Tech news – November 26th 2012 to November 27th 2012:

Azure has Processed 200 Billion Authentications

Microsoft’s Azure has processed 200 billion authentications for 50 million accounts, and is now averaging 4.7 billion weekly.

Microsoft offers guidance on Windows Server Year 2000 time-rollback issue | ZDNet

Microsoft has posted guidance for Windows Server users affected by USNO.NAVY.MIL hiccup that resulted in system time reverting to the year 2000.

STEM Ed: CodeHS Wants To Teach Every American High Schooler How To Code | TechCrunch
– Rip Empson
In the Silicon Valley Distortion Field, it can seem like everyone is learning to code — that coding has become cool. Either way you slice it, talented programmers are in demand. A number of platforms and tutorials propose to help anyone and everyone learn to code, often from the comfort of their favorite sofa (and browser).
However, today, computer science is absent in 95 percent of high schools in the U.S. Developing curriculum and finding qualified candidates to teach these subjects requires …  show all text
– Henry Blodget
Two analysts from BTIG Research went to Kansas City to see what Google’s new cable-company killer, Google Fiber, is like.
What’s it like?
It’s awesome.
The Time Warner Cable system in Kansas City appears to be freaking out about the rollout of Google Fiber, and for obvious reasons. Google Fiber puts the Time Warner Cable offering to shame.
The analysts, Rich Greenfield and Walter Piecyk, have written a detailed report about how Google Fiber works and what the TV and Internet experience is like….  show all text
  • BBC News – Risk of robot uprising wiping out human race to be studied
  • Scientists and philosophers at Cambridge University are to study the likelihood of robots destroying the human race.
  • Tobias Peggs – Just got acquired? 10 adjustments to make when working for a Big Co.
    I just left Walmart. I arrived in September 2011 as part of the transaction that saw OneRiot acquired by the world’s largest retailer. We had some clever technology for targeting relevant content at mobile consumers based on their social signals, not to mention a super-smart team of Big Data devs and Machine Learning PhDs. Meanwhile, Walmart was beginning to realize that social and mobile would change not just e-commerce but commerce period. So they got busy buying up a number of startups in …  show all text
  • The Social Commerce Attribution Problem: IBM Says Twitter Referred 0% Of Black Friday Traffic | TechCrunch
    – Josh Constine
    Twitter and Facebook usually aren’t the last click before an ecommerce buy, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t inspire or influence the purchase. Yet IBM’s Black Friday report says Twitter delivered 0 percent of referral traffic and Facebook sent just 0.68 percent. To lure advertisers and ecommerce integrations, they have to show its not Google driving every sale.
    Last year IBM said Twitter generated 0.02 percent of traffic, but now the microblogging platform supposedly drove no measurable amount  show all text
  • Official Google Enterprise Blog: Google Cloud Platform: new features, lower prices, extending European datacenters
    Posted by Jessie Jiang, Product Management Director (Cross-posted on the Google Developers Blog.) We’re constantly making updates to our Google Cloud Platform products—Google App Engine, Cloud Storage, Big Query, Compute Engine and others—based on user feedback and to improve the overall experience. For example, two weeks ago we introduced a major update to Google Cloud SQL providing faster performance, larger databases (100GB), an EU zone, and a no-cost trial. But, we know there is more to d…  show all text
  • Netflix open sources tool for making cloud services play nice — Cloud Computing News
    – Derrick Harris
    Netflix, it seems, is to cloud computing what Google and Facebook are to distributed systems, generally. Today, Netflix has open sourced its latest technology for keeping its cloud-hosted applications running — a set of libraries, called Hystrix, that is designed to manage interactions between the myriad services that comprise the company’s distributed architecture. If you’re building service-oriented architectures in the Amazon Web Services cloud, it might be worth a look.
    Netflix Engineer Ben…  show all text
  • Don’t Fall For Fake Facebook Privacy Notice
    – Stan Schroeder
    A ‘privacy notice’ that’s been virally spreading on Facebook, supposedly protecting one’s personal details and data from unauthorized copying, is fake.
    The notice started spreading a few days after Facebook posted its new privacy guidelines, announcing it would let users comment on proposed changes to its governing documents, but not vote.
    The text of the notice starts as follows: “In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal de…  show all text
  • The Big Data Fallacy And Why We Need To Collect Even Bigger Data | TechCrunch
    – Dr. Michael Wu
    Editor’s note: Dr. Michael Wu is the Principal Scientist of Analytics at Lithium where he is currently applying data-driven methodologies to investigate and understand the complex dynamics of the social Web.
    The value of any data is only as valuable as the information and insights we can extract from it. It is the information and insights that will help us make better decisions and give us a competitive edge. The promise of big data is that one could glean lots of information and gain many valu…  show all text
  • What Hasn’t Changed: The Internet Keeps Getting Bigger. | Dave McClure
    Recent articles by the WSJ, Fred Wilson, & others are noting a shift in investor interest to enterprise and away from consumer. If true, this is a huge error… at least for entrepreneurs, angels, and smaller funds. There is no better time than the present to build cheap & scalable software-based businesses that make money. And while there is lots of new potential for using consumer marketing techniques in the enterprise, let’s not be too hasty in digging an early grave for the Interwebs, shall w…  show all text

