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December 2012

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How Mobile Will Destroy Retail Margins

December 21, 2012


Some of the news of the week has to do with eBay deciding mobile advertising doesn’t work for them as it clutters small screens and doesn’t provide that much revenue. This seems to make sense but if you think this in any way is going to change the impact of mobile advertising and commerce you are dead wrong.

Logic and rumors tell us Amazon will be releasing a telephone soon and the reasoning for them to do so goes far beyond expanding its ecosystem and pushing people to download apps and watch videos online.

Location based advertising is where everything is going.

Flexible Samsung Screens and Jim Cramer's Mistake Round Out Tech News

December 20, 2012

Samsung to show flexible screens are coming to a smartphone and tablet near you but what still needs to be worked out is how to get multicore processors and batteries to bend along with them. Moreover, what happens when you bend them too far – do they just snap, pouring the guts of the battery onto your lap or dinner plate? We still have some time on this tech but the progress is promising. Can’t wait to see it (and bend it) at CES.

Chinese Government Funds Global Telecom Roll Outs Through ZTE

December 20, 2012

With global uncertainty the norm, many carriers have struggled to get financing for new infrastructure projects and in fact they have been a bit hesitant to spend on areas other than wireless where ROI is much more predictable. Subsequently, the financial challenges facing Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Siemens Networks, ZTE and others aren’t expected to dissipate any time soon. What may be a surprise to some though is how ZTE, a Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer with relatively low costs could have lost $414 in Q3 of this year while seeing sales drop by 13% and gross margins cut in half.

In response to this decline, China Development Bank (CDB) an entity controlled by the Chinese government has given the company a $20B line of credit at very low rates allowing it to streamline operations, continue its expansion and perhaps most importantly finance its customers’ purchases.

Tomorrow's Cloud, Optimized by Plantronics

December 19, 2012


Most people think of the cloud as being removed from the local environment because, after all, it requires the addition of a browser to access. But thanks to innovation from the people at Plantronics, the cloud can now reach through the browser and be closer to the user than ever before. In fact, the company has an SDK, which for the first time bridges the worlds of mobile and enterprise communications as well as computing. While CTI or computer-telephony integration is not a new concept, Plantronics uses its Spokes software as communications middleware to seamlessly connect mobile telephony with cloud-based or on-premise enterprise software.

Cloud Computing Videos From Cloud Expo 2012 Santa Clara

December 19, 2012


At the recent Cloud Expo in Santa Clara, Rich Steeves and I had a chance to interview many of the important companies in the cloud computing space such as Akamai, Citrix, Adaptive Computing, Hostway, PGI, Riverbed, SOA Software, Symantec, ServerCentral, SUSE, IPSoft, Securematrix and a number of other companies who should be on your radar. Enjoy:

Company Name Interviewee Adaptive Computing  Chad Harrington Akamai Gary Ballabio Amplidata Paul Speciale Appcore Brian Patrick Donaghy BuyDealz
Camera Manager Rishi Lodhia Cirba Andy Walton Citrix  Kendar Poduri Cloud Cruiser Nick van der Zweep Cloud Sidekick Patrick Dunnigan Cloud Spectator John Vlacich Clustrix Filip Szymanski Coalfire Dan Rojas ComputeNext Eamonn Colman GreenButton Scott Houston Hostway Aaron Hollobaugh IMPETUS Anand Raman Interxion Jelle Frank van der Zwet IPSoft Bijan Hafezi Loggly Charlie Oppenheimer, Lyatiss Pascale Vicat Blanc nCircle Ed Colonna Peer1 Hosting Robert Miggins PGI Tom Maurath Plex Systems Patrick Fetterman QLogic Shawn FitzGerald Riverbed Apurva Davé Securematrix Itaru Nishimura ServerCentral Peter Berg Smartvue Martin Alan Renkis SOA Alistair Farquharson SOA Ian Goldsmith Starboard Storage Lee Johns Stratogent Chetan Patwardhan SUSE Peter A. Chadwick Symantec Dave Elliot Symform  Praerit Garg Tier 3 Jaraed Ray Trinity Solar Ken Ebbert Vyatta Dan Tuchler Zadara Nelson Nahum Zenith Infotech Jonathan Higgins
 




How Apple Can Slow Samsung Down

December 18, 2012


Tom Keating at TMC reported today that Samsung is beating virtually everyone at virtually everything. He discusses how they have become the dominant TV maker but this isn’t such big news at this point. What is interesting is the company replaced Nokia as the number one producer of cellphones – not a huge surprise at this point but a huge milestone as Nokia held the coveted top spot for 13 years.

