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Google debuts Inbox, a new way to stay on top of e-mail

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — A decade ago, Google took the wraps off Gmail, the popular e-mail service used by hundreds of millions the world over.

Now that e-mail is vibrating in pockets as often as it's pinging computers, the Internet giant is rethinking how your inbox should look and work.

The result is Inbox, a new product that Google says is a smarter way to sort e-mail. It's rolling out Wednesday by invitation only.

"We want this to be your inbox for the next 10 years," Alex Gawley, product director of Gmail and Inbox, said in an interview.

For a technology that everyone loves to hate, e-mail is stubbornly popular.

It was born in the 1970s and became the backbone of our digital lives in the 1990s.

It hasn't changed much over the decades, even as mobile devices and social media have modernized communications at home and in the workplace.

"E-mail may not be the new cool thing, but it's the workhorse that keeps performing," Forrester Research analyst Shar VanBoskirk said.

But coping with the daily deluge has gotten a lot tougher. People are getting more e-mail than ever before and often they are squinting at messages on small screens.

So Google set out two years ago to make e-mail easier to use whether on desktops, smartphones or tablets, Gawley said.

"We really want to do more of the work that our users are doing when they are trying to manage their lives through their inbox," he said.

The tech giant is not alone. Major e-mail providers as well as start-ups are working on bringing e-mail into the 21st century.

Google's new e-mail product, Inbox, on the iPhone.(Photo: Google)

Given how much time people still spend in their inboxes, "making e-mail better for e-mail users is a priority for Google," said Brian Blau, Gartner's research director of consumer technology and markets.

Gmail competes for people's time and attention with e-mail services from Microsoft, Yahoo and Apple. It's also working to lure business customers away from Microsoft Office.

"Google wants to make e-mail as compelling as possible," Blau said.

You log in with your Gmail credentials and you can switch back and forth between the two services.

Among the bells and whistles that Inbox has to offer: It helps users stay more organized by grouping together bank statements or receipts from purchases so they can be quickly reviewed then swiped away.

Inbox highlights important information from e-mails in the subject line, such as showing you the photos of a newborn or the document a co-worker has shared with you.

Inbox also displays useful information that wasn't in the e-mail: the real-time status of a flight you booked online or of a package being delivered to your home.

You can also add reminders to the top of your e-mail such as: pick out a present for your sister's birthday or get a gallon of milk at the store.

To help you finish a task, Inbox uses "assists." If you make a restaurant reservation online, Inbox adds a map to the confirmation e-mail. Book a flight online, Inbox gives you a link to check in.

You can also snooze e-mail and reminders and set them to return to your inbox later or when you arrive at a specific location, say the office or your house, Gawley said.

Inbox will be different from Gmail in another respect: It won't show any ads — at least not right away.

Google will be paying close attention to feedback, Gawley said.

"Maybe one day it is the replacement for Gmail," Gawley said. "I think that's something our users will tell us."

Inbox is available as of Wednesday on Android and iOS, and on desktop in Chrome.

Google is sending invitations to users and each new user will be able to invite friends. Or you can e-mail Google at inbox@google.com for an invitation.

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Weather Gang: Weather Service stops receiving satellite data, issues notice about forecast quality

Latest satellite image posted to NOAA's Geostationary Satellite Server Web site was posted at 5:45p on October 20. (NOAA)

Latest satellite image posted to NOAA’s Geostationary Satellite Server Web site was posted at 5:45p on October 20. (NOAA)

Since at least Tuesday, satellite data – an important input to weather prediction models – has stopped flowing into the National Weather Service due to an apparent network outage.

At 1 p.m. today, the National Weather Service’s National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) issued the following statement warning the outage could impact forecast quality:

NCEP HAS NOT RECEIVED A FULL FEED OF SATELLITE DATA FOR INPUT INTO THE NUMERICAL MODELS SINCE 22/0000Z…POTENTIALLY IMPACTING THE MODEL FORECASTS.NESDIS AND NCEP ARE INVESTIGATING THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE ISSUE. ONCE THE SITUATION IS RESOLVED ANOTHER MESSAGE WILL FOLLOW.

