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Feb 19
.com likely to continue to dominate domain disputes

While the imminent arrival of more than a thousand new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) has stoked concerns that cybersquatting will skyrocket, a new report analyzing 2012 domain dispute trends indicates America’s big brands have their hands full dealing with existing domains like .com.

The "Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services’ (DBS) Report" -- which analyzed domain dispute data from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), shows that .com was the domain most recovered from cybersquatters by brands, with more than 3,475 domain names -- nearly triple the number of disputes in all other gTLDs combined. The first full year of operation for the .xxx domain yielded only 16 disputes filed with WIPO.

'The domain industry and America’s big brands have been looking for evidence to shed light on the predictions that the arrival of potential new gTLDs such as .web, .home and .sucks will drive cybersquatting to new highs, and the first year of .xxx has been closely...

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Feb 18
Insurance decision makers very concerned about cyber...

A survey of perceptions about cyber risk sponsored by the American International Group, Inc. (AIG) found that among corporate executives, more are concerned about cyber threats than about other major business risks.

More than 85% of the 258 decision-makers surveyed said they were very or somewhat concerned about cyber risks to their organizations, compared with the group’s response to six other areas of risk, including income loss (82% of executives were very or somewhat concerned), property damage (80%), and securities and investment risk (76%).

Additional survey results, which include input from insurance brokers, found high demand among executives and brokers for information about cyber threats, with 80% indicating that they find it difficult to keep pace because the cyber threat is evolving so rapidly. Other findings of note provide further insight into the pervasiveness of cyber risk concern among executives and brokers:

° More than two out of three (69%)...

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Feb 15
Digital wallets have a long way to go in building...

ComScore (www.comscore.com), a company that "measures the digital world," has released the "Digital Wallet Road Map 2013," a study that measures consumer awareness, perceptions and intent to use current digital wallet offerings.

The study found that digital wallets, which store a virtual copy of the contents of a consumer’s physical wallet to facilitate online or offline retail transactions, only had awareness among 51% of U.S. consumers for wallets other than PayPal.

"Digital wallets represent an innovative technology that has not yet reached critical mass among consumers due to a variety of factors, including low awareness and a muddied understanding of their benefits," says Andrea Jacobs, comScore Payments Practice leader. "This study delves deeply into the mindset of consumers with respect to their potential use of digital wallets, in addition to helping size the market opportunity. The study also...

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Feb 14
Wearable computing, augmented reality to be...

Internet-connected eyeglasses and similar technologies will soon be on the market, but their benefits and dangers are little understood. University of Toronto Engineering Professor Steve Mann hopes to change that at a groundbreaking conference at U of T in June 2013.

Mann is a pioneering researcher in the fields of wearable computing and "augmediated reality" (AR). He’s bringing together renowned experts in wearable technology, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and privacy to discuss both the potential and the pitfalls of these technologies. Speakers will include renowned artificial intelligence researcher Marvin Minsky, futurist and inventor Ray Kurzweil, legendary computer scientist Gordon Bell, privacy expert Helen Nissenbaum and American Civil Liberties Union president Susan N. Herman.

The conference, the annual Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS), is called "The Social Implications of...

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Feb 13
Augmented reality start-ups are attracting funding

Augmented reality enhances consumer experience by enabling computer-generated content to be superimposed over a live view of the real world, presenting real world environments overlaid with virtual information. Giants such Apple, Google, HP and Microsoft see augmented reality (AR) as both a way to boost their traditional businesses and as a gateway into new markets.

At the same time innovative AR start-ups are attracting funding for both platforms and AR-driven applications aimed at specific industry sectors such as retail, education or computer gaming. Most AR applications are currently oriented towards education or entertainment. As the technology improves in terms of fault tolerance, reliability and safety, AR developments will move into industries with less predictable environments such as construction and defense.

Participants in the AR market should keep in mind that augmented reality opportunities are not in any way limited to software packages. AR will also...

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Feb 13
'Big data gold rush' taking consumers'...

