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Nov 06
Tablet owners like their data plans

 The share of customers who purchase tablets with mobile data plans is on the rise due to their ability to stay continuously connected to the Internet, and satisfaction among these customers is higher than those with Wi-Fi only connections, according to new data from J.D. Power.

The gap in satisfaction between owners with data plan-connected tablets and those with Wi-Fi only devices is 26 points (833 vs. 807, respectively), up from 22 points in J.D. Power’s 2014 study. The research group says the proportion of customers who purchase tablets with mobile data plans is 31 percent, a higher share than in any previous J.D. Power study and a three percentage point gain from six months ago.

The increased popularity of subscribing to data plans is attributable to customer interest in staying connected and using a tablet for activities such as browsing the Internet, streaming music and videos, playing games, using apps and communicating on social media sites. The convenience...

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Nov 05
Regular Netflix users watch 10 TV shows per week

Regular (monthly) Netflix users in the US have grown even more dependent on the service for viewing TV programming, saying they watch 10 shows per week via the platform – as well as four movies during the same timeframe, according to the GfK research group ( For TV content, this represents a doubling of the level (five shows per week) found in the same survey three years ago.

Projected to the full population, this means that the average US consumer ages 13 to 54 watches roughly 5 TV shows and two movies per week via Netflix using one or more platforms. The findings come from “Over the Top TV 2015: A Complete Video Landscape” – the latest study in GfK’s ongoing The Home Technology Monitor series tracking media technology and services. The new report includes trends from five prior “over the top” (OTT) studies conducted since 2010.

Watching via Netflix on mobile devices has also more than doubled in three...

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Nov 04
Ten percent of Spanish broadband households own a...

New data from Parks Associates ( finds that 10 percent of Spanish broadband households own a smart watch, followed by eight percent in the U.K., seven percent in Germany, and six percent in France.

"Form factors such as the smart watch are creating new opportunities for wearables in the connected home, with home controls and health applications near the top of the list for potential use cases," said Stuart Sikes, president, Parks Associates. "At CONNECTIONS™ Europe, we will highlight the business opportunities for service and technology providers, component suppliers, and software designers.”

The research group says that 10 percent of Western European broadband households plan to purchase a smart watch within the next 12 months. Broadband households in Spain have the highest purchase intentions with 12 percent, followed by 10 percent in France and Germany, and nine...

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Nov 04
Smart watches to trump other wearables win smart home...

The smart home market, projected to reach US$34 billion in 2020 is becoming the center of activity for multiple IoT (Internet of Things) ecosystems, including wearables. 

A report from ABI Research ( says that smart watches will drive the most interest for wearables integration into the smart home even though fitness trackers were approximately two-thirds of all wearable device shipments in 2014.  Recent announcements of Android Wear from Google and Apple Watch are driving integration efforts from various smart home platform vendors such as iControl, and Samsung's SmartThings.

Wearables integration with smart home systems will drive more proximal network communications in the smart home, according to ABI Research. This is starting to happen as device vendors slowly start to open up their APIs (application programming interfaces) and share data to deliver more...

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Nov 03
Improving customer experience top priority for...

Improving the overall customer experience is a top business priority for companies and a main driver behind their digital transformation ambitions, according to a new study from Accenture. But the majority of businesses don’t set themselves apart yet from competitors through the digital customer experience they offer.

The study, titled “Digital Transformation in the Age of the Customer,” ( is based on a survey of nearly 400 decision-makers in companies globally. It was commissioned by Accenture Interactive, part of Accenture Digital, and conducted by Forrester Consulting. Key findings in the study include:

° “Improving the customer experience” topped the list of business priorities companies have for the next 12 months. It received the most number one rankings (21 percent), followed by “growing revenues” (17 percent) and “improving differentiation” (16 percent)....

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Nov 02
The Northern Spy: Apple’s sales saga

By Rick Sutcliffe

Apple's sales saga continues to flummox many pundits. They forecast earnings estimates too low or too high, and when they miss, they criticize--not themselves, but Apple--as if it were Cupertino's fault they aren't more prescient.

The latest take on this is that because Apple's iPhone sales generate so large a percentage of the total income, and aren't breaking records by a very wide margin these days, the company is somehow in trouble, and about to become last year's news. Really? Start your own company, and when your sales exceed Apple's, go ahead and point the finger. Are these the same people who once upon a time delighted to forecast Apple's impending bankruptcy?

Is the market saturated? Not as long as there's a billion or two potential customers out there willing to pay top dollar for a high end product in a first class industrial design. The pundits haven't paid as much attention to declining sales by...

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Oct 30
Gartner: worldwide semiconductor spending to dip one...

Worldwide semiconductor capital spending is projected to decline one percent in 2015, to $63.9 billion, according to Gartner, Inc. ( This is a down from the 2.5 percent growth predicted in Gartner's previous quarter's forecast. The forecast for 2016 is unchanged at a 3.3 percent decline over 2015.

