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Apr 03
Now is the time for U.S. banks to become '...

Transformative moment strikes banking sector
 
Banks in the U.S. may have up to $45 billion of their profits at risk from digital disruption over the next three years, according to research by McKinsey & Company, underscoring the urgent need for these banks to upgrade their technology to meet the demands of an increasingly digital economy. Continuing to rely heavily on older legacy systems may lead to a significant loss of market share, as well as other challenges that threaten the business model favored by traditional players.
 
The report added that entry barriers for non-bank competitors may be easing, and large tech players may be able to come between banks and their customers. In an environment where many customers would rather use their smartphones or computer tablets for their banking needs, banks must to implement the right balance between human and digital interactions with their customers.
 
"Traditional banks and other financial...

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Apr 01
The Northern Spy: An April 1 conversation with Nellie...

I heard someone plop in one of my chairs and creak it back. A pair of boots heels thumped on my table.

”Hope you're not wearing spurs today," I said without turning. Nellie Hacker is...rather informal. "That table is for helping my students with their assignments. Gouges would be counterproductive."

"Calculus, no doubt. What's the topic de jour? Lemmie see. 'Given an elliptical cross section with axis lengths 10 and 15 centimetres, the formula for the depth of the water, the rate of inflow and the volume of water going down a reverse trap as a function of time, how quickly is the surface area of the water changing three seconds after you flush the toilet?'"

"No, this is second semester. We're just into graphing conic sections in polar coordinates. But if you disliked it so much back in the day when you were my student, why did you do enough work to score an A+?"

"Caught up in the class culture I s'pose."

"Created and drove the class culture as I...

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Mar 31
Small business SEO investment to increase over 20% in...

Over half (52%) of small businesses in the US invested in search engine optimization (SEO) in 2016, and 74% expect to do so in 2017, according to new research from Clutch (http://tinyurl.com/khbooa5), a B2B research and reviews firm. In addition, 66% of small businesses say they plan to invest in pay-per-click (PPC) digital advertising, such as Google search ads, by the end of 2017.

But despite this increased adoption of SEO as a digital marketing tactic, there is still a great deal of opportunity for small businesses to become more comprehensive in their search marketing strategies. Over 50% limit their SEO activities to local and on-site optimization compared to other initiatives such as content creation or guest posting.

"A comprehensive SEO strategy involves a multitude of disciplines including technical SEO, on-page optimization, outreach and content creation," said Stephen Jeske, senior...

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Mar 30
Wearables see strong growth in Middle East and Africa

The wearables growth story continues unabated in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, with shipments reaching an all-time high of 746,000 units in the final quarter of 2016, according to the latest figures compiled by International Data Corporation (IDC).

The global ICT research and consulting services firm says shipments were up 29.0% year on year in Q4 2016, spurred by new launches from leading vendors and the entrance of new players to the market, according to the research group.

When looking at 2016 as a whole, IDC’s (www.idc.com) data shows that wearables shipments for the MEA region were up 52.2% year on year. This was primarily driven by the strong performance of low-cost basic wearables (i.e., devices that do not support third-party applications), which grew 67.9% year on year in 2016. The growth for smart wearable devices (i.e., devices that do support third-party applications) was not quite as...

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Mar 29
IDC: 41% of APeJ healthcare organizations to launch...

Results from the IDC (www.idc.com) “2016 Global IoT Decision Maker Survey” highlights that 41% of healthcare organizations in Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) plan to launch at least one IoT solution in the next two years, with over 63% of organizations believing it to be the central theme for driving digital transformation in health.

Other key findings for APeJ from the 2016 survey include:
° 63% of organizations see IoT as strategic to their business in order to overcome disruptive changes in the health delivery process.

° Remote patient monitoring, resource utilization and tracking are the key priority areas that these health organizations will focus their IOT efforts on.

° Security related concerns and the fear of recurring costs are the two primary reasons for acceptance of IOT on a large scale – especially with large private hospitals.

° The promise of reduced operational costs in the...

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Mar 28
U.S. Senate takes a giant step back in online privacy

Last year, Federal Communications Commission had passed strict privacy regulations (not yet in effect), banning ISPs (Internet Service Providers) from selling their subscriber’s browsing data without consent. Last week, these regulations were reversed in the Senate, allowing ISPs to collect all possible information about their subscribers.

Such data includes precise geolocation, financial information, health information, children’s information and web browsing history. This also means that from now on, an Internet provider can sell their users’ private data to third parties, such as ad buyers, ad aggregators, and anyone else who might want to use it for their purposes.
 
True, FCC’s regulations did not cover Facebook and Google that are able to collect data without any bigger restrictions. However, putting a brake on ISPs data collection/ and sharing powers would have saved Internet users’ Internet browsing privacy. 
 
This goes even further;  the...

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Mar 27
Majority of PC users are at risk due to outdated...

Avast (www.avg.com), which specializes in digital security products for business and consumers, revealed that more than half (52%) of the most popular PC applications running on PCs around the world, including Flash and Java are out-of-date.

The Avast PC Trends Report Q1 2017, based on insights from the company’s AVG TuneUp product, highlights the top 10 outdated applications, the most used programs and hardware, and shows the problems people face by not keeping their PC up-to-date. Most critically, people are exposing their PC and their personal data to risks, as malware targets older versions of software to exploit vulnerabilities.
Gathered anonymously from 116 million Windows® desktop and laptop users running AVG TuneUp’s Automatic Software Updater feature, Avast found the most out-of-date programs include:

1. Java (Runtime 6,7), Oracle Corporation
2. Flash Player (Active X), Adobe Systems
3....

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Mar 24
There's a 1-in-3 chance your family's...