Digital consumers around the world are starting to tire of their personal data being collected across the Internet, says Ovum (www.ovum.com). The global industry analysts paint a threatening scenario for the Internet economy, as consumers seek out new tools that allow them to remain "invisible" -- untraceable and impossible to target by data means.

Ovum’s latest "Consumer Insights Survey" reveals that 68% of the Internet population across 11 countries would select a "do-not-track" (DNT) feature if it was easily available, suggesting that a data black hole could soon open up under the Internet economy. This hardening of consumer attitudes, coupled with tightening regulation, could diminish personal data supply lines and have a considerable impact on targeted advertising, CRM, big data analytics, and other digital industries.

"Unfortunately, in the gold rush that is big data, taking the supply of 'little data' --...

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Feb 12
Tablets to become increasingly important in the...

Research and Markets (www.researchandmarkets.com) says the future of the tablet market depends on how it evolves. And that evolution is expected to involve the business world.

With the introduction of the first modern tablet -- that would be the iPad -- the tablet market in the U.S. begun to surface and gain ground. It created competition among the major desktop and laptop manufacturers who set out to obtain advantage of early movers in the U.S. market.

Initially, Apple with its iOS dominated the U.S. tablet PCs market; however, Android based tablet PCs are expected to take over Apple's share in the coming years, according to Research and Markets. The research group says the world has seen aggressive competition among tablet manufacturers after the launch of the Apple tablet.

Within five months of the release of the iPad, Samsung launched its Samsung Galaxy Tab to compete with...

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Feb 11
Global m-education to grow 32.50% by 2016

The analysts at the TechNavio research group (www.technavio.com) forecast that the global m-education (that is, mobile education, which involves devices such as the iPhone and iPad) market will grow at a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 32.50% over the period 2012-2016.

One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the increase in government initiatives. The global m-Education market has also been witnessing an upsurge in mergers and acquisitions. However, the reluctance of educational institutions to frequently update ICT infrastructure could pose a challenge to the growth of this market. 


''The advancement in ICT has resulted in the emergence of virtual classrooms," says TechNavio's IT Services. "Imparting education through virtual classrooms is a new concept that is becoming popular not only in traditional educational institutions, but also in training centers with vocational...

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Feb 08
Big appetite for data services will drive LatAm growth...

Informa Telecoms & Media (www.informa.com) estimates that the LatAm mobile market will grow 7.1% this year, ending 2013 with 742 million mobile subscriptions. While many developed mobile markets are struggling to continue growing, because of the deterioration of economic conditions, Latin America’s mobile market will prosper in 2013

"There is a big appetite for mobile data services in the region, and such services will be the growth engine for the sector," says Marceli Passoni, senior analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.

Although voice will remain the main revenue stream for operators, accounting for 76% of service revenues, data revenues will increase 18% year-on-year, topping US$27.7 billion, according to Informa. The low PC and fixed-broadband penetrations in Latin America, combined with a reduction in smartphone prices and greater affordability of mobile data plans, contribute to the increasing...

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Feb 07
Considering self-publishing your book?


Self-published books have transformed both the reading and writing landscape, with hundreds of thousands of authors now eschewing traditional publishing routes.

Once reserved for distribution to a writer’s close family and friends, these books are now respected as an affordable option with every bit as much potential for becoming best-sellers as those produced by the New York houses.

"Countless books published this way have gone on to become best-sellers, from 'Fifty Shades of Grey' to 'Still Alice' to 'Rich Dad Poor Dad'," says independent publisher Sheryn Hara, founder of the 30-year-old Book Publishers Network (www.bookpublishersnetwork.com) and author of the new how-to, "Self-Publish Successfully."
"But it’s important to note that these don’t look like they were just spit out of the inkjet printer in your bedroom," she says. "You have to have a good product if you want...

