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Aug 07
Graphic Node launches new Set for iWork Plus

Graphic Node (http://www.graphicnode.com) has introduced Set for iWork Plus 1.0, a new collection of iWork templates designed to help OS X users make the best of Apple's iWork productivity applications.

The new pack for Apple's Pages, Keynote, and Numbers contains over 3,000 templates and images, including Graphic Node's first set of 50 scrapbook templates. All templates are editable and available in the US and international paper sizes. The designs range from traditional and formal to friendly and unconventional.

Set for iWork Plus requires Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later, Pages '09 or later, Keynote  '09 or later, and Numbers '09 or later. For a limited time, it's available for US$39.99 at the Mac App Store in the Productivity category.

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Aug 07
GPS tracking devices to break $3.5 billion in 2019

Health, commercial/enterprise, wearables, and iBeacons will help to revive the GPS tracking device market, with ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) forecasting the market to reach over $3.5 billion in 2019.

The GPS personal tracking market has always had huge potential yet it has faced huge barriers around awareness and RoI (return on investment), expensive devices, cellular subscriptions, indoor location and severe regionalization and fragmentation, according to the research group. As a result the market has never been able to scale sufficiently to lower costs and create the revenue to support much needed marketing/advertising campaigns.

"The potential of this market continues to draw investment and interest. Over the last 12 months, there has been a host of companies entering this space," ABI Research Senior Analyst Patrick Connolly says. "As well as a steady stream of start-ups like estimate and...

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Aug 06
Survey: NSA, retail breaches influenced corporate...

Sixty eight percent of businesses stated that the NSA breach by Edward Snowden and the number of retail/point of sale (PoS) system breaches in the past year were the most impactful in terms of changing security strategies to protect against the latest threats, according to a global survey by the CyberArk (www.cyberark.com) security company.

The majority of organizations surveyed believe that attacks reaching the privileged account takeover stage are the most difficult to detect, respond to and remediate. While the NSA breach is widely regarded as the prototypical insider-based attack, and the retail/PoS breaches are regarded similarly for outside attacks, the critical link between both attacks was the compromise and exploitation of privileged credentials.

When asked which cyber-attacks or data breaches in the past year had the biggest impact on their business’ security strategy:

° 37% of...

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Aug 05
IDC: Network virtualization to revolutionize...

According to new research from IDC (www.idc.com), network virtualization is set to revolutionize the telecom industry as it transforms the culture and operational infrastructure, as well as the fabric of legacy proprietary infrastructures that have, until now, dominated the space.

As technologies and business dynamics continue to evolve, network virtualization strategies are reshaping the telecommunications ecosystem, says the research group. The shift to the third platform — built on cloud, mobile, social, and big data and analytics technologies — is driving communication service providers (CSPs) and their suppliers to accelerate their efficiencies and agility IT industry approaches and technologies such as virtualization, balanced with telecom industry business considerations are coming to the forefront of telecom industry dynamics.
Communication service providers and their suppliers are embracing the promise and...

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Aug 04
Consumers will research online, but buy in-store

The back-to-school (BTS) shopping season in the U.S. is already in full swing, with over one-third (37%) of consumers having begun their shopping – up from the 29% who started at this time last year, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Roughly 90% of households indicated a selection of brick-and-mortar retail as a shopping venue for the BTS season.

Consumers will shop in a variety of places for their BTS items this year. While discounters are still expected to be the winners, the number of households selecting this shopping venue dropped from 90% last year to 80% this year. For all 2014 BTS shopping venues, discounters represented a 23.7% share of where consumers will shop, according to ICSC.

Many retailers found in regional malls and open-air centers, such as office supply stores, traditional department stores, electronic stores, and apparel specialty stores, should see increased activity during the BTS season. The biggest mover was...

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Aug 01
ABI Research: mobile network security will be '...

Outdoor small cells pose increased security risk as mobile networks densify to meet burgeoning traffic demands. Small Cell shipments will exceed macrocells in 2016, and total shipments will reach nearly 15 million units through 2019, according to ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com).