"We are continuing to see weakness in end-user electronics demand in response to an uncertain economic environment, which is putting a damper on 2015 spending," said Takashi Ogawa, research vice president at Gartner. "Next year we are anticipating DRAM manufacturers to respond to oversupply conditions with dramatic deductions in their investment plans.”
Capital investment policies of leading semiconductor vendors have maintained a cautious attitude against the background of sluggish electronics demand. Intel has announced further capital spending cutbacks since Gartner's previous forecast...

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Oct 29
22 percent of smartwatch owners plan to use it for...

New data from Parks Associates ( reveals home controls and automation are key use cases in the smart watch market, as more than one in five U.S. broadband households that own or plan to buy a smart watch intend to use this device for these applications. The research group notes that more than 80 percent of smartphone/tablet users who own at least one smart home device have downloaded mobile apps for these devices.

"The accessibility of a smart watch makes it a natural fit as a remote control for smart home features such as turning on lights remotely, closing garage doors, and adjusting thermostat settings," says Harry Wang, director, Mobile and Health Products Research, Parks Associates. "Many smart home device makers and solution providers have already moved into the wearables ecosystem, with nearly 20 having created an Apple Watch app for their technology. They have to...

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Oct 29
Adobe named leader in digital experience platforms

Adobe ( has been recognized as the leader in “The Forrester Wave™: Digital Experience Platforms, Q4 2015” report by Forrester Research, (

Adobe was among the select companies Forrester invited to participate in the independent report, which evaluated the 10 most significant software vendors in digital experience platforms across 40 criteria. Adobe was positioned as the only leader, ranking highest in current offering.

“Adobe’s integrated platform leads the market,” stated the Forrester report. “Adobe has established a platform of best-of-breed technologies that support marketing activities. This portfolio includes web content management (WCM), testing and optimization, analytics, audience management, social publishing, and campaign management.”

Adobe Marketing Cloud includes a...

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Oct 28
Juniper Research: smart home revenues to reach $100...

New data from Juniper Research ( has found that consumer spend on smart home services, including entertainment, health, energy and home automation will reach US$100 billion by 2020, well over twice the estimated spend for this year, at $43 billion.

Entertainment services such as Netflix and Spotify are playing a key role in boosting the smart home market size, driven by a universal appeal, and the low cost of services, according to the research group. However, emerging smart home segments, such as home automation, are expected to begin catching up, driven by falling hardware costs and increased consumer awareness.

Juniper Research found that numerous home automation subscription services, such as AT&T's Digital Life, have struggled to address the mass-market. Incremental unit-by-unit purchases, to personalize the home, are therefore the most likely entry point for...

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Oct 27
77% of Americans frightened of identify theft

Nearly eight in 10 Americans (77 percent) are frightened of having their identity stolen, according to a new report, including 23 percent who are very frightened. About half of Americans (46 percent) have either been a victim of identity theft or know someone who was, up 12 percentage points from 2008.

One in five Americans is not at all worried about having their identity stolen. 30-49 year-olds are the most nervous about identity theft, while millennials (18-29 year-olds) are the least concerned.

Many Americans aren’t taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves from identity theft. Forty-two percent don’t check their credit reports regularly and 41 percent conduct banking and other sensitive business on unsecured Wi-Fi networks that do not require a password.

“With news of a data hack nearly every week, consumers are doing themselves a disservice by not checking their credit reports regularly,” says analyst Janna Herron. “...

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Oct 26
UK security experts skeptical of IoT device security

A new survey of more than 7,000 IT professionals from global cybersecurity association ISACA suggests that a lack of clarity and standards around Internet of Things (IoT) security is leading to a lack of confidence.

According to the UK IT professionals surveyed for ISACA’s 2015 IT Risk/Reward Barometer (, 75 percent of the security experts polled say they do not believe device manufacturers are implementing sufficient security measures in IoT devices, and a further 73 percent say existing security standards in the industry do not sufficiently address IoT specific security concerns and new standards are needed.

Combined with the assertion from 56 percent of respondents that their organization’s IT department is not aware of all of its connected devices (e.g., connected thermostats, TVs, fire alarms, cars, etc.) these figures demonstrate significant risk. The...

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Oct 23
Mobile banking users to exceed one billion this year

New data from Juniper Research ( shows that over one billion mobile phone users will have used their devices for banking purposes by the end of this year. This global user base is forecast to reach two billion by 2020, by which time it will represent 37% of the global adult population.

Growth in adoption has been particularly aggressive in emerging markets, leading Juniper to revise adoption forecasts upwards. Under Juniper’s revised forecasts, mobile banking users will exceed the 1 billion mark this year instead of during H1 2016 as previously anticipated.

The new research notes that banking strategy in the retail space has evolved into an omnichannel approach by providing a seamless and integrated experience across multiple individual channels. However, while most consumers – especially in developed markets – prefer digital banking and virtual channels, a significant...

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Oct 22
Two thirds of U.S. broadband households use a...

New data from Parks Associates ( shows 66 percent of U.S. broadband households use a streaming audio service.

