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May 09
Nearly half of Internet capable devices are connected...

Forty-seven percent of home entertainment devices (Internet-capable TVs, Blu-ray disc players, video game consoles, and streaming media devices) are currently connected and being used for their online capabilities. But the degree to which these devices are used online varies significantly, according to global information company, The NPD Group (www.npd.com).

Internet capable TVs and Blu-ray disc players are the least likely to actually be connected to the Internet and used for their online features, while streaming media players and video game consoles are connected and used the most.

"While there are more Blu-ray disc players installed and connected to the Internet than streaming media players such as Apple TV and Roku, we expect that to change in the next year," says John Buffone, director, devices, NPD Connected Intelligence. "Streaming media players will exceed the number of installed and Internet connected Blu...

| Read more »
May 08
CyberCoders Top Ten Tech Skills of 2013

CyberCoders (www.CyberCoders.com), a recruiting firm, says new data reveals the tech skills in the most demand for the highest paying technology jobs.

CyberCoders analyzed more than 10,000 tech companies and their hiring requirements to compile the list of the hottest skills in the tech space. Data from CyberCoders reveals that candidates who have experience with iOS development, cloud computing programming and front-end development skills are most in demand in today’s tech career landscape.

"A common theme among these technology skills is the need for open source, mobile, cloud or big data technologies, like iOS, Azure and Hadoop," says Matt Miller, chief technical officer of CyberCoders.

"Everyday we see the engineers with these skills getting an average of four to five job offers," adds CEO and founder of CyberCoders, Heidi Golledge. "Companies that provide cutting edge technology, great...

| Read more »
May 07
Semiconductor industry to see CAGR of 4.3% over next...

Global macroeconomic developments and technological advances, personal computers, and memory markets are expected to drive demand for the global semiconductor market at a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 4.3% over hte next five years and reach an estimated US$394 billion in 2017, according to new data from Research and Markets (www.researchandmarkets.com).

The global semiconductor industry is a fragmented market. The Asia Pacific (APAC) region dominates this market and represents approximately three-fourths of the global market. Some of the major players include Intel Corporation, Samsung Electronics, Taiwan Semiconductor, Texas Instruments, and Toshiba Corporation. The combination of factors such as continuing transfer of worldwide electronic equipment production to China and the above-average semiconductor content of that equipment influences market dynamics tremendously, says Research...

| Read more »
May 06
Study: popularity of gaming on smartphones, tablets...

International Data Corporation (IDC) has published the "Worldwide Gaming-Optimized Handheld, Smartphone, and Tablet Gaming 2013–2017 Forecast" (http://tinyurl.com/aoc5y6l), a \report on the current state and future direction of smartphone, tablet, and gaming-optimized handheld (GOH) hardware and software.

The forecast details the outlook for Apple, Google/Android, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, and a wide range of game developers and publishers from a mobile and portable gaming perspective through 2017.

The GOH market category, typified by Nintendo's 3DS and Sony's PlayStation Vita, has recently been overshadowed by gaming-capable smartphones and tablets and this trend is likely to continue. IDC research shows, for example, that the number of paying smartphone and tablet gamers will surpass the number of paying GOH gamers worldwide in 2013 and rise at a rapid rate through 2017.

The number...

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May 03
Professor: Internet domain name expansion will be...

This summer, a number of new domain names will likely start appearing on the Web. Generic names such as .apple, .home, .app, .vegas or .music could join such stalwarts as .com, .net and .org.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit organization charged with administering the system, has been considering the expansion for several years. University of Houston Law Center professor Jacqueline D. Lipton recently spoke on the topic at the Second Annual International Intellectual Property Law Scholar’s Roundtable at the University of San Diego. Lipton sees the new system as a significant test in the development of innovative systems for global governance of commerce and free speech.

"The new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) process is unique in legal and political terms in several respects," she said. "It is the first time ever that words and phrases have been auctioned off to those with the financial wherewithal to pay large sums for...

