package

Google Apps discontinues basic package, asks new customers to pony up $50 per user for premium

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/07/google-apps-discontinues-basic-package/

Google Apps discontinues basic package, asks all new customers to pony up $50 per user for premium

Looking towards Mountain View to provide a suite of digital tools for your new business? Make sure to pen per-user costs into your ledger — Google Apps isn’t free anymore. According to Google’s enterprise blog, the basic Google Apps package is being abandoned to streamline the service, offering businesses a single, $50 per user option that promises 24/7 phone support, 25GB inboxes and a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Pre-existing free customers can still hum along unmolested, of course, and the standard pricing doesn’t apply to schools or universities, either. Personal Google accounts are still free too, doling out gratis Gmail and Drive access to anyone with a unique user name. The team hopes that streamlining the Apps will allow it to provide better service, possibly offering enterprise users new features on a faster timetable.

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Friday, December 7th, 2012 news No Comments

How the Nexus 10 Stacks Up to the Competition

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5955853/how-the-nexus-10-stacks-up-to-the-competition

How the Nexus 10 Stacks Up to the CompetitionGoogle’s Nexus 10 tablet has arrived, designed to serve as Android’s flagship answer to the iPad and Surface. But is the thing worth its weight in salt? We compared the Nexus 10 to the other top new tablets to find out.

On the guts front, the Samsung-manufactured Nexus 10 is more or less in line with the other big name tablets, matching or exceeding the specs of the competition in most categories. Under the hood is a 1.7 GHz dual-core Exynos CPU with 2 Gigs of RAM and a 10.1-inch screen delivering a 298 ppi in a 2500×1600 resolution package.

While the CPU isn’t the quad-core Tegra 3 that the Surface has, it is the most pixel dense screen we’ve seen to date. However, if it is based around the Pentile subpixel technology that has caused issues with previous Android displays, some may have gripes with the display.

How the Nexus 10 Stacks Up to the Competition

The Nexus 10 isn’t the lightest or thinnest tablet, measuring in at 0.35 inches thick and 1.33 pounds. But it does have a massive 9000 mAh battery which gives it the ability to play HD video for 9 consecutive hours. Basically, it will last a long time.

Then there’s storage. Starting out at 16 gigabytes, and maxing out at 32GB, the Nexus 10 offers the least storage of all the competition, though one can argue that with so much being cloud based, 64 gigabytes is a luxury more than anything else.

Of course, specs mean nothing if the OS software doesn’t take proper advantage of it, but given the fact that Google is directly involved with this device, and the consistent excellence of the Exynos processors, the Nexus 10 certainly looks promising. [Nexus 10]

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Monday, October 29th, 2012 news No Comments

2.3 Million Americans Have Pulled The Plug Since 2010

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/goodbye-cable-tv-23-million-americans-have-pulled-the-plug-since-2010-2012-2


videodrome

This chart (below) from ISI Group tells you all you need to know about the fate of cable TV in the age of the iPad: Since Q1 2010, 2.3 million people have stopped subscribing to pay TV as delivered by cable TV companies such as Cablevision, Comcast, DirecTV, Time Warner Cable, Dish, Verizon, and AT&T.

Currently, only 41.5 million Americans watch TV on pay cable.

I’ve been arguing for a while now that Americans are on the cusp of a dramatic change in how they watch video. They’re moving to video over the internet. Traditional TV is dying, in much the same way that in the mid-2000s we all largely stopped using hardwired telephones to make calls in favor of wireless mobile cellphones.

Hardwired phones are still a big business, of course, and most households still have them. But they’re really a vestigial offshoot of whatever bundled communications package you’ve bought.

It looks like cable is about to go the same way. Although its subscriber numbers are dwindling, subscriber numbers for satellite TV and broadband phone/internet service remain relatively healthy, as the second chart (below) shows. That suggests to me that there is a growing number of households choosing a broadband package with the internet as their top priority, and a dwindling number choosing it based on TV.

Ironically, the fall has come at a time when cable is making more ad money than ever. It’s a supply-and-demand issue: It may be that cable TV’s audience is dwindling, but it’s still one of the few venues that reliably delivers millions of eyeballs all at once.

