December 2013 News & Tips

Gifts & gizmos for the holidays.  IT looks ahead to 2014.  Google Voice for Your Chrome Browser . . .

News & Views

google voice extensionGoogle Adds Voice To Chrome Browser

If you thought that using Google Now voice commands was a smarty-pants way to talk to your smartphone only, Google just changed that. A new voice extension for Chrome browser lets you plug in a microphone and say “OK Google” or use the browser microphone button and ask away! It’s Hands-free with no typing. Simply say “Ok Google” and then ask your question. Here’s a fun you tube video that shows the way! GigaOM also has a good overview


black-serversIT Looks Ahead To 2014

As IT moves into the new year, it becomes increasingly clear that IT must continue to upgrade its business management profile. More than ever IT decisions affect not just the back room, but the up front profitability and cohesiveness of the corporate structure. Two interesting articles? Twelve Challenges Facing IT Professionals in 2014 by IT Business Edge and Four Ways IT Can Embrace Business Management by Information Week.


maskme_logoMaskMe by Abine Safeguards Your Online Identity.

During the holidays (and always), Abine promises you can browse and shop online without having to give out your real email address, phone number, or credit card number. Using AES-256 Encryption, when you enter private information like your phone number or email, it appears something like this {2cb-005-83cdk} and {80s-d8si-3jsld}. Cnet give it a big thumbs up. There’s a comprehensive overview here. The basic version is free, but you can choose to upgrade for $5 per month, which includes Masked Phones, Masked Credit Cards, and the mobile app for iPhone or Android.


Holiday Quick Picks:


A Great gift at a bargain price. Clever little dongle that controls streaming to your TV via your Android or iOS device, or through the Chrome Browser. Now with HBO GO. It connects through your TV HDMI port and you pull it up with the input button on your television remote, the same as you would a DVD player. A totally innovative little gizmo at $35.


Nifty little streaming box in 3 versions, with Roku 3 for hidef being the one to beat. Tons of watching pleasure in a tiny box with speed to spare. Enjoy a wealth of channels from Netflix to Amazon, Smithsonian, National Geographic, PBS, and many,many more!

nexus7The New Nexus 7

Touted as a smoking little tablet with great features at a very affordable price. 1,920 x 1,200 IPS display, 2GB of RAM, a rear camera, a quad-core processor, wireless charging. Cost is a modest $229 for 16G. $269 for 32G. Unlocked!


Praised as “an affordable phone, done right,” by Engadget, it’s priced at $179 unlocked! The MotoG comes with a 4.5-inch 720p display, and a comfortable curved back. Specs include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core 1.2GHz processor, 1GB RAM,a 2,070mAh battery, a front-facing cam and a 5mp camera. You can choose from a range of shell or flip covers. See the Engadget review here

appleiPadmini with retinaiPad Mini With Retina.

You get a gorgeous screen, the Apple ecosystem, and a great design; albeit at a price point that’s a little hard to take when compared to others with the same specs. Apple lovers, however, will probably go ahead and take the bite at close to $400 for a 16G model. PC Mag calls it “Beautifully built, fast . . . with a super sharp retina display that packs all of the power of the iPad Air into a more portable package.” See their review here.

xboxoneXbox One

Touted as a command center for your living-family-gaming pleasure, it’s selling like hotcakes, with Kinect built in. Some say TV integration is frustrating and confusing. It’s also slightly pricier than PS4, but offers a ton of popular titles. Here is TechRadar’s take on the beast!

Sony PS4Sony PS4

Great graphics, controller and speed – lacking somewhat in available titles. Despite its smaller size than the Xbox One, Cnet says the PS4 “serves up dazzling graphics, runs on a simplified and logical interface, and boasts a fantastic controller. It’s also $100 cheaper than rival Xbox One and has the upper hand on indie and day one digital-only offerings.”


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