February 29, 2016

Tek This Out: Celebrate Leap Day With a Google Doodle!

Google doodle leap year 2016

By Justin H.

Happy February 29th! It’s everybody’s favorite day of the year and, in case you hadn’t yet noticed, Google is right at the front of the line for the Leap Day festivities.

Amidst all the cliché gifs and photos of people jumping from seemingly every large company and media outlet on the internet, Google has once again gone the extra step and provided us with an adorable Google Doodle.

February 26, 2016

Why Is Spotify So Amped About the Google Cloud Platform?

By Megan G.

This past Tuesday, uber-popular music app Spotify announced that they are migrating all of their services and data onto the Google Cloud Platform. That’s 2 million playlists, over 30 million songs, the capabilities of their dynamic Discover Weekly feature and all of those user profiles finding a new home in the fluffy GCP.

But why Google? If you have managed to keep up with the ongoing Cloud Wars of the tech industry, you know that praise and partnerships are usually enjoyed by Amazon and Microsoft’s cloud tech. Yet, Spotify has turned to Google and even has gone so far as to say that the tech company’s cloud capabilities are “nearly magical.”

As far as Diane Greene and the rest of the GCP team are concerned, this should come as no surprise.

February 25, 2016

Quote of the Month: Tim Cook

“The only way to get information – at least currently, the only way we know – would be to write a piece of software that we view as…the equivalent of cancer.” – Tim Cook.

By Justin H.

Normally, we’d hit you with a more traditional, inspirational quote for our Quote of the Month article. This installment is inspirational in an entirely different way, as it has come amidst a heap of controversy and, ironically, united many of the giants in the often-divisive tech industry.

February 24, 2016

Google’s Atlas, a Major Breakthrough in Advanced Robotics!

The Boston Dynamics robot fleet! Photo courtesy of IEEE Spectrum.
By Nick K. 

We have previously talked about some lesser known projects that Google and Alphabet are currently working on. One of these projects that stuck out from the rest was the Boston Dynamics projects, which involve the production of advanced robotics. Sure, both Google and Alphabet are working on some revolutionary projects like Project SkyBender, Project Tango, Project Loon, the list goes on. Yet, Boston Dynamics has made an incredible breakthrough with their famous project called Atlas.

February 23, 2016

Apps That Keep Your Safety Charmed on Saint Patrick’s Day

Images from Baltimore Magazine
By Jessie D.S.

March 17th is the day that the whole world goes green—literally. Even those without a drop of Irish blood swimming through their veins don the iconic four-leaf clover and essentially everything they own that is the emblematic Irish green, all while in search of some Guinness, Jameson, Baileys, or some kind of crazy mixture of the three for good olde St. Paddy’s Day.

It’s easy to head out for a night on the town with your main (and only) plan to get home consisting of, “I’ll just make sure I drink responsibly tonight.” However, when you take a step back and truly think about this strategy, there is too much room for error. What is “drinking responsibly,” honestly? 

Do you really know what the scientific difference is between getting home safely, and potentially putting yourself and those around you in danger?

February 22, 2016

It’s the End of the SERPs as We Know It

By Justin H.

I don’t know how much Googling you’ve done today, but if you’ve frequented the search giant at all on this fine afternoon, there’s a chance you’ve noticed something quite different.

What could it be? Did the tech giant change its logo again? Nope.

Did all the fonts change sizes? Not quite.

Did Google’s domain finally redirect to Ask Jeeves?!

Now you’re just pulling guesses out of thin air. If you haven’t figured it out, take a look at the right side of your browser.

February 19, 2016

Google has a Puzzling Discovery About Google Ideas

By Nick K.

First, Google rebranded and separated their massive company into Alphabet and its divisions last year. 

Second, Google expanded upon their current project divisions and added quite a few more projects. 

Third, Google revamped Google+, because it still isn’t dead! 

Next on Google’s list, aside from handling the current, controversial privacy issue, Google has been busy rebranding Google Ideas into Google Jigsaw

February 18, 2016

It’s a Disney Miracle: Google Street View May Allow a Disney World Virtual Tour

Google Trekker camera spotted at Disney World!
Photo courtesy of WDWShutterbug's Twitter page.
By Sasha A.