Nearly 96 million Americans (or 31% of the population) have had their Internet network, e-mail, or computer hacked or compromised. That's according to the results of the Ooma.com Internet Security Survey—a survey of 1,000 Americans conducted by Ooma.

Notable findings of the study include: 

° 172 million Americans (or 54% of the population) have accidentally visited a website that infected their computer with a virus. A lack of awareness of which websites are phishing for their personal information or contain spyware, malware, or other threats leaves users exposed.

° 70 million Americans (or 22% of the population) wish their devices were protected from online threats such as viruses, phishing, and malware. Other users are either unaware that such threats exist, or don't know how to conduct safe searches, blacklist or whitelist domains, or filter content. 

° 38 million American parents (or 12%) wish they could block access to certain websites for their...

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Mar 23
Smartphone size preference size remains stable at 5-5....

In the first half of 2016, US and UK smartphone users were most likely to be interested in purchasing a device with a 5.3-inch or 5.0-inch display, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com).

The study also found that males showed a preference for larger devices than females, while Android owners still preferred larger devices than Apple owners. As in 2015, current smartphone owners are also more likely to prefer a thicker prototype with a longer battery life over a thinner phone.

Smartphone size preference remained stable in the first half of 2016, within the range of 5 to 5 inches. However, this was slightly smaller than in the first half of 2015, as the 5.3-inch smartphone was previously most preferred.

As in 2015, almost half of respondents in this study also expressed interest in a smartphone with a display size only slightly larger than...

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Mar 22
Five trends, factors that continue to impact cyber...

It’s become news that’s not unexpected any more. We awaken to learn that yet another national retailer has been hacked and once again credit-card information for millions of customers is at risk.
Yet, despite all the publicity these security breaches receive and all the warning consumers hear, cyber criminals still achieve success and seem more brazen than ever.

“Sometimes it can feel like the cyber criminals are working harder than the people who are supposed to be protecting our information,” says Gary S. Miliefsky, CEO of SnoopWall (www.snoopwall.com), a company that specializes in cyber security.
But when consumers and businesses are vigilant, he says, they can foil those cyber criminals despite all their scheming. To that end, Miliefsky says some cyber security trends and factors worth knowing about for the rest of 2017 and beyond include:

• Serious breaches still take too long to...

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Mar 22
Retail IoT platforms to connect 12.5 billion assets by...

New data from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found that retailers will connect 12.5 billion business assets, such as products, digital signs and Bluetooth beacons, to IoT platforms by 2021. This figure is expected to rise from 2.7 billion in 2016, representing a 350% increase, according to the research group.

Juniper predicts that RFID (radio-frequency identification), will re-emerge as the industry’s “killer app,” becoming the key factor in the IoT retail ecosystem. RFID tags, used to identify and locate retail assets in real-time, are now at a low enough price point for mass deployment and integrate well with new IoT systems and analytics. New services, such as dynamic pricing or enabling promotional offers via in-store digital signs are also poised for growth.

Juniper’s latest research argues that “next-gen” processes, such as personalized retail, could be achieved by...

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Mar 21
Video is reshaping modern marketing

With its ability to reach and engage multiple audiences worldwide, video is becoming a vital component of the marketing toolkit. In 2017, video content is expected to account for 74% of all Internet traffic.

Research indicates that businesses that use video to market grew revenue 49% faster year-over-year than businesses that did not. When it comes to attracting an audience, four times as many customers would prefer to watch a product video rather than read about it. Asad Khan, founder of ePlanet Communications, Inc. (http://www.eplanetcom.com/), a global business process outsourcing provider, points out that the use of video in marketing is a vital part of an overall strategy.
 
Research has shown that video marketing offers a significant return on investment and increases the likelihood of a sale. While it costs an average of $115 in marketing funds to convert a sales lead using non-...

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Mar 21
Solar-Tectic LLC develops inexpensive sapphire glass

In 2015 Solar-Tectic (www.solar-tectic.com) announced plans to develop sapphire glass. Now the company has announced that it’s succeeded in developing this sapphire glass using its patent pending technique, which was reported on in “Materials Letters,” a peer reviewed journal.

The new sapphire glass technique involves the deposition of a highly transparent crystalline Al2O3 (aluminum oxide) thin-film on ordinary soda-lime glass, via a thin buffer layer, using a simple and common deposition technique (e-beam evaporation), thus achieving a breakthrough material which is much less expensive and much lighter than single crystal sapphire, and easily scalable for manufacturing and commercialization.

The sapphire film is extremely thin which is important for cost reduction in manufacturing. In recent years Apple Inc. and others have tried without success in making cost effective sapphire glass for...

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Mar 20
Research reveals content challenges to asset...

Quark Software (www.quark.com) and TSAM (tsamlondon.com) have announced the results of joint research on how asset management companies approach content creation, management, publishing, and delivery.

The research uncovers universal content challenges asset management companies face – from reliance on outdated technology solutions to increasing demand for Web and mobile content. The findings highlight how content teams struggle to effectively produce and provide multi-channel information to internal and external audiences.
 
“The way we consume content has changed dramatically in the past decade, but the tools financial services firms use to create and manage content have changed very little,” Gavin Drake, vice president of Marketing for Quark Software. “\ This makes it almost impossible to keep up with the demand to deliver timely and accurate multi-channel content, which is a requirement for firms that...

