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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...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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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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Dec 12
Smart TV sales will exceed 220 million annually by...

If Apple is indeed planning its own HDTV (the rumored "iTV") the time may be ripe. Over 220 million Smart TV sets will be sold worldwide in 2017, up from the 54 million that will be sold in 2012, according to Informa Telecoms & Media’s (www.informatandm.com) latest Smart TV device forecasts.

The research group says that 31% of households worldwide will own at least one Smart TV in five years time, according to Informa, with household penetration much higher in North America (63%) and Western Europe (64%). However, while Smart TV connection rates are rising, they will continue to lag the connection rates of games consoles and media streaming devices (such as Apple TV and Roku).  
 
With their long lifecycles, TVs are simply not the right device to be the hub of the digital home. Instead devices that are regularly replaced, including smartphones, tablets, set-top boxes, media streamers and...

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Dec 11
IEEE Computer Society: 13 technology trends for 2013

In the coming year, the "Internet of Things" will change how consumers and enterprises use technology, interactive displays will become common in public spaces, robots will be used to rehabilitate patients, and visualization will help solve the big data problem.

Those are just some of the technological advances that experts from the IEEE Computer Society, a membership organization for technology leaders, foresee in 2013.

"The promise for the coming years is not just technology," says incoming IEEE Computer Society President David Alan Grier. "But technology and data–how we get data from the right sources and get it to the right people in the right forms. That is the big issue that engages many of our members."   

Among the major advances that IEEE Computer Society experts forecast for 2013:

°  The Internet of Things will change how consumers and enterprises use technology. Promising to be the most disruptive technology since the World Wide Web, the...

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Dec 10
Image traffic growth surpasses video traffic growth

Flash Networks (www.flashnetworks.com), a global provider of intelligent mobile Internet solutions, says image traffic growth has surpassed video traffic growth for those markets with a high level of smart phone penetration. Image traffic grew 33% as compared with 5% growth for video traffic in the Americas and Europe for the last six months.

Where smart phone penetration is lower, primarily in Asia, video traffic is still growing faster than image traffic. Flash Networks has collected this data over the last six months from several Tier One Operator networks located in Europe, Asia and the Americas, collectively servicing over 200 million subscribers. Approximately 85% percent of the overall traffic was running on smart phones in saturated markets.

Mobile social networks such as Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook are increasing the sharing of images, which is greatly contributing to the...

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Dec 07
Cumulative mobile app revenues set to exceed $30...

To-date revenues accumulated by the global mobile application market will pass the US$30 billion milestone by the end of this year, according to new Market Data from ABI Research (http://macte.ch/WrzYm).

The cumulative revenue base includes the money made from pay-per-downloads, in-app purchases, subscriptions, and in-app advertisements, and it is nearly double the amount that had been reached by end-2011.

"Consumers’ high interest in apps has for long time been obvious from download volumes, but it’s 2012 that will go down in history as the year when the economic side of the business finally took off," Senior analyst Aapo Markkanen says. "We’re no longer talking only about a short-term gold rush. Apps have become a major digital industry."

The catalyst behind the quest of turning apps into money has been Apple, which not only came up with a compelling OS, but also with well-executed...

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Dec 06
Global display market worth US$164.24 billion by 2017

According to a new market research report, "Global Display Market (2012 - 2017)" from MarketsandMarkets (www.marketsandmarkets.com) the total global display market is expected to reach US$164.24 billion by 2017, at a CAGR [compound average growth rate] of 3.1% from 2012 to 2017.

The global display market comprises the one by technology and the other by type. The display technology is differentiated as follows: e-ink display, OLED display, TFT-LCD display, LED-LCD display, LED display, DLP, LCoS display and Plasma display. The e-ink display is basically deployed in e-reader product applications while LCD and LED types are primarily involved in televisions products. LCoS displays have a high market share in projector equipment.

