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Feb 21
Actix looks at the state of the RAN (radio access...

Using real-world data from eight network operators across four continents, a new study by Actix (www.actix.com) reveals how the dynamic interplay of people, places and devices is impacting mobile networks across the world. It highlights the critical importance of accurate customer handset and location data for targeting network investments, improving customer experience where it matters and coping with the influx of new devices.

Smartphones on 3G networks spend almost 85% of their active time generating data traffic, and only 10% of it on voice. The radio access network is responsible for between 80-85% of poor quality voice whilst data sessions in congested areas often fall below video-ready speeds. LTE networks deliver on performance claims but the real challenge will come when these networks become heavily loaded.

"The data performance on today’s network varies greatly and is far behind the high speeds that...

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Feb 19
.com likely to continue to dominate domain disputes

While the imminent arrival of more than a thousand new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) has stoked concerns that cybersquatting will skyrocket, a new report analyzing 2012 domain dispute trends indicates America’s big brands have their hands full dealing with existing domains like .com.

The "Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services’ (DBS) Report" -- which analyzed domain dispute data from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), shows that .com was the domain most recovered from cybersquatters by brands, with more than 3,475 domain names -- nearly triple the number of disputes in all other gTLDs combined. The first full year of operation for the .xxx domain yielded only 16 disputes filed with WIPO.

'The domain industry and America’s big brands have been looking for evidence to shed light on the predictions that the arrival of potential new gTLDs such as .web, .home and .sucks will drive cybersquatting to new highs, and the first year of .xxx has been closely...

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Feb 18
Insurance decision makers very concerned about cyber...

A survey of perceptions about cyber risk sponsored by the American International Group, Inc. (AIG) found that among corporate executives, more are concerned about cyber threats than about other major business risks.

More than 85% of the 258 decision-makers surveyed said they were very or somewhat concerned about cyber risks to their organizations, compared with the group’s response to six other areas of risk, including income loss (82% of executives were very or somewhat concerned), property damage (80%), and securities and investment risk (76%).

Additional survey results, which include input from insurance brokers, found high demand among executives and brokers for information about cyber threats, with 80% indicating that they find it difficult to keep pace because the cyber threat is evolving so rapidly. Other findings of note provide further insight into the pervasiveness of cyber risk concern among executives and brokers:

° More than two out of three (69%)...

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Feb 15
Digital wallets have a long way to go in building...

ComScore (www.comscore.com), a company that "measures the digital world," has released the "Digital Wallet Road Map 2013," a study that measures consumer awareness, perceptions and intent to use current digital wallet offerings.

The study found that digital wallets, which store a virtual copy of the contents of a consumer’s physical wallet to facilitate online or offline retail transactions, only had awareness among 51% of U.S. consumers for wallets other than PayPal.

"Digital wallets represent an innovative technology that has not yet reached critical mass among consumers due to a variety of factors, including low awareness and a muddied understanding of their benefits," says Andrea Jacobs, comScore Payments Practice leader. "This study delves deeply into the mindset of consumers with respect to their potential use of digital wallets, in addition to helping size the market opportunity. The study also...

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Feb 14
Wearable computing, augmented reality to be...

Internet-connected eyeglasses and similar technologies will soon be on the market, but their benefits and dangers are little understood. University of Toronto Engineering Professor Steve Mann hopes to change that at a groundbreaking conference at U of T in June 2013.

Mann is a pioneering researcher in the fields of wearable computing and "augmediated reality" (AR). He’s bringing together renowned experts in wearable technology, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and privacy to discuss both the potential and the pitfalls of these technologies. Speakers will include renowned artificial intelligence researcher Marvin Minsky, futurist and inventor Ray Kurzweil, legendary computer scientist Gordon Bell, privacy expert Helen Nissenbaum and American Civil Liberties Union president Susan N. Herman.

The conference, the annual Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS), is called "The Social Implications of...

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Feb 13
Augmented reality start-ups are attracting funding

Augmented reality enhances consumer experience by enabling computer-generated content to be superimposed over a live view of the real world, presenting real world environments overlaid with virtual information. Giants such Apple, Google, HP and Microsoft see augmented reality (AR) as both a way to boost their traditional businesses and as a gateway into new markets.

At the same time innovative AR start-ups are attracting funding for both platforms and AR-driven applications aimed at specific industry sectors such as retail, education or computer gaming. Most AR applications are currently oriented towards education or entertainment. As the technology improves in terms of fault tolerance, reliability and safety, AR developments will move into industries with less predictable environments such as construction and defense.

Participants in the AR market should keep in mind that augmented reality opportunities are not in any way limited to software packages. AR will also...

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Feb 13
'Big data gold rush' taking consumers'...

Digital consumers around the world are starting to tire of their personal data being collected across the Internet, says Ovum (www.ovum.com). The global industry analysts paint a threatening scenario for the Internet economy, as consumers seek out new tools that allow them to remain "invisible" -- untraceable and impossible to target by data means.

