It’s not just mobile ad spending that’s increasing, online advertising is increasing at a fairly impressive rate. According to internet research firm ComScore, online ad spending increased to just over $30 billion in the U.S. last year, a 20.2% increase.
For 2012, domestic ad spending is expected to surpass $35 billion, a 17.6% increase.
Monsanto, the biotech company whose proprietary genetically modified corn has been fingered as the possible culprit in the collapse of the bee population, has gone ahead and purchased Beelogics, a research firm committed to “restoring bee health and protecting the future of insect pollination.”
An Enormous Pharmaceutical Firm Is Taking Legal Action To Make UK Hospitals Use A $1000 Drug Over A $97 One
LONDON (AP) — Drug maker Novartis says it is taking legal action in Britain to make hospitals use an eye drug that costs 700 pounds ($1,130) per shot instead of a cheaper one that costs 60 pounds ($97).
According to the U.K.’s health watchdog, Lucentis is the only drug recommended to treat the eye problem, macular degeneration.
However, the much cheaper Avastin, a cancer drug, is widely prescribed for macular degeneration, though it is not officially approved. Last year, four hospitals in southern England decided they would pay for Avastin when it was prescribed by a doctor.
Both drugs are made by Novartis.
In a statement Tuesday, Novartis said it was demanding a judicial review to make the hospitals use Lucentis rather than Avastin.
Patient groups called for an independent appraisal to determine which drug should be used.
Intel Capital announced today a $100 million fund devoted to cars.
So what’s a chip company doing betting on technology in cars?
Intel estimates that by 2014, cars will be one of the top three fastest-growing markets for connected devices and Internet content. That eventually gives Intel an opportunity to put more of its chips in a whole new place: cars.
As an Intel manager put it in the press release announcing the fund: “The car is the ultimate mobile device.”
The Intel Capital Connected Car Fund will invest in technologies such as advanced driver assistance systems, speech recognition, gesture recognition, and eye tracking.
But there’s no mention of self-driving cars just yet. That is all Google for now.
Hey Carriers. We need to talk. You know how you said you were going to start throttling high data usage users in hopes to preserve bandwidth? That’s bullshit, apparently. It’s only because you want to get us onto tiered data plans so you can charge us overages. With hate, everyone.
Seriously. Validas, an analytics firm, analyzed 50,000 cellphone bills from AT&T and Verizon to see if throttling was a necessary evil to conserve bandwidth. However, the numbers point to no. Instead, Validas guesstimates that it’s because carriers would rather have us on tiered data plans for the overage fees. According to Validas:
“When we look at the top 5% of data users, there is virtually no difference in data consumption between those on unlimited and those on tiered plans — and yet the unlimited consumers are the ones at risk of getting their service turned off. So it’s curious that anyone would think the throttling here represents a serious effort at alleviating network bandwidth issues. After all, Sprint does seemingly fine maintaining non-throttled unlimited data for its customers.”
The point being, throttling the Top 5% of unlimited data users seems to be unnecessary because the Top 5% are using the same amount of data on their tiered plans anyway. Go figure, carriers trying to squeeze a dime out of a nickel. [BGR]
The security PIN system that Google Wallet users have to enter to verify transactions has been compromised. Thankfully, the chances of your wallet being used against you is relatively low—assuming you haven’t rooted your phone, that is.
Since Wallet saves your PIN in an encrypted file on the phone itself, rather than the secured NFC chip, if your phone falls into the wrong hands, that person could lift your PIN file from the phone and simply crack it using brute force. From there, he’d have access to—and use of—your Wallet account.
Security firm, Zvelo, discovered and reported the issue to Google, but because Wallet’s security architecture, the change will require a fundamental rejiggering of the security protocols. Man, talk about an oversight. According to Zvelo,
The lynch-pin, however, was that within the PIN information section was a long integer “salt” and a SHA256 hex encoded string “hash”. Knowing that the PIN can only be a 4-digit numeric value, it dawned on us that a brute-force attack would only require calculating, at most, 10,000 SHA256 hashes…This completely negates all of the security of this mobile phone payment system.
So, if you are rooted, be sure to take some additional security steps to protect yourself like activating the lock screen, disabling the USB debugging option in settings, and enabling full-disk encryption. Or maybe not losing your phone in the first place. [Zvelo via Android Central via The Verge]
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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