"Frenkiel (the company’s CEO) and Shamgunov (its CTO) installed their own engineering bootcamp inside the San Francisco startup — “we even hired an ex-Marine officer,” says Frenkiel, referring to executive vice president Carl Wright — and with their new team of engineers, they created a software system that would mimic the Facebook machine, letting the rest of the world harness massive amounts of data in ways that are now routine with Zuckerberg and company.Ex-Facebookers Feed Zuck's Code Into New Data Revolution | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com
MemSQL offers what’s called an “in-memory database.” Much like a Facebook creation known as Scuba, it spreads information across the memory systems inside dozens of computer servers, bypassing the (much slower) hard disks that traditionally house the world’s information. The end result is a system that lets you retrieve and analyze data at unusually high speeds."
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
"It has been an ugly year for Facebook stock. But perhaps not for much longer.Facebook Share Price Reaches IPO Levels at 38 - Mike Isaac - Social - AllThingsD
Shares of Facebook finally rose close to the company’s IPO price on Tuesday afternoon, nearing the $38 per-share amount that the stock first debuted with in May of 2012. The stock closed at $37.61, a single-day gain of about six percent.
The stock has risen more than 43 percent in the span of a week, a massive turnaround for a security which at its lowest point dropped nearly 20 points from the company’s initial price."
Microsoft Only Sold $853 Million in Surface Tablets Last Fiscal Year - John Paczkowski - News - AllThingsD
"That’s a particularly sad showing for the tablet, given the blustering smack-talk with which Microsoft launched the device. As CEO Steve Ballmer said last October, “I don’t think anybody has done a product that is the product that I see customers wanting. Not Apple. Not Google. Not Amazon. Nobody has a product that lets you work and play that can be your tablet and your PC. Not at any price point. This is a first-class tablet that people can enjoy and appreciate. It’s a PC; it’s a tablet. It’s for play; it’s for work. It’s got a great price. That product doesn’t exist today.”Microsoft Only Sold $853 Million in Surface Tablets Last Fiscal Year - John Paczkowski - News - AllThingsD
Evidently that product still doesn’t exist today — at least not as developed and marketed by Microsoft."
"We designed Quip with four core design goals:Introducing Quip - Quip Blog
- Collaboration - When you write a document, you almost always want to share with someone else. Quip combines documents and messages into a single chat-like “thread” of updates. You can all edit the same document — no matter what device you're on — and don't have to bounce back and forth to email to talk about it.
- Mobility - Quip works on the desktop, but it really shines on phones and tablets. Quip documents automatically format to the size of your screen — no more pinch zooming just to read a document! The product also works perfectly offline, syncing whenever you have an internet connection. Whether you're writing a document on an airplane or on the subway with a spotty internet connection, Quip just works.
- Interactivity - You can print Quip documents, but nowadays we tend to read on touch-screens rather than printing. That's why Quip documents aren't just typeset words on a page — they're truly interactive. You can turn a bulleted list into a checklist, transforming your meeting notes into a shared task list. You can @mention other documents to link between them. You can create a table of sales data, and your entire team can type data into the table at the same time.
- Simplicity - Back in the early days of GUI development, there was a popular saying: “Easy is hard.” When designing a user interface, it's much harder to remove something than to add in something new. We've worked hard to simplify the Quip interface, to leave you with a minimal, elegant design that helps you focus on writing — not ribbons."
"But no longer are workers tethered to a desk, or even to an office; we are all toting around laptops, tablets and smartphones to make every place a workplace. And so office software is changing. These days, what is important is collaboration, small screens, fast turnarounds, social media and, most of all, mobility.As Work Habits Change, Software Makers Rush to Innovate - NYTimes.com
“The way people use things is fundamentally changing,” said Bret Taylor, chief executive of Quip, a start-up offering document-writing software that focuses more on mobile than desktop work.
Mr. Taylor, 33, is one of the best-regarded young software engineers in Silicon Valley. He helped create Google Maps before serving as Facebook’s chief technical officer. His co-founder, Kevin Gibbs, also 33, helped create Google’s data centers and as a side project developed the software that suggests completions when people start to type questions into Google search."
"But Chromecast isn't the first or only gadget to beam video and audio to a TV from a mobile device or computer. As is so often the case, Google's new effort directly competes with a product from archrival Apple, whose Apple TV has been doing something similar for years using a technology called AirPlay.Review of Google's Chromecast - WSJ.com
I also like and can recommend Apple's AirPlay. Its strengths and weaknesses are roughly the inverse of Chromecast's. Unlike Google's cross-platform approach, AirPlay only streams to the TV from Apple's own devices. And Apple TV, which connects the AirPlay stream to the TV, is costlier than Chromecast, at $99.
However, unlike the limited number of mobile apps that currently work with Chromecast, Apple says that AirPlay works with "thousands" of mobile apps, and with anything—not just a Chrome browser tab—that can be displayed on the screen of a Mac."
"The breadth of Google's information gathering about Internet users rivals that of any single entity, government or corporate. The Web search and advertising giant continues to expand its collection and analysis of data, turning its mission to index the world, its people and their interests into a roughly $50 billion-a-year advertising business. Google executives also remain closed about much of its internal data-handling practices, fearing that discussing privacy-related topics might hurt the company with consumers, according to people who have worked on privacy issues at the firm."Google's Privacy Balancing Act - WSJ.com
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
"The idea that individuals might personally take charge of extracting value from their own data has been discussed for years, with Fertik a leading voice, but it hasn’t yet been put to the test. Proponents say it makes sense to empower users this way because details of what information is collected, how it is used, and what it is worth are unjustly murky, even if the general terms of the relationship with data-supported companies such as Facebook is clear.Coming Soon: Take Your Own Personal Data to Market | MIT Technology Review
“The basic business model of the Internet today is that we’re going to take your data without your knowledge and permission and give it to people that you can’t identify for purposes you’ll never know,” says Fertik."
"In short: because of what the U.S. government assumed it could do with information it had the technological ability to intercept, American companies and American interests are sure to suffer in their efforts to shape and benefit from the Internet's continued growth.Why NSA Surveillance Will Be More Damaging Than You Think - James Fallows - The Atlantic
- American companies, because no foreigners will believe these firms can guarantee security from U.S. government surveillance;
- American interests, because the United States has gravely compromised its plausibility as world-wide administrator of the Internet's standards and advocate for its open, above-politics goals."
Forrester Says The Chromebook’s Time Has Arrived In The Enterprise, But Security Is The Nagging Issue | TechCrunch
"IT should ignore the naysayers and consider adopting the Google Chromebook. That’s the conclusion of a Forrester Research Report that looked at the future of the networked computer in the enterprise.Forrester Says The Chromebook’s Time Has Arrived In The Enterprise, But Security Is The Nagging Issue | TechCrunch
According to Forrester, the Chromebook has its drawbacks, but in particular scenarios it is a good bet for the enterprise."
"A range of start-ups and big companies like Google are working on what is known as predictive search — new tools that act as robotic personal assistants, anticipating what you need before you ask for it. Glance at your phone in the morning, for instance, and see an alert that you need to leave early for your next meeting because of traffic, even though you never told your phone you had a meeting, or where it was.Apps That Know What You Want, Before You Do - NYTimes.com
How does the phone know? Because an application has read your e-mail, scanned your calendar, tracked your location, parsed traffic patterns and figured out you need an extra half-hour to drive to the meeting."