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Mar 17
AIM market grows faster than overall infrastructure...

The worldwide application integration and middleware (AIM) software market continues to grow faster than the overall infrastructure software market, with revenue on pace to surpass $27 billion in 2017, an increase of 7% from 2016, according to the Gartner, Inc (www.gartner.com) research group.

"Established approaches to application infrastructure are too rigid, closed and cumbersome to support many digital business requirements," said Fabrizio Biscotti, research vice president at Gartner. "Growth in mobile, big data, analytics, in-memory computing, cloud and Internet of Things initiatives is associated with digital business and requires application and integration professionals to invest in new AIM technologies. This in turn drives fresh integration approaches with new AIM technologies at their core, such as application programmable interface management and integration platform as a service.”

Three main...

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Mar 16
Study: Tech sector’s diversity problems run deep

The number of new devices connected to the Internet is estimated to reach 21 billion by 2020, but recent reports indicate that the tech sector’s diversity and inclusion practices have failed to meet a commensurate level of innovation.
 
From a 2016 report by Intel and Dalberg Global Development Advisors, almost two-thirds of tech workers are white. The industry could, however, generate an additional $300-$370 billion annually if the racial/ethnic diversity of their workforces reflected that of the national talent pool.
 
“The problem isn’t going away, and it will take some intense soul-searching on the part of tech leadership to get to the root of what ails it,” said Bill Proudman, co-founder and CEO of leading diversity and inclusion consulting firm White Men As Full Diversity Partners (http://www.wmfdp.com/) (WMFDP), which has worked extensively with Dell and other Fortune 500 tech companies...

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Mar 16
eSports, ‘Let’s Play’ revenues to reach $3.5 Billion...

A new study from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found that a rapid rise in consumption of eSports and streamed games content will drive $3.5 billion in revenues by 2021, up from $1.8 billion in 2017

The report group’s report found that while the subscription model, as seen on platforms such as Twitch, will contribute significant revenues to the industry, it will be advertisers who reap rewards; with almost 90% of eSports and “Let’s Play” viewers also watching ad-supported casual games streams in 2021.

Alongside eSports viewership, the popularity of casual “Let’s Plays” (commentary on streams of the playing of video games) has accelerated dramatically. Juniper found that much of this relates to viewers seeking to improve their own gameplay, alongside a dedicated following of individual broadcasters on platforms including Twitch and YouTube. The research group argued that...

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Mar 15
Few brands are offering self-support digital materials

DeviceBits (www.DeviceBits.com) — a software company that offers digital customer service platforms designed to help companies make available self-service customer support materials, released results of its latest survey on customer service trends. The survey shows a disconnect in how brands are evolving their customer support initiatives and the desired preferences consumers have in obtaining customer service information.

Driven by the instant gratification of mobile, social media and search engines, as well as today’s omni-channel retail strategies, consumers of every age group today are desiring the ability to obtain customer service queries on-demand, at their own leisure, rather than opting for traditional customer service channels such as call centers, according to DeviceBits. What’s more, consumers seek a more personalized customer experience from their favorite brands, and this includes everything...

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Mar 14
Netflix and Amazon investing in higher resolution...

Amazon and Netflix are not only acquiring documentaries and films, but are also heavily involved in producing their own content using UHD technologies, according to a white paper released by IHS Markit (www.ihsmarkit.com), which specializes in critical information, analytics and solution.

Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) services have among the lowest revenue per hour of content viewed and of paid content services, making premium content a greater investment. While films comprise the largest number of UHD titles, TV series offer a better return on hours of content viewed per dollar invested, according to IHS Markit. In the UK, Netflix offers 63 UHD titles. Amazon Prime and Amazon Instant have 28 and Sky has 26.

“Online video producers generally offer a broader range of UHD genres than traditional pay TV platforms,” said Jonathan Broughton, senior home entertainment analyst, IHS Markit. “To compete,...

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Mar 14
More than 50% of eCommerce sales completed through...

Despite over half of worldwide online customers using credit cards to make purchases, more than 50% of eCommerce sales are completed through alternative payment methods, according to Research and Markets (www.researchandmarkets.com). The combined share of different alternative payment methods in global eCommerce sales will rise, leaving the share of bank cards at a decrease, according to the research group.

Alternative payment methods are particularly favored over bank cards in emerging markets such as China. Here, e-wallets like Alipay made up for more than half of online sales. Research and Markets also found that in Indonesia and Thailand, online consumers prefer bank transfers, but in Vietnam, this method comes second after cash on delivery.

Cash on delivery is also the most favored method from eCommerce consumers in many select developing markets due to the level of banking...

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Mar 13
The global security app market expands in 2016

According to the IDC research group (IDC)< the total security appliance market showed positive growth in both vendor revenue and unit shipments for the fourth quarter of 2016 (4Q16).

Worldwide vendor revenues in the fourth quarter increased 9.2% year over year to $3.2 billion, and units showed an all-time record high in shipments for a single quarter with 764,974 units and 21.4% annual growth. For the full year 2016, worldwide security appliance revenue increased 8.9% to $11.5 billion when compared to 2015, while worldwide unit shipments increased 17% for a little over 2.7 million units shipped in 2016.

The trend for growth in the worldwide market driven by the Unified Threat Management (UTM) sub-market continues, with UTM almost tripling its size over the last five years and reaching record-high revenues of $5.6 billion for 2016 and year-over-year growth of 16.7%, the highest growth among all sub-markets. The UTM market represents today almost 50% of the...

