Friday, December 22, 2017

TechTalk December 12 & 19

Every week Andrew Thomas and I sit down and talk for an hour about the tech that has caught our attention and along the way we review a product or 2.

This week we had a play with the Samsung Note8 and I have to be honest when I say that the phone is technologically superb but did not make me want to buy it!

What happened to the love for the Note, the Note is no longer a phablet more an S8+ with an Spen and that is cool but is it an Note?

The men of Techtalk have you covered.


Andrew Thomas & Jatin Mava

Note8 2999AED
-sleek, S8ish
-tall not wide
-is this a phablet?
-S Pen WOW!
-6.3 inch screen
-3300 mAh battery
-iris scanner
-Android 7.1.1-not newest
-edge tech for apps
-lovely feeling phone and screen
Not jumping out at me

Uber moves on BBM

Amazon vs walmart

Yes there is blackberry

Alibaba car vending machine

During the recent announcement that Ford and Alibaba were teaming up on a venture to enter China’s electric vehicle market, their statement emphasized that they planned to “explore new ways to redefine how consumers purchase and own vehicles.” Now we’ve got more details on that aspect of their strategy, with an announcement that they plan to open two fully automated vending-machine stores in January 2018 — one in Shanghai and another in Nanjing.
The entire transaction is designed to be handled online, without any human interaction whatsoever. First, when you see a car you like on the street, take a picture of it using the Taobao app. To schedule a test drive, just add your vital info and snap a selfie.
Next, head to the nearest Tmall Auto facility and verify your identity with facial recognition technology. Your selected car will be automatically delivered from the giant three-story dispenser and you’re off for a three-day test drive. If you like the car, you can purchase it through your phone, or return it and schedule another test with a different car.
The locations offer a wide variety of different brands, unlike when a customer goes to a traditional dealership. “Our thinking behind the Car Vending Machine is focused on helping users solve certain problems they face in the car-buying process,” Huan Lu of Tmall told the website TechinAsia. “To do that, we are building a physical, experiential store that offers staffless car pickup through facial-recognition, three-day ‘deep’ test-drives, and a one-stop-shop that displays [cars from] all mainstream brands at once.”

Google Year in Search!

Google also gathered some of the year’s top searches, and some of them are a real punch to the gut. Check some of them out below (see more here):


Hurricane Irma
Matt Lauer
Tom Petty
Super Bowl
Las Vegas Shooting
Mayweather vs McGregor Fight
Solar Eclipse
Hurricane Harvey
Aaron Hernandez
Fidget Spinner


Cash Me Outside Meme
United Airlines Meme
Elf on the Shelf Meme
What in Tarnation Meme
Spongebob Mocking Meme
Romper Meme
IT Meme
Joe Biden Meme
Game of Thrones Meme
Hot dog meme


Matt Lauer
Meghan Markle
Harvey Weinstein
Michael Flynn
Kevin Spacey
Bill O’Reilly
Melania Trump
Kathy Griffin
Milo Yiannopoulos
Gal Gadot


Hurricane Irma
Las Vegas Shooting
Solar Eclipse
Hurricane Harvey
Bitcoin Price
North Korea
Hurricane Jose
Hurricane Maria
April the Giraffe


Tom Petty
Aaron Hernandez
Chris Cornell
Bill Paxton
Hugh Hefner
Chester Bennington
Charlie Murphy
Lil Peep
Jim Nabors
David Cassidy\

How to…

How to make slime
How to make solar eclipse glasses
How to watch the solar eclipse
How to watch Mayweather vs McGregor
How to buy Bitcoin
How to freeze your credit
How to solve a Rubix Cube
How to make a fidget spinner
How to cook a turkey in the oven
How to screen record

What is…

What is DACA?
What is Bitcoin?
What is a solar eclipse?
What is antifa?
What is net neutrality?
What is covfefe?
What is the antikythera mechanism?
What is a fidget spinner?
What is the Paris Climate Agreement?
What is a hurricane?