The data outage appears to be unique to the National Weather Service and would not impact forecasts from other international modeling centers such as the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasting, home of the top-performing European model, and Environment Canada.

But the outage could affect the performance of National Weather Service’s Global Forecast System (GFS), North American (NAM), and HRRR (High-Resolution Rapid Refresh) models.

Chris Vaccaro, a spokesperson for the National Weather Service, said these model forecasts can still be considered credible, despite the outage. “They [NCEP] emphasized that there’s a lot of redundancy in the observing system that can help to offset the data loss and that the model guidance will have integrity and will be sound,” he said in an email.

Capital Weather Gang’s Steve Tracton, who worked with computer models over several decades at the National Weather Service, agreed the effects of the outage would be minimal in the short term, but could increase with time. “If satellite data are not returned within 24-36 hours, there is a chance of some forecast degradation though still likely small,” he said. “It will be interesting to assess after the fact.”

Another repercussion of the outage is that all or most of the satellite imagery has stopped publishing to NOAA and National Weather Service Web sites; the apparent “current” imagery is at least a day old. This imagery is used to track and analyze storms such as the Nor’easter affecting the East Coast and the tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico. As of time of publication of this blog post, NOAA and the National Weather Service (as of time of publication) had not posted messages on relevant Web sites alerting users that the imagery is now obsolete.

Although the National Weather Service is not receiving the latest imagery, NASA satellite imagery Web sites appear up-to-date, indicating this is a National Weather Service-specific problem.

This outage is the latest in a string of network and information technology problems to afflict the National Weather Service in the last two years. In late August, the National Weather Service Web site crashed due to a barrage of data requests from an external Android application. And in May, a firewall upgrade crippled the Weather Service’s warning dissemination system.

There were also previous Web site failures before that, as Slate’s Eric Holthaus summarized:

Previous technicalities weren’t quite as serious, such as an unbelievably large flood warning in mid-April (coincidentally, the day before the movie Noah was released), and a website crash in early April (though warning products continued to be issued as normal through more traditional channels).

Note that in 2013, I penned the piece: Weather Service systems crumbling as extreme weather escalates

Also on Capital Weather Gang

Nor'easter update: Flood watch, wind advisories in effect for parts of Northeast

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CDC to Monitor Travelers From Ebola-Hit Nations for 21 Days

All people returning to the United States from Ebola-affected countries will undergo 21-day monitoring, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced today.

Travelers arriving from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, where Ebola has killed more than 4,000 people since the worst outbreak of the virus in history began in March, will be given a home kit with a thermometer and Ebola information so that they can self-monitor and report to the CDC, according to the agency.

PHOTO: This is the kit passengers returning from Ebola-affected countries will receive when they arrive in the U.S. as part of a new CDC initiative to monitor them for Ebola for 21 days.

Courtesy CDC

PHOTO: This is the kit passengers returning from Ebola-affected countries will receive when they arrive in the U.S. as part of a new CDC initiative to monitor them for Ebola for 21 days.

If they do not report, officials will track them down, the CDC said.

They will need to take their temperature twice daily and answer several questions about their symptoms, according to the CDC.

The program will focus on the six states that see about 70 percent of the traffic from these regions: Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Some states may monitor these travelers in person.

Get real-time updates as this story unfolds. To start, just "star" this story in ABC News' phone app. Download ABC News for iPhone here or ABC News for Android here. To be notified about our live weekend digital reports, tap here.

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An inbox that works for you

Today, we’re introducing something new. It’s called Inbox. Years in the making, Inbox is by the same people who brought you Gmail, but it’s not Gmail: it’s a completely different type of inbox, designed to focus on what really matters.