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Feb 06
Home Networking jumping to Gigabit speeds

The first significant shipments of the HomePlug AV2 and MoCA 2.0 standards will be seen in 2013, offering higher speeds as well as more robustness under different line conditions, predicts ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com). Not all devices shipped using the new standards will support the full set of features, so many will not offer gigabit speeds.

ABI Research expects North American MoCA households to exceed 25 million by 2014 with similar numbers in Western Europe for Homeplug. While no new wires home networking solutions have gained significant traction from pay-TV operators, the pathway to stronger consumer mindshare will come through hybrid networking solutions, consumer education, and the retail market -- which is increasingly becoming the focus of many companies operating in the market, according to the research group.

"Entropic leads the market share in unit shipments within the Home...

| Read more »
Feb 05
Wi-Fi Alliance applauds FCC Wi-Fi spectrum...

The announcement last week from FCC Chairman Genachowski regarding plans to make available up to 195 MHz of additional spectrum for license-exempt use in the United States is terrific news for end users and industry alike, according to the Wi-Fi Alliance (www.wi-fi.org), a global non-profit industry association of hundreds of companies "devoted to seamless connectivity."

Wi-Fi has been an engine of social and economic benefit since 1999, and the proposed spectrum will provide an opportunity for technologies like Wi-Fi to continue to innovate, bringing further social and consumer benefits. With 5 GHz Wi-Fi devices delivering gigabit performance entering the market now, additional contiguous spectrum in 5 GHz means that users will have an even better experience with applications such as video.

Analyst firm ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com)...

| Read more »
Feb 04
U.S. consumer tablet on-device spending soars

At the close of 2012, market intelligence firm ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) estimates nearly 200 million tablets will have shipped worldwide since 2009 and an additional onebillion tablets are forecasted to ship over the next five years.

New research that explores the impact a tablet has on the daily life of a U.S. consumer shows that 22% of users spend US$50 or more per month and 9% spend $100 or more; much higher than spending levels observed by smartphone owners.

Spending on-device of physical and virtual goods hasn't yet impacted retail storefronts that are already concerned about their venues turning into showrooms for eventual e-commerce purchases. Logistics, such as price checking, using a coupon and location-based searches, consistently rank as the most common activities (each performed by more than 50% of tablet shoppers in the previous 90 days) while shopping.

The actual...

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Feb 01
The Northern Spy: Bugs and Bouquets

By Rick Sutcliffe

Some trivial things that bug the Spy begin with the way the name of this month, and for that matter the name of the fourth day of the week are usually pronounced--as if in the one case there were no "r" and in the other there were no "d."

And there's the way the typical recycled Social Studies or English teacher handles the grade eight math courses he's been assigned while he awaits retirement from a job long redundant. No, a prime number is not "one that is divisible by itself and one" for that definition includes one itself. Second, anyone who uses the term "cross multiply" in a classroom ought to be put out to pasture before they do any more damage. Does "Law of Proportions" really have too many syllables to be properly taught? Third, an exponent on a number does not mean "a number multiplied by itself n times." It counts the number of factors, NOT the number of multiplications. Fourth, the sum of money put to work to earn...

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Feb 01
Home networking jumps to Gigabit speeds

The first significant shipments of the HomePlug AV2 and MoCA 2.0 standards will be seen in 2013, offering higher speeds as well as more robustness under different line conditions. Not all devices shipped using the new standards will support the full set of features, so many will not offer gigabit speeds.

ABI Research expects North American MoCA households to exceed 25 million by 2014 with similar numbers in Western Europe for Homeplug. While no new wires home networking solutions have gained significant traction from pay-TV operators, the pathway to stronger consumer mindshare will come through hybrid networking solutions, consumer education, and the retail market -- which is increasingly becoming the focus of many companies operating in the market, according to the research group.

"Entropic leads the market share in unit shipments within the Home Networking market, with a portfolio currently extending from MoCA only solutions to SoCs for client devices based on its...

| Read more »
Jan 31
Biggest threat of data loss for mobile users is...