Ovum’s latest "Consumer Insights Survey" reveals that 68% of the Internet population across 11 countries would select a "do-not-track" (DNT) feature if it was easily available, suggesting that a data black hole could soon open up under the Internet economy. This hardening of consumer attitudes, coupled with tightening regulation, could diminish personal data supply lines and have a considerable impact on targeted advertising, CRM, big data analytics, and other digital industries.

"Unfortunately, in the gold rush that is big data, taking the supply of 'little data' --...

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Feb 12
Tablets to become increasingly important in the...

Research and Markets (www.researchandmarkets.com) says the future of the tablet market depends on how it evolves. And that evolution is expected to involve the business world.

With the introduction of the first modern tablet -- that would be the iPad -- the tablet market in the U.S. begun to surface and gain ground. It created competition among the major desktop and laptop manufacturers who set out to obtain advantage of early movers in the U.S. market.

Initially, Apple with its iOS dominated the U.S. tablet PCs market; however, Android based tablet PCs are expected to take over Apple's share in the coming years, according to Research and Markets. The research group says the world has seen aggressive competition among tablet manufacturers after the launch of the Apple tablet.

Within five months of the release of the iPad, Samsung launched its Samsung Galaxy Tab to compete with...

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Feb 11
Global m-education to grow 32.50% by 2016

The analysts at the TechNavio research group (www.technavio.com) forecast that the global m-education (that is, mobile education, which involves devices such as the iPhone and iPad) market will grow at a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 32.50% over the period 2012-2016.

One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the increase in government initiatives. The global m-Education market has also been witnessing an upsurge in mergers and acquisitions. However, the reluctance of educational institutions to frequently update ICT infrastructure could pose a challenge to the growth of this market. 


''The advancement in ICT has resulted in the emergence of virtual classrooms," says TechNavio's IT Services. "Imparting education through virtual classrooms is a new concept that is becoming popular not only in traditional educational institutions, but also in training centers with vocational...

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Feb 08
Big appetite for data services will drive LatAm growth...

Informa Telecoms & Media (www.informa.com) estimates that the LatAm mobile market will grow 7.1% this year, ending 2013 with 742 million mobile subscriptions. While many developed mobile markets are struggling to continue growing, because of the deterioration of economic conditions, Latin America’s mobile market will prosper in 2013

"There is a big appetite for mobile data services in the region, and such services will be the growth engine for the sector," says Marceli Passoni, senior analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.

Although voice will remain the main revenue stream for operators, accounting for 76% of service revenues, data revenues will increase 18% year-on-year, topping US$27.7 billion, according to Informa. The low PC and fixed-broadband penetrations in Latin America, combined with a reduction in smartphone prices and greater affordability of mobile data plans, contribute to the increasing...

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Feb 07
Considering self-publishing your book?


Self-published books have transformed both the reading and writing landscape, with hundreds of thousands of authors now eschewing traditional publishing routes.

Once reserved for distribution to a writer’s close family and friends, these books are now respected as an affordable option with every bit as much potential for becoming best-sellers as those produced by the New York houses.

"Countless books published this way have gone on to become best-sellers, from 'Fifty Shades of Grey' to 'Still Alice' to 'Rich Dad Poor Dad'," says independent publisher Sheryn Hara, founder of the 30-year-old Book Publishers Network (www.bookpublishersnetwork.com) and author of the new how-to, "Self-Publish Successfully."
"But it’s important to note that these don’t look like they were just spit out of the inkjet printer in your bedroom," she says. "You have to have a good product if you want...

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Feb 06
Home Networking jumping to Gigabit speeds

The first significant shipments of the HomePlug AV2 and MoCA 2.0 standards will be seen in 2013, offering higher speeds as well as more robustness under different line conditions, predicts ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com). Not all devices shipped using the new standards will support the full set of features, so many will not offer gigabit speeds.

ABI Research expects North American MoCA households to exceed 25 million by 2014 with similar numbers in Western Europe for Homeplug. While no new wires home networking solutions have gained significant traction from pay-TV operators, the pathway to stronger consumer mindshare will come through hybrid networking solutions, consumer education, and the retail market -- which is increasingly becoming the focus of many companies operating in the market, according to the research group.

"Entropic leads the market share in unit shipments within the Home...

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Feb 05
Wi-Fi Alliance applauds FCC Wi-Fi spectrum...

The announcement last week from FCC Chairman Genachowski regarding plans to make available up to 195 MHz of additional spectrum for license-exempt use in the United States is terrific news for end users and industry alike, according to the Wi-Fi Alliance (www.wi-fi.org), a global non-profit industry association of hundreds of companies "devoted to seamless connectivity."

Wi-Fi has been an engine of social and economic benefit since 1999, and the proposed spectrum will provide an opportunity for technologies like Wi-Fi to continue to innovate, bringing further social and consumer benefits. With 5 GHz Wi-Fi devices delivering gigabit performance entering the market now, additional contiguous spectrum in 5 GHz means that users will have an even better experience with applications such as video.

Analyst firm ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com)...

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Feb 04
U.S. consumer tablet on-device spending soars

At the close of 2012, market intelligence firm ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) estimates nearly 200 million tablets will have shipped worldwide since 2009 and an additional onebillion tablets are forecasted to ship over the next five years.

