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Dec 09
Smart home automation growth to exceed 1000%

New data from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found that home automation hardware, sold as standalone units rather than as part of a subscription package, will exceed 300 million in 2020. This represents growth of over 1000 percent from an estimated installed base of 28 million units in 2015.

While the smart home industry has been years in the making, more open approaches, partnerships and falling hardware costs are driving adoption, according to the research group. What’s more, media and retail efforts are aiding in raising consumer awareness.

The new research from Juniper found that early “piecemeal” hardware efforts simply created isolated smart automation units. Open platform efforts, such as those championed by SmartThings and Wink have nevertheless driven more cohesive ecosystems. Meanwhile Deutsche Telekom’s open platform, Qivicon, demonstrates a shift in attitude even...

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Dec 08
How you can maximize your online privacy

Technology and cybersecurity experts are scrambling to find solutions to huge security threats in the era of IoT (the “Internet of Everything). NordVPN (NordVPN.com) is a VPN service provider that believes in educating the public about basic security steps anyone can take and recommends the following to maximize your online privacy. 
 
° Change default usernames and passwords. Regularly change passwords on your devices, and select sophisticated ones that are impossible to guess.
 
 
° Delete cookies. Regularly delete cookies from your browser to interrupt being tracked.

°  Get a VPN and learn how to use it ­ VPNs will be increasingly popular as security issues grow to monumental proportions. Encrypting your device¹s online data is a great starting point for the security conscious. VPN encryption can help secure transfer of sensitive data. NordVPN uses encryption with a 2048 bit strength SSL key and is available on 6 devices on one account....

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Dec 07
It’s hard to understand what’s happening in the AI...

It is difficult to understand what is happening in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). New developments seem to happen weekly, and companies use different words to describe their products.

The terms artificial intelligence, cognitive intelligence, autonomous machines, and machine learning are all thrown around. New research from ReportLinker (www.reportlinker.com), a market research solution, says AI) is a vision, a goal, and a set of technologies. Its breadth and complexity make it a difficult subject to understand and explain.

Adding to the confusion is the number and variety of terms used. Machine learning (ML), deep learning, neural networks, and predictive analytics describe different AI approaches. Other marketing terms such as cognitive computing or autonomous machines further muddy the water.

The term artificial intelligence is often used to refer to artificial general...

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Dec 04
KPMG: consumers want automakers to match the ‘sexy’...

Car makers will need to act more like technology, software and consumer electronics companies with more highly customized products, quicker introduction of new, "sexy" models, and nearly flawless quality to address competition from new entrants in the business, according to a new KPMG study (www.kpmg.com).

These new entrants, from technology giants to startups, operate at faster clockspeeds and are accelerating the pace of innovation in the auto industry.  Automakers must now reconcile the industry's rigorous standards of Six Sigma Quality and a traditional 5-7 year powertrain and vehicle platform clockspeed with a new "sexy, dynamic experience" that includes things like the upgrading of sensors, actuators, and displays in 18 to 36 months and quarterly over-the-air upgrades of software. Thus, KPMG says the auto industry faces the clockspeed dilemma: the need to serve multiple paces at once.

"Consumers expect as a...

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Dec 03
MarketResearch.com: Major retailers see decline in...

Best Buy and Target both reported slow third-quarter sales, according to MarketResearch.com. Both stores reported a decline in consumer electronics sales.

Target saw a double-digit decline in electronics sales, which is a category they offered significant promotions for earlier in the year. Best Buy saw falling sales of tablets, mobile phones, and digital imaging products.

According to a report by First Research Inc., the U.S. industry for consumer electronics is very concentrated, with 50 of the largest companies accounting for 70 percent of sales. The market itself gains annual revenue of about $100 billion.

With the holidays here, it's unclear if stores will hit their revenue goals. Because shopper interest in consumer electronics is low, there is no guarantee that Best Buy will be able to rebound from their decline in profits.

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Dec 02
Strategy Analytics: Binge On to drive subscribers to T...

With Un-carrier X offering double the LTE data plus its new zero-rated video streaming service Binge On for no extra fees, T-Mobile US is set to maintain its Un-carrier momentum and gain market share in the fourth quarter (Q4) as it puts pressure on the pricing approaches of its rivals, according to Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com).

Through its Un-carrier initiative, including services like Music Freedom and now Binge On, T-Mobile is challenging its competitors by positioning itself as the most customer-friendly wireless operator in the US market, says the research group. Un-carrier momentum continues with the addition of the Binge On mobile video streaming service supported by zero-rated data over LTE and video optimization technology, strengthening T-Mobile's value proposition while challenging AT&T and Verizon Wireless to follow suit.