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May 02
Mobile payments boost as consumers become at ease with...

Consumers in the United States are becoming accustomed to the use of cell phones for financial transactions, which has opened the door for further innovation among service providers, according to mPowa (www.powa.com), a mobile payments company.

Recent data from the Federal Reserve has found that the number of people using their smartphones for financial transactions has increased over the past year. As of November 2012, 28% of all mobile phone users and 48% of smartphone users had used mobile banking in the past 12 months. This is a marked increase on the previous year. A rise in mobile payments was also reported by the research. Financial institutions are already creating new ways to interact with customers through the use of technology now that fewer people feel intimidated by the prospect.

"It is really encouraging to see that consumers in the United States are embracing the use of smartphones for financial...

| Read more »
May 01
The Northern Spy: WWDC, Apple share buyback and more

By Rick Sutcliffe

A sudden spate of email from last October last week should have been a clue that not all was well with the Spy's own company virtual server, where he has most of his mail accounts and the billing system for Arjay Web Services (WebNameHost and WebNameSource). Unfortunately, he failed to investigate until the following day, after customers complained about receiving bills they had already paid, even having their accounts suspended (all they on his big dedicated production server).

A few minutes examining the server revealed it had been rolled back to October 19, 2012. Relying on the actual date and the old database, his WHMCS billing system had dispatched a flock (or is that a gaggle or a murder) of overdue notices (including two customers no longer with the company) and suspended all the accounts it deemed in arrears. Following a herd of trouble tickets, his own ticket to the Atjeu data centre yielded a "yes, we had an outage and...

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May 01
Ovum: look beyond technology to the cultural aspects...

Organizations should keep in mind that gamification is about more than just the underlying technology, says Ovum (www.ovum.com). By also considering the strategic, organizational, cultural, and psychological aspects of reasonably priced and low-risk gamification applications, businesses can improve productivity.

In new research by Ovum, the global analyst firm shows how enterprises and the public sector can effectively apply gamification for maximum advantage, and recommends that organizations should begin exploring gamification for either customer- or employee-facing uses.

"Gamification can help enhance customer engagement and manage employee behaviors and productivity levels, but there must be clear understanding of how such an initiative will directly benefit the business," says Adam Holtby, a Software & IT Solutions analyst at Ovum. "However, to better support business goals, the mapping of the value of...

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Apr 30
Mobile location-based advertising will be worth $6.5...

According to a new research report from the analyst firm Berg Insight, the total value of the global real-time mobile location-based advertising and marketing (LBA) market will grow from US$526 million in 2012 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 65% to $6.5 billion in 2017.

This will then correspond to 32.8% of all mobile advertising and marketing. This means that location-based advertising and marketing will represent around 5% of digital advertising, or more than 1% of the total global ad spend for all media.

SMS, mobile search and coupons are today important high-volume LBA formats. The ability to precisely target prospective customers using real-time location is currently one of the most promising additions to the advertising toolbox. Key drivers for LBA include the growing adoption of both outdoor and indoor location technologies, as well as the increasing consumer acceptance of location-based services in general, says Rickard Andersson, telecom analyst...

| Read more »
Apr 29
Study underscores ROI of custom iPad, iPhone solutions...

"The Total Economic Impact of The FileMaker Platform" (http://tinyurl.com/cvnsbpd) is the topic of a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of FileMaker, Inc. (www.filemaker.com)

Forrester Consulting examined the total economic impact and potential return on investment (ROI) that can be achievable by developing custom solutions for iPad and iPhone using the FileMaker Platform. Forrester’s interviews with customer’s application development team showed that financial benefits from the FileMaker solutions surpassed costs three months after creation, and two-year ROI of 289%.

Readers of the study may estimate their own costs and benefits from FileMaker solutions compared to existing processes and to alternative tools. The study provides a framework that considers developers’ hourly costs, total time, time...

| Read more »
Apr 26
Smartphones, tablets taking over the second-hand video...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) shows that smartphones and tablets are expanding their role in video second-screen experiences, with 22% of U.S. broadband consumers checking or updating their social network on a smartphone or tablet while watching TV.