Among all U.S. broadband households, 40 percent use a free service to stream audio, and 26% subscribe to a paid streaming audio service. Amazon Prime Music is the top subscription music service among U.S. broadband households (10 percent), followed by Pandora One (6 percent), and Spotify Premium (4 percent).

"Consumers have shown plenty of interest in streaming audio and music services, but most consumers have opted for free accounts. Music service providers have built a model around converting free users into paying customers, but this strategy has not paid off so far," says Glenn Hower, research aAnalyst, Parks Associates. "Streaming music providers will have to get creative with revenue streams if they hope to build sustainable businesses, whether through...

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Oct 21
Wearable tech causes security, support, bandwidth...

Ipswitch's "2015 Wearable Technology Survey" ( polled 288 IT professionals in the United States. The survey revealed that more than half of the respondents (52.7 percent) now have users wearing technology to work, a growing concern for IT pros.

IT pros’ top concerns with a high adoption of wearable technology in the workplace included security breaches (61 percent), more work to support more devices (45 percent) and decreased network bandwidth (36 percent). When asked if they had IT policies in place to manage the impact of wearable technology, nearly two-thirds (66 percent) did not while about one-quarter (24 percent) did have such a policy.

Even though wearable technology has yet to break through to the mainstream, 15 percent of all respondents noted that their companies provided wearable technology to its own workers. The most popular wearable technology in the workforce, according to...

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Oct 20
Digital games revenue to pass $100 billion per annum...

New data from Juniper Research ( has found that the digital games industry will generate software revenues of just over US$80 billion this year, rising to $104 billion by the end of 2018. The majority of this growth will stem from the contributions made by the PC market, with this industry alone accounting for 42 percent of games revenues this year, says the research group.

However mobile platforms will account for ever increasing contributions, with a market share approaching 35 percent by 2020. Meanwhile, driven by consumer uptake and software purchases from the latest generation of games consoles, software revenue generated by this segment will reach $27 billion by 2018, up from an estimated $21 billion this year.

Contrary to the rumors of its impending demise, Juniper believes that the console industry will continue to evolve to take advantage of new technological...

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Oct 19
Wireless device charging predicted to be in 50 million...

A new study from Juniper Research ( has found that wireless charging is poised to change the way consumers interact with their cars, with an estimated 50 million vehicles offering built-in wireless device charging by 2020, compared with only four million this year.

The new research found that the technology will enable a range of new in-vehicle services, such as on-board audio streaming, automatic cockpit drill customisation and context-specific notification filtering, made possible through the data exchange and constant power supply. This will also allow automakers to provide software-based services merely through streaming notifications from phone to dashboard, rather than needing to keep on-board firmware and hardware updated.

With no established standard for wireless charging, manufacturers have been hesitant to adopt the technology for fear of buying into a system...

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Oct 16
Strategy Analytics: Wi-Fi calling a must-have service

With at least 10wireless operators already offering native Wi-Fi Calling, the market is set to grow rapidly in the fourth quarter (Q4)2015, according to the Strategy Analytics ( research group.

Unlike earlier versions of calling on Wi-Fi, native Wi-Fi Calling lets users make and receive calls and texts on their smartphones just as if they were on the cellular network, using the phone's dialer and contact lists. Calls can handover between Wi-Fi and Voice over LTE (VoLTE) during the call for a seamless customer experience.

Apple's support for Wi-Fi Calling in last year's iPhone 6 encouraged more operators to add the service capabilities to their networks and offer software upgrades for capable phones—certain models from Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and others. With 13 million new Wi-Fi Calling capable iPhones 6s and 6s+ just sold in the first weekend they were on...

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Oct 15
Sales of smart home devices to explode in the next 12...

New data from Parks Associates ( finds support services are a critical part of brand strategy in the Internet of Things (IoT). According to Parks Associates' consumer research and segmentation, one-third of a key segment of consumers under 35, with high income and education, own a smart home device and more than 50% intend to purchase one in the next 12 months.

"These young, 'go-getter' consumers have a strong desire for comfort and convenience, and that combined with concerns about home safety and security makes smart home devices very attractive," says Patrice Samuels, research analyst, Parks Associates. "They are also accustomed to plug-and-play technology that just works. As we enter the next wave of smart home adoption, support strategies need to integrate with product design and development so that the consumer experience is seamless. Otherwise these consumers will...

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Oct 14
Gartner: worldwide 3D shipments to reach more than 490...

Worldwide shipments of 3D printers will reach 496,475 units in 2016, up 103 percent from the predicted 244,533 units in 2015, according to Gartner, Inc.'s latest forecast. 3D printer shipments are forecast to more than double every year between 2016 and 2019, by which time worldwide shipments are expected to reach more than 5.6 million. 

"Rapid quality and performance innovations across all 3D printer technologies are driving both enterprise and consumer demand, with unit shipment growth rates for 3D printers increasing significantly," says Pete Basiliere, research vice president at Gartner. "The 3D printer market is continuing its transformation from a niche market to broad-based, global market of enterprises and consumers." 