Monday, July 29, 2013
Evernote Wants to Become the Nike for Your Brain: 10 Questions With CEO Phil Libin | Wired Business | Wired.com
"WIRED: Who are your users?Evernote Wants to Become the Nike for Your Brain: 10 Questions With CEO Phil Libin | Wired Business | Wired.com
Libin: Someone who has a poor understanding of life-work balance. They’re always thinking about everything. Someone who’s answering email at 11 p.m. on a Saturday, but also someone who’s reading restaurant reviews and recommendations at the office. The modern knowledge worker.
WIRED: You have a lot of journalists who are users. Is that a blessing or a curse?
Libin: It is a blessing. It was intentional. We specifically said early on that we wanted Evernote to be great for journalists and investors, and tried to make something so that when we went to pitch a venture capital firm, chances are half of them were sitting there using Evernote during the meeting. And the same thing with journalists. That was an effective strategy."
"The company, which has faced past scrutiny over its warehouse working conditions, says median pay at its fulfillment centers is 30 percent higher than in traditional retail jobs. Full-time workers also receive stock grants, which have added an average of 9% a year to base pay, the company says.Amazon announces 5,000 new fulfillment jobs in advance of Obama visit - GeekWire
Amazon, known for its razor-thin profit margins, last week posted a $7 million quarterly loss as it continues to expand its workforce and its business. The company’s direct workforce is now 97,000, up from fewer than 30,000 three years ago."
"By way of example, App Ops lets the user turn off various pieces of functionality in the Facebook (FB) app, such as location or the app’s ability to tap into the user’s phone contacts. It also informs the user when the app last deployed specific functions—a handy way of finding out what’s causing all that battery drainage. It’s all pretty buried, although some enterprising soul has already created an app to allow straightforward access to the feature."Android's Privacy Game-Changer - Businessweek
"“Speeds and feeds” is an old trade magazine term for the technical specifications of a new PC. Fifteen years ago, that a computer was a little bit faster or had more memory than the last version was a very big deal. The string of numbers and jargon on the side of a computer’s box was a sort of runic code that made sense to I.T. managers or tech-savvy relatives coerced into helping the less sophisticated. It told them what to buy.Disruptions: Microsoft's Struggle to Make Things Simple for Consumers - NYTimes.com
That is just not the case anymore. Consumers demand something that is easy to understand, and they got that in products like the iPad."
"Like the mainframe, which was said to be dead decades ago but has remained a meaningful business, the PC will almost certainly cheat death. True, mobile devices like the iPad will continue to gore PC sales. Those mobile devices, though, will most likely never satisfy spreadsheet masters, film editors and other workers who depend on multiple screens and the precision of a keyboard and mouse.PC Industry Fights to Adapt as Tablets Muscle In - NYTimes.com
Still, there is a strong view among many longtime tech executives that the PC’s relevance will steadily diminish."
Friday, July 26, 2013
"Netflix executives are kind of vague when discussing just what it knows about what viewers want, but you can get a pretty good idea by looking at the data science behind the company’s vaunted recommendation system. Here is a list of things Netflix tracks, according to one of the company’s former data scientists presenting at last year’s Hadoop Summit:At Netflix, big data can affect even the littlest things — Tech News and Analysis
More than 25 million users
About 30 million plays per day (and it tracks every time you rewind, fast forward and pause a movie)
More than 2 billion hours of streaming video watched during the last three months of 2011 alone
About 4 million ratings per day
About 3 million searches per day
Time of day and week (it now can verify that users watch more TV shows during the week and more movies during the weekend)
Metadata from third parties such as Nielsen
Social media data from Facebook and Twitter"
"This means early adopters of the cheap Chromecast will gain a very limited functionality that essentially duplicates low end Roku boxes and the Smart TV features already part of many modern HDTVs, without gaining forward-looking support for true AirPlay-like features that Google is separately adding to new Android devices.Google's Chromecast is a Roku alternative, not a cheaper Apple TV AirPlay option
This may likely make Chromecast a distraction that takes away momentum from Miracast or DLNA, leaving Apple the only vendor with a top to bottom streaming solution that works across all its devices and costs very little to implement."
"Students in the Los Angeles Unified School District will receive 31,000 free iPads this school year under a new $30 million program launched by the district. The goal is to improve education and get them ready for the workforce with new technology skills they are not getting at home.The details about that huge iPad rollout in LA schools | CITEworld
The first 31,000 iPads are only the initial phase of the program, which plans to buy and distribute iPads to all 640,000 students in the nation's second-largest school district by late 2014, Mark Hovatter, the chief facilities executive for the LAUSD, told CITEworld."
"Larson-Green’s way of thinking is prevailing at Microsoft as the company faces plummeting demand for Windows PCs. Its operating systems now control 20 percent of the total consumer-computing market, which includes smartphones and tablets, compared with 42 percent for Android and 24 percent for Apple’s systems, Goldman Sachs (GS) data show. Microsoft has struggled to move into mobile devices; its Surface tablets accounted for just 3.7 percent of tablet sales, and phones running its Windows Phone operating system made up 3.2 percent of smartphone sales in the first quarter, according to market researcher IDC. On July 18, Microsoft announced its biggest quarterly profit shortfall in more than a decade, taking a $900 million writedown on unsold Surface tablets."Microsoft Learns to Love Apple's iOS and Google's Android - Businessweek
"Wall Street does not like these sorts of surprises and the knee-jerk reaction was to head for the exits. The stock was off more than 2 percent in after-hours trading. Earlier Amazon's stock finished up nearly 1.5 percent to close at $303.40 during the regular trading session.Amazon sales up 22% in Q2 but surprise loss sends stock reeling | Internet & Media - CNET News
The company did not immediately address the loss. In a prepared statement, CEO Jeff Bezos said:
We're so grateful to our customers for their response to Kindle devices and our digital ecosystem. This past quarter, our top 10 selling items worldwide were all digital products - Kindles, Kindle Fire HDs, accessories and digital content."
"If you are watching Amazon’s quarterly earnings today, probing the numbers for signs of the online giant’s continued vigor, feel free. But honestly, Jeff Bezos doesn’t care what you think.Jeff Bezos Doesn't Care What You Think About Amazon's Quarterly Earnings - Businessweek
Amazon’s chief executive doesn’t concern himself with Amazon’s quarterly earnings report or with Wall Street’s visceral reaction to it. (In fact, he’s in Silicon Valley for most of this summer, working with Amazon’s hardware design arm, Lab126, according to a person familiar with the matter who wasn’t authorized to discuss it publicly.) Bezos manages Amazon for the long term and regularly mucks up the bottom line with expensive, risky bets on unprofitable new businesses such as grocery deliveries and tablets."
Samsung Had Third of Smartphone Sales Last Quarter, Apple's Share Fell - Ina Fried - Mobile - AllThingsD
"Samsung’s second-quarter smartphone shipments hit 76 million last quarter — up 56 percent from the prior year, and giving the company a 33 percent share of the global market.Samsung Had Third of Smartphone Sales Last Quarter, Apple's Share Fell - Ina Fried - Mobile - AllThingsD
Apple, meanwhile, shipped 31.2 million iPhones, a 20 percent year-over-year rise, and good for second place worldwide. However, that trailed the overall smartphone industry, and meant that Apple’s market share fell to 14 percent — its lowest level since the second quarter of 2010, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics."
"Facebook didn't have much presence in mobile advertising a year ago, a concern that contributed to the stock-price slide after its initial public offering price. Then, in the latest quarter, mobile accounted for 41% of Facebook's ad sales–and investor attitudes have recovered with Facebook's ad revenue: the shares skyrocketed 30% Thursday.Why Advertisers Are Warming to Facebook - WSJ.com
"Everything worked this quarter," said Brian Wieser, an analyst with Pivotal Research Group."