“Video is one of the fastest...

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Dec 01
The Northern Spy: of reading and routing

By Rick Sutcliffe

At long last, the Spy's series The Throne is starting to see the light of day. The first book, Culmanic Parts was published in June. Now, the second, Rea's Blood or Navy Girl is available from publisher Writers Exchange. See the URLs below. The third book Tara's Mother is in publishers's editing as we write, and the fourth The Paladin is undergoing second proofing before being made available to the Spy's volunteer reader/correctors.

These books are background to the Alternate History series The Interregnum, which currently has six volumes published. The Throne was intended to be the final book in that series, but has grown into a four-book series of its own. The first three books of The Throne can be read as a standalone trilogy, and The Paladin will offer conclusions to both series.

The original intent was to offer a brief history of alternate earth Hibernia--how Ireland came to be the world's superpower, and something of...

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Dec 01
Forty percent of firms expect a data breach in the...

Clearswift (www.clearswift.com), a global cyber security innovator and data loss prevention specialist, has released their annual Clearswift Insider Threat Index (CITI) exploring why firms have been slow to address internal security threats and including data from extensive research into the security priorities and awareness of over 500 IT decision makers and 4,000 employees across the UK, US, Germany and Australia.

"The detachment between the front line security professionals and Board members within an organization is particularly worrying in the wake of recent high profile cyber breaches across the globe already this year,” says Heath Davies, CEO at Clearswift. “Cyber-attacks are a major problem and it’s time for Boards to take a proactive stance on this. Companies need a clear, coherent, adaptive strategy which encompasses people, processes and technology, and this mandate needs to come from the top.”...

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Nov 30
Millennials embrace mobile apps for holiday shopping

Wanderful Media (www.wanderful.com), the company behind the Find&Save cash back shopping app, today released its 2015 Annual Holiday Shopping Survey. The findings feature insights on the role mobile plays in holiday shopping, and specifically for millennial shoppers.

Of the millennial holiday shoppers, 92 percent said they use their mobile phones while shopping, compared to 73 percent of all shoppers who were surveyed. All shoppers, including millennials, primarily use mobile to find deals, coupons and/or promo codes for stores nearby; compare prices from other stores or online; and find store locations.

The survey also found mobile shopping apps are popular, since 78 percent of millennials said they are willing to use shopping apps this holiday season – compared to 67 percent of all shoppers surveyed.

More than 80 percent of millennial holiday shoppers said they are interested in mobile app...

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Nov 25
Personal storage market continues to shrink

Worldwide personal and entry-level storage (PELS) shipments declined -13.4 percent year over year to 16.7 million units in the third quarter of 2015 (3Q15), but were up 10.3 percent compared to the previous quarter, according to the International Data Corporation. Shipment values declined along with unit shipments, down -19.8 percent from a year ago to $1.3 billion, notes the research group.

“The personal and entry-level storage market was stagnant in 2014 and started to show signs of decline in 2015," says Jingwen Li, senior research analyst, Storage Systems, IDC (www.idc.com). "The adoption of cloud storage has been gaining traction in the consumer space with its easy data access and mobile device integration. One of the negative impacts of cloud storage deployment leads to shrinking demand within the PELS market.”

Personal storage remained the dominant component of the PELS market and accounted for over 98% of...

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Nov 24
One in five consumers: paying with chip-enabled credit...

HarborTouch (www.harbortouch.com), a point of sale (POS) system and merchant services provider, has published the results of a national survey examining consumer sentiment and usage trends among early adopters of EMV or “chip” enabled credit cards.

Just one month after the Oct. 1 EMV transition deadline, the survey of more than 5,000 U.S. adults found that one in five consumers consider transaction time as their top concern when using an EMV-enabled credit or debit card. These concerns could spell trouble for brick-and-mortar retailers this holiday season. This is especially true for big-box stores like Target, Best Buy and Walmart, which depend on in-store holiday transactions and have made EMV adoption the centerpiece of their store payment security strategies.

“On average, it takes between seven to 10 seconds to pay using a chip card versus two to three seconds to pay using a traditional swipe...

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Nov 23
Archiware releases one-click archiving tool

Archiware, manufacturer of the data management software suite Archiware P5, is launching its P5 Archive app and version 5.3 of the Archiware P5 Software Suite, including Snapshot support and LTO-7 capability.

The P5 Archive app is designed to simplify the Archiving process by allowing users to archive and restore files directly from Finder via the right-click context menu, without the need to open P5 Archive itself. Final Cut Pro X projects are archived and restored including all media used in the project.