Email started simply as a way to send digital notes around the office. But fast-forward 30 years and with just the phone in your pocket, you can use email to contact virtually anyone in the world…from your best friend to the owner of that bagel shop you discovered last week.

With this evolution comes new challenges: we get more email now than ever, important information is buried inside messages, and our most important tasks can slip through the cracks—especially when we’re working on our phones. For many of us, dealing with email has become a daily chore that distracts from what we really need to do—rather than helping us get those things done.

If this all sounds familiar, then Inbox is for you. Or more accurately, Inbox works for you. Here are some of the ways Inbox is at your service:



Bundles: stay organized automatically
Inbox expands upon the categories we introduced in Gmail last year, making it easy to deal with similar types of mail all at once. For example, all your purchase receipts or bank statements are neatly grouped together so that you can quickly review and then swipe them out of the way. You can even teach Inbox to adapt to the way you work by choosing which emails you’d like to see grouped together.

Highlights: the important info at a glance
Inbox highlights the key information from important messages, such as flight itineraries, event information, and photos and documents emailed to you by friends and family. Inbox will even display useful information from the web that wasn’t in the original email, such as the real-time status of your flights and package deliveries. Highlights and Bundles work together to give you just the information you need at a glance.
Reminders, Assists, and Snooze: your to-do’s on your own terms
Inbox makes it easy to focus on your priorities by letting you add your own Reminders, from picking up the dry cleaning to giving your parents a call. No matter what you need to remember, your inbox becomes a centralized place to keep track of the things you need to get back to.
A sampling of Assists
And speaking of to-do’s, Inbox helps you cross those off your list by providing Assists—handy pieces of information you may need to get the job done. For example, if you write a Reminder to call the hardware store, Inbox will supply the store’s phone number and tell you if it's open. Assists work for your email, too. If you make a restaurant reservation online, Inbox adds a map to your confirmation email. Book a flight online, and Inbox gives a link to check-in.

Of course, not everything needs to be done right now. Whether you’re in an inconvenient place or simply need to focus on something else first, Inbox lets you Snooze away emails and Reminders. You can set them to come back at another time or when you get to a specific location, like your home or your office.

Get started with Inbox
Starting today, we’re sending out the first round of invitations to give Inbox a try, and each new user will be able to invite their friends. If Inbox can’t arrive soon enough for you, you can email us at inbox@google.com to get an invitation as soon as more become available.

When you start using Inbox, you’ll quickly see that it doesn’t feel the same as Gmail—and that’s the point. Gmail’s still there for you, but Inbox is something new. It’s a better way to get back to what matters, and we can’t wait to share it with you.



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South Korea’s fastest Internet will leave USA in the dust

South Korea already boasts some of the fastest broadband speeds in the world. Now the country is on track to become even faster.

SK Broadband, one of the country's largest ISPs, announced last week it plans to unveil a 10Gbps (gigabits per second) service. To put it in perspective, that’s roughly the speed required to download an HD-quality movie in seven seconds.

While it may be some time before the service is available to subscribers, the demonstration by SK Broadband confirms South Korea's status as a clear leader in broadband technology.

South Koreans currently enjoy an average connection speed of 24.6Mbps—more than twice that of Americans.

South Koreans currently enjoy an average connection speed of 24.6Mbps, which is already more than twice the average broadband speed in the U.S. (11.4 Mbps), according to Akamai. Earlier this year, the Korean government pledged $1.5 billion to help build a 5G wireless network by 2020. And Samsung has already demonstrated the technology for a 1Gbps wireless connection.

Such advances are more or less nonexistent in the American consumer broadband market. The highest-profile gigabit internet service in the country comes from Google Fiber, which is only available in three cities. Some local ISPs have also introduced super-high-speed fiber-optic services, but they're limited to sparsely populated areas and smaller cities.

Akamai-Average Internet Speed-2014 Q1.jpg (Source: Akamai)

It's a frustrating situation for speed-hungry Americans, and one not helped by domestic ISPs' reluctance to follow international trends.

