Microsoft's Office Web Apps was meant to take on Google's Drive / Docs services, unfortunately it seems like the masses never took hold of Office Web Apps the way we all adopted to using Google Drive. Microsoft seems to think that the issue lies within the service's branding, and this week made a major move to rebrand Office Web Apps to something that makes a little more sense.
The service is now called Office Online, something many feel that it should have always been named. Microsoft says that the new name more closely reflects what the actual product is, and is free to use for OneDrive users. The rebrand also includes a new URL, Office.com, which should go a long way in introducing new users to the service. Office Online is made up of Word, Outlook, OneNote, PowerPoint,Excel and more, and even includes Google Drive-like co-editing features. Microsoft has also refreshed the service with a wealth of new templates, and given the UI a handy drop-down toolbar to make life easier.
You might remember that Microsoft also rebranded its SkyDrive cloud storage service to the new name of OneDrive earlier this week. The renaming stemmed from a lost trademark battle with British Sky Broadcasting last year. OneDrive and Office Online sync up together just like Google Drive and Google Docs do, and users are given 7GB of storage space for free upon signing up. Additional space can be purchased, and 500MB of free storage is given with each user referral.
The "Internet of Everything" is still nowhere near its full potential, but Europe will embrace the trend with an estimated 5.7 million small businesses and home alarm systems connected to European cellular networks in 2018.
The recent findings were released by Berg Insight in an effort to show how technology is increasing - many automated security services currently make use of self-monitoring, though as more devices are connected, it provides great opportunity for professional monitoring services to be included.
"There is considerable growth potential," said Andre Malm, Berg Insight analyst, in a press release.
It's not just home- and business-based security alarms that are receiving a strong boost from technological developments that are emerging. There is a great effort to bring connected features into vehicles on the roadway, including enhanced security measures, which can be used to quickly identify - and track - stolen vehicles.
LaCie is a company that makes all sorts of storage products that run the gamut for small and portable hard drives that connect via USB ports to high-end multi disk RAID solutions for storing and protecting your data. LaCie has announced that it has added a new 5TB drive options to a number of the external storage products it makes.
The 5TB hard drive is a 7200-rpm unit and can be found in several LaCie product lines. The product lines that will get the larger capacity drive option include the 5big Thunderbolt series, 2big Thunderbolt series, and the d2 Thunderbolt Series. We reviewed the LaCie 5big NAS Pro storage solution last summer.
With the availability of the 5TB drive, shoppers can now get 5big series storage devices with up to 25TB of storage space. LaCie says that the 25TB option makes it the largest 5-bay storage solution on the market. It will also be able to provide data speeds of up to 785 MB/s. The larger capacity drives are available in the LaCie 2big Quadra and d2 Quadra storage devices as well.
Many people out there are still using normal toothbrushes to keep their teeth clean. There are also a number of folks that have adopted high-tech toothbrushes to help keep their mouths even cleaner. Oral-B is one of the biggest names in electric toothbrushes and the company has announced that it will be showing off its most tech packed toothbrush yet at MWC 2014.
The toothbrush is the first to feature Bluetooth 4.0 technology inside. The Bluetooth tech inside the toothbrush interfaces with an app that runs on your smartphone. The idea is that the app can be programmed with the help of a dentist to help you concentrate on part so the mouth that need it.
The app also gives you feedback on how well you brush. That feedback includes how long you brushed and if you used too much pressure among other things. The toothbrush can be programmed with personal brush settings for target session length and preferred brushing modes.
After its failed Indiegogo campaign, many though that Canonical would be unable to bring the Unbuntu Edge to reality, but a new partnership with Meizu and BQ, little known mobile phone OEMs, to bring Ubuntu's mobile OS to production devices. While Meizu and Bq are unrecognizable by most US readers, the companies are global powerhouse. Unfortunately no availability at any US carrier has been announced, but Canonical did say that the devices would be available online at several stores as well as on Ubuntu.com.
