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Dec 02
Report looks at the development auto IoT market

Mobile Experts (http://mobile-experts.net) has released a style that “unapologetically draws a line between fact and myth in the developing automotive IoT [Internet of Things] market.”

The report investigates connectivity for telematics, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure  (V2I) applications using DSRC and LTE, as well as TPMS and other wireless applications related to cars. New business models for insurance and 5G technology prospects are explored in detail.

"A political battle is raging in the United States, with the auto industry pushing for the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Transportation to adopt DSRC using 802.11p," commented Mobile Experts Principal Analyst Joe Madden. "However, the wireless industry—led by Qualcomm--is pushing for extension of Wi-Fi into the 5.8 GHz band and LTE for V2V communications. The outcome of this politicized decision...

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Dec 01
The Northern Spy: a less than stellar report card

By Rick Sutcliffe

Sierra's problems continue, as the Spy receives other reports of programs not functioning besides the ones cited here last month. To be fair, the Olive Tree folk managed to get their Bible Study program working on Sierra, reducing the number of fails by one.

On the other hand, he now has multiple reports of Sierra installs killing off or corrupting the keychain, and some of SSH, ITunes, and other apps failing, or running very slow. There are also compatibility issues with Apple's own Mail program, certain sound file types, and fast battery drain.

Safari is quirky too, but that was a problem in El Capitan as well--so much so the Spy has given up on the product for now and will use the ultra-reliable Firefox as his default browser.

Sometimes the upgrade process itself fails or hangs. Advice: don’t sidegrade, continue to use El Capitan, which is much more stable. But if you really want to take the leap...

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Dec 01
4G smartphones to surpass one billion in shipments for...

Worldwide smartphone shipments are expected to reach 1.45 billion units with a year-over-year growth rate of 0.6% in 2016 according to the latest forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC). Although growth remains positive, it is down significantly from the 10.4% growth in 2015.

However, 4G smartphones are still expected to show double-digit uptake at 21.3% year-over-year growth globally for 2016, reaching 1.17 billion units, up from 967 million in 2015. Much of this growth is coming from emerging markets (Asia/Pacific excluding Japan, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, and Middle East and Africa), where only 61% of 2015 smartphone shipments were 4G-enabled compared to IDC's 2016 projection of 77%, according to IDC. Mature markets (USA, Canada, Japan, and Western Europe) are further along the 4G adoption curve with 85% in 2015 and a projected 94% in 2016, respectively.

"It's been a long slog for 4G uptake in many emerging markets as 4G data tariffs...

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Nov 30
Voice, facial recognition to be in over 600 mobile...

A new report from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found that biometric authentication is now ready to move beyond fingerprints alone and use a range of identifiers, from facial recognition to voiceprints.

These methods will become part of many more consumers’ lives, installed on an estimated 190 million mobile devices, including smartphones and wearables, in 2016, before exceeding 600 million devices by 2021, according to the research group. Juniper has found that demand from businesses for methods that rely less on hardware will raise the profile of newer biometrics over the next five years, in particular voiceprints and facial recognition.

These technologies are easier to deploy than fingerprinting, as they do not require dedicated hardware, bringing biometric security to a whole new audience in markets with lower-tier smartphones, with fingerprinting remaining common in...

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Nov 29
Mobile drives €18.6 billion online ad revenue in 2016

IHS Markit (www.ihs.com) — which specializes in critical information, analytics and solutions -- in collaboration with IAB Europe -- announced updated findings from its annual European online advertising report, “AdEx Benchmark H1 Study.” The online advertising market grew 13.4% year-on-year from €16.4 billion to €18.6 billion in the first six months of 2016.

“Strong economic growth in all the European Big Five for the first time since 2010 underpinned the surge in online advertising in the first six months of 2016,” said Eleni Marouli, principal analyst at IHS Technology and report author. “We saw an uplift across all formats from 2015.”

Mobile advertising amounted to €3.8 billion in the first six months of 2016, split evenly between search and display. Mobile’s share of search was 32% and mobile’s share of display was 32.8%, the report said.

“Mobile accounted for one in three euros spent in Europe,”...

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Nov 28
Taxi sector to lead self-driving market

New findings from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) reveal that the annual production of self-driving cars will reach 14.5 million in 2025, up significantly from only a few thousands in 2020, to give a global installed base of more than 22 million consumer vehicles by 2025.

The new research found that the market adoption of AV (Autonomous Vehicle) technology is set to accelerate over the next few years, driven by:

° Increasingly stringent vehicle safety specifications;

° Environmental pressures;
° Rapid technological developments.

Juniper Research found that driverless vehicles will have a disruptive impact on transportation around the world and will ultimately lead to millions of professional drivers being made redundant. The research group predicts that city-based taxi services will be one of the key early adopters of driverless vehicles.

“The...

