AdminOctober 14, 2017


Amazon, the retail giant has been doing an amazing job delivering goods bought on their web portal to your doorstep. The retailer has grown its clientele to cover almost every part of the United States. They have invested heavily in software development to ensure that the customer’s security details are treated with utmost confidentiality. But, when goods are delivered to your doorstep there is usually someone out there waiting to get hold of your package before you do.

Porch Pirates

This is the name given to package thieves who wait for the delivery truck to speed off from the driveway and then creep to your doorstep and make away with your package.There are states where cops have sent dumpy packages with a hidden GPS device inside in an effort to catch porch thieves. But, these guys are always on the lockout and they have devised ways to avoid detection by cops. Amazon has lost over 26 million dollars in packages through ‘porch pirates’. This has also dented its image amongst affected customers.

Delivery to your car trunk

Amazon is said to be in confidential talks with Phrame, a smart licensing company to curb ‘porch pirates’. The idea is to have a secure bag installed near the licensing plate, with the car keys. The customer using their smartphone can grant access to car keys to the Amazon delivery guy. The delivery will then be placed in your car trunk and you can then access it later.Through a smart App you will be able to pinpoint the location of your car through GPS and view login details. The App will also inform you when the trunk was opened or closed; through GPS you can also tell the car’s location.

There are challenges to this idea, will Amazon customers entrust their car keys to a stranger? The other issue is people who use their cars on a daily basis and may not be in the vicinity of the delivery truck.

Smart lock

The other option is having a smart lock installed on the front door. With a Smart App, customers can grant access to the delivery man who will drop the package inside the house instead of outside. This will not only keep your package safe from ‘porch pirates’ but it will also protect it from damage due to bad weather. The smart lock is not new as WalMart is reported to be engaged with a contractor to have deliveries up to your fridge. Again the issue of security crops up, how many customers will be willing to let a stranger into their home unattended.

Lost and unattended packages are a cause of concern for Amazon as it not only destroys their brand but leaves a lot of irate customers. The online retail market is growing at a very high rate and most items are now available online. A lot needs to be done to curb theft and protect packages from weather elements. Amazon already has a porch pirate bag that locks to your door lock but it seems more needs to be done to ensure full delivery to the customer.

AdminOctober 13, 2017


From the time man first settled on the moon business leaders have been looking for innovative ways to conquer space travel. The business potential is unlimited. Futuristic plans have involved hotels, space crafts like the ones in sci-fi movies. While our obsession with space raises questions on timing and financial costs, Tesla still has plans of one-day settling people in space.

Tesla owner Elon Musk during a conference in Australia on 6th October 2017 unveiled SpaceX new travel plans for Mars. His big idea – a new spaceship that will attract a new wave of space tourist that will boost Tesla revenues.

The new spaceship is said to have 40 cabins, each carrying two or three people, which totals to roughly 80 to 120 persons. Plans to develop cargo version are on the way by 2022. After two years you will have two trips one for cargo and the other for passengers. This will be quite popular for those business people with a few million bucks to spare. Though Tesla plans to later have the prices affordable to the general public.

Tesla big plan for Mars may result in budget cuts for other SpaceX products. The rocket may also include a moon base.  It is expected that the spaceship will commute between any two points on earth in under an hour.  The Spacecraft will be a Multi-functional vehicle that will take over most of SpaceX other functions like ferrying satellites into the orbit or regular commute to its International Space Station.

The Spaceship first task will be to ferry materials for the construction of a fuel processing facility in Mars. SpaceX will also do due diligence on Mars to find out how habitable the planet is. The trip o Mars is expected to take around three and Six months. They, however, plan on first shipping cargo before any passenger trips are made. Fuel will be one commodity urgently needed for the return trips because the Spacecraft requires a boost to exist Mars due to its lack of an atmosphere.  The ship will be filled with Oxygen and Methane for its trip back to Earth.

The biggest concern on peoples mind is Safety. A spaceship is packed with inflammable gases and can explode at any time if the wrong materials are used in its construction. There is also the issue of oxygen and food for the passengers heading to Mars, considering the high number of passengers. SpaceX previous attempts that led to massive losses for the company need to be re-examined for them not to occur again.

SpaceX needs to start planning early if they are to beat their 2022 deadline for cargo and 2024 for passengers. People are eager to see how the project kicks off. Elon Musk did not, however, give journalists a breakdown of how much the project will cost.  Tech Analysts expect that this project will be made a priority at the expense of other SpaceX projects. We hope that the endeavor by Elon Musk will pay dividends as this project has been very personal him.

AdminOctober 12, 2017


Pixel Google new phone

Google has unveiled new versions of Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones that are expected to bring competition to iPhone users, who may be fed up with their OS. The Pixel 2 entry-level price is at $649 but for the 128 GB Pixel 2 XL it shoots up to $949; there is also no expandable memory so choose wisely when making a decision when buying the two.  What differentiates the two is a larger screen and bigger battery in the Pixel XL. The phones are designed for those who want a simple, premium phone.

