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Can The IoT Market Grow By 30 Percent YoY

September 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

The Internet of Things (IOT) platform market is expected to grow 35 percent annually to $1.16 billion by 2020, according to Verizon’s State of the Market: Internet of Things 2017 report.

The report finds that the biggest growth will be in business-to-business applications which can generate nearly 70 percent of potential value enabled by IoT.

More than 73 percent of executives either researching or currently deploying IoT. Manufacturing, transportation and utilities make up the largest percent of investments, while insurance and consumers represent the fastest areas of spending growth.

Currently there are 8.4 billion connected “things” in use in 2017, up 31 percent from 2016, and network technology, cost reductions and regulatory pressures driving adoption, business leaders are not only paying attention, they’re getting in the game the report said.

While the opportunity for revenue growth is the biggest factor driving IoT adoption, regulatory compliance remains a driving factor behind enterprise IoT implementation. Standards, security, interoperability and cost make up over 50 percent of executive concerns around IoT. These uncertainties are holding businesses back from full IoT deployment, with many still in proof-of-concept or pilot phase.

Early adopters seem focused on proving out simple use cases to track data and send status alerts, just starting to realize the full value IoT has to offer in driving growth and efficiencies across business, the report said.

The report’s author Mark Bartolomeo, VP of IoT Connected Solutions at Verizon said: “Over the past year, industry innovators in energy, healthcare, construction, government, agtech and beyond have not only piloted, but in many cases, deployed IoT technology to improve business inefficiencies, track and manage assets to drive value to the bottom line. In 2017, advancements in technology and standards, coupled with changing consumer behaviours and cost reductions, have made IoT enterprise-grade, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg in driving economic value across the board.”

Courtesy-Fud

VMWare, Google Partner Up Over Chrome Devices For The Enterprise

August 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

VMware’s AirWatch subsidiary has teamed up with Google to enable unified end-point management (UEM) of all Chrome OS devices in an enterprise.

Through VMware Workspace ONE’s cloud portal, IT admins will be able to manage Chrome devices in their company alongside all other endpoints from a single console.

Among other things, IT managers will be able to perform a number of tasks including on-boarding employees; provisioning, auditing and tracking hardware; device wiping; and securing access to personalized enterprise app catalogs.

With new enterprise-ready capabilities from Chrome Enterprise License, companies will also be able to control device policies using a customizable assignment of groups based on geography, device platform, department, and employee role. The goal is to simplify policy enforcement across an enterprise, VMware said.

“The consumerization of the enterprise has left IT managing multiple operating systems on a variety of devices – some provided by the business and others brought in by employees,” said Sumit Dhawan, general manager of End-User Computing at VMware. “As Chrome OS continues to gain momentum, our customers are eager to manage these devices consistently along with all other endpoints, including mobile devices.”

Through Workspace ONE, VMware AirWatch users will also be able to securely manage the lifecycle of Chromebooks, Dhawan added.

In March, VMware’s AirWatch announced a partnership aimed at accelerating the adoption of Chromebooks by enhancing existing application accessibility of the devices through VMware Workspace ONE. That collaboration enabled one-click secure authentication and management of apps – cloud, web and virtual – for organizations deploying Chromebooks.

While it’s an industry first in terms of the Google partnership, VMware’s move to enable UEM highlights a larger trend as the enterprise mobility management (EMM) software market quickly consolidates. As a result, tools for provisioning, configuring and securing mobile devices are being subsumed into larger product suites.

Intel Details Atom C3000

August 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

Intel has released a few details on its Atom C3000, and unlike previous flavours of Atom these are being tipped for the network rather than home use.

Earlier in the week Gigabyte launched a new server motherboard that came packing a previously unannounced Intel Atom C3958 16-core 2.0GHz processor. Hexus points out that this product launch was a little ahead of Intel’s own announcement of the chip range, which was done today.

The processors are designed for light scale-out workloads that require very low power, high density, and high I/O integration including network routers, switches, storage, security appliances, dynamic web serving, and more.