Comcast, for instance, recently argued that Americans simply don't need gigabit internet. AT&T and Verizon have lobbied the FCC that 10Mbps(!) is "too fast" to serve as a minimum definition of "broadband." And Time Warner Cable has similarly denied that there is substantial demand for faster connections.


Related: Sympathy for the Devil: Comcast on Net Neutrality

Via: Digital Trends
Hero image: Flickr user "hpux735" (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Google’s Glass gets new workplace partners

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SAN FRANCISCO – Google today announced a second set of five certified developer partners for Glass, the search company's $1,500 wearable computer.

As with the first five developers, announced in June, the selected companies are focused on the enterprise side of Glass, a sci-fi creation whose price and as-yet limited applications have for the moment kept it from being a broad consumer hit.

"We continue to work hard on the consumer side of Glass, but with enterprise there seems to a new use-case proposition each week," says Chris O'Neill, who runs global business operations for Glass. O'Neill reports to new Glass head Ivy Ross, who was brought into the Google fold to leverage her extensive consumer marketing experience to ease Glass' acceptance into the mainstream.

O'Neill says the continuing target for business use are the "roughly 80% of the global workforce that have blue-collar or true hands-on jobs, where if they put their tools down it means they're putting their work down."

'We don't think of (Google Glass) as a device, but as a platform.'

Chris O'Neill, head of global business for Google Glass

Among the new companies Google selected as partners for its Glass At Work initiative are Pristine of Austin, Texas (developers of secure video communication for health care workers), Ubimax of Bremen, Germany (improving the flow of manufacturing and order picking in factories) and Interapt of Louisville, Ky. (helping fast food companies improve employee training).

"Having our first international partners highlights the global potential of this product," says O'Neill. "We don't think of it as a device, but as a platform. We're good at this. Much like with Android, we just want to create an ecosystem and then set things in motion."

Kentucky engineer Ankur Gopal spent time with Google's futuristic device as an early Glass Explorer. He says he immediately saw the commercial potential for the product.

"We thought about the fast food business and just asked the question, 'Can you learn your job quicker using wearables?'" says Gopal, Interapt's CEO, who then convinced Yum Brands (Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken) to run a pilot program for employees that condensed an 80-page training handbook into a series of on-screen prompts.

'I was one of the guinea pigs, and in less than two hours I was making KFC chicken as if I'd worked there for a long time.'

Ankur Gopal, CEO Interapt

"I was one of the guinea pigs, and in less than two hours I was making KFC chicken as if I'd worked there for a long time," says Gopal. "Labor costs often are what concern these sorts of companies the most. So if you can help them on that front, that's real savings."

Gopal says based on their pilot, Yum Brands calculated that it could save almost 2% on labor costs due to faster training, which spread over some 8,000 locations would amount to tens of millions of dollars.

"It's not just about how to make a sandwich, but also taking you step by step on shutting down a fryer correctly or even an entire store," says Gopal, adding that he's working on future software tweaks that could offer prompts based on an employee's proximity to specific restaurant equipment.

He says a few pair of Glass would be kept with each store, "available for any new member that's in training, so it's not a matter of everyone in the company needing this device."

New hands-free software from Augmate, a Glass at Work partner, displays the image that a Glass-wearing employee would see when trying to locate goods in a warehouse.(Photo: Augmate)

Glass's O'Neill says another recent enterprise milestone was Hewlett-Packard's recent adoption of Glass as a troubleshooting tool for commercial printing clients.

A recent HP video posted on YouTube shows how clients can contact customer support and, using Glass as a visual aide, have their problems solved thanks to the customer support representative being able to literally see what the customer is observing.

"When you think of the old-school model of problems like this being solved by putting people on planes so they can fly to the client, this represents a major change in the way things are done," says O'Neill.

The other two certified partners in this new group are AMA (the French company specializes in telemedicine) and Augmate (the New York company is focused on bringing hands-free, real-time information to the so-called deskless work force).