Tech news – November 18th 2012 to November 25th 2012:

Tech news – November 15th 2012 to November 17th 2012:

I have been using my Nexus 7 tablet for 3 months so I figured it was time to write down how I have my new tablet set up and put together a list of the apps and accessories I find most useful. This is my first tablet and my first Android device. Coming from using an iPhone it has been fun learning about Android. Whether you are contemplating buying one of these tablets or have recently purchased one I hope you can find something helpful here.

One of the nice things about Android is the idea of widgets. A widget displays data without Screenshot_2012-11-11-21-10-09you having to open an app. I like widgets because I can set up the device to be a kind of dashboard about the world and my life. For example, on the right is my home screen. The top widget allows me to easily change the sate of wifi, bluetooth, gps, synching and display brightness. No digging around through menus etc, just a tap and I’m done. The next widget is from Fancy Widgets and shows me the current weather conditions where I am. The last widget on my home screen shows me breaking news.

Android gives you 5 screens but it is different than iOS in that with Android you start out in the middle. That is, if we number then your home screen is 3 and you have 2 to the left (1 and 2) and 2 screens to the right (4 and 5). You can surface widgets on any of these screens so deciding where you want to put what can be a fun challenge. Basically a decision of what you want to see right away and what you want to see with a simple swipe right or left.

I picked up an app called Business Calendar (there is a free version that is enough for me) to show my calendar in a widget. Android has a built in widget for your calendar but I really like all the options that Business Calendar has. Try them both out if you use Google Calendar. Best part of either one is you can show other iCal calendars as well as your own. For example, I have and iCal of the San Diego Padres that pulls in all the times of their games. This then shows up alongside all my other calendar entries. My daughter’s school has an iCal feed of all of their activities that is useful too. With the widget, a simple swipe right reveals my next 7 days of calendar commitments and Padres games (during baseball season).

I keep track of my tasks in Remember the Milk (RTM). the beauty of RTM is its flexibility to design your own task tracking system. I don’t want to spend time rambling on about it here but being a Pro RTM user lets you have widgets to display your different RTM lists. A simple swipe left shows my task list.

As you can see from my home screen above, I like to keep it uncluttered. All of my apps are in groups below in what Google calls the Favorites Tray. From left to right the groups are: News, Reading, Social, the built in All Apps button, Media, Misc. Apps. and, lastly, Utilities. Below are the apps in those categories


  • BBC News – News from across the pond.
  • Breaking News – this is the one that also includes the widget I use on my home screen
  • Drippler News – This app is basically a search for news about the Nexus 7. They have similar apps for other Android devices as well.
  • Flipboard – This is the first app I open every morning. Great way to skim through the hot news on your various social sites.
  • GNews Plus – A reader for Google News.


Adobe Reader – for the rare PDF

Audible – I listen to audio books on my commute. This could go in the Media group but I think of it as reading so I put it here.

B&N Nook – I have Kindle books but you never know when you might get a B&N gift card and want to buy something from them instead. And that is the beauty of having an open tablet, you have choices.

Currents – Built in app. Nice way to read some sites. You can even read this site and my Google Plus shares in Currents: TechLifeWeb Currents

Kindle – The go-to app for ebooks. Whispersync is amazing and lets you pick up where you left off an any device.

Play Books – Built in app. I haven’t bought any new ones but the Nexus 7 Guidebook is free and handy for getting you started.

Play Magazines – Another built in app. I haven’t bought any new ones but strongly considering replacing some print mags with digital ones.

Readability – You can share articles from the web and read them offline.

Google Reader – Read all of your RSS feeds. There are also widgets that let you surface individual feeds if you like.


Facebook – Definitely not my favorite network but friends are on it so it is a necessary evil.

Foursquare – I use this more on my phone than the tablet but I keep it handy here.

GetGlue – Check in to Movies and TV. A way to share to other networks what you are watching.

Google+ – Built in app. This and Twitter are my most used social apps.

Skype – Another way to chat with family and friends. I have yet to really use this on the tablet but I keep it handy and updated for when I might need it.

Twitter – An old favorite. 