Pixel 2 runs on Google Android Oreo Software with an edge to edge screen; the phone has surprisingly no headphone jack. Pixel 2 is taller and thinner than it’s predecessor, but they also have the same weight. The phone has an aluminum back that is very easy to hold. The bottom bezel can be used to front stereo speakers enhancing your music experience.

You can submerge the phone to a level of one meter for 30 minutes due to the inclusion of IP67 dust and water resistance. This is a pretty cool feature among the younger generation who would want to floss it to their friends. You also get a Gorilla touch resistant screen with greater color dimensions. This makes for one the best screens in the market. The resolution on the screen is quite good, especially when you are watching Netflix, Amazon videos and Youtube which are supported through HDR.

Google is renowned for its software development platforms, and The Pixel phones ride on this fact. The new phones come packed with some cool artificial intelligence recognition software. Like the popular Google lens

Google has developed a really fast phone with a Snapdragon 821 processor and 4GB of RAM, which puts it on par with the Samsung Galaxy S7, OnePlus 3 and the HTC 10. Though, it would have been better for Google to get the upgraded Snapdragon 835 that is rumored to offer 27 percent better performance and is more efficient by up to 30 Percent. You are able to play games, run applications and scroll Google’s Chrome without that drag in loading from similar phones.

The Phones come with Google Assistant, which lets you do a lot of cool stuff through voice commands. You can set your alarm, schedule a meeting and ask Google assistant to dial your dad. Google assistant is so much, efficient at grasping what someone has to say than Siri in Apple phones.

The Camera in the Pixel is probably one of the best in the market; you have a 12-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash, a 1.55- micro pixel with a f/20 lens and laser autofocus. You also get face detection autofocus and a faster HDR. The Camera takes amazing photos at night, and in areas, with low lighting, thanks to the dual LED flash. There is also a particular aspect of depth in the photos with the phone capturing a lot of details in the background. The fast processor and a fantastic OS ensures that you load the camera in seconds.

You will also be able to take perfect crisp videos shot in 4k, thanks to a gyroscope that ensures you produce videos that appear very realistic. You also have an 8-megapixel selfie camera that produces cutting-edge photos thanks largely to auto HDR+ and the f/24 aperture. You can upload these photos for free to Google photos.

Google has also introduced something called Motion photos that lets you create 3 second short videos and then bring them to life. Google has merged its dual pixel technology with its image processing so as to create really awesome 3D modeling into their camera view.

For security, you have an improved fingerprint sensor that is very responsive and fast.  This will be a key selling point to its competitors like iPhone X that ditched its Touch ID.

Google Pixel 2 and XL are definitely going to cause a stir in the high-end phone market. The Pixel 2 is a good improvement over the previous model. With a cutting-edge camera – probably the best in the market, Google will undoubtedly outsell its competitors. The battery life may raise eyebrows as Google has cut off 70mAh from the previous model.

AdminOctober 9, 2017


This is Google’s come back to the laptop market after it discontinued the Chrome book pixel in 2016. The Pixelbook comes at a price of $999 which puts it in the same price range with Asus laptops. The Pixel book comes packed with extra features and a sleek design.

The Pixel book runs on Chrome OS that handles most Android apps. The laptop is ultra-thin at 10mm and weighs under two and a half pounds with the ability to be converted to a tablet. It is made of aluminum with a glass shade where the WIFI antenna is, this lets wireless signals in. It also comes with a rubbery silicon pad that allows you to rest your wrists when typing; it is also very comfortable.

Another cool feature is the Fanless seventh generation Intel I core 5 with 128GB of ram, which is an upgrade from the previous 16 GB – though you get additional storage on Google Drive. Google claims that the battery can run for up to 10 hours, which is quite good for watching movies. This is powered by quadruple A batteries.  Buttons are designed like in a phone with power and volume button on the left; the volume keys are also duplicated on the keyboard.  You can also fold it like a tent when watching movies.

The Pixel comes with USB – C ports for saving files and charging your phone. For music lovers, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack. It has an optional digital pen that is easy to use, though there is no port to hold it. This may pose problems as it can be easily lost. The pen works like a finger, letting you scroll web pages and rearrange windows. You will also notice that there is a very little delay when drawing a shape and the lines appearing on the screen. The $99 price tag makes this a very costly pen when lost.

The Pixelbook has a 12.2-inch screen with a backlit keyboard that is very easy to type on. The glass trackpad, which supports three finger gestures is easy to use and scrolls well. It comes with touch processing algorithms that improve palm rejection.

Google Assistant is also installed and helps you navigate the Pixelbook. This is located where you would normally find the window key, between the Ctrl and Alt key; pops up just like in the windows start menu. You can use the Google microphone to ask queries. Google has very powerful microphones.

For security, it, unfortunately, does not have a fingerprint scanner, but you can use your Android phone to unlock the laptop. With a Pixel phone, you can tether directly.

Google plans on targeting the student market who was on Google Chrome OS, which was serving most of the education market. The chrome book commanded a whopping 58 percent market share in schools. This is meant to be a premium upgrade with better performance.