Seven technologies constitute the 3D printer market, with material extrusion forecast to lead 2015 shipments at 232,336 units, increasing to 5,527,493 units in 2019 (97.5 percent of the total) largely due to the sales of low cost, entry-level...

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Oct 13
Eighteen percent of U.S. broadband households own a...

New consumer research from Parks Associates ( finds that overall adoption of smart home devices has increased from 13 percent of U.S. broadband households in the second quarter of 2014 to 18 percent in the second quarter of 2015. Smart product adoption shows growth in smart home adoption is a combination of sales of existing product categories and an increase in the breadth of smart products entering the market.

"Consumer familiarity with smart home products and services is low. Therefore, manufacturers and service providers must educate consumers on the capabilities and benefits of smart home solutions," saysTom Kerber, director, Research, Home Controls & Energy, Parks Associates. "Channels seeing the most success are those that are able to connect with consumers and can provide an interactive discussion where consumers can ask questions to fully understand the...

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Oct 12
Gartner: future of the data center is software defined

The software-defined data center (SDDC) is crucial to the long-term evolution of an agile digital business according to Gartner, Inc. ( It is not, however, the right choice for all IT organizations currently, according to the research group.

"Infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders need to understand the business case, best use cases and risks of an SDDC," says Dave Russell, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "Due to its current immaturity, the SDDC is most appropriate for visionary organizations with advanced expertise in I&O engineering and architecture."

An SDDC is a data center in which all the infrastructure is virtualized and delivered "as-a-service." This enables increased levels of automation and flexibility that will underpin business agility through the increased adoption of cloud services and enable modern IT approaches such as DevOps. Today, most...

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Oct 08
Smart TVs vs. dedicated streaming media devices

The popularity of OTT SVOD (over-the-top subscription video) has influenced the increase of connected media devices in consumers’ homes. In turn, connected media devices continue to change consumers’ TV/video viewing behavior by bringing a variety of sources of media and entertainment to the larger screen.

From family TV night via broadcasted TV, to binge watching and content stacking via OTT SVOD services on a consumer’s individual time, content consumption is in the control of the consumer. A new report from the Connected Home UX (CHX) group at Strategy Analytics ( exploring connected media device ownership has found that the accessibility to connected apps/services provides the convenience of on demand content and a more diverse breadth of TV/video to choose from; pushing consumers to watch more TV/video than ever before.

From smart TVs to dedicated game...

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Oct 07
Gartner: 'replacement indecision' to hamper...

Worldwide combined shipments of devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) are expected to reach 2.4 billion units in 2015, a 1 percent decline from 2014 and down from the previous quarter's forecast of 1.5 percent growth, according to Gartner, Inc. ( 

"Replacement activity across all types of devices has decreased," says Ranjit Atwal, research director at the research group. "Users are extending the lifetime of their devices, or deciding not to replace their devices at all." 

Gartner's latest device forecast also showed that shipments in all categories will contract in 2015, except for mobile phone shipments, which are on pace to increase 1.4 percent in 2015. Smartphone shipments are estimated to increase 14 percent in 2015. Emerging Asia/Pacific, including India and Indonesia, is on pace to show the strongest growth (43 percent) in 2015, while Greater China will grow three...

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Oct 06
Understanding the smartphone behavior of tweens

For a new generation of consumers, the first smartphone owned will be as a tween (aged 8-12 years). At this life stage, often coinciding with the end of elementary school or commencing middle school, children start to gain some independence from their parents. 

Naturally, as children start doing more things on their own, parents want to be able to stay in touch with their child; the parent’s provision of a smartphone was not only motivated by communication, but also for use at school, in case of emergency and safety. Comparatively, for tweens, the motivation for a smartphone was communication with friends and family, games and texting.

A new report from the Mobile Device UX group at Strategy Analytics ( has explored the motivations and behaviors of tweens and parents with smartphones. For parents looking to give their tween a smartphone, ensuring its cost-...

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Oct 05
Majority of gamers lack confidence in developers...

PlayFab (, a backend service to build, launch and grow live games, has announced findings from its recent survey on cybersecurity concerns and awareness among gamers.

The findings, which include responses from 500 participants that play video games more than four hours per week, revealed that 83 percent of respondents believe game developers should be responsible for securing players' personal data, however fewer than 40 percent said they feel confident in current safeguards.
What's more, while 86 percent of participants expressed concern with protecting personal data on the Internet, data security ranked as one of the lowest priorities when making game purchases for nearly half of all respondents, indicating a disparity between beliefs and actions.

Despite the steady succession of high-profile data breaches over the last year, many businesses and consumers are still not taking...

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Oct 02
Remote device controls feature highly in consumer...

Consumers are looking to their mobile devices to do more and more of what their home PCs or laptops do; this in turn has led to similar security concerns on their mobile devices.