New research that explores the impact a tablet has on the daily life of a U.S. consumer shows that 22% of users spend US$50 or more per month and 9% spend $100 or more; much higher than spending levels observed by smartphone owners.

Spending on-device of physical and virtual goods hasn't yet impacted retail storefronts that are already concerned about their venues turning into showrooms for eventual e-commerce purchases. Logistics, such as price checking, using a coupon and location-based searches, consistently rank as the most common activities (each performed by more than 50% of tablet shoppers in the previous 90 days) while shopping.

The actual...

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Feb 01
The Northern Spy: Bugs and Bouquets

By Rick Sutcliffe

Some trivial things that bug the Spy begin with the way the name of this month, and for that matter the name of the fourth day of the week are usually pronounced--as if in the one case there were no "r" and in the other there were no "d."

And there's the way the typical recycled Social Studies or English teacher handles the grade eight math courses he's been assigned while he awaits retirement from a job long redundant. No, a prime number is not "one that is divisible by itself and one" for that definition includes one itself. Second, anyone who uses the term "cross multiply" in a classroom ought to be put out to pasture before they do any more damage. Does "Law of Proportions" really have too many syllables to be properly taught? Third, an exponent on a number does not mean "a number multiplied by itself n times." It counts the number of factors, NOT the number of multiplications. Fourth, the sum of money put to work to earn...

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Feb 01
Home networking jumps to Gigabit speeds

The first significant shipments of the HomePlug AV2 and MoCA 2.0 standards will be seen in 2013, offering higher speeds as well as more robustness under different line conditions. Not all devices shipped using the new standards will support the full set of features, so many will not offer gigabit speeds.

ABI Research expects North American MoCA households to exceed 25 million by 2014 with similar numbers in Western Europe for Homeplug. While no new wires home networking solutions have gained significant traction from pay-TV operators, the pathway to stronger consumer mindshare will come through hybrid networking solutions, consumer education, and the retail market -- which is increasingly becoming the focus of many companies operating in the market, according to the research group.

"Entropic leads the market share in unit shipments within the Home Networking market, with a portfolio currently extending from MoCA only solutions to SoCs for client devices based on its...

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Jan 31
Biggest threat of data loss for mobile users is...

Billions of people have purchased iPhones, iPads, and iPods to store their digital photos, videos and other important, personal data. Unexpected mishaps that lead to physical damage and/or software or hardware issues are the main causes of data loss on any mobile device.

With Apple devices being more entrenched in many people’s daily lives, it’s no surprise that when a data loss occurs there is a need to recover personal data quickly and securely. DriveSavers Data Recovery (www.drivesavers.com) has seen a 150% increase in inquiries for data recovery services from Apple mobile users over the past two years.

With Apple devices becoming faster, lighter, thinner and more secure, people are taking them everywhere to do everything. However, it is estimated that less than 10 percent of smartphone users actually back up their content on a regular basis -- therefore if data hasn’t been backed up or synched...

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Jan 30
RIM will get a boost but not salvation from BB10

With the imminent launch of BlackBerry 10 (BB10), Jan Dawson, chief telecoms analyst at Ovum (www.ovum.com) believes "the new software platform will provide a temporary boost in performance but no salvation for RIM."

"RIM continues to face the twin demons of consumer-driven buying power and a chronic inability to appeal to mature market consumers. There is nothing in what we’ve seen so far of BB10 that suggests it will conquer the second of these demons, and the first is utterly out of RIM’s control," he says. "We don’t expect a speedy exit from the market; with no debt, 80 million subscribers and profitability in the black in at least some recent quarters, the company can continue in this vein for years. But its glory days are past, and it is only a matter of time before it reaches a natural end."

Two major factors have worked against RIM in the past two years: companies are no longer buying the majority of...

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Jan 30
Mobility, cloud, big data drive innovation in social...

Social collaboration is expected to gather momentum over the next few years in Australia, and this trend is complementary to a more collaboration-focused business climate. This was the finding from the newly released "Frost & Sullivan Australian Social Collaboration Market 2012" (www.frost.com).

According to Audrey William, head of research, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan ANZ, one of the main factors accelerating the adoption of social collaboration solutions is the growing importance of smart devices in an enterprise environment.

"The proliferation of smart devices is driving a significant change in the way employees access corporate applications," she says. "Additionally we will start seeing more of the Unified Communications solutions incorporate social media and collaboration as part of its solution" she said. The consumerization of IT has brought about a new aspect of communicating in the...

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Jan 29
Trend Micro reports confirm arrival of the 'post-...

With the release of its 2012 "Annual Roundup and Mobile Security" reports, Trend Micro (www.trendmicro.com) documents how cybercriminals have moved beyond the PC, targeting Android, social media and even the Mac OS X with new attacks.

"2012 Annual Security Roundup - Evolved Threats in a Post-PC World
Trend Micro's Annual Security Roundup' shows that most of Trend Micro's predictions for 2012 came true, and the company encapsulated 2012 as the year where threats launched the beginning of the "Post-PC" Era. Threats have now escalated past the desktop environment.