Billions of people have purchased iPhones, iPads, and iPods to store their digital photos, videos and other important, personal data. Unexpected mishaps that lead to physical damage and/or software or hardware issues are the main causes of data loss on any mobile device.

With Apple devices being more entrenched in many people’s daily lives, it’s no surprise that when a data loss occurs there is a need to recover personal data quickly and securely. DriveSavers Data Recovery (www.drivesavers.com) has seen a 150% increase in inquiries for data recovery services from Apple mobile users over the past two years.

With Apple devices becoming faster, lighter, thinner and more secure, people are taking them everywhere to do everything. However, it is estimated that less than 10 percent of smartphone users actually back up their content on a regular basis -- therefore if data hasn’t been backed up or synched...

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Jan 30
RIM will get a boost but not salvation from BB10

With the imminent launch of BlackBerry 10 (BB10), Jan Dawson, chief telecoms analyst at Ovum (www.ovum.com) believes "the new software platform will provide a temporary boost in performance but no salvation for RIM."

"RIM continues to face the twin demons of consumer-driven buying power and a chronic inability to appeal to mature market consumers. There is nothing in what we’ve seen so far of BB10 that suggests it will conquer the second of these demons, and the first is utterly out of RIM’s control," he says. "We don’t expect a speedy exit from the market; with no debt, 80 million subscribers and profitability in the black in at least some recent quarters, the company can continue in this vein for years. But its glory days are past, and it is only a matter of time before it reaches a natural end."

Two major factors have worked against RIM in the past two years: companies are no longer buying the majority of...

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Jan 30
Mobility, cloud, big data drive innovation in social...

Social collaboration is expected to gather momentum over the next few years in Australia, and this trend is complementary to a more collaboration-focused business climate. This was the finding from the newly released "Frost & Sullivan Australian Social Collaboration Market 2012" (www.frost.com).

According to Audrey William, head of research, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan ANZ, one of the main factors accelerating the adoption of social collaboration solutions is the growing importance of smart devices in an enterprise environment.

"The proliferation of smart devices is driving a significant change in the way employees access corporate applications," she says. "Additionally we will start seeing more of the Unified Communications solutions incorporate social media and collaboration as part of its solution" she said. The consumerization of IT has brought about a new aspect of communicating in the...

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Jan 29
Trend Micro reports confirm arrival of the 'post-...

With the release of its 2012 "Annual Roundup and Mobile Security" reports, Trend Micro (www.trendmicro.com) documents how cybercriminals have moved beyond the PC, targeting Android, social media and even the Mac OS X with new attacks.

"2012 Annual Security Roundup - Evolved Threats in a Post-PC World
Trend Micro's Annual Security Roundup' shows that most of Trend Micro's predictions for 2012 came true, and the company encapsulated 2012 as the year where threats launched the beginning of the "Post-PC" Era. Threats have now escalated past the desktop environment.

2012 ended with 350,000 threats for Android as detected by Trend Micro. Malware growth reached 14-3 for Android versus PC, and it only took Android three years to achieve the PC volume of malware threats achieved within fourteen years.

2012 is also the year that Java supplanted pure Windows-based threats in the attackers' cross-hairs...

| Read more »
Jan 28
Ovum finds Big Data vendor market perception remains...

Sentiment surrounding Big Data vendors remained positive last year, despite sceptics’ suggestions that the subject had been ‘over-hyped’, according to Ovum (www.ovum.com). The Big Data buzz word even managed to transcend from the enterprise IT world to become a hot topic for business publications and journals in 2012, with MongoDB claiming considerable mindshare among web developers who traditionally relied on MySQL, according to the research group.

In a research note, Ovum analyses data gathered by DataSift, which ranked Twitter mentions and sentiment of vendors (and open source organizations) associated with the Big Data market in 2012.  The global analysts were surprised to find that while Hadoop garners much of the spotlight as a Big Data platform, the vendor 10gen, which develops MongoDB, came in second in mentions to Apache, which hosts the Hadoop project.

"Given the level of build-up and suggested hype, it...