Imagine seeing the magic behind the expansive Disney World gates without even stepping out of the comfort of your home. Seems crazy right? Well it could be crazy enough to be an actual possibility within the Google Street View world.

According to an article on Orlando Weekly, a Google Street View Trekker was spotted with a group of cast members roaming the land of the Magic Kingdom in Disney World earlier in the month. He was also seen wearing a portable Google Street View backpack on the boat that takes you to Tom Sawyer Island.

A few snapshots of the spectacle caused Twitter to immediately burst with excitement.

February 17, 2016

FBI vs iPhone Encryption: Should Apple’s Tim Cook Yield?

Image from Engadget.

By Megan G. 

This past Tuesday, District Court Judge Sheri Pym has ordered Apple to help the Obama administration hack into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino, CA terrorists. The judge’s full statement can be read on Gizmodo, but the gist of it reads that Apple needs to bypass encryption and successfully break into the iPhone to access any important information for law enforcement.

Apple’s Tim Cook will not allow it. The CEO has written an open letter to Apple customers and begins the passionate address with “the United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand.” Talk about buzzwords.

Let’s take a look at both sides of the argument.

February 16, 2016

Innovator of the Month: Hiroshi Mikitani

Photo courtesy of Fashion Times.
Who is Hiroshi Mikitani?

By Nick K 

Hiroshi Mikitani is the founder and current CEO of Rakuten. Back before the start of Rakuten, Mikitani realized that there was an untapped market of online shopping that would flourish in the decades to come.

Luckily, Mikitani was correct with his prediction about the large internet boom across the world. To make things even better for Mikitani, he runs one of the most successful, and largest e-commerce websites in the world. Mikitani wants to continue Rakuten’s success until it becomes the number one e-commerce company in the world.

February 15, 2016

What do you Need to Know About the New Google Maps Update?

By Justin H.

We all know how much Google likes to keep everyone on their toes. At Tek Shouts!, we never know what sort of Google and tech news will hit our desks on a given day, with which we love to put our own tekky spin on.

Today, Google announced that it has given Google Maps quite the makeover. Everyone’s favorite travel app has gotten just a little bit better, as has Google My Maps with their fresh new update…but that’s a story for another day!

Luckily for you, the Tek Team is here to break it all down. Here is everything you need to know about the new update.

February 12, 2016

Do you have a Date with Destiny this Year?

Destiny is ready for Valentine's Day! Photo courtesy of Metro.co.uk
By Nick K. 

For those who are fortunate enough not to have a date this Valentine’s Day or are still searching for one, the Tek Team has come to the rescue and found the perfect solution. 

Why not make this year extra special by having a date with…. Destiny? As clichéd as it sounds, it could be time well spent for those who own a PS4 or Xbox One. Especially because news broke today about a confirmed announcement of Destiny 2 coming in 2017!

After much speculation and rumors about what exactly Bungie was going to do in regards to Destiny, would they just update their current game by continuing to add additional downloadable content, or provide a new game? 

February 11, 2016

Customer Question of the Month: Why Does Ranking in Google Take Time?

By Megan G.

You are an independent business owner who wants to see your brand blossom and SEO seems like the best way to accomplish that. 

You want to see customers coming through that front door, you want to hear your phone ringing off the hook, and you want hits upon hits on your company website—and you want these results NOW.

This is why, when working with a company that specializes in SEO marketing, you might ask in mild frustration: Why does ranking in search engines take so long?

February 10, 2016

Ding Dong, the Wicked Flash Ads are Dead!

Goodbye Flash, and say Hello to HTML5! Photo courtesy of Acodez.
By Nick K. 

Some exciting news broke this morning across the internet that Google will officially ban Flash display ads from their browser later this year! 

We talked about this is fantastic news, not only for web users, but also for those in the tech industry because their lives just got a little bit easier. The days of those pestering and obnoxious Flash ads slowing down your webpages.  

February 9, 2016

Don’t Be a Fool: Use 3rd Party Apps for your Small Business!