Why is Apple, a company with more consumer loyalty than just about any other company being threatened by Samsung?

Who Should Buy Linksys and how does the Cloud fit in?

December 17, 2012

Cisco recently appointed Barclays to help it auction off Linksys – a move consistent with the company’s desire to exit low-margin consumer businesses as it looks to invest in high-margin areas like software and services. But as the saying goes, one man’s garbage is another man’s gold. Linksys is indeed a treasure to the right partner like Google or even Samsung.

The reason is simple – both companies need to blunt the move by Apple into the home and entertainment is the future of technology as consumer technology trends coupled with BYOD turn into corporate success.

The Connecticut Shooting

December 14, 2012

Our office and much of the state has been horribly shaken by the shooting incident in Sandy Hook/Newtown, CT. Some of my coworkers had children in nearby schools and we were on-edge for a while until we learned the gunman had been killed.

Likewise, one of my best friends had a child at a school across the street from where this incident took place. It took me two hours to learn the child was OK.

Important Tech News of the Day Dec 14, 2012

December 14, 2012




Amazon Prime Instant Video app for iOS is out


and in my testing on a 4th generation iPad it worked well. Some complaints remain that for non-Prime users the experience isn’t that great. I for one would like to be able to download video on the app – there is a download area but no instructions as to what is downloadable or how to download.

Alcatel Lucent says providing video to devices is a great new revenue opportunity for carriers.

Tech News of the Day Dec 13, 2012

December 13, 2012

Google is under public pressure to pay more taxes as the news of it “funneling” $9.8B of its revenue to Bermuda helped it halve its tax bill. The pressure is coming from the US and Europe. I find it ironic that Google Chairman Eric Schmidt is such an ardent Obama supporter as our President seems to be singularly focused on getting anyone who can afford it to pay more taxes. Before you get bent out of shape regarding what Google has done, remember that every company has to do its best to maximize profit and this means looking for every legal way possible to minimize taxes.

The Fiscal Cliff Could Kill Super-WiFi

December 13, 2012

One of the most amazing turning points in technology advancement has been the US Government’s decision to allow unlicensed spectrum to be used in the form of WiFi. Instead of taking the short-term gain of revenue via spectrum auction, it was released for free for everyone to use. As a result, cable companies can compete wirelessly with 4G providers and they need no private spectrum to do so.

The point is, unlicensed spectrum has truly revolutionized technology and productivity. Think this through – even the companies who sell “competitive to WiFi” 4G service are benefiting from WiFi. Consider carriers often wheel in large-scale WiFi equipment to sporting events and other venues because of cellular capacity issues.

All Windows Passwords at Risk and What to do about it

December 12, 2012

With the word out that a 25-GPU cluster can crack every standard Windows password in less than 6 hours, it may be time for us to consider this new Securematrix technology from Japan championed by Itara Nishimura of CSE Co., Ltd. His company makes a technology which uses a matrix of changing-numbers, allowing the user to use a known pattern to determine what their password will be for each login.

 

I interviewed him recently as part of a Cloud Expo West 2012 video interview series.

Can a supercomputer hack this sort of password as well?

Voxeet Shows the Future of Conferencing - Stereo and 3-D

December 12, 2012

About eight years ago I held up DiamondWare as a shining example of what communications should be – HD, stereo and 3-D. Nortel later purchased DiamondWare and integrated it into its Project Chainsaw initiative which allowed avatar-based communications. Then these assets were sold to Avaya as part of the Nortel bankruptcy. I am fairly disappointed that this technology never went mainstream.