The research group reports instances of mobile activities while watching TV increases significantly among Millennials, where consumers 18-34 are 70% more likely than other age groups to look up TV listings via a mobile device.

"The mobile device is the implied peripheral in the second-screen concept, but increasingly it is the first screen consumers look at during a video-viewing experience," says Brett Sappington, director, research, Parks Associates. "The growth of OTT (over-the-top) services, pay-TV initiatives such as TV Everywhere, and increases in mobile apps have all contributed to this shift. Eighteen percent of...

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Apr 25
Perforce Software suggests spring cleaning tips for...

Perforce Software (www.perforce.com) has released five tips for software teams to consider this spring when managing their development environments. The suggestions are guidelines for maintaining well-organized codebases and improving development processes.

"Springtime is when software projects begin to pick up steam, but longer days don't have to equal longer delivery cycles," says Randy DeFauw, senior product manager at Perforce. "With a well-maintained and well-managed codebase, companies can have peace of mind while ramping up to launch various projects."

Five tips from Perforce to spring clean codebases:

1. Use one tool to keep track of everything: Studies consistently show that poor communication is a barrier to effective delivery -- and that this obstacle is more challenging among distributed teams. To overcome this hurdle, make sure everyone knows where to look for all important project...

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Apr 24
Over 40% of pay-TV re-subscribers lured back by...

Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) has released data showing traditional promotions, such as offering free or discounted premium channels, are the most-effective tool for pay-TV providers in luring back lost subscribers. The research group's consumer research finds 44% of customers who re-subscribed to pay-TV services in the past 18 months said a promotion was a significant reason for their return.

"Most people leave pay-TV services due to economic factors, and these are the main influencers bringing them back," says John Barrett, director, research, Parks Associates. "They are not dissatisfied with Internet video. In fact, many cited Netflix Watch Instantly as a very satisfying experience. These re-subscribers were simply ready to take advantage of a promotion as their own financial situation improved."

Promotions and/or discounts were the leading factors for re-subscribers with...

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Apr 23
Need for condensed, visual presentations mark slow...

Organizations across the world are starting to see the need for platforms that help them shorten presentations in dynamic and direct ways. While PowerPoint still has a 95% share of the presentation software market1, forward-thinking companies, like Apple, Amazon and Facebook, have already taken steps to retire their hour-long sales presentations and decks full of tech-speak and industry-speak in favor of new presentation styles, according to Sheffield Marketing Partners.

"This transition has been happening slowly for some time," says Joseph McCormack, Managing director and co-founder of Sheffield Marketing Partners. "The business world relied so heavily on PowerPoint for so long that it almost forgot how to communicate. Now, we’re finally seeing a change. Organizations are opting to simplify. They’re distilling messages into what really matters -- without the extra additives."

This idea is reinforced by burgeoning concepts like "information triage," which remind...

| Read more »
Apr 23
Companies remain concerned about employee use of...

Employers continue to be concerned about the risk and liability posed by employee use of mobile devices while driving on the job. Seven in 10 companies have adopted written policies designed to curb employee distracted driving, but only 32% are confident that current enforcement methods are effective at achieving compliance.

These are among the new findings from Aegis Mobility’s third-annual survey of 547 fleet safety and risk management professionals. Key findings include:
"Hands-Free" and "Zero Tolerance" are most popular policies. Forty-five percent of existing employer policies prohibit all use, except hands-free. Forty-one percent prohibit all use, no exceptions. Twelve percent prohibit texting, emailing and browsing.

Efforts to enforce distracted driving policies remain steady. Eighty-six percent of companies report taking some steps to enforce distracted driving policies.

Confidence is lacking in current policy enforcement. Confidence in current...

| Read more »
Apr 22
Integrated platforms increasingly important; rising to...