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Nov 23
Study: women prefer to shop in store, men online

Indix (www.indix.com), a cloud catalog company that provides structured product information via Data-as-a-Service, has released a new data report titled, "A Look Into Consumer Shopping Behavior." This study on the trends taking place both online and in-store provides brands and retailers insights into how factors like price, discovery, and availability influence whether or not a purchase is made.

The independent survey was conducted in partnership with Research Now, a digital data collection company and market research firm. The report examined several aspects of consumer shopping behavior, of which the following key findings were identified:
° Women prefer to purchase products in store (43% vs. 36%), whereas men prefer to shop online (31% vs. 24 %).

° Women are less likely to purchase products online if shipping and handling is expensive, and men are less likely to purchase products online if they aren't...

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Nov 22
Black Friday shoppers should look for smartphone, 4K...

When the holiday stocking-stuffing season officially kicks off this Friday, tech-savvy U.S. shoppers are in for a treat, as smartphone competitors figure to begin offering special package deals and discounts on those devices.

As they head to retail outlets and shop online on Black Friday, Nov. 25, and through the holidays, American shoppers may also want to add 4K televisions, tablets and notebooks to their wish lists. Due to a variety of market factors, it’s a great time to shop for deals specifically on those types of electronics, according to new analysis from IHS Markit (ihsmarket.com), an information, analytics and solutions firm.

Ever since mid-October, when Samsung Electronics recalled its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones due to their overheating, competitors such as Apple, Sony, Google and LG Electronics have not yet been able to capitalize on Samsung’s perceived weakness with their own offers. However, things may soon be different, bringing good tidings to...

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Nov 21
Chinese smartphone vendors only one to increase sales...

Huawei, Oppo and BBK Communication Equipment together accounted for 21% of the smartphones sold to end users worldwide in the third quarter of 2016, according to Gartner (www.gartner.com). They were the only smartphone vendors in the global top five to increase their sales and market share during the quarter, the research group adds.

"China led the growth in the smartphone market in the third quarter of 2016," said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner. "Sales of smartphones in China grew by 12.4%, and the vendors who most successfully exploited the sales opportunities there were Oppo and BBK Communication Equipment. In Oppo's case, 81% of its smartphone sales came from China, while BBK accounted for 89% of smartphones sales in China. These two vendors also grew strongly in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Russia," he added.

Global sales of smartphones to end users totaled 373 million units in...

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Nov 18
Email newsletters are now the norm for most large...

Sending email newsletters is a routine business practice for more than 80% of large organizations in the US, surpassing standalone (79%), lead nurturing (71%), and transactional (62%) emails, according to an email marketing survey from Clutch (www.clutch.co), a ratings and reviews platform for businesses.

Most organizations send out their newsletter multiple times a week, the survey found, with Monday and Friday, between 9 and 11 a.m., being the most popular periods. However, no universal rule governs when to distribute a newsletter, according to email marketing experts.

"We need to send [emails] when they will be at the top of the inbox. If the email gets buried, it is less likely to be opened and read," said Michael Barber, Founder of barber&hewitt , a strategy and planning firm focused on business-to-business (B2B) organizations.

Nearly 90% of email marketers said that email personalization is...

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Nov 17
Home networking tips for the holiday season

‘Tis the season for family and friends to slow down your home network. In today’s connected world, holiday visitors bring a collection of gadgets that require Internet – likely resulting in extremely slow Wi-Fi and unhappy guests.

Many homes are plagued by slow speeds, bad reception and other Wi-Fi issues. Additionally, more US consumers than ever – about 68% or 170 million – plan to purchase tech gifts this year. To spread holiday cheer and increase Wi-Fi speeds, D-Link is gifting tech tips and home networking gear to ensure Wi-Fi performance is up to speed during the holidays and through the new year.
 
“New innovative gadgets, from smart home devices to gaming consoles, will likely result in the biggest holiday season yet for the tech sector,” said Oscar Reyes, vice president of marketing, D-Link. “Considering many households haven’t upgraded their routers in years, and the majority of gifts rely on a wireless network, now is the time to enhance home networks...

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Nov 16
Marketers: single customer view is a myth

Two thirds of marketers don’t believe they can accurately calculate the value of their customers, according to research from international marketing company BlueVenn (www.bluevenn.com).

The survey of 202 US and UK senior marketing professionals reveals a wide range of stats that shed light on marketers’ attitudes towards available tools and the most challenging elements of their roles. Data analysis tops the list of today’s challenges, with 99.5% of marketers attempting to analyze their customer data. One third of marketers, however, admits to the lack of relevant knowledge and tools to fully undertake a task that now requires more than 50% of their time.

Unsurprisingly, 72% of respondents consider data analysis to be the most important skill-set to acquire over the next two years, placing it at the top of their core marketing skills’ list above SEO and social media.

“More than ever, marketers...

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Nov 15
How to avoid identity theft and fraud

For the first time in history, online shopping has outweighed shopping in stores this year: consumers are now making 51% of their shopping online, compared to 48% in 2015. When people start shopping for their Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, kicking off the Christmas shopping season, online hackers start their busy season, too.
 
