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

According to IDC (www.idc.com), 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 (www.ihs.com).

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. (www.limelight.com), 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 (www.strategyanalytics.com).

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” (http://www.cta.tech/salesandforecast) 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 (www.kaloramainformation.com). 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 (www.parksassociates.com) 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 (www.parksassociates.com) 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. (www.gartner.com). 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 (www.strategyanalytics.com).

“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 (www.strategyanalytics.com) 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 (www.juniperresearch.com) 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 (www.parksassociates.com), 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 (www.parksassociates.com) 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 (www.juniperresearch.com) 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 (NordVPN.com) 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 (www.reportlinker.com), 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 (www.kpmg.com).

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
MarketResearch.com: Major retailers see decline in...

Best Buy and Target both reported slow third-quarter sales, according to MarketResearch.com. 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 (www.strategyanalytics.com).

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 (www.clearswift.com), 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 (www.wanderful.com), 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 (www.idc.com). "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 (www.harbortouch.com), 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., (www.gartner.com) 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 (www.parksassociates.com) 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 (www.futuremarketinginsights.com).

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 (www.parksassociates.com) 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 (www.juniperresearch.com) 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 (www.parksassociates.com) 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 (www.parksassociates.com) 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 (www.flexerasoftware.com), 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...

| Read more »
Nov 09
Fifty-one percent of customers surveyed would likely...

CCG Catalyst (www.ccg-catalyst.com), 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...

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
Nov 05
Regular Netflix users watch 10 TV shows per week

Regular (monthly) Netflix users in the US have grown even more dependent on the service for viewing TV programming, saying they watch 10 shows per week via the platform – as well as four movies during the same timeframe, according to the GfK research group (www.gfk.com). For TV content, this represents a doubling of the level (five shows per week) found in the same survey three years ago.

Projected to the full population, this means that the average US consumer ages 13 to 54 watches roughly 5 TV shows and two movies per week via Netflix using one or more platforms. The findings come from “Over the Top TV 2015: A Complete Video Landscape” – the latest study in GfK’s ongoing The Home Technology Monitor series tracking media technology and services. The new report includes trends from five prior “over the top” (OTT) studies conducted since 2010.

Watching via Netflix on mobile devices has also more than doubled in three...

| Read more »
Nov 04
Ten percent of Spanish broadband households own a...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) finds that 10 percent of Spanish broadband households own a smart watch, followed by eight percent in the U.K., seven percent in Germany, and six percent in France.

"Form factors such as the smart watch are creating new opportunities for wearables in the connected home, with home controls and health applications near the top of the list for potential use cases," said Stuart Sikes, president, Parks Associates. "At CONNECTIONS™ Europe, we will highlight the business opportunities for service and technology providers, component suppliers, and software designers.”

The research group says that 10 percent of Western European broadband households plan to purchase a smart watch within the next 12 months. Broadband households in Spain have the highest purchase intentions with 12 percent, followed by 10 percent in France and Germany, and nine...

| Read more »
Nov 04
Smart watches to trump other wearables win smart home...

The smart home market, projected to reach US$34 billion in 2020 is becoming the center of activity for multiple IoT (Internet of Things) ecosystems, including wearables. 

A report from ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) says that smart watches will drive the most interest for wearables integration into the smart home even though fitness trackers were approximately two-thirds of all wearable device shipments in 2014.  Recent announcements of Android Wear from Google and Apple Watch are driving integration efforts from various smart home platform vendors such as iControl, Alarm.com and Samsung's SmartThings.

Wearables integration with smart home systems will drive more proximal network communications in the smart home, according to ABI Research. This is starting to happen as device vendors slowly start to open up their APIs (application programming interfaces) and share data to deliver more...

| Read more »
Nov 03
Improving customer experience top priority for...

Improving the overall customer experience is a top business priority for companies and a main driver behind their digital transformation ambitions, according to a new study from Accenture. But the majority of businesses don’t set themselves apart yet from competitors through the digital customer experience they offer.

The study, titled “Digital Transformation in the Age of the Customer,” (http://tinyurl.com/nhyeya7) is based on a survey of nearly 400 decision-makers in companies globally. It was commissioned by Accenture Interactive, part of Accenture Digital, and conducted by Forrester Consulting. Key findings in the study include:

° “Improving the customer experience” topped the list of business priorities companies have for the next 12 months. It received the most number one rankings (21 percent), followed by “growing revenues” (17 percent) and “improving differentiation” (16 percent)....

| Read more »
Nov 02
The Northern Spy: Apple’s sales saga

By Rick Sutcliffe

Apple's sales saga continues to flummox many pundits. They forecast earnings estimates too low or too high, and when they miss, they criticize--not themselves, but Apple--as if it were Cupertino's fault they aren't more prescient.

The latest take on this is that because Apple's iPhone sales generate so large a percentage of the total income, and aren't breaking records by a very wide margin these days, the company is somehow in trouble, and about to become last year's news. Really? Start your own company, and when your sales exceed Apple's, go ahead and point the finger. Are these the same people who once upon a time delighted to forecast Apple's impending bankruptcy?