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Mar 10
Large format printer shipments up narrowly in Q4 2016

New data from the IDC research group (www.idc.com) found that large format printer (LFP) shipments and revenue grew by more than 4% year over year in 2016.

"The mix of printers continues to change as the technology and the needs of end users evolve," said Tim Greene, research director, Hardcopy Solutions at IDC. "The need to invest in the latest technology, to expand their business, to improve their bottom line, and even just to remain competitive is one of the defining characteristics of the large format digital printing market."

Shipments in the large format CAD/Technical printer market segment grew by 4.4% for the year, with a particularly strong performance in the large format toner-based printer segment. Shipments on the graphics side were up by 3.8% for the year, with a strong showing from UV-curable, eco-solvent, Latex, and dye-sublimation printers.

The top five suppliers in terms of shipments, in...

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Mar 09
Stratifyd reveals the ‘Internet Second’

Stratifyd, Inc. — an authority on data science and big data analytics that provides AI powered big data analytics software — has revealed its first annual look at the amount of data created in an Internet Second (http://www.stratifyd.com).

The second has become forgotten, passing in the blink of an eye. However, on the internet, a second is a lifetime. Every moment, 28,935 GB of data are being created across countless corners of the web.

Stratifyd analyzed data from various sources to determine the major transactions, interactions, and companies that drive this enormous creation of information wealth. Stratifyd “welcomes” this exponential growth of data, saying that, as with more information, the company will be able to provide more accurate and in depth business insights for its clients.

Stratifyd's data analytics platform uses AI powered machine learning to process structured and...

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Mar 08
Worldwide server revenue dipped 1.9% in quarter four...

In the fourth quarter of 2016, worldwide server revenue declined 1.9% year-over- year, while shipments fell 0.6% from the fourth quarter of 2015, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). In all of 2016, worldwide server shipments grew 0.1 percent, but server revenue declined 2.7%, notes the research group.

"There were some distinct factors that produced the final results for 2016," says Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner. "Hyperscale data centers (e.g., Facebook, Google) grew and, at the same time, drove some significant server replacements. Enterprises grew at a lower rate as they continued to leverage server applications through virtualization and in some cases, service providers in the cloud.”

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) led the worldwide server market based on revenue in the fourth quarter of 2016. The company ended the year with $3.4 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of...

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Mar 08
Mobile VoLTE users will surge to three billion by 2021

A new report from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) says the number of VoLTE (Voice over LTE) subscribers will rise from 488 million in 2016 to 3 billion in 2021, as operators reap the benefits from widespread 4G infrastructure roll-outs.

There are now 165 operators in 73 countries investing in VoLTE, including 102 operators that have commercially launched an HD voice service using VoLTE in 54 countries. Juniper found that the number of users adopting VoLTE services will overtake subscribers of OTT (Over-the-Top) voice app services, popularized by applications such as Messenger, WhatsApp and WeChat, for the first time by 2021. Consequently, the mobile data traffic attributable to VoLTE will rise significantly over the next 4 years, representing a seven-fold rise from 2,000 Petabytes in 2016, notes the research group.

Juniper says that operators will introduce widespread national and...

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Mar 07
Enterprise storage market sees decline in quarter four

Total worldwide enterprise storage systems factory revenue was down 6.7% year over year while reaching $11.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 (4Q16), according to the IDC (www.idc.com) research group. Total capacity shipments were up 18.3% year over year to 52.4 exabytes during the quarter.

Revenue growth increased within the group of original design manufacturers (ODMs) that sell directly to hyperscale datacenters. This portion of the market was up 3.2% year over year to $1.2 billion. Sales of server-based storage declined 7.8% during the quarter and accounted for $3.4 billion in revenue. External storage systems remained the largest market segment, but the $6.4 billion in sales represented a year-over-year decline of 7.8%.

It should be noted that the size of the server-based storage market has been updated this quarter to reflect a change to IDC's enterprise storage systems taxonomy. IDC's new methodology for...

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Mar 07
Gartner: connected home solutions adoption remains low

Adoption of newer connected home solutions is still at the early adopter phase, according to a recent survey by Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). The survey, of nearly 10,000 online respondents in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia during the second half of 2016, found that only about 10% of households currently have connected home solutions.

Connected home solutions consist of a set of devices and services that are connected to each other and to the internet and can automatically respond to preset rules, be remotely accessed and managed by mobile apps or a browser, and send alerts or messages to the user(s).

"Although households in the developed world are beginning to embrace connected home solutions, providers must push beyond early adopter use," said Amanda Sabia, principal research analyst at Gartner. "If they are to successfully widen the appeal of the connected home, providers will need to identify what...

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Mar 06
Mobile apps offer a best practice for serving customers

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are moving rapidly toward adopting mobile apps, according to new research from Clutch (https://clutch.co/), a research, ratings, and reviews platform for business services.

Currently, 42% of SMBs have built their own mobile app, but Clutch's survey indicates that SMBs increasingly view them as a worthwhile tool to improve business operations and return on investment. Two-thirds (67%) of SMBs surveyed said they plan on having a mobile app by the end of 2017, a benchmark growth rate of over 50% over the course of the year.

SMBs gave various reasons for building mobile apps as well as identified features they particularly value. Most of those features directly relate to mobile apps' impact on improving business, particularly their ability to provide solid return on investment (ROI).

