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Google Donates 15K Raspberry Pis to UK Children, Office 2013 available in subscription model only and more

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googleHere are the top tech news and stories of the day.

  • Startup Gridco wants to build a next-gen power grid that looks like the Internet – Gridco Systems is a startup that uses “digital solid state transformers and software that ingests data in real time to create a new type of distributed control and power electronics networking product for utilities that looks far more like an Internet network product than a utility tool.” This should offer more control over the power network and increasing reliability. More reliable (and controlled) power networks could save money and help identify inefficiencies. Via GigaOM, more here.
  • Google donates 15,000 Raspberry Pi microcomputers to UK schools – The Rasperry Pi is a pretty amazing little device. Google has donated 15k of them to youths in the UK. This little ARM GNU/Linux device was designed to help encourage children to play with computers, and Google’s grant should help do just that. Via Betanews, more here.
  • Lenovo Releases ThinkPad Chromebook for Schools – Lenovo’s most recent laptop for education will be running the Chrome OS. This thin and light operating system will provide schools with all the capabilities they need (and limit some that they wish to keep out of the classroom). This Chromebook will be an 11″ model, with an unreleased chipset. Via Mashable, more here.
  • Bezos: With ebook sales up 70% in 2012, Amazon has hit “transition” it expected – Much has been made of the latest Amazon figures. While they missed expectations, their revenue of $21.27B was 20% greater than last year for the quarter, although net income was down ($97M). Amazon took an operating loss for the year, of $39M as well. Via GigaOM, more here.
  • Nanostructures Boost Battery Life Fivefold – Imagine not charging your smartphone for a few days, Stanford researchers are hoping to do just that with creative nanostructures. Many advanced battery chemistries do not last the requisite 1000 cycles plus required for these devices; however, the Stanford solution does. Via Mashable, more here.
  • “PlayStation 4K” and “Xbox Durango” will be key to Ultra HD adoption – It is unlikely that 4K will be that big for a while, but two of the biggest drivers could definitely be the new Playstation and the new Xbox (720?). The 4K standard comes in at 3840 x 2160 pixels (twice that of 1080p), which is 4 times the number of total pixels. Driving 4K resolution to the living room will be a tall task (only available with Google fiber), which will limit adoption. Via Ars Technica, more here.
  • Microsoft Office 2013 now available to consumers – Yesterday, Microsoft Office 2013 was finally available to consumers. The new Office Suite will be sold as a service, with a license available for $100/year, for five total machines. This may seem expensive, but if you do have the requisite 5 machines to use it (or have 4 friends), the managed service could be quite affordable. Via Betanews, more here.

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More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley, former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), is Founder and CTO of Crucial Point LLC, a technology research and advisory firm providing fact based technology reviews in support of venture capital, private equity and emerging technology firms. He has extensive industry experience in intelligence and security and was awarded an intelligence community meritorious achievement award by AFCEA in 2008, and has also been recognized as an Infoworld Top 25 CTO and as one of the most fascinating communicators in Government IT by GovFresh.