Nearly half (48%) of consumers who shopped online in the past year have experienced payment fraud - which is nearly 80 million people. Many online shops and their clients are still not aware of simple safety protocols as we are entering deeper into all-digital age.
 
Online stores are huge sites of targeted attacks by hackers who try to steal users’ financial details and then use it for money laundering or other schemes. There have been too many cases where an innocent user was tricked into believing that they were entering the credit card details on a secure online store while in reality the user was providing their details to...

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Nov 14
Small businesses' sensitive data at risk in free...

Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) risk data security if they use free cloud storage, but nearly 25% still do, despite warnings from industry experts. In addition, new findings reveal that 11% of SMBs are storing banking information and 14% are storing medical records in free cloud storage. The data comes from a new survey by Clutch (clutch.co), a B2B ratings and reviews firm.

Storing sensitive data in free cloud storage is an ill-advised and irresponsible business practice since necessary security measures are often lacking, according to cloud experts interviewed for the report. Businesses that store banking or medical information are required to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI) or Health Insurance Accountability and Portability Act (HIPAA).
"If you need to be HIPAA compliant or PCI compliant, you should be using the highest level of security that you can obtain, and usually that's not present on most free cloud storage accounts...

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Nov 11
Here’s why pre-5G deployment will be highly targeted

Mobile Experts (www.mobile-experts.com) has released a new case study on 5G Ultra-Broadband that explores the future return on investment (ROI) for Fixed-Broadband 5G Networks. The study calculates the potential ROI for a mobile operator to invest in a 28GHz pre-5G network by comparing to LTE costs and potential costs for a sub-6GHz network using 5G technology.

The 23-page study identifies three main factors that analyze spectrum cost, link distance, and traffic density. At historical prices, 5G won’t be successful. According to Mobile Experts, inexpensive access is absolutely necessary to large spectrum blocks.

"The business case for 5G Fixed Broadband is not a slam-dunk," commented Principal Analyst Joe Madden. "We expect pre-5G deployment to be a very targeted investment by mobile operators, addressing very specific neighborhoods instead of nationwide deployment.”

Short mm-wave links...

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Nov 10
Wearable tech to focus more on health

As technology becomes more advanced and costs of production falling, wearable devices become more mainstream. While the fitness trackers and wearable cameras were the most popular wearable devices, a stronger emphasis on health and a bigger demand for home care are expected drive up demand for medical wearables.

According to a recent research by Global Market Insights (www.gminsight.com), a market research and management consulting company, the wearable devices market size is anticipated to exceed $12 billion by 2023, which represents growth of about 24% CAGR [compound annual growth rate] from 2016 to 2023.

A rising demand for sophisticated devices, combined with innovative features is what expected to drive demand. Also according to the research electronic wearable medical devices that offer monitoring solutions on numerous health parameters such as glucose, blood sugar, chronic diseases, namely...

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Nov 10
The global mobile cloud market will be worth $39...

According to new data from Research and Markets (www.researchandmarkets.com), the global mobile cloud market will be worth $38.48 billion by 2020.

The mobile cloud market includes a combination of cloud computing, mobile computing and wireless technologies and networks to enhance the computational power. The beneficiaries of the technology are the mobile/smartphone users, network operators and cloud service providers, since the smartphone, tablet and cloud computing technologies are converging into the new mobile cloud market, notes Research and Markets. The mobile cloud market is projected to grow from US$9.46 billion in 2015 to $38.48 billion in 2020, at an estimated compound annual growth rate of 26.34%.

Mobile cloud technology is broadly four types: Immobile Clouds, Proximate Immobile Computing, Proximate Mobile Computing and Hybrid Computing. At a time when mobile technologies have...

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Nov 09
66.2% of financial organizations faced a cybersecurity...

MetricStream Research (www.metricstream.com) has released a new report, "The State of Cybersecurity in the Financial Services Industry," which reveals that 66.2% of financial organizations faced at least one cybersecurity attack in the last year.

The report, based on a survey conducted in July 2016, features the perspectives of C-level information security professionals in over 60 banking and financial services firms across the globe. The respondents represented financial enterprises of multiple sizes, as well as various segments, including banking, insurance, asset management, diversified financials, investment services, and foreign exchange services.

A spate of recent cyberattacks on financial institutions, including the Bangladesh Bank heist and the Banco del Austro hack, have propelled cybersecurity to the top of the corporate agenda, and prompted boards and executive teams to question the...

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Nov 08
Worldwide services revenues to pass $1 trillion for...

According to a new forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) “Worldwide Semiannual Services Tracker, IT Services and Business Services,” revenues are poised to pass the $1 trillion mark for the first time in 2018. Worldwide services spending totals for 2016 are expected to stay within the $900 billion range and by 2020 expected to near $1.1 trillion.