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Jan 24
Tips small businesses can use to be more efficient in...

A new year brings new opportunities for small businesses to be successful. Offers.com, a coupon and deal website, has announced its top five services and tips small business can use to be more efficient in 2013. They are:


° Save on travel costs -- Travel can be expensive, especially on a small business budget. Businesses can save by buying items for their company with business rewards cards like Gold Delta SkyMiles, where companies can earn miles on every purchase. GoToMeeting is also a great solution that allows for virtual collaboration for up to 25 participants to screenshare and video conference.

° Use online services instead of professionals -- To run a smart business, companies can reduce expenses associated with specialized skilled jobs by taking advantage of the right low cost tools and services. Using LegalZoom for straightforward legal services is far cheaper than hiring an attorney. And just about anyone can master dynamic accounting software like...

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Jan 23
Americans could save lots of money with energy...

Americans could save considerable money by incorporating energy efficient producs into their daily lives.

The global energy efficiency (EE) market encompasses product and service markets that enable residential, commercial and industrial energy consumers to use less energy and save money. EE products include EE building goods, EE appliances, EE consumer electronics, smart meters, EE lighting, motor efficiency controllers, power management software and EE vehicles. EE services encompass smart grid, demand response, cloud computing and consulting and auditing services and also include energy service companies (ESCOs).

A number of driving and inhibitory factors are affecting growth in this many-faceted market, some impacting the market as a whole and others only specific market segments. One of the most noteworthy factors influencing the total EE market is an increase in the number and stringency of regulations and other EE requirements around the world. This movement...

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Jan 23
Ovum: data will be the new cloud computing oil in 2013

Ovum Software (www.ovum.com) has published three "Trends to watch reports" on cloud computing and reveals that 2013 will see cloud computing continue to grow rapidly. 

In the report, Laurent Lachal, senior analyst, Ovum Software notes that  "Cloud computing promises to tackles two hitherto irreconcilable IT challenges: the need to reduce costs and the need to boost innovation."

"It takes a lot of effort from vendors and enterprises to actually make it work, and they will succeed in making it work in 2013, both on their own and as part of increasingly complex ecosystems," he says.

Indeed, cloud computing in all its guises (public, private, and hybrid) is building momentum, evolving fast and becoming increasingly "enterprise-grade." But it's in its early days for vendors and enterprises.

"Cloud computing has barely reached the adolescence phase and it will take at least another five years for cloud...

| Read more »
Jan 22
What Amazon needs to make the Kindle Fire experiment a...

The Kindle Fire, which Amazon is widely reported to be sold at cost or below the margin, has been one of the most intensely followed technology product stories over the past year.

A new study from ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) concludes that the cross-subsidized device model that Amazon uses is a viable strategy. According to senior analyst Aapo Markkanen’s calculations, the firm would need, on average, an incremental profit of about $3 in each month of a tablet’s lifespan to achieve an overall profit margin of 20%.

"Considering the probable margins of app and content sales, our research shows that Kindle Fire is a credible proposition," Markkanen comments. "We expect that there will be a certain level of ‘innovation plateauing’ in mobile hardware taking place over the next five years, and that would certainly work in Amazon’s favor. Its future devices are likely to require less cross-subsidy...

| Read more »
Jan 21
Many likely to swap traditional tech for tablets

Thirty-nine percent of U.S. adults between the ages of 18 and 34 would consider replacing their television cable/satellite provider with a streaming media subscription service in 2013, according to the results of a new survey released today by Belkin (www.belkin.com), a provider of technology products for today’s connected home.

Comparatively, 31% of those ages 35 to 54 and 20% of those over 55 would consider replacing their television cable/satellite provider with a streaming media subscription service, such as Netflix or Hulu Plus, this year. Additionally, Americans who have children under 18 in their households (37%) are more likely to consider replacing their cable/satellite subscription than Americans with no children in their households (27%).

The survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Belkin among more than 2,100 U.S. adults, also revealed that 38% of U.S. adults between the ages of...

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