Mobile device design is increasingly reliant on integrated platforms, which are chipsets based on combinations of application processor, baseband processor, and wireless connectivity technologies, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com). In 2012, 19% of handsets shipped were based on an integrated platform; set to more than double to 46% in 2018.

"Integrated solutions are used in many handsets from mass-market smartphones to flagship smartphones and will eventually find their way into feature phones," says research director Philip Solis. "One industry dynamic mitigating the need for integrated platforms are device reference designs and related services offered by semiconductor vendors."

One industry dynamic mitigating the need for integrated platforms are device reference designs and related services offered by semiconductor vendors, he adds. Qualcomm certainly benefits from its integrated...

| Read more »
Apr 19
Mobile location-based advertising to be worth US$8.5...

According to a new research report from the analyst firm Berg Insight (www.berginsight.com), the total value of the global real-time mobile location-based advertising and marketing (LBA) market will grow from € 526 million in 2012 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 65% to € 6.5 billion (approximately US$8.5 billion) in 2017.

This will then correspond to 32.8% of all mobile advertising and marketing. This means that location-based advertising and marketing will represent around 5% of digital advertising, or more than 1 percent of the total global ad spend for all media. SMS, mobile search and coupons are today important high-volume LBA formats. The ability to precisely target prospective customers using real-time location is currently one of the most promising additions to the advertising toolbox.

"Key drivers for LBA include the growing adoption of both outdoor and indoor location...

| Read more »
Apr 18
Mobile devices to generate data traffic equivalent to...

A new report from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) forecasts that the amount of mobile data traffic generated by smartphones, feature phones and tablets will exceed 90,000 Petabytes by 2017. That's equivalent to almost 42 quadrillion tweets or approximately 7 billion Blu-ray movies.

However, the report finds that only 40% of the data generated by these devices will reach the cellular network by 2017 The majority of the data traffic will be via the Wi-Fi network. The Juniper Research report finds that, despite 2012 being a breakthrough year for 4G LTE, operators will still need offloading technologies such as Wi-Fi and Small cells to augment 4G networks.

"The trend will continue and operators will make use of more integrated units of Wi-Fi and small cells. In the case of indoor cells, where most usage happens, you effectively have Wi-Fi as the pioneer and are in many ways the leader...

| Read more »
Apr 17
Global cloud-based gaming market to grow at A CAGR Of...

Research and Markets (www.researchandmarkets.com) says the global cloud-based gaming market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 15.9% from now through 2015.

One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the increasing audience for social media games and mobile games, says the research group. The Global Cloud-based Gaming market has also been witnessing the increasing adoption of next-generation technologies. However, the requirement of high broadband speed could pose a challenge to the growth of this market, according to Research and Markets.

According to their report: ''Cloud-based gaming provides large opportunities to publishers for promotions and marketing. One such opportunity is the free-to-play business model, which is also known as the freemium model. It consists of the consumer playing the core loop of a game for free, but then eventually paying for...

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Apr 16
For mobile advertising networks, era of dominance is...

Mobile publishers such as Facebook, Pandora, and Twitter are rapidly taking over the mobile display advertising market in the United States.

Where in past years, ad networks such as Google, Millennial Media, and Apple received most of the spending on mobile display ads, now publishers control the segment, thanks to very strong sales growth in the past year. Facebook, Pandora, Twitter, and The Weather Channel all registered strong sales in 2012 and all (with the exception of Pandora) popped onto the scene from zero sales in 2011. As a result, publishers controlled 52% of U.S. mobile display ad spending in 2012, compared to the 39% they received in 2011. This is one of the results from a newly published report from the International Data Corporation (IDC) research group (www.idc.com).

"Mobile ad networks are losing market share to publishers, and we expect them to lose even more going forward," says Karsten Weide,...

| Read more »
Apr 15
Enterprise users encounter problems when using open...

Univa (www.univa.com), a data center automation company, has announced the findings of its "2013 Open Source Software Use" survey.

