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April 2014
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After finding out how widespread the HeartBleed security issue is, it only made sense to find a Chrome extension to help the situation. There are a number of good ones but we chose ChromeBleed because it also works in Google(s goog) searches, showing which sites may still have server vulnerabilities before you even visit them. Meanwhile, the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e Chromebook is looking good in tablet mode while Microsoft(s msft) ended its Scroogled campaign just in time to add Office Online app shortcuts to the Chrome Web Store.

Join us for this week's podcast as we discuss those topics as well as some great new features in Chrome Beta for Android and new Chromecast apps here now and coming soon.

Today's Chrome Show episode is sponsored by New Relic.

Hosts: Janko Roettgers and Kevin C. Tofel

Direct download: Chrome_041614_01-audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00 AM

Which clouds are doing well in the enterprise? RightScale has a unique perspective and VP of Marketing Kim Weins gives us a glimpse into what's going on here. Amazon(s amzn) Web Services keeps rolling along which is no surprise. More eye opening was that RightScale's 2014 State of the Cloud survey showed VMware's vCloud Hybrid Services (vCHS) came in second, surprising since it's been out less than a year. My bet, confirmed by Weins, is that some of the many, many VMware(s vmw) shops out there confused vCHS with vSphere and vCloud Director, etc. "We call this vSoup," she said.

rightscale 3All joking aside, VMware has near 100 percent penetration in enterprise accounts so anyone doubting that VMware has a shot in cloud should think again. Ditto Microsoft Azure. Of course it depends on how many of those customers want to deepen their dependence on those vendors going forward.

And Derrick Harris talks about the use of big data in agriculture -- an important trend given the necessity of wringing the most food out of stressed resources. And we discuss Amazon's latest management improvement -- its new Cost Explorer and it's possible impact on the Amazon ecosystem.

SHOW NOTES

Hosts: Barb Darrow and Derrick Harris

Direct download: Struct_041014_01-AudioMp3.mp3
Category:Technology -- posted at: 7:00 AM

We knew Asus was going to supplement its Chromebox with a pair of Chromebooks(s goog) but only one so far has leaked. The C200 is an 11.6-inch Intel-powered(s intc) Chromebook that comes with pre-loaded software just like the Samsung Chromebook 2. Samsung is now taking pre-orders for that device. And there's hidden code in the Chromecast showing that Google could be adding weather and more to the low-cost wireless dongle; perhaps a personal dashboard is in the works for the big screen?

Join us for this week's podcast as we discuss those topics as well as the new beta of Chrome Remote Desktop for Android and a slick little extension to sync clipboard data between Chrome on different devices.

Direct download: Chrome_040914_01.mp3
Category:media -- posted at: 7:00 AM

I can control the blinds in my Austin home from San Francisco, but the founders of Prodea have testing their operating system for the internet of things from the International Space Station. The Ansaris, two brothers and the wife of one of the brothers, have launched Prodea, their eight-year-old company with seven customers and a total of $100 million in funding.

Amir Ansari, who is the CTO of Prodea, chatted about the vision and the goals of the business on today's podcast. The idea is to let service providers -- be they ISPs or large consumer brands -- deliver a set of services via connected devices without requiring a lot of thought or action from the end user. But first Kevin and I play with the Ubi (this was the first round of play) voice recognition system and discuss the week's news in the internet of things. Enjoy the show.

Host: Stacey Higginbotham
Guests: Kevin Tofel and Amir Anasari, CTO of Prodea.

    • Kevin and I play with my latest gadget: the Ubi voice recognition computer
    • Quick thoughts on Microsoft's IoT letdown and Nest's Protect problem
    • Prodea has $100 million and eight years of building an OS for the internet of things
    • Don't worry about the protocols, worry about your services.

Prodea's software hasn't just connected a home, it has connected a home to someone at the International Space Station.

Direct download: IOT_040714_01-AudioMp3.mp3
Category:Technology -- posted at: 12:00 PM

Cloudera's monster round of investment this week got a ton of ink but also sparked a bit of confusion about just how much of that $900 million bag o' cash from Intel(s intc), Google(s goog), Dell and institutional investors -- will end up in Cloudera itself -- to fund expansion and development -- and how much might end up in the pockets of previous investors.

This week's Structure Show guest Cloudera CEO Tom Reilly provided more detail, acknowledging that  some of that money is secondary financing (and thus may go to investors) -- but 60 percent -- more than a half a billion dollars -- will flow to Cloudera to fund global expansion and further product development.

Also on tap this week, Derrick Harris and I discuss Amazon(s amzn), has the biggest cloud, but it's nowhere near the cleanest, according to  Greenpeace. The organization gave props to Google, Facebook(s fb) and Apple(s aapl) for using renewable energy but tossed brickbats at Amazon and Twitter(s twtr) for falling down there.

And Google continued its tear, which started with cloud price cuts last week,  with news that it's implemented software defined networking in two of its Google Compute Engine regions. You have to wonder what's in store for Google I/O.

So get yourself a cuppa joe and give a listen.

 

Direct download: 040314_01-audio.mp3
Category:Technology -- posted at: 7:23 AM

People are pretty happy with the Acer C720 Chromebooks; for the money, they offer a great value and there are several models. The C720 is no longer the best Chromebook according to The Wirecutter, which is a great resource to find great products. The Dell Chromebook 11 wins out on battery life, display, keyboard and other factors. That's OK, Acer could surprise us all and launch a Chrome OS tablet later this month.