The OLED display has a huge market share in smartphone and related applications and is set to be the major display technology in future with more demand for...

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Dec 05
Tablets overtaking laptops as must-have holiday item

New research from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) indicates U.S. consumers plan to spend over 33% more on CE [consumer electronic] devices this holiday season compared to last year, with the total amount increasing from US$793 per household in 2011 to $1,058 in 2012.

The survey of 2,500 U.S. broadband households, fielded in October/November 2012, found 63% of households plan to make a CE purchase, a 37% increase over last year. Tablets and smartphones are the hottest items, and consumers express the greatest preferences for the Apple iPad and iPhone.

"Twenty-six percent of U.S. consumers intend to spend more on CE, the best rate since 2008," says John Barrett, director, Consumer Analytics, Parks Associates.  "For the first time, more U.S. households plan to purchase a tablet than a laptop, netbook, or Ultrabook computer."

Parks Associates finds consumers want a device that...

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Dec 04
Tablets, HD televisions top consumer's holiday...

The holiday shopping season is off to a strong start for the consumer electronics industry thanks to a variety of new tablet and television offerings. Individuals are shelling out in a big way when it comes to the hottest, portable electronics, according to Abt Electronics (www.abt.com), one of the nation’s largest independent retailers.

The retailer experienced an increased amount of foot-traffic in store and online during Black Friday with consumers looking for the latest tablets, high-definition televisions and the always practical digital cameras.

"Consumers have a strong desire to get their hands on the newest technology and their spending habits will likely reflect this trend all season," says ABT Co-President Jon Abt. "In a multitasking world, consumers are looking for the fastest and latest way to connect to the internet while on-the-go. It’s not surprising to see consumers’ holiday spending leaning towards...

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Dec 03
The Northern Spy: Looking at global finances and Apple...

Some analysts are upbeat about RIM but the Spy doesn't understand why. The new Blackberry and OS are too little and too late to make any difference. Colour this one more or less DOA, along with the readers' choice of Sony, Sharp, and Panasonic. Both the smartphone and large appliance electronic markets are over-saturated with brands that are no longer viable.

Others have become downbeat about Apple. Well, the Spy can understand that the stock may have entered a more "mature" category, and might henceforth trade less as a speculative and more in accord with its P/E ratio, which is slightly higher than that of IBM. Assuming that as a rough benchmark, future stock price increases (smoothed) should be in accord with earnings growth, which might be in the 20-30% range, barring accidents. 'Course, what is an appropriate P/E ratio also depends on the larger stock market, and that's another story.

Then there are those who think that solving the Excited States...

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Dec 03
Greg's Bite: More Windows 8 misery

By Greg Mills

My PC friend, Shawn, who manages the electronics department at my local Sam's Club Warehouse, filled me in yesterday on the latest issues in the epic saga of his attempt to load Windows 8 on his PC.  Getting everything working turns out to be quite a trick.  

After installing Windows 8 last week, the "operating system" worked okay (just okay, more about that later), but Shawn noticed his optical drive wasn't working any more and that the user interface "sucked"." So he reloaded Windows 8. Then the PC wouldn't boot. Restart, restart, restart ... nothing. Shake the PC really hard, tap it with a rubber mallet, slap the screen just so, yet no luck. Dead meat. Pull the hard drive, remove your files with another computer, completely wipe the hard drive. Replace the clean hard drive into the old PC and reload Windows 8 for the third time.  

Shawn is by this time sort of perplexed. With all the work and cost of upgrading his PC, he really...

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Dec 03
Apple breaks new ground with iPhone 5, iPad mini

With the advent of new touch sensor structures driven by consumer demand for lighter and thinner devices, NPD DisplaySearch (www.displaysearchblog.com/) finds that in-cell touch technology and DITO (dual ITO) film are the wave of the future.