With residential femtocells stagnating, shifting market dynamics favor larger deployment scenarios in enterprise and urban outdoor femtocells. Top-tier operators planning wide-scale deployments include AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone, Telefonica, SK Telecom, and SoftBank. Regardless of location and size, operators must provide Small Cell networks with at least the same level of security that is expected from the mobile network, according to ABI Research.

"Small Cells are inevitable parts of future mobile networks, but IP-based backhaul and location risks, like being out of operator direct reach and open to public...

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Jul 31
The Internet of Things will keep demand for standalone...

The share of standalone Bluetooth ICs will be about 40% by the end of 2014, down from 42% in 2013, and by the end of 2019 that share will remain at 40%, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

The steady market share of standalone Bluetooth IC market share is being maintained by both traditional device categories which consist of handsets, tablets, and PCs, and new growth categories including wearables, sports and fitness equipment, and smart home nodes.

"End user products such as smartphones and PCs have been shifting away from standalone solutions for some time now, and smartphones have shifted to integrated platforms with Bluetooth as well," says research director, Philip Solis. "On the other hand, there is a growing long tail of devices around the Internet of Things (IoT) that will gravitate towards standalone Bluetooth in many cases. The end result is that standalone Bluetooth ICs...

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Jul 30
IDC: digital production color market on growth path

According to new research from IDC (www.idc.com), the worldwide digital production color market continued its unabated growth of top-line shipment value in 2013.

The industry achieved record shipment values of US$4.4 billion in 2013, fueled by growth in a range of technologies, from mid-production cut sheet to ultra-high volume inkjet systems. The cumulative value of shipments is expected to approach $25 billion over the 2014-2018 forecast period, climbing from US$4.6 billion to $5.4 billion with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.2%.

"Between 2014 and 2018, IDC expects to see the sum of all production color shipments to surpass 353,000," says Amy Machado, senior research assistant, IDC. "The high end of the market, albeit smaller from a unit perspective, is where the gold rush of pages is occurring with vendors vying for market dominance."

Annual unit shipments doubled from 2008 to 2013, growing from...

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Jul 29
ABI Research: global pay-TV market to generate $280.4...

The worldwide pay-TV market continues to grow in the first quarter of 2014 (Q1 2014). According to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com), the total pay-TV subscriber base is expected to surpass 936.4 million at the end of 2014, generating US$280.4 billion in service revenue.

Although the global cable TV market grew in 2013, the North American cable TV market lost around 4% subscriber base in 2013. High subscription cost and other pay-TV alternatives are blamed for the declining subscriber base; however, cable TV operators experienced slower subscriber loss rate in the past two quarters. In Q1 2014, subscriber net loss of major cable operators in the United States was around 7k compared to over 200k subscriber loss in 4Q 2013.

"Innovative services such as Comcast’s cloud based X1 system which allows customers to store and watch TVshows on different devices has helped to reduce churn," says Jake Saunders...

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Jul 28
IDC: cloud hardware spending breaks $4 billion mark

A new International Data Corporation (IDC) study confirmed that cloud is the major disruption factor in the EMEA [Europe, the Middle East, and Africa] infrastructure hardware market, accounting for a growing portion of hardware spending and exerting influence on hardware architectures and vendors' strategies.

The overall investment in hardware for cloud environments in EMEA is expected to exceed US$4 billion in terms of user value by the end of 2014, with a strong 19% year-over-year growth, says the research group. 15% of the infrastructure spend in EMEA will be related to cloud environments in 2014, versus only 8% in 2011. This will grow to more than 22% by 2018, says IDC (www.idc.com). Further findings from the report include:

° IDC estimates that $3.4 billion was spent on hardware going to cloud environments in EMEA in 2013, up 21% compared with 2012. This led to an increase in the penetration of the overall...

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Jul 25
4G LTE to represent over 1-in-5 active mobile...