A new report from the Media and Services UX (MSX) group at Strategy Analytics ( has found that consumers are increasingly turning to mobile security app services to not only protect their phones and make them feel safer when using them, but also to help recover them and protect their data if their phones are ever lost or stolen. 
Services that come pre-installed on mobile phones become the low-hanging fruit for users – especially those who are unaware that they exist, according to the research group This creates tremendous opportunity for both mobile operators and device OEMs [original equipment manufacturers]alike, providing users with an immediate security service that comes on their...

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Oct 01
The Northern Spy: Back Up To The Old Tricks

By Rick Sutcliffe

Much has happened worth commenting upon in the months that this space has been devoted to explicating some of the features of Modula-2 R10 that make it safe, reliable, and extensible as a problem solving tool. For one thing, a few errors were noted in the June article. R10 uses NOT, but ~ is not a synonym, [DESCENDING] was removed for FOR loops and replaced by FOR selector--, and two escape sequences for strings were omitted due to a misunderstanding. Fixed.

Meanwhile, amidst a new Federal election and accompanying rhetoric, Apple released the iPhone 6s and 6s+ to great anticipation, and wicked-fast sales amounting to thirteen million units in the first weekend. The Spy suspects many of these users are either upgrading old iPhones (pre-6) or switching from other platforms they have come to realize are inconsistent or inadequate for their needs.

Oh, there are some fair enough phones for the budget conscious without extensive...

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Sep 30
Patent options expand with mobile healthcare apps

The number of mobile health applications available to consumers now surpasses 165,000, as developers incorporate innovative data collection features linked to sensors and wearables, according to a new report released today by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.

While most available apps focus on overall wellness, healthcare systems and professionals are expressing greater interest and excitement in broader app use as barriers to mainstream adoption of mHealth are removed—especially in the area of chronic disease management.

The IMS Institute study ( found that one in 10 apps now has the capability to connect to a device or sensor, providing biofeedback and physiological function data from the patient and greatly extending the accuracy and convenience of data collection. Nearly a quarter of consumer apps are now focused on disease and treatment management,...

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Sep 29
Gartner: more than 75 percent of companies investing...

Investment in big data continues to increase in 2015, but not as rapidly as in previous years. More than three-quarters of companies are investing or planning to invest in big data in the next two years, a three percent increase over 2014, according to a recent survey of IT and business leaders by Gartner, Inc. (

The survey, which was conducted among 437 Gartner Research Circle Members in June 2015, included global organizations across all industries, both Gartner clients and non-clients.

"This year begins the shift of big data away from a topic unto itself, and toward standard practices," says Nick Heudecker, research director at Gartner. "The topics that formerly defined big data, such as massive data volumes, disparate data sources and new technologies are becoming familiar as big data solutions become mainstream. For example, among companies that have invested in big data technology, 70...

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Sep 28
The web is turning its back on Flash

During his lifetime, Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder and former CEO, was known to be one of the most opinionated figures in the tech world. And while he certainly wasn’t right about everything, there’s one thing he got right years before many others: his famous rejection of Flash.

Five years after Jobs published an open letter defending his company’s decision to leave Flash off its mobile devices and slamming Flash as unreliable and unsafe, the majority of the internet industry has come to the same conclusion.

Flash is now widely regarded as a performance-hampering safety hazard and more and more companies are turning their back on what was once the industry standard: Citing security concerns, Mozilla recently disabled the Flash plugin in its Firefox browser by default; Amazon has banned it from its advertising network and other companies are following suite. In August 2015, just 22 percent of websites in the Alexa Top 10,000 used Flash, down from almost 50 percent...

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Sep 25
Strategy analytics: consumer usage of smartphone...

Navigation tasks are vitally important use-cases for the in-vehicle consumer. Regardless of device type (embedded or portable), a well-put-together and usable connected navigation system must provide information which is timely, relevant, and easily-consumed. A new report from the In-vehicle UX (IVX) group at Strategy Analytics ( has found key differences in usage and satisfaction among owners of embedded, dedicated portable and smartphone-based navigation systems.

Surveying owners in the US, Western Europe, and China, Strategy Analytics found overall satisfaction to be highest among owners of embedded navigation systems, particularly in the US. However, while usage of embedded navigation systems remains high, the prevalence of smartphone-based app navigation is becoming increasingly ubiquitous. Even so, findings from the survey suggest that users are still most...

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Sep 24
Tips to breathe new life into old Macs

US computer memory experts, Data Memory Systems (, have offered some tips for those whose Mac computers might be letting them down, performance-wise. From conducting a clean install to switching to an SSD, the team at Data Memory Systems have offered their advice for anyone hoping to give their flagging Mac a new lease of life.

After a few years of continuous use, all computers become sluggish, much to the chagrin of many users. But luckily there are ways in which performance can be boosted – from installing new hardware to offloading files.

The first step to enhance any Mac’s performance is to head into the Activity Monitor and get a better understanding of why the device is sluggish. This built-in app shows the user which applications are placing the most pressure on your main processor and RAM. Note the functions and applications that are demanding the most...