On a geographic basis, the United States is expected to generate the largest percentage of services spending throughout the forecast period, followed by Western Europe. The fastest growing regions will be Latin America, then the Middle East and Africa (MEA), which is poised to surpass Canada's services spending by 2017. Among the major global regions, Asia/Pacific (including Japan) is forecast to have the highest overall growth rate.

With more than $100 million worth of spending each this year, the largest services markets will be Key Horizontal Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Systems Integration...

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Nov 07
Voice control the new breakout star in smart home...

Voice control became a standout, new category for smart home devices over the past 18 months, finds ABI Research (www.abirseearch.com).

But its future is even brighter due to its solid marketing efforts, as well as its ability to leverage digital assistant adoption on smartphones and deliver genuine consumer value. Voice control smart home devices, typified by the Amazon Echo, will represent almost 30% of smart home device spending by 2021, despite being a device category that barely existed two years ago.

"Voice control will not only draw in new consumers to smart home functionality, but it will help transform a wide variety of new and emerging smart home services and devices into more attractive investments," says Jonathan Collins, research director at ABI Research. "The stage is set for voice control to become the heart of any smart home system." 

Amazon's market leadership with its Alexa...

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Nov 04
IDC reveals CIO agenda 2017 predictions

Today's IT organizations are divided into two camps: those that thrive by effectively leveraging digital technologies, new business models, and entrepreneurial cultures; and those that are saddled by technical debt, plodding business processes, and lack of a digitally-fueled vision for the future.

To help CIOs and IT executives successfully lead their organizations through accelerating digital transformation, International Data Corporation (IDC) has unveiled "IDC FutureScape: Worldwide CIO Agenda 2017 Predictions." These predictions lay out the ten most important shifts that will happen in IT organizations over the next 36 months and will guide senior IT executives in the formation of their three-year strategic IT plan.

In a Web conference held Nov. 2, IDC analysts Joe Pucciarelli, Serge Findling, and Mike Jennett offered guidance for managing the impact of these 10 predictions on IT investment priorities and implementation strategies. Those predictions are:

... | Read more »
Nov 03
Residential smart light bulb market to approach a...

The market for connected LED or “smart” light bulbs is in its embryonic stage of development, with shipments totaling fewer than 2.5 million units in 2013.

However, falling LED prices and the endorsement of ZigBee Light Link as the preferred connectivity solution by a number of leading lighting manufacturers means that annual smart bulb shipments are set to increase to 223 million by 2020, achieving a total installed base of over 400 million, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

"Because of the additional dimensions smart lighting brings to the consumer lifestyle, including lighting automation, and because of its carbon footprint efficiency, this industry will rapidly become one of the key technologies that could bring IoE closer to consumers," Malik Saadi, practice director at the research company. "Because of the additional dimensions smart lighting brings to the consumer lifestyle,...

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Nov 02
Global wireless audio devices market worth $39 million...

A new report from Research and Markets (www.researchandmarkets.com) says that the global wireless audio devices market will be worth $39 million by 2022.

The market is expected to garner $38,807.5 million by 2022, registering a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 24.4% during 2016-2022, according to the research group. The wireless speaker systems segment is expected to dominate the market through 2022. North America is expected to be the leading region in the market during the forecast period.

Research and Markets says that wireless audio devices have emerged as an ideal alternative to traditional wired audio devices, owing to their portability, convenience, cost-effectiveness, efficiency, and flexibility. Increasing penetration of infotainment devices, such as mobile phones, laptops, tablets, automobile infotainment devices, coupled with increasing demand for mobility services drive...

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Nov 01
The Northern Spy: Sierra stumbles out of the gate

By Rick Sutcliffe

Lulled into a false sense of security by Apple's multiple successful OS X upgrades in the past, the Spy confidently installed macOS Sierra, expecting a treat. He wishes he hadn't, and advises anyone still using El Capitan to refrain from changing (he can't call this an upgrade, despite the inclusion of Siri) until Apple fixes some major bugs.

The main issue facing the Spy is Sierra's failure (even after the first update) to run several programs he relies upon big time. See, besides teaching Mathematics and Computing Science at TWU (that's Trinity Western University, not Texas Womens University) and writing assorted books, he also teaches Bible at Aldergrove Baptist Church, and is about half way through mining for diamonds in the book of Romans (ninth year so far, now at 8:31). To this end, he depends greatly on programs such as (listing in order of basic to advanced) Online Bible Macintosh, the Olive Tree Bible Study program, and the...

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Nov 01
Motion, gesture interfaces key to VR, wearables market

A new study by Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found that gesture and motion control will become vital for certain forms of human-computer interaction in the coming years. The use of the technology in smartphone-based VR (Virtual Reality) will be particularly important in driving up usage.

Juniper forecasts 128 million devices by the end of 2016, rising to 492 million by 2020 – a growth of over 280%. The research found that great progress has been made in the development of gesture and motion interfaces, from companies such as Leap Motion and Thalmic Labs. Juniper expects nearly 50% of all wearables and almost all VR to use the technology by 2021. However, for more established platforms like PCs and smartphones, Juniper believes that usage will remain low, with less than 5% of such devices using gesture control by that time.