Is the market saturated? Not as long as there's a billion or two potential customers out there willing to pay top dollar for a high end product in a first class industrial design. The pundits haven't paid as much attention to declining sales by...

| Read more »
Oct 30
Gartner: worldwide semiconductor spending to dip one...

Worldwide semiconductor capital spending is projected to decline one percent in 2015, to $63.9 billion, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). This is a down from the 2.5 percent growth predicted in Gartner's previous quarter's forecast. The forecast for 2016 is unchanged at a 3.3 percent decline over 2015.

"We are continuing to see weakness in end-user electronics demand in response to an uncertain economic environment, which is putting a damper on 2015 spending," said Takashi Ogawa, research vice president at Gartner. "Next year we are anticipating DRAM manufacturers to respond to oversupply conditions with dramatic deductions in their investment plans.”
\
Capital investment policies of leading semiconductor vendors have maintained a cautious attitude against the background of sluggish electronics demand. Intel has announced further capital spending cutbacks since Gartner's previous forecast...

| Read more »
Oct 29
22 percent of smartwatch owners plan to use it for...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) reveals home controls and automation are key use cases in the smart watch market, as more than one in five U.S. broadband households that own or plan to buy a smart watch intend to use this device for these applications. The research group notes that more than 80 percent of smartphone/tablet users who own at least one smart home device have downloaded mobile apps for these devices.

"The accessibility of a smart watch makes it a natural fit as a remote control for smart home features such as turning on lights remotely, closing garage doors, and adjusting thermostat settings," says Harry Wang, director, Mobile and Health Products Research, Parks Associates. "Many smart home device makers and solution providers have already moved into the wearables ecosystem, with nearly 20 having created an Apple Watch app for their technology. They have to...

| Read more »
Oct 29
Adobe named leader in digital experience platforms

Adobe (www.adobe.com) has been recognized as the leader in “The Forrester Wave™: Digital Experience Platforms, Q4 2015” report by Forrester Research, (www.forresterresearch.com).

Adobe was among the select companies Forrester invited to participate in the independent report, which evaluated the 10 most significant software vendors in digital experience platforms across 40 criteria. Adobe was positioned as the only leader, ranking highest in current offering.

“Adobe’s integrated platform leads the market,” stated the Forrester report. “Adobe has established a platform of best-of-breed technologies that support marketing activities. This portfolio includes web content management (WCM), testing and optimization, analytics, audience management, social publishing, and campaign management.”

Adobe Marketing Cloud includes a...

| Read more »
Oct 28
Juniper Research: smart home revenues to reach $100...

New data from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found that consumer spend on smart home services, including entertainment, health, energy and home automation will reach US$100 billion by 2020, well over twice the estimated spend for this year, at $43 billion.

Entertainment services such as Netflix and Spotify are playing a key role in boosting the smart home market size, driven by a universal appeal, and the low cost of services, according to the research group. However, emerging smart home segments, such as home automation, are expected to begin catching up, driven by falling hardware costs and increased consumer awareness.

Juniper Research found that numerous home automation subscription services, such as AT&T's Digital Life, have struggled to address the mass-market. Incremental unit-by-unit purchases, to personalize the home, are therefore the most likely entry point for...

| Read more »
Oct 27
77% of Americans frightened of identify theft

Nearly eight in 10 Americans (77 percent) are frightened of having their identity stolen, according to a new Bankrate.com report, including 23 percent who are very frightened. About half of Americans (46 percent) have either been a victim of identity theft or know someone who was, up 12 percentage points from 2008.

One in five Americans is not at all worried about having their identity stolen. 30-49 year-olds are the most nervous about identity theft, while millennials (18-29 year-olds) are the least concerned.

Many Americans aren’t taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves from identity theft. Forty-two percent don’t check their credit reports regularly and 41 percent conduct banking and other sensitive business on unsecured Wi-Fi networks that do not require a password.

“With news of a data hack nearly every week, consumers are doing themselves a disservice by not checking their credit reports regularly,” says Bankrate.com analyst Janna Herron. “...

| Read more »
 

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Textkraft Professional Becomes A Mobile Produ...
The new update 4.1 of Textkraft Professional for the iPad comes with many new and updated features that will be particularly of interest to self-publishers of e-books. Highlights include import and... Read more
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B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.9GHz Retina MacBook Pro (model #MF841LL/A) on sale for $1599 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP. Amazon also has the 13″ 3.9GHz Retina... Read more
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Clearance 12-inch Retina MacBooks available s...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on leftover 2015 12″ Retina MacBooks with models now available starting at $999. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook... Read more
Check Apple prices on any device with the iTr...
MacPrices is proud to offer readers a free iOS app (iPhones, iPads, & iPod touch) and Android app (Google Play and Amazon App Store) called iTracx, which allows you to glance at today’s lowest... Read more
New 2016 13-inch 256GB MacBook Air on sale fo...
B&H Photo has the new 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air (model MMGG2LL/A) on sale for $1149 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP. Amazon has the 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Air 2s available start...
Apple has Certified Refurbished iPad Air 2 available starting at $339. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 128GB Wi-Fi iPad Air 2: $499 - 64GB Wi-Fi iPad... Read more
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