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Connect all household electronic devices to Internet with Electric Imp

Soon you can connect every electronic item in your household to the Internet with the help of a tiny card named Imp Card. Former iPhone engineering manager Hugo Fiennes, former Gmail designer Kevin Fox, and firmware engineer Peter Hartley have founded a company named Electric Imp whose mission is to turn every product you own into an Internet-connected device.

How Imp Card works?

Imp Cards are SD-card sized chips that contain a Wi-Fi antenna and an embedded processor. To pair an Imp card with any piece of electronic gadget, you only need to connect it to an Imp microcontroller board. Electric Imp is also in talks with product manufactures to have Imp card compatible slots pre-installed. Once the gadgets are all linked up, they will connect to the Imp cloud. From there, you can remotely control them from a smartphone or even work with other connected equipment.

If you want to know more about this tiny card named Imp Card, click here.

Image credit: Electric Imp

Facebook® unveils its own app hub

The popular social networking platform Facebook has announced the release of its own app store named App Center from where users can browse high-quality games and other useful apps for their Android or Apple’s iOS-based mobile device. Facebook will only host the apps, to download them the user has to go to either Google Play or App Store.


Launch of App Center

The new App Center, which Facebook Inc. said will launch in the coming few weeks, comes as the company is preparing an initial public offering that would value the company somewhere between US $77 billion and US $96 billion.


Eligible apps include websites and mobile apps that use Facebook’s authentication system to enable the users enjoy a personalized experience as well as those hosted on commercial Facebook pages. Facebook said that an app must clearly delineate between content and advertising and set clear expectations about what user activity it shares.


According to the blog post of Facebook, Zynga’s Draw Something, Pinterest, Spotify and Viddy, a video-sharing service which Mark Zuckerberg recently joined, are good examples of high-quality apps.


Internet TV on rise in the U.S.

According to the recent survey of Nielson, around three million Americans had cut their cable television subscriptions last year as an increasing number turned to the Internet.

The Nielsen survey released last week found that some of those getting rid of cable moved to packages from telecom provider or satellites, but overall subscriptions fell by 1.5 million, or around 1.5%.

Findings of survey

But still the survey proves that American TV watching is not dead. Approximately 98% of video programs watched are on TV sets, and the number of high definition TVs has grown by eight million. But the TVs are increasingly connected to the Internet or devices such as game consoles, allowing streaming of the content.

“After several years of consistent year-over-year growth, traditional TV viewing declined one half of one percent or roughly 46 minutes per month,” the Nielsen report said.

The usage of video programs on handsets has changed very little in the year, at around four hours per month, the survey found.

Google+™ Hangouts on Air offers Live Broadcasting

Google+ is making the live Hangouts broadcasting feature available for all its users. The feature was till now available to a limited number of professional broadcasters only. With Hangouts on Air, the user can broadcast live video publicly from a Google+ stream, a YouTube channel or embed it on a website.


Is this simple video streaming?

Hangouts on Air is more than simple video streaming. When the live session is going on, the user can peep inside the hangout to check how many viewers are watching, and the show is recorded automatically. Once live streaming is finished, the recording is uploaded to the user’s YouTube channel, as well as on Google+ to keep for posterity.


The use of Hangout on Air goes beyond using a camera connected to your computer, as you can start a hangout from the Google+ app for Android.


Google said that it is rolling out availability of the service gradually over the next few weeks, as “launching millions of live stations takes some doing.” Once the user enables Hangouts on Air, he can link his YouTube account for automatic recording.


Google™ Play and YouTube® to rent 600 MGM® movie titles

Google has joined hands with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) to offer 600 of the studio’s movie titles to rent through online video sharing service YouTube and its Android app store Google Play.

The deal will apply to the U.S. and Canada regions, and will include blockbusters such as ‘The Terminator’, ‘Rocky’ and ‘Robocop’, with more titles to be added gradually in the coming weeks. The deal comes after Google’s recently inked deal with Paramount to offer 500 of its films to rent in the U.S. and Canada, including ‘The Godfather’ trilogy, ‘Transformers’ and last year’s Martin Scorsese-directed kids’ movie ‘Hugo’.

The premium rental service of YouTube will also receive access to the above-mentioned movie titles. Google typically charges anything between US $1.99 and US $3.99 for film rentals. The YouTube service is accessible through computers and mobile devices. You can also access the online video-sharing service on Google TV, an Internet-connected TV platform, which is available on certain Sony TV models and Blu-ray players as well as the Logitech Revue set-top box.