Archived files and folders are represented by a link file which displays metadata and previews on double-click. Metadata can be added during archiving. All jobs are listed in a monitoring window for verification. The P5 Archive App will be available for Mac OS X initially, with more platforms to follow in the future.

Until May 31st, 2016, an introductory offer with a 50 percent discount is available for a package including the P5 Archive App and 5 Workstation...

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Nov 23
Juniper Research’s top 10 Tech Predictions for 2016

As 2015 draws to a close Juniper Research has drawn up a list of predictions for the coming year, all neatly wrapped up as the top trends for the technologies industries for 2016. A free report detailing the findings is available to download from the Juniper website.

Juniper has identified 2016 as the watershed year for VR headsets, both in terms of product launches and consumer roll outs. Oculus, Sony, and HTC are among the leading players expected to launch key VR products over the next 12 months. The recent attention to and investment into virtual reality is helping to revitalize the industry and with major brand commercial launches imminent, there is huge potential for rapid market expansion.

As a result, Juniper expects significant VR uptake over the next five years as consumers benefit from a combination of improved VR technology allied to immersive applications, as well as reduced prices. Consequently, the technology is now poised to transform the entertainment...

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Nov 20
Gartner: 6.4 billion connected ‘things’ will be in use...

Gartner, Inc., (www.gartner.com) forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from 2015, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. In 2016, 5.5 million new things will get connected every day.

Gartner estimates that the Internet of Things (IoT) will support total services spending of $235 billion in 2016, up 22 percent from 2015. Services are dominated by the professional category (in which businesses contract with external providers in order to design, install and operate IoT systems), however connectivity services (through communications service providers) and consumer services will grow at a faster pace.

"IoT services are the real driver of value in IoT, and increasing attention is being focused on new services by end-user organisations and vendors," says Jim Tully, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.

In terms of hardware spending,...

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Nov 19
U.K. broadband households not doing a lot of cable...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) shows that only about three percent of U.K. broadband households cancelled a subscription to an OTT video service in the past 12 months, while 33 percent of U.K. broadband households currently pay for an OTT subscription.

In the U.S., approximately nine percent of U.S. broadband households have recently cancelled an OTT service subscription, while 59 percent currently subscribe. The research firm finds that service cancellations and switching are an evolving part of viewer consumption and buying habits in the U.S. market, a trend that is beginning to emerge in Western Europe.

"U.S. consumers who cancel an OTT service often have a subscription to other OTT video services. They also spend an above-average volume of time watching video on a connected device," Brett Sappington, director, research, Parks Associates, says. “Their weekly...

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Nov 18
336 million earphones, headphones expected to ship in...

Global shipments of earphones and headphones are expected to reach 336 million units by 2016, up from an estimated 324 million in 2015. In terms of revenue, the market is expected to surpass $13 billion by the end of 2016, according to new data from Future Marketing Insights (www.futuremarketinginsights.com).

FMI has segmented the global earphones and headphones market into personal, gaming, media and entertainment, corporate, and sports. Demand for earphones and headphones for personal use is the highest, accounting for US$4.32 billion in revenues in 2014. FMI estimates revenues from personal segment to surpass $5 billion by 2016.

Robust smartphone and tablet sales in Asia Pacific, combined with proliferation of music streaming services is driving demand for earphones and headphones for personal use, according to the research group. Demand for earphones and headphones is also...

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Nov 16
Smart home device adoption highest among 25-34...

New research from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) shows U.S. broadband households with a head of household ages 25-34 have the highest adoption rate for smart home devices at nearly 30 percent.

Among heads of household ages 35-44, adoption is only 21 percent, but they own the highest number of smart home product categories, with an average of two different smart products. Networked security cameras, smart thermostats, and smart door locks are the leading categories of smart home devices.

"Nearly 40% of U.S. broadband households with a security system also own a smart home product," said Stuart Sikes, president, Parks Associates. "Safety and security are the leading value propositions for the connected home, so we will see many innovative solutions at CES 2016 coming from partnerships among security companies, service providers, app developers, and device manufacturers.”

...

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Nov 13
Online eSports audiences expected to exceed 310...

New data from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found that online eSports services, such as Twitch, will grow to over 310 million by 2020, increasing from 133 million this year and bringing in almost $1 billion in revenues from subscriptions alone. By comparison, 2020 will see eSports audiences surpass the levels of the NFL tournament and approach that of Formula 1/

Juniper Research forecasts that eSports is on the cusp of significant growth, with tournaments and prize pools expanding in size and value. Key eSports tournaments such as last year’s League of Legends World Championships final drew in over 27 million viewers.