"People won't just go download your app because your business has an app," said...

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Mar 03
The Northern Spy: what came first: the social egg or...

By Rick Sutcliffe

What came first--the social egg or the technology chicken? It is apparent that the two exist in a feedback loop — the societal context engendering technological change and the technology, once sufficiently widespread, radically altering society.

While one can argue that the first society was agrarian, it was so only in the sense that there was no hunting, and gathering could be done with little travel, for Eden was already planted. The technology of the hunter-gatherer consists of whatever one's own hands can do or make from found materials. It extends no further than impaling or cutting implements and fire. While individual communities were small and often nomadic, in places like North America, the indigenous peoples often developed vast networks of trade and commerce. Human nature being what it is, conflict, conquest, and slavery were also woven into most of those societies.

The development of the plow changed everything,...

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Mar 03
The Cloud just had a thunderstorm … now what?

By Denis Goodwin

We’ve all heard about and likely experienced the impact of the most recent Amazon S3 outage, and while it’s easy to pick on Amazon for the wide-spread fallout this outage caused, that’s not the point. Whether your business critical apps are hosted on AWS, Azure, GCP, or any other cloud or hosting platform, you need to be monitoring those apps. The impact of the AWS outage shows us how much companies rely on cloud and hosting providers, like AWS, for the critical applications their customers and employees use every day.

AlertSite data taken during the AWS outage shows an immediate 5X spike in errors and timeouts across customers apps hosted on AWS. AlertSite users received instant notification of these failures and were able to update their ‘unavailable’ pages, communicate the outage to their users, and in some cases reroute traffic to an alternate data center environment.

So now what? How do we all move forward? You can’t...

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Mar 02
Mobility spending projected to reach $1.57 this year

A new update to the “Worldwide Semiannual Mobility Spending Guide” from International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts worldwide mobility revenues to reach $1.57 trillion in 2017, an increase of 2.6% over 2016.

Purchases of mobile hardware, software, and services is expected to continue apace over the next several years, achieving a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.1% over the 2015-2020 forecast period and reaching $1.67 trillion in 2020. Connectivity services will represent the largest category of mobility spending in 2017 followed by consumer and enterprise purchases of phones, tablets, and portable PCs, according to IDC (www.idc.com).

Combined, connectivity and hardware will deliver more than 95% of all mobility revenues this year with roughly two thirds coming from the consumer market, adds the research group. Most of the remaining revenues will come from enterprise purchases of mobility services,...

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Mar 01
Ten reasons to hide your IP address

An IP address is a numerical label assigned to each computer to indicate its location. IP address can also show the user’s ISP details and even disclose their physical location.
 
Since everyone’s IP address hides private and sensitive information, it is not wise to publically disclose it – and this is exactly what happens when people go online. Accessing any website allows the web host to see the location of the user and to even track their activity.
 
Users are being tracked by advertisers across all their devices, surveilled by governments, and their privacy could also be easily breached by hackers, as long as their IP address is exposed.
 
One of the best ways to hide an IP address is to use a VPN – such as NordVPN, which encrypts all data between a user’s computer and a VPN server into a secure tunnel. NordVPN doesn’t keep any customer logs, offers secure encryption protocols and advanced security solutions like DoubleVPN.
 
A...

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Feb 28
Almost half of all consumers ship via their phones

New data reveals that almost half of all consumers shop via their phones — and a two-second delay in load time can hurt bounce rates by 103%.
 
This data comes from SOASTA’s (www.soasta.com) semi-annual “State of Digital Performance” report, which analyzes the performance of retail, media and travel sites. SOASTA gathered 38.3 billion beacons’ worth of data (10 billion user visits) to determine the findings.  
 
The “State of Digital Performance” report also found that the median bounce rate for shoppers using mobile devices was almost 58%, while tablet shoppers had a median bounce rate of almost 45%. SOASTA found that only about 1-in-5 consumers actually make purchases using their phones.

This is important because phones are a critical tool in the browsing process, but there are barriers to completing transitions on mobile sites. SOASTA says that just a 100-millisecond delay in load time can...

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Feb 27
Americans remain unconcerned about identity theft this...

In its second annual Tax Season Risk Report, CyberScout (www.cyberscout.com), a data security and identity theft protection firm, reported on taxpayer attitudes about identity theft and saw a pattern of poor practices that leave much of the public vulnerable. While the IRS is taking steps that have reduced tax identity theft, taxpayers must still take ownership to protect their filings as the risks remain high.
 
Most Americans (58%) aren’t worried about tax fraud in spite of federal reports of 787,000 confirmed identity theft returns in 2016, totaling more than $4 billion in potential fraud. Only 35% of taxpayers demand that their preparers use two-factor authentication, which is far more secure than a single password, to protect their clients’ personal information.

Less than a fifth (18%) use an encrypted USB drive, a secure way to save important documents like tax worksheets, W-2’s, 1099’s or...

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Feb 27
Worldwide cloud services to grow 18% this year

The worldwide public cloud services market is projected to grow 18% in 2017 to total $246.8 billion, up from $209.2 billion in 2016, according to Gartner (www.gartner.com).

The research group says the highest growth will come from cloud system infrastructure services (IaaS), which is projected to grow 36.8% in 2017 to reach $34.6 billion. Cloud application services (SaaS) is expected to grow 20.1% to reach $46.3 billion.