Chipzilla says that the Intel’s Atom C3000 series SoCs are designed to deliver “low power, efficient intelligence, to the farthest edge of the network,” They will start to appear in Network and Enterprise Storage products.

Intel claims they can deliver up to 4.0x storage performance improvement, up to 3.4x network performance improvement, and up to 2.3x compute performance improvement

The C3000 series are the third-generation system-on-a-chip based CPUs manufactured on Intel’s optimized 14nm process technology.

At the top end Intel offers the Atom C3958 with 16-cores and running at 2.0GHz at $449. This 31W processor can use up to 256GB of RAM and can support 8x USB 3.0 ports, 16 SATA ports, and offers 4×10/2.5/1GbE LAN.

Courtesy-Fud

Are Tougher Security Standards For IoT Forthcoming

August 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

US Senators are planning to introduce draft legislation next week that would require makers of Internet of Things (IoT) devices to ensure that their products are patchable and conform to industry standards for security.

The legislation is a bi-partisan effort led by Democratic Party senators Mark Warner and Ron Wyden, and Republicans Steve Daines and Cory Gardner.

Although relatively modest in scope, the legislation represents a first step to requiring device makers to start taking responsibility for the security of products connected to the internet. “We’re trying to take the lightest touch possible,” Warner told Reuters.

He added that the legislation was intended to remedy an “obvious market failure” that has left device manufacturers with little incentive to build with security in mind.

It echoes thinking from security specialists such as Bruce Schneier, who have suggested that sensible, rather than heavy-handed legislation is required to push device makers to improve the security of their products.

In November last year, following the Mirai malware attacks that compromised chronically insecure internet-connected CCTV systems, Schneier wrote: “The technical reason these devices are insecure is complicated, but there is a market failure at work…

“The teams building these devices don’t have the security expertise we’ve come to expect from the major computer and smartphone manufacturers, simply because the market won’t stand for the additional costs that would require.

“These devices don’t get security updates like our more expensive computers, and many don’t even have a way to be patched. And, unlike our computers and phones, they stay around for years and decades… Like pollution, the only solution is to regulate,” wrote Schneier.

The draft legislation was put together with help from IT specialists from the Atlantic Council and Harvard University. It would also expand protection for security researchers to hack equipment with the purpose of finding vulnerabilities.

Courtesy-TheInq

Is Google Really A Racist Company

August 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

A senior software engineer at Google has opened a can of worms by calling for the company to abandon it diversity initiatives in favor of “ideological diversity,”

In a document titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” the 10 page rant argues that the gender gaps at Google are the result of biological differences between men and women, and that the company shouldn’t offer programs that help under-represented groups.

The author also alleged that politically conservative employees are discriminated against, and that achieving “ideological equality” should be a priority. He feels that conservative political feelings should be a protected class because they are not looked after by anti-discrimination laws like race, religion, age, sex, citizenship, familial status, or one’s disability, or veteran status are.

Numerous Google employees voiced their outrage over the existence of the document, and indicated that the author’s management chain and HR have been made aware of it.

“I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don’t endorse using stereotypes.” The author goes on to speak to perceived biases within Google, and how that is detrimental to the company.

Basically after starting out by saying “I am not a misogynist or racist” the writer then goes into a rant about how inferior women are and then says white men are vulnerable. The writer thought that women were unsuited for tech because they like people, whilst men like things.

However what is more alarming, is that while the document is angering women and minorities working at Google there is a small vocal section of the company, lets call them white backward males who think that women should be at home and in the kitchen rather than programming who agree.

This has put Google’s new VP of Diversity, Danielle Brown, on the spot. She has sent a memo to Google employees, saying that she “found that it advanced incorrect assumptions about gender,” and that it’s not a “viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages.”

She went on to write that a diverse workplace is a central part of the company’s culture.

Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate. We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, and we’ll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul, she wrote.

Courtesy-Fud

Is Zynga Making A Comeback

August 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Gaming

Quick, somebody pop the cork on that champagne bottle! After a grueling year with a $108 million loss, Zynga is now profitable in its second quarter of the 2017 fiscal year, with $5.1m in net income. The company started its fiscal year off on the right foot with a significantly narrowed loss in Q1, and at the time CEO Frank Gibeau promised us that profitability is around the corner.