Google™ Drive with 5GB Storage Space: A Week Away

If you make use of cloud-based storage services like Dropbox and Box, then you are going to get another wonderful service at your disposal in a week’s time. The most-awaited cloud-based storage service from Google is now just a week away. The service actually came into notice in February 2012 when Wall Street Journal reported that the search engine company is going to launch a cloud-based service soon.

You can expect a 5GB of free storage space with Google Drive along with the flexibility to use “desktop folders” on both Windows and Mac computers.

Dropbox already has a good customer base and it has been considered as the main contender of Google Drive in the field of cloud-based storage services. So, Google has to come up with something great to lure users towards this new service.

Google™ and Twitter® reject UK censors

Google and Twitter have jointly refused to comply with the calls from the British parliamentary committee to filter their services and follow the court orders intended to protect individual privacy. According to both the leading web services providing companies, it would be impossible to censor the material on the Internet effectively.

“Requiring search engines to screen the content of their web pages would be like asking phone companies to listen in on every call made across their networks for potentially suspicious activity,” commented Google on Tuesday. “Google already remove specific pages deemed unlawful by the courts. We have a number of simple tools anyone can use to report such content, which we then remove from our index.”

It was during last summer that the issue of privacy injunctions hit the spotlight. The incident was that of Ryan Giggs, the famous Manchester United soccer player, who had taken out a super-injunction to prevent the media from reporting allegations that he had an extramarital affair with Imogen Thomas, a model. However, details of the alleged affair were widely reported on social networking sites, such as Twitter. This led John Hemmings, a Liberal Democrat MP, to name Giggs in Parliament.

Enjoy Kit Kat® break with its latest application “Break Time Friday”

How about taking a Kit Kat break? Kit Kat has always reminded us to take a well needed break amid anything (to quickly have a Kit Kat). Now Kit Kat is offering to take a fun-filled break and enjoy their latest application “Break Time Friday”.

Happening every Friday on Facebook, Kit Kat’s “Break Time Friday” application has been produced by an agency called JWT Italy. This event invites Kit Kat’s fans to get a live caricature portrait made of their favorite profile pictures by an available live artist.

To enjoy this event, all you have to do is take a break from your demanding schedule, go to Kit Kat’s Facebook page, like it, and wait to see if you are one of those lucky Kit Kat’s fans, who get hand-picked for this unusual Kit Kat break. Then you can submit your profile picture and wait to share your comical caricature made by a live artist with all your friends and give them a smile too. Don’t forget this event happens every Friday on Kit Kart’s Facebook page and is offered throughout March. So hurry, and take your worthy break with Kit Kat!

Google™ plans to share Google™ Wallet revenues with Mobile Network providers

Google is on the way to plan to gain the favor of mobile network operators for promoting Google Wallet. In order to pursue this goal, Google has decided to give a cut of Google Wallet revenue share.

Google Wallet is a virtual wallet that offers mobile payment system. It can store credit cards, loyalty cards, and other service provider cards. Based on NFC (Near Field Communication), it can transfer money just by tapping on the junction enabled with PayPass. The software works as a credit card that you commonly use while shopping. Thus, while checking out at a store, all you have to do is to sign into your Google Wallet account and make the payment.

The step to offer revenue shares of Google Wallet is an outcome of its disappointing acceptance by the mobile companies. Google is trying hard to promote this NFC-based payment system, but the challenge still lies ahead as currently not many Android-enabled smartphones are featured with NFC.

Google™ Earth 6.2 arrives on Android™

Normally, it may sound weird when someone wants to envisage the entire globe from naked eyes. Wait, it is rather possible and that too using a handheld device. Google Earth, an application used on Windows-based computers to virtually look for maps and earth locations, is now available for Android and iOS platform. Google Earth 6.2 is packed with exciting features, such as an accessible Earth Gallery that lets you discover some pleasing areas positioned on earth. Also, you can get real-time notifications related to natural disasters like earthquakes. It does not stop here, once installed on your Android device; you can keep a track on all the flights with updated information. For your convenience, you can easily share the screen images on a social sphere like Google Plus. Moreover, you can equally explore the Google Earth page in order to know about the places and maps accessed by other people.

Talking about the performance, the developers have tried reducing its size which automatically improves the loading time. While searching for maps on your phone, you will get a chance to open more than 10 results which was not possible on its previous editions. At last, virtual direction feature is a completely fresh attribute. Right now, the app is only out on Google Play (Android Market), but in few days it will hit the iOS store.

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