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Oct 07
Gartner: 'replacement indecision' to hamper...

Worldwide combined shipments of devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) are expected to reach 2.4 billion units in 2015, a 1 percent decline from 2014 and down from the previous quarter's forecast of 1.5 percent growth, according to Gartner, Inc. ( 

"Replacement activity across all types of devices has decreased," says Ranjit Atwal, research director at the research group. "Users are extending the lifetime of their devices, or deciding not to replace their devices at all." 

Gartner's latest device forecast also showed that shipments in all categories will contract in 2015, except for mobile phone shipments, which are on pace to increase 1.4 percent in 2015. Smartphone shipments are estimated to increase 14 percent in 2015. Emerging Asia/Pacific, including India and Indonesia, is on pace to show the strongest growth (43 percent) in 2015, while Greater China will grow three...

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Oct 06
Understanding the smartphone behavior of tweens

For a new generation of consumers, the first smartphone owned will be as a tween (aged 8-12 years). At this life stage, often coinciding with the end of elementary school or commencing middle school, children start to gain some independence from their parents. 

Naturally, as children start doing more things on their own, parents want to be able to stay in touch with their child; the parent’s provision of a smartphone was not only motivated by communication, but also for use at school, in case of emergency and safety. Comparatively, for tweens, the motivation for a smartphone was communication with friends and family, games and texting.

A new report from the Mobile Device UX group at Strategy Analytics ( has explored the motivations and behaviors of tweens and parents with smartphones. For parents looking to give their tween a smartphone, ensuring its cost-...

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Oct 05
Majority of gamers lack confidence in developers...

PlayFab (, a backend service to build, launch and grow live games, has announced findings from its recent survey on cybersecurity concerns and awareness among gamers.

The findings, which include responses from 500 participants that play video games more than four hours per week, revealed that 83 percent of respondents believe game developers should be responsible for securing players' personal data, however fewer than 40 percent said they feel confident in current safeguards.
What's more, while 86 percent of participants expressed concern with protecting personal data on the Internet, data security ranked as one of the lowest priorities when making game purchases for nearly half of all respondents, indicating a disparity between beliefs and actions.

Despite the steady succession of high-profile data breaches over the last year, many businesses and consumers are still not taking...

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Oct 02
Remote device controls feature highly in consumer...

Consumers are looking to their mobile devices to do more and more of what their home PCs or laptops do; this in turn has led to similar security concerns on their mobile devices.

A new report from the Media and Services UX (MSX) group at Strategy Analytics ( has found that consumers are increasingly turning to mobile security app services to not only protect their phones and make them feel safer when using them, but also to help recover them and protect their data if their phones are ever lost or stolen. 
Services that come pre-installed on mobile phones become the low-hanging fruit for users – especially those who are unaware that they exist, according to the research group This creates tremendous opportunity for both mobile operators and device OEMs [original equipment manufacturers]alike, providing users with an immediate security service that comes on their...

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Oct 01
The Northern Spy: Back Up To The Old Tricks

By Rick Sutcliffe

Much has happened worth commenting upon in the months that this space has been devoted to explicating some of the features of Modula-2 R10 that make it safe, reliable, and extensible as a problem solving tool. For one thing, a few errors were noted in the June article. R10 uses NOT, but ~ is not a synonym, [DESCENDING] was removed for FOR loops and replaced by FOR selector--, and two escape sequences for strings were omitted due to a misunderstanding. Fixed.

Meanwhile, amidst a new Federal election and accompanying rhetoric, Apple released the iPhone 6s and 6s+ to great anticipation, and wicked-fast sales amounting to thirteen million units in the first weekend. The Spy suspects many of these users are either upgrading old iPhones (pre-6) or switching from other platforms they have come to realize are inconsistent or inadequate for their needs.

Oh, there are some fair enough phones for the budget conscious without extensive...

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Sep 30
Patent options expand with mobile healthcare apps

The number of mobile health applications available to consumers now surpasses 165,000, as developers incorporate innovative data collection features linked to sensors and wearables, according to a new report released today by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.

While most available apps focus on overall wellness, healthcare systems and professionals are expressing greater interest and excitement in broader app use as barriers to mainstream adoption of mHealth are removed—especially in the area of chronic disease management.

The IMS Institute study ( found that one in 10 apps now has the capability to connect to a device or sensor, providing biofeedback and physiological function data from the patient and greatly extending the accuracy and convenience of data collection. Nearly a quarter of consumer apps are now focused on disease and treatment management,...

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Sep 29
Gartner: more than 75 percent of companies investing...