Thursday, July 25, 2013
"Though its original plan called for the repurchase of 10 million shares in its third fiscal quarter of 2013, Apple instead bought up 36 million shares. It spent about $16 billion to do so, buying up shares at an average price of between $444 and $488, according to some back-of-the-napkin math by Apple 2.0 and Asymco.Apple spent $16 Billion on Apple Shares Last Quarter - John Paczkowski - News - AllThingsD
A massive purchase, indeed. For the same money, Apple could have acquired Nokia. Or BlackBerry and HTC together, with cash left over. As Dediu quips, “One way to think of it, is this is Apple’s greatest acquisition ever.”"
"Everyone hates the new Gmail inbox. Everyone says it’s confusing, that it will make you miss important messages, that it spams you with extra ads, and that you should change your settings back to the old ones posthaste.New Gmail inbox: How to use tabs to clean up your inbox for good. - Slate Magazine
Everyone is wrong. It isn’t, it won’t, it doesn’t, and you shouldn’t. The new Gmail inbox is fantastic once you get the hang of it—and if you revert to the old one, you’ll be missing out on the best thing to happen to email since the original Gmail."
"Incumbents such as IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, and SAP/Sybase will (and in some cases already are) likely extend their protection umbrellas to Hadoop. That places onus on third parties – both veteran and startups – on the Hadoop side to get their acts together and align behind some security gateway framework allowing centralized administration of authentication, access, authorization, and data protection measures. Incubating projects like Apache Knox offer some promise, but again, the balkanized nature of open source projects threatens to make this a best of breed challenge as well as you have related functions — like what you do with data at different portions of the lifecycle – part of the domain of separate projects.The Odd Couple: Hadoop and Data Security | OnStrategies Perspectives
For Hadoop to go enterprise, the burden of integration must be taken off the backs of enterprise customers. For Hadoop security, the open source meritocracy will have to stop talking piecemeal projects before incumbents deliver their own faits accomplis: captive open source silos to their own security umbrellas."
"The product, which has reportedly been named “Helpouts” and is currently being tested internally in Mountain View, will take shape as a marketplace that enables individuals and small and large businesses to buy and sell services via live video. With the capacity to connect merchants and consumers on both an immediate and scheduled basis, according to our tipster, the platform will allow sellers to create their own profiles and take advantage of reputation management, scheduling and payment features, while offering robust search and discovery tools for consumers."Meet Helpouts, Google’s Secret Project That Turns Hangouts Into A Commerce Platform | TechCrunch
Sundar Pichai on the Difference Between Chromecast and Google TV - Liz Gannes - Product News - AllThingsD
"So why two different devices? The new Chromecast dongle will be a sort of lightweight way to stream video on a television. Google TV, you probably already know about — though you probably don’t own as it’s not super popular. Soon, “it will be a full-fledged Android for television,” Pichai said, noting that he expects to announce many more partners at CES early next year. [...]
Google’s two-pronged approach actually parallels competitors like Roku, which offers both boxes and streaming sticks for certain TVs. However, where Google might have an advantage on the works-like-a-browser front, Roku is ahead on the content deals. In addition to Netflix and YouTube, it has Amazon, Hulu, HBO Go and other channels. Chromecast doesn’t yet."Sundar Pichai on the Difference Between Chromecast and Google TV - Liz Gannes - Product News - AllThingsD
"Android and Chrome head Sundar Pichai said that, even at its $229 starting price, there is still room for retailers, Asus and Google itself to profit from the product.New Nexus 7 Packs Quite a Pixel Punch, Landing a Blow at Apple - Ina Fried - Mobile - AllThingsD
The other big coup of the Nexus 7 was managing to create a single LTE model that can sell unlocked and work with carriers around the globe. In the U.S., for example, the same Nexus 7 can be connected to the networks of AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon.
Pichai said that is part of the company’s aim with its Nexus devices, and that doing so will help the cellular-equipped model be more attractive to retailers leery of having to stock multiple different products."
"On Wednesday, the company introduced Chromecast, a $35, two-inch stick that plugs into TVs and enables people to watch online video, listen to music and see images from laptops, tablets or phones on the TV screen — and to use their other devices as a remote control.With New Device, Google Tries Again on Internet TV - NYTimes.com
“We are closing the gap between TV and mobile devices,” said Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president for Chrome and Android, in an interview after a news conference in San Francisco. Nearly half of all peak Internet traffic in North America comes from YouTube and Netflix, he said, and people want to be able to watch those videos on the big screen."
"In short, the Leap Motion Controller is a solution in search of a problem. It desperately needs a killer app, some program that couldn’t exist without the Leap’s special talents: tracking the three-dimensional motions of 10 individual fingertips with incredible precision.Promising Sleight of Hand, Someday - NYTimes.com
It’s very exciting that the Leap controller has attained excellent hardware design, high precision, excellent speed and low price — today. Unfortunately, the software that will justify its existence still lies in the future."
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
"Facebook, the world’s largest social networking site, reported strong second-quarter revenue and profit on Wednesday, blowing past Wall Street’s expecations [sic] and sending the stock up about 20 percent in after-hours trading.p.s. two obvious typos in the first two paragraphs of a NYT story -- apparently not all the news that's fit to edit...
The company said it had net income of $333 milion [sic], or 13 cents a share. Excluding stock-based compensation expenses, profits were $488 million or 19 cents a share, compared to 12 cents a share in the second quarter a year ago. Revenue soared 53 percent to $1.8 billion."
Facebook Beats Expectations on Strong Mobile Growth - NYTimes.com
"When I talked with him again in the mid-2000s, Engelbart marveled that people carry around in their pockets millions of times more computer power than his entire lab had in the 1960s, but the less tangible parts of his system had still not evolved so spectacularly.Douglas Engelbart’s Unfinished Revolution | MIT Technology Review
Like Tim Berners-Lee, Engelbart never sought to own what he contributed to the world’s ability to know. But he was frustrated to the end by the way so many people had adopted, developed, and profited from the digital media he had helped create, while failing to pursue the important tasks he had created them to do."
"IBM is getting into the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) market by standardizing on Cloud Foundry, originally developed by VMware and now part of Pivotal, the EMC spin-off.IBM Standardizes On Cloud Foundry, The Open-Source Developer Platform | TechCrunch
The move is significant for IBM, one of the most traditional of enterprise software companies. It reflects a new effort by the company to adopt open-source cloud technologies. IBM has standardized on MongoDB, the open-source NoSQL database. IBM is also one of the major sponsors of OpenStack, the open-source cloud software for customers to build out their own infrastructure."
"Five of the 10 most controversial pages in the Spanish language Wikipedia are about football clubs, F.C. Universitatea Craiova is the most controversial page in the Romanian language Wikipedia, and Beitar Jerusalem F.C. also makes the list in Hebrew. Those debates seem more manageable than arguments over the Hungarian far right, former Chilean autocrat Augusto Pinochet, and Jesus, each the subject of multiple persistent controversies, or George W. Bush, anarchism, and Muhammad, the three most controversial pages in English.The science of Wikipedia flamewars
Indeed, if you’re worried about our society’s ability to reach agreement on what to do about climate change, you should take comfort in the fact that at least in the English-language Wikipedia, the article on global warming is not as controversial as the list of World Wrestling Entertainment personnel."