The arrival of motion control for smartphone VR in...

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Oct 31
Video is now a mobile-first experience

According to 3Cinteractive (www.3C.com), video is now a mobile-first experience and will account for 77% of all US mobile data traffic by 2020, up from 61% in 2015.

With this focus on video for user-generated content creation, 3Cinteractive is seeing the big players putting emphasis on the quality and functionality surrounding mobile phone cameras, and even introducing their own alternatives for better quality video. What do brands, retailers and marketers now need to know about their prospects of utilizing video for mobile campaigns?

In its September release event, Apple unveiled updated specs of the iPhone 7 camera, including dual camera functionality that foreshadows upcoming AR/VR plans in the future.
 
Last month, Snapchat released its first hardware product, Spectacles, which are glasses designed to capture short video clips by clicking the button on the device. Instead of being tied to the user’s...

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Oct 28
AI revenues to surge past $47 billion in 2020

Widespread adoption of cognitive systems and artificial intelligence (AI) across a broad range of industries will drive worldwide revenues from nearly $8.0 billion in 2016 to more than $47 billion in 2020. According to a new report from International Data Corporation (www.idc.com), the market for cognitive/AI solutions will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 55.1% over the 2016-2020 forecast period.

"Software developers and end user organizations have already begun the process of embedding and deploying cognitive/artificial intelligence into almost every kind of enterprise application or process," said David Schubmehl, research director, C ognitive Systems and Content Analytics at IDC. "Recent announcements by several large technology vendors and the booming venture capital market for AI startups illustrate the need for organizations to be planning and undertaking strategies that incorporate these wide-...

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Oct 27
Streaming media device market to grow at a CAGR of 17....

A new report from Research and Markets (www.researchandmarkets.com) forecasts the global streaming media device market — which includes the Apple TV — to grow at a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 17.45% during the period 2016-2020. The market is currently in its nascent stage but is witnessing unprecedented growth, according to the research group.

In 2015, Asia-Pacific (APAC) had the highest growth rate in the market. Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) and the Americas are quite matured markets. According to Research and Markets, one of the key drivers for market growth will be easy connectivity with electronic devices. A major factor driving the sales of streaming devices is the ease with which media content can be streamed and shared between various streaming devices.

With the help of a home network, a streaming device can connect with various devices. The content can...

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Oct 26
Augmented reality app downloads to top 2.3 billion by...

A new study from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found that the popularity of Pokémon GO is inspiring app developers to incorporate AR [augmented reality] technologies into their applications.

The research group forecasts that the AR market will rise to 2.3 billion apps by 2021, representing a 380% increase from an estimated 482 million in 2016. The launch of the AR game sparked a worldwide phenomenon that has created a greater interest in the technology, leaving developers ‘champing at the bit’ to recreate its global success.

According to Juniper Research, AR content has now evolved past its ‘gimmicky’ reputation, and consumer attitudes have become more positive towards the technology. The report found that despite smartphones already being capable of this level of AR, the success of applications were down to desirable content, such as Pokémon GO and Snapchat.

“The...

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Oct 25
Personalization to spur digital coupon growth by 60%

A new study from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found that the number of coupons issued via mobile and online channels will grow by more than 60% over the next five years, increasing from 224 billion in 2016 to 362 billion in 2021.

Juniper’s latest research found that the growth in digital coupon volumes can in large part be attributed to a greater retailer emphasis on the provision of highly targeted, personalized offers to consumers. According to the research group, brands will increasingly deploy bots, artificial intelligence applications which can interact with consumers via social media and messaging applications such as Facebook Messenger.

The research cited Domino’s Pizza and Iceland Air as companies which have already utilized this strategy. Meanwhile, mass adoption of social media has spawned a number of dedicated coupon aggregators operating within that space,...

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Oct 24
BatchOutput for Microsoft Word Now Supports macOS...

Zevrix Solutions has announced BatchOutput DOC 2.4.7, a compatibility update to its output automation solution for Microsoft Word on macOS.

BatchOutput automates printing and exporting of multiple documents to PDF, and allows to carry out professional PDF production directly from Word bringing PDF creation options right to the user's fingertips. The new version makes BatchOutput DOC compatible with the recently released macOS 10.12 Sierra.

BatchOutput DOC can be purchased for US $39.95 from the Zevrix Solutions website (www.zevrix.com), as well as from authorized resellers and the Mac App Store. A demo is available for download. The update is free for users of version 2 and $20 from version 1. BatchOutput DOC requires Mac OS X 10.6-10.12 and Microsoft Word 2008, 2011 or 2016.

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Oct 24
In-flight Wi-Fi is a unique space for cyber theft

The dangers of public Wi-Fi are already well known, but the security issues of in-flight Internet connection are still somewhat obscure. In 2015, there were already 52 airlines worldwide offering in-flight Internet, and the prevalence of U.S. in-flight Wi-Fi alone has grown 1,600-fold since 2013.
 