Conducted online by uSAMP, the report finds that Free and Open Source software (FOSS) is prominent with businesses today with 76% of companies using FOSS, while 75% have experienced a problem with using it. Businesses are relying heavily on unsupported Open Source solutions; therefore 64% say they would pay for supported software should it solve their problems.
 
A lack of enterprise-grade support is the largest problem FOSS users experience in their company with 27% of respondents raising this as their top concern. Other troublesome issues include usability (24%), maintenance (20%), crashes (19%), bugs (18%), downtime (16%), loss off productivity (16%) and interoperability (16%).
 
Indeed FOSS’ importance today means that 64% are willing to pay for better quality,...

| Read more »
Apr 12
Smartphones, fast networks drive mHealth growth

Mobile health (mHealth) applications are rapidly evolving to take advantage of new image support capabilities in mobile networks and devices, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com).

mHealth image-based applications range from remote interpretation of blood samples taken in a remote jungle clinic to sending fetal sonograms to the smartphones of friends and relatives. Remote diagnostics has seen significant growth in recent years, as it is a way to get around shortages or poor distribution of specialists, according to Strategy Analytics. In Egypt, for example, a partnership of Qualcomm, Mobinil, Click Diagnostics and the Ministry of Health allowed remote health clinics to send smartphone-captured images of skin conditions for diagnosis, by some of the country's few dermatologists.

"Smartphones and tablets have improved so much as image capture and...

| Read more »
Apr 11
Early adopters of 3D printing could gain innovation...

3D printing is disrupting the design, prototyping and manufacturing processes in a wide range of industries, according to Gartner (www.gartner.com).

Enterprises should start experimenting with 3D printing technology to improve traditional product design and prototyping, with the potential to create new product lines and markets, according to the research group. 3D printing will also become available to consumers via kiosks or print-shop-style services, creating new opportunities for retailers and other businesses. 

"3D printing is a technology accelerating to mainstream adoption," says Pete Basiliere, research director at Gartner. "It is a technology of great interest to the general media, with demonstrations on science shows, on gadget websites and in other areas. From descriptions of exciting current uses in medical, manufacturing and other industries to futuristic ideas -- such as using 3D printers on...

| Read more »
Apr 10
Kaazing Global study: real time web, mobile...

Kaazing, pioneers of HTML5 WebSocket and the leading web and mobile communication platform for live data delivery, have announced the findings of its annual Live Web and Mobile Communication research study. 

The survey, which was conducted in March 2013 with nearly 300 global IT professionals and developers worldwide, found that nearly nine out of 10 (86%) respondents consider real-time web and data communication to be a priority for them in 2013, with 81% saying they will apply that priority to their mobile strategy. Within the next 12 months respondents plan to enable two-way, real-time web applications, ranked as follows:

° Monitoring -- 33.8%;
° Push notifications -- 32.8%;
° Collaboration -- 30.4%;
° eCommerce -- 29.7%;
° Live chat -- 29.1%;
° Extending enterprise applications to the web -- 25.7%;
° Remote employee solutions -- 23.6%.

Countries outside of the U.S. also ranked online gaming and real-time voting as top...

| Read more »
Apr 09
4G LTE mobile broadband subscribers to reach nearly...

A new report from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) forecasts a rapid uptake of 4G LTE mobile broadband technology in the next two years, with the subscriber number doubling from an estimated 105 million subscribers this year to nearly 220 million in 2014.

The new report finds that, with 2012 being a breakthrough year for LTE and deployments gaining momentum, subscribers will begin to sign up for services in volume this year (2013), but will still have a very limited global reach. The emerging factor that will and is driving the consumer take-up in the forecast and beyond is the embedding of LTE technology in consumer devices.

With LTE roll-outs gaining momentum, primarily in developed markets, Juniper Research acknowledges that while migration to 4G is expected to follow an evolutionary path, there is a genuine opportunity for many operators in developing countries to completely...

| Read more »
 
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