Beauty and the Beast
Wonder Woman
Get Out
Justice League
Baby Driver
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
Hidden Figures

Meghan Markle
Kevin Spacey
Gal Gadot
Louis C.K
Meryl Streep
Bill SkarsgÄrd
Millie Bobby Brown
Tom Holland
Maia Campbell
Tommy Wiseau


Bad and Boujee
Look What You Made Me Do
Bodak Yellow
Gucci Gang
Shape of you
Mask Off
Side to Side
TV Shows

13 Reasons Why
Game of Thrones
This Is Us
Iron Fist
Bachelor in Paradise
The Good Doctor
Santa Clarita Diet
Big Little Lies
American Gods

Instagram and Millennial women!
Bustle Hive–a community of over 5,000 Bustle, Romper and Elite Daily readers between the ages of 18 and 34 who live in the United States. Bustle adapted its own version of the Proust Questionnaire–a personality questionnaire made popular by French writer Marcel Proust–to learn more about what they value, what brands they like and how they interact with brands.
According to the findings, 81 percent of readers say social media is the most effective way to reach them. Of those women, 40 percent of Bustle readers feel Instagram is the best and most effective social media outlet to connect. Additionally, 36 percent find brands through websites they trust, closely followed by 35 percent of women, who find brands in online articles and through email.
When it comes to types of advertising, 57 percent of readers selected humor and social good as two top themes in brand marketing. Thirty-six percent selected cause-related spots, followed by motivational spots (33 percent) and real-life scenarios (30 percent).
Bustle also found some interesting insights around millennial behavior that the team wasn’t expecting.
“The whole thing about Bustle is the authenticity and the realness to what we do. We want to make sure that we have the best data possible about our own readers. We need to know what the readers who are consuming our content think,” Jessica Tarlov, senior director, research and consumer insights at Bustle, said. Bustle also hoped that it could take the data to its advertising and marketing partners to help them better understand how to effectively advertise on the Bustle platform.
“We expected to hear the things that reputation-wise, [people say] about millennials all the time. Like the idea that we are all trophy heads, slackers, it’s the ‘me generation’ and that we are financial failures. Our data totally turned that narrative on its head,” Tarlov said.
While there’s a myth that millennials are living in their parents’ basements (and that they are super lazy), Bustle found that 94 percent of its readers say financial security is very important to them.

iMac Pro Orders started Dec 14
On June 5, 2017, Apple revealed the iMac Pro, the next installment in its family of iMac workstations. It is now available for purchase in North America starting at $5,000.
Apple’s “pro” all-in-one device will sport Intel Xeon “W” processors with up to 18 cores, a Vega-powered AMD professional graphics card with up to 22 teraflops of graphics computations, and an attractive new Space Gray enclosure seemingly ripped out of the future.
Early reviews of the Apple iMac Pro have been positive, though they’ve come from less traditional sources such as professional director and photographer Vincent Laforet, and popular YouTuber Marques Brownlee. Then again, its no surprise that Apple’s massively expensive iMac Pro is quite good, considering what it has inside.

Xeon inside

The first reviews to hit the internet are based on supplied units relying on Intel’s Xeon W-2155 processor. This chip sports ten cores, 20 threads, 13.75MB of shared cache, and no integrated graphics. The base speed is 3.30GHz while the maximum speed is 4.50GHz, putting it in the same ballpark as Intel’s enthusiast-focused Core i9-7900X 10-core chip in multi-core performance. The iMac Pro with Intel’s 8-core version will supposedly be available on December 14 followed by the 14-core and 18-core models in early 2018.