BeyondPod for Tablets – This is a nice way to subscribe to podcasts and either stream or download them. Works great in landscape mode. I tend to use it around the house for streaming more than downloading.

Ceton Companion – This is admittedly a niche use app. I have a Windows Media Center connected to my TV at home that I use to record and watch TV etc. This app is really handy for managing recordings. Definitely a nice addition to the Media Center ecosystem.

Football Highlights HD – This app pulls in links to video highlights to NFL games. If you favorite team wasn’t on TV you can go here to see the highlights later.

iHeartRadio – Listen to some of your favorite radio stations

Netflix – Stream movies.

Play Movies and TV – Built in app. I haven’t downloaded anything new yet.

Play Music – Another built in app. I have all my music in Google’s cloud now. This makes streaming musing a breeze.

TunIn Radio – This is one of my newest additions. I think I may get rid of iHeartRadio and move to TunIn. It is really great in short use. Tune into stations all over the country. And if you follow an out of market NFL team, look around you may find a stream.

YouTube – Built in app. Lots of people lament the loss off Flash in Android 4 and above. There are ways around that but honestly, the only thing I needed it for was YouTube and this app takes care of that.

Miscellaneous Apps

This category is the biggest. If things don’t fit in the other categories and I need quick access to them, rather than going into the all apps, I put them here. Built in apps that don’t go in the other categories go here as well. Here are the ones I like to keep handy.

Google Drive – Access to Google’s cloud storage

Evernote – I keep everything here. Don’t know how I’d get along without it and its great search functions. If I have even a vague idea I may need to remember where I found something I store it in Evernote.

Handrite and LectureNotes – Both of these apps are for taking notes by handwriting on the screen. Each one takes and store the notes differently and I haven’t decided which one like best so I keep them both around. Both also let you export your notes to Evernote so you can see them on your other devices as well.

Kingsoft Office – View and edit MS Office documents.

NASA – Keep up with news at NASA. They also have an option for updating your wallpaper with NASA images from space.

Outlook Web Mobile – If your work uses Exchange and gives you Outlook Web Access and not active sync, this app turns the web into an app. Makes it quicker to check mail and access your calendar. You can even set it to notify you if you like.

Perfect Tool for Picasa – The built in Gallery app is good but I spend a lot of time captioning my pictures and the Gallery doesn’t show that caption when you are viewing the pictures. This app lets you do that and load pictures from Picasa online so you don’t have to take up lots of your precious local storage. This is what I’m using for now but I’m always on the hunt for something better and still hoping Google updates the Gallery app.

ESPN SportCenter – Great for keeping track of your favorite teams.

Shazam – Identifies songs by listening to them. Handy.

SkyDrive – Access Microsoft’s cloud storage


Airdroid – Lets you connect wirelessly to your tablet. Start the app then, on your laptop, start your web browser and link directly to your table on a special web page. Nice for moving files off the tablet with out connecting to the computer.

AutomateIt – This is an admittedly geeky app but it one of my favorites. With this you can turn things on and off at certain times or when certain events happen. For example, If I am listening to BeyondPod with headphones unplugged, the volume is automatically set to a higher level for speaker listening. This ads adds ton of flexibility and if you are willing to spend a bit of time following the wizards you can really make the tablet work for you.

Antek Explorer – A file explorer for Android. It has plugins too that let you access your cloud storage as well.

Clickfree – This lets me backup the tablet to one of my cloud services. I back mine up to Skydrive because I have the most space there.

Behind the scenes apps

There are utilities I have installed but they aren’t things you click on to use so they don’t live in one of my Favorites groups.

Unlock with Wifi – This app lets you keep your tablet locked all the time. Then, when you are in a secure location like a home you can set it so it stays unlocked when you are connected to your home wifi. It lets you add other wifi too so, for example, when you are at work you can add that wifi and to have your tablet stay unlocked. Additionally, it is access point specific. This lets me keep the tablet unlocked when I am at my desk but if I’m roaming around the building it stays locked. Great for ensuring it stays locked if I accidently leave it behind.

Thumb Keyboard – The built-in keyboard I good but I found I like Thumb Keyboard better. I have it add arrow keys to the display that make it easy to move the cursor around. Its predictive text is very good too.


