March 31, 2015

Tek This Out!

There is no shame in giving your child a unique name. Whatever floats your boat! However, some names really make your jaw hit the floor. For instance, it was recently reported by that there are currently 328 people in the United States named “Abcde,” all girls.

Pronounced “AB-si-dee,” this name has actually been growing in popularity for decades. There has been at least one baby Abcde born every year since 1997, maxing out at 32 in 2009. The name is apparently most popular in Hawaiian and Latino cultures.

Now you know! Should you come across a child named Abcde, you heard it here first. Keep an eye out for any babies named “Qrstuv” while you’re at it.

March 30, 2015

March Madness: Apple and Google Still Facing Off Over New Business Ventures
By Justin H.

The two tech giants would not fare so well on the basketball court, but Apple and Google continue to re-enforce their statuses as the top dogs of the industry. Since both companies wear so many hats in the technology field, they often overlap when it comes to projects and business endeavors.

Believe it or not, Google and Apple actually get along quite nicely despite being located just 21 miles apart from one another. It’s always nice to see a little friendly competition instead of constant clashing!

Here is a rundown of three areas where Google and Apple have recently blazed similar trails.

March 27, 2015

[INFOGRAPHIC] Google’s Fresh Focus on the Success of Local Business

By Megan G.

There is a new link in the chain of Google’s armor as it proves, again, that it is still the mighty champion of small businesses.  Even though members of the general public remain quietly aware of the quaint corner store, big brands often take over the forefront of our minds.  When this happens, smaller companies are often left in the dust that’s driven up by the mad stampedes for the nearest Target and Walmart.

Why is that?  Well, the fact is, larger companies often have much stronger online presences than smaller ones… but not anymore!  Google—and, incidentally, eGumball, Inc.—have been working diligently to change that.

March 25, 2015

4 New Features in the Latest Google Maps iOS Update

Two smartphones parallel to each other with text above each one stating, respectively, "Discover popular local favorites" and "Fast and accurate maps to take you anywhere."
By Lauren C.

Google and Apple have always been in somewhat of a makeshift war, with battles occurring not only in the marketplace, but in the courtroom as well. In 2012, Apple removed Google Maps from its list of apps, but eventually put it back in. Just a couple of years later, the two Giants still are still going back and forth, which is to be expected considering the natural competition that goes along with the size and goals of their companies.

However, Google just recently upgraded its Google Maps app on iOS devices. Unless Apple decides to magically delete the app again, which is not outside the realm of possibilities, we can assume that they’ve come to (somewhat) of a truce for the sake of user experience.

Here’s some of the new features that come with Google Maps 4.4.0:

March 23, 2015

Google’s Next Steps for the Self-Driving Car

A white Lexus SUV with a camera device on-top of the roof is driving through the streets of Norther California during its testing phase
Photo from The New York Times Blog
By Nick K.

Last month TekShouts! covered some exciting news about Google’s self-driving car. We discussed how the car is capable of driving itself by being equipped with a 3D-generated mapping system. Since we last covered the topic, the car has been heading in the right direction with all cylinders firing.

New Findings

Early this past week at the South by Southwest Conference & Festivals, (SXSW), the head of Google X, Astro Teller, provided some new updates on Google’s self-driving car. The biggest update was the announcement of the self-driving car not including a steering wheel and pedals for humans because “humans are not a reliable backup” for the car, according to Teller.

March 20, 2015

Spring Break: Google Street View Edition

A discarded purse, hat, sandals, and sunglasses on a beautiful beach.
Get excited, everybody, because it is that time of year again! Spring break 2015! Folks everywhere are flocking to beaches, music festivals, big cities and cruise ships. That is, unless you have work.

Don’t feel bad, because Google has found a way for you to embark on a vacation without having to take out a second mortgage on your house. You also can avoid a crippling sunburn and all the other bad decisions you may have made under the spring break spell.