First, the cable TV chart, based on numbers from ISI Group:

cable tv

Here’s the market share situation. Note that 2011 was a threshold year, when cable slipped from having more than 50 percent of the market to less:

cable tv share

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Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 news No Comments

AMD reveals its 2012-2013 roadmap, promises 28nm chips across the board by 2013

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/02/amd-2012-2013-roadmap-APUs-galore/

AMD pulls back the kimono, reveals impending 2013 APU invasion
Ready for a bevy of more exotic-sounding codenames from AMD? Well, have a seat, as the maker of everyone’s favorite APUs just revealed its roadmap extending through 2013. And folks, it’s quite the doozy. But before we delve into its technical intricacies (which you’ll find tucked after the break), we’ll begin with some general takeaways. Per CEO Rory Read, 2012 and 2013 are “all about execution,” with the company girding itself for the the next “inflection point” where it’ll excel. The key to this strategy, as he describes it, is to continue marching towards a full-SoC design that will cover a host of devices running the gamut from mainstream laptops to tablets and so-called Ultrathins, the company’s forthcoming answer to Intel’s Ultrabook onslaught.

During its announcement, timed to coincide with AMD’s annual financial analyst day, the company also stressed its unique position wedged between Chipzilla and makers of ARM chips. Ask Read and he’ll tell you that’s a key advantage f! or AMD, that its CPU and GPU IP will bring more value through a better overall experience in the market. That’s a strategy less obsessed with raw specs and sheer speed and more focused on a holistic package. Senior VP Lisa Su said AMD will aggressively enter the tablet arena this year in a big way, reiterating that AMD-based Windows 8 slates are indeed en route, though she stopped short of giving an ETA. Finally, the company’s renewing its focus in the server market, as it seeks to cut a larger slice of the cloud computing pie. That’s AMD’s 2012 / 2013 plans in a nutshell, but if you’re the kind of person who likes a few technical specifics (and who doesn’t, really?) meet us after the break for a peek at what’s in store.

Continue reading AMD reveals its 2012-2013 roadmap, promises 28nm chips across the board by 2013

AMD reveals its 2012-2013 roadmap, promises 28nm chips across the board by 2013 originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 02 Feb 2012 14:54:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5879847/bribing-customers-to-get-five+star-amazon-reviews-is-a-new-marketing-low

We all read reviews and check star ratings on Amazon before we buy stuff. We’ve already seen that companies sometimes write reviews themselves, and they’re easy to spot by the way they’re written. But there’s a new trend among some less trustworthy Amazon sellers: bribing customers to write favorable reviews.

Accorrding to a report by the New York Times a compnay called VIP Deals has been offering its customers a complete refund on their purchase — while still allowing them to keep the item — in return for a review.

The product in question is a Vipertek brand premium slim black leather case for the Kindle Fire — a fairly lucrative market given how many Kindles were sold over the holidays. VIP Deals have been selling the case for under $10 plus shipping (the official list price was $59.99). The New York Times explains what customers experienced:

When the package arrived it included a letter extending an invitation “to write a product review for the Amazon community.”

“In return for writing the review, we will refund your order so you will have received the product for free,” it said.

While the letter did not specifically demand a five-star review, it broadly hinted. “We strive to earn 100 percent perfect ‘FIVE-STAR’ scores from you!” it said.

Apparently VIP deals has no web site and uses a mailbox drop in suburban Los Angeles as a return address, and last week had received 4,945 reviews on Amazon for a nearly perfect 4.9 rating out of five. Since, Amazon has removed the product page.

Speaking to the New York Times, Anne Marie Logan, a Georgia pharmacist, said: “I was like, ‘Is this for real?’ ” she said. “But they credited my account. You think it’s unethical?” Just a bit, Anne. Just a bit. [New York Times; Image: MikeBlogs]

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Friday, January 27th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

The Owner Of Flash Sales Site Rue La La Is Laying Off A Big Chunk Of Its Staff

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-owner-of-flash-sales-site-rue-la-la-is-losing-up-to-half-its-staff-2012-1


rue la la

UPDATE: Rue La La has reached out to us to update the story with some additional information.

Rue La La just laid off 11 percent of its 500-person staff, according to the company.

The Boston Business Journal first reported the layoffs.

Site owner Retail Convergence is also shutting down SmartBargains.com, a discount shopping site, according to the report.

Some employees were offered other positions in the company, and everyone was offered some kind of severance package, a source close to the company told us.

“It was a mess upstairs. People were crying all over the place,” one unnamed employee told the Boston Business Journal. 

Rue La La operator Retail Convergence raised about $25 million from General Catalyst Partners and Breakaway Partners before being acquired by a company called GSI Commerce for $350 million, reports The Boston Business Journal.

eBay then bought GSI Commerce in 2009, and Rue La La got $500 million in debt and equity financing as part of the deal, according to the report. Retail Convergence, the owner of Rue La La and SmartBargains.com was spun out as part of that deal.

