past

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5884415/travelling-in-modern-china-requires-serious-secret-agent-skills

Travelling in Modern Day China Requires Cold War Era Secret Agent SkillsIf Kenneth G. Lieberthal were anything but a China expert at the Brookings institution, his travelling-in-China security procedures would read like the product of a paranoid mind that watched too many spy movies as a kid:

He leaves his cellphone and laptop at home and instead brings “loaner” devices, which he erases before he leaves the United States and wipes clean the minute he returns. In China, he disables Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, never lets his phone out of his sight and, in meetings, not only turns off his phone but also removes the battery, for fear his microphone could be turned on remotely. He connects to the Internet only through an encrypted, password-protected channel, and copies and pastes his password from a USB thumb drive. He never types in a password directly, because, he said, “the Chinese are very good at installing key-logging software on your laptop.”

Talk about overkill, right? Well he’s not alone. The Times reports that these seemingly paranoid precautions are par for the course for just about anyone with valuable information including government officials, researchers, and even normal businessmen who do business in China.

But what about the rest of us? I may not have any valuable state secrets or research that needs protecting but that doesn’t mean I want the Chinese government snooping on my internetting when I visit my grandparents (especially when the consequences can be so severe). In the past, I’ve relied on a combination of VPNs, TOR, and password-protecting everything I can, but now it sounds like even that isn’t enough. Or maybe it’s totally overkill given my general unimportance in the grand scheme of things. Dear readers, I ask you, how much security is enough when it comes to the average person on vacation? [NY Times]

Image credit: Shutterstock/Rynio Productions

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Sunday, February 12th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Monster and Beats Electronics discontinue partnership, audiophiles rejoice

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/12/monster-and-beats-electronics-discontinue-partnership-/

Color us surprised, but word on the street is that Monster and Beats By Dr. Dre are soon going to be a thing of the past. After years of pumping out fashion-forward, bass and treble pumping headphones that (debatably) changed the landscape of personal audio products — and spawned a slew of imitators — both companies have reportedly decided not to renew their five-year contract. Businessweek notes that two sources have confirmed that disagreements over “revenue share” and “who deserved the most credit for the line’s success” stemmed the decision between the companies — not surprisingly, Beats Electronics wanted more of both.

In the the followup, Monster will pump eight new headphone lineups featuring due out this year, Monster is also noted to have brought in 60% of its own revenue from Beats by Dre, and now plans to shift its focus on older demographics, such as executive types, which the brand never exactly catered to. Notably, Businessweek also states that Beats Electronics will retain to the rights to the headphone’s iconic design, sound-signature and branding. Considering Beats’ partnerships reign far with companies like HP and HTC, things probably won’t be all doom and gloom for the company — but the amount of time left to pick up your very own JustBeats likely just got slim. Hit up the source link below for more details.

Monster and Beats Electronics discontinue partnership, audiophiles rejoice originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 12 Jan 2012 20:04:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Friday, January 13th, 2012 news No Comments

Facebook Will Have One Billion Users By September

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-facebook-will-have-one-billion-users-by-september-2012-1

Find out more out the future of disruptive technology and companies like Facebook, Google, Zynga, Disney, NBC and more at IGNITION West!

Facebook says it has 800 million active users. 

Building a chart based on previous user number announcements, iCrossings says Facebook will probably reach 1 billion users sometime in August 2012.

In the past, “active” has meant that these people log in once a month. What’s truly stunning is that Facebook says more than 50% of its users log in every day.

chart of the day, active facebook users, jan 12 2012

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Thursday, January 12th, 2012 news No Comments

Switching to Private Label Products is Accelerating and Irreversible

See the charts below from comScore, Nielsen and Symphony/IRI.  The percent buying branded products of past has dropped to 43%.  The percentage switching (2nd graph) is most in OTC drugs and apparel. And even if the economy improves, consumers would continue to buy private label. Whole Foods has been offering their 365 “house brand” for many years and Trader Joe’s also has great private label products that are often equal to or arguably higher quality than branded alternatives.

Brand Loyalty is Declining

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

willingness to switch to generic or private label versus branded product

 

 

 

 

consumers will continue buying private label even when economy improves

 

 

 

Related Article:  Spend Polarization – consumers save money in the down economy by buying more from Costco, Sam’s Wholesale, and BJ’s but when they splurge, they buy ultra-high-end.

 

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Monday, November 28th, 2011 Branding No Comments

TV broadcasters hope to dominate the second screen with ConnecTV

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/11/19/tv-broadcasters-hope-to-dominate-the-second-screen-with-connectv/

ConnecTV on an iPad

No one has quite figured it out yet, but there seems to be little doubt that tablet devices have their place on the couch to serve as a second screen while American’s enjoy their favorite past time — watching TV. In addition to many independent startups we’ve discussed in the past, the old guard, that already owns most of broadcast TV stateside, has a startup of its own called ConnecTV. In development for two years already, ConnecTV is currently in beta and has the hopes to go live in January. The idea is of course to put what you might want to see on your second screen while you watch the main action on the big screen. This includes sports scores, statistics, as well as what your friends may or may-not be saying on Twitter or Facebook — and of course advertising. We’d be shocked if most tablet owners weren’t already using their slate in front of the TV and can imagine how many more might if there was a great app that brought it all together.