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Sep 23
IDC: wearable shipments to reach 173.4 million by 2019

A growing list of vendors, a proliferation of devices, experiences, and price points, and steady consumer adoption will fuel growth in the worldwide market for wearable devices. According to IDC (, wearable device shipments will reach 76.1 million units in 2015, up 163.6% from the 28.9 million units shipped in 2014.

By 2019, worldwide shipments will reach 173.4 million units, resulting in a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.9%. Total shipments include both basic and smart wearables, which are two very different product categories in many aspects, adds the research group.

"Smart wearables only account for about a third of the total market today while basic wearables, led by fitness trackers, account for the rest," says Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC's Mobile Device Trackers. "Driven by advancements in user interface (UI) and features, smart wearables are on track to...

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Sep 22
Global mobile media to approach $425 billion

Consumer and advertising expenditure on handset-based mobile media will rise 12 percent in 2015, and approach US$425 billion by 2021, according to Strategy Analytics (

Strong growth in smartphone penetration, combined with ubiquitous data connectivity via mobile and WiFi networks, and latent consumer demand to access popular internet services continues to drive the consumption of content on mobile devices, says the research group. With advertisers increasingly targeting mobile phone users, mobile advertising is set to account for 24 percent of total digital advertising expenditure in 2015.

Consumer demand for accessing popular internet services and apps on mobile phones, including Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, and mobile games, among others, continues to increase, supported by the growing penetration of rich media smartphones and improving data connectivity, via...

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Sep 21
Content remains king in driving online video services

Once again content has proven to be king when talking about the choice drivers for online video services. According to a major study performed by Strategy Analytics ( and Piksel in the second quarter (Q2) of 2015, 52 percent of viewers are driven by a "content related" factor when looking for an online video service of preference.

Such factors could be related to the type of content (whether the service includes full TV series and movies, live content, or user generated content) and the size of the content library. By contrast, price and pricing options account for only 39 percent of consumer choice. 

Understanding the importance of these consumer-choice-drivers is key to minimizing risks when building a new OTT [over-the-top] video service, says Strategy Analytics. But even more revealing is the importance of having a stable platform to provide a seamless and...

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Sep 18
Personal cloud market to reach $89.9 billion

According to a new report by Allied Market Research (, the world personal cloud market is estimated to garner revenue of $89.9 billion by 2020, registering a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 33.1% during 2015-2020.

Growing customer awareness is expected to boost the growth of the personal cloud services in future. Personal cloud for individuals, which is the foremost application of these solutions, would continue to lead the market in future. However, the growing demands from the Asia-Pacific region would lead to a major turnaround in the market and would constitute about two-fifths of total market share in 2020, surpassing North America and Europe.

Technological advancements in the fields of cloud computing and electronic gadgets have led to the advent of the digital era, says Allied Market Research. Increasing adoption of smartphones, tablets...

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Sep 17
Wireless connectivity driving the global home audio...

Consumer demand for wireless audio products that come with built-in Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi is being driven by a desire to wirelessly play music sourced from a portable device such as a smartphone or tablet on a loudspeaker located either in or outside the home, says Strategy Analytics (

This trend is reshaping the home audio market as wireless speakers and soundbars grow at the expense of docking stations and more traditional audio solutions such as AV receivers and integrated hi-fi systems, adds the research group. Other findings from Strategy Analytics includes:

° Home Audio device shipments including integrated hi-fi systems, AV receivers, docking stations, wireless speakers and soundbars will exceed 80 million units globally in 2015 from just over 70 million in 2014.

° Wireless speakers will account for close to 50% of all home audio shipments in...

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Sep 16
Gartner: the Internet of Things will change...

Over 20 percent of enterprises will have digital security services devoted to protecting business initiatives using devices and services in the Internet of Things (IoT) by year end 2017, according to Gartner, Inc. (

The research group defines digital security as the risk-driven expansion and extension of current security risk practices that protect digital assets of all forms in the digital business and ensures that relationships among those assets can be trusted.

"The IoT now penetrates to the edge of the physical world and brings an important new ‘physical’ element to security concerns. This is especially true as billions of things begin transporting data," says Ganesh Ramamoorthy, research vice president at Gartner. "The IoT redefines security by expanding the scope of responsibility into new platforms, services and directions. Moving forward, enterprises should consider reshaping IT or...

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Sep 15
Juniper Research: wireless charging adoption to soar

A new study from Juniper Research ( has found that wireless charging adoption for mobile devices will increase rapidly in the coming years, with nearly 40% of households in the US and over 20% in Europe using wireless charging by 2020.

The research group found that leading retailers using the IoT [Internet of Things] to generate an "ecosystem" are poised to gain market advantage and truly capitalise on the opportunity. Linking the hardware elements of RFID tags, beacons and connected consumer electronics, such as wearables, with software analytics promises in-depth business insight and an enhanced customer experience.

With more devices now implementing wireless charging (smartphones, tablets, wearables and soon laptops), infrastructure providers are starting to roll out support for the technology, in a way similar to public or customer Wi-Fi. The research notes that...

