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Blog posts tagged with 'Google'

Pocket Doctor

“Lifelogging” is more than just counting steps. More tech firms are trying to predict your health using data from devices like Fitbits.

Fitbit was just the start. As lifelogging and wearable computing take off, the biggest technology companies are gathering data that will let them forecast our medical future.

In recent months Apple, Samsung, Google and Microsoft have all announced apps and devices that monitor health and activity. They differ in looks and cost, but they have one thing in common: the data they gather can be used to predict the health of the person wearing them.

The latest to join the party is Vida, a start-up that launched last week. Their app works with Apple's HealthKit to pull together data from lifelogging devices such as Fitbits and create a picture of an individual's health. For $15 a week, subscribers get regular in-app sessions with a team of coaches including nutritionists and nurses, without the expense of regular real-world doctor visits.

It is aimed at people with chronic conditions like cancer and heart disease, which account for 75 per cent of healthcare spending in the US. The app will also be able to suggest clinical trials to people who may benefit.

"We're at the beginning of an age of interrogation of the human being in real time, under real-world conditions," says Dennis Ausiello, chief of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Ausiello runs the Center for Assessment Technology and Continuous Health (CATCH), a partnership between MIT and Massachusetts General. Its goal is to develop tools that continuously monitor people to get a better understanding of how certain conditions affect us.

For more on these interensting innovations, check out the full article HERE!

Zachary T. Brown
Marketing Director
StormsEdge Technology

Smart Cars. Nope, Not Me!

People seem to like this idea. It makes my flesh crawl...

Well, maybe not that extreme. But the idea does depress me.

A big part of what makes driving enjoyable is the freedom and control it gives you, the individual. It is your car and you are in charge of directing its course, of deciding how to get there. You can choose your route and proceed at whatever speed seems reasonable to you. If you like, you can stop for a cup of coffee. Or to admire a scenic view.

You control your destiny. You are a driver.

If cars drive themselves, then you become a passenger. A passive pound of flesh transported by the intelligence of and under the direction of someone (or something) else. You get there when someone else decides you get there. You travel at the speed someone else (or a machine) determines to be the “right” or “safe” speed. There will be no stopping along the way; no taking the scenic route just because.

The only difference between an automated car and taking the bus is that you don’t have some stranger sitting beside you coughing his flu all over your face.

But the essential thing is identical. You have surrendered your autonomy; for the duration of the trip, your fate is out of your control. You are now a member of the mass. One of many, another sardine to be filleted and packaged and sent on its way. How in the world does this appealing?

Oh yeah, that’s right…it’s more efficient. Automated cars can be slotted in tightly, perhaps just inches away from one another — and moved in synchronicity at high speeds, getting us there sooner and faster. More people can be moved more rapidly from point A to B, while supposedly causing fewer accidents due to higher predictability….

And much less joy.

Psychologists (and common sense) tell us that an important part of being human — or at least, an essential part of the human experience — is the exercise of personal mastery over external circumstances. To be able to do what you wish, according to your own likes. To enjoy the satisfaction that comes with learning a new skill and exercising that skill. You know, being competent.

If you like to drive, you will understand what I mean.

There’s the early thrill of being permitted to climb behind the wheel of a car for the very first time; of learning to shift and work a clutch. For many, this is a big step on the road from teenagerdom to adulthood. It is one of the first “grown-up” things many of us get to do during our adolescence.

Once the basics are down pat, we begin to acquire skills. We get better and better at timing our merges; of learning to judge in our heads just how much room we’ve got to pull into traffic — and how much speed we’ll need to do it properly.

A smartly executed fast pass or perfectly timed corner exit is a type of art in motion and knowing you are a good driver — that you can handle it — is immensely satisfying.

Automated cars would take that all away. In effect, we’d be reduced to the state we were in as young children when our parents buckled us in and took us for a drive whenever and how ever they wished. Our role was to sit quietly and await our arrival.