Taken together, the 10 Glass partners have received more than $50 million in funding from a variety of venture capital firms, indicating a willingness on the part of leading edge investors to fund the wearable computer's transition from toy to tool.

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Sexy iPad Air 2 is fabulous but not a must upgrade

Video Keywords App Store New York City store transactions fingerprint scanner online transactions USA today

Ed Baig reviews the new Apple iPad Air 2

Video Transcript

Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

00:02 Hi this is that big here in New York City
00:04 and I've got the brand new. I've had air Q this
00:08 is the brand new thinner lighter I've had it weighs just
00:11 under a pound. 18%. Thinner than its predecessor. Got a beautiful
00:16 display here and it brings the touch ID fingerprint scanner that.
00:22 Folks may know from recent iphones and what that means is
00:25 you can actually use your fingerprints. To unlock the display. Order
00:29 buys stuff on night tunes in the App Store the iBooks
00:33 store. And take advantage of the new apple pay payment system
00:37 although you can only do that on the iPad. For online
00:41 transactions not for in store transactions. No cause for 99 on
00:46 up with cellular models of course cost him a little bit
00:48 more than Wi-Fi only models. Now if you haven't upgraded to
00:53 an iPad for a while that is to say if you
00:56 have the original iPad or maybe the iPad two. Or if
01:00 you brand new to the iPad you're gonna love this thing
01:03 is is a great tablet. The best I've had out there
01:06 and I would say the best tablet out there and class.
01:10 Anyway of course it takes advantage of the 675000. Apps that
01:14 have been optimize for the iPad experience. However if you have
01:19 a more recent iPad may be a third generation iPad fourth
01:23 generation iPad or the predecessor to this. The air. Becomes ever
01:28 more difficult choice yes you would still love having this but
01:32 it's more difficult to justify. Paying the price. When frankly you're
01:37 existing iPad does almost everything this guy's. And does it almost
01:42 as well now a little bit slower perhaps but of course
01:45 you don't get the fingerprint. But otherwise you get a really
01:48 good I've had experience. So the bottom line this is big
01:52 great you iPad. Fitter. Faster. Lighter takes advantage of all the
01:58 apps. As the fingerprint scanner even comes in gold to terrific
02:02 new iPad and if you are new to the iPad or
02:05 have a really old iPad you can be thrilled with this
02:08 thing. Frankly he'll probably be pro though that if you have
02:10 a more recent iPad two. But the reason to upgrade just
02:15 isn't as strong. For USA today on that day and I'll
02:19 catch you next time.

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NEW YORK — During his keynote trumpeting the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, Apple CEO Tim Cook bragged about how wildly satisfied customers are with their current iPads. Apple has sold more than 225 million in four years and the iPad has become the gold standard against which all other tablets are measured.

But sales have been slipping. And it is precisely because people are perfectly happy with existing iPads that I suspect Apple will have a difficult time persuading folks to upgrade. Especially when the Air 2 starts at $499, and its smaller sibling the mini 3 starts at $399.

Don't get me wrong. The Twiggy-thin iPad Air 2 that is the focus of this review is a stupendous tablet, the best out there, though the competition is more heated than ever. A strong case can be made for, among others, Samsung's striking Galaxy Tab S, Microsoft's Surface Pro 3, and perhaps the upcoming HTC Google Nexus 9 that will run the new Android Lollipop software. (I haven't reviewed it yet.)

In a vacuum, I'd recommend the new Air 2 without hesitation, and if you're an iPad newbie and have spare cash, by all means go for it.

But with few notable exceptions — the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and better cameras your current iPad can accomplish pretty much everything the latest iPads can. Existing iPads can run most if not all of the more than 675,000 apps that have been optimized for Apple's tablets. Even the relatively ancient iPad 2 can run the new iOS 8 software update.