Based on Apple’s live diagram, the iMac Pro’s speakers are mounted towards the top near the two cooling fans. But the company has designed the internals to where the output audio is directed downwards and through the long slit lining along the bottom back of the all-in-one PC. Apple says these two speakers deliver “broad frequency response, rich bass, and more volume” even though they’re packed under the iMac Pro’s rear hood.
“We re engineered the whole system and designed an entirely new thermal architecture to pack extraordinary performance into the elegant, quiet iMac enclosure our customers love — iMac Pro is a huge step forward and there’s never been anything like it,” said John Ternus, Apple’s vice president of Hardware Engineering.
What’s not crystal clear is what type of SSD Apple is using in the iMac Pro. For starters, any SSD will be faster than using a clunky mechanical drive, because they don’t rely on spinning discs for reading information like a compact record player. But the fastest SSDs can access data lanes typically used by add-in-cards (PCI Express), which are around five times faster than lanes typically used by storage devices (SATA 3).
For instance, a 2.5-inch hard drive with platters moving at 7,200RPM typically have a read speed of 80 to 160MB per second. A decent 2.5-inch SSD using the same SATA 3 connection can have a read speed of around 540MB per second. That’s a huge performance increase, but a stick-sized SSD using a PCI Express-based connection could have read speeds of around 2,500MB per second or higher.

Like this for images

-WOrdpress has a search plugin!

I want one of these for christmas!
Paper Signals is a neat resource produced by Google that could prove to be a fun way to provide students with hands-on programming experience. Paper Signals is a set of templates that students can follow to program physical objects to respond to voice commands.

There are some physical products that you will need to have on hand in order to use Paper Signals. You may already have the necessary items in your school. First, you'll need a printer to print a template (you'll be folding and cutting paper). Second, you're going to need a small circuit board, some wires/ cables, and a bit of glue. If you don't want to source those items yourself, you can buy a little kit for less than $25.

Puppet master free i0s app

3d imags!

More than 15 million users a week launch the Fyuse app to take and share the 3D interactive pictures the technology enables. But what these users may not realize is that their pictures are actually a training tool to help train the eyes of a new generation of devices.
Fyusion, the San Francisco-based developer of these 3D photography applications, has spent the past three years building out its app for consumers — as the first step toward becoming the default 3D imaging technology for consumers and businesses.
“Fyusion’s vision is that our fyuse 3D spatial photography format will become ubiquitous, and the de-facto standard for representing a certain kind of 3D spatial data for consumers at scale,” Radu Rusu, Fyusion’s chief executive, wrote to me in an email. “Beyond the fyuse format itself, live 3D Visual Understanding in the camera has been a core capability that got baked into the format since day one, taking advantage of experience in 3D Point Cloud processing and robotics — whether the camera is a smartphone or head mounted device that we’re likely to all be wearing in a few years’ time, or a personal robot. We would like to enable all computers, from smartphones to robots to take advantage of fyuse and 3D Visual Understanding soon.”

Huawei to hit USA!

Chinese phone maker Huawei plans to begin selling smartphones through a US carrier next year, an executive for the company told the Associated Press on Monday.

Richard Yu, the president of Huawei Technologies' consumer business, told the news agency its flagship Mate 10 would be the first handset offered but declined to discuss a price or identify which carrier or carriers would sell the phone. Yu said he will announce details at next month's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Huawei has been best known in Asia and Europe for its networking equipment, but over the past few years its smartphone sales have skyrocketed. It hasn't yet had a big break in the US, partly because of lack of brand recognition and partly because Apple and Samsung dominate that market.

The world's largest handset maker has a small presence in the US, mostly through online sales of its budget phones since 2014, and earlier this year, it started selling its premium Mate 9 through sites like Amazon and Best Buy. IDC predicts Huawei will overtake Apple this year or next to become the world's second-largest handset maker.

Dec 12 notes

-was suing the wife’s iphone didn’t have swipe on the keyboard and that was a pain

No new toys to talk about this week , MAYBE a Note8 next week.

Facebook is doing it
Facebook has a bunch of new tools for video creators. First up, it has launched a community hub for 360 degree video (which isn't live for everyone just yet) that gathers educational bits like how to use 360 degree cameras, how to edit said videos and a primer on spatial audio. Speaking of editing, the social network has also launched 360 Director, a page with tools for adding annotation, setting zoom level, and the ability to save a video as a draft, among others. Facebook will also loan out the pricey cameras, starting with the GoPro Fusion and ZCam S1 at launch.
Not into 360 video? Well, Zuckerberg and Co. have something for you too. Facebook Sound Collection is a gaggle of songs and sound effects you can use with your authored videos, 360-degree ones included. Meaning, you can use these without fear that your masterpiece will get muted because of a copyright violation. Will that stop people from uploading video with licensed music? Probably not. Facebook's ambitions for video are pretty transparent at this point, but it's good to see that the company is willing to invest in its users in addition to its original programming aspirations.