That’s the “brave new world” in store for us - perhaps just a few short years down the road. Google — a new Dark Empire if ever there was such — has apparently had their Googlers field-testing driverless cars for months now.

Most will probably welcome it, but not me — not this guy!

If the day ever comes when I am no longer permitted to operate my car myself, that will be the day I give up on driving, seeing as such will have ceased to be possible anyhow.

Zachary T. Brown
Marketing Director
StormsEdge Technology

Most Interesting (And Crazy) Facts About Google

1.) Google started with two students Larry Page, 23 and Sergey Brin, 24, who were pursuing their Ph.D. at Stanford University, when they got the idea to create a new search engine. Supposedly, Larry Page and Sergey Brin did not like each other initially. They thought they have nothing in common, but with time they learned life lessons together, they went on to become best friends for life. This was perhaps a rather strange way of starting a venture as big as Google.

2.) The biggest irony of Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s life is: that there original goal for these two enthusiastic PH.D. Students was to sell their Google search idea for $1 million to whoever was willing to purchase it. However, luckily for them, nobody turned up...

3.) Did you know that Google was originally named Googol? The name failed when Larry Page and Sergey Brin received their first $100,000 paycheck in the name of Google Inc. and they had to run and create a bank account for the name, so that they could cash it. Therefore, the naming ceremony was nothing but an accident.

4.) Google estimates that an ad on its homepage would cost around $10 million, but the page is still not for sale. The founders of the company want to keep the page as it started years ago.

5.) The famous www.google.com of today was once google.stanford.edu and z.stanford.edu, when it was in the testing phase and was working under the website of Stanford University. 

6.) In the year 1997, Yahoo rejected an offer to buy Google for $1 million and now the company is worth $20 billion, whereas Google has grown up to $200 Billion. This is perhaps one of the most interesting financial losses of the IT industry.

7.) By December 1998, Google was named the search engine of choice in the Top 100 Web Sites, as shown by PC Magazine.

8.) In the February of 1999, the Google Company moved out of its garage office to its first mountain-view office, with just eight employees. This number is incomparable to the current staff size of Google.

9.) “Lego Computers”: It is hard to believe that there was a time when the founders of Google were short on funds and used economic ways to save money. The very first Google’s storage rack that stored ten 40 GB hard disks was made up of Lego. Can you believe that the most royal company of the modern times had such a humble start?

10.) Why is Google is sometimes nicknamed the “Mountain View Chocolate Factory”. That’s not because its gives its employees lot of chocolates (although it does) it is used as a comparison of Google to Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory - because of a similarity in the cultures of Wonka’s factory  and the GooglePlex who both employ slightly strange eccentric but dedicated “engineers”.

For 10 more interesting fact, click HERE!

Zachary T. Brown
Marketing Director
StormsEdge Technology

The Top Dog: Search Engines

Most people don't want or need hundreds of search engines, especially people who are internet beginners. Most users want a single search engine that delivers three key features:

  1. Relevant results  (results you are actually interested in)
  2. Uncluttered, easy to read interface
  3. Helpful options to broaden or tighten a search

With this criteria, 5 Reader Favorite Search Engines come to mind. These 5 search sites should meet 99% of the searching needs of a regular everyday user.

Below is a changing list of user favorites, compiled from a survey taken by over 700 internet beginners.

1.) Google

Google is the undisputed king of 'spartan searching'. While it doesn't offer all the shopping center features of Yahoo!, Google is fast, relevant, and the largest single catalogue of Web pages available today.

2.) Yahoo!

Yahoo! is several things: it is a search engine, a news aggregator, a shopping center, an emailbox, a travel directory, a horoscope and games center, and more. This 'web portal' breadth of choice makes this a very helpful site for Internet beginners.

3.) Bing

Bing is Microsoft's attempt at unseating Google. Bing used to be MSN search until it was updated in summer of 2009. Touted as a 'decision engine', Bing tries to support your researching by offering suggestions in the leftmost column, while also giving you various search options across the top of the screen.