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Sep 14
SSD shipments see continued growth despite shrinking...

TRENDFOCUS ( has published its updated quarterly NAND/SSD report covering the NAND & SSD industries’ performance in the second quarter (2Q) of 2015. In the SSD market, unit shipments increased, despite the fact that a good portion of the volume is tied to a weak notebook PC market.

The two main factors contributing to the slight 2.9% Q-Q rise was the increase in DFF (drive form factor) client SSDs in the channel market, as well as an uptick in datacenter demand for SATA SSDs, driving a total of 23.859 million units. Total SSD capacity shipped increased by 13.3% Q-Q to 6.4 exabytes, with the overall average capacity increasing to 268 GB.

Despite the rise in overall unit shipments, client modules declined, reflecting the continued slow demand for notebook PCs. Enterprise SAS SSDs declined 10% while PCIe SSDs in the enterprise segment remained under 100,000 units for the quarter....

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Sep 11
25% of U.S. broadband households interested in a...

New data from Parks Associates ( shows that 25% of U.S. broadband households are interested in using a health portal to review doctors' notes and nearly one-fifth would like to receive an electronic checklist after a doctor or hospital visit.

Over 50% of U.S. broadband households use two or more patient portals at least once a month, and interest in additional capabilities, particularly related to doctor communication, is relatively strong, according to the research group. Health plans and providers need to invest in connected solutions that will be more attractive to their members and patients, focusing on the entire health value proposition for consumers instead of just on their medical expenditures," says Ron Ozminkowski, Chief Scientific Officer and SVP, OptumHealth Care Solutions, UnitedHealth Group. "

"Lowering healthcare costs will be the biggest driver for the...

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Sep 10
Younger folks more likely to give Apple Pay a try

While nearly half of all U.S. consumers believe nontraditional providers will drive innovation in the financial services industry, only 38 percent said they would consider a nontraditional provider for future financial services needs, according to a survey ( from Raddon Financial Group, a provider of financial industry research and trends data.

However, likelihood to use a nontraditional provider such as PayPal, Amazon, Apple or Google broke down sharply along generational lines, with younger consumers much more likely to consider doing so.

"U.S. consumers continue to trust that banks and credit unions will provide them with the highest quality and most secure financial services available, and they believe that the emergence of nontraditional financial service providers has the potential to drive innovation in the industry," asys Bill Handel, vice president of...

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Sep 09
Global WLAN market shows mixed results in the second...

The combined consumer and enterprise worldwide wireless local area network (WLAN) market segments decreased -5.3% year over year in the second quarter of 2015 (2Q15). According IDC (, the enterprise segment's growth continued to slow compared to preceding quarters, increasing just 1.4% over the same period last year.

The research group says that, after several quarters of high single-digit growth rates, the enterprise WLAN market growth rate has fallen to the lowest level seen in years due to the confluence of two factors: a hold on new WLAN projects due to the uncertain short-term trajectory of the global economy and market anticipation of Wave 2 802.11ac.

The 802.11ac standard continues on its path toward becoming the prevailing WLAN standard. After two full years of product availability, the 802.11ac standard already accounts for just under 50% of dependent access point unit shipments and 62.8% of...

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Sep 08
Speech recognition to achieve 82 percent penetration...

Voice-based user interface technologies are becoming an increasingly important part of the user experience for smartphones, tablets, and smart watches.  According to a recent report from Tractica (, this growth is being driven by a variety of use cases that include not only traditional applications like hands-free calling, but also high-growth areas like virtual digital assistants (VDAs), always-on interfaces, and voiceprint identification of individual speakers.

The market intelligence firm anticipates that these use cases will drive significant growth in attach rates for speech and voice recognition technologies in mobile devices during the next several years. Tractica forecasts that native speech recognition will grow from 45 percent of all mobile devices in 2014 to 82 percent by 2020. Meanwhile, voice recognition, which identifies individual voiceprints and may be utilized for various...

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Sep 04
Gartner: worldwide server shipment markets grows 8...

In the second quarter of 2015, worldwide server shipments grew 8.0 percent year over year, while revenue increased 7.2 percent from the second quarter of 2014, according to Gartner, Inc. (

"The second quarter year-over-year growth for 2015 slowed compared with the annual growth of the first quarter of the year," says Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at the research group. "Currency exchange rate changes have started to show their impact by reducing relative spending power in regions like Western Europe. It is likely that in anticipation of further currency rate shifts that some organizations utilized their budgets earlier in the year rather than waiting until the third or fourth quarters when their purchasing power may be further reduced by these relative currency changes.

x86 server shipments increased 8.3 percent in the second quarter of 2015 and revenue grew 9 percent. RISC/Itanium...

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Sep 03
Medical apps are leading advancement in 3D printing

Gartner, Inc. ( says that 3D printing (3DP) technology has progressed rapidly in recent years, and that medical applications are leading to some of the most significant deployments of 3DP technology.