"As if that Best Buy Nexus 7 flyer wasn't enough, the big retailer is stepping up its efforts to preempt Google's tablet announcement by posting its pre-order pages for the device ahead of the official launch. The online store provides full-resolution images of the newly upgraded Nexus 7 slate, detailing the addition of a camera and a now-horizontal wordmark on the back. The latter implies that Google's second Nexus 7 is intended to be used in landscape mode more often than in portrait, ostensibly in an effort to underline its credentials as a tablet rather than just an oversized phone."New Nexus 7 up for pre-order at Best Buy with Android 4.3 and $229.99 starting price | The Verge
"While the mainframe may be an enduring stalwart, the changes that come in this machine show how much the world has changed too, and probably not in a way that I.B.M. likes.Mainframe Computers That Change With the Times - NYTimes.com
Most notably, the new machine, with the attractive name zEnterprise BC12, costs $75,000. That is a price cut of about 25 percent from the last model in this series of mainframes. To add more perspective, 10 years ago, before the zEnterprise series was around, Big Blue proudly launched a model called the Z990, or T-Rex, that started at $1 million. Prices went way up from there."
"You knew this was going to happen. You just didn't know how quickly.The world's first Google Glass porn movie | Technically Incorrect - CNET News
No, I'm not describing the script of every porn movie ever made (though I am). I'm talking about the fact that there is already a Google Glass porn movie in the can."
"Now he's come full circle. Today, Flipboard is introducing a Web version of its service, in part to emphasize the 2.5 million "magazines"—collections of links on a specific topic, laid out in the app's distinctively appealing visual style—that users and publishers have created since that feature's launch in March.Flipboard Gets Back To Its Web Roots – ReadWrite
McCue credits the introduction of magazines with helping Flipboard grow from 50 million users to 75 million users in the past few months, though it's not clear how much of that growth is attributable to the link collections and how much is due simply to the service's growing popularity and an expanding market of smartphone users."
The Iconia W3 Is a Windows Tablet Aimed for a Mini Market - Walt Mossberg - Personal Technology - AllThingsD
"Overall, I found it to be no match for the iPad mini. Compared with the smallest iPad, the Acer features cheaper, bulkier construction; a worse-looking, slower-responding screen; significantly less battery life; and drastically worse cameras. And it’s Wi-Fi only, with no cellular data option.The Iconia W3 Is a Windows Tablet Aimed for a Mini Market - Walt Mossberg - Personal Technology - AllThingsD
Plus, like all Windows 8 computers, it’s burdened by a paucity of tablet-style apps and a dual interface that is best used with touch in one mode, and with a keyboard (which costs extra) in the other."
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
"Investors and analysts seem to have bought into IBM’s narrative to pay no attention to the the top line and focus only on ever increasing profit forecasts, never mind whether they come from financial engineering or engineering engineering. They’re constantly “transforming” the company and getting rid of unprofitable businesses so even as revenues go down, profits will only go up, up, up (at some point, I will do a projection of where to expect the intersection between ever declining revenue and ever increasing profits)."Dino Watch: IBM’s Q2 Results | Platformonomics
"But in addition to a tough comparison from 2012, Apple has also been working to draw down its channel inventory, Cook revealed on Tuesday. Specifically, he said iPad inventory was drawn down by 1.9 million units during the quarter.80% of reduced iPad shipments attributable to channel inventory decline
That reduction in channel inventory accounted for 80 percent of the 2.4 million less iPads Apple sold this year, Cook noted. He also highlighted stats that show the iPad accounting for a whopping 84 percent of Web traffic from tablets.
"If there are lots of other tablets selling, I don't know what they'e being used for," Cook said. "Because that's a pretty basic function, is Web browsing.""
"Everyone knows Google is big. But the truth is that it’s huge. On an average day, Google accounts for about 25 percent of all consumer internet traffic running through North American ISPs.Google Serves 25 Percent of North American Internet Traffic | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com
That’s a far larger slice of than previously thought, and it means that with so many consumer devices connecting to Google each day, it’s bigger than Facebook, Netflix, and Instagram combined. It also explains why Google is building data centers as fast as it possibly can. Three years ago, the company’s services accounted for about 6 percent of the internet’s traffic."
"But the hastily written obituaries left out some important facts. To begin with, B. & N.’s retail business still makes good money, and, though its sales fell last year, its profits actually rose. Its operations, thanks to better inventory management, are more efficient: it can make more money while selling fewer books. The Nook is the only part of the business that’s losing money. Being a book retailer isn’t easy—thanks, above all, to Amazon—but Borders’ bankruptcy, in 2011, left B. & N. without a major national competitor. "James Surowiecki: It’s Not Over for Barnes & Noble : The New Yorker
"According to the latest market data from NPD Group, Apple’s domestic Mac sales declined 5 percent year over year in the June quarter and 12 percent year over year for the month of June alone. This, despite the recent introduction of new MacBook Airs based on Intel’s Haswell processors.U.S. Mac Sales Dip in June - John Paczkowski - News - AllThingsD
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster attributes the decline to shifting consumer interest and iPad cannibalization. “Macs are becoming a less and less meaningful piece of the Apple story,” he said."
Monday, July 22, 2013
"Facebook soon plans to announce the first results of the initiative, which it calls Facebook for Every Phone: More than 100 million people, or roughly one out of eight of its mobile users worldwide, now regularly access the social network from more than 3,000 different models of feature phones, some costing as little as $20.For Developing World, a Streamlined Facebook - NYTimes.com
Many of those users, who rank among the world’s poorest people, pay little or nothing to download their Facebook news feeds and photos, with the data usage subsidized by phone carriers and manufacturers. "
Lazaridis, creator of the BlackBerry, Wants to Build a Quantum Computer in Waterloo | MIT Technology Review
"Laflamme is head of the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo, a research center that’s part of a quixotic, grandiose effort by Mike Lazaridis, cofounder of the smartphone maker BlackBerry, to invent a quantum computer and turn this city 70 miles from Toronto into a “Quantum Valley.”Lazaridis, creator of the BlackBerry, Wants to Build a Quantum Computer in Waterloo | MIT Technology Review
Since 1999, Lazaridis has put $270 million behind his vision, paying to recruit some of the world’s best theoretical physicists. While he thinks a true quantum computer is still 10 years away, he believes initial discoveries can be commercialized now, turning Waterloo into a thriving industrial cluster built around quantum information science."
Friday, July 19, 2013
"DOTCOM mania was slow in coming to higher education, but now it has the venerable industry firmly in its grip. Since the launch early last year of Udacity and Coursera, two Silicon Valley start-ups offering free education through MOOCs, massive open online courses, the ivory towers of academia have been shaken to their foundations. University brands built in some cases over centuries have been forced to contemplate the possibility that information technology will rapidly make their existing business model obsolete. Meanwhile, the MOOCs have multiplied in number, resources and student recruitment—without yet having figured out a business model of their own."Higher education: The attack of the MOOCs | The Economist
"But again, why did Microsoft make so many Surface RTs? If some back-of-the-napkin calculations are right, Microsoft may be sitting on an inventory of 6 million unsold Surface RTs. (Microsoft won't say how many devices it made or sold.)Microsoft's $900M Surface RT write-down: What happened? | Microsoft - CNET News
Isn't this a company whose officials have prided themselves on telemetry data and visibility? Yes, it was the first time Microsoft was making its own PCs, but the company has made its own gaming console, mice, and keyboards in the past, so there were people at the company who knew a considerable amount about supply chains."