2012 ended with 350,000 threats for Android as detected by Trend Micro. Malware growth reached 14-3 for Android versus PC, and it only took Android three years to achieve the PC volume of malware threats achieved within fourteen years.

2012 is also the year that Java supplanted pure Windows-based threats in the attackers' cross-hairs...

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Jan 28
Ovum finds Big Data vendor market perception remains...

Sentiment surrounding Big Data vendors remained positive last year, despite sceptics’ suggestions that the subject had been ‘over-hyped’, according to Ovum (www.ovum.com). The Big Data buzz word even managed to transcend from the enterprise IT world to become a hot topic for business publications and journals in 2012, with MongoDB claiming considerable mindshare among web developers who traditionally relied on MySQL, according to the research group.

In a research note, Ovum analyses data gathered by DataSift, which ranked Twitter mentions and sentiment of vendors (and open source organizations) associated with the Big Data market in 2012.  The global analysts were surprised to find that while Hadoop garners much of the spotlight as a Big Data platform, the vendor 10gen, which develops MongoDB, came in second in mentions to Apache, which hosts the Hadoop project.

"Given the level of build-up and suggested hype, it...

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Jan 24
Tips small businesses can use to be more efficient in...

A new year brings new opportunities for small businesses to be successful. Offers.com, a coupon and deal website, has announced its top five services and tips small business can use to be more efficient in 2013. They are:


° Save on travel costs -- Travel can be expensive, especially on a small business budget. Businesses can save by buying items for their company with business rewards cards like Gold Delta SkyMiles, where companies can earn miles on every purchase. GoToMeeting is also a great solution that allows for virtual collaboration for up to 25 participants to screenshare and video conference.

° Use online services instead of professionals -- To run a smart business, companies can reduce expenses associated with specialized skilled jobs by taking advantage of the right low cost tools and services. Using LegalZoom for straightforward legal services is far cheaper than hiring an attorney. And just about anyone can master dynamic accounting software like...

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Jan 23
Americans could save lots of money with energy...

Americans could save considerable money by incorporating energy efficient producs into their daily lives.

The global energy efficiency (EE) market encompasses product and service markets that enable residential, commercial and industrial energy consumers to use less energy and save money. EE products include EE building goods, EE appliances, EE consumer electronics, smart meters, EE lighting, motor efficiency controllers, power management software and EE vehicles. EE services encompass smart grid, demand response, cloud computing and consulting and auditing services and also include energy service companies (ESCOs).

A number of driving and inhibitory factors are affecting growth in this many-faceted market, some impacting the market as a whole and others only specific market segments. One of the most noteworthy factors influencing the total EE market is an increase in the number and stringency of regulations and other EE requirements around the world. This movement...

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Jan 23
Ovum: data will be the new cloud computing oil in 2013

Ovum Software (www.ovum.com) has published three "Trends to watch reports" on cloud computing and reveals that 2013 will see cloud computing continue to grow rapidly. 

In the report, Laurent Lachal, senior analyst, Ovum Software notes that  "Cloud computing promises to tackles two hitherto irreconcilable IT challenges: the need to reduce costs and the need to boost innovation."

"It takes a lot of effort from vendors and enterprises to actually make it work, and they will succeed in making it work in 2013, both on their own and as part of increasingly complex ecosystems," he says.

Indeed, cloud computing in all its guises (public, private, and hybrid) is building momentum, evolving fast and becoming increasingly "enterprise-grade." But it's in its early days for vendors and enterprises.

"Cloud computing has barely reached the adolescence phase and it will take at least another five years for cloud...

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Jan 22
What Amazon needs to make the Kindle Fire experiment a...

The Kindle Fire, which Amazon is widely reported to be sold at cost or below the margin, has been one of the most intensely followed technology product stories over the past year.

A new study from ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) concludes that the cross-subsidized device model that Amazon uses is a viable strategy. According to senior analyst Aapo Markkanen’s calculations, the firm would need, on average, an incremental profit of about $3 in each month of a tablet’s lifespan to achieve an overall profit margin of 20%.

"Considering the probable margins of app and content sales, our research shows that Kindle Fire is a credible proposition," Markkanen comments. "We expect that there will be a certain level of ‘innovation plateauing’ in mobile hardware taking place over the next five years, and that would certainly work in Amazon’s favor. Its future devices are likely to require less cross-subsidy...

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Jan 21
Many likely to swap traditional tech for tablets

Thirty-nine percent of U.S. adults between the ages of 18 and 34 would consider replacing their television cable/satellite provider with a streaming media subscription service in 2013, according to the results of a new survey released today by Belkin (www.belkin.com), a provider of technology products for today’s connected home.

Comparatively, 31% of those ages 35 to 54 and 20% of those over 55 would consider replacing their television cable/satellite provider with a streaming media subscription service, such as Netflix or Hulu Plus, this year. Additionally, Americans who have children under 18 in their households (37%) are more likely to consider replacing their cable/satellite subscription than Americans with no children in their households (27%).

The survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Belkin among more than 2,100 U.S. adults, also revealed that 38% of U.S. adults between the ages of...

