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Jan 20
IEEE: VR headsets might not have the staying power...

At CES 2016, IEEE ( , the world's largest professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, conducted a survey that asked booth visitors to answer a range of questions regarding the future of AR/VR [augmented reality/virtual reality] technology. 1,537 participants took the survey.

According to the findings, the use of VR headsets might not have the staying power that is predicted with this new, emerging technology. When questioned about the year AR/VR technology will advance to the point where immersive headsets will no longer be required, more than half (52%) of respondents believed this will occur in well under two decades, by 2030. On top of the 52%, another 21% of respondents predicted this to be a reality by 2035, 15% by 2040 and 5% by 2045.

When asked which industry would most benefit from the widespread adoption of AR/VR technology, 36% of participants...

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Jan 19
Smart home technologies and IoT driving new growth in...

Parks Associates ( has released new research reporting that 70% of U.S. security dealers currently install or plan to install some type of interactive smart home device or system within their residential offerings in the next 12 months. Nearly three-quarters of security dealers offer interactivity with their devices, which can be controlled through smartphones, tablets, and computers.

"Smart home features are helping security dealers increase monthly revenues and also attract new customers," said Barbara Kraus, director of Research, Parks Associates. "Benefits from smart home features increase interest among homeowners who were not interested in monitored security systems. The sales model for security dealers, which involves one-on-one interaction with the customer, is particularly effective in communicating the benefits of smart home solutions.

Parks Associates...

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Jan 19
ABI Research: 156 million tablets will ship in 2020

ABI Research ( predicts 156 million tablets will ship in 2020, marking a 3% CAGR [compound annual return rate] for the device category between 2015 and 2020.

This is despite the fact that tablet forecasts were revised downward in response to continued pressure on shipments and revenues by Apple, Samsung and other leading vendors. According to the latest research, branded tablet revenues reached approximately $55 billion in 2015, down from $68 billion in 2014. While revenues are expected to remain flat in 2016, ABI Research projects last year's retail ASPs [average selling prices] to drop below $400 for the first time.

"We expect the global installed base to decline primarily due to older devices in most developed market economies aging out faster after purchase than replacement devices being acquired and new products being shipped into emerging market economies," says Jeff Orr,...

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Jan 18
U.S. smartphone owners love their social networking...

New data from Parks Associates ( shows that more than 70% of U.S. smartphone users watch at least one short streaming video clip every day.

Parks Associates' survey shows consumers are embracing many new use cases as their smartphones become more intelligent and multifunctional. Voice calls and texting are still the dominant activities, but 80% of smartphone owners use social networking apps at least once a day and 35% spend an hour or more on this activity.

"Consumer appetite for mobile data is very strong, but currently most subscribers use less than half of their allotted data, while those with high data plans use even less," said Harry Wang, director, Health & Mobile Product Research, Parks Associates. "For mobile operators, pushing consumers to sign up for a bigger data plan will have its limits. More and more consumers will start to compare payment to data...

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Jan 15
Cybersecurity incidents in Canada increased 160% year-...

According to PwC's Global State of Information Security (GSISS) Survey 2016 (, Canadian companies are taking steps towards establishing holistic, integrated safeguards against cyberattacks. While investment in safeguards against cybersecurity threats have increased by 82% year over year, it still accounts for an average of only 5% of overall IT (Information Technology) spending.

Because of the impact cybersecurity attacks can have on the overall health of a company and a brand, boards are playing an increasingly significant role in informing the development of cybersecurity strategies. In fact, this year's report found that 50% of Canadian companies surveyed indicated that their board participates in defining their organization's security budgets, compared to only 25% in 2014.

As part of an expanding digital service offering PwC Canada is launching, Game of Threats, a digital...

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Jan 14
One-third of U.K. broadband households have an OTT...

New data from Parks Associates ( reveals that 33% of U.K. broadband households subscribed to an OTT [over-the-top] video service as of the third quarter of 2015. The same study shows that only 15% of U.K. households with pay TV subscribe to premium movie channels.