In a phone call with GamesIndustry.biz earlier today, Gibeau explained, “Q2 we beat on the top and the bottom. We posted our best revenue and bookings performance in four years. We saw some of the things that we’ve been investing in really take hold, like CSR and our mobile momentum. In mobile, we’ve really been focusing in on live ops, and in trying to drive higher quality experiences there and we saw a big lift in our audience and in our revenue there. Our audience was up 28% y-o-y, which is pretty awesome. Our in-app purchase revenues were up 33% y-o-y. 90% of our audience now is on mobile, which if you think of just a few years ago how much Zynga was ‘The Facebook Company,’ now that…is quite a sea change for the company.”

Total revenues for Zynga were up 15% to $209.2m and bookings came to the same total, representing a 20% jump. Furthermore, the company’s operating cash flow came to $37.8m, which was its best quarterly performance in five years. Importantly, Zynga’s mobile transition is nearly complete. Not only is 90% of the audience there, but the company saw 86% of revenues and 87% of bookings come from mobile. Its mobile base now stands at 19m average daily active users, which is up 28% year-over-year and represents the strongest year-over-year growth since Q4 2014. Apart from its Social Slots offering, the big driver for Zynga in Q2 was racing sequel CSR2.

“CSR was strong,” Gibeau said. “We had really good partnerships with Fast and The Furious, and with Universal. We did some cool stuff with Lamborghini. As you know, I’ve been working on racing games a lot in my career. It’s a lot of fun to have such a high quality experience to play around with. Its mobile revenue was up 14% quarter-over-quarter, and up 18% on bookings level. The audience was up almost 10% and it’s the number one racing game in the App Store. And we’ve had over 1.1 million five-star reviews.

“So CSR, and our mobile momentum, it’s resulting in this portfolio which is the strongest mobile portfolio the company has ever had. You’ve got Poker, Words with Friends, CSR, our Casino products, and in addition to that our Match 3 business is coming on and we’ve still got a lot of growth in front of us, particularly in places like Invest Express and Action Strategy. But in general I feel really good about the portfolio and where it’s at in our life cycle.”

CSR is doing so well that Zynga now considers it one of their “forever franchises.” NaturalMotion’s newer IP, Dawn of Titans, isn’t having that same level of success and was merely a footnote again in the company’s earnings statement. Last quarter Gibeau acknowledged that some games can take a long time to reach their full potential, and he elaborated on Dawn of Titans again this quarter, especially in light of Zynga’s improved operating efficiencies and how it treats projects. The mobile Mafia Wars project, for example, was shut down last month because Zynga did not believe it could become a forever franchise. And if Zynga can’t be near the top in a category, its new philosophy is to not devote the resources to that category.

“We’re a continuous learning organization,” Gibeau remarked. “I’ve had a long career in gaming and you learn everything you can from every launch, whether it’s a success or it doesn’t hit its potential. I think some of the learnings from Dawn of Titans actually informed the decision on Mafia. Dawn of Titans was a game that had been in soft launch for an extraordinarily long time, it had been under development for a very long time, and the key learning from me coming into that project was a sharper decision making tree for how we go through different stages of development.

“On Mafia Wars we really looked at how we went into soft launch, what were our goals, and what did the category look like overall and what did it take to compete? Because we don’t want to be in a category if we can’t be a one or a two. We want to be in that position – otherwise we should use our talent and our dollars in a different way, because mobile games is a tough category. You can’t be everywhere. So when we looked at Mafia Wars, we gave it a healthy soft launch and we just didn’t see the KPIs. When we looked at what it was going to take to get it into position to be a number one or number two game against some of the big competition that’s out there, it didn’t feel like the right decision. It felt like we could redeploy those individuals, those talented people and those dollars on other ideas that would help Zynga grow faster and in a more predictable way.”