The research group reports that more than 7.5% of the mobile phone marketplacewill be using in-cell touch in 2012, a number that is estimated to grow to 16.7% by 2018. In addition, tablet computers, which primarily utilize projected capacitive touch technology, will see a5% shipment share of DITO film structure technology in 2012.

Apple’s, newest iPad and iPhone models incorporate these new touch sensor structures. The iPhone 5 uses in-cell touch technology, which is a major change to the touch structure since the first iPhone model in 2007. Meanwhile, the iPad mini features a DITOfilm structure.  

"These two new projected capacitive touch...

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Nov 30
Greg's Bite: Scott Forstall, CEO of Microsoft

By Greg Mills

A few columns ago, I mused that Scott Forstall could likely fix the Windows Mobile operating system and make it play nice with Windows for the PC. There aren't that many people in the world with the skill set to design and manage the development of an entire mobile platform.  

Scott is one of those people. With his abrasive personality (at least it's abrasive when it suits him) he could get rid of the dead wood hanging around Redmond simply drawing large pay checks and could actually make innovation happen there again. However, he ought to be CEO, not just a vice president.

It is clear that current CEO, Steve Ballmer, is just riding Microsoft's momentum down hill and needs to "retire" with a cheap commemorative Timex watch warmly presented by Bill Gates.  He should also get a get nice ceremonial plaque for his 10 years of cunning guidance of what used to be the world's largest company. Then he should then get 10 minutes to clean...

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Nov 30
Fewer than 2-in-5 PC owners plan to upgrade to Windows...

More bad news for Windows 8: while the vast majority of consumers (96%) own a Windows PC, only two in five (39%) of these are likely to upgrade to Windows 8. The findings were part of a study undertaken by Toluna QuickSurveys (www.quicksurveys.com) to assess consumer reactions to the announcement by Microsoft last month to upgrade to Windows 8.

The survey also revealed that when it comes to Windows operating systems, Windows 7 is a clear favorite, with over a quarter of consumers (28%) selecting this version as their preferred choice. This represents double the proportion who chose the newly launched Windows 8 (14%).

Part of the rationale behind the development of the new Windows technology was to improve the user experience on mobile devices such as tablets, but initial consumer reactions illustrate that Microsoft has not captured the interest of this market. The proportion of respondents planning...

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Nov 29
Apple works on ID'ing, locating users on a mobile...

An Apple patent (number 20120302256 at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office shows that the company is working on ways to identify and locate users on a mobile network.

A system and method of locating "friends" having mobile devices connected to a network and associated with a user account is disclosed. The method includes sending a request to a mobile device, the mobile device determining its present geographic location and responding to the requestor with this information. This information may be in the form of a coordinate location such as a GPS location or it may be in the form of a name that the mobile device owner assigned to a particular area (e.g., "home"). Having this location information, a user is able to view the location of the friend that is associated with the mobile device.

Here's Apple's background on the invention: "Mobile devices have been adapted to a wide variety of applications, including computing, communication, and entertainment. Through...

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Nov 29
Apple patent is for carbon composite mold design

An Apple patent (number 20120302670) for a carbon composite mold design has appeared at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

Per the patent a mold assembly or system includes a moldbase that holds mold inserts and has embedded fluid lines to facilitate cooling during part formation. Mold inserts combine to form mold cavities that receive carbon fiber and resin components to form a carbon composite based part. A permanent release coating along a mold component surface that contacts the carbon fiber and resin components facilitates the release of the finished part from the mold component.

Guide pins and guide pin receiving holes facilitate accurate alignment of mold components. Ejector pins within respective ejector pin shafts help eject a finished part from a respective mold component. An ejector pin shaft cover transfers force from an ejector pin to eject a finished part and also prevents substantial passage of resin into the ejector pin shaft. A fluid actuated...

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Nov 29
Greg's Bite: Facebook a democracy? LOL

By Greg Mills

I sort of equate the notion of Facebook as a democracy in the same way I view Egypt's current "democratic" political struggle. Facebook's stab at user democracy flies in the face of a history of self-serving policies thrust upon its"community."  

