Google Play released as a unified marketplace

Google just announced Google Play, a unified marketplace for content ranging from Movies, Books and Music to Apps. It allows purchases to be made through a web browser or an Android device and is accessible through all other devices instantaneously using a Google account.

All Android devices running version 2.2 and up should see their Android Market updated to the new Google Play soon. Google has also announced a “7 Days to Play” sale in Google Play. There are also 25¢ App of the day and 49¢ Apps section in Google Play.

Visit Google Play now!

CES 2012 - Day 4

Today was the last day of CES 2012. It was also a bit shorter. The exhibit floor closed at about 4 pm. I did manage to visit several more exhibits. Here are the exhibits that I visited:

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CES 2012 - Day 3

Today was the third day of CES 2012. I saw another set of new impressive technology and electronics at the exhibit floor. Here are the exhibits that I visited:

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CES 2012 - Day 2

Today was the second day of CES 2012. I got to explore more innovations in different areas of technology. Here is the next part of my of exploration of the exhibit floor at CES:

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CES 2012 - Day 1

CES 2012 has begun! I have seen a lot of cool things today and this post is a summary of my first day at CES. I will not cover all the flashy news that is on every news channel and blog on the internet, but rather my exploration of the CES Exhibit floor.

Here are the exhibits I visited and some summary about them:

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Are we getting closer to Quantum computing?

Computers are fascinating. Today, we use it for all our personal and work needs. They are also present in a lot of devices in different forms. Besides a personal computer and a smartphone, computers are present in everything from a television set to a car. Since computers have a lot of applications, we need more powerful computers as we advance into the future. We have made exponential progress in speed and performance since the Pentium computers but we are soon going to hit a limit where we cannot produce faster computers due to constraints of Physics. That’s where Quantum computers come in.

Quantum computers harness the power of atoms and molecules to perform tasks. This gives the ability to process information much faster compared to our current silicon chip based computers. Quantum computers have been under development for quite some time but we soon might see quantum computers produced for consumer needs. University of Bristol’s Center for Quantum Photonics has developed a photonic chip that paves the way to programmable quantum processors. What does this mean? It just means we are getting closer to the future of computing.

Press Release: University of Bristol

Microsoft's Vision of the future

Microsoft just released a conceptual video of their vision of the future. The concepts are just brilliant! The main devices are transparent cards which turn into a smartphone. This does seem technologically impossible today as we cannot imagine having a phone that is transparent and just a few millimeters thick, because we believe that the device has a processor, memory, batter, camera and other internal architecture. In the video, all this is abstracted out, there is nothing between the user and the content.

There are other creative ideas as well. These can be incorporated with today’s technology. For example, the person in Hong Kong sees a video that asks for help and as he raises his phone to the screen, he sees donation amounts on the device. He then selects and amount and the payment is done. Apps for today’s smartphones can be made to capture images and quickly match it up with a database of donations. Though this would need a massive database and extremely fast image processing, it is still possible to have this technology.

Google Wallet in action

Google has released its wallet on the Nexus S 4G on Sprint in the US. The product will roll out on other carriers and devices soon. The initial version of its Android app looks very promising even though it is incomplete and will undergo a lot of development. It allows users to add credit cards (or use Google’s prepaid MasterCard) and add loyalty and gift cards for various stores (the current version only has American Eagle). When you make a purchase, it would first use the gift card balance, then pay the balance with a selected (or default) credit card. It should also scan the loyalty card automatically though this has not yet been tested.

Here is a video of Google wallet in action: [Engadget] A week with Google Wallet

Windows 8 Developer Preview released to all

Microsoft had unveiled Windows 8, its next generation operating system for PCs some time ago. Today, Microsoft has released a Developer Preview version of Windows 8 so that developers can take a glimpse at what Microsoft has in store. This time, Microsoft has released it onto the web so that anyone can download it without having a developer account for signing in with a Live ID. The download page just went up and according to the twitter stream, thousands of people have already begun downloading.

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Mac OS X Lion is out of its den

Apple just released Mac OS X Lion in the AppStore for $29.99. It comes with a bunch of new features like Mission Control (the new Expose), Launchpad (an application launcher) and updated Mail, Address Book and iCal apps. It also brings the iOS experience to the Mac with no more scrollbars and a new look-and-feel.

If your internet is too slow, you can take your mac to the Apple Store and download Lion there. If you need it on a USB drive, then you will be able to buy it in August for $69.99.

For server users, Lion Server is available as an application for OS X Lion from the Mac AppStore for $49.99 with a host of services like Address Book, iCal, Mail, Podcast, Time Machine, VPN and much more.