In particular, advertisers are set to benefit, with revenues forecast to increase by almost 250% from 2015 to 2020. This will mirror an increased willingness by consumers to subscribe to online eSports channels and broadcasters, with subscription revenues...

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Nov 12
Households very concerned about security/privacy when...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) finds that 76 percent of U.S. broadband households are very concerned about their data security and personal privacy when using connected devices. The report shows identity and data theft are among the highest security concerns when using connected devices, but only 6 percent of U.S. broadband households have experienced those problems in the last year.

"Broadband households in the U.S. now own an average of more than seven Internet-connected computing and entertainment devices, and nearly one-fifth own a smart home device," said Patrice Samuels, research analyst, Parks Associates. "As consumers acquire more connected devices for their homes, the more exposure they feel, either through experience or from hearing about high-profile security breaches in the media. As a result, they are seeing high value in security and privacy support either as...

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Nov 11
One-third of U.S. broadband households find smart home...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) reports 30 percent of U.S. broadband households find most energy management use cases very appealing.

"Nearly all U.S. households have taken some energy-saving steps in the past 12 months,” says Stuart Sikes, president, Parks Associates. “Many households have adjusted their thermostats, switched to CFL and LED bulbs, and bought new energy-efficient appliances to save money and energy. The energy management features available today complement these consumer activities and can therefore broaden the appeal of smart home offerings.”

The research group also found that:

° Fifty-one percent of U.S. broadband households would like to receive alerts if a fire or smoke is detected in their home.

° Forty-five percent of U.S. broadband households would like to receive an alert if there is a carbon monoxide or gas leak.

° Thirty...

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Nov 10
One-in-20 apps on private U.S. personal computers are...

New data from Secunia Research (www.flexerasoftware.com), a provider of software vulnerability intelligence, reveals the state of security for PC users in a total of 14 countries, including the US.

The report shows that: one in 20 applications on private US PCs are end-of-life; 12 percent of Windows operating systems are unpatched; and for the first time in four consecutive quarters, Oracle Java isn't topping the list of most exposed programs – Apple has purportedly taken the lead. Findings in the US Country Report include:

° 5.5 percent of applications on the average US PC have reached end-of-life, meaning they are no longer supported by the vendor and do not receive security updates. End-of-life Adobe Flash Player 18, which was end-of-life as of September 22, 2015, is found on 80% of the PCs.

° Apple QuickTime 7.x and Apple iTunes 12.x tops the list as the US' most exposed...

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Nov 09
Fifty-one percent of customers surveyed would likely...

CCG Catalyst (www.ccg-catalyst.com), a management consulting firm offering strategic advice to banks, has released the results of its recent study, “The Age of Mobile Wallets: What Banks Need to Know When Considering the Creation of a Bank Branded Mobile Wallet.”

The study focused on examining the customers’ use of mobile wallets to help banks recognize opportunities, decide whether to create mobile wallets and realize unmet customer needs. Administered through AskYourTargetMarket, was issued to a panel of 25 million U.S. consumers (18 years of age to 65 years plus) it measured consumer attitudes and behaviors toward mobile wallets vs. non-bank mobile wallets.

Respondents answered a series of questions segmented in three key themes: usage, behavior and habits. Of the 2,000 completed surveys generated, the key findings are as follows:

° If their bank offered a mobile wallet, 51 percent of...

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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 (www.gfk.com). 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 (www.parksassociates.com) 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 (www.abiresearch.com) 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, Alarm.com 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,” (http://tinyurl.com/nhyeya7) 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. (www.gartner.com). 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.”
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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 (www.parksassociates.com) 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 (www.adobe.com) has been recognized as the leader in “The Forrester Wave™: Digital Experience Platforms, Q4 2015” report by Forrester Research, (www.forresterresearch.com).

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 (www.juniperresearch.com) 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 Bankrate.com 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 Bankrate.com 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 (http://tinyurl.com/pupb8kz), 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 (www.juniperresearch.com) 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 (www.parksassociates.com) 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" (www.ipswitch.com) 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 (www.juniperresearch.com) 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 (www.juniperresearch.com) 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 (www.strategyanalytics.com) 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 (www.parksassociates.com) 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 (www.parksassociates.com) 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. (www.gartner.com). 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 (www.strategyanalytics.com) 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. (www.gartner.com). 