4.) Ask

The Ask/AJ/Ask Jeeves search engine is a longtime name in the World Wide Web. The super-clean interface rivals the other major search engines, and the search options are as good as Google or Bing or DuckDuckGo.

5.) Dogpile

Years ago, Dogpile was the fast and efficient choice before Google.  Things changed, Dogpile faded into obscurity, and Google became king. But today, Dogpile is coming back, with a growing index and a clean and quick presentation that is testimony to its halcyon days.

You can find pros and cons to each search engine listed about, HERE.

 

Zachary T. Brown
Marketing Director
StormsEdge Technology

Keywords That Count

How To Choose The Best Keywords

Choosing the right keywords for your website can be the difference of showing up in search results once a day or 100 times every hour. Are the keywords you chose making a difference?

First the basics: What exactly is a keyword? A keyword is a word or search term that someone types into Google, Bing or any other search engine when they’re looking for information online. This is to help direct users to information relevant to their search and ultimately to your site. Any keywords you use within your website should obviously be related to the content, products or other things that are found on your site.

What Makes a Good Keyword?

Value: There are lots of different factors that’ll tell you how valuable a keyword is. All of this data can be found from sources like Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool or Keyword Toolmaster. 

Impressions: An impression is when a keyword shows up in the search engine results page. One-word keywords will have much higher impressions, but are usually not the best keywords to go with.

Competition/ Difficulty: This is a statistic that tells you how many other people/companies/sites are competing against you for a particular keyword. Sometimes this is a stat that can be a little misleading. If you type in the term: “Facebook” on the Google AdWords Keyword Tool, you’ll get this result: Competition: Low. Monthly Searches: 3.7 billion. This means, most websites or companies are not using “Facebook” as a keyword, however, 3.7 billion people are searching for it on a monthly basis. This is a prime example of where the competition stat is a misleading.

Wondering how to research keywords? Google also has a resource for that in their Google AdWords Tool, but there are plenty of others that have lots of value as well. Mix and match the tools until you find the best ones that work for you.


Zachary T. Brown
Marketing Director
StormsEdge Technology

SEO: The Essential Tool

Today, many companies are making a renewed commitment to investing into developing solid, SEO optimization that is search-engine friendly and will improve their rankings over time.

Here’s a list of seven specific reasons why your business should definitely consider investing in your organic SEO:

  1. It still works – First and foremost, the techniques employed to improve SEO still work. Even though data and tactics regarding organic traffic from Google changes fairly recently, the techniques themselves still remain sound
  2. It is not going to stop working any time soon – Based on the way search engines appear to be developing, it is not likely that SEO will cease to be effective any time in the near future. To some extent, even audio and video searches ultimately depend on keywords to drive traffic to its content
  3. It is cost-effective – Compared to the costs associated with other forms of online marketing such as PPC advertising, social media marketing, or purchasing leads for an email marketing program, SEO provides fairly good results, usually at a decent price. While PPC may drive more revenue and social media may be more important for your image, your organic SEO in many ways remains a foundation of your online presence.
  4. Search engines grabbing more shared information – Somewhere between 80-90% of customers now check online reviews prior to making a purchase, and this number is only expected to increase. It won’t be long before virtually everyone is searching for products and services online. Do you want them to be able to locate your business, or not? Without SEO in place, people will have a very hard time finding you and will instead find your competitors.
  5. Not having a healthy content profile is damaging – With each and every update to its search algorithm, Google and other engines change the way they look at websites. Things which didn’t exist a few years ago, such as social media indicators, are now given fairly high importance in terms of their impact on your rankings. Not building a healthy content profile spread out months and years is potentially damaging to your business, as it is one of the factors Google evaluates when looking at your site.
  6. Your competitors are doing it – Remember, SEO is a never-ending process. If you’re not moving forward and improving your position in web searches, you’re losing ground to a competitor who is. That’s a simple fact of how the process works.  Don’t let your competitors out maneuver you by ignoring this valuable tool for your business.

 

Zachary T. Brown
Marketing Director
StormsEdge Technology

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