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Jan 18
Public offerings decrease innovation at technology...

For many entrepreneurs, it is a dream on par with finding the Holy Grail: an initial public stock offering that can turn a startup into the next Google and a 20-something founder into the next mega-millionaire.

Yet, for all that money and drama, do initial public offerings (IPOs) speed up technological innovation?

Not necessarily. An eye-popping new study by Shai Bernstein, an assistant professor of finance at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, finds that innovation slowed down by about 40 percent at tech companies after they went public.

In a meticulous analysis of patent data from nearly 2,000 companies, Bernstein found that newly public companies became noticeably more incremental and less ambitious with their in-house research than comparable firms that stayed private.
And that’s not all.

Top inventors were much more likely to leave if their companies went public, and the ones who stayed behind showed a steep decline in "innovation...

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Jan 17
Six New Year’s resolutions for software companies

Perforce Software (www.perforce.com) has released six resolutions for software companies to consider when managing their development environments. The resolutions encourage companies to maintain well organized codebases and development processes to foster their growth.

"The new year is an ideal time for every organization to take an inventory of what is working well and find ways to improve -- and there’s no better place to start than at the very foundation of the code," says Randy DeFauw, technical marketing manager at Perforce. "In my experience with our customers, employing these software practices not only results in fewer issues down the road, but a more manageable codebase."

Perforce’s six recommendations for 2013:

° Deliver like Facebook: Facebook leads its industry because it delivers improvements to its site daily. Replicating this strategy is recommended, and easier to do now that the...

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Jan 16
Over 650 million households worldwide will have...

Broadband penetration will exceed 650 million households worldwide and nearly 430 million households worldwide will have a data network this year, according to new data from Park Associates (www.parkassociates.com).

"In our research, we are seeing consumers demand a clear value proposition on core functions before they start adding additional features," said Stuart Sikes, president, Parks Associates. "For example, connected cars represent a key area of growth and a hot topic at CES. Approximately one-third of U.S. car owners have in-vehicle connectivity, but our research shows the most popular apps relate to navigation and vehicle performance. To remain competitive, service providers and CE manufacturers must ensure their core offerings remain relevant to the connected consumer."

The research group's data shows that:

° U.S. revenues from IP connected home service bundles will reach US$...

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Jan 15
Lack of mobile access seen as a barrier to selling

MicroStrategy, a worldwide provider of enterprise software, has announced the results of a recent survey of over 500 U.S. organizations on the use of tablet computers to support sales activities across many industries. Results of the survey reveal that:

° Nearly one in two salespeople cite limited mobile access to key sales systems -- i.e. Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Content Management, Order Management -- as a challenge.

° C-level executives point to their respective salesforces' lack of understanding of customer needs as a major barrier to selling (75%), along with failure to keep product knowledge current (50%).

° The top five desired activities to perform on a mobile device include: create or update opportunities, view sales collateral, view CRM records, view sales analytics, and collaborate and share ideas with other sales team members.

° Most sales organizations (72%) grade themselves at a B-level or below on sales meeting quality....

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Jan 14
Americans fear the Internet is getting more risky for...

The Internet is becoming more important to our daily lives, but many Americans believe it has also become more risky over the last five years, especially for seniors.

Having felt the pain of an online scam, they want the nation's top Internet companies to take a bigger role in making the Internet safer, according to a new survey by the Digital Citizens (digitalcitizensaction.org), a coalition "focused on educating the public and policy makers about the threats that consumers face on the Internet, and the importance for government and Internet companies to make the Web a safer place."

The survey, conducted by Hart Research Associates, found that 77% of Americans think the Internet has become more risky for seniors. Trend Micro statistics show that there are now over 10 million virus infected Web links and dozens of scams used by cyber criminals attempting to steal information and money from unsuspecting shoppers. These statistics point out that as the Internet becomes...

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Jan 11
Companies not communicating BYOD policies to employees

GLOBO (www.globopic.com --- which specializes in mobile, telecom and e-business software products and services -- has released survey results that found IT departments are not making employees aware of their BYOD [bring your own device] policies.

In the survey, 68% of respondents said they use their personal devices for work, while only 29% said that their company actually has a BYOD policy in place. Furthermore, 42% of respondents don't know if their company's BYOD policy allows IT to have full access to their personal devices.

These findings show a significant lack of communication between companies and their employees with respect to BYOD, an issue that must be addressed. Other key findings include:
° Fourteen percent reported that they don't know if their company currently has a BYOD policy.

° Ninety-one percent responded that they don't know if their company plans to implement a BYOD...

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Jan 10
Clean tech claims confusing consumers?

 Americans are deferring action on energy savings because of confusion about the benefits according to Soluxe Energy Solutions, a Connecticut-based marketing company says.

"Most energy efficiency upgrades produce immediate savings," says Gil Kernan , vice president of contractor relations. "But homeowners continue to believe it will be years before they realize a return on their investment in home improvements," he added.

Kernan cited brochures and web sites that refer to "payback times" of two to 15 years for products such as wall and attic insulation, duct sealing, and rooftop solar panels.

