Archive for October, 2012
Google gave the broadest of targets when it said Google Play carrier billing would reach Verizon in the “coming weeks” — those last two words are often hints from companies that we shouldn’t hold our breath. Call us surprised, then, when Google quietly takes the option live two weeks later. At least one Droid-Life reader has discovered that it’s now possible to load as many as $25 in purchases per month on an existing Big Red smartphone bill and pay through just the one channel. The move puts all four major US carriers on the same page, and gives Verizon subscribers an incentive to splurge on apps and movies for that new Droid RAZR HD… so long as they remember to deal with the financial fallout afterwards.
Google Play carrier billing goes live for impulse buyers on Verizon originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 3! 1 Oct 20 12 14:04:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Communication has been all too spotty across much of New York City and New Jersey since Hurricane Sandy struck the region, and those who can get through on their cellphones have found themselves on particularly crowded networks. AT&T and T-Mobile are providing some much-needed, if temporary, relief: the two have struck a deal to share their GSM and 3G networks in the area with no roaming fees or plan changes while the networks come back, with the best-functioning network taking precedence in any given connection. A return to the normal state of affairs hasn’t been fixed in stone and will likely depend on many, many factors, but it’s a much appreciated gesture for residents who might not have a choice to relocate for a vital phone call.
AT&T and T-Mobile temporarily share networks in New York City and New Jersey, shoulder the post-hurricane load originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 31 Oct 2012 15:36:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Ugg boots, owned by Decker Outdoor Corp., reported earnings last week, and the results were bad.
Profits were down 31 percent, mostly because women aren’t buying Ugg boots. The company said it was going to slash prices to draw more interest to the boots, but even that isn’t guaranteed to help.
Until now, Ugg’s biggest obstacle was image. The boots were seen as sloppy and something women wore with sweatpants.
Ugg also hired Tom Brady as a spokesmodel to try and draw men into its stores. So far that move has been successful, and sales are up with the male contingent.
But Ugg faces a terrifying reality: women’s boots might be going out of style.
“The worst is yet to come,” Sam Poser, an analyst at Sterne Agee, told the Huffington Post, adding that “weaker Uggs sales might not just be due to weather, but may indicate that the boots have fallen out of fashion.”
If that’s true, Ugg’s problems become a lot more daunting. While the company is making strides with men, women’s boots make up the vast majority of its business.
Women are unlikely to shell out for Ugg flats or loafers because they are already loyal to other brands. Boots are the core product.&! nbsp;
If boots are actually out of style, Ugg will have just have to wait for the fashion cycle to turn around.
According to the survey, 78 percent of likely voters polled had positive views of the way that the president has handled the “super storm” – a number that includes two-thirds of Romney’s supporters. In contrast, just 44 percent of those surveyed had a net positive view of how the Republican candidate responded to the storm.
The chart below breaks down those results:
It is too early to tell, however, if that support for Obama will affect his overall standing in the race. The results of the four-day tracking survey include only one night of interviews with voters after the storm hit, so we will have to wait for Thursday and Friday’s results to see if the storm has any real effect on the dynamics of the presidential race.
Overall, Obama and Romney are tied, 49% to 49%, among likely voters. Those numbers are consistent with the rest of the poll’s results, which have shown the race between one point since daily tracking began on October 18.
Apple’s capital expenditures for the last year were $8.3 billion, which is significantly above its rivals, as this chart from Horace Dediu at Asymco shows.
Dediu believes Apple’s capex is significantly above its peers because Apple is investing in data centers like Google, and process equipment like Intel. As a result, its quarterly spending is closer to Google plus Intel.
The best scientific evidence shows that global climate change is caused by burning fossil fuels (oil, coal, and natural gas), which emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
These greenhouse gases act like a bubble around the Earth, trapping heat in, and in turn, causing temperatures to rise on the planet’s surface. This phenomenon can be observed through shrinking glaciers, thawing of permafrost, rising sea levels and, yes stronger storms.
Superstorm Sandy brought unprecedented levels of flooding to areas across the Eastern seaboard. New York City and the Jersey Shore were particularly hard hit. In Manhattan, a record-breaking storm surge reached 14 feet, shuttering one of the largest transit systems in the world.
Although climate change did not cause the storm, a growing number of researchers say that climate change increases the severity of hurricanes, including stronger storm surges like the one in Manhattan. This on top of rising sea levels, which will leave many cities, including New York, partially underwater, means just one thing: To save our cities, we need to slow climate change.
To moderate the effects of climate change we must start by lowering greenhouse gas emissions, which involves investing in clean and renewable energies.
Renewable energy is energy that comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, tides and geothermal heat. Unlike oil, these energy sources won’t run out (although some are highly unpredictable) and carbon-neutral, so they d! on’t con tribute to climate change.
We aren’t just talking wind turbines and solar panels, though. People around the world are developing innovative and sometimes strange ways to decrease their dependence on oil and gas.
Wave Snakes use the natural up-and-down motion of waves to generate electricity.
The 460-foot long, British-made floating tubes represent the world’s first commercial-scale wave-power stations.