Here’s the full statement from Rue La La:

Since launching in 2008, Rue La La has transformed online shopping and has become a leader in the “private sale” shopping space.  In a continued effort to revolutionize off-price shopping, we have made the strategic decision to double down on our core business.  This heightened focus on our core includes the restructuring of our Rue Local business by outsourcing our sales force and consolidating SmartBargains.com into Rue La La. SmartBargains.com was originally launched 1999.  These moves unfortunately resulted in the elimination of some staff positions.  Rue La La has continued to see dramatic growth with nearly $300MM in sales in 2011 and similar growth planned for 2012 and beyond.

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Thursday, January 12th, 2012 news No Comments

Free Shipping On The Web Isn’t So ‘Free’ Anymore

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/free-shipping-isnt-so-free-anymore-2011-11


shipping, trade, container

It’s no surprise why online shopping is so popular.

“You get the item quickly, you don’t pay for shipping, you often receive better prices, and you don’t have to leave your house,” said Andrew Schrage, founder of Money Crashers.

Perhaps in response to shoppers like Schrage, businesses have been giving away free shipping with a vengeance.

Some 93 percent of stores will offer at least one free shipping deal this year, which means a six percent increase from last year. Meanwhile 30 percent of store sites will offer free shipping on Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation.

Experts like Kit Yarrow, a professor of psychology and marketing at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, Calif., told Smart Money that free shipping has become an expectation. However, things don’t always don’t always pan out for consumers.

Retailers may raise the price of their products to make up for shipping costs or bar consumers from using coupons. She also warns shoppers to consider the overall package, including whether or not you can combine discounts.

Besides analyzing the overall deal, Schrage advises shoppers to stick to Web-based companies when shopping online.

“Online sites like Amazon almost ALWAYS have as cheap, and usually cheaper, prices than these retailers who also provide free shipping,” he said.

He points out that companies like Amazon even offer two-day shipping for free, and maintain great return policies that prove to be better than those of bricks-and-mortar stores.

From time to time Schrage admits you will seen an online site offer a higher retail price with free shipping. But stay away—you can score a better deal.

Check out 10 FREE Black Friday apps to help you survive the mall >

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Sunday, November 27th, 2011 news No Comments

Comcast testing pay-per-package, still afraid of a-la-carte

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/07/comcast-testing-pay-per-package-still-afraid-of-a-la-carte/

Charleston, South Carolina might be famous for the eponymous knee / hand dance, but this week sees it become the second location in the US to get Comcast’s MyTV Choice. Rather than buying all the channels, or paying á la carte for just the ones you watch, you pick a platform and then bolt on a package of channels, grouped by theme — you get “Entertainment & Lifestyle,” “Movies,” “Kids” or “News & Info.” These smaller, cheaper bundles are in response to being forced to carry channels owned by the same group, if you’re paying for MTV, you’re also paying for TV Land, for example. Still, those in the city (when not dancing their knee joints away) should be interested to know that the Get Started platform costs $25, Get Started Plus $45 and each additional package is $10.

[Thanks, Saye]

Comcast testing pay-per-package, still afraid of a-la-carte originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 07 Oct 2011 05:12:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Friday, October 7th, 2011 news No Comments

A Predictable Failure: Kimberly-Clark Offering Kleenex Hand Towels

Source: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=124023&nid=112103

Kleenex hand towels

“Kimberly-Clark’s Kleenex brand is offering an at-home version of a product that people take for granted in public restrooms: disposable hand towels. The new Kleenex Hand Towels are intended to address consumers’ growing concern with hand hygiene.

The product is on sale now with a retail price of about $3 for a box of 60 towels, per the company.

The Kleenex Hand Towels come in box packaging, with pop-up delivery. The product is intended to complement bathroom décor and space limitations — i.e., it can go on a towel bar or countertop.

Kleenex Hand Towels performed well in preliminary testing with consumers, the company says: Approximately two-thirds said they would use Kleenex Hand Towels as a substitute for cloth towels, and more than 90% reacted favorably to how the product and package design looked in their bathrooms.”

They used FOCUS GROUPS! And 2/3 said they would use! But think about it: $3 a box versus cloth towels I already have at home. At home, I don’t use disposable hand towels and at home I am not concerned about “hand hygiene” as I am in a public bathroom.

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Thursday, March 11th, 2010 digital No Comments

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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