Today’s Google Doodle pays tribute to computer scientist Grace Hopper. She was born in New York City, and donned the nickname ‘Amazing Grace.” Happy 107th Birthday Grace Hopper!
Grace Hopper was a remarkable woman. She was a rear Admiral in the United States Navy and was honored by a number of awards for her service to the country. Along with her impressive military resume, Grace was a force in the world of computer science and critical in developing the first compiler. A compiler takes source code and translates it into a simpler assembly language or machine code. She is recognized for the philosophy behind COBOL (COmmon Business-Oriented Language), a modern programming language that is independent from machine code and is still in use today (next time you use an ATM, say thanks Grace!)
Grace is credited with coining the term “debugging,” which is used when fixing a computer glitch. Oh, and there are more fun facts about Ms. Hopper where that came from, check out this list.
I’ll leave you with a few parting words from the wise Grace Hopper, “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to get permission.”
As we gear up to usher in the new year, let’s check out the trends that shaped digital marketing during 2013. It’s no surprise that multi-platform engagement is rapidly growing — consumers now expect a consistent personal engagement with brands across all media. Überflip has created a visual of these details—have a look below! You’ll notice SEO is highlighted in the infographic — no, SEO is not dead. Great content is now is key to a site’s success, along with these 5 ways to drive traffic.
Fresh from the take two cool things and put them together in hopes of making one cooler thing department, Russian smartphone company Yota has announced that they’re getting their phone, the aptly named YotaPhone, in consumers’ hands.
YotaPhone bring brings a new and interesting concept to smartphones with its two-screen approach – calling the YotaPhone the first dual-screen, always-on smartphone. The device sports a main 720×1280 color LCD and a secondary 360×640 grayscale e-ink display. The always-on, e-ink display is what sets the YotaPhone apart from other Android devices – so much so, that Yota believes this is fundamental flaw in current smartphone designs. The culprit? The screen – it’s dark. It can’t provide the information you need unless you wake your phone; in the words of Yota, “You need to help your phone before your phone helps you.”
YotaPhone’s e-ink rear gives users access to information at a glance, and an ever-evolving list of use-cases, such as receiving social media updates, having an ever-present calendar, quick-glance access to SMS messages, and reading e-books, is already taking shape. For the customizers out there, the second screen can display a custom wallpaper, giving every YotaPhone the opportunity to be unique. It’s also much less battery-intensive than a traditional LCD, able to provide up to 50 hours of reading time using the included e-reader application.
Under the hood, YotaPhone’s tech specs aren’t mind-blowing, putting the YotaPhone behind the leading current smartphones. It comes Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, a whole two versions older than the latest Android 4.4 KitKat OS, and it’s running on a less-than-stellar dual core 1.7 GHz Krait CPU. At €499 ($678 US dollars), its price is higher than more powerful smartphones such as the Nexus 5 ($350 US dollars) and even the iPhone 5s ($649 US Dollars).
The YotaPhone is already available in Russia, Germany, Austria, France, and Spain; and it will be rolling out to many other countries within the next few months – with a focus on Russia, Europe, and the Middle East.
Check out YotaPhone’s official trailer below, or proceed to see the full launch event right here.
Amazon Prime Air. That is not the name of a new airline, well at least in the traditional sense, but of a new delivery service in the works to receive FAA approval. Amazon R&D lab has created package carrying drones that will fly Amazon goods up to 5 lbs., like something straight out of a sci-fi movie. These unmanned aerial vehicles have the potential to get packages to customers doorsteps in 30 minutes or less, depending on location. There has been some backlash from certain outlets, calling this nothing more than a marketing stunt, but given that drone delivery is already a thing, we’re pretty certain this will take off.
It’s amazing to see the developments already being made from cars that drive themselves to self-reconfiguring robots, and Prime Air will be a major step in the direction of an automated world. Imagine the day when a smart pantry recognizes when the coffee was low, proceeds to auto-order more from Amazon Prime, and Prime Air has it on your doorstep next to the morning paper when you wake up. Crisis adverted.
See the Amazon Prime Air drone in action below:
We hope that you recovered from the food-coma typically associated with the holiday last Thursday, enjoyed the time with loved ones, and perhaps snagged some great deals shopping over the weekend.
Every year Punchkick Interactive has a tradition of bringing the families of our team together for an Urban Family Thanksgiving. This year we set up a photo wall and recorded some of the fun. It’s a great time of year to celebrate family, friends, and coworkers!
Finnish smartphone company Jolla Oy is releasing its first smartphone, the aptly named Jolla, today. What’s so special about a new phone, you ask? Well, the Jolla is the first phone to ship with Sailfish OS, a new mobile operating system designed by Jolla Oy.
Here Comes a New Challenger!
Sailfish OS is a fork of MeeGo, a Linux-based mobile operating system developed by Nokia and The Linux Foundation, but later canned in favor of Tizen and, our new friend, Sailfish OS. Taking Finnish market share away from Android, iOS, and Windows Phone won’t be easy for Sailfish OS, as the aforementioned operating systems hold roughly 95% of the market in Finland.