"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 (www.strategyanalytics.com) 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 (www.playfab.com), 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 (www.strategyanalytics.com) 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...

| Read more »
 

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The beginner's guide to Warbits
Warbits is a turn-based strategy that's clearly inspired by Nintendo's Advance Wars series. Since turn-based strategy games can be kind of tricky to dive into, see below for a few tips to help you in the beginning. Positioning is crucial [Read... | Read more »
How to upgrade your character in Spellsp...
So you’ve mastered the basics of Spellspire. By which I mean you’ve realised it’s all about spelling things in a spire. What next? Well you’re going to need to figure out how to toughen up your character. It’s all well and good being able to spell... | Read more »
5 slither.io mash-ups we'd love to...
If there's one thing that slither.io has proved, it's that the addictive gameplay of Agar.io can be transplanted onto basically anything and it will still be good fun. It wouldn't be surprising if we saw other developers jumping on the bandwagon,... | Read more »
How to navigate the terrain in Sky Charm...
Sky Charms is a whimsical match-'em up adventure that uses creative level design to really ramp up the difficulty. [Read more] | Read more »
Victorious Knight (Games)
Victorious Knight 1.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.3 (iTunes) Description: New challenges awaits you! Experience fresh RPG experience with a unique combat mechanic, packed with high quality 3D... | Read more »
Agent Gumball - Roguelike Spy Game (Gam...
Agent Gumball - Roguelike Spy Game 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Someone’s been spying on Gumball. What the what?! Two can play at that game! GO UNDERCOVERSneak past enemy... | Read more »
Runaway Toad (Games)
Runaway Toad 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: It ain’t easy bein’ green! Tap, hold, and swipe to help Toad hop to safety in this gorgeous new action game from the creators of... | Read more »
PsyCard (Games)
PsyCard 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: From the makers och Card City Nights, Progress To 100 and Ittle Dew PSYCARD is a minesweeper-like game set in a cozy cyberpunk... | Read more »
Sago Mini Robot Party (Education)
Sago Mini Robot Party 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: -- Children's Technology Review Editor's Choice -- | Read more »
Egz – The Origin of the Universe (Games...
Egz – The Origin of the Universe 1.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0.2 (iTunes) Description: ►►► Special offer until 2nd may : get the game at 2.99€ instead of 3.99€ ! ◄◄◄ Egz is a mesmerizing mix... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

15-inch Retina MacBook Pros available for $20...
B&H Photo has 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz Retina... Read more
Target offers Apple Watch Sport for $50 off M...
Target has Apple Watch Sports on sale for $50 off MSRP for a limited time. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-store prices may vary... Read more
Apple restocks Certified Refurbished Mac mini...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished 2014 Mac minis, with models available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
Amazon.com has the 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1699.99 including free shipping. Their price is $300 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model from any reseller (and... Read more
Apple Beats Microsoft at Own Game; Amazon Pri...
First quarter seasonality combined with an overall disinterested customer base led to an annual decline of 14.7% in worldwide tablet shipments during the first quarter of 2016 (1Q16). Worldwide... Read more
Tablets Had Worst Quarter Since 2012, says St...
The global tablet market began 2016 just as 2015 left off, down. Tablet shipments fell 10% to 46.5 million units during the Q1 2016, according to the new “Preliminary Global Tablet Shipments and... Read more
Clearance 13-inch MacBook Airs, Apple refurbi...
Apple recently dropped prices on certified refurbished 2015 13″ MacBook Airs with 4GB of RAM with models now available starting at $759. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and... Read more
Clearance 12-inch Retina MacBooks, Apple refu...
Apple has dropped prices on Certified Refurbished 2015 12″ Retina MacBooks with models now available starting at $929. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping... Read more
Aleratec Releases Mac Software Upgrade for 1...
California based Aleratec Inc., designer, developer and manufacturer of Portable Device Management (PDM) charge/sync products for mobile devices and professional-grade duplicators for hard disk... Read more
Sale! Amazon offers 27-inch iMac, 13-inch 2.9...
Amazon has the 27″ 3.2GHz 5K iMac and the 13″ 3.9GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $300 off MSRP, each including free shipping, for a limited time: - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB HD 5K iMac (model MK462LL/A): $... Read more

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*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
Automotive Sales Consultant - Apple Ford Linc...
…you. The best candidates are smart, technologically savvy and are customer focused. Apple Ford Lincoln Apple Valley is different, because: $30,000 annual salary Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple (United...
# Apple Solutions Consultant Job Number: 48260200 Phoenix, Arizona, United States Posted: Apr. 22, 2016 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Read more
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