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IBM brings the fight to counterfeiters with nano-sized authentication methods (video)

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/04/ibm-brings-the-fight-to-counterfeiters-with-nano-sized-authentic/

IBM brings the fight to counterfeiters with nanosized authentication methods

As counterfeiters continue to up their game, technology’s quest for the ultimate method of proving authenticity goes on. We’ve seen ideas at the nano level before, but IBM thinks its latest research might be so difficult to reverse engineer, that it’s impossible for forgers to reproduce. IBM scientist Dr. Heiko Wolf explains that the basic principle involves using the surface tension of water to orient nanorods on a stamp, which can then be printed onto any surface. These nanorods are so small that gravity alone isn’t enough to place the particles into predetermined patterns, such as corporate logos. IBM’s researchers have also patented a related nano-patterning method that uses fluorescent spheres that can take the color red, blue or green. These then arrange themselves in a completely random order, which is mathematically so difficult to replicate it’s known as PUF (physically uncloanable function). Both methods can be applied to a broad selection of objects, making them ideal candidates for anti-counterfeit detection for everything from diamonds to passports — all that’s needed to verify authenticity is an optical microscope. Don’t get your Picasso out of the vault just yet though, as it’s estimated that it’ll be another five years or so before the technology will find its way to market.

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Source: IBM Research

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Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 news No Comments

American kids want Surface the least, iPad the most

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Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 news No Comments

All The Kids Want iPads, Almost None Want The Surface (AAPL, MSFT, GOOG, AMZN)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/nielsen-study-what-people-want-2012-11

Apple is going to dominate holiday shopping in the U.S., once again, according to the latest data from Nielsen.

The first table below shows what kids 6-12 are interested in “buying” in the next 6-12 months. (By “buying” we assume Nielsen means, “getting,” unless these are some industrial kids who are running killer lemonade stands.) The second table shows what consumers 13 and over want.

As you can see, the iPad is the number one product people want in the next year. That’s got to be scaring the heck out of Microsoft. Because if you’re 6-12, and your first computer is an iPad, what are the odds you buy a Windows computer down the road?

Nielsen

Nielsen

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Tuesday, November 20th, 2012 news No Comments

42% Of Windows Users Plan To Switch To Apple

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/windows-users-plan-to-switch-to-apple-2012-11

Windows 8 Survey

Anti-virus company Avast conducted a survey of Windows-based PC users the day before Windows 8 was released.

The results were devastating for Microsoft and non-Apple PC makers.

They were excellent, meanwhile, for Apple.

Byron Acohido wrote up the results for USA Today and filmed a short video with charts. You can watch that here. In the meantime, here are the key points:

  • The survey covered 135,000 Windows users split across three versions of the operating system: Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.
  • Only a very small percentage of users–9%–said they were going to accelerate a purchase of a new computer because of Windows 8.
  • Overall, 16% of those surveyed said they planned to buy a new computer
  • Of these folks, a staggering 42% said they plan to buy an Apple product–either a Mac or an iPad (see chart above)
  • Most of the Apple buyers (30% of the total buyers) planned to buy an iPad, suggesting that some of these planned purchases are motivated by the desire to buy a tablet. (Maybe Microsoft can save some of these with strong sales of the Surface.)
  • The rest of the switchers, 12%, planned to buy a Mac.

Last week, it was reported that Windows 8 sales are off to a weak start.

That’s not surprising, given the results of this survey.

And the most ominous part of the survey is the implication that nearly a third of those w! ho plan to buy a new computer plan to buy an iPad. Some of these purchases may be supplemental–the PC owners may keep their PCs–but they won’t do anything to help the Wintel PC business.

As tech guru Jean-Louis Gassee points out in his weekly note, the survey also suggests that Windows 8 has created a huge opportunity for Apple to convert a lot more Windows users to Apple products.

SEE ALSO: Windows 8 Sales Are Well Below Microsoft’s Expectations

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Monday, November 19th, 2012 news No Comments

Actually, You Only Get To Use About Half The Storage On The Cheapest Surface Tablet (MSFT)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-surface-storage-2012-11

The cheapest model of Microsoft’s new Surface tablet comes with 32 GB storage, twice that of the cheapest iPad.

But here’s why: According to Microsoft, the Surface’s operating system takes up nearly half that space, leaving you with only 16 GB to play around with. In contrast, Apple’s iOS operating system only takes up about 1 GB of space.

Here’s the full breakdown from Microsoft, which we originally saw on TNW:

surface rt operating system

In a Reddit AMA session a few weeks ago, Microsoft’s Surface team said that the 32 GB model would have about 20 GB of free space. It looks like you actually get a bit less than that.