Investment in big data continues to increase in 2015, but not as rapidly as in previous years. More than three-quarters of companies are investing or planning to invest in big data in the next two years, a three percent increase over 2014, according to a recent survey of IT and business leaders by Gartner, Inc. (

The survey, which was conducted among 437 Gartner Research Circle Members in June 2015, included global organizations across all industries, both Gartner clients and non-clients.

"This year begins the shift of big data away from a topic unto itself, and toward standard practices," says Nick Heudecker, research director at Gartner. "The topics that formerly defined big data, such as massive data volumes, disparate data sources and new technologies are becoming familiar as big data solutions become mainstream. For example, among companies that have invested in big data technology, 70...

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Sep 28
The web is turning its back on Flash

During his lifetime, Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder and former CEO, was known to be one of the most opinionated figures in the tech world. And while he certainly wasn’t right about everything, there’s one thing he got right years before many others: his famous rejection of Flash.

Five years after Jobs published an open letter defending his company’s decision to leave Flash off its mobile devices and slamming Flash as unreliable and unsafe, the majority of the internet industry has come to the same conclusion.

Flash is now widely regarded as a performance-hampering safety hazard and more and more companies are turning their back on what was once the industry standard: Citing security concerns, Mozilla recently disabled the Flash plugin in its Firefox browser by default; Amazon has banned it from its advertising network and other companies are following suite. In August 2015, just 22 percent of websites in the Alexa Top 10,000 used Flash, down from almost 50 percent...

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Sep 25
Strategy analytics: consumer usage of smartphone...

Navigation tasks are vitally important use-cases for the in-vehicle consumer. Regardless of device type (embedded or portable), a well-put-together and usable connected navigation system must provide information which is timely, relevant, and easily-consumed. A new report from the In-vehicle UX (IVX) group at Strategy Analytics ( has found key differences in usage and satisfaction among owners of embedded, dedicated portable and smartphone-based navigation systems.

Surveying owners in the US, Western Europe, and China, Strategy Analytics found overall satisfaction to be highest among owners of embedded navigation systems, particularly in the US. However, while usage of embedded navigation systems remains high, the prevalence of smartphone-based app navigation is becoming increasingly ubiquitous. Even so, findings from the survey suggest that users are still most...

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Sep 24
Tips to breathe new life into old Macs

US computer memory experts, Data Memory Systems (, have offered some tips for those whose Mac computers might be letting them down, performance-wise. From conducting a clean install to switching to an SSD, the team at Data Memory Systems have offered their advice for anyone hoping to give their flagging Mac a new lease of life.

After a few years of continuous use, all computers become sluggish, much to the chagrin of many users. But luckily there are ways in which performance can be boosted – from installing new hardware to offloading files.

The first step to enhance any Mac’s performance is to head into the Activity Monitor and get a better understanding of why the device is sluggish. This built-in app shows the user which applications are placing the most pressure on your main processor and RAM. Note the functions and applications that are demanding the most...

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Sep 23
IDC: wearable shipments to reach 173.4 million by 2019

A growing list of vendors, a proliferation of devices, experiences, and price points, and steady consumer adoption will fuel growth in the worldwide market for wearable devices. According to IDC (, wearable device shipments will reach 76.1 million units in 2015, up 163.6% from the 28.9 million units shipped in 2014.

By 2019, worldwide shipments will reach 173.4 million units, resulting in a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.9%. Total shipments include both basic and smart wearables, which are two very different product categories in many aspects, adds the research group.

"Smart wearables only account for about a third of the total market today while basic wearables, led by fitness trackers, account for the rest," says Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC's Mobile Device Trackers. "Driven by advancements in user interface (UI) and features, smart wearables are on track to...

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Sep 22
Global mobile media to approach $425 billion

Consumer and advertising expenditure on handset-based mobile media will rise 12 percent in 2015, and approach US$425 billion by 2021, according to Strategy Analytics (

Strong growth in smartphone penetration, combined with ubiquitous data connectivity via mobile and WiFi networks, and latent consumer demand to access popular internet services continues to drive the consumption of content on mobile devices, says the research group. With advertisers increasingly targeting mobile phone users, mobile advertising is set to account for 24 percent of total digital advertising expenditure in 2015.

Consumer demand for accessing popular internet services and apps on mobile phones, including Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, and mobile games, among others, continues to increase, supported by the growing penetration of rich media smartphones and improving data connectivity, via...

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Sep 21
Content remains king in driving online video services

Once again content has proven to be king when talking about the choice drivers for online video services. According to a major study performed by Strategy Analytics ( and Piksel in the second quarter (Q2) of 2015, 52 percent of viewers are driven by a "content related" factor when looking for an online video service of preference.

Such factors could be related to the type of content (whether the service includes full TV series and movies, live content, or user generated content) and the size of the content library. By contrast, price and pricing options account for only 39 percent of consumer choice. 