That's not to say the new iPad isn't better, both aesthetically and inside. The aluminum tablet weighs just under a pound and is a mere quarter-of-an-inch thick 18% thinner than its already pencil-thin predecessor the iPad Air. The first Air is still formidable enough to remain in Apple's lineup for a not-so-inexpensive $399 on up.

Apple exec Phil Schiller talk about the new iPad Air 2 during Apple's launch event.(Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images)

The thinness of the Air 2 is even more dramatic when you compare it with earlier models. As Apple noted last week, two iPad Air 2s stacked on top of one another come out thinner than a single original iPad, which people still rely on. Of course, that original iPad is tired by now and won't run everything; if that's your main slate it may be time to move on.

On Air 2, everything is as snappy as you'd expect in a machine with a powerful new processor, Apple's own A8X. The 9.7-inch Retina display is beautiful, evidenced by stunning graphics in such games as Gameloft's Asphalt 8 Airborne and Epic Games' Zen Garden.

Apple also claims more robust wireless performance, through state of the art Wi-Fi and (on more expensive cellular models) LTE connections.

One new development comes with a reprogrammable Apple SIM card on cellular models. It is supposed to give you added flexibility to choose or switch carriers or plans, including when you travel., In the U.S., Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T are embracing the new SIM, though restrictions may still apply and Verizon isn't supporting it.

The improved cameras take wonderful pictures. As with other models the huge display on the back doubles as a handy viewfinder. The rear camera has an 8-megapixel sensor (up from 5-megapixels on the Air). You can take up to 10 burst shots a second and shoot high-res panoramas. Air 2's also can shoot video in slow motion (at 120 frames-per-second) and time-lapse videos (sped-up videos of slow-moving action).

My favorite new feature is Touch ID, the convenient fingerprint scanner on newer iPhones. You can use it to unlock the iPad and as a password substitute when you're making purchases in iTunes, the App Store and the iBooks Store. It almost always recognized my finger. You can use it with the new Apple Pay mobile payments system, too, but only to make online purchases, not in-store payments.

I didn't do a formal battery test but Apple is promising 10 hours, same as on the first Air.

Air 2 is the finest iPad there is and that is saying a lot. It's svelte, light, good-looking, robust, and has a fingerprint reader and app library second to none. But if you've been getting by fine with a third generation or newer iPad — and you're not ready to hand that iPad down to a family member — feel free to happily stay put.

THE BOTTOM LINE

iPad Air 2

www.apple.com

$499, $599, $699 for 16GB, 64GB and 128GB; cellular models cost $130 more.

Pro. Thin and light, gorgeous display, strong cameras, 675,000 apps, robust wireless, Touch ID.

Con. Expensive. Not a must upgrade for owners with recent iPads. Memory can't be expanded.

Email: ebaig@usatoday.com; Follow @edbaig on Twitter.

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Glass in the workplace gets new Google partners

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SAN FRANCISCO – Google today announced a second set of five certified developer partners for Glass, the search company's $1,500 wearable computer.

As with the first five developers, announced in June, the selected companies are focused on the enterprise side of Glass, a sci-fi creation whose price and as-yet limited applications have for the moment kept it from being a broad consumer hit.

"We continue to work hard on the consumer side of Glass, but with enterprise there seems to a new use-case proposition each week," says Chris O'Neill, who runs global business operations for Glass. O'Neill reports to new Glass head Ivy Ross, who was brought into the Google fold to leverage her extensive consumer marketing experience to ease Glass' acceptance into the mainstream.

O'Neill says the continuing target for business use are the "roughly 80% of the global workforce that have blue-collar or true hands-on jobs, where if they put their tools down it means they're putting their work down."

'We don't think of (Google Glass) as a device, but as a platform.'

Chris O'Neill, head of global business for Google Glass

Among the new companies Google selected as partners for its Glass At Work initiative are Pristine of Austin, Texas (developers of secure video communication for health care workers), Ubimax of Bremen, Germany (improving the flow of manufacturing and order picking in factories) and Interapt of Louisville, Ky. (helping fast food companies improve employee training).