Security is an issue with in-flight Internet - dominated by Gogo provider, while its two main competitors, ViaSat and GEE, use satellites exclusively for airlines such as JetBlue and Southwest. First, there's no password protection on the Wi-Fi connection, so anyone can intercept all data that¹s being transmitted on the wireless network.
 
Thus, while it¹s great to go online while you are in the sky, connecting to Gogo or other provider might mean you are giving your private data away to cybercriminals. Airplanes are unique hacking grounds ­ more dangerous than airports or coffee shops, as they cram passengers in one small space for hours. This gives plenty of...

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Oct 21
Simba report shows Google’s rising impact in schools

A growing number of students are doing their schoolwork on Chromebooks, and an increasing number of teachers are managing their work with free tools from Google, according to “K-12 Classroom Technology Survey Report 2016,” a new report from Simba Information (www.simbainformation.com).

Chromebooks, which represented less than 2% of education market device sales a few years ago, now are found in more than one-quarter of classrooms. Chromebooks follow the legacy classroom desktop computer as the available device having the biggest impact on student achievement. Chromebooks follow iPads as the device teachers would most like to add for student use.

"The percentage of teachers using Google Classroom, a free platform for managing assignments and communicating with students, was more than three times that of any other learning management system when Simba Information and MCH Strategic Data...

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Oct 20
61% of shoppers expect to spend more this holiday...

While it may be an election year often signaling uncertainty when it comes to shopping and spending, a new survey conducted by Kelton Global on behalf of savings destination RetailMeNot (www.retailmenot.com) reports that 61% of shoppers plan to spend more this holiday season than last. In fact, nearly one in three shoppers plan to spend at least $200 more.

Despite the increase in spending, consumers will be taking advantage of deals and offers by seeking out savings prior to shopping either in-store or online, especially on the bigger ticket items like electronics that are on many wish lists. Seven out of ten consumers look for deals on holiday gifts year round, but 40% still feel they will find the best discounts on Black Friday. 

Searching for deals year round is certainly a successful strategy, but shoppers should reconsider making all purchases at one time, as category deals ebb and flow between...

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Oct 19
The market is bright for power amps in phones

LTE smartphones led to a bump in sales of RF power amplifiers in 2015 and the first half of 2016, according to Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com) Over the next five years, highly integrated multiband PA modules that include switch and filter content similar to the PAs used today in the flagship Apple iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 will ship in increasing numbers into lower-tier smartphones.

According to Christopher Taylor, author of the report and director, RF & Wireless Components, Strategy Analytics: ”The need for smartphones with more LTE bands has led to multiband PAs that contain more RF filters and switches, capturing more front-end phone content for the suppliers, contributing to a growth of the PA market that will continue at least until 2020 and 5G."

Eric Higham, Director of Advance Semiconductor Applications at Strategy Analytics, adds: "Gallium arsenide forms...

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Oct 18
Mobile developer population reaches 12 million...

The number of developers involved with development of mobile apps reached 12 million in 2016, according to Evans Data Corp’s (www.evansdata.com) “Global Development Population and Demographics Study.”

It also found that the number of developers writing for mobile devices has increased by more than five times since Evans began measuring developer participation in mobile development in 2006, when just slightly less than two million developers were targeting mobile. At 12 million, the population of developers targeting mobile is more than half of the total worldwide population of 21 million developers.
The study, which is now in its 20th edition, estimates not only current software developer populations across four major regions and 40 different countries, but also overlays global primary research onto the population numbers to show numbers of developers forecast to adopt technologies now and in the future....

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Oct 18
Shipments of 3D printers to grow 108% in 2016

Worldwide shipments of 3D printers will reach 455,772 units in 2016, more than doubling the 219,168 units shipped in 2015, according to Gartner, Inc.'s latest forecast. Despite slowing growth rates after the market's initial growth spurt, the increase in 3D printer shipments over the next four years will see the number of units shipped in 2020 total more than 6.7 million.

"Once a niche market, 3D printing has continued its rapid transformation into a broad-based mainstream technology embraced by consumers and enterprises around the world," said Pete Basiliere, research vice president at Gartner (www.gartner.com). "The evolution of hardware and software along with an ever-expanding collection of usable materials has driven growth in both the consumer and enterprise 3D printing markets.”

3D printing is now experiencing widespread acceptance beyond its application in specialist industries. Today, 3D printing is...

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Oct 17
Service robots replacing human workers globally

As technology improves and as prices fall, professional service robots are increasingly doing jobs formerly handled by human workers. Revenue from professional service robots reached $2.6 billion, with around 20,000 units shipped in 2015, according to a new report from IHS Markit (www.ihsmarkit.com),which specializes in critical information, analytics and solutions.