"Overall OTT video usage in the U.K. favors broadcasters," said Brett Sappington, Director, Research, Parks Associates. "The most popular OTT video sources in the U.K. include BBC's iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD (now All4), and Demand5 - all catch-up or on-demand offerings from broadcasters. New OTT video market entrants, especially those with paid services, will have to provide unique value in order to make substantial gains. However, the demand for interesting content is strong enough that there are market opportunities for new OTT video players. Nearly 20% of U.K. broadband households have recently used a Netflix...

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Jan 13
US hospital engaging only 2% of patients via mobile...

New research from Accenture ( has found that only 2 percent of patients in the largest U.S. hospitals are using hospital-provided mobile health apps. Accenture estimates that failure to align mobile apps to the services consumers’ demand could cost each of these hospitals, on average, more than $100 million in lost annual revenue.

The research, which assessed mobile app use among the 100 largest U.S. hospitals, found that two-thirds (66 percent) of the 100 largest U.S. hospitals have mobile apps for consumers and roughly two-fifths (38 percent) of that subset have developed proprietary apps for their patients. However, only 11 percent of health systems offer patients proprietary apps that operate with at least one of the three functions that consumers demand most: access to medical records; the ability to book, change and cancel appointments; and the ability to request prescription refills...

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Jan 08
OTT and multiscreen usage driving new bundling...

New data from Parks Associates ( shows that 25 percent of OTT (over-the-top) OTT video subscribers in U.S. broadband households plan to upgrade their broadband service in the next 12 months.

Only seven percent of consumers who watch video exclusively on television plan to upgrade their pay-TV service in the next 12 months. This compares to 22 percent of consumers with above-average viewing on all platforms, including computers and mobile devices.

"Evolving usage habits around multiscreen viewing are shaping all aspects of the industry, including service delivery, content production, and the devices consumers use to access content," said Brett Sappington, director of Research, Parks Associates. "Today, one-third of broadband households that own three or more connected devices state that they are likely to upgrade their broadband service in the next 12 months. These...

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Jan 08
Top 10 mobility trends for 2016

DMI (Digital Management Inc.), an end-to-end mobility company, has released its annual Top Ten Mobility Trends for 2016 (, citing the need for an improved mobile customer experience, top-down concerns for cybersecurity, key innovations through partnerships and a stronger focus on the redesign and implementation of omni-channel and mobile payment technologies. among the projected trends:

° Stronger focus on the customer experience: Analyst firms Forrester and Gartner highlighted the customer experience (CX) as a top priority for 2016. Based on DMI's experience, the average organization has less than one in 100 employees with the CX skills needed to amplify the mobile experience, whether in-store or on the Internet. In 2016, customers will demand one consistent cross-channel experience. Look for organizations to embed the mobile customer experience throughout every part of...

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Jan 07
Predictions for data security trends in 2016

With the new year here, there will be some extraordinary shifts in how people watch their favorite TV programs, how they surf the Internet and how our daily gadgets will become more interconnected. While our lives are becoming easier, the new technology shift requires an increasing sensitivity towards online security.
NordVPN (, a VPN service provider, predicts some of the major shifts and trends in digital and online security world in 2016:
° Streaming over downloading. There will be more streaming options in 2016 and better access to content compared to downloading options that are becoming less popular. Streaming is becoming border-free as well, as there are new ways to overcome geographical restrictions.

SmartPlay, for example, is NordVPN’s new secure technology that helps overcome geo-based restrictions used by certain streaming websites, such as Netflix, Pandora,...

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Jan 06
China to overtake US 3D Printer Shipments in 2016

According to IDC (, 3D printer shipments in the China market passed 34,000 units in 2014, and is expected to reach 77,000 units in 2015, exhibiting a growth rate over 120%.

This growth rate is largely driven by sales of desktop 3D printers priced under US$5,000. As the Chinese Government continue to promote 3D printer awareness and usage within schools and educational institutions, the desktop 3D printer market is expected to maintain an annual growth trend in the coming years, according to the research group.

