Monday, July 29, 2013

Google Updates Zagat With New Site, Mobile Apps And Free Access

Google has introduced a new Zagat website and mobile app for Android and iPhone that puts the very best restaurants and nightspots right at your fingertips. And for the first time ever the popular site and trusted Zagat ratings and reviews are available for free with no registration required!

“I think it was clear to all of us involved that that was the logical next step in bringing this experience to people,” says Gannon Hall, Group Product Manager and Head of Zagat. “It’s not about paying for information or creating registration barriers. We want to surface this content. It comes down to focusing on the user and what makes a good experience. It was very clear to us that we should remove those barriers.”

The new Zagat currently covers restaurants and nightlife in nine cities, and over the coming months Google has said it plans to expand to 50 U.S. and international destinations and cover shopping, hotels and other places of interest. Today, the site only covers San Francisco, Austin, Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Google also plans to expand the range of reviews to include hotels, shopping and “other places of interest,” something the printed Zagat guides have been doing for a while now.

The new site, Google says, will also feature news and video content from local editors, as well as curated lists, improved search and map-based browsing. You will also be able to make reservations through Open Table and read menus before you arrive at the restaurant. The website, of course, still lets you participate in the usual Zagat surveys.

 Source: Official Google Blog

Amazon Hiring 5,000 New Workers For Fulfillment Centers Across The US

The economy may be stagnate and job may be in short order but that isn't stopping Amazon from showing growth and therefore needing a few extra hands. The online retail giant announced announced that it's looking to fill more than 5,000 new full-time jobs in 17 of its fulfillment centers across the United States. So if you happen to live in a city where Amazon has a fulfillment center, it's time to dust off that resume and head over for an interview.

“We’re hiring more than 5,000 people to join our team and help us continue to innovate and serve our customers,” said Dave Clark, vice president of worldwide operations and customer service at Amazon. “We’re focused on sustained innovation across Amazon and want to help our employees succeed—whether at Amazon or elsewhere—so we offer programs like Career Choice, where we’ll pay for up to 95% of eligible employees’ tuition regardless of whether the skills they learn are relevant to a career at Amazon.”

According to the announcement these jobs come with decent pay with positions paying 30 percent more than traditional retail jobs and include comprehensive benefits beginning on day one, including healthcare, 401(k) and company stock awards. Amazon also offers employees innovative programs like Career Choice, where it will pre-pay up to 95% of tuition for courses related to in-demand fields, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon.

Fulfillment network jobs are currently available in:

  • Breinigsville, Pa.
  • Middletown, Del.
  • Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  • Charleston, S.C.
  • Patterson, Calif.
  • Chester, Va.
  • Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Coppell, Texas
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Haslet, Texas
  • San Bernardino, Calif.
  • Hebron, Ky.
  • Spartanburg, S.C.
  • Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Tracy, Calif.
  • Jeffersonville, Ind.

Candidates can learn more about the open positions and apply at

Amazon is also currently hiring for more than 2,000 jobs across its customer service network, which include a mix of full-time, part-time and seasonal positions. Amazon customer service jobs include providing world-class customer service for Amazon’s millions of customers. Customer service jobs are currently available at customer service centers in: Grand Forks, N.D., Kennewick, Wash., Huntington, W.V., Winchester, Ky.

For those that don't live in any of the areas mentioned above Amazon is also looking to fill several telecommuting postilions for those that like to work from home. The positions are for Amazon’s customer service team and are currently available in Oregon, Washington and Arizona. Candidates can learn more about the open positions and apply at

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Google Announces New Nexus 7 Tablet, Android 4.3 and Chromecast HD Video Dongle

Google officially took the wraps off of several new products earlier today in an event in San Francisco. Topping the list are a brand new Nexus 7 tablet and an updated Android 4.3 operating system.

Google's new, much anticipated, 7-inch Nexus 7 tablet will see several major improvements over the previous generation tab. First is a major screen improvement going from a screen offering 1280 x 800 resolution in the prior model to 1920 x 1200 pixels in the new one and from 216 pixels per inch (ppi) to 323 ppi. The RAM will also see a jump going from 1GB to 2 GB. It also adds dual stereo speakers, and a CPU that Google says is twice as fast and a graphics processor that is four times as fast, as the previous generation model. The new Nexus 7 will be available for preorder beginning Tuesday and the Wi-Fi versions launch on July 30th. The tablet will come in three flavors: A 16GB Wi-Fi-only model for $229, a 32GB Wi-Fi-only model for $269, and a 32GB LTE-capable model for $349.

While the new Nexus 7 was much anticipated an even more anticipated portion of the announcement was the forth coming release of the latest version of the Android operating system Android 4.3 JellyBean. The new OS is adding support for low-power Bluetooth devices such as health sensors that can display data on your smartphone or tablet. Android 4.3 will also feature support for OpenGL ES 3.0, a graphics API that will vastly improve Android tablets’ graphics capabilities and should be a major boon for Android game developers. Finally, Android 4.3 has a new feature that lets you segment off access to different areas of the tablet to different users, such as parents who want to restrict their children’s access to adult content.

Last but not least was the introduction of a new wireless TV dongle dubbed Chromecast. With this HDMI based dongle Google is looking to make it easier to turn your dumb TVs into smart TV by allowing you to stream your favorite online entertainment to your TV. Chromecast is a small and affordable ($35) device that you simply plug in to your high-definition (HD) TV and it allows you to use your phone, tablet or laptop to "cast" online content to your TV screen. It works with Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, and Google Play Music, with more apps like Pandora coming soon. Chromecast not only allows you to view online videos but allows users to send emails or surf the web—while enjoying what’s on the TV screen. It works across multiple platforms from Android tablets and smartphones, iPhones, iPads, to Chrome for Mac and Windows.

For more details on today's announcement visit the Google Chrome Blog.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

AT&T Next To Offer Unsubsidized Phones, Faster Upgrade Options

Earlier this month AT&T promised to let us know "What's Next" for AT&T with little more than a photo telling us to “get ready for what’s next in wireless.” What exactly that meant wasn't entirely clear until today. AT&T’s big news is a new early upgrade, unsubsidized smartphone option for those customers who want to upgrade their device as frequently as once a year. This new offering, called AT&T Next, won’t replace the other upgrade options currently offered by the carrier, and will work with existing data plans.

Details of the plan are as follows: To use AT&T Next, AT&T subscribers agree to pay a monthly fee for their device on top of their regular AT&T service plan. Monthly fees range from $15-$50; a Samsung Galaxy S 4 costs $32 per month. Customers must agree to make 20 payments. After 12 payments, you can trade in your device and get a new one, and the clock starts again. There are no activation or upgrade fees. After 20 payments, the device is paid off. There doesn't appear to be a contract for service, only for the device itself. If you want out, you can pay off the device price early.

This appears to be a win win for AT&T in that the company no longer has to pay subsidies - which currently amass to $440 on a Galaxy S 4 with a two-year contract. A customer can current get the phone for $199 and be stuck in a contract, at the AT&T Next pricing the same customer will only pay $380 before they are eligible for an upgrade or $640 total. This means over a two-year period someone with an AT&T Next Galaxy S 4 will pay $440 more than a subsidzed customer if they don't upgrade early. If they do upgrade early then AT&T gets to capture the resale value of the used phones, rather than consumers reusing or reselling them on their own. Customers who want to upgrade in months 13 or 14, and who don't resell their own used phones, will find big savings here, though.

While the deal clearly isn't "great" for consumers, it is nice to see more options coming from the big three carriers.

Source: AT&T Newsroom