Techzone 360 Week in Review

By Tony Rizzo February 23, 2013

Last week seemed to be a week centered on cybersecurity issues -- not that this week didn't have its own collection of security issues. This week though we've had a number of interesting new products appear that we want to highlight.

Before we go on to look at some interesting new products that made their appearance this week, we need to take a look at some amazing technology of a different kind: new super high tech imaging tools that reveals amazing brain wiring. Utilizing new brain scanning and imaging technology that has emerged in conjunction with the US-based Human Connectome Project (HCP), scientists are now able to assemble absolutely amazing images of the connections – the living wiring – that each individual human brain is built on.Not quite as amazing, yet nevertheless at a different sort of cutting edge, is Google's Google Glass Project. Cool as the eyewear is, it doesn't look anything other than geeky. So what to do? Google Glass will get a whole new window on style with Warby Parker. Warby Parker is a recent startup company that focuses on trendy eyeglasses. Warby Parker itself is something of a portmanteau, taking the names of two characters from Jack Kerouac works – Warby Pepper and Zagg Parker – and combining the two to create a new whole, reflecting Warby Parker's corporate desire to take a road less traveled and to see the world through a different lens. Trust us, it's cool.

This week also brought us the new HTC One Smartphone, HTC's next true “statement” device. The one immediate thing that screams out when you pick it up is its quality build – even before we get to the software parked within it, you have a new smartphone that, well, exudes the special feel of an Apple product. It is extremely well-designed – but actually we mean it is extremely well-built. It has that Apple “jewel” persona about it. No flimsy Samsung plastic feel to it anywhere.

Meanwhile, as HTC builds out high devices to rival Apple, Nokia prepares to do battle on the low end of the smartphone spectrum. We are anticipating new low-end smartphones from the company at the 2013 Mobile World Congress being held in Barcelona, Spain next week. Can Nokia regain its low end mojo and re-trump Samsung at the game it used to win at every turn?

Also at Mobile World Congress next week will be Yota, that crazy (in a good way) Russian company that is developing the YotaPhone, the world’s first and at this point only dual-screen Android smartphone, which sports a standard LCD screen on one side and a very power-efficient E-Ink display on the other. Visitors to their booth will be able to scope out the results of a new partnership with fellow Russian company Dream Industries, which will deliver its Bookmate eReader platform, along with new applications to support it on the YotaPhone. Bookmate is the fastest growing digital reading platform in Russia that offers books in various languages globally and currently makes available 200,000 books by 55,000 authors to 500,000 users.

Switching gears from smartphones, this week also brought us -- finally -- Google's own brand new Touchscreen Chromebook Pixellaptop, a high-end device Google designed and built in-house (with no partners involved) sporting a 12.85 inch high density 2560x1700 screen with an aspect ratio of 3:2. Do the math and you get 4.3 million pixels working to deliver crisp text, vivid colors and an extra wide viewing angle. Most laptops have about 118 ppi, but the Pixel has 239 ppi, which in fact bests the Macbook Pro with Retina display, which delivers 220 ppi. Is it worth your time to check it out? Well, ultimately it is a Web-connected machine that can't run very much of anything other than Google apps in the cloud. You decide.

By the way, this week marked another first for Google. The company's share price crossed $802.50 per share - breaking $800 for the first time ever. But why?

Switching gears yet again, several days ago Sony finally got around to launching the Playstation 4, its much anticipated next generation gaming platform. Perhaps one of the oddest points of the Sony event was that no one actually showed the PlayStation 4. We have a very handy post-mortem of Sony's big PlayStation 4 event. Here's the weird thing: while there were plenty of game demos (Killzone: Shadow Fall, InFamous: Second Son, Driveclub and Knack all made appearances) information about the system itself was somewhat lacking until well after the event had passed. We're not quite sure what Sony has put on the table. Given the need to deliver explosive PlayStation, the event ended up with a rather very wet fuse that failed to ignite anything.

We'll wrap up with a couple of major new enterprise products - well, actually enterprise product suites, both of them focused on mobility. IBM unveils its comprehensive MobileFirst Mobile Platform targeting global enterprises. That word “comprehensive” is not exactly an overstatement. IBM has pulled together a new mobile solutions platform – or suite, or suite of suites – that does indeed deliver on everything and the kitchen sink as far as enterprise mobile software and mobile services are concerned.Not to be outdone, although comparatively it is not nearly as "comprehensive" an offering is F5's Mobile App Manager, a BYOD solution delivering large scale enterprise security. The F5 Mobile App Manager is a new hybrid cloud solution for mobile application management. It is a BYOD solution that combines the policy management and secure application delivery features of F5's BIG-IP Access Policy Manager (APM) with the scalability and affordability of a SaaS offering. As with IBM, F5 is targeting larger enterprises.

That's it this week. We wish all of our readers an outstanding weekend!

TechZone360 Senior Editor

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