“China's local 3D printer market will surpass the US market in 2016 with an annual growth rate over 100%. However, the US is expected to retain its position as the market leader in terms of market revenue, due to the greater proportion of high-end printers adopted by the manufacturing sector,” said Wendy Mok, Research Manager for IDPS at IDC China. “To capitalize on this growth, 3D printer vendors...

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Jan 05
Automotive display systems o grow to $18.6 billion by...

Driven by continued innovation in vehicle connectivity and safety technologies, global revenue from automotive display systems will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 11 percent to $18.6 billion by the end of 2021. This will add nearly $9 billion in annual revenue compared to 2015, according to IHS (

Data from the the research group represents production of instrument cluster systems, head-up display systems and center stack display systems as full automotive modules, not just display panels. Center stack display systems are expected to account for half of the overall revenue growth, while head-up display (HUD) systems will boast the strongest revenue CAGR at nearly 21 percent from 2015.

“The automotive displays supply chain will see some amazing growth and innovation through the end of the decade, as more vehicles debut new displays or standardize larger ones in the instrument...

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Jan 04
The Northern Spy: much ado about very little when it...

By Rick Sutcliffe

Much ado about very little is how the Spy categorizes the newest iteration of the Apple TV. When Steve Jobs announced a few years ago that he'd figured television out, he ignited great expectations.

But time, negotiations, and reality have laboured mightily to bring forth...not a mouse, but no tiger either. Now, it may be that the new box and its dedicated store have a future place in the hands of gamers, but that appeal, loyal though it may hypothetically be, is of extremely limited value, and the Spy, who's never begun to comprehend the appeal of action games, stands firmly outside the circle of that limitation.

The issue, as it was with all the delays, is content. To be more pointed, there doesn't appear to be much "there" there. Yes, access to a few other subscription services, all similarly thin gruel, and a few modern TV shows, but where is the library of old TV shows and movies, particularly the...

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Dec 30
Consumers increasingly watching videos on their own...

The shift in consumer online video viewing habits is changing rapidly, according the latest survey of more than 1,200 consumers from Limelight Networks, Inc. (, which specializes in digital content delivery.

According to the second semi-annual “The State of Online Video” report, more than 83 percent of consumers watch on-demand video, an increase of four percent since April 2015. The percentage of consumers watching four or more hours of on-demand video a week increased to more than 36 percent as compared to 30 percent in April 2015. Among Millennials, the greatest jump is in those that watch 10 or more hours of video per week (nearly 20 percent vs. 15 percent in April 2015), perhaps a tell-tale sign they are binge-watching more often than their counterparts in different demographics.

How are consumers watching on-demand video? A growing number are doing so on their TV, either through...

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Dec 29
Smartphone sizes preference stabilizes at 5.3 inches

In the first half of 2015, US and UK smartphone users were most likely to be interested in a device with a display size of 5.3-inch overall, according to a new report from the Mobile Device UX (MDX) group at Strategy Analytics (

The report also showed that respondents surveyed in the US have a greater interest in the larger sized prototypes than those surveyed in the UK, while Android owners have a greater interest in phablet sized prototypes compared to Apple owners. Current smartphone owners are also more likely to prefer a thicker prototype with a longer battery life over a thinner phone.

Similar to the second half of 2014, the prototype with a 5.3-inch display was most preferred by consumers overall in the first half of 2015. This was followed by the 5.0-inch and 5.5-inch prototypes. Even though the majority of smartphone owners surveyed preferred a...

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Dec 28
Smart watches top planned health/fitness tech...

Of the 74 percent of online American adults who are likely to purchase health and fitness technology in the next 12 months, one in three (35 percent) plan to buy a smartwatch, according to the latest research from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), formerly the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

The study, Consumers Journey to Purchase: Health and Fitness, found that consumer purchase intent in the health and fitness technology category is highest for smart watches, followed by fitness-related apps (30 percent), dedicated wearable fitness activity trackers (27 percent), smart apparel (27 percent) and devices that track sleep patterns (23 percent).

Led by the popularity of activity tracking devices, CTA's “U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecasts” ( projects sales of health and fitness devices will reach $1.8 billion in...

