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Important Stories From This Week's Business Insider Startup 2012 Event

May 4, 2012

Missed the Business Insider Startup 2012 event or just didn't take good notes? Well if either of these situations applies to you, TMC has you covered. Our network of sites has been populated with the must-know stories written by TMC's editorial team - Jamie Epstein and Juliana Kenny covered this event. Enjoy:



Brightcove Sales Reflects well on Video, Cloud, HTML5

May 4, 2012

What happens when you sit at the intersection of cloud, HTML5 and video - especially when tablets and high-resolution smartphones are being sold by the hundreds of millions? The answer is - if you are Brightcove, that your sales grow rapidly. In fact the company just announced earnings of $19.9 million which is up 53% YoY. Sure, this isn't a huge number but the percentage is obviously intriguing.

Moreover, gross profit for the first quarter was up 56% at $13.6 million.

Why Samsung Must Have a Successful Media Player

May 2, 2012

If Samsung is the anti-Apple and with their success in the smartphone space you have to consider them a strong alternative, then they have to have a strategy which allows them to emulate Apple in order to be as successful. By this I mean, Apple has the amazing ability to sell a range of products which are highly similar and yet each is in its own category.

You want an inexpensive music player for the kids? The Apple answer, an iPod Touch.

Blackberry 10 like Siri uses Productivity to Differentiate

May 1, 2012

Apple's iPhone 4S is perhaps most known for Siri the built-in personal assistant which has had mixed reviews. Still, in-part because of this feature, the company has sold iPhones by the boatload.

RIM, who is fighting to regain market share has come at the productivity game from a different angle - the predictive text technology in its soon to be released Blackberry 10 OS is much-improved and has the potential to drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to communicate on a smartphone or tablet.

For information workers - it seems the more you work, the more there is to do. Especially when you consider the huge time suck associated with social networking, watching online video and gaming and book-reading on the go using the latest crop of tablets.

Although it is soon to say that RIM has nailed it with its new OS, it does look better than previous operating systems from the company. Now the question is how long before the functionality is copied by others and the patent war over this feature begins?

See analysis from the AP, a hands-on review from CNet and comments fom USA Today.







Does the New York Times Have it in for Apple?

April 30, 2012

In my career I have never seen so many attacks on a single company coming from the same source. A while back the New York Times “broke” a story that Chinese workers assembling iDevices and working for Hon Hai/Foxconn in China aren’t treated as well as workers in the US. And this actually became “news.” Does anyone think anything manufactured in China is made with workplace conditions similar to the US or many parts of Europe?

Moreover, where were the high and mighty journalists when Foxconn was making products for pretty much every other consumer electronics company of size?

Optimum Live TV App now on PC

April 26, 2012

Update: the Optimum app for Android does not allow live TV viewing but allows you to manage your DVR and check TV listings. The company says this functionality "is coming." Moreover - the app will only work on laptops - not PCs with external monitors. Is it too late to ask for a do over on this post?

Having been on Android and iOS for quite some time (see my review from last April), Cablevision's Optimum TV viewers can now also watch TV on their PCs, Macs and laptops. This could be important to power users who have tricked out monitors of 24" or perhaps even greater.

Microsoft Working on Skype Everywhere Initiative

April 20, 2012

The fact that Microsoft would want to integrate Skype everywhere shouldn't be too surprising, Office/Lync and Windows Phone are obvious areas and so is Xbox. That's why news of the company looking for engineers who can delve into the hybrid world of video games and IP communications shouldn't be too surprising.

When Microsoft integrates Skype into Xbox and bundles some free calling into the solution, what's to stop them from offering a DECT phone as well? With retail prices of DECT 6.0 phones starting at less than $20, the idea makes more and more sense.

Sure, you can use a cordless/wireless phone with Skype today but if Microsoft integrates it all seamlessly and video is added for free, what happens to the business models of Ooma, netTALK and magicJack?

And what about the cable companies, AT&T and Verizon? Sure, a Skype home phone calling solution will be inferior as it doesn't allow emergency calling due to a lack of E-911 support but still, if it is part of a bundle and has HD voice support, why pay for phone company or cable calling? Especially if it has video as well and other great Skype calling features, presence, etc.

Additionally, a benefit of the Skype purchase will be potentially becoming the phone provider for hundreds of millions of consumers.







Google Co-Founder Complains About Facebook, Apple and Splinternet

April 17, 2012

Google co-founder Sergey Brin recently explained that if the web was dominated by Apple and Facebook, his company wouldn’t have access to enough information to start its search engine. The idea is that the restrictive policies of Facebook make crawling its pages challenging if not impossible while Apple’s iPod, iPhone and iPad apps are generally not searchable.

He further explained the challenge to the internet from governments like Saudi Arabia, China, Iran and even the US where internet access is either limited or threatened to be limited very soon via regulation which is the case with proposed legislation like Sopa and Pipa.

In January of 2008 I discussed the rise of the splinternet – or a splintering of the homogenous internet we once were accustomed to using.

Is the Post-PC Era a Myth?

April 16, 2012

The way one should interpret the term "Post-PC" is "after PC" - implying that the world has changed from era to the next. Sarah Perez at TechCrunch does an admirable job of laying the case for what she calls the Post-PC era or alternatively - "PCs Everywhere" which I agree isn't quite as catchy.

In her article she discusses how Apple sold 37M iPhones in Q4, 15% of the official PC market is made up of tablets (mostly iPads) and Apple is now the leading "PC" vendor. Moreover smartphone shipments last year hit 487.7M while PC shipments hit 414.6M and the smartphone growth rate is 63% versus 15% for PCs.

So one would imagine once again that the phrase "Post-PC" means that there aren't going to be more PCs sold.

Gary Kim writes on IP Carrier that while global tablet sales are growing at 98% YoY for 2012, the PC market is expected to increase 4.4% and will increase to 10% in 2013.

The catch is - and there is always a catch, that most of these sales will be in emerging markets and will be for more portable computers - laptops, ultrabooks, etc. Kim makes the argument however that tablets may be 42% of total PC sales by 2016 - a staggering percentage.

The trend is clear however that portability and style trump virtually everything else when it comes to the tech space.









US Database of Stolen Cellphones to be Established

April 9, 2012

Today is a bad day for thieves, very bad. You see, electronics are the number one item stolen – even more so than cash and finally the US will be implementing a system to ensure stolen cell phones no longer work on US cellular networks. In December of 2009 I wrote about how eBay has become the world’s largest pawn shop of stolen goods and in fact gave an example to a person in the UK who tracked down $10,000 worth of stolen goods, taken from him on eBay – and was able to recover them.

As a result, in the post titled Tech Lubricates Theft, Can it do so For Law Enforcement? I proposed a central database where devices get unique identification numbers and are subsequently linked to consumers.

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