"The whole notion of 'payback time' leads customers to think that it will be years before they see any benefits from investing in energy savings," Kernan says. "Nothing could be further from the truth."

Kernan said that most energy efficiency and renewable energy products yield immediate savings, even if the consumer borrows 100% of the cost of the upgrades. If a...

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Jan 09
Consumer technology trends to drive enterprise CEM in...

Medallia, which specializes in Customer Experience Management (CEM) software, has issued a call "for industry-leading enterprises to prepare for the impact of fast-changing consumer technology trends on their CEM programs and purchasing decisions."

In a series of 2013 predictions unveiled on the Medallia blog, Michelle de Haaff , the company's newly appointed vice president of marketing, outlines how forward-thinking companies are leveraging social media and mobile devices to interact with their customers and to empower their frontlines. de Haaff predicts that the following trends, driven by consumer behaviors, will have the greatest impact on enterprise CEM program success in 2013:

° Solicited and social feedback merge: To share their experiences, consumers are increasingly turning to social media. This has companies struggling to capture and understand the consumer experience.

° Mobile feedback and action adoption soar: Tech-savvy companies already solicit...

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Jan 07
30.5% of small business advertisers plan to spend more...

Small business owners and decision makers are fairly optimistic about revenue projections, with 92.5% expecting their revenue to be flat or up in 2013, according to the latest "Small Business Marketing Forecast" by Ad-ology Research (MarketingForecast.com).

This annual study, now in its fifth year, also reveals that small business decision makers are investing their revenue back into advertising and marketing. 30.5% of SMBs who spend more than $1,000 on advertising plan to spend more in 2013 than they did in 2012.

"For the third consecutive year, more than half of all small businesses are confident that their sales will increase," says C. Lee Smith, president and CEO of Ad-ology Research. "It’s also the third year in a row where more than 90% of small businesses say their advertising budget will remain flat or increase."

Approximately 20.5% of small businesses plan to increase their ad spend on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Most...

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Jan 07
E-book reading on the rise

This could be good news for Apple's iBookstore: a recent Pew Internet Research Center survey found that the percentage of Americans aged 16 and older who read an e-book grew from 16% in 2011 to 23% in 2012.

Readers of traditional books dropped from 72% to 67%. Overall, those reading books of any kind dropped from 78% to 75%. eBook device owners jumped from 18% to 33%. Awareness that libraries offer digital texts grew from 24 percent to 31 percent.

The telephone survey of 2,252 people aged 16 and older was conducted from Oct. 15 to Nov. 10. It has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.

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Jan 04
McAfee predicts rapid evolution of cyberthreats in 2013

McAfee has released its annual "2013 Threat Predictions" report, highlighting the top threats McAfee Labs foresees for 2013.

Using its proprietary Global Threat Intelligence (GTI), the McAfee Labs team analyzed data on malware, vulnerabilities and online threats in 2012 to predict which trends will increase in 2013. In the coming year, McAfee Labs expects that threats to mobile devices will become even more of a focus of cybercriminals, the influence of the hacktivist group "Anonymous" will decline, and large-scale attacks that attempt to destroy infrastructure will increase.

"Cybercriminals and hacktivists will strengthen and evolve the techniques and tools they use to assault our privacy, bank accounts, mobile devices, businesses, organizations and homes," says said Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs. "Our 2013 Threat Predictions provides the general public, governments and businesses not only with the top risks in the year to come to be aware of...

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Jan 03
Talking cars? They're coming

Within the next 10 years, retiring Baby Boomers over the age of 65 will constitute more than one-third of the registered drivers on U.S. roads, according to new research. A majority of those individuals behind the wheel will be driving vehicles increasingly loaded with digital connectivity and content designed to lure a generation of buyers accustomed to smartphones and tablets.

With mounting concern in recent years about driver distraction resulting from the increased use of in-vehicle technology, will the risk of driver distraction only escalate as these newly-retired drivers, faced with changing sensory perceptions, adapt to their digital environments?

Not to worry. Senior citizens on average may not be as technology savvy as their Gen Y counterparts, but a recent study measuring driver distraction finds that interactive speech technology can help them interface with navigation systems while driving just as safely as younger drivers.

Agero Connected Services...

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Jan 02
The Northern Spy: Unintended consequences

By Rick Sutcliffe

The great shift in the computing devices market is well under way, with sales of desktop units tanking, even of laptops flattening out (sic), while those of iPads (there is no tablet market) boom. In this milieu, there are some interesting byplays.

First, sales of Windows machines have been hit far harder than those of Macs, and Windows 8 has not helped either Microsoft or the generic box assemblers. Indeed, uptake appears worse than that of Vista, when it first came out. From a technology market point of view, we are still in the 2008 downturn, and the Spy's predictions on that market when the recovery comes (2014-2015?) remain valid. The large installed base of computers is aging, but corporate replacement decisions have been repeatedly postponed pending economic clarity.

Those decisions will now be made in a vastly different technological and economic landscape than were the original purchases. Then,...