Last November, Facebook launched Instant Games, a new platform for gaming with friends inside the Messenger chat app. Today, the company is announcing a couple of notable new features for this gaming platform, including support for live streaming via Facebook Live and video chatting with fellow gamers.
The idea with Instant Games is to boost people’s time spent in Messenger by giving them something else to do besides just chat.
It also serves as Facebook’s newest attempt to return to dominance in social gaming. The company’s gaming platform years ago had earned a peak of a quarter-billion dollars per quarter on its 30 percent tax on in-game purchases, and it leveraged Facebook’s network effects to help games go viral.
But with the shift to mobile, Facebook’s position in gaming declined. These days, people spend more time gaming in native mobile apps built for iOS and Android devices.
When Instant Games first launched it offered 20 games across 30 markets, including titles like Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and Words With Friends Frenzy. Now that number has grown to over 70 games from more than 100 developers worldwide, the company says, including recently launched Tetris.
It will soon add other big names, like Angry Birds (built by CoolGames, who also built Tetris); Sonic Jump from SEGA; Disney Tsum Tsum, published by LINE; and a new game from Puzzle & Dragons maker, GungHo Online Entertainment, Inc.
To mark its one-year anniversary, Facebook is also debuting a couple of new features for its Instant Games: live streaming and video chat.
Live streaming begins rolling out today.
The feature, powered by Facebook Live, lets Messenger users broadcast their gameplay to their Facebook Page or profile. To use live streaming, you just tap on the new camera icon at the top right of the screen while gaming, then add a short description to be shared alongside your post. To start recording, you press the “Start Live Video” button.

Apple may buy shazam
In a bit of Friday afternoon news, TechCrunch reports that Apple plans to buy Shazam, the company behind the popular audio identification software and app. Apparently, the site's sources indicate the deal could be announced Monday, but it's quick to note the timing on these things isn't always solid. As you can imagine, rumored terms of the deal, including a sale price, aren't reliable just yet. The acquisition would give Apple ownership of the music, TV and movie identifying tech and a group of features it could easily take advantage of with its own products.
Of course, Shazam already works on both iOS and OS X. The song ID feature was added to iPhones (through Siri) with iOS 8 and it hit the desktop back in 2014. Shazam also goes to work on much more than phones and PCs. Most recently, the music discovery tech was added to Samsung smart TVs. The company also has a background listening toolthat's always ready to recognize a song or audio clip. Sounds like a good feature for a smart speaker, eh?

Jony Ivy of Apple back to Design!
Apple's chief design officer, Jony Ive, is picking his old management duties back up again, 9to5Mac reports. Back in 2015, Ive was upgraded to chief design officer from senior VP and day-to-day management was taken over by Alan Dye and Richard Howarth. Earlier today, 9to5Mac noted that Dye and Howarth were no longer listed on Apple's leadership page and now word's out that Ive is back at the management helm. In a statement to Bloomberg, an Apple spokesperson said, "With the completion of Apple Park, Apple's design leaders and teams are again reporting directly to Jony Ive, who remains focused purely on design."