All hope is not lost for the Jolla and Sailfish OS, as the team behind Jolla Oy includes many former members of Nokia, some of who had a hand in creating the award-winning Nokia N9. The N9 team’s influence can immediately be seen at both the hardware and software level with the Jolla’s modern, minimalist design.
The Jolla also has a trick up its sleeve, as its Linux based OS lets it run Android apps alongside its native Sailfish OS apps. While this is a strong selling point for Sailfish OS platform, it begs the question: Does Jolla Oy believe in its own OS? BlackBerry is trying a similar tactic and, judging by BlackBerry’s market share, the results have been underwhelming.
The phone will retail at 399€, sports a 4.5″ screen, and is comparable with mid to high end modern smartphones. Check out the teaser below to see it in action.
Google Maps is at it again — expanding beyond the traditional directional guide. The newest update has taken street view to a different level, and very much off the street. Google’s Maps Engine now is an interactive map that includes major transit stations, airports, and points-of-interest. Don’t let a door stop you though, the “street views” will take you inside these particular locations.
These views might be used familiarize yourself with the train stations or airports when planning a trip to a foreign country, or when you want wander around a museum hundreds of miles away without the travel fees.
Hello, Porsche Museum…all the way over there in Germany:
Virtual journeys aren’t new to the Google maps team, in August Street View Treks took e-travelers on adventures to some of the most gorgeous vistas across the 7 continents. We can’t wait to see where Google takes us next!
Punchkick threw its annual Urban Thanksgiving this weekend, and once again it was a success. Punchkickers and their loved ones mixed and mingled before a night of delicious food, hilarious games, and karaoke (where some hidden talents were unveiled.)
We have a lot to be thankful for in 2013, and are looking forward to another great year in 2014!
Check out the full album from the night on our Facebook page!
This week’s Friday 5 will take your mind off turkey, pie, and Black Friday shopping — at least for a few minutes. I’m sure you’ve heard that two of the biggest players in gaming have released their next generation of consoles last Friday and today, and in case you missed it we posted about how mobile is changing console gaming — In other news, you’ll find some more interesting happenings from the past week below.
You’re welcome for waiting till end-of-day on a Friday before introducing such a distracting and addicting experience. This is the worlds first 24 hour music video. Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy” from Despicable Me 2 plays on a 24 hour loop, featuring a variety of unknown people interspersed with some very recognizable celebrities like Magic Johnson and Steve Carrell dancing towards the camera. You can adjust the time of day for different episodes, as well as share specific moments directly from the video to your social channels. So “clap along if you know what happiness is to you…”
So this is pretty amazing as well — artists are really stepping up their music video game and engaging with their audiences on a completely different level. Bob Dylan’s famed song is inserted into a tv-like frame, with changeable channels, volume control, and all. The completely interactive experience features real-life tv personalities lip-syncing simultaneous to the song, as you change channels you don’t miss a beat in the tune.
A customizable smartphone — what do you think of that? Motorola is well on it’s way to making this project a reality after signing up 3D Systems to do the printing of parts. There are mixed reviews thus far around the concept of building your own device; will the parts be able to work together for a seamless user experience? Or will being able to have EXACTLY what you want outshine any experiential backfires? Watching how this unfolds will be an interesting glance into the future wants and needs of the mobile industry.
Circuit Scribe will change how middle school students learn about electricity. The pen allows you to create functioning circuits by drawing and adding a power source. This, along with the other recently announced “pens” for the mobile age, are revolutionizing how we are interacting with technology. Traditionally physical experiences, like drawing and building things, are being digitalized.
The official holiday shopping season is kicking off a week from today, and you may be looking for that excellent side by side comparison of the two gaming systems of the moment. We wanted to give a shout out to Polygon.com for their extremely in-depth reviews of Xbox One and PS4 — they include videos, hardware and software breakdowns, and pictures galore.
Whether you’re in a new city or just exploring the one you’ve lived in for years, the question often arises, “where am I now?” The iOS app GeoZone solves that mystery for you. Just released to the Apple App Store, this app uses your GPS and presents your location on a beautiful map with the neighborhood/town named clearly across the top of the screen. The application operates in any city around the world as long as you have data.
Punchkick’s very own Aqeel Gunja created and developed the app — and told us a little more about GeoZone:
What inspired you to create this app?
I’ve always found myself in random places throughout the city and thought to myself (or to others), “What neighborhood is this?” I figured I would solve my own problem.
Who do you see being the main user?
I think this app will be the most useful to people living in an urban area, who have thought about what I’ve thought about… like what neighborhood is this lunch spot in. I can also see it being used by someone who is traveling across the country and making pitstops in smaller towns. When I’ve been driving through Michigan on my way to Canada, I’ve wondered what town I was in when passing something I wanted to remember later.
What was a challenge when creating this app?
Coming up with a name. I’m still not completely satisfied with GeoZone. I had initially wanted to call it Zone, but it was taken! Who knows, maybe the name will change if I come up with something better.
What are the future plans for GeoZone?
I’d love to be able show the neighborhood boundary, but I’m just trying to find the best way to do it. I also plan on showing more contextual information about the location.
What’s your favorite aspect of the development process?
Being able to take an idea or a concept and bring it to life. Sometimes it’s not what you expected, and other times, it goes way beyond.