"Can anyone play this game?Google's Earnings Disappoint. Once Again, Mobile's to Blame - Businessweek
Today, Google (GOOG) reported second-quarter earnings that fell short of analysts’ estimates. You can read about the details here, but the takeaway is basically that Google is part of an elite club of otherwise-wildy successful companies (Facebook (FB), Yahoo! (YHOO), Twitter) with highly capable, well-educated employees who can’t seem to get a handle on mobile advertising for love or money."
"As part of its disappointing earnings report on Thursday, Microsoft noted that it is making more money from mobile phones.Microsoft's Making More Money From Phones, Android Patents - Ina Fried - Mobile - AllThingsD
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean Windows Phone is raking in the bucks. The company chose to lump together its phone software revenue with the patent royalties it gets from makers of Android devices."
"That said, it has a significantly shorter battery life than competing tablets like the Apple iPad Mini and Google Nexus 7. It also has a lower-resolution screen than the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9, which costs about $30 less. Given these shortcomings, the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 wouldn’t be my first choice in mid-size tablets."Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 (Wi-Fi) review - Bonnie Cha - Product Reviews - AllThingsD
Nokia Sold More Windows Phones Last Quarter Than BlackBerry Sold Total - Ina Fried - Mobile - AllThingsD
"One statistic to put this in perspective is that Nokia sold 7.4 million Lumia devices in the second quarter — the highest quarterly total since Nokia began making Windows Phones. That figure is also more than the total number of BlackBerry devices sold in its most recently reported quarter (6.8 million BlackBerry devices for the three months ended June 1.)"Nokia Sold More Windows Phones Last Quarter Than BlackBerry Sold Total - Ina Fried - Mobile - AllThingsD
Thursday, July 18, 2013
"Microsoft today took an unexpected $900 million charge to account for what it called "inventory adjustments" for the Surface RT, the poor-selling tablet that debuted last year.Microsoft writes off nearly $1B to account for Surface RT bomb - Computerworld
Later today, Microsoft will hold a conference call with Wall Street analysts, but its fourth-quarter fiscal numbers -- published on its website shortly after the U.S. financial markets closed -- pointed out the massive write-down."
Some correlation/causation scrutiny is warranted, but an interesting Microsoft snapshot
“Now that people have a choice of devices, it turns out that a full-blown personal computer is often not the most cost-effective, convenient, or simplest way to do what a user wants to do. Instead of being the center of the personal computing world, in other words, the PC is becoming a specialized office-productivity device.”
"Results, [Intel CEO Brian] Krzanich said, will include clamshell-style laptops with touchscreens–which are now pretty rare at less than $500–that will be priced at $300 or lower.New Intel CEO: Stay Tuned for Much Cheaper Portable PCs - Digits - WSJ:
“PCs, especially with Bay Trail, are going to move down to $200 to $400 range,” Krzanich said.
And devices that function in both clamshell and tablet style, which are even more expensive now, will fall to the $400 range, he said.
Intel also expects Bay Trail to be used in tablets priced at $199 or even below $150, he added. Getting Intel technology into those kinds of prices points opens up major opportunities to drive large volumes of chip sales, Krzanich said."
"It has become a tradition for company representatives to shrug off a major price cut and say that these types of sales always happen. That was Nokia’s explanation when it halved the Lumia 900’s price soon after release, and AT&T’s explanation for the price cut of the HTC First, the Facebook phone. Neither of those devices were selling well.Two Tales of Plummeting Prices - NYTimes.com
Meanwhile, the price of the iPhone 5, one of the best-selling smartphones in the world, hasn’t changed since its release in September."
"Maybe that’s why a scrappy team of game designers decided to create the Gap of game consoles: the Ouya ($100). It began life as a project on Kickstarter, the site where inventors ask the public to help finance their pet projects in exchange for little more than a sense of participation; eager gamers kicked in over $8.5 million.A Console With Quirks, for Tinkerers - NYTimes.com
They were rewarded by delays, bugs, delays and frustration. But now, at last, the Ouya (pronounced OOH-yah) is a real product for sale in real stores, at least where it’s not sold out."
"Apple’s broader strategy — what its chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, recently called its “grand vision” for television — remains shrouded in secrecy, as everything Apple-related tends to be. Some analysts continue to predict, as they have for years, that the company will someday come out with a full-blown television set.Apple’s Move Into TV Relies on Cooperation With Industry Leaders - NYTimes.com
Whether or not an iTV ever materializes, the company’s more modest steps, like improving the $100 Apple TV box that 13 million households now have and adding access to cable channels through the box, suggest that its strategy stands in stark contrast to Google’s, which is contemplating an Internet cable service that would compete directly with distributors like Comcast and Time Warner Cable."
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
The NSA’s Massive Data Center Is Coming Online Ahead Of Schedule — And It's More Powerful Than You Thought [BuzzFeed]
"The NSA’s ability to collect and store such vast quantities of information is difficult to grasp. But so is the enormous footprint of the data center in Bluffdale, Utah, 25 miles south of Salt Lake City. The facility, which cost the government $2 billion, covers 1 million square feet, 100,000 of which is purely for computer servers and storage hardware. According to James Bamford’s Wired magazine article published last year, “The Pentagon is attempting to expand its worldwide communications network, known as the Global Information Grid, to handle yottabytes (10^24 bytes) of data. (A yottabyte is a septillion bytes—so large that no one has yet coined a term for the next higher magnitude.)”"The NSA’s Massive Data Center Is Coming Online Ahead Of Schedule — And It's More Powerful Than You Thought
"At the Microsoft World-Wide Partners Conference, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that “We have something over a million servers in our data center infrastructure. Google is bigger than we are. Amazon is a little bit smaller. You get Yahoo! and Facebook, and then everybody else is 100,000 units probably or less.”Perspectives - Counting Servers is Hard
That’s a surprising data point for a variety of reasons. The most surprising is that the data point was released at all. Just about nobody at the top of the server world chooses to boast with the server count data point. Partly because it’s not all that useful a number but mostly because a single data point is open to a lot of misinterpretation by even skilled industry observers. Basically, it’s pretty hard to see the value of talking about server counts and it is very easy to see the many negative implications that follow from such a number"
"In an effort to whip its desk-bound, tech-loving workforce into shape, Yahoo! (YHOO) is offering free Jawbone Up fitness bands to all employees—with a few conditions. If workers want use the gizmo (retail price: $129.99) to tally their every action while exercising, commuting, sitting, and eating all that free Yahoo food, they must first agree to run or walk at least 100 miles in 30 days."Yahoo! Tries to Get Workers to Walk 100 Miles - Businessweek
Revamped Google Maps App Aims to Give Users More Content - Katherine Boehret - The Digital Solution - AllThingsD
"The company overhauled its app in a way that focuses more intuitively on categories of what you want to do, like Eat, Drink, Shop, Play and Sleep. It has a smart way of encouraging discoveries within these categories that made even me—someone who avoided the discovery features in Google Maps—want to use them. And, yes, it still plots your journey, but now it looks ahead for traffic so it can reroute you mid-trip."Revamped Google Maps App Aims to Give Users More Content - Katherine Boehret - The Digital Solution - AllThingsD
"Google has made overtures to some programmers in recent months about the initiative, people familiar with the situation said. In at least one case, Google has provided a demonstration of the product, according to a person who saw the demonstration. Google didn't immediately have a comment.Google Pitches Online TV Service to Media Companies - WSJ.com
If launched, the Internet-TV services could have major implications for the traditional TV ecosystem, creating new competition for pay-TV operators that are already struggling to retain video subscribers."
