Each Monday, I cover the tech trends, gadgets, business services, and apps of note. The goal is to highlight not just consumer flash-in-the-pan ideas, but actual developments that could impact your business. Post in comments if you know of any other trends!
1. Get the new Motorola X
Is it time for an upgrade? Here's my advice when it comes to smartphones--try to stay current if you can. Using the latest model often means seeing how technology has advanced. The Samsung Galaxy S4 let you browse the Web with your eye. The Moto X, due later this month, knows when you are driving or when the phone is stashed away in your backpack. You can read messages without hitting a button. Best feature: It responds to speech without having to touch the screen.
2. Edward Snowden: Ideal Tech Start-up Recruit?
NSA hacker Edward Snowden is safe (for now) in Russia, thanks to an offer of asylum. Now he even has a new job offer from social networking start-up Vkontakte, the Russian equivalent to Facebook. The name Vkontakte might be hard to pronounce and a bit off-the-radar, but it's a good reminder that there are international versions of popular U.S. sites. (Here's the English version.) Snowden might not take the job, but the offer has raised some eyebrows.
3. Everquest Next shows how to get attention
I don't normally cover games, but this one is too hard to pass up. Everquest Next--the latest in a long series of massively multiplayer games--is a good example of marketing in the age of short attention spans. The game lets players completely destroy anything and everything. Google searches for the game are now ranking higher than just about any celebrity snafu or political gaffe. The lesson? Create something outrageous and people will find you.
4. Samsung Galaxy Note III
I've been following a trend in display technology for a while now: screens are starting to look much crisper than usual. The latest entry is the Note III, which Samsung has not officially announced quite yet. With a resolution of 1920×1080 but a 5.7-inch size, most business documents, Web pages, and presentations will look better than what you see on a laptop. Another bonus: the new model will have a much faster processor than previous versions.