Gibeau added that knowing when to scrap a game is actually a very important part of the process for the best mobile companies.

“It’s always hard to stop development,” he continued. “You have to be really sober sometimes and say we have to take hope out. What can we actually achieve? And if we’re not going to get to that level of performance then you make the call. And you want to do it in a way that is timely and that you don’t drag it out, which was the key learning for me on Dawn of Titans; we could have been more decisive earlier in the development process. So that’s what we did. We believe in the Mafia Wars brand as a universe and it’s something that we’ll probably come back to in another time, maybe in a different category with a different design. But we thank the team for their hard work. Honestly, killing a game in soft launch is a strength in a lot of ways of an organization. If you look at some of the developers out there they talk about the number of games that they bring into soft [launch] that they don’t finish.”

All that being said, Gibeau insists that Dawn of Titans isn’t about to get its plug pulled. There’s a lot of potential there, and Zynga is confident that the game will get there.

“If you look at Dawn of Titans, it did have a tremendous amount of expectations over the years,” Gibeau said. “We put it out, and it hit a certain level of performance and it’s kind of leveled out in terms of audience and retention. We’ve been looking at the game very carefully and what we keep coming back to is that we think it’s a high quality experience, we think it’s got great intellectual property and we think the team has the capability of really bringing that potential out. It hasn’t really done it yet, and if it gets to a point where we don’t believe it can reach its full potential then we’ll do something else. But we are not there.

“There is a long track record of mobile games that come out and find there way and eventually have a breakthrough and they leap into the charts. I’ve been on some of those games. We believe in Dawn of Titans, we’re committed to the franchise, we’re making prioritized decisions right now to make sure the features that we’re putting in the game are what the players want most… Candidly, we wish we were further along but it doesn’t change the focus and it doesn’t change the commitment. We just had a review on the product last week and I like the plan that they have going forward so we’re going to stick with it.”

NaturalMotion is a very talented studio, so what is it about Dawn of Titans versus CSR that’s enabling one to thrive while the other just barely keeps its head above water?

“I think CSR benefited from the fact that it was a sequel and the racing category has a lot more knowns in terms of design decisions,” Gibeau explained. “It had an approach and a reputation and an audience expectation that they were able to execute upon. That’s why I’m so bullish on NaturalMotion and Dawn of Titans; I see all the goodness of CSR2 and I know we can get there. So from my perspective, it’s a real-time strategy game on mobile that has a very different play mechanic compulsion loop than CSR2. It’s an obviously very different experience, not just a genre difference, but just the core experience. And it was a new team [whereas] the CSR team had been together for a while… If we can get CSR and Dawn of Titans to be operating at the same level of performance that’s going to be great.”

Apart from updates on its portfolio, Gibeau also talked about how his company is striving to get costs down all around. The firm has reduced R&D expenditures, and importantly in the expensive city that is San Francisco, Zynga has managed to find a long-term tenant for its building: AirBnB.

“Our R&D cost is down about 10 points y-o-y as a percentage of revenue, and we’ve been investing in India and some new locations like Finland that’s really starting to come to scale,” Gibeau noted. “And we also are a building owner as you might know, and sometimes part of my job is being a landlord, so we were real fortunate to in sign a 9-year lease with AirBnB. Our footprint in San Francisco is a lot smaller than it was when we IPO’d so bringing in a group like AirBnB to be a partner in the building as a tenant was really a big milestone for us because it helps us get a lot more efficient in terms of how we are as a company.”

Looking forward, Gibeau expressed some interest in the mobile VR/AR trend but Zynga doesn’t have anything to announce yet. High-end VR still isn’t mainstream, but mobile VR is gaining more traction thanks to Samsung Gear and Google Daydream. And now that Apple is getting into the AR mix with its ARkit for iOS, Gibeau is optimistic that the category will yield some opportunities.

“One of the reasons I’m so excited about our potential as a company is that mobile is the most dynamic gaming platform out there,” he said. “It’s the biggest, it’s continuing to grow and I think it has a tremendous amount of innovation in front it as highlighted by the VR/AR stuff but also in chat, and in platform innovations from Google and Apple, and they’re constant. So from my perspective we want to have a very nimble company at this level where we’re not missing out on the next big thing, the next big innovation.