The emerging market for professional service robots is forecast to increase very quickly, with a unit-shipment compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 46%, from 2015 to 2020, the report says. After 2020, the global market for professional service robot markets will grow even faster, with more robots moving from prototype to commercialization in various applications.

“The various demands on the professional service applications are multi-billion dollar opportunity for the professional service robot markets,” said Wilmer Zhou, senior analyst,...

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Oct 14
Bots, natural language interfaces to drive mobile...

New findings from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) claim that merchant integration of technologies such as bots and natural language interfaces will lead to remote goods purchases by mobile totaling $2.1 trillion by 2021. This represents a 100% increase from this year’s projection for spend on physical and digital goods.

The research found that rising smartphone use in digital retail was the underlying cause for stakeholder development in Bots, natural language processing, and disruption at the payment gateway. The new study found that shoppers would be driven away from merchants where keyword search and menu-driven systems were in place.

It suggested that where merchants deployed conversational interfaces, such as bots and natural language search, they would be able to far better understand the consumer’s intent. The North Face, for example, has developed an intelligent digital...

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Oct 13
Security tech revenue to surpass $100 billion in 2020

The first Worldwide Semiannual Security Spending Guide from International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts worldwide revenues for security-related hardware, software, and services will grow from $73.7 billion in 2016 to $101.6 billion in 2020.

This represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.3%, more than twice the rate of overall IT spending growth, over the five-year forecast period. The new spending guide expands on IDC's previous security forecasts by offering greater detail on spending by geography, industry, and technology.

"Today's security climate is such that enterprises fear becoming victims of the next major cyberattack or cyber extortion," said Sean Pike, program vice president, Security Products, IDC (www.idc.com). "As a result, security has become heavily scrutinized by boards of directors demanding that security budgets are used wisely and solutions operate at peak efficiency.”

The...

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Oct 12
Devices with wireless charging forecast to jump 40%...

The number of devices enabled with wireless charging will exceed 200 million units a year for the first time in 2016, according to the latest IHS Markit (www.ihs.com) forecast.  Driven by shipments in mobile phones and wearables, this represents a 40% increase over 2015 levels as more consumers experience wireless charging for the first time, according to the research group.

Earlier this year, the IHS Markit consumer survey showed that one in four people has now used wireless charging and more than 98% of those would choose the feature again on their next phone. Both consumer demand for the feature and the volume of enabled devices are growing each year.

However, the market will still fall short of original expectations that it could have reached 250 million receivers shipped this year.  A combination of reasons drove this, in particular the exclusion of wireless charging on flagship mobile phones (such as the...

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Oct 11
VR gambling to grow 800% by 2021

New data from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found that gross wagers from VR (Virtual Reality) gambling will grow from just over $58.5 million this year, to just under $520 million by 2021, representing an increase of 800%.

Juniper’s latest research found that VR gambling deployments over the next five years will be concentrated in the casino space, which will potentially offer immersive, real-world VR locations. However, the research group cautioned that the high cost of VR devices would inhibit the extent of user adoption, with the addressable base in the short and medium term largely limited to early adopters.

Nevertheless, research author Lauren Foye argued that the initial user base would primarily comprise of smartphone VR players, alongside users of top-end personal computers seeking the highest fidelity experience. According to Foye, “These will be coupled with a niche...

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Oct 10
Easy passwords and free Wi-Fi can cost you plenty

There are many ways to ensure your safety and prevent becoming an unwitting victim of cybercrime that could cost you thousands of dollars, according to security experts and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).

Using a weak password while on a free Wi-Fi network can make your device more susceptible to cyber theft. You can strengthen your password by including a variety of symbols, letters and numbers. Try a minimum length of eight characters and use a combination of upper and lower case letters and at least one number. You should also commit your passwords to memory and don't store them on your computer or mobile devices.

Wi-Fi connections present risks at home and on the road. Wi-Fi hotspots are common targets for identity thieves as they are often unsecure and accessible to anyone. Unless you are using a secure web page, you should never send or receive private information when using public Wi-Fi. Avoid conducting financial or corporate transactions on these...

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Oct 07
IHS: spending on VR entertainment to hit $3.3 billion...

Aggressive promotional activity from smartphone vendors and the launch of premium smartphone VR solutions, including Google’s Daydream View, will help drive the installed base of VR headsets from 4 million in 2015 to 81 million in 2020, according to IHS Market (www.ihs.com). That same year, consumer spending on VR headsets will reach $7.9 billion and spending on VR entertainment will hit $3.3 billion, adds the research group.

“While the VR headset installed base will escalate significantly to 81 million by 2020, we predict that expensive, higher-end headsets will dominate content monetisation,” said Piers Harding-Rolls, director of games analysis at IHS Technology. “There will be a polarization of the VR market between lower volume premium VR headsets, which will have strong paid content conversion rates, and higher-volume cheaper smartphone VR headsets, which will monetise content at a lower rate.”

Smartphone VR...