Apple has come under fire for some of its recent design choices, like the way its Pencil and Mouse charge, the lack of ports in the MacBook and, of course, that iPhone X notch. That may or may not have anything to do with Ive's return, but as 9to5Mac notes, the writing may have been on the wall. Dye and Howarth haven't really been in the spotlight much since becoming senior VPs while Ive has retained a fair amount of public exposure.
We've reached out to Apple for comment and we'll update this post when we hear more.
Apple Camerra’s used for many photos
Apple’s iPhone remains the most popular camera used by the Flickr community, the photo-sharing site revealed today in its annual review of camera rankings and top photos. This year, the iPhone beat out other camera makers – like Canon and Nikon, the number two and three respectively – by accounting for 54 percent of the top 100 devices used on the site, the company found. In addition, all top 10 devices of 2017 were iPhone models, Flickr says.
The site’s still sizable community of over 75 million registered users offers a good gauge of what devices people today use to take photos. Over the years, the top device has consistently been the iPhone – an indication of how consumers have moved away from traditional point-and-shoots for everyday photos. Many professionals also often turn to iPhone for their higher-quality photos thanks to Apple’s improvements to the smartphone’s camera.
The camera system on iPhones, in fact, has become a central focus for Apple’s technological advancements over the years, and has consistently remained of the top reasons to upgrade to the latest iPhone model. That remained true in 2017 as well, with the release of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X.

Do we know if Snap shows are successful? No!
Snapchat hasn't been coy about its obsession with making original video content. Snap Inc., its parent company, sees TV-like programming as the holy grail and key to its long-term success. The quick, raw, disappearing videos that made Snapchat popular with teens are no longer enough to keep users locked in. Especially as Instagram has started stealingits most popular features, like Stories. Snapchat won't admit it, but Facebook may have inadvertently driven its push into original programming. Conquering that world won't be easy, and right now there are more questions than answers about whether Snapchat shows are working and how viable they are.
Over the past few months, Snapchat has lined up a slew of TV networks to create exclusive content for its Shows platform, such as A+E Networks, Discovery, ESPN, NBCUniversal and Turner (owner of CNN, TBS and TNT). According to The Wall Street Journal, Snapchat is also in talks with CBS and Fox, two of the biggest players in the TV industry. It's an ambitious effort, and Snapchat appears confident that it has the perfect formula for viable mobile-first, short-form video programming.

NBCUniversal, which invested $500 million as part of Snap's IPO in May, was one of the first networks to put the potential of Snapchat Shows on display. The company, like many other traditional media outlets, craves the young demographic that live on Snapchat. Last July, NBCUniversal launched Stay Tuned, a twice-daily news show created from the ground up with Snapchat users in mind. The show features two- to five-minute episodes shot in portrait mode, the ideal format for watching on-the-go on a smartphone. It's complemented by bright, colorful imagery and large text overlays that are displayed as the host discusses the news of the day.
So far, NBCUniversal's bet seems to be paying off, with the network claiming that the show has garnered more than 29 million viewers since its debut. That number, however, needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Snapchat does not disclose valuable metrics like user watch time and series retention stats, so it's hard to know what exactly qualifies as a "viewer." The company also doesn't disclose monthly active users, which is considered a key metric in determining user growth.
A spokesperson for Snapchat did not provide specific viewership numbers, but did say that Stay Tuned has over 4 million subscribers. That's rather small when you consider that Snapchat has 178 million daily active users. Snapchat told Engadget that networks find its platform appealing because they can connect with audiences different than those who watch traditional TV. According to Snap, more than 60 percent of the people who watch Stay Tuned are under 25 years old. And it's no secret that "millennials" are a highly coveted demographic, not just by media companies but fashion and tech brands, as well.
Evernote and KEEP alternative!

Zoho Notebook is the alternative to Evernote and Google Keep that I mentioned in last week's edition of Practical Ed Tech Live. Zoho Notebook is a free and advertising-free tool for taking notes in typed, drawn, and spoken form.

Zoho Notebook is available to use on Android, iOS, and Mac OS. There is a Zoho Notebook web clipper to use in Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. Everything that you save in Zoho Notebook will sync across all of the devices on which you use it. There is not a limit to the number of devices on which you can use Zoho Notebook.

One of the first things that you will notice about Zoho Notebook is its clean design. All of your notes can be organized into notebooks with customized covers. Your notes can be typed, drawn, or spoken. The first minute of spoken notes is automatically transcribed to make them easier to later search for in your notebooks. Pictures and task lists can also be added to your notebooks.