Case – Protect your investment. This case is inexpensive and has saved my tablet on at least 2 occasions: MoKo(TM) Slim-fit Cover Case for Google Nexus 7 Android Tablet

Keyboard – Nice to have a Bluetooth keyboard in your bag for times when you need a mobile office. Lets you type email and other notes better and faster than you can on screen. This is is small and thin while still letting you type and not feel too cramped: Perixx PERIBOARD-804, Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard – 10×5″ Portable Size – Ultrathin 1/4″ Design

Stylus – Some styli are mushy rubber typed tools. This one has a kind of mesh across it that makes it feel better and more accurate when you are using apps like Handrite or LectureNotes. BoxWave EverTouch Capacitive Stylus

USB OTG – This USB On the Go adapter and the Nexus Media Importer app lets you attach any USB memory stick to your tablet. No worrying that you don’t have a lot of memory free, just put your pictures or movies on a USB key and access them this way.  Even if you don’t think you’ll use it that often it is too cheap not to have in your bag. eForCity Micro USB OTG to USB 2.0 Adapter

USB Car Charger – You need power on the go and this adapter has 2 slots. One that outputs a full 2.1 Amps suitable for charging your tablet and another that outputs 1.0 Amp for charging a less demanding device like a phone. Mediabridge High Output Dual USB Car Charger For iPad and iPhone (3.1 Amp)

Charging Cable – This cable lets you charge your tablet. It doesn’t let you connect to the tablet for data at all, just charge. I keep this one in my car paired with the above car charger. Data cables can cause the device to think it is plugged into a computer and thus not get the full advantage of the 2.1 Amps. This way it charges faster. You could hack your own cable like this be searching around the net for which cables to cross but your time is money. PureGear Charge Only Cable for Universal Micro USB

Do you have a Nexus 7? What are your must have apps and accessories?

Tech news – November 12th 2012 to November 14th 2012:

Tech news – November 7th 2012 to November 11th 2012:

  • Apple’s design problems aren’t skeuomorphic « counternotions
  • From Tim Cook’s letter announcing the latest reorganization at Apple last week:
    Jony Ive will provide leadership and direction for Human Interface (HI) across the company in addition to his longtime role as the leader of Industrial Design. Jony has an incredible design aesthetic and has been the driving force behind the look and feel of our products for more than a decade. The face of many of our products is our software and the extension of Jony’s skills into this area will widen the gap betwe…  show all text
  • Tweetro says it’s ‘completely crippled’ by Twitter’s strict 100,000 user token limit | The Verge
    – Kimber Streams
    Tweetro has fallen victim to Twitter’s strict new API policies that were announced earlier this year. According to an email we received from Tweetro developers, the app saw a huge spike in downloads after the release of Windows 8, and rapidly reached its 100,000 user token limit. Users now receive a “cannot connect to service” error when trying to authenticate the application, and Tweetro developers say the app is “completely crippled” as a result.
    Twitter originally said that developers would …  show all text
    – Sean Gallagher
    Aurich Lawson / Thinkstock
    It was supposed to be a “killer app,” but a system deployed to volunteers by Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign may have done more harm to Romney’s chances on Election Day—largely because of a failure to follow basic best practices for IT projects.
    Called “Orca,” the effort was supposed to give the Romney campaign its own analytics on what was happening at polling places and to help the campaign direct get-out-the-vote efforts in the key battleground states of Ohio, …  show all text
  • How Elynn Fish Jumpstarted her Consulting Business with
    – Ally
    Elynn Fish started her career in the corporate business world. Before the dominance of social media, she was part of a think tank building internal digital communications platforms. Fish was a pioneer in the social movement, helping companies increase their performance and ROI via content marketing and optimization of both internal and external digital communications.
    Not even two years ago, Elynn realized that she had the knowledge and experience to start her own firm helping small businesses …  show all text
  • Microsoft has today posted a video, and complementary explanation of language translation that goes far past what we thought was currently possible.In the video, the speaker explains …
  • Priceline Acquires Kayak for $1.8 Billion
    – Seth Fiegerman
    Priceline is acquiring Kayak for $1.8 billion in cash and equity, the two companies announced Thursday after the stock market closed.
    Priceline, an online travel booking service, will pay $500 million in cash and $1.3 billion in stock options to acquire Kayak. That works out to be about $40 per share paid out to Kayak’s shareholders.
    Kayak launched eight years ago and went public in July at $26 a share. The company’s stock has bounced around since then, ending Thursday at around $31 a share.
    The  show all text
  • How many startups will Facebook Gifts kill? | PandoDaily
    Each of the many, many gifting startups out there should have spent the summer reconsidering the future of their companies. Since buying Karma in May, Facebook has begun to testing out its social g…
  • Here’s What A Piece Of Viral News Looks Like As It Makes Its Way To Google+ Explore | TechCrunch
    The No. 1 thing about the Internet that fascinates me is the fact that information can travel at the speed of light. One moment, something can happen in one p..
  • Triumph of the Nerds: Nate Silver Wins in 50 States
    Barack Obama may have comfortably won re-election in the electoral college, and opened up a decisive lead (two million and counting) in the popular

Tech news – November 5th 2012 to November 7th 2012: