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May 05
The Northern Spy: technology drivers

By Rick Sutcliffe

The Spy has become one (a technology driver that is) for as reported in his March column, he and wife Joyce recently purchased their first new car in over two decades--a Subaru Forester--and it is technology rich.

Typical of mind-range SUV crossovers, it has a rear camera with dash display for same, multiple information screens, steerable fog lights, smart air bags, blind spot detectors in the mirrors, keyless entry with secure fob, always on all wheel drive, adaptive cruise control, latched gas access lid, rear side obstacle detectors, lane departure detection and correction, heated front seats, a media centre with more options than they will ever use (or even want). OTOH, plenty of safety and anti-theft features, but of course OTOH, lots of potential for technology to go south.

Odd omissions include no tire pressure monitoring--required in the US of A, but left out here in the frozen north. Subtract a couple of marks. Also...

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May 04
Internet users can still access websites by using VPNs

The head of FCC (U.S. Federal Communications Commission), Ajit Pai, has announced that he will start the process of repealing FCC’s net neutrality rules that were approved by President Obama in 2015. The announcement starts a new battle over the future of the Internet, censorship and role of ISPs (Internet Service Providers) in what people can read or watch online.
 
Current net neutrality rules prohibit broadband providers from giving or selling access to a "fast lane" of Internet to certain Internet services over others. A neutral network gives equal transmission priority over all content moving across it, and no content is subjected to slow downs or blocking. The loss of net neutrality could mean that priority is given to the content of big providers.
 
Many websites worry that when the rules are repealed, they will lose access to clients and page views. Even larger websites – such as streaming service providers like Netflix or Hulu – can experience...

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May 04
 P2P money transfers to drive digital payment growth

A new study by Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com)has found the value of digital payments will approach $3.9 trillion this year, representing an increase of more than 14% on last year’s total. While the bulk of transaction value (55%) will be accounted for by online retail purchases for physical goods, P2P (Person to Person) money transfers will see the largest year-on-year net increase in value ($200 million).

The new research shows that the U.S. will see particularly strong growth, with the bank-backed Zelle Network expected to build on its successful debut in 2016 as additional banks come on board. Juniper emphasizes that the demonetization policies employed by India’s government had encouraged a surge in mobile wallet adoption and, with it, sharp increases in both P2P and mobile retail transactions.

Meanwhile, the research group says the U.S. will see further strong growth in...

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May 03
In 2016, smartphone shipments grew by 7%

Research and Markets (www.researchandmarkets.com) has announced the addition of the "Smartphone, Tablet & Modem Market 2017" report to their offering.

This report provides a detailed market analysis of all significant smartphones, wireless-connected tablets (cellular & Wi-Fi) and modems. Five-year forecasts are provided in considerable detail for each. In addition, smartphone and non-smart cellphones are forecast for all global regions.

The report also provides 2016 quarterly unit shipments and YOY market shares in revenue for the top smartphone, tablet and modem suppliers and discusses the 2017 market positioning of the primary vendors. Both revenue and unit shipments for 2016 are provided for major vendors of each category and five-year forecasts for all covered devices are included.

The 2016 smartphone shipments grew by 7% overall from 1.3 billion to 1.4 billion units...

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May 03
Government CIOs spend 21% of their IT budget on...

Top-performing organizations in the private and public sectors, on average, spend a greater proportion of their IT budgets on digital initiatives (33%) than government organizations (21%), according to a global survey of CIOs by Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). Looking forward to 2018, top-performing organizations anticipate spending 43% of their IT budgets on digitalization, compared with 28% for government CIOs, says the research group.

Gartner's 2017 CIO Agenda survey includes the views of 2,598 CIOs from 93 countries, representing US$9.4 trillion in revenue or public sector budgets and $292 billion in IT spending, including 377 government CIOs in 38 countries. Government respondents are segmented into national or federal, state or province (regional) and local jurisdictions, to identify trends specific to each tier. For the purposes of the survey, respondents were also categorized as top, typical and trailing...

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May 02
Battle lines are drawn in AR battle

Apple CEO Tim Cook's recent announcement putting Augmented Reality (AR) at the forefront of the tech giant’s product strategy has emboldened and provoked technology companies to showcase their own AT technologies and platforms.

Virtual Reality (VR) seems to have taken a back seat as the question is no longer VR or AR. The buzz is about who will dominate the AR space. Following Impossible's introduction of its Google Tango based, and open source, Glimpse platform, Facebook announced its first mainstream AR platform during its annual Developer Conference. Facebook put the camera, more specifically the camera on your smartphone, front and center of its AR strategy by unveiling Facebook Camera Effects to its developers during F8.

According to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's new open source platform will allow developers to make AR apps that will enable users to view and digitally manipulate the physical world around them with smartphone cameras. A technology popularized...

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May 01
Software is ‘eating the world’ with mobile leading the...

Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen said that “software is eating the world” in a famous essay published in “The Wall Street Journal” back in 2011. He was referring to the way that software is reshaping a growing number of industries - from airlines to manufacturing — and how it's becoming a necessity to embrace software to remain competitive.

The good news is that these trends have created many opportunities for investors keeping a close eye on Apple, MySize, BlackBerry, Alphabet and Qualcomm.
It's hard to purchase clothing online because you can't try it on beforehand. But, that hasn't stopped online shoppers from purchasing billions of dollars worth of clothing and shoes online each year. Many shoppers purchase multiple items with plans to return the items that don't fit. These shoppers are expected to return about a third of these goods, according to Customer Growth Properties (http://tinyurl....

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Apr 28
VR creates more revenues today than AR

Michael Inouye, principal analyst at ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) says Virtual Reality (VR) creates more revenues today than Augmented Reality (AR), but it relies heavily on hardware sales, which account for over 60% of total revenue compared to roughly 30-40% in AR.

AR has tremendous viral potential because it leverages mobile devices already in most end users’ pockets, with service availability in the home, public spaces, and workplaces, says Inouye. This creates nearer term synergies with mobile device manufacturers (such as Apple) and social networks (such as Facebook), he adds. By 2019 AR is forecast to surpass VR in total revenue opportunity, reflecting VR’s longer-term development cycle as content developers, workplaces, and consumers incrementally embrace future iterations of VR hardware and optimize new use cases.   

ABI Research estimates that virtual reality (VR) device shipments...

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Apr 28
Cars learning to replace humans creates a $250 billion...

Deep learning machines are taking over a large portion of drivers' automotive tasks and will completely take over driving in 10 years, according to a recently published report by IoT [Internet of Things] market research firm ON World (www.onworld.com).

"The connected car is experiencing exponential technological advancements and enormous investment over the past three years," says Mareca Hatler, ON World's research director.  "This accelerated growth can be seen in the patents granted, favorable government regulations and the videos of Tesla cars driving their occupants to work while they shave.”

Over the past two years alone, $40 billion has been invested in connected car-related companies and associated technologies.  That staggering amount is targeting IoT technologies such as machine learning, 3D mapping, sensor processing, image processing, cloud-based services, data analytics, advanced LAN/WAN/CAN...

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Apr 27
3Cinteractive Releases second annual Mobile Loyalty...

3Cinteractive (3c.com), a provider of mobile marketing services, has unveiled its 2017 Mobile Loyalty Progress Report, providing an update on how brands are bridging the technology gap in offering mobile-enabled loyalty programs to consumers.

Last year, 3C surveyed brand marketers and consumers on the landscape of mobile-enabled loyalty program offerings, and the report uncovered a distinct gap in what brands were offering versus consumer expectations. This year, 3C again presented its mobile loyalty online survey to more than 2,300 consumers and over 500 brand marketers, finding improvements in some key areas. In fact, 64% of brands reported an increase in loyalty program membership over the last year—and the majority cited the addition of mobile components as the biggest contributor to this increase. Other key findings:

° Mobile-enabled loyalty programs continue to influence purchase behavior: 59% in 2016 vs. 62% in 2017.

° Too much information required to...

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Apr 26
Lights, camera …the top 7 trends in corporate video...

By Vern Oakley

We live in a visual society, and increasingly a video society. The corporate world knows this, and is leveraging video for uses other than just branding or marketing. Video is now often used to communicate important messages for moving people to action: for example, to invite investors to take a stake in your company, to encourage employees to rally around a strategy or initiative, or to recruit prospective employees.

As a filmmaker and creative director, I’m constantly looking for the next technology or trend to make my own work stronger and understand the context that corporations are coming to the table with. Here are some trends I’ve noticed lately.

° Welcome to the video tsunami. Video is by far the way more and more people want to receive messages and information. We’re at the crest of the wave, and the surf is up. By 2020, 84% of all Internet traffic will be video. That’s an astounding number.

° Video continues to...

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Apr 26
MMO/MOBA games to approach 25% of the $100 billion...

A new study from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found that MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) games such as World of Warcraft, and MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) games including DoTA 2, are to account for almost 25% of the digital games industry this year.

The new research forecasts that revenues from this genre will accelerate to $43bn by 2021, accounting for over a third of global games industry revenues. The research cites the F2P (Free to Play) model as being the key catalyst. The research also found that console and mobile devices offer great scope for future growth, with these platforms having been underutilized until now, particularly in Western markets.

Nevertheless, Juniper predicted that opportunity across these platforms would be distinct for MMO and MOBA games, with emerging technology and business model innovation acting to increase traction. For example,...

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Apr 25
Study: weak cryptographic security controls epidemic...

Venafi (www.venafi.com), a provider of machine identity protection, has announced the results of a study on the cryptographic security practices of DevOps teams. Cryptographic security risks are amplified in DevOps settings, where compromises in development or test environments can spread to production systems and applications.

According to the study, many organizations fail to enforce vital cryptographic security measures in their DevOps environments. These problems are especially acute among organizations that are in the midst of adopting DevOps practices, but even organizations that say their DevOps practices are mature do not follow security practices designed to protect cryptographic keys and digital certificates.

“It’s clear that most organizations are still struggling with securing the cryptographic keys and digital certificates used to uniquely identify machines,” said Kevin Bocek, chief security...

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Apr 24
NSS Labs announces data center firewall group test...

NSS Labs (www.nsslabs.com), which specializes in operationalizing cybersecurity, has announced the results of its Data Center Firewall (DCFW) Group Test. Seven products from five vendors were tested. All seven products scored 100% in firewall policy enforcement testing, but no product demonstrated the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) across all tested scenarios.

Enterprises store vast quantities of sensitive, business-critical information in modern data centers. Growth in the deployment of mobility and cloud computing technologies in data centers has transformed traffic patterns from a predominantly business-to-business (B2B) model with long duration connections commonly found in software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications to a business-to-consumer (B2C) model with short lived, high-volume connections, such as e-commerce transactions. When selecting DCFWs to support these use cases, enterprises look for products...

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Apr 21
Global market of Artificial Intelligence to grow 60%...

The global market of artificial intelligence is anticipated to grow at a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of over 60% during 2017-2022, according to Research and Markets (www.researchandmarkets.com).

On the basis of application, global artificial intelligence market has been broadly segmented into image recognition, natural language processing, speech recognition, gesture control and others, according to the research group. Among these categories, image recognition dominated global artificial intelligence market in 2016, and the segment is expected to maintain its dominance over the next five years as well.

These machines are also capable of taking decisions by self-learning from the nearby environment. Global artificial intelligence market is expected to grow at a robust pace over the next five years, owing to its widespread implementation in numerous industries, such as automobile,...

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Apr 20
Mobile location-based advertising will be worth € 10.7...

According to a research report from the analyst firm Berg Insight (www.berginsight.com), the total value of the global real-time mobile location-based advertising and marketing (LBA) market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 54% to € 10.7 billion in 2018.

This will then correspond to 38.6% of all mobile advertising and marketing. Location-based advertising and marketing will thus represent around 7% of digital advertising, or 2 percent of the total global ad spend for all media, according to the research group.
 
The past year has seen a number of significant developments in the real-time mobile LBA space. One example is the concept of beacons based on Bluetooth low energy (BLE).

"The concept of Bluetooth marketing has been reinvigorated following Apple’s introduction of iBeacon in 2013,"says Rickard Andersson, senior analyst, Berg Insight.

While so far...

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Apr 18
Survey finds most feeling they're behind in...

Data Conversion Laboratory, Inc. (DCL) and the Center for Information Development Management (CIDM), have released the results of the 5th annual "Following the Trends – Is Your Content Ready?" survey, and the results show, among many other insights, that a surprising 51% of those polled responded "No," that their content is not ready – a 21% increase over last year.  

Each year the survey's goal is to probe and track how, and if, organizations or individual professionals are adapting their processes and content to be more viable in an increasingly electronic world. Questions covered a wide range of topics around content, including types of content being developed (User Manuals, Release Notes, Training Materials), authoring tools (XML author, MS Word, FrameMaker), and mobile strategies, as well as classic concerns like staff, budgets, and time.

Spanning five years, this survey has attracted almost 1900 respondents with 2017's drawing in 369 professionals. "There is...

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Apr 18
Shift away from cash could save developed economics...

Citi says that the affordability of financial services fell by 3.2% in high-performing countries, but grew by 2.3% in emerging ones – highlighting that many countries in the developed world are still struggling to bring their unbanked and underbanked in to the digital fold.

“The efficiencies and cost savings of moving to digital money are potentially staggering,” says Greg Baxter, Citi’s global head of Digital, “and the social benefits from wider financial inclusion enormous. It is therefore a concern that the Index is highlighting a risk that some low-income countries and potentially even low income segments within developed countries could fall irretrievably behind in the digital economy.”

Citi’s research finds that true adoption of digital money can only happen when there is a concerted, holistic effort that includes a supportive institutional environment, financial and ICT infrastructure, digital money solutions from government and the private sector, and...

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Apr 18
Semiconductor revenue to increase 12.3% in 2017

Worldwide semiconductor revenue is forecast to total $386 billion in 2017, an increase of 12.3% from 2016, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com).

Favorable market conditions that gained momentum in the second half of 2016, particularly for commodity memory, have accelerated and raised the outlook for the market in 2017 and 2018, according to the research group. However, the memory market is fickle, and additional capacity in both DRAM and NAND flash is expected to result in a correction in 2019.

"While price increases for both DRAM and NAND flash memory are raising the outlook for the overall semiconductor market, it will also put pressure on margins for system vendors of smartphones, PCs and servers," said Jon Erensen, research director at Gartner. "Component shortages, a rising bill of materials, and the prospect of having to counter by raising average selling prices (ASPs) will create a volatile...

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Apr 17
Manufacturers unite to shape the future of augmented...

UI LABS (uilabs.org) and The Augmented Reality for Enterprise Alliance (AREA) have released first augmented reality (AR) hardware and software functional requirements guidelines, which will help AR technology companies develop products for industrial users.

These AR functional requirements documents are designed to lead to technology that improves the performance and efficiency for manufacturers in a number of areas, including employee training and safety; factory floor and field services operations; machine assembly, inspection and repair; manufacturing space and product design; and much more.

Lockheed Martin, Caterpillar and Procter & Gamble initiated the guidelines development process as part of a project through the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), a UI LABS collaboration. Recently, 65 organizations — including industry, AR providers, universities, and government agencies — came together for a workshop to offer insight into their...

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Apr 13
Wireless power market surges forward in 2017

IHS Markit (www.ihs.com) — an information, analytics and solutions firm — says the market for wireless power and charging is expected to grow in 2017, with global  receiver shipments reaching 325 million units by year end. The market grew approximately 40% in 2016.

According to the new report, mobile phones remain the primary driver for development of wireless power technology and mobile phones, laptops and wearable devices will drive receiver market growth. Receiver unit shipments are expected to climb this year as demand increases; Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) make their decision on specifications; and the market moves towards glass-backed phones.

In 2016, the flagship Samsung handset made the biggest single contribution to enabled receiver shipments, according to IHS Markit. Samsung’s decision to retain wireless charging on the Galaxy S7, and LG’s decision to add the technology to its new G6 device (U....

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Apr 12
Online consumer payments are biggest growth market in...

Online consumer payments remain the biggest growth market in payments, and will continue growing strongly as more consumers gain access to the Internet and to tools that can be used online, according to Research and Markets (www.researchandmarkets.com).

Developing countries, particularly China, are expected to be at the forefront of this growth, although even the most developed online commerce markets will grow strongly over the next five years, adds the research group. In fact, China overtook the US as the world's largest online commerce market in 2015, with Chinese consumers spending a total of $699 billion online that year.

According to Research and Markets, 20% of the total value of online commerce transactions across all markets will be accounted for by m-commerce by 2020, with the market recording a compound annual growth rate of 17% from 2015 to 2020. Consumer spending patterns...

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Apr 11
What’s next for Internet privacy after ISPs celebrate...

On April 3, President Trump allowed Internet Service Providers to collect and sell user data. Many experts feel that this was just the beginning - and the signs of new developments are already visible.
 
A notice has already been served by Trump administration that net neutrality - which guarantees that all content is equally accessible - will be possibly revoked. If that happens, ISPs will also be able to control which content users see, giving preference to more lucrative options, and making it harder for independent streaming services or smaller sites to compete.

As a result of the rights given to Internet Service Providers, a new type of an ISP might emerge: an ISP that is also an ad network and content company, taking full advantage of data it receives from its tracking supercookies and other methods.
 
According to Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of World Wide Web, the measure repealing the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) online...

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Apr 11
Gartner: worldwide IT spending to grow 1.4% in 2017

Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.5 trillion in 2017, a 1.4% increase from 2016, according to Gartner (www.gartner.com). This growth rate is down from the previous quarter's forecast of 2.7% due in part to the rising U.S. dollar, adds the research group.

"The strong U.S. dollar has cut $67 billion out of our 2017 IT spending forecast," said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner. "We expect these currency headwinds to be a drag on earnings of U.S.-based multinational IT vendors through 2017."

The data center system segment is expected to grow 0.3% in 2017. While this is up from negative growth in 2016, the segment is experiencing a slowdown in the server market.

"We are seeing a shift in who is buying servers and who they are buying them from," said Lovelock. "Enterprises are moving away from buying servers from the traditional vendors and instead renting server power in...

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Apr 10
Cloud IT infrastructure grew 9.2% in 2016

According to the IDC (www.idc.com) research group, vendor revenue from sales of infrastructure products (server, storage, and Ethernet switch) for cloud IT, including public and private cloud, grew by 9.2% year over year to $32.6 billion in 2016, with vendor revenue for the fourth quarter (4Q16) growing at 7.3% to $9.2 billion.

Cloud IT infrastructure sales as a share of overall worldwide IT spending climbed to 37.2% in 4Q16, up from 33.4% a year ago. Revenue from infrastructure sales to private cloud grew by 10.2% to $3.8 billion, and to public cloud by 5.3% to $5.4 billion. In comparison, revenue in the traditional (non-cloud) IT infrastructure segment decreased 9.0% year over year in the fourth quarter.

Private cloud infrastructure growth was led by Ethernet switch at 52.7% year-over-year growth, followed by server at 9.3%, and storage at 3.6%. Public cloud growth was also led by Ethernet switch at 30.0% year-...

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Apr 07
ABI Research: there’ll be 4.5 billion global smart...

A new generation of smart home sensors, which ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) predicts to exceed four billion installations globally by 2022, will soon change how homes are built, maintained, and managed.

The sensors, embedded in a wide range of smart home devices and appliances, will deliver near real-time understanding of even slight changes within home environments, according to the research group. The ability to transform this data into valuable systems and services will be at the heart of smart home adoption and the future housing market.

"Smart home sensors will lay the foundation for the automated smart home experience," says Jonathan Collins, Research Director at ABI Research. "The advanced sensing capabilities will fine-tune new services and applications from home personalization to energy and security management."

The success of smart home voice control devices, such as the...

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Apr 06
Study: small cell market will rise ‘relentlessly’...

A new report from Mobile Experts (www.mobile-experts.net) says the small cell forecast ratcheted down a notch this year, as some key programs in China and direct-to-enterprise channel did not materialize as anticipated. However, growth due to "densification" and indoor coverage has grown in strength, resulting in a strong revenue outlook, according to the research group.

"The overall market, including residential femtocells, is growing at about 17% (CAGR) over our forecast period," says Mobile Experts Senior Analyst Kyung Mun. "But the growth for non-residential small cells is even more dramatic. We expect carrier and enterprise segments to grow at over 30% CAGR from 2016-2022.”

According to Mobile Experts, market trends point to an upward trajectory this year. Carriers with broad LTE coverage are reaching a level of traffic density in excess of 1 Gbps/km2, which leads to a need for small cells...

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Apr 06
OTT messaging users to reach 4.2 billion by 2021

New findings from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) forecasts that OTT messaging applications, such as WhatsApp and Snapchat, will see adoption grow from 2.3 billion unique users in 2016 to 4.2 billion by 2021 representing a growth of over 12% CAGR (compound annual growth rate). The research group anticipates that players will begin focusing their strategies around the development and provision of AI (artificial intelligence) chatbot tools.

Juniper predicts that OTT players will reposition their messaging platforms as CRM (customer relationship management) tools. By leveraging AI technology, these OTT apps will offer a high value proposition by creating a new level of consumer engagement. For end-customers, these platforms offer an attractive means of engagement by allowing for greater consumer flexibility and minimizing call wait times, Juniper adds.

The research group says that...

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Apr 05
2017 RESCUECOM Computer Repair Report reveals top...

RESCUECOM (http://www.rescuecom.com), a computer repair company, has released its 2017 Computer Repair Report, which analyzes the data from its calls to provide insight and tips on how to handle top computer repair problems.

The 2017 RESCUECOM Computer Repair Report Top computer repair problems are as follows: Windows Application (32.0%); Windows OS (17.1%); Virus/Spyware/Malware/Pop-Up Ads (13.9%); Internet Connectivity (7.6%); Running Slow (7.0%); Email Trouble (6.0%); Printer Woes (6.0%); Computer Won't Boot (4.1%); Data Recovery (2.6%); Hardware Problems (2.0%); User Caused (1.0%); Mac Applications (0.4%); Phone Problems (0.3%); Mac OS (0.1%); and TV Problems (0.1%)

Modern apps are supposed to expand capabilities across multiple devices without the need to code a new app for each device; however, it seems that with each new Windows 10 build, something breaks, and that is likely with the...

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Apr 04
Worldwide security tech spending to reach $81.7...

Worldwide security tech spending to reach $81.7 billion in 2017
A new from International Data Corporation (www.idc.com) forecasts worldwide revenues for security-related hardware, software, and services will reach $81.7 billion in 2017, an increase of 8.2% over 2016.

Global spending on security solutions is expected to accelerate slightly over the next several years, achieving a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.7% through 2020 when revenues will be nearly $105 billion.

"The rapid growth of digital transformation is putting pressures on companies across all industries to proactively invest in security to protect themselves against known and unknown threats," said Eileen Smith, program director, Customer Insights and Analysis. "On a global basis, the banking, discrete manufacturing, and federal/central government industries will spend the most on security hardware, software, and services throughout the...

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Apr 04
Global OLED display market to grow at a CAGR of 21.86%

The global OLED display market to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.86% during the period 2017-2021, according to Research and Markets (www.researchandmarkets.com).

The report from the research group has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The latest trend gaining momentum in the market is technological advances in augmented reality.

Apple partnered with Carl Zeiss, a German optics manufacturer, for the development of smart glasses set to be launched in the 2018. Based on patents released by Apple in June 2016, it used foldable TAMOLED display that can be wrapped around on the user's head. Apple's US patent No. 9,367,093 titled “Transparent Electronic Device” and patent No. 9,367,095 titled “Electronic Device with Wrap Around Display” would also have AR by incorporating TOLED.

According to Research and Markets,...

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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...

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
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,...

| Read more »
 

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Luminar 1.2.1 - Powerful, adaptive, conf...
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Parallels Desktop 13.0.0 - Run Windows a...
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Adobe Muse CC 2017 2017.1.0 - Design and...
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WhatsApp is the desktop client for WhatsApp Messenger, a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for... Read more

Radiation City (Games)
Radiation City 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Radiation City Welcome to the world of Radiation City where a great survival adventure awaits you! | Read more »
The best deals on the App Store this wee...
The summer is drawing quickly to a close, but luckily there's a game for every season. It's an excellent week for some bargain shopping if that's what you're after. There are some big names and indie darlings in this week's roundup. It's a great... | Read more »
KORG iMono/Poly (Music)
KORG iMono/Poly 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $19.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: *** Special Sale for a limited time to celebrate the debut of KORG iMono/Poly (33% OFF) until Sep 30! *** Reviving a... | Read more »
Super Phantom Cat 2 beginner's guid...
Super Phantom Cat 2 presents a whole new world of fun platforming challenges and perplexing puzzles. It's a well-designed platformer with a bright, neon aesthetic that brings the genre up to date. [Read more] | Read more »
Shadow Fight 2 Special Edition (Games)
Shadow Fight 2 Special Edition 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: ** New story chapter! **** No Ads! **** No energy! ** The best fighting series on mobile has returned and... | Read more »
4 RPGs like Final Fantasy XV that deserv...
Square Enix announced another Final Fantasy XV spin-off today - Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition. This mobile, episodic version of the hit RPG gives the game a chibi-fied makeover. The first episode will be free, followed by 9 more premium episodes... | Read more »
Guild sieges and soul gems in latest upd...
Webzen’s MU Origin hit app stores last year, giving fans of fantasy hack-n-slash MMOs like Diablo a new fix to fixate on. This latest update introduces a competitive guild battle, a fresh dungeon challenge, a mini-game and some elemental gems to... | Read more »
Little Red Lie (Games)
Little Red Lie 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ARE YOU MORE AFRAID OF POVERTY THAN DEATH? Little Red Lie is a narrative-focused, interactive fiction experience that reduces... | Read more »
You can now apply to be Clash of Clans...
Earlier this month, word got out that the Builder, the trusty handiman who tirelessly built every single building inevery singleClash of Clansbase had called it quits. Sick of seeing his work destroyed endless, the Builder has set out for our world... | Read more »
Meshi Quest beginner's guide - how...
Meshi Quest is Square Enix's newest free-to-play release, and it's a real charmer. You start off as the head of a sushi restaurant, upgrading your food and equipment as you serve visitors heaping helpings of your delicious meals. As you progress,... | Read more »

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Low Cost Subscription Graphics App Alternativ...
I’m not a fan of the subscription software model, I don’t use any subscription apps. Used to be that you paid your license fee and the app was yours to use indefinitely, or until one opted for a paid... Read more
Clearance 2016 13-inch MacBook Airs, Apple re...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at $809. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: – 13″ 1.6GHz/8GB/128GB MacBook Air: $... Read more
2017 13-inch MacBook Airs on sale for $100 of...
B&H Photo new 2017 13″ MacBook Airs on sale today for $100 off MSRP, starting at $899: – 13″ 1.8GHz/128GB MacBook Air (MQD32LL/A): $899, $100 off MSRP – 13″ 1.8GHz/256GB MacBook Air (MQD42LL/A... Read more
Sale! 13-inch 2.3GHz MacBook Pros for $100 of...
B&H Photo has 13″ 2.3GHz MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for $100 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: – 13-inch 2.3GHz/128GB Space Gray MacBook Pro (MPXQ2LL... Read more
2016 MacBook Pros, Apple refurbished, availab...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 15″ and 13″ MacBook Pros available starting at $1189. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: – 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar Space... Read more
Apple offers Certified Refurbished iPhone 6s...
Apple has Certified Refurbished unlocked iPhone 6s’s and 6s Plus’s available starting at $449. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each phone, and shipping is free: – 16GB iPhone 6s: $449, $... Read more
Apple offers Certified Refurbished Pencils fo...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Apple Pencils available for $85 including free shipping. Their price is $14 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for a Pencil. Read more
2016 15-inch 2.6GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro ava...
B&H Photo has clearance 2016 15″ 2.6GHz MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for $500 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: – 15″ 2.6GHz Touch... Read more
21-inch 2.3GHz iMac on sale for $999, save $1...
Amazon has the new 2017 21″ 2.3GHz iMac (MMQA2LL/A) in stock and on sale for $999.99 including free shipping. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. Read more
Free Instant Translator 2.0 App For iOS Relea...
Mobile application development company, Neoappz has announced the release and immediate availability of Instant Translator 2.0 for iOS devices. Instant Translator is a user-friendly application which... Read more

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*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple Inc. (U...
Job Summary As an Apple Solutions Consultant, you'll be the link between our future customers and our products. You'll showcase your entrepreneurial spirit as you Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple Inc. (U...
…about helping others on a team while also delighting customers? As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC), you will discover customers needs and help connect them Read more
Sr. Software Engineer, Core Services, *Apple...
…part of the server team that powers various features within the App Store, Apple Music, iBooks, iTunes, and Podcasts. You will be working cross functionally with Read more
SW Engineer *Apple* TV Frameworks - Apple I...
Job Summary The Apple TV team is looking for a software engineer to join us as we work to define the future of the tvOS platform. Key Qualifications You're Read more
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Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
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