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Dec 23
Look outside the US for medical app growth

One half of the market for medical apps is now conducted in the United States, according to Kalorama Information ( However, that’s expected to change rapidly, as medical systems in other parts of the world come to rely on mobile devices. 

The healthcare market research firm said that United States' share will shift to just one-fifth of the market for mhealth by 2020. This is the result of soon with rapid adoption in the rest of the world, and was a key finding in Kalorama's report, mHealth Markets Worldwide, a comprehensive study of the mobile health industry.

"Brazil, China and other nations have already mobilized in many other industries and as their healthcare systems developed, mhealth solutions will prosper," said Bruce Carlson, Publisher of Kalorama Information.   

The report said that China has become a focus market for device manufacturers...

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Dec 22
10% of US broadband households intend to buy a...

New research from Parks Associates ( finds nine percent of U.S. broadband households own a wearable camera (including cameras and camcorders) and 10% intend to purchase one by midyear 2016.

"Nearly one-fourth of the wearable cameras and camcorders bought in the last year were given as gifts," said Barbara Kraus, director of Research, Parks Associates. "This product will continue to be a hot high-tech gift through the holidays and into 2016. Consumers are using wearable cameras to record daily life (36 percent of owners) just as much as they use them during notable events like vacations, holidays, and birthday parties (36 percent of owners), so as adoption increases, privacy concerns will arise, as anyone in the camera's line of sight might assume they are being recorded. Google Glass created similar concerns."

Parks Data research shows that roughly 25 percent of all...

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Dec 21
15% of U.S. broadband households plan to buy wireless...

New Parks Associates ( research shows 15 percent of U.S. broadband households plan to buy wireless speakers over the next 12 months, while 18% plan to buy earbuds and 16% plan to buy headphones.

"The smartphone has evolved into the primary interface for the connected home, and it is helping to create new app use cases for services such as Pandora and Spotify, which in turn drive interest in new connected audio devices," said Brad Russell, Research Analyst, Parks Associates. "Nearly 50 percent of U.S. broadband households have bought headphones as a separate purchase, and the growth of premium brands, including Beats, Bose, Sony, and Sennheiser, shows consumers are interested in high-quality audio devices.”

Parks Associates' industry report “Digital Audio for the Connected Consumer” notes that 22 percent of U.S. broadband households currently own wireless speakers,...

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Dec 18
Gartner: consumers will own 3-4 devices by 2018

During the next five years, consumers will add more devices to their personal portfolio rather than consolidating it, according to Gartner, Inc. ( By 2018, a consumer in a mature market will use and own more than three personal devices, says the research group. 

Gartner estimates that in 2016, the installed base of devices will total 7.8 billion units (including wearables, phones, tablets and PCs) and is on pace to reach 8.3 billion units in 2018. 

"The combination of the high level of adoption of technology, the availability of faster networks, and decision making becoming increasingly dependent on real-time information, will undoubtedly lead to more devices per user," said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner. 

Gartner expects mature market users to use three to four personal devices from a mix of "main" and "niche" devices. Main devices will include smartphones, tablets,...

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Dec 17
Apple names Jeff Williams Chief Operating Officer

Apple has announced that Jeff Williams has been named chief operating officer and Johny Srouji is joining Apple’s executive team as senior vice president for Hardware Technologies.

Phil Schiller, senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, will expand his role to include leadership of the App Store across all Apple platforms. Apple also announced that Tor Myhren will join Apple in the first calendar quarter of 2016 as vice president of Marketing Communications, reporting to CEO Tim Cook.

“We are fortunate to have incredible depth and breadth of talent across Apple’s executive team. As we come to the end of the year, we’re recognizing the contributions already being made by two key executives,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Jeff is hands-down the best operations executive I’ve ever worked with, and Johny’s team delivers world-class silicon designs which enable new innovations in our products year after year.”

He adds: “In addition, Phil is taking on new...

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Dec 17
Gartner: smart cities will use 1.6 billion connected...

Gartner, Inc. estimates that 1.6 billion connected things will be used by smart cities in 2016, an increase of 39 percent from 2015.