Understanding the importance of these consumer-choice-drivers is key to minimizing risks when building a new OTT [over-the-top] video service, says Strategy Analytics. But even more revealing is the importance of having a stable platform to provide a seamless and...

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Sep 18
Personal cloud market to reach $89.9 billion

According to a new report by Allied Market Research (, the world personal cloud market is estimated to garner revenue of $89.9 billion by 2020, registering a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 33.1% during 2015-2020.

Growing customer awareness is expected to boost the growth of the personal cloud services in future. Personal cloud for individuals, which is the foremost application of these solutions, would continue to lead the market in future. However, the growing demands from the Asia-Pacific region would lead to a major turnaround in the market and would constitute about two-fifths of total market share in 2020, surpassing North America and Europe.

Technological advancements in the fields of cloud computing and electronic gadgets have led to the advent of the digital era, says Allied Market Research. Increasing adoption of smartphones, tablets...

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Sep 17
Wireless connectivity driving the global home audio...

Consumer demand for wireless audio products that come with built-in Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi is being driven by a desire to wirelessly play music sourced from a portable device such as a smartphone or tablet on a loudspeaker located either in or outside the home, says Strategy Analytics (

This trend is reshaping the home audio market as wireless speakers and soundbars grow at the expense of docking stations and more traditional audio solutions such as AV receivers and integrated hi-fi systems, adds the research group. Other findings from Strategy Analytics includes:

° Home Audio device shipments including integrated hi-fi systems, AV receivers, docking stations, wireless speakers and soundbars will exceed 80 million units globally in 2015 from just over 70 million in 2014.

° Wireless speakers will account for close to 50% of all home audio shipments in...

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Sep 16
Gartner: the Internet of Things will change...

Over 20 percent of enterprises will have digital security services devoted to protecting business initiatives using devices and services in the Internet of Things (IoT) by year end 2017, according to Gartner, Inc. (

The research group defines digital security as the risk-driven expansion and extension of current security risk practices that protect digital assets of all forms in the digital business and ensures that relationships among those assets can be trusted.

"The IoT now penetrates to the edge of the physical world and brings an important new ‘physical’ element to security concerns. This is especially true as billions of things begin transporting data," says Ganesh Ramamoorthy, research vice president at Gartner. "The IoT redefines security by expanding the scope of responsibility into new platforms, services and directions. Moving forward, enterprises should consider reshaping IT or...

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Sep 15
Juniper Research: wireless charging adoption to soar

A new study from Juniper Research ( has found that wireless charging adoption for mobile devices will increase rapidly in the coming years, with nearly 40% of households in the US and over 20% in Europe using wireless charging by 2020.

The research group found that leading retailers using the IoT [Internet of Things] to generate an "ecosystem" are poised to gain market advantage and truly capitalise on the opportunity. Linking the hardware elements of RFID tags, beacons and connected consumer electronics, such as wearables, with software analytics promises in-depth business insight and an enhanced customer experience.

With more devices now implementing wireless charging (smartphones, tablets, wearables and soon laptops), infrastructure providers are starting to roll out support for the technology, in a way similar to public or customer Wi-Fi. The research notes that...

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Sep 14
SSD shipments see continued growth despite shrinking...

TRENDFOCUS ( has published its updated quarterly NAND/SSD report covering the NAND & SSD industries’ performance in the second quarter (2Q) of 2015. In the SSD market, unit shipments increased, despite the fact that a good portion of the volume is tied to a weak notebook PC market.

The two main factors contributing to the slight 2.9% Q-Q rise was the increase in DFF (drive form factor) client SSDs in the channel market, as well as an uptick in datacenter demand for SATA SSDs, driving a total of 23.859 million units. Total SSD capacity shipped increased by 13.3% Q-Q to 6.4 exabytes, with the overall average capacity increasing to 268 GB.

Despite the rise in overall unit shipments, client modules declined, reflecting the continued slow demand for notebook PCs. Enterprise SAS SSDs declined 10% while PCIe SSDs in the enterprise segment remained under 100,000 units for the quarter....

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Sep 11
25% of U.S. broadband households interested in a...

New data from Parks Associates ( shows that 25% of U.S. broadband households are interested in using a health portal to review doctors' notes and nearly one-fifth would like to receive an electronic checklist after a doctor or hospital visit.

Over 50% of U.S. broadband households use two or more patient portals at least once a month, and interest in additional capabilities, particularly related to doctor communication, is relatively strong, according to the research group. Health plans and providers need to invest in connected solutions that will be more attractive to their members and patients, focusing on the entire health value proposition for consumers instead of just on their medical expenditures," says Ron Ozminkowski, Chief Scientific Officer and SVP, OptumHealth Care Solutions, UnitedHealth Group. "

"Lowering healthcare costs will be the biggest driver for the...