A new report from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) forecasts a rapid uptake of 4G LTE mobile technology in the next five years, with active connections crossing the one billion mark in 2017 and reaching 1.8 billion by 2019. This will represent 22% of the global active mobile SIM connections by this time.

The report from the research group finds that, with the rate of LTE network commitments and roll-outs at an all-time high, network and device vendors have significantly improved their position to offer products and solutions to network operators. The GSA (Global Mobile Suppliers Association) confirmed that 168 manufacturers have announced 1,889 LTE-enabled user devices, including operator and frequency variants, along with 300 commercial network launches.



Juniper found that TD-LTE (Time Division LTE - using unpaired spectrum) will indeed play a major role in global deployment....

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Jul 24
Gartner: the business consumer requires a digital...

Gartner, Inc. (http://www.gartner.com) says that IT leaders have a significant opportunity to contribute to the business by creating a more flexible work environment that accommodates the needs of the business consumer.

Starting with the rise of PCs and the Internet era, users have a greater influence on IT strategy and we are currently witnessing the rise of what Gartner calls the "business consumer" — an employee for whom business activities are one part of a wider lifestyle," says Matthew Cain, research vice president at the research group.

"Individuals do not stop being consumers when they go to work," he adds. "Business consumers often make more consumer-like choices in their workplace computing tools and styles to increase efficiency."

Given the complexity of work environments and the geographic distribution of expertise across organizations, a critical competitive advantage will accrue...

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Jul 23
Cable operators seize the OTT initiative

Cable and over-the-top (OTT) providers are striking an unusual friendship, one that leads to profitability for both sides once some large challenges are hurdled, according to the latest report from Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider (www.heavyreading.com/cable), a subscription research service from Heavy Reading.

"Cable & OTT: New Opportunities for Convergence" explores the market drivers, opportunities for convergence and the challenges ahead. It includes profiles of 10 cable software suppliers that offer solutions that support cable's TV Everywhere and multi-screen initiatives, which also can lend support for cable-OTT integration.

"As OTT video streaming services and devices began to attract consumers, they appeared like barbarians at the gate, ready to disrupt traditional media and topple the longstanding empires of cable and other television establishments," notes Craig Leddy...

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Jul 22
IK Multimedia releases VocaLive 2 for iOS

IK Multimedia has released version 2 of its VocaLive app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. It adds a flexible new multitrack studio with digital audio workstation features.

Now singers, songwriters and musicians can benefit from advanced editing features like timeline audio editing, waveform visualization, touch-and-drag looping and more. VocaLive can be used with the IK Multimedia iRig line of microphones and mic interfaces, VocaLive provides an all-in-one solution - with superb sound quality, recording flexibility and ease-of-use - for the professional singer on the go.

The newest feature in VocaLive 2 is its Studio section. Designed to complement VocaLive's Recorder section, it allows for a full degree of editing and composing flexibility with recorded tracks. Musicians can see and manipulate their audio tracks (up to four on an iPhone and eight on an iPad) as waveforms on a timeline grid, just like on a computer digital audio workstation.

Clips can be...

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Jul 22
Study: channels are irrelevant to consumers

SDL has released the final report of the “Five Truths for Future Marketers” series titled “Channels are Irrelevant,” that features results from SDL’s global survey of more than 1,800 millennials (ages 18-36). The data reveals that today’s consumers no longer care about where they are or what device they are on when interacting with a brand, as 58% of millennials polled said they expect to engage with a company whenever they choose and via whichever channel they elect.

The data highlights the critical need for brands to stop focusing on channels and instead apply what they know about their consumers to elevate the overall experience in the buying journey. Millennials are the "always on" and connected generation, demanding consistent and seamless interaction with brands wherever they are and from any device they choose. According to the data, millennials touch their smartphones 43 times per day, and 30% admit they touch more than four devices over the course of 24 hours....

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Jul 21
Shipments of 300Mbps smartphone modems to exceed 700...