"Smart commercial buildings will be the highest user of Internet of Things (IoT) until 2017, after which smart homes will take the lead with just over one billion connected things in 2018," said Bettina Tratz-Ryan, research vice president at the research group.
Commercial real estate benefits greatly from IoT implementation, according to Gartner. IoT creates a unified view of facilities management as well as advanced service operations through the collection of data and insights from a multitude of sensors. Especially in large sites, such as industrial zones, office parks, shopping malls, airports or seaports, IoT can help reduce the cost of energy, spatial management and building maintenance by up to 30 percent said Tratz-Ryan. 

The business applications that are fueling the growth of IoT in commercial buildings are handled...

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Dec 16
Adoption of 802.11ac wave accelerating

The 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard has started to gain rapid traction, and will become the highest shipping Wi-Fi standard yet, according to Strategy Analytics (

“802.11ac Wave 2 with MU-MIMO provides significant benefits to users and a better Wi-Fi user experience compared to 802.11n and 802.11ac Wave 1, but works best when both ends of the Wi-Fi connection have Wave 2 capable radio chips,” says Christopher Taylor, director of RFWC, Strategy Analytics. “With the efforts of Qualcomm and other chip suppliers, more than 60 mobile device models with 802.11ac Wave 2 have now reached the market, and Wi-Fi equipment vendors have embraced Wave 2 for residential and enterprise Wi-Fi infrastructure applications.”

David Watkins, director of the Strategy Analytics Connected Home Devices service, adds: "Hundreds of millions of Wave 2-enabled mobile devices will ship in 2016...

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Dec 15
Multiple improvements requires to create compelling...

Consumers continue to look to mobile health and fitness applications to help achieve and maintain a healthier lifestyle. By tracking their progress, both in what they eat and activities they undertake throughout the day, consumers are using these types of apps to make smarter, more health-conscious decisions, in addition to improving various aspects of their fitness.

However, a new report from the Media and Services UX (MSX) group at Strategy Analytics ( surveying avid health and fitness consumers using health and/or fitness mobile applications, has found that implementing multiple improvements will lead to more useful, usable, and compelling solutions.

Surveying consumers in the US and UK who used at least one health and/or fitness mobile application multiple times per week, Strategy Analytics found that many of these apps catered only to one side: either...

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Dec 14
Self-driving cars to take off by 2021

A new study from Juniper Research ( forecasts almost 20 million fully autonomous or self-driving vehicles on the road by 2025, with consumer adoption set to take off in 2021. Driven by increased safety and convenience for drivers, development has progressed to live trials with North America and West Europe set to become the first to witness driverless cars in use on the road.

The research found that in the interim, consumer usage of ADAS (Advanced Driving Assistance System) technologies such as adaptive cruise control and automated braking will become key. Juniper Research says that these systems will serve to prepare drivers for the psychological change from the role of driving a car to operating a driverless car.

The research finds that although the market has progressed to live trials, a discernible monetization strategy hasn’t become evident. Stakeholders are...

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Dec 11
One-third of US broadband households own a connected...

According to new data from Parks Associates (, there’s increased adoption of of digital health/wellness devices among U.S. broadband households — an increase from 26 percent in 2014 to 3 percent now. The research group reports that most of these devices are fitness-related, with connected fitness trackers reaching 10 percent penetration in 2015, while smart watches reached 4 percent.

"Digital fitness tracker is the fastest growing category in the connected health device market, with Fitbit the clear leader with more than 50% market share, and its early 2015 acquisition of FitStar will help the company expand its wellness services," said Harry Wang, director, Mobile and Health Products Research, Parks Associates. "Attrition of fitness tracker usage, a closely watched metric, is not as bad as the industry once perceived, at least not among existing users.”

The Parks...

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Dec 10
Faster broadband speeds drive more switching than...

New research from Parks Associates ( shows that nine percent of U.S. broadband households switched broadband providers in the past 12 months, with 35 percent of them doing so to get a faster broadband speed. Only 18 percent of switchers changed because a different provider offered a lower price at a comparable speed.