"The overall global public cloud market is entering a period of stabilization, with its growth rate peaking at 18% in 2017 and then tapering off over the next few years," said Sid Nag, research director at Gartner. "While some organizations are still figuring out where cloud actually fits in their overall IT strategy, an effort to cost optimize and bring forth the path to transformation holds strong promise and results for IT outsourcing (ITO) buyers.”

Gartner predicts that through...

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Feb 24
Nearly 1/3 of consumers don’t know they use the cloud

There is confusion over what qualifies as “the cloud,” according to a new consumer survey. Despite marking that they use at least one of several popular cloud-based applications, such as Google Drive, Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive, over 30% of consumers subsequently responded that they do not use or access information in the cloud.

Clutch (https://clutch.co/uk/seo-firms), a B2B [business-to-business] ratings and reviews firm, designed the survey to gauge consumers' knowledge and habits regarding cloud usage. When it comes to understanding which applications are part of the cloud, experts say that the confusion is understandable.

"From private cloud, managed private cloud, to in-house and public cloud, there are many different technologies which can be referred to as cloud, but are very general," said Alexander Martin-Bale, director of Cloud and Data Platforms at adaware, an anti-...

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Feb 24
Recruiting and retaining women in tech

Technical recruiter Speak With A Geek (SWAG) is using its voice in the industry to raise awareness about the unique challenges faced by women in technology. The Bay Area agency hopes to educate and provide a deeper analysis into the topic of a lack of female representation in technology.
 
“Beginning almost at birth, girls receive subtle messaging that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are for not for them. Everything from gendered toys, stereotypical advertisements, and even the subtle suggestions by parents and teachers can steer girls in directions outside of STEM subjects,” said Sarah Noyes, director of Diversity & Inclusion at SWAG.
 
On average, only 18% of computer science degree holders are women. Recent studies by U.S. researchers analyzed nearly 1.4 million Github users and found that code change suggestions made by women are more likely to be accepted on the open-source code sharing platform than those made by men, but only if...

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Feb 23
WWDC creator calls for decentralization, encryption

When the World Wide Web was created in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee, its purpose was for the web technology to be available to everyone, always, without any patents or royalties. Recently, as the Internet becomes more and more centralized, the creator of the Internet and other people at its heart start calling for a revolution in order to rethink the way that Internet works.
 
A lot has happened in the years of Internet’s existence, but the pattern is clear: the tool that was meant to bring profound advance for liberty is too often used by governments and corporations as a means of control. Russia and UK, for example, have passed new intrusive surveillance laws, and China and Vietnam block major websites from their citizens; users are being tracked by corporations and advertisers, and their data is being sold to third parties; Internet giants like Google and Facebook yield big power over the data of all the global Internet users.
 
Tim Berners-Lee publically...

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Feb 22
Smart one automation, monitoring devices to excel 770...

A new study from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) forecasts that smart home automation and monitoring devices will grow to over 770 million globally by 2021, representing an eleven-fold rise from just 68 million estimated in 2016.

The new research found that increasing adoption of platform evangelism and openness to partnerships is boosting third party development of devices, especially in developed markets. North America, Far East & China and West Europe will account for almost 75% of all households adopting the technology in 2021.

Juniper Research found that home automation hardware sales are rapidly outstripping subscription services, such as AT&T’s Digital Life offering. The research group forecasts that while homes adopting this payment model will increase, a one-off purchase model will see faster growth over the next five years. It found that revenues from hardware...

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Feb 22
Smart glasses predicted to resurge over the next five...

A new study from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has identified smart glasses as the highest growth sector of the consumer wearables segment over the next five years, reaching 11% of the overall wearables market by 2021. Revenues are forecast to grow from $327m this year, to $9bn in 2021 as the new generation of smart glasses emerges.

The new research also found that the dominant wearables categories of smartwatches and fitness wearables, have begun to slow. They will claim just over 50% of wearables revenue by 2021, compared to an expected 75% this year, according to Juniper.

In contrast, more ambitious wearable devices, which require new modes of interaction, will bring more and better devices to consumers in the near future, notes the research group. Smart glasses are being repositioned away from their technological roots to appear more like conventional glasses; new products...

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Feb 21
Public cloud services spending to reach $122.5 billion...

A new from IDC (www.idc.com) shows that worldwide spending on public cloud services and infrastructure will reach $122.5 billion in 2017, an increase of 24.4% over 2016.

Over the 2015-2020 forecast period, overall public cloud spending will experience a 21.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) – nearly seven times the rate of overall IT spending growth, according to the research group. By 2020, IDC forecasts public cloud spending will reach $203.4 billion worldwide.

Software as a Service (SaaS) will remain the dominant cloud computing type, capturing nearly two thirds of all public cloud spending in 2017 and roughly 60% in 2020. SaaS spending, which is comprised of applications and system infrastructure software (SIS), will in turn be dominated by applications purchases, which will make up more than half of all public cloud spending throughout the forecast period. However, spending on Infrastructure as a Service (...

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Feb 21
Business intelligence, analytics market to reach $18.3...

Global revenue in the business intelligence (BI) and analytics software market is forecast to reach $18.3 billion in 2017, an increase of 7.3% from 2016, according to the latest forecast from Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com) By the end of 2020, the market is forecast to grow to $22.8 billion.

According to the research group, modern BI and analytics continues to expand more rapidly than the overall market, which is offsetting declines in traditional BI spending. The modern BI and analytics platform emerged in the last few years to meet new organizational requirements for accessibility, agility and deeper analytical insight, shifting the market from IT-led, system-of-record reporting to business-led, agile analytics including self-service.