"Having our first international partners highlights the global potential of this product," says O'Neill. "We don't think of it as a device, but as a platform. We're good at this. Much like with Android, we just want to create an ecosystem and then set things in motion."

Kentucky engineer Ankur Gopal spent time with Google's futuristic device as an early Glass Explorer. He says he immediately saw the commercial potential for the product.

"We thought about the fast food business and just asked the question, 'Can you learn your job quicker using wearables?'" says Gopal, Interapt's CEO, who then convinced Yum Brands (Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken) to run a pilot program for employees that condensed an 80-page training handbook into a series of on-screen prompts.

'I was one of the guinea pigs, and in less than two hours I was making KFC chicken as if I'd worked there for a long time.'

Ankur Gopal, CEO Interapt

"I was one of the guinea pigs, and in less than two hours I was making KFC chicken as if I'd worked there for a long time," says Gopal. "Labor costs often are what concern these sorts of companies the most. So if you can help them on that front, that's real savings."

Gopal says based on their pilot, Yum Brands calculated that it could save almost 2% on labor costs due to faster training, which spread over some 8,000 locations would amount to tens of millions of dollars.

"It's not just about how to make a sandwich, but also taking you step by step on shutting down a fryer correctly or even an entire store," says Gopal, adding that he's working on future software tweaks that could offer prompts based on an employee's proximity to specific restaurant equipment.

He says a few pair of Glass would be kept with each store, "available for any new member that's in training, so it's not a matter of everyone in the company needing this device."

New hands-free software from Augmate, a Glass at Work partner, displays the image that a Glass-wearing employee would see when trying to locate goods in a warehouse.(Photo: Augmate)

Glass's O'Neill says another recent enterprise milestone was Hewlett-Packard's recent adoption of Glass as a troubleshooting tool for commercial printing clients.

A recent HP video posted on YouTube shows how clients can contact customer support and, using Glass as a visual aide, have their problems solved thanks to the customer support representative being able to literally see what the customer is observing.

"When you think of the old-school model of problems like this being solved by putting people on planes so they can fly to the client, this represents a major change in the way things are done," says O'Neill.

The other two certified partners in this new group are AMA (the French company specializes in telemedicine) and Augmate (the New York company is focused on bringing hands-free, real-time information to the so-called deskless work force).

Taken together, the 10 Glass partners have received more than $50 million in funding from a variety of venture capital firms, indicating a willingness on the part of leading edge investors to fund the wearable computer's transition from toy to tool.

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Kevin Nealon rocks with Traveler Guitar

Comedian Kevin Nealon of 'Saturday Night Live' fame sits down with Jefferson Graham to talk his new web series on AOL and favorite tech gadgets. VPC

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PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. — Former Saturday Night Live and Weeds co-star Kevin Nealon has a new gig — a Web series for AOL. The comedian taps famous pals including Adam Sandler, Dana Carvey, Ellen DeGeneres and Sarah Silverman to appear with him on Laugh Lessons with Kevin Nealon, teaching kids to do comedy. Nealon talked to us about gadgets and fans' biggest tech requests of him.

ONLINE COMEDY

Laugh Lessons was born when comic Garry Shandling came to visit and started teaching Nealon's then 4-year-old how to do a pratfall. The show's Web format is terrific at five to seven minutes, he says. "It's a lot easier to watch."

DEVICES

Nealon performs most weekends doing stand-up comedy (he'll be in Dayton, Ohio, on Friday and Saturday). He leaves home with his MacBook laptop, Bose portable speakers, Mophie case/charger for his iPhone and the Traveler Guitar EG1, which fits in the overhead compartment and sells for around $500. "It's electric. There's no headstock on it, so you string the guitar by wrapping them around the body of the guitar. Plug it into the Bose headphones, and it sounds like you're playing with an amp." The headphones also come in handy on airplanes to listen to podcasts (Marc Maron's WTF, Ted Talks) and Pandora.