“There’s an old saying that we have, which is ‘Transition is our friend.’ So we want to look forward to those things. And AR is definitely something we’re looking at. I’m less bullish on VR on mobile right now – I’m more bullish on AR, just because of the context and how you use the device… [Pokemon GO developer] Niantic has done a tremendous job in making AR not a gimmick but actually a core part of the experience. I think we’re scratching the surface of what’s going to be possible there.”

For the third quarter, Zynga has provided guidance of $210 million in revenues, net income of $7 million, bookings of $205 million and adjusted EBITDA (including the impact of changes in deferred revenue) of $30 million. Zynga did caution, however, that some of its growth could be “offset by declines in our web and older games, as well as continued softness in advertising.” Zynga also has found that seasonality plays a part, as Q3 has historically had dips in player activity on live services, the company said.

Courtesy-GI.biz

Does Windows 10 Support Intel’s Atom Chip

July 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

While most people expected that Windows 10 would last a while, it appears that some Intel users will not get feature updates.

ZDNet’s Ed Bott has written that systems built around Intel’s Clover Trail Atom processors are blocked from installing Windows 10 Version 1703, known as the Creators Update.

For those with the memory of goldfish, Intel’s Clover Trail Atom processors are generally low-cost, low-power machines released between 2012 and 2015. The devices that the chips are installed would end up broken or at the bottom of the wardrobe. However if you do try to install Windows 10 on the machine you will get the message that “the chip is no longer supported on this PC”.

Clover Trail machines were shipped with Windows 8 or 8.1. If their owners had kept Windows 8.1, they’d be eligible for the regular 5+5 support policy, with security updates ceasing on October 1, 2023. But the machines were deemed compatible with Windows 10 and hence eligible for the free upgrade that Microsoft offered to Windows 8.1 users for the first year of Windows 10’s release.

What is starting to look like happening is that rather than Windows 10 lasting on your machine forever, Vole is tying its software upgrades to hardware improvements. So your current computer might be able to run future versions of Windows 10, but Vole will not let you upgrade it until you get a better chip.

Each Windows 10 update will receive security fixes for just 18 months. Version 1607, the latest that these Clover Trail machines can install, will drop out of support in early 2018. After that date, they’ll cease to receive any patches at all.

The following Intel Clover Trail processors are currently not supported on Windows 10 Creators Update: Atom Z2760, Atom Z2520, Atom Z2560 and Atom Z2580.

However the issue is not because of an evil pact between Vole and the hardware industry. Clover Trail’s GPU was a non-Intel GPU designed by Imagination Technologies which has made driver development and support a nightmare.

Later Atom processors used Intel’s own GPU designs, a move that should simplify their ongoing support.

Courtesy-Fud

NBC To Host Daily News Show On Snapchat

July 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Comcast Corp’s NBC News plans to offer a twice-per-day news show on Snapchat, the company said on Wednesday, part of its push to attract younger viewers who tend to watch TV on mobile devices.

Comcast’s NBCUniversal invested $500 million in Snapchat owner Snap Inc  during its initial public offering as it seeks to boost its digital offering.

Broadcast news outlets like NBC News face an aging audience. The median age of NBC Nightly News, for example, is 64 years old, according to the Nielsen ratings agency. That is much older than the 18-to-34-year-old demographic that advertisers covet.

Last month, NBC News launched a digital video service, called “NBC Left Field” featuring short documentaries to appeal to social media users.

“This is a concerted effort that is crucial to our future,” said Nick Ascheim, head of digital at NBC News.

“Stay Tuned” will focus on issues of the day and will air at 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. EDT on weekdays and 1 p.m. EDT on weekends. The show will also air for specific breaking news events.

The launch of the daily news show comes amid increasing investor skepticism about Snap’s ability to grow and compete with Facebook Inc’s Instagram.

