Around the IT Industry 4/29-5/3

by Modis on May 3, 2013

Storage Halved on Galaxy S4, Thanks to Pre-Loaded Apps

Users often cry foul when their devices come pre-loaded with software (also known as bloatware in some tech circles) that cuts the storage capabilities of their smartphone. Unlike computers, smartphone users don’t have the option to add/remove these programs they may not need. The Samsung Galaxy S4 is no exception to this, having its advertised 16GB slashed to a mere 8.82 GB of free space thanks in no small part to bloatware. Operating systems require space to run, and restore partition space is also needed on any device. However, this is unlikely to quiet those who will view the storage slash as a point of contention in the battle between Android and iOS.

Microsoft’s IllumiRoom Adds New Depth to Gaming

The standout feature of the XBox 720 isn’t the graphics, speeds, or new features on XBox Live. No, it’s without a doubt their new technology, IllumiRoom. This is a Kinect-sensor based projector that transforms your living room into a real-time version of your game, adding depth and peripheral vision to FPS games, while bringing cartoon features to others. This peripheral projection technology will enable gamers to explore their gaming world in a different way, with the addition of most of their living room becoming a playing surface as well. Immersion in games is often cited as a reason that users purchase DLC, look up game lore and facts, or further invest in creating a team or guild to conquer missions. Microsoft has raised the bar with IllumiRoom, and its previews appear to be something that sets the system apart.

Tech Talent Shortage? Not Quite.

While Silicon Valley and the rest of the United States claim that there is a drastic shortage in tech talent in the United States, many studies have proven this is simply not true. On the contrary, the U.S. is producing more Engineering, Science, and Mathematics majors than we have jobs for. Currently, the H1-B visa allows companies to outsource their tech work to young H1-B visa holders from countries such as India. Companies often try to cut their bottom line spending by hiring a visa holder to perform a job which they do not want to have to pay an experienced American worker to perform for a higher salary. H1-B visas lead to these immigrants being trapped in jobs they can’t leave, and graduates that are brilliant having nowhere to go out of college. Hiring new American technology employees is easier than it looks, despite what we’ve been told.

Google Fiber Gets Competition from Your Local Telephone Company

Vermont Telephone Company has taken notice of Google Fiber in a big way. Their gigabit Internet service has gone live, and costs half the price of Google Fiber–which is $70 a month. Vermont Telephone Company offers its users gigabit Internet for the surprisingly low price of $35 a month. While we all plan moves to Vermont, this outlines the fact that superspeed Internet is making its way across the U.S. in often surprising venues. Vermont Telephone Company’s gigabit Internet appeals to not only the price conscious consumer, but those who wish to keep things a bit more local, as opposed to purchasing their gigabit Internet from a monolith such as Google or Verizon.

10K+ Students Compete in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Championship

More than 10,000 students competed this week in the annual FIRST custom built robotics competiton. The three winning teams in the three-day competition hailed from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada; Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and The Woodlands, Texas. These alliances were between sets of three robots to see which team could defeat their competition in a race to put Frisbees through an assigned goal in a certain amount of time. These heats went on throughout the day, culminating in a victory for the Texan and Canadian students in front of 25,000+ fans. Nearly 650 teams from 37 countries competed in the FIRST Lego League, FIRST Tech Challenge, and the FIRST Robotics competition. Robotics is quickly gaining ground as a breakthrough in teaching children about STEM in an enriching and creative way. The FIRST Robotics Championship is no exception.

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