GLOWING PALMS

Looking out into the audience at his shows, "I see a lot of glowing palms" as folks check their phones. "I used to comment on it, but now I don't. It's so prevalent." He himself learned a hard lesson. He was attending a play starring a friend in New York, "got bored" and checked his e-mail a few times, then went backstage afterward to say hi. "Did you get any good messages?" the actor asked him. "I'll never do that again," says Nealon.

After comedy shows, fans ask for "selfies" and for him to record incoming greetings on their phones. "I don't mind. It's fun."

Comedian Kevin Nealon at home with the Traveler Guitar.(Photo: Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY)

ONLINE MEMORIALS

Nealon's former Saturday Night Live co-star Jan Hooks recently died. He says he was touched by the "outpouring of love" for her and the impact the online community can make now when someone passes.

"It's a huge groundswell, and that's great. It's a nice way to find out about someone's popularity and love." The Web offers "people a way to share their feelings."

FAVORITE APPS

The road warrior chooses Flight Update (Free, Apple). It tells you the status of a flight, if it's on time, and where baggage will be.

For traveling around town he likes Waze to check traffic, and at home, the Sonos app, which controls his wireless speaker system.

Follow Jefferson Graham on Twitter

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Kevin Nealon rocks in hotel room with Traveler Guitar

Comedian Kevin Nealon of 'Saturday Night Live' fame sits down with Jefferson Graham to talk his new web series on AOL and favorite tech gadgets. VPC

5 LINKEDINMORE

PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. — Former Saturday Night Live and Weeds co-star Kevin Nealon has a new gig — a Web series for AOL. The comedian taps famous pals including Adam Sandler, Dana Carvey, Ellen DeGeneres and Sarah Silverman to appear with him on Laugh Lessons with Kevin Nealon, teaching kids to do comedy. Nealon talked to us about gadgets and fans' biggest tech requests of him.

ONLINE COMEDY

Laugh Lessons was born when comic Garry Shandling came to visit and started teaching Nealon's then 4-year-old how to do a pratfall. The show's Web format is terrific at five to seven minutes, he says. "It's a lot easier to watch."

DEVICES

Nealon performs most weekends doing stand-up comedy (he'll be in Dayton, Ohio, on Friday and Saturday). He leaves home with his MacBook laptop, Bose portable speakers, Mophie case/charger for his iPhone and the Traveler Guitar EG1, which fits in the overhead compartment and sells for around $500. "It's electric. There's no headstock on it, so you string the guitar by wrapping them around the body of the guitar. Plug it into the Bose headphones, and it sounds like you're playing with an amp." The headphones also come in handy on airplanes to listen to podcasts (Marc Maron's WTF, Ted Talks) and Pandora.

GLOWING PALMS

Looking out into the audience at his shows, "I see a lot of glowing palms" as folks check their phones. "I used to comment on it, but now I don't. It's so prevalent." He himself learned a hard lesson. He was attending a play starring a friend in New York, "got bored" and checked his e-mail a few times, then went backstage afterward to say hi. "Did you get any good messages?" the actor asked him. "I'll never do that again," says Nealon.

After comedy shows, fans ask for "selfies" and for him to record incoming greetings on their phones. "I don't mind. It's fun."

Comedian Kevin Nealon at home with the Traveler Guitar.(Photo: Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY)

ONLINE MEMORIALS

Nealon's former Saturday Night Live co-star Jan Hooks recently died. He says he was touched by the "outpouring of love" for her and the impact the online community can make now when someone passes.

"It's a huge groundswell, and that's great. It's a nice way to find out about someone's popularity and love." The Web offers "people a way to share their feelings."

FAVORITE APPS

The road warrior chooses Flight Update (Free, Apple). It tells you the status of a flight, if it's on time, and where baggage will be.

For traveling around town he likes Waze to check traffic, and at home, the Sonos app, which controls his wireless speaker system.

Follow Jefferson Graham on Twitter

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Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1wix4Tv

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