Is Intel Abandoning The IoT Arena

July 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

For ages Intel has been banging on about the Internet of Things and how it will be the saviour of the chip business.

It seemed that Intel, having been too late to take advantage of the mobile boom, wanted to be in place when the Internet of the Things arrived.

However, Intel of late, appears to be withdrawing some of its enthusiasm. It is discontinuing its Galileo, Joule, and Edison lineups of development boards. The chip maker quietly made the announcement and now appears to be letting 130 people go from its IoT teams.

Intel plans to lay off 97 people at its corporate headquarters in Santa Clara and up to 40 more in Ireland as the chipmaker makes cuts to its Internet of Things group.

Intel’s IoT group provided $721 million in revenue in the first quarter of the year, up nearly 11 percent from the prior year. But IoT accounted for less than five percent of Intel’s sales.

Curiously, Intel hasn’t yet scrapped Curie, its platform for wearable devices. But given that the wearable market is at a standstill, it might not be long before Intel exits this market segment too.

But it is looking like Intel is falling back to its default PC/Server chips and has no plan to do anything else.

Courtesy-Fud

Toshiba Launches 4-bit NAND Flash Memory

July 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

Toshiba has announced the latest generation of 3D flash memory, the 4-bit-per-cell, quadruple-level cell (QLC) technology NAND flash memory.

Thanks to the QLC technology, which features a 64-layer stacked cell structure, Toshiba managed to hit the world’s largest die capacity of 768Gb/96GB. This also enables a 1.5TB (terabyte) device with a 16-die stacked architecture in a single package, which is also a 50 percent increase in capacity per package compared to the earlier generation.

Since QLC NAND flash suffers from the same, if not worse issues as the MLC NAND, which is how to push data into a single cell without affecting the reliability and performance, it remains to be seen if SSDs based on QLC NAND flash memory will actually hit the cost/performance sweet spot.

We suspect that these drives will mostly be focused on data centers, where lower power consumption and footprint are a premium, but eventually we will see it in other markets.

According to Toshiba, samples of the QLC device started shipping earlier in June to SSD and SSD controller vendors for evaluation and development purposes while further samples will be showcased at the upcoming Flash Memory Summit 2017 in August.

Courtesy-Fud

Intel Add More Life To The IoT

July 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Computing

Intel has doubled the lifecycle support for its whole series of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions platforms from seven years to 15 years.

The move is part of a cunning plan to gain the confidence of its partners in the IoT supply chains and step up the development of IoT-related processor platforms and chipsets.

This will push up Intel’s operating costs, but it might just convince supply-chain partners and accelerate development of IoT solutions and applications.

Intel, Qualcomm and Microsoft are all fighting in the IoT market and are making deals or seeking mergers and acquisitions to stay ahead.

Intel’s IoT platform lifecycle support program announcement is expected to effectively boost the willingness of its partners to use Intel IoT solutions gear and expand its global IoT platform penetration rate.

All Intel IoT solutions platforms, including next-generation 14nm Skylake-SP server and processor platforms, existing Skylake-architecture Xeon E3-12xx/15xxv5 series, and the sixth-generation Core, Pentium and Celeron processors will see their lifecycle support extended to the range of seven to 15 years from the existing maximum of seven years.

In addition, processor platforms recording higher shipment records, including N3700 (Braswell), Celeron N3xxx (Braswell) and J1900/N2xxx (Bay Trail), as well as Atom C2xxx (Rangeley), E3800 series (Bay Trail) are all covered by the new lifecycle support program.

IoT solutions products have yet to contribute notable profits to Intel. In the first quarter of 2017, Intel made $721 million in IoT-related revenues, showing an annual growth of 11 percent.

Courtesy-Fud

Facebook Hits Two Billion Users Milestone

June 29, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Facebook Inc announced this week that 2 billion people are regularly using its flagship service, marching past another milestone in its growth from a college curiosity in the United States to the world’s largest social media network.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg disclosed the number to his followers in a Facebook post. “It’s an honor to be on this journey with you,” he wrote.

The user base is bigger than the population of any single country, and of six of the seven continents. It represents more than a quarter of the world’s 7.5 billion people.