TV broadcasters hope to dominate the second screen with ConnecTV originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 19 Nov 2011 05:35:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Saturday, November 19th, 2011 news No Comments

Everything Wrong With The Steve Ballmer Era On Display At D8

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5554787/everything-wrong-with-the-steve-ballmer-era-on-display-at-d8

Everything Wrong With The Steve Ballmer Era On Display At D8Today at the All Things D conference we saw a snapshot of what’s wrong with Microsoft under Steve Ballmer’s tenure.

Walt Mossberg asked Steve Ballmer and Ray Ozzie, Microsoft’s chief software architect, what they thought of Google, Android, and Chrome.

Everything Wrong With The Steve Ballmer Era On Display At D8Ballmer yammered away about how Google’s strategy of having two operating systems doesn’t make any sense. Why have Android and Chrome? Why do two operating systems like that? Makes no sense, he says,

After Ballmer is done, Ray Ozzie says, Chrome is a bet on the future, Android is a bet on the past.

We can’t think of a better illustration of the Ballmer-era.

A competitor announces something innovative. Ballmer goes out in public, plays dumb, trashes it, acts like he doesn’t think it makes any sense, even though it does.

Remember his quote on the $500 iPhone? On Android being free? Ballmer likes to laugh at his rivals, only to become the laughingstock years later.

Chrome doesn’t make sense today. But it will make a lot of sense in the future when browsers are more powerful and web-based applications are more robust.

Obviously Ray Ozzie gets this. Why doesn’t Steve Ballmer?

Interestingly, before the interview started Ina Fried at CNet wrote that Ray and Steve don’t talk very much. Clearly, that needs to change.

Everything Wrong With The Steve Ballmer Era On Display At D8

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Friday, June 4th, 2010 news No Comments

Is Android fragmented or is this the new rate of innovation?

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/22/entelligence-is-android-fragmented-or-is-this-the-new-rate-of-i/

Entelligence is a column by technology strategist and author Michael Gartenberg, a man whose desire for a delicious cup of coffee and a quality New York bagel is dwarfed only by his passion for tech. In these articles, he’ll explore where our industry is and where it’s going — on both micro and macro levels — with the unique wit and insight only he can provide.

A few weeks ago I sat down with the father of Android, Andy Rubin. Andy’s a super smart person, having done stints at Apple, General Magic, WebTV and Danger before starting the Android project. We talked about a lot of things, and we particularly spent time discussing Android fragmentation. I’ve written in the past about my concern that the Android platform is fragmenting much like desktop Linux has over the years, and the potential for the platform to turn into a patchwork of devices and vendor specific modifications that bear little relationship with each other. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my conversation with Andy, and I’ve rewritten this column more than a few times as a result.

Today, there are at least five different versions of Android on the market. Many of them are highly customized to allow for new features and device differentiation, but that same customization also makes it harder for vendors to update them to the latest versions. New releases and versions of Android are often outdated by newer versions in the span of just a few weeks. For example, the Nexus One when released was capable of running apps like Google Earth that devices such as the Droid could not, because it ran Android 2.0, not 2.1.Tablet vendors complain their Android offerings lack features such as Android Market because Google forbids them to install the marketplace app, forcing them to create proprietary alternatives. It would appear Android is indeed fragmenting — but perhaps there are other forces at work.

When I spoke with Andy, he pointed out there are several classical symptoms of platform fragmentation. First, older APIs no longer work and break in new releases. Second, multiple application marketplaces offer different applications that lack uniformity across platforms. Both of these are true when you look at desktop Linux. Neither are true of Android.

Continue reading Entelligence: Is Android fragmented or is this the new rate of innovation?

Entelligence: Is Android fragmented or is this the new rate of innovation? originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 22 May 2010 20:21:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday, May 23rd, 2010 news No Comments

last-ad accounting, last-ad-attribution model

Why the Click Is the Wrong Metric for Online (Display) Ads

http://adage.com/digital/article?article_id=134787

There is a whole ruckus around ad networks getting too little credit for helping to drive customers’ awareness and clicks for advertisers. In the past, ad networks wanted to claim credit for type-ins (people going to an advertiser’s site by typing the URL instead of clicking on an ad). They called this “view through” and the ad networks wanted these to be attributed to their showing the ad somewhere on their network.

Now they claim that getting credit for only the last-ad is not enough — the ad the user actually clicked on to get to the advertiser’s site, the one that can actually be tracked and properly attributed.

What’s at stake is the relatively large piece of “direct” or referrer-less traffic. Analytics packages can only assign these to type-ins or bookmarks since there was no referring site to attribute them to, let alone ad creative version, etc.

But while there is demonstrable lift in click rates when display ads and search ads are running at the same time — i.e. they reinforce and complement each other — it does not mean that ad networks can or should claim credit for the lift. After all, advertising running on another network COULD also cause a lift in results of ads running on another network if they are run simultaneously.

So the bottom line is if the click or the visit is not directly attributable, it should not be attributed.

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Monday, February 23rd, 2009 display advertising 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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