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Dec 28
Informa identifies top 10 trends for 2013

Informa Telecoms & Media (www.informa.com) has revealed its Top 10 trends for 2013 for the telecoms and media sectors. Five of the predictions relate directly to telecoms operators and the other five cover the TV, digital media and OTT communications sector.
 
"We reckon that 2013 is going to be another tough year for the telecoms industry with a continued emphasis on cost control," says Mark Newman, chief research officer at Informa Telecoms & Media. "For operators, the migration to a data-centric business and revenue model will continue apace. And we see risks for those operators that do not invest properly in building wide-area networks that can deliver high-quality data services."
 
Informa predicts that:

° Wi-Fi will become a victim of its own success. There will be a shift in operator sentiment away from public Wi-Fi as it becomes evident that the growing availability of free-...

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Dec 27
Cutting-edge mobile reference apps to watch for 2013

Paragon Software Group (www.penreader.com), a developer of multi-platform dictionary and reference applications for mobiles and computers, has identified the most important mobile reference applications trends for 2013 based on sales and customer feedback for 2012. The company says trends in mobile dictionary and reference apps include:
 
° In the mobile dictionary market, publishers are no longer competing with each other. Instead, everyone is competing against Google and other free translation sources.
 
° Users prefer customizable dictionary content based on their language level, skills and needs. The "My View" feature provided by most dictionary apps allows users to decide what type of information is shown on the screen. For example, users can select a particular pronunciation (eg, British or American), different grammar levels, etymology, synonyms and practically any other type of...

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Dec 26
Global mobile advertising revenues to reach US$12.8...

The global mobile advertising market will generate revenues of US$12.8 billion in 2013, growing from US$8 billion in 2012, according to the latest research published by Informa Telecoms & Media (www.informatandm.com/madvertising).

Mobile advertising revenues are growing every year but brands and advertisers are still spending much less on mobile compared with the amount they spend on PC/desktop, TV, print and radio. In many cases, the analytics and insights available on mobile usage is not compelling enough for brands to spend a large portion of their advertising budget on the medium.

"There is growing recognition of the importance of the mobile medium but when it comes to advertising, most brands and advertisers have not yet managed to effectively engage users and consistently achieve the desired returns with mobile advertising campaigns," says Shailendra Pandey,...

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Dec 21
Less than 20% of the world's data is protected

EMC Corp. (www.EMC.com), which enables businesses and service providers to transform their operations and deliver IT as a service, has announced results of the EMC-sponsored IDC Digital Universe study, "Big Data, Bigger Digital Shadows, and Biggest Growth in the Far East." It found that despite the unprecedented expansion of the digital universe due to the massive amounts of data being generated daily by people and machines, IDC estimates that only 0.5% of the world's data is being analyzed. 

The proliferation of devices such as computers and smartphones worldwide, increased Internet access within emerging markets and the boost in data from machines such as surveillance cameras or smart meters has contributed to the doubling of the digital universe within the past two years alone -- to a mammoth 2.8ZB. IDC projects that the digital universe will reach 40 ZB by 2020, an amount that exceeds previous forecasts by 14%.

... | Read more »
Dec 20
Top 10 transformational impacts of the Cloud in 2013

NJVC (www.njvc.com), an information technology solutions provider headquartered in northern Virginia and supplier of Cloudcuity AppDeployer, and Virtual Global, a provider of cloud-enabled enterprise IT solutions based in northern Virginia, have teamed up to offer the top 10 transformational impacts of the cloud in 2013 -- all of which will transform business and government in the biggest disruption IT has experienced in 25 years.

"The disruptive impact of cloud is uprooting old industries and making way for new," says Cary Landis, NJVC senior architect, Cloudcuity AppDeployer and Virtual Global CEO. Whereas change is not new, the rate of change may be accelerating faster than many imagined.

"In the coming year, the cloud's impact on business and government strategies will continue to accelerate, and it will be the biggest driver behind major IT decisions," Landis says. "This, in turn, will cause the biggest...

| Read more »
Dec 20
MFA market predicted to hit $5.45 billion by 2017

The global multi-factor authentication (MFA) market -- which includes different types of authentication and applications -- is expected to reach US$5.45 billion by 2017 at an estimated CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 17.3% from 2012 to 2017, according to Research and Markets (www.researchandmarkets.com).

Two-factor authentication is most widely used MFA model in the world with smartcard with PIN and one time password (OTP) are the most popular technique. Biometric-based MFA models are growing at a fast rate. North America and Europe covers most of the market, whereas APAC has the fastest growing region.

Some of the key developments in the authentication industry include Microsoft buying PhoneFactor in October 2012. In July 2012, Apple bought AuthenTec . L1 Identity, a biometric technology company was bought by Sagem Morpho (France). Several other acquisitions, mergers, new...

| Read more »
Dec 19
Sports, wellness drive mHealth device shipments past...

A slew of new devices leveraging improved connectivity to mobile handsets have fueled strong growth for wearable wireless mHealth devices in 2012, according to ABI Research (www.abirsearch.com). By the end of the year, nearly 30 million devices will have shipped, up 37% on 2011 shipments, says the research group.