The FTC has had to slap Facebook down over unauthorized changes to user agreement terms that were in the way of doing exactly what the supreme emperor, Mark Zuckerberg, wanted to do. It is all about making money, rather than user comfort, that consistently rules the day.   

Where was Facebook democracy when facial recognition was rolled out without Facebook even bothering to notify users? Zuckerberg has bowed in form alone to the notion of democracy, but I wager his heart isn't in it. Consent decrees tend to bend companies to at least appear to comply. 

As we have seen in totalitarian countries around the world, the notion of democracy sounds great in theory, but it sure gets in...

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Nov 29
The iPad helps Cyber Monday online shopping hit all-...

Holiday shoppers turned Cyber Monday into the biggest spending day ever with online sales growing 30.3% over the same period last year, according to cloud-based analytics findings by IBM. And you can thank, in part, the iPad.

With an increase in online sales across multiple channels, the digital consumer took center stage. Retailers, marketing departments and chief marketing officers (CMO) delivered a consistent customer experience across multiple channels from mobile devices, to online and to the show floor leading to the record shopping day.

On Cyber Monday more than 18% of consumers used a mobile device to visit a retailer's site, an increase of more than 70% over 2011. Mobile sales reached close to 13%, an increase of more than 96 percent over 2011.

According to IBM, the iPad continued to generate more traffic than any other tablet or smartphone, driving more than 7% of online shopping. This was followed by iPhone at 6.9% and Android at 4.5%. The iPad also...

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Nov 29
Apple looking into wireless charging technology

A new patent (2012303980) at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office shows that Appel is looking into "realistic and practical" wireless charging. The patent is for "wireless power utilization in a local computing environment."

Various embodiments of a wirelessly powered local computing environment are described. The wireless powered local computing environment includes at least a near field magnetic resonance (NFMR) power supply arranged to wirelessly provide power to any of a number of suitably configured devices.

In the described embodiments, the devices arranged to receive power wirelessly from the NFMR power supply must be located in a region known as the near field that extends no further than a distance D of a few times a characteristic size of the NFMR power supply transmission device. Typically, the distance D can be on the order of one meter or so.

Here's Apple's background on the invention: "Historically, transferring power wirelessly has been...

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Nov 28
Greg's Bite: Apple's nuclear winter

By Greg Mills

I carefully read the almost-daily Foss Patents emails when they come. Florian Mueller, the well known German patent attorney has excellent insight and carefully follows the Apple nuclear war against the Android gang. Check out his web site at fosspatents.com .  

Apple and HTC recently settled their differences out of court with a 10-year cross-licensing deal. Courts generally like out-of-court settlements as they are taken out of the loop and are not responsible for  appeals and the like. Far better for the parties to come to a conclusion they both are willing to settle for, than have a judgment against them they hate.  

Ironically, Apple settling with HTC for a financial deal might come back to bite Apple in the hind quarters. Samsung convinced a Federal judge that since Apple settled with HTC and made a patent licensing deal for each HTC phone sold, the sale of Samsung Android phones couldn't be worthy of an injunction...

| Read more »
Nov 28
Global online video market will be worth US$37 billion...

According to the latest forecasts from Informa Telecoms & Media (www.informatandm.com), the global online-video market will be worth US$37 billion in 2017, driven by the popularity of services like Netflix and YouTube.  

This figure is made up of the three key video-revenue streams of advertising, subscriptions and transactions. Despite the market maturing, advertising will continue to be a larger revenue generator than subscriptions in 2017, as it is in 2012.
 
Online video remains a small, but growing, proportion of total TV and video revenues. Informa estimates that it will account for 8% of such revenues by 2017. By the end of the decade, if current growth rates continue, it will account for over 10% of revenues. However, its value in the market today is concentrated among only a few players.
 
"It’s clear that online video, today, is worth much more than the digital cents...

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