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Oct 06
ON World: LPWAN Services Will Reach $75 Billion by 2020

At a pivotal time for the Internet of Things, Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technologies are blindsiding existing wireless sensor network technologies with multi-kilometer network ranges, multi-year battery lifetimes and cloud-integrated network stacks, according to a recently published report by global IoT research firm ON World (www.onworld.com).

"After a decade of technology advances such as low power wireless radios, MEMS and cloud platforms, LPWANs represent a new gold rush for Internet of Things investors and developers," says Mareca Hatler, ON World's research director. "The simplicity and accessibility of LPWANs is drawing new entrants and innovative IoT services that will contribute billions of dollars to the global economy.”

ON World's interviews and surveys with 150+ IoT market leaders found that 1-in- 3 are planning or currently offer LPWAN products and services with the majority of these...

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Oct 05
Gartner: spending on VPA-enabled speakers speakers to...

End-user spending for the worldwide virtual personal assistant (VPA)-enabled wireless speaker market will reach $2.1 billion by 2020, up from $360 million in 2015, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). By 2020, 3.3% of global households are forecast to have adopted a VPA-enabled wireless speaker.

"Last year, the VPA speaker market essentially consisted of end-user spending focused entirely on Amazon Echo, a wireless speaker with an array of embedded microphones to capture and respond to users' far-field voice commands for Amazon's VPA — Alexa. Later, Amazon introduced the Tap and Echo Dot," said Werner Goertz, research director at Gartner. "By 2020, competitors' products and third-party implementations of leading VPAs (Google Assistant, Apple's Siri and Microsoft's Cortana) will likely have ramped up.”

VPA speakers, especially those that are wall-powered, allow for multiple devices to be owned by a...

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Oct 04
iOS and macOS Updates: What VPN Users Need to Know

Recently, Apple rolled out its newest operating system updates – iOS 10 and macOS Sierra. The new updates brought about a lot of exciting new features and upgrades. Apple’s mobile and Mac software is now more integrated: for example, Siri assistant has arrived on the computer. Users are also excited about the Universal Clipboard that allows to choose photos from iPhone and directly paste them on a computer.
 
However, there might be some frustrating news for those who had VPN apps installed on their Mac or iPhone. The latest version of the software doesn’t support point-to-point tunneling protocol (PPTP) connections, meaning that a VPN that is using PPTP protocol will no longer work with devices that have iOS 10 and macOS Sierra.
 
PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol) was one of the first security protocols introduced. However, it is considered very weak nowadays and therefore PPTP isn’t a recommended option anymore. Most likely, this was the reason for...

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Oct 04
Domestic money mobile transfer market to exceed $500...

A new study from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found that the value of domestic money transfers, including operator money and social media money services, will reach $520 billion in mobile transactions by 2018, up nearly 200% from an estimated $178 billion last year.

According to the new research by 2018 the share of domestic money transfer services, by mobile transaction values are forecast to be: domestic P2P: 45%; Cash-In: 21%; Cash-Out: 17%; Bulk Disbursement (G2P): 14%; and Domestic Airtime Top-Up: 2%. Typically P2P (person to person) domestic transfers show higher usage in developing markets, including M-Pesa, Airtel Money, Orange Money and MTN Mobile Money, supplemented by users making social transfers in developed markets via services such as Venmo and WeChat.

However, the bulk of activity is currently occurring via WeChat and Alipay within China, with growth...

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Oct 03
The Northern Spy: more than one kind of bug

By Rick Sutcliffe

The Spy described himself last month as "still breathing.” In view of the worst cold to afflict him in many years, that is not a quality statement, just a bare fact. Good thing he isn't trying to dictate this column.

VCON-41 was this past weekend (why he delayed writing this) and the Spy was scheduled for four panels and a reading. After struggling through Friday afternoon and evening, he awoke Saturday with no voice at all, and had to cancel out of two panels plus a reading of his work on Saturday.

Too bad, because Friday night's panel on Minions (that he moderated) had a large and vigorously opinionated audience and provoked extensive discussions back-and-forth with the panel--the ideal outcome for such a venue. Some panelists and audience members were convinced that the very word "minion" is pejorative, so only applies to the flunkies of the Big Bad. The Spy differs--the protagonist may have minions too, not just sidekicks...

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Oct 03
Technavio: global smart wearable market to grow ‘...

Technavio (www.technavio.com) analysts forecast that the global smart wearable lifestyle devices and services market will grow immensely and post a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of almost 16% during the forecast period of 2016-2020

The smart wearable lifestyle services market in North America was valued at $0.84 billion in 2015 and will reach $2.37 billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 23.05%, according to the research group. The market is driven by the early adoption of wearable devices in these regions. The key revenue contributors of this region are US, Canada, and Mexico.

The largest contributor to the market in this region is the U.S. because of the early adoption of lifestyle devices among adults and youth. The key reason for this high adoption is affordability. The decline in the average selling price of wearable devices will boost the growth of the market during the forecast period.

...

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