smart phones; Apple is reported to have colors like green, yellow, red, blue and of course white for the iPhone 5C.

Photo Credit: Google.com

It has also been reported the iPhone 5S will have a fingerprint scanner on the home button as well as a much improved rear camera. Most importantly, to me anyway since my last name is Golden, is the new color option of the Gold/Champagne and White! For full specs and pricing on these devices follow up with Apple after the official event this Tuesday, September 10th.

 

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New Media Journalism Technology Toddlers and Tablets

iPad Training 101

Getting to know your iPad made easy; an hour long hands-on teaching experiences with your new Apple devices found at PeachMac- Peachtree City for Free.

Peachtree City, Georgia- Getting to know your iPad event was held Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 10:00 am in The Avenue of Peachtree City. The event was hosted at the PeachMac store by trainers, Emily Anderson and Andrew Gruner.

Anderson states this is an introductory course that goes over the “basic navigation of the device” as well as the “terminology” used with the device. She explains what each term means in normal terms. She goes on to say that “equating it to something familiar is the one thing I know our customers love about our store.” To ensure everyone gets adequate training, there is only a limited amount of people in each training class. This class had eight attendees; which is the maximum for the workshop.

PeachMac hosts several other trainings throughout the week. These free workshops may be found on their webpage.

Andrew Gruner going through the basic steps of how to use your iPad in the Getting to know your iPad Training. Saturday, August 31, 2013 at PeachMac in Peachtree City, GA Photo by: Amanda Golden/Full Sail University
Andrew Gruner going through the basic steps of how to use your iPad in the Getting to know your iPad Training.
Saturday, August 31, 2013 at PeachMac in Peachtree City, GA
Photo by: Amanda Golden/Full Sail University

Gruner prefaced the class by saying, “this workshop never takes the full hour because it is a lot more straightforward than using a Mac.” The iPad is more “user-friendly” stated Gruner this is why it usually only takes about thirty minutes to complete the training. The class ranged from ages 14-73 this Saturday so trainer, Andrew Gruner continuously reassured the attendees that no one would be left behind with his explanations. This course differed from the previous Introduction to iPad classes by lasting the full hour allotted for the course.

Tom and Sylvia Morrison recently brought an iPad for their 73-year-old mother, Victoria, so that she may be able to stay in contact with them when they aren’t around. Also, “the iPad will let her watch the videos her granddaughter is producing as well”, added Tom. Throughout the course several basic questions were answered on how to use the iPad, including the definition of an “app”. The Apple App Store is where customers would purchase applications according to their liking so Gruner was sure to show step-by-step how to access it to get the most from the store. Sylvia noted that since they had just introduced the iPad to her mother, to be able to communicate with them mostly, “we still need to teach her the definition of free vs. paid in the app store.” Tom went on to joke that their daughter, a 7th grader in Fulton County Schools, was going to teach her everything there was to know about texting and using her new iPad later this evening since they were using them in her school she was now almost an expert.

Andrew Gruner going through each step of how to use your iPad with Ms. Victoria in the Getting to know your iPad training. Saturday, August 31, 2013 at PeachMac in Peachtree City, GA Photo by: Amanda Golden/Full Sail University
Andrew Gruner going through each step of how to use your iPad with Ms. Victoria in the Getting to know your iPad training.
Saturday, August 31, 2013 at PeachMac in Peachtree City, GA
Photo by: Amanda Golden/Full Sail University

The B.Y.O.T Initiatives have begun to spread throughout the country. According to the article written in the PeachMac blog, “the program has proven to engage students and encourage them to participate more in class.” Anderson says, “very few have come to a workshop for their child. Those that do, generally want to have the knowledge to help their children navigate the device should the need arise.” She recommends one of the most used apps available in store for parents who do bring children to be called “Lunchbox”. This app uses a monkey character to teach shapes to the younger children. Though there are many other educational apps such as MathBoard and her personal favorites NASA and iTunes U she explains. Several more awesome apps can be found for new parents on the PeachMac Blog.

PeachMac offers a variety of resources and product trainings that are open for anyone who would like to attend, from the free workshops to the PeachPlus Memberships and One-on-One support. For more information on PeachMac and what it has to offer contact your local PeachMac Store.

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Fame-Magazine Articles Technology

Get Smart or Get Lost (in cyber space)

Get Smart or Get Lost (in cyber space)

Technology, like the three-year-olds in my classroom, does not stay in one place for long. It is steadily advancing and grabbing ahold to the world around us. This leaves us two choices: Fall in line with the newest tech trend, OR get lost in cyber space somewhere! Which will you choose?

Photo Credit: google.com

Most smartphone users who have ever utilized the Google Maps App have recently  noticed how it Google has made a few drastic changes. Changes such as integrating traffic updates, Zaggat reports and reviews on hot spots in town and even “user specific” ads are now shown on the bottom. I don’t know about you but I think it overcomplicates the- what used to be so simple- navigation app it replaced.

If that wasn’t enough to get your mind running at full speed; lets review Samsung’s latest idea of releasing a SmartWatch. Yes, basically a more compact smart phone that you don’t have to have pocket space for as long as you have an arm. This isn’t the first time a company has tried to unveil this on the world but with many years of trial and error I am pretty sure Samsung will have it right this time. Also, to ensure that it helps them sell other Samsung products it is rumored that you won’t be able to get apps from the Google App store; Samsung will have its own market for customers. Thus making sure that it is paired with other high tech Samsung devices like the Galaxy S4. For full tech specs and rumored possibilities of this high tech gadget for your wrist visit samsmobile.com.

Photo Credit: google.com

Last but certainly not least, there is Mark Zuckerberg. CEO and Founder of Facebook, Zuckerberg seeks to attain Internet for everyone who does not already have access to it. What if you didn’t have Internet (or a Facebook) for a reason? Like myself, I only have a Facebook because it is required for school and work.  Either way according to a recent reuters.com article Facebook has teamed up with several companies to help make this project happen. Nearly two-thirds of the world’s population is still without internet and that is just not acceptable to Zuckerberg who has projected that in the near future people will be using Facebook for more than just tot keep in touch with friends. It seems the ultimate goal is not for free Internet but for a lower costing Internet so everyone can utilize social networking sites like Facebook.

A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Facebook logo as he poses with an Dell laptop in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica
Photo Credit: Google.com

This still leaves the questions:

  1. What if I am not as tech savvy as my neighbor and still feel like mailing a letter is better than sending an email any day?
  2. Will I be forced to one day soon latch on to these tech trends that are out of my budget because it is what is expected?

 

 

Technology is everywhere and is never going away. Whether we are two or 92  it is going to affect us in some way. It is your choice how.

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