So while 32 GB sounds like a good deal, keep in mind you’re only getting a bit more storage than you would get on a similarly-priced iPad.

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Monday, November 5th, 2012 news No Comments

Amazon and Google are undermining mobile pricing, and that may hurt everyone

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/11/03/editorial-amazon-and-google-are-undermining-mobile-pricing/

Google Nexus 10 and Nexus 7

When Google unveiled the Nexus 4, Nexus 10 and a refreshed Nexus 7 in October, the moment was arguably the crescendo of a change in the Android ecosystem that had been building ever since Amazon’s Kindle Fire first braved the marketplace in 2011. Along with a widely expanded Amazon lineup that includes multiple Kindle Fire HD models and a price-cut tweak to the original Fire, two of the largest players in the mobile world now have top-to-bottom device businesses built around selling at break-even prices and recouping their money through content. That might sound good on the surface, but it’s a bad omen for competitors that genuinely can’t respond in kind — and it could erode some of the values of diversity and innovation that we’re supposed to hold dear as technology fans.

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Editorial: Amazon and Google are undermining mobile pricing, and that may hurt everyone originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 03 Nov 2012 13:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday, November 4th, 2012 Uncategorized 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

Where Microsoft’s Profits Come From (MSFT)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-microsoft-income-by-segment-2012-10

When Microsoft revealed its first ever computer, the Surface, CEO Steve Ballmer said, “Windows is the heart and soul of Microsoft from Windows PCs to Windows Servers to Windows Phones and Windows Azure.”

And while that’s certainly accurate, the Windows division was not the company’s heart and soul as far as profits go, last quarter. The company made twice as much money last quarter from the Business Division, which is home to Office. And Microsoft’s Server and Tools group had bigger profits than the Windows division.

The reason Windows profits were light is that Microsoft is in a transition from Windows 7 to Windows 8. Windows operating profit should pick back up once Windows 8 sales pick up this quarter into next year.

chart of the day, microsoft income by segment, oct 2012

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Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5953015/webcam-timelapses-used-to-automatically-model-cities-in-3d

Webcam Timelapses Used To Automatically Model Cities in 3DThe ability to see maps in buildings and landscapes in 3D makes following along considerably easier than with just 2D. So researchers at the University of Washington have made generating 3D models of a given location dead simple using custom software and nothing more than a webcam timelapse video of the spot captured on a sunny day.

As the sun moves across the sky it creates ever-changing shadows on every surface—from a towering skyscraper’s silhouette on the ground, to subtle architectural details. And by analyzing timelapse footage filmed across an entire day, the software’s algorithm is able to extrapolate the shape and positions of every structure in frame.

To work its magic the program does need to know the exact position of the camera using GPS data so it can calculate how high the sun was in the sky, and the time of day for every single frame. But once a scene is processed it’s able to spit out a 3D model that could then be added to existing databases such as the one used by Google in its map app. So eventually anyone who knows how to point a camera and hit record can make a contribution for the area where they live. [Washington University via NewScientist]

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Thursday, October 18th, 2012 news No Comments

opt-out exists)

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/07/amazon-silk-browser-on-kindle-fire-tracks-page-visits/

Amazon Silk browser on Kindle Fire tracks page visits to generate trends, isn't as spook

When you pick up that new Kindle Fire HD this fall, one of the first things you’ll notice is an updated version of Amazon’s Silk web browser with a Trending Now section. It’s a clever trick that takes advantage of Silk’s server-based caching to find out what sites are popular among owners. That sounds good on the surface, but it doesn’t take much effort to realize that there are privacy concerns already in the air — Amazon is sharing personal web habits with a wider audience, after all. While the section is unlikely to include any identifying information, there’s no immediate sign that tablet owners can keep their behavior private, and that could create some indignation among those who’d prefer to surf in isolation. We’ve asked Amazon if there will be an opt-out escape hatch and will let you know if there’s a definitive answer. In the meantime, we wouldn’t necessarily worry. Silk shouldn’t be caching your e-mail, and it’s only likely to ever show pages that have far more traffic than anything you’d be embarrassed to show to others. As far as we can tell, your secret knitting obsession should be safe.

Update: A spokesperson has confirmed that the option to disable Silk’s caching is still available, and that switching it off will cut you out of Trending Now; that’s a very all-or-nothing approach, but it’ll likely suit those put off by the browser’s predictive approach in the first place. Secure pages are still out of the picture as well, which should keep those private Twitter messages ou! t of the equation.

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Amazon Silk browser on Kindle Fire tracks page visits to generate trends, isn’t as spooky as it sounds (update: opt-out exists) originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 07 Sep 2012 14:33:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Friday, September 7th, 2012 news 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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