Without Glass: Blogger Spends Entire Google I/O Keynote Duration In Real World Completely Oblivious And Survives

Xavier Voigt-Hill [right] pictured with comedian Bill Bailey two months before his three-hour long offline ordeal

Xavier Voigt-Hill [right] pictured with comedian Bill Bailey two months before his three-hour long offline ordeal

For any tech blogger, young or old, to miss out on attending, liveblogging or even following an event such as Google’s annual I/O keynote sounds like an impossible idea in the 21st century, but 16 year old Xavier Voigt-Hill disrupted the synergy of the modern world by doing just that, managing to remain oblivious to the occurrences at Google’s San Francisco event for its entire three hour duration.

Speaking exclusively to Digixav, Voigt-Hill claimed that staying away from the Internet blogosphere between the hours of 5pm and 8pm BST on Wednesday was far easier than many addicts may believe, as he interacted with real humans and went outside.

“I had prior commitments for over half the keynote time, so I thought I may as well do my best to miss the whole thing and then catch up on all the news later on. It turns out that was surprisingly easy.”

Logo of Google I/O 2013, the keynote of which Voigt-Hill avoided for three whole hours

Logo of Google I/O 2013, the keynote of which Voigt-Hill avoided for three whole hours

Voigt-Hill, who has played bassoon since the age of 12, blamed the scheduling of a school band rehearsal for his initial decision, although the rehearsal was later cut short and stopped 3 times due to inclement weather.

“I knew that during band practice I would have no chance to check Twitter or any of the liveblogs, let alone write my own, but when it was delayed I just decided to talk to people and then write a satirical blog post because I was really, really bored.”

When asked what he wanted Google to announce during the keynote presentation at Moscone West in San Francisco, the self-proclaimed technology fanboy had strong opinions.

“Chrome OS stuff. The web only life is not far away, and Chrome OS is definitely the thing to take us into the future of computing. Google Glass is the next big revolution too, so I hope they have something better than last year’s skydiving. Android stuff I can give or take, really.”

Xavier Voigt-Hill returns to his career as a full-time Internet user tonight at 8pm BST. He promises to never leave home again.

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Windows 8 not such a flop after all, selling at similar rate to Windows 7

Listen to certain sections of the media and you would be led to believe that Windows 8 has been a massive failure for Microsoft, on the levels of Vista. However, the figures Microsoft have just released tell quite a different story.

It took 183 days for Windows 7 to reach the 100 million licenses mark. Windows 8 has just hit the same milestone. How long did it take? 192 days. That’s just 9 days long than its predecessor, so it is selling at a very similar rate. This shows that consumers are willing to take plunge with Microsoft’s latest operating system, despite there being bigger changes to it than there have been since the last century, and despite certain outlets around the web suggesting that there are many issues still with it and that consumers are responding badly to new style.

Yes, Windows 8 needs some work to bring it up to the standards we expect from Microsoft, but it is a step in the right direction, and hopefully with the now confirmed Blue update we will see a much smoother and more coherent feel to the OS with both the familiar desktop and the brand new start screen.

Microsoft has also released some more figures relating to Windows 8:

  • There are now 700 million Microsoft accounts
  • There are 400 million active Outlook.com accounts
  • There are 250 million active SkyDrive users
  • There have been 250 million Windows Store downloads

Via Windows Phone Central

Google announces Chromebook Pixel, its first premium laptop

Google Chromebook Pixel

At a press event in San Francisco today, Google has unveiled the Chromebook Pixel, the latest addition to the expanding line of Chrome OS-based laptops. As one of the company’s first ventures into hardware, the Pixel represents a change of direction with Google’s strategy, and the hardware inside shows that Google is pitching it towards a higher end of the market than existing ‘disposable’ models from the likes of Samsung, Acer, Lenovo and HP.

The Chromebook Pixel has a 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 processor and 32GB of solid state storage coupled with 1TB of additional Google Drive storage free for 3 years, usually costing $49.99 per month. A 720p HD webcam sits above the market-leading 239ppi 12.85″ 2560 x 1700 touch display and, with its £1,049 ($1,299) price tag, the machine is being pitched as the world’s first premium Chromebook, and the company will be shipping it next week via Google Play and through retail partners, with a $1,499 model with twice the internal storage and support for Verizon’s LTE network set to hit US stores in April.

Source Google Blog

Mozilla shows off developer phones for Firefox OS

firefoxphone Mozilla has just announced that they’ve got two “Developer Preview Phones” in the works which will run on their own Firefox OS. Both are made by relatively unknown Spanish company Geeksphone. The orange phone above is known as the Keon, and has 3.5-inch touchscreen and has a 3-megapixel camera on the back. It comes with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage, and runs one of Qualcomm’s 1Ghz Snapdragon CPUs. The white model is called the Peak, and has higher specs than the Keon, with a 4.3-inch screen, 1.2Ghz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU and an 8-megapixel camera, though it has the same storage and RAM. It runs on a 1800mAh battery, slightly larger than the Keon’s 1580mAh cell.

Mozilla didn’t mention anything to do with price or  a specific release date, but Digixav understands that the Keon will start shipping next month.

These handsets clearly aren’t going to set the world alight, and it seems as though Firefox might be targeting developing markets with cheaper smartphones. Software-wise, from a purely visual perspective the home screen looks very similar to the iOS one, simply with circular icons instead of Apple’s square ones. We have to say that it is a big disappointment that Mozilla couldn’t have found a fresh or innovative design rather than slightly altering one which is five years old.

Firefox OS works very differently to current mobile operating systems. The processors might seem tiny compared to the quad-core beasts powering the latest phones, but Mozilla have tried to make it so the phones don’t need huge processors to run smoothly. The big thing that sets it apart from rivals, however, is that Firefox OS doesn’t do native apps. What might look like native apps on the phone are actually website bookmarks. This means it can all be written in HTML5, which could be a big boost for some developers. This is a certainly a huge step Mozilla have taken, and it will be interesting to see how the consumer market responds. Mozilla reckons that we’re not doing apps right at present, and we could lose the wonderful open web we currently take for granted.

Here at Digixav we’ll certainly be watching closely to see whether Firefox OS can make a significant impact on the smartphone audience. With an Ubuntu mobile operating system on the way, it will be very interesting to see whether this new breed of open source software can have the desired impact on the iOS and Android dominated market.

Via Wired

Nokia Lumia: Meet the new king of smartphones

The Nokia Lumia range was launched on Wednesday morning at the annual Nokia World event in London. Along with the Asha range of budget Series 40 phones for the next billion internet users, Stephen Elop’s company unveiled the Lumia 710 and the flagship 800. This announcement would be the most important event in the history of Nokia. Symbian was seen by many as a disaster (THE FONT!) and MeeGo only appeared on one device before becoming Tizen. For Microsoft it was important as well. Windows Phone 7 has been well received, but has failed to gain traction in the overcrowded (by Android) smartphone market. Together they could rejuvenate both their brands with affordable, premium devices, full support, backing and promotion from networks and a multi-million pound ad campaign everywhere you look.

And that’s exactly what they’ve done.

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