New data from the research group reveals that 3DP of medical devices has reached the Peak of Inflated Expectations, but certain specialist applications are already becoming the norm in medical care.

"In the healthcare industry, 3DP is already in mainstream use to produce medical items that need to be tailored to individuals, such as hearing aids and dental devices," says Pete Basiliere, research director at Gartner. "All of the major hearing aid manufacturers now offer devices that are personalized to the shape of the customer's ear. This is evidence that using 3DP for mass customization of consumer goods is now viable, especially given that the transition from traditional manufacturing in this...

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Sep 02
The Northern Spy: Modula-2 R10 Templates

By Rick Sutcliffe

Modula-2 R10 has been the Spy's meat and potatoes in this space for a few months now. It is the fully modern dialect of Niklaus Wirth's Modula-2 that he and Telecom engineer Benjamin Kowarsch have developed to address serious software engineering issues of safety, security, reliability, and extensibility. This month we consider the use of Generic templates to reach toward the software engineering grail of reusable code.

Modern programming practice first saw Generics in Modula-3, C++, and Java. The Modula-3 technique was then modified somewhat by the Spy as part of a proposal to the ISO committee for Modula-2 and this became a supplementary standard to that work, subsequently implemented by most vendors.

Generic facilities address two common situations with a lightweight solution for which using class types and their objects is overkill. These are:

1. the implementation of algorithms...

| Read more »
Sep 01
Production printer market grows in the second quarter

The worldwide production print market enjoyed 9.4% year-over-year growth in unit shipments in the second quarter of 2015 (2Q15), according to new data from IDC.

According to the research group, shipments grew to approximately 9,279 units (printers and MFPs) and shipment value increased 6.0% to nearly US$1.1 billion in the same time period. All of IDC's regional markets saw positive year-over-year unit growth in the production print space. Key contributors to the worldwide growth were Latin America (32.7%), Middle East & Africa (30.7%), and Western Europe (19.7%).

All categories in the production print market recorded year-over-year gains. Mid-Production shipments grew 5.8% year over year while Production shipments increased 25.8% and Label & Packaging was up 18.3%. Color laser shipments grew 24.8% year over year in 2Q15. The Xerox Versant 2100 Press and Konica Minolta bizhub Press C1100/C1085 have each made strong gains in this segment and contributed...

| Read more »
Aug 31
Publishers struggle as digital ad budgets grow

As the number of screens and ad impressions continue to proliferate, advertising dollars are moving from traditional to digital environments at a staggering rate.

An important key to capturing share of the growing digital spend comes down to the ability for publishers to leverage real-time data, according to Forrester Consulting ( The research group found that 65% of publishers report that they used SSP/exchange analytics data for critical operational decisions.

Further, the study found that 67% of publishers – large and small – believe that real-time data is important to their efforts, and 62% find that it leads to an increase in revenue, yet only 27% report receiving data in real-time. As publishers grow, their appetite for data and actionable insights increase too.

The study also found that the majority of larger publishers, with over 500 employees, experience challenges...

| Read more »

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Opera is a fast and secure browser trusted by millions of users. With the intuitive interface, Speed Dial and visual bookmarks for organizing favorite sites, news feature with fresh, relevant content... Read more
BetterTouchTool 1.93 - Customize Multi-T...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
Backblaze - Online backup serv...
Backblaze is an online backup service designed from the ground-up for the Mac. With unlimited storage available for $5 per month, as well as a free 15-day trial, peace of mind is within reach with... Read more
Postbox 5.0.5 - Powerful and flexible em...
Postbox is a new email application that helps you organize your work life and get stuff done. It has all the elegance and simplicity of Apple Mail, but with more power and flexibility to manage even... Read more
Coda 2.5.19 - One-window Web development...
Coda is a powerful Web editor that puts everything in one place. An editor. Terminal. CSS. Files. With Coda 2, we went beyond expectations. With loads of new, much-requested features, a few surprises... Read more
Toast Titanium 15.1 - $99.99
Roxio Toast 15 Titanium, the leading DVD burner for Mac, makes burning even better, adding Roxio Secure Burn to protect your files on disc and USB in Mac- or Windows-compatible formats. Get more... Read more
Firetask 3.8.1 - Innovative task managem...
Firetask uniquely combines the advantages of classical priority-and-due-date-based task management with GTD. Stay focused and on top of your commitments - Firetask's "Today" view shows all relevant... Read more
Chromium 54.0.2840.71 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. Version 54.0.2840.71: Release notes were unavailable... Read more
Chromium 54.0.2840.71 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. Version 54.0.2840.71: Release notes were unavailable... Read more
Firetask 3.8.1 - Innovative task managem...
Firetask uniquely combines the advantages of classical priority-and-due-date-based task management with GTD. Stay focused and on top of your commitments - Firetask's "Today" view shows all relevant... Read more

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Adorama has the 21″ 3.1GHz 4K iMac on sale $1379.99. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP. To purchase an iMac at this price, you must first... Read more
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