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Posts Tagged ‘usa today’

Google's Next Game Changer: Google TV?

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

I was reading this article in the USA Today the other day about how Google’s next big product launch this Fall is going to be Google TV.  Google TV promises to bring a more user-friendly web interface to our TVs than the consumers in this country have ever seen.  Google’s vision seems to be to offer up web content side-by-side with the same television programs that we have been watching for years. Google also plans to offer an “app store” where consumers can buy free and paid applications that can run on the set-top boxes that will also be required to use this new service.

Whenever I think of the Internet on my TV I always think of those annoying wireless keyboards and terrible user interface that I have been finding in hotel rooms for over a decade for a $5 per day fee.  I always thought that the major flaw in these systems was the terrible user experience – it is always very difficult to navigate the web on these systems because of the lack of a usable mouse and the slightly different web browsers that never seemed to support the web content I wanted to see.  Google seems to be promising a solution to these problems by simplifying the browser and keyboard and supporting all standard web technologies.

I am still going to wait until I am able to use the new Google TV interface to form my opinion but I am hopeful that if any company can successfully bring the Internet to our TVs that it is Google.  If they can convince consumers that the Internet on their TV is the same or comparable to the Internet on their PCs, then I think they have a good shot at being successful here.

On a side note, I also wanted to mention that today Skype announced that they have released a version of their product that is compatible with Android, the up and coming operating system for smart phones. Watch for the popularity of these mobile video calling applications to grow in the near future!

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Posts Tagged ‘usa today’

Antivirus Software: A Comparison & Tips to Keep Your Computer Safe!

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

I’ve been commuting to college for a while now and I’ve noticed that in our library every newspaper except the USA Today is taken by 1:00 pm. What’s up with that? *shrugs* Anyway, guess what I’m going to talk about today!People living under rocks? No Patrick the starfish? No I’ll give you a hint. It was in the USA Today. Airline fees? Nope, I’m going to talk about Antivirus software! *fireworks* How many of you use antivirus software? *Looks around* Most of you, good. For those of you that don’t, get some! To help those of you that don’t have antivirus software or have had a trial version that’s now expired, USA Today has compared several antivirus software packages. Here’s the rundown.

  1. Microsoft Security Essentials: Remember OneCare? No? That’s ok, this is better. It’s free! You get the basics, such as anti-virus and anti-spyware. Plus it’ll scan all of your hard drives and I mean all. (I have this on my laptop and it scanned my external hard drive when I had it connected.)
  2. Immunet: $19.95, the only difference between it and Microsoft Security Essentials is you don’t get automatic updates and it also scans your email for infectious files. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t Gmail already do that?
  3. Cyber Defender: $29.95 The only difference between it and Microsoft Security Essentials is no automatic updates and you get anti-phishing .

Most anti-virus software offers the same benefits. Some go further and offer website health checks, parental controls, and one, Webroot, offers to monitor your credit card usage. There are a ton of anti-virus software companies out there and that can make it confusing for those of us who want decent security. So, everyone should do their homework and find out which anti-virus software best fits their needs. Some good sites to look at are:

  1. Microsoft’s list of anti-virus software vendors, here.
  2. Google’s list, here, which includes anti-virus software for all you mac users out there.
  3. The USA Today list(see above) which compares several software vendors

One warning about free software (OK more like two), you might not get very good support and the software might not be updated very often. Make sure you check the frequency of updates before downloading. Also check the websites that you visit. Do they have a seal of authenticity, such as Kikscore’s seal? If not, be careful. For all you website owners out there, consider getting a seal.

What about the rest of you? What kind of anti-virus protection do you have?

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Posts Tagged ‘usa today’

The New Health Care Plan: Does Anyone Know How This Really Impacts Small Business?

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Whether you’re for it or against it, the new health care law that was just passed is a big deal.  What was a patch-work of state and federal laws focused on certain groups has been replaced with an entirely new system (unless you’re from Massachusetts, and then it’s pretty much the same as what you’ve been experiencing for the past several years). 

As any American does, regardless of my ideology, I started to wonder how does this new bill impact me (and KikScore).  Now KikScore is unique in that each team member is an owner (meaning we don’t have any actual employees), and most of us have day jobs that cover our health insurance.  But as we grow (in terms of hiring employees or having team members work full time on the company), that’s when this new law will be relevant.  In trying to understand the actual impact of the laws, I’m really left with two choices: (a) read the actual bill (which is unbelievably long); or (b) rely on a summary from a group or groups that have a vested interest in pushing me one way or an another in how to view the bill.  In other words, I haven’t a clue how this will actually impact small businesses.  According the White House, it will allow small businesses a $3500 tax credit for each employee.  According to those opposed to the law, it will act as a large drain and penalizes small business owners (who can’t afford to cover the employee insurance cost). 

I found a good articleon the new law in the USA Today…you’ll note that it’s a question/answer type of article and the small business owner starts off with “I think the new health care law stinks”.  Ok, so he’s definitely taken a position.  I won’t summarize the whole article, but it does point out: (a) health care for small businesses will become more affordable (as the new system creates bigger buyer pools for the insurance; and (b) the penalty for not buying insurance doesn’t affect those businesses with less than 50 employees. 

I’m still fuzzy on what this new law means to Small Business owners, but if you have any better understanding (or just plain feelings on the topic), please feel free to share.

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