"Despite the slow ad sales, Yahoo reported that net income in the quarter rose 46 percent from the same period of 2012, to $331 million, or 30 cents a share, primarily on the growth in its investment holdings. Revenue over the same period fell 7 percent, to $1.14 billion, falling slightly short of Wall Street expectations and underscoring the company’s trouble with reviving growth in its core advertising business."Yahoo Reports a Sharp Decline in Revenue From Display and Search Advertising - NYTimes.com
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Report: Apple mulling $280M purchase of PrimeSense, the Israeli 3D body sensor firm behind Microsoft Kinect | 9to5Mac
"A series of reports from Israeli publication Calcalist.co.il claims PrimeSense, the company behind the original Microsoft Kinect’s technology, is in acquisition talks with Apple, somewhere near a valuation in the $280-300M range. According to the report, a delegation of PrimeSense senior executives visited Apple’s engineering offices in recent days. The purchase would bolster Apple’s living room TV interface offerings and allow Apple to add controls with body movements and hand gestures to its products."Report: Apple mulling $280M purchase of PrimeSense, the Israeli 3D body sensor firm behind Microsoft Kinect | 9to5Mac
"There is a new product just coming to market that embraces gestures but still allows a person to remain upright and keep working in a natural way. It is coming from Leap Motion, a well-funded startup based in San Francisco. Leap Motion provides a small controller that connects to your USB port and can interpret your gesture motions to let you manipulate 3D objects, wave at the screen to advance Windows 8 tile pages and even draw using your fingers, all while still sitting upright. You don’t have to lean forward to use the touchscreen itself to navigate the operating system and its apps."The Flaw in Microsoft’s Windows 8 Logic | TIME.com
Fitbit Flex vs. Jawbone Up and More: A Wearables Comparison - Lauren Goode - Product Reviews - AllThingsD
"But my conclusion is that the Fitbit Flex is actually the best all-around band for your buck. It’s pretty accurate. Its wireless data-syncing is amazingly fast. It works with both iPhone and Android. It records sleep, if you’re into that, and it has a comprehensive food-tracking system. It’s comfortable, and it’s the least expensive at $100.Fitbit Flex vs. Jawbone Up and More: A Wearables Comparison - Lauren Goode - Product Reviews - AllThingsD
I think activity trackers will be more precise in the near future, and some will actually include high-tech heart-rate sensors, and possibly displays. Until then, they’re a mixed bag."
Monday, July 15, 2013
"The balance of patented technology paying for free technology is similar to open-source and closed software, Gates said.Bill Gates on Microsoft Bob, patents and bioterrorism - Puget Sound Business Journal
“Thank God for commercial software; it funds salaries and gives people jobs,” Gates said. “And thank God for free software; it gets things out there.”
But all in all, he said, the mix of commercial and freely released technology works well."
Forrester: $2.1 Trillion Will Go Into IT Spend In 2013; Apps And The U.S. Lead The Charge | TechCrunch
Excerpt from a summary of a Forrester report on 2013 global IT spending
“Tablets — and Apple — continue to lead the charge in hardware. If you look at the IT spending wheel above, it’s clear that PCs are the single-biggest category for computer equipment, at $134.2 million in 2013. But in fact PCs are a shrinking market. Traditional PCs, Bartels writes, will see “just a 3% rise, despite the launch of Windows 8 operating system.” So what’s growing? Tablets, and specifically the iPad. Forrester projects that sales of tablets to business and government will go up by 36% this year to $21 billion. The big winner here continues to be Apple. Samsung Galaxy and the Surface from Microsoft are “helping to expand the tablet market, without putting much of a dent in the growth of the Apple iPad so far.””
Why Apple Really Wanted iBooks – An Alternate Theory (And Why Everone is Wrong) [The Digital Reader]
"Let me lay out an alternate theory for why Apple launched iBooks.Why Apple Really Wanted iBooks – An Alternate Theory (And Why Everone is Wrong)
IMO iBooks was never about the content for its own sake; it was always about the hardware that the content was sold on. I have been saying that for some time now (most recently in late May 2013) but until today I had not backed up my statements with actual data (see above link).
I believe that the initial launch of the iBookstore was merely a stepping stone towards the launch of iBooks 2.0, Apple’s digital textbook platform which launched in January 2012. And that launch was not about content either; I believe it was part of Apple’s plan to get more iPads into classrooms."
"Next week at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts industry insiders, corporate executives and IT vendors are going to descend on the school for the MIT Chief Development Officer Information Quality Symposium to learn the newest and most effective ways to employ the analysis of big data to operate their organizations in the most efficient manner.2013 MIT Chief Development Officer Information Quality Symposium | SiliconANGLE
All week, SiliconANGLE has been highlighting some of the key sessions to be presented."
"Lucene Revolution 2013 was a huge success, bringing together a variety of brilliant minds all focused on bringing out the potential of Apache Lucene Solr. LucidWorks is the main sponsor of the recurring event, one of the biggest in the world focused on open source search technology. Now a huge endorsement has come in through the venerable organization, IDC. Read more about their report in the release, “IDC Report on Lucene Solr Revolution 2013.”"IDC Report on Lucene Revolution : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search
"But for those who were wondering why Nokia didn't go with Android, Elop's reasoning is pretty clear: he and his team reckoned that Samsung would be well-placed (because of its manufacturing capability and history in the mobile space) to dominate, which would leave no room for anyone else.Elop explains: why Nokia didn't choose Android to replace Symbian | Technology | guardian.co.uk
They've certainly been proved right - HTC's figures show continuing falls in revenue despite the critical plaudits for the HTC One. It's impossible to know, of course, whether it was the right decision - but at least we know why it was made."
"RetailNext, based in San Jose, Calif., adds data from shoppers’ smartphones to deduce even more specific patterns. If a shopper’s phone is set to look for Wi-Fi networks, a store that offers Wi-Fi can pinpoint where the shopper is in the store, within a 10-foot radius, even if the shopper does not connect to the network, said Tim Callan, RetailNext’s chief marketing officer.Attention, Shoppers - Store Is Tracking Your Cell - NYTimes.com
The store can also recognize returning shoppers, because mobile devices send unique identification codes when they search for networks. That means stores can now tell how repeat customers behave and the average time between visits."
Sunday, July 14, 2013
"Two years later, things have changed to the worse. The apps have gotten huge and slow, the site itself has become unusable on most of my devices. I can access Google+ from the iPhone 5, from the Galaxy S4, but not from BlackBerry or Lumia. It is completely unusable from Surface and Yoga.vowe dot net :: Google minus
Back at Facebook, things have improved considerably. It has gained all the features I loved in Google+. Being able to delete comments, block users, tune down posts for some people in my newsfeed. It's all there."
"With retailers suddenly dropping the price of Surface RT dramatically over the weekend, some are wondering if this is the time to take the plunge. Folks, put away your credit cards: Surface RT isn’t a good deal at any price.Surface RT at $350: Time to Buy? | Windows RT content from Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows
The issue here is simple. Windows RT is the first-generation version of a new kind of Windows that is completely incompatible with the Windows desktop applications you actually use and much of the hardware peripherals you already own. And Surface RT, based as it is on current generation ARM hardware that was designed for smart phones and media tablets, is simply too underpowered to provide a satisfactory experience.
Nothing can change these basic truths."
Saturday, July 13, 2013
"At the recent Hadoop Summit, among all of the announcements of new products and partnerships around "big data" analytics, one of the surprising trends was the apparent resurgence of a technology that has been around for decades. Many of the announcements coming from companies at the Summit centered on using SQL as the primary interface for Big Data analytics.The hot new technology in Big Data is decades old: SQL | Ars Technica
"It looks as if there's not a Hadoop-related vendor here who isn't promoting an SQL solution," said Paco Nathan, director of data science at Concurrent and a speaker at Hadoop Summit. “And a few of them sound too good to be true.""
