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CalendarSeptember 26, 2014

Why I Got the iPhone 6 Instead of the iPhone 6 Plus

I got my new iPhone 6 this week. And it wasn't the Plus.

I really wanted the Plus. After all, I stayed up past 3:30 AM CDT last week just to order one. But a few days ago, I decided to visit my local Apple Store and compare the two models.

iPhone 6 Plus next to iPhone 6

After about twenty minutes, I cancelled my iPhone 6 Plus order and bought the standard iPhone 6 instead. Here's why.

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CalendarSeptember 19, 2014

iPhone 6 Plus Update

I had hoped to publish my review of the iPhone 6 Plus early next week, but it looks like that will be a little difficult. The main reason is because I don't have the phone.

I was one of the thousands of people that stayed up past 2:00 AM CDT on September 12, attempting to order the iPhone 6 Plus through the Apple Store website. While this strategy has worked great in the past, but this time the online store was down for more than an hour and a half. After clicking refresh a few hundred times, I finally went to bed around 3:30 without ordering my phone.

Plan B was to go to my local Apple Store early in the morning on the official release date. So I went to my local mall today and got in line about 15 minutes before the store opened. While I was waiting in line, one of the Apple employees was going through it asking people what phone they wanted so we could reserve our model. When he got to me, I said I wanted the 6 Plus for AT&T, Space Grey, with 128GB of storage. He said, "We have a 6 Plus, AT&T, Space Grey, with... 64GB of storage." So close.

Considering I am constantly using around 63.5 GB on my current phone, 64 gigabytes just isn't going to cut it. I thanked the guy for trying and walked out without a new iPhone. I'll try to get one soon.

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CalendarAugust 28, 2014

Amazon Buys Twitch

Amazon Buys TwitchIt was inevitable. I just didn't think it would happen this way.

On August 26th, 2014, I received an email from my friends at Twitch saying the company had been acquired by another business. The fact that Twitch was bought out did not surprise me. But two things did – the company that acquired Twitch and the price they paid.

I thought for sure Google would buy Twitch. After all, Twitch's streaming service seemed like a perfect addition to YouTube. Many gamers already post their replays on YouTube, so being able to use the same account for Twitch streaming made a lot of sense. Plus, Google already has most of the infrastructure in place to support high-volume streaming, so it seems like the integration would have been relatively easy.

But Amazon now owns Twitch, not Google. Some have speculated that Amazon just wanted to "beat" Google with this acquisition, but I think it's is a great long-term business decision. It will give Amazon an excellent way to market to gamers and will undoubtably boost digital downloads in the future. Video game streaming is blowing up right now and more and more PC gamers are using Twitch on a regular basis. Now that the Twitch app is available for both the PS4 and Xbox One, just about anyone can stream their games online.

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CalendarAugust 23, 2014

Smart Shopping

Smart ShoppingSo you're walking down the aisle of your favorite clothing store when the band on your wrist beeps.

You glance down at your wrist and a small screen tells you to check out the blue shirt in the back of the store. You get out your phone and it displays a picture of the shirt. When you get to the back of the store, sure enough, there is the shirt in your size. You try on the shirt and it looks great. You bring it to the checkout counter and scan your wristband to pay for it.

How did your wristband know what shirt you would like? It received the information from the smartphone in your pocket, which in turn retrieved the data from the Internet. It turns out Google has been tracking your browsing and online shopping habits. The data stored on Google's servers was transferred to an app on your phone. When you walked into the store, an "iBeacon" detected your phone and sent you a recommendation from Google. It matched your personal profile with the available inventory in the store and guided you to the perfect shirt.

Next, you walk into a department store and a message on your wristband informs you of a sale on jeans. It guides you to the exact location of the jeans section and a few more recommendations pop up. But this time, it's not Google providing the suggestions, it's Facebook. You view the jeans on your phone and next to each one, it shows which of your friends have purchased the same or similar jeans. It also includes reviews of each one and orders them by the highest review. You try the highest reviewed option, and sure enough, the jeans fit perfectly. You bring the jeans to the checkout counter and scan your wristband to pay for them. The receipt pops up on your phone and you continue on your way.

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CalendarAugust 9, 2014

Life in a "Smart" World

Life in a Imagine this. You're at the grocery store and you receive a message on your smartphone saying you need milk. The text isn't from someone at home, it's from your refrigerator. It knows you are at the grocery store thanks to the GPS-enabled app on your phone. It knows you need milk since the shelf you usually put the milk on is empty.

As you walk through the produce section, your phone beeps to let you know the store has a 30% off coupon for apples. With a single tap, you download the coupon that you can scan when you check out. As you browse the cereal aisle, your scan a few UPCs with your phone. It recommends a few options, but tells you to avoid others since the ingredients don't fit your custom nutrition plan. It also shows the prices of each cereal box at four other stores nearby.

You walk out to the parking lot and your phone points you to the exact location of your car. You get to your car and with your hands full, you tell the car to open the trunk and it opens. After loading the groceries, the driver's side door pops open even before you even reach for the handle. You get in the car and tell it to go home. It pulls out of the parking spot and drives you home safely without you ever touching the steering wheel.

As your car pulls into your driveway, the front lights of your house turn on and your garage door opens automatically. After exiting your car, it locks behind you and the door from your garage to your house unlocks. When you open the door, the lights in the hallway fade on and you hear the air conditioning kick in. However, that sound is soon drowned by soft music that begins playing from your home speaker system.

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- PC (Per Christensson)

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