With Google dropping prices on one terabyte of storage to $9.99 a month, a number of competitors will feel the pressure of dropping their prices too. However, experts believe that these developments are much more than a price war.

In comparison, Apple charges $100 a year for its 50 GB plan while Microsoft’s OneDrive costs about $25 for 50 GB for the same time period. Similarly, both DropBox and SugarSync want $9.99 (100 GB) and $55 per month (1 TB) respectively.

But that’s not all – this price reduction gives a consumers a better deal than Google’s own cloud storage platform for developers, Amazon’s S3 as well as Microsoft’s Azure storage platforms too.

While a number of cloud storage startups use these platforms and even get discounts for using such large amounts of storage, this move will ensure that consumers will still get a better deal than developers will going forward.

However, one might wonder why Google is doing this: it’s simple, really. Such a price reduction means that it want to take its competitors out of business in a market that it doesn’t dominate just yet.

And there are clear reasons why this is so.

Firstly, users think of online storage and syncing when one thinks of DropBox while Microsoft OneDrive is built into Windows 8.

Google Drive, on the other hand, isn’t yet recognized as these two tech giants are even if people love its collaborative productivity apps. That’s an area that Microsoft is now taking seriously with its online (and free) versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote.

So, by just cutting prices, one can see how Google should be able to garner a host of paid users even if Microsoft’s Office suite is still used by corporations around the world.

Yet what makes the next few months interesting is the fact that not only has Google cut prices but it is also increasing its investments on products that use its storage service.

Article by Barry K. Rothman

It’s been four years now ever since European Union decided to investigate Google’s antitrust violations and which has now been brought to a standstill.

In talking about the complexity of this problem, the European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, reveals in a statement, “Our current investigations involving Google are among the most discussed in the media. The sheer amount of data controlled by Google gives rise to a series of societal challenges. Privacy is one of the most pressing concerns. Media pluralism is another. Not all of these challenges are primarily economic in nature and not all of them are competition related. So many of the Google related concerns voiced in the public debate cannot be addressed in our investigations into the company’s alleged anti-competitive practices. We will have to limit ourselves to what we identify as competition problems.”

She goes to say that more time will be needed to decide what steps need to be taken against Google. This can spell trouble for both Yelp and Microsoft who have been behind this complaint as well as a number of other competitors.

Of course, she also intends to speak to those who have been affected by Google’s practices and which will involve taking into consideration a “representative sample of views of those concerned”. In addition to this, getting all the facts right, in a fast-moving market, is also a priority that she is taking very seriously.

This development comes at the inopportune time when the commission was so close to making a clear decision on the matter.

Author’s Bio:
Barry K. Rothman is an attorney from California practicing over 4 decades. He serves clients in Business and Entertainment Law. Visit Barry K. Rothman Reviews on Yelp to read some of his reviews.


gigatech2Have any of your online accounts ever been hacked?

If the answer is yes then you will know how painful it is to get your account back, if you even managed to do that at all.

An account getting hacked is even worse now, with our gmail, icloud accounts holding payment information, contacts and calendar data. Losing access to that can also mean losing access to your phone.

It’s not all bad news, with just a few steps you can get yourself an acceptable level of security. Here is how:

Two factor authentication

Wherever possible, use two factor authentication. For those who don’t know, this allows another level of confirmation when the account is accessed on new devices. A good combo is to use two factor with a pin number sent to a phone. If the service does not use two factor then use the strongest password possible or switch to a competing service that does.

Password generator

Use a password generator to generate complex passwords. Most passwords we come up with ourselves are never good enough. These generate passwords based on hashes and a password you enter along with the domain of the site.

Different passwords

The biggest risk is when people use the same password for multiple sites. One of the sites get hacked and then they try that username/email password combination across all major sites. Services like the password generator mentioned above take care of this by generating the password based on the domain name.

gigatech2An amazing deal has popped for Amazon Prime customers looking to buy a new low cost Android phone. They are offering $50 off one of two phones: the BLU R1 HD which is normally $99.99 is going for $49.99 and the $199.99 Moto G4 at $149.99. From Amazon:

“Each phone is offered unlocked, with no commitment to a contract, giving Prime members the flexibility to switch between wireless carriers and service options to best fit their needs. The BLU R1 HD and Moto G feature Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Google Mobile Services, including Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, and Google Play”

The two phones are also quite decent. The BLU R1 HD for example has some impressive specs for a low end phone:

“Featuring a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, fast 4G LTE speed, 8MP rear-facing camera, 5MP selfie camera with LED flash, 1 GB RAM and 8 GB of internal – with microSD card support for up to 64 GB of additional storage. The BLU R1 HD is compatible with GSM carriers, including AT&T and T-Mobile”

The Moto G on the other hand is an extremely popular phone that packs excellent features at a low end price:

“The fourth-generation Moto G is the latest premium phone from Motorola and the thinnest Moto G yet. Compatible with all major CDMA and GSM carriers, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. It boasts a 5.5” full HD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 chipset with an octa-core processor at up to 1.5 GHz, 2 GB RAM, and 4G LTE speeds. In addition, the Moto G features a 13MP camera with dual LED flash, and a 3000 mAh battery with TurboPower charging giving you up to 6 hours of power in just 15 minutes of charging. Available with 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage, plus microSD card support for up to 128 GB of additional storage.”

There is a catch to the offer. Much like the Kindle, these prices are ad supported. Buyers will have the full suite of Amazon’s Android apps installed. Ads will also appear at random times on the lockscreen and notification bar. For those willign to tolerate these ads, it is a great offer.

gigatech2Virtual and Augmented Reality are hot in tech circles right now. Unfortunately there are very few accessible VR platforms right now. The Oculus Rift requires high end computer hardware, the Playstation VR will require both a Playstation and the headset and the HTC Vive will have its own requirements and hardware. The most accessible virtual reality system has been the Samsung Gear VR, but that is only limited to a handful of Samsung phones.

Google aims to fix this by building out another platform on Android for VR, and it is called Daydream:

“On top of Android N, we’ve built a new platform for high quality mobile VR called Daydream. Together with Android manufacturers, we’re working on upcoming phones, and sharing designs with them for a VR viewer and controller that will be really immersive, comfortable and intuitive to use. Your favorite apps and games will be coming to Daydream too, including Google’s—like YouTube, Street View, Play Movies, Google Photos and the Play Store. More to come this fall.”

This could be the next step that virtual reality has needed to take off with the public:

“Daydream is very much our platform for virtual reality,” says Clay Bavor head of Google VR, not just a headset. The whole project is based on the premise that Google can shape every part of the VR experience, from individual smartphone components to the Android interface itself. “We knew what each [part] was going to look like as we were designing it. Nothing had to be a bolt-on,” he says. And if the phones contain all the tech, the headset itself doesn’t need “extra gizmos” like the Gear VR’s high-accuracy motion tracker. “It can just focus on being light and having great optics.”

Daydream’s remote control, which must ship with any headset, is also fairly simple. A white oblong that Bavor says feels “kind of like a pebble,” its built-in sensors let it detect rotation and (to a more limited extent) movement, allowing users to navigate the interface by using it as a laser pointer. “One of the first things we learn how to do as kids is point, right?” says Bavor. “And analog input — as opposed to buttons for doing things, buttons for aiming — it’s something that everyone gets.”

We can expect all upcoming flagship phones with Android N to have support built in.