The modern BI and analytics market is expected to decelerate, however, from 63.6% growth in 2015 to a projected 19 % by 2020. Gartner believes this reflects data and...

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Feb 21
Small, medium enterprises optimistic about business...

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the U.S. and worldwide are optimistic about the economy and confident about their future business performance, according to the inaugural American Express Global SME Pulse (business.americanexpress.com).

The new survey of senior executives and decision makers from SMEs across 15 countries reveals these businesses in the U.S. are even more optimistic about the global economy than their foreign counterparts. More than half of U.S. executives (54%, vs. 39% overall) are positive about the global economic outlook over the next 12 months. When asked to consider the local economic environment, they are even more upbeat, as nearly six in ten are positive (59% vs. 45% overall).

Executives are also confident in their ability to deliver increased revenues and profitability. More than two -thirds of the U.S. SMEs surveyed (69%, vs. 58% overall) expect significant revenue growth of at least 4 percent over the next 12 months. Forty two...

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Feb 20
Enterprise wearable market to reach $22.3 billion by...

The global enterprise wearable market is expected to reach $22.3 billion by 2025, according to a new study conducted by Grand View Research (www.grandviewresearch.com)

The high demand for enterprise wearable devices in the Asia Pacific region is anticipated to drive the industry growth over the next decade, says the research group. The aging population and rising chronic diseases, such as coronary heart diseases and diabetes, in countries such as China, India, and Japan would drive the demand for wearable technology in the region.

Grand View Research says industry players are investing significantly in research and development activities for product innovation, thus catering to the specific needs of the enterprise industry. They’re using strategies such as acquisition, partnerships, and collaborations to maintain market competencies, adds the research group.
The rising enterprise...

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Feb 17
U.S. blasted by 2.3 billion robocalls in January

American consumers and business owners were blasted by an estimated 2.3 billion robocalls in January, a 3% decrease over the total calls received in December but a slight increase over the same month last year. These estimates are based on the YouMail Robocall Index (https://robocallindex.com), a guide that compiles the scope and location of the worst robocalling hotspots across the country by area code.

January marked the fifth straight month that the nation's robocall volume has fallen slightly month-over-month. The country's monthly robocalling total has dropped by 14.4% over the past half-year since August 2016 – a potential sign that the robocalling trend may be stabilizing due to a growing consumer backlash and the adoption of more robo-blocking services.

YouMail provides iPhone and Android apps that serve as an automated virtual assistant to replace the mobile voicemail service of its...

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Feb 16
Digital gaming to be a $100 billion industry by end of...

A new study from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found that revenues from the global digital games market are set to reach the $100 billion milestone by the end of this year.

The research group found that, contrary to previous concerns, the PC market has seen reinvigoration via F2P (Free to Play) games. Coupled with the continued growth of mobile, the industry will see total revenues reach $132 billion by 2021.

Juniper found Supercell to be the clear market leader, effectively monetizing consumers through engaging games, highly rated by consumers. The research advised that publishers such as Niantic must create longevity and engagement, lest they see drop-off in terms of active users.

The outlook for the mobile industry is positive, according to Juniper. Publishers are now seeking to integrate in-game advertising. The research found that this will be most effective when...

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Feb 15
Nearly 80% of enterprises use more than 10 mobile...

The use of mobile apps for business is heating up with nearly 80% of companies using more than 10 apps for business, according to MobileIron (www.mobileiron.com), a company “founded on the idea that mobile apps and data would become fundamental to mobilizing business workflows.”

The most popular enterprise apps are:

° Adoption metrics for Apple's Volume Purchase Program (VPP) and Device Enrollment Program (DEP);

° Enterprise security trends for Australia and the Netherlands in addition to Belgium, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, the UK and the US;

° Specific information about healthcare and financial services industries, in addition to government,

The state of enterprise apps 79% of the organizations in MobileIron's global customer base have more than 10 enterprise apps installed. Nearly one in five organizations (18%) uses VPP to streamline enterprise app deployment to users. The...

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Feb 14
Mobile operators eye $85 billion non-core services

A new study from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has calculated that mobile network operators can realize an additional $85 billion in revenues over the next five years through the deployment and enhancement of non-core services including Big Data analytics and IoT (Internet of Things) enablement.

The new research says there is a significant opportunity for operators to move beyond connectivity provision through selling customer data to clients in both raw and packaged (analysed) forms. According to Juniper Research, operators can monetize data models including pay-per usage, metered usage and results-based fees. In turn, clients will benefit from significant cost efficiencies and/or additional value per customer, resulting in a demonstrable ROI (return on investment) on the analytics package.

The research added that for operators to maximize their monetization potential from IoT...

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Feb 13
Gartner: almost three million irons will ship this year

Production of drones for personal and commercial use is growing rapidly, with global market revenue expected to increase 34% to reach more than $6 billion in 2017 and grow to more than $11.2 billion by 2020, according to a new forecast from the Gartner, Inc (www.gartner.com) research group.

Almost three million drones will be produced in 2017, 39% more than in 2016.
While the civil markets (personal and commercial) have been wading through regulation by various governments, drones' popularity in these markets has not diminished. The overall drone market will see substantial growth, but the dynamics of the personal and commercial submarkets are very different, Gartner analysts said.

Personal drones will continue to increase in popularity as an affordable extension of consumers' smartphones for taking photographs and selfies and for other entertainment options. They can fly a short distance and time,...