"For many, broadband is a necessity for the home. No one wants slow or spotty service, and consumers are quick to switch if they encounter problems," said Brett Sappington, Director of Research, Parks Associates. "Operators are promoting broadband speeds of 100 Mbps or more. While 43% of subscribers do not know their current broadband speed, they do know about the experience that they have online, particularly as it relates to digital media. Respondents who own multiple connected entertainment devices are more likely than others to plan to upgrade their broadband...

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Dec 09
Smart home automation growth to exceed 1000%

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

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

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

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Dec 08
How you can maximize your online privacy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Consumers expect as a...

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Dec 03 Major retailers see decline in...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Video is one of the fastest...

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Dec 01
The Northern Spy: of reading and routing

By Rick Sutcliffe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Nov 30
Millennials embrace mobile apps for holiday shopping

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

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

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

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

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Nov 25
Personal storage market continues to shrink

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Nov 23
Archiware releases one-click archiving tool

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In terms of hardware spending,...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The research group also found that:

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

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

° Thirty...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Nov 06
Tablet owners like their data plans

 The share of customers who purchase tablets with mobile data plans is on the rise due to their ability to stay continuously connected to the Internet, and satisfaction among these customers is higher than those with Wi-Fi only connections, according to new data from J.D. Power.

The gap in satisfaction between owners with data plan-connected tablets and those with Wi-Fi only devices is 26 points (833 vs. 807, respectively), up from 22 points in J.D. Power’s 2014 study. The research group says the proportion of customers who purchase tablets with mobile data plans is 31 percent, a higher share than in any previous J.D. Power study and a three percentage point gain from six months ago.

The increased popularity of subscribing to data plans is attributable to customer interest in staying connected and using a tablet for activities such as browsing the Internet, streaming music and videos, playing games, using apps and communicating on social media sites. The convenience...

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Chromium 54.0.2840.71 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. Version 54.0.2840.71: Release notes were unavailable... Read more
Firetask 3.8.1 - Innovative task managem...
Firetask uniquely combines the advantages of classical priority-and-due-date-based task management with GTD. Stay focused and on top of your commitments - Firetask's "Today" view shows all relevant... Read more
Yep 3.8.0 - $23.99
Yep is a document organization and management tool. Like iTunes for music or iPhoto for photos, Yep lets you search and view your documents in a comfortable interface, while offering the ability to... Read more
Data Rescue 4.3.1 - Powerful hard drive...
Use Data Rescue to recover: crashed, corrupted or non-mounting hard drive deleted, damaged, or lost files reformatted or erased hard drive One powerful new feature found in Data Rescue 4 is... Read more
Yep 3.8.0 - $23.99
Yep is a document organization and management tool. Like iTunes for music or iPhoto for photos, Yep lets you search and view your documents in a comfortable interface, while offering the ability to... Read more
Data Rescue 4.3.1 - Powerful hard drive...
Use Data Rescue to recover: crashed, corrupted or non-mounting hard drive deleted, damaged, or lost files reformatted or erased hard drive One powerful new feature found in Data Rescue 4 is... Read more
PDFpen 8.2.1 - $74.95
PDFpen allows users to easily edit PDF's. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics! Features... Read more
TextMate 2.0-beta.12.25 - Code/markup ed...
TextMate is a versatile plain text editor with a unique and innovative feature set which caused it to win an Apple Design Award for Best Mac OS X Developer Tool in August 2006. A rapidly growing... Read more
TunnelBear 3.0.4 - Subscription-based pr...
TunnelBear is a subscription-based virtual private network (VPN) service and companion app, enabling you to browse the internet privately and securely. Features Browse privately - Secure your data... Read more
QuickBooks R9 - Financial ma...
QuickBooks helps you manage your business easily and efficiently. Organize your finances all in one place, track money going in and out of your business, and spot areas where you can save. Built for... Read more

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13-inch MacBook Airs on sale for $100-$140 of...
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21-inch 3.1GHz 4K on sale for $1379, $120 off...
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