The increase in popularity of Google Street View has revolutionized Google Maps. With just a few clicks of a mouse, you can be entrenched right in the heart of any location or venue in the world. In 2012, Google teamed with Catlin Seaview Survey to photograph some stunning views of the Great Barrier Reef, which we have previously showcased here at Tek Shouts! Suddenly, Google Street View now has underwater capabilities, making it even more of a fascinating feature.

March 19, 2015

Innovator of the Month: Bruce Clay

Bruce Clay standing in front of a presentation made by his company:  Bruce Clay, Inc.
Bruce Clay.  Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Who is Bruce Clay?

Bruce Clay has been practicing search engine optimization since 1996.  Before Google and its algorithms, Clay and his colleagues called their work “search engine ranking.”
The search engine king of the day was a company called Infoseek that, according to Clay, was “the world’s best lab environment” for testing ranking strategies. It’s amazing how much freedom they had to explore new ranking techniques!

March 18, 2015

3 Mistakes Businesses Make With Google Maps

A light shining on an old globe of the world with a stark, black background.
Google Maps has made it easier for your customers to find you. Image: Kenneth Lu
By Alexis G.

Google Maps is a dependable mapping service that provides location information via satellite imagery. Statistics indicate that 1 billion use the tool monthly while 97% of consumers search for businesses online.

For many businesses and local businesses especially, Google Maps has become virtually mandatory As a business owner, Google Maps gives you an online presence, indicating your business's location to potential customers and visitors and allowing you to remain competitive.

The efficiency of Google Maps is undeniable as it has the capacity to check landmarks and possible routes, enabling faster travel time. It isn't only for directions it’s a great marketing medium.

March 17, 2015

Saint Patrick's Day Through the Eyes of Google Doodles

A green Google logo adorned with a rainbow and pot of gold.
Saint Patrick’s Day Google Doodle from 2001.
By Megan G.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!  If you have been on the Internet at all today, you probably saw the adorable Google Doodle gracing the search engine’s homepage.  For this special post, the Tek Team would like to enlighten you with some interesting facts about this Irish-based holiday that you may not already know.  

Also, thanks to the Google Doodle Archive, we have access to the charming images posted on every March 17th for the past few years.  Without further ado, let’s follow this rainbow to our golden factoids!

March 16, 2015

Google Ventures Towards Better Navigation

Text that reads "Google Ventures" next to multicolored cross logo.

By Megan G.

Immortality, self-driving cars, and a cloud computing massive amounts of data—are we in a science fiction movie?  Nope, those are just some of the ideas pouring out of Google Ventures, the venture investment arm of Google Inc.  The Google Ventures President Bill Maris has recently made headlines by stating that it is possible for humans to live to be 500 years old.  Grandiose statements aside, let’s take a look at how GV actually works and what advancements have come from this unique arm of Google Inc.

March 13, 2015

How to Overcome the Odds with Google My Business

The Google My Business logo over a cartoon graphic of a map and a pin.  The map is over various Google graphics, including YouTube's play button, Google+, and more.
By Lauren C.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of America. According to the 2011 U.S. Census Bureau data, there are 28.2 million small businesses, which constitute 99.7 percent of all U.S. employer firms.

One of the major hurdles that small businesses have to overcome is competition with larger corporations for a strong online presence. Forbes states that large corporations “spend zillions on AdWords, and these ads become instantly viral and drive eyeballs back to their websites. They employ marketers and public relations firms to get themselves mentioned everywhere by bloggers and columnists. This is what big companies do.” So while big companies are doling out the bucks, small businesses have often struggled to compete online-until now.

March 12, 2015

eGumball, Inc. CEO Visits School and Mother Teresa Orphanage in India

Irvine, CA: At the end of last year, eGumball, Inc. CEO John Bauer, Days of Our Lives actor Brandon Beemer, and photojournalist Gregory Schell traveled to Agra, India where they were able to connect with the community and experience the culture.

During the trip, all three spoke at an Indian middle school in Agra to inform the students how advancements in technology and education are providing opportunities for them to become successful in the future. They also encouraged them by explaining how the impact of globalization is strong enough to create equal opportunities for everyone, including those who are less fortunate and in unfavorable situations.