Facebook defines a monthly active user as a registered Facebook user who logged in and visited Facebook through its website or a mobile device, or used its Messenger app, in the past 30 days. It does not include people who use the Instagram or WhatsApp networks but not Facebook.

The company said in May that duplicate accounts, according to an estimate from last year, may have represented some 6 percent of its worldwide user base.

The social network’s user population dwarfs that of similar companies. Twitter Inc  reported in April monthly active users of 328 million, while Snap Inc’s Snapchat had 166 million daily users at the end of the first quarter.

WeChat, a unit of Tencent Holdings Ltd and a widely used service in China, said in May that it had 938 million monthly active users in the first quarter.

Facebook had 1.94 billion people using its service monthly as of March 31, an increase of 17 percent from a year earlier. It reached 1 billion in October 2012.

The company, which Zuckerberg started in 2004 in his college dorm room, uses its huge size advantage to lure advertisers, offering them highly targeted marketing capabilities based on its data about users.

The number of advertisers topped 5 million in April, the company said.

Facebook’s growth has increasingly come from outside the United States, Canada and Europe. Three years ago, those regions accounted for some 38 percent of users, compared with about 30 percent in the first quarter of this year.

Electronic Signature Service DocuSign Reports Hacking

May 17, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Electronic signature service DocuSign revealed that hackers had temporarily gained access to a database that houses customer emails, which the company linked to a surge in phishing emails sent to its users.

The company said the emails imitated the DocuSign brand to trick recipients into opening a Microsoft Word document containing malicious software.

DocuSign’s service is widely used by big bank and insurers for keeping track of financial transactions, with 12 of the top 15 U.S. financial services companies using the company’s software.

The privately held company, valued at about $3 billion, makes software to add legally compliant electronic signatures to documents.

DocuSign said only email addresses were accessed. Names, physical addresses, passwords, social security numbers or credit card data were not accessed, the company said on its website.

San Francisco-based DocuSign said earlier this month that it was tracking the malicious e-mail campaign.

DocuSign has about 200 million users and has been embraced as a quick and secure way to sign contracts and other official documents using a finger on a mobile device.

Are eBooks Losing Steam In The U.K.?

May 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Ebooks are dying out and are being replaced by the good old fashioned non-digital versions with a bit of spine.

Sales of consumer ebooks plunged 17 percent in the UK in 2016, according to the Publishers Association.

Sales of physical books and journals went up by seven percent over the same period, while children’s books surged 16 percent. The same trend is on display in the US, where ebook sales declined 18.7 percent over the first nine months of 2016.

According to the Association of American Publishers, paperback sales were up 7.5 percent over the same period, and hardback sales increased 4.1 percent.

Some of this might be due to the death of tablets and e-readers which turned out not to be the game changing hardware that the Tame Apple Press and Steve Jobs told us.

The Sales of e-readers have declined by more than 40 percent between 2011 and 2016, according to consumer research group Euromonitor International.

“E-readers, which was once a promising category, saw its sales peak in 2011. Its success was short-lived, as it spiralled downwards within a year with the entry of tablets,” Euromonitor said in a research note.

One of the things we have noticed in research book sales is that people are grabbing PDF versions of books and never reading them. But in any case, it does look like the traditional book has another few hundred years life left in it.

Courtesy-Fud

Twitter, Bloomberg To Team Up On Streaming TV News Service

May 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Twitter Inc is teaming up with Bloomberg Media for a round-the-clock streaming television news service on the social networking platform, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

The channel, which is yet to be named and is expected to begin operations this fall, would be announced Monday, WSJ said.

Twitter’s user growth has stalled in the past few quarters and the company has been trying to convince advertisers that it will strengthen its user base.

As part of its efforts, it has updated its product offerings including live video broadcasts from its app and launched new features to attract users.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in an internal memo last October one of the company’s missions was defined as being the “people’s news network”.

Twitter has made a push into news and sports on mobile devices last year and this foray could pique the interest of a media company as an acquirer, analysts have said.

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