The inclusion of Bluetooth Smart Ready connectivity in many smartphones including Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy III, is driving a new wave of interest and investment in the capabilities of wearable sensoring devices. Between 2011 and 2017 the market for these devices will grow at a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of nearly 40%.

Existing wearable wireless sports and wireless vendors, such as Polar, Garmin, Nike, Adidas, and others have all expanded their wearable wireless sensor offerings during 2012 while a host of start-ups have come to market with offerings extending the use and...

| Read more »
Dec 18
Americans stress the benefits, demands of...

TeamViewer (www.teamviewer.com), a provider of remote control and online meetings software, has announced the findings of its survey of 500 American adults ages 18 and older who work from home either full time or part time, conducted online by uSamp in October.

The survey, which was drafted based on TeamViewer’s experience in office communication, found that fully half (50%) of telecommuters feel that they are more productive working from home, with 23% even saying that they are much more productive.

The survey also found that 45% of Americans believe the average telecommuter saves themselves from traveling 21-50 miles per day. This statistic becomes even more interesting given that the survey revealed 80% of Americans say that saving money on gas and having no daily commute are among the biggest benefits of working from home. The survey also showed further benefits Americans see when telecommuting...

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Dec 17
Key security trends for 2013

Kaspersky Lab’s (www.kaspersky.com) experts have presented their views on the core threats of 2013. The most notable predictions for the next year include the continued rise of targeted attacks, cyber-espionage and nation-state cyber-attacks, the evolving role of hacktivism, the development of controversial "legal" surveillance tools and the increase in cybercriminal attacks targeting cloud-based services.

Targeted attacks on businesses have only become a prevalent threat within the last two years. Kaspersky Lab expects the amount of targeted attacks, with the purpose of cyber-espionage, to continue in 2013 and beyond, becoming the most significant threat for businesses. Another trend that will likely impact companies and governments is the continued rise of “hacktivism” and its concomitant politically-motivated cyber-attacks.

State-sponsored cyber warfare will undoubtedly continue in 2013. In fact,...

| Read more »
Dec 13
File sharing services frowned up at work

Nasuni (www.nasuni.com), a provider of enterprise storage to large, distributed organizations, has released its "Special Report on Shadow IT in the Workplace," which reveals that large numbers of employees use Dropbox and other consumer file sharing services for sensitive work-related data, even if they know that their employer has a specific policy banning the use of such services.

Nearly one-half of employees who know company doesn't allow use of file sharing services use them anyway. According to the folks at Nasuni, businesses rely on corporate IT teams to manage secure protection and controlled access to critical data. When employees use consumer-grade file sharing services for work files, they override the systems in place and usurp the responsibility of IT. As the flood of consumer mobile devices entering the workplace rises, the risk of data loss and exposure is growing.

Nasuni surveyed more than 1,300...

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Dec 12
Freemium is new trend for smartphone apps

Nothing is impossible when it comes to setting app prices. Freemium models are on the rise in the US, UK and Germany. Staggered prices combined with cleverly communicated value boost customer loyalty.

The international App Store Study 2012 conducted by the global strategy and marketing consultancy Simon-Kucher & Partners in the US, UK and Germany analyzed the prices of 2,400 apps by price and category. Looking at the top 100 downloads and top 100 purchases in the Apple AppStore, the study shows consensus concerning price models and ranges across the countries.

Although upfront payment is the most common price model for apps (40%), freemium models are on the rise. Almost one-third of all apps use a freemium model already: a new trend in the industry. Looking at the price levels and the differences between upfront and in-app prices, prices strongly vary.

App developers have created two different freemium price models. They offer apps for an upfront payment...

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MyTP One Mountain - Ski, Freeski and Sno...
MyTP One Mountain - Ski, Freeski and Snowboard 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: As real snow is melting away in the snow parks around the northern hemisphere, it's now time... | Read more »
Tank Battle: East Front 1943 (Games)
Tank Battle: East Front 1943 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Tank Battle: East Front 1943 is the third in the successful ‘Tank Battle: East Front’ series of games for iPhone... | Read more »
Third Eye Crime: Act 1 (Games)
Third Eye Crime: Act 1 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: "You have to see Third Eye Crime" Touch Arcade "Third Eye Crime is unlike anything currently available for mobile... | Read more »
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Wayward Souls 1.00 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.00 (iTunes) Description: **Buy the game now at an introductory sale price of $4.99 USD. Every time we do a big content update, we will raise the price... | Read more »
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iOOTP Baseball 2014 Edition Review
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16GB 1st generation iPad mini available for $...
Radio Shack has a select number of refurbished 1st generation 16GB WiFi iPad minis available for $199.99 on their online store. Choose free shipping or free ship-to-store. We expect these to sell out... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $100 o...
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I have lots of time for Jean-Louis Gassée, the former Apple Computer executive (1981 to 1990) who succeeded Steve Jobs as head of Macintosh development when the latter was dismissed in 1985. Mr.... Read more
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Apple Releases iOS 7.1.1 Update
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The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2013 iMacs available for up to $300 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. - 27″ 3.4GHz iMac – $1699... Read more

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