Friday, July 12, 2013
"It’s important for people to stay up to date about the most recent research and insights related to their work or personal lives. But it can be difficult to keep up with all the new studies and updated data that’s out there. To make life a bit easier, we’re introducing a new take on how research can be presented. The Databoard for Research Insights enables people to explore and interact with some of Google’s recent research in a unique and immersive way. The Databoard uses responsive design to to offer an engaging experience across devices. Additionally, the tool is a new venture into data visualization and shareability with bite-sized charts and stats that can be shared with your friends or coworkers. The Databoard is currently home to several of Google’s market research studies for businesses, but we believe that this way of conveying data can work across all forms of research."Google Databoard: A new way to explore industry research | Research Blog
Placing a very big bet
“Google’s forthcoming, Samsung-killing Moto-X Android “superphone” is also going to have a super-size advertising budget of up to half a billion dollars, reports the Wall Street Journal. That’s half as much as the $1 billion Apple spent advertising all of its products in 2012.
So why is Google—or technically its subsidiary, Motorola, going so crazy with the ad spend? Probably because the Moto X is up against Samsung’s unbelievably huge marketing budget, which topped out at $4 billion in 2012.”
""After scandals with the distribution of secret documents by WikiLeaks, the exposes by Edward Snowden, reports about Dmitry Medvedev being bugged during his visit to the G20 London summit (in 2009), it has been decided to expand the practice of creating paper documents," the source said.BBC News - Kremlin security agency to buy typewriters 'to avoid leaks'
The source added that typewriters were already being used at Russia's defence and emergencies ministries for drafts and secret notes, and some reports had been prepared for President Vladimir Putin by typewriter."
"Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Chromebook was dismissed as a bare-bones laptop with limited appeal when it debuted two years ago. Now it’s defying skeptics and gaining share as the rest of the personal-computer market shrinks.Google Chromebook Under $300 Defies PC Market With Growth - Bloomberg
Chromebooks have in just the past eight months snagged 20 percent to 25 percent of the U.S. market for laptops that cost less than $300, according to NPD Group Inc. The devices, which have a full keyboard and get regular software updates from Google, are the fastest-growing part of the PC industry based on price, NPD said."
Newsle and Nuzzel Deliver Social News Without the Clutter - Lauren Goode - Product Reviews - AllThingsD
"Over the past week, I’ve been exploring news apps that leverage your social ties to deliver the news. There are many out there, but two stood out to me: Newsle and Nuzzel.Newsle and Nuzzel Deliver Social News Without the Clutter - Lauren Goode - Product Reviews - AllThingsD
They’re alike in a few ways, beyond their similar-sounding names. They’re both free to use, and are Web-only for now. They both aim to de-clutter your social news feeds by plucking out the top-shared or most relevant news stories for you.
But they’re different in concept: Nuzzel is about the news your friends share, and Newsle is about your friends being in the news."
"Given Ballmer’s Thursday memo talked about the importance of services, it’s interesting that Ozzie was banging on the table nearly 10 years earlier about services and the ad-supported model. The memo has the familiar rallying cry of innovate or die:Microsoft Memos for the Ages: Keep Calm, And Face The Cougar - Digits - WSJ
'Just as in the past, we must reflect upon what’s going on around us, and reflect upon our strengths, weaknesses and industry leadership responsibilities, and respond. As much as ever, it’s clear that if we fail to do so, our business as we know it is at risk. We must respond quickly and decisively.'"
"The notion of organizing the company around the trinity of modern technology products — software, hardware and services — is most famously used by Apple. It is yet another sign of how deeply Apple’s way of doing things has seeped into every pore of the technology industry.Microsoft Overhauls, the Apple Way - NYTimes.com
And in the process, some of the biggest technology companies are starting to look much more alike organizationally. The goal is to get thousands of employees to collaborate more closely, to avoid some duplication and, as a result, to build their products to work more harmoniously together."
Evernote for Mac Lets You Annotate with Skitch, Preview Documents and Highlight | Evernote Blog Evernote Blog
"Whether you’re working alone or collaborating with others, it’s always useful to be able to highlight important parts of your note. That’s why we added the new Highlighter as one of the text editing tools. Click the highlighter to add a bright yellow background to your text."Evernote for Mac Lets You Annotate with Skitch, Preview Documents and Highlight | Evernote Blog Evernote Blog
Thursday, July 11, 2013
"The common narrative is that this latest round of consolidation is driven by Wal-Mart. But that’s old news. The new big dog is Amazon.com, with its AmazonFresh delivery which is expanding into Los Angeles and the Bay Area, at least to “select” neighborhoods. It tested the service for about five years in Seattle. Big investment in warehouses makes further expansion likely.Kroger expands, with Amazon in its nightmares | Jon Talton | Seattle Times
Success is not guaranteed. For one thing, Amazon must show it can manage its logistics against brick-and-mortar groceries where this is their primary business. Other online grocers have struggled because margins are so thin. But Amazon has the cash and the willingness to invest. For now, Wall Street is in Amazon’s bag, too."
IFTTT comes to iPhone with a crisp app featuring native Photos, Reminders and Contacts channels - The Next Web
"The digital glue service IFTTT is finally launching an iPhone app and it brings with it a set of new channels specific to Apple’s platform and a lovely mobile platform for both building and using its automated actions. The app is rolling out now to users around the world and it’s a well designed and thoughtful implementation of the Web service that will act as an envoy to new users."IFTTT comes to iPhone with a crisp app featuring native Photos, Reminders and Contacts channels - The Next Web
"Some in publishing suspected that Amazon had prompted the government to file its suit. The retailer has denied it, but it still emerged the big winner. While Apple will be punished — damages are yet to be decided — and the publishers were chastened, Amazon is left free to exert its dominance over e-books — even as it gains market share with physical books. The retailer declined to comment on Wednesday.E-Book Ruling Gives Amazon an Advantage - NYTimes.com
“Amazon is not in most of the headlines, but all of the big events in the book world are about Amazon,” said Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild. “If the publishers colluded, it was to blunt Amazon’s dominance. Barnes & Noble’s troubles may stem from a misstep with its Nook tablets, just as Borders’ bankruptcy might have been hastened by management mistakes, but its precarious position is that of any rent-paying retailer facing a deep-pocketed virtual competitor.”"
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
"“Tom Cruise in Minority Report is not carrying around a thumb drive or logging into Gmail to pick up his attachment,” Houston says. The time is near, he believes, when the “pervasive data layer” becomes an expected part of the fabric of everyday life. It’s just a question of which company builds the best loom for weaving that virtual tapestry. “It’s going to work this way in the future. Why not us?”"Dropbox Blows Up the Box, Connecting Every App, File, and Device | Wired Business | Wired.com
"Just be patient, the chief executive pleaded, and wait for success to come at the end of BlackBerry’s three-stage rebuilding plan. For now, the company is starting phase two by pouring money into growth. This investment stage, as Heins seems to understand, won’t necessarily appeal to Wall Street investors with their lust for short-term profit—a problem he mentioned several times to shareholders, acknowledging how hard it will be for everyone. Then he opened the floor to people who have been losing a lot of money by holding onto his company’s stock."BlackBerry Shareholder Angst in Six Questions - Businessweek
Monday, July 08, 2013
"Christie's is auctioning nine other Apple relics, drawn from two private collections in the U.S. A prototype Macintosh SE with a translucent case (starting bid: $5,000) was likely used in-house to test for airflow inside the machine, as the SE was the first Macintosh with an internal fan. Mr. Edwards was particularly excited to see an Apple Lisa (starting bid: $20,000) with 5.25-inch floppy drives, which are rarely found on this model. The Lisa was the first personal computer with a graphical user interface, said Mr. Edwards. "Everything we think of as Mac started there.""Antiques for Geeks: Christie's Auctions Vintage Apple Computers - WSJ.com
"On Monday, the company will roll out the feature to its several hundred million users in the United States and to others who use the American English version of the site. Other languages will follow.A New Tool Aims to Help Facebook Users Dig Deep - NYTimes.com
Developing a sophisticated search feature is vital to Facebook’s long-term success, both to deepen users’ engagement and to make it more appealing to advertisers.