Image from Financial Crisis Net

By Lauren H.

How many apps do you have on your smartphone? Twenty, maybe thirty? How many of those apps are for a small business in your area? Probably none of them.

Hopefully! Hopefully, there is not a small local business attempting this impossible mission; gaining local customers through one teeny tiny app they have created.

The truth is, no one downloads a small business app and keeps it on their smartphone for very long. What is the gain for the customer? A few coupons? Your app is not worth the megabytes. And will they even use it? The average smartphone user spends over 95% of their time on their top 10 apps. As a small business owner, you want to get the word around about your company – get some foot traffic! But your own app will not help you.

February 8, 2016

Google SEO: Rethinking and Revising “Content is King”

By Megan G.

When it comes to online marketing and SEO, businesses care about high rankings in search engines. It’s as simple as that. However, how exactly one accomplishes this goal changes from year to year, and sometimes even from month to month. What’s the latest in search engine trends, specifically Google? Short answer: content is still king, but answers are the things to get you high up in search engine results. 

February 5, 2016

The 2016 Presidential Election as Told by Google Trends and Social Media

Photo courtesy of telegraph.co.uk

By Justin H.

Funding a presidential campaign? Simple. Running the United States of America? Walk in the park.

Dominating the search world on Google Trends? Now you’ve got my attention!

The 2016 election has been a hot-button topic for months now due to the eccentricity of most of the candidates. This is not your average, run-of-the-mill group of politicians we have here. These candidates were born to duke it out in the internet age on social media as opposed to sparring with verbal jabs and angrily scrawled notes via carrier pigeons in the 1800s.

February 4, 2016

Superlative Food Delivery for Super Bowl 50

Image from Ranker.

By Matthew E.

It’s finally here; the one day of the year where everyone and their mother is a diehard football fan. Super Bowl 50, our nation’s unsung holiday, is this Sunday. If you’ve got the biggest flat screen in your group of football fanatics, you’ll be expected to host a party worthy of the celebration. And, if you’re like me, you’ve been putting off getting food for your awesome party until the last possible moment.

But this year is different. Our fellow football fans deserve better than greasy pizza and cheap beer. After all, there are no losers allowed in Super Bowl 50, so why buy the standard poker-night food for the game of the half-century? This year, why not treat your partygoers to some food that’s actually worth eating?

February 3, 2016

How Social Media Can Increase Your Profits & Build Your Brand

By Megan G.

According to a survey conducted by InfusionSoft and LeadPages, the top three goals of small business owners’ digital marketing campaigns are, not surprisingly:

     1. Driving sales
     2. Building the brand
     3. Collecting leads

Nearly half of all the business owners surveyed reported that they themselves do marketing for their own companies. This is a huge task to take on in addition to all of the other areas an SMB owner has to worry about, but many small businesses do not have the budget to accommodate a full-fledged marketing team. So, if you are marketing for yourself, what will make your life a whole lot easier?

February 2, 2016

Tek This Out: Google's Pegman Celebrates Groundhog Day

Happy Groundhog Day! We are delighted to say that Mr. Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow today as he surfaced from his burrow, which means Spring is coming! Not that it matters…we live in California.

One fellow who was particularly excited about today’s holiday is none other than Google’s Pegman! You may recognize him as the small yellow dude who hangs out at the bottom right corner of your Google Maps screen, eagerly awaiting for you to plop him wherever you like so he can guide you safely to your virtual destination.

This is not his first go-around with a fancy get-up. Pegman knows how to party.
What is a Tek Shouts! holiday post without a few fun facts? Do you ever wonder why we listen to a groundhog in the first place? They can’t even talk.

February 1, 2016

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Project SkyBender!

Google's Project SkyBenders drones in action. Photo courtesy of  TechGiri.
By Nick K. 

Google has always done its part in creating revolutionary projects and technology. From developing more efficient methods in gathering clean energy via “Energy Kites,” to using flying balloons to provide internet access across the globe with Project Loon

Google has its hands on the thrusters to keep flying forward. However, this time around Google has something very exciting up their large sleeves by working on a secret project called Project SkyBender. The name sounds out of this world awesome.