Canonical says that the first Ubuntu smartphone will launch later this year, but I suspect that it may not be branded as or have all the features of the Ubuntu Edge we all fell in love with during the Indiegogo campaign last year. Unfortunately, with past Ubuntu smartphone deadlines being passed by months, I would not hold my breath on a timely release, and would realistically look for a launch near or after the holiday season this coming winter. If China-based Meizu and Spanish-based BQ can pull it off in a timely manner, then Ubuntu smartphones could quickly grow to take over lower tier operating systems such as Samsung's delayed Tizen, or even Microsoft's Windows Phone.
Scosche makes a wide array of audio devices, speakers, and accessories for smartphones. One of the last products we talked about from Scosche was a new wearable fitness device that was unveiled around CES 2014. Scosche is back today with a new Bluetooth speaker designed for music on the go.
The speaker is called the boomCAN BT and it uses Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone or other device. It also has a 3.5mm input for devices that don't support Bluetooth. The 3.5mm cable is included and stored in the carry case for the speaker. Also tucked away inside that carry case is the USB cable needed to charge the internal battery.
Scosche says that the battery is good for 2 hours of playback per charge. That isn't a lot of run time, but you can't get a massive battery inside such a small device. The boomCAN BT is under 2.5-inches tall and 2-inches wide.
Typically, when you think about a plug-in hybrid car performance isn't something that comes to mind. The majority of hybrids on the market today are aimed at being green and sipping fuel with no thought of performance at all. Think Toyota Prius or Ford Fusion Hybrid. Volkswagen has unveiled a new plug-in hybrid that offers fuel efficiency and impressive performance.
The Golf GTE isn't going to compete with a sports car, but it is certainly more exciting than a Prius. The GTE is a plug-in hybrid with a battery pack that can recharge from a wall outlet in only 3.5 hours. The car has a 1.4L 148 hp turbo direct-injected engine.
The car also has an electric motor producing 101hp. Combined the car has 201 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. That equates to a top speed of 135 mph and a 0-62 mph time of 7.6 seconds. The car can also drive for 31 miles on electricity only and reach a top electric speed of 81 mph.
Jolla has been working to bring a new smartphone and operating system to market for a while. The first Sailfish smartphone was benchmarked back in November 2013. Those phones hit Finnish carrier DNA at roughly the same time. Jolla is now talking about its plans for the future.
Jolla says that Sailfish OS has reached version 1.0 and is now ready to ship globally. The operating system has been updated three times since it landed in Finland. Jolla will push out a fourth update for Sailfish in March.
"We're very excited to announce this. We've been working hard together with our user community to make the user experience of the Jolla smartphone and Sailfish OS effortless and distinct. We believe that Jolla now offers a truly viable option for all smartphone users. Naturally we are not stopping here, as we continue to provide monthly software updates to Jolla devices and Sailfish OS," says Marc Dillon, Co-Founder and COO of Jolla.
A company called ART+COM Innovationpool GmbH (ACI) has announced this week that it has filed a patent infringement suit against Google. The suit has to do with Google allegedly infringing on a patent that ACI holds. The patent in question is # RE44,550. The title of that patent is "Method and Device for Pictorial Representation of Space-related Data."
ACI takes issue with how much Google Earth looks like its Terravision service. Terravision is the commercial implementation of the patent at the heart of the case. ACI says that Terravision was developed a decade before Google Earth.
Looking at the image here, it is clear that the Terravision service and Google Earth are very similar in how they look. ACI also says that it has issue with some of the executives at Google, particularly Michael Jones, CTO of Google Earth, and Brian McClendon, VP of engineering for Google Maps.
We're counting down the hours for Mobile World Congress 2014 here at TweakTown, but so is Samsung, which just teased something quite strange about its upcoming flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5.
In a new video, the South Korean giant teases some strange words, such as "fit," "wet," "outdoor," and "alive". We know that the new flagship smartphone from Samsung will be more fitness-centric, just like the Galaxy S4 was, but it looks like we should expect it to be waterproof, too. Samsung also flashes the words "focus" and "selfie", which could see some nifty camera features on the Galaxy S5 when it arrives.