Michael Robertson's New Dar.fm

December 11, 2012


Michael Robertson is one of the most interesting people in the tech world having burst onto the scene during the dotcom days with the launch of MP3.com which allowed users to store their CD collection in the cloud. Now a commonplace concept, at the time the record labels weren’t sure what to do about the company so they defaulted to what they do well, suing the startup into oblivion. Of course it didn’t help that Napster was popular during the same time and brought major attention to how new technologies were robbing record labels and artists.

Talk about being a visionary.

What Stuxnet Teaches us About M2M

December 10, 2012

Ford recently announced they will update the software on some of their vehicles to fix a coolant problem that can cause fires. 2013 Ford Escape SE and SEL models with the 1.6-liter engine and 2013 Ford Fusion SE and SEL models with the 1.6-liter engine are part of the voluntary recall which will modify the code which manages coolant pressure under certain overheating conditions - making it less likely that vehicles catch fire under the specified scenario.

Stuxnet taught the world that cybercriminals and regimes could not only affect computers but real-world devices like centrifuges.

In a more interconnected world it seems only a matter of time before automotive operating system software is updated over the Internet the way just about everything else is.

eBay Now Gets Serious in NYC

December 8, 2012

The home delivery market could be huge as predicted back in the dotcom days when companies like WebVan and Peapod were springing up faster than Android produces device variants today. Who comes to mind when you think of home delivery in the world of tech? Certainly Amazon, Google and more recently Wal-Mart.

But eBay?

T-Mobile Finally Gets the iPhone

December 7, 2012

While spending time in a T-Mobile and Verizon store in the same city recently I couldn’t help but notice the customers at the Verizon stores were dressed better and seemed far more affluent. This makes sense as T-Mobile offers cheaper service and it is common for people who can’t afford an AT&T or Verizon data plan to unlock an iPhone from AT&T and activate it on T-Mobile. They then access data when WiFi is available for free.

The latest research I found from Strategy Analytics has the spread in ARPU or average revenue per user between these two carriers at $11.45 per month or almost $140 per year.

FakeFollowers: What is your Net Twitter Following?

December 6, 2012

A new service called Fakefollowers allows Twitter users to see how many of their followers are of high quality or “real.”

Consider this service to be lumped in with other social tools like Klout which is used to measure social influence. I can already see the fights starting. “Hey, I have more Twitter followers than you.” “Oh yeah?

In Windows 8, Microsoft Has a Winner

December 5, 2012


Samsung has a winner with its Microsoft Windows 8 powered ATIV Smart PC Pro 700t (XE700T1C, a device which is part Ultrabook and part tablet in one. I consider it to be the perfect combination of both worlds, allowing users to do everything they need with a single device. There is no longer a need to wait till you get to a secondary computer to do “real work” as this one does all the things you might need. It has a full array of ports allowing you to plug in a memory stick or hard drive.

Sonos Adds iOS iTunes Playback

December 5, 2012

If you have a Sonos streaming stereo system and you download your music to a PC in your home then it is fairly simple to get access to all your stored music throughout your home. If however you download music to a PC which isn’t connected to your home network or directly to an iOS device you weren’t able to stream this music through your Sonos components without a wireless dock designed for an iPod or iPhone to plug into.

Sonos has just updated its software allowing your iOS devices to stream their music to your Sonos components over WiFi. Wireless iTunes Playback is compatible with the iPhone (3GS or later), iPod touch (4th generation or later), or iPad (2nd generation or later) running iOS 6 or higher and works with DRM-free music in MP3 or AAC format.

While this all sounds great in-theory, after updating all Sonos components throughout my home and updating the Sonos App on a 4th gen iPad and iPhone 5, get an error trying to stream music from either device.

11 Reasonably-Priced Tech Stocking Stuffers & Hanukah Gifts

December 3, 2012

If you’re looking for some reasonably priced stocking stuffers and Hanukah gifts for the kids or adults who have never grown up, you might want to consider some of the following. I just bought at least one of each.

Boogie Board $34

This is a reasonably priced gift for an electronic whiteboard which doesn’t need batteries.

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