Google Pixelbook scores well on hardware and the laptop feels and looks good. The 1,000 dollar price tag is a bit hard to justify when you consider that the notebook has nothing else but Chrome OS. This limits what you can do with it.

AdminOctober 7, 2017


Microsoft launched the browser into the Android market and IOS phones, under the code name Spartan. Microsoft Edge was first shown to the public through a review build up of Windows 10, which happens to be  Windows 10 default browser.  Microsoft Edge is also available on Windows 10 mobile and Xbox One console.

Microsoft  Edge lets you access history, reading list, favorites, and ebooks.You can view a page both from your phone and PC. In case there are those hard to read pages on your mobile you can move them flawlessly to your larger PC screen. You have a built-in QR reader that makes reading e-books easier.

Microsoft Edge has been cleaned up of codes that made its predecessor – Internet Explorer- to be unpopular due to many malware attacks.  It is free of Active X and Visual Basic scripts while they have also blocked Adobe flash from launching automatically. Edge uses EdgeHTML and Chakra Javascript engine that makes it faster to load and makes it compatible with new versions of Chrome and Firefox. Microsoft claims that it is faster than Firefox and chrome, and has a longer battery life of 77 percent longer than Firefox and 35 percent than Chrome.

Both Edge IOS and Android will first be available in English and in the United States. But, Microsoft will expand to more countries and languages as it gets feedback from customers. Some features like roaming passwords and history tabs may not be available initially, may come later. Usage in iPads and Android tablets will be added in later stages.

Edge is very responsive when using it on a tablet as it lets you use your finger on a touchscreen. You can scroll to the left and right and double tap to highlight items. Sharing of items is quite easy, you click the share button, and you have a list of some popular apps like Facebook and Twitter.

Microsoft’s personal assistant Cortana is plugged in Edge making browsing way easier. You will easily find Cortana in the address bar giving out suggestions. In case you stumble on a page where you require more information just launch Cortana, highlight a phrase, then press and hold it; and Cortana will provide you with more info. It will also give you lyrics suggestions when searching for a music video. You also get an alert of available coupons when you are shopping on retail websites.

Microsoft, through Edge, plans to capture the browser market that is currently dominated by Google Chrome and  Mozilla Firefox. The cross share feature will be a key selling point for many Android users. On the browser, it wraps the Webkit browser engine from Safari, while on Android it is built on top of Chromium, which is open source, unlike Apple that excludes third party developments. Microsoft is also rebranding it’s Arrow app to Microsoft Launcher. Some of the expected features will include the ability to pin contacts to your home screen and on a glance view appointments, frequently used apps, and recent documents.

AdminOctober 6, 2017


Card transactions in the United States currently take forever to go through.

The average transaction takes a few seconds, but those seconds can really add up and slow down profits for companies. Mastercard wants to bring tech to the US that can save at least one second per transaction, making lines move faster and increasing profits for companies that take cards. This means retail companies can potentially increase the number of transaction they do per day.

The tech is called M/Chip. It is being implemented by several payment process leaders in North America, including Verifone. M/Chip is designed to make reading cards with chips much faster. If you’ve noticed that your transaction went through faster when you swiped your card, you aren’t being paranoid. This is 100% true. Chip readers are a mess right now, but Mastercard recognizes that user experience is important, so they’re aiming to fix that.

The US is Slow to Adapt Chip Cards

The UK has had chip card technology for a while, but the US has just begun using them in the past year or two. The promise is that they are more secure and faster than a regular card with a stripe.

Potentially they are, but anyone who checks out with them knows that this isn’t always the case. We blame the chip cards, but the fact is the readers are faulty – not the chips or the cards.

It’s only supposed to take a second or two for a chip card transaction to be improved but the technology is so slow that it can take up to five seconds or longer, and this is without the system going down. How many stores have you been to that has a sign on the chip reader saying it isn’t working right now? This forces you to swipe your card, and you probably sigh with relief because that is much easier than waiting for an ancient machine to approve your purchase.

Now, Mastercard wants the US to adopt newer technology based on their M/Chip readers.

This isn’t the first technology that Mastercard has introduced. They have new cards that allow you to use a chip and a fingerprint instead of a pin. Pin numbers are the weakest link in the two-part verification system of plastic cards. Pins are usually easily guessed, or bypassed and approved as credit. But with fingerprint technology, a person has to use something that is a little harder to fake.

The card is still in the trial stages and is only available in South Africa for now. Still, Mastercard has proved its willingness to break ground and make strides with technology, and use it to keep banking information as safe as possible.

While the US is a bit behind on tech, adapting the M/Chip readers is not an unreasonable request. It does come with a big question: how long is it going to take for this technology to become mainstream?

While Mastercard is a leader in the financial sector, they still can’t force financial institutions to adopt their card readers. They have to be able to sell them.

So what are the benefits?

Aside from faster transaction times, there probably aren’t very many. Mastercard may sweeten the pot a bit with a deal, but as consumers, we probably won’t be privy to that. What we will know is that once these readers are adapted, we’ll spend less time standing in line and more time getting to our destination.

Time is money, after all. No one seems to understand that better than Mastercard.

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