Shipments of second-generation LTE basebands, commonly called Cat4, enabling mobile users to enjoy up to 150 Mbps bandwidth, barely exceeded 42 million in 2013, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

However, key chipset suppliers are stretching their muscles for next-generation basebands that will enable speeds of up to 300 Mbps, namely Cat6 chips. New findings from the research group indicate that cumulative shipments of Cat6 chips targeting smartphones are expected to exceed 700 million by the end of 2019.

"Although a number of chipset suppliers have announced their Cat6 basebands, mobile operators are not yet launching commercial networks that will allow users to enjoy mobile broadband speeds exceeding 150Mbps. An exception to this is SK Telecom which recently launched an LTE-Advanced service, offering speeds up to 225 Mbps," says Malik Saadi, practice director at ABI Research.

...

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Jul 18
CHGT: new 3D printing innovations open up opportunities

As forward-thinking technology company Changing Technologies, Inc. (http://tinyurl.com/mcdmvoe) has examined new ways to commercialize the latest innovations, a recent news report suggests that 3D printing is set to become a game-changer in the multi-billion dollar headphone market.

While figurines, household items and even food are examples of smaller-scale items created by 3D printers for the consumer end user, ABC News reported last week that a New York-based company is now mass producing custom-fit earphones using advanced mobile and 3D-printing technologies. Simply using a phone app and a photo, the earphones are custom-made, have a price-floor under $200 and can be delivered in two days.

NDP Group consumer electronics experts project earphone/headphone sales to exceed $2 billion in 2014. Apple Inc. recently purchased consumer electronics company Beats Electronics producers of Beats by...

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Jul 17
In-vehicle ads to impact automotive infotainment market

Research and Markets (www.researchandmarkets.com) says in-vehicle advertising will affect the North American auto infotainment market.

There is an influx of connected vehicles in the United States. The success of mobile advertisements delivered through handheld devices is due, in large part, to social media, and the transition to the next largest audience (automotive) is promising, according to Research and Markets. The research group's study found:

° While mobile advertising has seen lucrative growth, Frost & Sullivan expects the industry to continue to grow, making in-vehicle advertising more attractive.

° Streaming services in vehicles do not have the same traction as mobile offerings, so in vehicle ads will almost make up for high-development costs to the service provider.

° Location-based services will be the leading method for ad delivery, but first marketers...

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Jul 16
Cloud app development, management platforms to flourish

The nascent enterprise mobility space will see tremendous growth in new cloud based solutions as enterprises seek to mobilize quickly and easily, according to ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com).

No longer focused on mobile device management solutions, companies are seeking mobile application platforms deployed on-premise or in the cloud for the development and management of enterprise applications, the research group adds. The shift towards applications is based on necessity and scalability as enterprises are forced to deal with a growing number of devices and device platforms accessing enterprise content and systems.

"Mobile applications allow for greater flexibility when mobilizing content and employees," says ABI Research Senior Analyst Jason McNicol. "However, the cost in terms of time and resources is fairly expensive to generate a single app for multiple platforms like iOS,...

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Jul 15
WiFi double digit growth to continue with next wave of...

Qualcomm-Atheros' recently announced portfolio of 802.11n/ac MU-MIMO "Wave 2" chips represents the next evolution of Wi-Fi to higher data rates and capacity, helping stimulate demand for Wi-Fi routers and Wi-Fi-enabled mobile devices, according to Strategy Analytics (http://www.strategyanalytics.com)

The research group predicts that 802.11n/ac with MU-MIMO will help propel the Wi-Fi market to 3 billion systems shipped in 2018, at the same time pushing the market for external RF power amplifiers for Wi-Fi up by more than 50% from 2013 sales, to the benefit of Skyworks, RFMD, TriQuint and other suppliers.

Based on a detailed analysis of Wi-Fi adoption and radio component architectures in 24 types of Wi-Fi systems, the report includes historical shipment estimates and specifications for the latest Wi-Fi radio SoCs and power amplifiers.