We discuss those topics as well as explain how to register for Google I/O and share the latest apps for your Chromecast on this week's podcast.

Hosts: Janko Roettgers and Kevin C. Tofel

Direct download: Chrome040214_01-audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:11 AM

This week's podcast has a bit of split personality with the first half of the show focused on a very consumer problem -- how to move a smart home -- and the second half discussing the industrial internet. Kevin is planning a move to Arizona, so we talk about his solar panels, his Nest and his Insteon gear, so we discuss what he's going to take with him. We also discuss the new remote control/wall mount from Philips to control its Hue lights. Looks like people aren't totally sold on the app experience.

In the second half, I chat with Michael Campbell, the CEO of MachineShop, a Boston startup that recently raised $3 million to help businesses turn their sensor data into a service accessible by an API. Campbell is high on the idea of creating economies around business data that will in turn lead to new services. Listen up.

Host: Stacey Higginbotham
Guests: Kevin Tofel and Michael Campbell, CEO of MachineShop.

  • Kevin is moving, guys. Here's what he's taking with him and why.
  • Large businesses have plenty of connected data in silos, so how to bring it together?
  • The coolest new Philips Hue device isn't a light bulb.
  • What's the deal with the new Industrial Internet Consortium announced last week?
Direct download: 033114_02-AudioMp3.mp3
Category:Technology -- posted at: 7:00 AM

If there's one thing we learned this week -- if you don't like what you're paying for cloud, don't worry, it'll change. Maybe even today.  This week saw a flurry of price reductions kicked off by Google(s goog) on Tuesday and trumped by Amazon(s amzn) within 24 hours. At Google Cloud Platform Live, SVP Urs Hölzle announced a sustained usage discount model for Google Compute that impressed even die-hard AWS fans weary of managing their AWS Reserved Instances.

Anki's Ben Whaley
Anki's Ben Whaley

Our guest this week is Ben Whaley is one of those AWS lovers. He's director of infrastructure at Anki, the company behind cool AI-driven robot cars, and he idea of sustained use discounts because they ease the headache of tracking and managing Reserved Instances to get the most bang for your buck. In his view, AWS needs to simplify such things, but then again, Google has miles to go before it can match the breadth and depth of all those AWS services.

We also learned that even the wizards of infrastructure screw up. Google's live stream from the conference fell down for at least 10 minutes and wi-fi at the AWS Summit was a disaster.

It's an action-packed show, so listen up!

SHOW NOTES

Hosts: Barb Darrow and Derrick Harris

Direct download: Struct_032614_01-audio.mp3
Category:Technology -- posted at: 9:08 AM

Back in 2009, we had Android 1.6 running on a touchscreen Windows tablet. Fast forward to today and you can run Android 4.4.2 on a Chromebook Pixel or  other Chrome OS device. It's not a merger of Chrome and Android but it's an interesting option, especially if you have a touchscreen laptop. And speaking of Windows, we discuss an interesting experiment on this week's podcast: A review of a budget Windows laptop compared to a Toshiba Chromebook 13.

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SHOW NOTES:

Today's Chrome Show episode is sponsored by Backupify.

Hosts: Janko Roettgers and Kevin C. Tofel

Samsung Chromebook 2 to have 125% better performance than the old Chromebook

Meet Photowall, a new Chromecast experiment

Google Now is finally in the stable version of Chrome for Windows(s msft) and Mac OS X(s aapl)

Chrome OS is getting a new video player, or at least a standalone one

Battle of the Toshiba laptops: Chrome OS vs Windows

BBC is already extending programming for Chromecast

Want to merge Chrome OS and Android yourself? You sorta can with the Android-x86 project

App / Extension of the week: Google Slides

Direct download: Chrome_032614_01-audio.mp3
Category:Technology -- posted at: 7:00 AM

Last week I experienced some real highs and lows on the connected scene. Between a tour to a smart home software provider to a lost car in the airport parking lot at 12:30 a.m., this week's show covers a long 24-hour period. Friday I visited Savant Systems, a smart home provider that has some really sexy software (and hardware) that is smarter (and more expensive) than the DIY crowd we normally cover.

Jim Carroll, cofounder of Savant Systems
Jim Carroll, cofounder of Savant Systems

After that meeting I'm rethinking my idea that services will drive the IoT experience for the consumer. I do think it will become part of the business model for large vendors, but I think software is the make or break aspect for the consumer smart home market. This week's guest, Savant's co-funder Jim Carroll, and I will discuss this in the second half of the show.

But before that, Kevin Tofel and I discuss whether a smart device or an app is the solution to my lost car in the Austin airport parking lot. After wandering around until 2 in the morning, I've downloaded an app to see if it helps. If it doesn't, I'll have to consider a device solution; perhaps AutomaticZubie, or the OBDLink from a previous podcast. Listen up and find out more about Kevin's unexpected Yankee Candle addiction.

Host: Stacey Higginbotham
Guests: Kevin Tofel and Jim Carroll, co-founder of Savant.

  • Should a connected device or an app solve my parking problems?
  • SmartThings gets an Android(s goog) app upgrade that focuses on the use case, not the device
  • Software not services will drive the smart home for now. I was wrong.
  • Why Savant is taking its high-end product to the middle market
  • How to make something complex look easy and where the smart home is heading
Direct download: IOT_032414_01-AudioMp3.mp3
Category:Technology -- posted at: 7:00 AM