Experts say that Facebook’s technical achievement so far is impressive. Privacy could still be an issue, however, as more user data becomes easily accessible. Also, the feature is dependent on Facebook users volunteering more information about their likes and dislikes."
Saturday, July 06, 2013
"“We’re trying to shake this notion that we’re only a tool for over-protective parents or suspicious spouses,” Hulls says.Life360’s App Knows Where Your Children Are - Businessweek
Instead, Life360 wants to use location as the foundation for a family-oriented private social network. (Think an even more restrictive Path built around GPS.) The idea is to create a social nucleus in which members can communicate, using location as the primary reference. If dad is halfway home, mom can ping him in-app to remind him to stop by the grocery store. When your daughter’s flight gets in early, the entire family is notified simultaneously, allowing them to coordinate who will pick her up."
"Q4. What is the implication of having Oracle Berkeley DB Java Edition as the core engine for the Oracle NoSQL database?On Oracle NoSQL Database –Interview with Dave Segleau. | ODBMS Industry Watch
Dave Segleau: It means that Oracle NoSQL Database provides a mission-critical proven database technology at the heart of the implementation. Many of the other NoSQL databases use relatively new implementations for data storage and replication. Databases in general, and especially distributed parallel databases, are hard to implement well and achieve high product quality and reliability. So we see the use of Oracle Berkeley DB, a pervasively deployed database engine for 1000′s of mission-critical applications, as a big differentiation. Plus, many of the early NoSQL technologies are based on Oracle Berkeley DB, for example LinkedIn’s Voldemort, Amazon’s Dynamo and other popular commercial and enterprise social media products like Yammer."
Friday, July 05, 2013
"The problem with saying that Engelbart "invented hypertext", or "invented video conferencing", is that you are attempting to make sense of the past using references to the present. "Hypertext" is a word that has a particular meaning for us today. By saying that Engelbart invented hypertext, you ascribe that meaning to Engelbart's work.A few words on Doug Engelbart
Almost any time you interpret the past as "the present, but cruder", you end up missing the point. But in the case of Engelbart, you miss the point in spectacular fashion."
Thursday, July 04, 2013
"But let’s face it: most professionals think they need Photoshop. So Adobe’s incentive to keep improving these programs isn’t exactly life or death. Nobody knows what improvements Adobe plans to add, how many, how often, or what the subscription rates will be next year or the year after that. Adobe is just saying, “Trust us.”Software as a Monthly Rental - NYTimes.com
Whether you do or not, there’s no denying that the big picture has changed. From now on, you won’t just cut monthly checks for your mortgage, your electric bill and your cable TV. Now, you’ll be cutting one more — for your software."
Statistical significance tbd, but an interesting NoSQL skills snapshot from LinkedIn profile analysis
“Four quarters have now passed since we rebooted our NoSQL LinkedIn Skills Index, based on the number of LinkedIn member profiles mentioning each of the NoSQL projects, giving us a good view of the relative growth of the various NoSQL databases in the past year.”
Wednesday, July 03, 2013
"Douglas C. Engelbart, a visionary scientist whose singular epiphany in 1950 about technology’s potential to expand human intelligence led to a host of inventions — among them the computer mouse — that became the basis for both the Internet and the modern personal computer, died on Tuesday at his home in Atherton, Calif. He was 88."Douglas C. Engelbart, Inventor of the Computer Mouse, Dies at 88 - NYTimes.com
"Google Reader is just the latest casualty of the war that Facebook started, seemingly accidentally: the battle to own everything. While Google did technically “own” Reader and could make some use of the huge amount of news and attention data flowing through it, it conflicted with their far more important Google+ strategy: they need everyone reading and sharing everything through Google+ so they can compete with Facebook for ad-targeting data, ad dollars, growth, and relevance."Lockdown – Marco.org
"Today, Hadoop underpins Facebook, Twitter, eBay, Yahoo, and countless other companies. But in 2007, when Murthy took that early-morning call, it was still obscure. A year earlier, Doug Cutting and Michael Cafarella had created the platform, on their own time, inspired by white papers published by Google in 2004, and eventually Yahoo got behind the project, putting Cutting on the payroll. The company’s search architect, Eric Baldeschwieler, had asked Murthy to work on Hadoop because he had experience with both systems software — such as operating systems and other low-level software components — and open source.The Phone Call That Changed the Face of Big Data | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com
“My journey with Hadoop almost didn’t happen,” Murthy remembers. “I looked at it and said: ‘Who the hell writes systems software in Java?’”"
"To the extent there is an opening in the smartphone market, it is selling cheap phones in developing countries. The number of low-cost smartphone shipments is expected to triple by 2018, at which point it will make up almost half the overall smartphone market, according to ABI Research. If Firefox succeeds, it is much more likely to take business from Android than from Apple (AAPL), which is funny considering that Mozilla is funded almost entirely by Google (GOOG), which pays the organization about $300 million per year to use Google as the default search engine in its browser."Introducing Firefox's Android Rival, Brought to You by Google - Businessweek
With Android Revamp, Skype Aims to Be a Player in Mobile Messaging - Mike Isaac - Social - AllThingsD
"[...] Skype unveiled a significant UI and design revamp of its Android product, drastically emphasizing and reengineering the way users access the messaging part of the application.With Android Revamp, Skype Aims to Be a Player in Mobile Messaging - Mike Isaac - Social - AllThingsD
Aside from a slick new look, the user experience changes bring messaging to the forefront. Contact conversation history is emphasized over profile pages. Stability is improved, and battery consumption is reduced, making it easier for messaging enthusiasts to spend more time in the app without worrying about crashes or power drain. The interface is uniform across all devices, so moving between platforms is easy and familiar."
"True to his eccentric style, Mr. Mason, former chief executive of Groupon, is trying on a new role as a motivational singer, with an album of seven songs about business that was released on Tuesday.It's a Catchy Tune, but Can You Manage to It? - NYTimes.com
“This album pulls some of the most important learnings from my years at the helm of one of the fastest-growing businesses in history, and packages them as music,” Mr. Mason explained in a post on his blog. “Executives, midlevel management and front-line employees are all sure to find valuable take-aways.”"
Tuesday, July 02, 2013
A timely email marketing reality check
“Despite the hype that inevitably clings to the newfangled, however, it’s relatively antique tech that appears to be far more important for selling stuff online. A new report from marketing data outfit Custora found that over the past four years, online retailers have quadrupled the rate of customers acquired through email to nearly 7 percent.
Facebook over that same period barely registers as a way to make a sale, and the tiny percentage of people who do connect and buy over Facebook has stayed flat. Twitter, meanwhile, doesn’t register at all. By far the most popular way to get customers was “organic search,” according to the report, followed by “cost per click” ads (in both cases, read: Google).”