"The Wi-Fi SoC suppliers have worked hard...

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Jul 11
Worldwide IT spending on pace to grow 2.1% this year

Worldwide IT spending is on pace to total $3.7 trillion in 2014, a 2.1% increase from last year; however, this grow rate is down from earlier projections of 3.2% growth, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. (http://www.gartner.com). The slower outlook for 2014 is attributed to a reduction in growth expectations for devices, data center systems and to some extent IT services, according to the research group.

"Price pressure based on increased competition, lack of product differentiation and the increased availability of viable alternative solutions has had a dampening effect on the short term IT spending outlook," says Richard Gordon, managing vice president at Gartner. "However, 2015 through 2018 will see a return to ‘normal’ spending growth levels as pricing and purchasing styles reach a new equilibrium. IT is entering its third phase of development, moving from a focus on technology and...

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Jul 08
Wireless LANs to represent 18% of enterprise...

Canalys (www.canalys.com) has announced its forecast for enterprise networking investment, which shows the ongoing shift in budgets from wired to wireless.

The total worldwide end-user value of router, switch and wireless LAN shipments is forecast to grow from US$29.9 billion in 2013 to $33.7 billion in 2018, according to the research group. Wireless LANs will remain the fastest growing segment, accounting for 18% of total value by the end of this period, up from 14%.

"Wireless LAN investment continues to be driven by enterprises moving more of their campus and branch office networking budgets from fixed to wireless to support increasingly mobile-centric user device access at the LAN edge," says Canalys Principal Analyst Matthew Ball.

The transition to 11ac continued to accelerate during the first quarter of 2014, following the start of customer adoption in Q3 2013. Just over 10% of access point...

| Read more »
Jul 07
Consumers want more flexibility when shopping online

Online shoppers want retailers to make it easier to purchase their goods and services, according to comScore (www.comscore.com), a company that "measures the digital world." Consumers also want websites and stores to work better together. For now, they also prefer to evaluate and purchase products from their desktops rather than their mobile devices, and when it comes to shipping and returns “free” is a driving factor to complete the sale.

Earlier this year, comScore asked 5,800 consumers about their online shopping experiences. Respondents said they want more options in searching for items, checking out, enhanced security and alternate delivery locations. While smartphones play a big role in the online experience, user interfaces have some catching up to do to win over consumers.

Online shoppers who use multiple devices said they would prefer to shop on a desktop computer over mobile because larger and...

| Read more »
Jul 03
The Northern Spy: gone phishing

By Rick Sutcliffe

This month's column will be short but not entirely sweet. Following much ado about something in the two columns filed here from WWDC, the Spy has less to say this month, but that is not to suggest it has been a slow time.

WWDC

Upon reflection, the Spy remains convinced that the Swift programming language is a major step forward in developer tools. The language has a slight air of being unfinished, as a few spots (the role of modules, for instance) need a little work. However, he believes developers will be using it and its descendants for a long, long time. Of the other announcements for developers, the Home and Health Kits probably represent the greatest opportunities for making new products, and expanding the Apple ecosystem. These will be very big. You heard it here first.

Hacked

Far too much of the Spy's time afterwards was taken up by fixing vandalism. Under another hat he...

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Jul 03
Annual digital payments to reach $4.7 trillion by 2019

A new report from Juniper Research (http://www.juniperresearch.com) finds that the annual transaction value of online, mobile and contactless payments will reach US$4.7 trillion by 2019, up from just over $2.5 trillion this year.



The report says that the largest net increase in spend would occur through remote physical goods purchases. However, while there was organic growth in the overall transaction levels due to increased purchasing on tablets and mobile, a significant proportion of tablet usage represented migration from desktop activity, according to Juniper Research. Combined transactions on mobile handsets and tablets will exceed those on desktops and laptops for the first time this year.



The report also notes that there's accelerating migration from physical format (DVD, CD) to digital (stream, download) across all core content sectors. These included a marked trend...

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