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Sep 10
Younger folks more likely to give Apple Pay a try

While nearly half of all U.S. consumers believe nontraditional providers will drive innovation in the financial services industry, only 38 percent said they would consider a nontraditional provider for future financial services needs, according to a survey ( from Raddon Financial Group, a provider of financial industry research and trends data.

However, likelihood to use a nontraditional provider such as PayPal, Amazon, Apple or Google broke down sharply along generational lines, with younger consumers much more likely to consider doing so.

"U.S. consumers continue to trust that banks and credit unions will provide them with the highest quality and most secure financial services available, and they believe that the emergence of nontraditional financial service providers has the potential to drive innovation in the industry," asys Bill Handel, vice president of...

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Sep 09
Global WLAN market shows mixed results in the second...

The combined consumer and enterprise worldwide wireless local area network (WLAN) market segments decreased -5.3% year over year in the second quarter of 2015 (2Q15). According IDC (, the enterprise segment's growth continued to slow compared to preceding quarters, increasing just 1.4% over the same period last year.

The research group says that, after several quarters of high single-digit growth rates, the enterprise WLAN market growth rate has fallen to the lowest level seen in years due to the confluence of two factors: a hold on new WLAN projects due to the uncertain short-term trajectory of the global economy and market anticipation of Wave 2 802.11ac.

The 802.11ac standard continues on its path toward becoming the prevailing WLAN standard. After two full years of product availability, the 802.11ac standard already accounts for just under 50% of dependent access point unit shipments and 62.8% of...

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Sep 08
Speech recognition to achieve 82 percent penetration...

Voice-based user interface technologies are becoming an increasingly important part of the user experience for smartphones, tablets, and smart watches.  According to a recent report from Tractica (, this growth is being driven by a variety of use cases that include not only traditional applications like hands-free calling, but also high-growth areas like virtual digital assistants (VDAs), always-on interfaces, and voiceprint identification of individual speakers.

The market intelligence firm anticipates that these use cases will drive significant growth in attach rates for speech and voice recognition technologies in mobile devices during the next several years. Tractica forecasts that native speech recognition will grow from 45 percent of all mobile devices in 2014 to 82 percent by 2020. Meanwhile, voice recognition, which identifies individual voiceprints and may be utilized for various...

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Sep 04
Gartner: worldwide server shipment markets grows 8...

In the second quarter of 2015, worldwide server shipments grew 8.0 percent year over year, while revenue increased 7.2 percent from the second quarter of 2014, according to Gartner, Inc. (

"The second quarter year-over-year growth for 2015 slowed compared with the annual growth of the first quarter of the year," says Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at the research group. "Currency exchange rate changes have started to show their impact by reducing relative spending power in regions like Western Europe. It is likely that in anticipation of further currency rate shifts that some organizations utilized their budgets earlier in the year rather than waiting until the third or fourth quarters when their purchasing power may be further reduced by these relative currency changes.

x86 server shipments increased 8.3 percent in the second quarter of 2015 and revenue grew 9 percent. RISC/Itanium...

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Sep 03
Medical apps are leading advancement in 3D printing

Gartner, Inc. ( says that 3D printing (3DP) technology has progressed rapidly in recent years, and that medical applications are leading to some of the most significant deployments of 3DP technology.

New data from the research group reveals that 3DP of medical devices has reached the Peak of Inflated Expectations, but certain specialist applications are already becoming the norm in medical care.

"In the healthcare industry, 3DP is already in mainstream use to produce medical items that need to be tailored to individuals, such as hearing aids and dental devices," says Pete Basiliere, research director at Gartner. "All of the major hearing aid manufacturers now offer devices that are personalized to the shape of the customer's ear. This is evidence that using 3DP for mass customization of consumer goods is now viable, especially given that the transition from traditional manufacturing in this...

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Sep 01
The Northern Spy: Modula-2 R10 Templates

By Rick Sutcliffe

Modula-2 R10 has been the Spy's meat and potatoes in this space for a few months now. It is the fully modern dialect of Niklaus Wirth's Modula-2 that he and Telecom engineer Benjamin Kowarsch have developed to address serious software engineering issues of safety, security, reliability, and extensibility. This month we consider the use of Generic templates to reach toward the software engineering grail of reusable code.

Modern programming practice first saw Generics in Modula-3, C++, and Java. The Modula-3 technique was then modified somewhat by the Spy as part of a proposal to the ISO committee for Modula-2 and this became a supplementary standard to that work, subsequently implemented by most vendors.

Generic facilities address two common situations with a lightweight solution for which using class types and their objects is overkill. These are:

1. the implementation of algorithms...

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