So cool

Best from Google Play! 2017

Google Maps is upping its games
Google is about to launch a small but useful update to Google Maps that will give you live guidance and interactive real-time notifications during your journey.
The idea here is to give you real-time updates while you are on your transit journey. These updates will appear in the Google Maps app and, maybe most importantly, on your Android lock screen.
To get started, you search for your transit directions in Google Maps as usual. So far, so good. What’s new here is that you’ll soon be able to tap a “start” button at the bottom the screen with the details about your transit journey and then get live updates as you walk or ride on your local buses and trains.
Our understanding is that Google Maps will even remind you to get off your bus or train when you get close to your stop. That’s definitely useful when you’re traveling somewhere new (or sleepy).
The notifications on the lock screen are also new. One nifty feature here is that they are interactive, so you can scroll right through your journey’s steps.
While Google Maps always did a good job of giving you detailed transit directions (though it’s often nowhere as good and useful as CityMapper’s more detailed directions), the process generally involved keeping track of your own progress along the route. With this update, transit notifications become a bit more like using Maps for walking, biking and driving.
We expect this update to go live soon — and Google may already be testing it outside of its trusted tester community. If you’re already seeing it in Google Maps yourself, let us know in the comments.

Apple Template Ban on apps! Implications
Apple released updated App Store guidelines that included a new rule allowing it to ban apps created by a “commercialized template or app generation service.” The understanding at the time was this was part of Apple’s larger App Store cleanup, and the focus was on helping rid the marketplace of low-quality clone and spam apps. But things have since changed. A number of app-building companies that had earlier believed themselves to be in the clear are now being affected, as well.
Many companies have recently been given a January 1, 2018 deadline, after which point any new apps they submit will be rejected by the App Store Review team, they’ve been told by Apple. In the meantime, some have been able to maintain their existing apps, but it’s unclear how long that will last.

What’s unfortunate about the expanded policy enforcement is that these app makers specifically target the small business market. They build apps for businesses that don’t have the internal resources to build their own apps or can’t afford to hire a custom shop to design a new iOS app from scratch.
Instead, these companies help small businesses like local retailers, restaurants, small fitness studios, nonprofits, churches and other organizations to create an app presence using templates, drag-and-drop wizards and various tools to put together a more basic app that can then be customized further with their own branding and images.
These may not be the most-used apps, to be sure, but for the niche audiences they serve – say, for example, customers of a local pizza place that would rather have its own app rather than paying the fees associated with being on a food ordering platform like Seamless/GrubHub or Uber Eats – they serve a useful purpose.

Instagram testing stand alone messaging app
Instagram has changed a lot since its acquisition by Facebook in 2012.
The original premise was so simple. Beautify your photo and share it to your friends in a couple clicks. Like your friends photos with a simple scroll and a double-tap.
Now, Instagram has videos and gifs (Boomerang). It has its own set of superstars and an algorithmic feed that helps those superstars dominate users’ feeds, including mine. And it has a direct messaging system.
Today, Instagram is testing out yet another change with the launch of a standalone Instagram Direct app. For now, the app is only available in Uruguay, Chile, Turkey, Italy, Portugal and Israel.
The Verge first noticed the test.
Instagram had this to say on the test:
We want Instagram to be a place for all of your moments, and private sharing with close friends is a big part of that. To make it easier and more fun for people to connect in this way, we are beginning to test Direct – a camera-first app that connects seamlessly back to Instagram.
The app will let you create and share stories, and give you access to exclusive filters, Boomerang and other creative tools on Instagram. And, of course, your Instagram friends are added instantly to the Instagram Direct app.
This begs the question: Why build a separate app for stuff that’s already available and functional within Instagram? The most obvious answer is that this is yet another barrage in the Instagram’s assault on Snapchat.

And it’s been working. In January, TechCrunch reported that the launch of Instagram Stories had resulted in lower usage of Snapchat Stories. The launch of Instagram Direct, with its perception of more private and intimate one-to-one conversations, could feasibly have the same effect on Snapchat’s direct messaging.

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