March 11, 2015

Google Maps Aims to Create the Perfect Navigation System

Photo from Google Ability Project.

By Nick K.

Much of the internet has placed a major focus on ensuring that both mobile and desktop website versions are optimized for the best possible user experience. However, one area of optimization that most websites seem to forget is serving to disabled web-users.  With a seemingly endless amount of advances in technology, you would think that there’d be a breakthrough somewhere for users with disabilities. As it turns out, Google might be achieving just that.

March 10, 2015

Tek This Out!

Hello, Clarice…

Most have seen the 1991 classic film, Silence of the Lambs. Actor Anthony Hopkins stole the show, crushing his role as serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter. His captivating psychopathic way of speaking was incredibly effective in freaking out every audience member.

But, did you know he never blinked once during the film? This was a trait that Hopkins improvised to keep the character as unnerving and terrifying as possible.

Hopkins won an Oscar for Best Actor in 1991 for the role, even though he was only on screen for 16 minutes total. To that point, that was the shortest amount of camera time for a Best Actor winner.

So, next time you watch Silence of the Lambs, don’t blink! Otherwise, you might miss him.

March 9, 2015

Liar, Liar, Ranks on Fire! How Truth Affects Google Search Rankings

Photo via

By Justin H.

Have you ever felt like the Internet is a little too much like high school? Search engines have undoubtedly always had their favorite websites, but Google is putting its foot down. No longer will those bullies be able to coast on good looks and popularity, while the smart, quiet types get pushed around!

March 6, 2015

Cardboard: Google Maps and Local Business Revolution

Google Cardboard VR Headset

By Lewis J.

In 1935, American writer Stanley G. Weinbaum published "Pygmalion's Spectacles" in Wonder, a science fiction magazine. The eponymous spectacles projected holographic images so real wearers believed they’ve been transported to another world. Eighty years later, what was once fiction is now reality. Behold Google Cardboard!  

March 5, 2015

Tek This Out!

Even though most of our high tech gadgets adjust on their own these days, it is still worth noting that 2:00AM this Sunday, March 8th, is Daylight Saving Time. For those of you who still wear dapper timepieces and own grandfather clocks, make sure to set them forward an hour!

Unless, of course, you happen to live in Arizona.

The science behind it is very simple: Arizona is one big oven. The last thing those desert dwellers want is for it to be 118 degrees at 8:30 at night.

History dates it back to World War I in 1918, where the first time-shift was implemented to save fuel. All of Arizona aside from Maricopa county abided by it by 1919. Daylight saving then ended with the war, but became permanent nationwide after the Uniform Time Act of 1966. States had the ability to opt out, which Arizona quickly did after suffering through one very unpleasant summer.

March 4, 2015

Identity Crisis Averted: The Bright Future of Google+

Business people searching for a better strategy on a chessboard.

By Megan G.

Some serious feng shui has been happening with Google personnel, including the staff of Google’s European operations  and their technological facility, Google X.  The most exciting news for us at Tek Shouts!, however, has to be the changes happening with Google+.  David Besbris officially stepped down as the head of Google+, leaving room for Bradley Horowitz to take over as VP of Google+ Photos and Streams.

March 2, 2015

3 Alternatives to Google Maps: Are They Worth a Look?

By Lauren C.

Google Maps’ reputation as the number one place for local business optimization has overshadowed all its competitors. However, much of Google’s success stems from their willingness to take an honest look at their competition and never growing complacent with their own success.

So let’s help Google out by taking a look at the alternatives to Google Maps and see if there’s anything they should be worried about in the near future. 

1. Bing Maps. The good news for Bing Maps is that it’s probably the most similar to Google Maps. Bing Maps has many of the same search abilities for local businesses that Google Maps has, with a design of blue dots marking the local search results according to specific queries. Bing Maps’ pros include a great bird’s eye view, and the Streetside feature, which is comparable to Google Maps’ Streetview. On the downside, they don’t include bicycle routes. Sorry, cyclists.