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Feb 10
IT spending to grow more than 3% through 2020

Worldwide revenues for information technology (IT) products and services are forecast to reach nearly $2.4 trillion in 2017, an increase of 3.5% over 2016, according to IDC. The research group estimates that global IT spending will grow to nearly $2.65 trillion in 2020. This represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.3% for the 2015-2020 forecast period.

Industry spending on IT products and services will continue to be led by financial services (banking, insurance, and securities and investment services) and manufacturing (discrete and process). Together, these industries will generate around 30% of all IT revenues throughout the forecast period as they invest in technology to advance their digital transformation efforts.

The telecommunications and professional services industries and the federal/central government are also forecast to be among the largest purchasers of IT products and services. The industries that will see the fastest spending growth over...

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Paparazzi! is a small utility for OS X that makes screenshots of webpages. This very simple tool takes screenshots of websites which do not fit on one screen. You specify the desired width, minimal... Read more
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Compressor adds power and flexibility to Final Cut Pro X export. Customize output settings, work faster with distributed encoding, and tap into a comprehensive set of delivery features. Features... Read more
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Match blocks to pull off dance moves in...
Ferdinand: Unstoppabull is a brand new match three puzzler based on the animated movie of (almost) the same name. As you can expect, you have to match blocks together to complete a bunch of puzzling levels and earn a high score. [Read more] | Read more »
Lineage 2: Revolution’s end of year upda...
Now available in 54 countries worldwide, Lineage 2: Revolution is continuing its global quest to be the most popular mobile MMORPG by launching a jam-packed end of year update. Complete with many subtle tweaks to help improve users’ online... | Read more »
The 5 best Star Wars games on iOS
The time has almost come.Star Wars: The Last Jedifinally hits theaters in the cinematic event that might be bigger than Christmas. To celebrate, we're taking a look at the best--and only the best--Star Warsmobile games to date. [Read more] | Read more »
Life Is Strange (Games)
Life Is Strange 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: Life Is Strange is a five part episodic game that sets out to revolutionize story-based choice and consequence games by... | Read more »
Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty (Game...
Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $7.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** PLEASE NOTE: Requires 3.6GB free space to install. Runs at variable resolutions based on device capabilities.... | Read more »
Gorogoa (Games)
Gorogoa 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Gorogoa is an elegant evolution of the puzzle genre, told through a beautifully hand-drawn story designed and illustrated by Jason... | Read more »
Why Guns of Boom will be big for mobile...
Earlier this week, Game Insight, the minds that brought you Guns of Boom, revealed plans for an esports mode in the popular FPS title, with big implications for the game's future. Guns of Boom has been quite popular for some time now, so it's... | Read more »
The best mobile games to play on lazy ho...
With the holidays in full swing, there's hopefully going to be a lot of time off work lazing around the house. With all of that free time, it's a perfect opportunity to catch up on some mobile games that you might have missed out on earlier this... | Read more »
Rules of Survival guide - how to boost y...
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FEZ Pocket Edition (Games)
FEZ Pocket Edition 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »

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Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: – 15″... Read more
How to preorder a new iMac Pro and pay zero s...
B&H Photo and Adorama are accepting preorders on multiple configurations of the new Apple iMac Pro. Both resellers charge sales tax for residents of NY & NJ only, and shipping is free.... Read more
Apple Macs back in stock at Amazon with model...
Amazon has MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs, MacBooks, and iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP as part of their Holiday/Christmas sale. Shipping is free. Note that stock of some Macs may come and go (and... Read more
Apple offering free overnight delivery on all...
Apple is now offering free overnight delivery on all in stock products until 3pm local time on December 22nd. This includes new as well as refurbished computers. Click here for more information. Read more
Beats Holiday sale at B&H, headphones and...
B&H Photo has Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, earphones, and speakers on sale for up to $80 off MSRP as part of their Holiday sale. Expedited shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax to NY... Read more
Holiday sale: Apple resellers offer 2017 15″...
MacMall has 15″ MacBook Pros on sale for $220-$300 off MSRP, each including free shipping: – 15″ 2.8GHz MacBook Pro Space Gray (MPTR2LL/A): $2179, $220 off MSRP – 15″ 2.8GHz MacBook Pro Silver (... Read more
Holiday sale: Apple resellers offer 13″ MacBo...
B&H Photo has 13″ MacBook Pros on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 13-inch 2.3GHz/128GB Space Gray MacBook Pro (... Read more
Apple Watch Series 2, Certified Refurbished,...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Apple Watch Nike+ Series 2s, 42mm Space Gray Aluminum Case with Anthracite/Black Nike Sport Bands, available for $249 (38mm) or $279 (42mm). The 38mm model was out of... Read more
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B&H drops price on 13″ 256GB MacBook Air...
B&H has the 13″ 1.8GHz/256GB Apple MacBook Air (MQD42LL/A) now on sale for $1079 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price... Read more

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Payments Counsel, *Apple* Pay (payments, cr...
# Payments Counsel, Apple Pay (payments, credit/debit) Job Number: 112941729 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: 13-Dec-2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 Read more
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# Apple Solutions Consultant Job Number: 113124408 Waterford, CT, Connecticut, United States Posted: 17-Oct-2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Are you Read more
QA Automation Engineer, *Apple* Pay - Apple...
# QA Automation Engineer, Apple Pay Job Number: 113202642 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: 11-Dec-2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** At Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
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