The snake-like power farms, which were first launched off the northern coast of Portugal in 2008 from the town of Aguçadoura, are an original concept in clean energy design.
Using the natural up-and-down motion of waves, the stations are able to convert enough electricity to power more than 1,000 homes.
The Wind Blimp is equipped with spinning blades to catch wind and generate energy.
Magenn Power Inc. developed its first wind blimp prototype in 2008. The MARS (Magenn Air Rotor System) is essentially an extremely lightweight wind turbine that is anchored to the ground by a tether. Helium is used to lift the blimp, which is equipped with spinning blades to catch wind, generating energy. The electricity is then transferred by the tether to either a power grid or batteries.
MARS has several advantages over other wind systems due to its size, weight, and the ability to operate in very light wind speeds. The blimp is transportable, easily deployed, and well-suited for off-site or rem! ote loca tions. The floating wind turbine also has the potential to produce electricity at under $.20 per kWh versus $.50 cents to $.99 cents per kWh for diesel.
Archimede is the first solar power plant to use molten salts as a heat transfer fluid to store energy from the sun.
Location: Syracuse, Sicily.
On July 14, 2010, Italian utility Enel unveiled “Archimede,” the world’s first solar power plant to use molten salts as a heat transfer fluid. The system contains 30,000 square meters (320,000 square feet) of parabolic mirrors that concentrate solar rays onto 5,400 meters of high heat-resistant pipes that carry the fluid molten salt. The fluid is then collected in special tanks and used to produce steam, which eventually contributes to electricity generation.
The salts — a mixture of sodium and potassium nitrate — are an extremely efficient heat transfer mechanism. Unlike synthetic oils used in traditional concentrating solar plants, molten salt can work at much higher temperatures (up to 550°C instead of 390°C). The salts store enough energy to keep the plant generating power at night or on cloudy days, which is a common limitation of many renewable energy sources.
Mobile traffic as a share of all Internet traffic has been increasing steadily worldwide.
We have been tracking the global figure for some time. But a look at regional and country-level data reveals that in some countries, mobile’s already the preferred Internet access device. Also, some world regions tilt more toward mobile than others.
As of September, 12 percent of the planet’s Internet traffic came from mobile devices, and 88 percent from desktop, according to StatCounter.
The United States is not too far from the global average, with mobile at 10 percent. But in Asia, 20 percent of traffic now comes from mobile (the proportion almost doubled compared to a year before). In Africa, mobile traffic is at 14 percent.
In Europe, mobile is 7 percent of all traffic, and in South America, 4 percent.
Looking at country-level data reveals some markets in which mobile already has surpassed desktop traffic. That’s the case in India, where 53 percent of traffic comes from mobile, and in African countries like Nigeria, where mobile is 56 percent of Internet traffic.
The data also reveal some countries which register significantly below or above their region’s average. China, with 6 percent of traffic from mobile, falls considerably below Asia’s average. The United Kingdom, at 13 percent, doubles the Europe-wide average.
Every year management consulting Booz & Co. puts together a comprehensive report on the world’s 1000 biggest spenders on research and development, and the connection between that spending and performance.
Booz & Co. senior partner Barry Jaruzelski told us that “in the US, Europe, and Japan that’s fairly easy to put together, but to do it on every market, to get South Africa, China, India, Brazil, Russia, Israel, etc. takes a fair amount more effort.”
There’s an incredible amount of money in R&D. The top 20 companies alone spent $153.6 billion last year, which is more than a quarter of the total $603 billion by the world’s 1000 biggest spenders.
Here are last year’s top 20 spenders:
Read the full report here
For decades, visions of the future have played with the magical possibilities of computers: they’ll know where you are, what you want, and can access all the world’s information with a simple voice prompt. That vision hasn’t come to pass, yet, but features like Apple’s Siri and Google Now offer a keyhole peek into a near future reality where your phone is more “Personal Assistant” than “Bar bet settler.” The difference is that the former actually understands what you need while the latter is a blunt search instrument.
Google Now is one more baby step in that direction. Introduced this past June with Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean,” it’s designed to ambiently give you information you might need before you ask for it. To pull off that ambitious goal, Google takes advantage of multiple parts of the company: comprehensive search results, robust speech recognition, and most of all Google’s surprisingly deep understanding of who you are and what you want to know.
Medical research facility Cleveland Clinic and IBM are teaming up to develop ways to let supercomputer Watson become a useful tool for doctors. The machine’s ability to analyze language and scour its database for answers is hoped to offer quicker and more exhaustive diagnoses for patients. As modern medical students spend less time memorizing diseases, they’re focusing on learning how to think critically and navigate the huge amount of available data. Big Blue is also hoping that the Jeopardy champion will learn how to digest a person’s medical records in order to match up their history with maladies. We’re just nervous that someone will give Watson a telepresence robot and send him out onto the wards — you’d be worried about his bedside manner if you’ve seen his ruthless quizzing manner.
http://w ww.engadget.com/2012/10/30/cleveland-clinic-watson/”>Cleveland Clinic and IBM team up to make Watson a Doctor (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 30 Oct 2012 15:46:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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